Romance author Roy Kwong wants Hong Kong’s Legislative Council to tell a better story
Long before he became the city’s youngest district councillor aged 24, Roy Kwong Chun-yu had always dreamt of becoming a writer.
That dream is now a reality. He has sold tens of thousands of copies of seven books of love stories and prose. Now Kwong, 33, is turning the page to another ambition: to win hearts and minds for a “super seat” in the Legislative Council elections.
Kwong believes his standing as an author gives him a fair chance at success – at the very least with his readers.
“At least my works and my writing on Facebook over the years have shown to people that Kwong Chun-yu is made of flesh and blood and is not a bad guy,” Kwong, a three-term district councillor, said. “But I won’t be too optimistic,” he added modestly.
While some might dismiss Kwong's writing as sappy and his appeal as limited – some even mockingly imitate his peculiar writing style online, calling it “Kwong-style” – his Democratic Party colleagues know better as their internal polls show him getting high popularity.
He said it was with the mind of a writer that he dealt with his district work, and the 2,000 cases he received every year. “I humbly listen to my residents seeking help, and treat them as fascinating stories,” he said.
But he stressed the work in Yuen Long was no romance. For example, he recalled recently helping a single-parent family who were threatened by triads over a land dispute.
Kwong has never left the Yuen Long public housing estate where he grew up, as the three jobs he has done so far were connected to the area. His first job was as an assistant in a youth centre.
“One day, I saw a three-year-old boy hanging around in our centre during lunch hour and he had no lunch,” he recalled. “I took him to look for his mother and when we found her, she said: ‘It’s none of your business. You’re not a social worker.’ Then I realised I needed to be in a better capacity to help
He then changed jobs to work as an assistant to Democratic Party district councillor Zachary Wong Wai-yin and won the district council election in 2007.
If he is elected in September, Kwong said he hoped to serve as a bridge between the legislature and the masses, because he thought politicians lately had failed to make the public understand what the fights in Legco were about.
He said late American president Abraham Lincoln was his inspiration. “Lincoln was a companionable politician and he was very good at getting his political messages across to the ordinary people,” he said. “I want to try doing the same, to make people interested in politics.”