Hong Kong protests: Friends recall HKUST student injured in car park fall as a polite and helpful introvert

South China Morning Post

Secondary schoolmates describe Chow Tsz-lok as quiet and friendly and don't know if he took part in any anti-government demonstrations

South China Morning Post |

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Over 300 students, alumni and staff gathered at the school hall of Christian and Missionary Alliance Sun Kei Secondary School, alma mater of Chow Tsz-lok, to fold origami cranes and make cards.

Chow Tsz-lok had been planning a trip to Japan with his secondary school friends just hours before he fell from a Tseung Kwan O car park over the weekend, his friends have told the SCMP.

Chow, a second year computer science student at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, is now fighting for his life in an unconscious state after falling from the third floor to the second of a car park that was surrounded by riot police and protesters at around 1am on Monday.

Police are still investigating the incident, and it is not yet known whether he had taken part in any anti-government protests, which have gripped the city for almost five months.

Student injured in car park fall fighting for his life

On Wednesday afternoon, more than 300 students, alumni and employees gathered in the hall of Christian and Missionary Alliance Sun Kei Secondary School in Tseung Kwan O to show support for the 22-year-old who is battling serious brain injury.

Apart from folding origami cranes and writing get well cards, the alumni and teachers are producing a short video for him with words of support, hoping he would be encouraged if he could hear it at the hospital.

Chow was known in his social circle for his passion for sports and mathematics, as well as his willingness to help others in school, said his friends.

Students post messages of support for Chow Tsz-lok at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Yau Ma Tei on Wednesday.
Photo: SCMP/ Xiaomei Chen

John*, a 24-year-old classmate of Chow in three of their senior secondary years, said about seven boys from their former class had just met at a gathering on November 1 for a karaoke.

They were planning a trip to Japan that day and Chow had planned to buy the plane tickets on behalf of his friends a few hours before he fell.

“That was just about three hours [before the fall],” John said. “No one could imagine something like [the fall] could happen. I just cannot accept what has happened.”

He said Chow was collecting his friends’ personal information in a message group to buy the tickets.

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John said Chow was an “introvert” in class and did not talk much when they first met. But later he came across Chow as a friendly person who would “pitch in and help people out whenever needed”.

“He is a tall and slim person who I imagined was not easy to get along with when I first met him,” he said.

“We were assigned to sit next to each other in class maybe because our heights were similar. While sitting beside him, I gradually came to know him and realised he was quite easy to get along with.”

Over 300 students, alumni and staff gathered in support of Chow on Wednesday.
Photo: Handout

John said although Chow was not particularly vocal among his peers and was not involved much in class affairs, he once helped his class during the school’s swimming gala in Form Five.

“Even though Chow was not a fast swimmer, he stood up for us during the competition to ensure our class was able to take part in the match despite falling short of one member,” he said.

“We really appreciated and admired his move.”

*Names have been changed to protect identities