Democracy icon's spirit continues to burn brightly

Carmen Liu Ka-man, Heep Yunn School

Szeto Wah remained true to his beliefs until the end

Carmen Liu Ka-man, Heep Yunn School |

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Szeto Wah, who died of cancer aged 79 earlier this month, was a true patriot who fought for democracy in Hong Kong and on the mainland.

Uncle Wah, as he was affectionately known, was a legislator, and had been working hard to make China a more democratic country.

In 1989, he established the Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China. He angered Beijing by calling for an end to the country's one-party rule.

Later, he helped form the United Democrats of Hong Kong and its successor, the Democratic Party.

His passion for democracy did not waver even in the final moments of his life. His last words to Hong Kong were that "the June 4 movement must be vindicated and we should hold on to the fight".

Despite his great contribution to our society, the central government thought he was a trouble-maker and even banned him from visiting the mainland.

Nowadays, most of us think about making money without noticing that our shortsighted views are leading us in the wrong direction. We have unlimited wants which can never be fulfilled.

There are many things we can learn from Szeto. For example, he never sought personal glory in his fight for democracy and social justice.

In other words, he contributed to our society because he loved our country, not for any rewards.

Although he did not live to see the fruits of his efforts, he had great faith in himself and remained true to his beliefs until the end.

He believed that everyone had a role to play in making China a democratic and civilised nation.

We can take a leaf out of Szeto's book. We all have to believe that if we unite and work hard, our dream will come true - our country will become the best in the world sooner or later.

By then, every Chinese would be proud not just because they are rich or have made wonderful inventions, but because they are leading meaningful lives.

We all understand that working hard towards something that may not bring immediate rewards is difficult, but if you are depressed, please remember what Szeto said before he passed away - we should continue to fight and never give up.

Let us receive the torch he has given us, and then pass it on until the whole nation shines brightly, providing inspiration to people around the world.

Good bye, Uncle Wah. Wherever you are, your spirit will always be with us.