Hongyu Wang is a Hong Kong-based trader and author of Grameen in Kosovo: a post-war humanitarian manoeuvre. His articles have appeared in Sunday Examiner, A-Desiflava Magazine and Harbour Times and online on Citizen News, Local Press, Pen Toy, VJ Media, The News Lens, Jumpstart Magazine, EJ Insight, The Glocal and China Current. 王宏宇居于香港,從業于貿易行業并著有Grameen in Kosovo: a post-war humanitarian manoeuvre. 他的文章已發表于公教報,A-Desiflava雜誌和港報并刊登在網絡媒體眾新聞、本土新聞、評台、輔仁媒體、關鍵評論、Jumpstart雜誌、EJ Insight, The Glocal和深度新聞網。 網誌


Youngspiration pair showed true bravery and decency

Youngspiration pair showed true bravery and decency


What more can we witness when indifference is all around us; what more can we expect when, against all odds, two lone figures tramped on dangerous waters in an impossible mission at an impossible time in an impossible place; what can enlighten more than two young people, who otherwise could have lived a comfortable private life, choosing the high moral ground for the rest of us, ordinary and decent people.

Of course, no one would expect anything to change. Not now; not any time soon. But it was Sixtus “Baggio” Leung and Yau Wai-ching who told us, with the political and personal cost all too clear and unbearable, that impossibility in no way leads to submissiveness.

A day after High Court ruling, when political thugs from across the left to right spectrum were busy calling for by-elections in the rhetoric of intra-alliance primaries and full-scale electioneering, Mr Leung’s and Ms Yau’s choice was to respect the court of law and place their entire in the faith of the people.

In responding to the press hours after the first ruling, an emotional Mr Leung said since the election he hadn’t done much for the welfare of Hong Kong people, because of the endless legal battles in which he was the ultimate victim.

But it was at that moment, hours before he had to cease acting as a Legislative Council (LegCo) member that he reminded us of the forceful eviction of a food stool by the police and the displacement of its owner in his constituency. This explains why he entered into politics in the first place.

Ms Yau’s last official act, a letter to Boris Johnson, as published by online media Hong Kong Free Press, is full of typos with little cohesion. It was in the last minutes of her legitimacy in acting as a member of the LegCo that her ultimate reverence for the law prevailed.

Rushing to finish a draft before midnight is the only possible answer. Her counsel is an Englishman, who at that hour must be busy preparing her appeal.

And the appeal, a HK$5 million manoeuvre with zero prospect of overturning the initial ruling, especially after the interpretation of the Basic Law by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC), is a demonstration of ultra-faith in the judiciary and the decency of the people.

Appealing all the way to the Court of Final Appeal, as Mr Leung vowed after the ruling, is to them the last ditch attempt to protect the result of a popular election and the principal of separation of powers, which is the foundation of modern democracy.

Crowdfunding for legal fees, more than five times their entire combined election expenses, is clear enough evidence of where their conviction truly lies in a fatalistic time of great struggle.

It was never the seats that the pair cared about, nor the fame, money or media exposure. If they were indeed hypocrites, they would never have bothered to take oaths in the way they had done, or to have run largely self-financed campaigns in the first place.

Mr Leung did not even intended to stand. He entered into the race only as Edward Leung’s replacement after the latter being barred from ballot paper.

It was their belief in the only place of popular representation in Hong Kong, the LegCo’s Geographical Constituency, and confidence in representing the will of the people that propelled them to take up a burden far greater than their shoulders could possibly bear.

They could well have taken their oaths in the ordinary fashion - it’s no big deal; or added a few protests and waved bits and pieces before or after pledging loyalty to Beijing.

Perhaps they could have chosen to lie down for a while, stage a filibuster or two or be on the streets a few times to prove that they are trying to fulfil their election pledges.

Instead, of their free will they wandered into a much more dangerous arena. It was all intended, nothing immature, right from the very beginning at the announcement of election results. Mr Leung stood on stage like a wax statue, without any facial expression, when his election victory was announced. Ms Yau wasn’t even there.

The two gave their all to tell the world what they revere, what they despise and what they would never condone.

History rarely bestows opportunity. When a chance comes, it goes fast. What happened in Egypt three years ago was an exact replica of what the pair set out to do, although with much bloodshed.

The Muslim Brotherhood may as well have played it differently, slowly and less confrontational to the military, which was just waiting for an excuse to wipe them out.

However, at critical moments in history choices are more often made out of conscience than calculation. It is always a spontaneous response to great injustice that ignites sparks for enough people to sacrifice for a common purpose.

Throughout history, across time and oceans, the same pattern has been repeated again and again. It would still read God Save The King, as it did when George III’s proclamation, rejecting the olive branch petition, had reached the continental congress in the new world. But in just a few months there would be no king.

Time will tell, and hopefully before we are gone.