By Junius Ho –
To borrow from Charles Dickens, this is the best of times, and this is the worst of times. It is the age of wisdom, and it is the age of foolishness. To some people, Hong Kong is now in the winter of despair, but I shall do my best to see that it is going to be the spring of hope.
The obvious issue for me to focus on is naturally the maintenance of law and order. The rule of law is a core value we must continue to uphold. In ensuring that the people of Hong Kong will have full protection under the law, I would want to deter the abuse of our legal system and that of the existing legal aid regime. I shall examine with a critical and analytical mind all the proposed legislations that come my way in my new capacity as a legislator. I am confident of performing this task and I am prepared to share my knowledge and experience with my fellow-members.
My unwavering aim is to assist the Government to improve the quality of people’s livelihood. I shall seek a feasible co-operation formula in promoting Hong Kong in the Pearl River Delta with a view to securing more job opportunities, making more room for business developments for the young and the middle class. Eco-friendly industries and high quality farming should also receive positive attention from the Government.
I treasure the democratic system we now enjoy and will give it full support. Of course, we shall endeavor to improve it. However, our energy should not be squandered on shouting political slogans and squatting the public highways and by-ways. The building of a better Hong Kong is through sheer hard work and effective communication with those in Government and people from all walks of life. This brings me to the stark political reality and that is, I cannot work like the Lone Ranger inside the Legislative Chambers. I need to create a good working relationship with other Legislative Council members. This calls for openness, impartiality and patience.
Above all, it requires negotiation skills. I will work with people with like minds to find simple and direct solutions to seemingly complex problems. Together we can work positively to expedite the legislative work we have to do and discourage the too frequent and unnecessary resort to filibuster within the Legislative Council.
As I survey the social landscape, I can hear many people grumbling and wondering what the future holds for Hong Kong. Some are planning immigration and a vocal minority is calling for independence from China. Where do I stand?
You know our ancestors settled here generations ago when it was part of China during the Qing Dynasty. More than a century of colonial rule had passed away and the British Empire has shrunk beyond recognition. This land and its people are now back in the fold of our motherland. Five thousand years have gone, but the glory of China does not fade away like other ancient civilizations. I have been told by my father that he and forefathers had stayed loyal in their hearts to China regardless of who was heading its Government. I espouse the family tradition. This land is our home which we share with seven million people, and the thought of leaving Hong Kong never crosses my mind. We are not passing through – our roots are here.
I have openly opposed and will continue to oppose the so-called independence movement. You will soon be seeing me to swear an oath to uphold the Basic Law as part of my induction to the Legislative Council. The very first article of the Basic Law states that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is an inalienable part of the People’s Republic of China. The Basic Law, which is generally regarded as the mini-constitution of Hong Kong makes it clear that the legislature of the Hong Kong SAR cannot enact any law that shall contravene the Basic Law. Anyone who swears allegiance to the Basic Law while harbouring an intent to later advocate for the independence of Hong Kong commits a perjury.
Do you still remember when you were a young kid, together we sang the Chinese song “the Descendants of the Dragon”? And the lyrics? “We have black eyes, black hair, yellow skin and are forever the descendants of the Dragon!” You are studying overseas, but don’t ever forget your Chinese roots.
In the days to come, you may see me labelled as “pro-China” by some of the media. If that happens, I shall wear that label with a sense of honour. If I don’t support China, which country should I be supporting? Of course, my immediate duty is to serve the people of Hong Kong, but I can’t see any real conflict. I firmly believe that whatever works best for Hong Kong within the frame-work of the Basic Law must be good for China as a whole, and will have China’s support.
This is an edited version of the speech given by legislator-elect Junius Ho Kwan-yiu to his son at RTHK’s Letter to Hong Kong broadcast on October 2. Ho represents the New Territories West geographical constituency.
Photo: Picture taken from Junius Ho’s Facebook