Slaves and Handbags

Apple Daily

25th October, 2014

Slaves and Handbags

奴才與手袋

I have been on holiday in Canada since early September and witnessed Hongkongers’ polar opposite responses toward the ongoing Umbrella Revolution: some of them volunteer to provide support online and even raise fund to publish free newspaper to report on it, in order to help more people to understand the meanings of this movement; some criticise students for being manipulated and instigated, and blame them for being selfish as they do not consider the livelihood of the people and the bigger picture. Some even said, “what good does it do to object the government? Absolutely useless! Why bother doing something that is useless? Just focus on spending the same amount of time and effort to make more money!”

There’s a type of people who are used to being slaves. They do not stop at enjoying their lives as slaves, but want to make sure others would join them in slavery. If others object and want to stop being enslaved, they would be harsher on these dissents than the slave master.

There is nothing wrong about willingly to be slaves, after all it is their personal choice. What I do not understand is that if these people enjoy being slaves so much, why bother immigrating to a free country? Why wouldn’t they stay in China’s colony, Hong Kong and enjoy every moment of being a full time slave? If it was the crowdedness of Hong Kong instead of the political suppression and concerns that drove them to move to a free country, shouldn’t they have moved to North Korea? Why couldn’t they enjoy being slaves under a dictatorship but moved to a free country that respect human rights? As they enjoy the freedoms and human rights offered by a free country, they scold those who are being exploited far away yet dare to fight for democracy and freedom for stirring the pot. What people in a right mind would do that? I have been thinking about this long and hard and thought of a metaphor. A rich woman who is unwilling to be seen using a limited edition luxurious handbag that others are using: If a limited edition luxurious handbag is a symbol of wealth, I should be the only one who uses it, no one else should. These slaves in Canada are no different from 689 (CY Leung’s nickname in Hong Kong as he was “elected” by 689 individuals of the China handpicked election committee of 1,200 pro-business and pro-China people): human rights and freedoms are privileges of the upper class and the wealthy, ordinary citizens and the poor do not deserve them.

By Ko Wai-yin

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