Localism: From Street Protests to Council Chamber – Civic Passion

Real Hong Kong News

22nd August 2016

Localism: From Street Protests to Council Chamber (Series, Part 3 of 5)

 

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Louis Loud (right), a localism supporter and author, speaking at Bonnix Chung and Alvin Cheng’s campaign event in Mong Kok (Photo: Passion Times)

Nicknamed as “Four Eyes” because of his rather thick spectacles, Alvin Cheng Kam-mun was first known at the Umbrella Revolution after he stormed to the “big stage” in the Admiralty occupy site calling for people to physically remove him because he wanted to broadcast a message: “chanting and singing won’t bring CY Leung down, and certainly not the CCP!”. He was booed by the PRNN protesters, as an unknown protester then, Cheng was eventually taken down from the stage which became a little more open to the public to express their political views.

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Alvin Cheng Kam-mun and Bonix Chung Yuen-wun promoting their political platform in the rain in Causeway Bay

Cheng was one of the founding members of Students Front, which he dissolved soon after he was released from custody during the Umbrella Movement. After he came out from the police station, he warned the public to “quit blindly believing the ‘holiness’ of student leaders”. He has long refused to join any political party, but joined Civic Passion in late February 2016 to take part in the party’s de-facto referendum campaign.

Alvin Cheng was not born in Hong Kong as his mother, who left him and his family when he was a young child, was originally from China and insisted on giving birth to Cheng in China – just like Edward Leung from Hong Kong Indigenous – a fact some pan-democrat supporters used as grounds to question his allegiance to Hong Kong. Despite having worked for years to save up to study in Brisbane, Cheng decided to leave Australia where he could have gained citizenship, a safe haven to many Hongkongers, during the Umbrella Revolution.

A young man of very few words and who looks a little timid, Cheng, who turned 28 in June, comes across determined when it comes to his views on Hong Kong’s future. “Hong Kong is my home and this will never change,” explained Cheng. “Although I lived in Brisbane for years, both studying and working, I simply cannot leave my homeland behind.” He flew back to Hong Kong and stationed himself in the Mong Kok occupy site almost every night during the Umbrella Revolution. “When I saw my fellow countrymen standing in front of armed police officers, I saw hope. It was a different world in Mong Kok, an area I grew up in. Men, young and old, students, boys and girls, stood there believing that what they were standing for is right – a democratic Hong Kong.”

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Louis Loud (right), a localism author, speaking at Bonnix Chung and Alvin Cheng’s campaign event (Photo: Passion Times)

 

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Alvin Cheng in the front line during Umbrella Revolution (Photo: Ming Pao)

Refusing to join any political organisations, Cheng believes that the importance of an organisation is a shared goal rather than unity for the sake of unity, “I finally decided to join Civic Passion because I shared their belief: good fences make good neighbours, and it should apply to the relationship between Hong Kong and China. A clearly defined boundary is needed, and there are many ways to achieve this: revolution by armed rebellion is one, but I do not wish for this day to come. This is exactly why the alliance is advocating this de-facto referendum.”

Cheng said that his ambition is to secure Hong Kong’s autonomy and city-state status without shedding blood. Cheng gambled his future simply because he believes that the desire for democracy and true autonomy is buried inside every Hongkonger, and will one day prevail. “With 150 colonists coming to Hong Kong every day without vetting by the local government, we are running out of time. The politically apathetic tradition in Hong Kong is deeply rooted but at the same time, localism, or more accurately, general political awareness, is growing and the younger generations, the future of this blessed land, will prevail.”

Cheng predicts, in line with Civic Passion’s belief, that Hong Kong cannot survive under China’s colonisation. “The Basic Law said that we can only have 50 years of no change. But ask yourself, with the bent officials and police officers, the corruption, and the oftentimes unjust legal decisions we see almost every day, has Hong Kong not changed in the past 19 years since the undemocratic and anti-human-rights handover?” questioned Cheng.

“The core of the problem is that Hong Kong, which is a city-state by nature, does not have her own constitution that gives the people the power to govern the government, making sure that policies are formulated based on the best interests of its people,” explained Cheng. “However, given the lack of legal democratic means, the only way to push forward rewriting or drafting a new constitution is via a de-facto referendum.”

Civic Passion’s de-facto referendum plan requires the party’s members to secure at least five Legislative Council seats in the upcoming election and at least one seat from each of the five constituencies. Five of these elected legislators will resign in around two years’ time (full term for a legislator is four years) once their amended proposed constitution is ready. These individuals will recommend five candidates to stand for the resulting by-election upholding one common agenda: the new constitution to be put in place.

“Because the Basic Law only guarantees 50 years of ‘no change’ in Hong Kong, this means China can change anything she sees fit after 2047.  Just think about the land-grabs in China, in which people died defending their own homes. What if China wants to seize properties in Hong Kong by expiring their land-leases in 2047? People may find that they won’t be able to get 30 years mortgages in 2017 because of this major but not well-discussed issue. Many who spent their entire life to buy a tiny flat would be homeless in a blink. If you don’t think that China would do this, you better think again: no one thought that anyone living in Hong Kong would disappear in thin air when Hong Kong is still a SAR,” referring to Causeway Bay booksellers who were allegedly abducted by China’s police.

“Civic Passion has been seen as a radical group as members do not limit themselves to the PRNN protest model but take action that we believe can make a difference and change the status quo. The de-facto referendum, is exactly the same. It is extremely difficult to achieve, but I and all of the Civic Passion members believe that it is the only way Hongkongers can regain their civil rights and have a genuine voice in the constitution. For example, the notorious Article 23 should be scrapped, but that is only doable when we, Hongkongers, write our own constitution,” explained Cheng.

Cheng further explained that taking part in the de-facto referendum campaign is to push forward a political agenda, unlike many existing legislators who only have an eye for their well-paid seats. “To push for this de-facto referendum which will eventually establish Hong Kong as a self-governing state, or a true autonomy, we need to educate the public and this requires resources. If five of the Civic Passion members (in all five districts) are elected, we will spend around two years to educate the public about the referendum, and draft a new constitution that the public supports, giving the new Hong Kong constitution the legitimacy that the current Basic Law does not have.”

For a young and relatively small party to win in all five districts in the upcoming election seems unachievable, what is the alternative plan? “Dr Horace Chin Wan-kan is known as the father of the Hong Kong City-State theory. Although he is not a member of Civic Passion, we join hands with him to promote this campaign. Our personal gain in this election is insignificant, none of the potential candidates in the upcoming election, including myself, wants to remain in the chamber, we have our eyes on a much bigger prize – formally legitimising Hong Kong’s city-state status to save Hong Kong.”

Besides their political agenda, which other candidates from various parties started incorporating in their platforms (self-determination and anti-mainlandisation, for example), the Civic Passion (CP)-Proletariat Political Institute (PPI)-Hong Kong Resurgence Order (HKRO) alliance (CPPR)* has mastered some out-of-the-box campaigns.

As a party that has long focused on protests, they advocate Hongkongers to exercise and prepare themselves for any violence and attacks – as they promote these groups as “exercise to save Hong Kong”. Civic Passion’s leader Wong Yeung-tat has been regularly leading physical training near his campaign office, with routines designed by a former British solider**. In fact, each of the Civic Passion’s lead candidate leads exercise groups in their respective districts regularly.

Cheng’s campaign launch event (which took place on 13th August) was anything but traditional. Held in Stanley Beach, Cheng and his election partner Bonix Chung Yuen-wun led the crowd to swim and exercise on the beach while promoting their election platform.

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Besides campaigning on the streets and visiting electorates, Cheng also regularly leads exercise groups to engage the public and promote healthy lifestyle (Photo: Passion Times)

Cheng’s daily schedule is packed with 15-20 hours of work since he expressed interest in standing in this election. To save valuable time, Cheng started sleeping in his campaign office in Shau Kei Wan most evenings, which is doubled as a community library for them to promote reading and host cultural events, including mini concerts for local bands and drawing classes, another out-of-the-box campaign idea: “use culture to fight against CCP”.

Combining culture and sports with politics, Civic Passion has taken this year’s election to a different level.

 

RHKN Series “Localism: From Street Protests to Council Chamber”:

Localism: From Street Protests to Council Chamber (Part 1 of 5)

Localism: From Street Protests to Council Chamber – Youngspiration (Part 2 of 5)

 

Editor’s note:

* Candidates representing the CPPR alliance are:

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  • Hong Kong Island: Alvin Cheng Kam-mun (CP), Bonix Chung Yuen-wun (CP)
  • Kowloon West: Raymond Wong Yuk-man (PPI), Ma Yu-sang (PPI)
  • Kowloon East: Wong Yeung-tat (CP)
  • New Territories West: Dr. Cheng Chung-tai (CP), Cheung Yiu-sum (CP)
  • New Territories East: Dr. Horace Chin Wan-kan (HKRO), Marco Lee Kwok-hei (CP)

 

 

 

** One of the workout without equipment videos featuring Civic Passion’s leader Wong Yeung-tat, whose campaign video is boxing and exercise focused. Another candidate representing the alliance Dr Cheng Chung-tai also released his exercise themed campaign video recently.

 

 

Candidates in the upcoming Legislative Council Election:

Hong Kong Island

#1: Gary Wong Chi-him (Path of Democracy)

#2: Christopher Lau Gar-hung, Erica Yuen Mi-ming (League of Social Democrats / People Power)

#3: Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, Judy Chan Ka-pui, Joey Lee Man-lung, Tse Tsz-kei, Hung Lung-chuen, Gigi Wong Ching-chi (New People’s Party)

#4: Cyd Ho Sau-lan, Mak Tak-ching, Cheng Sze-lut (Labour)

#5: Cheung Kwok-kwan, Christopher Chung Shu-kun, Jacqueline Chung Ka-man, Ada Mak Tse How-king, Eddie Ting Kong-ho, Dominic Wong Chi-chung (DAB)

#6: Chim Pui-chung (Nonpartisan)

#7: Alvin Cheng Kam-moon, Bonix Chung Yuen-wun (Civic Passion)

#8: Nathan Law Kwun-chung (Demosisto)

#9: Shum Chee-chiu (Nonpartisan)

#10: Ricky Wong Wai-kay (Nonpartisan)

#11: Chui Chi-kin (Nonpartisan)

#12: Paulus Johannes Zimmerman (Independent democrat)

#13: Hui Chi-fung, Sin Chung-kai                (Democratic Party)

#14: Tanya Chan, Cheng Tat-hung (Civic Party)

#15: Kwok Wai-keung, Ng Chau-pei, Stanley Ho Ngai-kam, Lui Hung-pan, Chan Wing-yan (FTU)

 

Kowloon West

#1: Avery Ng Man-yuen (LSD)

#2: Jonathan Ho Chi-kwong (Hong Kong Localism Power)

#3: Claudia Mo Man-ching, Joshua Li Chun-hei (Civic Party)

#4: Leung Mei-fun, Leung Man-kwong, Cho Wui-hung, Kacee Ting Wong, Leung Yuen-ting, Chan Kwok-wai (BPA/KWND)

#5: Tam Kwok-kiu, Yeung Yuk, Wong Wing-kit (ADPL)

#6: Chu Siu-hung (PVP)

#7: Wong Yuk-man, Ma Yu-sang (PPI)

#8: Wong Pik-wan, Yuen Hoi-man, Joshua Fung Man-tao, Chau Man-fong (Democratic Party)

#9: Lam Yi-lai, Au Wing-ho (Independent)

#10: Ann Chiang Lai-wan, Chris Ip Ngo-tung, Chan Wai-ming, Sin Tin-hung, Cheung Tak-wai (DAB)

#11: Kwan San-wai, Ko Chi-keung (Politihk Social Strategic)

#12: Lau Siu-lai (Democracy Groundwork)

#13: Yau Wai-ching (Youngspiration)

#14: Augustine Lee Wing-hon, Foo Wai-kok (Nonpartisan)

#15: Tik Chi-yuen, Wong Chun-long, Pang Yi-ting, Chen Lihong (Third Side)

 

Kowloon East

#1: Wong Kwok-kin, Chow Luen-kiu, Kan Ming-tung, Kwok Wang-hing  (FTU)

#2: Wu Sui-shan, Chiu Shi-shun  (Labour)

#3: Patrick Ko Tat-pun (Voice of Loving Hong Kong)

#4: Tam Heung-man (Frontier)

#5: Paul Tse Wai-chun (Nonpartisan)

#6: Wilson Or Chong-shing, Joe Lai Wing-ho, Cheung Ki-tang (DAB)

#7: Wu Chi-wai, Mok Kin-shing, Cheng Keng-ieong, Wu Chi-kin (Democratic Party)

#8: Lui Wing-kei (Nonpartisan)

#9: Jeremy Jansen Tam Man-ho, Alan Leong Kah-kit (Civic Party)

#10: Wong Yeung-tat (Civic Passion)

#11: Chan Chak-to (Kowloon East Community)

#12: Tam Tak-chi (People Power)

 

New Territories West

#1: Wong Yun-tat, Leung Ching-shan, Rayman Chow Wai-hung (NWSC)

#2: Andrew Wan Siu-kin, Ho Chun-yan, Lee Wing-tat, Catherine Wong Lai-sheung, Lam Siu-fai (Democratic Party)

#3: Ko Chi-fai, Innes Tang Tak-shing (Politihk SS)

#4: Chow Wing-kan (Liberal)

#5: Cheng Chung-tai, Cheung Yiu-sum (Civic Passion)

#6: Kwong Koon-wan (Nonpartisan)

#7: Michael Tien Puk-sun, Wilson Wong Wai-shun, So Ka-man, Tsui Hiu-kit, Kam Man-fung, Cheng Chit-pun, Sammi Fu Hiu-lam        (NPP)

#8: Ho Kwan-yiu (Independent)

#9: Leung Che-cheung, Lui Kin, Ken Wong Hon-kuen, Yip Man-pan, Chiu Kwan-siu, Lai Ka-man (DAB/NTAS)

#10: Kwok Ka-ki, Sin Ho-fai (Civic Party)

#11: Wong Ho-ming, Albert Chan Wai-yip (LSD / People Power)

#12: Lee Cheuk-yan, Chiu Yan-loy (Labour)

#13: Wong Chun-kit, Wong Pak-yu (Youngspiration/TSWNF)

#14: Alice Mak Mei-kuen, Yiu Kwok-wai, Kot Siu-yuen, Fung Pui-yin, Lau Chin-pang (FTU)

#15: Frederick Fung Kin-kee (ADPL)

#16: Chan Han-pan, Kwok Fu-ying, Lai Sai-lung, Leung Kar-ming, Chan Chun-chung, Lui Dik-ming, Pau Ming-hong (DAB)

#17: Clarice Cheung Wai-ching (Nonpartisan)

#18: Hendrick Lui Chi-hang (Christians to the World)

#19: Tong Wing-chi (Nonpartisan)

#20: Eddie Chu Hoi-dick (Nonpartisan)

 

New Territories East

#1: Christine Fong Kwok-shan (Independent)

#2: Lam Cheuk-ting, Emily Lau Wai-hing, Ting Tsz-yuen, Ng Kam-hung, Lo Ying-cheung (Democratic Party)

#3: Liu Tin-shing, Kuen Ping-yiu, Li Wai (Nonpartisan)

#4: Chin Wan-kan, Marco Lee Kwok-hei (Hong Kong Resurgence Order / Civic Passion)

#5: Leung Kwok-hung (LSD)

#6: Cheung Chiu-hung, Kwok Wing-kin (Labour)

#7: Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu (Civic Party)

#8: Raymond Mak Ka-chun (Path of Democracy)

#9: Andrew Cheng Kar-foo (Independent)

#10: Elizabeth Quat, Chong Yuen-tung, Tung King-lei, Chan Pok-chi, Alvin Chiu Man-leong, Philip Li Ka-leung, Wan Kai-ming, Ada Lo Tai-suen, Alf Wong Chi-yung (DAB)

#11: Hau Chi-keung, Wong Shui-sang, Pang Wang-kin, Yip Wah-ching (Nonpartisan)

#12: Dominic Lee Tsz-king, James Tien Pei-chun (Liberal)

#13: Tang Ka-piu, Tam Kam-lin, Kent Tsang King-chung (FTU)

#14: Gary Fan Kwok-wai, Yam Kai-bong, Leung Li, Chung Kam-lun, Chan Wai-tat, Li Sai-hung, Chow Yuen-wai, Lui Man-kwong (Neo Democrats)

#15: Estella Chan Yuk-ngor (Nonpartisan)

#16: Wong Sum-yu (Independent)

#17: Leticia Lee See-yin (Justice Alliance)

#18: Raymond Chan Chi-chuen (People Power)

#19: Sixtus Leung Chung-hang (aka Baggio Leung), Li Tung-sing (Youngspiration/Nonpartisan)

#20: Clarence Ronald Leung Kam-shing, Yau Man-king (Independent)

#21: Yung Hoi-yan, Stanley Lanny Tam, Leung Ka-fai, Chan Man-kuen, Tong Hok-leung, James Yip Chi-ho, Michael Liu Tsz-chung (New People’s Party / Civil Force)

#22: Chan Hak-kan, Clement Woo Kin-man, Yiu Ming, Wong Pik-kiu, Larm Wai-leung, Tsang Hing-lung, Mui Siu-fung, Hau Hon-shek (DAB / NTAS)

 

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