20 February 2019
The Scottish independence referendum has evoked mixed feelings among immigrants from Hong Kong. Photo: AFP
The Scottish independence referendum has evoked mixed feelings among immigrants from Hong Kong. Photo: AFP

Scottish referendum: How do HK emigrants feel?

How do Hong Kong emigrants in Scotland perceive the independence referendum there? Are they supporting the campaign to break way from the United Kingdom or do they prefer to keep the union?

Well, opinions are mixed among the people, according to a report carried by Apple Daily Thursday. 

Wong Chun-wai, who comes from a classic second-generation immigrant Hong Kong family, said he believes the Scottish people can manage their affairs better on their own. He will be casting a “yes’ vote in the independence referendum as he thinks the UK and Scotland differ greatly in terms of development roadmap, values and vision.

Wong, who owns a graphic design house in Scotland, said Scottish people are fair, and possess an adventurous spirit.

He doesn’t mind paying more taxes in return for a better life. “I am hoping for a fair society like those of northern Europe countries and unlike that of the US where there is a serious wealth polarity.”

Restaurant and cake shop owner Chan Wai-ming, who operates his shop in Glasgow, said he will vote against the independence referendum as he is happy with the status quo. Chan said he just cannot see any reason why someone would want to alter the current situation.

While he can understand the national sentiments for independence, “what do we do after the celebrations?” he asked. There will be plenty of issues to be dealt with, such as currency, interest rates and external trade, Chan noted.

He pointed out that London has already promised to delegate more rights to Scotland in a bid to keep Scotland within the UK. Thus, more advantageous policies could be in store for Scotland if it votes against independence.

Chan returned to Hong Kong in the 90s but decided to head back to Scotland for the education of his two sons. Scottish schools place a lot of emphasis on academic achievements, but at the same time they strive to lessen students’ pressure, he said.

Unlike the common conception in Hong Kong that you will go nowhere if you fail your exams, Scottish people are proud of what they do, whether it is a job as a plumber, a carpenter or an electrician, Chan said.

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