Date
18 December 2017
Benny Tai with his daughter when she a little girl. Tonya says she is very proud of her dad for his selfless spirit in fighting for democracy. Photo: http://www.inmediahk.net
Benny Tai with his daughter when she a little girl. Tonya says she is very proud of her dad for his selfless spirit in fighting for democracy. Photo: http://www.inmediahk.net

‘Dad, you are my hero’: A daughter’s tribute to Benny Tai

Occupy Central movement co-founder Benny Tai has won high praise from his daughter for being “selfless and fearless” in waging a campaign for the public good.

Describing him as her hero and the best father in the world, Tonya Tai highlighted her dad’s contribution to the pro-democracy fight and the civil disobedience initiative in Hong Kong.

In an lengthy emotional article published on the independent website inmediahk.net on Tuesday, Tonya noted that her father had put himself at the forefront of the democracy battle since he launched the idea of Occupy Central two years ago. 

She said she was impressed by how her father answered the challenges from pro-establishment lawmakers in an authoritative manner, using his formidable knowledge, am730 reported.

The article, which was published with a “Ton-ya” byline, was accompanied by an old photograph of Tai and his daughter, in a picture taken when she was a little girl.

Tonya revealed that her father, while made of sterner stuff, does have a mellow side. He had broken into tears many times during church events on Sunday, but would quickly regroup himself to take on whatever challenge comes his way, she noted.

Tonya said she would feel frustrated by the mean and cynical remarks directed at her father by some people since the occupy campaign began in September. Why won’t people recognize Tai’s efforts and hard work, she wrote.

Even as Tonya would get upset, her dad would try to convince her in a calm way that other people’s opinions should be respected in a democracy.

“Can I not be proud of having a father who is working hard in a selfless way?” Tonya wrote.

Tonya said she has many fond memories growing up surrounded by love from her parents. Her father would take her and her brother to school every single day, and Tai would even joke that his real job is being a chauffeur rather than a university professor.

The daughter recalled that she was in Australia as an exchange program student when the Occupy Central campaign broke out. She flew back to Hong Kong the same day in order to give moral support to her dad. She stayed in Hong Kong for ten days, but hardly got to spend time with Tai as he was busy coordinating the campaign and giving interviews to the media.

In other comments, Tonya said it was painful for her to see her dad’s hair turn grey and his voice become hoarse.

She said she looks forward to being able to have dinner at 7pm with the whole family like in the past.

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