Date
20 January 2017
After they were elected to the legislature, the NPP's Freddy Lim (left) and Huang Kuo-chang gave words of encouragement to Hong Kong's young activists. Photos: Reuters, Facebook
After they were elected to the legislature, the NPP's Freddy Lim (left) and Huang Kuo-chang gave words of encouragement to Hong Kong's young activists. Photos: Reuters, Facebook

Global force of progress is with HK, says new Taiwan legislator

The tattooed, pony-tailed front man of a death metal band who was elected to Taiwan’s legislature on the weekend gave words of encouragement to Hong Kong’s pro-democracy activists Sunday.

Freddy Lim (林昶佐), 39, said they are not alone, because they have the global force of progress with them, Apple Daily reported Monday.

Thanking voters for helping him defeat longtime Kuomintang legislator Lin Yu-fang by a narrow margin and win a seat for his New Power Party (NPP) in the legislature, Lim said Taiwan and Hong Kong can inspire each other.

He said people in Taiwan, especially young people, favor the power of reform and have been highly concerned about the social movements in Hong Kong in the past few years.

Lim, who headed the heavy metal band Chthonic, was one of five NPP candidates who won legislative seats Saturday, ranking the party third on the list of those with the most elected legislators.

A student-led protest called the Sunflower movement in spring 2014, which successfully blocked a controversial trade services pact with the mainland after occupying Taiwan’s legislature for three weeks, led to the formation of the NPP.

NPP chairman and newly elected legislator Huang Kuo-chang said young people in Hong Kong can make a difference eventually, for they have never given up.

Huang said no difficulty is unconquerable as long as one sticks to one’s original goals, just as he has done in the past.

Joshua Wong Chi-fung, founder of the student group Scholarism and a key figure behind the 2014 Occupy protests in Hong Kong, said during a trip to Taiwan to learn from last weekend’s elections that the rise of the NPP through the Sunflower movement and other similar street protests is a valuable example for pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong to learn from.

The “one country, two systems” principle is not working in many Hongkongers’ eyes, just like the “one China, respective interpretations” in Taiwan, as the election results suggested, Wong said.

He said he hopes some pro-democracy activists can win seats in the Legislative Council in the elections in September to serve as a voice for the public.

Alex Chow Yong-Kang, former secretary-general of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, who also traveled to Taiwan to observe the elections, said Taiwan and Hong Kong should become allies, as both are facing the same threats from Beijing.

Asked whether they will run in the coming Legco elections, Wong said he will consider it if the government agrees to lower the age threshold for candidates, while Chow said he has no plans at the moment to do so.

The New School for Democracy, which invited more than 100 people, including Wong and Chow, to Taiwan to observe the elections, held a news conference Sunday at which some of the observers reflected on their experience.

(Chthonic – Live in Tokyo)

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