What the old-timers would never understand

November 14, 2019 18:44
Many young people in our city have been taking to the streets to fight for justice and equality even at the risk of going to jail for up to 10 years, says the author. Photo: AFP

Annie Wu Suk-ching, the eldest daughter of the founder of the catering giant Maxim’s Group, recently told the Global Times in an interview that she has given up hope on all those young people who are participating in the anti-government protest movement, nor will she waste her time talking to them.

As Wu puts it, those young people aren’t even clear about what they should do.

I bet Wu must think that she is nobler than our young people. Like many others of her generation, Wu firmly believes that price equals value, accountability equals responsibility, and making a lot of money is contributing to society.

And once having made a fortune and becoming a part of the upper class, people like her apparently feel that they are qualified enough to pontificate about the behavior of our young people.

In 1968, Australian journalist Richard Hughes wrote a book about our city, titled Borrowed Place, Borrowed Time: Hong Kong and Its Many Faces.

In my view, the title of this book indeed speaks volumes about the “refugee mentality” prevailing among the last generation, many of whom are always ready to take the money and run, and rarely regard Hong Kong as their permanent home.

Over the past five months, many young people in our city, who are highly indignant of the social injustice they see around them, have been taking to the streets to fight for justice and equality even at the risk of going to jail for up to 10 years.

And the reason why these brave young people are eager to make such huge personal sacrifices for the good of society is that they truly regard Hong Kong as their home.

Perhaps old-timers would never understand this kind of love for Hong Kong among our youth and their commitment to defending their homeland, because for many people of the older generations, Hong Kong is nothing more than “a borrowed place and borrowed time”.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Nov 6

Translation by Alan Lee

[Chinese version 中文版]

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Legislative Council member