I’m writing about the article “Hong Kong ‘King of votes’ seeks to build democracy from bottom up” (SCMP, September 7). I agree with newly elected lawmaker Eddie Chu Hoi-dick that we need to take control of our daily lives, and build democracy from the bottom up.
I share his view that most Hongkongers are too docile, as I have seen from some of my relatives. They seldom care about social issues and even though some of them are well-educated, they are easily influenced by authority.
What’s worse, cheesy benefits such as a free dinner, supermarket coupons, or a few packets of food are enough to satisfy them.
As Chu points out, Hongkongers – like my relatives – are easy to control, and things will not improve unless we take back control of our lives – both physically and mentally.
Physically taking back control means taking real action against social injustice, and fighting for public interests. We can do this by voting, expressing our voices through different social platforms, joining pressure groups to negotiate with the government, and protesting rationally.
To mentally take back control, Hongkongers must stop listening to politicians, and think for themselves. We must take a “case by case” approach to different social issues instead of judging things ideologically. Only when we are able to think critically can we have real independence.
Building democracy from the bottom up is logical and practical, because the grassroots and the middle classes constitute most of the people in Hong Kong. We have to rely on them during our journey to democracy; otherwise, our success will only be an illusion.
Jay Chan, The Salvation Army William Booth Secondary School
From the editor
Thank you for your email, Jay. It is sad that many people prefer a bird in the hand over two in the bush – they would rather have the coupons now than an uncertain chance of something better later. What a lot of older people don’t realise is that the young people want something different, something better: they want hope.
We have seen this with the success of young lawmakers at the recent elections. Soon it will be your time to step up and make your own decision about where your vote goes.
Just like in school, a voter should do their homework and you are right, they should make up their own minds about what they want for Hong Kong.