“Leaving is not something that any of us talk about lightly. It feels like desertion and betrayal. But I suspect that many, like me, are starting to have that conversation – not because they do not love Hong Kong, but because they can’t bear to see the home they love slip away.”-Joyce Man
Have you ever wondered like I do how Singaporeans seemingly empathize completely with Hong Kong’s current state of affairs? Are we not like siblings or two lost twin cities, of the old empire and imperial giants such as the United Kingdom of the once Great Britain. Or descendants of a motherland who saw herself as the “Middle Kingdom”, (中国) and the designated ruler being one decreed to rule all under Heaven. Or are we the proclaimed brave new world getting ready to break free? As if we are still under bondage of a historical past that was not totally under our own jurisdiction. Alas! As with most post-colonial states and countries our birth and creation depended on the mercy and prudence of our former rulers who conveniently gave us our independence usually at the expediency of saving themselves as their own resources dwindled in decline as the empire created and enjoyed grew too large for their ability to rule efficiently.
It is ironic that today both Hong Kong and Singapore are supposedly having the most directly democratic systems in their history and yet are seemingly facing the same spoils of a citizenry who tends to look at elsewhere for a better life whereas it is two of the most favorite cities for investing in new businesses and new entrepreneur ventures.
Maybe it depends on how do we define what the people really want and ASK for it instead of harping on failures in historical past. Instead of rallies for remembering the past there should be more platforms to allow the enthusiasm to stand and fight be more pro-actively articulated before the typically silent apathy of majority (the so called dubiously ambiguously identified man-in-the street) mentality coupled with the fatalistic resignation to run away from it all as the best solution to their unhappy state of affairs. Instead of the tendency to pack up and go, we should inculcate a pick up the responsibility to stay and stake the right to help steer our God forsaken society to get back n track to civil rights and democratic justice.
That is to sit down and be rooted to our home country city-state. And be proud and dignified not to always kowtow to big brother be it the Peoples republic or the United states of “carry a big stick” of America, it is time, we small mega-cities of a globalised world in a global village, to stake a claim to the United Nations for a seat of sovereignty and stop that fearing old mother land so called big brother to stop that attitude and give us our deserved respect we being a small but well deserved respect for our own right to decide our independent destiny. Otherwise this sorry state of affairs where we are so easily tempted to pack up and go elsewhere may be a recurring solution for those finding our dreams being broken by the heavy handed rule of authoritarian tyrants who forget they should be ruling by law as civil servants and not high and mighty thrones of past empires.
Two sighs do not make a try. But I will say to ask for what we want and change step by step choosing our steps one at a time is crucial to evolving into that land of freedom and democracy we dream of but yet to fulfill. The way to go is not to remain silent but to speak and speak again when we can and however is possible. Even we get censored or blacked out by chance and a million times more it shall be real if we wish it to be. Running away is should be the last resort not first.