Populism has been viewed as a political ideology, political philosophy, or as a type of discourse. Generally, populists tend to claim that they side with “the people” against “the elites”. While for much of the twentieth century, populism was considered to be a political phenomenon mostly affecting Latin America, since the 1980s populist movements and parties have enjoyed degrees of success in First World democracies such as the USA, Canada, Italy, the Netherlands and Scandinavian countries.
Populism has become a popular topic in recent days in Hong Kong. Some, particularly the pro-China people, are asking (or accusing?) why Hong Kong people have become populists.
This is not hard to imagine, if you follow the news in Hong Kong.
When the discussion of the transfer of sovereignty to the PRC began in 1980s, Hong Kong people were terrified of the Community PRC. Hence, the massive amount of Hong Kongers emigrating to foreign countries to live a life as a second grade citizen. (More to discuss about the transfer of sovereignty – there are reasons why I didn’t use the term “handover”)
After 15 years under the PRC’s rein (yes, supposed to be 1-country-2-system, but it’s fabricated), the changes in Hong Kong are so substantial that people become more and more edgy (Hong Kong people have always come across as “tamed” and politically ignorant). Here are a few major examples:
- Article 23 (2003): despite the fact that Hong Kongers have expressed their view repeatedly. The Hong Kong SAR government insisted that the majority of people in Hong Kong wants this to be a legislation. Regina Ip, then Secretary for Security, as well as the HKSAR government, were determined to push the bill forward. Over 500,000 people went on the street to protest against the bill. Under enormous pressure, the government back-down.
- Copyright Amendment Bill (2011): parody is something that many enjoy. This does not only help nurturing creativity, in fact has proven to help the popularity of the original creation (recent example: PSY Gangnam Style)
- Anti-Moral-and-National-Education-Curriculum (2012): the introduction of the Moral and National Education Curriculum in 2012 is another major issue that caused
(I didn’t know where to start, just only picked a few examples)
Recently, former senior PRC government officers made various statements condemning Hong Kong people for seeking independence, including this one:
- Lu Ping, former director of the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, stated in an exchange of email with the South China Morning Post “Our country, which has a population of 1.3 billion, would not be bothered losing this handful of people.”
Lu said in recent months that Hong Kong would have been a “dead city” if it wasn’t for China and he threatened to stop supply of Dongjiang water (one of my previous post explained this is complete nonsense).
A so called motherland, threatened its own people to stopped water supply (disregarding the fact that this isn’t really the case, Hong Kong pays money for the extremely low quality water, making it a transaction not a merciful act), even said that it doesn’t matter to them to have 7million less people (implying lives aren’t important)… No wonder this country allows torture, illegitimate killings, house arrest for no ground, and even orders to kill so to harvest human organs!