Celebrity Thanks Two Hong Kong Women for Defending Human Rights
HONG KONG—Hong Kong pop star Anthony Wong Yiu-ming publicly thanked two well-known heroines for speaking the truth in the face of government suppression.
Wong held two concerts at the Hong Kong Coliseum in mid-March, singing classic pop songs and expressing his gratitude to Alpais Lam Wai-sze and Jenny Ng Pui-ying. Both women have been suppressed by Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying for speaking out in defense of human rights.
One of the women, Lam, was in attendance at the March 14 concert and was delighted.
“Today there is one among the audience, just one ordinary citizen,” Wong announced onstage. “Teacher Lam Wai-sze, where are you? There, I see you! Thank you for telling the truth!”
Lam stood up and waved as the audience applauded.
Lam, a schoolteacher, publicly scolded Hong Kong police officers last July when she saw them doing nothing to stop thugs from attacking Falun Gong practitioners. The thugs were from the Hong Kong Youth Care Association, an organization supported by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) with the purpose of persecuting the Falun Gong meditation practice.
Leung Chun-ying and the CCP targeted Lam with an organized retaliation, which reportedly caused her to suffer severe insomnia. After Wong’s show of support, Lam expressed on Facebook that she had insomnia again, but this time it was due to happiness.
Lam has resumed working recently, and her viewpoint remains unchanged.
“As a Christian, how much are you willing to bear for upholding righteousness?” she wrote on Facebook. “I am a Christian, and I have the freedom to participate in public meetings and processions. I hate to be silenced, and I would rather die than surrender.”
Anthony also thanked Jenny Ng Pui-ying, who was recently fired from Value Partners Management Consulting for exposing the Hong Kong government’s distortion of the facts.
Last year, when the government refused to grant a license to Hong Kong Television Network (HKTV), Ng was the Asia Managing Director of the consulting firm Value Partners. She stepped forward to tell the public about the government’s distortion of the consultancy report that was involved in this decision.
Ng received widespread applause from the community, but afterward her workplace suddenly dismissed her, withholding her salary and compensation without providing justification. On March 12, Jenny Ng stated in a press conference that she had not breached the Code of Practice, and she would retrieve her dues through legal channels.
She added that she had no regret for stepping forward, and she even thought she should have come out earlier to defend justice and professionalism.
Ng said that after her criticism of the government, Leung Chun-ying said it would be “followed up and dealt with seriously.” The day after that, the CEO of Ng’s workplace received a complaint by e-mail and letter.
Since she held different opinions from those of the company, Ng tendered her resignation on January 22, she said. A few days later, however, the company suddenly dismissed her, forcing her to leave immediately without saying goodbye to her colleagues or packing her personal belongings.
Ng said she was very upset that a company she had worked at for nine years would treat her this way. Since then, she has re-assessed the incident and the media reports and has become even firmer in her opinion.
Even if she had known beforehand what would happen, Ng said she would not have regretted publicly disclosing the government’s deception.
“I was the only one who was fully informed of the whole thing,” she said. “If I hadn’t come out to explain, nobody else would have had my professional knowledge to tell the truth to the public. I was also hoping that the government would approve the TV license as they should.”
Ng added that one should keep one’s conscience.
“Let’s say I have to do something against my conscience to survive,” she said. “You may imagine that this is very dangerous, but our life is not just to survive. If you lose your conscience, if you cannot say what you should say or do what you should do at the appropriate time, how much money is this worth?”
Ng said she has hired a lawyer to retrieve her dues from her workplace, since Value Partners Management Consulting did not pay the two months’ salary, over 100 days of paid holidays, and payments in lieu of notice as per the contract. This added up to HK$5 million (US$644,540), and the shares she was allotted last year approximated another HK$5 million.
Anthony Wong stated at the concerts, “I have a responsibility to record the good and the bad times. I’m hoping to cheer up the people of Hong Kong. We cannot lose hope for the future.”
“Today’s society needs the next generation more than ever so as to have a better future, and we need to speak up for Hong Kong,” Wong added. “Though this is the worst time we have ever experienced, we can change it.”
Translated by YK Lu. Written in English by Sally Appert.