Courage Calls to Courage Everywhere: Figo Chan on the Current State of Hong Kong

Here is a lesson not only in Cantonese but in courage. It comes from an article published here on the HK01 site on 22 July 2020 dealing with an interview between Figo Chan (pictured) and Emily Lau Wai-hing.



+ 形勢 yihng4 sai3 = 1. terrain 2. situation
+ 議會 yih5 wui6*2= usu. “parliament”

The former chairperson of the Democratic Party Emily Lau Wai-hing in an interview with Figo Chan, vice-convenor of The Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF), [aired] on the on-line program Council Ins & Outs [《議會內外》] discussed how the young people of Hong Kong would face up to the social situation in Hong Kong [in the wake of] the National Security Law.


+ 非法集結 fei1 faat3 jaahp6 git3 = unlawful assembly
+ 發聲 faat3 sing1 = usu. “make a sound” but perhaps “to speak out”
+ 寄語 gei3 yuh5 = 1. to send word; to convey a message 2. a message
+ 展示 jin2 sih6 = to display; to reveal; to show
+ 篡改 saan3 goi2 = to falsify; to tamper with; to doctor

Chan said that he was currently accused of seven offences related to unlawful assembly. However, he was not terrified of the future and would continue to speak out peacefully for the people of Hong Kong. He also told [寄語] the Hong Kong people to conquer terror, to continue to speak out and to reveal the truth to the rest of the world to prevent those in power from falsifying history.


Lau Wai-hing asked him whether he felt terrified before the National Security Law came into effect. Chan replied that naturally he was afraid for a while, but realized that it was necessary to conquer [such] terror, otherwise nothing at all could be done. Laughing, he said “If you worried you’d be hit by a falling aeroplane if you stayed at home, and that you’d fall into water if you went outside, there’d by nowhere for you to go at all, would there?” He went on to say that there were more people at the 1 July protest than expected, believing that at least 100,000 people [had taken part], but on the whole things were peaceful, with only some scattered incidents of destruction. He also said: “The water-cannon trucks used by the police were far from peaceful ⸺wherever they went they sprayed”.


+ 區域法院 keui1 wihk6 faat3 yun6*2 = the District Court

Figo Chan mentioned that of the seven charges he was facing, two cases were in the process of being heard at the District Court [in Wan Chai]. He said that he could not feel fear because, since the protest movements that began last year, people of different ages, generations, nationalities and ethnicities have come together [一起] to offer support. Their power is significant and there are many people who support [him]. “Knives and spears kill no ideals”, [he said].

道出真相 防止當權者篡改歷史
Tell the truth, prevent those in power from falsifying history


+ 展現 jin2 yihn6 = to unfold; to present; to display
+ 主宰 jyu2 joi2 = to dominate; to rule

Figo Chan also said that, in the past twelve months, the people of Hong Kong had been through a lot and, at present, you could be accused of breaking the National Security Law if you held up a sign and thrown heavily to the ground by police if you set up a roadside display (a reference to the arrest of LegCo councillor Andrew Wan Siu-kin on the day of the 1 July protests). Things were deteriorating by the day. Nevertheless, he still believed that anything that was attempted, even if it seemed “useless”, was actually a way of laying the facts before the media and the international community and could enable more people to know what was actually going on [事實真相]. He added, if one did not persist in telling the truth, the “truth” would be controlled by those in power and their blind followers.


+ 公諸於世 gung1 jyu1 yu1 sai3 = to make public

By way of an example, the violent attack on civilians carried out in Yuen Long on 21 July 2019 was being distorted by the deeply conservative camp, who blamed Lam Cheuk-ting for stirring the whole thing up, while in a report made by the Independent Police Complaints Council it was referred to as “a gang fight between men dressed in white and people dressed in black”. Neither of these descriptions is correct, and so the people of Hong Kong must continue to speak out, making evidence available to the [broader] public and enabling ever more people to know the actual truth, otherwise, history would be falsified. Also for this reason, he did not agree with [the view of] some young people who claimed that the older generation of democrats “had failed to achieve anything”, because ⸺ regardless of whether one acted “before the curtain or behind the curtain” [幕後幕前], things that were done did not yield an immediate result but took time.

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