Leung Kwok-hung

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This is a Chinese name; the family name is Leung.
The Honourable
Leung Kwok-hung
梁國雄
Longhair-2005-04-17.jpg
Talking to reporter after anti-Japan protests in Hong Kong, 17 April 2005
Member of the Legislative Council
Incumbent
Assumed office
17 May 2010
Preceded by Himself
Constituency New Territories East
In office
1 October 2004 – 28 January 2010
Preceded by Andrew Wong
Succeeded by Himself
Constituency New Territories East
Chairman of the League of Social Democrats
Incumbent
Assumed office
12 February 2012
Preceded by Andrew To
Personal details
Born (1956-03-27) 27 March 1956 (age 58)
Hong Kong
Nationality Hong Kong Chinese
Political party April Fifth Action
League of Social Democrats
Residence Hong Kong
Alma mater Clementi Secondary School
Profession Legislative Councillor
Religion Atheist
Website www.longhair.hk
Leung Kwok-hung
Traditional Chinese 梁國雄
Simplified Chinese 梁国雄

Leung Kwok-hung (born 27 March 1956 in Hong Kong), also known as Long Hair (Chinese: 長毛; Jyutping: coeng4 mou4*1), is a Hong Kong Left-wing political activist, a member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong (representing the New Territories East constituency), a founding member of League of Social Democrats and a democratic political activist.

Biography[edit]

Leung was an active member in a Trotskyist vanguard party the Revolutionary Marxist League back in the 1970s and a member of April Fifth Action, a radical socialist group after the league was disbanded.

Leung contested but lost in both the 2000 Legislative Council elections and 2003 District Council elections. He considered the latter battle in 2003 a victory from the number of votes he got in the Kam Ping constituency which traditionally supports pro-Beijing candidates.

Leung ran again in the LegCo Election 2004 and succeeded in winning a seat in LegCo with 60,925 votes,[1] an over 200% increase in votes compared to the 18,235 votes[2] he received in the 2000 LegCo election.

Leung's key campaigns include universal suffrage, and working-labour and under-classes welfare. His political agenda include introduction of a liveable minimum wage and a comprehensive social security system, restoration of workers' right to collective bargaining, and setting a tax on business speculation.

He has been briefly jailed several times for offenses such as shouting from the LegCo's public viewing gallery and burning the national flag of the People's Republic of China.

Although he expresses his fondness of Che Guevara and the ideals of revolutionary Marxism, Leung has yet to indicate a 'proletariat' revolution agenda on his election platforms, and many of his ideas and proposals would be readily accepted by most mainstream left (social) liberal and social democratic parties.

Personal image and sartorial preference[edit]

Leung has reportedly vowed not to cut his hair until the government of the People's Republic of China apologizes for the Tiananmen Square Massacre[3] although he has denied this on several occasions. Leung wants the Communist Party of China to end its single-party rule and transition to democracy. His long hair has become one of his visual icons and a political statement—the same name was applied to troops of the Taiping Rebellion against Imperial China. His locks have only once been cut, against his will, when he was briefly imprisoned following a political action.

Leung is a smoker. He is usually seen wearing a Che Guevara T-shirt.[4]

Career as a legislator[edit]

Long Hair and other protesters demand release of Aung San Suu Kyi. (Retrieved 21 June 2005)
Long Hair at the 2007 HK island by-election

For the swearing-in ceremony of the Hong Kong Legislative Council on 6 October 2004, Leung's fellow members arrived in business attire. Long Hair, in contrast, wore a T-shirt with Tiananmen Square on the front and Che Guevara on the back. When he was called to come forward and take the oath, he raised his left fist, encircled with a black wristband, a memorial to those who died in the 1989 protests.

Leung had planned to alter his oath of office, but a Hong Kong judge said such a step would make it impossible for him to serve. Instead, Leung added his own messages to the standard oath, demanding vindication for those killed in the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, calling for the release of political prisoners and an end to one-party rule on the Mainland.

Leung shouted at the ceremony: "Long live democracy! Long live the people!" He was then sworn in as a council member. Observers watched closely the reaction from the Mainland government, as Leung's statements touched upon a politically sensitive issue that is often considered taboo in official public settings.

In the aftermath of the Article 23 political storm and debate over freedom of expression, many were concerned about possible Mainland reaction to the incident. However, the Mainland government did not respond in any dramatic fashion.

Leung's populist and unorthodox confrontational style contrasts with the usually restrained atmosphere of LegCo. Rita Fan, the LegCo chairperson, seemed more concerned by Leung's attire for LegCo meetings than any of his political opinions. One legislator commented that "Legco has to get used to Leung, and he has to get used to Legco."

On 29 September 2007, Leung vowed to support Jose Maria Sison, a politician from the Philippines and founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines. Leung was in Europe at the Inter-Parliamentary Union assembly in Geneva, Switzerland. He sits in the Hong Kong legislature as member of the Finance and House Committees, and of the Legislative Panels on Constitutional Affairs, Housing, Manpower, Transport, and on Welfare Services.[5]

On 26 January 2010, Leung and four other pro-democracy legislators handed in their resignation, forcing by-elections in all five geographical constituencies of Hong Kong which they characterized as a "de facto referendum" on democracy. Leung explained that his resignation was, "in keeping with [his] campaign promise... to fight for direct elections."[6] He was reinstated as a legislator after receiving over 100,000 votes in the by-election.

On 9 Sep 2012, Leung won the elections for the Legislative Council Election in New Territories East. That was his second reelection to the Legislative Council. He gained 48,295 votes in the election.

WTO protest[edit]

In 2005, Leung took part in the protests against the WTO Conference in Hong Kong and was injured during the violent demonstrations.[citation needed] Leung was arrested along with 900 other demonstrators. As with almost all other persons rounded up on that day, Leung was released shortly after and was not prosecuted.

Denied to Sichuan[edit]

On 4 July 2008 Leung was scheduled to visit areas in Sichuan damaged by the Sichuan earthquake as part of a 20-member delegation. Leung's travel permit applications was rejected at the last minute on suspicions he would protest in China during the 3-day trip.[7] Sichuan officials claimed to have seen Internet reports saying Leung planned to do something not relevant to the purpose of the trip. Rita Fan further explained that was the reason he was not approved.[8] Leung responded saying: "It's so ironic. People said the Olympic Games will make China more open up. I think it's going backward."[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Election results in 2004
  2. ^ Election result in 2000
  3. ^ Pepper, Suzanne. Keeping Democracy at Bay (2007), Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 0-7425-0877-3.
  4. ^ Long Hair always wears Ernesto Che Guevara T-shirt retrieved 26 April 2007
  5. ^ GMA NEWS.TV, CPP: Hong Kong lawmaker to drum up support for Joma
  6. ^ "Hong Kong lawmakers quit in push for democracy". BBC. 2010-01-26. Retrieved 2010-01-26. 
  7. ^ Reuters, China bars radical HK democrat from Sichuan visit Retrieved on 2008-07-04.
  8. ^ a b WTopnews. "Wtopnews." Hong Kong lawmaker barred from Sichuan quake zone. Retrieved on 2008-07-04.

External links[edit]

Legislative Council of Hong Kong
Preceded by
Andrew Wong
Member of Legislative Council
Representative for New Territories East
2004 present
With: Emily Lau, Lau Kong-wah, Andrew Cheng, Ronny Tong (2004–present)
James Tien, Li Kwok-ying (2004–2008)
Nelson Wong, Gary Chan (2008–present)
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
Andrew To
Chairman of League of Social Democrats
2011–present
Incumbent
Order of precedence
Preceded by
Alan Leong
Member of the Legislative Council
Hong Kong order of precedence
Member of the Legislative Council
Succeeded by
Albert Chan
Member of the Legislative Council