Wong Yuk-man

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For other people named Raymond Wong, see Raymond Wong (disambiguation).
The Honourable
Wong Yuk-man
黃毓民
Wong Yuk Man.jpg
Wong at the 2012 LegCo Election.
Member of the Legislative Council
Incumbent
Assumed office
16 May 2010
Constituency Kowloon West
In office
7 September 2008 – 26 January 2010
Constituency Kowloon West
Chairman of the League of Social Democrats
In office
1 October 2006 – 31 January 2010
Succeeded by Andrew To
Personal details
Born (1951-10-01) 1 October 1951 (age 62)
Hong Kong[1]
Nationality Hong Kong Chinese
Political party League of Social Democrats (2006–08)
People Power (2011–13)
Independent (2013–)
Children Wong Tak-hon
Residence Hong Kong
Occupation professor, current affairs commentator, radio host, published author, actor (formerly)
Profession Legislative Councillor
Religion Christianity
Wong Yuk-man
Traditional Chinese 黃毓民

Raymond Wong Yuk-man (黃毓民; born 1 October 1951) is a Hong Kong politician, author, current affairs commentator and radio host. He is a member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong, representing the Geographical constituency of Kowloon West. He worked in Commercial Radio Hong Kong and hosted many popular phone-in programmes.

He was the head of Department in the Faculty of Communication and Journalism of Chu Hai College in Tsuen Wan, Hong Kong, which he also hold a Master degree in history in there. He is a radical liberal Christian[citation needed] and a former chairman of the League of Social Democrats (LSD). He is known for his outspoken manners, his harsh criticism of the Chinese Central Government, and his ferocious speeches in defence of the rights of the lower classes; consequently, he has been given the nicknames Mad Dog () and "Rogue Professor" (流氓教授).[2] He currently hosts "Wong Yuk-man Channel," a popular radio programme on MyRadio, which is a Hong Kong-based internet radio station founded in 2007.

Publishing venture and talk shows[edit]

On 18 March 1996, Wong established Mad Dog Daily, a tabloid with a clear "Anti-communism" and "Anti-Tung" stance. However, the paper suffered from a low sales volume, which Wong jokingly blamed on its "journalistic integrity" and refusal to participate in sensationalist journalism.[3] After the Asian financial crisis, it transformed into a magazine in October 1997, and then was suspended shortly afterwards. As a result, Wong had to bear debts that amounted to a total of 15 million HKD. He repaid this debt in a matter of years by working on talk shows and other TV programmes.

In 2000, Wong established "CyberHK", an IT company that was also unsuccessful, falling victim to the dot-com bubble of 2001 and putting Wong into debt again. To settle the debts, Wong concentrated on his radio talk shows, writing articles for newspapers, and running his beef noodle restaurant.

In 2003, Wong converted to Christianity during the SARS epidemic in Hong Kong. He was attracted to liberation theology after his contact with the least-privileged in society during the crisis. He was active in mobilising support for the Hong Kong 1 July marches.

In 2004, he took a sabbatical from his talk show "Close Encounters of a Political Kind", after being beaten up by gangsters allegedly paid by the Chinese Government, citing "political pressure". Following a self-imposed three-month exile in Canada, he returned to Hong Kong where he was sacked from his weeknight political phone-in radio programme, and moved to a late Saturday night slot (with significantly fewer listeners). In less than a year, the programme was cancelled and Wong was effectively and controversially taken off-air. This event was significant for Hong Kong as it meant that there was no longer any outspoken and critical radio talk show host on any Hong Kong radio station. During his time off-air, he continued to run his beef noodle restaurant in Mongkok.

Political career[edit]

Founding of League of Social Democrats[edit]

In 2006, he co-founded the League of Social Democrats, a social democratic political party which aimed to be a "clear-cut opposition party" and defend the interests of the grassroots. In 2007, he made a comeback to phone-in radio talk show, hosting a weekly political radio programme "Wong Yuk-man Channel" on MyRadio. The show quickly gained popularity and some videos of his broadcasts – captured by a studio camera and uploaded to YouTube – have become some of the most-watched videos in Hong Kong. "Wong Yuk-man Channel" has subsequently become a twice-weekly radio programme, now extended from one hour to 1½ hours. In 2008, he was appointed a trustee of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Wong Yuk-man refused to cooperate with the other pan-democratic parties Democratic Party and the Civic Party and criticised the two parties for nominating Alan Leong as Chief Executive candidate in the 2007 election, saying that they are not qualified as democrats.[4] In the 2008 Hong Kong Legislative election, he ran in the Kowloon West constituency on a platform of "Without struggle there is no change". During the campaign he lambasted the Civic Party's Claudia Mo Man-ching in the same way he did the candidates from the pro-Beijing, pro-government flagship party, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), accusing the Civic Party of applying double standards in its fight for democracy, and being elitist.[5] Wong ultimately gained a seat in the Legislative Council with the second highest number of votes in his constituency. while Mo lost in the election.

Legislative Council[edit]

Banana throwing incident[edit]

Wong Yuk-man introduced a number of innovative actions to Hong Kong politics. On 15 October 2008, during Hong Kong Chief Executive Donald Tsang's delivery of the Annual Policy Address, Wong and his colleagues Leung Kwok-hung and Albert Chan interrupted Tsang's speech and heckled.[6] Tsang suggested that the HK$625 a month (US$80) Old Age Allowance paid to all senior citizens aged 65 or above be raised to HK$1000 a month (US$130), but with a means test introduced. Wong believed that this turned what was a gesture of respect to elderly people into welfare and is disrespectful to old people. Wong interrupted Tsang's speech and threw a bunch of bananas at him.[2][6][7] The three LSD members were ejected from the chamber for the act.[2]

The incident triggered much debate amongst scholars, commentators, fellow politicians, and the general public. The reception has been mixed[8] ,[9] with even some pro-democratic politicians condemning the attack. One of the most prominent figures in the pro-democratic camp, Anson Chan, released a formal statement criticising the stunt.[10] On the other hand, the elderly of Hong Kong poured onto the streets in a demonstration of mass support for Wong; some even urged him to do it again. Wong himself has claimed that this controversial move had been successful in raising awareness about the discussion of benefits for the elderly. Indeed, within a week the government raised the fruit money to HK$1000 a month and dropped the proposal for means testing.

2009 Budget Report[edit]

Wong caused another uproar when he attempted to snatch the budget report midway through reading by the Financial Secretary John Tsang Jun-Wah, saying that the 2009–10 Budget Report did not address any policies to help lower class and lower middle class citizens in the financial turmoil. Some LegCo members, including several members of the conservative pro-democratic Democratic Party, and the pro-Beijing media together denounced Wong's actions as violent. Wong, however, defended that his actions were not, since he did not cause any physical harm to others, nor did he intend to. As usual, demonstrators took to the streets in support for Wong and his actions.

Despite being criticised, Wong commented that the society of Hong Kong was far too conservative, and many people did not understand and appreciate his actions, as opposed to what it was like in the past.[citation needed] In fact, he continued to gain support from a niche of the local population, especially those from the grass-roots, for his relatively radical approach.

"Five Constituencies Referendum"[edit]

In late-2009 and early 2010, a debate ensued amidst the pro-democracy camp on a more radical approach towards gaining universal suffrage. An agreement was reached between the social-liberal Civic Party and Wong's social-democratic League of Social Democrats for five members of their representation in the Legislative Council to resign and participate in a by-election, in order to create a referendum on the implementation of universal suffrage by 2012. In January 2010, Wong, and other four lawmakers, Albert Chan, Tanya Chan, Leung Kwok-hung and Alan Leong resigned and participated in the ensuing by-election.[11] On 16 May 2010, he was re-elected as a lawmaker in the by-election,[12] despite only 17.7 percent of the registered voters turned out in the election.[13] Wong Yuk-man denounced the Democratic Party for its move to negotiate with Beijing and voted for the reform package as "selling out democracy" and had defected to the Communist Party of China. The LSD protesters attacked the Democratic Party in the following 2010 July 1 march.

In January 2010, Wong stepped down as Chairman of the LSD, handing the chairmanship to Andrew To Kwan-hang.[14]

Splits from League of Social Democrats and People Power[edit]

In January 2011, Wong and Albert Chan announced that they were resigning from the League of Social Democrats over differences with the his successor Andrew To's leadership over what stance to take towards the Democratic Party. As two of the party's three legislators, the move left the party and the remaining legislator, Leung Kwok-hung ('Long Hair') in a difficult position. Wong also said that factional fighting within the party has become so hostile that it was beyond [his and Chan's] ability to rectify the situation.[15] With Chan, he went on to launch People Power, under which name he continued to sit in Legco.

In the 2011 July 1 march after leading activists on a march from Wan Chai to Central, Wong Yuk-man and Albert Chan organised their supporters to break through a police cordon, occupied a major road in Central and scuffled with the police, bringing traffic to a standstill. Wong and Chan were later arrested for unlawful assembly. They were later convicted in April 2013. Eastern Court magistrate Joseph To Ho-shing accused Wong of being "untrustworthy" and lying in a bid to escape the charges. Wong called on his supporters to be "well-prepared for a long struggle" against the government and said he feared for the day when local courts would be "manipulated by the Communist Party."[16]

Wong decided to spine the Democratic Party in the 2011 District Council elections. The People Power filled in 62 candidates, many of them ran in the constituencies against both the Democratic Party and pro-Beijing candidates. The party failed in winning any seat but a seat in Fung Cheung where the its candidate Johnny Mak Ip-shing did not spine the pan-democracy party. After winning just one seat of 62 contested, Albert Chan admitted that the strategy had failed. Nevertheless he insisted that the party would 'stay the course'.[17]

On 20 May 2013, Wong Yuk-man announced his resignation from People Power. It was believed to be related to the earlier his earlier split with Stephen Shiu Yeuk-yuen, the owner of the Hong Kong Reporter and People Power's financial supporters over the Occupy Central plan.[18]

Evangelism[edit]

During the outbreak of SARS in 2003, he became a Christian. Since then, he started testifying for Christ. He helped the Media Evangelism Limited, a Christian media organisation in Hong Kong, advertise its programmes. However, he also referred the Society for Truth and Light, a conservative activist Christian organisation, as a "terrorist organisation," and said many of the STL's activities were "nonsense" and promoted the "Talibanization" of Hong Kong. [1] Wong considers himself as a radical liberal Christian; he was invited as a guest of the International Day Against Homophobia protest in Hong Kong on 21 May 2006.[19] In 2006, Wong recorded some songs with the Amazing Grace Worship Music Ministry.

Publications[edit]

  • Ultimately Arrogant History – The Ten Powerful Courtiers (歷史幾串都有 – 十大權臣) ISBN 988-99103-8-1
  • Ultimately Cruel History – The Ten Emperors (歷史幾狼都有 – 十大帝王) ISBN 962-678-274-9
  • Yuk-Man Reveals (毓民踢爆) ISBN 962-577-103-4

References[edit]

  1. ^ 大紀元7月11日訊 3rd paragraph reads "香港出生的黃毓民..." (Born in Hong Kong, Raymond Wong...)
  2. ^ a b c The Standard HK. "The Standard.com." Three lawmakers ejected from legislature. Retrieved on 5 January 2009.
  3. ^ YouTube video of show by Wong Yuk-man http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TJXeONGdms
  4. ^ "社民連與民主公民兩黨割席". Sing Pao (in Chinese). 24 November 2006. 
  5. ^ Yeung, Chris (3 September 2008). "Infighting threatens pro-democracy camp". South China Morning Post. 
  6. ^ a b Singtao.com. "Singtao.com." Challenging the system. Retrieved on 3 January 2009.
  7. ^ Earthtimes.org. "Earthtimes.org." Hong Kong leader pelted with bananas during keynote speech . Retrieved on 5 January 2009.
  8. ^ Youtube. "Youtube." Video1. Retrieved on 5 January 2009.
  9. ^ Youtube. "Youtube." Video2. Retrieved on 5 January 2009.
  10. ^ Yahoo.com. "Hk.Yahoo.com." Article. Retrieved on 5 January 2009.
  11. ^ Hong Kong MPs quit in attempt to push Beijing towards direct elections
  12. ^ Pro-democracy lawmakers win by-elections
  13. ^ Lee, Francis L. F.; Chan, Joseph M. (2010). Media, Social Mobilisation and Mass Protests in Post-colonial Hong Kong: The Power of a Critical Event. Routledge. 
  14. ^ Wong, Albert (1 February 2010). "Wong Yuk-man hands league chairmanship to Andrew To". South China Morning Post. 
  15. ^ Wong Yuk-man, Albert Chan quit party, RTHK, 23 Jan 2011
  16. ^ Luk, Eddie (30 April 2013). "Mad Dog snarls at 'political trial'". The Standard. 
  17. ^ People Power admit election mistakes, RTHK, 9 Nov 2011
  18. ^ But, Joshua (20 May 2013). "Lawmaker Wong Yuk-man quits People Power". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  19. ^ Inmediahk.net. "Inmediahk.net." 豪雨‧豪情——親歷第二屆國際不再恐同日香港區遊行. Retrieved on 5 January 2009.

External links[edit]

Videos[edit]

Legislative Council of Hong Kong
Preceded by
Lau Chin-shek
Member of Legislative Council
Representative for Kowloon West
2008–present
With: Starry Lee, James To, Frederick Fung (2008–2012)
Priscilla Leung (2008–present)
Ann Chiang, Helena Wong, Claudia Mo (2012–present)
Incumbent
Party political offices
New political party Chairman of League of Social Democrats
2006–2010
Succeeded by
Andrew To
Order of precedence
Preceded by
Albert Chan
Member of the Legislative Council
Hong Kong order of precedence
Member of the Legislative Council
Succeeded by
Claudia Mo
Member of the Legislative Council