Leung Kwok-hung

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This is a Chinese name; the family name is Leung.
The Honourable
Leung Kwok-hung
20150117 long hair.jpg
Supporting the Umbrella movement in early 2015
Member of the Legislative Council
Assumed office
1 October 2004
Preceded by Andrew Wong
Constituency New Territories East
Chairman of the League of Social Democrats
Assumed office
12 February 2012
Preceded by Andrew To
Personal details
Born (1956-03-27) 27 March 1956 (age 59)
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
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 the League of Social Democrats and a democratic political activist.


Leung was born in to migrants from Guangdong Province, living in Shau Kei Wan, Hong Kong Island, at the time. The family later moved to a public housing estate in Chai Wan. After his father left home when Leung was only 6 years of age, his mother took to working as an amah to support herself, while he went to live with relatives back in Shau Kei Wan who had seven children.[1] Leung credits his political awakening to the 1967 Hong Kong riots, which highlighted poverty in Hong Kong. He was a construction worker from 1981 to 1986, after which he delved further into political action, co-founding the Revolutionary Marxist League, a Trotskyist vanguard party. He was also a member of April Fifth Action, a radical socialist group, after the league was disbanded. In 1986, Leung worked for Kowloon Motor Bus as an overnight vehicle cleaner. He says he learned English by listening to British Forces Broadcasting.[1]

Leung first contested but lost in both the 2000 Legislative Council elections and 2003 District Council elections though he considered the latter battle a victory in view of the number of votes obtained 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,[2] an over 200% increase in votes compared to the 18,235 votes[3] he achieved in the previous LegCo election. He still lives in public housing, at the Kai Yip Estate in Kowloon Bay.[1]

Leung's key campaigns include universal suffrage, workers' rights and welfare for the less well off. His political agenda includes introduction of a liveable minimum wage, comprehensive social security, collective bargaining and taxing speculative business.

He has been briefly jailed several times for offences such as shouting from LegCo's public viewing gallery, burning the national flag of the People's Republic of China and forcibly breaking into an opposition political event. His first incarceration was for unlawful assembly in 1979.[1] Although he expresses his fondness for Che Guevara and the ideals of revolutionary Marxism, Leung has not included a proletarian revolution agenda on his election platform and many of his ideas and proposals would be readily accepted by most mainstream social liberal and social democratic parties in other countries.

Personal image and sartorial preference[edit]

Leung is widely referred to by the sobriquet "Long Hair" (長毛), and press photographs show him with long locks as early as 1977.[1] Leung is reputed to have vowed not to cut his hair until the government of the People's Republic of China apologised for the Tiananmen Square Massacre[4] although he has denied this on several occasions. Leung opposes Communist Party of China one-party rule and seeks 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. In 2014, his hair was forcibly cropped short when he was briefly imprisoned for criminal damage for his forced entry at a political event. In 2015, he commenced an application for Judicial Review before the High Court, challenging the Commissioner for Correctional Services' power to rule that male prisoners' hair be cut short while females are permitted to grow theirs to any length, on the ground of sex discrimination in breach of the HKSAR's constitution. In a preliminary hearing, his application was ruled to have realistic prospects and set down for a full hearing later in the year.

Leung is a smoker and can easily be spotted sporting his favoured Che Guevara T-shirt and smoking a cigarette on the pavement in Central.[5] He is a fan of the Homeless World Cup and has accompanied Hong Kong's team to the tournament for several years.[6]

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. He, 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 PRC government, as Leung's statements touched upon a politically sensitive issue that is considered taboo in official public settings. There was no reaction from the PRC government.

Leung's populist and unorthodox confrontational style contrasts with the usually restrained atmosphere of LegCo. Rita Fan, the then 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." Neither have.

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 attended 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.[7]

On 26 January 2010, Leung and four other pro-democracy legislators handed in their resignations, 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."[8] He was reinstated as a legislator after receiving over 100,000 votes in the by-election.

On 9 Sep 2012, with 48,295 votes, Leung won the re-election for the Legislative Council, representing New Territories East.

WTO protest[edit]

In 2005, Leung took part in the protests against the WTO Conference in Hong Kong and was injured during the demonstration.[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]

Leung does not have a Home Return Permit, having been denied one by the Chinese authorities, but he was able to visit the mainland once in the company of his mother in about 2003.[1] 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 application was rejected at the last minute on suspicions he would protest in China during the 3-day trip.[9] Sichuan officials claimed to have seen Internet reports saying Leung planned to do something not relevant to the purpose of the trip. Rita Fan confirmed those were the grounds of denial.[10] Leung responded saying: "It's so ironic. People said the Olympic Games will make China more open up. I think it's going backward."[10]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Legislative Council of Hong Kong
Preceded by
Andrew Wong
Member of Legislative Council
Representative for New Territories East
2004 present
Party political offices
Preceded by
Andrew To
Chairman of League of Social Democrats
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