28 February 1931 – 2 January 2011
It was sad to hear Hong Kong democracy activist Szeto Wah's death last Sunday. He's been going through a long fight with lung cancer which greatly deteriorated his health in the past months. Unfortunately it claimed his life at the age of 79. I have came to learn about him only very recently. Szeto Wah has been an important political figure, mostly known for his promotion for democracy and campaign for the victims of the Tienanmen Square incident, which he never failed to turn up for the commemoration each year. His persistence and strong spirit to fight on has been an admiration to many activists.
Within his life long career right up to his death he has made numerous achievements in the fight for democracy. He founded Hong Kong's first political party United Democrats of Hong Kong which later became the Democratic Party. Szeto Wah has always been very vocal in criticising the Chinese Government for human rights abuse. But have equally made criticism of the British colonial rule. He has founded the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movement of China in 1989 right after the Tienanmen Square. Thanks to the effort the victim of the incident will always be remembered. Unfortunately this got him along with other activists barred from China.
Of course his career was not a smooth ride, he has been called a 'traitor to the nation' for his push for a multiparty rule in China. And just last year he was heckled in a rally for supporting the Legislative Council's reform package which goes against the Democratic Party's principle. Regardless all of his concerns are for the best of Chinese people, he is a patriot at heart.
The exiled leaders of Tienanmen Square student protests Wang Dan and Wuer Kaixi are hoping to take part in the memorial service, however they are likely to be denied entry to Hong Kong by the Beijing Government. So much for 'one country two system' then. Even though Szeto Wah had lost his fight to cancer his legacy will continue to live on for sure.