Standing up for someone instinctively

| Siu Sai-wo 4 Jun 2019

Lawmakers from the establishment and non-establishment camps clashed repeatedly inside the Legislative Council over amendments to the fugitive law, and the tussles were worrying to watch.

One of the push-and-shove dramas occurred early on at an in-house meeting when chairman Starry Lee Wai-king was surrounded, with someone cheering on the side.

Fortunately, councilor Wong Ting-kwong came to the rescue.

The white-haired lawmaker bravely stood guard beside her in a scene like one from a martial arts movie.

Wong is called Xiang Ge - or "Big Brother Elephant."

He started out that way as a big baby. His birth weight was a well-rounded 10 pounds - a less impressive-sounding 4.53 kilograms we'd say today - and his folks thought he looked like a baby elephant. Hence the nickname.

While he is approaching 70, the gallantry he showed in shielding Lee was impressive when we saw it replayed on television, and some viewers said he was like an operative of G4 - the police VIP protection unit - in action. Xiang Ge said afterward the melee did not intimidate him because he's no stranger to volatile situations.

He was the rebellious type in school and then experienced first-hand political movements in the mainland.

He also received military training and knows how to handle firearms and grenades.

So the situation in Legco was relatively minor by the standards of some of the things he's faced,

One of the wisdoms he's been heard to dispense is that when you are in a fight you either beat your opponent or you're beaten, so there's isn't anything you need to be scared about.

His attitude also brings to mind the stories about Lian Po, a military general in ancient China who remained strong and bold in old age.

When scuffles first took place at the legislature's bills committee meeting Wong wasn't involved as he's not part of it and, anyway, he wasn't in Hong Kong. But he was around when the commotion broke out at the in-house meeting and was naturally primed to intervene.

So Wong is as gutsy today as he was when younger. But he's been a legislator for many years and says the work can be rather time-consuming and that it's time he considered passing the baton to someone else and giving himself more time to do the things he likes to do.

Siu Sai-wo is publisher of Sing Tao Daily

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