Chan says he won't shut up after party ban

Local | Phoenix Un 9 Aug 2018

National Party founder Andy Chan Ho-tin says a ban on the party will not stop him from voicing out.

The police have recommended that the Secretary for Security, John Lee Ka-chiu, ban the party because it has breached the Societies Ordinance by advocating independence.

Speaking to The Standard, Chan said that even if the government succeeded in banning the party, there is still room to continue his advocacy.

"I can go to Taiwan to communicate with others, and I can write my ideas online to spread it, and the government can't ban it unless they censor the net," he said.

Chan admitted there is a big chance the ban will come.

He has yet to decide whether to make a defense before the deadline on September 4, and what he should write in it.

In case his party is banned and he makes an appeal, the chance of overturning the decision would be slim, he said.

"I can see the result even before appealing, as Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor had vowed that she opposes independence," Chan said.

Hong Kong has yet to enact the Basic Law's Article 23. But as the police recommended banning his party using the Societies Ordinance, the government is in effect doing what is under the scope of Article 23.

"Enactment of the article is not even necessary any more," he said.

Chan formed the party in March 2016, and tried to stand in the Legislative Council election in September that year. He was disqualified because he refused to sign a declaration saying he would uphold the Basic Law articles that says Hong Kong is an inalienable part of China.

But he used to be a "Chinese nationalist" and believed independence advocacy was crazy. But things changed during the Occupy Movement that broke out in 2014.

"One day we found a flag with a Chinese national flag on a truck, and someone called for burning the flag. That made me to think, we are that miserable because of China, and we would have democracy if there was no China," he said.

He considered that when someone repeatedly say something, people bear that in mind and see that as an option, making it come true.

"Occupy Movement founder Benny Tai Yiu-ting had been planting the idea of 'occupy' into people's minds. Then the police fired tear gas, people's brains went blank and what they could only think of was to occupy," Chan said.

But what he has done so far brought troubles to his family. He said all his family members and close friends were being tailed.

His girlfriend, mother, sister, and even sister's boyfriend had been tailed.

"I owe my family, especially my mother, for she gave birth to a son who has cost them the comfortable life she should have, and even my sister's boyfriend and my girlfriend were bothered," Chan said.

Chan said he did not regret setting up the party, a personal goal as well as for the city.

"I didn't want to regret and waste my life earning money for my boss, and achieving nothing when looking back on my life before I die," he said.

Chan said he has a job that allowed him to make a living, but he would not say what it is.

He said the party was the first one advocating independence, defying a taboo that it should not be mentioned. He sought to build a theory of "Hong Kong nationalism," as appears in the title of the speech he will give to the Foreign Correspondents' Club luncheon next Tuesday.

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