I spent the last day of July alone, in the tranquility of my Brisbane home. However, on this night of the blue moon, my heart is occupied with concerns about issues engulfing my homeland, Hong Kong.

Where should I start? It seems there has been an endless supply of sad and ridiculous stories from many aspects of the Hong Kong society.

Just last week alone, I heard stories such as (1) a primary school principal was found lying about not calling for an ambulance despite clear sign of a serious injury suffered by a student (who was later found dead) who fell off from the school building, citing concern over the reputation for the school if phone call for ambulance was intercepted by media.

Story (2): tap water in a number of public housing estates was found to have exceedingly high level of lead. Before the source of the contamination was identified, the government laid the blame on a  plumber/contractor. Yes you heard me right, a single plumber was named as the culprit responsible for endangering the lives of hundreds of thousands of residents. It took the government days to finally reveal the name of the property developer (which is a Chinese-state-owned-enterprise) which may have used substandard construction materials. What is more upsetting was that some health officials resorted to laughable advice, such as that “the intake of lead water, in the scheme of one’s life, would not have much negative health effect”, to play down legitimate concerns by victims such as pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and young children.

The newest and most ridiculous story was Story (3) which I heard yesterday. A woman was found guilty of attacking a policeman with her breast during a street protest earlier this year. This is despite footage showing her being armed down by the police and when standing, she had a bleeding nose and her hands tied.

30-year-old Ng Lai-ying.

Incidents such as these deeply angered and worried me. Many of my friends in Brisbane asked why do I care intently about what is happening afar. I keep pondering the same question myself.

I grew up during the good old days of the 80s and early 90s when my homeland was crowned The Oriental Pearl. How has it lost its glam in such a short period of time since it returned to the motherland in 1997?

I am told the next blue moon will be in three years time. If the current speed of deterioration is allowed to continue, I have grave concerns that Hong Kong will become unrecognisable to many who grew up in this land. As a Hongkonger living in Australia, what can I do to defend my homeland from afar?

Chrisann Palm

Dr. Chrisann Palm is a lecturer in accountancy at Queensland University of Technology. She grew up in Hong Kong in the 80s and moved to Australia in the mid 90s, first as a student and subsequently as a migrant after working in Hong Kong for a few years since completing her degree in 1998. Although she has called Australia home for nearly two decades, she held strongly her Hongkonger identity.
Chrisann started the Yellow Ribbon Campaign in Australia in September 2014 to pledge support for the Umbrella Movement. She is an organiser of the United for Democracy: Global Solidarity with Hong Kong, as well as one of the founding members of the 2047 Hong Kong Monitor group .