A Hong Kong newsmaker is chosen each month by HKFP. Ms Rita Kwan Wing-yee is selected as HKFP Person of the Month for February 2016.

Rita Kwan Wing-yee rose to internet fame overnight thanks to a voracious tirade she delivered against Leung Chun-ying’s government during a special meeting on retirement protection held by the Panel on Welfare Services last Monday. Identifying herself as “a citizen who loves Hong Kong”, Kwan won the admiration of netizens after calling officials “worse than thieves” and voicing her discontent towards “morally collapsing” Hong Kong.

Person of the Month.

Truth unto power

Points and arguments Kwan made in the three-minute speech, which went viral, included:

  • The universal retirement protection plan put forward by the government that proposes to give HK$3,230 to those who qualify would hardly help pay the bills in Hong Kong.
  • Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung – who makes more than HK$300,000 a month – knows little about the suffering of people in Hong Kong, or he would not have made comments saying that HK$16,000 is “quite good” for a couple to survive on in the city.
  • Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying went against the promise he made during his election and did not listen to the people’s cries during the pro-democracy Occupy protests in 2014.
  • Chief Secretary Carrie Lam rejected the non-means tested universal pension scheme on the grounds that it would supposedly lead to a government deficit, but at the same time the government spent hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars on white elephant projects like the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge and the high-speed rail project.
  • The police officer firing shots into the air during the Mong Kok unrest is considered as compliant with police protocol, while a police officer’s baton, used to attack a pedestrian, is regarded as an extension of their arm.
  • Lawmakers spread unconfirmed rumours – such as that the missing booksellers returned to the mainland for sex – in the Legislative Council and are allowed to get away with it.
  • The notion that nobody had held Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying accountable for receiving a secret payment of HK$50 million from Australian company UGL, that there is still no progress on the case where seven police allegedly beat up a protester during the pro-democracy Occupy protests in 2014. Also, that no one held the pro-Beijing parties accountable despite reports alleging that they had rigged the district elections.

Kwan has made a Facebook page after the video went viral, calling herself “explosive girl”, a nod to the nickname netizens gave her for the “explosive” berating she gave the government. The page has already received over 12,000 likes in under a week. Kwan said that she did not do it because she wanted to be famous; rather, it was because there were other things she wanted to say to Hong Kong people.

In a new video on the page, Kwan introduces herself and says that because both her parents are teachers, she has always had a strong sense of justice. She also covered other social topics such as the TSA controversy and the lack of animal rights protection in Hong Kong. Of the candidates in the Legislative Council by-election that took place on Sunday, Kwan said she supported Hong Kong Indigenous’ Edward Leung Tin-kei.

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Hong Kong Free Press is a new, non-profit, English-language news source seeking to unite critical voices on local and national affairs. Free of charge and completely independent, HKFP arrives amid rising concerns over declining press freedom in Hong Kong and during an important time in the city’s constitutional development.