About 100 people joined an “I want to live” demonstration on Sunday, encouraging young people to treasure life.

Demonstrators handed out heart-shaped balloons to passers-by and held up banners with phrases such as “I want to live” and “treasure life”. Some held up signs calling for the resignation of Secretary for Education Eddie Ng Hak-kim.

The card on the very right says, “not even one less”. Photo: SocREC, via Facebook.
Photo: SocREC, via Facebook.
Photo: SocREC, via Facebook.

“It so happens that the Education Bureau is under his [Ng’s] leadership. If it was under my leadership, that so many people committed suicide because of school pressure, I would resign,” said Chan Kam-mei, the convenor of the demonstration, reported Apple Daily.

“Improve education.” Photo: SocREC, via Facebook.

She also said that for people to consider taking their lives, the problems must be severe. “When their parents do not care, or when romance is frustrated, problems cannot be easily solved.”

Photo: SocREC, via Facebook.
Demonstrators lit candles on Park Lane in Tsim Sha Tsui. Photo: SocREC, via Facebook.

Chan is the wife of former Hong Kong Christian Council former Chairperson Reverend Yuen Tin-yau, but convened the demonstration in her personal capacity.

Some banners at the demonstration bore Christian messages.

The banner in the middle says, “glory be the Lamb of God.” Photo: SocREC, via Facebook.

The demonstration came after seven student suicides were recorded in nine days earlier this month.

The Education Bureau announced several measures last Friday, including setting up a committee to look into the suicides, and holding seminars to exchange ideas between government officials, teachers, parents and students.

If you are experiencing negative feelings, please call: The Samaritans 2896 0000 (24-hour, multilingual), Suicide Prevention Centre 2382 0000 or the Social Welfare Department 2343 2255. The Hong Kong Society of Counseling and Psychology provides a WhatsApp hotline in English and Chinese: 6218 1084.

Hermina Wong

Hermina is a Hong Kong writer and journalist. She graduated with a degree in politics from Cambridge, and is interested in international affairs, particularly those related to China, the EU and the Middle East. She also enjoys political satire.