Young people may “want to be prosecuted” or become “political martyrs” in order to promote Hong Kong independence, according to pro-democracy figure and former lawmaker Ronny Tong, speaking at a forum on Thursday.

Pro-establishment Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers chairman Wong Kwan-yu as well as pro-establishment DAB chairman Holden Chow also attended the forum. Chow said that those supporting Hong Kong independence were in the minority and that the matter should be treated carefully.

Ronny Tong Ka-wah. File Photo: Stand News.

Tong said that promoting Hong Kong independence could be a violation of the constitution, but may not necessarily be a criminal act. He also said that sedition laws cannot be simply applied to present-day Hong Kong because they derived from the colonial government in the 1950s and 1960s.

The pro-independence Hong Kong National Party said in early May that sedition laws may lead to a constitutional crisis due to the vague wording of the legislation, after pro-establishment lawyers said that the party violated the laws.

Chan Ho-tin, the convenor of Hong Kong National Party. File Photo: SocREC screencap, via Facebook.

Tong, a former Civic Party member, resigned from his party and his Legislative Council seat in June last year. Alvin Yeung, also a Civic Party member, replaced Tong in his New Territories East seat after winning  a by-election in February.

Chantal Yuen

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.