Saturday, 9 May 2015

Cheung Chau Fighting Spirit

Cheung Chau resident Kwok Cheuk-in regularly takes the government to court
Meet Kwok Cheuk-kin. He's a 74-year-old former civil servant who likes to spend his retirement challenging the government on its policies in court.

"Many people criticize me for wasting public money. I find that the government wastes more money than me," he says. "They spend large amounts on useless consultations, and waste money on questionable infrastructure. I just use the government's money to fix its problems."

He filed his first application in 2006, when he asked the court to review the system of ferry-fare increases on the route between Central and Cheung Chau; he lost.

Kwok claims to have filed more than 20 applications, with legal-aid representation for eight of them.

"None of my applications are for my personal gain, and no one ever uses me. I understand the legal points in every application," he says.

I saw a short documentary about him a year ago, and the Cheung Chau resident regularly helps elderly people on the island by writing letters for them. He goes to Hong Kong Island everyday to read in the public libraries for researching his court challenges.

While he admits losing most of his cases, Kwok believes it's important to challenge the government to raise concerns about social issues.

"If you don't try, you will just sit there and wait to die. If you try, at least there is a chance," he says.

We love that fighting attitude. The Hong Kong spirit is still alive and well.

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