Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Remembering Elsie Tu

Veteran Hong Kong politician Elsie Tu gave her life to the city and its people
We're going to miss Elsie Tu, a veteran politician who died this morning at 102.

102! That demonstrates her will to live and probably good genes.

She was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England in 1913, and Tu and her then husband William Elliot moved to Hong Kong to do missionary work in 1951. Soon after not only did she quit the church, but also the marriage.

She then met the late Andrew Tu Hsueh-kwei and they founded Mu Kuang English School in 1954. It wasn't until 1985 that their friendship led to marriage -- 30 years after the two teachers met. She was 71, he was 63.

Tu with husband Andrew, co-founded Mu Kuang English School
"Mr Tu was very outspoken... he taught me a lot of things to make me better understand Chinese ways," she said.

In 1963 she got into politics and won a set on the Urban Council that year.

She later got involved in fighting against corruption, which led to the establishment of the Independent Commission Against Corruption in 1974.

In 1985 she was appointed as HKSAR Basic Law Consultative Committee member. Although she was English, Tu was very pro-Beijing, supporting then former security secretary Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee over Anson Chan Fang On-sang in the Legislative Council by-election.

Despite her political leanings, it was her standing up for the little guy that many admired about Tu.

Over two years ago she complained about tycoons who didn't have a conscience to care about the poor.

She didn't name names, but expressed support for striking dockworkers.

She will be remembered for fighting for the poor
"I think shame on you. Why should you have [billions of dollars] when the poor can't even buy meat for their children's food? How could you have [billions of dollars] and still want more? The dockers are getting so little and their conditions are disgraceful."

Tu added there were some rich men with a conscience and some without, and there are many elderly who barely have enough to live on.

Who else is going to take up the fight for the underprivileged? Tu was a wonderful example to the end.

We will miss her indomitable spirit.

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