Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Joshua Wong's Political Evolution

Joshua Wong announced the suspension of Scholarism on Sunday
Joshua Wong Chi-fung has suspended Scholarism for now to form a new political party next month ahead of the Legislative Council elections in September.

The yet to be named party will have at least two candidates run for the elections, and it also plans to hold a referendum in 10 years' time for Hong Kong people to decide their own future beyond 2047, when the "one country, two systems" formula expires.

The new group will have candidates in the Legco elections
Wong explained the group he formed five years ago had become too politicized following the 79-day Occupy movement, making it hard for them to reach students in schools.

"I managed to conduct seminars in some 30 schools after I finished the public exams, but after the umbrella movement, I was invited by only one or two schools, with one being beseiged by pro-Beijing protesters, the other cancelled the session after the incident," he said.

He said it was a tough decision to break up Scholarism, but it was a way to reposition the group with a new student body to be formed in six months, focusing on student issues and civic education, while the party concentrated more on elections and greater democracy.

Scholarism was formed in 2012, forcing the government to shelve its national education curriculum. The group then later focused on political reform.

Wong set up Scholarism to protest against national education
While it sounds like a smart move to set up a new group, whatever Wong does will have some kind of political slant to it, which still perpetuates his divisive image of appealing to the youth, and repelling elders.

In the meantime, watching Wong come of age in the political arena is fascinating, as before then, no one had ever seen anyone in Hong Kong so young passionate about local issues and be able to mobilize so many people through social media.

That is power that cannot be laughed at.

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