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Leung Kwok-hung

Leung Kwok-hung

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Leung Kwok-hung also known as Long Hair , is a member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong
Legislative Council of Hong Kong
The Legislative Council is the unicameral legislature of Hong Kong.-History:The Legislative Council of Hong Kong was set up in 1843 as a colonial legislature under British rule...

 (representing the New Territories East constituency), a founding member of the League of Social Democrats
League of Social Democrats
The League of Social Democrats or LSD is a radical pro-democratic political party in Hong Kong. Its declared purpose is to "take a clear-cut stand to defend the interests of the grassroots"...

 and a democratic
Pro-democracy camp
Pro-democracy camp, pan-democracy camp or pan-democrats refer to the politicians and social activists in Hong Kong who support increased democracy and may work together in areas of common interest or by not fielding candidates against one another in elections.Democratic activists are usually...

 political activist.


Leung is a self-proclaimed Trotskyist
Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by Leon Trotsky. Trotsky considered himself an orthodox Marxist and Bolshevik-Leninist, arguing for the establishment of a vanguard party of the working-class...

 and a member of April Fifth Action
April Fifth Action
April Fifth Action or AFAG is a group named after the first Tiananmen incident of 5 April 1976. It is a small socialist group in the Hong Kong...

, a radical socialist group. Leung contested but lost in both the 2000 LegCo elections and 2003 District Council
District Council of Hong Kong
The District Councils, formerly District Boards until 1999, are the local councils for the 18 Districts of Hong Kong. Under the supervision of Home Affairs Bureau of the Hong Kong Government, they are consultative bodies on district administration and affairs.- History :In 1982, under the...

 elections. He considered the latter battle in 2003 a victory from the number of votes he got in a district which traditionally supports pro-Beijing candidates.

Leung ran again in the LegCo Election 2004 and succeeded in winning a seat in LegCo with 60,925 votes, an over 200% increase in votes compared to the 18,235 votes he received in the 2000 LegCo election.

Leung's key campaigns include universal suffrage
Universal suffrage
Universal suffrage consists of the extension of the right to vote to adult citizens as a whole, though it may also mean extending said right to minors and non-citizens...

, and working- and under-classes welfare. His political agenda include introduction of a liveable minimum wage
Minimum wage
A minimum wage is the lowest hourly, daily or monthly remuneration that employers may legally pay to workers. Equivalently, it is the lowest wage at which workers may sell their labour. Although minimum wage laws are in effect in a great many jurisdictions, there are differences of opinion about...

 and a comprehensive social security system, restoration of workers' right to collective bargaining
Collective bargaining
Collective bargaining is a process of negotiations between employers and the representatives of a unit of employees aimed at reaching agreements that regulate working conditions...

, and setting a tax on business speculation.

He has been briefly jailed several times for offenses such as shouting from the LegCo's public viewing gallery and burning the national flag of the People's Republic of China
Flag of the People's Republic of China
The flag of the People's Republic of China is a red field charged in the canton with five golden stars. The design features one large star, with four smaller stars in a semicircle set off towards the fly...


Although he expresses his fondness of Che Guevara
Che Guevara
Ernesto "Che" Guevara , commonly known as el Che or simply Che, was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, intellectual, guerrilla leader, diplomat and military theorist...

 and the ideals of revolutionary Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

, Leung has yet to indicate a 'proletariat
The proletariat is a term used to identify a lower social class, usually the working class; a member of such a class is proletarian...

' revolution
A revolution is a fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time.Aristotle described two types of political revolution:...

 agenda on his election
An election is a formal decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative democracy operates since the 17th century. Elections may fill offices in the legislature, sometimes in the...

 platforms, and many of his ideas and proposals would be readily accepted by most mainstream left (social) liberal and social democratic parties.

Personal image and sartorial preference

Leung has reportedly vowed not to cut his hair until the government of the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 apologizes for the Tiananmen Square Massacre  although he has denied this. His long hair has become one of his visual icons and a political statement
Political statement
The term political statement is used to refer to any act or non-verbal form of communication that is intended to influence a decision to be made for or by a political party....

 - the same name was applied to troops of the Taiping Rebellion
Taiping Rebellion
The Taiping Rebellion was a widespread civil war in southern China from 1850 to 1864, led by heterodox Christian convert Hong Xiuquan, who, having received visions, maintained that he was the younger brother of Jesus Christ, against the ruling Manchu-led Qing Dynasty...

 against Imperial China. His locks have only once been cut, against his will, when he was briefly imprisoned following a political action. He is usually seen wearing a Che Guevara T-shirt.

Career as a legislator

For the swearing-in ceremony of the Hong Kong Legislative Council on 6 October 2004, Leung's fellow members arrived in business attire. Long Hair, in contrast, wore a T-shirt with Tiananmen Square
Tiananmen Square
Tiananmen Square is a large city square in the center of Beijing, China, named after the Tiananmen Gate located to its North, separating it from the Forbidden City. Tiananmen Square is the third largest city square in the world...

 on the front and Che Guevara on the back. When he was called to come forward and take the oath, he raised his left fist, encircled with a black wristband, a memorial to those who died in the 1989 protests.

Leung had planned to alter his oath of office, but a Hong Kong judge said such a step would make it impossible for him to serve. Instead, Leung added his own messages to the standard oath, demanding vindication for those killed in the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, calling for the release of political prisoner
Political prisoner
According to the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, a political prisoner is ‘someone who is in prison because they have opposed or criticized the government of their own country’....

s and an end to one-party rule
Single-party state
A single-party state, one-party system or single-party system is a type of party system government in which a single political party forms the government and no other parties are permitted to run candidates for election...

 on the Mainland
Mainland China
Mainland China, the Chinese mainland or simply the mainland, is a geopolitical term that refers to the area under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China . According to the Taipei-based Mainland Affairs Council, the term excludes the PRC Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and...


Leung shouted at the ceremony: "Long live democracy! Long live the people!" He was then sworn in as a council member. Observers watched closely the reaction from the Mainland government, as Leung's statements touched upon a politically sensitive issue that is often considered taboo in official public settings.

In the aftermath of the Article 23
Hong Kong Basic Law Article 23
Hong Kong Basic Law Article 23 is the basis of a security law proposed by the Government of Hong Kong. It states:On 24 September 2002 the government released its proposals for the anti-subversion law. It is the cause of considerable controversy and division in Hong Kong, which operates as a...

 political storm and debate over freedom of expression
Freedom of speech
Freedom of speech is the freedom to speak freely without censorship. The term freedom of expression is sometimes used synonymously, but includes any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used...

, many were concerned about possible Mainland reaction to the incident. However, the Mainland government did not respond in any dramatic fashion.

Leung's populist and unorthodox confrontational style contrasts with the usually restrained atmosphere of LegCo. Rita Fan
Rita Fan
Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai GBM GBS CBE JP was the President of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong after the transfer of sovereignty from the United Kingdom in 1997. She was the first woman to hold that position....

, the LegCo chairperson, seemed more concerned by Leung's attire for LegCo meetings than any of his political opinions. One legislator commented that "Legco has to get used to Leung, and he has to get used to Legco."

On 29 September 2007, Leung vowed to support Jose Maria Sison
José María Sison
Jose Maria Sison is a writer and activist who reorganized the Communist Party of the Philippines and added elements of Maoism to its philosophy....

, a politician from the Phillipines and founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines
Communist Party of the Philippines
The Communist Party of the Philippines is a leading communist party in the Philippines. It remains an underground political organization since its founding on December 26, 1968 and has been operating in clandestine manner since its founding...

. Leung was in Europe at the Inter-Parliamentary Union assembly in Geneva
Geneva In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf , Ginevra and Genevra is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland...

, Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

. He sits in the Hong Kong legislature as member of the Finance and House Committees, and of the Legislative Panels on Constitutional Affairs, Housing, Manpower, Transport, and on Welfare Services.

On 26 January 2010, Leung and four other pro-democracy legislators handed in their resignation, forcing by-elections in all five geographical constituencies of Hong Kong which they characterized as a "de facto referendum" on democracy. Leung explained that his resignation was, "in keeping with [his] campaign promise... to fight for direct elections." He was reinstated as a legislator after receiving over 100,000 votes in the by-election
A by-election is an election held to fill a political office that has become vacant between regularly scheduled elections....


WTO protest

In 2005, Leung took part in the protests against the WTO Conference in Hong Kong
WTO Ministerial Conference of 2005
The Sixth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization, also known as the WTO Hong Kong Ministerial Conference and abbreviated as MC6, was held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Wan Chai, Hong Kong from 13 to 18 December 2005...

 and was injured during the violent demonstrations. Leung was arrested along with 900 other demonstrators. As with almost all other persons rounded up on that day, Leung was released shortly after and was not prosecuted.

Denied to Sichuan

On 4 July 2008 Leung was scheduled to visit areas in Sichuan
' , known formerly in the West by its postal map spellings of Szechwan or Szechuan is a province in Southwest China with its capital in Chengdu...

 damaged by the Sichuan earthquake
2008 Sichuan earthquake
The 2008 Sichuan earthquake or the Great Sichuan Earthquake was a deadly earthquake that measured at 8.0 Msand 7.9 Mw occurred at 14:28:01 CST...

 as part of a 20-member delegation. Leung's travel permit applications was rejected at the last minute on suspicions he would protest in China during the 3-day trip. Sichuan officials claimed to have seen Internet reports saying Leung planned to do something not relevant to the purpose of the trip. Rita Fan
Rita Fan
Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai GBM GBS CBE JP was the President of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong after the transfer of sovereignty from the United Kingdom in 1997. She was the first woman to hold that position....

 further explained that was the reason he was not approved. Leung responded saying: "It's so ironic. People said the Olympic Games
2008 Summer Olympics
The 2008 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, was a major international multi-sport event that took place in Beijing, China, from August 8 to August 24, 2008. A total of 11,028 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees competed in 28 sports and 302 events...

 will make China more open up. I think it's going backward."

Documentaries about Long Hair

Over the years, there have been several documentaries about "Long Hair". The most recent are:

External links