立場新聞 Stand News

Thankfulness with no request, says the BNO HK couple who met British PM

2021/4/7 — 17:39

Mr and Mrs Wong

Mr and Mrs Wong

In March, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke via video conferencing to four Hong Kong families who recently moved to Britain, one of which was the Wong’s couple.

Instead of demanding the British government for measures that would benefit the immigrants as they were told to do so, the couple said they did not ask for much during the meeting. “We did not want to ask for this and that once we got here,” they said. Instead, they thanked the Prime Minister for the BNO visa policy.

While Mr Wong thought that it might merely be a gesture for the British officials to show their concerns to Hong Kong people, but at least there were “no ugly faces of officials in Hong Kong”.

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About a week after meeting the Prime Minister, the couple, in a “I AM A HONGKONGER” sweater, met Stand News in London and couldn’t wait to talk about what they did after getting to Britain.

Speechless when informed to meet Johnson

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The couple said that at the beginning they were just invited to meet “a senior government official”, never knowing it would be the Prime Minister.

One week before the meeting, the couple got an invitation from the administrator of a neighbourhood Facebook group, asking whether they were interested to meet a “senior government official” and talk about needs and demands of new Hong Kong arrivals. They gave a straight yes. Alongside with about ten families, they met Krish Kandiah, the charity leader who coordinated for the meeting, and the couple talked about their background in the meeting.

Then, the couple and three other families were shortlisted for the meeting. On March 17 they met Kandiah for the second time, and it was not until then that they were told the “senior official” they would meet on March 19 was Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister.

“I was simply speechless!” This was the immediate response of Mrs Wong. They never expected to see the Prime Minister of Britain.

Mr and Mrs Wong

Mr and Mrs Wong

Refrain from being “too demanding”

To prepare for the meeting, the Wong’s couple wrote a speech to explain that their move to Britain, saying that they wanted to embrace a place with rule of law and freedom of speech, so that their children would have a better future.

While the four families have discussed their difficulties like getting their qualifications recognized and getting kids to schools, the Wong’s couple did not mention much about their problems at the meeting. First, they have solved most of the problems in the meantime, say they have secured a new home already. Second, they did not want to give the public a bad impression of Hongkongers. Mr Wong said that before the meeting, some old immigrants advised them to ask Johnson for scholarships so that new immigrants might get back to school, but they did not do so. “In this occasion, we did not want to make such requests,” said Mrs Wong. “It seemed too demanding.”

“We didn’t make any requests, because the BNO visa offer is already perfect. It’s a win-win. He (Johnson) got the people and money, and we got freedom.”

The meeting with the four families lasted for about 30 minutes. The Wong’s couple took the opportunity to thank Johnson. Mr Wong said that Johnson asked him about situation in Hong Kong, to which he responded with two words, “zero freedom”.

British officials show concern not found among HK officials

Mr Wong felt “overwhelmed” to meet Johnson. He much appreciated the concern of the British government to Hongkongers, which hugely contrasted the Hong Kong officials.

“In contrast to the Hong Kong officials, [the British officials] are different. Even not to mention this meeting, they have shown real concern to us,” said Mr Wong. “You may say this is a gesture and there might be their own agenda behind of it, but at least there were no ugly faces of the Hong Kong officials.”

While the couple were still in Hong Kong, they joined the huge demonstrations that marked the beginning of the 2019 Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill Movement. They witnessed the Hong Kong government’s unceasing ignorance to the people’s clamour, and they started thinking about leaving Hong Kong.

“At the beginning all these efforts seemed making a difference, but as time passed, they came to no avail,” sighed Mrs Wong. “The government and the cops are unacceptable.”

Mr Wong and his son

Mr Wong and his son

Insist on teaching kids Cantonese

In early 2020 while COVID broke out in Hong Kong, the couple started to research about emigration, with Canada as their first target destination. The National Security Law was implemented on June 30, followed by Britain’s BNO visa policy as a response. For the freedom and a better future of their kids, they decided to move to Britain. In December, the couple resigned from their jobs, and in January they arrived at Britain with their two kids, 3 and 6, with “Leave Outside the Rules (LOTR)”. The couple stayed at Sutton, London as they heard that there are quite some good schools.

The couple keeps their properties in Hong Kong, so that they can still have somewhere to stay if they need to come back. After securing a BNO visa, they would find a job – driving a cab, customer service, market planning – whatever comes to them.

They had secured schools for their kids. The 6-year old had been admitted Year 1 mid-semester, and the 3-year old would start reception this September. The couple insists on teaching their two kids Chinese language. Every day Mrs Wong give the kids Chinese language homework and read them Chinese stories, with a wish that they will not forget Hongkongers’ mother tongue when living in Britain. “I hope that they can speak Cantonese and write in Chinese.”

 

Source:
【專訪】與英揆會面 BNO 香港夫婦:心存感激 少講要求 不想一到埗 「就要呢樣嗰樣」

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