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Voices of Hong Kongers: Why they are voting in the UK General Election

Updated: Jun 21

For the upcoming UK general election, the Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong (CFHK) Foundation invited several Hong Kongers who have settled in the UK to explain why voting in this general election is important to them. Here's what they had to say:


 


"It is important for any Hong Kong migrant like me to vote in any elections in the UK to show that Hongkongers believe in democracy.

 

We should exercise our right to vote to speak out for all people in the UK and make changes to our lives and the areas we live in by electing the right candidate who will help the ward, the constituency, and the country."




 

"In the grand tapestry of democratic societies, the ability to vote stands as one of the most fundamental forms of civic engagement. However, voting rights are not the universal guarantee that they are meant to be. Millions around the world are having their voting rights crushed under the boot of authoritarians.

 

The act of voting has now become a powerful symbol of resistance among the Hong Kong diaspora, where we can reclaim our voice and our fundamental rights. Political freedoms in Hong Kong are severely restricted, but we have the unique opportunity abroad to cast our votes and make the difference that we hoped to make back home.

 

It is our collective responsibility as Hongkongers abroad to have our voices heard and our struggles addressed. This can only be done by participating in the upcoming elections. Just because we cannot have our fundamental rights in Hong Kong, does not mean we should not cherish and exercise our rights abroad. Voting is not just for us, but for those who are still striving to make their voices heard. 

 

Let’s show the world that Hongkongers, no matter where we have been displaced, will always fight for our rights, freedom and future."

 

"Some pro-establishment media in Hong Kong often deliberately exaggerate how difficult life is for Hong Kongers who have moved to the UK, depicting various challenges they encounter. Indeed, we don't need to deny that the UK has its own social problems, and there's no need to idealize everything here.

 

However, there is one thing here that Hong Kong does not have, which is enough to highlight a fundamental difference: the people can choose. The preciousness of democratic elections lies in the fact that we can use our votes to decide the parties and policies we support, bringing about change in society. But I want to remind everyone that democracy is not a given. If we do not exercise our rights, these rights may diminish and fade away, no matter where we are.

 

High voter turnout and active participation of Hong Kongers in the UK general election can show the world how much we crave democracy and freedom. Moreover, for Hong Kongers, this is both an exercise of our rights and a valuable lesson in democracy. The experiences and knowledge we gain from participating in a democratic society can one day be used to achieve true universal suffrage in our homeland."

 

"July 1st demonstration was developed as a tradition for Hongkongers to voice out our demand for democracy since 2003’s one million march. One key demand throughout all the years is “universal suffrage”, as we know our constitution promises Hong Kong  the true democracy and everyone a vote to elect our own leader.

 

Unfortunately, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has broken all the promises and breached the international treaty of Sino-British Joint Declaration.   

 

Hong Kong does not have a fair election system for all nowadays, but the BNO Hong Kong diaspora can vote in the upcoming UK general election in July. It is ironic, but it is the time for the Hongkongers in the UK to take up our responsibilities to vote.  

 

Amongst all the voters in the UK, we are the ones who know the best the CCP’s deceptive tactics, and, therefore, must use our votes to show what foreign policy toward the CCP is the most suitable for the United Kingdom and the liberal world."

 

"Voting is a fundamental right, also as a right guaranteed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

 

As citizens of Hong Kong, the significance of voting is particularly profound. From 2019 to 2021, we experienced unprecedented political changes: from the last democratic vote in 2019 to the 2020 election being called off, and the right to nominate and become a candidate being taken away in 2021 no longer democratic election, resulting in the loss of rights to run for office, vote, and take part in elections.

 

Even though in the UK, we highly value these rights due to our past experiences.  I urge every Hongkonger with the right to vote in the general election to actively participate. I hope the next government will continue to understand and address the needs and opinions of Hongkongers."

 


"It is important for Hongkongers to participate in the upcoming election. The exodus of Hong Kong was motivated by our pursuit of freedom and democracy and playing a part in British democracy is a crucial part to integrating into British society. 

 

I hope that through this election, Hongkongers can seize the opportunity to not only share our concerns with British politicians, but also to learn more about British politics and the concerns of the others who call Britain home."


 

"In today’s Hong Kong, universal suffrage is only an unimaginable dream. Meanwhile, the Hong Kong diaspora in the United Kingdom will have the chance to vote for the future of our new home.


Regardless of your political affiliation and views, participating in this upcoming election is a perfect stage for us to contribute to society and to learn about how to respect different views and make constructive dialogue in order to develop a brighter future for this country.


Personally, I wouldn’t choose a particular party based on their manifesto promises or campaign slogans, but rather I analyse what the parties have done for Hong Kongers before the election to decide where I cast my vote.


Hope we can all make a wise choice on 4th July 2024."

 

"Hongkongers leaving their homeland to settle in the UK, have gone from being a majority population to a minority. We may not notice how easily the voice of a minority can be ignored unless we stand out.

 

Although our pursuit of universal suffrage in Hong Kong has not yet been realised, we now have the right to vote in the UK. Let our voices be heard, make us visible in society, and show our interest and influence in the UK. The only way to raise awareness about our community and future is to cast our votes and capture the government's attention. So, let’s vote on 4 July! "

 

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