LOCALISM, far from being destructive protectionism, may be a driving force that makes Hong Kong a better place to live, according to Financial Secretary (財政司司長) John Tsang Chun-wah (曾俊華).
Localism has become a sensitive word, with Tsang’s boss Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying repeatedly criticising localism and localists who have been blamed for falling tourist numbers and dividing society.
But on his blog, Tsang took the opposite view while speaking about his pride in being a La Salle College (喇沙書院) alumnus and how he could identify with “the recently trending so-called localism culture”.
Tsang, a well-known lover of fencing, talked about his pride in coaching La Salle students in the sport for 30 years.
Like himself, Tsang said many La Salle fencers from the 1980s are still working at weekends as coaches for free “due to a sense of brotherhood”.
He recalled his feelings after attending an Old Boys’ Association (舊生會) event more than two weeks ago.
“Whenever I am in an alumni circle, the fever, heat, passion and sense of belonging I have from chanting cheers and singing the school anthem make me think of how this feeling shares common characteristics with the localism culture in the city: both give a sense of belonging and pride to an identity, tradition and culture.”
He added that the feeling may often be found in circles as small as a school and extended to one as big as a race.
Tsang is optimistic that a similar feeling among Hongkongers may unite them into a positive constructive force to make the SAR a better place just as how the La Salle pride has made alumni offer selfless devotion to the school.
“Localism is more than a negative notion, or destructive protectionism,” he said. (The Standard, Kinling Lo, 28 December 2015)
(This article is published on Sing Tao Daily on 4 Jan 2016)
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