Wayne Lai Comments on the State of Democracy in Hong Kong

By on November 7, 2013 in Hot Gossip!, NEWS

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Wayne Lai (黎耀祥) has a history that many Hong Kongers will be able to identify with. Like many Hong Kong baby boomers of his generation, Wayne’s parents were not rich, and struggled to make a living in Hong Kong as first generation immigrants from mainland China. But unlike many of his fellow baby boomers, Wayne takes pride in his humbles roots, and despite Hong Kong’s turmoil political environment, he has no plans to emigrate. He never even thought about it.

Wayne said, “Hong Kong is my story and my past. Think about it. What else does a human have besides his own past?” Wayne believes that people are often surrounded by the best in life, but few learn to recognize and appreciate it.

Thoughts On Democracy

When the Hong Kong government rejected HKTV’s free-to-air television license, the public began to question Hong Kong’s autonomy. Wayne admits that Hong Kong is not like how it used to be before.

“Democracy means that we have to respect everyone’s decisions. There are many things going around in society right now that makes people dislike the government, but if you think more about it, are we actually doing worse compared to when we were still ruled by the British? We didn’t have anything then. We couldn’t even assemble rallies. The British only created a façade of freedom for us, but not a lot of people seem to understand that.”

Win Life, Not Wealth

As Hong Kong’s three-time television Best Actor, Wayne said he dedicated his entire life into his craft, but the Rosy Business <巾幗梟雄> star did not debut as a TVB actor, but as a TVB clerk. In 1983, Wayne was recruited to work as a clerk in TVB’s business department. With a love for acting and performing, Wayne took brief acting classes by the Little Sun Culture Center in 1985. There, he was spotted by producer Lee Tim Sing (李添勝), who recommended him to audition for TVB’s 1st acting class of 1985. Kathy Chow (周海媚) was Wayne’s classmate.

In a blink of an eye, the 49-year-old Wayne realized that he had spent over twenty year of his life acting. These were years that cannot be retrieved, and Wayne has come to realize that he has never really “lived.” Seeing his colleagues pass away also made Wayne realize how fragile life can be.

Wayne has not had a decent long vacation in ten years. Through a recent family trip to Tokyo, Wayne realized that enjoying family life is just as important as enjoying his job. “I really don’t want to have memories of only the film studio on the day that I die.”

Acting is no longer a stressful challenge for Wayne, but what about his role as a father in real life? “The set of values we had back in the day cannot be applied today anymore. We are in a new materialistic era and we cannot deny it. I cannot tell my son that having none of that means he’s morally right. Back in the day, only 3 out of 40 people could wear Adidas shoes. Now, it’s 3 out of 40 people who don’t have them. I focus on teaching my son how to choose and think.”

Wayne added that he does not plan on saving any inheritance for his son. “We spend a majority of our money in our lifetime anyway. If he is a capable man, then he wouldn’t need my help at all. My role as a father is not to provide him money, but to cultivate him into someone who is capable to survive. That is my inheritance to him!”

Source: ihktv.com

This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.

41 comments to Wayne Lai Comments on the State of Democracy in Hong Kong

  1. Funn Lim says:

    Wayne, I agree especially the last part!

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  2. AC says:

    I love reading Wayne’s perspective on things.

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  3. sheldon says:

    Same here. He has so many wonderful insights

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    • bad boy replied:

      “The British only created a façade of freedom for us, but not a lot of people seem to understand that.””

      No, the British actually did not give HK freedom and democracy. They just let it be, die or live, its was left to the HK people.

      That is why they called it laissez faire economics. It means ‘hands-off’, the British couldn’t care less.

      It is not like the Brits purposely strategise the free wheeling laissez faire market for HK (they did none of that), it is actually Chinese business acumen and practises that is conducive and thrives in a free market environment.

      It is HK people entrepreneurship, hard work, intellect and resilience that that saw HK to prosperity.

      Britain cannot lay claim to any of it, apart from setting up the ICAC and the last governor, Chris Patten, making a big loud commotion about democracy when they are losing the island to HK in the 90s. Hahaha.

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      • longhair replied:

        The rule of law, freedom of speech, freedom to travel and economic freedom is just as important to democracy as voting for your own leaders. What has China done for Hong Kong?

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      • Terminator replied:

        Free enterprise capitalism is not democracy. Ironically, China is striving to achieve the former without having to convert politically into the latter.

        On the other hand, Switzerland, one of the few true democracies in the planet, maintains a highly controlled economy.

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  4. llwy12 says:

    There’s a discrepancy in the article. Wayne ISN’T “Hong Kong’s first three-time television Best Actor” — Gallen Lo is. Small detail, but still important nonetheless.

    Anyway…yes, definitely agree that Wayne has some great insights on life…enjoy reading his interviews!

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    • jayne replied:

      llwy12,
      I’ll make the correction; thanks for pointing it out.

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  5. skinnymocha says:

    Aw, that last line.

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  6. Ronpage says:

    Love him as an excellent actor as well as a thoughtful person.

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  7. jenny says:

    Wayne have my respect from today onwards. What he says is so true.

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  8. Carat says:

    “… … There are many things going around in society right now that makes people dislike the government, but if you think more about it, are we actually doing worse compared to when we were still ruled by the British? … … ”

    To answer Wayne’s question with another question : Why did many of our ancestors risked their lives to smuggle from mainland China to HK in the 70s and 80s? Why do the HKers rather suffer as second class immigrants in foreign countries than be a citizen in their own land?

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    • kolo replied:

      haha,good counter attack.the immigrants from 70’s till 80’s who risk their lives are searching for freedom and a better life what they dont have in china.

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      • longhair replied:

        Exactly, it’s the same even now. Why do so many mothers go to hk to give birth? Because hk respects freedoms

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      • Magneto Mystique replied:

        @Kolo: If you’re comparing the 70s and 80s, then obviously a lot of countries were not booming then. But that doesn’t mean the British were responsible for HK’s success. Japan, Taiwan all thrived at around the same time. It’s a timing and opportunity thing. If British was responsible for HK’s prosperity, HK would have been prosperous since the beginning of British rule and not during the 70-80s.

        Think about that.

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      • kolo replied:

        @MM,the british was indeed important for the economic succes of hk,they used hk as the only trade port to the greater china that was a closed country till the late 70’s,the british had provided a free market system in hk where companies from around the world could settled down and trade with china,if the british didnt took hk as a colony then hk was still a fishersmen’s village that is ruled under the communistic china. hk then wouldnt became a modern city that it is today.

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    • Magneto Mystique replied:

      @Carat: If your logic is based on people leaving China to HK, then why are so many people going back to HK these days? For example, a majority of HKers that immigrated to Canada during the 90s are now returning back and settling permanently in HK post 97. Does this mean that HK after 97 is better and better?

      Conclusion: You can’t really base the number of people leaving as the only indicator of whether a country sucks or not.

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      • Primrose replied:

        @ Magneto Mystique
        I can’t speak for all HK people. But I, and many of my relatives and close friends, who settled in HK post 97 already hold foreign citizenships. And we will want to have our children hold foreign citizenship as well. And many of us born in the 80s are globe trotting people who will move to wherever our next job or posting brings us.
        For people like my late grandparents who lost everything when the communist ruled China, fled to HK, and immigrated in the 80s to Canada to start their business from scratch again – well, they left not because HK sucked but they had no confidence in the China government.

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      • Carat replied:

        The above is posted by me, Carat, in reply to MM.. Didn’t know my sister Primrose who is visiting from Canada, has logged in with her account and didn’t changed it.

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  9. penny says:

    Totally disagree. You can’t even prove that, why don’t you say all companies in hk is corrupted

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  10. Rae says:

    I’ve just read the Chinese version. I don’t understand the term “戏梦人生” in the title.

    Btw, another great interview of Wayne!

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  11. HeTieShou says:

    I love his perspective views on life too. I really agree with the very last part. It is really important yo teach your kids to be self sufficient and independent instead of thinking that you just sit back and inherit your parents’ wealth.

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  12. bad boy says:

    “The British only created a façade of freedom for us, but not a lot of people seem to understand that.””

    No, the British actually did not give HK freedom and democracy. They just let it be, die or love, up to the HK people.

    That is why they called it laissez faire economics. It means ‘hands-off’, the British couldn’t care less.

    It is HK people entrepreneurship, hard work, intellect and resilience that that saw HK to prosperity.

    Britain cannot lay claim to any of it, apart from setting up the ICAC and the last governor, Chris Patten, making a big loud commotion about democracy when they are losing the island to HK in the 90s. Hahaha.

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    • penny replied:

      Don’t you think hk government governing Hong Kong made the place worse than when it was ruled by the British. Citizens are complaining much more when ruled by hk government now

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      • Funn Lim replied:

        Probably because HK people have more expectations now and they’re given more freedom to air their grievances.

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    • Mt replied:

      “No, the British actually did not give HK freedom and democracy. They just let it be, die or love, up to the HK people.”

      What do you think freedom and democracy mean? Yes, it means leaving it up to the HK people to decide for themselves and not ruling with an iron fist or a little red book. If not for the so-called facade that the British created, you think HK people’s entrepreneurship, hard work, intellect and resilience will amount to anything? China would’ve crushed it. So YES, Britain has all the right to lay some claim to HK’s prosperity. And now, China can be held responsible for HK’s downfall.

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      • Magneto Mystique replied:

        @Mt: What freedom has the British given HK? Name a few so that we can learn. As far as I know, you can’t even gather for protesting during British rules – look at HK now. You can gather multitudes of people to vent and express their frustration. Is that not a sign of freedom?

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      • Terminator replied:

        Furthermore, did the Brits set up a representative form of city government that HK’ers could elect whom to represent them in making collective decisions that is the key mark of a democracy? We all know the answer.

        Prior to the handover, HK’ers had never experienced a democratic election.

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    • Bad boy replied:

      LOL, you see 2 diehard pro-west commenters here.

      So, Britain wants to lay claim on HK success, eh? and you two thinks they deserved it. Think how they plunder their colonies… first, yellow bananas.

      “not ruling with an iron fist or a little red book”
      Did China now rule with their little red book? No!
      Did mainland Chinese now not thrive in business with the business liberalisation they now have, just like in HK?
      So, it is the Chinese population that contributed to their own well being, not the British.

      British can just go home. They did the same ‘hands off formula’ for other islands nations in the Pacific, Indian ocean, etc, too. You don’t see them prosper, do you???

      So NO, NO and NO, Britain has NO right to lay ANY claim to HK’s prosperity.

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      • HeTieShou replied:

        If what you said is true, then why does life seem so much harder after HK returned to China?

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      • HeTieShou replied:

        Life in mainland is still very hard, so you cannot say that British rule did not contribute to the well being of HK. There are many rich people from mainland, but they want to go and live elsewhere since money cannot buy everything, such as human rights and freedom which are things the people in the mainland still struggle for. Don’t you notice how different life in HK is after they were handed back to China?

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      • Magneto Mystique replied:

        @HeTieShou: I don’t see how life seems harder for HK after returning to China. If anything, they have more freedom and can air grievances and gather for protests as opposed to British rule where these are unthinkable. If you’re referring to economy, then the whole world is not doing that well in general (e.g. US, Europe, etc.). I don’t see how “life is harder” for HK people since it seems to be a global issue and not a localized one.

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    • Bad boy replied:

      Another example, Singapore.

      The island state now has a GDP per capita of over US$52,000, with world class infrastructure, finance, bio technology, education ranking etc, which is actually far superior to the creaking infra of the US and Britain itself.

      Back during British rule, they are just a little poor ‘discarded’ outpost in the Far East.

      So, it is again the local population who work at their own destiny, not the damn Brits.

      The only ‘legacy’ the Brits gave is their parlimentary political patronage and the education system.

      But even on that, it did not take them much effort, it just makes the Brits look more superior over the natives, the intention of the day. You HEAR?, MT!!!!!!

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      • HeTieShou replied:

        Perhaps that is how it is in Singapore, but we are talking about HK here which is a different case.

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      • longhair replied:

        How can Hong Kong be in control of their own destiny when they say the next chief executive has to love china and love Hong Kong when what they mean is love the communist party love Hong Kong

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  13. longhair says:

    Like I said in my previous post, rule of law, freedom of speech, freedom to travel and economic freedom is also a very important element to democracy – all of which we’re given to by the Brits. What have China given to Hong Kong????

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    • Terminator replied:

      But they left out the most important element that is the hallmark of all democracy: the freedom and right to vote. Prior to the handover, all power rested on the governor who took his marching orders from 12 Downing Street.

      However flawed the current city government is, at least there was an attempted to a representative government and people have the right to protest, which was illegal under Brit rule.

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      • Longhair replied:

        The sad truth is, democracy has to be fought not given. The colonial government didn’t need to give hongkongers democracy because they didn’t fight for it as they were safe in the knowledge that they did not have to be afraid of getting arrested in the middle of night. Everyone in Hong Kong was free because the UK as a sovereign country believes in the rule of law and human rights – something that is a completely alien concept to China.

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      • Bad boy replied:

        @long hair,

        Your arguments stinks of ultra bias. What you mean democracy has to be fought? So, they are now ‘fighting’ China for more democracy, which is good, but under your damn brits, they don’t even have the chance fight!

        The governor is appointed by that old hagged queen, for goodness sake.

        What stupid logic are you propagating? The silliest remark I ever heard!

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  14. Longhair says:

    Listen I’m not saying Britain was the best rulers ever but they certainly contributed to hong kongs success, along with the tycoons who fled the mainland when the communists took over. And China also deserves credit as they have largely left Hong Kong to run on its own. But two wrongs do not make a right. Just because Britain did not give Hk democracy, why can’t China??? I thought China are the motherland. For god sake, this is the 21 century. Hong Kong have been ready to elect their leaders for years and the governance problems that they face now is cos their CE does not have the support from the public because he is only chosen by a small circle electorate and legco cost all civil servants have to be non partisan.

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  15. Longhair says:

    China needs to realise that Democracy will bring stability to Hong Kong, which in turn will benefit Hong Kong as well as China.

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