Mr Clive Chan, Headmaster

Mr Chan has extensive experience in teaching English to people of all ages and abilities. He returned to Hong Kong after spending years studying and working in Australia. He has taught English in different secondary schools and Business English at a university in Hong Kong.

"In a world where success is the measure and justification of all things the figure of Him who was sentenced and crucified remains a stranger and is at best the object of pity. The world will allow itself to be subdued only by success. It is not ideas or opinions which decide, but deeds. Success alone justifies wrongs done. With a frankness and off-handedness which no other earthly power could permit itself, history appeals in its own cause to the dictum that the end justifies the means. The figure of the Crucified invalidates all thought which takes success for its standard." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer 

Dear parents,

To our dismay, our amiable autumn is being marred by the societal trauma we have all been experiencing since June.  Instead of family dinners, parties, hikes and other outdoor activities, our weekends have been filled with both peaceful rallies and violent protests in which we have witnessed indiscriminate brutality of the police who are supposed to protect rather than harass civilians. Blood is being shed almost every day, followed by massive arrests and beatings of the protesters. Worse, some of those arrested have since been missing, and the corpses floating in the sea have simply fueled the anger of the more aggressive protesters who vow to take vengeance and resort to more violence. 

Bloodshed aside, the immensity of the current trauma is beyond our grips.  Relationships have been severed, families shattered, friendships ruined, and businesses shaken while public trust in the authorities has been crushed.  No one seemed to have emerged as the winner, and worse, we don’t seem to see any imminent resolution of the present deadlock while violence continues to escalate.

I am no social commentator, and honestly I don’t have any clue as to how the situation will be resolved.  As a fellow victim of the present community trauma, I only have a couple of assertions to make.

First and foremost, cruelty simply breeds cruelty, and the end can never justify the means.  The haphazard violence of the police since July has enraged many of the initially peaceful demonstrators and further infuriated the aggressive ones who now resort to violent means like throwing petrol bombs and bricks at the police, vandalizing public facilities and wrecking the property of those who hold opposite political views.  However noble their cause is, I can never condone their violent acts which have only brought further harm to themselves and their supporters.  Given the vast imbalance of power, the violence of the much weaker party has only helped justify the tightened control of the Government by banning many peaceful rallies and marches and implementing ‘emergency’ measures like the anti-mask law which has indeed scared away a lot of the nonviolent supporters of the movement.  For the movement to continue or even have any slim chance of success, the protesters can only win with the largest possible number of supporters, and recent historical events have clearly shown that most authoritarian powers have been overthrown by peaceful rather than violent means.

Second, we all have to nurture a truly democratic heart.  Differences are unavoidable, and if we are campaigning for democracy and liberty, we must be tolerant of the opposite views and seek to engage in a real dialogue with people who have a different opinion rather than seek to subdue them by clamping down their voice and worse, attacking them verbally or physically.

It is probably one of the toughest times for many of us, but let us not forget the ‘successes’ we have attained.  Four months ago, no one would have imagined that the Extradition Bill would be withdrawn.  The first-rate civic consciousness displayed by the two million peaceful protesters on the streets has also won the applause and attention of the international community. 

Let us bravely band together and not lose our hope.  In face of authoritarian rule, we must maintain a nonviolent yet unyielding stance to protect the freedoms we have enjoyed.

Yours sincerely,

Clive Chan