Yan Chan, girl of Kowloon Walled City
Hong Kong is where I was born, I studied, got married and became expectant. I have been living here with full engagement and real passion. In fact, I never thought of leaving Hong Kong, even when people here had experienced their hardest time. Being a graduate from university majoring in Journalism, I followed my dream to work as a journalist for many years until I received a job offer from Dr Ko Wing-man, as his political assistant, which I then accepted. Dr Ko was the then Secretary for Food and Health.
In the government, I immersed myself into policy issues relating to healthcare and public health. After leaving the government, I worked as the CEO of a non-profit organization serving underprivileged groups in the community. As my belief, Yan is doing things that are worth doing, whereby I always devote all my energy and my utmost determination to get them accomplished.
The reason that I am running in the 2018 Kowloon West by-election is because I am tired of the existing political plight; I am so overwhelmed by the tornado-like atmosphere that I can barely breathe. It is in fact not worth spending time to deal with such meaningless rows and disputes. Raptures can only be mended when we are working hand in hand, doing our best to work on improving the livelihood of Hong Kong people.
Raised in the Kowloon Walled City, I coped with living in cramped conditions. We struggled with space when living in a tiny apartment occupying less than 300 square feet. We were poor, and hence we couldn’t afford buying a single piece of deluxe furniture. Without elevators, my two siblings and I walked ten floors up every day as the best form of aerobic exercise for fat burning. The craziest memory that I had in Walled City was that buckets were everywhere at home.
Perhaps you don’t know, but buckets were very useful in the old days when the water supply in the Walled City lasted for just two hours a day. As a chore, my siblings and I each had to carry home two buckets of water obtained from a public fire hydrant by climbing up 12 floors. These buckets of water were for cooking and drinking, as my mum said water from private wells was non-potable.
I was raised in a sailor’s family. My dad always stayed on a ship for petroleum or goods delivery all over the world. We seldom met, and my mum always asked us to mail to my dad many letters and audio clips to ease her lonely feeling. With this background, I have learnt to be independent, sensible and understanding; I also frequently helped mum with the household chores. Meanwhile, I studied hard in order to earn money in the future for possible shouldering of the heavy family burden.
Working in media for being upright
As a super fan, I sat in front of the radio, staying tuned to all kinds of radio drama in my childhood. Some of my favorite ones were also recorded and mailed to my dad on his sailing trips, far, far away from us. From then on, I reconfirmed my desire to study subjects relating to broadcasting or communications. Finally, I was admitted to the School of Communications majoring in journalism. Since my internship began in my second year, I have worked as a journalist/reporter for almost 15 years. During that time, I worked very hard to report the truth when engaging myself locally in SARS-affected areas, and globally in war-torn countries like Kuwait. With these experience, I have developed the courage to listen to unpleasant truths of various kinds, while allowing me to understand Hong Kong people have to treasure the existing prosperity and stability that has not come easily.
Joining the Government for social betterment
In 2012, I started a new chapter of my life when accepting a job offer from Dr Ko Wing-man as his political assistant. At that time, Dr Ko had been appointed as the Secretary for Food and Health. My role changed too. Before joining the government, I had worked as a journalist who served a watchdog function of monitoring the government. Then I became an official accountable to the public, and I strived to make a real public voice heard in the government. I was more than happy to contribute.
I felt extremely devastated in 2016 when the “Medical Registration (Amendment) Bill” was rejected by the LegCo. As we all know, the efficiency for the Medical Council in handling complaints would have been sharply enhanced if the bill was passed. I just can’t understand why a bill standing for underdog’s rights had finally been demonized into something threatening the medical professionals. I just couldn’t bear being awake thinking about it; I was absolutely heartbroken.