Some very emotional words but I think it is more about the passion of the people in HK as compared to Singapore, towards their homeland.
HK used to suffer massive brain drain in mid-1990s basically Hong Kongers felt the anxiety of a communist take over as well as the potential lost of their way of life.
It is only when there is certain assurance or belief that things aren't that bad and Hong Kongers could carry on their way of life, then there is a slow back flow of Hong Kongers that have left earlier.
Throughout the eight years of self-governance, there are struggles put up by Hong Kongers to preserve their pseudo-democratic system. And Hong Kongers found out that they could in fact effect political powers through a fuzzy system of checks and balances via both the Legco and media. This is the sense of ownership that Hong Kongers treasured and will defend against any manipulation by the authorities or Beijing.
National identity could only build up by forging and cultivating such sense of ownership and belonging, not by merely singing patriotic songs on National Day.
Some may frown on such fuzzy notion of "National Identity" but in fact, it is vital and critically important for us to cultivate this lost identity in the sea of globalization. Opportunities aside, what keep globalized citizens stick to their identity to a country is their sense of belonging towards a place they could call home.
Goh Meng Seng
When Tung Chee Hwa wanted to implement a set of anti-subversion
laws in Hong Kong, hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens
when on the streets to protest. Man, woman & child...you could
see alot of passion in the people for freedom. The people have opinions and are fearless acting on it. There are numerous newspapers and the media has the full freedom to publish the truth. But such energy and spirit carries into the workplace and in business to fix what is wrong and unjust, to make things better...
When the Singapore regime passed the Printing & Presses act there was hardly a whimper from the people, when the now notorious Film Act was passed, no body dared to speak up. When the regime opened the floodgates to foreigner causing high unemployment, no one protested. When the regime poured money in Suzhou, nobody screamed for accountability and everything was kept secret. (Note: Well, not everything was "secret" and it was revealed years later after the problems were serious enough to be brought up to the table.)
Something happened to our people under 4 decades of authoritarian rule. Nobody seems to give a damn about anything. Singaporeans seem willing to keep silent in all matters. At the workplace, people just do what they are asked to do and try not to get into trouble. We have been turned into sheep, our eyes are always looking down oblivious to things around us. The regime through its control of the press, use of secret police, unjust laws and repression of the people has created so much fear, the people have been turned into sheep. The energy has been drained from the people. The propaganda press put the wool over the people's eyes.
All this will begin to show as our economy decline, although the regime controls everything, the elitist leadership will quickly put the blame on the people - not skilled enough, not hardworking enough, not resourceful enough...etc etc. It has happened before when our economy got into trouble - instead of help those in trouble the regime called them "fussy workers". The elitist leadership actually thinks the people are not good enough to deserve their "leadership".