“No matter where I am, Hong Kong will always be my only home,” said former district councilor Timothy Lee, who announced on Monday he has moved abroad.
“Leaving the home where I was born and raised was the most painful decision,” Lee wrote on his Facebook page.
“I am aware that I have failed the citizens’ expectations, and I feel the most apologetic,” said the 27-year-old, adding that he feels guilty seeing most of his friends who have fought alongside him now deep in danger or stripped of freedom.
Lee was among the pro-democracy candidates who scored a landslide victory in the 2019 district council election. But he was disqualified in March this year after the court upheld his opponent’s appeal against the poll results and ruled that he was not duly elected.
Lee, who was elected to the standing committee of the convocation of Chinese University of Hong Kong with 7,715 votes, also quit his post.
In his Facebook post, he noted that he has engaged in community work for three years, cultivating democratic and localist values. He felt honored to be one of “Hong Kong’s last popularly elected representatives.”
Lee helped establish the now-disbanded Hong Kong Citizens’ Deliberative Platform in hopes of creating a cross-district platform where people can discuss livelihood issues, yet the project was halted after it was deemed illegal by the authorities.
“We now face an onslaught from the regime,” he wrote, citing the politically motivated prosecutions of protesters and the pro-democracy camp. “Even participating in an election has become a crime for endangering national security.”
Though he has not decided where he will reside, Lee said he will continue to pass on and safeguard Hong Kong’s democratic beliefs. “As long as Hong Kong people are alive, the city will not die,” he wrote, adding that he sees a ray of light through the cracks and awaits the day when those scattered can reunite.
In another press release on Monday, Lee explained he had not planned the move when he ran for a seat in the university’s alumni group. As the election was delayed for nine months, he had no alternative but to quit less than a week after he was elected, he told DB Channel in an interview. He had feared that pro-Beijing candidates could win if he did not run.
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