In a David Attenborough documentary on the rainforest seen as a kid, the strangler fig was the most impressionable as how it lives like a horror story, for this species of fig would live parasitically off the host tree, wrapping it with its roots and taking nutrients directly from the host until it dies. Once the host tree is dead, its remains would be slowly absorbed by the strangler fig until there is nothing left, leaving only a “shell” formed by the fig’s roots as the only evidence that something was once encased within. The stranger fig came to my mind as I pondered the political situation in Hong Kong, for the political parasites prevalent within Hong Kong can be represented by this arboreal parasite.
Surprisingly, those which the strangler fig represents are not what you think, which would surely be the pro-china forces rampant in Hong Kong, but not so; rather, it is those who profess to fight for democracy in Hong Kong. Pan-democrats such as the Democratic Party, the democratic leftards, and the various pro-democratic student activists are examples of Hong Kong’s political strangler figs. These people live off the general populace of Hong Kong, sending their political ideologies and assertions like roots of the strangler fig, zapping the Hong Kong people of their wealth, time, energies and conscious thoughts, through telling the Hong Kong pro-democratic population that their strategies is the way to go, that they had not yet succeeded is because they lacked financial and human resources, urging the masses to sacrifice more of their own resources for a cause that never seem to come to fruition. The actual strangler fig, as it feeds off the host, would send their roots to the ground so that when the host does die, the parasite would not die along with it due to lack of nutrients. Hong Kong’s political strangler figs are similar, whereby they often possess permanent residency in other nations of the free world, not really caring whether their “fight” actually produces any positive results, for if their host perishes, they can simply migrate to their “other homes”.
Yet, before any Hong Kong localists or independence advocates snigger at the thought, you fare no better, for here too there are its own species of strangler figs. This variant species would camouflage itself as one with the host, feeding off it without the host knowing any better, until it finds itself severely weakened by the on-going drainage. This parasite would employ political intrigues like the strangler fig’s roots, spreading rumours and deceit amongst the unsuspecting localist population, undermining the community’ unity by converting the host’s members as one of their own, who then continue to spread the intrigue further until the host collapse due to factional in-fighting.
During the 2016 Legislative Council election, Youngspiration and some non-aligned localists and independence advocates preyed on the Hong Kong localist masses, mesmerising them with promises of making the localist faction the third political force in Hong Kong to be reckoned with, promoting their own vision for Hong Kong independence, whilst spreading lies that the Civic-Proletariat-Resurgence Triumvirate is pro-china, that the De-facto Referendum on Constitutional Reform is a farce that would hand Hong Kong’s sovereignty to china for all time. Telling the pro-HK localism voters not to cast their ballot in favour of the Triumvirate lest they fall into their trap, these strangler figs insidiously tell those who would hear to vote for their own candidates instead. After the Triumvirate’s defeat at the elections, these strangler figs continue to prey on the host by intriguing against those who had come to the realisation of their deceit, resulting in schisms and divisions that kept corroding the once strong bonds between Hong Kong localists.
This variety of strangler figs, after disconnecting their political opponents from the localist masses, further corroded the localist host through the “Oath-gate” scandal, causing the Hong Kong localist brand to become bad taste in the mouths of those growing into the whole localist gig, so that no one now wants to define themselves as localists any longer. With the host decapacitated, these strangler figs showed their true colours, as the useless hypocrites that they really are; luckily, these particular strangler figs has withered greatly themselves, but have found another host to latch onto for revival.
The only option we can stop these stranger figs in continuing to kill off the host trees is to take the seeds from the hosts, burn the forest to the ground, plant the seeds and allow them to grow back into a vibrant forest without the stranglers. Unless we have the courage to burn the forest down, we can only helpless watch as the forest withers into nothing.