Thursday, May 7, 2015

What first Filipino UK Parliament candidate Steven Cheung has to say to fellow Bicolanos

NAGA CITY—For Steven Dominique Cheung, the world his oyster.

As the youngest and first Filipino candidate running for the British parliament, the story of his ascent from humble beginnings has inspired many, even much earlier before he has won a coveted seat.

What first Filipino UK Parliament candidate Steven Cheung has to say to fellow Bicolanos
Steven's photo via his official website

The son of a woman who hails from Minalabac, Camarines Sur, one who worked as a cleaner in Hong Kong, and a Chinese father who worked as a cook, he had to endure discrimination when he moved from his birthplace of Hong Kong to London.

From then, he rose to recognition as a youth advisory panelist, Cultural Olympiad Ambassador, Youth Citizen Commission Advisor, G8 / G20 United Kingdom Ambassador, Junior Mayor of Olympic and Paralympic Athletes Village, Olympic Truce Ambassador, TV presenter, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Global Changemaker for the British Council, City and Islington College Governor, and Secretariat for APPG Chinese in Britain Group, among many others.

And all of these he achieved before the age of 25.

In an exclusive interview with BICOL STANDARD, Cheung, who was born in 1989, said that his major goal in running is to help, particularly the underrepresented minorities like the Filipinos.

To work on the campaign, he had to give up his job in the financial industry, in which he has been recognized as a leader in his young age.

"My aim in parliament is not for pera," he stressed.

He narrated that Filipinos who are working as doctors and nurses in the United Kingdom are being treated as second-class citizens, something he firmly wants to change.

"[I want to raise] the status of the Filipino around the world. If I get elected, I would like to help develop the Philippines, build bridges, increase export and improve the trading relationship between the United Kingdom and the Philippines," he told BICOL STANDARD.

"We have so much natural resources, tourist destinations," the young politician pointed out.

He also claimed that he wanted to "fight corruption because it's the biggest cause of poverty in developing countries like the Philippines."

Cheung may have set his sights on winning a seat in a foreign government, but he remains firmly grounded in his Bicolano roots.

As someone who loves coming home to Bicol and the Philippines, he has forged a strong connection to his kababayans, and pledges to do all that he can to help them out.

"Whether I win or lose, I will continue to fight for the people I represent," he vowed.

Steven Cheung and his mother, Ami Oliverio Cheung
Photo courtesy of Ami Cheung
To fellow Bicolanos, he has this message: "No matter what your background is, where you come from, if you have a dream, chase it, spread your wings because one day, you'll reach it."

"Mabuhay! Ako si Steven Dominique Cheung, British Parliament kandidato sa Liberal Democrats. Please support me. Maraming salamat!" he said in a final note.

The United Kingom General Elections is ongoing today, May 7.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM
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