Hong Kong welcomes first new year baby with girl delivered at stroke of midnight, as proud parents hope daughter inherits family’s musical genes

Brian Wong

Proud Hong Kong parents Alan Wong Ngai-lun and Janet Yung Wai-Ying had expected their baby girl to be born on December 28, but their bundle of joy had other plans.

Skylar, who weighed 3.3kg at birth, became the first baby delivered in the city on New Year’s Day as the clock struck midnight at Baptist Hospital.

Her arrival was followed just five seconds later by a baby boy also born in the same hospital. Two other girls were delivered at Kwong Wah Hospital and Queen Elizabeth Hospital respectively within half an hour after midnight.

Sharing her joy with the press, Yung admitted her first pregnancy came with mixed feelings amid the polarising climate in Hong Kong, gripped by months-long protests and civil unrest.

“Even when I was three months’ pregnant, I did not dare share the news with friends because many things had happened to Hong Kong. My emotions fluctuated as I watched the news,” she said.

“In the new year, I hope everyone can be happy, and fewer unfortunate incidents will take place. May everyone’s wish come true,” she added.

Skylar is born into a musical family – Wong and Yung, aged 45 and 37 respectively, are both musicians who have collaborated with top local singers such as Joey Yung Cho-yee and Eason Chan Yick-shun.

“When I was five months’ pregnant, I helped organise Joey Yung’s concerts … Our baby has attended the show 19 times,” mother Janet Yung said with a laugh.

Yung said her daughter’s Chinese name – Hoi Ling – represented a wish she and her husband had for their child. According to her, Hoi, which means “sea”, and Ling, which represents music, are two things both parents adore most.

“We put all our favourite things together [in her name], and we hope she can freely sing the songs she likes in future,” Yung added.

“Even though we have witnessed many unhappy and unexpected incidents in the city, I am very happy that she was born in Hong Kong.”

Housewife Zhou Wanli and her husband, construction worker Zheng Fengpei with their baby at Baptist Hospital. Photo: Xiaomei Chen

Over at Kwong Wah Hospital in Mong Kok, a baby girl weighing 2.75kg became the third newborn for the new year, her cries announcing her arrival to the world at 12.15am.

Five minutes later, another baby girl who weighed 2.76kg was born at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Yau Ma Tei. Her parents, both government employees, said they hoped the social unrest would be resolved peacefully and that their child could grow up happily.

The UN estimated some 392,000 children worldwide were born on New Year’s Day.

China was earlier projected to rank second with 46,299 newborns on this day, behind India’s record-breaking 67,385, according to Unicef.

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