“Some people told me 'I want to emigrate',” he said. “Is leaving the only option when one is unhappy?”

Pro-democracy Hongkongers have left the city as they felt hopeless about the implementation of the national security law and the electoral changes which impose the screening of election candidates. They choose overseas countries where there are democratic elections and freedom of speech.

Some pro-establishment parents also send their children abroad, fearing they would be influenced by their peers and join law-breaking activities.

In a radio program on Saturday, Yuen said there is hope for those who remain.

"This is the place where we were born, where we grew up, and where we found our dreams and our lives. So why do we have to leave?" he said.

"The most important thing is to stick to the truth, to tell the truth, and not to tolerate any corruption... as long as everyone in Hong Kong does it, and we do what we should do every day, I think there is hope for Hong Kong."

According to data announced by the Census and Statistics Department, a net outflow of 75,300 people was recorded from mid-2020 to mid-2021.

A total of 13,900 one-way Permit holders entered the city while 89,200 residents left Hong Kong during the period.