A day in jail or 100 hours of community service is appropriate for a group of students who stormed a meeting of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) council last week, according to a senior academic.
Professor Lawrence Lau, a former vice chancellor of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, recommended harsh punishment for the students “for resorting to violence” in an op-ed article in Ming Pao Daily.
Lau is the husband of HKU council member Ayesha Macpherson, who he said was chased and scolded by “punks” as she left the July 28 meeting.
He expressed “grief and despair” over the future of young people and that of Hong Kong as a whole.
It’s pointless for young people to go to university if they are incapable of upholding ideals.
Lau questioned the motives of “adults” who use them for their own interests, adding taxpayer’s money should not be spent on “those self-centered, overly spoiled little punks” who have no respect for other people’s rights.
He said the incident showed Hong Kong people are not ready for democracy founded on rule of law.
Selective compliance of the law will lead to mob rule, he said.
If the HKU council cave, Lau said the “punks” will come back and ask for more.
HKU council member Dr. Lo Chung-mau said the culture of the Umbrella Movement is spreading and it is only a matter of time before people start storming hospitals and attacking doctors.
Lawmaker Alan Leong said Lau should have investigated before making the comments.
He said the incident was not triggered by the students but by changes to the conduct of HKU council meetings.
HKU student union president Billy Fung said those who confronted Macpherson were not students.
And Edward Lau, convenor of Ignite Your Belief who was present at the Macpherson incident, said policemen were providing her security.
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