20 November 2019
Arthur Li (center) says the storming of the HKU council meeting by students was an attempt at "mob rule". Photo: HKEJ
Arthur Li (center) says the storming of the HKU council meeting by students was an attempt at "mob rule". Photo: HKEJ

True aim of Johannes Chan is to be a martyr: Arthur Li

Rather than aiming to be pro vice chancellor of the University of Hong Kong, Johannes Chan Man-mun actually wants to be a “martyr”, HKU council member Arthur Li Kwok-cheung said.

A selection committee at the university recommended Chan, the former dean of HKU’s law faculty, for the senior administrative post, but the council has voted twice to delay his appointment.

Saying he is not acquainted with Chan, Li said in a TVB program recorded Friday and aired on Tuesday night that while he had initially supported Chan’s candidacy and thinks he is qualified for the post, he had changed his mind, because it appears Chan does not really want the job. 

Chan had said in public that he was the only candidate and was set to be inaugurated in March this year, but meanwhile, Li said, Chan called the council “a bunch of stupid idiots”, Ming Pao Daily reported.

When the host of the program pointed out to Li that Chan had never called the council “stupid”, Li said that is basically what Chan had meant.

Li also said that the council has never faced pressure from Beijing to keep Chan from being appointed.

Chan’s appointment was delayed for the second time at the HKU council meeting on Tuesday last week, prompting dozens of students to storm the meeting. Some members of the council claim to have been injured at the time.

Li said he was punched by someone in a spot near his right kidney during the chaos as he was trying to get out of the chamber.

He said he checked his urine that night but found no blood in it.

Calling the storming by the students an attempt at “mob rule”, Li refused to retract earlier remarks in which he compared their behavior to that of students during China’s Cultural Revolution.

Arika Ho, vice president (internal) of the HKU Students’ Union, said Li did not tell the truth, because the students did make way for him to leave.

What happened that night was definitely nothing like what happened during the Cultural Revolution, Ho said.

She said the union will hold a meeting Friday on campus to discuss future action regarding the appointment of the pro vice chancellor.

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