19 September 2019
Arthur Li (L) is not an acceptable choice for the top post at HKU Council, says student leader Billy Fung. Photos: HKEJ
Arthur Li (L) is not an acceptable choice for the top post at HKU Council, says student leader Billy Fung. Photos: HKEJ

Fung warns of protests if Arthur Li named new HKU Council chief

The University of Hong Kong (HKU) could see protests erupt on campus if Arthur Li is named the new head of the university’s governing body, a student leader has warned.

HKU Student Union president Billy Fung said Tuesday that students will definitely take action if Li takes the chairman’s post at HKU Council after its current chief Edward Leong steps down Friday.

Fung did not reveal specific plans, but said that “sky is the limit” for potential protest action, Apple Daily reported.

Any moves deemed feasible by students will not be ruled out, said Fung, who is himself a member of the university’s governing body.

The comments came amid rumors that Li is the first choice of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to take over as the HKU Council’s new chief.

Rosanna Wong Yick-ming, another Council member who has also been seen as a possible successor to Leong, is unfit for the post as well, said Fung.

Wong is in the same league as Li when it comes to extreme views, the student leader said.

According to an on-campus referendum held last week, 90 percent of the nearly 4,800 students who cast their votes were opposed to Li becoming the new Council chairman. 

An announcement was expected last Friday regarding Li’s appointment, but there has been a delay in the process, apparently due to the controversy surrounding leaked audio clips from the Council’s Sept. 29 meeting.

During that meeting, Council members voted down the appointment of former law dean Johannes Chan as the university’s new pro-vice chancellor.

In leaked clips last week, Li was heard making uncharitable remarks about Chan, who is viewed with suspicion by the pro-Beijing camp due to his liberal views and support for the democracy movement.

Legislator Ip Kin-yuen, who is convenor of HKU Alumni Concern Group, told Commercial Radio Tuesday that Li is not suitable for the chairman’s post at the university governing body.

However, Rosie Yeung Tse-tse — another Council member — would make for a suitable choice, he said.

Dr. Cheung Sing-wai, chairman of HKU Academic Staff Association, said he can never accept Li as Council chairman, and that he would prefer Yeung or another council member, Bernard Charnwut Chan, for the top post.

Chan is a member of Hong Kong’s Executive Council, an advisory body for the city’s chief executive. 

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