Date
16 December 2017
Prof. Henry Wong (left), who heads CUHK's New Asia College, accused former student union leader Ernie Chow (inset) of using offensive language against some mainland students. Photo: HKEJ/Internet
Prof. Henry Wong (left), who heads CUHK's New Asia College, accused former student union leader Ernie Chow (inset) of using offensive language against some mainland students. Photo: HKEJ/Internet

CUHK official, student union clash over insult to mainlanders

Prof. Henry Wong Nai-ching, who heads New Asia College of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, rebuked a former head of the school’s student union for using offensive language against some mainlanders.

In an open letter to the students, staff and alumni of the college, Wong said he is deeply sorry to see Ernie Chow Shue-fung argue with one of the mainland students using “Chee-na”, a derogatory term for Chinese people, and show no remorse afterwards, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.

He said such a rough and mean act should be severely condemned.

What is even more intolerable was that Chow quoted the ideals of the college’s two founders – Ch’ien Mu and Tang Junyi – to defend his wrongdoing, something that would surely deeply sadden the two scholars had they still been alive, Wong said in the letter issued on Saturday.

Last Monday, the start of the academic year, banners and posters calling for Hong Kong independence were seen around the campus. They were later removed by university staff.

On Thursday, Chow was caught on video entering into a serious quarrel with some mainland Chinese students after seeing them sticking anti-student union posters and tearing those calling for independence.

In the video footage, which soon went viral, Chow shouts at one of the mainland students: “Go back to China, you Chinese, Chee-na person”. The mainlanders shouted back: “Get out of China.”

Wong said Chow’s use of the term “Chee-na” was unacceptable, adding that he should not forget that he is also a Chinese and it is wrong for anyone to deny his or her culture.

New Asia College and the Senate Committee on Student Discipline have launched an investigation into the incident. Wong said the probe will be fair, and urged Chow to reflect deeply on his faults.

In response, the student union accused Wong of violating the university’s rules on disciplinary probes, saying that he had declared Chow guilty even before a trial was held.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the union said it condemned Wong for pointing his finger at Chow and doing what is tantamount to torturing Chow with fire, Apple Daily reported.

Chan Wai-ching, New Asia College student union’s acting chairperson, said Chow’s personal safety has been under threat since Wong’s revelation, adding that the professor failed to protect students as he was supposed to.

Chow told Apple Daily that he is very disappointed at both the college and the university, saying he was the one who suffered open humiliation.

He said he felt like he was going through China’s Cultural Revolution, which took place four to five decades ago.

Chan said he and Chow have not yet received any notice from either the college or the university regarding actions to be taken against Chow.

Meanwhile, CUHK said an investigation into the incident has been launched, and said it will be done under a fair and established mechanism.

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TL/JC/CG

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