HKU students rally for transparency in vice president selection

February 24, 2015 11:34
Student leaders want the University of Hong Kong to defend the school's autonomy and academic freedom. Photo: HKEJ

Students of the University of Hong Kong plan a silent sit-in on the campus to protest alleged interference by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying in the appointment of university officials.

The Hong Kong University Students Union (HKUSU) wants Edward Leong Che-hung, chairman of the HKU Executive Council, to divulge whether the government has exerted pressure on the matter. The council is set to meet on Tuesday to discuss the appointment of two vice presidents for the university.

HKUSU chairman Fung King-yan said Leong should let the public know of the appointment mechanism and defend the university's autonomy and academic freedom.

Wen Wei Po has published a series of articles against former law dean Johannes Chan, a leading candidate for the position.

On Monday, the pro-Beijing newspaper reported that Tuen Mun District Councilor Chan Wan-sang has filed a complaint against Johannes Chan and Occupy Central Movement founder Benny Tai for making donations of over HK$1 million to several HKU faculty members last year without revealing the identity of the real donors.

Chan Wan-sang told the newspaper that he has been invited by Independent Commission Against Corruption to submit more information and a sworn statement regarding his allegations.

The complainant could not be contacted by Apple Daily reporters on Monday while ICAC refused to comment on the case.

Former ICAC chief investigator Stephen Char Shik-ngor said he does not see the anti-graft agency pursuing the case.

He said if the sources of donations were not revealed, the university could have refused the donations. He also does not see any instance of corruption or improper behavior on the part of the the university officials.

Char, however, reminded Chan Wan-sang that it could be an offence under Article 30 of the ICAC Ordinance to reveal details of the ICAC investigations.

-- Contact us at [email protected]