A new Lingnan University Council member stormed out forum on academic freedom at the campus in Tuen Mun after he said students swore at him and insulted his wife.
Junius Ho Kwan-yiu was recently appointed by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to the Council – hence he was invited to the forum on Tuesday to debate whether Leung should be the chancellor of the university.
Ho did not directly answer students’ questions regarding how academic freedom should be defended and whether the Council ought include more staff and students: “We need to look at reports to see if it’s feasible.” He also said he did not have the time to interfere with the autonomy of the university.
When asked by students why he claimed to be a “social worker” – which only registered professionals may claim to be – he told students to “go home and study for a few more years.”
‘Flirting with each other’
“The attitude you have here is not respectful of the students, you are arrogant,” a student said to Ho before swearing at him.
In response, Ho said he would not talk to students using foul language. He added that students may use swear words when “flirting with each other.”
Student Union president Lau Chun-lam then asked Ho: “Would you swear at your wife when you are flirting with her?”
Ho slammed his microphone on the table, and left the forum, saying: “You can attack me personally, but you cannot attack my wife, do you understand?”
The Student Union issued a statement after the forum that read: “It is unfortunate that Lingnan students have to accept such shoddy person as a Council member, that the ‘red’ power can influence the administration of our school.”
Ho once criticised a concert organised by the university’s student union for including songs with foul language.
In October, dozens of Lingnan University students forced a Council meeting to be suspended in a protest against the appointments of Junius Ho and other new Council members who are considered pro-Beijing figures.
The Student Union launched a referendum this week on three motions:
- whether the Chief Executive should have the power to directly appoint Council members;
- whether the Chief Executive’s automatic appointment as the Chancellor of the university should be scrapped;
- whether the proportion of teachers and students on the Council should be increased.
The referendum will end on Wednesday.
Ho is running as a candidate in Lok Tsui constituency in Tuen Mun against Albert Ho Chun-yan, Cheng Chung-tai, Cheung Wing-wai, Shum Kam-tim and Yuen Wai-chung.
The district council election takes place on November 22.