Community & Education Hong Kong Politics & Protest

Arthur Li speaks of legal action against students in another new leaked HKU Council tape

Another recording of speeches made by Council members of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) has been leaked on a popular Taiwanese internet forum. It follows the publication of four other leaked tapes from the controversial meeting and a court injunction granted to HKU to restrict their distribution.

The transcript and recording of an HKU Council meeting was uploaded the PTT forum at around 6pm on Thursday. The speeches were apparently made during an August 25 meeting, the one after the July 28 meeting in which students charged into the meeting room. The students were protesting the Council’s indecision over whether to appoint liberal law scholar Johannes Chan Man-mun as HKU’s pro-vice-chancellor.

In the recording, Council members are heard discussing how to discipline the students involved. Arthur Li Kwok-cheung said: “I can take civil actions against University of Hong Kong. I can take criminal [civil] actions against the students.”

arthur li hku tape

Photo: HKFP.

‘Organised and orchestrated’
Li’s comment came after Steven J. Cannon, HKU executive vice-president, said that the school can “certainly” identify the individuals. He said the potential offences were “disorder in public places, unlawful assembly, assault, false imprisonment, and nuisance.”

Council member Leonie Ki Man-fung questioned why students were allowed on to the tenth floor of the Knowles Building where the July meeting was held, since students had warned they may charge into the meeting room. She said that the students’ action was “organised” and “orchestrated”.

The Council’s then chairman Edward Leong Che-hung said that someone made a complaint against one student to the vice-chancellor Peter Mathieson. He said action may be taken against the student.

Arthur Li Kwok-cheung

Arthur Li Kwok-cheung at the HKU Council meeting in July. Photo: HKU Undergrad via Facebook.

‘I can take civil actions’
Arthur Li then said he did not know the name of the student complainant and suggested that, if the disciplinary action should be passed on to another meeting, then that meeting should report back to the Council.

Li said that, if the matter was not handled properly, “any council member can take civil actions against the students, against this council” because Edward Leong was “not protecting the Council members.”

He also added that it was not fair to “single out one student” and that the identities of other students involved should be investigated.

In response, Edward Leong said that the next thing to do would be to identify them “all over the Facebook.”

‘Welcome to take actions’
HKU Student Union president Billy Fung Jing-en, one of the students that charged into the meeting room, told Apple Daily that the students’ action was not a criminal offense.

billy fung

Billy Fung at the HKU Student Union office. Photo: HKFP.

If Arthur Li did take civil action against students, Fung said that “I welcome him to take the action in a personal capacity, to pursue the students that he thinks he needs to pursue.”

It was rumoured that Arthur Li may be appointed the chairman of the Council after Sunday’s District Council elections. It could be announced through the latest gazette to be published on Friday.

Arthur Li speaks of legal action against students in another new leaked HKU Council tape