Former student leader Billy Fung has admitted that he felt “lost” ahead of his sentencing while thanking his supporters in a Facebook post on Thursday morning.
The former University of Hong Kong student union president was acquitted of criminally intimidating governing council chair Arthur Li during a council meeting protest last January, but was convicted of the alternative charge of acting in a disorderly manner. He pleaded guilty earlier to attempting to force his way into the school building where the meeting was held, and damaging the front door of the building. Magistrate Ko Wai-hung had said that a jail term was likely.
Fung posted on Facebook detailing his thoughts and thanking those who supported him along the way. He had hopes of becoming a teacher, and was accepted by a university in Taiwan for further studies.
Fung said he met with a teacher who wrote his recommendation letter, and the teacher was sympathetic towards his plight. As Fung began talking about previous student movements, he was told by the teacher that “the premise of society’s happiness is individual happiness.”
Fung said he felt lost in the face of the court case. He thanked and apologised to his family, friends and romantic partner, saying: “Without their tolerance and forgiveness, there would not be the unstoppable Billy Fung.” He also said that they were the ones to suffer, and that it should be the responsibility of every citizen, rather than just that of students, to make the world better.
“I’ve spent a period of time showing concern towards the school that I love, and now that I’ve graduated, it should be time to begin a new journey. It’s time to settle remaining matters, leave this place, and [cultivate my moral character]; from now on, I want to make opinion, not make noise.”
Citing a popular University of Hong Kong cheer, Fung asked everyone to pray for him.
The events that led to the sentence followed the controversial appointment of Arthur Li Kwok-cheung as Council chairman in December 2015. Students started a week-long class boycott in protest, then surrounded the venue of the first meeting chaired by Li in January 2016 at the Sassoon Road campus in Pok Fu Lam, demanding the Council respond to their four demands to reform its structure.