The proposed cabinet of the University of Hong Kong Student Union has sparked controversy owing to their pro-Beijing political stance.
The three-person team, called “Prism,” told a public consultation with students on Monday that they had no political affiliation. Prism is the only cabinet running for office at the union. Another candidate is running for a separate general secretary position.
The trio were interviewed by the university’s campus television show. Andrew Cheng Chun-hei, the proposed president, said in the interview published on Saturday that he believed in Hong Kong’s rule of law.
“About the disqualification of some lawmakers, we are willing to believe that the whole judicial process was fair, and that there is enough evidence to support the judgment,” Cheng said.
Cheng said that he believed debate on Hong Kong independence was permissible, but that independence itself was not the best option for Hong Kong at the moment. Other issues, such as student suicide, high property prices and the lack of technological innovation should be addressed first.
Asked whether they agreed with the government’s decision to ban the pro-independence Hong Kong National Party, Cheng said it was a decision made under Hong Kong’s comprehensive judicial system” “We do not have many questions or opposition,” Cheng said.
Commenting on Beijing’s power to interpret the Basic Law, Cheng said the law could be modified and improved upon.
“It is the same for how National People’s Congress interprets the law. I believe the main point is that we hope that after laws are changed, they could receive support from more and more Hong Kong people, then we will believe that it is a good, new interpretation of the law,” Cheng said.
【專題訪問】2019年度香港大學學生會周年大選中央幹事會候選内閣蒼傲訪問（內務篇）中央幹事會候選內閣蒼傲就內務議題接受本台訪問，就內閣理念、參選原因、及政綱如增設中央幹事會席位專注管理國際生事務等發表意見訪問節錄如下：1. 你們可否簡單自我介紹？鄭鎮熙（下稱鄭）：大家好我是鄭鎮熙（候選會長）， 來自理學院五年級。 今次參選學生會因為對學生會有一些意見、 一些改進空間、 自己一直以來都希望為學校和學校未來的發展而發出一些聲音。張信一（下稱張）：Hi I am Shun, studying Economics and Finance year 3. The main reason why i have nominated myself to be the executive committee of the HKUSU is because i have been a little bit unhappy with the way it has been running in the last few years i have been here. I want to see if I could make a difference.李鎔津（下稱李）：我是李鎔津， 候選大學事務秘書， 現就讀文學士及法學士二年級，參選中央幹事會的原因與其他兩位一樣希望令港大變得更加好， 我們有意見想提出和改進。關於議題參與率低的問題，若果我們有很幸當選， 便會為各個議題製作簡介， 希望讓同學知道怎樣從議題入手，從而提高參與率。 第二個原因是希望學生會會作為橋樑與校方討論大學事務，大學事務與每一個同學息息相關， 於各種議題同學都會想提出意見。2. 你們可否解釋莊理念？鄭：我們內閣名字是蒼傲， 分開八個字便是「蒼茫大地，傲骨依然」，頭四字是我們認為今屆學生會選舉只有四個人出選，反映出港大學生投入讀書以外活動有很大的疑問。蒼汒大地、傲骨依然正正代表了學校現在的情況、社會現在的情況、甚至整體香港的未來其實都是一個大問號。至於「傲骨依然」四個字我們認為作為港大學生應有一份榮譽感，畢竟港大是最高學府，所以每一個在港大學習的學生都是十分有能力，所以傲字不單是自我的鼓勵，亦是向所有的學生說面對不如意或逆境時，都希望能有一份永不放棄、倔強的精神，去迎接當下的困難，因為我們相信困難過後必會雨過天晴，會看見彩虹，所以這也是我們選擇Prism為我們英文閣名的原因。張：What we think prism representing Is you want to act like a prism and we think everybody in the HKU is like a light We have a lot of potential and we want to use the light to make our campus a more vibrant environment for all student Hence we think prism is a good symbol of what we intended to do3. 你們為何於重開提名期後才報名參選？鄭：我們在（12月）24、25日左右收到重開提名期的電郵，剛好我跟一大班的朋友舉行聖誕派對，期間我們就這問題（重開提名期）進行討論。剛好認識到Shun和 Kelly，我們三人想法上十分接近，就是認為既然沒有人參選，我們或者可以試一試，所以最後參選今屆的學生會4. 為何沒有人競逐外務副會長一職？鄭：其實我們希望將視線放在會務及校務上。當然我們並非將外務議題全面拋棄，只是我們認為就校內參選氣氛、學生關注的事情等，都是在提醒我們今年學生會認該將更多的時間放在內務常務的議題上。5. 你們於政綱提出「是時候做不同的事」，是什麼意思？張：If you look around, a lot of the posters and a lot of notices put out by the student union of the past have been predominantly negative and i think they are alright to be upset on some of the issues but i think it is a bit overboarded and dramatic and turns a lot of the students off. So we acknowledge there are issues but we want to focus on some positive matter.6. 近年學生會就社會時事（如DQ議員事件) 出聲明 ，若果來年當選會否出聲明？鄭：我們認為學生會代表了全學校的學生去發聲，所以學生會應該絕大部份的時候保持中立，因為它只是一個連接外界及學生的橋樑。7. 你們可否解釋就國際生議題上與往年學生會有何分別張：So what kind of things we are doing differently is we are going to consider opening a new seat in the executive committee that is dedicated to non-local students' affair. And of course we will have a lot of series of activities that we hope to be more effective. For example we are considering hosting a non-local orientation camp and some other culture emerging activities, such as mahjong class for non-local students and some culture heritage tours which includes different nationalities.___________________________________二零一九年度香港大學學生會周年大選其他候選人包括候選常務秘書麥嘉晉、校園電視候選內閣、學苑候選編輯委員會及候選普選評議員。2019年度周年大選中央諮詢大會將於一月二十一日至一月二十五日在中山廣場舉行，時間為下午十二時半至二時半。
Posted by Campus TV, HKUSU 香港大學學生會校園電視 on Saturday, 19 January 2019
Asked to give their views on the Mong Kok clashes of 2016, Cheng claimed that many media outlets had reported that criminals and triad members had interfered in the incident.
“Therefore, were the protesters in the Mong Kok unrest truly residents who only wished to express their views?” he said.
Cheng said he would not comment too much on the looming national anthem law, or any potential national security law.
In a statement issued on Sunday night, the proposed cabinet said that when speaking on behalf of the student union, they should not propagate their own personal views, but rather those of the majority of students.
“We believe possessing a certain political stance should not be the criteria for – or be a reason to – preclude anyone from joining the HKUSU. Anyone who has the will the serve their fellow students should be given equal consideration, as are those who do not have a particular political stance,” it said.
“We must express our regret towards a vocal minority who may have misinterpreted our words and unfairly affiliated us with a particular party or movement.”
Althea Suen, a former president of the HKU Student Union, said the proposed cabinet were living in a “parallel universe.”
“We are not reading [pro-Beijing media] Speakout HK, these [comments] were said by the proposed cabinet,” she said. “I am angry and sad.”
Former lawmaker Nathan Law, one of the disqualified lawmakers, said students must defend the student union.
“This proposed cabinet will not question the decision to ban the Hong Kong National Party, it believes the disqualification of lawmakers is reasonable, it supports interpretations by the National People’s Congress, it has no stance over the national anthem law and the national security law. What is the difference between them and the pro-Beijing camp?” he said.