Gist of 28 Jan Press Conference, HKU VC & Council Chairman

Gist of 28 Jan Press Conference, HKU VC & Council Chairman (with responses from Pan-dem)
Original article of HKCT

The press conference was taken place in Hong Kong Bankers Club, the Landmark, Central. Press conferences of HKU are rarely held outside the campus, and the spokesperson of HKU said due to various consideration the PC was conducted outside the campus. It is not known whether Arthur Li is the person to book the venue. The time of the conference was at 15:15, but the HKU only notified journalists at 13:39, much shorter time than usual notifications. Both of them wore little white badges which read I LOVE HKU.

Arthur Li "gave the sinceriest [sic] apology to the Hong Kong citizens for a very small minority of students for their misbehaviour". These small number of students are rather like someone who was "poisoned by drugs and manipulated", thus their behaviour become very "unrational". He said it is important to find out condemn "who are the people behind who give the poision to our young people", as  "young people are very idealistic and they can be easily misled". He said Billy Fung was a liar, as he told a blatant lie as on Tuesday, the council agreed to form a review panel, but Fung misled other students by disseminating incorrect messages. When he repeated the message in Chinese, he also asked the public to think about "whether these people are acceptable".

Peter Mathieson said his predominant concern is about safety. He felt there was "invisible danger" and "real risk to life" and it was "physically dangerous" to him, other Council members and staff on Tuesday night (26 Jan), and he felt "absolutely unacceptable" for those who do not care abou safety. He believed there is no way to make progress on that night and engage in reasonable debate without injuries.

Arthur Li said all Council members agreed to set up a review panel but after the release of Newby report, which will be produced in a month or two. He pointed out Audrey Eu was there, and Yvonne Leung Lai-kwok (Arthur: Leung Lai-kwan), one of the strike committee member, is also the intern of Alan Leong, thus pointing fingers to the Civic Party, hence there are political interference. Li said if students want to see him, they can ask the vice-chancellor to arrange, instead of having a riot to force someone to see them immediately, as things have to be done orderly. "Johannes Chan incident is also a kind of interference", he said, as "Johannes Chan cannot sit on where Civic Party wants Chan to sit".

He disagreed with the reporter's view, which said CY Leung appointing him, a very unfavourable man considered by some students, is a kind of political interference, because the University Ordinance allows the chancellor to appoint people into the HKU Council. He said there are 170,000 alumni in total, and around 4,000 (3%) went to vote in which 97% opposed him; but the rest 97% did not say anything [about him], so "there is no problem".

Arthur Li thanked Wen Wei Po, since "his last statement was underhandedly leaked out, and Wen Wei Po has very kindly given him a year of free subscription". On another question from RTHK, he immediately said that the riot that night has "nothing to do with the Council", and he reprimanded the reporter to "reflect upon herself" as she asked whether it is inappropriate to allow policemen to enter the campus, "as this is very unreasonable" and "[we] shall not blame the policemen". The journalist from RTHK wanted to ask follow-up questions but was interrupted.

In answering being appointed as the HKU Council chairman, Arthur Li said "almost each and every relatives and friends ask him not to take this post", as this needs time and effort without pay and needs to be scolded. He said he took the post because "enough is enough", and "we need to stand up for decency", "to say what is fair and just". The journalist from Cable TV wanted to ask follow-up questions but was interrupted.

Arthur Li said they have to protect the reputation and privacy on Johannes Chan's case, so they did not disclose the reason not to put him as an SVP, but he asked the journalist from HK01 to go home and listen to the recording (which was leaked out online) and find out the reason.

He said he refused to make remarks on any individual student, but said "Billy Fung is a liar because he broke the confidentiality rule, and his integrity is in question". [which basically, is making remarks on an individual student]

Mathieson said, "The university will make every effort to cooperate with the police, not only on this issue". The police has requested to provide images of CCTV around a door which was said to be criminally damaged by students, and such images have been provided. A small group will be formed inside the council discussing on confidentiality, and Mathieson will be chairing that committee, and they might be new guidelines to be issued on confidentiality rule. As for disciplinary actions, he said the university has a set of established procedures to deal with.

The live signal of Cable TV, which we rely on this report, ended with English question, and was abruptly covered as the anchor repeated the gist of the PC in Cantonese, and therefore we cannot get through that question.

Response from Civic Party
In response to Arthur Li, Audrey Eu said she left HKU at 5pm that day, and went to the Civic Party HQ in North Point. Alan Leong, chief of the Civic Party, said it is political mudslinging on Civic Party, and predicted that it might be related to the NT East by-election soon. He said Civic Party has become the "No. 1 enemy" and "bete noire" of the central authorities and HKSARG. He demanded a formal apology from Arthur Li as he insulted HKU students. 

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