Police chief hits back on leaked documents
Police chief Andy Tsang Wai-hung tried yesterday to distance the force from course material leaked onto the internet.
The South China Morning Post on Wednesday highlighted two police college teaching notes.
One taught about communist theory and the other was about media operations and gave a 'biased portrayal', according to the Hong Kong Journalists Association.
Tsang said the material was compiled by university scholars and did not represent the force's stance.
'We need to respect academic freedom and the material absolutely does not represent the force's stance,' he said. He also said officers were required to facilitate the work of the media by its internal guidelines.
The force organised workshops, inviting veteran journalists to talk about media operations, he said.
The teaching material was compiled in 2006 by the school of arts and social sciences of the Open University and is still in use by police inspectors and constable recruits.
The lecturer who was in charge of the course could not be reached for comment. One of the notes portrayed journalists as eager to press for answers, report on the negative and sensational side of a story and exaggerate the facts.
Maisy Lo Man-sze, secretary of the Hong Kong Journalists Association, said it was trying to get in touch with the university for an explanation.
'I think the police need to explain why they adopted the teaching material. What are their criteria for this?' she asked.
Another note revealed that officers needed to learn about the 'Three Represents', a theory advanced by former president Jiang Zemin that the Communist Party represents advanced productive forces, advanced culture and the interests of the broad masses.
The five pages of material also detail the mainland's political structure and state that Taiwan is a 'not yet united' part of China.
Meanwhile, Tsang refused to comment on an incident in which police officers removed an Apple Daily reporter from an area set aside for media during the recent visit of President Hu Jintao, saying legal action had been started.
Tsang also defended the use of pepper spray during Hu's visit. He insisted officers used minimum force against protesters who charged police cordons.