Education chief draws blank on go-between
Phila Siu and Dennis Chong
Education minister Eddie Ng Hak-kim insisted yesterday that he does not know the close ally of Leung Chun-ying who allegedly tried to set up a meeting between the leader of an anti-national education group and the central government's liaison office.
Controversy erupted after Eva Chan Sik-chee, co-founder of the Parents Concern Group, claimed in the book Mums and Dads Go To Battle that Scott Cheng Hei-huen phoned her last September to try to set up the meeting.
The call allegedly came after 120,000 people gathered at the government's Tamar headquarters last September to protest against the "brainwashing" curriculum.
According to Chan, Cheng claimed he was phoning on behalf of the liaison office. The liaison office wanted to meet her and had some "good news", he was said to have told her. Chan rejected the offer.
Cheng also said that Leung, by then chief executive, was "out of the equation", Chan claimed.
Ng said national education was an internal government issue. The government handled this issue by itself and no "external force" intervened, he said. "I don't know [Cheng], and I have not had contact with him so I can't comment," he added.
A day after Cheng's alleged call, Leung scrapped the three-year deadline for implementing the curriculum.
Cheng, who has not answered calls from the Post over the last three days, was Leung's assistant when he was Executive Council convenor and during his election campaign. He left the job when Leung became chief executive.
Chan yesterday called on Leung to clarify the situation. "Why did someone suddenly come to me and say the chief executive was out of the equation?" she asked.
Civic Party lawmaker Dr Kenneth Chan Ka-lok has written to Ng to demand clarification.