POLITICS

Alpais Lam

CY Leung vows probe on clips of teacher's tirade

Education minister to report on video clips of woman shouting at police in Mong Kok

PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 12 August, 2013, 8:56am

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said he would ask the education minister today to submit a report on controversial video clips showing primary school teacher Alpais Lam Wai-sze shouting abuse at police officers during a dispute in Mong Kok.

"It would indeed be a surprise if the government did not take an interest in this matter, which has aroused widespread public concern," Leung said yesterday at a community forum being held in Tin Shui Wai.

He said the education minister, who he believes has already been looking into the issue, should give an objective and fair report.

Leung's remark was an answer to a mother of two who said at the forum that she watched the clips with her children and was very angry at Lam.

"How can such a teacher be qualified to teach our next generation?" she asked.

The recent release of a second video clip, which shows Lam shouting an obscene phrase in Cantonese at police officers over their handling of a confrontation between the Falun Gong and the Youth Care Association, raised another round of heated disputes between her supporters and her detractors.

The first clip showing Lam shouting an offensive phrase in English led to protests and fights between the two camps in Mong Kok on August 4.

Her father, Lam Sum-shing, said he was very disappointed at Leung's response on the issue.

"There are a lot of important issues in Hong Kong waiting for him to deal with, but he still wouldn't let go of such a minor thing," he said. "It will tear society even further apart."

He also said the second video clip was a fake, arguing that it would have been released much earlier if it were real.

Education sector lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen believes Leung's focus on an individual teacher is "extremely rare" and "completely out of proportion".

He said it was the deteriorating public-police relationships and an increasingly polarised society that Leung should focus on.

"Making a public request in such a high-profile way will impose huge pressure on the school and the Education Bureau," Ip said.

A spokesman for the Education Bureau said it had been in touch with Lam's school and would further look into the issue.

On Saturday, a 59-year-old man went to Mong Kok Police Station to ask officers to investigate Lam's behaviour. The officers said the man suspected Lam had behaved inappropriately in public and had prevented police from performing their duties.

The police said a Mong Kok criminal investigation team would follow up on it as a "request for police assistance".

Lawmaker Priscilla Leung Mei-fun lamented on RTHK radio programme Letter to Hong Kong yesterday that the city had "gone sick", with teachers resorting to foul language, police becoming a target of public attack and demonstrations getting out of control. She said citizens should respect and work together with - not against - the police.