CY Leung is fanning political discord, say students
University union calls on chief executive to resign over his remarks at meeting
The Hong Kong University Students' Union has accused Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying of stoking political division, and for the first time has added its voice to calls for him to step down.
It said Leung should apologise for an inflammatory speech he made at a meet-the-people event last Sunday which saw pro- and anti-government factions brawling outside.
Leung told the meeting he had ordered the Education Bureau to prepare a report on primary school teacher Alpais Lam Wai-sze, who was filmed swearing at police over their handling of a dispute between Falun Gong activists and opponents.
When trouble broke out at a pro-police rally held in response, the police were accused of not responding objectively. Leung gave his full support to the way the police handled the mayhem.
He also said former executive councillors Franklin Lam Fan-keung and Barry Cheung Chun-yuen deserved apologies from those who reported them to the Independent Commission Against Corruption. Lam was accused of using inside information, while Cheung was accused of borrowing money from a developer while head of the Urban Renewal Authority. ICAC found the allegations unsubstantiated.
The statement issued by the union said: "As the head of the government, it is Leung's duty to forge consensus among all parties. His governing mindset, on the contrary, is to stir up contradictions, which leads society into an endless struggle.
"Leung must stop putting pressure on graft complainants; stop assigning political missions to the police and retract his order to the Education Bureau. He should apologise for all these and step down."
Last night, Leung stood by his speech. And he insisted nobody should use the graft-buster for "political purposes".
He said the Lam controversy fell "within the education system", and the bureau was therefore asked to file a report which would be "objective and fair". He also denied he had given the police any political missions.
On Monday, police arrested three suspected triad members after a pan-democrat protester was beaten outside Leung's meet-the-people session in Tin Shui Wai. Four others, including League of Social Democrats vice-chairman Avery Ng Man-yuen, were also arrested for assault and disturbing the public order. No charges have been laid yet and all the suspects have been released on police bail.
Leung is holding another meet-the-people session in Kwun Tong on Sunday and pan-democrats were this time planning a "silent opposition".
Ng said participants would dress in white and stand quietly outside the venue. He said the tactic was inspired by the "standing man" protest in Turkey in June. It was understood that other parties in the pan-democratic camp, which has been calling for Leung's resignation, would also participate.
But radical group Civic Passion, headed by activist Wong Yeung-tat, was not planning to join in. "Keeping silent would only attract further attacks by the pro-government camp's triad connections. The more they push to shut us up, the louder we should speak out," he said.
Separately, some 23 pan-democratic lawmakers yesterday asked Legco's security panel to discuss police impartiality.