Alpais Lam

Government hit by more than 1,400 e-mails on Alpais Lam incident

Education minister says not to dwell on Alpais Lam incident and promises report

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 18 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 18 August, 2013, 3:56am

Education minister Eddie Ng Hak-kim said the government received more than 1,400 e-mailed inquiries and 150 phone calls about teacher Alpais Lam Wai-sze swearing at police officers.

Most described her behaviour as unacceptable. Ng said 90 per cent of the 150 callers were critical of Lam's behaviour.

But he said the public should not dwell on the "individual and unfortunate incident".

He confirmed the bureau would compile a report on the incident for internal use once the Fanling school where Lam works had provided its own report.

Lam was shown in a YouTube video shouting abuse at police officers over their handling of a street dispute between supporters of the Falun Gong spiritual movement and members of a Beijing-loyalist group, the Youth Care Association.

The video went viral, triggering a controversy that led to a chaotic clash between nearly 3,000 pro- and anti-Lam protesters in Mong Kok on August 4.

Last Sunday, in response to a question from an audience member at a forum in Tin Shui Wai, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said he had asked the Education Bureau to file a report on Lam.

Ng said the Pui Ling School of the Precious Blood, where Lam works, had also received thousands of e-mails. He said he would not put pressure on the school and that the public should trust the established mechanism for handling such matters.

"It's important we let the school handle the issue according to existing mechanisms," he said, adding that the bureau would undertake further analysis after receiving the school's report.

"The public generally agrees that Lam's behaviour was unacceptable and inappropriate," Ng said. "The city has higher expectations of teachers than [those in] other professions. There is a clear standard on how they should behave."

Lam has apologised to colleagues, students and parents of pupils at the school, but not to police. A 59-year-old man last week filed a complaint to police about her behaviour, which the Mong Kok district crime squad is investigating.

Education sector lawmaker Ip Kim-yuen earlier criticised Leung's demand for a report as being "completely out of proportion".