He has robbed the poor to enrich the rich, put new burdens on small businesses and done nothing for universal suffrage - so why is he getting an honorary Chinese University degree? Those were the questions some students and alumni were asking ahead of the university's bestowing the honour this week on Henry Tang Ying-yen. Some also demanded that the university reveal its criteria for choosing whom it honours. The chief secretary, scientist and former Chinese vice-premier Dr Song Jian, and 2008 Nobel chemistry laureate Professor Roger Yonchien Tsien will be conferred honorary doctorates on Thursday. Terence Lin Chiu-fai, president of the university's students' union, said honouring Tang was synonymous with 'political fawning'. Chinese University Alumni Concern Group spokesman Chow Shek-fai said the conferring of honorary doctorates on government officials was worrying. 'Since the handover, the university has done it twice,' he said. 'The last time was in 1999, when the then financial secretary, Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, was conferred an honorary degree. Tang has interest in contesting the post of chief executive. Giving him the honour will give the impression of currying favour with the possible future chief executive.' Lin said: 'During his tenure, Tang reduced the wine tax and cancelled the estate duty, robbing the poor to enrich the rich. As the chairman of the Commission on Poverty, instead of bridging the yawning rich-poor gap, he supported the public listing of The Link Reit, whose steep rent hikes added to the burden on small businesses. He also failed to put forward any road map for universal suffrage. He has to be held responsible for the social injustices prevalent in society.' A spokesman for the chief secretary's office said Tang's purpose in abolishing estate duty and cutting the wine tax was to boost the economy and employment. A campaign on the social-networking website Facebook by the union, the concern group and campus newspaper Student Post against honouring Tang has attracted 2,700 supporters. About 20 people would stage a peaceful demonstration outside Thursday's ceremony, said Fan Cheung-fung, external vice-president of the student union.