While colonial bad laws exploit our autonomy, it becomes imminent for us to save ourselves
Declaration for Students’ Strike of Students’ Strike General Meeting of the University of Hong Kong
From the unsettled debt from HKU-Shenzhen Hospital to the recent crisis caused by the appointment of PVC, external members of the HKU Council have been playing havoc with HKU and desecrating her century-long reputation. On New Year’s Eve, CY Leung once again shamelessly disregarded the overwhelming public objection by appointing Arthur Li as the chairman of HKU Council. The future of HKU will only be gloomier with the appointment of this notorious “Tsar of Education”.
All past misdeeds of Arthur Li are surely witnessed by all Hongkongers. As ‘The Tsar’ was the President of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), he forced the merger of it with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), inducing much opposition from students, employee and academic staff from both institutions. When he was the head of the Education and Manpower Bureau (EMB), he threatened Professor Paul Morris, the President of the Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd), with the indecency ‘rape’, forcing another merger between CUHK and HKIEd. He also rashly cut financial resources to universities with the pretext of the ‘3-3-4 Curriculum’, resulting in acute financial situations in various universities. His myriad misdeeds are simply too many for our mention. How would such notorious scum in the education sector ever be qualified to lead the highest decision-making body of our University? Our strong opposition against the appointment of Arthur Li to become the Council Chairperson is never ill-founded and illogical.
The inherently unjust system is the cause of all these crises that HKU is now facing. CY has been exploiting his power as the Chancellor by placing his puppets into the Council to disrupt our institutional autonomy. In light of this, participants of the meeting have approved the following requests to be achieved through class boycott:
1. Establish a "Review Panel on ‘The Hong Kong University Ordinance'";
2. The Chief Executive shall never be the ex-officio Chancellor;
3. University members shall take up at least half of the seats in the Council;
4. All members (including the Chairperson) who are currently appointed by the Chief Executive shall be appointed by the Council.
While it is a time of storming at our university, the total reverse in the Taiwanese politics ushers in a new age. Though Hongkonger are not shy to express their jealousy, they mostly neglect the blood that several generations of Taiwanese have shed throughout their history. Instead of the realism and pessimism that overcast our current society, pure idealism, determination for changes and courage to act are all we need at this very moment.
Over the past few months, in order to fight against the unscrupulous intervention outside the University, HKU students have employed multiple means, such as sit-in protest, demonstration, referendum, and were even forced to besiege and barge at last. Yet, all these actions seem in vain. Our resistance has indeed produced no immediate impact on the authority, and may appear feeble and useless. However, this is no excuse to halt resistance or dissolve our unity.
Reforming the Council will never be easy, the road ahead is surely grown with thorns and spikes. The Class Boycott is only the very first step to show our determination on this lengthy journey and arouse public awareness. Students and Teachers, are you not willing to witness the fall of our University and city, please never remain indifferent and yield. As Lu Xun said, “For actually the earth has no roads to begin with, but when many people pass one way, a road is made”. Please join us and together shall we act and safeguard our dignity.