Leung blasts education chief in 'evil' tirade

Top News | Cindy Wan 20 Sep 2019

Former chief executive Leung Chun-ying yesterday blasted Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung Yun-hung for being "sluggish" and "harboring evil" in his handling of teachers who made powerful remarks against the police.

The Education Bureau issued only a letter of condemnation to two teachers - Alvin Tai Kin-fai, a former assistant principal of the secondary Hong Kong Chinese Christian Churches Union Logos Academy, and Colin Lai Tak-chung, chairman of the Hong Kong Liberal Studies Teachers' Association.

Leung, a vice-chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, lashed out at Yeung on Facebook yesterday, saying his bureau's stance on the teachers did not rate as punishment.

The bureau condemned Tai for saying he "wished the children of policemen who used violence die before seven years old or die before 20 should they already be seven or older."

The school has already shifted Tai to another position and placed an advertisement to recruit a new assistant principal.

As for Lai, he had updated his Facebook profile picture to include the slogan "Black cops' families all die" in response to the Admiralty clashes on June 12.

The two were warned by the Education Bureau against any repeat of such mistakes or else their teacher's registrations would be canceled.

That response did not sit at all well with Leung, who said the Education Bureau was not performing properly and declared that Tai should be sacked. "The education sector is a disaster zone because no one manages it well," Leung said, adding that it was the first time he had criticized publicly an incumbent official.

And the letter of condemnation would mean nothing to the "shameless" Tai, who was reluctant to listen to social criticism, Leung added.

He then asked: "Can citizens who care about education make a Lennon Wall outside Logos Academy to express their resentment?"

In another Facebook post, Leung called the Professional Teachers' Union "a political tool" and education sector legislator Ip Kin-yuen a "conscienceless politician" for excusing Tai and Lai.

In response, Ip said the two teachers had apologized for the inappropriate remarks, which were made on their personal social media platforms.

Their teaching at school was not affected, Ip added, "and thus we think the warning by the Education Bureau was too strict."

He also claimed Leung wanted to create more trouble by calling for people to protest outside the schools and urged him to respect the bureau's stance on the two teachers.

The Education Bureau also responded along Leung's lines.

A spokesman for the bureau said: "We must reiterate that follow-up actions by the Education Bureau were taken according to established mechanisms and procedures, including assessments on each case, the evidence and the influence on students.

"It will also compare the cases and give the teachers an opportunity to defend themselves."

Leung was meanwhile staying busy yesterday as he switched to another education topic.

He faxed an open letter to secondary schools in Sha Tin to tell teachers to educate students that the Sino-British Joint Declaration did not state anything about universal suffrage for Hong Kong.

He said that a leaflet distributed by Sha Tin students who formed a human chain yesterday was wrong about the declaration.

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