Deadline set for reversal on Tai sacking

Local | Michael Shum 4 Aug 2020

More than 2,500 signatures have been collected from staff, students and alumni of University of Hong Kong asking the governing council to retract its decision to sack Occupy Central cofounder Benny Tai Yiu-ting.

They also asked the council to explain why it overrode a senate recommendation not to fire him.

The HKU Student Union submitted the petition yesterday to the university, which carried 2,571 signatures.

Union president Edy Jeh Tsz-lam called the petition proof that the council members' vote to dismiss Tai could not be representative of the views of the HKU community.

"The council blatantly ignored the decision of the senate and used political considerations to override a professional academic decision," Jeh said.

Council chairman Arthur Li Kwok-cheung, an Executive Council member denied the claim, insisting the decision had strictly abided by HKU procedures and "had nothing to do with politics".

That came as education secretary Kevin Yeung Yun-hung said the government played no part in the termination, and universities have been independent all along.

Yeung also called on all sectors of the community not to put pressure on HKU in hopes of changing a decision made by the council, as this would undermine its institutional autonomy and academic freedom.

The petition demanded a withdrawal of the decision to fire Tai, the public submission of a written response giving justifications for deviating from the senate's advice before August 10, and a review to the appointment of council members.


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