Lawmaker Ray Chan Chi-chuen is now bidding to become a Council member of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). Meanwhile, a Council member appointed by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying is set to become the chairperson.

The Legislative Council can elect three members as CUHK Council members. In an open letter, Chan said that the three seats were always decided internally between the pro-democracy camp and the pro-Beijing camp and that the single-candidate election did not require voting between lawmakers. However, Chan and his party, People Power, are not part of the internal decision making mechanism of the pro-democracy camp, thus he was excluded from being picked as a candidate.

In 2012, Chan raced against lawmakers Tommy Cheung Yu-yan, Elizabeth Quat Pui-fan and Gary Fan Kwok-wai to be elected as Council members – the latter three were elected. He said he joined the race to “break this tradition.” Their three-year term will finish on Sunday and Chan said that the camps have decided to re-elect Cheung and Quat, with lawmaker Helena Wong Pik-wan set to take Fan’s seat.

Lawmaker Ray Chan's student ID card in CUHK
Lawmaker Ray Chan’s student ID card in CUHK. Photo: Facebook/Chi Chuen Ray Chan.

“High time for the autonomy and freedom”

Chan says he will run again as a CUHK Council member: “I have received support from [at least one] pro-democracy camp lawmaker.” He added that, although CUHK students, staff and alumni cannot vote in the election, he hoped that they would support his run.

“It is high time for the autonomy and freedom of all Hong Kong universities and institutes to be enacted. And we need more progressive democratic forces of resistance in the Council, to monitor the university administration from both inside and outside the LegCo.” he said.

Chan earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology at CUHK in 1994.

Norman Leung Nai-pang
Norman Leung Nai-pang. File

The next Council chair

Norman Leung Nai-pang, who was appointed by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying as a member of CUHK Council in June, is set to be chair of the Council, reports Singtao Daily.

He will replace Vincent Cheng Hoi-Chuen, former Executive Director of HSBC Holdings plc., whose term will end next Friday.

Leung’s appointment will be discussed at a Council meeting next Tuesday, and will soon be announced by the government. This procedure is different to other universities, where the Chief Executive can directly appoint Council chairs.

Leung can be appointed to a three-year-term and then re-appointed for another three years. The newspaper also reported that Leung may only accept the position in six months as he is very busy.

However, Commercial Radio host Stephen Chan Chi-wan said today that Leung told him “There is no such thing; The meeting has not started yet.”

Norman Leung Nai-pang and Leung Chun-ying at a funeral.
Norman Leung Nai-pang and Leung Chun-ying at a funeral. File

Norman Leung was the chair of the Council of the City University of Hong Kong (CityU) between 1997 and 2003, the position which Leung Chun-ying himself held between 2008 and 2011.

Normal Leung is currently the Pro-Chancellor of CityU. Like Leung Chun-ying, he went King’s College in Hong Kong.

He was also known for being the former Executive Chairman of local broadcaster TVB.

Previously, local media reported that Arthur Li Kwok-cheung will be appointed by Leung Chun-ying as the next chair of the University of Hong Kong Council. Leung also appointed two pro-Beijing figures as members of the Lingnan University Council.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.