Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has said that it was “very immoral and against the rules of society” to privately record the Council meeting of the University of Hong Kong (HKU), no matter whether the recordings were made in order to send to media organisations or for personal use.

Leung was speaking to reporters ahead of the weekly Executive Council meeting on Tuesday. He was responding to the two recordings of speeches by Council members Arthur Li Kwok-cheung and Leonie Ki Man-fung during a controversial session on September 29, in which the governing body rejected the appointment of liberal law scholar Johannes Chan Man-mun as pro-vice-chancellor of the university.

Chief Executive CY Leung. File

“You all know the HKSAR government and society value press freedom,” Leung said, “but the other aspect of the issue is not related to press freedom, that even if these recordings were not sent to media, they were made under the circumstances I have said, that they were used by the person for an application that person thinks it was necessary, it is still fundamentally wrong.”

Leung added people need to follow agreed rules of society even for media: “some interviews that were made off the record, as you all know, as you have all accepted, are working quite well.”

The results of the referendum. Photo: Facebook/The Hong Kong University Students’ Union

Meanwhile, the HKU Students Union Council has finished counting the votes of a referendum on the possible candidate of the HKU Council chair. The turnout rate was 33.2 percent and 5,316 valid votes were received.

The first motion “The post of Chairman of the Council of the University of Hong Kong must be filled by a candidate who is acceptable to the members of its teaching staff, non-academic staff and students” was passed by 5,119 for, 110 against and 87 abstain votes.

The second motion “Arthur Li Kwok-cheung is not suitable to hold any position under the governance structure of the University of Hong Kong” was passed by 4,785 for, 178 against and 353 abstain votes.

The HKU Student Union issued a statement that the motions were “overwhelmingly carried as more than 5,000 students voted to show their stance, clearly substantiating the public’s opinions,” and that Leung Chun-ying “must take heed of this result and respond to students’ demands accordingly.”

Kris Cheng

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.