Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) Chief Alfred Chan Cheung-ming has apologised for failing to report his involvement with Tarlac State University (TSU) amid an academic supervision controversy reported by Apple Daily on Monday.

Chan Cheung-ming allegedly supervised a student for her PhD thesis for Philippines’ Tarlac State University, while he was a professor at Lingnan University. He reportedly failed to report his involvement to Lingnan University. Previously, he supervised the same student – pro-establishment DAB District Councillor Annie Tang King-yung – for her PhD dissertation at Lingnan University, which was ultimately rejected.

Annie Tang and Alfred Chan
Annie Tang and Alfred Chan in the middle. Photo: Lingnan University via Apple Daily.

In addition, Tarlac State University (TSU) was previously found to have been involved in a “diploma mill” operation run by Lifelong College.

A statement released by the EOC at 10pm on Monday said: “With regards to not immediately reporting to Lingnan University about the matter, Professor Albert Chan Cheung-ming sincerely apologises.”

A further statement released by the EOC at 11pm said that Chan had received HK$8,000 for supervising the dissertation and that taxes were paid on the sum.

Alfred Chan Cheung-ming
Alfred Chan Cheung-ming. Photo: TVB Screenshot via Stand News.

Chan previously said that because the Community-College-at-Lingnan University collaborated with TSU, there was no need to report until the end of the year. However, Lingnan University told local media that they did not receive any application from Chan to engage in work with TSU and said that there was no collaborative relationship between TSU and Lingnan University.

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying told local media on Tuesday morning: “Firstly, the truth needs to be made clear. As of now, we are only seeing an article. This seems to be a matter between him and the university, so it should be managed by the university.”

Democratic Party lawmaker Helena Wong told Apple Daily: “He couldn’t even say clearly whether he reported the matter or not. It’s his first day at work and he’s already lost public confidence. He should think about resigning. What he is doing is very serious, even if it is a school, you will receive punishment for doing external work.”

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.