Former education secretary Michael Suen Ming-yeung said in his column in Chinese-language newspaper AM730 on Wednesday that the general direction of solving the problem of “Hong Kong independence” is to “not oppose discussion in school.”
“There is a need to balance the supporting and opposing sides. First investigate what ‘Hong Kong independence’ is, and then look deeply into related articles in the Basic Law and the national policies they describe,” said Suen in a column entitled “‘Hong Kong independence’ as a topic for discussion does not need to be banned.”
He said that students should understand Hong Kong history, its constitutional status, and the basic law, as they are precursors for seriously and properly discussing issues related to independence. He also said that “our general studies teachers already have enough knowledge and experience to guide students in clearly understanding various discourses.”
Suen also said that the anti-sedition Article 23 has not yet been written into law. However, if ‘Hong Kong independence’ groups take action, they will need to do so as an organisation, and the government can block the registration of the group to make their actions illegal.
The Education Bureau, currently headed by Eddie Ng Hak-kim, has said that teachers who advocate independence in schools may lose their qualifications. Several sponsoring bodies have also released guidelines against the advocacy of Hong Kong independence in schools.