A Shue Yan University student union proposed cabinet, who said they would remain politically neutral, has lost a by-election despite being the sole candidates.

After the school failed to elect a student union cabinet last November, 311 students voted in a three-day by-election that ended on Thursday, out of 1,514 who have the right to vote. There were 133 votes in support of the proposed cabinet, 158 against, 11 abstentions and nine invalid ballots.

In its platform, the proposed cabinet said: “We believe that in recent years, student union cabinets have lost the state of political neutrality, and failed to unite students.”

The proposed cabinet of the Shue Yan University student union. Photo: Screenshot.

At a public Q&A session last Friday, the proposed cabinet refused to reveal their own political stances.

Lam Chin-hung, internal vice-president of the proposed cabinet, said at the Q&A that students revealing their political stances would affect the reputation of the school.

Lam mentioned Joe Yeung, a former president of the student union who was jailed for two years for conspiracy to commit arson, in relation to a rubbish bin explosion outside the Legislative Council in December 2015.

“The incident has harmed the reputation of Shue Yan University,” Lam said.

Shue Yan University. Photo: Shue Yan University.

Lam added that the claim that Yeung harmed the school’s reputation was made on the basis of the law, and not the stance of individual members or the proposed cabinet as well.

Some students then launched a campaign urging others not to vote for the proposed cabinet.

A proposed cabinet at the University of Hong Kong student union previously sparked controversy owing to their pro-Beijing political stance.

In early February, more than 80 per cent of those who voted in the HKU election voted against the proposed cabinet.

The Hong Kong Free Press #PressForFreedom 2019 Funding Drive seeks to raise HK$1.2m to support our non-profit newsroom and dedicated team of multi-media, multi-lingual reporters.  HKFP is backed by readers, run by journalists and is immune to political and commercial pressure. This year’s critical fundraiser will provide us with the essential funds to continue our work into next year.

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.