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Hundreds protest against suspension of Baptist University student duo

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Elly Wu、Raphael Blet、Yoyo Chow、Katherine Li、Rob McGainEdited by: Angie Chan、Ezra Cheung、Michael Shum、Michelle Ng、Wing Li
  • 2018-01-26

  More than 200 people participated in a protest at Hong Kong Baptist University at 1.30 pm following the suspension of two students, according to the University's Students' Union. After being accused of threatening the staff and using abusive language during an eight-hour stand-off at the University's Language Centre, president of Hong Kong Baptist University Students' Union, Lau Tsz-kei, and a Chinese medicine student, Andrew Chan Lok-hang, were suspended pending disciplinary procedures. The University's decision to suspend the pair prompted mixed reactions with some praising the University's decision and others criticising the University for not awaiting the verdict of the disciplinary committee. A group of counter-protesters who were seen brandishing banners labelling the student union "a gang" and accused some professors of supporting the students. "We are proud of being Chinese citizens and right now, it's a Putonghua-speaking world," wrote a banner. Both parties could be seen hurling vulgarities at each other, but they were quickly separated by the security personnel. John Tse Wing-ling, former Legislative Councillor and Associate Professor of City University's Department of Applied Sciences, marched with the HKBU students in support for elimination to the compulsory Putonghua policy. "If Putonghua is really going to be a fixed standard, then this standard should also apply to all university staff members, including professors," he said, referring to the controversial requirement. Tse did not believe that a certain language should be a parameter of whether students could graduate. "If you judge everyone on the same standard, which is their Putonghua proficiency, then the Chief Executive of Macau won't even get his job," said Tse. The former lawmaker criticised the university for making the suspension of involved students public. "It's the first time in 30 years of teaching that I see a Vice-Chancellor announcing student suspension in front of the press," …