BEST OF JUNE / REPORTER1
Anti-govt activist fired by HKU
University council overwhelmingly voted to dismiss
Published: Jul 28, 2020 11:40 PM

(From left to right) Benny Tai Yiu-ting, co-founder of Occupy Central, Hong Kong student leaders Alex Chow Yong-kang and Joshua Wong Chi-fung, and Alan Leong Kah-kit of the Civic Party attend a press conference at the protest site in the Admiralty district of Hong Kong on October 26, 2014. Photo: AFP



Tai Yiu-ting, a radical Hong Kong anti-government political activist who is also an associate professor at the Department of Law, the University of Hong Kong (HKU), has been fired after the overwhelming majority of the university council voted for his dismissal on Tuesday.

The council voted 18:2 to fire Tai, media reported. Experts noted that the decision has showed that the HKU managers are governing the university in a correct way to strictly fulfill the regulations of the university, and to exclude those participating in illegal activities and with separatist ideas from the faculty. 

In 2014, Tai was sentenced to jail as he was a major organizer of the illegal Occupy Central and now he is being released on bail. Earlier in July, he also organized illegal "primaries" for the opposition camp of Hong Kong to build up momentum and manipulate public opinions for the Legislative Council (LegCo) election in September. 

Tai openly urged opposition camp candidates of the "primaries" to paralyze the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government if they got elected, which is a "crazy and unscrupulous" move to challenge the law and the whole society, said experts.

The University of Hong Kong's decision to fire associate professor Tai is an act of "praising virtue, punishing vice" and cleansing the teaching environment of the university, said a spokesperson for the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR after HKU announced the decision.

HKU's decision is based on the university's own regulations and management rather than politics, "though everyone knows Tai's problems are mostly about politics and legal issues," He Liangliang, a Hong Kong-based senior journalist and political news commentator, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Tai's activities in the so-called primaries to plan to paralyze the HKSAR government are even more serious than his acts in the Occupy Central. The HKU decision is just a beginning, more prosecutions will follow, and he might be the first person prosecuted under the terms of the new national security law, He said.  

This case shows that with the enactment of the national security law in Hong Kong, more and more groups and people among the Hong Kong society started to draw a clear distinction for separatists and troublemakers controlled by foreign forces, and they are encouraged to say "no" to anti-government forces, said Tian Feilong, a legal expert on Hong Kong affairs at Beihang University in Beijing.

Before the vote of the HKU Council, the Senate of the university said in a report handed to the council that Tai's illegal activities could be regarded as "misconduct" but "is not a reason to fire him," Hong Kong-based hk01.com reported. After the vote, Tai said on his Facebook account that the vote is "actually a decision made by the forces outside the university."

Tai still wants to distract public attention from his illegal activities, and keeps shaping a "common enemy" for Hong Kong society - the central government, to legitimize his illegal anti-government and separatist acts, Tian said, adding that with strict justice and law-enforcement, more and more Hong Kong people and institutions will have courage to say "no" to the separatists, foreign forces and anti-government activists who try to hijack public will.

He said HKU's decision will surely be misinterpreted as "political suppression against Tai" by the pro-separatist media, Western media as well as the anti-government forces in Hong Kong, but these voices are senseless and should not be treated seriously. However, if it keeps Tai in the university, these forces will continue to manipulate and poison the minds of the youths, making the students more radical, and Tai will become a huge "negative asset" for the university. 

Tai is an infamous anti-government activist and radical separatist who has been responsible for a series of illegal assemblies and violent activities in recent years. After he organized the "primaries" earlier in July, a spokesperson for the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR said on July 13 that Tai's move is a typical act suspected of violating the law. 

From the 2014 illegal "Occupy Central" movement to the anti-extradition bill turmoil in 2019, as well as the most recent "primaries," Tai, his gang and the opposition camp have a clear purpose - to seize the governing power of Hong Kong, and orchestrate a "color revolution" in the city.

"Tai was sentenced to prison for 16 months due to illegal activities in 'Occupy Central,' and now he is on bail. But he can still openly manipulate local elections. Who gave him the order? Who has offered him the courage?" asked the spokesperson.


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