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Transcending Political Differences

Dear Members,

Even when we differ in political views, there are things – such as human relations, empathy and basic human rights – which transcend political differences.

Recently, political differences have caused considerable disquiet in Hong Kong, with various parties getting restless and their language becoming increasingly charged. For example, the slogan congratulating Ms CHOI Yuk-lin, Under-Secretary for Education, on her son’s death appearing on the campus of the Education University of Hong Kong (EdUHK) was extremely callous and deplorable.

Even more disturbing was the remark made by the Hon HO Kwan-yiu at a public gathering that those advocating Hong Kong independence should be ‘killed without pardon’. While the slogan at EdUHK was made by an anonymous individual, HO Kwan-yiu’s remark – made by one in the dignified position of a Legislative Councillor and openly at a large public gathering – was brazenly inappropriate and generated a much greater impact compared with the anonymous slogan.

We believe that no matter what we are: Legislative Councillors, senior Government officials or simply men on the street, we should not allow our basic human nature to be obscured by political views. Nor, more importantly, should we spread violence and hatred because of differences in political views. I hope that the one hiding behind the anonymous slogan and the one openly spreading violence and hatred can learn to, in a pluralistic democratic society, respect divergent political views and trim down violence and provocation in their language. I also hope that the one who has passed away will be free from any disturbance from this mortal world and will be able to rest in peace and tranquility.

  Advance notice: The Policy Address of the Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, will be published on 11 October. Fellow workers who have any comments are most welcome to let me have them, which can be emailed to [email protected].

Transcending Political Differences
Expectations of the Policy Address: long-term commitment and consultation enhancement Helping more than 1,100 students to secure UK student visas
Silk Road Exploratory Trip Why are some schools without lifts? Snapshots

Expectations of the Policy Address: long-term commitment and consultation enhancement

On 29 August, I and other Legislative Councillors belonging to ‘Professionals Guild’ had a meeting with the Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, for an exchange of views on the upcoming Policy Address.

At a press conference held on 31 August, Mr FUNG Wai-wah, President of Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union, and I revealed our expectations of the Policy Address.

We urged the authorities to provide a stable environment for schools, continue to listen to the views of the education sector and to, further to the $3.6 billion package of improvement measures, soonest possible, formulate a salary scale for kindergarten teachers, further increase the teacher-to-class ratios, convert qualified CM to GM or APSM in secondary and primary schools, review the salaries of principals and teachers, improve sub-standard school premises, upgrade SENCO posts to be filled by Senior GMs, improve the number of special school classes and the establishment of social workers, and provide support for vocational senior secondary schools and vocational education, etc.

Helping more than 1,100 students to secure UK student visas

From August 31 onwards, requests for help started coming in from students reporting serious delay in the processing of their visa applications submitted to the British authorities. Because of the delay, they were not able to go to their schools in the UK as scheduled, which might lead to their admission being cancelled. Requests for help kept coming in; we received a total of 1,100 cases.

To the problem faced by our students, we immediately drew the attention of the British Consulate-General (CG) in Hong Kong. Recognizing the seriousness of the problem, the British CG handled, as a matter of urgency, the cases we referred to them. The processing of visa applications back in the UK was obviously expedited and most of the cases were nicely settled.

We hope that relevant authorities back in the UK will, as soon as possible, review the incident so as to avoid similar ones in the future.

Silk Road Exploratory Trip

In the summer vacation, a group of retired teachers and I making a total of more than 10 people, embarked on a Silk Road expedition.

Why are some schools without lifts?

Making use of the time before the resumption of Legislative Council, I visited several schools which lack barrier-free facilities. I keenly felt the importance of lifts to schools.

For example, some schools had to have extra lessons and to make arrangements for students to go, in batches, to the canteen on the G/F to take their meals. Teachers and students with physical disabilities experienced much hardship moving up and down stairs and some were forced to transfer to other schools.

I am most grateful to the principals, teachers, workmen and students for their hospitality. I will certainly do my best to work with you to strive for campuses which are safe, healthy and equally accessible by everybody.

The 50th Joint School Science Exhibition

As the guest of honour at the closing ceremony of the 50th Joint School Science Exhibition on 28 August, I was delighted to see the remarkable achievements of our students. I was particularly impressed by a special ashtray invented by our students. Through its ultrasonic sensors, the ashtray was able to control the opening and closing of its lid so as to prevent the spreading of smoke. A very creative invention indeed!

Visiting Hang Seng Management College

On 15 September, I visited the campus and dormitory of Hang Seng Management College. I hope that our self-financing institutions can continue to enjoy a healthy development.

Parliamentary Liaison Subcommittee receiving a Councillor from overseas

On 15 September, the Parliamentary Liaison Subcommittee of the Legislative Council hosted a reception for a Japanese Councillor, Ms Hiroe MAKIYAMA, who heads the International Affairs Department of Japan’s opposition Democratic Party and is Japan’s Shadow Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs. She is a lady with a broad international vision.

Providing a guided tour for PTU members

On 23 September, more than thirty teaching staff coming from universities, secondary schools, primary schools, and vocational education as well as retired teachers visited the Legislative Council and had an on-the-spot understanding of my work in the Council.

Representative of Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union
in Legislative Council,
Hon IP Kin-yuen
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‧如有任何查詢及回應,歡迎電郵至葉建源議員辦事處 。 
‧For enquiry and feedback, please email to Office of Legislative Councillor IP Kin-yuen : [email protected]
葉建源議員辦事處 Office of Legislative Councillor Ip Kin Yuen (Education Constituency)
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