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School-based Management and
Legislation on Extradition of Fugitive Offenders
There are several issues to which I would like to invite your attention.
School-based management cases
In education, everyone is concerned about abuses of ‘school-based management’. Let it be clear that principals and teachers are predominantly zealous and dedicated to their duties, but the system has indeed been abused, resulting in an increasing trend of serious cases. Our attitude is that we affirm the efforts of a large majority of educators and we ask the Government to squarely deal with serious cases and make improvements to the system.
In the past year, I have dealt with several serious complaint cases, including the widely reported case involving Baptist (Sha Tin Wai) Lui Ming Choi Primary School. A number of irregularities of the school have been exposed: failure to invite tenders for its study tours to Australia over the years, keeping money received for tours in a private bank account and in a safe in the headmaster’s room, forcing teachers to sign receipts and promoting teachers not in accordance with regulations. The Education Bureau issued a ‘warning letter’ to the school at the end of January this year. Notwithstanding this, the Incorporated Management Committee (IMC) of the school made even more repugnant irregularities: asking those IMC members who were not from the school sponsoring body to absent themselves when important issues were discussed and requiring all IMC members to sign a confidentiality agreement with a warning that those who breach it would have to bear legal responsibilities. These acts tend to suggest that the school has something to hide from its stakeholders. Furthermore, the summary of an investigation report prepared by an ‘independent investigation team’ established by the IMC is hardly convincing and smacks of covering up shortcomings. In view of all these, it falls squarely on the Education Bureau to conduct afresh an investigation into the situation of the school and more importantly, introduce improvements to the system of school-based management.
Legislation on the Extradition of Fugitive Offenders
Last February, there was a murder case in Taipei involving a Hong Kong person. The suspect was arrested after returning to Hong Kong. Since there is no extradition agreement between Hong Kong and Taiwan, the suspect has not been transferred to Taiwan to stand trial. We believe that for the sake of seeking justice for the deceased, the case merits special treatment, which is well within the powers of the Government. However, the Hong Kong authorities have not, according to Taiwan, actively followed up on the case.
While there have hardly been any prior consultations, the SAR Government makes use of the case as a pretext to propose amendments to legislation on extradition (the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance), ostensibly to plug the so-called ‘legal loophole’. If the amendments are enacted, the door will be flung wide open for the extradition of suspects between the mainland and Hong Kong, a situation in which Hong Kong residents and visitors to Hong Kong can be extradited, at any time, to the mainland to stand trial, seriously threatening the personal safety of Hong Kong citizens! The business community is also very worried. The SAR Government has eventually removed some of the provisions in the amendment Bill, in an attempt to allay their worries. However, our friends in the business community remain very concerned, not to mention the general public who are not given any protection.
If the amendment proposed by the Government is passed, it will open a big gap in the boundary between the two systems, which is unacceptable because Hong Kong citizens will become exposed to the risk of having to stand trial under the mainland’s legal system. We would call on the Government to rein back the horse right before the brink of the precipice and withdraw the amendment Bill. We also hope that members will pay close attention to this issue and be ready to respond to PTU’s call for action!
In sentencing hearing on 24 April of the ‘Occupy Central’ case, four society leaders who advocated peace and non-violence were sentenced to jail. Grief-stricken we are at this moment, but we will not give up. Please join us in our continued efforts to strive for the freedom of Hong Kong!
If you have any questions or comments, please e-mail to [email protected] .
Representative of Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union
in Legislative Council,
Hon IP Kin-yuen
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‧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)
Corresponding Address: Room 919, Legislative Council Complex, 1 Legislative Council Road, Central, Hong Kong