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Chaos at forum as raving teens corner Leung, Thursday July 3, 2012
Jul 3 2012, 12:32 PM
Joined: 24-December 06
Member No.: 2,491
One day after he was sworn into office, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying was cornered and trapped for about an hour in a community center by a group of angry students. Chaos erupted as Leung was attempting to soothe public anger by attending two forums. As he was about to finish speaking at the second forum in a Tuen Mun community hall, a female student walked behind him and raised a placard that accused him of "putting on a show." Another student then walked up to Leung and handed over a petition. They were then followed by about 10 members of the recently formed student group Scholarism who shouted at Leung for supporting a "brainwashing" national education curriculum. As the group moved in on Leung, he tried to leave the hall escorted by security guards. Leung took refuge inside the community center, but when he tried to leave about an hour later he was surrounded by protesters, including 30 People Power members. Police had to hold back the crowd in order for Leung to drive away.
A spokesman for Leung's office said the chief executive and his team would not be prevented from meeting the public but added that people should communicate with Leung in a peaceful and rational manner. During a youth musical performance in the morning in Shau Kei Wan, Leung said he would "seriously and humbly" listen to the public. "No matter what format the public takes to express their views, including [Sunday's] march, and no matter how many people show up, I and my team will seriously and humbly listen to them," Leung said. "My team and I will continue to listen to the demands of the public, be it about politics, society, or people's livelihood. I hope that we can work with the public and fight for what they want." He also said he will deal with the unauthorized structures in his Peak houses within a month. He refused to comment on the incident in which an Apple Daily reporter was taken away by the police on Saturday after he shouted to President Hu Jintao about whether those involved in the 1989 Tiananmen protest should be vindicated. Leung made the remarks as the organizer for Sunday's march said some 400,000 people took part.
Police said there were only 63,000 people at its peak, while the University of Hong Kong estimated up to 112,000 people joined the march. The demand of most of the protesters was for Leung to step down. Other top officials in Leung's team also hit the streets yesterday to meet the public. Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said while attending a forum in Hang Hau that she also has "deep feelings" about Sunday's march. She added that the new government will humbly listen to public views.
Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung and Secretary for Home Affairs Tsang Tak-sing pledged that the government will listen to what the public demands while attending a Kwai Chung forum. Political analyst Dixon Shing Ming said the new government is facing a confidence crisis. "I attended the protest on July 1. Many of the participants urged him to step down. This shows that they don't trust him," he said. "They are worried Leung Chun-ying will change the `one- country, two-systems' principle into `one-country, one-system."'
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