Student activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung confronted Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor in a rare face-to-face encounter this morning, as they passed each other in the corridor of a radio station’s offices.
Surrounded by journalists, Wong stopped Lam in the hallway at Commercial Radio and tried to give her a copy of the liberal studies’ assessment criteria. That was a reference to his criticism that the government’s public sentiment report released this week did not even qualify as "a piece of liberal studies homework" because it had distorted public demands for genuine democracy.
But Lam stuck rigidly to the government line during a brief exchange:
Wong: Secretary [Carrie] Lam Cheng [Yuet-ngor], I want to give you a report. Since you wrote a ‘public sentiment newspaper cutting’, I have especially [prepared a copy] of the assessment criteria for the secondary school liberal studies subject homework.
It says [student would score low points if they] "show a low level of competence in reflection on the enquiry", "communicate and analyse the findings from limited perspectives related to the issue concerned", and "with less than appropriate methods". I think this set of liberal students assessment criteria for secondary school pupils’ [homework] is a good reference for your "public sentiment newspaper cutting". I hope you can take this.
I also want to ask why did you conclude in the report that it is a common aspiration among Hongkongers to implement a system of universal suffrage based on the National People’s Congress’s 831 (August 31) framework? Do you think this is distorting facts?
Lam: The public sentiment report was compiled purely, I think you can also remember, because in preparing for the dialogue with the Federation of Students’ (in October), we have heard many people and students representatives suggesting that since something had happened after a decision was made on August 31, should we file a report to the central government? That was the suggestion at that time ...
Wong: But I would like to ask …
Lam: At that time I already said the public sentiment report will be an objective and comprehensive report, it is not part of the five-step constitutional process.
Wong: But I still like to ask is it true to say that "it is a common aspiration among Hongkongers to implement a system of universal suffrage based on the National People’s Congress’s 831 (August 31) framework?”
As Lam appeared reluctant to answer, a man believed to be a member of Commercial Radio staff said: “I’m sorry but our show is about to start.”
It appeared that Lam took Wong’s copy of the “Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination 2016 – Liberal Studies: School-based Assessment Teachers’ Handbook”.
The government's report was released on Tuesday to sum up the series of events and protests that took place in Hong Kong from August to December after
Wong later said on Scholarism’s Facebook page that if pupils do their "Independent Enquiry Study” homework the same way officials wrote the public sentiment report, they could only score up to 3 points on a scale of 9.
Wong and Lam were at Commercial Radio to appear as guests – separately – on a political affairs radio programme.