Chief Executive John Lee prioritises HKU’s interests, announces free rides for public on 1st July

File photo.

11th June 2024 – (Hong Kong) Before an executive meeting today, Chief Executive John Lee addressed the media, anticipating their interest in the escalating tensions between HKU President Zhang Xiang and Council Chairperson Priscilla Wong. The recent controversy, sparked by the “surprise-style” appointment of an interim vice president, has intensified over the past month. It is understood that Lee has met with Zhang Xiang and Wong, urging them to foster open communication and cooperation while proposing the establishment of a coordinating committee to facilitate ongoing dialogue.

Lee began by highlighting the remarkable achievement of a Hong Kong payload specialist being selected as a reserve astronaut, providing an opportunity to contribute to scientific research in space and furthering the illustrious history of the Special Administrative Region and its people. He emphasised three significant implications: the unique status of “One Country, Two Systems” allowing Hong Kong residents to participate, the demonstration of China’s investment in Hong Kong’s scientific development, and showcasing the determination and resilience of Hong Kong’s youth in pursuing their dreams. Regarding the cargo expert’s identity, specific details have not been disclosed as per standard practice and will be announced at an appropriate time.

Furthermore, Lee announced that on the day of Hong Kong’s handover anniversary, 1st July, residents will enjoy free rides on trams, light rail, and selected MTR buses, while children aged 3 to 11 will travel for free on specified routes. Additionally, selected facilities under the Leisure and Cultural Services Department will be open to the public free of charge. From 29th June to 1st July, Ocean Park will offer a 30% discount, and seniors and children can enjoy tickets for Ngong Ping 360 at less than 30% of the regular price. Over a thousand dining establishments will also provide special offers, including a 71% discount on local seafood and vegetables from 1st to 7th July, with more promotions to be announced.

Regarding the HKU controversy, Chief Executive Lee emphasized that the university does not belong to any individual, and all matters must prioritize the interests of HKU. During his communication with the university president and council, he stressed the importance of open dialogue and reminded them of the requirements attached to government funding. Lee mentioned that there will be further announcements in the afternoon.

Addressing the issue of the letter from Lord Sumption stepping down, Lee criticised the weaponisation of the judiciary by the U.K. government and politicians, emphasising his support for Hong Kong judges.