Hong Kong - A Singapore law professor who will take over as law dean of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) next July has made a strong defence of academic freedoms and freedom of expression.
In an interview with the South China Morning Post (SCMP), Professor Michael Hor Yew Meng said he would "do all in his power to nurture the spirit of liberty passed down by HKU academics".
The SCMP asked Prof Hor about issues including universal suffrage and promotion of democracy. He told the newspaper that protection of the freedom of thought and conscience, of speech and expression, of assembly and association, and with it the freedom of academic endeavour are essential to any university.
Prof Hor said in the interview that the key is to encourage all opinions to be aired and debated, and ultimately to reach a decision on the primary basis of what is in the best interests, not of particular persons or groups or institutions, but of Hong Kong itself.
Prof Hor is currently a law professor at the National University of Singapore. His appointment was announced by HKU last Fridayand he will take over in July, according to the SCMP.
Prof Hor is reportedly the HKU law faculty's second expatriate dean since 1996.
A report in 2010 said he was one of two possible candidates to succeed Prof Tan Cheng Han as dean of the NUS law faculty, although the university decided instead to reappoint Prof Tan for a further three years.
The NUS website says Prof Hor read law at NUS, followed by Bachelor of Civil Law studies at Oxford University. He also holds a Master of Laws degree from the University of Chicago.
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