立場新聞 Stand News

為何劍橋大學授予林鄭月娥名譽院士是錯誤之舉? Why it was wrong of a Cambridge college to award Carrie Lam an honorary fellowship

2018/10/15 — 11:22

【中譯:Ben;英文原文於中文譯文下】

編按:Evan 曾公開表示,說劍橋大學其中一所學院授予林鄭月娥名譽院士榮銜,是錯誤之舉。他在本文回顧當初如何經過多月考慮,才得出這一結論。林女士也許理論上是個合資格的候選人,但她所打造的香港本質上越來越專制,恰好和大學該捍衛的價值南轅北轍。

*  *  *

廣告

上週二,我很榮幸獲邀出席劍橋辯論社。在一場關於香港問題的小組討論上,有人問我是否認同香港行政長官該當選劍橋大學的名譽院士。這問題我早料到有人會問我,而且也不是第一次。頒發院士名銜的學院於年初曾慷慨招待我,那時我就仔細思考過這問題。

我說:「那要看我們到底認為這所大學該代表什麼。」我談到了一所學術機構賴以建立的核心原則,至少依我的理解,該是擁有思考、探究和表達的自由;具有招聘人才、運用信息、查考資料的自由;堅持學術獨立,避免政治上、經濟上及其他可能干預,以免妨礙或扭曲人們作出誠懇的探索研究。只有盡力堅持這些原則、努力實現這些原則,我們才能確定什麼是真實的,才能理解我們的過去、現在和未來。自由追求這些原則,即使未能達到圓滿境界,才可奠定大家所說的學術自由。

廣告

那天晚上,我在辯論社少有地充滿信心,說出我的結論。有句話已被引用於學生報告並廣泛轉發,我說:「我不認為林鄭月娥代表了這所大學所追求的學術自由......所以不該封她為名譽院士。」

有人曾告誡我別這樣直言無忌,但不是辯論社的人,也不是相關學院,而是我在香港的親友,可見今天大眾的良心已被凜冽寒風吹得瑟瑟縮縮。他們似乎越來越振振有詞,卻又憂心忡忡,深怕任何公開批評新政制的人,都會被當作缺乏愛國之心。

重要的已不是我這人身在哪裡,或跟誰說話,甚至我到底說了甚麼。哪怕是片言隻語,現在都可以被人編織為天大的謊言。那些告誡過我的人,親眼目睹了戴耀廷在台灣旅行時說的話如何被斷章取義,說他在鼓吹香港獨立,其實他只是提出了一個假設的問題。在香港,甚至連善良的人也由於恐懼而被迫接受這種刻意令真假不分、是非不明的現實;現在再分不清甚麼言行思想會被視為違法,日後也會被秋後算帳。正如憂鬱症的惡性循環,越讓這些界線模糊不清,就越令我們不得不懼怕擔憂。

兩週前,我在倫敦一次會議上再次被人告誡:別說出自己的想法。否則,我回香港後會安全嗎?就連回去旅遊探親也是否明智之舉?「他們有辦法誘捕你。」勸誡我的人說。但我一直在問自己一個更根本的問題:這種對白是在說我的家園嗎?自 1997 年以來,政府一直向我們保證,說我們的核心價值和生活方式維持不變,難道指的真是這個香港?

無論我們個人身處哪種環境,能夠說出我們所知道的真相,不僅是因為發自良心,更是為了維護尊嚴。我們可能會說錯話,或在適當時候被人指正,到時我們的觀點自會改變。但要剝奪我們這種最基本的尊嚴,則是最邪惡的事,因為不許說真話,就是否定了個體,否定了人。

劍橋大學某學院決定頒授名譽院士給林鄭月娥,這舉動雖然錯誤,卻情有可原,我肯定他們也恪盡職守,秉公辦理。但既然該學院和中國關係緊密,那麼人們懷疑此舉還有其他政治和經濟上的考慮,也並非空穴來風。

林女士的性格和工作操守,確有令人欽佩之處。她是個能能幹的行政人員,處事一絲不苟,因此才得以晉升至政府高層。她顯然能和中國建立密切關係,贏得了北京信任,當選為特區首長。她與該劍橋學院也甚有淵源,曾參加該學院為政府高層管理人員開辦的課程。她就是在劍橋遇到了未來夫婿,我相信兩夫婦對劍橋這地方都有美好的回憶。

話雖如此,我們不應該忽視更為重要的考慮:林鄭月娥身為特首,指示轄下的行政機關加緊約束香港人一度享有的多項自由。她的政府不斷挑戰新聞自由和法治,斥責記者和法官不愛國,對言論、結社和思想的核心自由嚴格限制;容許統戰活動肆意擴張,而且往往由政府撐腰;更有甚者,越來越把教育變成政治工具。

她身為特首,卻親自出面支持人們質疑司法裁決,藉口需要嚴加審判而讓擁有某一政治信念的示威人士面臨雙重懲罰;她又贊成民選議員被取消資格,還非常露骨而粗魯地拒絕祝賀香港隊贏得 2022 年同樂運動會的主辦權。她無法分清楚哪些是自己的個人信念,哪些是身為特首的職責。她所領導的城市,其自由本應受「一國兩制」及國際法保障,而她卻道貌岸然地去打擊港人珍視的自由開放。這種選擇,只能說並非全然是奉國家政府之命而行,也是她本人蓄意為之。

劍橋大學該考慮以下這點:由於林女士的強制命令,香港的學校已不再使用「外國」教科書。這種轉變的用心,在一封由教育局發給所有學校並由局長李國章簽署的信上,可謂昭然若揭。

信上提到學生若有錯誤想法和極端思想,校長和教師應用事實予以糾正,並且告知學生父母,以便尋求解決。

正是在林女士的指示下,大學董事會充滿了政治任命的人,聘用晉升和撥款資助都按政治背景來審查,而且公開鼓吹「愛國主義」。學生團體受到勸阻,最好別討論任何政治和社會議題;他們越來越遭到妖魔化,被人譴責「思想錯誤」,令他們瓦解分裂,成為了被壓迫的大多數,不敢脫離常規去思考。而那些敢於堅持批判思想的人,現在都被人孤立,因陷於困境而走向極端。

那些為林女士辯護的人,會說她從前任特首梁振英手上得到了一個沒人想要的燙手山芋,會說她畢竟是北京的扯線公仔,身不由己。但是林女士曾一度宣佈不參選特首,後來卻翹首以待,欣然接受特首之位,她完全明白打這份工需要做些甚麼。她既沒有在勝利時表現出寬宏大度,也沒有樂意去尋求和平。基督徒謙卑寬恕的美德本可助人治癒傷口,她卻選擇繼續採用鐵腕政策,更加用力打壓。領導人本該在權力容許的範圍內追尋真理,為社會謀福利,令未充滿希望。但今天在香港街頭,試試找個人來問問他們是否還有希望,對香港未來就可思過半了。

顯而易見的是,在她領導下,對北京的非官方支持,在香港範圍內增加了,並與某些反對派的立法會議員及建制派支持者,展開了直接對話。這跡象表示北京可能不再信任一個盲目效忠、只懂拍馬屁和煽動愛國精神的政府。在這方面,彭定康說得對:出賣香港的將會是香港人自己,他們背叛了別人辛苦爭取得來的自由。

林女士和她的政府機關,已在亞洲一度最自由奔放的城市製造出恐懼和壓迫的環境。這城市至少有兩個世代要求政府更代表民意,她這特首卻高高在上,指揮著一個越來越專橫的體制。即使她會矢口否認,街頭上人心惶惶的現象,既不可否定,也不可輕視。

授予林鄭月娥名譽院士的劍橋大學學院,是想藉此鞏固彼此關係,促進雙方合作。林鄭月娥當選院士,提高了自己的聲譽地位。這可能不是大學的本意,他們往往不覺得頒發這種名銜有甚麼了不起,但在注重名譽的亞洲,這榮銜卻意義重大,富有象徵。這銜頭具有一定程度的合法性,有人拿來(或會拿來)抵消合理的反對意見。事實上,許多記者已指出,林女士對他們提出的問題,表現得特別冷漠,越來越不屑一顧。當地一位評論員不久前對我說:「她喜歡頒布聖旨,要人服從,你問她問題,她都當你蓄意冒犯。」

一所成就卓越的學術機構,必須既體現學術自由,也提倡學術自由。劍橋大學花了幾百年時間,才獲得舉世推崇的聲譽,而且實至名歸。不過這種聲譽可能因為一次的錯誤決定,而蒙上污點。

去年劍橋大學出版社曾決定順從中國的要求,從一份著名的中國研究網上期刊抽掉了300多篇文章。據說這是下層職員擅作主張,後來國際上引起義憤,出版社才撤銷決定,恢復刊載。其他學術出版人就沒有這種聲譽作後盾,也沒有人支持去堅守原則。我希望頒發林鄭月娥名譽院士的劍橋學院,也能檢討先前的決定。而在那些明白及認識香港情況的人看來,香港和該大學的聲譽同樣受損。

無論香港的核心價值和制度是否維持完好,大家可以公開辯論,但現在大家躲在陰暗處讓怒火蔓延肆虐,正表明林女士要把我城帶到甚麼方向。林女士塑造的香港,越來越諸多限制,專橫獨斷、狹隘僵化、不容異己、令人民擔驚受怕,與劍橋那樣的大學一向支持並應該提倡的價值相比,這樣的香港正好是反其道而行。

*  *  *

Having publicly stated he believes it wrong that a Cambridge college award Carrie Lam an honorary fellowship, Evan explores how he arrived at this conclusion. Ms.Lam may be a good candidate on paper, but the Hong Kong that she has shaped is increasingly authoritarian in nature, and represents the antithesis of what the university should champion.

Last Tuesday I was honoured to be a guest of the Cambridge Union. During a panel discussion on Hong Kong I was asked whether I thought it right that the Hong Kong Chief Executive should have been made an honorary fellow of a Cambridge college. It was a question I had anticipated to be asked — and it is not a new question. The college in question had graciously hosted me earlier this year, and I had given the question much thought.

“It really depends on what we would believe this university should stand to represent,” I said. I spoke on the core principles upon which an academic institution — at least as I understand one to be — must be built: on freedom of thought, enquiry and expression; on freedom of access, to people, information and sources; on academic independence from political, economic or other interference that may seek to discourage or prejudice honest inquiry. Only in seeking to uphold and work towards these principles might we seek to ascertain what is true, or an understanding of what was, is and what might be. The freedom to pursue these principles, unattainable though they may be in their purest form, underlays what we may more generally call academic freedom. 

That evening at the Union I drew my conclusion with an unusual level of confidence. In a line reported across the student papers and widely retweeted, I said: “I don’t think Carrie Lam represents the values of academic freedom embodied by this university… so no, she should not have been awarded an honorary fellowship.”

I had been warned not to say this. Not by the Union, nor by the college in question. But tellingly, in a sign of the chill wind that today sweeps across our consciences, by friends and family in Hong Kong. What they fear, with what seems both increasing reason and paranoia, is that any attempt to publicly criticise the new administrative regime may be considered unpatriotic. 

It no longer matters where I am, or to whom I am speaking or even precisely what I say. Lies can now be spun from the thinnest of threads. Those who had warned me had witnessed this in the way Benny Tai’s comments during a trip to Taiwan were taken out of context to suggest he had advocated for Hong Kong’s independence — in reality had merely posed a hypothetical question. In Hong Kong fear has compelled even good people to accept this deliberate blurring of the lines: between what is true and what is not, and what may be thought, said or done and what is now not only illegal but enforced retroactively. And as the way of depressive cycles, the more these lines are allowed to be blurred the more we have to fear.

In a meeting in London two weeks before I had again been warned about speaking my mind. Would I be safe when I return to Hong Kong? Was it even wise to travel home? “They have ways of trapping you,” I was warned. All the time I found myself asking a more fundamental question: was I really having this conversation about my home? Is this really the Hong Kong, whose core values and way of life we are consistently reassured has not fundamentally changed since 1997?

What ever our personal situation, it is a matter not only of conscience but dignity to be able to speak that which we know to be true. We may be wrong, or in due course be shown to be, upon which our views will change. But to be denied this most basic of dignities is a most wicked thing, for it denies the individual, the person. 

In honouring Carrie Lam with a fellowship, I believe a Cambridge college has made an understandable if wrong decision. I am sure in making this decision due diligence and fair consideration was applied. However, it is not unreasonable to suspect that other, potential economic and political considerations, were also a factor given the colleges close existing ties with China.

Ms. Lam has an admirable record on paper and there is much one might admire in her character and work ethic. She is a capable administrator with the upmost dedication to detail, that has allowed her rightly to rise to the upper echelons of the civil service. She has clearly been able to develop the connections and confidence of Beijing to be selected as the regions chief executive. She is also connected to the college, having attended a programme for senior government administrators. It was during her time at Cambridge that she met her husband, and I am sure the couple have fond memories of the city.

However such an assessment should not detract from a far more important consideration: that as chief executive Carries Lam directs an administration that has under her instruction chosen to further limit the freedoms once enjoyed by the people of Hong Kong. Her government has consistently challenged freedom of the press and the rule of law; berated journalists and judges as unpatriotic; seen severe limits placed on the core freedoms of expression, association and thought; allowed the expansion of united front activities to go unhindered, and often with government support; and seen the increasing politicisation of education.

As Chief Executive Ms. Lam has lent her personal support to challenge judicial rulings, allowed protestors of only one political persuasion to face double jeopardy in the name of needing stiffer judgements, argued for the disqualification of popularly elected legislators and, in one appallingly crass moment, refused to congratulate the Hong Kong team for winning the right to host the Gay Games. Unable to separate her own personal convictions with her role as the leader of a city’s whose freedoms are mandated by the concept of “One Country, Two Systems” and by international law, one can only conclude that the righteousness of her crusade against those liberal freedoms Hong Kong people hold dear is as much a choice as imposed by our national government.

Cambridge University would do well to note that due to Ms. Lam’s diktat schools across Hong Kong may no longer use “foreign” text books. The meaning of this change is made clear, and furthered, in a letter sent by the Education Bureau to all local schools, and signed by Secretary for Education Li Kwok-cheung:

“Should students have erroneous and extreme thoughts, principals and teachers should correct them with facts, bring this to the attention of their parents so that the case can be addressed.”

And under Ms. Lam’s instruction university boards have been filled with political appointees; employment, promotion and the awarding of grants are vetted on political grounds, and “patriotism” openly encouraged. The student body, discouraged from discussing any political and most social causes and increasingly demonised and condemned for ‘incorrect thinking,’ has fractured into an oppressed majority that dare not think outside the lines. The minority that continue to think critically are now isolated and trapped into taking up extreme positions.

There will be those who will defend Ms. Lam’s record, saying she inherited from her predecessor CY Leung a job no one wanted, and that she remains a puppet to Beijing’s strings. But Ms. Lam, having previously ruled herself out from running, made herself available and accept the job in full knowledge of what was required. She has not shown magnanimity in victory nor good will in seeking peace. Where the Christian virtues of humility and forgiveness would have helped heal wounds, she has chosen instead inherited the jackboot and then to clamp down harder. A leader works to the limits of authority for what is true and for the benefit of society, providingfor a sense of hope for the future. Ask anyone on the streets of Hong Kong today whether they have such hope.

It is also telling that under her leadership Beijing’s unofficial support within the territory has widened. Direct dialogue has been established and maintained with a selected few opposition legislators and supporters. The signs are there that Beijing, if satisfied, is not trustful of a blindly loyal government of sycophants and rabid nationalists. Patten was right in this regard: it would be Hong Kong people who would sell out the freedoms others had fought so hard to preserve.

Ms. Lam and her administration has engendered an environment of fear and oppression in what was once Asia’s most freest and vibrant city. In a city that has demanded more representative government for at least two generations, she sit astride an increasingly authoritarian system. And though she may deny this, the effect on the street cannot be denied nor downplayed.

By awarding Carrie Lam an honorary fellowship a Cambridge college has chosen to both strengthen and promote a relationship. The fellowship provides her with reputation and standing. This may not be something appreciated within the university itself, which tends to downplay such fellowships, but in Asia, where reputations matter, it has an importance and symbolism. It gives a degree of legitimacy that is and may be used by some to off-set reasonable opposition. Indeed, as many a journalist has noted, Ms. Lam has developed a particularly cold and dismissive attitude to taking questions. As one local commentator remarked to me not long ago, “She issue diktats, and questions are an affront to her.”

An institution of academic excellence must both embody and be a champion of academic freedom. It has taken centuries for Cambridge University to forge its world leading reputation, and it is a reputation well deserved. However reputations may fall on the back of a single poor decision.

Last year Cambridge University Press decided to comply with a Chinese request to block more than 300 articles from a leading China studies journal. It was a decision taken, we are told, at a junior level and was later rescinded after international outrage. Other academic publishers have not had the reputation nor the backing to stand by principle. I hope the Cambridge college that choose to award Carrie Lam an honorary fellowship will also be reviewing their decision. As with the University Press, for those who understand and know Hong Kong reputations are at stake.

Whether or not Hong Kong’s core values and institutions are intact may be up for debate, but that such a debate must rage, and rage in the shadows, is testimony to the direction Ms. Lam has chosen to take the city. The Hong Kong that Ms. Lam has shaped — increasingly restricted and authoritarian, illiberal, intolerant and afraid — represents  the antithesis of what a university like Cambridge has and should champion.

發表意見