Saturday, 1 August 2015

HKU Prof's New Claim to Fame

Professor Lo Chung-mau isn't just a respected surgeon but also an online meme
There's lots of drama going on at the University of Hong Kong and that's probably an understatement.

Earlier this week students protested the postponed appointment of HKU's former dean Johannes Chan Man-mun for the post of pro-vice-chancellor.

It is unclear what caused Dr Lo to fall and hug his right knee
They were not alone -- more than 2,400 people signed a petition against the delay that was published in newspapers, including 1,500 alumnae and former government officials like ex-chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang, former director of legal aid, Lady Pauline Cheung Cheng Po-lin, and ex-president of the Legislative Council Andrew Wong Wang-fat.

But since Johannes Chan's candidacy was revealed, pro-Beijing media have criticized his working relationship with HKU legal academic Benny Tai Yiu-ting, who co-founded the Occupy Central movement.

On Tuesday the university students stormed the venue where the governing body was having its meeting after it voted down a motion calling it to stop delaying Chan's appointment.

Some claim he was "football diving"
It was when the council meeting was overtaken by students clad in black that one of the council members, professor Lo Chung-mau, who is head of the HKU department of surgery and respected liver surgeon, suddenly fell down and started hugging his right knee.

Looking at video footage, there doesn't seem to be anyone provoking him to fall, which immediately made people think he was "diving", like footballers who fake injuries on the pitch.

However Lo denied doing such a thing, saying the accusation was "a big insult".

"[At that time] people were pushing others. I was standing right there, I heard some sounds, I wanted to move forward to see what was going on, then my right knee felt very painful, like bumping on to something, but I don't know what it was," Lo said, recounting the incident to RTHK.

"It was noisy, crowded and hot. I even felt difficulty breathing," he said.

After a day in hospital, Lo was released, but the doctor looking after him said Lo may even need surgery on his knee...

Lo's new talents include synchronized swimming
But too late -- Lo has been the laughing stock on social media, with images or meme of him superimposed of him hugging his knee in various settings, like synchronized swimming, or videos comparing him to footballers diving in the most outrageous situations.

The students are fighting for academic freedom, but Lo's apparent diving makes the resolution of Chan's appointment even harder to take the university council members seriously...

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