Former Chief Executive CY Leung has defended his move to publish on his Facebook page the personal information of 18 teachers being prosecuted for protest-related offences, saying students should be protected from being radicalised.
Speaking after appearing on a radio programme on Sunday, Leung said more than 100 primary and secondary school teachers had been arrested in relation to protests over the past year.
He noted there was social unrest in many places around the world, such as the United States, where he said many people hated the police. But he said nowhere else was like Hong Kong, where there had been a large number of teachers and students arrested, and people should look at the causes of this phenomenon.
Leung said people should investigate why young people had become radicalised to such an extent that they would attack the police and take part in violent activities, and whether schools and teachers had played a role in this.
The former CE also dismissed allegations that he had breached privacy laws by publishing the personal details of the teachers, saying he only "collated" information from media reports.
"I just collated information including names of the teachers who are being prosecuted, teachers who have been committed in our law courts. I collated these information from already published, reported reports in the media. So there's nothing to do with the question of privacy," he said.
The information he published on his Facebook page last week included the teachers' names, ages and school details.
The Privacy Commissioner said it had received 17 complaints over Leung's move, while some pro-democracy figures accused him of spreading hatred and launching a Cultural Revolution-style attack on the education sector.
But Leung said even Britain's Teaching Regulation Agency – a body set up by the government to handle complaints against teachers – would also publish the names of the teachers it was investigating. He said this would honour the parents' right to know, to enable them to protect their children.
He said publishing such information did not conflict with academic freedom, freedom of speech or people's privacy.
Leung, who is a vice chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, also said Hong Kong could continue to be what he called a "super-connector" between mainland China and the world.
He said Hong Kong and Shenzhen could complement each other in helping the country's development, adding that the people of Hong Kong should also learn from Shenzhen.