2015–2017 youth suicides in Hong Kong

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2015–2017 youth suicides in Hong Kong
Traditional Chinese香港學生連續自殺事件
Simplified Chinese香港学生连续自杀事件

Youth Suicide trend in Hong Kong (Chinese: 香港學生連續自殺事件) refers to the succession of suicide committed by Hong Kong primary, secondary and post-secondary students from 2015 to 2017. The suicide cases are not connected, but the frequency of suicides aroused public's attention to the mental health and academic pressure of Hong Kong students.

General Background[edit]

Statistics[edit]

Since the commencement of the 2015 school year, a spate of suicides among students began to take place, over 70 suicide cases were reported from 2015 to 2017. The alarming frequency of youth suicide is very worrying as it reached a record high, raising concerns that students in Hong Kong face too much academic stress. Based on records from the Coroner's Court,[1] there were 70 suicide incidents of youths aged 15–24 in 2015, among them 23 were full-time students.

Under sensational reports by the media, suicide can be contagious and intensify copycat effect, thus leading to more deaths. The distribution of deaths is shown below:[2]

School Year Primary and Secondary Post-secondary
2015–2016 22 16
2016–2017 17 15
2017–2018 13 12

It is worth to note that the current data on primary and secondary suicide cases also reveal a significant association between gender and mental illness, with male suicide rates outnumbering its female counterparts in Hong Kong. The Final Report published by the Committee on Prevention of Student Suicides (Chinese: 防止學生自殺委員會) suggested the reason may be unwillingness amongst men to talk openly with health care professions and treat mental disorders, while females are more likely to seek help.[3]

List of suicide case[edit]

Template:動態列表 the related suicide cases are listed as below:

Academic year 2014-2015[edit]

student age grade
(school)
date reference
Chan 15 secondary 3 15 October 2014 [4]
Wong 19 secondary 6 9 March 2015 [5]
Chan 22 Bachelor degree year 5
Education University of Hong Kong
24 March 2015 [6]

Academic year 2015-2016[edit]

Student Age Grade
(School)
Date Reference
Chan 21 Associate degree 26 July 2015 [7]
Chow 17 Secondary 5 2 August 2015 [8]
Boy 19 Studying overseas 12 August 2015 [9]
Chan 21 Bachelor degree
Hong Kong Chinese University
7 September 2015 [10]
Chan 11 Secondary 1
10 September 2015 [11]
Chu 13 Secondary 1 23 September 2015 [12]
Lam 15 gap year 23 October 2015 [13]
Ng 17 Post-secondary IVE 24 October 2015 [14]
Wong 21 University
Hong Kong Shue Yan University
4 November 2015 [15]
Ng 21 Bachelor degree 2
Hong Kong Polytechnic University
4 November 2015 [16]
Leung 18 Bachelor degree 1
Hong Kong Chinese University
19 November 2015 [17]
Tse 21 Diploma
VTC
14 December 2015 [18]
Chan 22 Bachelor degree 4
Hong Kong Chinese University
15 December 2015 [19]
Wong 15 Secondary 4 16 December 2015 [20]
Cheung 18 Secondary 6 28 December 2015 [21]
Ho 15 Secondary 4
CNEC Lee I Yao Memorial Secondary School
4 January 2016 [22]
Siu 19 Bachelor degree 1
Hong Kong Shue Yan University
6 January 2016 [23]
Lee 20 Secondary 6 17 January 2016 [24]
Lam 14 Grade 9
(Secondary 3)
Hong Kong International School
18 January 2016 [25]
Wong 21 Bachelor degree 4
Hong Kong Chinese University
20 January 2016 [26]
Lai 12 Secondary 1 12 February 2016 [27]
Ng 16 Secondary 5 18 February 2016 [28]
Cheung 20 Bachelor degree 3
Hong Kong Chinese University
5 March 2016 [29]
Chow 15 Secondary 4
St. Bonaventure College and High School [zh]
7 March 2016 [30]
Ng 12 Secondary 1
Buddhist Sum Heung Lam Memorial College [zh]
8 March 2016 [31]
So 20 Bachelor degree 3
University of Hong Kong
8 March 2016 [32]
Cheung 20 Studying overseas 11 March 2016 [33]
Tam 11 Primary 6 12 March 2016 [34]
Yip 21 Bachelor degree 3
Hong Kong Polytechnic University
13 March 2016 [35]
Chau 22 Bachelor degree 4
Hong Kong Polytechnic University
26 March 2016 [36]
Kwan 17 Grade 11
(Secondary 5)
Po Leung Kuk Choi Kai Yau School
27 March 2016 [37]
Yeung 20 DSE Retaker 4 April 2016 [38]
Siu 17 Secondary 4 13 April 2016 [39]
So 22 Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts year 4 14 April 2016 [40]
Tse 16 Secondary 3 19 April 2016 [41]
Wong 18 Studying overseas 24 April 2016 [42]
Lau 18 DSE 10 June 2016 [43]
Ng 20 DSE 17 June 2016 [44]
Wong 14 Grade 10
(Secondary 4)
Yew Chung International School
23 June 2016 [45]
Tse 19 Diploma
Community College of City University [zh] (城大專上學院))
22 July 2016 [46]

Academic year 2016-2017[edit]

Student Age Grade
(School)
Date Reference
Lee 17 Secondary 5
中華基督教青年會中學
2016/8/5 [47]
Cheung 22 Bachelor degree 3
香港中文大學
2016/8/26 [48]
Boy 20 Bachelor degree 2
香港專業教育學院
2016/9/13 [49]
Leung 20 Secondary 6 graduate
新界鄉議局元朗區中學
2016/9/28 [50]
Wong 16 VTC student 2016/10/4 [51]
Chan 17 Gap year 2016/10/14 [52]
Lau 19 Year 2
香港專業教育學院
2016/10/16 [53]
Lee 13 Secondary 2 2016/11/1 [54]
Fung 21 Bachelor degree 4
(香港樹仁大學)
2016/11/12 [55]
Chung 20 Bachelor degree 3
嶺南大學
2016/11/21 [56]
So 20 Bachelor degree 2
香港理工大學
2016/11/21 [57]
Tsui 16 Secondary 3
北角培僑中學
2016/11/23 [58]
Ho 19 Associate degree 2016/12/10 [59]
Tsim 15 Secondary 2 2016/12/12 [60]
Ng 16 Secondar 5
東涌天主教學校
2016/12/16 [61]
Leung 13 Secondary 2 2016/12/16 [62]
Ko 19 Bachelor degree 3
香港浸會大學
2016/12/19 [63]
Chu 25 Secondary graduate 2017/1/12 [64]
Lam 19 gap year 2017/1/22 [65]
Yeung 21 Associate degree 2
香港理工大學
2017/1/24 [66]
Law 19 Year 2
香港專業教育學院
2017/2/2 [67]
Law 16 Secondary 4 2017/2/5 [68]
Tsoi 13 Secondary 1 2017/2/6 [69]
Tam 15 Secondary 4 2017/2/12 [70]
Boy 15 Grade 11
(Secondary 5)
西島中學
2017/2/17 [71]
Lung 13 Secondary 2 2017/2/21 [72]
Boy 19 Study oversea 2017/2/28 [73]
Lau 13 Secondary 2 2017/3/1 [74]
Tam 21 Associate degree student 2017/3/9 [75]
Lee 18 Secondary 5 2017/3/15 [76]
Wong 21 Bachelor degree 3
(香港理工大學)
2017/3/17 [77]
Cheung 20 Associate degree student 2017/3/20 [78]
Leung 17 Secondary 4
東華三院甲寅年總理中學
2017/3/21 [79]
Girl 21 Bachelor degree 3
(Exchange in CUHK)
2017/4/3 [80]
Chan 10 Primary student 2017/4/5 [81]
Fong 19 Gap year 2017/4/9 [82]
Lee 23 Nursing school year 2
屯門醫院普通科護士學校)
2017/4/12 [83]
Chan 20 香港大學專業進修學院 2017/4/19 [84]
Lau 15 Secondary 3 2017/4/27 [85]
Yung 22 IVE 2017/6/26 [86]
Sun 19 study oversea 2017/6/28 [87]
Ho 23 Bachelor degree 4
香港理工大學
2017/7/5 [88]
Girl 21 University香港城市大學 2017/7/11 [89]
Lam 17 Secondary 5 2017/7/27 [90]
To 17 Secondary 4 2017/7/31 [91]

Academic year 2017-2018[edit]

Stundet Age Grade
(School)
Date Reference
Wong 18 study oversea 2017/8/6 [92]
Ho 17 gap year 2017/8/10 [93]
Mak 21 Bachelor degree 3
香港中文大學
2017/8/13 [94]
Ho 15 Secondary 4 2017/8/26 [95]
Lam 19 Post-secondary (IVE) 2017/8/31 [96]
Fung 23 Study oversea 2017/9/2 [97]
Man 16 Secondary 5 2017/9/5 [98]
Ng 17 Secondary 6
元朗公立中學校友會鄧兆棠中學
2017/9/25 [99]
Ng 20 Associate degree
香港能仁專上學院
2017/10/6 [100]
Tsang 11 Primary 6 2017/10/12 [101]
Mak 17 Secondary 6
油塘天主教普照中學
2017/10/12 [102]
Chau 19 gap year 2017/10/20 [103]
Lam 21 part time student 2017年11月6日 [104]
Chin 17 Secondary 6
滙基書院(東九龍)
2017/11/20 [105]
Kan 19 Associate degree (gap year) 2017/11/23 [106]
Chan 16 Secondary 5 2017/11/28 [107]
Lau 21 Bachelor degree 1
香港中文大學
2017/12/9 [108]
Wong 15 Secondary 4 2017/12/10 [109]
Hung 25 Bachelor degree 4
香港浸會大學
2017/12/15 [110]
Chow 23 Bachelor degree 4
香港理工大學
2017/12/17 [111]
Hung 14 Secondary 3
順德聯誼總會梁銶琚中學
2018/1/2 [112]
Wong 17 Secondary 6
保良局何蔭棠中學
2018/1/2 [113][114]
Lam 17 Gap year 2018/1/14 [115]
Tsoi 19 Bachelor degree 1
香港中文大學
2018/1/16 [116]
Chan 17 Secondary 6 2018/1/26 [117]
Cheung 21 Secondary 6
中華基督教會公理高中書院
2018/2/19 [118]
Lam 16 Secondary 5
中華傳道會李賢堯紀念中學
2018/2/28 [119]
Wan 25 Bachelor degree 2
香港理工大學設計學院)
2018/4/5/ [120]
Mak 14 Secondary 5
神召會康樂中學
2018/5/6 [121]
Leung 22 Bachelor degree 4
香港中文大學
2018/5/26 [122]
Cheung 20 University
香港理工大學
2018/5/29 [123]
Poon 11 Primary 5 2018/6/19 [124]
Lee 16 Gap year 2018/6/20 [125]

Academic year 2018-2019[edit]

Student Age Grade
(School)
Date Reference
Sum 21 gap year 2018/8/1 [126]
Tsui 19 University
香港公開大學
2018/8/4 [127]
Yuen 17 University
香港大學
2018/8/13 [128]
Fan 21 University 2018/8/17 [129]
Choi 22 Bachelor degree 4 2018/8/22 [130]
Cheung 34 Computer course 2018/8/30 [131]
Wong 20 University 2018/9/19 [132]
Lee 19 Bachelor degree 2
香港中文大學
2018/9/21 [133]
Wong 17 Secondary 6 2018/10/6 [134]
Lung 18 展亮技能發展中心 2018/10/7 [135]
LAm 17 Secondary 6
順德聯誼總會梁銶琚中學
2018/10/8 [136]
Sum 13 Secondary 2
迦密中學
2018/10/10 [137]
Chung 10 Primary 5 2018/10/13 [138]
Leung 22 University
香港理工大學
2018/11/2 [139]
Ng 12 Secondary 1 2018/11/11 [140]
Lui 22 Post-graduate degree
香港科技大學
2018/11/16 [141]
Chan 24 Bachelor degree 5
香港大學
2018/12/10 [142]
Leung 19 Bachelor degree 2
香港大學
2018年12月10日 [143]
Chan 16 Secondary 5 2019/1/6 [144]
Lai 17 Secondary 6 2019/1/14 [145]
Lee 16 Secondary 4 2019/3/14 [146]
Poon 16 Secondary 5 2019/3/15 [147]

Causes of Suicide[edit]

There are multiple and interlocking causes of suicide suggested in the following.

Education in Hong Kong[edit]

In Hong Kong, the belief of "academic results determines the future" is prevailing. Schools, parents and students become oriented towards attaining good academic results, and this puts great pressure on students to pursue academic excellence.[148] The Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) is seen as an "one-off exam". In a poll conducted by the "New Youth World", students rated their level of pressure as 7.44 out of 10 under HKDSE.[149] The life planning support is insufficient in Hong Kong, such that students see progression as their only way out, but neglecting their own abilities and interests. Therefore, they may easily feel stressed when they are not performing well academically.

Copycat suicide[edit]

Suicide cluster is defined as an emulation of another suicide that the person attempting suicide knows about, either from local knowledge or due to accounts or depictions of the original suicide on Television and in other media.[150] Imitative suicide is common in the under 25 age group.[151] In Hong Kong, it has been suggested that due to the widespread news report of youth suicide, students are driven to imitate such suicides.[152]

Psychological Concerns[edit]

In 2015–2016, 24 out of 38 suicide case involved psychological factors.[3] 13 victims displayed suicidal ideation and 17 victims showed feeling of hopelessness. However, current psychological support from schools, teachers, social workers and parents is not enough.[153]

Existing Support[edit]

The help and resources available for students divided into three levels: universal help (for students in general), selective help (for vulnerable students) and indicated help (for students with risk of suicide).

Universal help consists of information, workshops and other tools to help prevent student suicide and improve mental health, as well as raise awareness of the topic. It is also possible for schools to apply for up to HKD$150,000 from the Quality Education Fund to finance activities related to student's well-being.

Selective help is aimed at students with heightened risk of suicide. An example of selective help can be screening tools to find at-risk cases in time. For example, The Centre for Suicide Research provide hands-on advise on their web page to teachers, parents and friends who are worried that someone close to them may be at risk of suicide.

Indicated help is aimed at students with a risk of suicide. Post-secondary institutions are advised to have a 24-hotline and easy access to psychiatric and psychological services. Schools do not always live up to this standard. There are multiple independent hotlines, as well as hotlines run by the Social Welfare Department. Examples of suicide hotlines are the Suicide prevention Services, The Samaritan Befrienders Hong Kong, and Youth Outreach.[3][154]

Response from the Education Bureau[edit]

Attitude of the Bureau[edit]

In a legislative council meeting on 16 March 2016, former legislative council member Wong Yuk-man raised that one of the possible causes of students suicide could be the Hong Kong's education system which places too much emphasis on competition. He suggested that parents and teachers barely have time to help students cope with emotional distress as most effort are spent on academic results of students. He questioned the Education Bureau regarding whether it will identify the causes in the current education system that can lead to enormous study pressure for students.

In response to the question, former Secretary for Education Eddie Ng answered that suicide is a complex behaviour with no single cause, and that in fact students’ academic pressure has been reduced under the implementation of New Academic Structure (NAS) in 2009. For example, students under the NAS only have to sit for one public examination, and are able to choose elective subjects in accordance with their interests and abilities to develop their potential.[155]

He further raised that suicides could be prevented by better life planning.[156]

On 13 November 2016, the Education Bureau raised a similar viewpoint, restating that evidence based research indicated that the cause of suicide is complicated. Reasons behind each case are rarely the same and it cannot be proved that the education system or a particular academic environment could directly lead to suicide.[157]

Policies and Committees[edit]

Healthy School Policy[edit]

In February 2010, the Education Bureau circled a memorandum encouraging the implementation of the Healthy School Policy in primary and secondary schools. Each school was encouraged to formulate their own implementation plan.[158] This policy was implemented starting in the school year of 2010–2011. Furthermore, the policy's aim is divided into four different elements: developing a management and organisation system for health matters, encourage a healthy school environment, promote a healthy lifestyle for students and improve recognition of students in need and creating a system for handling these students.[159] The policy is foremost an anti substance abuse effort but also touches upon issues related to students’ mental health and student suicide.

Prevention of Student Suicide Committee[edit]

On 30 March 2016, the Educational Bureau set up the Prevention of Student Suicide Committee [1] in response to the spate of students' suicides in the 2015–16 school year. The committee is tasked with studying student suicide in Hong Kong and to offer preemptive solutions to the problem ofyouth suicide.[160] The committee consists 21 members ranging from teachers, parents, psychiatrists and the president of the student union at the University of Hong Kong.[161] Professor Paul Yip Siu Fai [zh] (Chinese: 葉兆輝) is the director of the Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention [2] in addition to being a chairperson in the Prevention of Student Suicide Committee.[162]

In November 2016, the Prevention of Student Suicide Committee released their final report which presents the current understanding of the student suicide problem and possible solutions. The measures suggested in the report are, including but not limited to, enhancement of the support for families, student support in schools, and promoting the acceptance of alternative career paths. In relation to the Report, the Education Bureau has formulated several practicable and follow-up actions to build a multi-layered safety net for students according to four areas, which includes Promotion of Students’ Mental Well-being and Health, Strengthening Support for Schools and Teachers, Reviewing Relevant Domains in the Education System, and Enhancement of Family Life and Parent Education.[163]

In addition, the Education Bureau proceeded with different policies and projects in response to the 2015–2016 student suicides and the following public discontent.[164] Including but not limited to, providing education material to schools to be able to identify students with difficulties and to provide education for students on coping strategies and positive attitudes. In this case, the educational material for schools, parents and students consisted of pamphlets on the topic of "Enhancing Life Resilience". A memo was sent out on 24 June 2016 to inform the heads of different schools of this material.[165]

Committee on Home-School Co-operation[edit]

The Committee on Home-School Co-operation (abbr.: CHSC), was set up after a recommendation from Education Commission, to encourage cooperation between parents and teachers. Chiefly by encouraging the set-up of Parent-Teacher Association and by organising activities made to improve home-school cooperation. A memorandum was sent out on 10 June 2016 from the Secretary for Education to inform supervisors and heads of schools. To achieve these goals the Committee on Home-School Co-operation has set up three different types of grants that schools can apply for. The first of grant, with a maximum sum of around HKD$5000 is for schools seeking to set up a Parent-Teacher Association. The second type of grant, with a maximum sum of HKD$5000, is for schools seeking to organise an activity with the purpose of encouraging home-school cooperation. Activities can, for example, be aimed at parenting training, assisting parents to support their children, or student health. The third type of grant is for joint Home-School Co-operation Projects.[166][167]

Other initiatives[edit]

No-Suicide Contracts[edit]

Example of no-suicide contract

No suicide contracts for students have been a long debated in topic in Hong Kong. Nevertheless, they are used by mental health care professionals as a way to prevent suicides. The contract is an agreement that the student will not commit suicide or harm himself in any other way. Furthermore, the contract lists hotlines, contacts, and an emergency number that the student should call in case of suicidal thoughts. However, the No-Suicide contract is not a legal document. In March 2016 a copy of the Educational Bureaus No-Suicide Contract for students was circulated on the internet.[168][169]

Detecting youths at risk online[edit]

The Prevention of Student Suicide Committee has, in 2017, been in talks with Facebook and Google about the possibility of using these platforms as a tool for detecting student at risk of committing suicide. Facebook and Google already have their own suicide detection and prevention systems.[170]

Criticism[edit]

  • Hong Kong Professional Teachers' Union
    • The HKPTU criticised that the final report lack recurrent input of resources, manpower, and concrete suggestions.
  • The Civil Alliance for Student Suicide (Chinese: 防止學生自殺民間聯席)
    • The Alliance criticised that the Committee of Prevention of Student Suicide was shirking its responsibility and blaming the victims by stating that there is no substantial link between suicide incidents and the education system in the Final Report.
  • Ip Kin-yuen (Legislative Councillor for Education constituency)
    • Ip is disappointed by the Final report: by pointing out there is no direct relationship between the education system and youth suicide, the Education Bureau is in effect evading its responsibility and it missed the chance to review the education system. He further criticised that the current education system puts students under unnecessary pressure, and that the Report failed to address the root problem and he therefore request more resources from the government.[171]
  • Shiu Ka-chun (Social Worker, Legislative Councillor for Social Welfare Constituency, Associate director of the Center for Youth Research and Practice (Chinese: 青年研究實踐中心) at Hong Kong Baptist University)
    • Shiu suggested that there are lots of causes behind youth suicide, including the education system, economy, societal culture and structure, amongst others.[172] He criticised the government for ignoring the suggestion of organising a summit to address the problem and to make concrete anti-suicide policies.[173]
  • Althea Suen Hiu-nam (Chinese: 孫曉嵐) (Former president of the Hong Kong University Students' Union, a social work student, member of the Prevention of Student Suicide Committee)
    • Suen is the only youth member in the Prevention of Student Suicide Committee. She suggested how Hong Kong's exam-oriented education placed undue pressure on both teacher and students, and reduce time for teachers to take care of students’ mental well-being in the meetings. Her views were however absent in the Final report, stating that there is no substantial direct link between student suicides and the education system. She questioned whether the government is genuine in including young voices and participation on advisory bodies, and accused the pro-establishment forces of the committee for disregarding her views.

Suggestions[edit]

In the final report, the Prevention of Student Suicide Committee divided their recommendations into universal, selective and indicated support. Furthermore, the 19 suggestions are divided into areas of improvement, as follows: student support, families, traditional and social media, multiple articulation pathways, and systematic. The 19 suggestions are:[3]

1. Promote mental well-being and health 11. Enhance referral mechanism to mental health services
2. Facilitate students’ school adjustment 12. Provide gatekeeper training for parents
3. Enhance family life and parent education 13. Arrange counselling and support services for needy parents
4. Foster promotional use of social media 14. Implement gate keeping on social media
5. Advocate responsible media reporting 15. Strengthen cyber-based outreaching services
6. Enhance publicity of multiple pathways 16. Continue developing online screening tools and conducting ongoing research
7. Facilitate career exploration 17. Establish school-based multi-disciplinary platforms
8. Review relevant domains in the educational system,

duly support and address the development and diverse needs

of the students and young people

18. Enhance accessibility of mental health services
9. Conduct gatekeeper training for early identification and intervention 19. Publicise outreach services for needy families.
10. Develop screening tools and guidelines for school to identify at-risk students

In November 2016, the Hong Kong Professional Teachers' Union made the following suggestions: (1) Alleviation of teachers’ pressure e.g. increasing the quota of regular teachers and increase the teacher-student ratio per class; (2) Enhancing support from social workers (e.g. ensuring there is at least one social worker and one counsellor in each school); (3) Enhancing School-based Educational Psychology Service (Chinese: 校本教育心理服務); (4) Reform of education system, e.g. abolish Territory-wide System Assessment.[174]

In 2017, the Civil Alliance for Student Suicide Prevention publicised a survey that indicated public support for capping the number of hours spent studying each day to 7 hours. Lai Pak-yin, the spokesperson from the Civil Alliance for Student Suicide Prevention argues that excessive studying can have a harmful effect on family relationships. Therefore, he suggested that the Educational Bureau should issue guidelines to help decrease the number of hours spent studying each day.[175]

Controversy[edit]

Prevention of Student Suicides Page[edit]

"The Package on Prevention of Student Suicide (2010)" P.29

In April 2017, the Education Bureau set up the "Prevention of Student Suicides" page. They uploaded different resources and tips about how to identify and manage students with suicidal tendencies.[176] In a Chinese-language document titled "The Package on Prevention of Student Suicide (2010)" on the Bureau's website, one of the examples suggested as a way to communicate with friends who have suicidal tendencies has attracted huge public backlash – "If you die, your boyfriend may be sad for a few days, but he will soon find a new girlfriend and live normally. It is not worth doing such a silly thing for him!".[177]

Various educators and social workers commented that the controversial example can be very dangerous for people with suicidal thoughts. According to Shiu Ka-chun, the example provided was irritating and may encourage the person at risk to think pessimistically.[178]

Suicide of Choi Yuk-lin's son[edit]

On 7 September 2017, the Under-secretary for Education Christina Choi Yuk-lin's (Chinese: zh:蔡若蓮; born 1966) 25-year-old son, Poon Hong-yan, jumped to his death from the family's flat on the 41st floor at Sorrento. It was revealed that he suffered from depression due to serious injuries from a triathlon accident. Various officials, such as the Chief Executive Carrie Lam and Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung,[179] expressed their condolences to Choi and her family.

As Choi Yuk-lin is a member of the Prevention of Student Suicide Committee, some critics linked the incident with student suicide problem, and attacked Choi's failure to consider adolescents' concerns and perspectives before her son's death. Suen Hiu-nam, head of HKU's student union, further criticized officials for only sending their condolences to Choi's son, and ignoring other students who had committed suicide.[180]

On the same day, signs bearing the slogan "Congratulations Choi Yuk-lin's son on going west" appeared on the Education University of Hong Kong Democracy Wall, on top of banners supporting freedom of expression and Hong Kong independence. The University later issued a statement condemning the signs and apologising for any hurt they may have caused.[181]

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