22 December, 2008

Loot Ting Yee resigns following sexual harassment complaints

Chinese education activist Loot Ting Yee (陸庭諭), against whom there have been complaints of sexual harassment, announced his resignation from all posts effective yesterday.

Loot, 80, who is also Dong Jiao Zong and Lim Lean Geok Foundation adviser, issued a three-paragraph statement saying he would not organise any public activities and that he wished to spend his remaining years quietly.

He also said he had seriously considered the complaints against him and decided to resign, so as not to affect the image of the organisations with which he was involved.

He regretted the suffering he had inflicted on the affected people and extended his apology.

A Chinese daily on Sunday reported his inappropriate behaviour towards female reporters after one of his victims posted her complaints in her blog.

The blog posting attracted comments from those who had similar experience with the well-respected Chinese education activist.

In the statement to express his unreserved apology to those who felt offended and hurt by his gestures, Loot said he had seriously considered the complaints against him, and decided to quit all posts so as not to tarnish the image of the two organisations.

He said he would not make any more public appearance and would instead spend his remaining years quietly.

News of Loot's "scandal" and his resignation shocked and saddened many Chinese educationists.

Many who were contacted by the Chinese press declined to comment but felt that the personal misconduct of an individual would not affect public's perception of Chinese education.

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