'Govt obliged to address fears of business sector' - RTHK
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'Govt obliged to address fears of business sector'

2019-03-21 HKT 13:44
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  • 'Govt obliged to address fears of business sector'
The Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, on Thursday told an investment forum that proposed amendments to extradition laws are aimed at making Hong Kong more safe, but added that it is obligatory for the government to listen and address the concerns of the business sector.

Talking at an event organised by Bloomberg, she said the law change is aimed at preventing Hong Kong from becoming a haven for fugitives.

Lam again highlighted the case of the suspect for a Taiwan murder, saying that authorities had looked for a solution after finding the SAR was unable to extradite him. "We could not do anything about it," she said.

"So prompted by this case, we started to look around whether there are solutions, there is in fact a solution which has [been in] practice in other jurisdictions, including I think the United Kingdom – that is on a case by case approach, but subject to the protection of human rights and procedural safeguards," she said.

"So what we are doing is just as simple as that. It should not be seen as impeding business freedom and undermining the business environment," the CE said.

Lam said the SAR's security minister is going around collating opinions and listening to the concerns of the business sector. "I could not disclose more this morning on what we are going to do," she said. "If there are concerns, it is obligatory for the government to address those concerns."

Answering a question about concerns that Hong Kong's autonomy is being eroded after events last year, such as the expulsion of Financial Times editor Victor Mallet, Lam agreed that she is worried about that change in perception.

"That is why earlier this week I spent an hour with a visiting US Congressional delegation on the US-China Working Group, comprising of six Congressmen. I tried to address their concerns and explain the situation," Lam said.

She again said that every action of the government is taken according to the law, and pointed out that Hong Kong's judicial independence is highly rated globally.