Govt looking into making civil servants take oaths - RTHK
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Govt looking into making civil servants take oaths

2019-11-27 HKT 13:11
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  • Joshua Law says civil servants are already required to be loyal to the Chief Executive and her administration. Photo courtesy of the Information Services Department.
    Joshua Law says civil servants are already required to be loyal to the Chief Executive and her administration. Photo courtesy of the Information Services Department.
Jimmy Choi reports
The Secretary for the Civil Service, Joshua Law, says the government is looking into whether it would be feasible to require civil servants to pledge allegiance to the SAR and to vow to uphold the Basic Law.

Earlier this month, Legco's panel on public service passed a non-binding motion calling for civil servants to be made to take an oath of office, with pro-establishment lawmakers raising concerns about some government workers taking part in unauthorised protests.

With the issue brought up again by the New People's Party on Wednesday, Law told the council that the administration has some "preliminary thinking” on an oath for civil servants.

He said officials are looking into matters such as whether laws would need to be amended, what the consequences should be for anyone who beaches the oath, and what should be done if someone refuses to take it.

The secretary also gave example of other issues that would have to be considered: "Should it apply to all civil servants, or to particularly grades only? And what sort of behaviour would constitute a breach of the oath taken?," he asked.

Law said the Department of Justice is going to be consulted.

He reiterated that Hong Kong's 180,000 civil servants are required to be politically neutral and loyal to the Chief Executive and her administration.

“When they express opinions, they should make sure the opinions would not lead others to think they violate the principal of political neutrality,” he said.

Law also said civil servants must be united and work together to stop violence amid the ongoing protests, adding that it was regrettable that some government workers have been arrested after joining illegal assemblies in recent months.