Security Secretary John Lee on Wednesday dismissed the suggestion that the government should have informed people about a temporary checkpoint set up on the bridge to Macau, saying any such announcement would have to have come from the mainland.
A Hong Kong man who disappeared last week while on a trip to Macau was later found to have been arrested at a checkpoint on the bridge and taken to Zhuhai, with Guangdong officials accusing him of masterminding a mobile phone-smuggling racket in the past.
Security in and around Macau has been stepped up ahead of a visit there by President Xi Jinping to mark the city's handover to China 20 years ago. Mainland officials say they have made a number of arrests, and Hong Kong journalists, including one from RTHK, have been turned away from the former Portuguese colony.
Lee said the security arrangements along the bridge are not a matter for the SAR government, because it is not under Hong Kong's jurisdiction.
"For security operations, it will be up to the responsible jurisdiction to make the operational plan and also the other arrangements, which include letting people know how they will operate. In that principle, it will be up to the Zhuhai law enforcement agencies to make that announcement," Lee said.
He added that there is a lesson that Hong Kong people must learn, and that is when they leave the city, the SAR's laws no longer apply.
"I think it is important for people to understand [that] once you leave the jurisdiction of Hong Kong then you will be subject to the law of the other jurisdiction. That is a lesson, that is a message, that is an important legal concept that I think people of Hong Kong must know."