'More than a million join call for Article 23 laws' - RTHK
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'More than a million join call for Article 23 laws'

2020-03-13 HKT 14:36
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  • Junius Ho (second left) says the legislation could ban some protests and keep 'undesirables' out of Legco. File photo: RTHK
    Junius Ho (second left) says the legislation could ban some protests and keep 'undesirables' out of Legco. File photo: RTHK
Junius Ho
Pro-Beijing legislator Junius Ho and a number of other pro-establishment figures say more than a million people have signed their online petition in the past few weeks, calling on the SAR government to restart the process for introducing national security laws under Article 23 of the Basic Law.

The group, which also includes Innes Tang from Politihk Social Strategic, said they are aiming for two million signatures and will set up street booths across the city on Sunday to drum up further support for the move.

But they revealed that less than a quarter of those who have signed the petition so far actually live in the SAR, with the rest of them Hongkongers abroad and mainlanders.

"This national security law, although to be enacted in Hong Kong, is not just confined to Hong Kong itself. It's a national issue ... it also affects the whole country," Ho said.

The legislator said it is a good time for Hong Kong to start looking at national security laws, because the anti-government protests could flare-up again once the coronavirus outbreak is brought under control.

He also suggested that such legislation could outlaw some protests, such as one held recently by frontline Hospital Authority staff over concerns relating to the Covid-19 epidemic.

"That was totally inappropriate. The national security ordinance that we are contemplating needs to include some restrictions to prohibit any attempt by any quarters in society to cause further damage and to harm the stability and prosperity of Hong Kong," he said.

Ho said the government should take advantage of the pro-establishment camp's current majority in Legco to pass the laws before elections in September, adding that the legislation would help keep "undesirables" out of the legislature.

"We cannot tolerate any, any attempt to seek Hong Kong independence to be introduced into our existing political structure, and we have seen it done in the district councils already," he said.

"The enactment of national security [legislation] would certainly enhance the procedure in filtering out any undesirable elements or members who will not really uphold the Basic Law, but sabotage the situation in Hong Kong."