Chief Executive Carrie Lam, here ministers, and pro-Beijing figures on Sunday stepped up their campaign to reassure the public that Beijing's plan to enact national security laws for the SAR won't harm the rights and freedoms of the public.
They also insisted that the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ principle won't be affected.
Lam said in a Facebook post that there was an urgency and a need for Beijing to step in, questioning whether the Hong Kong legislature had the ability to approve its own national security laws, with Legco ‘nearly paralysed’ by opposition lawmakers who’ve been ‘filibustering wildly.’
The CE said she and her team will do their best to promote and explain the importance of the coming legislation, saying this is needed to counter "anti-China forces and the opposition that are wontonly defaming and attacking the law without reason.”
The Chief Secretary, Matthew Cheung, for his part, said there's no need for regular people or foreign investors to worry about the new laws.
In his blog, Cheung said the law is urgently needed, because of the radical, illegal and violent acts that have broken out in Hong Kong since last year.
He said the national security laws won't harm the ‘One Country Two Systems’ principle, and people here could still enjoy freedom of speech, freedom of the press and the right to protest.
Cheung said it was the collective responsibility of everyone in Hong Kong society to maintain national security.
The security chief, John Lee, also backed Beijing's move, saying the laws would be beneficial to maintaining a safe and stable city, and ensure Hong Kong's long-term prosperity.
He said there had been a growing risk to national security in Hong Kong over the past year, and that he might also raise Hong Kong's terrorism risk level, citing the discovery of ‘bombs and explosives’.
Meanwhile, the former Justice Secretary, Elsie Leung, said it was reasonable for Beijing to set up an agency in Hong Kong to maintain national security, saying Hong Kong law enforcement did not have experience in dealing with such issues.
She didn't rule out the possibility that mainland agents would end up enforcing the law in Hong Kong, but she believed that the mainland and Hong Kong authorities will liaise with each other.
Early on Sunday, a group of 199 politicians and policymakers from 23 countries have issued a joint statement condemning Beijing's move to implement a national security law for Hong Kong.
Last updated: 2020-05-24 HKT 16:54
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