June 4 vigil could be banned in future: CY Leung - RTHK
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June 4 vigil could be banned in future: CY Leung

2020-05-24 HKT 16:44
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  • CY Leung said the question of whether the annual June 4 vigil could be banned in future depends on how the law is written. File photo: RTHK
    CY Leung said the question of whether the annual June 4 vigil could be banned in future depends on how the law is written. File photo: RTHK
Former Chief Executive CY Leung acknowledged on Sunday that Hong Kong’s annual June 4 candlelight vigil could be banned, along with the group that has organised the event for the past three decades, under a new national security law for the SAR to be drawn up by Beijing,

Leung – who as a vice chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference is a state leader – didn’t give a direct answer when pressed about the issue during an interview with RTHK, but said the question of whether groups like the Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China would be outlawed, depends on how the legislation is written.

But he declined to get into any specific details.

Asked if slogans like “end one-party rule” – which is often chanted at the June 4 vigil – would be allowed in future, Leung demurred, saying there’s no need to get into the nitty gritty of legal definitions at this point, as this could ‘affect public feelings’ about the coming legislation.

He also said whether the vigil itself could fall foul of the law could depend on what participants do even after the gathering is over – saying that anything that involves activities that are ‘separatist in nature’ may well be banned even in other countries.

Leung stressed that the purpose of the legislation is not to deter people from holding protests, but to combat terrorism, and stamp out the activities of people who advocate independence for Hong Kong.

But he dismissed concerns voiced out by some legal scholars that even calls for Hong Kong Chief Executives to resign could ultimately be banned, saying if Beijing had wanted to outlaw such calls, they would have taken action when he was still the leader of the SAR.

"If the central government wanted to stop Hong Kong people from demanding a Chief Executive to step down, it wouldn't have made all this fuss, there's no need for a national security legislation just for this," he said.

He also brushed aside the local market’s plunge on Friday immediately after Beijing announced its decision to impose such laws, and reports that there’s been a surge in the number of local people making online searches about emigrating from the territory.

“People’s actions are more honest”, he said, pointing to newspaper reports that a new residential development recorded 209 transactions on Saturday alone – the highest number since January.