New law will make HK safest city again: Carrie Lam - RTHK
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New law will make HK safest city again: Carrie Lam

2020-07-07 HKT 11:22
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  • New law will make HK safest city again: Carrie Lam
Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Tuesday that the controversial security law that has come into force in Hong Kong is not “all gloom and doom” and on the contrary will restore its status as the safest city in the world.

Speaking before the weekly executive council meeting, Lam also rebuffed claims that the law implemented by Beijing was draconian and will undermine freedoms.

“First of all, I have not seen widespread fears among Hong Kong people in the last week, and my response is that as some of the legal experts have commented in the past few days, this national security law is actually relatively mild as far as national security laws are concerned,” she said.

She said the law will not be applied retrospectively, and legal principles such as the presumption of innocence have been upheld.

Lam added that the scope and offences under the law are clearly defined, and the legislation both protects and respects human rights.

“I would submit that instead of undermining people’s freedoms, the national security law will restore stability and helps ensure the great majority of Hong Kong people could exercise their rights and freedoms without being intimidated and attacked.”

Lam said the law will remove fear and helps people return to a normal and peaceful life, and Hong Kong will restore its status as the safest city in the world.

She also rejected reports that her administration was kept in the dark about the law by Beijing, saying the National People's Congress Standing Committee has listened to her views and other key officials several times and taken onboard suggestions.

“Therefore, it is much regretted that my comment made on the 23rd of June in this forum in response to a media inquiry that the Hong Kong SARG has not seen complete details of the proposed legislation was misrepresented or deliberately exaggerated as Hong Kong SAR government being totally kept in the dark, that is not the truth.”

Lam had been asked by a reporter why the administration's comments should be "taken seriously" if officials had not read the details.

In response, she had said "Yes, you are right, we have not seen the complete details of the proposed legislation, so every time, whether it's the Secretary for Justice or myself or the Secretary for Security, we were commenting on what we have seen."

Lam went on to explain that she had seen both the decision endorsed by the National People's Congress Standing Committee, and an explanatory statement published by state-run Xinhua News Agency.

Last updated: 2020-07-07 HKT 11:41