HK has no separation of powers: education chief - RTHK
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HK has no separation of powers: education chief

2020-08-31 HKT 21:17
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  • Kevin Yeung says Hong Kong didn't have a separation of powers before the handover, and it hasn't had since either. Photo: RTHK
    Kevin Yeung says Hong Kong didn't have a separation of powers before the handover, and it hasn't had since either. Photo: RTHK
Education Secretary Kevin Yeung said on Monday that Hong Kong does not have a separation of powers and it would be wrong for school textbooks to suggest that it does.

Yeung's comment follows a controversy over recent changes made to liberal studies textbooks after publishers made use of a voluntary consultation service provided by the Education Bureau.

The changes included the removal of references to Hong Kong having a division of powers between the executive, legislature and judiciary.

Yeung rejected suggestions that political censorship was at play with the textbooks and said publishers are not being instructed on what should and should not be included.

But he insisted that the materials should still be factually accurate, adding that the SAR has never had a separation of powers, neither before, nor since the handover.

"As a matter of fact, some of the concepts now included in the textbooks are much more accurate than before," he said.

In recent years, Beijing has asserted that Hong Kong has an "executive-led system" and that the city's Chief Executive "transcends" the three branches.

However, this position has been contradicted in the past by Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma.

"The Basic Law sets out clearly the principle of the separation of powers between the legislature, the executive and the judiciary, and in quite specific terms, the different roles of the three institutions," Ma said in a speech at the ceremonial opening of the legal year in 2014.