Govt could sack workers who refuse to take oath - RTHK
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Govt could sack workers who refuse to take oath

2020-12-01 HKT 11:11
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  • Patrick Nip says civil servants' rights to free speech are fully protected by the Basic Law but they must watch what they say. Photo: RTHK
    Patrick Nip says civil servants' rights to free speech are fully protected by the Basic Law but they must watch what they say. Photo: RTHK
The government on Tuesday refused to rule out sacking civil servants who refuse to swear allegiance to the SAR, as it said it is still considering whether to make teachers take the new oath as well.

Civil Service Secretary Patrick Nip told an RTHK radio programme that details on any punishment for those who won't make the declaration are still being ironed out with the Department of Justice.

But he said what is certain is that the career prospects of those who refuse to sign would be hindered at the very least, with little or no prospect of being promoted.

"If civil servants don't sign, this will make people question whether they meet the basic requirement for civil servants. Will this mean the servants can stay on in the Civil Service team? I think quite a number of people will have such doubts," Nip said.

He couldn't say what types of action would be considered to be a breach of the oath, but stressed that public officers are obliged to support the administration’s policies.

Nip said that like all Hong Kong residents, the right of civil servants to free speech is fully protected by the Basic Law, but he also warned that government workers should consider whether things they say or post online could go against their Civil Service roles.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said the administration has not yet made up its mind about whether to require teachers and those working in government-subsidised organisations to also take the oath of allegiance.

"We are still deliberately very carefully on this issue," Lam said.