'Direction is clear' on Covid restrictions, CE says - RTHK
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'Direction is clear' on Covid restrictions, CE says

2022-10-20 HKT 14:53
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  • 'Direction is clear' on Covid restrictions, CE says
Chief Executive John Lee on Thursday insisted that he would not change his approach in fighting the pandemic while stressing that local legislation to maintain national security should not be rushed as it needs to be able to cope with extreme circumstances.

Lee made the remarks as he returned to the Legislative Council a day after delivering his first Policy Address, taking questions from lawmakers about his speech.

Roundtable lawmaker Michael Tien, urged Lee to further relax infection-control measures at the border and scrap the rule that requires inbound travellers to monitor their health for three days, keeping them out of places such as restaurants and bars.

The CE said his policy direction in this respect is very consistent.

“My direction is very clear. And that is something that I have been doing. And I send out a very clear message that I do not want to change my path. I will of course take into account our economic development needs, and other things as well. They are all very important,” he said.

Another lawmaker, Junius Ho, said he was disappointed that the policy blueprint didn't provide a timeline for legislation to introduce Hong Kong’s own national security law, as required by Article 23 of the Basic Law.

Lee reiterated that preparations were being made to make sure the legislation will be up to date with the threats to national security, in particular when it comes to identifying the “blind spots”.

“Now they use colour revolutions, they use spies, they use infiltrations. So we must come up with the best means in order to ward off all these threats. Is it really more important to make haste than to do it well?” Lee said.

“I want the piece of legislation to be able to deal with the most extreme circumstances.”

Lee also told lawmakers that he would continue to explore ways to further shorten the waiting time for a public flat after undertaking in his policy speech to shorten the queue from six years to four and a half years.

DAB lawmaker Gary Chan asked the CE whether he could adopt the Housing Authority’s goal of allocating a flat to applicants in three years.

“Of course, the shorter the better, and we will continue to work hard. You asked whether in the long run we can further shorten the waiting time, we are doing our utmost,” Lee said in reply.

“Will there be other ways and means? We will not give up. We will continue to strive for better situation.”

'Direction is clear' on Covid restrictions, CE says