'Work to promote Article 23 legislation must continue' - RTHK
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'Work to promote Article 23 legislation must continue'

2024-03-19 HKT 22:09
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  • Lawmaker Regina Ip says lawmakers should try their best to continue to promote Article 23 legislation. Photo: RTHK
    Lawmaker Regina Ip says lawmakers should try their best to continue to promote Article 23 legislation. Photo: RTHK
Lawmakers who unanimously voted to pass new homegrown national security legislation on Tuesday said while they were proud to make history, continuing efforts are needed to further promote the new laws.

Legco President Andrew Leung described the debates that were held on Tuesday were of high quality, and thanked officials and lawmakers involved for their hard work.

“The legislating of Article 23 is not merely a Hong Kong law. Without national security, the development, prosperity and stability of the country, and Hong Kong would be short of a solid foundation,” he said.

Leung was among the 89 lawmakers present to vote for the legislation, even though the council president customarily refrains from voting to maintain impartiality.

“I think this is a special occasion…and I want to have a perfect record, so I voted this time so that we have 89 members, we have 89 votes,” he explained.

Lawmaker and executive councillor Regina Ip noted that work to promote Article 23 national security legislation must continue.

“Going forward, we should try our best to continue to explain [Article 23 legislation] to the business community, the international media and all the sectors who continue to have some nagging concerns about the legal provisions."

Ip added that she is deeply honoured to have contributed to the legislation of Article 23.

Another lawmaker, Priscilla Leung said the new legislation will be effective in deterring crime.

“The new law is to…prevent unlawful acts from occurring and repeating. I’m quite confident our law enforcement officers and Hong Kong people will abide by the rule of law and we won’t have as many cases as before because they know the bottom line,” she said.

Lawmaker Martin Liao, who chaired the bills committee that vetted the bill clause by clause, said he and his colleagues never gave a second thought to any potential sanctions from western countries that have been critical of the legislation.

“I can tell you one thing, we’ll just do what we think is right. I think we’re doing the right thing. I don’t think we give other considerations. No extraneous matter can influence us.”

Legco President Andrew Leung said if people or businesses choose to steer clear of Hong Kong because of the new laws, it would be their own loss.

“You can see other countries doing everything to protect national security, so why can’t we protect our national security?”

“Be it a downgrade, be it whatever, we don’t mind, Hong Kong is such a beautiful place for doing business and travelling, so if they don’t come, if they don’t do business here, they’ll miss their chances," he said.

'Work to promote Article 23 legislation must continue'