NGOs need to show commitment to patriotism: govt - RTHK
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NGOs need to show commitment to patriotism: govt

2024-04-19 HKT 17:27
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  • NGOs need to show commitment to patriotism: govt
Labour and welfare minister Chris Sun on Friday said it's not hard for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to meet the requirements for a new social welfare subsidy allocation system which rewards support for government policies.

Groups would score higher if they had organised or co-hosted activities supporting official policies in recent years.

At a special Legco Finance Committee meeting discussing the budget, Roundtable lawmaker Michael Tien said people have asked him for clarity on the matter, and he didn't know the answer.

In response, Sun said the new system encourages NGOs to show their commitment to patriotism, and it doesn't matter what kind of activities are involved, so long as the groups took part.

"We want these NGOs to love our country and love Hong Kong," he told lawmakers.

"For example, for our National Day, or after 'The Two Sessions', the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, maybe the NGOs can organise some seminars to share the ideas proposed in these meetings."

Meanwhile, the minister stressed the government had no plans to scrap the HK$2 transport subsidy scheme for the elderly and the disabled.

The administration has started a review of the system after expenditure for the scheme in the current financial year was projected to increase by 50 percent year-on-year, to more than HK$6 billion.

Sun stressed as officials hope to complete a review this year, they would consider ways to extend the scheme in an affordable manner.

He noted the policy’s intent was to encourage the elderly to go out more, to benefit their mental health and relationships.

The minister said the government was aware there were different views on the issue and it would try to balance them.

NGOs need to show commitment to patriotism: govt