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Transcript of SCA's remarks at Youth Summit

Following are the English remarks made by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, at the Youth Summit organised by the Commission on Youth today (November 13):

I would like to warmly welcome our friends who are of non-Chinese race, and who are very much part of Hong Kong. You are part of Hong Kong community. You make Hong Kong multi-cultural.

As regards question of constitutional development, there are two directions which we pursue. Firstly, we want to continue to open up the political electoral systems, for example, by widening the electorate base for the election committee and the functional constituencies; for example by increasing the number of members of the Legislative Council. These are ideas which we have received in the last five months or so and these are being considered. And, thereafter we do wish to create more room for public political participation. Then there will be a strengthening of political software in the long run because that means more people who are interested in Hong Kong public life can stand for election, including those who are non-Chinese. It is because in Hong Kong, 20 per cent of our seats are open to people who are not of Chinese nationality but who are permanent residents of Hong Kong. I presume you (a member of the audience at the Youth Summit) both are.

One technical matter, the Hong Kong Government has a reasonably large team of simultaneous interpreters. I believe Dr Choi (Dr Philemon Choi, Chairman of Commission on Youth) next time round will arrange that. If you can't fix it. Patrick (Mr Patrick Ho, Secretary for Home Affairs) and I will fix it.

(Please also refer to the Chinese remarks.)

Ends/Saturday, November 13, 2004