Following is the transcript of the answers given by the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, to the questions posed by a reporter of an English-language newspaper after Mr Lam attended the Legislative Council meeting today (January 14):
Reporter: (translation) Last week, the Chief Secretary for Administration wrote to the Legislative Council (Legco). However, today certain Members still addressed you in similar terms. Has the situation reached a stalemate (僵局) so that each time you come to Legco, you may face offensive language? What's your view?
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: As an official representing the Government, my role is to explain clearly and methodically the policy positions of our stance. It is for individual Members to decide what response they should take, what questions they wish to put, and what attitude to adopt in relating to Government officials. I have confidence in the President of the Legislative Council in conducting proceedings according to the Rules of Procedure. That is a set of conventions which both officials and Members should respect.
Reporter: (translation) However, has your relationship with them (League of Social Democrats) reached a stalemate (僵局)?
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: I shouldn't think so. I think the Government and all political parties and Members must interact. It is part and parcel of our constitutional arrangements that there should be both checks and balances between the Government and the Legislature. From time to time, you find fireworks occurring in these proceedings. But, that is common among any open society.
Ends/Wednesday, January 14, 2009