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SCMA's remarks to media on Sichuan reconstruction

     Following is the transcript (English portion) of the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam's remarks to the media today (June 15), on Hong Kong's participation in the reconstruction of Sichuan, after a meeting of the Legislative Council Panel on Constitutional Affairs:

     We have today submitted a set of proposals to the Legislative Council Panel on Development, putting forward our recommendations that we should, on the part of Hong Kong, participate and support the reconstruction of Sichuan in terms of the third stage projects, amounting to HK$3 billion.

     In the case of Sichuan, they now have to complete the reconstruction basically within two years, and the works have to be compressed from a timeframe of three years into two years. And, therefore, the work pressure and the speed with which the projects have to be taken forward will be quite fast.

     On our part, the HKSAR Government, and on their part, the Sichuan Provincial Government, on both sides, we are fully aware of the need to maintain both quality and speed. And in terms of safety standards, there will be no compromise. We are also very aware that prior to any project items being taken forward, there should be a process of competitive bidding.

     We are all very aware that Legislative Councillors would wish to visit Sichuan as soon as possible. On the part of the HKSAR Government, we have communicated with the Sichuan Provincial Government. They appreciate the concern and interest on the part of legislators in Hong Kong. However, as they do have a lot of work to be taken forward, we believe that it is possible that the visit can only take place later.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Monday, June 15, 2009