Following is the transcript of Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Mr Stephen Lam's response to media questions after attending the Legislative Council meeting this afternoon (March 10):
Reporter: About your coming meeting with the Democratic Party?
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: I have accepted an invitation from the Democratic Party to attend a meeting of their Constitutional Affairs Sub-committee and to listen to the views of members of the party. The Government welcomes the opportunity to communicate with different political groups and we take a variety of means to do so.
Reporter: Have you received any invitations from the Civic Party or the LSD (League of Social Democrats)?
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: Actually I have attended sessions with different political groups. For example, prior to the conclusion of our three-month consultation period on February 19, we met at the Government Secretariat with members of the DAB (Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong), the ADPL (Hong Kong Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood), and various coalitions which have been formed recently to promote democracy being rolled forward for Hong Kong.
Reporter: What about the LSD and the Civic Party?
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: We have met them on different occasions during the last three months, and as far as I am concerned, we will continue to listen very closely to the views of all political groups and parties.
Reporter: If they offer, will you accept as well to go listen to them even though the campaign will soon be launched for the "referendum/by-elections"?
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: Well, as you say, the nomination period for this by-election to be held on May 16 will commence soon. Therefore, once the nomination period has commenced, and certain candidates are about to declare their candidacy representing different political parties, then we need to be cautious in dealing with meetings between government officials and prospective candidates.
Reporter: It might be now and then?
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: As far as I am concerned, each and every invitation that is extended to the Government to listen to the views of different political groups and parties, we will consider them on a case by case basis. But the important thing is, our channels are always open for views to be put forth to us. Thank you very much.
Ends/Wednesday, March 10, 2010