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Transcript of remarks by SCA after attending a luncheon

The following is the transcript of remarks (English portion) made by Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, after attending a luncheon this afternoon (September 24):

Reporter: I want to know whether you think it is lawful or right actually for a legislator to pledge allegiance to the people instead of the Basic Law?

SCA: The Basic Law has very clear provisions and so does our Oaths and Declarations Ordinance. All principal officials and Members of the Legislative Council, in taking office, shall make their oaths in accordance with the Basic Law and the relevant local legislation.

Reporter: What about the Mainland authority that they are inviting some of the democratic camp legislators but not all? Do you think it is a move to actually divide them?

SCA: In past months, we have all along been emphasising that we wish to promote communication between the Central Authorities and all political parties in Hong Kong including members of the pan-democratic camp. This time round, some members of the democratic camp are being invited to Beijing to join the 55th anniversary celebrations in Beijing. We think this is a positive move and we certainly hope that this occasion, and future occasions will promote communication.

Reporter: Do you think that other members of the pan-democratic camp will have a chance later on actually to go to Beijing or meet Beijing authority?

SCA: I think the most important point is that we continue to promote such dialogue. This atmosphere of encouraging dialogue and communication in the last few months within the Hong Kong community has been very helpful in enabling us to deal with contentious issues more calmly and more peacefully. And, as the Hong Kong Government, we would continue to promote such communication.

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

Ends/Friday, September 24, 2004