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SCMA speaks to the media

     The following is the transcript of the remarks made by the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, to the media after attending the Legislative Council Bills Committee on the Electoral Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2011 meeting this morning (June 4):

Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: In the course of the last while, we have received quite a few views regarding a degree of flexibility which we should introduce in the filing of election expenses reports. The various members of the Legislative Council and other parties, both within the Council and outside the Council, have suggested that we should implement a degree of flexibility. Accordingly, we have proposed various levels of limits for consideration in future.

     For District Council elections, we proposed that if the election expenses returns do not vary from the actual accurate figures by more than $500, we would allow adjustments to be made without requiring a candidate to report to the ICAC or to file an application with the Courts for the variations to be implemented. If we are talking about the Legislative Council geographical constituency elections, the limits would be $3000. For the Chief Executive election and for the District Council new functional constituency elections, it would be $5000.

     We believe that these limits will enable candidates to have the necessary degree of flexibility and at the same time enable us to preserve the sanctity of elections in Hong Kong -- that these elections should continue to be fair, open and un-corrupt. I would like to emphasise that if there were any indications of corrupt activities in elections, regardless of the monetary amounts involved, the ICAC and law enforcement agencies will implement and enforce the law very vigilantly.

Reporter: Can you update the situation of the illegal structure on your rooftop?

Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: The latest professional advice that I have obtained about the canvas canopies and wooden fence on my rooftop is that it would be more prudent for these works to be pre-approved by the Buildings Department before they are installed. Thus, in the last few days, I have already asked my contractor to have the canopies and the wooden fence removed. At a later stage, I will discuss with my family what additional works we should put up on the rooftop and we will of course act entirely in accordance with the Buildings Ordinance. And if necessary, we will employ an authorised person to file the application for us with the Buildings Department.

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

Ends/Saturday, June 4, 2011