Press Releases

Transcript of SCA's briefing

The following is a transcript of a stand-up briefing by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, at Central Government Offices today (September 13):

SCA: I welcome the opportunity this afternoon to have an exchange of views with the Honourable Emily Lau and representatives of the other organisations regarding the 2007 constitutional reform review. I have stated to them that the HKSAR Government views with the 2007 constitutional review positively and seriously. In so doing, I have in mind three important principles.

Firstly, we shall conduct this constitutional review in accordance with the Basic Law. The Basic Law provides that constitutional developments in Hong Kong shall be conducted having regard to the actual situation in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and with regard to the principle of gradual and orderly progress. The Basic Law also provides that the ultimate aim is for universal suffrage to be attained.

Secondly, we will leave ample time for a wide public consultation exercise to be conducted.

Thirdly, we will also leave enough time for the various mechanisms under the Basic Law to be triggered and for the local legislation to be dealt with.

This afternoon, in our meeting with Ms Lau and the representatives of other parties, I also explained that in conducting this review, in determining the timetable for this review, we needed to listen to a wide spectrum of opinions. I also emphasised that we should adopt the attitude of widening our common ground and accommodating our mutual differences - thereby, we would stand a better chance of forming a broadly based consensus in taking this exercise forward.

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

End/Friday, September 13, 2002.