|SCMA speaks to media after visiting polling stations (with photos)
The Sha Tin District Council Tai Wai Constituency by-election is held today (March 29). The Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, this morning visited an ordinary polling station as well as two dedicated polling stations for remanded persons and detainees who are registered electors of the constituency.
Following is the transcript of Mr Lam's remarks during a media session held after his tour of an ordinary polling station located at the Buddhist Wong Wan Tin College, Mei Lam Estate :
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: I would like to say that today, the by-election of the district council seat in Tai Wai, Sha Tin is an important by-election. There are over 12,000 registered electors in this constituency. We would like to encourage all those who have registered to come out and vote before 10.30pm today.
By comparison, as at 11.30am, 12.8 per cent of the registered electors have already come out to cast their votes. This is in relative terms higher than the 9.5 per cent which pertained in November 2007 (2007 District Council Election) in terms of overall turnout rate. It is rather lower than the 14.5 per cent which pertained as at 11.30am in November 2007 for the Tai Wai Constituency.
I would also like to take this opportunity to explain that, in line with the High Court decision made in December last year and in February this year, we have made arrangements for persons held on remand and persons held in custody to cast their votes today. This is the first step we are taking to implement the court decision. Separately, we have completed a six-week public consultation on prisoners' right to vote. We are consolidating the views which we have received. It is our plan to return to the Legislative Council Constitutional Affairs Panel in April to put forth a set of proposals. It is also our aim to complete the legislative exercise by July this year so that we would be in a position to implement the court decision as soon as possible.
We do not intend to appeal on the court decision. Rather, we have every intention of respecting the right to vote of the prisoners and the persons held on remand.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Sunday, March 29, 2009
SCMA visits a dedicated polling station of Sha Tin DC by-election (1)
The by-election in the Sha Tin District Council Tai Wai Constituency is held today (March 29). Photograph shows the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, visiting the dedicated polling station set up at the Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre at Butterfly Valley Road, Kowloon for male electors in the constituency who are remanded in the Correctional Services Department's custody this morning.
SCMA visits a dedicated polling station of Sha Tin DC by-election (2)
Photograph shows the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, visiting the dedicated polling station set up at the Tin Sum Police Station at Hin Keng Street, Sha Tin, New Territories for electors in Tai Wai Constituency who are remanded or detained by law enforcement agencies (other than the Correctional Services Department) this morning.
SCMA visits a polling station of Sha Tin DC by-election (3)
Photograph shows the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, visiting the Buddhist Wong Wan Tin College polling station at Mei Lam Estate, Tai Wai, Sha Tin for the Sha Tin District Council Tai Wai Constituency by-election this (March 29) morning.