Press Releases

LCQ1: Occupy Central and constitutional development proposals

     Following is a question by Dr Hon Lam Tai-fai and a reply by the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Raymond Tam, in the Legislative Council today (June 18):


     It has been reported that earlier on, some individuals and Members of this Council belonging to the pan-democratic camp met with senior officials of the United States of America (the USA) and the United Kingdom on issues relating to constitutional development, but the Members concerned have declined the invitation of the Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (the Liaison Office) to discuss the related matters with him.  The individuals concerned have indicated that they will take part in an action to organise over 10 000 people to block the roads in Central (Occupy Central) unless the constitutional development proposals put forward by the Government meet their demands.  Separately, in reply to my question on whether letters of no objection would be issued for public assemblies or processions related to Occupy Central during his attendance at the Question and Answer Session of this Council earlier on, the Chief Executive (CE) said that the Government could not sit back and do nothing, and it would not underestimate the eventuality of such incident, and that he himself, the Security Bureau and the Hong Kong Police Force attached great importance to this issue and they were making due preparation on various fronts, including operational deployment.  He also indicated that the Government would not issue letters of no objection in respect of assemblies, demonstrations and processions to any person who seeks to paralyse the financial centre.  In any event, the Government would act in accordance with the law and the Police would resolutely enforce the laws should there be any unlawful acts.  Meanwhile, he "was given to understand that quite a number of financial institutions, industrial and trade organisations, as well as professional practices located in Central were making preparations for instituting civil proceedings.  They would demand the persons concerned to stop occupying and paralysing Central by way of civil proceedings, and would seek court orders for the persons concerned to compensate for the economic losses so incurred once the situation of Central being paralysed occurred."  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) whether it has identified any foreign forces meddling with Hong Kong affairs, including making indiscreet remarks on the direction of constitutional development, as well as advocating and supporting Occupy Central; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

(2) whether it has looked into the reasons why individual pan-democrats (including former and incumbent Members of this Council) have had high-profile meetings with the Vice President of USA, Consul General of USA in Hong Kong and the British Consul in Hong Kong, etc. to discuss constitutional development while declining the invitation of the Director of the Liaison Office for discussion on such issues; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

(3) as CE indicated that the Government could not sit back and do nothing about Occupy Central and was making due preparation on various fronts, whether the Government will assist the business and industry sector or other individuals who suffer losses as a result of Occupy Central in claiming compensation from its organisers through legal means; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?


Acting President,

     In consultation with relevant bureaux, our consolidated reply to the question raised by Dr Hon Lam is as follows:

(1) Since the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), the political structure of Hong Kong has been developing, in the light of the actual situation in the HKSAR and in a gradual and orderly manner, towards the ultimate aim of universal suffrage in accordance with the Basic Law and the relevant Interpretation and Decisions of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC).  Constitutional development is a matter for the HKSAR and it is entirely an internal affair of China.  Foreign governments should respect this principle and should not interfere in any way; and the HKSAR Government would not be interfered by any foreign force.  We also consider that political figures in Hong Kong should understand that the issue is highly sensitive.

(2) The Administration should not and cannot be the one to answer the second part of Dr Hon Lam's question.  Dr Hon Lam may consider asking the relevant Members of this Council and relevant persons.

(3) Organisers of "Occupy Central" have stated clearly that the aim of "Occupy Central" was to unlawfully paralyse Central to force the Central Government to accede to their requests on constitutional development.  In the event that it is to take place, should there be any breach of public safety, the peace or public order, the Government shall decisively take corresponding measures.  If any legal person or individual considers that a loss is suffered as a result of unlawful activities of others and wishes to make a claim for damages, such a claim could certainly be made against the relevant parties through legal avenues.

Ends/Wednesday, June 18, 2014