Security Bureau
6th Floor, East Wing
Central Government Offices
Lower Albert Road
Central, Hong Kong

Dear Sir,

Response to the Proposals to Implement Article 23 of the Basic Law

The Security Bureau is now conducting consultation on the legislative proposals to implement Article 23 of the Basic Law. I agree that this is the responsibility of the HKSAR government. However, this should only be done under the principles of 'a high degree of autonomy' and 'Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong'.

I think some of the proposed provisions of the consultation document may lead to public anxiety. For example:

1. In Chapter 4 II. (c) Sedition: Seditious publications, the definition of “Seditious publications” is ambiguous. It is understandable why the academic and the media are worry about the definition.

2. In Chapter 6 I. (b) Theft of State Secrets: Unlawful disclosure, the unclear provision would put the journalists in danger if they disclose information from an unidentified source even if this is for public interest. This has undoubtedly created pressure on the media and self-censorship is unavoidable.

3. In Chapter 7 II. (a) Foreign Political Organizations: Proscription mechanism, it stated that the Secretary of Security would be given the power to proscribe the organizations in Hong Kong which are affiliated with the Mainland organizations that have been proscribed in the Mainland by the Central Authorities. The term “affiliation” should be strictly defined.

4. In Chapter 7 II. (b) Foreign Political Organizations: Appeal mechanism, the document should provide more details of the procedures of the appeal mechanism.

Despite the fact that the Chief Secretary and the Secretary of Security both guarantee that the rights and freedom of the public will not be deprived, I suggest the Policy Bureau and the Security Bureau should issue a White Bill with clear, precise and detailed provisions and allow more time for public consultation to remove the public anxiety.

I realize the importance of the implementation of Article 23 in maintaining a stable society in Hong Kong, but the timing and strategy that the government chose are certainly inappropriate. Under the current economic downturn, the priority for the government should be placed on improving the economic situation. The government chose to implement Article 23 in such a hurry will only lead to a divisive effect on the society. The government should learn a lesson and avoid making the same mistake in future.

Yours faithfully

Amy Yung
Islands District Council Member

Discovery Bay

* This is a translation from the Chinese submission to the Security Bureau