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Gov't attaches great importance to public views

July 01, 2011
In response to the public procession today, the Government says it respects people's right to take part in processions and their freedom of expression. It attaches great importance to public views and will continue to listen to them to better address people's needs.
The Government will continue to closely monitor the property market, and take appropriate measures when necessary to ensure its healthy and stable development.
It understands that behind the calls for the resumption of the Home Ownership Scheme is the aspiration for more opportunities to purchase affordable homes. The Chief Executive will respond to the issue in this year's Policy Address.
It said the introduction of the bill on the replacement mechanism for filling vacancies in the legislature is in response to public aspirations to plug the loophole in the existing mechanism which allows abuse of the by-election system. In the light of the views expressed by different sectors of the community, the Constitutional & Mainland Affairs Bureau has put forth a revised set of proposals, which are fair, reasonable and transparent.
The revised proposals are legal and constitutional. By-elections are not the only legal means to fill a temporary vacancy, it said, adding neither the Basic Law nor the Bill of Rights require that a vacancy in the legislature be filled by means of a by-election. Filling vacancies through the proposed replacement mechanism will not constitute a breach of the Basic Law or be deemed a deprivation of the right to elect or get elected.
On the issue involving non-local pregnant women, it is incumbent upon the Government to ensure they are given adequate medical services. The eligibility for the highly subsidised public healthcare services, including obstetric services, is always based on the status of the service user. In view of the problems facing some cross-boundary families, the Food & Health Bureau is considering ways to help them within the framework of existing policies.
The Government said it also notes other public aspirations expressed in today’s procession.