HK suspends fugitive bill work

June 15, 2019

The Government has decided to suspend the fugitive law amendment exercise and will restart its communication over the bill with all sectors of society, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said today.


Speaking to the media in the afternoon, Mrs Lam said the Government put forward the legislative proposal to find a way to deal with the Taiwan murder case and address deficiencies in the Hong Kong legal system.


Mrs Lam said the Government introduced amendments to its proposal on two occasions after listening to the views of the community.


“My relevant colleagues and I have made our best efforts. But I have to admit that our explanation and communication work has not been sufficient or effective.”


There are polarised views on the bill, she noted, adding the Government has made many attempts to narrow differences and eliminate doubts.


“In the last week, tens of thousands of people took part in protests and gatherings. Serious conflicts broke out in the early hours on Monday after the public procession last Sunday and during the protest in the Admiralty area on Wednesday, resulting in a number of police officers, media workers and other members of the public being injured. I am saddened by this, as are other citizens.


“As a responsible government, we have to maintain law and order on the one hand, and evaluate the situation for the greatest interest of Hong Kong, including restoring calmness in society as soon as possible and avoiding any more injuries to law enforcement officers and citizens.”


Mrs Lam also said the original urgency to pass the bill this legislative year may no longer exist with Taiwan repeatedly saying it would not agree to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government’s suggested arrangement for the transfer of the murder case suspect.


“After repeated internal deliberations over the last two days, I now announce that the Government has decided to suspend the legislative amendment exercise, restart our communication with all sectors of society, do more explanation work and listen to different views of society.


“I want to stress that the Government is adopting an open mind to heed comprehensively different views in society towards the bill.”


She added the Secretary for Security will send a letter to the Legislative Council President to withdraw the notice of resumption for the bill's second reading.


Mrs Lam also said the LegCo will halt its work concerning the bill until the Government completes its work in communication, explanation and listening to opinions.


“We have no intention to set a deadline for this work and promise to report to and consult members of the LegCo Panel on Security before we decide on the next step forward.”


Mrs Lam thanked pro-establishment legislators and members of the public for supporting the legislative exercise, as well as the people and organisations who do not support the bill and have expressed their views in a peaceful and rational manner.


The Chief Executive stressed the original purposes of the legislative amendment exercise stem from her and her team’s passion for the city and their empathy for its people.


“I feel deep sorrow and regret that the deficiencies in our work and various other factors have stirred up substantial controversies and dispute in society following the relatively calm periods of the past two years, disappointing many people.


“We will adopt the most sincere and humble attitude to accept criticisms and make improvements so that we can continue to connect with the people of Hong Kong.”

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