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Transcript of remarks by S for S

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Security, Mr Lai Tung-kwok, at a media session after attending an event today (May 18):

Reporter: How will you better safeguard the Hong Kongers who are in Vietnam right now, in terms of providing, maybe flights or more resources for them, so they can get back to Hong Kong?

Secretary for Security: The air traffic between Hong Kong and Vietnam cities has been normal. We have been checking with all the three airlines that operate regular flights between Vietnam and Hong Kong. We got the result that there are plenty of seats available so Hong Kong residents and indeed, any other travellers who wish to take flight from Vietnam back to Hong Kong would not be a problem. I am given to understand that one of the airlines that operates flights between Vietnam and Hong Kong has already used a larger aircraft so that more seats have become available. Up to now, we have received nine requests from Hong Kong residents. All of them wish to come back to Hong Kong a bit earlier. Since Friday, we have received eight cases and all eight cases have been properly handled and that they either have already returned to Hong Kong, or they have booked an earlier flight, or they have decided to remain there for the time being. This morning we received another request for assistance from a Hong Kong resident. His request is to book an earlier flight back to Hong Kong and the case is now being handled. As I mentioned earlier, the seats available between Vietnam cities and Hong Kong are sufficient to cater (for) the demand. We will closely monitor the situation and there are plans in hand. In case that the demand itself suddenly increased, we can work with the airlines to provide sufficient seats for Hong Kong residents to return to Hong Kong. And after we have issued the Red (Outbound) Travel Alert, all the travel groups going to Vietnam have been ceased and this substantially reduced the number of (Hong Kong) visitors now in Vietnam. As for those tourist groups that are present in Vietnam, they are all safe and the vast majority of them will return to Hong Kong today, with a few of them will come back tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. After May 20, there will be no (Hong Kong) tourists in Vietnam.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Sunday, May 18, 2014
Issued at HKT 16:50


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