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Transcript of SCMA's remarks to media after open forum (with photos)

     The Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, attended the second open forum on the consultation paper issued by the Government on the arrangements for filling vacancies in the Legislative Council this evening (September 1) at the Hong Kong Science Museum. Following is the transcript of Mr Lam's remarks (English portion) at a media session after the forum:

Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs: In the last few days, we have conducted several consultation sessions. Yesterday, we met with the architectural, surveying and planning functional constituency. We also responded to the statement made by the Hong Kong Bar Association. Earlier today, we met with the four major chambers of commerce, and just now we have completed the second public forum to listen to views, both for and against, the idea that we should put in place a replacement mechanism to deal with the vacancies arising from the Legislative Council.

     From different quarters of this community, citizens of Hong Kong have expressed their views: they are concerned about this issue. We will evaluate very carefully all the views we have received, including opinion polls and position papers, letters and emails from the people of Hong Kong and from different organisations. We will then make an assessment as to whether the bill which we have placed before the Legislative Council will require further amendments for this loophole to be plugged.

     Both within and outside the venue today, there were certain parties and certain members of the public who disrupted our order and refused to comply with the rules for participation in this public forum set by the organisers of this occasion. I will like to emphasise that Hong Kong is a civilised society. We respect the rule of law, and the freedom of expression is also respected. But at the same time, we should refrain from instigating damage. Very unfortunately, certain doors of this venue have been broken, and our security guards have been hurt. This is a matter which the relevant department, if necessary, will take up with the Hong Kong Police Force.

     Finally, I would like to emphasise that we still believe that this community and the citizens of Hong Kong will like us to continue to conduct and deal with this issue rationally according to the finest traditions of Hong Kong as a civilised, law-abiding and free society.

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

Ends/Thursday, September 1, 2011
Issued at HKT 22:45


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