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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 the launching ceremony of the "Driving Training Scheme for Rehabilitated Persons" today (March 5):

Reporter: Five people have been dealt with by the court. What sort of messages do you think it would send across? And there has been criticism on mainland newspaper saying the measures are too drastic. What is your reaction to that?

Secretary for Security: I think the sentence passed by the court will send a very clear signal to all concerned, including residents of Hong Kong and visitors from other places, that they should abide by the law, in that, they are not allowed to bring more than 1.8 kg of powdered formula out of Hong Kong within a 24 hour period. And we hope that through these actions, people-at-large can understand the reasons why we have to do that, and also abide by the law. As regard to certain comments, I would say that this is the last step we would like to seek after taking all these efforts concerned, to rectify the situation and make it become normal. And it is one of the effective ways we consider as necessary to do so. Arising from the results from the past few days, we believe these measures are effective. Let me give you some examples. Up to yesterday, we have arrested 87 people, including 49 Hong Kong residents and 36 mainland residents, plus two foreign nationals. The ratio of Hong Kong residents being arrested as compared with the ratio of the mainland residents being arrested is 6 to 4. This ratio apparently coincides with our previous estimation from the intelligence we gathered through our enforcement actions. In that, the ratio also remains at 6 to 4.

Reporter: But you don't think the measures are too drastic?

Secretary for Security: I don't think the measures are too drastic because firstly we have taken all necessary measures and we cannot restore the normal supply of the powdered formula of the babies. Secondly, within these few days, after the implementation of the new regulation, we believe that the supply has resumed normal. And people, in particular, our mothers can buy their powdered formula from sales outlets, and there is no complaint about that. We can also see from the number of calls that we received from the Government hotline is reducing to a very very small number, which indicated that this effort has yielded some positive results.

Reporter: How about the review on individual traveller scheme?

Secretary for Security: The Individual Visit Scheme started in 2003 and is now nearly 10 years.  We believe that it is an opportune time to conduct a review in order to map out the way forward. We will consider our abilities to receive our visitors, our capacities at our tourist spots, pressure that might bring about by the travellers in the transportation system, the abilities of our immigration checkpoints, and we are now at the final stage of this review.

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

Ends/Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Issued at HKT 20:03


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