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Transcript of remarks by STH

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, speaking to the media after attending radio programmes today (December 5):
Reporter: Mr Cheung, about the high-speed rail link, will the Government come up with an arrangement, or propose an arrangement about the cross-border arrangement before it asks the LegCo for more money? If not, how could you expect lawmakers to give out more money when everything is uncertain?

Secretary for Transport and Housing: We know very well that our lawmakers are mainly concerned about two things. First, whether there is sufficient explanation about the cost overrun and the delay. Secondly, to what extent the proposed co-location of CIQ (customs, immigration and quarantine) facilities at the West Kowloon Terminus could be implemented. As I said at LegCo (Subcommittee on Matters Relating to Railways) yesterday, to implement co-location of CIQ as and when the Express Rail (Hong Kong section of Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link ) commences service remains to be the Government's objective. We have been in active discussion with relevant authorities on the Mainland, but the matter itself is very complicated in both constitutional and legal terms. We have not only to make sure that the ultimate arrangements are in conformity with the Basic Law and the spirit of "one country, two systems", we have also to make sure that the actual arrangements are really workable, are really convenient. There is a range of issues that we have to really look into deeply. Until we have a clearer notion of how these arrangements will be implemented, we don't think that it will help public discussion because any one aspect may not give the public a full picture. At the moment we are still in discussion with the Central Authorities, therefore we can't say too much at this stage. But we know that the LegCo is very concerned, and we have a bit of time in the coming couple of months to look at the Express Rail issue. I hope that in the course of the coming discussion, we will be able to share further thoughts with the LegCo. We still very much hope that by the end of February next year, we will be able to secure the Finance Committee's approval of the additional funding.

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

Ends/Saturday, December 5, 2015
Issued at HKT 13:52


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