Transcript of remarks by CE at media session before ExCo meeting (with video)

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, at a media session before the Executive Council meeting this morning (October 3):

Reporter: Mrs Lam, can you tell us why a non-binding motion and not start a legislation process right away, because, well, some of the pan-dems are still fiercely opposing the plan? Also, about attending more LegCo (Legislative Council) meetings, when will that start and what will the format be like?

Chief Executive: Well, we cannot start the local legislation process for implementing this co-location proposal right away, because as we have announced on the 25th of July this year, the co-location arrangement is premised on a three-step approach. The first step requires a comprehensive agreement between the Hong Kong SAR Government and the relevant authorities in the Mainland, and with this co-operation arrangement being agreed, then we will seek the agreement and approval of the National People's Congress Standing Committee, probably through a resolution, and after this has been done we'll come back to do local legislation. So without those first two steps being conducted, it's a bit premature to rush into domestic legislation. The reason why we suggest we will put forward a non-binding government motion is really to provide an opportunity for Legislative Council members who have heard so much about this subject from the people of Hong Kong to debate on the merits of the co-location arrangement. And, of course, since this is a government motion the wording is such that we hope to secure the agreement of the Legislative Council members, but naturally there is diverse opinion in the Legislative Council as it is in society. But I hope that Legislative Council members will debate this in a rational manner and reflect the opinions of the people of Hong Kong.

     As regards my attendance before Legislative Council, this is in line with my pledge that I'm happy to engage the Legislative Council myself on a more frequent basis, and over the summer break I have received suggestions from the LegCo Committee on Rules of Procedure and having consulted amongst members, their suggestion is that I should continue to keep the four Q&A sessions every year to make a statement and to answer their questions and each session will last about 90 minutes. But in addition, they want me to appear at least once or twice more every month, but the duration of such attendance will be relatively short – it's about 30 minutes – for me to answer questions from Legislative Council on issues of the day, and I have already responded that I am very happy to follow the recommendations of the Legislative Council and now I am awaiting the actual schedule and the timetable for my appearance more frequently in the Legislative Council.

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

Ends/Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Issued at HKT 11:52