Transcript of remarks by CS and S for S (with video)

     The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, and the Secretary for Security, Mr John Lee, met the media this afternoon (May 14).  Following is the transcript of remarks at the media session:
Reporter: Mr Cheung, does that mean that the tripartite talk is not a good solution for now? And would the Government consider any changes to the bill? And I mean, is it better to, you know, put the bill to the full LegCo meeting? Thank you.
Chief Secretary for Administration: First of all, if the tripartite talk is about internal procedure of the Legislative Council, which is the issue at the moment, arguing about who should be the Chairman of the Committee concerned, but not the substance of the bill, not the content of the bill, then, it will be inappropriate for the Administration, for the executive authorities to intervene in what is essentially an internal procedural issue of the Legislature. That’s pretty clear. Internal procedure has to be dealt with internally. They have got to iron out the differences entirely through their own internal mechanism. That’s why I understand that Honorable Abraham Shek will be writing to the House Committee Chairman this evening. I think it much depends on the future direction coming out from these exchanges. We are closely following developments here. Okay? The second thing, as I said earlier, my door is always open. I’m here representing the HKSAR Government, speaking and extending a welcome to any political party if they want to discuss the substance of the bill itself, I stand ready. My door is always open, you know. We are ready to listen, we are ready to exchange views, and if there is any constructive idea which we can adopt to clarify any concerns about the bill, we stand ready to consider them.
Reporter: But the thing is, the procedural clash is due to the opposite stance of the two camps. So, why did the Government still refuse to do the tripartite meeting, which can, if the Government compromises in some sense, the controversy can be solved? And secondly, if the Government, according to you, is unwilling to do any compromise, why do you hold this press conference? And thirdly, the pan-democrats are calling for withdrawal of the bill, and at least to suspend it to have more talks or to solve this Taiwan case, and for this case only, and then for the other amendments then that’s the second step. So why doesn’t the Government consider this option?
Chief Secretary for Administration: As I said, it is a procedural issue. The argument is who should be the Chairman of the Committee concerned, right? It’s an internal procedure of the Legislative Council. It’s got to be ironed out internally, because it will be improper for the Administration to interfere in the internal procedural issue of the Legislature. That point is pretty clear, alright? As I said, our door is always open to discuss any concern about the Bill. We are not closing our door entirely. Any political party, if they want to come to see us, express their view and so on, they are more than welcome. As I said, my door is always open and I stand ready to discuss.

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

Ends/Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Issued at HKT 19:02