Transcript of remarks by CE at media session before ExCo meeting (with video)
Reporter: Mrs Lam, regarding the injunction to ban people from doxxing police officers and their family, why did the Government only apply for an injunction to protect the police officers and their family but not, you know, the wider general public including journalists, you know, protesters and also many public figures who have been victims of doxxing? Is the Government, you know, being selective when it comes to offering protections? And secondly, regarding Chan Tong-kai’s case, Chan Tong-kai has not surrendered himself to Taiwan so far, so will the Government provide any assistance, or how would the Government handle the matter? And my third question is about the Financial Times’ report saying that Beijing is making a plan to install an interim Chief Executive to replace you by March next year. So, have you heard of such a plan and are you going to complete the full term of this government?
Chief Executive: First of all, about the temporary injunction against doxxing applied by the Secretary for Justice in the public interest and also the Commissioner of Police, I think there is no dispute that, first of all, in the last four months or so, we have seen and experienced a large amount of this sort of doxxing on the social media, affecting many people, especially people holding a view which is in support of the Government or in support of the Police, then the others who hold a different opinion will resort to intimidation. There’s no dispute about that and that’s why I notice that in one of his interviews, the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data described this social media intimidation, or doxxing, as being a weapon now being deployed, which is very worrying. I have also said on a previous occasion that in time we will have to revisit the privacy legislation to see how we could tackle this emerging threat or social problem. There is also no dispute that the main target of this doxxing is the Police, is the police officers. I gather that over 2,000 policemen and maybe their families have been put to that sort of intimidation. For the Secretary for Justice and the Commissioner of Police to take that route of applying for an interim injunction is understandable because we don’t have the necessary effective legislation to tackle that issue, so interim injunction is one of the legal means to address the problem. That’s point No. 1.
Point No. 2 is assistance offered to Chan Tong-kai, as I have told you on a previous occasion, before he was released from correctional institute, he sent me a letter expressing his determination to turn himself in to Taiwan and to accept the responsibility for what he has done and he also asked for the Government’s facilitation and assistance. He is a free man, so our facilitation has to fully respect that he’s a free man, he has a free will. At the working level, the law enforcement agency of Hong Kong has approached the law enforcement agency in Taiwan to see what arrangements could be put in place to facilitate his return to Taiwan. But the matter has been complicated by the very different and sometimes confusing messages coming from the other side, so I was just responding to a question in Cantonese that right now, Chan and his family are probably trying to clarify some of these messages before he could make up his mind on the timing to go back to Taiwan. Those clarifications are necessary in order to ensure a fair trial. Meanwhile, because he was also worried about his safety, we have put in place some appropriate arrangements to ensure his safety and it is not proper for me to go into details.
The final question about the speculative report on the Financial Times, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ spokesman has already clarified that - that was a very malicious, and maybe politically driven speculation or rumour. As far as I am concerned, from the beginning of this social unrest till now, the Central Government has been very supportive and remains confident that I myself, my political team and the Hong Kong SAR Government, particularly the Police, will be able to handle the situation and end violence and return Hong Kong to normal as soon as possible.
Reporter: As you mentioned in your opening statement and partially in the response to the question just now, you address the recession. After five months of unrelenting protests, Hong Kong has fallen into recession. You mentioned industries that will be severely impacted, including transport, tourism and logistics. A significant amount of funding will be released to help manage the situation, but as you said yourself, that is only a Band-Aid. The core solution would be to restore peace, and to have peace to return to Hong Kong. So, in concrete terms, what additional political tools, what additional emergency measures, do you plan to deploy to have order to be restored in Hong Kong?
Chief Executive: The situation we are now facing is anti-government violence, so the most effective solution is to tackle the violence head-on. For the Government to resort to measures that will appease the violent rioters, I don't think that is a solution, and I feel that many Hong Kong people, yes, they may have some unhappiness and grievances about the government policies, about the government handling of this major crisis, but the time now is really to put in all our efforts to say "No" to violence in order to have a chance to put an end to this extreme violence that we have seen. I notice CNN has done an extensive report over the weekend, interviewing some of the more peaceful protesters on how they have seen the evolution of the situation. Likewise, on our part, we understand and appreciate the peaceful protesters’ concern. But until and unless we tackle the violence and put an end to it, it is very difficult to continue the political dialogue that we have done. I am very committed to doing that dialogue to listen to people and to change the policies and so on, but the first thing must be to stop the violence. If there are a large number of people legitimising the violence, or even glorifying the violence, I’m afraid it will make it even more difficult for us to tackle this situation.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Tuesday, October 29, 2019
Issued at HKT 14:44
Issued at HKT 14:44
Audio / Video
CE meets the media