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Government statement
     In response to media enquiries on a social media post issued by a civil service staff union about the procession on January 1, a Government spokesman made the following statement today (January 3):

     The Government expressed deep concern and regret over the remarks made by a civil service staff union on social media platform expressing dissatisfaction against the Police's decision, which was made after taking into account public safety considerations, to end the procession on January 1 earlier, and alleging that the decision has restricted Hong Kong people's rights of procession, assembly and association.

     The Government stressed that civil servants should not unscrupulously criticise the policies of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government or enforcement operations by individual departments. If any civil servant has violated the Civil Service Code, the Government will deal with it in a serious manner in accordance with the established mechanism.

     The Government has stated in the press release "Government strongly condemns rioters breaching public peace" issued on January 2 that the Police, after taking into account public safety considerations, decided to end the procession earlier. It is clear that the civil service staff union concerned has completely ignored this fact and made unscrupulous criticisms. This is totally unacceptable to the Government.

     According to the Civil Service Code, civil servants shall uphold the principle of political neutrality, which means that they should serve the Chief Executive and the Government of the day with total loyalty and to the best of their ability, no matter what their own political beliefs are. When civil servants express their views, they should ensure that their views would not give rise to any conflict of interest with their official duties, or would be seen to be compromising the important principles of maintaining impartiality and political neutrality which they should uphold when discharging their duties.

     All civil servants (including civil servants who are office bearers of staff unions) must abide by the relevant civil service regulations or code.
Ends/Friday, January 3, 2020
Issued at HKT 9:06
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