Transcript of remarks by CE at media session (with video)
Reporter: Mrs Lam, you said that you've asked the Security Bureau to set up a task force to follow up on the recommendations made by the IPCC, so does that mean that you accept that the Police have failed to carry out their duties properly during the handling of the protests, at least in some occasions? And would you say that this is your political solution to the current social unrest, and do you think that this will be enough to help ease social tensions and people's grievances against the Police? And secondly, will you continue to try and invite other experts to set up the independent review committee that you promised earlier and to look into the causes of the social unrest? If not, why not?
Chief Executive: Well, first of all, both Secretary for Security and myself attach a lot of importance to this report and to each and every of the 52 recommendations made by IPCC. That's why, broadly speaking, I accept all these recommendations and have asked Secretary for Security to personally chair a task force to look at how each and every of the recommendations should be followed through. I have explained at length the role of the Police Force, and they are there to enforce the law – they have no other purposes, they are not involved in the politics. But if anybody breaches the law, it is the duty of the police officers to enforce the law. Throughout this almost one year of social unrest, that is the primary duty of the Hong Kong Police Force. But, of course, in the course of carrying out duties, given the very complicated and difficult circumstances, there were situations that could be handled better. There were deficiencies in communications, in staff deployment and in other things as pointed out by the IPCC in its thematic report. That is where we should find room for improvement.
As far as social tension, I think it will continue, because, one, Hong Kong is a very free society, secondly, we are still faced with a lot of confrontations, either in the Legislative Council or in the District Councils. I am not naive to think that the publication of the report or my response to the report, even accepting all the recommendations for implementation, will put an end to this social unrest. But at least we will make every attempt to follow through the recommendations and also the several areas of work that I have outlined.
Coming back to the establishment of the independent review committee, I tried not to be very explicit in my introductory remarks, but the reason, as I understand it, the reason why rather distinguished members of the community who had originally agreed to take up the task of either being a chairman or the member of this independent review committee subsequently pulled out on personal reasons, I guess, was the fear of intimidation, was the fear of doxxing on the Internet, and the fear of their relatives, their friends or their businesses being affected. This is one of the very sad things that we have seen in this almost one year of social unrest, that people tend to use force against people who have a different political stance or a different opinion, or simply because those people are supporting the role of the Hong Kong SAR Government or the Police Force. Thank you.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Friday, May 15, 2020
Issued at HKT 20:01
Issued at HKT 20:01
Audio / Video
CE to meet the media