S for S speaks on national security law

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Security, Mr John Lee, at a media session after attending the Legislative Council meeting today (June 11):
Reporter: Two other questions, so the national security law will be enforced the first day it will come into effect. So there will be no time for people and law enforcement to kind of get used to the law and understand more about the law. Are you concerned about that point? And second question, critics said there is a lack of transparency concerning the group that the Police will set up in charge of the national security law, so how will the task force work with Mainland body set up to enforce the law? Will the Government in charge make the whole process of setting up this body more transparent so the public will know what is actually happening?
Secretary for Security: We will have to wait for the law to be written and then promulgated and then we will know what exactly the law will say. But it is important for the law enforcement agency to get prepared now with the number of people to be ready to discharge their duties as required by the law. It is because once the law is promulgated, then it becomes effective law. So the responsible law enforcement agency will have to get prepared now. It is true that we will only know exactly what the wording of the law will be so as to ensure that we know how exactly we can enforce the law. But the Hong Kong Police is well experienced in law enforcement over the years. I have confidence that they can very quickly develop their skill and knowledge in this regard. It is important that they start preparation now. I think what is more important is that people should know that when the law is promulgated, then it becomes effective law. So it is important that all of us pay attention to what will be said in the law, so that we know what is allowed and what will not be allowed, that is the most important. Of course, the Government as well as the law enforcement agency will do public education. Once the law is made public, then we will be explaining more about the details of the law.
Reporter: Can you give more details about the number of personnel that you will recruit for the unit? And what trainings, as you have mentioned, are ongoing to prepare for the law enforcement? Thank you.
Secretary for Security: The number of people will have to be decided according to the need. We are making preparations but we have to look at the exact law, to see what will be required of the law enforcement agencies to do, so as to actually decide on the number of people. As regards preparation, we have already been starting to look into what personal qualities, what experience will be required of the people who will be working in this new set-up unit. The second thing is, although (the national) security law is going to be enacted, it doesn't mean that the Police have no experience at all. Although relatively the national security matters involve complex issues but they already have some experience in enforcing the law in regard to some aspects of national security such as we have prohibited one "Hong Kong independence" society. So the Police have some experience already in that regard. But this is important that because of the new law, there will be new areas that they will have to look into. So training in other regards is important. We of course will be liaising with counterparts in the Mainland, to see how training can be done with their assistance. In fact in the same way as the Police go about counter-terrorism, the Police will be making opportunities to learn from counterparts overseas. So they will have of course a lot of things to do but I have good faith in their ability to discharge their function effectively.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Thursday, June 11, 2020
Issued at HKT 16:54