CE-elect speaks to media after paying a call on LegCo President (with video)

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Chief Executive-elect, Mr John Lee, after paying a call on the President of the Legislative Council, Mr Andrew Leung, at noon today (May 9):

Reporter: Mr Lee, you just said Hong Kong people have all their rights protected and provided in the Basic Law, but now we have seen that opposition to government policies or dissenting ideas can easily be criminalised and charged as sedition or even incitement to subversion. Can you guarantee that in the next five years people's criticism against your government and policies won't be subject to speech crime? And the second question is…

Chief Executive-elect: Let me answer your first question first. I think you are very wrong to describe that people are now charged simply because of their expressed opinions. That is absolutely wrong, and it should not be so described. It is misleading - actually and factually wrong. People are brought to court because it is suspicious that their actions are contravening the law. It is their action. So that point has to be very clear.

Reporter: The second question is, you are visiting the Liaison Office (The Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region) this afternoon, are you going to thank the Liaison Office's efforts or help for your campaign which was concluded yesterday? And also, because the EU (European Union) has criticised the election yesterday as a violation of the democratic spirit, how would you respond to that?

Chief Executive-elect: First of all, I think in the month that I conducted my election campaign, a lot of you were with me when I went to meet people, went to districts meeting kaifongs, or conduct face-to-face or online meetings. I remember that on one day, I went around to 10 places to explain my philosophy of governance to various people, and a lot of your colleagues were with me and they actually said that, well, they had a long day. So I made my effort in the whole month of the election campaign to try to explain and win the support of the people I met. I also did a lot of online meetings with representatives of different sectors, particularly members of the Election Committee, to again explain my philosophy of governance, my intention of how, if I get elected, the sixth-term government would do, and how I intend the sixth-term government will bring to the society and achievements that I want to be realised.
     I made a lot of efforts and my colleagues in the campaign office also made a lot of efforts. When people saw all these activities and the work that we conducted tirelessly every day, I hope you would also reflect these activities to the people of Hong Kong, so that they actually saw how hard I worked and how hard my colleagues worked together with me. So it was my personal efforts, and of course, I thank for the opportunities that the public has given me. I'm of course very grateful to members of the Election Committee who voted for me after hearing what my intention and purposes would be in the sixth-term government.

     And the last thing about the comments made by the EU, I disagree and I think they were wrong because the election was conducted according to the election law in Hong Kong. The election law in Hong Kong was enacted because of what happened in the years of chaos, internal wastage (of energy) and also attempts to sabotage Hong Kong governance with a high degree of foreign intervention. So it was against this background, which I think a lot of people saw and experienced, during the two to three years leading to the situation that resulted in improving the electoral system which we have now. It is an improved system in which there is broad representation of interests and also it is in accordance with the actual situation in Hong Kong, so it has already created positive results, as you can see that in LegCo, a lot of debates are very practical and a lot of the discussions are very rational and of high quality. That is the benefit that has been brought as a result of the new electoral system. How we run Hong Kong affairs is a matter of Hong Kong SAR and also a matter of our country. But I think people are adopting double standards. When we have through our law an improved electoral system which is creating benefit to the people of Hong Kong, we should stand firm about the need for such an electoral system, so I disagree with their comments.

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

Ends/Monday, May 9, 2022
Issued at HKT 20:09