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Transcript of remarks by CE at media session before ExCo (with video)
     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Chief Executive, Mr John Lee, at a media session before the Executive Council meeting today (April 25):
Reporter: Good morning Mr Lee. Firstly, you just recently talked about the reforming of the District Council. Would you be able to specify exactly how that will be done? Will there be appointed seats? You mentioned elected seats will still be kept, what exactly is the formation principles of this next District Council? Secondly, you also mentioned that the previous District Council was not satisfactory, operating against your government. Would you also admit that this is caused by you in some extent as you were also part of the previous government with all of these District Councillors being elected and also performing their agendas? Thank you.
Chief Executive: In regard to the methods of becoming a District Council member, I have mentioned that there will be multiple ways of entry. That is why I have mentioned that amongst these possible entry rules, there will be elements of election. We are working on the actual details. We will formalise it very quickly and you will be informed of the details of each entry method.
     As regards to the outrageous behaviours of many District Council members, it is not just unsatisfactory, it is blatantly unacceptable because they are behaving in such a way which advocated Hong Kong's independence, against the Government's governance, insulting officials, causing disruptions to the Councils' convention of meetings. A lot of them refused to take the oath. That reflects that they do not accept the PRC (People's Republic of China) as the sovereign state of Hong Kong and the PRC exercising sovereignty over Hong Kong. They are the root of the problem and they have been behaving in such a way that causes damages to society, upsetting everybody's expectation of what a District Council member should do. And by the very fact that two thirds of them either resigned or were disqualified, that shows absolutely every part of the problem. They also have to comply with the law, and if any of their behaviours contradict the law, then of course, action will be taken against them. If they feel afraid that some legal actions will be taken against them, then they are the person to blame and they should rectify their wrongdoings.
     Hong Kong is the place where we emphasise on the rule of law, on everybody fulfilling the obligation of complying with the law. A lot of their behaviours actually set very bad examples for Hong Kong. We are not going to allow this to repeat. I will not allow District Councils to be the platform to promote Hong Kong independence or anything which is against the Basic Law. I think society will not allow District Councils to misbehave like that, disappointing them in many regards, because they want District Councils to help them to promote the living environments and answer to the consultation of the Government.
     About the application for public activities. Regarding organising public activities, I think we should be careful. When the organiser wants to organise such activities, then they should think of their responsibilities of ensuring that such activities will be carried out in a lawful manner, that means it will not contravene national security, public security, public order, and also respect the rights and freedoms of others. So the organiser has that responsibility.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Tuesday, April 25, 2023
Issued at HKT 14:46
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