Legal hurdles should not deter progress, Rimsky Yuen saysLocal | 26 Jul 2017 4:01 pm
The Secretary for Justice, Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung, said today that Hong Kong's legal system cannot be allowed to get in the way of progress when it comes to developments such as the future high-speed rail line to Guangzhou.
During an RTHK radio program, Yuen was asked to respond to criticism that he has not done enough to safeguard the Basic Law and the One Country, Two Systems principle, by proposing to let mainland authorities enforce national laws on Hong Kong soil.
He said while he has the utmost respect for the Basic Law, the legal system should not obstruct the city’s development and should be allowed to progress with time.
Yuen added that nobody had considered the need for joint immigration controls within Hong Kong during the drafting of the Basic Law.
The justice chief said he has addressed the government’s West Kowloon Terminus plan with a high degree of professionalism, and his conscience is clear. He said if the plan breached the Basic Law in any way, he would have been the first person to reject it.
Meanwhile, the Secretary for Transport, Frank Chan, has responded to questions over people's freedom to access the Internet in mainland-controlled areas of the railway station. He said people should have no problems, as long as they are using a SIM card from a local service provider.
But with tight restrictions on Internet use on the mainland, Chan conceded passengers may find some sites blocked if they connect via WiFi at the station.
The Chief Secretary, Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, said officials are ready to attend Legco meetings during the summer break to explain the government's proposals for the terminus, a quarter of which will be put under mainland control.
Cheung said he is aware of the concerns of pan-democratic lawmakers and said the government will do what it takes to reassure them that the plan doesn’t erode Hong Kong's high level of autonomy.
He added that the plan isn't being forced on Hong Kong by Beijing, although the SAR had requested the central government's help in drafting it.-RTHK