Clear evaluation call on electoral changes

Local | Michael Shum 7 Apr 2021

The significance of the electoral changes should be evaluated alongside the national security law, Secretary for the Civil Service Patrick Nip Tak-kuen says.

Both are important measures for shaping the SAR's constitutional order and are crucial for the implementation of one country, two systems, he wrote on Facebook yesterday.

In a meeting with the government's principal executive officers on Thursday, Nip said people should not single out Beijing's move to "perfect" Hong Kong's electoral system while interpreting it. Instead, they should evaluate it with the security law.

"That is to safeguard national security," Nip added, "and the electoral changes are to ensure people entering the political system fit the requirement of a patriot.

"It is a one-two punch to ensure one country, two systems can be effectively implemented in the long run while also protecting national sovereignty as well as ensuring Hong Kong's long-term prosperity and stability stated in the Basic Law."

Although details regarding changes to the electoral system are important, he added, people should look at them from a point of view that also takes Hong Kong's overall situation into consideration.

The two important measures will determine whether one country, two systems can be implemented effectively and whether it can return to its original intention and purpose.

Furthermore, Nip said, he has been in touch with mainland and central government officials throughout his career in public office, and "I firmly believe the central government hopes one country, two systems can be effectively implemented in the SAR and that Hong Kong can make use of its own advantages.

"The support and anticipation for the success of one country, two systems by Beijing is very clear and obvious."

The central government also hopes to tackle deep-rooted problems in Hong Kong as those are directly impacting Hongkongers, especially at the grassroots, according to Nip.

He said civil servants are an important component of the executive branch, therefore they should all work together and help promote any changes to social systems or policies.

Nip added that he will be meeting with civil service unions as well as civil servants in the next two weeks to explain to them the importance and significance of the electoral changes.

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