National security due to rev up in schools

Local | Carine Chow 15 Jun 2021

A new position has been created to implement national security education in schools.

Teresa Chan Mo-ngan, formerly the bureau's principal assistant secretary, has become deputy secretary for education (special duties) and will be responsible for coordinating measures linked to school administration and the security law.

Chan will also be in charge of formulating strategies for the development of government schools and reviewing people's work in the Education Bureau.

The bureau has said the new position is a six-month "supernumerary directorate post" effective from April 1 to the end of September.

A related subject was a cultural sector legislator saying there should be clear benchmarks so filmmakers can see the "red lines" on breaching the security law.

Ma Fung-kwok said authorities did not conduct any consultations before announcing last week that the Film Censorship Ordinance would be amended to provide censors with clearer guidelines on checking films and classifying them.

But Ma added that he was not worried about increasing self-censorship in the film industry, as he had confidence local creators can deliver their messages without crossing the line.

Under the amended Film Censorship Ordinance enacted yesterday, censors should ban a film from public screening if it could contain messages that may endanger or jeopardize national security.

On a radio program yesterday, a member of the Panel of Film Censorship Advisers said that censoring work might get more "complicated," as censors now need to take politics into consideration.

Hui Hon-wing said most censorship until now has involved nudity and violent content.

Films with such content will be slapped with a Category III rating, he added, but it is unlikely a film would be banned.

Hui said the words used in the amended ordinance, such as "likely" and "reasonably" are very ambiguous, which might add difficulties to the work of censors.

He added that a ruling might spark much debate in society, as censors cannot represent all audiences, and because it would be difficult for censors to determine whether a movie would incite viewers to commit acts that could endanger national security.

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