Government 'dragging its feet'

PUBLISHED : Friday, 03 February, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 03 February, 1995, 12:00am

THE Government has been accused of dragging its feet on controversial amendments to public order legislation.

Chairman of the Bills Committee on the Public Order Amendment Bill, Zachary Wong Wai-yin, said there had been no meeting for almost three months, since November 7.

Mr Wong said the date of the next meeting had been changed at least three times because the administration repeatedly said it was not ready to respond to legislators' requests.

He wrote to the Security Branch last week to say the situation must be resolved by February 13 or he would bring it to the House Committee.

Mr Wong said he was unhappy about the delay because the Legislative Council had a busy agenda in the next few months and wanted to settle on amendments as early as possible.

The bill seeks to replace the licensing system for public rallies with a seven-day notification rule.

It also raises the limit on the number of people allowed to take part in public protests and processions without notification from 30 to 50 and from 20 to 30 respectively.

Principal Assistant Secretary for Security Jack Chan Jick-chi said the administration had to be careful with the 'complicated' bill, and he refused to give a date for resumption of the meeting.