Local bases urged for interim body

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 15 February, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 15 February, 1997, 12:00am

President of the provisional legislature Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai said yesterday members should set up offices in Hong Kong despite pledges not to undermine the administration's authority.

She said: 'Since our service is targeted at the people of Hong Kong, it is necessary for us to gauge their views and listen to them in a way that is convenient to them.' Mrs Fan said local offices were needed because the body operated in Shenzhen.

District Board member Lau Kong-wah said he had no plans to set up a new office. Instead, he would use his government-subsidised office for handling the provisional body's business.

'Without a new office, I have no need to claim the subsidy from the provisional legislature and this will save taxpayers' money in the long run,' he said.

Asked whether the move would challenge the Hong Kong Government, Mrs Fan said: 'I believe our members will make their own arrangements. We will try to respect its ruling authority.' Mrs Fan was speaking after an 'informal' get-together of the interim body's working groups on administrative matters and rules of procedure at the Hong Kong Club, Central.

Five protesters greeted the members with slogans condemning the body as a regression for democracy.

The membership of the two working groups will be endorsed by the provisional legislature next Saturday.

She said it was unlikely the public would be allowed into the meeting because of time and space limitations, although the press would be allowed.

Mrs Fan said she thought all formal meetings - including those of the plenum and working groups - should be held in Shenzhen, but it would be up to group members to decide.

The administrative working group will examine how to work with the executive arm of the post-handover administration, details for members' declarations of interest and the manpower of the secretariat.

The rules of procedure group will formulate the equivalent of the Legislative Council Standing Orders, which most believe should be the basis for formulating the new rules.