Subversion law 'will not be rushed'

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 30 June, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 30 June, 1998, 12:00am

The anti-subversion law did not necessarily have to be enacted in the next two years, Secretary for Justice Elsie Leung Oi-sie said yesterday.

She said there was no timetable for the legislation, even though the Basic Law specifies that the SAR must enact laws to prohibit treason, secession, sedition or subversion against the central Government.

Miss Leung said that for the law to be introduced there must be a need for urgency, such as subversive acts being committed. She did not see such a need.

Miss Leung said Beijing had provided a lot of leeway in preparing the legislation.

'We will conduct a wide-ranging public consultation, although that doesn't mean we should legislate on it as late as possible,' she said.

'The Basic Law stipulates the SAR must enact the law.' However, she said she could not provide a timetable: 'The time for submitting the legislation is not bound by the two-year term for the first SAR legislature.' Miss Leung said she would not expect strong opposition from the legislature if the bill was submitted at the right time.

She said that the mainland subversion law would not be transplanted to Hong Kong, although the Government would use it as a reference.

Ms Leung said she was working on a mechanism on how to deal with legislation relating to the acts of the central Government.