Abode case officers to move for safety

PUBLISHED : Friday, 03 August, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 03 August, 2001, 12:00am

The office that immigration investigators use to handle right-of-abode cases is expected to be moved to the former Kai Tak airport by the end of the year in the wake of the fatal arson attack against the unit a year ago.

Director of Immigration Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong yesterday revealed plans to tighten security after the attack in Immigration Tower, Wan Chai, on August 2 last year that claimed the lives of senior immigration officer Leung Kam-kwong, 42, and migrant Lam Siu-sing, 26. Fifty people were injured.

Mr Lee said a committee had been formed to work out measures to strengthen security. The proposals include restricting entry to the tower to staff with machine-readable identity cards and hiring private security guards.

Mr Lee was speaking on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the department, which was set up on August 4, 1961. Previously, immigration matters were handled by the police.

He said the department would continue to explore ways to streamline immigration procedures. It also would stay vigilant to guard against visitors disrupting the stability of Hong Kong, especially in October and November during two economic forums.

Regarding right of abode cases, Mr Lee said the case of adopted mainland teenager Agnes Tam Nga-yin, who lost her right-of-abode case last month, was still being processed. Secretary for Security Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee has hinted the girl could be allowed to stay on humanitarian grounds.

Mr Lee said she could continue to go to school if no decision was made before the start of the school year.