I was not afraid of the mob, says Regina Ip

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 April, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 26 April, 2002, 12:00am

Regina Ip said yesterday she had not been afraid when abode seekers trapped her in her car outside the Legislative Council building on Wednesday, saying the incident had not been premeditated.

Mrs Ip, who was trapped in her BMW for almost an hour, said it was merely a coincidence that she was passing the building when the claimants mobbed her vehicle at about 6pm. 'I was not afraid,' she stressed.

Mrs Ip who was speaking before attending an Eastern District Council meeting, was guarded yesterday by a Police Protection Unit officer. Another 10 uniformed officers were on duty at the council office.

'Although there was chaos, my personal security was not really threatened,' she said of Wednesday's incident, during which she sat calmly in the back of the car reading a magazine.

'The incident was purely an accident. My passing by the Legislative Council was also an accident. I'll be more careful in future when I go out,' she said.

She said the Government was determined to repatriate all those staying in Hong Kong illegally and would step up checking of identity cards.

'Naturally we hope to repatriate more, the sooner the better,' she said.

While legislator Cheung Man-kwong criticised police for not sending reinforcements to the scene quickly enough, Mrs Ip said she found it acceptable that the police managed to resolve the situation within an hour.