Martin Lee renews fight against subversion law

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 September, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 September, 2002, 12:00am

Democratic Party chairman Martin Lee Chu-ming has made a fresh attempt to lobby the government against introducing an anti-subversion law, arguing that Hong Kong is now as stable as in early 1989.

Mr Lee told the South China Morning Post the strongest argument against it was that even Beijing had agreed several months before the Tiananmen Square massacre on June 4, 1989, it was unnecessary for Hong Kong to enact a law to prohibit subversion against the central government.

In the second draft of the Basic Law published in February 1989, Article 23 required Hong Kong to pass laws against treason, secession, sedition and theft of state secrets, but not subversion.

The subversion requirement was inserted when the provision was amended to its current form.

'Frankly speaking, from the central government's point of view, they may find such a law [was] needed most immediately before and after the handover,' said Mr Lee, who was also a member of the now-defunct Basic Law drafting committee.

He said he had recently discussed the matter with a senior official. He said also he could not accept the argument put forward by that official that the administration was duty-bound to introduce such a law.

'The current situation is like that in early 1989,' Mr Lee said.

If it was not necessary to introduce such a law in the first five years [of the establishment of the SAR], it would be even more unnecessary to do so in the sixth or seventh year, he said.