Security chief says lessons learned from Article 23 row

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 22 February, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 February, 2003, 12:00am

The security chief admitted yesterday that 'lessons have been learned'' from the consultation process on proposed anti-subversion laws, saying officials should be more careful when remarking on sensitive issues.

Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee also suggested that once the laws were in place, the government should conduct a case study to assess its handling of the affair.

Mrs Ip's comments come a week after the government gazetted a bill to implement laws against treason, subversion, secession and sedition, as required by Article 23 of the Basic Law.

The bill will be tabled to the Legislative Council on Wednesday.

Mrs Ip said on an RTHK programme that the government had learned from the consultation, during which it came in for fierce criticism from lawmakers and legal experts. In particular, light had been shed on how the government should defend itself and avoid causing 'public fear''.

'After the law is passed the government should conduct a case study such as those done by business schools in foreign countries, to see whether some big companies have mismanaged products,'' she said.

'Officials should also be careful when making comments, for some unintended remarks were twisted and repeated by some people as targets for attacks. We have learned a lot.''

In September Mrs Ip said taxi drivers and restaurant waiters would not be interested in details of the bill.

She also suggested that democracy was to blame for the rise of Adolf Hitler. She has since apologised.