Revelations raise fears of leaks

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 July, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 July, 2007, 12:00am

Lawmakers have called for tighter measures to prevent official secrets from being leaked after former financial chief Antony Leung Kam-chung revealed that officials had considered scrapping the dollar peg in 2002, during his tenure.

The alleged leak last month confirmed what former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa had said earlier during an interview about discussions on whether to delink the currencies. In the Legislative Council yesterday, Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee, of the Civic Party, said: 'It has given a green light for top officials to leak secrets.

'The government is not handling the matter in a serious manner and it gives an impression of lax standards,' she added.

She said the finance bureaus held information that was crucial to the city's economy.

But the public was not being given sufficient assurances that secrets were in safe hands, she added.

Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong did not say if Mr Leung had breached the rules of confidentiality or whether there would be an investigation.

But he insisted that existing rules to protect classified information were 'very stringent'.

'Incumbent and former principal officials are all required to comply with the rules,' he said.