Four years on ... still no disclosure: Hong Kong minister says full report on Lamma ferry disaster can’t be released yet
Department of Justice warns release could breach personal data protection laws, while lawmaker pushes for closed-door reading of document
Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung Bing-leung said on Saturday that it was not yet time for a full disclosure of an internal probe into the Lamma ferry disaster that claimed 39 lives on National Day four years ago.
But returning lawmaker James To Kun-sun, who has been assisting families of the victims, was determined to pressure the government into conducting another closed-door session for a reading of the document.
“Many lawmakers, especially when we have 26 new ones, have not read the report and it’s very difficult to discuss [the incident],” he said.
“We need to look at whether the government’s follow-up actions addressed the problem.”
Eight children and 31 adults perished in what was dubbed the city’s worst seafaring disaster in over 40 years, when the Lamma IV vessel, owned by HK Electric, collided with Hong Kong and Kowloon Ferry’s Sea Smooth off Lamma Island on October 1, 2012.
In memory of the victims, HK Electric said on its website: “They will always be in our hearts and minds ... the colleagues and friends we lost this day four years ago in the Lamma incident.”
Victims and bereaved families had for years pressed for the full release of the probe findings.
Cheung said: “The Transport and Housing Bureau, having compiled the report, expects that it will ultimately be disclosed but we have to listen to legal advice.”
A Department of Justice spokesman said the government could not release the full report to the public or the families, as it might breach laws relating to protection of personal data.