A bill on the right of abode should be submitted to the Legislative Council immediately to avoid public confusion, lawmakers have urged. Secretary for Security Peter Lai Hing-ling was chided in yesterday's Legco security panel meeting for saying the Government might not begin the legislative process for the bill before July 1 because of objections from China. 'We are worried that more people would be affected if China abolished the law after July 1 . . . we have to consider this possibility and the possible damage done,' Mr Lai said. He was criticised for turning a blind eye and told to submit the bill to the Legislative Council immediately. Emily Lau Wai-hing of The Frontier said: 'What is the use of the 800,000 booklets and the hotlines if there is no legislation? 'What people need to have is a clear and confirmed instruction. But what the Government is doing will only lead to confusion because what is mentioned in the booklet may not be law for the SAR government.' Backed by Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee, the legal representative, Ms Lau called on the Government to submit the bill quickly. 'The Crimes (Amendment) Bill No 2 also fails to reach agreement with China but the Government is still tabling it to us. Why not this one?' she said. Both sovereign governments were irresponsible if they chose not to work in the public interest, Ms Lau said. James To Kun-sun, Democratic Party law and order spokesman, said: 'If the bill is scrutinised by this Legislative Council, the law will never be challenged. 'But if it is studied by the provisional legislature . . . the answer is uncertain. 'I can't imagine how China can be so irrational as to abolish the law from July 1.' But Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee, who also sits on the interim body, said tabling the bill without China's agreement would be inappropriate. Ip Kwok-him of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong said the provisions on the right of abode should be ready from July 1. 'If the Government will let the provisional legislature study the bill after July 1, I can't see any reason why it should not be scrutinised by the interim body earlier,' he said.