A leading handover government official yesterday indicated that changes will be made to proposed amendments to Hong Kong's civil liberties laws. But as a three-week consultation period on the controversial changes closed, a senior Xinhua (New China News Agency) official stressed that their broad principles would not alter because they already had widespread support. Secretary of Justice-designate Elsie Leung Oi-sie also reportedly said mainland groups would be banned from funding local political bodies. A vice-chairman of the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood, Bruce Liu Sing-lee, said Ms Leung agreed political donations from 'outside Hong Kong', including Taiwan and the mainland, should be prohibited. Donations from individuals and groups such as unions, churches and human rights groups would be allowed. Ms Leung was also said to have agreed to include a definition of national security in the legislation to specify that protests could only be banned if they threatened territorial integrity and independence. Mr Liu said Ms Leung maintained the registration system for societies should be re-introduced, but agreed to consider retaining existing notification arrangements for protests. More than 4,000 submissions have been received by the Chief Executive-designate's office. About 600 submissions came from groups, while more than 3,200 from individuals. Another 200 were submitted via the Internet. Xinhua vice-director Zhu Yucheng said early indications suggested the proposals were supported by 'a great majority'. An office spokesman said the submissions, which will be published for public inspection, would be analysed before the bills were finalised. They planned to table the revised Societies and Public Order ordinances in the provisional legislature by the middle of the month. But Governor Chris Patten 'remained puzzled' why the ordinances needed amending. 'I hope that at the end of the consultation process we can be told it is not really necessary to change these laws and Hong Kong people can continue to be trusted to behave as they do today,' he said.