Changes backed despite intelligence unit mystery

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 January, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 January, 1998, 12:00am

Proposals to restructure senior police management have been approved despite a mystery over which unit is responsible for intelligence work.

Under the restructuring, six posts in the defunct special branch, comprising intelligence and security wings, were dropped.

Grilled by members about which unit had taken over the work of the former intelligence wing, Secretary for Security Peter Lai Hing-ling disclosed a new department would not be set up.

'The police force has the responsibility for the internal security of Hong Kong and is appropriately structured to perform that role,' he said.

Allen Lee Peng-fei, of the Liberal Party, and independent Chim Pui-chung asked which department was doing the job.

Mr Lai gave no direct reply, but said 'since the disbandment of the special branch in 1995, there is no record of their work'.

Independent Kennedy Wong Ying-ho criticised the lack of openness of the work of the special branch.

There were still many 'puzzles left unresolved' after a briefing to the security panel on the work of the security wing, he said.

'The duties of the security wing remain a sensitive area and we still don't know the method of gathering intelligence.'