The Liberal Party is considering a U-turn on controversial legislation that would exempt Xinhua and other mainland bodies from at least 14 Hong Kong laws. Although the party originally endorsed the bill, a member of the committee scrutinising the bill, Miriam Lau Kin-yee, said the Liberals might not support it. Bills committee member and Liberal Party vice-chairman Ronald Arculli said: 'It's more complicated than expected. It might be better to leave it for the first legislature.' The Adaptation of Laws (Interpretative Provisions) was described as ''straight-forward and technical' by Secretary for Justice Elsie Leung Oi-sie but the Sunday Morning Post revealed that legal experts believed that by subtly changing definitions it would exempt Xinhua and other mainland bodies from the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance and other pre-handover legislation. Bills committee chairman Kennedy Wong Ying-ho stood by his earlier stance that the bill should be passed. Dismissing criticism from Democratic Party chairman Martin Lee Chu-ming that the bills committee had only held two meetings to study it, Mr Wong said: 'One should look at the minutes of our meetings. Three of the four hours that we spent on the two meetings were focusing on the issue of definition.' However, Mr Wong said it was possible that the bills committee could have last-minute meetings before the final provisional legislature meetings next Tuesday and Wednesday. The Democratic Party renewed its attack on the bill yesterday. 'This is yanking the carpet out from under the legal system in Hong Kong,' Mr Lee said. 'The Hong Kong Government - perhaps at the behest of China - is seeking nothing less than to overturn the fundamental principle that the law must apply to all equally. 'Based on our reading of the bill, this is not an oversight or a failure to understand the implications of the language in the bill, but a deliberate act to exempt the Hong Kong Government and Chinese bodies from Hong Kong law.' Ip Kwok-him, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong, and Bruce Liu Sing-lee, of the Association for Democracy and People's Livelihood, said their parties would maintain their support of the bill. 'It's no big deal. It's just an exercise of adaptation of law,' Mr Liu said. 'We can amend it should there be any problems.'