Re-interpreting the Basic Law's provisions on the right of abode would undermine the rule of law, DAB chairman Tsang Yok-sing said. The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong leader yesterday warned against fresh interpretation of Article 24 by the National People's Congress Standing Committee. 'A re-interpretation would amount to overturning the decision of the Court of Final Appeal, and would infringe on the power of final adjudication of the SAR,' he said on RTHK's Letter to Hong Kong programme. Although the Basic Law did not prohibit the Standing Committee from offering interpretations, Mr Tsang said that such a move, if taken 'from time to time', could undermine judicial independence. He said the court had the final say on what should be referred to the Standing Committee for interpretation. Commenting on suggestions to tighten the provision, Mr Tsang said amendments by the NPC were unlikely to be enforced in Hong Kong in light of the court ruling. Mr Tsang said the top judges had ruled that Hong Kong had jurisdiction to invalidate legislative acts inconsistent with the Basic Law. 'It may argue that adding new conditions to Article 24 is unconstitutional, as it will take away the right of abode from people who, according to the CFA, are entitled by the original article.' However, DAB member Ma Lik, an NPC deputy, said the Government should ask the NPC to make such a re-interpretation. He said deputies would table a motion at the NPC plenum in Beijing next month if the Government did not make the request. The Government had to deal with the problems resulting from the court ruling, Mr Ma said. 'It cannot sit back with its arms folded any longer . . . Children in the mainland are being found to be entitled to the right of abode every minute,' he said. Mr Ma said it would be better for the Government to act than local deputies. 'If we take the lead, people outside will say, 'Ah, the deputies must have thought the Government is incapable and that's why they meddle in this matter on their own',' he said. Of the alternatives available to resolve the controversy, Mr Ma said seeking additional interpretation by the Standing Committee would be more appropriate than amending the Basic Law. The additional interpretation, Mr Ma said, would clearly define illegitimate mainland children and children with non-permanent resident parents would have no right of abode.