That the Falun Gong sect remains lawful in Hong Kong despite being banned on the mainland has been rightly taken as a sign of the strength of China's commitment to one country, two systems. Thus when even Beijing is prepared to tolerate the sect's activities in the SAR, it is no business of paging operators to impede them. Such companies may cut costs by using call centres on the mainland. But so long as they are incorporated in Hong Kong and soliciting local customers, they are under a duty to abide by SAR laws. CM Telecom blames its failure to pass on messages about the Falun Gong on technical difficulties. But that is hard to reconcile with the repeated occasions on which messages about the sect have not been relayed. Worse still, this is merely the latest in a string of persistent problems with politically sensitive pager messages. In 1997, some companies failed to pass on messages about the June 4 vigil. Last year, the Democratic Party claimed it encountered similar censorship while organising a protest against Tung Chee-hwa. Newspaper surveys have also found many companies refusing messages critical of Beijing. This undermines the freedom of speech so treasured in Hong Kong. It also appears to breach a law making it an offence to wilfully abstain from transmitting any message. After hesitating to act on previous occasions, the Telecommunications Authority seems more resolute this time. It has demanded an explanation from CM Telecom, warning its licence could be revoked if the practice continues. No one wants to see individual pager operators go to jail. But this repeated censorship of pager messages in recent years cannot be allowed to continue. Tough action is needed, if only as a deterrent to other companies which may still not have got the message that freedom of speech includes putting through pager messages of all political persuasions.