A group of academics will issue a joint statement backing calls for a white bill to be issued on the controversial legislation under Basic Law Article 23 against subversion and sedition. The news came after the government rejected pressure from pro-democracy and human rights groups urging it to do so. The move was initiated by Chinese University's social work professor Fung Ho-lup, who said while many academics had spoken out on the issue, there was no concerted group effort. 'I am trying to group different voices together and come up with an unified stance,' he said. The statement will be circulated among academics and Professor Fung expects it will collect at least 200 signatures. According to a draft of the statement sent to the scholars by e-mail yesterday, the consultation paper on the proposed legislation would adversely affect civil liberties, the mass media and the academics themselves. The statement says even though officials have been trying to explain the proposals, they have failed to dispel public concerns because of the lack of depth and detail in the consultation paper. The statement reads: 'We value academic freedom and autonomy and we deeply believe that not only the conducting of research and teaching would be hindered by the proposals, the public's right to know would also be undermined.' The statement calls for the government to issue a white bill. A white bill is a consultative document containing the proposed wording of legislation, issued to the public before a 'blue bill' is submitted to the Legislative Council for approval. Meanwhile, former legislator Christine Loh Kung-wai said comments by Security for Security Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee on Monday about the rise of German dictator Adolf Hitler showed the security chief's ignorance. At a forum at City University to discuss the proposed Article 23 legislation, Mrs Ip said: 'Don't believe democracy will be a panacea. Adolf Hitler was returned by universal suffrage and he killed seven million Jews.' But Ms Loh, the chief executive of the Civic Exchange think-tank, said: '[Mrs] Ip's choice to use Hitler to illustrate the failures of democracy in Hong Kong is extremely unfortunate for her, for the government and for Hong Kong. It shows the government in an extremely poor light - there is much ignorance at the most senior ranks of government about world history.' Ms Loh said that although Hitler had the support of some sections of the German population, he never gained an elected majority.