The controversial national security bill should not be shelved because of the Sars outbreak, a top aide of Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa says. Executive Councillor Cheng Yiu-tong yesterday said Hong Kong should carry on as normal, and that included enacting legislation. Mr Cheng was speaking after Catholic Church leader Bishop Joseph Zen Ze-kiun accused the government of taking advantage of Sars to push through the controversial anti-subversion laws. Pro-democracy activists have urged the government to delay legislating against subversion, treason and other state crimes while the community was engaged in an all-out fight against Sars. Speaking to 5,000 people at an anti-Sars rally in Victoria Park yesterday, Mr Cheng urged people to continue their normal way of life. He said: 'We can't bring all Hong Kong activities to a halt. We will become a ghost city. [Maintaining our] normal way of life includes legislating, consumption, work and social activities, through which our economy will continue to develop.' He would not be drawn on Bishop Zen's comment that pro-government lawmakers were manipulating the legislative process. Gao Siren, director of the central government's Liaison Office in Hong Kong, said that while the special administrative region enjoyed freedom of speech, what it now needed was unity, stability and national security. Mr Gao said: 'National security is something every citizen should uphold.'' He also defended Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa's handling of the Sars crisis, saying the steady drop in new cases each day showed the measures adopted had been effective. Article 23 of the Basic Law says the government must enact legislation to protect national security. Officials hope to enact the law before the Legislative Council recesses in July.