She will face 'great difficulties' if she continues handling Article 23 issues, says DAB chairman Tsang Yok-sing Pressure mounted yesterday for security chief Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee to be removed from handling Article 23 legislation, with a fellow cabinet member saying she would face great difficulties if she remained associated with the bill. Speaking on RTHK yesterday morning, Tsang Yok-sing, the chairman of the Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong (DAB), said now was not the right time for wholesale reform of the Executive Council, but that members might swap duties, allowing another official to handle the national security bill. He did not suggest who might take on the task. 'If the secretary for security continues to promote Article 23 legislation, she will face great difficulties,' Mr Tsang said. However, he appeared to contradict himself later, saying Mrs Ip could still do the job. 'I only said the public response seems to be that if Mrs Ip continues with the promotion of the Article 23 bill, it would be difficult. She might find it more difficult than someone else,' Mr Tsang said. The DAB's vice-chairman, Ip Kwok-him, who chairs the bills committee scrutinising the controversial legislation, said there was no need to assign another official to handle the bill. A coalition of 22 pro-democracy lawmakers, and the Article 23 Concern Group made up of prominent lawyers and academics, has said this week that Mrs Ip should have nothing more to do with the legislation. Democratic Party chairman Yeung Sum said Mrs Ip should not handle the draft legislation because she bore major responsibility for the current situation. Mrs Ip has been accused of bulldozing the legislation through Legco without heeding the advice of professional, legal and religious groups. Independent legislator Eric Li Ka-cheung, convenor of the Breakfast Group, agreed someone else should handle the legislation, but doubted any other minister had the requisite legal knowledge or communications skills. 'Asking for outside help is one possible way out,' he said. Another independent legislator, David Li Kwok-po, who represents the banking sector, said if Mrs Ip continued to handle the bill, she should change her attitude and 'be frank and friendly'. Most ministers remained tight-lipped on the issue. Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands Michael Suen Ming-yeung dismissed suggestions he was suitable to promote the legislation. 'If somebody suggested that you are suitable for it [handling the bill], they are setting a trap for you,' Mr Suen said. Asked who was most suitable for the job, he said: 'Regina Ip.'