Unity is vital for Hong Kong in the event of any change, says secretary for justice People should refrain from actions that could damage Hong Kong during the 'emergency situation' that would arise if the chief executive resigned, Secretary for Justice Elsie Leung Oi-sie said yesterday. 'If the chief executive post becomes vacant, I hope that the people of Hong Kong would do something proactive, stay united and let others see that Hong Kong people can govern Hong Kong. Do not do anything damaging to Hong Kong during such [an] emergency situation,' she said. Her call came in response to concerns over whether the democratic camp would launch a judicial review if a successor only serves out the remaining two years of Tung Chee-hwa's term instead of a full five-year term. Miss Leung's remarks are the clearest response yet from the Tung administration to news reports saying he is due to resign. Miss Leung, speaking on an RTHK radio phone-in programme, would not comment on whether Mr Tung would step down. She reiterated that the government has no plans to ask the National People's Congress Standing Committee to offer an interpretation on the term of the chief executive's successor. But she said the government had no power to restrict the Standing Committee from making an interpretation if it so wishes. Concerns have been raised that the democrats could effectively stall the election of the new chief executive by filing a judicial review, similar to the lawsuit that derailed the Link real estate investment trust - the public listing of Housing Authority car parks and shopping malls early this year. Miss Leung said the Basic Law states that the court shall seek an interpretation from the Standing Committee before making a ruling, if it is a matter for the mainland leadership or if it concerns the relationship between Hong Kong and Beijing. 'If people really feel there are legal problems and want the courts to make a decision, I hope they would do it in an open and above-board manner,' she said. Any deliberate abuse of legal procedures would also be resolved by the court, she added. Miss Leung said principal officials should resign if their health prevented them from discharging their duties. 'If one cannot do the job well because of health or physical ability, I feel that it's one's responsibility to resign.' She said principal officials are prepared to step down at any moment. 'The government's contracts with principal officials have a provision saying we can resign or be terminated at any time,' she said. 'For principal officials, the question of whether to stay or leave is not a big deal. This is something we are prepared for every minute.'