A Democratic Party lawmaker and independent 'Long Hair' Leung Kwok-hung yesterday accused the government of dragging its feet on a surveillance law for years, then seeking to ram it through the legislature in a few months. Lawmakers said the Democrats and their allies intended to vote against the bill unless an amendment adding a sunset clause passes. The Civic Party's Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee has submitted an amendment seeking a sunset clause, whereby the law would expire in two years' time. She said this was a reasonable solution, enabling the law to fulfil law-enforcement needs while allowing time for public consultation and hammering out a better law. Democrat James To Kun-sun has proposed an alternative clause, which would state that legislators could vote to dissolve the law after two years if they wish. But Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong on Thursday rejected both ideas, instead proposing a review by the end of 2009. Legislator Lau Chin-shek said it was wrong for there to be no public consultation on such an 'important, sensitive law'. Mr To said the government could have proposed the law last year instead of issuing an executive order that was later adjudged as failing to meet Basic Law requirements on privacy protection. Mr Leung said the government only acted after he took it to court. Bar Association chairman Philip Dykes said sunset clauses were usually employed where a law was introduced to deal with a temporary or unusual but finite problem. 'I don't think detection of crime is a temporary or unusual problem - if you want it because you are not satisfied with the shape of the bill, obviously you should vote against it,' he said. A government source said the Security Bureau was opposed to the idea because it would create legal uncertainty for law enforcers, who would be seriously constrained, having to operate under a law likely to disappear in two years. Meanwhile, in the absence of the two most outspoken critics of the covert surveillance bill, the bills committee finished discussing the code of conduct attached to the bill and cancelled an eight-hour session planned for today.