Remarks were slip of the tongue, says ex-security chief Former security chief Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee said yesterday she was 'really sorry' for a 'slip of the tongue' about the way Beijing police handled Hong Kong journalists covering Olympic ticketing chaos last week. But despite Mrs Ip saying she supported press freedom, having 'learned my lessons' since pushing for the Article 23 security bill five years ago, her election rivals said voters should judge a candidate by words and deeds. In a bid to calm rising concern over her stance on press freedom, Mrs Ip said after filing her nomination to run in the Hong Kong Island constituency in September's Legislative Council election that she was sorry for causing a misunderstanding. 'I am really sorry that my remarks gave rise to some misunderstanding,' she said. 'When I referred to the methods adopted by security forces, I wasn't really having mainland public security [officials] in mind. I was thinking what I have seen in the west, how the law enforcement people sometime used too much force.' On Tuesday, Mrs Ip said 'neck-shoving' techniques were 'most effective in stopping troublemakers' without causing permanent injuries when asked whether rising tension in the run-up to the Olympics would lead to more heavy-handed control of journalists by mainland police. She later clarified that she had not been referring to journalists as troublemakers and was not trying to justify the actions of mainland police. During a scuffle between Beijing police and Hong Kong journalists on Friday, a Cable TV reporter was twice shoved in the neck and pushed to the ground. Mr Ip said she fully supported press freedom and hoped Hong Kong reporters would get the best treatment while covering the Games. She also expressed her best regards to the Cable TV reporter. Asked whether her remarks would affect her efforts to distance herself from her hardline image during the Article 23 saga and her election chances, Mrs Ip said she hoped voters would believe that she had changed and now sided with the people. 'I have been out of office for five years now, although you know it's easy for a slip of the tongue to happen. I have learned my lessons in the past five years,' she said. Asked whether he agreed with Mrs Ip's remarks that 'neck-shoving' would not cause permanent damage to a person, Louis Shih Tai-cho, a doctor who is one of Mrs Ip's running mates, said he disagreed. 'It should definitely not be done to a person,' Dr Shih said. Democrat Yeung Sum, who is running second on his party's ticket on Hong Kong Island, said Mrs Ip's explanation was inadequate. 'A Freudian slip usually reveals the genuine beliefs of a person,' Dr Yeung said. 'Regina Ip still thinks she is the security chief, and treated journalists as troublemakers. It shows her attempt to whitewash her history has failed.' Civic Party leader Audrey Eu Yuet-mee echoed those remarks. 'Voters will be able to choose who to vote for based on the words and deeds of the candidates,' she said. Mrs Ip's campaign suffered a setback after one of her original four running mates, David Wong Chor-fung, had to drop out because he failed to relinquish his Canadian citizenship in time.