NPC deputy Stanley Ng renews calls to enact Hong Kong national security law
Pan-democrats should consider how to enact Hong Kong’s own national security law if they think it would be “the lesser of two evils”, National People’s Congress deputy Stanley Ng said.
Pan-democrats should consider how to enact Hong Kong’s own national security law if they think it would be “the lesser of two evils”, National People’s Congress deputy Stanley Ng Chau-pei said today.
The beleaguered Ng sparked controversy last week by suggesting the mainland’s tough security laws should be applied to the city in the wake of Occupy protests, and renewed his call this morning despite the idea failing to receive backing even from the pro-Beijing camp.
Article 23 of the Basic Law requires the government to draw up its own national security law prohibiting acts of “treason, secession, sedition, or subversion”. The government suspended the bill in 2003 after half a million people took to the streets to protest that the legislation was an attempt to curb their rights and freedom.
“I have noticed that the Hong Kong government does not have a timetable [to enact its own national security law]. Should we wait until 2047 to have it?” Ng said on RTHK radio programme, .
“I find it very strange. How would we allow the constitutional responsibility to be indefinitely delayed?”
Ng, also chairman of the pro-establishment Federation of Trade Unions, said he had decided to find another way to bring national security laws to Hong Kong, as it would be tough now for the government to implement Article 23. He said the bill had been “demonised” by pan-democrats over the years.
The national security laws would only protect people’s lives and property and would not restrict freedom, Ng said, adding that only whose who attempt to divide the country would be scared by the legislation.
“People have been worrying about the Umbrella Revolution … and the [discussion of] the independence of Hong Kong,” he said. “And so we should have laws to regulate such [attempts].”
Ng denied it was his intention to make Article 23 appear to be “the lesser of two evils” by bringing up such a controversial suggestion.
“It would be quite good if the pan-democrats share these thoughts,” he said. “If they are really afraid of the idea [bringing in the mainland law], perhaps they should think about how Article 23 could be legislated concretely.”
Ng said he would try to table a motion to the national legislature during its annual meeting in March, calling for the mainland’s national security law to be applied to Hong Kong. The motion would require signatures from at least 30 of the 36 local delegates but Ng added that he would still reflect the call in his own capacity even if he failed to secure enough support from his peers.
Elsie Leung Oi-sie, vice-chairwoman of the Basic Law Committee under the NPC Standing Committee, said yesterday that there is no need for Beijing to impose the mainland’s new national security law on Hong Kong. The former secretary for justice said there was no point in having the debate, especially at a time when Beijing was drafting a new law to replace its own national security legislation.