19 January 1997
Democratic Party Responds to Preparatory Committee Proposals to Emasculate the
Bill of Rights, to Real Kew Laws and to Reinstate a number of Draconian
The Democratic Party, the largest party in the
Legislative Council, today responded to the Preparatory Committee's Legal
Sub-group proposals to emasculate the Bill of Rights, to repeal the Personal
Data Privacy Ordinance and current Electoral laws, and to reinstate Draconian
colonial provisions to Hong Kong's statute books, such as the Societies
Ordinance and the Public Order Ordinance.
Party Chairman Martin Lee said that the Preparatory
Committee proposals "if adopted, will
do away with most of the existing legal protections for human rights and
individual liberties in Hong Kong."
Legal Spokesman James To added, "These proposals are a great blow to freedom
after 1997. It is a black day for
human rights in Hong Kong."
Martin Lee commented:
"These recommendations are thoroughly bad.
They will do grave damage to the already fragile public and
international confidence in the handover.
Our laws must not take away rights form the people of Hong Kong –
but rather must protect individual rights and freedoms as the Bill of Rights
Under BL Article 160, the
only justification for repealing a law is that it contravenes Basic Law.
This is not a matter of personal preference – Beijing cannot strike out a
Hong Kong law simply because Chinese leaders do not like it: they must
demonstrate that a law contravenes the Basic Law.
We call on Chief Executive
designate C.H. Tung to reject Preparatory Committee's proposals.
Hong Kong people now expect him to defend our system against such
recommendations. We also urge
Chinese leaders to quickly repudiate these proposals which can only further
erode confidence in Hong Kong’s future under Chinese rule."