June 3, 1999

Democratically-elected Members of Legco Demand Meeting With State Council To Oppose Reinterpretation of the Basic Law

Legislator Albert Ho, speaking on behalf of the democratically-elected members of Legco, announced today that the Government has agreed to forward their request to Beijing to arrange a meeting between members of the Legco and members of the State Council responsible for deciding whether the Standing Committee of the People's National Congress (NPCSC) should intervene in Hong Kong's right-of-abode issue by "reinterpreting" relevant provisions of the Basic Law.

The Government has asked the NPCSC to reinterpret the Basic Law in a manner that will deny the right of abode to children born outside Hong Kong before their Chinese parent obtained permanent resident status in Hong Kong. The Government has refused to disclose the report it sent to Beijing before the State Council makes its decision.

Hong Kong democrats believe that it is wrong to ask the NPCSC to reinterpret the Basic Law with a view towards overturning a recent judgement of the Court of Final Appeal. Mr. Ho stated that "Such a move will take the right of final adjudication away from the Hong Kong judiciary and give it to officials in Beijing. It threatens to destroy the rule of law, judicial independence and the confidence of Hong Kong citizens in their own political institutions. This is a matter of paramount importance to the people of Hong Kong and, therefore, it is only fair that we be given an opportunity to present the views of the Hong Kong people to Beijing. The Government has had its chance; now it is our turn."

Legislator Cyd Ho commented, "A rational government would listen to the views expressed by representatives on each side of the argument so I am afraid that rejecting our request will send a negative message to the international community."

Legislator Emily Lau hopes that Beijing will make special visa arrangements allowing legislators who do not have return-entry permits for travel to Mainland China to attend the meeting.

Independent legislators including Andrew Wong, Leung Yiu-chung and members from the Citizen Party, the Frontier and the Democratic Party jointly signed a letter sent to Premier Zhu Ronji stating their views on this issue.

Albert Ho contact 7112-8632 #9079

Cyd Ho contact 9454-8964

Andrew Wong contact 7312-3838

Emily Lau contact 7223-9519

| Home | Meet Martin Lee | About the Democratic Party | Press Releases | Recent Articles | District Activities | July 1 Manifesto | Photo Archives | Downloadable | Constitutional Documents | Related Sites | Search | FAQ | Feedback |

    Copyright © 1999 The Democratic Party. All Rights Reserved.