Chamber in Review
Town Hall Forum on Article 23
Town Hall Forum on Article 23<br/>議事論壇:第23條立法

Chamber Chairman Betty Yuen moderates the discussion with Secretary for Justice Paul T K Lam and Secretary for Security Tang Ping-keung.

Town Hall Forum on Article 23<br/>議事論壇:第23條立法

Members of HKGCC’s General Committee and representatives of international chambers in Hong Kong attended the town hall to share their views.

Town Hall Forum on Article 23<br/>議事論壇:第23條立法

Town Hall Forum on Article 23<br/>議事論壇:第23條立法

It was an honour to have Secretary for Justice Paul T K Lam and Secretary for Security Tang Ping-keung speak at Chamber’s Town Hall Forum on Article 23 Legislation on 7 February.

Addressing a full house, the Secretaries talked to members of Hong Kong’s local and international business communities about the legislation and the ongoing consultation, and answered a wide range of questions from the participants. Members of HKGCC’s General Committee and representatives of foreign chambers also joined the forum to share their views. 

Chief Executive John Lee announced on 30 January that the Government has formally launched a public consultation on the Basic Law Article 23 legislation. Lam said the Government planned to implement the legislation as soon as possible to put an end to the issues that have dogged Hong Kong for 26 years. 

He pointed out that stability and prosperity go hand in hand, and thus it was vital to put in place robust legislation to safeguard the city’s safety and development interests, while protecting civic rights and freedoms. It would also strengthen the “one country, two systems” governing principle. 

The law, which is in accordance with international standards as applicable to Hong Kong, would go a long way to revive Hong Kong’s economy as well as people’s livelihoods, bolster the business environment, and allow the city to make better use of its unique advantages. Lam said Hong Kong’s legislation shared common features with other national security laws around the world, and noted that cities like London had established, and continued to establish, strict regulations to safeguard national security.

Tang said there was a need to look at the current situation around the world, especially in light of technological advancement and global uncertainty, and that all security concerns would be adequately addressed in the legislation. 

In response to a question about how the legislation would impact businesses, he reassured the business community that the law was targeted at only those who endangered Hong Kong’s national security.

Tang added that the Government’s priority on the month-long consultation was to solicit people’s views and boost confidence, and to proactively ensure that the legislation was clearly understood by everyone, both in Hong Kong and around the world. To that end, the Government was planning different ways to disseminate information about the law, and would continue to reach out to different sections of society by launching strategic campaigns and briefing sessions, and sharing FAQs. 

Lam emphasized that the law would not damage civic freedoms but would make Hong Kong a safe destination for those who want to live, work and do business here. He also encouraged the business community to communicate with their contacts, both local and overseas, to address any misinformation or misunderstandings about the legislation.

The event, which was held under Chatham House Rules, showed that most people, on the whole, understand the need to plug the loopholes in the existing law to ensure a secure and safe business environment and help Hong Kong’s economic development. 


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