Law-abiding citizens need not fear national security law review: Gov’t

Chief Executive (CE) Ho Iat Seng, responding to questions raised about the direction of the national security law review, claimed that “a good, law-abiding citizen has no need whatsoever to fear [the review].”
In his third Policy Address, the head of government said that the national security law should be and would be reviewed. Accordingly, the assembled press raised questions about the direction of the review.
A journalist pointed out that, after the disqualification of 21 Legislative Assembly candidates earlier this year, public concern may increase when members of the public hear about this review of the law.
Attempting to respond to the question, Ho said that the current law was enacted in 2009. Considering the changes in international trends and conditions in the past decade, as well as the promulgation of national security laws in the mainland and Hong Kong, he argues that the local law requires an “appropriate review” to “respond to regional security requirements and new international standards.”
Ho added that each citizen has their own responsibilities in relation to safeguarding national security. “We’re discussing national and not local security, which is much simpler. Safeguarding national security is the responsibility of each citizen,” he said.
Regarding the review of the law, the CE said that clarifying definitions will be the focus. “The original [provisions] were more general,” he said, adding that it is hoped that the new version will eliminate some confusion.
The review will rely on the Penal Code because it is a skeletal law. Stipulations from this will be cited again in the proposed review of the National Security Law, he said.
He promised that a rigorous approach will be taken for the review, but he did not give a definitive answer about whether there would be any public consultation. “The review may come with a public consultation,” he said. AL

Categories Macau