26 June 2019
Chen Zuo'er said Hong Kong, like Macau, has an obligation to pass a national security law. Photo: TVB
Chen Zuo'er said Hong Kong, like Macau, has an obligation to pass a national security law. Photo: TVB

HK lags behind Macau in formulating national security law

Chan Zuo’er, former deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, said Macau was able to pass a national security law in 2009, ahead of Hong Kong, although it returned to China two years later than Hong Kong did, Wen Wei Po reported, citing a Phoenix TV interview with the official.

Chan, who is now chairman of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macau Studies, said Hong Kong is the only one that has not passed such a law among all of China’s provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities and special administrative regions.

The situation is a matter for reflection by Hong Kong in light of the Occupy protest campaign that ended earlier this month, he said.

Chan, who had participated in formulating the Basic Laws for Hong Kong and Macau, said he was aware of the differences between the two special administrative regions in terms of history and realities.

But he stressed that, as provided by Article 23 in both laws, the two governments have the responsibility and obligation to enact a national security law.

One reason why Macau has been able to put such a law in place is that its government has been resolute in observing the “one country, two systems” principle, Chan said.

He noted that the political ecology in Macau, which results from its unique ways of electing legislators and protecting the people’s interests, is different from that in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong’s legislature often sees lawmakers opposing bills, while the Macau government, which has adopted executive-led system centered on the chief executive, runs smoothly, Chan said.

The report, however, also cited critics as saying that Macau has to improve its accountability system to better monitor the actions of officials in terms of ethics and integrity.

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