(Note: The joint letter has already sent to South China Morning Post - "Letters to the Editor" page)
We, the undersigned, have been very concerned about the proposal to implement Article 23 and carefully prepared submissions and participated conscientiously in the oral submission process hosted by the Legco Panel on Security and the Panel on Administration of Justice and Legal Services. We are outraged to find that our submissions on Article 23 were not listed with the others released by the HKSAR Government on January 29.
We participated in the oral submission process and made our remarks in front of this panel assuming that this was an official part of the submission process. Our written comments were submitted to the same panel prior to the public hearing sessions so they could be distributed during the panel. Upon inquiring with Legco's security panel we were told that they had sent the submission to the Security Bureau, and the Security Bureau acknowledged that they received the submissions. Yet they are not included in the official list. For this formal submission process to be excluded from the 'official submissions' received by the HKSAR is a travesty and should not go unanswered.
We are stunned with the official response from the Security Bureau that submission through this channel officially set up to gauge public opinion was never meant to be included in the 'official' list. We demand that the HKSAR include in the list of submissions all comments received through official channels. By denying these submissions the HKSAR government is not only ignoring the voices of these organizations and individuals but also making a mockery of the entire 'consultation' process. This is not the way to reassure the people of Hong Kong that legislation under Article 23 will be reasonable and just. Resorting to this type of deceit only serves to heighten our concerns that fairness and impartiality are disappearing from the HKSAR system.
China Labour Bulletin
Hong Kong Christian Institute
Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions
Joint Committee for Amendment of Public Order Ordinance
Student Christian Movement of Hong Kong
Lo Wai Ming, Chris
Tsang Kin Shing, Bull