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Sunday, June 16, 2019, 09:30
HK sectors welcome decision on extradition bill
By Li Bingcun
Sunday, June 16, 2019, 09:30 By Li Bingcun

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor speaks during a press conference at the Central Government Offices in Hong Kong, June 15, 2019. (ROY LIU / CHINA DAILY)

Hong Kong's various sectors on Saturday threw their weight behind the government’s decision to suspend the proposed amendments to the city’s extradition laws, saying it will help society return to rational debate.

Their remarks came afterChief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor announced the decision to allay social disputes after concerns, doubts and even conflicts were seen over the amendments.

In a statement, non-official members of the Executive Council, the city’s top political advisory body to the chief executive, said they backed the government’s decision to ease the tense atmosphere in the community

In a statement, non-official members of the Executive Council, the city’s top political advisory body to the chief executive, said they backed the government’s decision to ease the tense atmosphere in the community.

The council members will continue to offer full support for the chief executive, and will call on the public to express views in a calm and rational manner, the statement reads. This is to safeguard the “civilized, free, open and pluralistic society of Hong Kong”. Following the government's announcement, the Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong expressed support and understanding for the suspension.

The alliance said it hopes the government will thoroughly explain the bill to different sectors and listen to their opinions. The alliance also urged communities not to use violent or radical means to express views, and called on them to safeguard the city's social order and rule of law together.

Meanwhile, the government’s decision also has received support from Safeguard HK and Support the Surrender of Fugitive Offenders Legislation, a cross-sector local alliance comprising prominent political, business and legal figures.

ALSO READ: Central govt backs SAR decision on extradition bill

In a statement issued on Saturday, its representative expressed understanding of the government’s decision, saying the alliance will continue to give suggestions to the government and brief the public about the amendments.

Members of the New Millenarian display slogans supporting police officers' law enforcement action outside the North Point Police Station on June 15, 2019  in the wake of the violent clashes between radical demonstrators protesting against the government's extradition bill and police on Wednesday. (EDMOND TANG / CHINA DAILY)

The alliance hopes the government will comprehensively heed different views in society towards the bill and thoroughly discuss it with the public.

The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, one of the city’s most influential business groups, also welcomed the suspension.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the chamber’s Chairman Aron Harilela said the move will “allow things to cool down and let everyone return to rational debate”.

ALSO READ: Lam's decision responsible and responsive

The chamber looks forward to the government continuing to engage in constructive discussions with stakeholders and the public, in a bid to eliminate doubts about the bill, the chairman said.

The proposed amendments to the Fugitive Offenders and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinances were scheduled to be tabled at a full Legislative Council meeting for a second reading on Wednesday.

The meeting had to be cancelled after protests against the bill outside LegCo that day, which later morphed into a riot and paralyzed the city’s main administrative and business area.


Contact the writer at bingcun@chinadailyhk.com

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