Application period for IT Service Providers Reference List of Distance Business Programme to close on June 6

     The Innovation and Technology Commission announced today (May 30) that the application period for the IT Service Providers Reference List of the Distance Business Programme will end on June 6. Service providers wishing to enrol for the Reference List should submit applications through the Programme's online system before the deadline.
      
     "The Programme opened for enterprises to apply for funding on May 18. As at 10am today, the Programme had received an overwhelming response of 8 017 funding applications from enterprises. In order to focus resources on processing these applications and enable the enterprises to benefit early, we need to cease accepting applications from service providers to enrol for the Reference List at an appropriate time," a spokesman for the Commission said.
      
     The Reference List seeks to offer relevant market information merely for reference by enterprises applying for funding. Whether or not the enterprises engage service providers on the Reference List will not affect the outcome of the application. As at 10am today, there were 2 023 service providers enrolled on the Reference List.
      
     The aim of the Distance Business Programme is to provide funding support through fast-track processing for enterprises to adopt IT solutions during the epidemic for developing distance business, so as to continue their business and services. Details are available on the Programme website (u.hkpc.org/dbiz). For enquiries, please contact the Programme Secretariat by phone on 2788 5070 during business hours (9am to 6pm, Mondays to Fridays (except public holidays)) or via email at dbiz@hkpc.org.




Appointment of Under Secretary and Political Assistant (with photos)

     The Chief Executive's Office announced today (May 30) that the Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, has, on the recommendations of the Appointment Committee, appointed an Under Secretary and a Political Assistant of the fifth term of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government.

     The newly appointed Under Secretary is the Under Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Ho Kai-ming, and the newly appointed Political Assistant is the Political Assistant to the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Mr Julian Ip Chun-lim. Both of them will assume office on June 1.

     Following are the biographical notes on the new appointees:
 
Mr Ho Kai-ming
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     Mr Ho, aged 35 and a member of the Legislative Council before joining the Government, was a member of the Kwun Tong District Council from 2012 to 2019.
 
     Mr Ho has participated actively in public service, including in his capacities as a Council Member of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, as Director-General of the Hong Kong Manufacturing Industry Employees General Union, and as a member of the Executive Committee of the Hong Kong Clerical and Professional Employees General Union, and has ample experience in dealing with labour matters. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is a member of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions. 
 
Mr Julian Ip Chun-lim
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     Aged 28, Mr Ip was a Senior Manager of OneConnect Financial Technology (an associate of Ping An Group) before joining the Government. He worked in the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited from 2013 to 2018 and was promoted to Assistant Vice President. He holds a Bachelor of Economics and Finance degree from the University of Hong Kong. He is a member of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong.

Photo  Photo  



Transcript of remarks by Secretary for Justice on national security law

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Justice, Ms Teresa Cheng, SC, at a media session after attending a radio programme today (May 30):

Reporter: Secretary, you mentioned during the radio show that it is wrong for the US President to say that Hong Kong has changed into "one country, one system", and you also mentioned that concerns over this security law maybe in breach of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is a wrong notion. Can you talk about that? Also, your concerns that now that the United States is considering sanctions on Hong Kong and China, the possibility of you being sanctioned?

Secretary for Justice: Insofar as the alleged basis of taking the sanctioning measures, it is said that we are becoming "one country, one system" with loss of autonomy, that is completely false and wrong. As a matter of fact, people often forget that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is part of China, we are one country. Without "One Country", there is not any basis to talk about "Two Systems". Therefore, insofar as the national security is concerned, as in any other country in the world, this is a matter that belongs to the central authorities, whether it is a unitary or federal state. China is a unitary state, and the United States is a federal state. The United States passed its national security laws, so can China. Therefore, it is within the sovereign right of each state to pass relevant national security laws. Insofar as that is concerned, any other state that tries to use coercion or whatever means with a view to interfering with the sovereign right of a state to pass its own national security law is arguably infringing on the principle of non-intervention under public international law, and that is not acceptable.

     As to the suggestion of certain individuals or perhaps a particular region being sanctioned as a result of China passing the national security law, we step back and look at it in this way: national security is of prime importance to any sovereign state, and any sovereign state must, as a matter of its sovereign right, and indeed duty, to protect the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of any state. Therefore, passing national security law is something that any state has to do. If we in Hong Kong has not been able to pass it, notwithstanding Article 23 of the Basic Law, Central Authorities taking these actions are not only legal but necessary and needed. Thank you.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)




Work arrangements after rainstorm warnings

     The Labour Department (LD) today (May 30) reminded employers to make practical and reasonable work arrangements for staff after rainstorms. Employers should also make flexible arrangements for staff to resume work after a rainstorm warning is cancelled, with due consideration to road, traffic and other conditions. This will help maintain good labour-management relations, and ensure the safety of employees and the smooth operation of organisations.
      
     "For staff who have practical difficulties in resuming work on time upon cancellation of a rainstorm warning, employers should give due consideration to the situations of individual employees and handle each case flexibly. As rainstorms are natural occurrences that cannot be avoided, for employees who are not able to report for duty or resume duty on time due to adverse weather conditions, employers should not withhold their wages, good attendance bonus or allowances without reasons. Employers should enquire into the reasons and give due consideration to the exceptional circumstances in each case, and should not penalise or dismiss the employee concerned rashly," an LD spokesman said.
      
     The spokesman also reminded employers to observe the statutory liabilities and requirements under the Employment Ordinance, the Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance, the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance, the Employees' Compensation Ordinance and the Minimum Wage Ordinance.
      
     Employers should not deduct the annual leave, statutory holidays or rest days employees are entitled to under the Employment Ordinance so as to compensate for the loss of working hours resulting from employees' failure to report for duty upon the issuance of a Black Rainstorm Warning. An employer who without reasonable excuse fails to comply with relevant provisions under the Employment Ordinance is liable to prosecution.
      
     Employers should also note that they have an obligation to provide and maintain a safe working environment for their employees under the Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance.
      
     The LD has published the "Code of Practice in Times of Typhoons and Rainstorms", which outlines the major principles, the framework, the reference guidelines and information on relevant legislation for reference. The booklet can be obtained from branch offices of the Labour Relations Division or downloaded from the department's webpage (www.labour.gov.hk/eng/public/wcp/Rainstorm.pdf).     




HKSAR Government launches Online Exhibition of the 30th Anniversary of the Promulgation of the Basic Law

     The "Online Exhibition of the 30th Anniversary of the Promulgation of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People's Republic of China" is launched today (May 30). The Exhibition will present, in the form of a time tunnel, the historical background, drafting, promulgation and successful implementation of the Basic Law in Hong Kong.
 
     The Chief Secretary for Administration and Chairman of the Basic Law Promotion Steering Committee (BLPSC), Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, said, "The Constitution of the People's Republic of China and the Basic Law form the constitutional basis of the HKSAR. In accordance with the Constitution, the National People's Congress decided to establish the HKSAR and enacted the Basic Law, prescribing the systems to be practised in the HKSAR.

     "The Basic Law solidly and clearly provides the legal guarantee for the implementation of 'one country, two systems' in the HKSAR. The basic policies of the People's Republic of China regarding Hong Kong, namely 'one country, two systems', 'Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong' and a high degree of autonomy, are fully implemented through the Basic Law.
 
     "The Preamble of the Basic Law states clearly that the HKSAR was established for upholding national unity and territorial integrity. It is the constitutional duty of the HKSAR as part of China to safeguard national security. The National People's Congress passed on May 28 the Decision on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the HKSAR to safeguard national security. The legislation to be enacted for the HKSAR to safeguard national security will not affect the legitimate rights and freedoms enjoyed by Hong Kong residents. The HKSAR Government will fully co-operate in completing the relevant work on legislation as soon as possible, ensuring the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong under 'one country, two systems'," he emphasised.
 
      'I encourage members of the public to visit the Online Exhibition, look back at the important milestones during the 30 years since the promulgation of the Basic Law, deepen their understanding of the concept and implementation of the 'one country, two systems' principle, and reflect on how critical the guarantee of the Basic Law is towards the long-term development of Hong Kong," he said.
 
     "It is imperative to enable the public to have a comprehensive and accurate understanding of the Constitution and the Basic Law through promotion and education. This year, the BLPSC will strengthen our work in promoting and educating the public on the Constitution and the Basic Law, including the local community, teachers and students, youths, civil servants, the industrial, commercial and professional sectors and so on. This will enable people from different sectors to have a deeper understanding of the relationship between 'one country' and 'two systems', and consider how best to grasp the opportunities ahead and further promote the implementation of 'one country, two systems'," he said.

     The Exhibition is jointly presented by the BLPSC and the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau. Members of the public can visit the Online Exhibition at bl30a-exhibition.org for information about the Constitution and the Basic Law, and take part in online interactive games. The HKSAR Government will launch other activities to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the promulgation of the Basic Law in due course.