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Listen to us please(Article 23)

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Legislation based on Article 23 of the Basic Law to ensure national security ahs recently been a controversial issue in society. Since the consultation document issued in September, the people who are against the legislation have increased a lot. However, the government insisted not to change the origin idea to legislate.

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In fact, the number of people who are against the legislation includes legislators in the Legco, lawyers and bars, democracy supporters, students form universities and many citizens from local. They fear that once the legislation is approved, human rights, freedom of speech and freedom of press etc. will be affected. Other than being against the legislation, some people demand the government to publish a White Bill to enable genuine public consultation rather than the present Blue Bill, which allows people only to give limited consultation.

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As a Chinese in the territory, I also support the idea to make legislation in order to protect the nation from attacks, subversion, secession, sedition and treason, but what I care about the most is that there should be a very clear definition of the laws going to be legislated. If what subversion, secession, sedition and treason are not clearly defined, how can we general citizens know whether what we are doing is legal or not? If we cannot assure what we are doing is legal or illegal, our rights and activities being to hold must be threatened. If that really happens, I may not dare to write an essay like this.

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On the other hand, I also concerned about the government. It shows no sign to soften its stance on the legislation and claims there is no need to publish a White Bill. However, no one would argue that such a huge number of people being against the government is overwhelming that a week ago, there were estimated 50,000 people gathering in the Victoria Park to protest against the legislation. As a matter of fact, the people supporting the protesters are surely more than that. Enacting such legislation for a government is very important. If the government does not listen to them, it will lose the faith from these people. Remember that a successful government hinges on the support of people, but not how it insists its stance.

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Therefore, for the better future of the government itself and the people, I suggest that it take these people seriously into account to finally make the legislation.

27th December 2002

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