20 June 2003
（To：Members of the US Congress）
On behalf of the Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong (DAB), I am writing to urge the United States Congress to take into consideration Hong Kong people's diverse views and opinions with regards to legislation to protect national security.
Like Mr. Martin Lee, I am a directly elected member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council. The DAB holds 10 election seats in the Legislative Council, with directly elected representatives from every geographic constituency. As responsible citizens of a cosmopolitan city, we believe that it is our duty to ensure all voices are heard, even when they are unpopular or inconvenient to any given political agenda and/or bias.
On July 9, the Hong Kong Legislative Council is scheduled to consider legislation that will criminalize activities that undermine national security and protect the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and our country from acts of foreign aggression, treason, secession, sedition and theft of state secrets.
Contrary to the views presented by the very eloquent Mr. Lee and his delegation to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Commission ("the Commission") on June 5, 2003, the majority of Hong Kong people see implementing the national security law as protecting the very pillar of our civil liberties and feel that it is our duty to protect our country.
We are confident of this because the DAB has conducted numerous consultative sessions with the public in the different constituencies. Through these useful and constructive exercises, we were assured that a great number of Hong Kong people want to fulfill their obligation to protect their home and their country.
It is also wrong to accuse the government of rushing the Bill through the legislative process. The government has provided sufficient time for public consultation, debate and amendment proposals drawn from a wide variety of groups from all walks of life.
The implementation of the national security law will not affect the rights of Hong Kong people entrenched in Articles 24-41 of the Basic Law, Hong Kong's constitution. We have an independent judiciary which robustly upholds the rule of law. Under Article 35, Hong Kong residents shall have access to the courts to challenge any administrative decision if any statutory power is exercised unreasonably, irrationally, arbitrarily or out of proportion for the purpose of protecting national security.
Should the Commission and members of Congress have the time to study our Basic Law and the proposed legislation to be enacted, we are certain that they will see that the proposed law is much less restrictive than US National Security laws are on civil liberties.
Hong Kong's legislature is constituted according to our Basic Law. All members of the Legislative Council are elected by the people of Hong Kong, and each member, on assuming office, vowed to uphold the Basic Law, which includes provisions for protecting our civil liberties and safeguarding national security. And we are doing both in accordance with the principles and concepts of Common Law Jurisprudence.
Hong Kong people have the right to accept their duties and responsibilities of being Chinese citizens. We do not believe it to be US foreign policy to undermine or interfere with that right of the people of Hong Kong.
We believe that the Commission has been misled by politicians who are ready to compromise integrity for political gains. It is true that there are voices, some of which are strong, of concern in the community over the implementation of the legislation. There are many who are concerned with the details of the legislation but are in support of the spirit of enacting laws that would protect our national interests, especially the safety of our families and fellow countrymen. It is, however, an injustice to ignore the voices of support for legislation.
As a responsible political party in Hong Kong, we feel it morally right to provide you with a more accurate and balanced account of the discussions of a controversial and greatly politicized issue in Hong Kong.
We hope that the US government will respect Hong Kong people's choice to fulfill responsibilities as Chinese citizens. We hope that the US government will respect our constitutional obligations to enact laws in accordance to the Basic Law. We hope that the US government will respect the right of Hong Kong people to make decisions for themselves especially when these are the very values of which your country has been built upon. In fact, we insist that our right to protect our country in our own terms not be subjected to external interference, however well intended.
Thank you for your kind attention.
TSANG YOK SING
Chairman, Democratic Alliance for Betterment of Hong Kong
Directly Elected Member, Legislative Council, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region