【就施政報告致謝議案與立法會大會上發言】 / 【Regarding the Motion of Thanks to the Chief Executive's Policy Address and Speech at the Legislative Council Meeting】
2023 年 11 月 29 日
正如李慧琼議員所指出，行政長官非常用心聆聽，並吸納了 商界、專業界別以及各政黨、各議員的許多建議。無論是促進提升生 育率還是減稅方面，都廣泛吸納了眾多建議，本人對此致以感謝之意。 過去一年，在行政長官的領導下，各位官員為實現國家主席對 我們的期望，在振興經濟、改善民生方面做了大量工作。本人謹代表 新民黨向各位官員致以衷心的感謝。接下來，本人原本計劃在第二節 發言講述如何提升競爭力，但考慮到我的建議與在座的官員們息息相 關，故在此節內發言。在提升競爭力方面，政府在過去一年已做出大 量工作，克服了兩個發展瓶頸：一是土地不足，政府已推出大型基建 計劃，並取得了重大進展，不斷進行土地開發；第二是人口流失和人 才不足。在過去一年中，政府迅速推出「高才通」、「延攬人才辦公 室」和「延攬企業辦公室」等延攬人才的措施，克服了人口流失和招 攬人才的瓶頸。這些政績都值得我們表揚。 但目前的經濟復甦仍然疲弱。
各位官員也清楚，影響我們復甦 的原因是國際媒體對我們的一些抹黑和國際社會甚至外國人民對香港 的誤解。因此，我們的政府強調要講好國家故事、講好香港故事。首 先，如果要講好香港故事，我們僅僅透過廣東話或中文媒介是不夠的， 因為國際社會無法理解。我留意到，現在越來越多的政界人士、學者 和意見領袖用英語或透過英語平台發表意見，這是一個好現象。我們 與國際社會溝通時，除了要使用英語，我們亦應該盡量使用他們能夠 接受的方式去表達。儘管我們在許多方面存在分歧，但都希望能夠找 出雙方的共同點。就像我們的國家主席習近平最近在與拜登總統在三 藩市會面時一樣，儘管兩國存在競爭和重大分歧，但我們希望能夠找 到共同點，以便管理兩國之間的關係。因此，我的第一個建議亦是政 府已經開 展 的一 項工 作 ， 更 多 地 舉 行 國 際 會 議 。 正 如 西 方的說法「seeing is believing」，我們可以舉辦各種與法律、金融、環保等相 關的會議，吸引更多的人來參加，讓他們了解香港是一個安全、和平、 穩定的地方。
第二，我建議各位政府高級官員應該更多地參與國際傳媒的工 作。根據我與外國傳媒的接觸，他們表示現時較難找到高級官員進行 英語訪問。這可能是因為各位官員工作忙碌，或者覺得這些傳媒提問 尖銳、讓人覺得他們別有用心所致。這也確是事實。我曾與《大西洋》 （The Atlantic）的一位專欄作家多次會面，想他釐清有關香港的一 些基本情況，但他的報導依然帶有偏見。但即使有困難，我們也應該 更多地與他們互動。以往的新聞處的兩位副處長當中會有一位外籍人 士。他負責與外媒接觸，俗稱「摸酒杯底」，與他們建立友誼，收集 資料以及解說。事實上，傳媒需要政府提供資料，例如在保安局的敏 感事務當中有許多有關警察有趣的故事，特別讓人感興趣的滅罪故事。
除此之外，外國傳媒亦一直關注《基本法》第 23 條（第 23 條） 的立法工作和多宗國家安全案件的審理。眾所周知，行政長官已經明 確表示明年要完成第 23 條的立法。有外媒曾詢問我，既然已經有香 港國安法了，為什麼還需要再為第 23 條立法呢？我向他們解釋，因 為《基本法》第 23 條訂明香港特別行政區要自行立法禁止七宗危害 國家安全的犯罪行為，而北京制定的國安法是為了確立顛覆和分裂國 家的罪行。目前的法律中還存在許多過時的條款，包括叛逆、間諜罪 和竊取國家機密等需要更新。因此，我們希望能夠制定更加精準的法 律，並對其進行準確的解釋，以避免不必要的恐慌。亦有外國的傳媒 朋友向我們表示，他們非常喜愛香港。他們指出，美國許多大城市在 包括治安等多個方面都出現倒退、罪案頻生，甚至到了連超市都要鎖 起牙膏。相對地，香港則十分安全。
隨著香港加快國家安全大案的審 理及完成第 23 條的立法工作，社會將恢復平靜和諧，相信能吸引更 多人來港居住。我亦向外媒解釋， 審訊中的國家安全案件案情復雜， 牽涉大量疑犯及證據，涉及《港區國安法》及《公安條例的檢控。警 方已經盡力與律政司合作，加快處理這些案件，但一些大案仍然需要 時間處理。因此，我希望政府高層能夠與外國傳媒多交流。無論他們 對我們提出多麼尖銳的批評、持負面態度甚至存在偏見，我們都應該 盡量多與他們交往並解釋我們的政策，尤其是未來將制定的 23 條法 例。 我們對外亦應該強調我們對法治和保障人權方面的成就。我留 意到政府非常重視世界正義工程（World Justice Project）發表的 2023 年法治評級—法治報告（Rule of Law Index）。香港在全世界 142 個 地區中排名第 23，在亞洲 15 個地區中排名第 6。事實上，正如政府 的新聞稿指出，如果講總分數，我們與排名第 20 和 22 的一樣，實際 上即是我們排名約第 20 名，遠遠高於美國。由於通過了國安法，社 會恢復了平靜和安全，因此香港在社會秩序 （Order and Society）方 面的得分非常高。除此之外，我們廉潔 （Absence of Corruption）方 面的得 分亦 較 高。 但香 港 在 其 他兩 個 方 面 得 分 較 低 ，在 基 本 人 權 （Fundamental Rights） 及政府權力的制約（Constraints on Government Power）兩方面， 香港分別排名第 58 及 59。我認為這是因為外界對我們存在很多誤解。事實上，我們在保障人權方面做了大量工作。
現時，我們已經有四條反歧視條例。雖然我們還沒有反歧視性少數人士的條例，但是眾所周 知，我也支持同樂運動會。我支持同樂運動會是為了向國際社會表示 我們是一個包容、共融的社會，而不是因為有線上或線下傳言說我支持同樂會是因為我個女憬Gay。我在此表明我個唔係Gay，就算係我也不會感到慚愧或尷尬。從我求學到就業的數十年以來，我遇到過很多性取向 不同的朋友，他們都是非常善良、有才華的人士，我完全看不到為什 麼要歧視他們。包容性少數人士，除了涉及人權的考慮外，就如一些 在香港居住的西方專業人士指出：「this is also a talent’s issue」， 這關乎挽留人才的問題。眾所周知，不論是創意行業、法律、金融、 科技，很多優秀的人才都是性少數人士。如果我們不向國際社會表示 我們的亞洲許多地區更加包容的話，那麼吸納這些人才就會更加困難。 或者我也談談一些歷史，解釋為什麼英國要將同性行為去刑事 化，以及今天為什麼非常主張包容。在英治時代，我也了解到當時港 英政府推行將成年人同性行為去刑事化，這其實是一個國家安全問題， 因為如果同性行為是一個罪行的話，許多公職人員就會受到威脅和勒 索。一個例子就是電腦天才 Alan Turing，有一部電影叫做《解碼遊 戲》（The Imitation Game）講述了他的生平。因為他是一個性少數 人士，不敢公開身份而面臨檢控，這位電腦天才最終選擇了自殺。
事 實上，英國政府乃至西方政府都考慮了很長時間，不想將性取向問題 成為國家安全漏洞，使公職人員受到恐嚇威脅，因此對其並鼓勵社會 包容。所以我認為特區政府應採取了一個比較積極的態度，特別是我 注意到，有媒體報導，去年五月跑馬地的一所名校，有兩位女生穿著 校服跳樓死亡，年齡分別是 16 歲和 13 歲，留下遺書似乎是因為受到 感情問題困擾，是否因為她們有不同的性取向而遭受歧視和困擾呢？ 所以這個是性少數人士權益的問題，不論是從人權的角度、或更實際 地挽留人才的角度，還是改善我們的國際形象的角度，我們都應該重 視。 也有一些人擔心，性少數問題是否會改變市民對同性婚姻合法 化的看法。這絕對不是。其實我已經多次指出，在高等法院就岑子杰訴律政司案所下達的判案書第 30 段指出，上訴庭已經裁決了基本法 37 條關於婚姻自由的範疇，根據立法原意應該不包括同性婚姻，只 包括異性婚姻。就岑子杰上訴案在終審庭的裁決，我看過判詞，亦請 教了一些資深大律師的朋友，他們認為法庭只是提醒我們要尊重法治 的底線，也是我們人權法的第一條：不要歧視任何人，不要因為他們 的膚色、宗教信仰或其他背景而歧視他們，要確保他們有平等的權利， 而不是修改婚姻的定義。也有法律界人士告訴我，這個建議比較含糊， 法庭只是將問題交還給曾局長，讓他提出替代方案。
換句話說，我認 為我們急需提升香港的國際形象以吸引外資來港。由於有很多人在抹 黑香港，目前來自歐美等國的海外資金減少了很多，外國遊客的數量 亦大幅減少。很多五、六星級酒店的負責人向我反映，外國旅客數量 減少導致酒店的入住率未如理想。如果我們可以在國際層面上推廣我 們對人權保障、法治的司法獨立的保障，我相信在未來我們一定可以 更加刷新香港的國際形象，讓國際社會看到香港仍然是自由、開放、 包容和共融的社會，吸引國際的資金和人才流入社會。
【Regarding the Motion of Thanks to the Chief Executive's Policy Address and Speech at the Legislative Council Meeting】
I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for the comprehensive policy address presented by the Chief Executive this year. As pointed out by House Committee chairwoman Starry Lee, the Chief Executive has sincerely listened to and incorporated many suggestions from the business sector, professional groups, political parties, and legislators. Whether it is in promoting fertility or tax reduction, numerous suggestions have been widely adopted, and I am grateful for this.
Under the leadership of the Chief Executive in the past year, government officials have made significant efforts to fulfil the expectations of the President of our country and to stimulate the economy and improve people's livelihoods. On behalf of the New People's Party, I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all government officials. Originally, I planned to speak in the second session about how to enhance competitiveness, but considering that my suggestions are closely related to the officials present here, I will deliver my speech in this section. In terms of enhancing competitiveness, the government has made significant efforts in the past year, overcoming two development bottlenecks: insufficient land and population outflow and talent shortage. In the past year, the government swiftly introduced measures to attract talents such as the “Global Talent Pass”, “Hong Kong Talent Engage”, and "Office for Attracting Strategic Enterprises," overcoming the bottlenecks of population outflow and talent attraction. These achievements are worthy of our recognition.
However, the current economic recovery is still weak. As officials are well aware, the reasons affecting our recovery are the negative portrayal by international media and the misunderstandings about Hong Kong among the international community and even foreign people. Therefore, our government emphasises the need to tell our national and Hong Kong stories well. Firstly, if we want to tell the Hong Kong story well, it is not enough to only use Cantonese or Chinese media platforms because the international community cannot understand them. I have noticed that more and more politicians, scholars, and opinion leaders are expressing their views in English or through English platforms, which is a positive trend. When communicating with the international community, in addition to using English, we should try to express ourselves in ways that they can accept. Despite our differences in many aspects, we all hope to find common ground. Just like our President Xi Jinping's recent meeting with President Biden in San Francisco, despite competition and major differences between the two countries, we hope to find common ground in order to manage the relationship between the two countries. Therefore, my first suggestion is also a work that the government has already begun, which is to hold more international conferences. As the saying goes in the West, "seeing is believing." We can organise various conferences related to law, finance, and environmental protection, among others, to attract more people to participate and let them understand that Hong Kong is a safe, peaceful, and stable place.
Secondly, I suggest that senior government officials should engage more with the international media. Based on my interactions with foreign media, they have expressed difficulty in finding senior officials for English interviews. This may be because officials are busy with their work or they feel that these media outlets have ulterior motives with their sharp questions. This is indeed a fact. I have met with a columnist from The Atlantic multiple times in an attempt to clarify some basic facts about Hong Kong, but his reports still carried bias. However, even with these difficulties, we should interact more with them. In the past, there was an expatriate officer mong the two deputy directors of the Information Services Department. He was responsible for contacting foreign media, establishing friendships, collecting information, and providing explanations. In fact, the media needs the government to provide information, such as many interesting stories about the police in sensitive matters under the Security Bureau, especially intriguing stories of crime-solving. Additionally, foreign media has been closely following the legislation of Article 23 of the Basic Law and the trials of several national security cases. It is widely known that the Chief Executive has clearly stated the goal of completing the legislation of Article 23 next year. Some foreign media have asked me why there is a need for legislation under Article 23 since we already have the Hong Kong National Security Law. I explained to them that Article 23 of the Basic Law stipulates that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall enact local laws to prohibit seven crimes endangering national security. While the national security law enacted by Beijing has established crimes of subversion and secession, there are still many outdated provisions in the current laws, including the offences of treason, espionage, and theft of state secrets that need updating. Therefore, we hope to formulate more precise laws and provide accurate explanations to avoid unnecessary panic. Foreign media friends have also expressed their fondness for Hong Kong. They pointed out that many major cities in the United States are experiencing setbacks in various aspects, including public safety, and even toothpaste needs to be locked up in supermarkets. In contrast, Hong Kong is very safe. With the accelerated trials of major national security cases and the completion of legislation under Article 23 in HongKong, we can further enhance our reputation as a safe and stable international city.
We should also emphasise our achievements in the rule of law and safeguarding human rights to the outside world. I noticed that the government attaches great importance to the Rule of Law Index released by the World Justice Project for 2023. Hong Kong ranks 23rd out of 142 regions worldwide and 6th out of 15 regions in Asia. In fact, as stated in the government's press release, if we consider the overall score, we are on par with the 20th and 22nd rankings, which means we are actually around the 20th position, far higher than the United States. Due to the restoration of peace and security through the implementation of the National Security Law, Hong Kong scores very well in the aspect of Order and Society. Additionally, our score in the Absence of Corruption is also high. However, Hong Kong ranks lower in two other aspects: Fundamental Rights and Constraints on Government Power, ranking 58th and 59th respectively. I believe this is due to many misconceptions from the outside world. In fact, we have done a lot of work in safeguarding human rights. Currently, we have four anti-discrimination ordinances. Although we do not yet have legislation specifically protecting sexual minorities, it is well known that I support the Gay Games. I support the Gay Games to show the international community that we are an inclusive and harmonious society, not because of any rumours suggesting that my daughter gay. I want to clarify that my daughter is not gay, and even if she were, I wouldn't feel ashamed or embarrassed about it. Throughout the decades of my education and career, I have encountered friends with different sexual orientations who are kind and talented individuals. I fail to see any reason why they should be discriminated against. Embracing sexual minorities is not only a matter of human rights, but as some Western professionals residing in Hong Kong have pointed out, "this is also a talent’s issue." It relates to retaining talent. It is well known that many outstanding talents in creative industries, law, finance, and technology are sexual minorities. If we do not demonstrate to the international community that we more inclusive than many other Asian cities it will be even more difficult to attract these talents.
I would also like to discuss some history to explain why the UK decriminalised same-sex behaviour and why it advocates for inclusivity today. During the British colonial era, I also learned that the Hong Kong government implemented the decriminalisation of consensual same-sex activities as a matter of national security. If same-sex behaviour were considered a crime, many public officials could be vulnerable to threats and blackmail. An example is the computer genius Alan Turing, whose life is portrayed in the movie "The Imitation Game." He chose to commit suicide due to the fear of prosecution as a sexual minority. In fact, the UK government, as well as many other Western governments, took a long time to consider not turning sexual orientation into a national security vulnerability that would intimidate public officials. Therefore, they encouraged societal inclusivity. I believe the SAR government should adopt a more proactive approach, especially considering media reports that last May, two female students from a prestigious school in Happy Valley committed suicide by jumping off a building. They were 16 and 13 years old, and their suicide notes suggested they were troubled by relationship issues. Could it be because they faced discrimination and harassment due to their sexual orientation? This is an issue concerning the rights of sexual minorities. Regardless of human rights considerations, the practical aspect of retaining talent, or improving our international image, we should take it seriously.
Some people are concerned that the issue of sexual minorities will change public opinion on the legalisation of same-sex marriage. This is absolutely not the case. In fact, I have repeatedly pointed out that in paragraph 30 of the judgment in the case of Jimmy Sham Tse Kit v. Secretary for Justice by the Court of Appeal, it has been ruled that Article 37 of the Basic Law concerning the freedom of marriage, according to legislative intent, does not include same-sex marriage, only heterosexual marriage. Regarding the final ruling of the Jimmy Sham’s appeal case, I have read the judgment and consulted some senior barristers who believe that the court is simply reminding us to respect the bottom line of the rule of law. It also aligns with the first article of our bill of rights: not to discriminate against anyone based on the basis of his or her race, religion, or other backgrounds, and to ensure equal rights, rather than changing the definition of marriage. Some legal professionals have also told me that the Court of Final Appeal’s suggestion of formulating alternative arrangements for the protection of basic legal rights is rather vague, and the Court of Final Appeal is simply passing the buck to the government, notably the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, to resolve this issue.. In other words, I believe we urgently need to enhance Hong Kong's international image to attract foreign investment. Due to the numerous attempts to discredit Hong Kong, overseas funds from European and American countries have significantly decreased, and the number of foreign tourists has also declined sharply. Many managers of five- and six-star hotels have informed me that the decrease in foreign visitors has affected the hotel occupancy rates. If we can promote our safeguarding of human rights and inclusivity, including the rights of sexual minorities, it will help improve our international image and attract more foreign investment and visitors. We should also take into consideration the well-being of our own citizens, especially young people who may be struggling with their sexual orientation and facing discrimination. By creating a more inclusive society, we can ensure that everyone feels valued and supported, which will ultimately benefit Hong Kong as a whole.
I hereby give this speech.