Ho backs Macau’s entry ban, Hong Kong voices concern

Thursday, March 5, 2009
Issue 631, Page 1 & 2
Word count: 890
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

Chief Executive Edmund Ho Hau Wah yesterday backed Macau police’s entry ban on several Hong Kong residents, and said that it had no mere connection to the national security law.

Mr Ho made the open statement before his departure to Beijing for the Second Plenary Session of the 11th People’s National Congress that will commence today.

In response to reporters’ question about two Hong Kong pro-democracy politicians and a scholar having been barred from Macau since last Friday, the chief executive said he was “not clear about the incident”, but added that he believed police were pursuant to the laws and the Article 23 legislation did not play a role in it.

Frederick Fung Kin-kee, a lawmaker and member of the Hong Kong Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood (HKADPL), went to Macau on Tuesday afternoon along with Bruce Liu Sung-lee, a District Council member and chairman of the HKADPL, in an attempt to “test whether they could enter Macau under the enforcement of the national security Law”.

However, Fung said they were turned away immediately after the immigration officers told them their names were shown on the computer system and quoted the internal security law of Macau.

It was Fung and Liu’s second time to have been refused entry to Macau since early this year.

On the other hand, Johannes Chan Man-mun, the Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Hong Kong, said he was barred from Macau for the first time last Friday when he went to give a speech in an annual legal seminar at the University of Macau.

Chan said he was sent back to Hong Kong after the immigration officers told him his name was on a list and as well cited the internal security law.

The professor also said that his speech was not of a “sensitive topic”, and he felt “pity” for his experience, the Hong Kong online media reported.

He added that he was worried the incident would impact on academic freedom and exchange, and the government would abuse its power when citizens’ immigration right was “lacking of transparency”.

Chan suspected he was refused entry because of his role in the Article 23 Concern Group, set up in 2002 to campaign against the Hong Kong government’s plan to enact controversial security legislation.

In December last year, nine Hong Kong pro-democracy politicians who planned to protest against the enactment of the national security bill in Macau were denied entry.

According to the Hong Kong online media yesterday, the Hong Kong Secretary for Security, Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong, told the Legislative Council (LegCo) that the Hong Kong government would not normally interfere with other jurisdictions’ immigration policies.

However, he added that he had already contacted the Macau authority in the morning to express concern over the incident.

Lee also said that both Hong Kong and Macau was a special administrative region of China, “Hong Kong cannot interfere with Macau’s immigration decisions, and so does Hong Kong which also doesn’t wish its power will be intervened”.

The security secretary at the same time told the LegCo that only less than 10 Hong Kong residents were barred from Macau and sought help from the Hong Kong government in recent days.

Hong Kong lawmaker and member of the Democratic Party, Albert Ho Chun-yan, put through a motion in yesterday’s LegCo meeting to hold a debate on Macau’s immigration policy that saw LegCo and District Council members, members of political parties, a scholars and a journalist (from the South China Morning Post) fail to enter into Macau.

However, Cheong Kuoc Va, the Macau Secretary for Security, denied earlier that Macau operated an immigration blacklist.

Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, the former security secretary of Hong Kong, said the incident was “unusual, and is getting more and more serious”, the Hong Kong online media reported.

Ip said although every place had its own immigration restriction list and would be updated constantly, she did not understand why Chan, on a purpose of academic research, was turned away by Macau.

Miriam Lau Kin-yee, another LegCo member and chairwoman of the Liberal Party, also urged the Hong Kong government to ask for an explanation from Macau.

Lau said immigration freedom was “very important” for Hong Kong residents, and she deemed that their government should strive not to have its people’s immigration freedom damaged.

In Macau, the New Macau Association petitioned to the Public Prosecutions Office demanding for an investigation of whether the police force had abused the internal security law.

However, Stanley Ho Hung-sun, a member of the Standing Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, said in Beijing that he supported Macau’s entry ban, as “those people are all troublemakers”.

The Hong Kong media also reported that 23 pan-democracy LegCo members have written to Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen to press for his concern on democratic advocates having been refused entry by the Macau government.

Frederick Fung Kin-kee also said on Tuesday that he would write to the chief executives of the two SARs.

Anson Chan Fang On Sang, the convener of the Citizens’ Commission on Constitutional Development in Hong Kong, said she could not see the reason for the entry ban on Johannes Chan, adding that those Hong Kong residents involved would not pose any threat to Macau’s law and order, according to the Hong Kong press yesterday.


1 Comment »

  1. Jon Said:

    Does anyone have a copy of this ‘Internal Security Law of Macau’. seems hard to get hold of. Oh, no, don’t tell me it’s a ‘state secret’?

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