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Government's response to proposal for setting up independent commission of inquiry into Mong Kok riot

     In response to proposal that the SAR Government should set up an independent commission of inquiry headed by a judge to look into the Mong Kok riot, a SAR Government spokesman today (February 15) made the following statement:

     The SAR Government does not agree to the proposal. The riot in Mong Kok was a serious violent incident. Criminal investigations by the Police are underway with a view to apprehending all culprits for fair trials and rulings by the court. As such, the SAR Government does not consider it necessary to set up an independent commission of inquiry, headed by a judge, to look into the incident.

     It was noted that, following the disturbances in Hong Kong in the 1960s, a commission of inquiry was set up by the government at the time. However, the SAR Government considers it inappropriate to make direct comparisons between the incident and the Mong Kok riot. Hong Kong nowadays enjoys free access to information and is a highly democratic and transparent society. Members of the public are entitled to freedom of speech and can express their opinions and aspirations on social problems and government administration through various channels, including different tiers of councils, consultative bodies or even in the form of peaceful processions, demonstrations and assemblies. Individuals can also seek relief from the court to review the administrative decisions through legal proceedings.

     The SAR Government has all along been listening attentively to members of the public and is committed to balancing the interests and needs of all sectors of the community. The SAR Government will continue to improve governance to ensure that policies are geared towards the overall and long-term well-being of Hong Kong. Meanwhile, the SAR Government stresses that the expression of views and demands must not be conducted through illegal and violent acts.

Ends/Monday, February 15, 2016
Issued at HKT 20:12


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