Educating HK public about national security law 'crucial'
China Daily

Students from a school in Tung Chung, New Territories, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, kick off a new semester by holding a flag-raising ceremony on Sept 2, 2019. [Photo provided to]

National legislators and political advisers in Hong Kong have highlighted the importance of strengthening education on and promoting the proposed national security law for the city.

Enabling the public, especially young people, to have a clear and correct understanding of the law will pave the way for its implementation, said deputies to the National People's Congress and members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference National Committee.

They urged the SAR government to give priority to addressing the public's concerns and doubts about the legislation, while making it a part of the education for students.

NPC deputy Wong Yau-kar, who's also a member of the city's Basic Law Promotion Steering Committee, said a focal point is to tell the public clearly about the law's legislative intent, targeted crimes and enforcement details. The law is expected to target serious crimes that endanger national security, such as acts of secession, subversion and terrorism, and conspiracy with external forces.

With a deeper understanding of the legislation, Wong said it would be easier for the public to realize that their basic rights and freedom won't be affected. It would also reduce their chances of being misled by rumors about the law.

CPPCC National Committee member Peter Kung Wing-tak stressed the need to beef up education about the law on campuses, considering youngsters' pivotal role in the city's future development.

Educating students on the law should be included in the curricula of colleges, as well as liberal studies for secondary and primary students, he said.

Kung advised schools to invite legal practitioners to over related training courses for students to help them understand the law more accurately and comprehensively.

Another CPPCC member, Samuel Yung Wing-ki, would like the government to adopt a down-to-earth approach in promoting the law. He said a preachy style is hard to be accepted, especially among youngsters.

The authorities could highlight the importance of the law in an attractive way, such as through animation or microfi lming.

A leaf can be taken from the government's successful examples in the 1970s, such as the iconic litterbug cartoon character created for the "Keep Hong Kong Clean" campaign, and the promotional video for the "Two is Enough" family planning campaign, both of which had an impact at the time, said Yung.

The central government has said it will collect Hong Kong society's opinions on the proposed national security law on a citywide scale. As of Thursday, more than 130 suggestions from Hong Kong's NPC deputies and CPPCC National Committee members had been submitted to the central government's liaison office in the special administrative region. The office said all the proposals will be submitted to the NPC Standing Committee for reference when drafting the legislation.