20th October 2013
Secretary for Justice Admits Three Secretaries Support Issuing Three TV Licenses
The Hong Kong SAR Government issued three statements in one day in response to the issuance of two free-to-air TV licenses, and emphasised that the Executive Council’s decision involved no political consideration and fulfills procedural justice.
Lam Woon-kwong, Convener of the Executive Council, said that the Council’s role is essentially a consultant, on the TV license issuance, the final decision was authorised by the Chief Executive.
Media exposed some Executive Council’s documents which stated that three Secretaries of the government supported the issuance of three licenses last year. Rimsky Yuen, Secretary for Justice, admitted in a public activity in the morning (20th Oct) that the details quoted in the newspapers are listed in the appendix used at the Executive Council’s discussion on the issue. Secretary office of the Council issued a statement mid-day yesterday denying the documents cited in the newspapers were Executive Council documents.
Lam Woon-kwong said that given the public dispute on the license issuance, the senior officials in the government should explain the issuance criteria again. He also admitted that after the Council discussed and expressed their opinions of the matter, the final decision was made by CY Leung, the Chief Executive.
Commerce and Economic Development Bureau issued two statements before and after today’s demonstration, stating that the government understands the public’s concern over the result of the license issuance, and respects the citizens’ rights to express their opinion, and that the authority has repeatedly explained the criteria and rational for the decision, and that the the approval process fulfills the procedural justice.
The statement says that after considering the number of licenses and opening up the market, the government concerned the possibility of adversely impacting the healthy and orderly development of the market by issuing three new licenses, and that the decision made is not to protect the benefits of some and involves no political consideration.
The statement also emphasised that the government understands citizens’ opinion, and will continue to be just and prudent throughout the follow up work on completing the issuance of new licenses, and encourage the development of creative industry.