SCED speaks on Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2014
Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, at a media session on the Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2014 after attending a radio programme today (February 27):
Reporter: Are you worried that by offering to withdraw the bill next Friday, you are encouraging lawmakers to filibuster just for a few more days and then you will shelve the bill? Or do you think this is putting the necessary pressure like an ultimatum to them?
Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development: What would be the alternative? We have some 28 bills behind this bill. And if we insist on continuing, I must have the best interest of Hong Kong in mind, as much as I would like to see this bill passed. There is a limit how far anyone could prepare to go. We cannot stop the progress of these remaining 28 bills to go through LegCo (Legislative Council). And between now and the end of the LegCo session, there is less than five months. Once this term of Legislative Council expired, all these bills will be back to square one if they are not passed. I think we have deliberated on this bill long enough, deliberated in terms of the time spent in LegCo, with 55 hours of the 75 hours wasted. There is enough wastage, and not prepared to allow this to prolong anymore. Therefore, giving everyone a very clear signal that they should make best use of the remainder of this period, namely the two and a half days, which would let us have enough time to pass this bill. So let's make good use of this time.
Reporter: Given the limited time, two and a half days, what would you say to lawmakers who tend to move an adjournment motion to the Copyright (Amendment) Bill?
Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development: That is very unwise. It is unwise to move a motion to basically take up all the time remaining in debating on this bill. That is not a constructive way of helping Hong Kong. We all should have the best interest of Hong Kong in mind. In the (radio) programme, I have already made it very clear that we are not by ourselves. We are competing with other economies which are catching up to international standard. Why are we intentionally crippling ourselves? That is a question that we all need to ask. That affects not only the creative industry, but other industries that feed off the energy of the creative industry.
(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)
Ends/Saturday, February 27, 2016