The Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (Draft) Consultation Report/Volume 1/Section 4
IV PROCESSING AND COLLATION OF OPINIONS
1. The second round of consultations commenced at the publication of the Basic Law (Draft) on 21 February 1989 and lasted until 31 October 1989. During this period, the CCBL collected from different sources 6,540 pieces of opinions, among which 265 were confirmed to be irrelevant to the Basic Law (Draft), repeated- or anonymous and were therefore not processed.
2. The opinions which have been processed amount to 6,275 pieces, including 3,513 submissions from individuals or groups of individuals, 147 submissions from organizations or groups of organizations, 2,479 pieces from local media. 22 from CCBL internal discussions, 5 from exchange sessions between the drafters and CCBL members, 32 from exchange sessions between the drafters and other sectors, 9 reports on the seminars and discussion sessions held by the CCBL, 44 reports on seminars organized by outside parties, 3 signature campaigns, and 21 reports on the public opinion polls regarding the Basic Law (Draft) conducted by various sectors.
3. The sources of opinions are not confined to individuals and organizations from different fields in Hong Kong, some of the opinions are from overseas.
Submissions from Individuals or Groups of Individuals
4. Out of the 3,513 submissions from individuals or groups of individuals, 3,442 are from individuals and 71 are from 720 individuals who form themselves into groups. Each of these submissions is treated as a single unit. The CCBL has given each of the submissions carrying the addresses of the senders (including pre-printed letters) an acknowledgement and asked those with inadequate personal data to provide additional details required by the CCBL. Regarding submissions from groups of individuals, acknowledgements have been sent to their liaison persons. Other submissions with no address have also been processed. The eight submissions which require to be kept confidential are all from individuals.
5. Among the submissions from individuals or groups of individuals, 2,807 are pre-printed letters and for the majority of them the source is not indicated. Letters with identical contents (with the opinions on the Basic Law (Draft), suggestions for amendment or the choice of a particular proposal clearly listed, and the supporters being asked to sign and provide their personal data; some of these letters contain a column entitled "any other opinions" allowing the signatories to comment on other matters in the Basic Law (Draft)) come in 12 types, of which some are similar to one another in contents and differ only in wording and thoroughness. There are 11 types which are in the form of a questionnaire (listing the various proposals, or a number of comments or suggestions for amendment regarding a certain article, and the signatories being asked to make their own choice; some of these questionnaires contain a column entitled "reasons" allowing the signatories to write down their reasons for choosing a particular model or accepting a particular view). The opinions and proposals of pre-printed letters mainly focus on issues relating to the relationship between the Central Authorities and the HKSAR, or the political structure (mainly on the methods for selecting the Chief Executive and for forming the Legislative Council of the HKSAR).
6. Most of the submissions from individuals or groups of individuals contain opinions which are partially or completely the same as those contained in certain pre-printed letters. Submissions with identical contents, whether they are pre-printed or hand copied, shall be treated as pre-printed letters. 7. The number of each type of pre-printed letters sent in to the CCBL varies, from more than a thousand to only a few. Some of them were passed on to the CCBL after they had been collected by the parties responsible for printing or launching them. The rest were sent in by the signatories individually.
8. In order to accurately reflect the quantity of pre-printed letters sent in by members of public in support of a particular model or opinion, the Secretariat will make a note in the General Report on the Articles to faithfully convey the relevant information to the Drafting Committee. However, elaboration on these figures is not within the terms of reference of the CCBL.
Submissions from Organizations or Groups of Organizations
9. The CCBL received 147 submissions from 363 organizations, community bodies and other establishments. Among them 17 submissions are from 242 organizations which form themselves into groups. Some organizations sent in more than one submission. Each submission from an organization or a group of organizations is treated as a single unit. The organizations are from a wide range of fields, such as industry and commerce, finance, law, the professions, mass media, labour and grass-roots organizations, religious bodies, organizations of foreign nationals and concern groups. Many of these organizations have a long history. Some have a number of branches representing different trades and strata. Some are newly established organizations for the purpose of paying close attention to the community of Hong Kong and its future. The membership of these organizations ranges from less than 100 to a few thousand or more.
10. These organizations and community bodies prepared their submissions through different procedures. The most common procedure is as follows: A seminar, discussion or forum was held to collect members' views on the Basic Law (Draft) and the views were compiled into a written submission; or a written submission was drafted by a concern group or a permanent committee under the organization after some study, to be passed by the council, the executive committee, the standing committee or the general meeting of the organization. If a piece of opinion is submitted by a concern group or a group of members of an organization, the CCBL will process it as a submission from a group of individuals.
11. No organizations requested that their submissions be kept confidential. In order to help the Drafting Committee better understand these opinions, the CCBL when acknowledging receipt of their submissions also required the organizations to provide details in respect of their functions, objectives, memberships, and the procedures through which their submissions were prepared. Such details if provided promptly would be submitted to the Drafting Committee along with the consultation report. For organizations which had also submitted their opinions in the last round of consultations but which could not provide the above-mentioned information before the CCBL finished compiling the consultation report, the CCBL would present the information (if any) provided by those organizations in the previous consultation period and make a note specifying so.
Coverage by the Local Mass Media
12. The mass media in Hong Kong extensively covered matters concerning the Basic Law during the consultation period for the Basic Law (Draft), especially in the early stage just following the publication of the Basic Law (Draft), in April when the drafters visited Hong Kong, and near the end of the consultation period.
13. The local mass media form one of the important sources of opinions. During this consultation period, the CCBL collected 1,356 press reports of interviews, public speeches and discussions on matters concerning the Basic Law; 111 editorials; 740 columns and commentaries; 105 letters to the editor; and 102 magazine articles. In addition, there were 65 television discussion programmes, not including the informational programmes which introduced the Basic Law. With these opinions. our collection was more comprehensive. Some of the features, letters to the editor and articles in newspapers and magazines are exactly identical to the submissions received by the CCBL. Some have been repeatedly published in different newspapers or magazines. But no matter how many times they have been published or sent in, as long as they are from the same source, the CCBL shall only select one to be processed.
14. During the consultation period, the CCBL only received three signature campaigns launched by organizations, which include the signatures of 2,589 individuals. The majority of them provided their names while only a small number provided their I.D. Card numbers which the CCBL, however, is unable to verify.
Public Opinion Polls
15. The CCBL received 21 reports on public opinion polls during the consultation period. These surveys mainly centre around issues concerning the political structure, the legitimacy of the Basic Law, and confidence in Hong Kong's future. These surveys have different target respondents: some take the general public in Hong Kong as their target respondents while others are confined to a certain district or members of a certain organization. The methods of survey and the forms of questionnaires also differ from one to another. Hence, the CCBL cannot summarize the contents of these surveys in the main text of the consultation report. As the CCBL is not in a position to assess the quality control of these public opinion polls, the results of these polls will be submitted for the reference of the Drafting Committee as an annex to the General Report on the Articles. The annex will not contain any interpretation or evaluation of the results of these polls.
Processing and Collation of Opinions
16. The opinions collected by the CCBL were first sorted out according to their sources and natures and coded. Then they were classified according to the subjects of the various chapters of the Basic Law (Draft). After collation, they were compiled into a three-volume consultation report. The entire consultation report was examined by the Executive Committee of the CCBL before being forwarded to the Drafting Committee for reference in mid-November.
16.1 Volume 1 of the Consultation Report
( 1 ) Report on the consultation on the Basic Law (Draft)
I. Principles and Methods of Consultation
III. Discussions and Consultations
IV. Processing and Collation of Opinions
( 2 ) Collections of views of the special groups of the Consultative Committee for the Basic Law regarding the Basic Law (Draft)
1. Special Group on the Relationship between the Central Government and the HKSAR
2. Special Group on Law
3. Special Group on the Fundamental Rights and Duties of Inhabitants
4. Special Group on Political Structure
5. Special Group on Economy
6. Special Group on Culture, Education, Technology and Religion
The collections of views of the various special groups were prepared by collating the opinions collected from the internal discussions of the special groups held during the consultation period and from the exchange sessions with mainland drafters held during their visit to Hong Kong in April. All collections of views of the special groups have been passed by the respective special groups.
16.2 Volume 2 of the Consultation Report -- Reports on special issues
- The question of non-intervention under the policy of one country, two systems
- National security law and emergency regulations
- The stationing of military forces in the HKSAR
- Collective bargaining
- Retirement security
- The development of the discussion on political structure
- Proposals for selecting the Chief Executive and for forming the legislature
- The pace of development of the political structure
- The relationship between the executive authorities and the legislature
- Electoral law
- Civil servants and politics
- Constitutional economics and the provisions on economy in the Basic Law (Draft)
16.3 Volume 3 of the Consultation Report -- General report on the articles (available in Chinese only)
This report includes opinions, specific proposals and the reasons concerned regarding each chapter, section and article of, and each annex to the Basic Law (Draft), such as amendment to the wording, addition and deletion.
16.4 Annexes to the consultation report on the Basic Law (Draft)
( 1 ) Summary of the names and data of organizations which submitted opinions
( 2 ) Summary of the data and submissions of public opinion poll reports
17. As the consultation period for the Basic Law (Draft) has been extended for three months while the date of promulgation remains unchanged, despite the re-scheduling of the Drafting Committee meetings, the special groups of the CCBL submitted the summaries of their meetings in this consultation period as early as possible to the Drafting Committee so that the drafters would have sufficient time to study them. The special groups prepared the summaries of their meetings in early October. After these summaries hid been confirmed by the respective special groups and subsequently examined by the Executive Committee, they were promptly delivered to the Drafting Committee.
18. Apart from serving as reference for the Drafting Committee. the consultation report will also be available to the public pursuant to the decision of the Executive Committee.
19. Although the consultation exercise was interrupted for more than two months as a result of the Beijing incident, with the extension of the consultation period, the actual time for consultation was not reduced. However, taking into account that after this incident, members of the public may put forward new opinions regarding various issues relating to the Basic Law, or need more time for further discussions, the CCBL will follow last year's practice in continuing to collect other opinions or supplementary opinions put forward by members of the public within the one and half months between the expiry of the consultation period and the meetings of the subgroups of the Drafting Committee to be held in mid-December. Even though these submissions will not be included in the CCBL's consultation report, they will be re-directed to the Drafting Committee for reference.
* If there is any discrepancy between the Chinese and the English versions, the Chinese version shall prevail.