Lawmakers to grill officials on rail terminus plans

Lawmakers to grill officials on rail terminus plans

Senior officials will face lawmakers for the first time today since unveiling plans for a joint border control with the mainland at the West Kowloon terminus of the Express Rail last month.

They are expected to face tough questions over the plans to lease part of the West Kowloon station to Beijing during Thursday’s special meeting of the Legislative Council.

The plan would allow state security officers to carry out border clearance and means that national law would apply in part of the terminus, and a concern group, involving pan-democrats and other activists, was set up on Wednesday to fight the proposal.

Opponents of the plan say allowing mainland customs officers to work in Hong Kong goes against the Basic Law and they want a public consultation held, RTHK reports.

A spokeswoman from the group, barrister and former legislator, Margaret Ng, said the plan “contradicts the Basic Law. It removes our protection”, and explained what she would like to ask officials.

“Why do you have to exclude Hong Kong law from the depot? Why do you have to enforce (the) entirety of national law in the same place? Where is your authority? Why are you allowed to do that? How does that leave us with our protection? There are a lot of people who are very worried about this,” Ng told Hong Kong Today.

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