Following is a statement by the Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands, Mr Michael Suen, on Central Reclamation Phase III today (September 27):
"The Government has examined the details of the application filed by the Society for Protection of the Harbour Limited on 25 September 2003 for an interim injunction against the continued implementation of the works under Central Reclamation III. The High Court will hear the application for interim injunction on October 3.
Since the judicial proceedings have now started and a court decision on the interim injunction is expected soon, the Government will temporarily suspend all marine works under Central Reclamation III from September 28, 2003 until a decision of the High Court is given on the application for interim injunction. Should the Court rule in our favour, we will resume the marine works under Central Reclamation III immediately thereafter.
We respect the rule of law. The Government has all along been acting in compliance with the law. Once the Court has ruled on the interim injunction, the Government will act in accordance with the decision of the Court.
The temporary suspension is made without prejudice to the rights of the Government to oppose the application and to the stance of Government which we have maintained at all times that the reclamation works currently on-going in Central are lawful.
The costs of suspension are about HK$1 million per day in terms and conditions of the contract, which will be subject to assessment. In suspending the marine works, the Government has taken into account that the time and costs of suspension will be limited if the injunction application is determined expeditiously."
End/Saturday, September 27, 2003