SDEV speaks to the media

Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, at a media session after attending a public function today (January 25):

Reporter: Secretary, the Heung Yee Kuk is asking you to clarify whether it is illegal for indigenous villagers to transfer their small house building rights, could you explain it? Also the Heung Yee Kuk plans to go to the NPCSC (Standing Committee of the National People's Congress) to reinterpret their rights enshrined in the Basic Law, could you tell us how do you feel about it as well?

Secretary for Development: After that particular court judgment, as far as I understand, it is very likely that the case will go to the Court of Appeal. So it is inappropriate for me to elaborate on the legal points raised in the letter at this stage. But I believe, during the process of (legal) proceedings, both sides will present their viewpoints on different legal issues for the court to consider. So I will leave the legal points to that stage.

As to the trading of small houses and trading of small houses' (building) rights, they are two entirely different matters. For indigenous villagers, after completion of the construction of village houses and upon fulfilment of certain conditions, they can request the Lands Department to remove sale restrictions of the particular small houses. But as far as the right of indigenous villagers is concerned, there is no case of trading of their rights. And I would like to reiterate that people using inappropriate method(s) (to trade small houses' building rights), including making false statements amounting to conspiracy to defraud, there is no tolerance at all. We will enforce the law accordingly. Thank you.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Monday, January 25, 2016
Issued at HKT 15:26