As consulted with the Commercial Radio of Hong Kong (香港商業電臺 881903.com), this Cantonese to English transcription of the interview does not breach copyright law.
Interviewers: Stephen Chan (陳志雲), Ken Kwok (郭志仁), and Chan Chung (陳聰) (transliterated).
Interviewee: Anson Chan (陳方安生), former chief secretary.
Interviewer: Therefore, stepping down is not the only choice to embody the Accountability System. But we have observed it – their attitude is all the same. How do we embody the Accountability System?
Interviewee: Right. I recall that in 2002, Mr Tung introduced the so-called Principal Officials Accountability System. We have seen it clearly this time around: nobody has been held accountable and nobody bore the responsibility. If you ask me: which secretary of department or director of bureau should be held to account? In my opinion, other than the Chief Executive, that should be Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng (鄭若驊). She is the chief legal advisor in the SAR government. It is impossible for her to not understand how the amendment of the extradition bill could have severely impacted our rule of law and safety and freedom. Did she speak up and advise the CE directly that this was not the way to go. If there are problems, she must come up with other solutions – instead of slipping it into the firewall that we must uphold dearly.
Interviewer: It seems like she did the contrary instead. When others made suggestions, she said this and that were not possible. Which was weird. Those (who made suggestions) were lawyers, senior counsels and Bar Association. It was as if her legal advice was the only accurate point of view.
Interviewee: Also, the Bar Association always enjoys our utmost respect. The Bar Association voiced out their concerns and explained in details. But she just wouldn’t entertain them.
Interviewer: Under the Accountability System, how should the Secretary for Justice be held accountable?
Interviewee: The Secretary for Justice should bow and resign.
Interviewer: Which means to step down.
Interviewer: Everybody is asking about the next step. What is the way forward for the government? What is your advice? So that they gain some – but not too much – mutual trust and collaboration with the public.
Interviewee: In my opinion, the CE can work on some aspects. Firstly, she must respond to Hongkongers’ requests as soon as possible – even if she can’t accept the points. But why she couldn’t promise to scrap the amendment of extradition bill immediately? This is the first point. Secondly, set up an independent commission of inquiry as soon as possible. Thirdly, the CE must change her leadership and governing style if she wishes to rule Hong Kong properly and win Hongkongers’ trust and support. She must also be impartial – not that she only listens to pro-establishment legislators and ignores pan-democracy legislators in the LegCo. This is the first point. The second point: she has to be tolerant to appoint members of Executive Council or other advisory structures. It must not become a place of single opinion. She must appoint individuals of different backgrounds and political views. And encourage them to speak up and suggest to the CE directly. The third point: she must also listen to her governing team. You can’t pool wisdom for mutual benefit when you are only listening to yourself; you will hit the wall sooner or later.
Interviewer: How to repair the relationship with the young?
Interviewee: You have to talk to the young people. You must first let them feel like you stand with them. That you identify yourself with their values. That you will do your best to convey their messages to Beijing. Additionally, she needs to work on one matter. She should request Beijing to stop the Liaison Office from interfering in local administration in Hong Kong. According to the Basic Law, mainland institutes in Hong Kong are prohibited from interfering in local administration in Hong Kong. Administration of Hong Kong is the responsibility of the CE and the governing team. Why do we see the Liaison Office interfering rudely in recent years? They used to cover up in the past. But now, they don’t even bother to cover up.