‘HK people need more national security education’

Former security chief Lai Tung-kwok on Sunday called for the introduction of a new post of “national security education commissioner”, warning that the public don’t know enough about the issue and that Hong Kong’s once-a-year National Security Education Day is far from sufficient.

Lai told a radio programme that the SAR needs to work harder to educate people about national security being as they only have a superficial understanding of what it entails and how it encompasses everything from finance to food.

The New People’s Party legislator said if people had a better understanding of national security, it would be easier to get them to make sacrifices to ensure it is upheld.

Lai said a national security education commissioner could study, coordinate and supervise everything relating to the issue, and would be able to promote it better to the public than various government departments.

Such a post shouldn’t necessarily be given to someone with a background in the disciplined services, he added.

On the same show, former police commissioner Tang King-shing said people have misunderstood what national security is all about, adding that an ageing population and gender equality issues could also undermine safety and stability.

He dismissed the suggestion that the next administration might focus too much on national security and disregard other problems.

“I think it’s a matter of a balancing act and a matter of leadership. I have every confidence that [chief executive candidate John Lee] will take things forward. National security will only be one of his key agenda. It’s only a matter of how he can effectively and efficiently direct and lead his team to take this forward,” Tang told reporters after appearing on the programme.