Overstatement to say HK is a police state: official

Civil Service Secretary Patrick Nip said on Thursday that it would be an “overstatement” to say that Hong Kong has become a police state.

The recent appointments of former officers John Lee and Chris Tang as chief secretary and security secretary respectively have spurred further claims from government critics that the city is now a police state.

But Nip said this is not correct.

“It is an overstatement. We have a team of political appointees in different bureaus. We have clerical staff and officers in the disciplinary forces in the civil service. We have different backgrounds and experiences. So comments like this are basically incorrect,” he said.

Last week, pro-Beijing lawmaker Alice Mak told RTHK that if Hong Kong is indeed a police state, then there is nothing wrong with that – although she later claimed she was being sarcastic.

Nip was previously tipped as a possible candidate for chief secretary and was asked by a reporter whether he was disappointed not to be given the job.

“We have to work hard in our respective roles for the interests of Hong Kong and look forward. Don’t make too many speculations. It’s not constructive at all,” Nip replied.