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逾百 AO 聯署:守護香港核心價值,是我們加入政府的初衷

2019/7/26 — 13:14

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作者提供圖片

我們是一百多名香港特區政府的政務主任(AO)。

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聆聽各個階層聲音、竭盡所能服務市民、守護香港核心價值,皆是我們加入政府的初衷。這個多月來的一連串示威及多次警民衝突的場面,我們與廣大市民同樣感到極度痛心。

政府推行政策,本應以兼聽則明的態度,在社會的不同參與者當中尋求共識。《逃犯條例》此一石,不單擊起前所未見的浪,亦將大眾以為已逐漸消弭的矛盾再次帶到社會中。市民的擔憂,是官員失職:多次規模空前的遊行,甚至有市民以死相諫,一眾負責的問責官員仍然視若無睹,對社會訴求無動於衷;市民的擔憂,是政府失信:元朗暴徒對手無寸鐵的平民發動無差別暴力襲擊,警隊卻未能及時出現,主事官員的回應也文過飾非;市民的擔憂,是警隊失紀:遊行示威演變成衝突,如網絡直播片段所見,警方行使公權時有無視規章之虞,如刻意隱藏身份,武力尺度合理亦成疑。

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身為公僕,不論本身政治理念如何,我們均竭盡所能對政府忠誠,也是政治中立的原則。惟香港今夏,正處於大是大非之際,我們不願保持沉默。對問題根源視若無睹,非但將服務市民的使命置之不顧、更遑論將香港帶回正軌。雖然良藥苦於口、忠言拂於耳,我們仍想以最嚴肅、最謙卑的心情懇求特首用心聆聽社會的聲音,正面回應民間的各項訴求,包括成立獨立調查委員會,在公平、公開、公正的原則下,調查近月由修訂《逃犯條例》以來在社會所引起的大小事件,例如推行修訂過程的做法是否恰當、警方在各場行動當中所使用的行動及策略是否合理、元朗襲擊事件有否涉及公職人員行為失當等。惟有如此,香港才有契機讓各方和解,走出創傷,再次向前。

我們亦呼籲所有警務人員支持成立獨立調查委員會,讓警隊能與一眾市民重建互信。同時,我們希望你們繼續嚴格遵守《警隊條例》(第 232 章)及《警察通例》,向廣大市民立下「竭盡所能維護香港法治」的榜樣。

這個多月以來,香港人一次又一次教我們回想起服務社會的心。香港人為著共同理念,能夠放下成見,攜手並肩。香港人在最黑暗之時,能夠與素昧平生的人守望相助,砥礪同行。香港人在絕望之際,應堅守崗位並互相扶持。我們不忘作為政務主任的原則,但面對當下的政治危機,我們認為有責任發聲,希望可守護政府的信譽和威望。

解鈴還須繫鈴人。當權者若能以最大的善意,最寬容的態度聆聽香港人的聲音,解決問題的第一步隨即會浮現眼前。香港現在需要的是重建互信、休養生息的時間。如果眼前困局長久不解,香港也許會陷入更深的危機。還望當權者能夠權衡輕重,廣納民意,真真正正與眾香港人同行。

我們時刻不忘政務主任應秉持政治中立。然而,最近發生不同事件已令人覺得公務員在執行職務時,無法恪守中立。我們不忍公務員歷經幾十年辛苦建立的形象,毀於朝夕。我們絕無意挑戰公務員政治中立之原則;但我們深信,重新建立市民與政府間之互信,方可使施政重回正軌,讓公務員能各司其職,貢獻香港。

We are a group of some one hundred Administrative Officers (AO) of the HKSARG.

Listening to the voices from all walks of life; serving every citizen with all our capacity; and safeguarding the core values of Hong Kong are the epitome of our aspiration to become an AO. We share the citizens’ anguish in seeing a series of demonstrations and confrontations between the Police and the citizens over the past month.

In taking forward policies, it is the Government’s fundamental role to forge consensus among various stakeholders with an open and embracing attitude. This pebble called the Extradition Bill has caused unrest of a seismic proportion, and brought the struggles which we thought have gradually ebbed back to the society. It is the officials’ dereliction of duty that worries the citizens: we witnessed several mass protests of unrivalled scale, even the suicides of some exasperated citizens. The Principal Officials responsible still turned a deaf ear to the outcry of the public. It is the Government’s loss of credibility that agitates the citizens: we witnessed thugs savagely assaulting unarmed civilians indiscriminately in Yuen Long and the Police failed to arrive on scene in time. In the face of such blatant failure, the officials responsible have resorted to sugarcoating instead of admitting the problem. It is the Police’s ruination of discipline that disappoints the citizens: we witnessed when demonstrations turned into confrontations, the police staff, as seen in web livecasts, was suspected to have failed to observe the regulations in exercising their powers, such as intentionally hiding their identity, and applying force of a questionable level.

As civil servants, regardless of our political beliefs, we are obliged to show our allegiance to the Government, which is the principle of political neutrality. This summer in Hong Kong, however, is a cardinal moment where we stand at the crossroads of right and wrong and we cannot remain silent. If we do not face the root of the problem, we are not only disregarding our mission to serve the public, it would also be impossible to steer Hong Kong back onto the right track. Although advice when most needed is least heeded, we still wish to solemnly and humbly appeal to the Chief Executive to listen to the voice from the society and respond to the various demands of the civil society, including establishing an independent Commission of Inquiry (CoI) to investigate the various incidents originating from the Extradition Bill with fairness, openness and impartiality. The scope may include whether the handling of the amendment exercise was appropriate, whether the actions and strategies used by the Police on several occasions were proportionate, whether misconduct in public office was involved during the assault in Yuen Long, etc. This is the only way that Hong Kong will have the opportunity to reconcile, recover from the trauma and move forward again.

We also appeal for support from all police staff for the establishment of a CoI, so as to let the Police rebuild the mutual trust with the public. At the same time, we hope you can all continue to strictly comply with the Police Force Ordinance (Cap.232) and the Police General Orders to strive to become a role model for all citizens in “doing our utmost to uphold Hong Kong’s rule of law”.

Over the past month, people in Hong Kong have time and again reminded us of our aspiration to serve the society. People in Hong Kong can put their differences aside for the same ideal and walk with one another; people in Hong Kong can encourage and help one another despite being complete strangers in this darkest hour; people in Hong Kong should stay committed to their work while looking out for one another in this time of despair. We hold the principles of being an AO dearly to our hearts; but facing the immediate political crisis, we feel the obligation to voice out in a bid to guard the Government’s credibility and respectability.

It takes the one who tied the bell to untie it. If the people in power can listen to the voice of Hongkongers with a benevolent and generous attitude, the first step to right the wrongs will come into sight in no time. What Hong Kong needs now is a time to rebuild mutual trust, as well as to rest and recuperate. If the present predicament lingers, Hong Kong may be pushed into an even deeper crisis. We hope the people in power can carefully weigh the pros and cons with an open heart, and stalwartly stand by all Hongkongers.

We never forget the importance of upholding our political neutrality as AOs. However, the recent happenings have impressed upon the public that civil servants may no longer be politically neutral when performing their duties. It will pain us if we are to see the image of civil servants built across decades be destroyed in a flash. We have no intention to challenge the principle of political neutrality; yet, we trust it is vital to rebuild the mutual confidence between the people and the Government so as to bring the governance back on track and allow every civil servant to contribute to Hong Kong by staunchly discharging their duties.

ENDS

 

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