Today is the effective date of the National Anthem Ordinance (NAO), which has been published in the Gazette (June 12).
On November 4, 2017, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress amended Annex III of the Basic Law to the People’s Republic of China’s Law on National Anthem (National Anthem Law). In line with Article 18 of the Basic Law, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government has carried out its constitutional obligation to locally implement the National Anthem Law.
Government spokesperson: “The NAO’s main legislative goal is to encourage respect for the nation’s national anthem, which serves as both a standard and a code of conduct. It also offers advice on appropriate times to play and sing the song. The NAO forbids and penalizes public and deliberate actions with the goal to disrespect the national anthem, as well as the abuse of the national anthem, its words, or its musical composition. If one does not intentionally abuse the national anthem, its words, or its musical composition, or engage in any public acts that are intended to defame it, there is no need to worry about accidentally breaking the law.”
The spokesperson added, “The HKSAR Government has created a special webpage to inform the public about the content of the NAO and to provide the standard scores and official recordings of the 香港國歌 for occasions on which it must be played and sung. The HKSAR Government will increase its publicity and educational efforts for the national anthem. On social networking sites, official websites, and electronic media, the government will also release promotional films. In addition to the aforementioned, the Education Bureau will improve its instructional materials to better inform pupils on the significance of the national anthem, its history, and proper etiquette while playing and singing it.”
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