Hong Kong Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang has disclosed that last year, 129 civil servants refused to swear allegiance to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), resulting in the loss of their jobs.

 According to Tsang, about 180,000 serving civil officials have signed the declaration promising to uphold the Basic Law, bear allegiance and responsibility to the Hong Kong government, and be dedicated to their responsibilities.

He added that the 129 who failed to take the oath without reasonable explanation had left their jobs by the end of last year “for various reasons.” This included termination of probationary service under the Civil Service Regulations, retirement in the public interest under section 12 of the Public Service Order, resignation, or dismissal due to misconduct.

Additionally, Tsang said as of last August, 149 full-time and 386 part-time non-civil service staff had also left their jobs in the government.

Liang, a person who chose to hand in her resignation letter before the authorities issued the oath declaration, told BBC that she fears she would be forced to do something “against her moral conscience” if she remained in the civil service. She said that, in the future, they would become a target if they didn’t cooperate and suppress dissenters.

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