Council Meeting ( Agenda ) 26 June 2002

A 01/02-31

Legislative Council

Agenda


Wednesday 26 June 2002 at 2:30pm

I. Tabling of Papers

Subsidiary Legislation / InstrumentsL.N. No.
1.Child Abduction and Custody (Parties to Convention) (Amendment) Order 2002103/2002
2.Declaration of Mental Hospital (Consolidation) (Amendment of Schedule) Order 2002104/2002
3.Shipping and Port Control (Closure of Waters) Notice 2002105/2002


Other Papers
1. No.87-J.E. Joseph Trust Fund
Report for the period 1 April 2001 to 31 March 2002
(to be presented by Secretary for the Environment and Food)

2. No.88-Kadoorie Agricultural Aid Loan Fund
Report for the period 1 April 2001 to 31 March 2002
(to be presented by Secretary for the Environment and Food)

3. No.89-Report of the Independent Police Complaints Council 2001
(to be presented by Hon Eric LI, who will address the Council)

4. No.90-Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation
Annual Report 2001-2002
(to be presented by Secretary for Commerce and Industry)

5. Report of the Panel on Home Affairs 2001/2002
(to be presented by Hon IP Kwok-him, Chairman of the Panel, who will address the Council)

6. Report of the Bills Committee on Revenue Bill 2002 and Revenue (No. 2) Bill 2002
(to be presented by Hon Margaret NG, Chairman of the Bills Committee )

7. Report of the Bills Committee on Noise Control (Amendment) Bill 2001
(to be presented by Hon IP Kwok-him, Chairman of the Bills Committee )

8. Report of the Bills Committee on Employees Compensation Assistance (Amendment) Bill 2002
(to be presented by Hon Audrey EU, Chairman of the Bills Committee )


II. Questions

1. Hon Emily LAU to ask:


The Consul-General of the United States of America in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region ("SAR") said on 6 June that initiatives such as the proposed Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement with the Mainland and streamlining the operation of the boundary through co-location of customs and immigration officials on the Mainland side of the boundary have raised questions for the international community. He further stated that "it is essential that Hong Kong demonstrates clearly that these changes in the operation of 'One Country, Two Systems' will neither weaken Hong Kong's autonomy nor dilute its core values." In this connection, will the Executive Authorities inform this Council:
    (a)of the latest developments of the above two initiatives, and how these initiatives amount to changes in the operation of "One Country, Two Systems";

    (b)whether they are aware of expressions of similar concerns by other foreign government officials; if so, of the details of such concerns; and

    (c)how the SAR Government demonstrates to the international community that the above initiatives will not weaken SAR's autonomy or dilute its core values?
Public Officers to reply :Secretary for Commerce and Industry
Secretary for Security


2. Hon LAU Kong-wah to ask: (Translation)

It was reported that on 8th and 11th of this month respectively, an elderly man jumped onto the track at a MTR station and was crushed to death by a train and a young man plunged to his death from a building. Their badly mutilated bodies covered in blood were not removed from the scenes until after more than three hours, causing emotional disturbance to many passers-by who saw the dead bodies. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the general procedure and the time usually required for removing the dead bodies in respect of unnatural death or dead body found cases;

    (b)of the details concerning the handling of the dead bodies in the two cases, the reasons for taking more than three hours to remove them, and whether it was due to a shortage of manpower or communication problems between the departments concerned; and

    (c)whether it has reviewed if the departments concerned have made mistakes in handling the two cases, and whether it has considered other courses of actions which are more respectful of the feelings of the deceased's family members and cause less inconvenience to the public?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

3. Hon YEUNG Yiu-chung to ask: (Translation)

Recently, several University Grants Committee-funded universities have successively launched various early admission schemes for Secondary Six ("S6") students who have obtained outstanding results in the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination for first degree course studies in the coming academic year. In this regard, will the Government inform this Council whether it knows:
    (a)the respective admission requirements and procedures stipulated by the universities for these schemes and, in respect of the coming academic year, the target number of top S6 students planned to be admitted, the respective numbers of applications received and students admitted so far by each university;

    (b)if the authorities concerned have received complaints about such schemes; if so, of the details; and

    (c)the measures the authorities concerned will take to prevent such schemes from affecting the operation of the Joint Universities Programme Admission System?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education and Manpower

4. Hon Tommy CHEUNG to ask: (Translation)

The former Financial Secretary stated in August 2000 that Hong Kong was well placed to develop into a wine distribution hub of Asia and encouraged wine producers from different parts of the world to set up their operations in Hong Kong. Moreover, the Trade and Industry Bureau together with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council had also commissioned a consultancy study on Hong Kong's prospects in this area. Regarding the policy objective of developing Hong Kong into a wine distribution hub of Asia, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it is still actively pursuing this objective; if not, of the reasons for that; and of the expenditure on research incurred so far in this regard;

    (b)of the recommendations proposed in the consultancy report and, whether it has formulated specific measures and timetables for implementing such recommendations; if it has, of the results achieved by such measures so far; and

    (c)whether, in addition to the overseas publicity programmes launched abroad by the Economic and Trade Offices in overseas countries and the Hong Kong Tourism Board, it will adopt other measures to help achieve the above policy objective?
Public Officers to reply : Secretary for Commerce and Industry

5. Hon LAU Ping-cheung to ask: (Translation)

It has been reported that, at a hearing of a recent fraud case, a prosecution witness disclosed that a Senior Land Executive of the Lands Department had told some persons from the private sector on a private occasion that an application for change of land use in respect of a particular land development plan, if made, would stand a good chance of being approved. Subsequently, a bank granted a loan for the development plan, but in the end the plan was not approved by the Lands Department. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:
    (a)there are guidelines governing government employees' attendance at functions which are commercial in nature or those which may give rise to conflicts of interests; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

    (b)the land executive concerned had informed his superior before attending that private occasion, and whether he had been authorized to comment to outside persons on the development of the land in question; and

    (c)follow-up actions will be taken against the land executive; if so, of the details?
Public Officers to reply :Secretary for Planning and Lands
Secretary for the Civil Service


*6. Hon CHAN Kwok-keung to ask: (Translation)

It has been reported that a computer game software featuring violence and triad society activities as its background story will be released during this summer holidays, and the contents of the software may contravene the Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance (Cap. 390). In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:
    (a)the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority ("TELA") has carried out investigation to find out if the publication of the contents of the software may violate the law; if so, of the results;

    (b)it knows the release date of the software in Hong Kong;

    (c)TELA has any mechanism to preview and judge if the contents of soon-to-be-released computer game softwares violate the law; if so, of the details; and

    (d)it will consider introducing legislative amendments to require that computer game softwares be sent to the authorities concerned for assessing whether their contents contain obscene or violent elements before they are released?
Public Officers to reply : Secretary for Information Technology and Broadcasting

*7. Hon NG Leung-sing to ask: (Translation)

It has been reported that, upon the announcement by an international credit rating ("CR") agency of its CR reports on a number of listed companies during the trading hours of the local stock exchange on 21st of last month, the stock prices of the companies concerned plunged immediately. Regarding CR agencies, will the Government inform this Council whether:
    (a)mechanisms or measures are in place for regulating these international CR agencies' procedure for announcing CR reports and to ensure the impartiality, objectivity and transparency of such reports; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

    (b)it knows how overseas regulatory bodies regulate CR agencies; and

    (c)it knows if the relevant authorities plan to promote the development of locally-established CR agencies; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officers to reply : Secretary for Financial Services

*8. Hon Henry WU to ask: (Translation)

Following the "911" incident last year, enhanced security measures, including the ban on the carriage of any sharp or bladed objects into the aircraft cabin, have been adopted at the Hong Kong International Airport ("HKIA"). Accordingly, articles for personal use such as nail clippers, nail files and tweezers exceeding certain lengths or in certain shapes ("such articles") are not allowed in the aircraft cabin, and they can only be carried in check-in baggage. When staff responsible for security checks in the Airport Restricted Area find that boarding passengers have carried such articles with them, they will seize these articles and instruct the passengers concerned to reclaim them, within a time limit of seven days, at the relevant airline counters at the airport when they return to Hong Kong. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the criteria the Civil Aviation Department has adopted in drawing up the list of articles not allowable in the aircraft cabin;

    (b)of the reasons for specifying the seven-day time limit for reclaiming such articles; the disposal methods for the articles not reclaimed upon expiry of the time limit; and, since September last year, the number of such articles which have not been reclaimed;

    (c)whether it is aware of the respective international airports which have put in place the same stringent stipulation concerning articles not allowable in the aircraft cabin and the time limit for reclaiming such articles; if there are none, of the reasons for adopting such stringent stipulation;

    (d)whether it knows if other international airports have adopted practices different from the above concerning boarding passengers' carriage of such articles, such as by pooling these articles, storing them in the luggage bay and allowing passengers to reclaim them upon disembarkation; if so, of the details of such practices and the justifications for not adopting them in HKIA;

    (e)of the number of complaints about the above measure received from flight passengers so far; and

    (f)whether it has reviewed if the above stipulation will cause inconvenience to passengers not carrying check-in baggage, especially business travellers who are in a hurry and those not returning to Hong Kong through HKIA, and whether it will formulate improvement measures; if it has, of the conclusion; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officers to reply : Secretary for Security

*9. Hon Cyd HO to ask:

On April 29 this year, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region ("HKSAR") Government and the Guangdong Provincial ("GP") Government issued a joint statement, expressing their consensus to improve the air quality in the Pearl River Delta ("PRD") Region by reducing the regional emissions of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, respirable suspended particulates and volatile organic compounds by 40%, 20%, 55% and 55% respectively by 2010, using 1997 as the base year, and forecasting that, if these emission reduction targets are achieved, HKSAR will be able to meet its current Air Quality Objectives ("AQOs") by 2010. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the respective average percentage of each type of air pollutants that currently comes from cross-boundary sources, as measured locally in HKSAR and in other parts of PRD Region;

    (b)of the extent to which the current AQOs for HKSAR have been met;

    (c)of a detailed account of how the above emission reduction targets are set; and

    (d)whether it has discussed with the GP Government the making of concerted efforts to utilize renewable energy sources, with a view to further reducing the emissions from power stations; if so, of the progress; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officers to reply : Secretary for the Environment and Food

*10. Hon Fred LI to ask: (Translation)

Regarding the safety standards adopted for the regulation of beauty products, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the reasons for its decision to adopt the Mainland's standards as the standards for testing the safety of beauty products in Hong Kong; whether it has consulted experts before making the decision; if it has, of the kinds of experts it has consulted and their advice; if not, the reasons for that;

    (b)of the countries or national standards institutes whose safety standards on beauty products are recognized by the Customs and Excise Department ("C&ED") as "reasonable safety standards"; how these safety standards compare to those of the Mainland;

    (c)of the current channels through which the authorities inform members of the public, importers and distributors of beauty products of these "reasonable safety standards";

    (d)whether beauty products are required to comply with the safety standards set by their countries of origin before they can be imported into or sold in Hong Kong, or they are only required to comply with any one set of the safety standards recognized by C&ED; and

    (e)given the absence of a unified set of safety standards and system for safety tests, how C&ED ensures that all imported beauty products put up for sale in Hong Kong meet the "reasonable safety standards"?
Public Officers to reply : Secretary for Economic Services

*11. Hon Albert CHAN to ask: (Translation)

At present, some land leases have clauses requiring the real estate developers concerned to provide certain public facilities on the sites concerned. It is learnt that after lands are granted, some real estate developers do not start the works on building the facilities in a timely manner, and they even put off the works until close to the deadline. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the number of real estate developers, over the past three years, who have failed to complete the public facilities concerned within the specified time limits as stipulated in the clauses of the land leases, the descriptions of the development projects, the names of the developers, as well as the type of the public facilities involved, and the specified and actual dates of their completion; and

    (b)whether it will consider stipulating in future land leases that occupation permits will not be issued to real estate developers until after the completion of the public facilities concerned, so as to protect the public interest; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officers to reply : Secretary for Planning and Lands

*12. Hon LAU Kong-wah to ask: (Translation)

Will the Government inform this Council whether it has considered following the Mainland's practice of erecting barriers or planting trees to divide two-way expressways to prevent the headlamps of vehicles from dazzling the drivers of vehicles moving in opposite directions, so as to reduce the occurrence of traffic accidents; if not, of the reasons for that? Public Officers to reply : Secretary for Transport

*13. Hon Emily LAU to ask: (Translation)

Some members of the public have complained about the difficulty in listening clearly to radio broadcasts inside some of the road tunnels. In this connection, will the Executive Authorities inform this Council whether:
    (a)they know the causes of the above problem; and

    (b)they have measures to improve the above situation?
Public Officers to reply : Secretary for Transport

*14. Hon Cyd HO to ask:

At present, the Respirable Suspended Particulates ("RSP") concentration, in respect of which an air quality objective ("AQO") has been set, is measured by the total weight of particulates with an aerodynamic diameter of less than 10 micrometres (known as "PM10") in every cubic metre of air. Regarding the air quality standards adopted for AQOs, will the Government inform this Council whether it will:
    (a)replace the existing AQO for RSP concentration with one which is based on PM2.5; if it will, of the implementation timetable; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (b)raise the air quality standards adopted for AQOs with reference to the tolerance concentrations for pollutants set by the World Health Organisation in its Guidelines for Air Quality; if it will, of the implementation timetable; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officers to reply : Secretary for the Environment and Food

*15. Hon YEUNG Yiu-chung to ask: (Translation)

Regarding the supply and demand for Secondary One places, will the Government inform this Council of:
    (a)the respective numbers of Secondary One places in each secondary school net in the past two, the current and the next school years; and

    (b)the respective numbers of Primary Six school boys and girls in each secondary school net in the current school year?
Public Officers to reply : Secretary for Education and Manpower

*16. Hon Henry WU to ask: (Translation)

Regarding measures to attract operators with innovative business practices to operate in Housing Authority's ("HA") shop premises, will the Government inform this Council whether it knows if HA:
    (a)has measures to encourage such operators to operate in its shop premises; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

    (b)will consider ways other than tendering to let out shop premises to such operators; and

    (c)has measures to ensure that the innovative business practices will not be divulged to outsiders during the tenancy negotiation process?
Public Officers to reply : Secretary for Housing

*17. Hon TAM Yiu-chung to ask: (Translation)

Given that all rent control measures were abolished with effect from 1 January 1999, will the Government inform this Council whether it will consider taking measures to minimize its intervention in tenancy matters of private properties, such as:
    (a)reviewing the provision which gives tenants security of tenure; and

    (b)removing the stipulation which requires landlords of non-domestic premises who do not intend to renew the tenancy agreements with their tenants to serve a Notice of Termination of Tenancies not less than six months before the day on which the Notice is to take effect?
Public Officers to reply : Secretary for Housing

*18. Hon LAW Chi-kwong to ask: (Translation)

Regarding the Drainage Services Department's plan to build a sewage treatment plant at Ngong Ping on Lantau Island and to discharge the treated effluent into the sea via Tai O, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it has widely consulted residents in Tai O and the Islands District Council on the plan; if so, of the details of the consultations;

    (b)of the chemicals used in the tertiary treatment of the sewage; whether it has estimated the concentrations of such chemicals in the treated effluent before it is discharged into the sea; and

    (c)as the Administration has stated that, according to the environmental impact assessment report on the plan, the potential impacts arising from various aspects of the project will be within the established environmental targets, of the relevant details of the report?
Public Officers to reply : Secretary for the Environment and Food

*19. Hon TAM Yiu-chung to ask: (Translation)

In view of the several cases of burst potable water mains and salt water mains recently, will the Government inform this Council of:
    (a)the number of cases of burst water mains, and the respective numbers of them which resulted in disruption of water supply and traffic congestion, in each of the past three years;

    (b)(i)the total length of underground water mains replaced by the Water Supplies Department ("WSD") for preventing pipe-burst; and

    (ii)to prevent road excavation works from endangering the water mains nearby, the respective numbers of times WSD issued instructions and warnings to the contractors concerned before the works commenced and during the progress of the works,

    in each of the past three years; and

    (c)the specific measures, apart from the proposed plan to replace and repair aged water mains of about 3 050 km in length by phases within 20 years, to prevent the pipe-burst problem from getting worse?
Public Officers to reply : Secretary for Works

*For written reply.

IIA. Statements

Review of Remuneration of Senior Executives of Major Statutory and Other Bodies

:Chief Secretary for Administration

III. Bills

Second Reading (Debates to resume), Committee Stage and Third Reading


1. Revenue Bill 2002 : Secretary for the Treasury

2. Revenue (No. 2) Bill 2002 : Secretary for the Treasury

3. Noise Control (Amendment) Bill 2001 : Secretary for the Environment and Food

4. Employees Compensation Assistance (Amendment) Bill 2002 : Secretary for Education and Manpower

IV. Motions

  1. Proposed resolution under the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance

    Secretary for Health and Welfare to move the following motion:


  2. RESOLVED that -
    (a)the Pharmacy and Poisons (Amendment)(No. 2) Regulation 2002; and

    (b)the Poisons List (Amendment)(No. 2) Regulation 2002,

    made by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board on 28 May 2002 be approved.

      (The two Regulations have been issued on 4 June 2002
      under LC Paper No. CB(3) 680/01-02)
  • Proposed resolution under the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance

    Secretary for Education and Manpower to move the following motion:


  • RESOLVED that the Factories and Industrial Undertakings (Woodworking Machinery)(Amendment) Regulation 2002, made by the Commissioner for Labour on 5 June 2002, be approved.
      (The Factories and Industrial Undertakings
      (Woodworking Machinery)(Amendment) Regulation 2002
      has been issued on 6 June 2002 under LC Paper No. CB(3) 694/01-02)


  • Proposed resolution under the Buildings Ordinance

    Secretary for Planning and Lands to move the following motion:


  • RESOLVED that the Fifth Schedule to the Buildings Ordinance be amended -
      (a)by repealing area number 3 and substituting -
      "3. The railway protection areas along the Mass Transit Railway lines being -

      (a)the areas delineated and shown edged black on the plans numbered MTR/G/1 to 3, MTR/RP/1 to 22, MTR/RP/25 to 27, MTR/RP/30 to 46, MTR/RP/50 to 55, MTR/RP/60 to 66 and MTR/RP/101 to 170, dated 29 June 1998, signed by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands and deposited in the Land Registry; and

      (b)the areas delineated and shown edged black on the plans numbered MTR/G/4, MTR/RP/23 Rev. A, MTR/RP/24 Rev. A, MTR/RP/28 Rev. A, MTR/RP/29 Rev. A, MTR/RP/56 Rev. A, MTR/RP/57 Rev. A, MTR/RP/58 Rev. A, MTR/RP/59 Rev. A and MTR/RP/202 to 223, dated 29 May 2002, signed by the Secretary for Planning and Lands and deposited in the Land Registry.";
      (b)in area number 4, by repealing"以".
    V. Members' Motions

    1. Report on Higher Education in Hong Kong

      Hon YEUNG Yiu-chung:
    2. (Translation)

      That this Council notes the report of the University Grants Committee entitled "Higher Education in Hong Kong".

      Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Education and Manpower

    3. Local community economy

      Hon Mrs Sophie LEUNG:
    4. (Translation)

      That, in order to promote Hong Kong's economy and domestic consumption and to create more employment opportunities, this Council urges that, to complement the overall socio-economic situation, the Government adopt proactive measures to promote the development of the local community economy and spare no efforts in improving the business environment, in order to strengthen the local community economy.

      Amendments to Hon Mrs Sophie LEUNG's motion

      (i) Hon CHAN Yuen-han:
      (Translation)

      To add "diversified development of" after "That, in order to promote"; to delete "adopt proactive measures" after "the Government", and substitute with "amend outdated policies and statutory requirements, enhance co-ordination among the various departments and optimize the use of existing local resources, so as"; and to delete "improving the" after "and spare no efforts in", and substitute with "creating a better and fair".

      (ii) Hon Fred LI: (Translation)

      To delete "improving the" after "spare no efforts in", and substitute with "creating a better"; to add "with a level playing field" after "business environment"; and to delete "strengthen" after "in order to", and substitute with "enable small and medium enterprises to participate actively in".

      Public Officer to attend : Financial Secretary

    Clerk to the Legislative Council