Council Meeting (Agenda) 29 June 2005


A 04/05-35

Legislative Council

Agenda

Wednesday 29 June 2005 at 11:00 am

I. Tabling of Papers

1. No.95-Report of the Independent Police Complaints Council 2004
(to be presented by Hon Alan LEONG Kah-kit, who will address the Council)

2. No.96-Report by the Commissioner of Correctional Services on the administration of the Prisoners' Welfare Fund for the year ended 31 March 2005
(to be presented by Secretary for Security)

3. No.97-Airport Authority Hong Kong Annual Report 2004/2005
(to be presented by Financial Secretary)

4. No.98-Hong Kong Trade Development Council Annual Report 2004/05
(to be presented by Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology)

5. Report of the Finance Committee on the examination of the Estimates of Expenditure 2005-06
(to be presented by Hon Emily LAU, Chairman of the Finance Committee, who will address the Council)

6. Report of the Panel on Information Technology and Broadcasting 2004/2005
(to be presented by Hon SIN Chung-kai, Chairman of the Panel, who will address the Council)

7. Report of the Bills Committee on Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2005
(to be presented by Hon Margaret NG, Chairman of the Bills Committee)

8. Report of the Bills Committee on Companies (Amendment) Bill 2004
(to be presented by Hon Audrey EU, Chairman of the Bills Committee)

9. Report of the Bills Committee on Transfer of Sentenced Persons (Amendment) (Macau) Bill
(to be presented by Hon James TO, Chairman of the Bills Committee)

10. Report of the Bills Committee on Aviation Security (Amendment) Bill 2005
(to be presented by Hon Margaret NG, Chairman of the Bills Committee)

11. Report of the Bills Committee on Child Care Services (Amendment) Bill 2005
(to be presented by Dr Hon YEUNG Sum, Chairman of the Bills Committee)

12. Report of the Bills Committee on Undesirable Medical Advertisements (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2004
(to be presented by Hon Mrs Selina CHOW, Chairman of the Bills Committee)


IA. Addresses

Hon Miriam LAU to address the Council on Road Traffic (Safety Equipment) (Amendment) Regulation 2005, Road Traffic (Traffic Control) (Amendment) Regulation 2005, Road Traffic (Registration and Licensing of Vehicles) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulation 2005 and Road Traffic (Construction and Maintenance of Vehicles) (Amendment) Regulation 2005, which are subsidiary legislation laid on the Table of the Council on 11 May 2005.

II. Questions

1. Hon Martin LEE to ask: (Translation)

In announcing his platform during the election campaign, the new Chief Executive proposed to reorganize the Executive Council ("ExCo"). In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)how and when ExCo will be reorganized and of the changes in its functions and roles after reorganization;

    (b)whether it will study changing the rules of confidentiality and collective responsibility of ExCo, so as to tie in with political openness and the development of party politics; and

    (c)how the reorganization of ExCo will help the Government improve its governance and to enhance the Government's accountability to the public?
Public Officer to reply : Chief Secretary for Administration

2. Hon LEUNG Kwok-hung to ask:
(Translation)

Since the commencement of the Bankruptcy (Amendment) Ordinance 1996 on 1 April 1998, any person who has been adjudged bankrupt for the first time will be automatically discharged from bankruptcy on the expiration of the period of four years after the date of the bankruptcy order, without having to apply to the court for a discharge. Not less than three months before the end of the relevant period, the trustee (normally the Official Receiver) shall publish a notice in the newspaper to give creditors a chance to raise an objection to the discharge of bankruptcy. Where the court is satisfied that the trustee or any of the bankrupt's creditors has made a valid objection, the court may order that the bankruptcy period be extended for a period not exceeding four years. A person who had been adjudged bankrupt for more than nine years at the time the Amendment Ordinance commenced operation has complained to me about the refusal by the Official Receiver's Office ("ORO") to allow him to be automatically discharged from bankruptcy in accordance with the new provision. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of:
    (a)the respective numbers of persons who had been adjudged bankrupt for more than four years and eight years when the Amendment Ordinance came into operation on 1 April 1998, and how many of them were respectively automatically discharged from bankruptcy within or after a period of one year since the commencement of the Amendment Ordinance;

    (b)the ORO's total expenditure on publishing the above newspaper notices to creditors in respect of bankrupts who had been adjudged bankrupt for more than eight years within the first year of the commencement of the Amendment Ordinance, as well as the amounts of payments the ORO received from such bankrupts for debt repayment purposes during the same period; and

    (c)the reasons for the ORO not allowing bankrupts who have been adjudged bankrupt for many years to be expeditiously discharged from bankruptcy pursuant to the spirit of the Amendment Ordinance and the Report on Bankruptcy by the Law Reform Commission of Hong Kong, to enable them to lead a new life; and the number of complaints the ORO has received in this respect?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

3. Hon Emily LAU to ask:
(Translation)

It has been reported that a woman's skeleton was only discovered in a residential flat four-odd years after she had died. After investigations, the Police did not bring charge against anyone, and neither did the Coroner hold a death inquest. The younger sister of the deceased has pointed out that there are a lot of questionable points in the case and some crucial exhibits are even missing. She therefore suspects that the Police and the Coroner have not handled the case in an impartial manner. In this connection, will the Executive Authorities inform this Council:
    (a)of the reasons for the Police's terminating investigation into the case and for the Coroner's not holding a death inquest into the case;

    (b)whether they have assessed the impact of the way the Police investigated the case and their findings, as well as the Coroner's not holding a death inquest into the case, on the image of the Police and the Judiciary; if so, of the assessment results; and

    (c)given that the case has aroused public concerns, whether the Police will re-open the investigation into the case?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

4. Hon Albert CHAN to ask:
(Translation)

I have recently received a number of complaints about the nuisances caused to the residents (especially women) by whoremongers visiting female prostitutes in the flats of single private residential buildings (commonly known as "one-woman brothels"), who often ring the wrong doorbells, wait at the staircases or loiter on nearby streets. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it has estimated the number of women currently engaged in prostitution in one-woman brothels;

    (b)of the respective numbers of complaints received by the authorities about the nuisances relating to one-woman brothels, enforcement actions taken against such establishments, prosecutions instituted as a result and the conviction rate in each of the past three years; and

    (c)besides the Police's actions to crackdown on prostitutes soliciting in the streets and on criminal syndicates which control prostitution activities, of the measures to tackle the problem of residents being disturbed by such activities?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

5. Hon LEUNG Yiu-chung to ask:
(Translation)

The Government is currently buying places from private residential care homes for the elderly ("RCHEs") through the Bought Place Scheme and Enhanced Bought Place Scheme for accommodating the elderly in need. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it currently regulates the remuneration and working hours of the employees in those RCHEs participating in the above schemes; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

    (b)given that private RCHEs participating in the schemes concerned are required to submit staff employment records, of the statistical figures on these RCHEs compiled on the basis of the relevant records, including the respective numbers of home manager, nurse, health worker, care worker and ancillary worker, etc, their respective average monthly salaries as well as the median and average daily working hours; and

    (c)given that the authorities have imposed requirements in respect of the terms of employment for non-skilled workers employed by contractors of outsourced government services, which include eight hours of work and the requirement that the monthly wages shall not be lower than the average monthly wages for the relevant industries or occupations as published in the Census and Statistics Department's updated Quarterly Report of Wage and Payroll Statistics at the time when the tenders are invited, whether the authorities will consider extending these requirements to cover employees of those private RCHEs participating in the above schemes; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food

6. Hon CHEUNG Hok-ming to ask:
(Translation)

Given the chronic problem of traffic congestion in the northern part of the Hong Kong Island, including Causeway Bay, the Government has proposed to build the Central-Wanchai Bypass ("CWB") as a long-term solution to the problem. Nevertheless, there is still no timetable for implementing the proposal. Besides, in carrying out works to reconstruct the Causeway Bay Flyover and widen Victoria Park Road, the Government has implemented a number of temporary re-routing measures, which have, however, caused chaos during the initial stage of their implementation and worsened the traffic congestion problem. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:
    (a)it has looked into the causes of the above chaos and reviewed the effectiveness of the re-routing measures; if so, of the results; and

    (b)the authorities have a contingency plan to alleviate traffic congestion in the northern part of the Hong Kong Island in the event that the construction of CWB cannot be implemented?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works

*7. Hon James TO to ask:
(Translation)

Regarding the involvement of representatives of the Housing Authority in the management of the Tenants Purchase Scheme estates, will the Government inform this Council of:
    (a)their duties at the annual general meetings of incorporated owners ("IO") and as elected members of the management committees of IO; and

    (b)the criteria on which they base their decisions when voting at the annual general meetings and management committee meetings of IO?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands

*8. Hon Bernard CHAN to ask:


I learnt that the Food and Drug Administration of the United States of America is asking makers and distributors of drugs to adopt the radio frequency identification technology ("RFID") to address the issues of combating counterfeit drugs, establishing a better track record of drugs and facilitating the monitoring of their expiry dates. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the measures currently adopted by the authorities to address the above issues; and

    (b)whether it will consider adopting RFID to address these issues?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food

*9. Hon LEE Cheuk-yan to ask:
(Translation)

Section 12A of the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Ordinance (Cap. 485) provides that certain amounts relating to severance payments and long service payments may be paid from accrued benefits of mandatory provident fund ("MPF") schemes. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of the respective numbers of cases, in each year since the commencement of the MPF Schemes, in which payments were made by approved trustees of registered MPF schemes to the relevant employers or employees in accordance with the above provision, as well as the respective total amounts of payments involved, together with a breakdown of these cases by the respective percentages of such payments in the total amount of the employers' contributions to the schemes concerned, and in the aggregate value of the MPF accrued benefits concerned at the time of payments? Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

*10. Hon WONG Kwok-hing to ask:
(Translation)

Regarding the number and distribution of licensed hawkers in Hong Kong, as well as management of hawkers, will the Government inform this Council of the following in each of the past ten years:
    (a)the respective numbers of fixed pitch hawker licences and itinerant hawker licences issued in Hong Kong, together with a breakdown by the 18 administrative districts, licence type, age of licensees (in groups each covering ten years), licence period (in groups each covering five years) and location of fixed pitch hawker bazaars;

    (b)the respective manning scales of Hawker Control Teams ("HCTs"), district HCT squads and Hawker Control Task Forces, as well as the funding provisions for expenditure on HCTs;

    (c)the number of convictions resulting from the enforcement actions taken by HCTs, together with a breakdown of the convicted persons by sex and age (in groups each covering ten years), licence type (including "unlicenced hawkers"), the offences involved and the number of times of repeated convictions for the same offence;

    (d)the number of cases involving confrontations between HCT staff taking enforcement actions and members of the public, and the respective numbers of resultant injuries involving the public and HCT staff; and

    (e)the respective numbers of hawker licences suspended or cancelled, broken down by licence type, the 18 administrative districts and reasons for suspension, as well as the number of cancelled licences surrendered by licensees voluntarily, together with a breakdown by licence type and the 18 administrative districts?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food

*11. Hon CHEUNG Man-kwong to ask:
(Translation)

Regarding the specialized teaching grant to be released by the Education and Manpower Bureau from the 2005-06 school year, will the Government inform this Council of:
    (a)the number of schools eligible for the grant and, among them, the number of those which have applied for it;

    (b)the deadline for processing the applications of the grant; and

    (c)the present position regarding the processing of such applications, including the respective numbers of schools whose applications have been approved, are being processed or have been rejected, with detailed reasons for their rejection?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education and Manpower

*12. Hon Andrew CHENG to ask:
(Translation)

Regarding the additional income derived from new and increased fees for medical services in public hospitals, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the annual additional income the relevant authorities received from new and increased medical fees in public hospitals since 2002, broken down by various charging items, as well as the amount and percentage of such additional income allocated to the Hospital Authority ("HA");

    (b)of the annual administrative expenses incurred by HA in charging new fees and processing fee waiver applications; and

    (c)whether the authorities have considered allocating to HA the entire additional income derived from any future increase in medical fees?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food

*13. Hon Albert HO to ask:
(Translation)

Under section 7 of the Government Rights (Re-entry and Vesting Remedies) Ordinance (Cap. 126), if owners of lands or tenements default on paying Government rent, the authorized public officer (i.e. Director of Lands) may register a vesting notice in the Land Registry, thereby vesting the ownership of the lands or tenements concerned in The Financial Secretary Incorporated, free from any mortgage, charge or lien. Given that The Financial Secretary Incorporated will not be responsible for the charges and fees such as the building management fees of which the former owners of tenements have defaulted on payment before the vesting of ownership, the owners' corporations or property managers of the buildings in which the tenements concerned are located are unable to recover those defaulted payments following the vesting of the ownership of such tenements and may therefore suffer loss. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the number of times in which the Director of Lands exercised in the past three years the power conferred by the Ordinance mentioned above as a result of owners of tenements defaulting on paying Government rent, and the number of such tenements which had entries of encumbrances such as mortgages or charges in their land registration records;

    (b)given that the practice of the Director of Lands to vest ownership in the authorities may result in a third party who has not done anything wrong incurring loss, whether it has assessed if such a practice has contravened Article 105 of the Basic Law which stipulates that "The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall, in accordance with law, protect the right of individuals and legal persons......to compensation for lawful deprivation of their property"; and

    (c)given that owners' corporations or property managers have tried their best to protect their own interests by registering in the Land Registry charges against those flats the owners of which have defaulted on payments, and in order to prevent owners' corporations or property managers from suffering loss, whether the authorities will consider amending the above Ordinance to allow them to apply to the court for relief against the vesting of ownership?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands

*14. Hon MA Lik to ask:
(Translation)

Will the Government inform this Council of the standing mechanisms for cooperation or notification between the Government of the HKSAR and the Mainland authorities at present and, for each of these mechanisms, the purposes and date of its establishment, its updated membership list, the number of meetings held in the past two years and the matters discussed? Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Constitutional Affairs

*15. Dr Hon KWOK Ka-ki to ask:
(Translation)

Regarding the education and scientific research projects conducted by the University of Hong Kong ("HKU"), including those of its Faculty of Medicine, in collaboration with the private organizations, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it knows the names of the private organizations taking part in the above projects;

    (b)whether it knows if HKU has established a mechanism for declaration of interests applicable to the senior management of HKU and staff of the HKU's Faculty of Medicine who drew up and/or participated in the relevant projects, as well as a mechanism for approving the post-retirement/service employment with the private organizations for such staff; if it has such an approval mechanism, of the list of the former HKU staff who made applications in accordance with the mechanism in the past three years and the collaboration items involved, as well as the posts in the private organizations which they intended to take up and the results of their applications; if it has not established such a mechanism, the reasons for that; and

    (c)whether it has monitored the use of public funds provided for the relevant projects, and laid down any regulations and guidelines to ensure the professional autonomy of HKU and prevent the shift of public funds to activities involving private organizations; if it has, of the relevant details; if not, how the authorities prevent the professional autonomy of HKU from being affected and the shift of public funds to other usages?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education and Manpower

*16. Hon CHAN Yuen-han to ask:
(Translation)

Will the Government provide a table setting out the following regarding the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance ("CSSA") Scheme in each of the past ten years: the respective numbers of male and female recipients, their district of residence, education, age, ethnicity, household size, whether they were public housing tenants, whether they had resided in Hong Kong for seven years or more, whether they had any criminal record, the number of times they had received CSSA payments, the period during which they had received CSSA continuously and the CSSA categories involved? Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food

*17. Hon LEE Wing-tat to ask:
(Translation)

On the reduction of effluent discharge, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it has set a specific target on the volume of effluent discharge to be reduced;

    (b)whether it will encourage the public to reduce effluent discharge; if so, of the relevant policies and measures; and

    (c)of the percentage of flushing cisterns installed in public toilets which are capable of operating at different discharge capacities, as well as the measures in place to encourage the installation of more flushing cisterns with such a feature?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works

*18. Dr Hon Joseph LEE Kok-long to ask:
(Translation)

It has been reported that the obesity rate of children and young people aged between six and 18 rose from 16.1% in 1995-96 to 17.8% in 2002-03, and the age profile of diabetes cases has also become younger. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the respective numbers of children and young people who were diagnosed in each of the past five years with diseases closely related to obesity, such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, heart disease and diabetes mellitus, with a breakdown by their body mass indexes and the age groups to which they belonged;

    (b)whether the authorities will evaluate and rate the lunchboxes provided to children in schools by food suppliers based on the conformity of their nutrition composition to the principle of healthy eating, so as to facilitate schools and students in making appropriate choices when ordering lunchboxes; if they will, of the timing for introducing such evaluation and rating scheme; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)given that the existing guidelines on healthy menu issued by the Department of Health for food suppliers' reference are not binding on such suppliers, whether the authorities have conducted any studies on the feasibility of regulating food compositions of school lunchboxes by legislation to ensure that students will have balanced nutrition; if they have, of the results of the studies; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food

*19. Dr Hon Fernando CHEUNG to ask:
(Translation)

According to the Government's reply to my question on 1 June 2005, over half of the recipients of disability allowance ("DA") are in the category of "any other conditions resulting in total disablement". In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)given that earning capacity is the key consideration in approving applications for DA, whether it keeps statistics on the number of DA recipients who are currently employed; if it has, of the number; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (b)of a breakdown by the illnesses/disabilities suffered by the recipients on the number of cases, and their respective percentages, in the category of "any other conditions resulting in total disablement"?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food

*20. Hon Howard YOUNG to ask:
(Translation)

With the upturn of the global economy and the implementation of the Individual Visit Scheme in the Mainland, the number of inbound tourists has been increasing. In order to cope with the continuous growth in the number of tourists in future, many commercial and factory buildings have been converted into hotels/guesthouses, whilst some small guesthouses are operating in private buildings and even hourly hotels also receive tourists. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the measures to monitor these small and medium-sized hotels/guesthouses;

    (b)of the number of applications for conversion of commercial and factory buildings into hotels received over the past three years, and the number of hotel rooms involved; and

    (c)whether it will consider requiring all hotels to be registered with creditable organizations, such as the Hong Kong Hotels Association, before they can operate, so as to safeguard the rights and benefits of tourists and travel agents?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Home Affairs

*For written reply.

III. Bills

First Reading


Financial Reporting Council Bill

Second Reading (Debate to be adjourned)

Financial Reporting Council Bill : Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

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

1.Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2005 :Secretary for Justice

2.Supplementary Appropriation (2004-2005) Bill :Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

3.Companies (Amendment) Bill 2004 :Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

4.Transfer of Sentenced Persons (Amendment) (Macau) Bill :Secretary for Security

5.Aviation Security (Amendment) Bill 2005 :Secretary for Security

6.Child Care Services (Amendment) Bill 2005 :Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food

7.Undesirable Medical Advertisements (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2004 :Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food

IV. Motions

  1. Proposed resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

    Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works to move the following motion:

    RESOLVED that -

      (a)the Road Traffic (Traffic Control)(Amendment) Regulation 2005, published in the Gazette as Legal Notice No. 66 of 2005 and laid on the table of the Legislative Council on 11 May 2005, be amended in section 3 by repealing the new regulation 53A(6)(b) and substituting -

      "(b)the Commissioner may impose such other conditions of the exemption relating to -

      (i)the regulation of road traffic;

      (ii)the use of vehicles; or

      (iii)the use of roads,

      as he considers necessary.";

      (b)the Road Traffic (Registration and Licensing of Vehicles)(Amendment)(No. 2) Regulation 2005, published in the Gazette as Legal Notice No. 67 of 2005 and laid on the table of the Legislative Council on 11 May 2005, be amended in section 2(b) by repealing the new regulation 53(3A)(b) and substituting -

      "(b)such other conditions relating to -

      (i)the regulation of road traffic;

      (ii)the use of vehicles; or

      (iii)the use of roads,

      as the Commissioner considers necessary.".

  2. Proposed resolution under the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance

    Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food to move the following motion:

    RESOLVED that the following Regulations, made by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board on 4 June 2005, be approved -

    (a)the Pharmacy and Poisons (Amendment)(No. 2) Regulation 2005; and

    (b)the Poisons List (Amendment)(No. 2) Regulation 2005.

    (The two Regulations have been issued on 9 June 2005
    under LC Paper No. CB(3) 684/04-05)

V. Members' Bills

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

The Methodist Church, Hong Kong, Incorporation (Amendment) Bill 2005 : Hon LAU Chin-shek

VI. Members' Motions

  1. Enhancing the regulation of commercial marketing practices

    Hon CHAN Kam-lam: (Translation)

    That, as the practice of direct marketing has become increasingly prevalent in commercial activities and has given rise to such problems as consumers receiving lots of nuisance telephone calls and obstruction of access by on-street promotional activities, and as the number of consumers' complaints about being misled or deceived by salespersons are also on the increase, in order to safeguard consumers' rights and interests, this Council urges the Government to adopt measures to enhance the regulation of commercial marketing practices, including:

    (a)establishing a system for "blocking promotional calls";

    (b)requiring telecommunication companies to provide customers with services to filter spam promotional calls or short messages;

    (c)requiring the departments concerned to strictly enforce the relevant legislative provisions, so as to prevent excessive nuisance to the public caused by on-street promotional activities;

    (d)encouraging commercial clients to simplify the provisions of their contracts with customers, so as to make the provisions more explicit and enhance their transparency; and

    (e)raising penalties in order to impose severe punishments against misleading or deceptive marketing behaviours.

    Amendment to motion
    Hon James TO:
    (Translation)

    To add "conducting a study on" before "requiring telecommunication companies"; to add "including defining the term 'spam' " after "short messages"; to delete "and" after "enhance their transparency;" and substitute with "(e) exploring the provision of a cooling-off period in the contracts, so as to allow time for consumers to consider the features of the service plans and decide whether or not ultimately to accept the services; and"; and to delete the original "(e)" and substitute with "(f)".

    Public Officer to attend :Secretary for Economic Development and Labour

    (in such capacity and in the absence of Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology)


  2. Immediate resumption of sale of Home Ownership Scheme flats

    Hon Albert Jinghan CHENG: (Translation)

    That, since the beginning of this year, the local economy is showing signs of revival and the property market is also regaining vitality, the Government should no longer freeze the sale of Home Ownership Scheme ("HOS") flats to boost the property market, and as the HOS flats are mainly targeted at public rental housing ("PRH") tenants and low-income households who cannot afford private housing, the resumption of sale of HOS flats will have minimal impact on the private housing market, and it is only a waste of public resources to allow some HOS flats to remain unoccupied; as such, this Council urges the Government to immediately put up the surplus HOS flats for sale by phases, including the more than 3 000 flats which have never been offered for sale in the market as well as the over 10 000 unsold flats in existing HOS courts and returned HOS flats, and to consider the construction of new HOS estates as well as to consult the public on its overall housing strategy, including the policies on HOS flats and PRH rent, etc.

    Amendments to motion
    (i)Hon Frederick FUNG: (Translation)

    To add "given that the Home Ownership Scheme ('HOS') helps improve the living environment of the grass-roots people, releases more public rental housing ('PRH') units for those in need and relieves the deficit situation of the Hong Kong Housing Authority, and" after "That,"; to delete "Home Ownership Scheme ('HOS')" after "no longer freeze the sale of" and substitute with "HOS"; to delete "public rental housing ('PRH')" after "the HOS flats are mainly targeted at" and substitute with "PRH"; to delete "as such" after "some HOS flats to remain unoccupied;" and substitute with "therefore"; to delete "consider" after "returned HOS flats, and to" and substitute with "resume"; and to delete "HOS flats and" after "including the policies on".

    (ii)Hon CHAN Kam-lam: (Translation)

    To add "as" after "That,"; to delete "the Government should no longer freeze the sale of Home Ownership Scheme ('HOS') flats to boost the property market, and as the HOS flats are mainly targeted at public rental housing ('PRH') tenants and low-income households who cannot afford private housing, the resumption of sale of HOS flats will have minimal impact on the private housing market, and it is only a waste of public resources to allow some HOS flats to remain unoccupied; as such, this Council urges the Government to immediately put up the surplus HOS flats for sale by phases" after "the property market is also regaining vitality," and substitute with "this Council urges that, in the light of the actual market situation and having regard to the views from various sectors of the community, the Government should expeditiously formulate and announce to the public the specific arrangements for the sale of surplus Home Ownership Scheme ('HOS') flats"; to delete "to consider the construction of new HOS estates as well as to" after "returned HOS flats, and" and substitute with "should specify the timetable and the target buyers, with a view to enhancing the transparency of its housing policy and the housing supply to facilitate the market and the public in making plans for the future; the Government should also"; and to delete "PRH" after "including the policies on HOS flats and" and substitute with "public rental housing".

    Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands

Clerk to the Legislative Council