Council Meeting (Agenda) 8 November 2006


A 06/07-6

Legislative Council

Agenda

Wednesday 8 November 2006 at 11:00 am

I. Tabling of Papers
Subsidiary Legislation / Instruments L.N. No.
1.Prisons (Amendment) (No. 2) Order 2006243/2006
2.Shipping and Port Control (Ferry Terminals) (Amendment) Regulation 2004 (Commencement) Notice244/2006

Other Papers

1.No.22-Audited Statement of Accounts of the Customs and Excise Service Welfare Fund and its Summary, together with the Director of Audit's Report
(to be presented by Secretary for Security)

2.No.23-Report on the Administration of the Fire Services Department Welfare Fund, together with the Director of Audit's Report and Audited Statement of Accounts, for the year ended 31 March 2006
(to be presented by Secretary for Security)

II. Questions

1. Hon Emily LAU to ask:
(Translation)

In mid-June this year, PCCW Limited ("PCCW") consecutively received expressions of interest from two foreign companies in relation to the acquisition of substantially all the telecommunications and media-related assets of PCCW. Nevertheless, the proposed acquisition fell through due to opposition from China Network Communications Group Corporation, the second substantial shareholder of PCCW. Then, on 9 July, Pacific Century Regional Developments Limited, the major shareholder of PCCW listed on Singapore Exchange, sold all its shares in PCCW, which were approximately 23%, to a company controlled by a Hong Kong businessman. The businessman did not disclose the source of funds for the stock transaction at the time, and it was not until the end of September that he informed the Singapore Exchange that the HK$500 million deposit concerned was derived from funds drawn on a facility provided by the father of the Chairman of PCCW. In this connection, will the Executive Authorities inform this Council:
    (a) given that foreign companies are not forbidden by law from holding shares in local telecommunications companies, whether the Government has taken any actions in respect of the intended acquisition of PCCW's assets by the two foreign companies, leading to the termination of the acquisition;

    (b)given that while the stock transaction mentioned above involved a change in a substantial shareholder of a listed company, the acquirer was not required to make offers to all the shareholders to buy their shares for the reason that the percentage of shareholdings involved was lower than the triggering point of 30% stipulated in the Codes on Takeovers and Mergers and Share Repurchases, whether the authorities will review if the relevant requirements are sufficient for protecting the rights and interests of the minority shareholders; and

    (c)whether they will consider following the practice of the Singapore Exchange to require the purchaser to disclose the source of funds whenever an acquisition involves significant changes in shareholdings?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

2. Hon WONG Ting-kwong to ask:
(Translation)

Regarding the problem of factory building units being left vacant and misused, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the respective numbers and areas of factory building units owned by the Government and the private sector at present, as well as their respective utilization rates and the number of cases in which such units were used for residential purposes in the past two years;

    (b)whether it has assessed if the implementation of the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement can improve the vacancy level of factory buildings in Hong Kong; if it has, of the results; if it has not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)whether it has studied ways to improve the situation of factory building units being left vacant and misused, and whether it has explored relaxing the restrictions on the uses of factory buildings, including introducing amendments to the definition of "factory" under the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance (Cap. 59), and further expanding the scope of permitted uses of industrial buildings specified by the Town Planning Board; if so, of the results; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands

3. Hon TAM Heung-man to ask:
(Translation)

Regarding the protection of consumers' rights and interests, will the Government inform this Council whether it will:
    (a)consider reviewing the existing legislation on consumers' rights and interests, with a view to stepping up efforts to combat unscrupulous business practices;

    (b)amend the Sale of Goods Ordinance and the Trade Descriptions Ordinance, so as to bring within their ambits such matters as services, online auctions, making false or misleading statements in the sale and purchase of flats; and

    (c)consider conferring on the Consumer Council, in dealing with consumers' complaints, the statutory power to order the persons concerned to provide information?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Economic Development and Labour

4. Hon James TO to ask:
(Translation)

The murder case in Luk Yu Tea House & Restaurant came to trial recently in a Mainland court. Although the case occurred in Hong Kong and involved five Hong Kong people, it was heard by a court in the Mainland. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the reasons why the murder case which took place in Hong Kong came to trial in the Mainland and not in Hong Kong, and the legal basis for such an arrangement; whether it has considered if such an arrangement would contravene the provisions of the Basic Law regarding the jurisdiction of Hong Kong and the principle of "One Country, Two Systems"; if it has, of the results of its consideration;

    (b)whether the Chief Executive or the Secretary for Security has requested the Mainland authorities to surrender the suspects to Hong Kong; if so, of the way and process by which the request was made; if not, whether any other officials of Hong Kong have made such a request; if they have, of the requesting department(s), the rank(s) of the official(s) making the request, as well as the way and process by which the request was made; and the Mainland department(s) and the rank(s) of the official(s) approached, as well as their replies; and

    (c)whether the Mainland authorities have requested the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to assist in providing information relating to the case; if they have, of the information requested, the way and process by which the request was made, and whether such information includes those materials obtained with statutory authority (including the powers to search and seize) conferred by the laws of Hong Kong?
Public Officers to reply: Secretary for Security
Secretary for Justice

5. Dr Hon YEUNG Sum to ask: (Translation)

Since July last year, the Hospital Authority ("HA") has gradually implemented the Hospital Authority Drug Formulary ("the Formulary") in public hospitals and clinics. Some drugs in the Formulary, including such expensive drugs as "Paclitaxel" for breast cancer and "Imatinib" for stomach cancer, have to be purchased by patients at their own expenses. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it knows HA's average annual expenditure on drugs for each patient since the implementation of the Formulary, and how the figure compares to those of the past;

    (b)whether, in each case where it has been clinically assessed by attending doctors that certain drugs should be prescribed for patients for appropriate treatment, HA will consider requiring the patients concerned to pay the standard charges only and not the full costs of such drugs; and

    (c)whether the Government will consider setting up a committee, independent of HA and comprising non-officials as well as representatives of the relevant professional bodies and patient groups, to regularly review the Formulary so as to avoid queries that HA has, due to resource considerations, inappropriately classified drugs as patients' self-financed items or failed to include efficacious new drugs in the Formulary as standard-charge items?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food

6. Hon Mrs Selina CHOW to ask:
(Translation)

It is learnt that a street performer often played fire tricks in the Mongkok Pedestrian Zone, and whenever he performed, some policemen would come and jot down information about him or dissuade him from performing. The performer was even served a summons by the Police for having caused nuisance in public places earlier but the charge was subsequently dropped by the Department of Justice. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether street performance or entertainment activities are in breach of the laws of Hong Kong;

    (b)of the number of complaints received by the Police about street performance, the general approach adopted by the Police in handling such complaints, and the number of street performers prosecuted over the past three years; and

    (c)whether it will consider coordinating its enforcement efforts to allow street performers to perform on the streets as long as they do not cause obstruction, so as to enhance the city characteristics of Hong Kong?
Public Officers to reply:Secretary for Home Affairs
Secretary for Security

*7. Hon Audrey EU to ask: (Translation)

Regarding the statistics on the Government's vehicle fleet and the progress in switching to hybrid vehicles, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)using the following table, of the numbers of various vehicles in the Government fleet at present; and


    Pre-Euro
    (no. of
    vehicles)
    Euro I
    (no. of
    vehicles)
    Euro II
    (no. of
    vehicles)
    Euro III
    (no. of
    vehicles)
    Euro IV
    (no. of
    vehicles)
    Hybrid
    vehicles
    (no. of
    vehicles)
    Specialized
    vehicles






    Buses





    Goods
    vehicles






    Ambulances





    Vans





    Motorcycles





    Small
    saloon cars
    (1,500cc or
    below)






    Medium
    saloon cars






    Limousines





    Others






    (b)whether it has set a target and timetable for replacing Government vehicles gradually with hybrid vehicles or other vehicles of lower emission levels, so as to encourage private car owners to switch to more environmentally-friendly vehicles, if it has, of the target and timetable; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply :Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food
(in the absence of Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works)

*8. Hon LI Kwok-ying to ask: (Translation)

It has been reported that colon hydrotherapy, which has become increasingly popular in recent years, is claimed to be effective for detoxification, body trimming and disease prevention. However, according to the medical profession, there is a lack of scientific and medical proof to support the claim. Moreover, recently there was a case in which the consumer concerned had contracted diseases after receiving such therapy. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether the Department of Health has received a complaint from the above-mentioned consumer who had contracted diseases after undergoing colon hydrotherapy; if it has, of the date on which the complaint was received, the follow-up action and whether the sectors concerned and consumers have been notified of the case; if so, of the arrangements for making such notification; if not, the reasons for that;

    (b)given that the public is increasingly concerned about the problems arising from the improper use of medical devices such as those mentioned above, and the Administration has undertaken to expedite the conversion of the voluntary Medical Device Administrative Control System into a statutory registration system, whether it will consider amending the existing legislation to strengthen the regulation of medical devices during the transitional period; and

    (c)whether it has considered how a balance between the impact of regulating medical devices on the development of the relevant sectors and the protection of consumers' interests can be struck; if so, of the results of its consideration?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food

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

In seeking assistance from me, parents of children with Down's Syndrome and handicapped children who go to mainstream schools have pointed out that both the Government and the schools have not provided them and their children with appropriate support. There are even restrictions that discourage them or carers from taking care of their children at school. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of:
    (a)the numbers of children with Down's Syndrome and handicapped children in Hong Kong at present, as well as the respective numbers and age distribution of such children going to mainstream schools and special schools;

    (b)the number of complaints received by the authorities about such children being bullied and discriminated against in mainstream schools in each of the past three years; whether schools are required to report such cases to the Government, and whether schools are provided with guidelines for handling such cases; if so, of the details of the guidelines; and

    (c)the financial support currently provided by the authorities for such children who study in mainstream schools; whether it will consider requesting schools to allow parents and carers of these children to take care of them at school to help them overcome learning difficulties and minimize cases of them being bullied and discriminated against by their peers; if not, of the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education and Manpower

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

Will the Government inform this Council of:
    (a)the respective numbers of civil servants at or above Master Pay Scale Point 30 ("MPS 30") or at directorate level in bureaux and government departments who retired in 2004, 2005 and the first half of 2006, with a breakdown by bureaux and departments;

    (b)the number of cases in which the above-mentioned retired civil servants at or above MPS 30 applied for taking up employment within two years from their retirement, with a breakdown by bureaux and departments, and the number of such cases approved, with a breakdown by the nature of work involved in the approved cases as follows;

    Nature of work involved in the approved cases Cases
    General classification of sectors Post Number Sub-total
    Full-time remunerated employment of a
    commercial nature


    Example: Commerce and trade


    ......


    Part-time remunerated employment of a
    commercial nature


    Example: Commerce and trade


    ......


    Full-time remunerated employment of a
    non-commercial nature


    Example: Medical


    ......


    Part-time remunerated employment of a
    non-commercial nature


    Example: Education


    ......


    Honorary appointments or unremunerated service

    Example: Charity


    ......


    Total

    (c)the number of cases in which the above-mentioned retired directorate civil servants applied for taking up employment within three years from their retirement, with a breakdown by bureaux and departments, and the number of such cases approved, with a breakdown by the nature of work involved in the approved cases as follows; and

    Nature of work involved in the approved cases Cases
    General classification of sectors Post Number Sub-total
    Full-time remunerated employment of a
    commercial nature


    Example: Commerce and trade


    ......


    Part-time remunerated employment of a
    commercial nature


    Example: Commerce and trade


    ......


    Full-time remunerated employment of a
    non-commercial nature


    Example: Medical


    ......


    Part-time remunerated employment of a
    non-commercial nature


    Example: Education


    ......


    Honorary appointments or unremunerated service

    Example: Charity


    ......


    Total

    (d)the number of cases in which the retired civil servants mentioned in (a) above applied for post-retirement employment but were rejected as well as the reasons for rejection, with a breakdown by bureaux and government departments as well as salary scales (at or above MPS 30 or at directorate level)?
Public Officer to reply : Permanent Secretary for the Civil Service
(in the absence of Secretary for the Civil Service)

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

At present, CLP Power Hong Kong Limited ("CLP") adopts a progressive block tariff structure for domestic customers: the basic bimonthly charge rate is 86.2 cents for each of the first 400 units, 93.2 cents for each of the next 600 units, and so on. Many members of the public have complained that this tariff structure is unfair to large households. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:
    (a)it knows CLP's justifications for adopting the progressive block tariff structure for domestic customers;

    (b)it knows if CLP has, in formulating the progressive block tariff structure for domestic customers, considered its impact on large households; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)it has measures to ameliorate the above problem; if so, of the details of the measures; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Economic Development and Labour

*12. Hon Margaret NG to ask:


Regarding the proper management and preservation of records of the Government and statutory bodies to facilitate public access, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether any laws of Hong Kong or government regulations have imposed restrictions which prohibit or hamper the identification, transfer and preservation of and public access to archival records including records created electronically; if so, how these restrictions are dealt with at present;

    (b)how the Government guards against malicious destruction of or tampering with government records; whether there were such acts identified in the past five years; if so, how such acts were found out and the consequences thereof;

    (c)whether there were any archival records the public access to which was withdrawn or threatened to be withdrawn by the Government in the past five years; if so, how such acts were found out and the consequences thereof; and

    (d)given that records of statutory bodies (such as the Hospital Authority) are created by public money, whether there is any mechanism for ensuring that such records are properly managed for accountability and public access, and whether they are selected for transfer to the government archives for preservation and public access?
Public Officer to reply : Chief Secretary for Administration

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

It has been reported that in order to tie in with the Wage Protection Movement for the cleansing and guarding service sectors, the employment service of the Labour Department ("LD") will, starting from this month, discontinue posting for employers the information on job vacancies in these sectors with wages lower than certain levels, i.e. the average market rates for the relevant occupations published in the Census and Statistics Department's Quarterly Report of Wages and Payroll Statistics. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)how LD determines if a job vacancy falls in the "cleansing" or "guarding" service sector;

    (b)among the vacancies in various sectors received by LD in the past three months, of the number and percentage of vacancies in each sector with wages lower than the above levels;

    (c)whether it has assessed if LD's above practice is unfair to workers in sectors other than those of the cleansing and guarding services; if the assessment outcome is in the negative, of the justifications for that; and

    (d)whether LD will consider immediately extending this practice to vacancies in all sectors, if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Economic Development and Labour

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

Many residents in Tsing Yi have recently relayed to me their strong request for additional cross-boundary coach ("CBC") services between Tsing Yi and Huanggang. In its reply to a question on introducing additional CBC services in this Council on 23 May 2001, the Administration advised that it was exploring the feasibility of providing a CBC terminus at the Tsing Yi Airport Railway Station. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it has completed the above feasibility study; if it has, of the findings of the study and whether it has released the findings to the public; if it has not, of the reasons;

    (b)of the respective details of patronage and frequencies of the existing CBC routes;

    (c)whether it has received any requests for additional CBC routes; if it has, of the authorities' response; and

    (d)whether currently the authorities have any plans to re-examine the introduction of additional CBC services and whether CBC routes between Tsing Yi and Haunggang are included?
Public Officer to reply: Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food
(in the absence of Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works)

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

Regarding cremation service for pets, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the existing number of companies in Hong Kong which provide pet cremation service;

    (b)of the total number of complaints received by the authorities over the past three years about environmental problems caused by pet cremators installed in multi-storey industrial/commercial buildings, the details of these complaints and how the authorities handled such complaints; and

    (c)whether it will consider setting up a licensing system to regulate pet cremation service and including, in the licensing conditions, permitted operating hours of pet cremators and the requirement that such cremators be located at places far away from residential areas, etc?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food
(in the absence of Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works)

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

It has been reported that the Hospital Authority ("HA"), in restructuring the psychiatric services in its Clusters, has deployed from other Clusters 180 psychiatric beds for acute cases to the Kowloon Central Cluster. The occupancy rate of psychiatric beds of the hospital concerned in that Cluster, however, immediately reached 100% and temporary beds have to be added. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council if it knows:
    (a)whether any additional resources have been deployed to the hospital concerned to tie in with the arrangements to provide additional beds and admission of acute cases; if so, the number of nursing staff and amount of funding involved; if not, the reasons for that;

    (b)the details of the plan to provide comprehensive and seamless psychiatric services to the residents of the Kowloon Central Cluster (including the deployment of staff and resources involved) and the expected effectiveness of such services, given that HA has indicated that the increase in the number of psychiatric beds in the Cluster was to facilitate the provision of such services;

    (c)the number of nursing staff, beds and in-patients in the existing psychiatric observation units and psychiatric wards of all the Clusters in Hong Kong; whether any particular hospital has experienced an excessive intake of patients; if so, the details and how the situation is dealt with; and

    (d)how HA evaluates whether the planned services would meet the demands of the residents of the Clusters concerned when planning for the psychiatric services of the Clusters, whether any consultation has been conducted on the planning of the services, and how it ensures that adequate nursing staff and resources would be deployed to deliver the services concerned?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food

*17. Hon SIN Chung-kai to ask:
(Translation)

In regard to assisting local software developers and vendors in obtaining internationally recognized information technology ("IT") certification so as to improve their products and the quality assurance procedures, and to enhance their competitiveness in securing software outsourcing contracts in the Mainland and overseas markets, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)since the inception of the Capability Maturity Model ("CMM") Assessment Grant, of the respective numbers of local software companies which have made applications and received funding support; the respective numbers of companies receiving funding support which have obtained CMM Certification or CMM Integration Certification, together with a breakdown by the levels of certification; and

    (b)given that the 2004 Digital 21 Strategy is drawing to its end, whether the authorities will, by continuing to provide funding support to the CMM Assessment Grant and adopting other measures, encourage and assist local software vendors in obtaining various internationally recognized IT certification expeditiously; if they will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury
(in the absence of Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology)

*18. Hon Frederick FUNG to ask: (Translation)

In his newly delivered policy address, the Chief Executive said that "The SAR Government will actively work with the business community and non-governmental organizations to study ways to promote and deepen various family-friendly measures......". In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether the Government itself has implemented other family-friendly measures in addition to the five-day work week; if so, of the details of such measures;

    (b)of the specific methods (for example, through providing economic incentives and enacting legislation) the Government will take to promote and deepen the following family-friendly measures: fostering a culture of balancing work and life; implementing a five-day work week; prescribing standard working hours; introducing flexi-time arrangements for employees or arrangements for employees to work from home; providing job-sharing or freelance jobs; granting paid paternity leave to employees; and improving child-care services and facilities;

    (c)apart from implementing the five-day work week, whether the Government will consider setting an example by taking the lead in implementing the other measures mentioned in (b); if so, of the implementation timetable; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (d)given that in its reply to my previous question on the introduction of statutory paternity leave, the Government had said that as most companies in Hong Kong were small and medium sized enterprises, they were relatively less flexible in making staff deployment and the introduction of legislation to provide for paternity leave would increase their running costs and create operational difficulties, but the Government had also said that it was studying this issue, of the latest progress of the study, whether the study has included identifying ways to overcome the above difficulties, and whether reference has been made to relevant overseas experiences?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Economic Development and Labour

*19. Dr Hon KWOK Ka-ki to ask:


Regarding the consultancy study on the Electronic Road Pricing ("ERP") scheme commissioned by the Government to update the transport model developed earlier, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it will make public the brief to the consultant concerned so that the public may scrutinize whether the study conforms to the Protection of the Harbour Ordinance or the guidelines in Technical Circular No. 1/04 of 19 August 2004 issued by the Housing, Planning and Lands Bureau and the Environment, Transport and Works Bureau;

    (b)of the details of any instructions relating to the proposed construction of the Central-Wan Chai Bypass ("CWB") in the brief;

    (c)whether it has instructed the consultant to present ERP models that are capable of reducing the existing volume of traffic in the Central to Causeway Bay corridor without the need for constructing CWB;

    (d)whether it has given the consultant any instructions relating to toll free usage of the roads concerned when there is through traffic;

    (e)whether it has given the consultant any instructions relating to the income generated by the ERP scheme;

    (f)whether it has instructed the consultant to conduct public consultation (as required by the Technical Circular) on the use of the revenue generated by the ERP scheme for improving public transportation, reducing pollution from public transportation and reducing other vehicle-based taxes; if it has, of the details of the public consultation; if it has not, of the reasons for that; and

    (g)whether it has instructed the consultant to compare the costs of the construction of the proposed CWB with those of the development of an ERP scheme which does not impose a toll when there is through traffic?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food
(in the absence of Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works)

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

At present, organizations of specified categories may be exempted from the charges for hiring venues in the community halls ("CHs")/community centres ("CCs") of the Home Affairs Department for organizing non-profit-making activities. However, the authorities have set different rules for various CHs/CCs about the provision of free air conditioning at the venues therein. Generally, the authorities will provide free air conditioning only when the outdoor temperature is 25.5°C or above and a certain number of persons using the venue has been reached. I have received complaints from many members of the public that when taking part in the activities held in CHs/CCs by these organizations, they often found it stuffy inside and felt short of breath, and some of them even collapsed as a result. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether it will review the relevant rules and consider providing free air conditioning at CH/CC venues hired by such organizations for energetic activities or on humid days?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Home Affairs

*For written reply.

III. Motions

Proposed resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

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


Resolved that the Public Health (Animals and Birds) (Exhibitions) (Amendment) Regulation 2006, published in the Gazette as Legal Notice No. 167 of 2006 and laid on the table of the Legislative Council on 10 July 2006, be amended, in section 1 -

(a)in the new regulation 4(5)(a), by repealing "$2,720" and substituting "$2,190";

(b)in the new regulation 4(5)(b), by repealing "$9,700" and substituting "$7,790".

IV. Members' Motions
  1. Proposed resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

    Hon Miriam LAU to move the following motion:

    RESOLVED that in relation to the -

    (a)Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels) (General) Regulation, published in the Gazette as Legal Notice No. 193 of 2006;

    (b)Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels) (Safety and Survey) Regulation, published in the Gazette as Legal Notice No. 194 of 2006;

    (c)Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels) (Compulsory Third Party Risks Insurance) Regulation, published in the Gazette as Legal Notice No. 195 of 2006; and

    (d)Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels) (Works) Regulation, published in the Gazette as Legal Notice No. 196 of 2006,

    and laid on the table of the Legislative Council on 11 October 2006, the period for amending subsidiary legislation referred to in section 34(2) of the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance (Cap. 1) be extended under section 34(4) of that Ordinance to the meeting of 29 November 2006.

  2. Implementing a licensing regime for property management companies and establishing a Building Affairs Tribunal

    Hon CHOY So-yuk: (Translation)

    That, in order to enhance the existing building management standard, avoid malpractices and effectively deal with disputes involving the management of private buildings (including those public housing estates and Home Ownership Scheme courts the management of which has been outsourced to private management companies), this Council urges the Government, apart from clearly defining in the Building Management Ordinance the powers and responsibilities of the parties concerned, to expeditiously implement a licensing regime for property management companies to strengthen their regulation and, at the same time, establish a Building Affairs Tribunal to streamline and speed up the handling of the increasing disputes among individual owners, developers, owners' corporations and property management companies.

    Amendments to motion
    (i) Hon Tommy CHEUNG: (Translation)

    To add "better protect the interests of small property owners," after "That, in order to"; to delete "implement" after "to expeditiously" and substitute with "explore with the industry the setting up of"; and to delete "a Building Affairs Tribunal" after "establish" and substitute with "a tribunal mechanism for building affairs".

    (ii)Hon Alan LEONG Kah-kit: (Translation)

    To delete "in the Building Management Ordinance" after "clearly defining"; to add "in the Building Management Ordinance and by establishing a mechanism for amending extremely unreasonable provisions in the deed of mutual covenants" after "parties concerned"; to add "and, through preventing conflict of interests and enhancing financial transparency," after "licensing regime for property management companies"; to add "and ensure fair competition in the property management market" after "regulation"; and to delete "individual" after "disputes among".

    (iii)Hon Albert CHAN: (Translation)

    To add ", through the enactment of legislation," after "to expeditiously implement"; and to add "introduce legislative amendments to" after "at the same time,".

    (iv)Hon James TO: (Translation)

    To add ": (a)" after "parties concerned, to"; to delete "and, at the same time," after "strengthen their regulation" and substitute with ";(b)"; and to add ";(c) establish a mechanism for modifying unreasonable provisions in the deed of mutual covenants so as to safeguard the interests of property owners; and (d) conduct a study on establishing a mechanism to assist small property owners in resuming their management right in the situation of the existence of a sub-deed of mutual covenant so as to safeguard their interests" after "owners' corporations and property management companies".

    (v)Hon LEUNG Kwok-hung: (Translation)

    To add ", as well as to set up a unit with investigatory powers under the Home Affairs Department to undertake investigation into and initiate prosecution against malpractices in the management of private buildings" after "owners' corporations and property management companies".

    Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Home Affairs

  3. Opening up the airwaves

    Hon Albert CHAN: (Translation)

    That, while the airwaves should be the common asset of all people, only two sound broadcasting licences have so far been issued by the Government, subjecting the public's speech to unreasonable restrictions and rendering many organizations and individuals unable to disseminate their messages through the airwaves; with the forum for speech diminishing, some members of the public have even set up community radio stations on their own in recent years, but these radio stations have been shut down by the Administration; furthermore, many members of the community have over the years requested the early establishment of public access radio and television channels, so that the public's right to access the airwaves will not be deprived; in view of the above, this Council urges the Government to amend the Broadcasting Ordinance expeditiously to implement the following measures:

    (a)opening up the airwaves to allow the public to operate radio stations on their own, so as to make available diversified broadcasting services;

    (b)opening up public access television channels at an early date; and

    (c)fully implementing digital broadcasting at an early date to increase the number of broadcasting channels.

    Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury
    (in the absence of Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology)

Clerk to the Legislative Council