Council Meeting (Agenda) 12 March 2008


A 07/08-21

Legislative Council

Agenda

Wednesday 12 March 2008 at 11:00 am

I. Tabling of Papers

Subsidiary Legislation / InstrumentsL.N. No.
1.Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 6) Order 200849/2008
2.Drug Addiction Treatment Centre (Lai King Correctional Institution) Order50/2008
3.Prisons (Amendment) Order 200851/2008
4.Rehabilitation Centres (Appointment) (Amendment) Order 200852/2008
5.Training Centre (Consolidation) (Amendment) Declaration 200853/2008

Other Paper

1.No.77-Employees Retraining Board
Annual Report 2006-2007
(to be presented by Secretary for Labour and Welfare)

2.No.78-Report of changes to the approved Estimates of Expenditure approved during the third quarter of 2007-2008 (Public Finance Ordinance : Section 8)
(to be presented by Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury)

3.No.79-The Lord Wilson Heritage Trust
Annual Report 2006-2007
(to be presented by Secretary for Home Affairs)

4.Report of the Bills Committee on The English Schools Foundation (Amendment) Bill 2007
(to be presented by Dr Hon YEUNG Sum, Chairman of the Bills Committee)

II. Questions

1. Hon Martin LEE to ask: (Translation)

Will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the expenditure of each government department on overtime allowance in the past five years;

    (b)in the past five years, whether it had uncovered any cases of misuse of overtime allowance, and how it ensures that various government departments and subvented organizations make good use of the allowance; and

    (c)whether the authorities will consider establishing a mechanism for returning the balance of the annual allocation for overtime allowance to the Treasury?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Civil Service

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

I earlier received complaints from flat owners of the Hong Kong Housing Authority's ("HA") Tenants Purchase Scheme ("TPS") that the seven-year Structural Safety Guarantee ("SSG") provided by HA for their flats will expire soon, but the buildings in their estates still have problems of exposed reinforcement steel and leaking drainage pipes. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether HA, as the principal owner of TPS estates, will, before the SSG period expires, take the initiative in inspecting the buildings concerned and carrying out repairs for those with such a need; if it will not, of the reasons for that;

    (b)given that the Housing Department has indicated to me that the HA representatives sitting on the management committees ("MCs") of the owners' corporations ("OCs") of TPS estates "will, as far as possible, encourage the owners to place the overall interests of the estates concerned above all else, so as to protect the interests of all owners", of the specific role played by such representatives (whether it includes proposing, on behalf of tenants and other OC members who are not members of MCs, at meetings of OCs that structural maintenance works be conducted for the buildings concerned as well as closely monitoring the quality and effectiveness of the relevant repair works); and

    (c)in the past 10 years, of the items in respect of which major or estate-wide maintenance works for TPS estates had been conducted by HA within the above SSG period, the number of households which benefited from such works and the criteria for deciding to conduct such works?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport and Housing

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

The former Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food informed this Council that the Working Group on Mental Health Services ("Working Group") chaired by him had been formed in August 2006 to comprehensively review the existing mental health policy and services, and to formulate the direction for future development of the services. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the total number of meetings held by the Working Group since its formation and the attendance rates of its members;

    (b)whether the Working Group has met with those stakeholders who are related to mental health services or visited the relevant service providers to find out their views on mental health policy and the actual situation of the services concerned; and

    (c)what mental health policy and specific recommendations have been put forward by the Working Group after working for more than a year, as well as of the resources required and the timetable for the implementation of such policy and recommendations?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Food and Health

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

Since the 1994-1995 academic year, the number of places for publicly-funded first-year first-degree ("FYFD") programmes has been maintained at 14 500. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it knows the respective percentages of the people in Singapore, Shanghai, the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom who are attending universities and are at the appropriate age for that;

    (b)as I have learnt that the percentage of the people in Hong Kong attending universities at the appropriate age for that has all along been lower than those of the neighbouring countries, whether the Government has assessed if the insufficient places for attending universities will lead to an outflow of talents, thereby affecting Hong Kong's pace of development into a knowledge-based economy; and

    (c)as the unemployment rate of degree holders in the fourth quarter of last year was only 1.9%, reflecting a keen demand for these talents in the current market, whether the Government will gradually expand the number of places for publicly-funded FYFD programmes; if it will, of the details and implementation schedule of the expansion plan; if it will not, the specific difficulties for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education

5. Hon Albert HO to ask:
(Translation)

The Stores and Procurement Regulations 280 stipulates that for procuring consultancy and other services with a value above $50,000 but not exceeding $1,300,000, departments must obtain written quotations from not less than five contractors. It has been reported that with only one written quotation received from a firm, the Government has recently appointed the firm to provide consultancy services for the work relating to public consultation on health care reforms. The value of the contract is around $1,200,000, and the firm was set up by the Press Secretary of the last Chief Secretary for Administration. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)among the consultancy service procurement activities conducted by the Government in the past, whether cases to which the justifications for inviting a written quotation from only one contractor in the above incident likewise apply were rare;

    (b)of the number of occasions in the past three years on which the Government, with less than five written quotations received, appointed contractors to provide consultancy services with a contract value over $50,000 but not exceeding $1,300,000, together with the policy area(s) and contract value involved, as well as the justifications for awarding the contract without obtaining five written quotations in each case; and

    (c)whether it has reviewed if the appointment of the consulting firm with only one written quotation received is in compliance with the principle of fairness, and if it will give members of the public the impression that the Government practises cronyism and transfers interests to former principal officials or their subordinates; if a review has been conducted, of the results?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Food and Health

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

At present, students pursuing full-time studies from primary education up to first degree are, subject to passing a means test, provided with travel subsidy under the Student Travel Subsidy Scheme ("STSS"), if they live beyond 10 minutes' walking distance from their schools and need to travel to school by public transport. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it has compared the cost-effectiveness of STSS with that of the pre-1988 Student Travel Card Scheme;

    (b)given that the current STSS subsidy is calculated on the basis of the average public transport fare for home-school travel, whether it will review if STSS should also cover the public transport expenses of students during Sundays and public holidays; and

    (c)given that the major public transport operators currently offer half-fare concessions to children aged below 12 only, whether it plans to provide half-rate travel subsidy for full-time students aged 12 or above; if not, of the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education

*7. Hon Mrs Anson CHAN to ask:
(Translation)

At present, the retirement protection afforded by the Mandatory Provident Fund Scheme does not cover women not in employment. Yet, these women often play a vital role in the family, such as taking care of elderly or disabled family members, thereby alleviating the burden on the society. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:
    (a)it has formulated any specific plan or policy to provide livelihood protection for women at old age who are not in employment; if it has not, of the reasons for that; and

    (b)it has conducted any study (including making reference to overseas practices) on introducing a "carers' allowance"; whether it will consider granting such allowance to women not in employment who are carers in recognition of their contributions to the society; if it will not, of the justifications and relevant factors of consideration?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Labour and Welfare

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

Under section 4(1) of the Housing Ordinance (Cap. 283), the Hong Kong Housing Authority ("HA") has the responsibility to secure the provision of housing and such amenities ancillary thereto as HA thinks fit for public housing residents. Since HA had divested its retail and car-parking facilities and sold them to The Link Management Limited ("The Link") in 2005, some members of the public have relayed to me that they are unable to buy domestic items such as large plastic buckets and iron chains, because there are no groceries in their housing estates. They have also complained that there are fewer and fewer banks as well as cultural and recreational facilities in their housing estates. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)since the listing of The Link Real Estate Investment Trust ("The Link REIT"), among the post offices, public libraries, social services agencies, recreational facilities and government agencies located in the shopping arcades which were originally under HA but are now managed by The Link, how many of them had moved away, of the reasons for their removal, as well as the names and districts of the shopping arcades involved; whether the authorities have arranged in-situ re-provisioning of such facilities and agencies; if so, of the relevant details;

    (b)whether it knows, since the listing of The Link REIT, how many banks, groceries and Chinese restaurants which were located in the shopping arcades under The Link had closed down; and

    (c)focusing on the above situation, whether the authorities have any plan to, under the circumstances that The Link has not provided in the shopping arcades under its management the recreational facilities, retail services and other services required by the residents, provide such facilities and services in the public housing estates concerned; if not, whether they have any plan to buy back the relevant shopping arcades to provide anew the services and facilities concerned, so as to comply with the above requirement under the Housing Ordinance?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport and Housing

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

Regarding the application for medical fee waivers by the elderly not receiving Comprehensive Social Security Assistance, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the current application procedure for medical fee waivers, the medical care items for which the fees may be waived and the annual administration costs involved in processing such applications;

    (b)of the number of elderly persons who were granted non-one-off medical fee waivers over the past three years, and its percentage among all successful applications in the period concerned;

    (c)whether it has taken the initiative to promote the medical fee waiver system to the elderly; and

    (d)whether it will consider streamlining the application procedure for medical fee waivers for the elderly and relaxing the relevant assessment criteria so as to benefit more elderly persons, as well as increasing the number of medical care items for which the fees are waived for the elderly and extending the valid period for each approved application; if not, of the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Food and Health

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

It has been reported that occasionally there are crimes in which criminals use trichloromethane ("chloroform") to knock victims out to rob them. Victims become unconscious after they inhaled a small amount of chloroform, and those who inhaled an excessive amount may even die. This chemical can be bought easily from general chemical supplies stores. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)in the past three years, of the number of crimes in which criminals used chloroform, other drugs or chemicals which can induce unconsciousness to knock victims out, and among them, the number of fatal cases;

    (b)whether it will study imposing restrictions on the channels for and methods of buying chloroform, and requiring that approval must be obtained for its purchase; if not, of the reasons for that; and

    (c)how many kinds of drugs or chemicals, other than chloroform, are currently available in the market, which can induce unconsciousness upon inhalation and can be bought easily by the public without any restriction?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Food and Health

*11. Hon CHOY So-yuk to ask:
(Translation)

It has been reported that since its promulgation in 2004, the Register of Old and Valuable Trees has been criticized for lack of transparency, and that even if the names of certain old trees have been removed from the Register, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department ("LCSD") will only delete their numbers from the Register, without disclosing the detailed reasons for their removal. It has also been reported that LCSD has recently indicated that so far, there are altogether eight old trees which have their names removed from the Register. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the information on the above eight old trees, including the location, species, age and size, etc. of each of them;

    (b)of the detailed reasons for removing the names of these old trees from the Register, and whether any human negligence in their caring is involved; if so, whether any person or organization has been penalized as a result; if any person or organization has been penalized, of the details; and

    (c)how many old and valuable trees have been added to the above Register since its promulgation?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Development

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

Regarding the number of places for first-degree programmes, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of a breakdown, by year of study, of

    (i)the number of places for publicly-funded first-degree programmes over the past five years,

    (ii)the number of students currently attending non-local first-degree programmes, and

    (iii)the number of adult students aged above 23 and currently attending first-degree programmes;

    (b)of the year-end population belonging to the age group between 17 and 20 in each of the past five years; whether it has estimated the number and percentage of people in that age group who will be holding first degree or higher academic qualifications in the coming 10 years; and

    (c)of the number and percentage of holders of first degree or higher academic qualifications who were in the age group between 17 and 20 at the time and in the subsequent five years when the authorities announced in October 1989 the decision to significantly increase the number of places for first-year first-degree programmes to 18% of the relevant age group by the 1994-1995 academic year (i.e. those people who are now in the age group between 30 and 38); whether it has assessed if these people are less employable than those who are younger but have more opportunities to receive higher education, and whether the Government will increase the number of places for first-degree programmes for adults aged 23 or above?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education

*13. Dr Hon David LI to ask:


Recently, it has been reported that the Government has allocated $60 million to the Public Policy Research Funding Scheme since 2005, and will spend an additional amount of $80 million over the next four years to boost public policy research. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the objective criteria used by the authorities in awarding a grant for a research project under the above Scheme;

    (b)whether there is an approved list of eligible researchers or think-tanks for the Scheme; if so, of the procedures for being placed on that list;

    (c)whether there is any control on subcontracting work in respect of the projects funded by the Scheme; if so, of the nature of such control; and

    (d)of the names of the researchers and think-tanks that had completed projects funded by the Scheme, together with the number of projects completed by each of them and the total amount of funds allocated to them?
Public Officer to reply : The Chief Secretary for Administration

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

On 12 February this year, I, together with a number of representatives from human rights and minority interests concern groups, had a meeting with the senior management of the Police to reflect the problems encountered by the ethnic minorities in their contacts with the Police. In this connection, will the Executive Authorities inform this Council:
    (a)given that the Police advised at the above meeting that 73 measures had been implemented since 2006 to assist the ethnic minorities, whether the authorities can set out the details and implementation date of each of these measures, and when the effectiveness of these measures will be assessed;

    (b)in the past three years, of the respective numbers of cases involving the ethnic minorities assisting the Police in investigations or seeking help from the Police in which interpreters proficient in Cantonese and Japanese, Cantonese and Urdu, Cantonese and Hindi, Cantonese and Tagalog, Cantonese and Indonesian, Cantonese and Nepali, English and Japanese, English and Urdu, English and Hindi, English and Tagalog, English and Indonesian, and English and Nepali were required to help the ethnic minorities concerned to communicate with police officers, and the number of such cases in which the Police did not provide the interpretation service required;

    (c)whether measures are in place to ensure that interpreters can arrive within 30 minutes to provide interpretation service; and whether they have drawn up guidelines and provided training to the interpreters to ensure that the interpretation service provided by them is accurate, free of personal opinions and unbiased;

    (d)whether the Police will, after taking statements at police stations from the ethnic minorities who assist the Police in investigations or seek help from the Police, take the initiative to provide them with copies of such statements written in their native languages or English; if so, of the implementation date of such a measure; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (e)whether measures are in place to ensure that front-line police officers' ability to investigate cases involving ethnic minorities or to assist them will not be affected by the fact that the officers are illiterate in languages other than Chinese; if not, of the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

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

The Government has indicated that it will review the Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance (Cap. 390) this year and consult the public in this regard. On the other hand, concerning the recent incidents of indecent photos on the Internet purported to be of artistes, there have been comments calling for the Government to draw up, during the interim period before the above review is completed or the Ordinance is amended, guidelines and codes on the handling of obscene articles for the information technology sector. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether it will draw up such guidelines and codes during the above interim period; if it will, of the legal effect of such guidelines and codes, and how it ensures that the drawing up of such guidelines and codes prior to the above public consultation exercise will not infringe public rights? Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development

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

It has been reported that as many as 42 000 people participated in this year's Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon, indicating that this activity has gradually become a major local and even international sports event and that the passion of the people of Hong Kong for long-distance running is increasing. Moreover, the Hong Kong Amateur Athletic Association ("HKAAA"), the event organizer, implemented a number of improvement measures for this year's event, including advancing the race day, arranging different routes for different races, arranging for the routes to pass through busy areas so as to allow members of the public to line both sides as spectators, changing the finishing point of the event, arranging live television coverage of the event so as to enhance the atmosphere of competition, etc. Regarding the arrangements for and the promotion of marathon, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it knows the preliminary results of the review conducted by HKAAA on the various arrangements for this year's marathon, including the improvement measures which should continue to be adopted for next year's event and the areas in need of improvements, the negative impact of the event on individual districts (e.g. the noise problem of some parts of North Point), and if the time for the closure of Island Eastern Corridor should be adjusted so that the starting time for the 10-kilometre race can be deferred, thereby alleviating the impact of the event on nearby residents;

    (b)given the increasing popularity of marathon running, whether it will consider formulating the following policies and measures to promote long-distance running, so as to encourage members of the public to do more exercise and adopt a healthy life style: including systematic jogging training in the physical education curricula for primary and secondary schools, giving support in the planning of sports facilities, providing more jogging tracks in various communities, resurfacing the existing jogging tracks with vibration-absorbing materials, assisting the relevant sports organizations in organizing training courses to promote correct knowledge of long-distance running, and supporting the organization of more long-distance running or marathon races; and

    (c)whether it will promote marathon races as major tourism events to attract more runners from other places, in order to build an image for Hong Kong as a vibrant city?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Home Affairs

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

Some people in the New Territories have relayed to me that New Territories villages, with their long history, are a rich source of historical buildings of heritage value and traditional folk culture (e.g. Qilin dance, Hakka folk songs, marriage ceremonies and Shengong opera, etc.), which are valuable tangible and intangible cultural heritage. They have also pointed out that although the Government has established three thematic museums focusing on the presentation of traditional New Territories culture, intangible culture cannot be preserved simply by exhibiting the hardware, as it has to be inherited and passed on from one generation to another. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether currently there is any policy on the conservation of historical buildings in villages, if there is, of the details, and the respective expenditures incurred in the past three years on conserving historical buildings in villages and in urban areas; if there is no relevant policy, whether it will study the formulation of such a policy; and

    (b)whether it will consider injecting appropriate resources into the conservation of the intangible culture of villages, and cooperating with Heung Yee Kuk and various Rural Committees in the New Territories in formulating measures for assisting in preserving the intangible culture of villages?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Development

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

Regarding the mitigation of traffic noise, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)given that at the meeting of the Panel on Environmental Affairs in July 2006, an official of the Highways Department ("HyD") said that HyD had engaged the City University of Hong Kong to conduct studies on the current practice/specification on road joints, of the progress of such studies;

    (b)given that an official of the Environmental Protection Department said at the above meeting that the Administration would continue to identify road sections suitable for application of traffic management schemes without affecting the transport trades and transferring the noise problem to other areas, of the progress of such efforts and the implementation dates of the traffic management schemes concerned; and

    (c)given that the works to re-surface 72 road sections with low-noise road surfacing materials had commenced in 2002 and the Administration is implementing a trial scheme to study the use of new and more effective low-noise road surfacing materials for re-surfacing another 26 road sections, of the progress of such works and the trial scheme?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Environment

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

It has been reported that since 2001, the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine ("the Faculty of Medicine") of the University of Hong Kong ("HKU") has renewed its contract with a professor aged over 60 more than once for a total duration of eight years for him to take up the post of Professor in the Department of Surgery, and his current contract will expire next year when he turns 69 years of age. Regarding the retirement and promotion of academic staff in HKU, will the Government inform this Council whether it knows:
    (a)the normal retirement age for academic staff of HKU;

    (b)the respective current numbers of academic staff in various departments of HKU who are beyond the above age of retirement but are still retained, the number of times their contracts had been renewed since they reached the retirement age, and the reasons for each of the renewals of their contracts;

    (c)whether the Faculty of Medicine of HKU had conducted any open recruitment for the vacancy of the post of Professor in the Department of Surgery, so as to enable younger and qualified academic staff in the Faculty to apply for the post and have the opportunity for promotion; if it had not, the reasons for that;

    (d)whether HKU has assessed if currently there are any suitable academic staff in the Faculty of Medicine for taking up senior posts (including Professors, Chair Professors and Head of Department of Surgery) in the Faculty; if the assessment outcome indicates that there are suitable candidates, why it continues to employ the above professor who is beyond the retirement age; if there is no suitable candidate, whether HKU will review whether or not it is necessary to employ additional suitable academic staff; and

    (e)whether comprehensive succession arrangements are in place in the Faculty of Medicine of HKU to provide promotion opportunities for younger academic staff; if so, why it continues to employ the above professor instead of considering the promotion of the relevant candidate for succession; if not, whether HKU will review the staff succession mechanism of the Faculty of Medicine?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education

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

Regarding the maintenance and repairs of elevated roads, will the Executive Authorities inform this Council:
    (a)of the current number of elevated roads completed more than 35 years ago; the respective average daily numbers of vehicles using them and the respective percentages of those which are private cars;

    (b)whether inspections into the wear and tear situation of the piles of the elevated roads mentioned in (a) have been conducted, and how repairs are carried out when wear and tear is detected;

    (c)whether regular assessments of the structural safety of the piles of elevated roads have been made; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (d)whether proposed substitute routes have been drawn up for individual elevated roads to meet the traffic demands during the reconstruction of such elevated roads which are beyond repair?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport and Housing

*For written reply.

III. Motions

1.Proposed resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

Secretary for Education to move the following motion:


RESOLVED that the Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (Appeal) Rules, published in the Gazette as Legal Notice No. 25 of 2008 and laid on the table of the Legislative Council on 20 February 2008, be amended -

(a)in section 2, by adding -

" "appeal" (上訴) means an appeal under section 11 of the Ordinance;

"appellant" (上訴人) means an operator, assessment agency or granting body lodging a notice of appeal under section 11 of the Ordinance;".

(b)in section 3(3)(b), in the Chinese text, by repealing "充分而不偏不倚" and substituting "全面而中肯";

(c)in section 4(1), by repealing "may specify" and substituting "may on application allow";

(d)in section 11, by repealing "notice or thing required to be served or lodged under these Rules" and substituting "statement, notice or article required to be served or lodged for the purposes of an appeal".

2.Proposed resolution under the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance

Secretary for Food and Health to move the following motion:


RESOLVED that the following Regulations, made by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board on 15 February 2008, be approved -

(a)the Pharmacy and Poisons (Amendment) Regulation 2008; and

(b)the Poisons List (Amendment) Regulation 2008.

(The two Regulations were issued on 20 February 2008
under LC Paper No. CB(3) 402/07-08)

3.Proposed resolution under the Magistrates Ordinance

Secretary for Transport and Housing to move the following motion:


RESOLVED that, with effect from 21 March 2008, the Third Schedule to the Magistrates Ordinance (Cap. 227) be amended by adding -

"18.Tsing Sha Control Area

(1)Any offence against the Tsing Sha Control Area (General) Regulation (L.N. 222 of 2007).

(2)Any offence against the Tsing Sha Control Area (Tolls, Fees and Charges) Regulation (L.N. 237 of 2007).".

IV. Members' Bills

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

The English Schools Foundation (Amendment) Bill 2007 : Hon Abraham SHEK

V. Members' Motions

  1. Proposed resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

    Hon Audrey EU to move the following motion:

    RESOLVED that in relation to the Antiquities and Monuments (Withdrawal of Declaration of Proposed Monument) (No. 128 Pok Fu Lam Road) Notice, published in the Gazette as Legal Notice No. 21 of 2008 and laid on the table of the Legislative Council on 20 February 2008, 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 9 April 2008.

  2. Proposed resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

    Hon Miriam LAU to move the following motion:

    RESOLVED that in relation to the -

    (a)Rating (Exemption) Order 2008, published in the Gazette as Legal Notice No. 34 of 2008; and

    (b)Trade Descriptions (Definition of Diamond) Regulation, published in the Gazette as Legal Notice No. 43 of 2008,

    and laid on the table of the Legislative Council on 5 March 2008, 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 23 April 2008.

  3. Improving the public hospital services in Kowloon East

    Hon Alan LEONG Kah-kit: (Translation)

    That, as the current funding provision for the Kowloon East Hospital Cluster is far more insufficient than other clusters and lags far behind the needs of the population and the communities of Kwun Tong and Tseung Kwan O, resulting in the Kowloon East Hospital Cluster failing to provide comprehensive health care services, which is not only contrary to the vision of "meeting community demands and expectations" but also exerts tremendous pressure on the frontline health care personnel and impedes their provision of most suitable services for the residents within the districts, this Council strongly urges the Administration to:

    (a)taking the opportunity of the present huge surplus and not affecting the services of other hospital clusters, allocate more resources, according to the population and community structure of the Kowloon East Hospital Cluster, to expeditiously improve the public hospital services in Kwun Tong and Tseung Kwan O, and solve the problem of residents in the two districts having to seek medical treatments in other clusters, and in particular, the implementation of the United Christian Hospital's reconstruction plan must be expedited; and

    (b)focusing on the long-term demand of health care services in various districts, study and review the mechanism of hospital cluster planning as well as the logic of operation of hospital services.

    Amendments to motion
    (i)Dr Hon KWOK Ka-ki: (Translation)

    To delete "as the current" after "That," and substitute with "since the formation of hospital clusters by the Hospital Authority, many clusters are facing the problem of insufficient funding provision for a long time, and the"; to delete "expeditiously improve" after "the Kowloon East Hospital Cluster, to" and substitute with "increase health care manpower, set up specialties which are lacking in the Kowloon East Hospital Cluster, and provide more general and rehabilitation beds in the districts, thereby expeditiously improving"; and to add "expeditiously" after "(b)".

    Amendment to Dr Hon KWOK Ka-ki's amendment
    Hon Tommy CHEUNG:
    (Translation)

    To add ", particularly the New Territories West Cluster," after "many clusters"; to add "this cluster is allocated the least resources among all of the seven hospital clusters," after "a long time, and"; and to add "should especially implement expeditiously the provision of specialist services, such as obstetrics and gynaecology, ophthalmology and ear, nose and throat, psychiatry, etc, in the Tseung Kwan O Hospital, and additionally provide oncology and neurosurgery services as well as" after "Kowloon East Hospital Cluster, and".

    (ii)Hon Fred LI: (Translation)

    To add "under the clustering arrangement of the Hospital Authority, it is difficult for hospitals in different clusters to provide mutual support and refer patients, and" after "That,"; to add "coupled with the enormous inconvenience in referring patients to hospitals in the neighbouring clusters for receiving health care services under the clustering arrangement," after "the districts,"; to delete "and" after "expedited;"; to add "focusing on the problem that the Kowloon East Hospital Cluster is the only one without a cancer centre among the seven hospital clusters, look for improvement options to ensure that cancer patients in Kowloon East can obtain convenient and appropriate health care services; and (c) set up an independent committee and invite the participation of representatives of frontline staff and patients' groups to comprehensively review the clustering arrangement, including," after "(b)"; and to delete "study and review" after "various districts," and substitute with "studying and reviewing".

    (iii)Hon Albert HO: (Translation)

    To delete ", as" after "That" and substitute with "problems of uneven distribution of resources and inadequate coordination among various hospital clusters have long existed since the Hospital Authority implemented in 2002 the arrangement of grouping all hospitals in Hong Kong into seven clusters, and that in addition to those clusters which are in serious shortage of health care services, manpower and resources, such as the New Territories West Hospital Cluster,"; and to delete "and not affecting the services of other hospital clusters" after "huge surplus" and substitute with ", and provided that the services of other clusters with relatively sufficient resources will not be adversely affected and that additional resources will be allocated to hospital clusters which are in serious shortage of resources, such as the New Territories West Hospital Cluster which covers Tin Shui Wai, Tung Chung and Tuen Mun, so as to enable them to provide services at standards comparable to those of other clusters".

    (iv)Hon Ronny TONG Ka-wah: (Translation)

    To delete "as" after "That," and substitute with "the existing population in Tseung Kwan O has reached about 300,000-odd but the Tseung Kwan O Hospital is positioned as a district hospital, and"; to add "needs" after "according to the population"; to delete "and" after "expedited;"; and to add "focusing on the needs of residents in Tseung Kwan O, expand and upgrade the Tseung Kwan O Hospital to a general hospital, and increase the health care manpower, particularly to expeditiously provide additional services in obstetrics and gynaecology, neonatology, psychiatry, ophthalmology as well as ear, nose and throat, etc; and (c)" after "(b)".

    (v)Hon James TO: (Translation)

    To add "and at the same time providing the resources required to address the specific needs of the population in various clusters (such as providing interpretation services at the Kwong Wah Hospital to meet the needs of the many South Asians in the Kowloon West Hospital Cluster, and enhancing the public health care services in districts such as Sham Shui Po where the elderly and low-income populations are relatively high and have to rely on public health care services)," after "hospital clusters,".

    (vi)Dr Hon Joseph LEE Kok-long: (Translation)

    To add "and increase the number of frontline health care personnel" after "the public hospital services in Kwun Tong and Tseung Kwan O"; to add "especially the demand related to elderly health care services," after "various districts,"; and to add ", and examine the long-term health care manpower planning, so as to alleviate the pressure faced by frontline health care personnel and enhance the quality of public hospital services" immediately before the full stop.

    (vii)Hon LAU Kong-wah: (Translation)

    To delete "and" after "hospital services in Kwun Tong and Tseung Kwan O," and substitute with "including increasing specialist out-patient services and providing in-patient obstetric services in Tseung Kwan O, so as to"; to delete "treatments in other" after "seek medical" and substitute with "services in other hospitals or even in other"; to delete "; and" after "expedited" and substitute with ", and the funding application for the expansion of the Tseung Kwan O Hospital should be expeditiously submitted to this Council within the current legislative session;"; and to add "; and (c) expeditiously implement the construction of an acute regional hospital in the South East Kowloon Development" immediately before the full stop.

    (viii)Hon Frederick FUNG: (Translation)

    To add ", and taking into account the ageing population situation in the Kowloon East Hospital Cluster, appropriately increase the resources for elderly health care services and additionally provide Chinese medicine services in such public hospitals" after "expedited".

    Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Food and Health

  4. Enhancing sex education

    Hon SIN Chung-kai: (Translation)

    That, as the recent circulation of pornographic photos purporting to be artistes on the Internet has aroused public concern and wide media coverage, some members of the education sector and parents worry that the incident may adversely affect the values and personal conduct of children and youngsters; in this connection, this Council urges the Government to:

    (a)pay proper attention to the impact of Internet information on children and youngsters, and allocate additional resources to facilitate parents and educational and youth groups to promote moral education, respect for privacy and sex education; and

    (b)review the contents of sex education programmes in schools so as to enable children and youngsters to acquire correct knowledge and concepts about sex at a suitable time.

    Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Education

Clerk to the Legislative Council