Council Meeting (Agenda) 9 April 2008


A 07/08-22

Legislative Council

Agenda

Wednesday 9 April 2008 at 11:00 am

I. Tabling of Papers

Subsidiary Legislation / InstrumentsL.N. No.
1.Merchant Shipping (Limitation of Shipowners Liability) (Rate of Interest) (Amendment) Order 200856/2008
2.Electoral Affairs Commission (Electoral Procedure) (Legislative Council) (Amendment) Regulation 200866/2008
3.Public Health and Municipal Services (Setting Aside Places for Use as Public Pleasure Grounds and Cessation of Setting Aside Places for Use as Public Pleasure Grounds) Order 200867/2008
4.Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Amendment of Fourth Schedule) (No. 2) Order 200868/2008
5.Food and Drugs (Composition and Labelling) (Amendment: Requirements for Nutrition Labelling and Nutrition Claim) Regulation 200869/2008
6.Pilotage (Dues) (Amendment) Order 200870/2008
7.Employees Retraining Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 2) Notice 200871/2008
8.Tax Reserve Certificates (Rate of Interest) (No. 3) Notice 200872/2008

Other Papers

1.No.80-The Financial Reporting Council
Annual Report 2007
(to be presented by Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury)

2.No.81-Audited Statement of Accounts together with the Director of Audit's Report of the Hong Kong Rotary Club Students' Loan Fund for the year ending 31 August 2007
(to be presented by Secretary for Education)

3.No.82-Audited Statement of Accounts together with the Director of Audit's Report of the Sing Tao Foundation Students' Loan Fund for the year ending 31 August 2007
(to be presented by Secretary for Education)

4.No.83-AIDS Trust Fund
2006-2007 Accounts with the Director of Audit's Report
(to be presented by Secretary for Food and Health)

5.No.84-Report No. 50 of the Director of Audit on the results of value for money audits - March 2008
(to be presented by the President)

6.Report of the Bills Committee on Pneumoconiosis (Compensation) (Amendment) Bill 2008
(to be presented by Hon KWONG Chi-kin, Chairman of the Bills Committee)

II. Questions

1. Hon Howard YOUNG to ask: (Translation)

It has been reported that a pay television operator earlier proposed to the Government that the Copyright Ordinance be amended to allow pay television operators to transmit to their clients, through their systems, the digital television broadcast signals of two free television broadcasters. The operator estimated that this would substantially increase within a short period the penetration rate of Digital Terrestrial Television ("DTT") broadcasting, and 90% of the population of Hong Kong could view the Beijing Olympic Games broadcast in digital format. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether, technically speaking, subscribers of pay television services can view DTT broadcasting programmes without buying a digital set-top box separately; if there are technical constraints, of the details;

    (b)whether it is reviewing the restrictions imposed by the Copyright Ordinance on the transmission of the broadcast signals of free television broadcasters by pay television operators; if it is, when the outcome of the review will be available; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)what other measures it will adopt to expeditiously increase the penetration rate of DTT broadcasting?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development

2. Hon Tommy CHEUNG to ask:
(Translation)

In its Report Issue No. 3 of Reporting Year 2007-2008 published in the middle of last month, the Office of The Ombudsman revealed that the Water Supplies Department ("WSD") received a total of 85 666 complaints about suspected overcharging of water bills between April 2005 and October 2007, of which 32 945 were confirmed, involving excessive charges totalling $38.07 million. The causes of overcharging included defective meters, etc. Recently, I have also received complaints from a number of restaurants that the authorities took a long time to send their staff to repair the meters after they were found to be defective. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)in each of the past three years, of the number of cases of defective meters and the average time taken to repair these meters;

    (b)given that WSD has indicated its acceptance of the recommendations on preventing overcharging which were made by The Ombudsman in the above report, how WSD will, after implementating such recommendations, determine the water consumption of the users concerned during the period when their water meters are defective; and

    (c)whether it will further expedite the meter replacement programme, and of the specific timetable for implementing the arrangement for users to report meter readings?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Development

3. Ir Dr Hon HO Chung-tai to ask:
(Translation)

I have noticed that it has become increasingly common for businessmen and executives to travel to and from places in the world by private aircraft. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the number of private aircraft movements at the Hong Kong International Airport ("HKIA") and its percentage in the total number of aircraft movements at the HKIA in the past five years, as well as whether there is an upward trend in the number of such movements;

    (b)of the impact of private aircraft movements at the HKIA on its workload, especially in relation to air traffic control; and

    (c)how the relevant authorities ensure that the private aircraft taking off and landing at the HKIA comply with the relevant safety standards?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport and Housing

4. Hon Ronny TONG Ka-wah to ask:
(Translation)

Regarding exit polls conducted on election days, will the Government inform this Council whether:
    (a)currently, the Government requires organizations or persons applying for conducting exit polls to declare their background and political affiliations, etc.; if so, of the relevant procedures; if not, the reasons for that; whether the Government will investigate the background of the applicants or applicant organizations when assessing their applications for conducting exit polls; if it will, the details; if not, the reasons for that;

    (b)it knows if the Electoral Affairs Commission ("EAC") will take immediate actions when organizations conducting exit polls disseminate relevant polling information during polling hours to candidates or political parties or bodies which these organizations belong to or are friendly with; how EAC ensures that such situations will not arise; and whether the candidates are required to include the costs of the polls concerned in their election expenses when they are informed of the interim results of exit polls during polling hours; if so, how it ensures that the candidates truthfully declare such costs; if not, of the reasons for that; and

    (c)it knows if EAC will consider adopting more measures to enable voters to identify organizations conducting exit polls (e.g. requiring the interviewers of such organizations to wear vests which are printed with the names of the organizations concerned); if not, of the reasons for that, and how EAC ensures that the interviewers concerned will not deceptively claim that they belong to other organizations?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs

5. Hon Mrs Anson CHAN to ask:
(Translation)

Last month, a rampant outbreak of influenza ("flu") was suspected to have caused the deaths of three children. In view of the situation, the Government announced on the 12th of last month that the Easter holiday for all primary schools and kindergartens in Hong Kong would be advanced to start from the following day and last for two weeks. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)for the past five years, of a breakdown of the monthly number of flu infection cases by age groups; the number of people who died of flu and associated complications each year; the number of people who received flu vaccine each year and, among them, the respective numbers of children and elderly people; the respective numbers of flu outbreaks in schools and residential homes for the elderly; and the respective numbers of flu cases confirmed by private doctors and doctors in the public medical system;

    (b)given that the Secretary for Food and Health had told the media at noon on 12 March that school closure was unnecessary but then late that night he suddenly announced the advancement of the holidays for primary schools and kindergartens, of the factors considered by the authorities which led to the inconsistent decisions; the reasons for announcing the decision on school closure so late at night, which resulted in many parents, who were unaware of the authorities' decision, being unable to make appropriate arrangements; how the Government will prevent similar incidents which cause nuisance to the public from happening in the future; and

    (c)of the other measures, apart from appointing an expert group to investigate the three cases of child death, to be implemented to avoid children being killed by flu?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Food and Health

6. Hon Margaret NG to ask:
(Translation)

Recently, quite a number of mainland people serving prison terms in Hong Kong have written to me, expressing their wish to serve the remainder of their prison terms on the Mainland, so as to facilitate regular visits by their relatives and friends. However, the Government has yet to reach an agreement with the mainland authorities on the arrangements for the transfer of sentenced persons. In this connection, will the Government:
    (a)give a detailed account of the progress of the discussions with the mainland authorities regarding the transfer arrangements;

    (b)explain in detail the reasons why an agreement with the mainland authorities has not been reached; and

    (c)explain how, before an agreement is reached with the mainland authorities, the Government addresses the wishes of the mainland people requesting to serve their prison terms on the Mainland, and whether there are any ways to satisfy their wish?
Public Officer to reply:Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs
(in the absence of Secretary for Security)


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

Regarding the employment statistics for 2007 compiled by the Census and Statistics Department, will the Government provide the statistics on employed persons for that year (excluding unpaid family workers, foreign domestic helpers and employed persons who worked less than 35 hours during the seven days before enumeration due to vacation), broken down by the groupings in the form below?

GenderHours of work during the seven days before enumeration
(Hours)
Monthly employment earnings (HK$)
Less than 3,000 3,000 to 4,999 5,000 to 7,499 7,500 to 9,999 10,000 or above Total
Female Less than 35





35 to 49





50 to 59





60 or above





Sub-total





Male Less than 35





35 to 49





50 to 59





60 or above





Sub-total





Female and Male Less than 35





35 to 49





50 to 59





60 or above





Total





Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

*8. Hon LAU Chin-shek to ask:
(Translation)

Will the Government provide this Council with the following statistics relating to public meetings and public processions referred to in the Public Order Ordinance (Cap. 245)?

Public meetings and public processions200520062007
Total number of cases


Number of cases for which notifications to the Police were required under the law
(i)and notifications were given
(ii)but notifications were not given



Number of cases for which notifications to the Police were not required
(i)but notifications were given
(ii)and notifications were not given



Number of cases for which notifications were given after the notice period stipulated in the Public Order Ordinance


Number of persons who, because of their participation in public meetings or public processions, were
(i)arrested
(ii)prosecuted
(iii)convicted



Public Officer to reply:Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs
(in the absence of Secretary for Security)


*9. Hon Bernard CHAN to ask: (Translation)

It has been reported that some Mainlanders who are dressed as monks are often found soliciting money on various pretexts, such as raising funds for repairing temples on the Mainland, from expatriates and visitors on the streets. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of the following over the past three years:
    (a)the number of relevant complaints received by the authorities concerned from members of the public and visitors;

    (b)the respective numbers of local residents, Mainlanders and foreigners arrested for begging or raising funds illegally, the respective numbers of such persons prosecuted and the penalties imposed by the court on those convicted; and among those arrested, the number of Mainlanders who were dressed as monks; and

    (c)the number of Mainlanders refused entry by the authorities who had previously engaged in begging or illegal fund raising activities in Hong Kong?
Public Officer to reply:Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs
(in the absence of Secretary for Security)


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

It is noted that both the Government and the MTR Corporation Limited are inclined to construct the Shatin to Central Link depot at the former Tai Hom Village site at Diamond Hill by adopting a "semi-depressed" design. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether the depot planned for construction will occupy the entire piece of land of 7.1 hectares at the former Tai Hom Village site; if so, of the reasons for that; if not, the area required for the depot and the development of the remaining land;

    (b)given that the authorities have indicated that it will conduct an assessment on the impact of the depot construction plan on the graded historic buildings (including the Old Pillbox, the Former Royal Airforce Hangar and the Stone House) at the former Tai Hom Village site, whether the assessment will be premised on preserving such historic buildings in-situ, and whether an introduction of the former Tai Hom Village will be included in the development plan of the site to enable the public to know about its history; and

    (c)whether the authorities will consider developing properties above the proposed depot, and whether it will consult residents in the neighbourhood before drafting the relevant planning brief and conduct an air ventilation assessment at the site to ensure that the future development of the depot will not have adverse impact on the community and residents concerned?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport and Housing

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

In reply to my question on 26 April 2006, the Government advised that 117 residential projects with green features had been completed. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of the following information about the projects?

Project Green features that are subject to premium payment Name and approximate area of the green feature not subject to premium payment
Name of green feature Amount of premium paid Standard rate used for calculating the amount of premium
1 a)

a)
b)

b)


2


















117



Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Development

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

It has been reported that from time to time in recent years, there were cases in which law-breakers extorted ransom from owners of van-type light goods vehicles ("LGVs") after stealing their vehicles, threatening them that their vehicles would be set fire to if they refused to pay the ransom. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the respective numbers of reports, prosecutions and convictions involving van-type LGVs being stolen and their owners being extorted ransom in the past three years;

    (b)whether the number of such extortion cases has been on the rise in recent years; and

    (c)of the measures in place to step up efforts to combat such crimes?
Public Officer to reply:Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs
(in the absence of Secretary for Security)


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

Article 141 of the Basic Law stipulates that the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall not restrict the freedom of religious belief. However, I have received complaints alleging that some existing government measures may give rise to discrimination against Hong Kong residents of other races because of their religion (e.g. under the Financial Assistance Scheme for Post-secondary Students of the Student Financial Assistance Agency, students who repay grants by instalments have to pay interest, students who practise Islam are therefore unable to apply for such assistance). Those complaints also allege that as the food provided by the Hospital Authority to in-patients of public hospitals have not been religiously "sanctified", in-patients who are Muslims are unable to take such food; the Sikhs residing in Hong Kong very often become the target of police officers' stop-and-search actions because of their religious attire, and their children are also ill-treated at school. In addition, some religions also lack places for assembly or worship. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it has formulated guidelines requiring staff of various government departments to enhance their knowledge of and sensitivity to the cultures of major religions (including Catholicism, Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism, Islam and Sikhism, etc.); if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

    (b)whether the authorities had consulted different religious groups in the past three years to gauge their views on government measures, if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

    (c)of the respective actions taken in the past three years by various government departments in the light of different religious cultures in order to prevent members of the public from being discriminated against or not being able to enjoy public services and welfare due to their religious belief; and whether it will comprehensively review existing government measures in order to prevent such situations; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (d)whether currently, the Government will, in the process of town planning, provide suitable complementary facilities (such as granting land and subsidies to various religious groups to build suitable venues for various types of religious activities) in response to the religious needs of members of the public; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Home Affairs

*14. Hon Martin LEE to ask:
(Translation)

Regarding the issue of global warming, will the Government inform this Council whether:
    (a)it will consider setting an upper limit on the total emission of carbon dioxide in Hong Kong; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

    (b)it had, in the past three years, studied the effects of persistent global warming on Hong Kong's environment, energy consumption, disease transmission and medical expenses, etc.; if it has, of the outcome of the study; and

    (c)it will take the lead in implementing "carbon offsetting" initiatives in government departments; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply:Secretary for the Environment

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

Will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the number of cases in which information was sought from the Government under the Code on Access to Information last year, broken down by the outcome (i.e. the Government provided all the information as requested by the applicant, provided only part of the information sought or refused to provide any information) of these cases; for cases in which information was provided, the average time taken counting from the date on which the information was sought to the date on which the information was provided; and the reasons for the Government to provide only part of the information sought or refused to provide any information in other cases; and

    (b)whether it knows the number of complaints relating to the above Code handled by the Office of the Ombudsman in the past three years, the summary and outcome of each of these complaints, and the reasons why the complaints in the cases concerned were unfounded?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs

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

I have learnt that some illegal animal breeding farms in Hong Kong supply animals to pet shops. Some workers in these breeding farms have told me that staff of the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department ("AFCD") will inspect their breeding farms regularly and provide vaccination for the dogs in the farms. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the current estimated number of illegal animal breeding farms located on agricultural or Government land;

    (b)apart from the animal trader licence issued by AFCD, of any other licences that such breeding farms are required to obtain in order to become legally operated breeding farms, and whether illegal breeding farms located on agricultural land must apply to the Town Planning Board for change of land use zoning and obtain its approval before they can be granted such licences; and

    (c)given that the Government is now considering controlling the sources of animals in pet shops, whether the authorities will consider following the overseas practice of issuing a separate licence for animal breeding farms to differentiate the licence for such breeding farms from that for pet shops and to effectively regulate the operation of the trade, so as to ensure that the operating environment of such breeding farms complies with the prescribed standards and incidents of animals being abused and abandoned will not happen; if so, of the timetable for implementing the relevant measures; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Food and Health

*17. Dr Hon YEUNG Sum to ask:
(Translation)

In making population projections for the period between 2007 and 2036, the Census and Statistics Department assumes that during that period, there will be 30 000 mainland women giving birth in Hong Kong per annum, and among them, 10 000 women are the spouses of permanent residents of Hong Kong, while the rest are not. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)among the babies born in each of the past five years in Hong Kong to the aforesaid two categories of women, of the respective numbers and percentages of them who left Hong Kong within the first year of their birth;

    (b)among the children born in Hong Kong to the aforesaid two categories of women and who subsequently left Hong Kong, of the respective numbers of those who are expected to return to Hong Kong to attend kindergarten or primary school in each of the coming five years; and

    (c)how the authorities, in planning for the provision of kindergarten and primary school places, consider the factor that most of these new-born babies will return to Hong Kong before they become adults?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education

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

It has been reported that a Senior Clerical Officer of the Department of Health ("DH") was convicted last month of embezzling over $13 million of public money by falsifying accounts continuously for three years. The district court judge sitting on the case criticized DH's internal vetting system for being too lax, hence giving the defendant an opportunity to take advantage of it. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether DH has laid down more stringent procedure for vetting expenses after this incident; if so, of the relevant details; if not, the reasons for that;

    (b)of the details of the current procedure of various departments for vetting expenses; and

    (c)whether it will carry out a comprehensive review of the procedure adopted by various departments for vetting expenses; if so, how it will carry out the review; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

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

Will the Government inform this Council of:
    (a)the electricity consumption and the expenditure on electricity of various government departments in the past three years; and

    (b)the current situation and effectiveness of the utilization of renewable energy by various government departments, and whether it will consider adopting other energy and new measures to save energy?
Public Officer to reply:Secretary for the Environment

*20. Hon Abraham SHEK to ask: (Translation)

Last month, two children sought medical treatment from the Accident and Emergency Department ("A&E Department") of Tuen Mun Hospital, but their condition deteriorated drastically and they died subsequently. Also, another medical incident took place in the same hospital in November last year in which the labels of the blood samples of two patients were mixed up by medical staff, resulting in the patients concerned receiving inappropriate treatment. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether it knows:
    (a)how the doctor-to-patient ratio of New Territories West Hospital Cluster, to which Tuen Mun Hospital belongs, compares with those of other hospital clusters;

    (b)if the Hospital Authority has compared the figures of medical incidents in hospitals under various hospital clusters in recent years, so as to find out the reasons why the figures of such incidents in certain clusters are on the high side, and on the basis of such figures, require the hospitals concerned to make improvements or render necessary assistance to them; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)if the arrangement for experienced doctors to serve as duty doctors at the A&E Department of public hospitals will be strengthened; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Food and Health

*For written reply.

III. Bills

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

Pneumoconiosis (Compensation) (Amendment) Bill 2008 : Secretary for Labour and Welfare

IV. Motions

Proposed resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development to move the following motion:


RESOLVED that the 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, be amended, in the Schedule -

(a)in the English text, by repealing "Moh's" and substituting "Mohs";

(b)in the Chinese text, by repealing "特定".

V. Members' Bills

First Reading

Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Charity Foundation Bill

Second Reading (Debate to be adjourned)

Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Charity Foundation Bill : Hon Mrs Selina SHOW

VI. 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 Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 6) Order 2008, published in the Gazette as Legal Notice No. 49 of 2008 and laid on the table of the Legislative Council on 12 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 30 April 2008.

  2. Proposed resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

    Hon Audrey EU to move the following motion:

    RESOLVED that 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, be repealed.

    Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Development

  3. Elderly housing policy

    Prof Hon Patrick LAU Sau-shing: (Translation)

    That, given that the Chief Executive's Policy Address emphasizes "quality city and quality life", in facing the two challenges of the appalling living conditions of many elderly persons and the known problem of the ageing population, allocating additional resources to promote comfortable living for all the elderly will be an important strategy to achieve quality life for the whole community, this Council urges the Government to make reference to local and overseas experience to expeditiously formulate, through comprehensive planning, a clear policy on elderly housing, including:

    (a)immediately examining the different housing needs of various categories of elderly persons in various districts in the territory, and formulating guidelines for constructing elderly housing;

    (b)formulating land policies that complement elderly housing, including giving consideration to land supply, land grant and land premium, etc, and setting out explicitly in the Outline Zoning Plan the types of land to be used for building elderly housing;

    (c)providing land at a low price or for free to non-profit-making bodies or organizations that have the interest, ability and experience to build elderly housing, and considering converting vacant schools and old industrial buildings into elderly housing;

    (d)comprehensively reviewing the legislation on lands, planning and buildings, so as to integrate elderly housing into various communities, and providing in the vicinity of elderly housing sufficient community and passive recreational facilities which are needed by the elderly; and

    (e)improving the regulation of care and attention homes and serviced housing for the elderly, so as to provide diversified choices for elderly persons with different means,

    thereby truly creating a quality living environment for the people in the territory, including the elderly who will account for over a quarter of the population, and developing a harmonious and integrated quality city for the future of Hong Kong.

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

    To delete "given that" after "That," and substitute with "although"; to delete "in facing" after "'quality city and quality life'," and substitute with "it has not put forward any long-term policy objective, and in the face of"; to delete "allocating" after "the ageing population," and substitute with "this Council urges the Government to allocate"; to delete "will be an important strategy" after "all the elderly" and substitute with "so as"; to delete "this Council urges the Government to" after "the whole community," and substitute with "and"; to add ", as well as comprehensively consult the elderly," after "overseas experience"; to add "encouraging people to live with their elderly parents through measures such as perfecting the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance system and offering additional tax concessions, etc, as well as enhancing the support for elderly persons living alone or with another elderly person; (c)" after "(b)"; to delete the original "(c)" and substitute with "(d) expediting the pace of urban renewal and rehabilitation to improve the living environment for the elderly residing in old districts (including Sham Shui Po and Kwun Tong); (e)"; to delete the original "(d)" and substitute with "(f)"; to add "as well as the system for long-term care services and the relevant support measures, with a view to reinforcing the policy objective of 'ageing in the community'," after "planning and buildings,"; to add ", medical care and community care services" after "integrate elderly housing"; to delete the original "(e)" and substitute with "(g)"; to add "by increasing the subsidized places and nursing manpower as well as enhancing the transparency of residential care homes for the elderly" after "housing for the elderly"; and to add "and a culture of mutual help and care" after "living environment".

    (ii)Hon James TO: (Translation)

    To delete ", given that" after "That" and substitute with "as the population in Hong Kong will grow and age in the future, if there is no proper population and housing planning, the concept of 'quality city and quality life' emphasized in"; to delete "emphasizes 'quality city and quality life'," after "Policy Address" and substitute with "can hardly be realized, and"; to delete "and" after "needed by the elderly;"; and to add "; and (f) in view of the cramped living environment in Hong Kong and the appalling living conditions of many elderly persons, quite a number of elderly persons hope to take up residence on the Mainland upon retirement to enjoy a better housing and living environment; the Government, in formulating the elderly housing policy, should take into consideration this factor and provide more support and flexibility in such areas as medical care, welfare, etc, for the Hong Kong elderly persons who take up residence on the Mainland, so as to enable the elderly to choose the places where they reside and live upon retirement according to their actual situations and wishes " after "different means".

    (iii)Hon Mrs Selina CHOW: (Translation)

    To delete ", given that" after "That" and substitute with "many people yearn for a cosy home, and a comfortable living place is even a dream sought after by many elderly persons,"; to add "also" after "Policy Address"; to add "and introduce relevant measures," after "policy on elderly housing,"; to delete "and passive recreational" after "sufficient community"; to delete "and" after "needed by the elderly" and substitute with ", such as medical facilities, clinics, health maintenance facilities, and passive leisure and recreational facilities"; and to add "; and (f) raising the dependent parent/grandparent allowance, and relaxing the requirement of living together for the purpose of claiming tax deduction, so as to encourage the younger generation to live in the same housing estates as their elderly parents, hence facilitating the provision of appropriate care for the elderly" after "different means".

    Amendment to Hon Mrs Selina CHOW's amendment
    Hon SIN Chung-kai:
    (Translation)

    To delete "as to encourage the younger generation to live in the same housing estates as their elderly parents, hence facilitating the provision of appropriate care for the elderly" after "tax deduction, so" and substitute with "that children living in the same housing estates as their elderly parents or grandparents or living in the vicinity within a specified distance can enjoy the tax allowance, so as to encourage children to take care of their elderly parents and grandparents".

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

    To add "of this year" after "Policy Address"; to add "constructing public housing units and other types of housing for the elderly according to their respective needs, as well as" after "in the territory, and"; to add "and relevant support facilities, such as elderly centres, to be managed and operated by non-profit-making bodies or organizations" after "into elderly housing"; to delete "and" after "needed by the elderly;"; and to add "; (f) lowering the income and asset limit requirements for public housing applicants living with their elderly parents, as well as extending and enhancing the various measures under the 'schemes to foster harmonious families' in public housing, thereby enabling more elderly persons to live with their children and be taken care of by their family members; and (g) conducting a comprehensive survey on the housing conditions of elderly persons in Hong Kong, actively helping elderly persons living in appalling conditions to improve their living environment, and assisting elderly persons with housing needs, such as those living in cubicle apartments and cage homes, to apply for public housing" after "different means".

    (v)Hon Albert HO: (Translation)

    To add "the population in Hong Kong is ageing, and" after "given that"; to add "constructing more small public housing flats for the elderly," after "various communities,"; to add "as well as supporting social services" after "recreational facilities"; and to add "and studying the provision of 'residential care vouchers' to eligible elderly persons so that holders of such vouchers can freely purchase residential care services of their choice, as well as introducing a grading system for residential care homes for the elderly to strengthen their regulation, while at the same time expeditiously increasing the residential care places for the elderly, so as to resolve the current hardship caused by the excessively long waiting time to those on the central waiting list," after "different means,".

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

    To add "increasing the supply of residential care places for the elderly," after "various districts in the territory,"; to delete "guidelines" after "and formulating" and substitute with "a timetable"; to delete "giving consideration to" after "elderly housing, including" and substitute with "examining factors such as"; to delete ", and setting out explicitly in the Outline Zoning Plan the types of land to be used for building elderly housing" after "land premium, etc"; to delete ", and considering converting vacant schools and old industrial buildings into elderly housing" after "build elderly housing"; to delete "providing in the vicinity of elderly housing" after "various communities, and" and substitute with "cooperating with District Councils to provide at suitable locations"; to delete "provide diversified choices for" after "the elderly, so as to" and substitute with "ensure"; and to add "to receive reasonable services and appropriate care" after "different means".

    (vii)Hon LEE Wing-tat: (Translation)

    To add "reviewing the policy on public housing for the elderly, including providing housing units of elderly-friendly designs and relevant support facilities on a comprehensive basis, as well as assigning more young families to housing estates where many elderly persons live, so as to inject new vitality into the elderly community; (c)" after "(b)"; to delete the original "(c)" and substitute with "(d)"; to delete the original "(d)" and substitute with "(e)"; and to delete the original "(e)" and substitute with "(f)".

    Public Officers to attend :Secretary for Transport and Housing
    Secretary for Labour and Welfare

  4. Raising the limit of university places for publicly-funded degree programmes

    Hon Fred LI: (Translation)

    That, as the percentage of the people in Hong Kong who attend universities at the appropriate age has all along been lower than those of the neighbouring regions, and there is presently a keen demand for degree holders in the market, this Council urges the Government to gradually raise the annual limit of 14 500 places for publicly-funded first-year first-degree programmes, increase the proportion of local people of the appropriate age group holding first degree or higher academic qualifications, and provide more opportunities for sub-degree holders with outstanding academic results to pursue higher studies, so as to match the development of a knowledge-based economy in Hong Kong.

    Amendments to motion
    (i)Hon Miriam LAU: (Translation)

    To delete "as" after "That," and substitute with "talents are the foundation of society, and to keep in tune with the social development, Hong Kong must strive to enhance the integrated competitiveness of its population, but"; to add "other big international cities and" after "lower than those of"; to add "encourage the provision of more private university places," after "first-year first-degree programmes,"; to add "and that the Government should also endeavour to upgrade the quality of university education, correspondingly increase the support facilities such as university hostel places, and provide opportunities for more non-local students to attend universities in Hong Kong," after "higher studies,"; and to add "and its development as an education hub in the region, thereby training more talents in various sectors such as finance, trade, logistics, tourism and culture for Hong Kong" immediately before the full stop.

    (ii)Hon CHEUNG Man-kwong: (Translation)

    To delete "market" after "degree holders in the" and substitute with "community"; to add "increase the direct subsidy for sub-degree places, as well as" after "higher academic qualifications, and"; and to delete "higher studies" after "to pursue" and substitute with "university education".

    (iii)Hon TSANG Yok-sing: (Translation)

    To add ": (a)" after "urges the Government to"; to delete "," after "first-year first-degree programmes" and substitute with "; (b) provide more effective subsidy to students taking degree programmes with a view to alleviating their financial burden; and (c) encourage and assist the development of private universities, so as to"; and to delete "so as to match" after "higher studies," and substitute with "thereby matching".

    Amendment to Hon TSANG Yok-sing's amendment
    Dr Hon YEUNG Sum:
    (Translation)

    To add ", such as interest-free loans," after "effective subsidy"; and to add "and sub-degree" after "taking degree".

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

    To add "particularly increase the funding for the places for first-year first-degree programmes in nursing to meet the nursing manpower demand of the community, public and private hospitals and residential care homes for the elderly in the future," after "higher academic qualifications,".

    Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Education

Clerk to the Legislative Council