Council Meeting (Agenda) 12 December 2007


A 07/08-11

Legislative Council

Agenda

Wednesday 12 December 2007 at 11:00 am

I. Tabling of Papers

Subsidiary Legislation / InstrumentsL.N. No.
Antiquities and Monuments (Declaration of Historical Buildings) (No. 2) Notice 2007227/2007

Other Papers

1.No.38-Report by the Commissioner of Correctional Services of Hong Kong Incorporated on the Administration of the Correctional Services Department Welfare Fund for the year ended 31 March 2007
(to be presented by Secretary for Security)

2.No.39-Forty-sixth Annual Report by the Social Work Training Fund Trustee for the year ending on 31 March 2007
(to be presented by Secretary for Labour and Welfare)

3.No.40-Estate Agents Authority
Annual Report 2006-2007
(to be presented by Secretary for Transport and Housing)

4.No.41-Police Welfare Fund
Annual Report 2006-2007
(to be presented by Secretary for Security)

5.No.42-Annual Report on the Police Children's Education Trust and the Police Education and Welfare Trust for the year 2006-2007
(to be presented by Secretary for Security)

II. Questions

1. Hon Jeffrey LAM Kin-fung to ask: (Translation)

Will the Government inform this Council whether it knows, among the countries which have implemented a statutory minimum wage system, the names and number of those which have set the average market wages as the statutory minimum wages, and how the statutory minimum wages set by the other countries compare with the local average market wages? Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Labour and Welfare

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

Under section 23 of the Telecommunications Ordinance ("TO"), any person who, knowing or having reason to believe that a means of telecommunications is being maintained in contravention of the Ordinance, transmits or receives any message by such means of telecommunications shall be guilty of an offence. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)since 1 July 1997, of the annual number of cases in which the persons involved were prosecuted for attending radio broadcast programmes other than those broadcast by the existing three licensed radio stations, as well as the nature and contents of the programmes involved and the court judgements respectively;

    (b)of the authorities' criteria in considering whether any individual person attending the above programmes should be prosecuted; whether the authorities will prosecute all participants or institute prosecutions selectively; if prosecutions are instituted selectively, of the details of the relevant criteria and decision-making process; and

    (c)with the popularization of information technology, whether the authorities have assessed if TO has restricted the public's right to express views through different channels; if the assessment results have indicated such a restriction; whether the authorities have assessed if such restriction contravenes those provisions in the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance and the Basic Law concerning the safeguard of freedom of speech; if such assessments have been made, of the results; if such assessments have not been made, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development

3. Hon Audrey EU to ask:
(Translation)

The Government has recently proposed to provide subsidy to schools and organizations through the Environment and Conservation Fund for the purchase and installation of environmental facilities in their premises in a bid to promote energy efficiency, energy saving and waste reduction. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the anticipated number of schools and organizations which will be provided with such subsidy;

    (b)whether it has set any targets in respect of the average level of energy efficiency attained and the total amount of waste reduced by each school after the procurement of environmental facilities; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)apart from subsidizing non-profit-making organizations in procuring mirco-generating facilities using renewable energy, of the assistance, particularly technical assistance, to be offered to these organizations regarding the regular maintenance of such generating facilities and their connection to the power companies' power grids?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Environment

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

All medical graduates who wish to register as medical practitioners with the Medical Council of Hong Kong, with the exception of graduates of the University of Hong Kong and The Chinese University of Hong Kong, are required to pass the Council's Licensing Examination. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the number of candidates who sat for the above Licensing Examination in the past three years, and among them, the respective numbers of the following four types of candidates and their passing rates:

    (i)medical graduates of overseas universities returning to Hong Kong;

    (ii)medical graduates of mainland universities returning to Hong Kong;

    (iii)overseas qualified doctors; and

    (iv)mainland qualified doctors;

    (b)in the past three years, of the main countries from which the two types of candidates referred to in (i) and (iii) above obtained their medical degrees, and the passing rates of candidates from those countries; and

    (c)whether the authorities will review the existing policy on the licensing examination system for doctors to allow more non-locally trained outstanding doctors to practise in Hong Kong, so as to help develop Hong Kong into a medical tourism centre in the Asia-Pacific region?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Food and Health

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

Regarding the healthcare services for Yuen Long (including Tin Shui Wai), will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)although the Government indicated in a paper submitted to this Council in 2002 that Pok Oi Hospital ("POH") would have a complement of 742 beds (including 622 acute in-patient beds) upon completion of the redevelopment project for POH, only 200 additional beds have been provided in POH since the completion of the project this year, when the remaining planned beds will be commissioned, of the estimated additional healthcare staff and funding required for the full commissioning of such beds, as well as the additional healthcare staff and funding the Government will provide to POH in the next two years;

    (b)whether it has assessed if the number of beds currently provided in POH can cope with the demand of the population of Yuen Long district, which exceeds 560 000, for public healthcare services; and

    (c)given that the Secretary for Food and Health indicated last month that hopefully a hospital would be provided in Tin Shui Wai within 10 years, and priority would be accorded to setting up a 24-hour out-patient clinic in Tin Shui Wai, of the preliminary work being undertaken for the construction of a hospital in Tin Shui Wai, when the 24-hour out-patient clinic will be set up, and the manpower and funding to be committed for such plans?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Food and Health

6. Hon Albert HO to ask:
(Translation)

The Court of Final Appeal recently ruled, in respect of a compensation claim arising from an accident involving unauthorized building works ("UBWs") fallen from a building, that the owners' corporation ("OC") of the building concerned was liable for compensation. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the current total number of buildings with UBWs in Hong Kong, and among them, the number of buildings for which OCs have been formed and which have third party insurance taken out for their common parts (including the parts with UBWs);

    (b)when individual owners ignore the requests of OCs or the Buildings Department ("BD") for the removal of UBWs, what powers OCs may exercise and duties OCs must discharge to protect themselves against the liability for compensation for accidents caused by those UBWs; and

    (c)of the progress of removing UBWs from buildings by BD (including the numbers of warning letters and removal orders issued as well as the number of UBWs removed in each of the past three years), and whether it will expedite the removal of certain UBWs next year; if so, of the details?
Public Officer to reply :Secretary for Development
Secretary for Home Affairs

*7. Hon Abraham SHEK to ask:

In his 2007-2008 Policy Address, the Chief Executive announced that the Government would examine if further improvements could be made to urban planning, land administration and approval procedures for building construction. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of the details of the above examination (including the expected commencement time and time taken to complete it, as well as the targets)? Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Development

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

A member of the public has reflected to me that prior to the 2007 District Council election, some candidates and the political bodies to which they belong had given out souvenirs and tickets of government-funded celebration activities of the 10th anniversary of Re-unification to the public free of charge. The member of the public has commented that such a practice may arouse suspicion that public money was used to assist in the electioneering activities of those candidates. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it knows the names of the political bodies involved in the above practice;

    (b)of the details of the expenditures on the above celebration activities funded by various government departments; and

    (c)of a breakdown, by political parties and bodies, of the quantities of souvenirs and tickets of the above celebration activities distributed by various government departments to such organizations, as well as the types of the activities involved?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Home Affairs

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

Regarding the management of nullahs, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)in each of the past three years, of the number of complaints received by the Government concerning illegal discharge of sewage, as well as the respective numbers of warnings issued and prosecutions instituted against illegal discharge of sewage; and among them, the respective numbers of complaints, warnings and prosecutions concerning illegal connection of sewers to nullahs; and

    (b)whether it will make reference to the greening approach adopted for the Yuen Long Nullahs and carry out similar greening projects for the nullahs in other districts; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Environment

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

Regarding the problem of the use of pirated computer software, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the number of cases handled by the Customs and Excise Department each year from 2005 to November this year involving the use of pirated software by private companies, the total value of seizures and the number of persons arrested in such cases; and whether there is an upward trend in the use of pirated software by private companies; if so, of the reasons for that;

    (b)given that it has been reported that, as revealed by a survey conducted by the Hong Kong Productivity Council and the Business Software Alliance in August this year, only 20% of the 400 small and medium enterprises ("SMEs") surveyed indicated that they had carried out software asset management and used genuine software, of the plans or methods the authorities will adopt to encourage more SMEs to use genuine software;

    (c)of the total up-to-date number of SMEs which have participated in the "Genuine Business Software Campaign" launched by the relevant authorities to provide SMEs with free advisory services on the use of genuine software; and

    (d)given that some provisions of the Copyright (Amendment) Ordinance 2007 will be in operation later, whether the authorities, in producing advertisements to publicize the contents of such provisions, will stress that according to the Ordinance's requirement, directors or partners responsible for their companies' internal management are criminally liable for the use of pirated software by the companies concerned, so as to enhance the awareness of the use of genuine software among SMEs?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development

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

Officials of the Environmental Protection Department and the Pollution Control Department of the State Environmental Protection Administration signed the Cooperation Arrangement on Control of Waste Movements between the Mainland and HKSAR ("Cooperation Arrangement") on 15th November in Shenzhen. The aim was to better reflect the nature of cooperation by renaming the Memorandum of Understanding - Cooperation on Control of Waste Movements between the Mainland and HKSAR ("MOU") as Cooperation Arrangement, and to include supplementary provisions on application and approval procedures regarding waste shipments to overseas countries via ports on the Mainland or the HKSAR. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the number of vessels intercepted by the relevant authorities in each of the past three years to combat illegal waste movements between the Mainland and HKSAR, the details of the cases involving such movements, the number of convicted cases and the penalties imposed on the convicted persons;

    (b)of the reasons for including supplementary provisions in the MOU;

    (c)of the difference between the application and approval procedures regarding waste shipments to overseas countries via ports on the Mainland or the HKSAR before and after the implementation of the Cooperation Arrangement, and the relevant details; and

    (d)whether it has assessed if the inclusion of supplementary provisions in the MOU will render Hong Kong becoming a transfer station for foreign refuse and the Mainland becoming a reception centre for international refuse; if it is assessed so, how the authorities will curb such movements; if it is assessed otherwise, of the justifications for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Environment

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

It has been reported that both public and private hospitals face the problem of shortage in bed spaces, resulting in some patients of private hospitals having to wait for treatment at public hospitals. Regarding the development of private hospitals, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)as the Government advised in its reply to my question in July last year that where an application for running private hospitals fulfilled established government policies and public interest considerations, it would offer appropriate assistance, of the meaning of "public interest" and "appropriate assistance" mentioned above;

    (b)given that the Chief Executive mentioned in his Policy Address this year that the Government would make available a number of greenfield sites at nominal premium for the development of new international schools or the expansion of existing schools with interest-free capital works assistance loans, whether the Government will apply the same policy to the construction of private hospitals; if it will not, of the reasons for that; and

    (c)whether it has assessed if its long-term healthcare policies are capable of assisting voluntary bodies and private organizations in building private hospitals, thereby facilitating Hong Kong's competition with places such as Singapore and Shanghai in the strive to become the medical centre in Asia?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Food and Health

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

In response to my comments that the remuneration for principal officials ("POs") in Hong Kong was much higher than that for POs in overseas countries and that for Members of this Council during the motion debate at the meeting of this Council on 28 November, the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs said that "the remuneration for Secretaries of Departments and Directors of Bureaux …… should be compared to that in the private market of Hong Kong. As the economy of Hong Kong is more developed, the remuneration in the private sector is usually higher than that in European and American countries". In this connection, will the Executive Authorities inform this Council:
    (a)of the respective details of the remuneration in the private sector in Hong Kong and that in European and American countries;

    (b)what evidence indicates that the economy of Hong Kong is more developed than the economies of European and American countries, hence, the remuneration for POs in Hong Kong should be higher than that for cabinet members in those countries; and

    (c)given that, as shown by the following table, the remuneration for cabinet members in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and New South Wales, Australia is at most only 2.2 times that for members of their respective legislatures, why the remuneration for POs in Hong Kong is 4.8 times that for Members of this Council?


    Hong Kong The United States The United Kingdom Canada New South Wales, Australia
    Monthly remuneration for members of legislatures (Hong Kong dollars) 56,750 106,666 70,833 86,250 54,166
    Monthly remuneration for POs/cabinet members (Hong Kong dollars) 298,115 116,000 160,000 128,000 85,000
    Ratio of remuneration for POs to that for members of legislatures 4.8
    times
    1.09
    times
    2.2
    times
    1.47
    times
    1.57
    times
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs

*14. Dr Hon David LI to ask:


In his 2007-2008 Budget Speech, the former Financial Secretary said that the International Monetary Fund had suggested that the levels of Hong Kong's fiscal reserves needed to anticipate fluctuations in revenue could be around 30 to 50% of gross domestic product ("GDP"), while those aimed at anticipating fiscal pressures arising from population ageing could mean putting in an additional 30% of GDP by 2030. He added that the Government needed to listen to more views from the community on such suggestions. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it has consulted the community on the above suggestions; if so, of the outcome of the consultation; and

    (b)given that the fiscal reserves currently stand at less than 26% of GDP and the Government will need to accumulate large fiscal surpluses between now and 2030 to reach the levels referred to in the above suggestions, whether the Government has assessed if such suggestions are consistent with Article 107 of the Basic Law that the Government should strive to achieve a fiscal balance; if such an assessment has been made, of the results and the basis on which such results were arrived at?
Public Officer to reply : Financial Secretary

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

Some members of the public have recently reflected to me that faxed advertisements incessantly cause nuisance to them, and the situation has not improved even after they have their fax numbers registered on the "Not-to-Call" list kept by the Office of the Telecommunications Authority. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the number of complaints about junk fax received by the Government and fixed telecommunications network services ("FTNS") operators in each of the past three years and, among such complaints, the number of those involving fax numbers on the "Not-to-Call" list;

    (b)of the number of fax numbers added to the "Not-to-Call" list in each of the past three years; and

    (c)whether it knows the number of cases in each of the past three years in which FTNS operators disconnected the fax lines of their subscribers who had been found to have sent junk fax?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development

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

The Digital Trade and Transportation Network ("DTTN") System, which has been in operation since December 2005, provides a neutral and open e-platform for the logistics sector to interconnect various information systems along various supply chains. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether it knows:
    (a)the total number of registered clients to date since the introduction of the DTTN System, with a breakdown by trade, as well as the respective percentages of these figures in the number of institutions in the trade concerned; and

    (b)the utilization of the DTTN System at present, including the number and value of transactions processed each day, as well as the respective percentages of these figures in all the transactions concerned?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport and Housing

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

It has been reported that the Guangdong authorities will soon implement the Dongjiang River Basin Water Resources Allocation Scheme to limit the quantity of water to be drawn by cities along the Dongjiang River. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it has communicated with the Guangdong authorities about the aforesaid measure; if it has, of the details, and whether it has assessed the impact of such a measure on the quantity of potable water supply to Hong Kong in the short term;

    (b)given that the provisions on the quantity and price of water supply in the water supply arrangements signed between the Government and the Guangdong authorities are valid for the period up to 2008 only, whether it has assessed the impact of the aforesaid measure on the price and mode of potable water supply to Hong Kong after 2008; and

    (c)what it has done and will do to explore other water resources?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Development

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

Regarding the health of elderly residents in residential care homes for the elderly ("RCHEs"), will the Government inform this Council whether:
    (a)it knows the number of cases of elderly residents in RCHEs contracting diseases in the past two years, broken down by type of disease contracted;

    (b)it has assessed if the occurrence of such cases was related to the hygiene conditions of RCHEs; if it is assessed so, of the number of licensed RCHEs involved in such cases last year, as well as the follow-up actions taken by the department(s) concerned on the hygiene problems of RCHEs; and

    (c)additional manpower will be deployed to combat RCHEs operating illegally with poor hygiene conditions, in order to safeguard the health of the elderly?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Labour and Welfare

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

On assisting students with special educational needs, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)in addition to implementing the existing and known measures, how the Government will further enhance the standard of local special education and provide appropriate assistance to the above students;

    (b)whether the Task Group on Integrated Education in Mainstream Schools had, since its meeting on 20 March until November this year, held meetings on matters relating to the review of special education and the implementation of integrated education ("IE") in mainstream schools; if so, when the summary of the relevant discussions will be published; if not, why the Task Group has stopped holding such meetings; and

    (c)whether the authorities will, following last year's review, conduct another comprehensive review on IE (including reviewing the integration of such students in schools, the effectiveness of professional/specialist support and the utilization of school resources), so that further improvements can be made to upgrade the standard of local special education?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education

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

It has been reported that the car journey speed in the urban areas of Hong Kong had continued to slow down over the past four years from an average of 24.9 kilometres per hour ("km/h") in 2002 to only 24 km/h last year, reflecting that the problem of traffic congestion in Hong Kong had worsened. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the traffic congestion data for the major trunk roads in the urban areas (e.g. Nathan Road, Princess Margaret Road, Gloucester Road, Hennessy Road, Des Voeux Road Central, Connaught Road Central, Harcourt Road, Queen's Road Central and the Eastern Corridor, etc.) during peak hours and off-peak hours in the past four years;

    (b)of the reasons for the worsening traffic congestion in the urban areas, and whether any improvement measures have been formulated to address the problem; if so, of the progress; and

    (c)whether the worsening traffic congestion in the urban areas has affected the car journey speed in the three road-harbour crossings; if so, how the crossings have been affected and of the authorities' strategies to address the problem; if not, whether the authorities have analyzed why those crossings have not been affected?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport and Housing

*For written reply.

IIA. Statements

Report on Hong Kong's Constitutional Development by the Chief Executive to the Standing Committee of National People's Congress :Chief Secretary for Administration

III. Motions

Proposed resolution under the Legal Aid Ordinance

Secretary for Home Affairs to move the following motion:


RESOLVED that the Legal Aid Ordinance (Cap. 91) be amended -

(a)in section 5(1), by repealing "$162,300" and substituting "$165,700";

(b)in section 5A(b) -

(i)by repealing "$162,300" and substituting "$165,700";

(ii)by repealing "$450,800" and substituting "$460,300".

IV. Members' Motions

  1. Legislating for the provision of baby-sitting rooms

    Hon LEE Wing-tat: (Translation)

    That, as government and public sector buildings, large shopping centres and restaurants in Hong Kong at present generally do not provide baby-sitting rooms, thus causing great inconvenience to women who are breastfeeding, and resulting in some mothers having to breastfeed in toilets, which may affect the health of the babies, this Council urges the Government to face up to women's right to breastfeed, and to study introducing or amending legislation to make the provision of baby-sitting rooms and breastfeeding facilities a mandatory requirement for new and existing government and public sector buildings, large shopping centres, department stores and large restaurants.

    Amendments to motion
    (i)Hon Mrs Selina CHOW: (Translation)

    To add "the number of breastfeeding women in Hong Kong is on the rise, but" after "That, as"; to delete "and" after "women's right to breastfeed,"; to add "immigration control points, parks, cultural and leisure facilities, public bathing beaches with lifeguards, stations of the mass transit systems," after "existing government and public sector buildings,"; and to add ", and to enhance public awareness of the breastfeeding culture, thereby arousing public concern and support for the provision of baby-sitting rooms" immediately before the full stop.

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

    To add "and safeguard" after "the Government to face up to"; to delete "and" after "women's right to breastfeed,"; to add "workplaces," after "existing government and public sector buildings,"; and to add ", and to step up efforts to promote breastfeeding so that more people will know the benefits of breastfeeding, thereby encouraging more organizations, businesses and employers to additionally provide baby-sitting rooms and breastfeeding facilities, so as to enable more women to breastfeed after childbirth and safeguard babies' right to be breastfed" immediately before the full stop.

    Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Food and Health

  2. Gender equality

    Hon Audrey EU: (Translation)

    That, as women in Hong Kong at present still face many barriers politically, economically and socially, etc, and are denied equal opportunities for development, this Council urges the Government to adopt more proactive measures to cater for their needs, so that both sexes can enjoy equal opportunities for development; such measures should include:

    (a)appointing more women to advisory and statutory bodies to encourage their participation in community affairs;

    (b)increasing resources to support women from the grassroots, including new arrivals and single mothers;

    (c)allocating more resources to curb domestic violence and support the victims of such violence;

    (d)allocating more resources to support victims of sexual violence; and

    (e)providing more women-friendly facilities in the community, such as more water closet cubicles for female.

    Amendments to motion
    (i)Hon TAM Heung-man: (Translation)

    To delete "," after "That" and substitute with "justice and equality are important core values of Hong Kong and women in Hong Kong should enjoy the right to equality in all aspects;"; to delete "and" after "victims of sexual violence;"; and to add "; (f) providing menstruation leave for women and paternity leave for men; and (g) encouraging employers to implement more family-friendly employment policies, so that more women can participate in economic activities" immediately before the full stop.

    (ii)Hon Miriam LAU: (Translation)

    To delete "," after "That" and substitute with "the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women adopted by the United Nations specifically requires States parties to take all appropriate measures to ensure the full development and advancement of women in political, social, economic and cultural aspects for the purpose of guaranteeing women the exercise and enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms on a basis of equality with men; however,"; to add "eliminating discrimination and prejudices which are based on sex or stereotyped roles for men and women, and giving full respect and development opportunities to women; (b)" after "(a)"; to delete the original "(b)" and substitute with "(c)"; to add "(d) enhancing training to help women in need to upgrade their skills, and launching adaptation programmes to help women who have left the employment market to re-enter it; (e) improving child care services to encourage women to go out for work; (f) actively promoting the Capacity Building Mileage Programme to help women equip themselves in different aspects, so that they can meet different challenges;" after "single mothers;"; to delete the original "(c)" and substitute with "(g)"; to delete the original "(d)" and substitute with "(h)"; and to delete the original "(e)" and substitute with "(i)".

    (iii)Hon CHOY So-yuk: (Translation)

    To add "the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women was introduced in Hong Kong in October 1996, but" after "That, as"; to add "raise their participation rate in these bodies and" after "statutory bodies to"; to delete "new arrivals and" after "the grassroots, including" and substitute with "encouraging new arrival women,"; to add "and women of ethnic minorities to participate in community integration programmes and different kinds of community activities, as well as providing emotional support services" after "single mothers"; to delete "and" after "sexual violence;"; to delete "such as" after "women-friendly facilities in the community," and substitute with "including"; and to add "; various kinds of additional children facilities in public places, large shopping centres and government premises, as well as enhanced occasional child care services in the community, so as to relieve women's burden from taking care of their children; setting up more woman health centres; and studying the provision of female compartments in the MTR; (f) enhancing women-friendly employment policies and measures, including studying the extension of statutory maternity leave for pregnant women; and (g) studying the provision of paternity leave for men, so that women will receive better care after childbirth" immediately before the full stop.

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

    To delete "and" after "politically, economically" and substitute with ","; to add "and culturally" after "socially"; to add "formulate relevant policies to eliminate direct and indirect discrimination against women in the community and" after "urges the Government to"; to add "abolishing the functional constituency election which protects privileges and deprives female homemakers of their election rights, and introducing universal suffrage; (b)" after "(a)"; to add "(c) formulating a women policy and giving regard to the needs of women, especially those from the grassroots; and affirming gender mainstreaming, and reviewing the policies implemented by various government departments on the basis of gender equality and women's development needs, etc, for example, the Government must include resolving the problem of women in poverty in its poverty alleviation policy, in the light of the trends of a growing population of women in poverty and the worsening of this problem; (d) setting up a comprehensive gender differentiation database to facilitate policy-makers to include the viewpoints of different genders in policy considerations and analyses; (e) establishing a 'universal retirement protection system' to provide the most basic pension for women with no or low income, so as to ensure that they may enjoy dignified living in their twilight years; (f) given that seven out of 10 workers in poverty (i.e. those with income below the median wage) are women, the Government should expeditiously legislate for a minimum wage to safeguard the basic salaries for female workers; (g) allocating resources for women groups to establish partnership with community organizations, and implementing diversified gender education in schools and at community level, with a view to eliminating the deep-rooted discrimination and prejudice against women in the community;" after "participation in community affairs;"; to delete the original "(b)" and substitute with "(h) facing up to the problem of women in poverty and"; to add "the relevant measures include removing the seven-year residence requirement for the application of Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) and abolishing the punitive measures which force single parents on CSSA to work;" after "single mothers;"; to delete the original "(c)" and substitute with "(i)"; to delete the original "(d)" and substitute with "(j)"; to delete the original "(e)" and substitute with "(k)"; and to add ", inexpensive child care services and women centres, etc" immediately before the full stop.

    (v)Hon Albert HO: (Translation)

    To delete "and" after "new arrivals" and substitute with ","; to add ", female indigenous inhabitants in the New Territories and women of ethnic minorities" after "single mothers"; to delete "and" after "sexual violence;"; and to add "; (f) providing sufficient power and abundant resources to the Women's Commission for coordinating measures to alleviate the problem of poverty among women; (g) responding to the recommendations set out in the Report on Women in Poverty, including the establishment of an alimony council to ensure that divorced couples will share the responsibility of raising their children; (h) providing universal retirement protection to provide sufficient retirement protection to housewives; and (i) applying the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, including gender mainstreaming, to eliminate discrimination against women" immediately before the full stop.

    Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Labour and Welfare

Clerk to the Legislative Council