Council Meeting (Agenda) 22 October 2008



A 08/09-4

Legislative Council

Agenda

Wednesday 22 October 2008 at 11:00 am

I. Tabling of Papers

Subsidiary Legislation / InstrumentsL.N. No.
1.Employees Retraining Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 2) (No. 2) Notice 2008224/2008
2.Buildings (Amendment) Ordinance 2008 (Commencement) Notice 2008225/2008
3.Fugitive Offenders (Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships) Order (Commencement) Notice226/2008

Other Papers

1.No. 5-Environment and Conservation Fund
Trustee Report 2007-2008
(to be presented by the Secretary for the Environment)

2.No. 6-Hong Kong Deposit Protection Board
Annual Report 2007-2008
(to be presented by the Financial Secretary)

3.No. 7-Annual Report of the Protection of Wages
on Insolvency Fund Board 2007-2008
(to be presented by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare)

4.No. 8-Occupational Safety and Health Council
Annual Report 2007-2008
(to be presented by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare)

5.No. 9-The Land Registry Trading Fund Hong Kong
2007-2008 Annual Report
(to be presented by the Secretary for Development)

6.No. 10-Companies Registry Trading Fund
Annual Report 2007-2008
(to be presented by the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury)

7.No. 11-The Government Minute in response to the Report No. 50 of the Public Accounts Committee dated July 2008
(to be presented by the Chief Secretary for Administration, who will address the Council)

8.No. 12-Consumer Council
Annual Report 2007-2008
(to be presented by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development)

9.No. 13-Audited Financial Statements and Auditors' Report for the Fish Marketing Organization for the year ended 31 March 2008
(to be presented by the Secretary for Food and Health )

10.No. 14-Audited Financial Statements and Auditors' Report for the Vegetable Marketing Organization for the year ended 31 March 2008
(to be presented by the Secretary for Food and Health )

11.No. 15-Marine Fish Scholarship Fund Trustee's Report and Audited Financial Statements and Auditors' Report on the Fund for the year ended 31 March 2008
(to be presented by the Secretary for Food and Health )

12.No. 16-Agricultural Products Scholarship Fund Trustee's Report and Audited Financial Statements and Auditors' Report on the Fund for the year ended 31 March 2008
(to be presented by the Secretary for Food and Health )

13.No. 17-Hong Kong Housing Authority Annual Report
2007-2008
(to be presented by the Secretary for Transport and Housing )

14.No. 18-Hong Kong Housing Authority Financial Statements for the year ended 31 March 2008
(to be presented by the Secretary for Transport and Housing )

II. Questions

1. Hon TAM Yiu-chung to ask:
(Translation)

As the Government has recently found melamine, which is harmful to the human body, in a number of food products with dairy ingredients, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it will stipulate that each new consignment of those food products which are found to contain melamine must undergo tests conducted by the authorities to ascertain that the level of melamine contained therein does not exceed the prescribed standard, or must be accompanied by an inspection certificate issued by approved authorities before the new consignment may be sold, so as to enhance food safety; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

    (b)as there have been reports that among the food products with satisfactory melamine test results, as announced by the Centre for Food Safety, some are found to contain a rather high concentration of melamine by the relevant authorities in other places, whether the Government will release the melamine test results of the food samples concerned to enable the public to decide on their own whether to buy these food products; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)of the plans to assist private laboratories in obtaining the accreditation for conducting tests on various types of chemical substances in food products, so as to enhance Hong Kong's food testing capacity and upgrade the overall efficiency of conducting food safety tests in Hong Kong?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Food and Health

2. Hon Jeffrey LAM to ask:
(Translation)

As the Hong Kong financial market is affected by the financial turmoil in the United States ("US") and has become highly volatile recently, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority ("HKMA") introduced five measures at the end of last month to provide liquidity assistance to banks so as to stabilize the local financial system. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)as banks may use US government bonds as collateral for borrowing from HKMA through the Discount Window, whether HKMA will ask the banks concerned to provide additional collateral or make partial repayment when the value of the relevant bonds depreciates due to their credit ratings being downgraded; if not, whether HKMA will fully underwrite the risks concerned;

    (b)of the current number of banks to which HKMA has provided loans and the amounts involved; whether it has assessed, with the introduction of the above measures, if the stability of the Hong Kong dollar will be affected should banks rush to make borrowings and cause the Hong Kong interbank offered rate to surge; if the assessment result is in the affirmative, how the Government will react; and

    (c)given that there is criticism that there are loopholes in the existing accounting system of the financial institutions, how HKMA ensures that, after the introduction of the above measures, the accounts of banks will be effectively monitored and scrutinized to safeguard against malpractices in order to protect the interests of investors?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

3. Hon Andrew LEUNG to ask:
(Translation)

In connection with laboratory tests on the presence of melamine in food products, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it knows the number of laboratories in Hong Kong which are capable of conducting laboratory tests on the level of melamine in food products and the maximum number of food samples that they can test per week;

    (b)as according to existing legislation, the manufacturers, importers, wholesalers and retailers concerned may be held criminally liable if the concentration of melamine in food products is found to exceed the maximum statutory limit, whether the Government has assessed if the said laboratories can meet the demand for their service in conducting laboratory tests for each consignment of food products; if they cannot, whether the authorities concerned have measures to assist the trade so as to ensure that the supply of food in the market will not be affected; and

    (c)as a government official pointed out at the briefing for the trade held by the Centre for Food Safety on the sixth of this month that there was room for and possibility of further tightening the regulation on the concentration of melamine in food, whether the Government has presently set a timetable for further tightening such regulation?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Food and Health

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

It has been reported that over the past several months, there were a number of cases of ambulances breaking down while attending service calls. The situation has given rise to public concern whether emergency ambulance service has been delayed. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the number of cases of ambulances breaking down while attending service calls since January this year, how this number compares with the average number in each of the past three years, as well as the causes of such incidents;

    (b)given that 35 and 88 new ambulances will be commissioned next month and next year respectively, of the expenditure involved, the criteria for determining the priority of ambulance replacement, and whether priority will be given to replacing ambulances with longer years of service and those which mainly serve districts of larger populations and bigger areas; and

    (c)of the results of the inspections carried out by the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department on all ambulances in July and August this year following cases of ambulance breaking down one after another; and whether the Administration will increase the frequency of ambulance inspection and formulate a long-term plan for ambulance replacement?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

5. Hon Fred LI to ask:
(Translation)

International crude oil prices have recently fallen from the peak of US$140 in July this year to below US$80 a barrel, but local pump prices of motor fuels and diesel have only dropped by about 10% during the period. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:
    (a)it has assessed if local oil companies should reduce the current pump prices of motor fuels; if so, of the criteria adopted for the assessment; if the assessment result is in the affirmative, of its means to bring about a reduction in the pump prices of motor fuels immediately, apart from urging oil companies to lower the prices as soon as possible; and

    (b)whether it has assessed if the competition law to be introduced in this legislative year by the Government will effectively prevent various oil companies from manipulating fuel prices jointly; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Environment

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

Regarding the fare concessions currently provided by the MTR Corporation Limited ("MTRCL"), will the Government inform this Council whether it knows:
    (a)the criteria adopted by MTRCL for setting up Fare Savers, the locations which presently meet such criteria but with no Fare Savers set up, and whether and when Fare Savers will be set up at those locations;

    (b)given that MTRCL has started providing half-fare concessions for full-time students this month, but it has been reported that there were cases of the ticketing systems concerned charging excessive fares, the details of such cases, the estimated total of fares overcharged so far, and whether MTRCL will refund the overcharged amount to the affected students; and

    (c)given that the monthly ticket scheme is available only at the East Rail and West Rail Lines at present, whether MTRCL will reconsider providing such scheme at other lines; if it will not, the difficulties involved and whether MTRCL has made reference to the practices of other places?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport and Housing

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

In response to my question about reviewing the Deposit Protection Scheme ("DPS") raised on 7 November last year, the Government advised that the Hong Kong Deposit Protection Board ("DPB") considered that there was no need to adjust the maximum protection limit of $100,000 per depositor at that stage, and DPB would continue to closely monitor the effectiveness of DPS as well as review and adjust the relevant arrangements under the scheme, including the limit and scope of protection, according to the need of the community at an appropriate time. Given the recent turmoil in the local financial market and there was even a bank run last month, will the Government inform this Council whether:
    (a)it knows the percentage of depositors with deposits of $100,000 or below among those who had withdrawn the full amount of their deposits in the bank run mentioned above;

    (b)it has assessed if the bank run reflects that the existing DPS fails to enhance public confidence in small and medium banks; and

    (c)the authorities will make adjustments to the related arrangements of DPS, including following the practices of other places to immediately increase the maximum protection limit to reinforce the confidence of depositors, extend the protection coverage and raise the level of public awareness of DPS; if they will, of the implementation timetable; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

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

It has been reported that the number of students who cross the boundary to attend school every day from the Mainland to Hong Kong in this school year has increased substantially as compared to that of last year. Moreover, as cross-boundary school buses have to carry students during specified periods, cross-boundary students taking these buses can neither attend tuition sessions nor participate in other extra-curricular activities, and therefore they are unable to experience a rich and colourful school life. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the respective numbers of cross-boundary students enrolled in kindergartens, primary schools and secondary schools in Hong Kong in this school year;

    (b)of the current quota of cross-boundary coach granted by the authorities of Guangdong and Hong Kong to school buses, and whether they have assessed if the quota is sufficient to cope with the demand; and

    (c)whether it will adopt measures to assist cross-boundary students in solving the above problems and improve their quality of school life so that they can learn and grow up happily?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education

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

The Office of The Ombudsman released a report in March this year, which made recommendations in respect of the dedicated Joint Office ("JO") set up by the Buildings Department and the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department to handle complaints about water seepage in buildings. It was mentioned in the report that the Administration "has already introduced certain improvement measures to procedures concerning operational timelines, entry to suspected premises and management and monitoring of consultants". In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the details of the above improvement measures, and whether there has been any improvement in the handling of water seepage complaints since the introduction of such measures (including whether the time required for conducting investigations has been shortened and the percentage of successful cases of identifying the source of water seepage has increased, etc.); if so, of the details;

    (b)given that the Government has repeatedly indicated that the review on the operation of JO would be completed in mid-2008, whether the review has been completed, and when the outcome is expected to be made public; if the review has been completed, whether the review report has recommended the implementation of improvement measures; if so, of the details; and

    (c)given that The Ombudsman had urged the Government in the above report to give priority consideration to the proposal of setting up a Building Affairs Tribunal, and the Government has also indicated that it would follow up the matter, of its progress in considering the proposal?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Development

*10. Ir Dr Hon Raymond HO to ask:
(Translation)

It has been reported that as some underground car parks are poorly ventilated, vehicle emissions easily accumulate therein, which may be hazardous to the health of drivers and car park staff. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether underground car parks are required to comply with any requirement relating to ventilation design or equipment before they are open to public use; and

    (b)what measures it will take to safeguard the health of drivers and car park staff who work for long hours in an environment with poor air quality, and whether regulation of the air quality of underground car parks by way of legislation will be one of them; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Environment

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

In the middle of this year, the Government proposed, on public health and animal welfare considerations, that the licensing conditions for pet shops which sell dogs be amended to tighten the control on the sources of dogs offered for sale, and had consulted the trade, animal welfare organizations ("AWOs") and the Panel on Food Safety and Environmental Hygiene of this Council on the proposal. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)given that the Food and Health Bureau has proposed in the paper submitted to the above Panel in May this year that pet shops may only obtain dogs for sale from four specified sources and the seller should only keep a single dog breed with not more than two entire bitches, whether the Administration still maintains these proposals at present; if not, of the details and the reasons for that;

    (b)when the new licensing conditions will be implemented; and

    (c)given that AWOs have all along been opposed to the sale for profit of offsprings of pet dogs by their owners, whether the amended licensing conditions will prohibit such sale; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Food and Health

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

Recently, there were a number of incidents of large trees collapsing, which have aroused public concern about the Government's tree care work. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the names of the government departments currently responsible for tree care, the number of staff concerned in each of these departments and their areas of responsibilities;

    (b)of the details of the procedure adopted by the Government for routine inspection of trees, including the average number of health assessments conducted for every tree in each of the past three years, the tree health and safety rating system currently adopted and the methods of tree care;

    (c)of the government departments which have out-sourced their tree trimming work and the locations of the trees concerned; the government departments which perform the tree trimming work themselves or entrust the work with other departments; and the relevant professional qualifications possessed by the staff in the departments who perform such work; and

    (d)whether the Government had reviewed in the past three years the existing methods for trimming trees on government land; if it had, of the dates and details of such reviews; if not, whether it will conduct a review in the near future so as to avoid endangering the health of trees by using improper tree trimming methods?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Development

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

Following a fatal accident caused by the collapse of an old tree in Stanley at the end of August this year, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department ("LCSD") and a number of other government departments have immediately stepped up its tree inspection work. However, some people and organizations have criticized LCSD for the lack of transparency in its tree inspection and removal work, as well as its unsatisfactory performance in the caring of trees. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the relevant details of the big trees removed by the Government since 1 January this year (please set out the details in the table below);

    Location of the treeWhether the tree was listed on the Register of Old and Valuable Trees
    ("the Register")
    Responsible departmentDate of removalReasons for removal


























    (b)as there have been reports that while only two old trees were removed because of their potential hazards in the past four years, LCSD has advised that at least four old trees need to be removed upon completion of its recent inspection of those trees on the Register which are within its purview, whether the sudden rise in the number of trees required to be removed is due to LCSD recently raising the safety standards for trees and adopting a different method for inspecting trees;

    (c)whether it will consider making public the health condition of the trees on the Register on a regular basis, so as to enable the public to understand the Government's work in the caring of trees and monitor its performance;

    (d)among the LCSD staff responsible for inspecting the health condition of trees, of the respective numbers of those holding various relevant professional qualifications; whether the Government has issued guidelines or established standards for assessing the health conditions of trees; if so, the details of such guidelines and standards; and whether the Government will consider increasing the manpower for tree inspection or outsourcing some of the work, so as to support its policy of enhancing urban greening; and

    (e)as it has been reported that LCSD will review its existing work in the caring of trees, of the progress of the review, as well as when the details are expected to be made public (e.g. whether consideration will be given to enacting legislation on the preservation of trees)?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Home Affairs

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

In view of the recent incidents on the Mainland involving melamine-tainted milk products, the Hospital Authority set up 18 designated clinics ("DCs") on the 23rd of last month to provide free initial assessment service for children at or under the age of 12, and patients who require further assessment and treatment will be referred to the nine special assessment centres ("SACs"). In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether it knows:
    (a)the respective average weekly numbers of children to whom the above DCs and SACs have provided service since the launch of the above service, and the number of those who have so far been diagnosed to have renal stones and are in need of treatment;

    (b)the waiting time of new cases for the above assessment service, and whether the authorities will consider increasing the service quota on Saturdays and Sundays; and

    (c)the reasons why, instead of using the telephone booking service, many parents queued in person at the DCs to book the assessment service for their children, and whether additional resources will be provided to improve the relevant telephone booking service?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Food and Health

*15. Hon Jeffrey LAM to ask:
(Translation)

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government reached a consensus with the Guangdong Provincial Government in April 2002 to reduce the emission of four major air pollutants in the region by 2010 and a number of measures have been taken to improve air quality. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)given that newly-registered vehicles with low emissions and high fuel efficiency are eligible for concession on first registration tax, of the respective numbers of models of petrol private cars and commercial vehicles, as anticipated by the Environmental Protection Department, which would enjoy tax concession in the next financial year, and whether such tax concession arrangements would be improved to encourage more car owners to purchase vehicle of such models;

    (b)whether it has conducted studies on providing special tax concession to Hong Kong businessmen who have set up manufacturing businesses in the Pearl River Delta Region to encourage them to purchase machines which are more environmentally-friendly; if it has, of the results; and

    (c)when it will set out plans and targets for improving regional air quality in 2010 and beyond, as well as the relevant details, such as emission standards?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Environment

*16. Hon Starry LEE to ask:
(Translation)

Employers generally set the retirement age for their staff at 60 but the elderly people must reach the age of 65 before they can apply for senior citizen card, and they will not be granted health care vouchers or the non-means-tested Higher Old Age Allowance ("HOAA") until they are 70. Under such situation, some grass-root elderly people with a small amount of savings, and therefore not eligible for Comprehensive Social Security Assistance ("CSSA"), have to live solely on their savings for several years after their retirement at 60, and they cannot even enjoy the concessions offered by government departments, public organizations and commercial establishments to senior citizen card holders. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the specific measures in place to assist those grass-root elderly people who are aged above 60 but not eligible for CSSA in improving their livelihood;

    (b)whether it will review the existing policy and set the minimum age requirement for recipients of elderly welfare schemes at 60 across the board; if it will, of the details and the additional public funds involved each year; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)whether it will, in addition to the existing HOAA and CSSA Scheme, consider implementing an "elderly maintenance grant scheme" so that those elderly people who are aged 60 but not eligible for CSSA will receive a certain sum of living supplement each month after passing a simple means test; if it will, of the details and the annual amount of public funds involved in implementing the scheme if the living supplement is set at $1,200 per month; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Labour and Welfare

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

I have recently received a complaint from a member of the public who alleged that the Hongkong Post ("HKP") had lost a mail item he posted, causing him to suffer loss and inconvenience. However, when he requested the post office concerned to account for the loss of the mail item, the staff of the post office said that HKP was not required to bear responsibility for the loss of mail items. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the number of complaints received in each of the past three years about the loss of mail items by HKP;

    (b)whether it has examined the reasons for the loss of mail items by HKP; if it has, of the results; and

    (c)whether HKP will take measures to avoid losing mail items; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development

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

Concerning the installation of air-conditioning systems in public markets under the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department and the Hong Kong Housing Authority, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the names of the public markets not yet installed with such systems and the districts in which these markets are located, as well as the reasons for not yet installing such systems;

    (b)whether the authorities concerned will review the current criteria for installing such systems in public markets and whether such systems will be installed in all public markets in Hong Kong; if there will be no review or such systems will not be installed, of the reasons for that; and

    (c)whether the authorities concerned have evaluated the impact of not having such systems installed in public markets on their competitiveness against private superstores, and whether the room for survival of public markets will be reduced indirectly?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Food and Health

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

The first stage of public consultation on healthcare reform ended in mid-June this year. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)when the public consultation results are expected to be made public, and of the preliminary summary of public views;

    (b)of the preliminary details of the second stage of public consultation and the relevant funding proposals; and

    (c)as it has been reported that the recent turmoil in the financial market has exposed loopholes in its monitoring and risk management mechanism, which allows high-risk investment products to be presented and sold as low-risk products, resulting in huge losses by investors and a sudden collapse of public confidence in the investment market, as well as dealing a blow to the investment and insurance markets, and given that certain healthcare funding options proposed by the Government in the consultation document of the first stage public consultation require members of the public to make contributions for investment and to take out health insurance, whether the Government will review, in the light of the above, if such healthcare funding options should be included in the second stage of public consultation on healthcare reform; if it will not, of the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Food and Health

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

During the resumption of the Second Reading debate on the Education (Amendment) Bill 2002 in July 2004, the then Secretary for Education and Manpower undertook that upon the passage of the Bill, the Government would closely monitor the implementation of the Ordinance; if loopholes or deficiencies in the provisions of the Ordinance causing major implementation difficulties were identified, the Government would take the initiative to propose amendments to the relevant provisions for improvement. The Legislative Council could, when necessary, pass a resolution to extend the deadline for the establishment of incorporated management committees ("IMCs") in aided schools by two years. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the names, number and percentage of schools which have established IMCs, as well as those applying and those which have yet to apply for the establishment of IMCs, with a breakdown by school type and school sponsoring body ("SSB");

    (b)whether the authorities have taken the initiative to contact those SSBs which have raised objection to the establishment of IMCs with a view to seeking better solutions;

    (c)whether it has assessed the number of aided schools which will not submit by 1 July 2009 the relevant papers for the establishment of IMCs;

    (d)of the progress and specific details of the review on the implementation of the above Ordinance; when the report of the review will be made available to this Council and the public so that this Council and the Government may consider whether it is necessary to propose the above-mentioned resolution or amendments to the provisions of the Ordinance; and

    (e)whether the Government will move a resolution to extend the deadline for the establishment of IMCs in aided schools by two years; the rationale for making such decision; and whether the Government supports Members of this Council to move the relevant resolution so as to ease any possible conflicts arising from the implementation of the Ordinance?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education

*For written reply.

III. Motions

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 29 September 2008, be approved -

(a)the Pharmacy and Poisons (Amendment) (No. 4) Regulation 2008; and

(b) the Poisons List (Amendment) (No. 4) Regulation 2008.

(The two Regulations were issued on 9 October 2008
under LC Paper No. CB(3) 27/08-09)

IV. Members' Motions
  1. Assisting the victims of the Lehman Brothers incident

    Hon Jeffrey LAM: (Translation)

    That, as a large number of investors have complained against the banks and securities companies using misleading marketing practices, which have led to their purchasing of financial products such as Lehman Minibonds without knowing the potential risks, resulting in their suffering substantial losses when the company went bankrupt; this incident has not only caused many members of the public to lose confidence in the above financial institutions, but has also seriously affected Hong Kong's reputation as an international financial centre; in this connection, this Council urges the Government to immediately take the following actions:

    (a)using all possible means, including setting up an inter-departmental response team to assume overall responsibility for providing comprehensive assistance to affected small investors and protecting their interest;

    (b)expeditiously completing a comprehensive investigation into whether the distributors of Lehman Minibonds and related financial products have violated the relevant regulatory rules or guidelines, including whether these distributors have used improper sales practices to mislead the investors, if it is proved that they have violated the relevant rules or guidelines, the Government should pursue the matter and seek compensation on behalf of the victims;

    (c)supporting the Consumer Council to conduct a study of the suspected cases involving misleading practices and, where necessary, use the Consumer Legal Action Fund to seek compensation from the banks and securities companies concerned for the small investors;

    (d)demanding the authorities to urge the trustees and distributors concerned to appoint an independent notary agency to properly handle the assets of holders of Lehman Minibonds or related financial products, thereby providing the best protection for the interest of small investors; and

    (e)at the same time conducting an investigation into whether there is dereliction of duty on the part of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Securities and Futures Commission in this incident, and making recommendations on how to improve the mechanism for monitoring the sales of financial products, strengthen the protection of investors' interests and prevent the recurrence of similar incidents.

    Amendments to the motion
    (i) Hon KAM Nai-wai: (Translation)

    To delete "as" after "That," and substitute with "under the existing financial monitoring mechanism, there is still"; to delete "investors have complained" after "a large number of" and substitute with "bank clients and investors complaining"; to add "and notes" after "such as Lehman Minibonds"; to add "and the system for monitoring banks and the financial system" after "financial institutions"; to add "condemns the Government for its inadequate monitoring, and" after "this Council"; to add "urging distributors to expeditiously disclose information on the underlying assets of Lehman Minibonds or related financial products, including the nature of the underlying assets, their prices and liquidity; (c)" after "(b)"; to delete "," after "mislead the investors" and substitute with "and whether they have breached the regulations or deviated from the guidelines, and expeditiously disclose the nature and number of cases involving improper sales practices and violation of and deviation from the guidelines;"; to delete the original "(c)" and substitute with "(d) urging the Police to expeditiously complete their investigations for the authorities concerned to institute prosecutions against illegal acts, so as to severely penalize such acts; (e) urging various distributors to expeditiously propose to their clients compensation options for improper sales practices and violation of regulations; (f) with reference to the practice of Singapore in handling disputes resolution in the financial sector, considering the setting up of an independent commission or institution to provide one-stop service for disputes resolution, so as to enable the victims to seek compensation through such means as mediation and adjudication; (g)"; to delete the original "(d)" and substitute with "(h)"; to delete the original "(e)" and substitute with "(i)"; and to add "the Financial Secretary, the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau," after "part of".

    (ii) Hon WONG Kwok-hing: (Translation)

    To add "the Financial Secretary has given advance warning that the second wave of the financial tsunami may strike Hong Kong shortly, and at present" after "That, as"; to add "and the problem remains unresolved; at the special meeting of the House Committee of this Council on 13 October, the Financial Secretary advised that a proposal had been made to distributors to buy back all Lehman Minibonds from the investors at the market value of their collaterals, and the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury also advised that the Government had suggested the banks and securities companies which distributed Lehman Minibonds to buy back the bonds from the bond-holders at the estimated market value of the bonds; however, neither the Government nor the representatives of distributors gave any response at the meeting to the implementation timetable of the above proposed solutions put forward by the Government" after "the company went bankrupt"; to add "expeditiously providing the details about implementing the plan for distributors to buy back the bonds from the bond-holders and the implementation timetable; (b)" after "(a)"; to delete the original "(b)" and substitute with "(c)"; to delete "distributors" after "whether the" and substitute with "issuers, sponsors and distributors, etc"; to delete "distributors" after "whether these" and substitute with "institutions"; to delete the original "(c)" and substitute with "(d)"; to delete "conduct a study of" after "the Consumer Council to" and substitute with "follow up"; to delete "where necessary, use" after "misleading practices and," and substitute with "when conciliation fails, actively consider using"; to add ", so as to ensure the interest of consumers" after "the small investors"; to delete the original "(d)" and substitute with "(e)"; to delete "and (e)" after "the interest of small investors;" and substitute with "(f)"; and to add "; and (g) demanding the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to investigate the unreasonable management measures adopted by the relevant banks to coerce their employees to achieve sales targets of the bonds concerned, establish channels for employees of banks to reflect such situations to the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and, at the same time, monitor bank management not to use high-handed and target-oriented approach in marketing products to protect front-line employees from becoming scapegoats, so as to restore public confidence in banks" immediately before the full stop.

    (iii)Hon Alan LEONG: (Translation)

    To add "the product contents and" after "without knowing"; to add "demanding the authorities to appoint, with the highest efficiency and within the shortest possible time, independent persons of credibility and authorize them to deal with the following tasks respectively: (i) monitoring the process of various banks for investigating complaint cases and instituting conciliation with the affected persons regarding the settlement offers proposed by the banks; and (ii) with the consent of the parties concerned, arbitrating those cases which cannot be settled by way of conciliation, so as to reduce the anxiety and dissatisfaction of the affected persons; (e)" after "(d)"; and to delete the original "(e)" and substitute with "(f)".

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

  2. Facing up to the transport needs of people with disabilities

    Hon LEUNG Yiu-chung: (Translation)

    That this Council passed motions on a number of occasions over the past few years calling for improvement to transport facilities for people with disabilities and offer of concessionary transport fares to them, but the Administration, some statutory transport corporations and other public transport operators still fail to face up to and give effect to the motions; this Council strongly demands that the Administration and various public transport operators immediately respond positively and give effect to the relevant motions previously passed by this Council and the Report of the Council's Subcommittee to Study the Transport Needs of and Provision of Concessionary Public Transport Fares for Persons with Disabilities in the last term, which include that:

    (a)in order to effectively assist people with disabilities in integrating into society, the Administration must adopt legislative, administrative and financial measures to press various major public transport operators to offer concessionary fares to them;

    (b)the Government must put forth, in the near future, specific proposals and a timetable for introducing half-fare concession for people with disabilities, so as to help them integrate into society and improve their life;

    (c)the Government must allocate additional resources to comprehensively improve the Rehabus service and, in particular, should enhance such service for people with disabilities living in remote areas and new towns; and

    (d)the Government must step up consultation with people with disabilities to fully realize the concept of "Transport for All", and strictly regulate the public transport operators in providing barrier-free facilities, so as to enable more people with disabilities to use public transport and integrate into society.

    Public Officers to attend:Secretary for Labour and Welfare
    Secretary for Transport and Housing
Clerk to the Legislative Council