Council Meeting (Agenda) 14 January 2009



A 08/09-14

Legislative Council

Agenda

Wednesday 14 January 2009 at 11:00 am

I. Tabling of Papers

Subsidiary Legislation / InstrumentsL.N. No.
1.Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 1) Order 20094/2009
2.Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants (Exemption for Appendices II and III Species) (Amendment) Order 20095/2009
3.Independent Police Complaints Council Ordinance (Commencement) Notice6/2009
4.Import and Export (Strategic Commodities) Regulations (Amendment of Schedule 1) Order 2008 (Commencement) Notice7/2009

Other Papers

1.No. 54-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 2008
(to be presented by the Secretary for Security)

2. No. 55-Hospital Authority Annual Report 2007-2008
(to be presented by the Secretary for Food and Health)

3.No. 56-Samaritan Fund
Statement of Accounts, Report of the Director of Audit on the Statement and Report on the Samaritan Fund for the year ended 31 March 2008
(to be presented by the Secretary for Food and Health)

4.No. 57-Legal Aid Services Council 2007-2008 Annual Report
(to be presented by the Secretary for Home Affairs)

II. Questions

1. Hon Emily LAU to ask:
(Translation)

It is learnt that some governments of other places provide financial and other assistance to political parties which have seats in their assemblies to ensure that the political parties have adequate funding and will not be controlled by individuals or consortia as a result of over-reliance on private donations. On the contrary, the political parties in Hong Kong have to raise their own funds. Although the authorities reimburse Legislative Council ("LegCo") Members their operating expenses, the money is restricted to meeting expenses related to LegCo affairs, and the subsidy for candidates of a LegCo election at a rate of $11 per vote is provided to candidates only, and not political parties. In this connection, will the Executive Authorities inform this Council whether they will, having regard to the experience of other places, consider adopting the following measures:
    (a)allowing political donations to political parties to be deductible in salaries tax and profits tax assessments, waiving the profits tax for political parties established in the form of companies, providing free postal services to political parties, and setting up a policy research fund through which political parties are sponsored to conduct public policy research;

    (b)assisting political parties in broadcasting during elections, such as requiring broadcasters to provide free or discounted airtime to political parties during elections and setting up public channels for political parties, so as to increase the avenues for promoting their political ideologies; and

    (c)providing free offices to political parties, as well as implementing other measures conducive to the development of political parties?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs

2. Dr Hon LAM Tai-fai to ask:
(Translation)

Regarding the preparatory work for the Fifth East Asian Games to be held in Hong Kong at the end of this year, will the Government inform this Council whether:
    (a)it knows the total amount of sponsorship committed by members of the public and the business sector, as well as the latest estimate of the deficit to be borne by the Government for the East Asian Games;

    (b)it has publicized and promoted among the school sector the East Asian Games; if it has, of the details of the publicity campaign; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)it has assessed the impact of the economic downturn on the attendance of the various events of the East Asian Games, as well as the number of jobs that the Games can create; if it has, of the assessment results; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Home Affairs

3. Hon Paul TSE to ask:
(Translation)

Some people from the tourism trade have relayed to me that building facilities to commend the achievements of Hong Kong celebrities (for example, a Bruce Lee memorial hall) will be conducive to the development of tourism. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:
    (a)it has conducted any survey to gauge the views of the public and tourists on building a Bruce Lee memorial hall and conserving the residence of Bruce Lee in Kowloon Tong; if it has, of the results; if not, whether it will conduct such a survey;

    (b)it has studied the feasibility of the proposal put forward by the owner of the residence of Bruce Lee to convert the building into a Bruce Lee memorial hall; if it has, of the details; if not, whether it will conduct the study expeditiously; and

    (c)it has any plan to set up facilities and take forward such projects to commend other internationally renowned Hong Kong celebrities; if it has, of the details and the criteria for determining whether it will set up facilities to commend a particular celebrity, so as to develop new tourist attractions; if it has not, the reasons for that?
Public Officers to reply:Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development
Secretary for Home Affairs

4. Hon Alan LEONG to ask: (Translation)

On 4th November last year, the authorities of the Mainland and Taiwan signed four cross-strait agreements on maritime, air and postal links as well as food safety and, as a result, both passenger and cargo traffic between the two places no longer have to go via Hong Kong. Moreover, cross-strait tension has eased recently. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs had taken part in the discussions on the implementation details of the above agreements, and of the role of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region ("HKSAR") in the discussions; if the Secretary was involved in the discussions, what suggestions the HKSAR Government had made to safeguard the interests of Hong Kong; if the Secretary was not involved, of the reasons for that; and

    (b)given that presently Taiwanese residents are required to hold valid visas for visiting Hong Kong, and HKSAR passport holders visiting Taiwan are required to comply with similar requirement, whether the HKSAR Government has, in view of the recent improvement in cross-strait relations, discussed with the Taiwanese authorities arrangements for mutual abolition of visa requirements?
Public Officers to reply:Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs
Secretary for Security

5. Hon WONG Sing-chi to ask: (Translation)

At the meeting of this Council on 26 April 2006, the former Secretary for Home Affairs pointed out that the spirit of the Government's gambling policy was not to encourage gambling. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether it has assessed if its gambling-related measures implemented in the past three years were consistent with the policy spirit of "not to encourage gambling"; if the assessment result is in the affirmative, of the details of the relevant measures, and whether it has assessed the effectiveness of such measures in realizing the above policy spirit; if so, of the results of the assessment?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Home Affairs

6. Dr Hon Joseph LEE to ask:
(Translation)

There are quite a number of comments that the Complaints Against Police Office ("CAPO") of the Hong Kong Police Force lacks credibility and transparency in handling complaints against the Police, for example, the investigations are conducted by police officers, and it has also been claimed that the Independent Police Complaints Council ("IPCC") has limited monitoring power. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the number of police officers who were disciplined in each of the past three years after the complaints against them had been substantiated, together with a breakdown by the type of penalties imposed on them; and

    (b)whether it has considered further strengthening IPCC's power on monitoring the day-to-day investigation of CAPO (such as appointing full-time observers) to ensure that the investigations are conducted in a fair and impartial manner; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

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

Section 28 of the Building Management Ordinance (Cap. 344) stipulates that the owners' corporation ("OC") of a building shall procure third party risks insurance in relation to the common parts of the building and the property of the OC. Since there are still 1 300 buildings with OCs which have not yet procured third party risks insurance, the Government has recently proposed that the commencement date for the section be deferred by two years to 1 January 2011. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:
    (a)it knows, among the aforesaid buildings which have not yet procured third party risks insurance:

    (i)the number of old single-block buildings which require completion of building maintenance works before third party risks insurance can be procured, with a breakdown of the number of buildings in each District Council district by the number of flats (20 or below, 21 to 50, 51 to 150 and 151 or above) in such buildings;

    (ii)the number of buildings the OCs of which have attempted to approach insurance companies for procuring third party risks insurance, and the number of such OCs which have approached three or more insurance companies; and

    (iii)the number of buildings the OC management committees of which are required to fill vacancies in their membership before meetings can be convened to discuss the procurement of insurance matters;

    (b)it has studied if the proposal to group together certain old single-block buildings in close proximity with comparatively small numbers of flats to carry out building maintenance works and procure third party risks insurance is feasible; if so, of the results of the study; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)it will relax the existing eligibility criteria for loans and grants under various building maintenance schemes, including relaxing the restrictions under the income and asset tests, offering interest-free loans and increasing the amounts of loans and grants, so as to encourage OCs to maintain their buildings and reducing difficulties in procuring third party risks insurance; if so, of the relevant details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Home Affairs

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

To enhance its commitment to the retirement protection for lower-income working people, the Government will commence a one-off injection of $6,000 into the accounts of members of the Mandatory Provident Fund ("MPF") Schemes and MPF-exempted Occupational Retirement Schemes (i.e. Provident Fund Schemes) within the current fiscal year. As there have been comments that given the currently volatile financial market, such injection may result in investment loss, will the Government inform this Council whether it will reconsider giving cash directly to the relevant persons instead of making injection into the accounts of members of MPF Schemes and Provident Fund Schemes, in order to relieve their stress of living under inflation at present; if not, of the reasons for that?

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

*9. Dr Hon Priscilla LEUNG to ask:
(Translation)

I have recently received complaints from quite a number of real estate agents who pointed out that since the latter half of last year, due to the deteriorating economic outlook amid the financial tsunami and the plunge in property prices, banks have tightened the criteria for vetting and approving applications for property mortgage loans and refused in different ways to offer loans (such as deliberately underestimating the property value). In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:
    (a)it knows the number of cases in the past six months of banks refusing to offer mortgage loans to prospective buyers of first-hand or second-hand residential properties, as well as their reasons for refusing to offer loans;

    (b)it knows the respective numbers of cases in the past six months of residential property buyers being refused, after signing the Official Agreements for Sale and Purchase, to be offered mortgage loans by individual banks, such buyers having to defer the date for completing the transaction as they had yet to secure a mortgage loan, as well as buyers having their deposits ultimately forfeited due to failure to secure a mortgage loan;

    (c)the Hong Kong Monetary Authority presently has any mechanism in place to handle complaints lodged by the public about banks deliberately refusing to offer property mortgage loans; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (d)it has assessed the impact of the banks tightening the criteria for vetting and approving property mortgage applications on the estate agency trade; if so, whether it has measures in place to assist real estate agents; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

*10. Hon Miriam LAU to ask:
(Translation)

Under the Import and Export (Registration) Regulations (Cap. 60 sub. leg. E), every person who imports or exports any article, other than an exempted article, is required to make an import/export declaration and pay a declaration charge in respect of the article. Presently, for non-food items, the declaration charge for the imports and exports is 50 cents for the first $46,000 of the value of goods declared and 25 cents for each additional $1,000 or part thereof and rounded up to the nearest 10 cents. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the total amount of declaration charges collected last year, and the administrative, manpower and other expenses thus incurred;

    (b)what criteria were used by the Government to determine the calculation method and levels of the declaration charges; whether it has compared such calculation method and charge levels with those of other customs duty territories; if so, of the results; if not, the reasons for that; and whether it will consider making such a comparison;

    (c)whether it will review how the calculation method of the declaration charges may be simplified, e.g. standardizing the declaration charges regardless of the value of the goods; and

    (d)given that Hong Kong's freight industry is facing stiff competition from other regions, whether it will consider lowering the declaration charges and exempting re-export goods from import declaration charges, so as to enhance the competitiveness of Hong Kong's freight industry?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development

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

As the financial tsunami has caused global economic downturn, quite a number of Hong Kong residents who used to work outside the territory have recently returned one after another to reside in Hong Kong because they had lost their jobs. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the number, at the end of each of the past three years, of Hong Kong residents who worked outside Hong Kong;

    (b)of the impact of these people returning to reside in Hong Kong on the territory's employment and unemployment statistics in recent months;

    (c)whether it will assess the number of such people returning to reside in Hong Kong in the coming two years as well as the impact of their return on both the local labour market and the demand for public services, so as to formulate corresponding measures; and

    (d)whether the authorities will focus on the special needs (such as short-term accommodation, admission of their children to school and employment) of such people and offer them assistance?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Labour and Welfare

*12. Hon LI Fung-ying to ask:
(Translation)

Regarding the impact of the financial tsunami on the Civil Service Provident Fund ("CSPF") Scheme, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the rates of return on investment of various funds under the CSPF Scheme in the past 12 months; and

    (b)as it has been reported that since December last year, the Hospital Authority has provided its staff the option of withholding the withdrawal of their provident funds upon retirement or leaving the service and keeping their provident fund accounts for a maximum period of five years in the hope that better returns may be gained in the future, whether the Government has plans to provide similar options for civil servants; if it has, of the details of such plans; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Civil Service

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

Some members of the public have recently relayed to me that the number of public toilets at the camp sites and barbecue areas within the country parks is inadequate, and most of the toilets in such places do not have baby-sitting rooms and water closet cubicles for the disabled, which cause inconvenience to those in need. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the following details of each of the camp sites and barbecue areas with public toilets:

    Name of the camp site/ barbecue areaName of the country park at which such camp site/ barbecue area is locatedAqua privy or flushing toiletNumber of water closet cubicles for the maleNumber of water closet cubicles for the femaleNumber of water closet cubicles for the disabledNumber of baby-sitting rooms








    (b)of the names of the camp sites and barbecue areas without public toilets, as well as the names of country parks within which such camp sites or barbecue areas are located; and

    (c)whether it will increase the number of public toilets and water closet cubicles (especially the ones for the disabled) as well as install baby-sitting rooms at the above locations; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Environment

*14. Hon KAM Nai-wai to ask:
(Translation)

Quite a number of members of the public have relayed to me that the distance between the concrete batching plant at Tin Wan Praya Road on Hong Kong Island and the residential area is less than 500 metres, and the residents have been dissatisfied with the pollution problems created by that plant. It is learnt that upon expiry of the land lease for the plant at the end of last year, the plant owner has informed the Lands Department that the land will be surrendered at the end of March this year. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:
    (a)it knows the average daily amount of concrete batched by the above plant during 2007 and the first 10 months of 2008, and the amount and percentage of concrete batched by the plant in the total amount of concrete used by construction sites on Hong Kong Island and in Kowloon and the New Territories during the said period;

    (b)it knows the date on which the plant will cease/ceased operation and when its facilities will be removed; and

    (c)it will rezone the relevant land as open space or for Social/Community/Institution use in the light of the aspiration of the residents in the area, and whether it will consider including the relevant land in the Aberdeen Tourism Project; if not, of the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Development

*15. Hon CHEUNG Kwok-che to ask:
(Translation)

Some elderly people and people with disabilities ("PWDs") have criticized that the current supply of subsidized places in residential care homes for the elderly ("RCHEs") and in residential care homes for PWDs ("RCHDs") falls short of demand, resulting in rather long waiting time for such places. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the respective current numbers of residents staying in subsidized care and attention places and nursing home places and, in respect of each type of such places, the current numbers of vacant places and elderly people waiting for admission, as well as the average waiting time for admission;

    (b)of the latest information on the following residential care homes for various types of PWDs;

    Type of
    residential care homes
    No. of residentsNo. of vacant placesNo. of people waiting for admissionAverage
    waiting time for admission
    Care and Attention Home for Severely Disabled Persons



    Hostel for Severely Mentally Handicapped Persons



    Hostel for Severely Physically Handicapped Persons



    Hostel for Severely Physically Handicapped Persons with Mental Handicap



    Hostel for Moderately Mentally Handicapped Persons



    Supported Hostel:

           Mentally Handicapped Persons

           Ex-mentally Ill Persons

           Blind Persons

           Physically Handicapped Person




    Care and Attention Home for the Aged Blind



    Hostel for Ex-mentally Ill Persons:

           Halfway House

           Halfway House with Special Provision

           Long Stay Care Home




    Self-financing Hostel:

           Mentally Handicapped Persons

           Blind Persons

           Ex-mentally Ill Persons

           Physically Handicapped Persons





    and

    (c)whether the Government will increase the number of subsidized places in various types of RCHEs and RCHDs in the coming five years, so as to shorten the waiting time for admission; if it will, of the respective numbers; and the assistance provided by the Government to the elderly people and PWDs who are currently waiting for those places?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Labour and Welfare

*16. Dr Hon David LI to ask:


Regarding the Hong Kong-owned factories in the Pearl River Delta Region, will the Government inform this Council whether it directly gathers, in a way similar to local factories, from the manufacturers concerned statistics on their production activities; if so, of the respective percentages of their products over the past five years that were sold annually for export to overseas markets and for domestic consumption on the Mainland; if not, whether it will consider defining a set of useful statistics and, either directly or in concert with the relevant mainland authorities or non-government agencies, collecting and developing such data?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development

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

Will the Government inform this Council of:
    (a)the details of the drugs and vaccines procured by the Government in each of the past five years for the purposes of coping with and taking precaution against influenza pandemics (including setting out the quantity of each type of drugs/vaccines, the expenditure involved, the target and actual stockpile levels, as well as the quantity of drugs/vaccines in each procurement batch according to their expiry date); and

    (b)the actions taken by the authorities when such drugs/vaccines are approaching their expiry dates, in order to maintain the stockpile levels of potent drugs/vaccines?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Food and Health

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

It has been reported that the supporting frames for the transmitters of some of the mobile telephone base stations ("base station"), approved by the Office of the Telecommunications Authority ("OFTA") to be installed on rooftops of buildings and external walls of low-rise buildings, are unauthorized building works without the approval of the Buildings Department ("BD"), and they pose a threat to public safety. Moreover, the Office of The Ombudsman criticized in October 2005 that in vetting and approving applications by telecommunications operators for installing base stations, OFTA had unduly relied on the initiative of them to meet the requirements of other departments, and that the approval process contained loopholes. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it knows the current number of base stations in each District Council ("DC") district and, among them, the number of those with transmitters installed on rooftops of buildings and external walls of low-rise buildings;

    (b)of the respective numbers of applications for installing base stations received, approved and rejected by OFTA in each of the past three years (with a breakdown by DC district), and the reasons for rejecting some of the applications;

    (c)of the number of complaints about the unauthorized erection of base station transmitters (with a breakdown by DC district) received by BD in each of the past three years and, among them, the number of those which had been substantiated, as well as the number of removal orders issued;

    (d)whether it will review the existing procedure for vetting and approving applications for installing base stations, and whether it will consider assigning OFTA the duty to coordinate the vetting work with various departments; if not, of the reasons for that; and

    (e)of the improvement measures taken by OFTA and BD in view of the recommendations made by the Office of The Ombudsman in the above-mentioned report?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development

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

As the new senior secondary ("NSS") academic structure will be implemented formally in the coming school year, some secondary schools need to undergo class restructuring according to the guiding principles stipulated by the authorities. It has been learnt that all secondary schools in Hong Kong have submitted to the authorities applications regarding class structures under the NSS academic structure for the next school year. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)in respect of the various types of secondary schools, namely government schools, aided schools and Direct Subsidy Scheme schools,

    (i)of the respective numbers of schools in each school year since 2000-2001;

    (ii)of the projected numbers of schools in each of the next two school years; and

    (iii)in respect of each education administration district, of the number of Secondary 1 places to be provided and the number of school-aged Secondary 1 students within the same district in the coming school year, as well as the discrepancy between these two figures; and

    (b)of the respective numbers of government schools, aided schools and Direct Subsidy Scheme schools which will adopt various class structures under the NSS academic structure (set out in the following table)?

    Current
    class structure
    Number of secondary schools adopting
    such class structure under the NSS academic structure
    36 classes
    (6+6+6+
    6+6+6)
    30 classes
    (5+5+5+
    5+5+5)
    24 classes
    (4+4+4+
    4+4+4)
    18 classes
    (3+3+3+
    3+3+3)
    Other class
    structures
    31 classes
    (5+5+5+5+5+3+3)





    30 classes
    (6+6+6+4+4+2+2)





    29 classes
    (5+5+5+5+5+2+2)





    27 classes
    (5+5+5+4+4+2+2)





    24 classes
    (4+4+4+4+4+2+2)





    Other
    class structures





    Figures in the brackets represent the respective numbers of classes from Secondary 1 to Secondary 6/Secondary 7
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education

*20. Hon CHAN Hak-kan to ask:
(Translation)

The Report of the Phase Two Review of the Post Secondary Education Sector made public in April last year recommended that "the Government should continue to take the lead in enhancing recognition for Associate Degree ("AD") qualification". Moreover, there are currently 13 grades which set Higher Diploma ("HD") as an entry qualification requirement also accept AD qualification. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it will increase the number of civil service grades accepting AD qualification as an entry requirement; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

    (b)given that the Government announced at the end of last year the creation of over 60 000 civil service posts and other temporary posts to stimulate the economy, of the number and percentage of such posts which accept AD qualification as an entry requirement, as well as the average monthly salary of such posts; and

    (c)whether it will consider creating temporary and internship posts which only accept applications from holders of AD qualification; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Civil Service

*For written reply.



III. Members' Motions
  1. Formulating a comprehensive elderly policy

    Hon CHEUNG Kwok-che: (Translation)

    That, given the trend of an ageing population, the Government estimates that elderly people aged 65 and above in 2036 will constitute 27% of the total population and amount to over two million; as the services in areas such as welfare, housing, medical and health care as well as life development currently provided by the Government for the elderly are insufficient to cater for the overall needs of the elderly in various aspects, coupled with the fact that at present the majority of the elderly people do not have full retirement protection, this Council urges the Government to consolidate the various existing elderly services and coordinate the relevant bureaux and executive departments to formulate a comprehensive and forward-looking elderly policy which, apart from catering for their physical and psychological needs, provides the elderly with more opportunities to enable them to actively participate in social building and continue to contribute to the community, so as to provide "golden twilight years" for the increasingly sizeable elderly population.

    Amendments to the motion
    (i) Hon TAM Yiu-chung: (Translation)

    To delete ", given the trend of an ageing population," after "That"; to delete "as" after "over two million;" and substitute with "however,"; to delete "overall" after "insufficient to cater for the"; to add "rendering it unable to cope with the trend of an ageing population," after "retirement protection,"; to delete ", apart from catering" after "forward-looking elderly policy which" and substitute with "includes: (a) reviewing the various measures for elderly healthcare vouchers, including the registration procedure, publicity and promotion, etc; increasing the value of elderly healthcare vouchers to $1,000 per elderly person per year and lowering the eligible age to 65; (b) urging the MTR Corporation to reinstate fare concessions to the elderly on Sundays and make it a permanent measure; urging franchised bus companies to implement fare concessions to the elderly on holidays on a permanent basis; (c) comprehensively reviewing the policy on Old Age Allowance ("OAA") and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance ("CSSA") payments for the elderly, abolishing the absence limit for OAA; introducing an "elderly maintenance grant scheme" for elderly persons aged over 60 who are ineligible for CSSA; allowing the elderly to receive Disability Allowance and OAA concurrently, so as to more comprehensively safeguard the basic needs of the elderly; (d) providing sound primary healthcare services for the elderly, and promoting a positive and healthy lifestyle among them; (e) reducing the burden of medical expenses on the elderly; reducing public medical fees for the elderly by half; establishing an elderly dental care scheme; (f) increasing the places in subvented residential care homes for the elderly, and improving various community-based elderly care services; (g) providing a favourable living environment for the elderly, including implementing "barrier-free" designs for the elderly in public places, and introducing a subsidy scheme for providing additional barrier-free facilities to allow easy access for the elderly; (h) proactively advocating a proper perspective about the elderly, and encouraging public and private organizations to make good use of the knowledge and experience of the elderly; and (i) promoting "lifelong learning" to enrich the lives of the elderly, so as to cater"; to delete ", provides" after "physical and psychological needs" and substitute with "and provide"; to delete "so as to provide" after "contribute to the community," and substitute with "thus providing"; and to delete "increasingly sizeable elderly population" after " "golden twilight years" for the" and substitute with "elderly".

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

    To add " "giving the elderly a sense of belonging, a sense of security, a sense of worthiness and a sense of being useful" is the goal of a healthy community" after "That"; to add "in Hong Kong" after "the trend of an ageing population"; to add "transport, community education," after "housing,"; to add ", community nursing, residential care home services, hospice care services" after "medical and health care"; to add "and the existing Mandatory Provident Fund system fails to provide the elderly with a dignified retirement life," after "retirement protection,"; to add "heed the views of the elderly," after "this Council urges the Government to"; to delete "enable" after "more opportunities to" and substitute with "facilitate"; and to add "; such a comprehensive elderly policy should basically cover the following: (a) conducting extensive consultation on the elderly policy by comprehensively collecting the views of the elderly, deputations and service organizations, and formulating a comprehensive and forward-looking elderly policy, improvement measures and implementation timetable on the basis of such consultation; (b) drawing up an integrated retirement protection plan to benefit all the people of Hong Kong; (c) launching various measures to encourage children to live with their elderly parents, such as expanding the schemes to foster harmonious families in public rental housing and providing home purchase assistance and loan schemes, etc, so as to advocate the spirit of respecting and caring for the elderly; (d) comprehensively improving the medical and healthcare services for the elderly, alleviating their burden of medical expenses, and reducing the waiting time for specialist services and residential care home places for the elderly; (e) providing the elderly with comprehensive fare concessions for all types of transport; (f) comprehensively improving the existing Old Age Allowance system and removing the unnecessary restrictions; (g) reviewing the system for granting Comprehensive Social Security Assistance ("CSSA") to the elderly, relaxing the requirement for elderly persons to apply for CSSA on a household basis, and ensuring that CSSA and allowances can meet the basic needs of the elderly; (h) providing all-round and diversified continuous learning and community education for the elderly, and fully utilizing their strengths to contribute to the community; (i) allocating additional resources to improve elderly services at the community level, including increasing the number of elderly centres across the territory, increasing the places for the Integrated Home Care Services, and providing diversified district services; (j) studying the provision of comprehensive financial planning, management and services for the elderly; and (k) formulating comprehensive, proactive and forward-looking hospice care services" immediately before the full stop.

    (iii) Hon WONG Sing-chi: (Translation)

    To delete ", given the trend of an ageing population" after "That" and substitute with "with the post war baby boom generation advancing into old age, the population will start to age rapidly within the next few years"; to add "planning, community facilities," after "housing,"; to add "and it is doubtful whether welfare, medical and healthcare services, etc are sustainable in the long run given an ageing population," after "overall needs of the elderly in various aspects,"; to add "and the policies and services concerning retirement and employment fail to take into account those elderly persons who wish to continue to work," after "retirement protection,"; to delete "consolidate the various existing elderly services and coordinate the relevant bureaux and executive departments to formulate a comprehensive and forward-looking elderly policy" after "this Council urges the Government to" and substitute with "adopt the following strategic measures"; and to add ": (a) setting up an "Old Age Reserve Fund" to ensure that there is sufficient public expenditure to maintain various welfare benefits and services for the elderly when the population is aged after 2011; (b) reviewing the retirement and employment policies and services, and legislating against age discrimination to safeguard equal employment opportunities for the aged population; (c) revamping the healthcare financing and retirement protection systems to ensure the long-term sustainability of welfare benefits and public services relating to the elderly; and (d) consolidating the various existing elderly services and coordinating the relevant bureaux and executive departments to formulate a comprehensive and forward-looking elderly policy" immediately before the full stop.

    (iv) Hon Frederick FUNG: (Translation)

    To delete "given" after "That," and substitute with "as Hong Kong has all along lacked a long-term elderly policy and"; to delete ", the Government estimates" after "ageing population" and substitute with "persists, it is estimated"; to delete "which" after "forward-looking elderly policy"; to add "as well as to expeditiously implement the recommendations made by the Legislative Council Subcommittee to Study the Subject of Combating Poverty in its Report on Elderly in Poverty and the recommendations on elderly issues put forward in the Report of the Commission on Poverty, so that" before "apart from"; to delete "provides" after "physical and psychological needs,"; and to add "are also provided" before "with more opportunities".

    Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Labour and Welfare

  2. Establishing an independent statutory Office of the Health Service Ombudsman

    Hon Andrew CHENG:(Translation)

    That, given the current lack of a uniform and credible mechanism for handling health service complaints from members of the public, this Council urges the Administration to, without violating the principle of professional autonomy, establish an independent statutory Office of the Health Service Ombudsman to receive complaints concerning health service from the public, investigate and conciliate complaints as well as handle compensation matters under a uniform mechanism, so as to ensure that complaints targeting at health service are properly handled, and thereby improving the quality of health service.

    Amendment to the motion
    Hon CHAN Hak-kan: (Translation)

    To delete ", given the" after "That" and substitute with "medical incidents have occurred frequently in recent years, but there is a"; to delete "and" after "lack of a uniform" and substitute with ","; to add "and highly transparent" after "credible"; to add "causing the public to feel helpless;" after "members of the public,"; to add ", also inform complainants of the investigation outcome within a reasonable time frame and regularly announce to the community the situation regarding handling of medical complaints" after "a uniform mechanism"; and to add "and transparency in the handling of complaints is enhanced" after "handled".

    Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Food and Health
Clerk to the Legislative Council