Council Meeting (Agenda) 20 May 2009



A 08/09-29

Legislative Council

Agenda

Wednesday 20 May 2009 at 11:00 am

I. Tabling of Papers

Subsidiary Legislation / InstrumentsL.N. No.
1.Road Tunnels (Government) (Amendment) Regulation 200996/2009
2.Eastern Harbour Crossing Road Tunnel (Amendment) Regulation 200997/2009
3.Tate's Cairn Tunnel (Amendment) Regulation 2009 98/2009
4.Specification of Public Office Notice 200999/2009
5.Shipping and Port Control (Amendment) Regulation 2009100/2009
6.Merchant Shipping (Registration) (Fees and Charges) (Amendment) Regulation 2009101/2009
7.Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) (Fees) (Amendment) Regulation 2009102/2009
8.Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels) (Fees) (Amendment) Regulation 2009103/2009
9.Tsing Ma Control Area (General) (Amendment) Regulation 2009104/2009
10.Practising Certificate (Solicitors) (Amendment) Rules 2009105/2009
11.Statute Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Ordinance 2008 (Commencement) Notice106/2009

Other Papers

1.No. 92-The Government Minute in response to the Report No. 51 of the Public Accounts Committee dated February 2009
(to be presented by the Chief Secretary for Administration, who will address the Council)

2.No. 93-Supplemental Report of the Public Accounts Committee on Report No. 51 of the Director of Audit on the Results of Value for Money Audits
(May 2009 - P.A.C. Report No. 51A)
(to be presented by Dr Hon Philip WONG, Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, who will address the Council)

3.Report of the Bills Committee on Road Traffic (Driving-offence Points) (Amendment) Bill 2009
(to be presented by Hon Miriam LAU, Chairman of the Bills Committee)

II. Questions

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

Lift works include the installation, maintenance and repair work etc. for lifts. Lift engineers registered under the Lifts and Escalators (Safety) Ordinance are qualified to carry out lift works in private buildings, yet unlike the engineers who carry out builder's lift works, they are not required to be persons registered under the Engineers Registration Ordinance as registered professional engineers within the relevant engineering disciplines. Regarding the registration requirements for persons carrying out lift and escalator works, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)why the registration requirements for engineers qualified to carry out lift works in private buildings are lower than those for engineers qualified to carry out builder's lift works, as well as the major considerations for that;

    (b)of the current number of lift engineers registered under the Lifts and Escalators (Safety) Ordinance; and

    (c)given the continuous updating and advancement in technologies of lifts and escalators, whether the authorities have considered amending the legislation to stipulate that only registered professional engineers within the relevant engineering disciplines may register as lift engineers or escalator engineers; if not, of the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Development

2. Hon Ronny TONG to ask:
(Translation)

The Government submitted to the Panel on Economic Development of this Council in September last year a paper on the progress and development timetable for the new cruise terminal at Kai Tak, advising that the target completion date for the first package of projects, which included the first berth, was 2013. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it has assessed the current development of the cruise market within the Asian region, particularly on the Mainland, as well as the comparative advantage of Hong Kong in this regard when compared with other areas in the region; what plan the Government has in place to enhance or maintain such edge;

    (b)whether it has assessed the urgency of the various projects in the first package of projects to the South East Kowloon development and the overall development of Hong Kong, the necessity of completing the first berth concurrently with other projects, and if it is possible to first implement those projects relating to the first berth; if so, of the time needed for constructing the first berth separately; if not, the relevant detailed reasons and justifications; and

    (c)of the Government's current plan to develop various tourist attractions with historical, cultural and geographical characteristics in Hong Kong, so as to tie in with the development of the cruise industry in Hong Kong; as well as the details and selling points of such attractions?
Public Officers to reply:Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development
Secretary for Development

3. Hon Mrs Regina IP to ask: (Translation)

Under the existing management policy for the Administrative Service, Administrative Officers ("AOs") are posted, on average in every two to three years, to different posts in various bureaux and departments. There are comments that as a result of this practice, the professional knowledge in financial affairs and interpersonal network of the AOs working in the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau lag far behind those of the staff who have worked for a long time in the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation Limited. As a result, the ability of the Bureau to manage the organizations within its purview is open to doubt, and the market also lacks confidence in the leadership of these financial officials. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:
    (a)it will consider launching a new training scheme for AOs to arrange those AOs who are interested in working in or will be posted to the financial affairs stream to work, before such postings, for two to three years in local banks or other local financial institutions, or even in financial institutions in London or New York, or international financial organizations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, in order to help them broaden their horizons and enhance their professional knowledge and experience in financial affairs; and

    (b)it will select, through the aforesaid training scheme, suitable officials and arrange for their postings within the financial affairs stream only, so as to train a large number of professionals who are knowledgeable in financial affairs and familiar with the market operations for the Government?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Civil Service

4. Hon Audrey EU to ask:
(Translation)

It has been almost one year since the first batch of the 17 politically-appointed Under Secretaries and Political Assistants assumed duty in May last year. Yet, the outcome of a survey published by the Public Opinion Programme of the University of Hong Kong in April this year indicated that over 90% of the respondents were not able to name any one of the Under Secretaries or Political Assistants, with the Under Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs and the Under Secretary for Food and Health, as well as the Political Assistants to the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, the Financial Secretary and the Secretary for Home Affairs receiving zero recognition. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it has assessed the work performance of the various Under Secretaries and Political Assistants, including if they can perform the functions of assisting the Government in gauging public sentiments and explaining government policies to the general public; if so, of the details; and whether there are measures in place to raise their level of recognition; if so, of the details; and

    (b)of the details (including the names, organizers, dates and contents) of the activities, set out in tables, attended by each of the Under Secretaries and Political Assistants since assumption of duty, broken down by the nature of these activities (namely visiting the districts in person to listen to public opinion, liaising with members of political parties and community groups, attending media interviews to explain government policies to the public, attending meetings of this Council and its committees, as well as taking part in policy forums)?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs

5. Dr Hon PAN Pey-chyou to ask:
(Translation)

I have learnt that as the Government has no specific policy on assisting ex-mentally ill persons in seeking employment, quite a number of ex-mentally ill persons have encountered difficulties in seeking jobs, and their remuneration is generally on the low side. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the respective numbers of ex-mentally ill persons currently employed by various government departments, non-governmental organizations ("NGOs) under the Social Welfare Department and social enterprises;

    (b)whether the Government has specified the staff salary, the manpower required and the ratio of ex-mentally ill persons among the staff in the outsourced cleaning service contracts awarded to NGOs and social enterprises; and

    (c)given that the maximum level of disregarded earnings is applicable to all recipients of the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance ("CSSA"), whether the Government will consider raising the relevant level for CSSA recipients who are disabled persons (including ex-mentally ill persons), so as to encourage them to take up employment and integrate into the society more actively; if it will, when it will be implemented; if not, of the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Labour and Welfare

6. Dr Hon Priscilla LEUNG to ask:


I have received complaints that while the population of South Asians in Hong Kong has been increasing in recent years, cinemas rarely show films that fit the taste of South Asians, and the Government and non-governmental organizations are not active in promoting cultural and ethnic diversity among the locals. Non-mainstream films are only shown at the annual Hong Kong International Film Festival. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether South Asian films, for instance, Bollywood (i.e. Indian) films, had been shown at any community centres under the Leisure and Cultural Services Department or the City Hall in the past five years; if so, of the relevant figures; if not, whether the authorities will consider showing such films;

    (b)of the activities which were organized by the authorities in the past five years to promote the traditional festivals, culture and habits of ethic minorities to Hong Kong people; and

    (c)whether the authorities will make reference to "Little India", a successful example in Singapore, and develop a minority hub in the West Kowloon Cultural District or a landmark minority town in areas, such as Tsim Sha Tsui, which are highly populated by ethnic minorities?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Home Affairs

*7. Hon WONG Kwok-kin to ask:
(Translation)

I have received complaints from members of the public pointing out that since the implementation of the Bus Service Rationalisation Plan ("the Plan") by the Transport Department ("TD"), some franchised bus routes have been cancelled, bus trips of some routes have been cut and the situation of buses losing trips has become increasingly serious, thus causing inconvenience to passengers. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the number of District Council ("DC") districts in which the Plan had been implemented as at the end of April this year; whether TD had consulted the DCs concerned and passengers in advance; if it had, of the consultation outcome;

    (b)of the total number of bus routes affected by the Plan in the past five years and, among them, the respective numbers of bus routes which were cancelled, which were truncated, had bus trips cut and had fewer buses serving; and

    (c)whether it knows if various franchised bus companies have currently set aside stand-by buses and set up emergency vehicle deployment mechanisms to minimize the impact on bus services in the event of unforeseen incidents, such as breakdown of buses; if they have, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport and Housing

*8. Hon Paul CHAN to ask:
(Translation)

It has been reported that according to the latest test report published by the Consumer Council in April this year, the nicotine contents of the cigarettes currently on sale in Hong Kong have increased by 13% on average when compared with those of last year. Moreover, some medical specialists have pointed out that the higher the nicotine contents of cigarettes, the greater the chance of smokers suffering from addiction syndrome. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:
    (a)it has looked into the reasons for tobacco companies increasing the nicotine contents of cigarettes; whether it will require tobacco companies to proactively notify the government department(s) concerned after they have changed the tar and nicotine contents of cigarettes;

    (b)it will consider legislating to impose a ceiling on the nicotine contents of the cigarettes on sale in Hong Kong; if it will, of the details; if it will not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)it had studied in the past two years the health hazards caused to smokers by nicotine in cigarettes; if it had, of the study results; if it had not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Food and Health

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

Regarding the impact of the Kowloon Southern Link ("KSL") on other public transport services and train fares upon its commissioning in the second half of this year, will the Government:
    (a)set out each of the route numbers of the services of franchised buses, public light buses or residents' coaches which need to be adjusted, together with the districts in which they are operating, and the details of such adjustments (including the routes to be cancelled); and

    (b)inform this Council whether it knows if the MTR Corporation Limited will increase the fares for travelling on the West Rail from North-west New Territories to the urban areas; and whether it will extend the West Rail Line Day Pass and the West Rail Line Monthly Pass concessionary schemes, which will expire in June this year, and extend the coverage of such schemes to KSL; if so, of the details?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport and Housing

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

Regarding the eligibility of graduates of Chinese medicine courses to take the Chinese Medicine Practitioners ("CMP") Licensing Examination, will the Government inform this Council whether it knows:
    (a)the considerations of the Chinese Medicine Practitioners Board under the Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong in listing "having satisfactorily completed a full-time on campus degree course with duration of not less than 5 years" as a requirement for taking the CMP Licensing Examination, and if there is any other region which has adopted similar requirements for CMP licensing examinations or any other profession which has adopted similar requirements for licensing examinations; and

    (b)if there is any Chinese medicine course, which is currently offered by a local tertiary institution, whose graduates are not eligible to take the CMP Licensing Examination; if so, the current number of such graduates, as well as their placement rate and the professions in which they were engaged at the end of the year of their graduation?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Food and Health

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

I have often received complaints from frontline workers of subvented care and attention homes for the elderly ("C&AHs") that many residents of these homes are in need of nursing or infirmary care services, yet there is a shortage of manpower due to insufficient government funding, which seriously affects the quality of service and increases frontline workers' risk of sustaining injuries. Although in the current financial year, the authorities have provided additional funding of $37 million to residential care homes for the elderly for taking care of infirm elderly residents and those with dementia, the provision is only a drop in the bucket and far from enough for meeting the extra expenses for taking care of these residents. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it knows the respective current numbers of subvented C&AH residents who are in need of infirmary care services, those who are in need of nursing care services and those with dementia;

    (b)of the respective amounts of Infirmary Care Supplement and Dementia Supplement granted by the Government in 2008-2009; the respective names of the C&AHs which were granted the highest and the lowest amounts of such supplements, the amounts involved and the numbers of these two categories of residents in those C&AHs; what criteria the Social Welfare Department has adopted for determining the amounts of supplements granted to various C&AHs; whether the percentage of the amounts of supplements granted in the total subvention is the same for various C&AHs; and why the Government did not grant the supplements to C&AHs according to the number of the residents concerned;

    (c)whether it will grant subvention to C&AHs according to the cost of each nursing home place (i.e. $12,609 per month) and the number of residents in need of nursing care service; if so, when it will be implemented; if not, of the reasons for that; and

    (d)as the Report of the Director of Audit on the results of value for money audits published in March 2002 pointed out that the cost of a nursing home place for caring an elderly resident in need of infirmary care service amounted to $18,625 a month, whether the Government will grant subvention to subvented C&AHs and nursing homes based on this amount and the number of residents in need of infirmary care service; if so, when it will be implemented; if not, of the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Labour and Welfare

*12. Hon Tanya CHAN to ask:
(Translation)

At the special meeting of the Finance Committee on 27 March 2009, the Director of Leisure and Cultural Services indicated that the Leisure and Cultural Services Department ("LCSD") had to inspect and manage more than 700 000 trees. Moreover, it has been reported that certain LCSD staff complained about the substantial increase in their workload as a result of the Government stepping up tree inspection work recently. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the respective number of trees regularly inspected and managed by LCSD staff, as well as the reasons for some trees not being inspected regularly;

    (b)of the current detailed procedures and contents of such procedures for keeping records, writing reports, taking follow-up actions as well as storing the relevant files in relation to tree inspections by LCSD staff;

    (c)of the daily average number of trees that each LCSD staff member concerned needs to inspect and conserve;

    (d)whether LCSD has increased the manpower concerned and created temporary posts to tie in with the enhanced tree inspection work; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (e)of the current number of LCSD staff who are in possession of internationally recognized qualifications in tree management and caring; of the contents of the training provided by LCSD to its staff on tree inspection; and whether LCSD will strengthen or revise the training contents to meet the present needs; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Home Affairs

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

At the end of last year, the Government indicated that it was planning the construction of joint hostels for common use by students from various institutions funded by the University Grants Committee ("UGC") and it had preliminarily identified two sites. The Government and UGC were liaising with various institutions on the specific proposals. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the progress of the aforesaid plan; whether the authorities will introduce measures to expedite the vetting and approving of the relevant projects, so as to meet the additional demand for hostel places arising from the implementation of the four-year undergraduate curriculum and the development of Hong Kong as an education hub;

    (b)as it has been reported that the Government has initially agreed to allocate a site in Ma On Shan to construct the first joint hostel, of the user institutions of this hostel, the design to be adopted, the progress of planning work, the number of hostel places to be provided, and the expected dates for the commencement and completion of the construction work; and

    (c)whether it has any plan to construct joint hostels in Tseung Kwan O and Kowloon Tong; if so, of the details of the plan; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education

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

Some people from the transport industry have relayed to me that currently there are only a few insurance companies operating the business of commercial vehicle insurance. Due to insufficient competition, the premiums concerned have all along been on the high side. Most owners of taxis and public light buses have therefore chosen to take out insurance with a small-scale insurance company which charged lower premiums, against which the court has recently issued a provisional liquidation order. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it knows which insurance companies currently operate the business of commercial vehicle insurance, the general level of the premiums charged by them and the respective highest and lowest premiums;

    (b)whether it knows the rate of increase in the premiums concerned in the past three years; whether it has looked into the causes for the substantial increase in premiums for commercial vehicles in recent years;

    (c)as I have learnt that some insurance companies are planning to increase premiums for commercial vehicles substantially, whether the authorities have any regulatory measure to ensure that the premiums for commercial vehicles are set at a reasonable level; whether they will adopt measures to encourage more insurance companies to operate such business, with a view to increasing market competition so that the premiums can be maintained at a reasonable level or even lowered; and

    (d)whether it has explored if public confidence in insurance companies has been shaken by the liquidation of the aforesaid insurance company; if so, what measures the Government has to strengthen the regulation of insurance companies (such as specifying the statutory financial requirements), so as to avoid the recurrence of similar incidents?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

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

Regarding addition or alteration works carried out in private buildings, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the number of applications received in each of the past five years by the Buildings Department ("BD") for carrying out the aforesaid works and, among them, the number of those proposed to be carried out in the common areas of buildings without the consent of owners' corporations ("OCs"), owners' committees or other co-owners of the buildings concerned, as well as the number of works proposed to be carried out in private premises without the consent of the owners of the premises concerned; together with a breakdown by the category of works and the outcome of the application;

    (b)whether BD has, when approving addition or alteration works to be carried out in the common areas and private premises of buildings, required the applicants to take out public liability insurance for the works and structures concerned so as to protect the public;

    (c)when BD has learnt that public safety will be affected by the addition or alteration works carried out in the common areas of buildings without the consent of the OCs, owners' committees or co-owners concerned, whether it will inform the Home Affairs Department so that the latter will send staff to assist the OCs, owners' committees or co-owners concerned to follow up; and

    (d)what measures the authorities have in place to assist OCs, owners' committees and co-owners in stopping addition or alteration works from being carried out without their consent in the common areas of the buildings concerned, so as to protect public safety and the rights of the owners concerned?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Development

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

The Chief Executive put forward the policy objective of "supporting enterprises and preserving employment" at the end of last year, and indicated that support to Small and Medium Enterprises ("SMEs") was an important part of preserving employment. Yet, the impact of the global financial tsunami has still not receded, and the Hong Kong economy has remained weak, coupled with the recent spread of human swine influenza ("swine flu") globally, enterprises will be facing greater difficulties in operating and financing, thus leading to a continuous increase in the unemployment rate. Regarding the present situation of "supporting enterprises and preserving employment", will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it will consider expanding the coverage of the Special Loan Guarantee Scheme ("SLGS") to allow eligible mainland banks to participate in the scheme, and providing 70% guarantee for commercial loans granted by such banks to Hong Kong enterprises on the Mainland, so as to assist such enterprises in financing; if not, of the reasons for that;

    (b)whether it will increase the flexibility of the loan guarantee ratio under SLGS, and provide different ratios of loan guarantee for different levels of loans (such as a loan guarantee ratio of 80% for the first $2 million of loan or below, 75% for the next $2 million or below, and 70% for the remaining amount); if not, of the reasons for that;

    (c)whether it will consider lifting the ceiling for loan guarantee under SLGS; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

    (d)whether it will increase the loan guarantee ratio of the SME Loan Guarantee Scheme ("SGS") from 50% to 70%, making it on a par with SLGS; if not, of the reasons for that;

    (e)whether it will consider making reference to the loan guarantee scheme provided for the four sectors (i.e. travelling, catering, retailing and entertainment) which were affected by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome in 2003, and establishing a similar loan guarantee scheme providing 100% loan guarantee for sectors which have been hard hit by swine flu;

    (f)apart from the existing SGS and SLGS, whether the Government will launch other schemes or measures in "supporting enterprises and preserving employment" to assist SMEs; if it will, of the details, if not, the reasons for that; and

    (g)given that banks are still tightening credit facilities and SMEs are hiring fewer employees in face of financing difficulties, whether the authorities have assessed the resultant increase in unemployment rate when a large number of local students graduate and look for jobs in June and July this year, as well as whether it will adopt counter measures to solve the unemployment problem?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development

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

It has been reported that most of the toy eggs (commonly known as "twisted eggs") which are on sale in the market will eventually be discarded at landfills, which not only increases the burden on landfills, but also results in wastage. Moreover, the packaging materials of other products (e.g. mooncake boxes, Chinese New Year gift packaging) also produce a lot of waste. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it knows the respective numbers of toy eggs which were recovered and discarded at landfills in the past three years, as well as the current number of retailers or manufacturers who provide recovering services for toy eggs;

    (b)of the situation of various kinds of packaging materials being discarded at landfills in the past five years, and whether it has requested manufacturers to use less packaging materials, so as not to increase the burden on landfills;

    (c)whether it has studied bringing toy eggs and packaging materials within the ambit of the Product Eco-responsibility Ordinance (Cap. 603), and considered imposing environmental levies on toy eggs and packaging materials; if so, of the details; and

    (d)apart from carrying out public education, whether it will consider adopting other measures (including requiring manufacturers to use recyclable materials, and requiring manufacturers and retailers to recover toy eggs and packaging materials), so as to reduce the amount of packaging materials discarded at landfills; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Environment

*18. Hon Paul TSE to ask:
(Translation)

Regarding the Aberdeen Tourism Project under the concept of a fisherman's wharf, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the total expenditure incurred on various studies for the aforesaid project, which have been conducted by consultants commissioned by the Tourism Commission;

    (b)whether the Government had, when it proposed the aforesaid project, considered the synergy among various thematic clusters under the project (including the traditional fishing harbour along the Aberdeen and Ap Lei Chau Promenade, the Fisherman's Wharf at Tai Shue Wan and the leisure and dining node off the coast of Sham Wan), as well as the synergy between these clusters and the entire Southern District;

    (c)whether the Government has assessed the negative impact of its recent decision not to implement the aforesaid project on such synergy; if it has, of the details; if not, whether it will conduct the assessment expeditiously; and

    (d)given that at its meeting on 27 April this year, the Panel on Economic Development of this Council passed a motion on urging the Government to reconsider implementing the aforesaid project, what specific follow-up actions the Government will take in this regard?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development

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

Some members of the public have relayed to me that given the current chaotic management of the hawker permitted areas ("HPAs") at Tung Choi Street (commonly known as "Women's Street") in Mongkok, Bowring Street in Jordan and Fa Yuen Street in Prince Edward, they are worried that the re-issuing of Fixed-Pitch Hawker Licences by the Government will lead to deterioration of the hawker management problem. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)given that in reply to my written question in June last year, the Government indicated that it had reached a consensus with the hawker association of Women's Street on the improvement of the business environment of that HPA, what improvements have been made to the current business environment of that HPA;

    (b)of the respective numbers of complaints involving the above three HPAs received by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department in each of the past three years, with a breakdown of the number of each HPA by the category to which the complaints belong (such as noise nuisance, obstruction to public passage, operating beyond the permitted business hours, unauthorized expansion of business areas, illegal letting of pitches and impact on environmental hygiene, etc.); the number of cases among them which had been found substantiated, as well as the penalties imposed on the pitch licensees concerned;

    (c)as I have received complaints about salespersons illegally occupying pitches in HPAs for conducting sales activities, whether the Government has looked into the aforesaid situation; whether the Government has prosecuted such persons; if it has, of the number of prosecutions instituted in the past three years; and

    (d)of the progress of the current review of re-issuing Fixed-Pitch Hawker Licences and the latest situation of developing operational guidelines on various practical arrangements; what new measures the Government has in place (such as introducing a demerit point system) to solve the HPA management problem?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Food and Health

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

Earlier, the Administration released a consultant's preliminary findings of the Review of Hong Kong's Air Quality Objectives, and one of the emission reduction measures preliminarily proposed by the consultant was the early retirement of aged/heavily polluting buses by franchised bus companies. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the current number of buses in the fleet of each franchised bus company, broken down by the emission standards which they meet;

    (b)of the respective numbers of Euro V and Euro IV buses which each franchised bus company plans to purchase in the next five years, and whether they will reduce the number of such buses to be purchased because of the recent economic downturn; if so, of the details;

    (c)of the latest timetable according to which each franchised bus company plans for the retirement of all Euro II or older buses, and what follow-up measures the authorities have formulated to be taken when the companies fail to replace those buses as scheduled;

    (d)whether it is currently discussing with the various franchised bus companies the consultant's aforesaid recommendations, so as to commence the next stage consultation; if so, of the progress, and their respective responses;

    (e)whether it will consider offering financial incentives to encourage various franchised bus companies to advance the retirement of aged buses; and

    (f)whether it will consider making reference to current regulation on the power companies and including in the future franchise agreements to be signed with franchised bus companies clauses capping their emissions; if so, of the details, and whether it will assess the impact of such new clauses on bus fares?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Environment

* For written reply

III. Bills

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

Road Traffic (Driving-offence Points) (Amendment) Bill 2009 : Secretary for Transport and Housing

IV. Motions

1.Proposed resolution under the Education Ordinance

Secretary for Education to move the following motion:


RESOLVED that section 40BK(3)(a) of the Education Ordinance (Cap. 279) be amended by repealing "1 July 2009" and substituting "1 July 2011".

2.Proposed resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

Secretary for Development to move the following motion:


(Contents of the motion are contained in
LC Paper No. CB(3) 589/08-09 issued on 14 May 2009)

V. Members' Motions
  1. Urging enterprises to fulfill their social responsibility

    Hon CHAN Kam-lam: (Translation)

    That, amid the financial tsunami, the general public of Hong Kong are stoically facing up to economic hardship, yet some enterprises have still effected layoffs and pay cuts despite making huge profits, and fail to go through the hard times with the public; on the other hand, the management and major shareholders of individual enterprises have recklessly resorted to various ploys to maximize their private interests, while the interests of minority shareholders are left unprotected; as such, this Council urges the Government to create a favourable environment for enterprises to fulfill their social responsibility, implement employment training programmes, and support those enterprises which are in difficulty, while at the same time discussing with the business sector to urge enterprises that, in seeking to make profits, they must also take into account the overall interests of the community, enhance the transparency of corporate decision making, strengthen communication with their employees, fulfill their social responsibility and must not effect layoffs and pay cuts, so as to safeguard the rights and interests of employees and minority shareholders.

    Amendments to the motion
    (i)Hon WONG Sing-chi: (Translation)

    To delete "," after "That" and substitute with "the enterprises in Hong Kong possess a weak sense of fulfilling social responsibility and employers do not pay enough attention to labour rights and interests, and"; and to add "as well as to legislate afresh to protect employees' right to collective bargaining, and amend the Employment Ordinance to prohibit employers from dismissing their employees under unfair circumstances," after "not effect layoffs and pay cuts,".

    (ii)Hon Tommy CHEUNG: (Translation)

    To delete "amid" after "That," and substitute with "as"; to add "has not yet come to a halt" after "tsunami"; to delete "are" after "Hong Kong" and substitute with "still have to"; to add "encourage enterprises to fulfill more social responsibility under the principle that it is performed on a voluntary basis and within their ability, and actively" after "the Government to"; to delete "enhance" after "the community," and substitute with "such as enhancing"; to delete "strengthen" after "decision making," and substitute with "strengthening"; to add "and making every effort to" after "their employees,"; and to delete "and must not effect layoffs and pay cuts, so as to safeguard" before "the rights" and substitute with "; the Government should also actively assist enterprises in expanding their business and enhancing corporate governance, so that layoffs and pay cuts will not be effected as far as possible, thereby safeguarding".

    (iii)Hon CHEUNG Kwok-che: (Translation)

    To delete ", amid the financial tsunami, the general public of Hong Kong are stoically facing up to economic hardship" after "That" and substitute with "the unemployment rate has risen further recently"; and to add "implement a quota system for employing people with disabilities in government departments, public organizations and welfare agencies first and then extend the system to the private sector," after "enterprises to fulfill their social responsibility,".

    (iv)Hon Alan LEONG: (Translation)

    To delete "amid the" after "That," and substitute with "in facing the once-in-a-century"; to delete "and" after "effected layoffs" and substitute with ","; to add "and rent increases against the market trend" before "despite"; to add "and small business operators" after "the public"; to add "show understanding for the operating difficulties of small business operators," after "their employees,"; to delete "and" after "effect layoffs" and substitute with ","; to add "and rent increases" before ", so as to"; and to add ", small business operators" after "interests of employees".

    (v)Hon Mrs Regina IP: (Translation)

    To add "private" after "yet some"; to delete "on the other hand," after "with the public;"; to add "even disregarded the interests of minority shareholders and" after "individual enterprises have"; to delete "private interests, while the interests of minority shareholders are left unprotected; as such" after "maximize their" and substitute with "interests; on the other hand, dozens of public organizations in Hong Kong, some being statutory bodies, provide important public services in areas including housing, transportation, exhibition and financial services, etc; the funding for such organizations is mostly provided by the Government in full or in part, and some of them are able to self-finance by imposing levies or other charges as authorized by legislation; it is learnt that in determining the pay and bonus for the management of these public organizations, their profitability is one of the important criteria for measuring performance, causing some public organizations to fully strive to expand and compete with the private sector for profits, hence disregarding the purposes of their establishment, social justice and the interests of the public; furthermore, as scandals of abuse of public money and mismanagement of public organizations have been repeatedly reported in recent years, the public have become increasingly concerned whether the scope of work and operational philosophy of such organizations have departed from the duties and responsibilities laid down for them by the Government at the time of their establishment; in view of this"; to add "private" after "environment for"; to delete "enhance" after "the community," and substitute with "including enhancing"; to delete "strengthen" after "decision making," and substitute with "strengthening"; to delete ", fulfill their social responsibility and must not effect" after "their employees" and substitute with "and not effecting"; to add "as far as possible" before ", so as to"; and to add "; on the other hand, the Government should formulate guiding principles for the management of public organizations, develop indicators for 'corporate social responsibility', and peg the pay/bonus for the remunerated directors and senior executives of public organizations to such indicators" immediately before the full stop.

    (vi)Hon Ronny TONG: (Translation)

    To add "make reference to the ten principles for corporate governance under the United Nations Global Compact when rewriting the company laws to formulate clear guiding principles and promote them extensively in Hong Kong, with a view to enhancing a culture of good corporate governance in Hong Kong, as well as to" after "the Government to".

    (vii)Hon IP Wai-ming: (Translation)

    To delete "implement" after "enterprises to fulfill their social responsibility," and substitute with "including: (a) setting an example by making labour protection a major tender assessment criterion when inviting tenders for government service contracts; (b) proactively organizing employers' associations, labour groups and non-government organizations, etc to study and promote the direction and specific proposals for corporate social responsibility; (c) considering legislating to require enterprises to publish annual reports on corporate social responsibility to reflect their work in promoting social responsibility and the effectiveness of their social responsibility-related investments; (d) implementing"; to delete ", and support" after "employment training programmes" and substitute with "; and (e) supporting"; and to delete "," after "difficulty" and substitute with ";".

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

    To delete "discussing with the business sector to urge enterprises that, in seeking to make profits, they must also take into account the overall interests of the community," after "at the same time" and substitute with "urging enterprises to"; to delete "must" after "social responsibility and"; to add "to" after "not"; and to delete ", so as to safeguard the rights and interests of employees and minority shareholders" immediately before the full stop and substitute with "; enterprises should also have regard to the needs of the socially disadvantaged groups, establish a partnering relationship with community stakeholders, treat their employees well and safeguard labour rights and interests, as well as accord priority to the overall interests of the community, so that they can integrate into the community and be accepted by the public".

    (ix)Hon LEE Cheuk-yan: (Translation)

    To add "establish a collective bargaining system," after "decision making,".

    Public Officers to attend:Secretary for Labour and Welfare
    Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

  2. Promoting the development of the testing and certification industry in Hong Kong

    Hon Andrew LEUNG:

    That Hong Kong has a professional and established testing and certification industry which brings substantial benefits to our economy and helps safeguard the interests of consumers both locally and overseas; in this connection, this Council urges the Government to grasp the market opportunities and draw up a comprehensive plan to facilitate the growth of this industry by:

    (a)outsourcing more government testing services to private laboratories;

    (b)promoting the service of the industry in the Mainland and in the region;

    (c)strengthening the local accreditation system to enable the industry to engage in a wider range of testing services;

    (d)reinforcing the reputation of the industry by concluding more mutual recognition agreements overseas; and

    (e)widening the scope of food testing in the interests of consumers.

    Amendments to the motion
    (i)Hon Tommy CHEUNG:

    To add "recently the Task Force on Economic Challenges has identified the testing and certification industry as one of the six economic areas where Hong Kong has enormous potential for development and considered that this industry could benefit Hong Kong's economy in the medium and long term; moreover," after "That"; to add "striving to further relax the restrictions on the industry to establish businesses in the Mainland under the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement and" after "(b)"; to delete "; and" after "agreements overseas" and substitute with "so as to enhance international confidence in export products manufactured in Hong Kong and the Mainland;"; and to add "; (f) introducing tax incentives and other encouragement policies to enhance the development of the industry; and (g) discussing with local institutes and organizations to encourage them to provide more testing-and-certification-related training programmes to ease the shortage of specialists in the industry " immediately before the full stop.

    (ii)Hon Fred LI:

    To add ", as" after "That"; to delete "which" after "certification industry" and substitute with "whose reputation and independence have boosted the confidence of overseas buyers, and in view of the growing Mainland market, the industry"; and to add ", including allocating more resources to the Hong Kong Accreditation Service for providing new accreditation service for food manufacturing process and establishing a certification system for organic food to facilitate consumers to recognize such products" after "range of testing services".

    Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development
Clerk to the Legislative Council