Council Meeting (Agenda) 24 June 2009



A 08/09-34

Legislative Council

Agenda

Wednesday 24 June 2009 at 11:00 am

I. Tabling of Papers

Subsidiary Legislation / InstrumentsL.N. No.
1.Electoral Affairs Commission (Electoral Procedure) (Legislative Council) (Amendment) Regulation 2009130/2009
2.Electoral Affairs Commission (Electoral Procedure) (District Councils) (Amendment) Regulation 2009131/2009
3.Electoral Affairs Commission (Electoral Procedure) (Election Committee) (Amendment) Regulation 2009132/2009
4.Electoral Procedure (Chief Executive Election) (Amendment) Regulation 2009133/2009
5.Electoral Procedure (Village Representative Election) (Amendment) Regulation 2009134/2009

Other Papers

1.No. 97-Independent Commission Against Corruption Complaints Committee Annual Report 2008
(to be presented by Hon Mrs Sophie LEUNG, who will address the Council)

2.No. 98-Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Independent Commission Against Corruption Annual Report 2008
(to be presented by Hon CHAN Kam-lam, who will address the Council)

3.No. 99-Airport Authority Hong Kong Annual Report 2008/09
(to be presented by the Financial Secretary)

4.Report of the Finance Committee on the examination of the Estimates of Expenditure 2009-2010
(to be presented by Hon Emily LAU, Chairman of the Finance Committee, who will address the Council)

5Report of the Panel on Housing 2008-2009
(to be presented by Hon WONG Kwok-hing, Chairman of the Panel, who will address the Council)

6.Report of the Panel on Security 2008-2009
(to be presented by Hon LAU Kong-wah, Chairman of the Panel, who will address the Council)

7.Report of the Panel on Food Safety and Environmental Hygiene 2008-2009
(to be presented by Hon Fred LI, Chairman of the Panel, who will address the Council)

8.Report of the Panel on Education 2008-2009
(to be presented by Hon Cyd HO, Chairman of the Panel, who will address the Council)

9.Report of the Panel on Welfare Services 2008-2009
(to be presented by Hon Albert CHAN, Chairman of the Panel, who will address the Council)

10.Report of the Bills Committee on Voting by Imprisoned Persons Bill
(to be presented by Hon IP Kwok-him, Chairman of the Bills Committee)

II. Questions

1. Dr Hon Samson TAM to ask:
(Translation)

Under the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Ordinance which came into operation in late 2007, members of the public may choose not to receive commercial electronic messages such as pre-recorded messages. Yet, person-to-person telemarketing calls are not regulated by the Ordinance. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the number of complaints received in each of the past three years by the authorities about person-to-person telemarketing calls, broken down by business nature and type; how they followed up the complaints and the outcome;

    (b)whether the authorities will reconsider introducing legislation to regulate person-to-person telemarketing calls; if they will, of the details and the implementation timetable; if they will not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)regarding the aforesaid problem, whether the authorities have made reference to and studied the relevant experience of foreign countries, so as to protect the public from the nuisance caused by such telemarketing calls; if they have, of the details; if not, the reasons for that, and whether they will conduct the studies concerned in the future?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development

2. Hon IP Kwok-him to ask:
(Translation)

Under the Summary Offences Ordinance, it is an offence for any person who plays at any game in any public place, so as to obstruct the same or create a noisy assembly therein. Quite a number of members of the public have relayed to me that the Ordinance has hampered the staging of many distinctive street performances. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the specific reasons for which the authorities had disallowed the staging of street performances in the past three years; and

    (b)whether it will reconsider cooperating with the District Councils and entrusting the latter the responsibility to coordinate the implementation of a pilot scheme on designated zones for street performances, whereby locations in suitable areas across the territory are assigned for staging street performances; if it will, of the details?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Home Affairs

3. Hon Cyd HO to ask:
(Translation)

According to various press reports, as the Police had made a wrong estimate of the number of participants in the "great march on 1 July" in 2003 beforehand, insufficient police manpower was deployed to assist the public in participating in the peaceful assembly on that day. Similarly, as the Police had underestimated the number of participants in this year's "June 4 Candlelight Vigil", there was insufficient police manpower and members of the public who were on their way to participate in the event were advised by police officers to leave. Moreover, on many occasions following public processions and assemblies, there were significant discrepancies between the number of participants as announced by the Police and those by community groups. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)how the authorities estimate, before a public assembly or procession is held, the number of police officers to be deployed to maintain order, and of the role of the Central Policy Unit and the Executive Council; what mechanism has been put in place by the authorities to immediately mobilize additional manpower to assist in maintaining order when the actual number of participants turns out to be far greater than expected, and whether the police officers at the scene are under order to advise the public not to participate in the procession or assembly with a view to reducing the number of people assembling; if they are, of the rank of the police officers who make such an order;

    (b)whether the Police will, on the day when a public assembly or procession is held, carry out aerial video filming and use the video systems in MTR stations to instantly assess the number of participants, so that the authorities concerned can immediately take appropriate traffic measures, such as increasing the frequency of MTR trains to facilitate public participation, or notifying the bus companies to make changes to routes in order to avoid the procession from sharing roads with buses, or opening up more traffic lanes so that the procession will have sufficient room to move forward; and

    (c)of the means by which the Police calculate the number of participants in assemblies and processions; and the rank of the police officers who make the final verification of the statistics before they are made public?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

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

As the licence fees of food businesses in different districts are at present still determined in accordance with the fee levels set respectively by the former Provisional Urban Council and the former Provisional Regional Council, the annual licence fees of various types of food businesses in the New Territories ("NT") exceed the fees concerned for the food businesses with premises of the same size on Hong Kong Island and in Kowloon by nearly 40% to 100%. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:
    (a)it had reviewed in the past three years the fee charging policies and fee levels for food business licences across the territory; if it had, of the outcome; and

    (b)currently it has any plan to reduce the licence fees of various types of food businesses in NT to align them with those of food businesses on Hong Kong Island and in Kowloon, so as to enhance the fairness of the fee charging policies and reduce the operating costs of food businesses in NT; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Food and Health

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

Tens of thousands of people took part in the march on 1 July in each of the past several years. I expect that more people will participate in the march on the coming 1 July, i.e. next Wednesday, to express their dissatisfaction with the Government's lack of sincerity to implement universal suffrage and its various blunders in implementing policies. On the other hand, the applications by some political parties to the relevant government departments to set up pitches at the pedestrian precincts on Paterson Street in Causeway Bay and Mong Kok to promote the march have been rejected. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it has reflected on its refusal to implement dual universal suffrage in 2012 and its various blunders in implementing policies to find out the causes for so many people taking to the street to participate in the march each year; if it has, of the outcome; if not, the reasons for that;

    (b)how many participants in this year's march are required to make the Government not to refuse the public's demand for expeditiously implementing dual universal suffrage in 2012 and to address their dissatisfaction with its blunders in implementing policies; and

    (c)whether the authorities' recent rejection of the applications by political parties for organizing promotional activities at pedestrian precincts for the 1 July march is an attempt to reduce the number of participants in the march?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs

6. Hon Starry LEE to ask:
(Translation)

Report No. 48 of the Director of Audit published in April 2007 criticized the authorities that so far they had not implemented the plan to relocate the Yau Ma Tei ("YMT") Fruit Market which was decided in 1969. For many years, the YMT Fruit Market is operating all night every day, causing serious traffic and environmental nuisances (especially that of noise) to the residents and drivers in the vicinity. Through the efforts of the Working Group on Concern for the Yau Ma Tei Fruit Market under the current Yau Tsim Mong District Council, the differences between the District Council and fruit traders have basically been resolved. The trade representatives also indicated clearly a year ago that they agreed to move out conditionally. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether the Government has commenced negotiation and discussion with Kowloon Fruit and Vegetable Merchants Association Limited since the latter indicated its willingness to move out; if it has, when such negotiation was conducted and the present progress; if not, the reasons for that; whether the Food and Health Bureau has commenced the relevant work in accordance with the "Indicative Timetable for Relocating the YMT Fruit Market" submitted to the Public Accounts Committee of this Council in January 2008; if it has commenced work, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

    (b)whether the Development Bureau and the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau have commenced a study on the proposal to create a global fresh fruit trading centre in the new fruit wholesale centre, which has been put forward several times in recent years by the fruit wholesale trade; whether this will be discussed, facilitated and developed in the context of the relocation of the YMT Fruit Market; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)regarding the present grave situation of noise nuisance and obstruction of roads due to the operation of the fruit market between 9:00 pm and 8:00 am in Yau Ma Tei District, what solutions the government departments concerned have and their details, and how the departments curb the spread of such illegal acts to other lots?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Food and Health

*7. Hon CHAN Kin-por to ask:
(Translation)

In the face of the impact of the financial tsunami, the insurance and finance sectors have been the first to be dealt a serious blow. According to the provisional statistics released by the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance, new office premiums (excluding Retirement Scheme business) of long-term business for the first quarter of 2009 receded significantly by 60.5% to $8.544 billion when compared with the same period in 2008, which was attributable to 24.2% and 83.5% drop in Individual Life and Annuity (Non-Linked) business and Individual Life and Annuity (Linked) business respectively. In fact, many middle-level management and frontline sales staff of the insurance and finance sectors have suffered significant drop in income, or even lost their jobs. In addition, as the Lehman Brothers incident has raised people's skepticism over investment products, many employees in the sectors are facing the threat of structural unemployment. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:
    (a)it will take measures to enhance the public's confidence in the insurance and finance sectors, in order to consolidate Hong Kong's status as an Asian financial centre; if it will, of the contents of such measures, if not, the reasons for that;

    (b)it will provide specific assistance for employees in the insurance and finance sectors to help them out of the economic mire; and

    (c)it is possible to establish "policyholders' protect funds" expeditiously in order to stabilize the market and stimulate the public's desire to take out insurance?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

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

It has been reported that a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering who is an earthquake expert has said that earthquakes of Intensity V to VI on the Modified Mercalli Scale might occur in the coming 10 to 30 years in the Guangdong areas, which are situated in the "middle-to-low intensity" earthquake activity zone. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)given that the Buildings Department had appointed a consultant to study and assess the earthquake risks in Hong Kong and its impact on local buildings, whether the relevant report has been completed and whether it will be made public; whether the report includes or will include the relevant comments and assessment results made by mainland earthquake experts regarding the chance of earthquakes occurring in the Guangdong areas adjacent to Hong Kong;

    (b)as Hong Kong's schools and disaster emergency relief facilities (e.g. buildings such as fire stations, hospitals and police stations) are all wind-resistant, whether such buildings are at present capable of withstanding earthquakes as well; if so, of the intensity of earthquakes these buildings are able to withstand, and whether their seismic resisting capability is comparatively lower than that of the taller buildings in Hong Kong in general; and

    (c)given that the earthquakes which occurred in Wenchuan, Sichuan last year demonstrated the importance for buildings to have seismic resisting capability, whether the Government will consider enhancing the seismic resisting capability of schools and the aforesaid disaster emergency relief facilities, so as to ensure that these buildings can be used as temporary shelters and emergency relief command centres in the event of earthquakes; and of the Government's major considerations, other than financial factors, when it considers whether or not to enhance the seismic resisting capability of these buildings?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Development

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

I have learnt that books on the June 4 incident which provide substantial historical information and points of view are commonly available, and borrowing such books from the public libraries is one of the means by which members of the public and students get to know about this episode in history. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the respective titles and numbers of books on the June 4 incident which at present may and may not be loaned out in each of the public libraries (including mobile libraries);

    (b)whether the Government will make a change to allow the loaning out of the reference books on the June 4 incident which are popular among the readers but not available for loan at present; and

    (c)regarding popular books in the public libraries which are often all loaned out and reserved, what procedures and criteria have been adopted by the authorities for procuring additional copies and determining the number of copies to be procured; whether books on the June 4 incident are at present often all loaned out and reserved; if so, of the titles of the books concerned and whether the authorities have procured additional copies of such books in response to the demand?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Home Affairs

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

About protecting consumers who purchase pre-paid services, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)given that currently, the contracts for pre-paid services (such as body-building, slimming, beauty care and car washing) generally do not contain a cooling-off period clause which allows consumers to cancel the contracts and get back the entire pre-paid amounts unconditionally, whether the Government will follow the practice of foreign countries (such as Singapore) and introduce legislation to require that contracts for pre-paid services shall contain such a clause, so as to protect the interests of consumers;

    (b)whether it will make reference to the mode of operation of the Travel Industry Compensation Fund and collect a levy from pre-paid service operators and set up a compensation fund, so that consumers will be compensated for the pre-paid amounts by the compensation fund in the event that the service operators concerned close down their businesses or fail to provide the relevant services; and

    (c)of the measures in the short term to protect consumers who purchase pre-paid services before the compensation fund is set up?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development

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

From its implementation in November 2000 until 28 February 2009, the Standardized Care Need Assessment Mechanism for Elderly Services had completed assessment for 134 770 cases. In this connection, will the Government set out in the table below the number of cases for which assessment was completed in each financial year, broken down by the District Council district in which the elderly people concerned resided and the disease(s) which they were suffering from as revealed by the assessment results?

Year
(200x-200x)
Number of cases for which standardized care need assessment
was completed in the financial year : ___
Diseases which the elderly people were assessed to be suffering fromCentral & WesternEasternSouthernWan ChaiKowloon CityKwun TongSham Shui PoWong Tai SinYau Tsim MongIslandsKwai TsingNorthSai KungTai PoSha TinTsuen WanTuen MunYuen LongTotal
Stroke


















Congestive heart failure


















Coronary heart disease


















Hypertension


















Irregular pulse


















Peripheral vascular disease


















Alzheimer's disease


















Dementia other than Alzheimer's disease


















Concussion of the brain


















Hemiplegia/ hemiparesis


















Multiple sclerosis


















Parkinsonism


















Epilepsy


















Cataract


















Glaucoma


















Any psychiatric diagnosis


















Pneumonia


















Tuberculosis


















Urinary tract infection


















Cancer


















Diabetes


















Emphysema/ COPD*/asthma


















Arthritis


















Hip fracture


















Other fractures


















Osteoporosis


















Renal failure


















Total



















* Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Labour and Welfare

*12. Dr Hon David LI to ask:


In other developed economies, such as the United States and Japan, statistics on consumer spending cover both goods and services and are published monthly by the Governments concerned. However, in Hong Kong, monthly reports on consumer spending compiled by the Census and Statistics Department are limited to retail sales only and reports on the overall consumer spending are available only in the Reports of the Gross Domestic Product released quarterly. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it currently collects data that allow it to publish a comprehensive report on consumer spending on goods and services on a monthly basis;

    (b)when it last evaluated the composition of the monthly reports on consumer spending, and the reasons for such reports covering retail sales only; and

    (c)whether there is evidence that the composition of consumer spending has changed since the last evaluation, and whether it will consider collecting and publishing consumer spending figures on a monthly basis?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

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

When I met some homosexuals and ex-homosexuals recently, they relayed to me that support was often lacking when homosexuals wished to abandon their homosexual life style or change their sexual orientation. In this connection, will the Executive Authorities inform this Council:
    (a)of the current government policy on the provision of the aforesaid support services for homosexuals; whether the policy is based on an endorsement of the view that homosexual behaviour cannot be changed, as well as the concept that the provision of such services is an act of discrimination against homosexuals; if so, of the reasons for that;

    (b)whether the Government currently provides counselling services for homosexuals who wish to change their sexual orientation; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

    (c) whether it knows if there are non-governmental organizations ("NGOs") providing such support services; if there are, of the annual number of persons receiving these services and the details of such services; if it does not know if there are such NGOs, whether it will plan to collect the relevant data; and

    (d) whether it had received any complaint in the past five years about the inadequacy of such support services; if it had, of the details?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs

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

It has been reported that the Guangzhou Municipal authorities are actively pushing ahead with various construction projects in order to complement the implementation of the Framework for Development and Reform Planning for Pearl River Delta Region, including increasing the number of runways at the Baiyun International Airport ("BIA") from two at present to five, with the aim of developing it into the biggest airport in the Pearl River Delta ("PRD") Region. They will also prepare for the establishment of the Baiyun Airport Comprehensive Bonded Zone, in order to enhance its ability to attract air freight business for cargoes from the PRD Region. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it knows how the growth rates in the past three years in air cargo throughput in Hong Kong compare with those of Guangzhou, and whether it has estimated the impact on Hong Kong's air cargo throughput upon the completion of the third runway at BIA next year;

    (b)given that the Airport Authority Hong Kong commissioned a study last year on the engineering and environmental feasibility of building the proposed third runway at the airport in Hong Kong, of the progress of the study, and when a final proposal is expected to be made in this regard, as well as the measures to be taken by the authorities before that to raise, before 2015, the current runway capacity to 68 flight movements per hour; and

    (c) given that the Guangzhou Municipal authorities are striving for Guangzhou's air freight industry to catch up with its counterpart in Hong Kong by improving the hardware and software (i.e. services) at BIA, in the face of such a menacing threat, of the authorities' medium-term and long-term objectives and plans (especially in terms of logistics and transport infrastructures, increasing the number of international routes, sourcing for more transshipment goods, etc.) to increase the competitiveness of Hong Kong's air freight industry?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport and Housing

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

I have received complaints from members of the public who said that as early as the 1990s, they had lodged complaints with the Lands Department ("LandsD") about the illegal conversion of a footpath at San Tin Park, which had been designated for a specific use, into a vehicular access. Upon the release of the investigation report of The Office of The Ombudsman in 2008, LandsD undertook to reinstate the footpath expeditiously. In its recent reply to me, LandsD stated that it would use the regularization approach in handling the case and would not take action against such unlawful acts. It also indicated that using the regularization approach in handling cases of unlawful occupation of government land is an established and pragmatic policy of the Government. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it had used the regularization approach in the past in handling cases of unlawful occupation of government land which had been designated for a specific use or was not vacant; of the following details of each case, handled by the Government using the regularization approach in the past three years, of unlawful occupation of government land which had been designated for a specific use or was not vacant;

    LocationArea involvedSituation of unlawful occupation of government land which had been designated for a specific use or was not vacantYear in which the complaint or report was received concerning the unlawful occupation of government land which had been designated for a specific use or was not vacantYear in which the Government used the regularization approach in handling the case

    (b)whether there are established criteria to be followed when it decides if the regularization approach is to be used or not in handling cases of unlawful occupation of government land which has been designated for a specific use or is not vacant; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that, and whether it will formulate the criteria concerned;

    (c)whether an established procedure has to be followed when using the regularization approach in handling cases of unlawful occupation of government land which has been designated for a specific use or is not vacant; if so, of the details of such a procedure; if not, the reasons for that, and whether it will formulate the procedure concerned; and

    (d)whether public consultation has to be conducted before using the regularization approach in handling cases of unlawful occupation of government land which has been designated for a specific use or is not vacant; whether there is any mechanism at present for members of the public to lodge complaints when they are dissatisfied with the Government's handling of cases by the regularization approach; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that, and whether it will formulate the mechanism concerned?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Development

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

The authorities organized the Book Donation and Sale Campaign annually from 2002 to 2006, so as to promote reading and book recycling, as well as raise funds for The Community Chest of Hong Kong. On the other hand, public libraries under the Leisure and Cultural Services Department have recently refused to accept used books donated by members of the public. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)why the authorities have ceased organizing the aforesaid Campaign since 2007;

    (b)how much resources were deployed in the past three years by the authorities to promote reading and book recycling, and whether they have assessed the effectiveness of such work; and

    (c) whether the authorities will consider organizing the Book Donation and Sale Campaign again; if they will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Home Affairs

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

Last month, the MTR Corporation Limited ("MTRCL") announced that it would implement the Half Fare Promotion Scheme for persons with disabilities ("the Scheme"). Under the Scheme, recipients of the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance aged between 12 and 64 with 100% disability and recipients of Disability Allowance in the same age group will enjoy half-fare concessions. MTRCL wishes that the Government will take complementary measures, including amendments to the Disability Discrimination Ordinance (Cap. 487), to ensure that the Scheme does not contravene the law. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the latest progress of the relevant work;

    (b)of the specific implementation timetable of the aforesaid Scheme; and

    (c) whether it will consider discussing with MTRCL extending the coverage of the Scheme to all holders of Registration Card for People with Disabilities issued by the Labour and Welfare Bureau; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport and Housing

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

Members of the public have recently relayed to me that a young man travelled to Macao on invitation by some friends he made on the Internet. Instigated by those friends during the visit, he applied for a casino VIP membership card, with which he borrowed money for them to gamble. Although the young man did not take part in gambling, he was subsequently forced to repay gambling debts of 100-odd thousand dollars for them. Debt collectors escorted him back to Hong Kong and harassed him and his family by illegal practices, such as splashing red paint near their residence, and they as a result suffered great mental distress. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the number of cases, received by the authorities in each month of the past two years, of assistance being sought by persons who had fallen victim to the aforesaid deceptions, as well as the number of relevant people among these cases who were convicted; and

    (b)whether it has formulated any measure to prevent young people from falling victim to the aforesaid deceptions; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

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

Regarding the shortage of and long-term manpower planning for nurses, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it knows the number of nurses of public hospitals under the Hospital Authority ("HA") who departed in the past 24 months, together with a breakdown by the hospital and clinical department to which the nurses who departed belonged, as well as by their rank and length of service;

    (b)whether it knows whether HA has conducted any recruitment exercise for the vacancies mentioned in (a); if it has, of the number of vacancies which have been filled at present, broken down respectively by their rank and clinical department; if not all such vacancies have been filled, of the reasons for that; and

    (c) whether the authorities have made any plan for the supply and demand for nurses from 2010 to 2015; if they have, of the specific supply and demand figures; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Food and Health

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

I have received complaints from people of the jewelry industry that the exhibition fees charged by some exhibition organizers for exhibitions held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre ("HKCEC") are more than 40% higher than those charged for exhibitions of the same type organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council ("HKTDC"). Under the critical economic situation caused by the plunge in local export trade as a result of the financial tsunami, the increase in exhibition fees, instead of decrease, not only substantially increases the operating costs of the industry, which leads to difficulties in the operations of small and medium enterprises ("SMEs") and hinders the development of the industry, but also weakens the competitiveness of the exhibition industry in Hong Kong. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the details of the various forms of subsidies for exhibition fees currently provided to local exhibitors;

    (b)whether in the past five years, it had conducted studies or compiled statistics to compare the differences between the exhibition fees charged by HKTDC and those by private exhibition organizers for exhibitions of the same type held at HKCEC; and the reasons for the relevant differences;

    (c) given the completion of the extension project of the atrium link between Phases I and II of HKCEC, whether it knows if HKTDC and the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (Management) Limited ("HKCEC (Management) Limited") has revised, in the light of the extension project, the operation and management contract signed in 1997; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

    (d) given that according to the provisions of the aforesaid contract, the HKCEC (Management) Limited shall pay HKTDC a fee calculated at a prescribed percentage of the gross revenue from the overall operations of HKCEC each year, and the HKCEC (Management) Limited shall, with effect from 1 July 2003, pay HKTDC each year a fee calculated at 8.634% of the gross revenue, whether it knows if that percentage has now changed; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

    (e) whether it knows the amount of the annual fee, as mentioned in

    (d), paid by the HKCEC (Management) Limited to HKTDC in the past five years, and the use of such funds;

    (f) whether it will consider requesting HKTDC to use the funds in

    (e) to subsidize SMEs in Hong Kong to pay for exhibition fees, so as to give material support to the development of exhibition businesses; if it will not, of the reasons for that;

    (g) whether it knows if HKTDC has regularly assessed the performance of the HKCEC (Management) Limited; if it has, of the outcome, the criteria and mechanism of the assessments; if not, the reasons for that; whether the assessments are conducted by an assessment committee with the participation of independent members or trade representatives; if so, of the membership list of the committee; if not, the reasons for that;

    (h) given that HKTDC is currently charging local and overseas companies the same exhibition fees, how the Government effectively assists SMEs in Hong Kong in reducing exhibition costs; whether it will further consider giving other relevant concessions to local SMEs; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

    (i) whether it knows if HKTDC has requested the HKCEC (Management) Limited to add clauses to the venue hiring contracts entered into with exhibition organizers provisions on any form of concessions to SMEs in Hong Kong; whether it will set up a complaint mechanism in respect of the fees and service levels of exhibitions, and take this into account in considering whether or not the exhibition organizers may hire the venues in the future; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (j) whether it knows the detailed considerations of the HKCEC (Management) Limited in implementing its venue hiring policies; of the reasons for giving priority in venue hiring to exhibition organizers which regularly apply for organizing exhibitions in the same time slots; whether the HKCEC (Management) Limited has assessed if the policy of giving priority in venue hiring will give rise to monopoly; if the assessment result is that monopoly exists, whether it will introduce a fair competition policy in venue hiring; if the assessment result is in the negative, of the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development

* For written reply

III. Bills

First Reading

1. Legal Practitioners (Amendment) Bill 2009

2. Immigration (Amendment) Bill 2009

3. Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2009

4. Bunker Oil Pollution (Liability and Compensation) Bill

Second Reading (Debates to be adjourned)

1.Legal Practitioners (Amendment) Bill 2009:The Secretary for Justice

2.Immigration (Amendment) Bill 2009:Secretary for Security

3.Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2009:Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

4.Bunker Oil Pollution (Liability and Compensation) Bill:Secretary for Transport and Housing

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

1.Voting by Imprisoned Persons Bill:Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs

(i)Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs to move Committee Stage amendments

(The amendments were issued on 18 June 2009
under LC Paper No. CB(3) 712/08-09)

(ii) Dr Hon Margaret NG to move a Committee Stage amendment

(The amendment was issued on 19 June 2009
under LC Paper No. CB(3) 717/08-09)

2.Inland Revenue (Amendment) Bill 2009:Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury
to move Committee Stage amendments

(The amendments were issued on 12 June 2009
under LC Paper No. CB(3) 685/08-09)

3.Supplementary Appropriation (2008-2009) Bill :Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

4.Merchant Shipping (Safety) (Amendment) Bill 2009:Secretary for Transport and Housing

IV. Motions

1.Proposed resolution under the Race Discrimination Ordinance and the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs to move the following motion:


RESOLVED that the Race Discrimination (Proceedings by Equal Opportunities Commission) Regulation, made by the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs on 11 March 2009, be approved, subject to the following amendment - in section 3, in the Chinese text, by deleting "指" and substituting "指出".

(The Regulation was issued on 10 June 2009
under LC Paper No. CB(3) 681/08-09)

2. 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 3 June 2009, be approved -

(a) the Pharmacy and Poisons (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulation 2009; and

(b) the Poisons List (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulation 2009.

(The two Regulations were issued on 8 June 2009
under LC Paper No. CB(3) 670/08-09)

V. Members' Motions
  1. Proposed resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

    Hon Audrey EU to move the following motion:

    RESOLVED that in relation to the Air Pollution Control (Volatile Organic Compounds) (Amendment) Regulation 2009, published in the Gazette as Legal Notice No. 107 of 2009 and laid on the table of the Legislative Council on 27 May 2009, the period for amending subsidiary legislation referred to in section 34(2) of the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance (Cap. 1) be extended under section 34(4) of that Ordinance to the first sitting (within the meaning of section 34(6) of that Ordinance) of the next session of the Legislative Council.

  2. Seizing the chance to turn the risks from the 'Three Direct Links' across the Taiwan Strait into opportunities

    Hon Mrs Sophie LEUNG: (Translation)

    That, since the implementation of the 'Three Direct Links', i.e. direct maritime, air and postal links, across the Taiwan Strait in December last year, coupled with the impact of the financial tsunami, the air passenger and air cargo traffic of Hong Kong has, to a certain extent, been affected; however, apart from promoting cross-strait exchanges and trade flows, the 'Three Direct Links' across the Taiwan Strait is also a development opportunity for Hong Kong; as such, this Council urges the Government to formulate a comprehensive plan to turn the 'Three Direct Links' across the Taiwan Strait into an opportunity for Hong Kong to further develop the relations among the three places across the Taiwan Strait, including:

    (a)conducting a study on fully opening up air rights on a reciprocal basis with the Mainland and Taiwan, so as to raise Hong Kong's position as a regional and international aviation centre;

    (b)strengthening cooperation with the neighbouring airports in the Pearl River Delta to achieve complementarity of edge, so as not to result in mismatched development and to consolidate Hong Kong's status in aviation;

    (c)putting into place arrangement for mutual visa-free access between Hong Kong and Taiwan, and establishing formal channels among the three places across the Taiwan Strait to strengthen exchanges and cooperation at the non-government and societal level as well as in areas of tourism, culture and creativity, etc; and

    (d)setting up a high level inter-departmental task force to study and coordinate long-term development plans for promoting economic and trade cooperation among the three places across the Taiwan Strait.

    Amendments to the motion
    (i)Hon Tommy CHEUNG: (Translation)

    To add "Hong Kong has all along been an important platform for commercial and social exchanges across the Taiwan Strait" after "That"; to delete "and" after "creativity, etc;"; and to add "; (e) assisting the Mainland and Taiwan in concluding the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement at an early date to eliminate the trade barriers between them and jointly create common markets in the Greater China, as well as fully utilizing the functions of the Trade Development Council's Taiwan Office to help Hong Kong businessmen to further develop; (f) studying the feasibility of promoting mutual recognition of professional qualifications among the Mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan, so as to foster the development of Hong Kong's professional services industries; and (g) bringing forward arrangements with Taiwan to avoid double taxation, so as to enhance the competitiveness of Hong Kong, strengthen Hong Kong's position as a business platform of the Greater China and promote a win-win situation for the three places across the Taiwan Strait" immediately before the full stop.

    (ii)Hon Alan LEONG: (Translation)

    To add "given that" after "That,"; to add "Hong Kong's role as the intermediary between the Mainland and Taiwan is being seriously challenged," after "last year,"; to delete "is also" after "the 'Three Direct Links' across the Taiwan Strait" and substitute with "can also be"; to add "the cross-strait relations have developed rapidly in recent years, yet Hong Kong has failed to seize such a favourable opportunity to make history since the reunification;" after "a development opportunity for Hong Kong;"; to delete "turn the 'Three Direct Links' across the Taiwan Strait into an opportunity for Hong Kong to further develop" after "comprehensive plan to" and substitute with "fully utilize the original competitive edge, so that Hong Kong can regain its unique role in respect of"; to add "and further promote its development opportunities" after "the relations among the three places across the Taiwan Strait"; to delete "and" after "creativity, etc;"; and to add ", and expeditiously setting up an office of the Special Administrative Region Government in Taiwan; (e) performing Hong Kong's special role as an intermediary in a more proactive manner, turning Hong Kong into a platform for exchanges among the three places across the Taiwan Strait, jointly promoting development in areas of rule of law, corruption prevention, culture and arts, environmental protection, etc on the Mainland and in Hong Kong and Taiwan, thereby enriching non-government and official exchanges among the three places; (f) expeditiously signing with Taiwan an agreement on full avoidance of double taxation, so that Taiwan businessmen who set up companies in Hong Kong and operate businesses on the Mainland can avoid paying taxes in Taiwan and Hong Kong at the same time, so as to enable Hong Kong to become an important platform for Taiwan businessmen's entry into the Mainland; (g) strengthening cooperation with the Chung Hwa Travel Service, and enhancing its functions in areas of trade, investment and tourism, etc; and (h) promoting cruise tourism among the three places across the Taiwan Strait" immediately before the full stop.

    (iii)Hon Albert CHAN: (Translation)

    To delete "since the" after "That," and substitute with "as the Administration has ignored the importance of establishing a close relationship with Taiwan for many years, causing the relations between Hong Kong and Taiwan to be at a standstill, and the Hong Kong Government's prohibition of the entry of officials of the Taiwan authorities and related individuals into Hong Kong for many years is even a greater insult to the relevant departments and officials of Taiwan, this Council is therefore extremely disappointed at and strongly condemns the Special Administrative Region Government's change of attitude from arrogance to subservience, and since the recent".

    (iv)Hon Fred LI: (Translation)

    To delete ", since the implementation of" after "That" and substitute with "the relations between the Mainland and Taiwan have become more harmonious,"; to add "were implemented" after "postal links, across the Taiwan Strait"; to add "discussing with Mainland departments to reinstate the right of those Hong Kong residents and Members of the Hong Kong Legislative Council who have been barred from entering the Mainland to return to their hometown and to issue the Hong Kong and Macao Residents Entry and Exit Permits to them, and" after "(c)"; to add "so that all Chinese nationals can travel freely to and from the three places across the Taiwan Strait, thereby achieving true links among these three places," after "between Hong Kong and Taiwan,"; and to delete "to strengthen" after "formal channels among the three places across the Taiwan Strait" and substitute with ", so that there can be real".

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

    To add ", discussing the setting up of a task force on an airport cluster in the Great Pearl River Delta to exchange views on issues relating to the positioning, airspace, flight routes, flight schedules, runway construction and equity exchange, etc of the airports in the region, so as" after "neighbouring airports in the Pearl River Delta"; to delete ", so as" after "complementarity of edge" and substitute with "and"; and to delete "and to consolidate Hong Kong's status in aviation" after "mismatched development" and substitute with "and, in order to consolidate Hong Kong's status in aviation under the 'Three Direct Links', studying the construction of the third runway for the airport of Hong Kong as well as discussing with the Mainland to resolve the problem of airspace allocation, etc".

    (vi)Hon WONG Ting-kwong: (Translation)

    To delete "not to result in" after "achieve complementarity of edge, so as" and substitute with "to make use of the"; to delete "and" after "mismatched development"; to delete "and" after "creativity, etc;"; and to add "; (e) stepping up efforts to attract Taiwan enterprises to raise capital through Hong Kong, so as to optimize Hong Kong's function as an international financial centre; and (f) actively participating in the planning and construction of the economic zone on the western side of the Taiwan Strait, and optimizing Hong Kong's function as an international financial, shipping and trading centre, so as to enable Hong Kong to continue to maintain its active role and functions in the economic and trading exchanges among the three places across the Taiwan Strait and give new impetus to Hong Kong's economic development" immediately before the full stop.

    (vii)Dr Hon Priscilla LEUNG: (Translation)

    To delete "putting into place arrangement for mutual visa-free access between Hong Kong and Taiwan, and establishing" after "(c)" and substitute with "actively studying the streamlining of customs clearance procedures for residents of the three places across the Taiwan Strait travelling to and from these places, including the feasibility of granting visa-on-arrival to Taiwan residents visiting Hong Kong; (d) studying the establishment of"; to add "education, environmental protection, mutual legal assistance," after "areas of"; and to delete "and (d) setting up a high level inter-departmental task force to study and coordinate long-term development plans for promoting economic and trade cooperation among the three places across the Taiwan Strait" immediately before the full stop and substitute with "(e) through the platform of the newly established Hong Kong-Taiwan Business Co-operation Committee, strengthening communication with the corresponding Economic Co-operation Committee under the Taiwan-Hong Kong Economic and Cultural Co-operation Council established in Taiwan to study and coordinate long-term development plans for promoting economic and trade cooperation among the three places across the Taiwan Strait; and (f) in accordance with the existing mode adopted by the Special Administrative Region Government in establishing offices on the Mainland, commencing a study on the feasibility of establishing a government office in Taiwan".

    Public Officers to attend:Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs
    Secretary for Transport and Housing

  3. Strengthening human resources in the fields of finance and trade

    Dr Hon Philip WONG: (Translation)

    That, in the face of the impact of the financial tsunami, as well as many uncertain factors in the development of the global economic situation, Hong Kong must strengthen its own human resources in order that its position as a regional financial and trade centre can be consolidated; in this connection, this Council urges the Special Administrative Region Government to comprehensively review the existing policies and measures, with a view to strengthening the manpower training provided by local tertiary institutions in the fields of finance and trade, and further attracting relevant professionals across the world to Hong Kong.

    Amendments to the motion
    (i)Hon James TO: (Translation)

    To add "coupled with the fact that the Lehman Brothers incident, the Octave Notes incident and the CITIC Pacific incident have revealed that from corporate governance to the sale of retail financial products, those in the various sectors of Hong Kong's financial system all have to be better equipped," after "situation,"; to add ", improve corporate governance, and enable the trained personnel to fully understand the operation of the financial market and the relevant financial products, and to explain to the consumers who intend to invest in financial products the details of the products concerned," after "resources"; and to add "; and this Council also appeals to all the people affected by the deficiencies of the financial system to voice out the above requests by demonstrating their power on 1 July" immediately before the full stop.

    (ii)Hon Mrs Regina IP: (Translation)

    To delete "and trade" after "a regional financial" and substitute with ", trade and trade-related services (such as shipping)"; and to delete "and trade" after "finance" and substitute with ", trade and shipping".

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

    To add "under the principle of giving priority to local talents" immediately before the full stop.

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

    To add "; and to ensure that such policies and measures must be formulated through democratic procedures and subject to regulation under appropriate regimes, so as to safeguard the interests of small investors and the public, and prevent government officials from following orders of the business sector and rampant speculative activities" immediately before the full stop.

    Public Officers to attend:Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury
    Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development

  4. Motion for the adjournment of the Council

    Hon CHEUNG Man-kwong: (Translation)

    That this Council do now adjourn for the purpose of debating the following issue: the relocation of Christian Zheng Sheng College to the former Heung Yee Kuk Southern District Secondary School in Mui Wo.

    Public Officers to attend: Secretary for Education
    Secretary for Security
Clerk to the Legislative Council