Council Meeting (Agenda) 18 November 2009



A 09/10-7

Legislative Council

Agenda

Wednesday 18 November 2009 at 11:00 am

I. Tabling of Papers

Subsidiary Legislation / InstrumentsL.N. No.
1.Import and Export (Strategic Commodities) Regulations (Amendment of Schedule 1) Order 2009226/2009
2.Immigration (Amendment) Ordinance 2009 (Commencement) Notice230/2009

Other Papers

1. No. 30-The Audited Financial Statements together with the Report of the Director of Audit on the Immigration Service Welfare Fund and the Report by the Director of Immigration Incorporated on the Administration of the Fund
(to be presented by the Secretary for Security)

2. Report of the Bills Committee on Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2009
(to be presented by Dr Hon Samson TAM, Chairman of the Bills Committee)

II. Questions

1. Hon WONG Kwok-hing to ask:
(Translation)

Recently, I have received a large number of complaints about the malpractices used by a multi-level marketing company to recruit "members" and trick them into participating in pyramid selling scams. Some victims suspected that the company had, by inducement and harassment, misled them into borrowing huge amounts of loan at one go from a number of finance companies and then handing over the entire borrowed amounts to the person-in-charge of the company for "custody", in order to become "member" distributors of the company's sales network. These complainants have pointed out that the real intention of the marketing company was to induce more people to join the company as "members", so that "members" of the upper tiers would be able to pocket part of the funds invested by "members" of the lower tiers as commission, and such rip-offs would be repeated in a similar manner down the different tiers, thereby forming a pyramid of trickery and extortion. Many law enforcement officers have indicated to me that as there are loopholes in the existing legislation, it is difficult to institute prosecutions and these multi-level marketing companies are thus able to continue to operate and expand. Besides, it has been reported that as the Macao Special Administrative Region ("SAR") Government adopts a tough stance against such fraudulent activities and amended the Pyramid Selling Prohibition Ordinance in 2008, it has been successful in eliminating such kind of fraudulent multi-level marketing activities. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the number of such complaints or reports received by the authorities since 2007; the total number of people and amount of money involved; how the authorities handled these cases and the outcome thereof; and why some companies which had been the subjects of complaint can continue to operate in Hong Kong using the aforesaid practices;

    (b)whether it knows and if it has studied the content of the amendments made by the Macao SAR Government to the aforesaid Pyramid Selling Prohibition Ordinance, and from which parts of the amendments Hong Kong may make reference; and

    (c)whether the Hong Kong SAR Government will review or amend the related existing legislation; if so, of the timetable for introducing such legislative amendments; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development

2. Hon Albert HO to ask:
(Translation)

On 20 October last year, CITIC Pacific Limited issued a profit warning, which stated that due to its entering into certain leveraged foreign exchange contracts, the company had incurred losses of HK$15,507,700,000 in total, and the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited ("SEHK") as well as the Securities and Futures Commission ("SFC") respectively confirmed on 22 October last year that they were making inquires and launching an investigation into CITIC Pacific Limited, and the work concerned has to date been going on for a year. Moreover, it was reported that the Commercial Crime Bureau of the Police Force also conducted a search at the headquarters of the company in April this year. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it knows the progress of the respective enquiries and investigations made by SEHK, SFC and the Police in respect of the aforesaid incident, whether the work concerned has still not been completed; if it has not been completed, of the reason of the slow progress of the work, the difficulties encountered in the course of investigation, and how much more time is estimated to be needed to complete the work and make public the outcome;

    (b)given that there have been reports that the immediate past chairman of the aforesaid company sold and encashed in early May this year some of the company's shares, whether it knows if SFC will consider invoking section 213 of the Securities and Futures Ordinance ("SFO") to apply to the court for an order to freeze his assets, so as to ensure that his reduced holding of the relevant assets will not affect the seeking of compensation by people who suffer losses; and

    (c)after ascertaining the liability of the people involved in the aforesaid incident, whether it knows if SFC will consider invoking section 214 of SFO to apply to the court for an order to disqualify them from being the directors of the company, as well as invoking the relevant legislation to apply to the court to require them to make compensation to the companies and minority shareholders who suffer losses due to their acts, so as to highlight the importance of full disclosure of information by listed companies to their shareholders and the market?
Public Officers to reply:Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury
Secretary for Security

3. Hon WONG Yung-kan to ask: (Translation)

Regarding the development of Hong Kong's agricultural and fisheries industries, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)given that the Government announced last year that about 2 400 hectares of land would be released by phases from the existing Frontier Closed Area, and the Draft Development Plan for that land, which was published at the end of October this year, proposes that 98% of the land be used for conservation purposes to serve as a green buffer zone between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, whether the authorities will consider reserving some area in the land designated for conservation for developing the local agricultural and fisheries industries; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (b)under the premise of safeguarding public health, whether the Government will, in the next three years, set aside resources and step up efforts to develop the local agricultural and fisheries industries; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officers to reply:Secretary for Food and Health
Secretary for Development

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

It has been reported that the Financial Secretary has pointed out that in the implementation of the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement ("CEPA") since it was signed in 2003, there are still problems of "small doors not yet open", some of which are due to the differences in the industries' systems, regulation and connectivity between the two places, and the HKSAR Government will, jointly with the relevant departments of the Mainland, continue to deal with such problems. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)how the authorities and the relevant mainland departments specifically enhance efforts to deal with the differences in the industries' systems, regulation and connectivity, so as to resolve the problems of "small doors not yet open";

    (b)given that, in respect of the concessionary measures made under CEPA not being fully utilized, a Vice-Minister of the State Ministry of Commerce of our country made a number of suggestions (including organizing publicity and promotional activities with the HKSAR Government and facilitating the various places to implement the coordinating mechanism for CEPA), of the degree of participation of the authorities in such work, as well as the detailed plans and arrangements; and

    (c)given that the authorities conducted assessments on the economic impact of CEPA in 2005 and 2007 respectively, and that six supplements to CEPA have been signed to date, whether the authorities will conduct assessments on the economic impact again, so as to better understand the latest situation of the impact of CEPA on the economy of Hong Kong; if they will, when the assessments will be conducted and of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development

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

I have received complaints from members of the public pointing out that in accordance with government requirement, contractors must employ Labour Relations Officers ("LROs") to work on site for public works projects, but many such posts have been left vacant for a long time and some LROs are paid unequally for the same work. I had a meeting with the officials of the Development Bureau on 18 September this year, but could not resolve the problem. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)given that the Development Bureau indicated in its reply to the Panel on Development of this Council on 16 October this year that in respect of works contracts managed by the works departments, contractors are required to seek approval from Engineers/Architects of the works departments before employing or dismissing LROs to ensure that contractors cannot exert influence on the work of LROs, but I have learned that there are still contractors dismissing LROs without the consent of Engineers/Architects, of the number of such kind of complaint cases received by the authorities in the past five years, and the regulatory actions or penalties currently in place to prevent the recurrence of such kind of incidents;

    (b)given that the Development Bureau indicated in its reply to this Council on 8 October this year that there were 15 LRO vacancies at that time and it would seek to enhance measures to require consultancy firms/contractors to nominate suitable persons as LROs for the approval of the works departments concerned within a specified period of time after commencement of the works, of the duration of such specified period of time; how the Government will penalize the consultancy firms/contractors which fail to comply with the requirement in making the employment arrangement; and

    (c)whether it has prosecuted consultancy firms/contractors which did not employ LROs with the remuneration and benefits laid down by the Government, thereby giving rise to the situation of LROs being paid unequally for the same work and their labour rights not being protected; if it has, of the total number of prosecutions during the period from 1 May 2006 to 31 August this year; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Development

6. Hon Audrey EU to ask:
(Translation)

Some members of the public have relayed to me their concern about the increasing number of cross-boundary vehicles running in Hong Kong. They have from time to time found that some owners of these vehicles have affixed heat-insulating and light-transmitting colour films on the windscreens and windows of their vehicles, and are suspected to have breached the requirement of 44% minimum light transmission rate for vehicle windows. They have also pointed out that the mainland vehicles providing cross-boundary ambulance services resemble the ambulances in Hong Kong in appearance, and can easily cause confusion to the public; besides, such vehicles have installed and use emergency sirens and warning lights not for indicating directions. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the mechanism in place for the authorities to deal with the above motorists who are suspected of violating the traffic regulations in Hong Kong and the vehicles concerned, as well as the number of prosecutions in the past five years; and

    (b)focusing on the significant increase in the number of mainland ambulances providing cross-boundary medical transfer services, whether the authorities will step up the regulation and monitoring of such vehicles running in Hong Kong; if they will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officers to reply:Secretary for Transport and Housing
Secretary for Food and Health

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

According to the Secretary for Transport and Housing's reply to a written question raised by a Member of this Council on 10 December last year, there were six manhole explosion cases between 2003 and 2008. Among them, four involved manholes for telecommunication facilities. The Secretary pointed out that at the present stage, there was no plan for introducing new statutory requirements regarding the mandatory implementation of the recommendations of the consultancy study entitled "Prevention of Gas Explosion in Utility Manhole" ("the Study"). Yet, on 11 August this year, another manhole explosion occurred at the junction of Hong Ning Road and Shung Yan Street in Kwun Tong, which blew away five manhole covers. Three manholes for telecommunication facilities were involved in this accident which resulted in three persons being injured and admitted to hospital. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)given that while the Government has advocated the relevant trades exercising self-discipline in implementing the recommendations of the Study, it has come to my knowledge that many manhole owners have yet to actually implement those recommendations, whether the Government will firmly require enterprises owning manholes to fulfill their corporate social responsibilities by expeditiously completing the risk assessment for their manholes on various streets within a specified period (e.g. in six months) and adopting appropriate improvement measures accordingly, thereby safeguarding public safety; and

    (b)whether the Government will consider making reference to national standards such as the "Design Code for Communication Conduit and Passage Engineering" and the "Code of Construction and Acceptance for Communication Conduit Engineering", and enacting legislation to require the trades to seal the connecting conduits inside manholes, so as to prevent chain manhole explosions?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport and Housing

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

In his Policy Address delivered recently, the Chief Executive has proposed to promote the development of Chinese medicine and facilitate its development by introducing new certification services, making Hong Kong "a stage for promoting Chinese medicine to the world". In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)in order to promote Chinese medicine to the world, how the authorities promote to the trades technology for modernizing the Chinese medicine industry by integrating with science and technology, so that the trades would better understand the latest situation of the development of the industry;

    (b)how the authorities will seek the Mainland's and international recognition of the new certification services proposed for development; apart from introducing new certification services, what other specific measures the authorities have put in place to assist Hong Kong in becoming a stage for promoting Chinese medicine to the world; and

    (c)given that members of the public have an increasing demand for Chinese medicine, and the international recognition of Chinese medicine has gradually increased, whether the authorities will incorporate Chinese medicine into the public healthcare system, so as to meet the demand and facilitate the development of the Chinese medicine industry?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Food and Health

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

On 23 October this year, the Transport Department ("TD") launched the newly designed taxi driver identity plate and taxi drivers are required to display the new plate inside their cars, and those who fail to do so will be subject to a fine of $2,000. TD has indicated that the objective of launching the new plate is "to enhance the taxi service quality and the professional image of taxi drivers". In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)apart from being smaller in size as compared with that of the old plate and a slight change in the photograph position and background colour of the identity plate, as well as the addition of a six-digit identification number, how the changes in design outlook of the new plate can "enhance the taxi service quality and the professional image of taxi drivers", and therefore they must complete the replacement of identity plates by the end of March next year, or else they will face a fine;

    (b)given the government requirement that the overall width of the new plate inserted inside the plate holder together with the plate holder shall not exceed 120 mm, which is five mm smaller than the minimum width of the old plate, making it necessary for the taxi drivers to replace the plate holders, whether it knows the price of plate holders;

    (c)given that currently taxi drivers are required to display the taxi driver identity plate on top of the dashboard to the left of the taximeter, and as a result, rear-seat passengers may not be able to see it clearly, whether the Government will consider changing the display position and require the taxi driver identity plate be displayed at conspicuous positions at both the front and rear seats; if it will, of the detailed arrangement; if not, the reasons for that;

    (d)given that currently taxi drivers have to pay the agents of taxi driver identity plates ("agents") a fee ranging from $10 to $100 for the new plate, whether it knows how the replacement fee is determined; whether part of the income from replacement fees will be given to the Government, or the whole amount retained by the agents; whether it will consider centralizing the issuance of new plates under TD and standardizing the replacement fee; if it will, of the detailed arrangement; if not, the reasons for that;

    (e)whether it knows if there is a standardized application form for the new plate at present; what types of personal data will be collected in the application form for the new plate; how the agents relay such information to TD; whether there are measures in place to ensure that the drivers' personal data will not be divulged; if there are, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (f)as some taxi drivers have pointed out that the locations for replacement of identity plates are insufficient (such as there are no such locations in the Southern and Western Districts of Hong Kong Island), whether the Government will consider providing additional locations; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport and Housing

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

The Financial Secretary ("FS") announced the appointment of Mr Norman CHAN as the Chief Executive ("CE") of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority ("HKMA") in mid-July this year. FS stated that he had invited three persons in August 2008 to recommend to him suitable candidates for the post. FS had also invited a retired human resource specialist to assist them in their work. The group completed their work towards the end of 2008. They had altogether considered 39 persons, including persons from HKMA, regulatory agencies, banks and the academia as well as government officials. The group shortlisted eight people for recommendation to FS in order of priority, among whom Mr Norman CHAN was the first choice. The Government ultimately appointed Mr CHAN as the CE of HKMA. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the number of meetings convened by the aforesaid selection group between August and December 2008; whether meetings were convened to discuss the 39-person list; whether interviews were conducted with those on the eight-person list; and how the decision to recommend Mr Norman CHAN was made;

    (b)given that the remuneration for Mr CHAN is lower than that for the former CE and there was no prescribed term of office for the former CE, whereas the term for Mr CHAN is five years, of the criteria adopted by the authorities for determining his remuneration, conditions of service and the five-year term; and

    (c)given that Mr CHAN was appointed Director of the Chief Executive Office of the Hong Kong Government in July 2007, and FS reached consensus with the former CE one month later on the decision that his term would end at the end of September 2009, whether Mr CHAN was aware of this arrangement?
Public Officer to reply : The Financial Secretary

*11. Dr Hon David LI to ask:


When compiling statistics, the Census and Statistics Department ("C&SD") classifies major economic activities, such as retail sales and employment, in accordance with the Hong Kong Standard Industrial Classification ("HSIC"). Some members of the public have relayed to me that in the reports published by C&SD such as the Monthly Survey of Retail Sales, statistics are normally available in broad categories up to 4-digit HSIC code. Detailed breakdowns using the 6-digit HSIC code are limited and not comprehensive. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)why the Government does not make public comprehensive detailed breakdowns of statistics on economic activities, and whether this is due to technical reasons, cost considerations or other policy concerns; and

    (b)whether the Government will consider making all the available detailed breakdowns of statistics based on the HSIC code accessible to the public in the future?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

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

Last year, the Buildings Department published the Design Manual - Barrier free Access 2008 ("the Manual") to provide guidelines on building design to facilitate access by persons with disabilities ("PWDs"). However, some of the guidelines are not applicable to food premises. A survey conducted by the University of Hong Kong in June this year reveals that the entrances of most of the restaurants of fast food chains in Hong Kong have steps or thresholds but no access ramps. Immovable seats are also used in many food premises, neglecting the needs of PWDs. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)why the Manual has not made it mandatory for food premises to provide suitable ramps at their main entrances for access by PWDs and seats specially designed for them; and

    (b)whether it will examine when it will incorporate the requirements in (a) in the Manual so as to meet the needs of PWDs?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Labour and Welfare

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

According to the Government's statistics in 2008, the cost of collecting one tonne of refuse amounted to $186 and the total amount of refuse collected in that year was 1 888 406 tonnes. Meanwhile, many cities in the world such as Taipei and Sydney have set up recycling teams to increase the amount of waste recycled and thereby achieve waste reduction. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:
    (a)it has assessed the feasibility of setting up recycling teams in Hong Kong; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (b)it has assessed the staff establishment and expenditure involved in setting up recycling teams; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Environment

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

Some members of the public have relayed to me that although the work of waste recyclers may promote environmental protection and results in waste being recycled or reused, their operations have substantial impact on the environment of the districts nearby and affect the daily life of members of the public at the same time. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the total number of waste recyclers in Hong Kong in each of the past five years, broken down by region (i.e. Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, and the New Territories);

    (b)of the number of complaints against waste recyclers received by the authorities in each of the past five years and the main content of the complaints; the respective total numbers of warnings issued to and prosecutions instituted against waste recyclers; and the difficulties encountered in taking law enforcement actions as well as the measures in place to overcome such difficulties;

    (c)whether it will study afresh the establishment of a licensing system, so as to regulate the operations of waste recyclers; and

    (d)whether it will study providing operation sites for waste recyclers within government facilities in each district of Hong Kong, so as to unify management and minimize nuisance caused to members of the public?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Environment

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

To combat the Influenza A (H1N1) epidemic, the authorities have, since April this year, required all visitors and local residents to complete health declaration forms when they enter the territory at various boundary control points. However, such a measure has been criticized for wasting paper and having limited effect on controlling and tracking the epidemic situation. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the total number of completed health declaration forms received at various boundary control points since the implementation of the above measure;

    (b)where the completed health declaration forms are stored at present, and which government department is responsible for collating and keeping these forms; when a confirmed case of Influenza A (H1N1) is found to involve a person who came from a place outside Hong Kong, whether the Government will initiate the procedure of searching for the patient's health declaration form and immigration record;

    (c)for how long the completed health declaration forms will be kept before they are destroyed; given that these declaration forms contain the personal data of those who completed them, what measures the Government will adopt to safeguard the data from being disclosed when destroying these declaration forms; and

    (d)whether it will consider discontinuing the measure of requiring the completion of health declaration forms; if it will, of the specific arrangements, and how it will ensure that the virus will not be brought into Hong Kong from other places; if not, whether it will assess the impact of such a measure on the environment, and whether it will consider changing the current requirement (e.g. only requiring those who have influenza symptoms when entering the territory to complete the health declaration forms)?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Food and Health

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

Will the Government inform this Council whether it knows:
    (a)the number of complaint cases involving contravention of the Disability Discrimination Ordinance (Cap 487) received by the Equal Opportunities Commission ("EOC") in the past three years and, among such cases, the respective numbers of those cases the investigation of which had and had not been completed;

    (b)among the cases in (a), the number of those requiring further actions after investigation by EOC, including conciliation for the parties concerned or assisting the complainants to file civil suits in court; the number of cases for which EOC decided not to conduct or to discontinue investigation because the complaints were lacking in substance or vexatious, did not involve unlawful act, or a period of more than 12 months had lapsed beginning when the act was done; and the final outcome of those cases which required intervention by EOC in the form of conciliation or bringing to court for litigation; and

    (c)given that cases requiring further actions after investigation by EOC have to be dealt with in the first instance by means of the conciliation process, what arrangements EOC will make for cases in which the accused persons refuse to attend the conciliation conferences; focusing on cases in which the accused persons have not provided a defence in respect of the allegations against them because they have not participated in the conciliation process, how EOC ensures that these persons will receive fair and just treatment when it decides to provide legal assistance to the complainants?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Labour and Welfare

*17. Hon Mrs Regina IP to ask:
(Translation)

I have learnt that the MTR Corporation Limited ("MTRCL") has planned to build a large-scale temporary concrete plant, a stockpiling depot, a rubble crushing facility and a barging point next to Hoi Sum Park and in the Kai Tak Development Area during the implementation of the Shatin to Central Link ("SCL") project. The barging point therein will be located only about 300 metres away from the residential area in the vicinity. Moreover, the Government is going to carry out a number of projects under the Kai Tak Development plan (including Kai Tak City Centre, the cruise terminal and Metro Park, etc.), as well as the project for the Kowloon Bay section of the Central Kowloon Route which will be constructed within the Kai Tak Development Area. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether the various government departments concerned will communicate and coordinate with MTRCL to arrange for the projects in the Kai Tak Development Area to make use of the temporary supporting facilities of the SCL project so as to minimize the impact on the residents and the environment in the district?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport and Housing

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

It has been reported that quite a number of parents in Hong Kong have expressed grave dissatisfaction with the local education system, and there are quite a number of civil servants sending their children to schools overseas for studies. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the number of dependent children and amount of public money involved in respect of claims for Overseas Education Allowance ("OEA") by civil servants in each of the past three financial years;

    (b)whether in the past three years, it had carried out any survey to find out the reasons why those civil servants who claimed OEA had sent their children to school overseas for studies, whether it had explained to the public why it spent huge amounts of public money on the payment of OEA, and whether it had consulted the parents in Hong Kong on the local education system so as to review the areas where improvements are needed; if it had conducted such survey and consultation, of the results; if not, whether it can conduct such survey and consultation expeditiously; and

    (c)whether it has looked into the reasons why some parents are still dissatisfied with the local education system and send their children to school overseas for studies even though the education system had undergone reforms year after year; whether it had, in the past three years, thoroughly examined the fundamental problems of the local education system, and formulated specific proposals; if it had, of the results; if not, whether it will conduct such examination expeditiously?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education

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

In line with the Administration's general civil service recruitment freeze, work process re-engineering, re-organization and re-deployment of manpower to cut expenditure since April 2003, the Department of Health ("DH") also cut part of its services and manpower. In 2008, the Administration resumed civil service recruitment, and at the same time, DH also began to provide various additional services. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the nursing staff establishment for each type of services provided by DH before it cut its expenditure in 2003;

    (b)of the types of services and number of nursing staff cut by DH since April 2003, together with a breakdown by rank of the reduction in manpower;

    (c)of the details of the additional services provided by DH since the resumption of civil service recruitment in 2008; the number of additional nursing staff recruited by DH to provide those services, together with a breakdown by rank of the additional staff; and

    (d)of the nursing staff establishment for each type of services currently provided by DH?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Food and Health

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

The Secretary for Home Affairs was reported to have said earlier on a radio interview that if the Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China intended to make a bid to host the 18th Asian Games in 2019, the Government would give its strong support. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it knows the timetable and procedure for bidding to host the 18th Asian Games in 2019; of the authorities' estimation of the decision in respect of bidding for hosting the Asian Games concerned had to be made the latest to ensure that there is sufficient time to carry out the preparatory work, with a view to complying with the relevant procedure;

    (b)whether the authorities have summed up the experience of the failure in bidding for hosting the 2006 Asian Games; if they have, of the conclusion, and whether they have already improved and enhanced the shortfalls mentioned in the conclusion; and

    (c)before deciding on whether or not to make a bid to host the 2019 Asian Games, what factors and components the authorities will consider and assess, and whether these will include the level of support and enthusiasm of members of the public in Hong Kong, sufficiency of sports facilities, enhancement in the standard of Hong Kong athletes, economic condition and related financial commitment, estimated economic benefits to be brought and long-term development of the sports industry, etc.; if they will, of the preliminary assessment on the aforesaid factors and components?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Home Affairs

* For written reply

IIA. Statements

Consultation Document on Methods for Selecting the Chief Executive and for Forming the Legislative Council in 2012:Chief Secretary for Administration

III. Bills

First Reading

Import and Export (Amendment) Bill 2009

Second Reading (Debate to be adjourned)

Import and Export (Amendment) Bill 2009:Secretary for Security

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

Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2009:Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development
to move Committee Stage amendments
(The amendments were issued on 11 November 2009
under LC Paper No. CB(3) 145/09-10)

IV. Members' Motions
  1. Providing support for family carers

    Hon WONG Sing-chi to move the following motion: (Translation)

    That, out of care and love rooted in family ethics, family carers (i.e. people taking care of their chronically ill, disabled or elderly family members without remuneration) work tirelessly and give up their job to look after their ill or elderly family members day and night while facing social, psychological, physical and financial pressures and agony, hence substantially reducing the Government's expenditure in areas such as social services, medical care and education; in order to affirm their contributions to Hong Kong, this Council urges the Government to adopt the following measures to provide support for family carers:

    (a)to set up a 'subsidy system for carers of persons with disabilities' to alleviate their financial burden;

    (b)to recognize that family carers have contributed to the community and they are partners of the Government, and include the services of family carers into the scope of social welfare planning;

    (c)to enhance relief support services for carers so as to enable them to take a respite, which include:

    (i)adopting a family case approach to manage different categories of persons with disabilities and illness, so as to reduce the chance of family carers developing carer syndrome;

    (ii)increasing the provision of day care bed service;

    (iii)increasing the provision of respite care bed service; and

    (iv)having to introduce emergency respite care bed service;

    (d)to provide long-term and stable support for self-help family carers organizations; and

    (e)to set up an inter-departmental group to review afresh the effectiveness of community care support services.

    Amendments to the motion
    (i)Hon CHEUNG Kwok-che to move the following amendment: (Translation)

    To add ", or young children" after "disabled or elderly family members"; to add "or young children" after "ill or elderly family members"; to delete ", hence substantially reducing the Government's expenditure in areas such as social services, medical care and education" after "agony"; to add "and review afresh the existing social services to complement such measures" after "measures to provide support for family carers"; to add ", such as providing additional tax allowances," after " 'subsidy system for carers of persons with disabilities' "; to delete "and" after "provision of respite care bed service"; to add "and (v) increasing the provision of occasional child care services to provide support for family carers of children with disabilities and other difficulties;" after "emergency respite care bed service;"; to add "acknowledge the important functions of self-help organizations, and" after "(d) to"; to add "various categories of" after "stable support for"; to delete "and" after "family carers organizations"; and to add ", and examine how such services can complement the existing social services; (f) to turn the Integrated Discharge Support Trial Programme for Elderly Patients into regular services, and provide similar services for persons with disabilities so that they can have discharge support after hospital discharge; and (g) to study the provision of training for family carers to enable them to know how to take care of family members living in residential care homes" immediately before the full stop.

    (ii)Hon WONG Yuk-man to move the following amendment: (Translation)

    To delete ", hence substantially reducing the Government's expenditure in areas such as social services, medical care and education; in order to affirm their contributions to Hong Kong," after "agony" and substitute with ";"; to add "allocate more resources and" after "Government to"; to add "(a) to abolish the Drug Formulary so that people with chronic illness can be provided with suitable drugs with less side effects; (b) to convert vacant school premises to increase residential care places for persons with disabilities, subsidized care and attention places as well as nursing home places, so as to shorten the waiting time for such places; (c) to create more care worker posts to provide additional home care services for those who are waiting for care and attention places as well as nursing home places, so as to strengthen the support for carers;" after "family carers:"; to delete the original "(a)" and substitute with "(d)"; to delete the original "(b)" and substitute with "(e)"; to delete "and they are partners of the Government," after "the community"; to delete the original "(c)" and substitute with "(f)"; to delete the original "(d)" and substitute with "(g)"; and to delete the original "(e)" and substitute with "(h)".

    Amendment to Hon WONG Yuk-man's amendment
    Hon CHAN Hak-kan to move the following amendment:
    (Translation)

    To delete "abolish" before "the Drug Formulary" and substitute with "enhance the selection mechanism of"; and to add ", so that more drugs with therapeutic effectiveness but are of higher costs will be included in the Drug Formulary, and increase the amount of subsidy under the Samaritan Fund as well as extend the scope of the Fund to cover more categories of drugs to assist patients in need to purchase drugs not on the Drug Formulary," before "so that people with chronic illness".

    Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Labour and Welfare

  2. Strengthening and continuously supporting the teaching and learning of Chinese for non-Chinese speaking students

    Dr Hon Margaret NG to move the following motion:(Translation)

    That, as the Race Discrimination Ordinance passed by this Council in 2008 still has many deficiencies, the Government must introduce policies to achieve racial equality in a more comprehensive manner; this Council urges the Government to strengthen and continuously support the teaching and learning of Chinese for non-Chinese speaking ('NCS') students, to develop, having regard to the Chinese proficiency and the needs of NCS students, learning objectives and relevant diagnostic and assessment tools for different stages, including external assessment standards, and to provide appropriate teaching materials and effective pedagogies so as to facilitate effective learning, with the ultimate objective of upgrading NCS students' Chinese proficiency, including listening, speaking, reading and writing, so that they can compete in the local employment market and gain entry to various professional sectors.

    (i)Hon CHEUNG Man-kwong to move the following amendment: (Translation)

    To delete "as" after "That," and substitute with "to effectively implement"; to delete "still has many deficiencies, the Government" after "this Council in 2008" and substitute with ", the Administration"; to delete "Government" after "urges the" and substitute with "Administration"; to delete "to develop, having regard to the Chinese proficiency and the needs of NCS students, learning objectives and relevant diagnostic and assessment tools for different stages, including external assessment standards, and to provide appropriate teaching materials and effective pedagogies so as to facilitate effective learning," after "('NCS') students,"; and to add "; to this end, this Council urges the Administration to adopt the following measures: (a) focusing on the Chinese proficiency and the needs of NCS students, to provide suitable teaching materials and effective pedagogies so as to facilitate effective learning; (b) to organize outreaching tutorial services to schools to provide ethnic minority students with language tutorials in Chinese, so that they will not lose their drive for learning because their Chinese proficiency continuously lags behind that of others; and (c) having regard to differences in Chinese proficiency and learning among NCS people as well as the Chinese proficiency required for working and living in Hong Kong, to formulate a Chinese language benchmark test suitable for NCS people, so that schools can use it as the teaching goal and various sectors can also assess their proficiency in Chinese in accordance with it" immediately before the full stop.

    (ii)Hon Starry LEE to move the following amendment: (Translation)

    To add "non-Chinese speaking ('NCS') students face great difficulties in learning Chinese in school, and" after "That, as"; to delete "non-Chinese speaking ('NCS')" after "Chinese for" and substitute with "NCS"; to delete "and" after "external assessment standards,"; to add ", and to include general knowledge about local culture and life in the teaching materials," after "effective pedagogies"; and to add "; furthermore, the Government should enhance school teachers' understanding of cultural diversity and subsidize their studying of relevant professional courses, so that teachers can support NCS students more effectively" immediately before the full stop.

    Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Education
Clerk to the Legislative Council