Council Meeting (Agenda) 16 December 2009



A 09/10-11

Legislative Council

Agenda

Wednesday 16 December 2009 at 11:00 am

I. Tabling of Papers

Subsidiary Legislation / InstrumentsL.N. No.
1.Exemption from Profits Tax (Renminbi Sovereign Bonds) Order246/2009
2.Buildings (Amendment) Ordinance 2008 (Commencement) Notice 2009 247/2009
3.Building (Minor Works) Regulation (Commencement) Notice 2009248/2009
4.Building (Minor Works) (Fees) Regulation (Commencement) Notice 249/2009
5.Prevention of Bribery Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 1) Order 2009 (Commencement) Notice250/2009

Other Papers

1.No. 44-Annual Report by the Board of Governors of the Prince Philip Dental Hospital and Audited Statement of Accounts 2008/09
(to be presented by the Secretary for Food and Health)

2.No. 45-Secretary for Home Affairs Incorporated
Audited financial statements together with the Director of Audit's Report for the year ended 31 March 2009
(to be presented by the Secretary for Home Affairs)

3.No. 46-Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fund
Signed and audited financial statements together with the Auditor's Report and the Report of the Board of Trustees for the period 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2009
(to be presented by the Secretary for Home Affairs)

4.No. 47-Queen Elizabeth Foundation for the Mentally Handicapped Report and Accounts 2008-2009
(to be presented by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare)

5.No. 48-The Accounts of the Lotteries Fund 2008-09
(to be presented by the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury)

6.No. 49-Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, Hong Kong Annual Report 2008-09
(to be presented by the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs)

7.No. 50-Equal Opportunities Commission Annual Report 08/09
(to be presented by the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs)

8.No. 51-The Sir Murray MacLehose Trust Fund
Signed and audited financial statements together with the Auditor's Report and Trustee's Report for the year 1 April 2008 to 31 March 2009
(to be presented by the Secretary for Home Affairs)

9.No. 52-Signed and audited financial statements together with the Auditor's Report and the Report on the Administration of the Chinese Temples Fund for the year ended 31 March 2009
(to be presented by the Secretary for Home Affairs)

10.No. 53-Social Work Training Fund Forty-eighth Annual Report by the Trustee for the year ending on 31 March 2009
(to be presented by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare)

11.No. 54-Grantham Scholarships Fund
Signed and audited Statement of Accounts together with the Auditor's Report and Report by the Grantham Scholarships Fund Committee on the Administration of the Fund for the year ended 31 August 2009
(to be presented by the Secretary for Home Affairs)

12.No. 55-The Brewin Trust Fund
Audited financial statements together with the Auditor's Report and Report by the Brewin Trust Fund Committee on the Administration of the Fund for the year ended 30 June 2009
(to be presented by the Secretary for Home Affairs)

13.No. 56-Signed and audited financial statements together with the Auditor's Report and the Report on the Administration of the General Chinese Charities Fund for the year ended 31 March 2009
(to be presented by the Secretary for Home Affairs)

14.Report No. 1/09-10 of the House Committee on Consideration of Subsidiary Legislation and Other Instruments
(to be presented by Hon Miriam LAU, Chairman of the House Committee)

15.Report of the Bills Committee on Public Officers Pay Adjustment Bill
(to be presented by Hon IP Kwok-him, Chairman of the Bills Committee)

16.Report of the Bills Committee on Domestic Violence (Amendment) Bill 2009
(to be presented by Hon LEE Cheuk-yan, Chairman of the Bills Committee)

II. Questions

1. Hon Jeffrey LAM to ask:
(Translation)

At the Hong Kong/Shenzhen Cooperation Meeting held on the 30th of last month, the Governments of Hong Kong and Shenzhen agreed to link up in the near future the two electronic money systems of "Octopus" in Hong Kong and "Shenzhen Tong" in Shenzhen, to enable cross system usage of the stored value cards ("SVCs") concerned by residents in both places for travelling and shopping ("mutual use of SVCs"). In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)when the mutual use of SVCs is expected to be implemented; in calculating the transaction amounts, how the Hong Kong dollar and Renminbi are to be converted, including whether a fixed or a floating conversion rate will be used; whether the conversion rate will be determined by the card issuers or by the shops concerned; whether it knows if the card issuer had received any complaint about miscalculation of or questionable conversion rates since Octopus may be used in certain retail outlets in Shenzhen in August 2006;

    (b)of the transport carriers and retail outlets to which the SVCs concerned will be applicable after the implementation of the mutual use of SVCs, whether transport carriers travelling to and from other cities in the Pearl River Delta ("PRD") will be included, and whether the area of application will be expanded to cover other places in the PRD; and

    (c)upon the implementation of the mutual use of SVCs, which card issuer the card holders should contact when they lost their cards or wrong amounts have been deducted; what mechanism is in place to handle such situations; whether card holders can check the records of transactions conducted through the aforesaid systems in both Hong Kong and Shenzhen; and whether SVC automatic add-value services are available in both places?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

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

Since the 2007-2008 school year, the Government has implemented the Pre-primary Education Voucher Scheme ("the Scheme") and abolished the "Recommended Normative Salary Scale for Kindergarten Teaching Staff" ("the salary scale"). It was reported that the former Education and Manpower Bureau, when consulting the trade on the Scheme in 2006, had undertaken to put in place comprehensive monitoring measures to avoid teachers of kindergartens (including kindergarten-cum-child centres) from being exploited in terms of pay. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:
    (a)it knows, among the full-time kindergarten teachers in the current school year, the respective numbers of those who have obtained the qualification of Qualified Kindergarten Teacher, Early Childhood Education Diploma and Bachelor's Degree in Education in Early Childhood Education, as well as a breakdown of the numbers by levels of their monthly salaries (i.e. "$6,000 or below" and levels at $3,000 interval thereafter);

    (b)it has assessed if the monitoring measures adopted by the authorities have effectively ensured that serving kindergarten teachers will receive salary increase after obtaining the Early Childhood Education Diploma; if the assessment result is in the affirmative, of the average percentage of increase in the salaries of such teachers in each of the past two school years; if it is in the negative, whether the authorities will consider re-instating the salary scale as well as providing matching subsidies according to the salaries of kindergarten teachers, so as to ensure that kindergarten teachers will receive salary increase after they have upgraded their qualifications; and

    (c)the authorities will consider providing qualification subsidies to kindergarten teachers which are linked to their qualifications, so as to reflect that the authorities' respect and appreciation of the efforts of kindergarten teachers in upgrading their qualifications through furthering studies?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education

3. Dr Hon Priscilla LEUNG to ask:
(Translation)

Recently, some political parties have proposed that one Member be designated from each of the five geographical constituencies of the Legislative Council ("LegCo") to resign. If this proposal is implemented, the Government will have to arrange for by-elections. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)in respect of each of the LegCo by-elections held since the election of the First LegCo in 1998, of the respective amounts of public expenditure involved and the number of days between the day on which the notice of the existence of the vacancy in the membership of the Council was published in the Gazette and the polling day;

    (b)whether this year's allocation which may be used for conducting LegCo by-elections is sufficient for conducting by-elections in all five geographical constituencies at the same time; if it is not sufficient, whether the Government needs to seek funding approval from LegCo, and whether it has studied how the by-elections will be conducted when the funding application has been rejected by LegCo for several times; if it has, of the outcome; and

    (c)given that section 17(1) of the Legislative Council Ordinance stipulates that "a vacancy in the membership of the Legislative Council does not affect its power to transact business", whether it has studied if the effect of this provision will be affected by the duration of a vacancy; if it has, of the outcome?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs

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

It has been reported that Influenza A (H1N1) vaccine is in great demand as the epidemic continues to spread. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported a shortage of the vaccine. Some experts have pointed out that being at the forefront of research into the epidemiology of influenza viruses, Hong Kong may have favourable conditions for developing the vaccine industry, which could contribute to the local public health system, promote the development of a research-based and innovation-driven economy, create high-end employment opportunities, and meet the vaccine needs of the Mainland and neighbouring Asian countries. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it had launched or supported any technological initiative in the past five years to facilitate vaccine research and developing the vaccine industry; if so, of the details and its assessment of the effectiveness of such initiatives; and

    (b)given that "innovation and technology" and "medical services" are among the six economic areas where Hong Kong enjoys clear advantages identified by the Government for further development, whether the Government will include the vaccine industry as one of the industries to be further developed, and take measures to promote the development of the vaccine industry and related research and development activities; if so, of the resources to be deployed and other measures to support such development?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Food and Health

5. Hon Paul TSE to ask:
(Translation)

In recent years, there is a proliferation in the market of advertisements of tutorial schools claiming that they can guarantee that students will obtain excellent results in public examinations; some tutorial schools have spent enormous amounts of money on placing full front-page advertisements in newspapers and displaying huge advertisements in various outdoor media to boast that they have the largest number of students with Grades A, B and C and that their students are assured of "obtaining Grade A or a higher grade", etc. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:
    (a)it had, in the past three years, taken the initiative to investigate if the advertisements of tutorial schools contained false, exaggerated or misrepresented statements; if it had, of the respective numbers of advertisements and tutorial schools involved; whether it had issued warnings to and instituted prosecutions against the tutorial schools in respect of the advertisements which contained misrepresented statements; if it had not conducted any investigation, of the reasons for that and whether it will follow up expeditiously;

    (b)it has studied this unique phenomenon of Hong Kong that operating tutorial schools has become a trend and quite a number of tutors who call themselves "Tutor King" or "Tutor Queen" can become billionaires easily; if it has, of the results; if not, whether it will conduct such a study expeditiously; and

    (c)it has looked into the causes of the prevalence of tutorial schools; and whether such a situation reflects the failure of the education policy in Hong Kong, as well as its impact on students and the entire school education system; if it has, of the results; if not, whether it will conduct such a study immediately?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education

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

Since the implementation of the Elderly Health Care Voucher Pilot Scheme early this year, elderly groups have incessantly relayed to me that the amount of subsidy of the health care voucher is inadequate and the Scheme lacks publicity. Moreover, it is difficult for the eligible elderly to locate healthcare providers participating in the Scheme. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the number of elderly persons who have used health care vouchers to date, as well as the average amount of subsidy they used each time;

    (b)of the current number of private medical practitioners (including Chinese medicine practitioners, dentists and chiropractors) participating in this Scheme, as well as their respective percentages in the total number of private medical practitioners in Hong Kong; of the number of private medical practitioners who have withdrawn from this Scheme to date; and

    (c)when it will review the aforesaid Scheme, as well as the methodology and procedure of the review?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Food and Health

*7. Hon Andrew LEUNG to ask:
(Translation)

According to the Examination Reports of the 2009 Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination and the Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination published by the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority, most students did not have good and extensive reading habits, resulting in their compositions being empty in contents, their answers provided at oral examinations lacking substance, as well as their failure to cite current affairs and history accurately. The problem of errors in their choice of Chinese characters is also serious, which is a worrying situation. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)given that there have been comments that since examination is the basis of the mode of learning for primary and secondary school students, they seldom take the initiative to read materials beyond the scope of examination, whether the Government had launched any new programme in the past five years to encourage students to engage in more extra-curricular reading, so as to enhance their knowledge; if it had, whether it has assessed its effectiveness; if it had not launched such a programme, whether it will consider launching such a programme; and

    (b)given that there have been comments that the problem of making errors in the choice of Chinese characters by students has reflected the decline in their proficiency in the Chinese language, and that such a decline will in turn adversely affect students' thinking skills, what solutions the Government has in place to deal with this situation?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education

*8. Hon WONG Yuk-man to ask:
(Translation)

I have received complaints from teachers that their schools were forced to cease operation due to under-enrolment and they have thus lost their jobs. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the respective numbers of primary and secondary schools which ceased operation in each of the past five years, together with a breakdown by their respective District Council districts;

    (b)whether it knows the number of dismissed teachers who have already found new jobs since those schools ceased operation;

    (c)whether the Government will reconsider lowering the basis for school places allocation for schools implementing small class teaching ("SCT") from 25 to 20 students per class so as to enhance the quality of teaching and learning as well as reduce the number of schools which have to cease operation; if it will, of the time to do so; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (d)given that according to the Policy Address delivered by the Chief Executive this year, only 65% of public sector primary schools are implementing SCT starting from Primary One, which is below the goal of 70% set by the Education Bureau, of the reasons for that; when the remaining 35% of public sector primary schools will implement SCT?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education

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

The Hospital Authority ("HA") was established in 1990 under the Hospital Authority Ordinance (Cap.113) and its main functions include encouraging public participation in the operation of the public hospitals system. Regarding the operation of HA, will the Government inform this Council whether it knows:
    (a)the respective numbers of meetings of the HA Board and its 11 committees (excluding the Hospital Governing Committees and the Regional Advisory Committees) held and those not held because of a lack of quorum, as well as the number of members whose annual attendance rates at meetings were below 50% last year;

    (b)if the HA Board and the aforesaid committees convened any public hearing last year in respect of their discussion items and invited the organizations concerned to attend and give their views; if so, of the number of public hearings convened and the number of organizations which attended these hearings; if not, how HA ensures that it has fully understood the concerns and views of the organizations concerned in making its decisions; and

    (c)if the authorities will consider amending the Hospital Authority Ordinance in order that patient groups and the Legislative Council may elect representatives to be members of the HA Board; if they will, of the details; if not, what measures the authorities have put in place to ensure that members of the HA Board and the aforesaid committees, who are appointed without pay and in their personal capacity, can effectively monitor this huge and professional system of HA?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Food and Health

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

Quite a number of members of the public have relayed to me that in the absence of specific regulatory legislation, some beauty care and slimming service operators have often adopted dishonest trade practices to operate their business in recent years. For example, they use advertisements containing misleading information for publicity and lure members of the public into visiting the companies concerned under various excuses and then forced them to sign unfair service contracts, etc., by scare tactic. Consumers who have encountered the aforesaid situation often have nowhere to turn to for assistance, and thus their interests are not safeguarded. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)given that some members of the trade have proposed that a cooling-off period should be provided in the contracts for beauty care and slimming services, whether the Government has any plan to legislate to require that the contracts concerned must contain a cooling-off period clause, so that consumers may cancel the contracts and unconditionally get back the full amounts paid during the cooling-off period;

    (b)whether it has any plan to enact specific legislation to regulate advertisements which promote beauty care and slimming services, so as to prevent consumers from being misled by misrepresented advertisements; and

    (c)how it will educate and assist members of the public in protecting their own legitimate interests through existing legislation when procuring beauty care and slimming services?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development

*11. Hon IP Wai-ming to ask:
(Translation)

Regarding the Government's employment of non-civil service contract ("NCSC") staff, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the maximum numbers of days of annual leave that NCSC staff are entitled to, broken down by rank; in respect of those NCSC staff who are entitled to the maximum annual leave, the bureaux/departments/offices in which they are engaged and their grades;

    (b)of a breakdown, by rank of such staff, of the percentages (5%, 10% and 15% or above) by which their end-of-contract gratuities are calculated, as well as the number of the relevant contracts involved; of the criteria used by heads of department ("HoDs") to determine the percentages for end-of-contract gratuities; and

    (c)as the Government stated in a paper submitted to the Panel on Public Service of this Council in May 2004 that "HoDs employ staff outside the Civil Service on fixed-term contracts of various duration (e.g. one month up to three years) to meet service needs which are short-term, part-time or under review", yet at present, some NCSC staff have been in continuous employment for 10 to 20 years, what the definition of "service needs which are short-term, part-time or under review" is?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Civil Service

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

The scheme for the Kwun Tong Line Extension gazetted last month did not adopt certain suggestions put forward earlier by local residents during the consultation meetings for the project. Such suggestions include the construction of a pedestrian subway to connect Whampoa Station to the pedestrian subway at the junction of Hung Hom Road and Tai Wan Road, as well as underground pedestrian links to connect Ho Man Tin Station to Ho Man Tin Estate and Oi Man Estate. Representatives of the Government and the MTR Corporation Limited ("MTRCL") pointed out at the consultation meetings that the estimated daily pedestrian flow at the aforesaid locations did not reach the minimum standard for constructing such facilities. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)apart from the aforesaid standard on pedestrian flow, whether the Government and MTRCL have other reasons for not adopting the aforesaid suggestions; if they have, of the details;

    (b)what standards of pedestrian flow for the construction of underground pedestrian connections are under the existing planning standards, as well as the requirement on pedestrian flow for the construction of such facilities at the aforesaid locations; and

    (c)whether the Government and MTRCL had, when planning facilities of the same kind in the past, considered factors other than pedestrian flow, e.g. the potential of the facilities concerned in revitalizing old areas and promoting the development of tourism in the areas; if they had, of the details?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport and Housing

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

Recently, the Chief Executive and the Secretary for Development have separately indicated that the authorities are actively considering not to grant extra floor areas to developers as an incentive for the construction of green buildings, and therefore are reviewing the existing measures and do not rule out enacting legislation at a later stage to require the provision of green features in buildings. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the criteria adopted by the authorities for determining whether or not legislation should be enacted to require the construction of green buildings;

    (b)whether it knows, among the cities with levels of development comparable to that of Hong Kong, which cities have enacted legislation on the aforesaid matter, and which cities promote the construction of green buildings only by means of incentive measures, as well as the reasons for their adopting different approaches;

    (c)regarding land purchased by developers from the Government and land in respect of which premium has been paid as well as land owned by the Urban Renewal Authority, the MTR Corporation Limited and the Airport Authority Hong Kong, whether any assessment has been conducted to ascertain if such land will be affected by the legislation or new regulatory measures to be introduced by the Government on the aforesaid matter in future; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (d)whether the authorities will include a new element relating to construction of green buildings in the conditions of sale of Government land; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Development

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

Regarding the work in combating smuggling activities, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the respective quantities, types and values of goods smuggled into and out of Hong Kong by sea, on land and by air which were seized by the authorities in the past three years, as well as the number of persons arrested in connection with such cases;

    (b)of the recent situation of illegal smuggling activities using prestigious sedans and luxurious seven-seater vehicles; if the situation has become serious, of the details and reasons for that;

    (c)given the increasingly busy economic activities between Hong Kong and the Mainland, the number of vehicles travelling across the two places is increasing, whether the authorities had adopted specific measures in the past three years to focus on combating illegal smuggling activities on land; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (d)whether the authorities have recently uncovered new ways of smuggling being used by law-breakers; if they have, of the details, and what combating actions the authorities have taken in this respect?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

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

In 2003, the Government set up the Trust Fund for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome ("SARS") ("Trust Fund") to provide financial assistance for family members of deceased SARS patients, people who recovered from SARS and "suspected" SARS patients who had been treated with steroids. Regarding the provision of assistance for people who recovered from SARS, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the current balance of the Trust Fund, and the number of persons still receiving financial assistance from the Trust Fund at present;

    (b)whether it knows the number of SARS patients who have been assessed by the Hospital Authority ("HA") to be suffering from permanent dysfunctions; apart from the Trust Fund, whether the Government will make longer term arrangements for them;

    (c)given that HA provides SARS patients with life-long free medical services to treat their health problems caused by SARS, whether it knows the respective medical services provided and not provided by HA, as well as the reasons for not providing certain services; and

    (d)regarding persons who have been assessed to have recovered from SARS and hence may not continue to obtain assistance from the Trust Fund, whether the Government will follow up their situations, e.g. look into their mental and health conditions and employment situations, etc.; if it will, of the details; if not, whether it will take follow up actions?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Labour and Welfare

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

I have received complaints from inmates and discharged inmates that currently the facilities in the cells of the various penal institutions under the Correctional Services Department are not adequate, and their basic needs have been neglected. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the number of cells which are not fitted with individual toilets at present, broken down by institution, and the capacity of such cells; whether individual toilets will be fitted in every cell; if so, of the implementation timetable; if not, the reasons for that, and whether it has assessed if the lack of individual toilet in cells is a neglect of the needs of inmates; if such an assessment has been made, of the results; if not, the reasons for that;

    (b)of the respective numbers of confirmed cases of inmates suffering from heart disease, asthma and pulmonary disease in each of the past five years;

    (c)whether the various penal institutions have set up no-smoking cells at present for holding inmates who are chronic disease patients suffering from heart disease, asthma or pulmonary disease; if so, of the number of such cells and the capacity of each cell, and the numbers of inmates who were punished for smoking in no-smoking cells in each of the past five years; if such cells have not been set up, the reasons for that; and

    (d)of the numbers of inmates who received injections of sedatives (commonly known as "doping injections") in each of the past five years?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

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

According to the consultancy study "Sport for All - Participation Patterns of Hong Kong People in Physical Activities" published earlier by the authorities, over half of the respondents failed to meet the level of the "baseline indicator" of physical activity level, i.e. at least an accumulation of 30 minutes a day and at least 3 days a week in moderate or vigorous physical activities. Moreover, three of the sports they participated in most frequently were jogging, swimming and badminton; and more than half of the respondents used mainly the leisure facilities of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department ("LCSD") or other government departments. Based on the above study findings, the Community Sports Committee proposed to further promote Sport for All in the community through education and upgrading services from time to time, so that more people will be encouraged to actively participate in sports and physical activities. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)what specific strategies the authorities have adopted to promote physical activities (including those at family, community, school and workplace levels, as well as in other aspects of daily life) through education among members of the public so as to facilitate them to meet the level of the "baseline indicator";

    (b)given that entries for the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 2010 which was open for registration earlier were full in no time, which reflected the level of enthusiasm of the public in participating in jogging and confirmed the findings of the aforesaid study on the sport with the most frequent participation, whether the authorities will, in response to the findings of the study, consider improving and increasing the sports facilities concerned, including whether they will:

    (i)consider the provision of jogging tracks with vibration-absorbing materials on the wider pedestrian walkways, along existing waterfront areas and those under planning, as well as on the pedestrian walkways adjacent to cycling tracks, etc.; and consider providing more jogging tracks or resurfacing jogging tracks with those materials in parks; if so, of the specific plans and timetable; if not, the reasons for that;

    (ii)consider how to make good use of outdoor public swimming pools which are closed in winter, including converting them into heated swimming pools or making use of the space to set up temporary sports facilities, etc.; and

    (iii)review the utilization of the badminton courts under LCSD at present, and encourage the Hong Kong Housing Authority and private housing estates to provide small-scale indoor badminton courts; if they will, of the details; and

    (c)in addition to the measures to step up promotion and education as well as improve the hardware, whether the authorities will consider providing other incentives, such as allowing free use of leisure facilities managed by LCSD one day per week or month, or even during the less popular sessions in a day; and encouraging or subsidizing employers to organize sports activities for their employees or provide specific time each week during working hours for sports, etc., so as to encourage the public to participate in physical activities; if it will not, of the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Home Affairs

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

I have learnt that since the resumption of the Wah Kai Industrial Centre ("Wah Kai Centre") by the Administration in 2000, more than 100 factory operators have still not received reasonable compensation. Yet the Administration is still spending a huge amount of public money to engage consultants and experts to deal with the claims of the operators concerned. Some factory operators have even alleged that the consultants engaged by the Administration have deliberately delayed the settlement of claims, causing the expenditure on consultancy fees to increase substantially. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the number of factory operators of Wah Kai Centre who have been compensated as at December 2009 and the amount of compensation paid out;

    (b)of the total amount of expenditure on engaging the aforesaid consultants or experts to date since the Administration announced the resumption of Wah Kai Centre in 1999; and

    (c)whether the authorities will consider using arbitration as a means to deal with those cases of the factory operators of Wah Kai Centre whose claims have not yet been settled so as to expedite the provision of compensation and reduce the expenditure on engaging consultants; if they will, of the details, if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Development

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

At the Council meeting on 21 October this year, I moved a motion on the incident of Hong Kong journalists being assaulted by law enforcement officers while covering news in Xinjiang. Some of the Members who spoke at the meeting indicated that they hoped the mainland authorities would investigate this incident, and Hon IP Kwok-him, who is also a Hong Kong deputy to the National People's Congress, indicated that his party "will continue to monitor……the progress of the investigation", but "before there is any investigation outcome, ……have reservations about moving a motion of condemnation". In his response, the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs did not mention whether the mainland authorities have investigated the incident. In this connection, will the Executive Authorities inform this Council whether:
    (a)it knows if the mainland authorities have investigated the aforesaid incident; if it knows that investigation has been conducted, whether it will make enquiries with the mainland authorities about the progress and expected completion date of the investigation, as well as whether the mainland authorities will release the investigation outcome;

    (b)it has taken any action to follow up the aforesaid incident; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)it will convey to the mainland authorities the views expressed by Legislative Council Members at the aforesaid motion debate and urge the mainland authorities to investigate thoroughly the said incident and ensure that enforcement officers will not cause harm to journalists again?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs

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

According to the Report No. 50 of the Director of Audit, three government premises in different buildings, originally reserved as the MTR entrance/exit areas of the MTR Corporation Limited ("MTRCL"), have remained unused for a long period of time, the longest time being nearly 30 years. Moreover, it has recently been reported that a platform of the MTR Airport Express ("Airport Express") Hong Kong Station has remained unused for 12 years since its completion. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether it knows:
    (a)the respective numbers of unused government premises reserved to be used for developing railway facilities as well as unused MTR platforms and their details (including location, duration of and reasons for being unused, current conditions with the relevant photos, annual maintenance costs and other related expenses involved, original planned use and restrictions on use, future development planning, difficulties in changing the use as well as estimated accumulated economic losses so far); of the contents of the complaint cases concerning such unused premises and platforms received by the authorities concerned and the progress of the follow-up actions;

    (b)how the present daily patronage of the Airport Express Hong Kong Station as originally projected compares with the actual patronage at present; of the patronage level required for the commissioning of the aforesaid platform; and when the patronage is expected to reach such a level; and

    (c)whether MTRCL has any plan to change the use of the unused platform of the Airport Express Hong Kong Station, e.g. temporarily opening part of the platform for public use?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport and Housing

* For written reply

III. Bills

First Reading

Toys and Children's Products Safety (Amendment) Bill 2009

Second Reading (Debate to be adjourned)

Toys and Children's Products Safety (Amendment) Bill 2009 :Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development

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

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

2.Public Officers Pay Adjustment Bill:Secretary for the Civil Service

(i)Secretary for the Civil Service to move Committee Stage amendments

(The amendments were issued on 9 December 2009
under LC Paper No. CB(3) 248/09-10)

(ii)Dr Hon Margaret NG, Hon Mrs Regina IP and Ir Dr Hon Raymond HO to move Committee Stage amendments

(Dr Hon Margaret NG's, Hon Mrs Regina IP's and
Ir Dr Hon Raymond HO's amendments were
issued on 11 December 2009 under LC Paper No. CB(3) 261/09-10)

3.Domestic Violence (Amendment) Bill 2009:Secretary for Labour and Welfare

(i)Secretary for Labour and Welfare to move Committee Stage amendments

(The amendments were issued on 10 December 2009
under LC Paper No. CB(3) 255/09-10)

(ii)Dr Hon Margaret NG to move Committee Stage amendments

(The amendments were issued on 11 December 2009
under LC Paper No. CB(3) 262/09-10)

IV. Motions

Proposed resolution under the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance

Secretary for Food and Health to move the following motion:


RESOLVED that the following Regulations, made by the Pharmacy and Poisons Board on 24 November 2009, be approved -

(a)the Pharmacy and Poisons (Amendment) (No. 4) Regulation 2009; and

(b)the Poisons List (Amendment) (No. 4) Regulation 2009.

(The two Regulations were issued on 27 November 2009
under LC Paper No. CB(3) 208/09-10)

V. Members' Motions
  1. Formulating operational standards for public organizations

    Hon Mrs Regina IP to move the following motion: (Translation)

    That dozens of public organizations in Hong Kong, some being statutory bodies, provide important public services in areas including housing, transportation, commerce and trade as well as financial services, etc; the funding for such organizations is mostly provided by the Government in full or in part, and some of them are authorized by legislation to impose levies or develop other businesses to enhance their profitability; it is learnt that in determining the pay and bonus for the management of these public organizations, their profitability is one of the important criteria for measuring performance, causing some public organizations to fully strive to expand and compete with the private sector for profits, hence disregarding the purposes of their establishment, development of market economy and public interests; as such, this Council urges the Government to formulate operational standards for public organizations, which include ensuring that their operation:

    (a)shall meet the purposes laid down upon the establishment of the organization;

    (b)shall meet the overall interests of the community;

    (c)shall comply with stringent indicators for corporate social responsibility;

    (d)shall be subject to the regulation of the fair competition law;

    (e)shall have a highly transparent mechanism for declaration of interests, including proper confidentiality and exit arrangements, so as to prevent real or potential conflicts of interests or transfer of interests;

    (f)shall be subject to value for money audits by the Director of Audit on a regular basis; and

    (g)shall not jeopardize the principles of 'big market, small government' and free market economy;

    and peg the pay/bonus for the remunerated directors and senior executives of public organizations to the above criteria.

    Amendments to the motion
    (i)Hon Frederick FUNG to move the following amendment: (Translation)

    To add ", owing to historical, social and economic factors, the Government has in the past established" after "That"; to delete "in Hong Kong" after "dozens of public organizations"; to add "to" after "statutory bodies,"; to delete "be subject to" after "(d) shall" and substitute with "take into account the social functions of the relevant public organizations and bring them under"; to add "as the situation may require" after "the regulation of competition law"; to add "and" after "transfer of interests;"; and to delete "and (g) shall not jeopardize the principles of 'big market, small government' and free market economy;" after "regular basis;".

    (ii)Hon Miriam LAU to move the following amendment: (Translation)

    To add ", owing to different policy objectives, the Government has in the past set up" after "That"; to delete "in Hong Kong" after "dozens of public organizations"; to add "to" after "statutory bodies,"; to delete "formulate operational standards for public organizations, which include ensuring that their operation" after "this Council urges the Government to" and substitute with "strengthen the monitoring of the operation and finances of various public organizations, which include ensuring that they exercise prudence in financial management, make effective use of public funds, put in place a highly transparent mechanism for declaration of interests and are subject to audits by the Director of Audit on a regular basis; and public organizations having an objective to make profits have to strike a balance between pursuing profits and public interests, should be subject to the regulation of competition law and uphold the principles of 'big market, small government' and free market economy in their operations; in addition, different public organizations should evaluate their performance based on their respective nature and the following five criteria"; to delete "be subject to the regulation of competition law" after "(d) shall" and substitute with "attain public service standards which are updated from time to time and are measurable; and (e) for public organizations having an objective to make profits, shall adhere to the principle of prudent business operation"; to delete "(e) shall have a highly transparent mechanism for declaration of interests, including proper confidentiality and exit arrangements, so as to prevent real or potential conflicts of interests or transfer of interests; (f) shall be subject to value for money audits by the Director of Audit on a regular basis; and (g) shall not jeopardize the principles of 'big market, small government' and free market economy;" before "and peg the pay/bonus"; to add "as well as the appointment and removal of the chairmen of public organizations and members of their management boards or management committees" after "senior executives of public organizations"; and to delete "criteria" immediately before the full stop and substitute with "evaluation results".

    (iii)Dr Hon PAN Pey-chyou to move the following amendment: (Translation)

    To add "the SAR Government has" after "That"; to delete "in Hong Kong" after "dozens of public organizations"; to add "to" after "statutory bodies,"; to add ", staff remuneration" after "free market economy"; to add "(d) shall implement a good staff management culture, which provides staff with reasonable salary, job stability and reasonable workload, and enables them to have fair treatment in employment relationship;" after "corporate social responsibility;"; to delete the original "(d)" and substitute with "(e)"; to delete the original "(e)" and substitute with "(f)"; to delete the original "(f)" and substitute with "(g)"; to delete the original "(g)" and substitute with "(h)"; and to add "; in addition, the Government should enhance public participation in the board of directors of various public organizations, include staff representatives who have recognition to sit on the board and, at the same time, strengthen the board's ability in monitoring the operation, governance and financial operations of the organizations" immediately before the full stop.

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

  2. Urging the Government to promote a new occupational culture campaign for work-life balance

    Hon CHAN Kin-por to move the following motion: (Translation)

    That, as Hong Kong has developed into a society with a mature economy where the opportunities for upward social mobility continue to reduce, the promotion opportunities for many employees, especially the younger generation, are drastically reduced, coupled with heavy work pressure, they easily develop a sense of failure in work and life, which has a negative impact on the long-term development of the Hong Kong society; in this connection, this Council urges the Government to promote a new occupational culture campaign for work-life balance to alleviate pressure in life brought by various problems at work, educate the public to establish proper values towards life that, in addition to work, there are still many things worth pursuing in a healthy life, and encourage the public to develop a diversified life, including building harmonious families and a public-spirited society, as well as pursuing knowledge, etc; the Government should at the same time make employers understand that the mode of work-life balance may mitigate work pressure on employees and increase their passion for work, thereby achieving the goals of enhancing productivity and work quality, as well as reduce labour disputes, ultimately enabling both the employees and employers to benefit at the same time; the relevant government measures should include:

    (a)to set up a special task force, and adopt new thinking to tailor-make a new occupational culture policy on work-life balance for Hong Kong, and disseminate the message of a diversified and healthy life to various social strata so as to enable the public to understand that achievements in life do not come solely from work, and that building harmonious families and a public-spirited society, etc are also important achievements in life;

    (b)the Government to take the lead in promoting a new occupational culture of work-life balance and set up a special fund to subsidize companies in various industries and trades according to their needs to actively promote a more flexible work culture and other measures for work-life balance, thereby enabling Hong Kong to become a more vibrant and competitive city;

    (c)to encourage enterprises to implement policies to meet the needs of employees regarding work-life balance, including providing support for the employees and their families, assisting in solving their emotional problems such as those stemming from work pressure and encouraging enterprises to organize public-spirited and spare-time recreational activities for the employees, so as to enable the employees to enjoy a fruitful life, consolidate their morale and increase their passion for work; and

    (d)to encourage enterprises to implement a flexible leave policy, and give them special holidays such as paternal leave, study leave, compassionate leave, etc, when employees encounter major events in life.

    Amendments to the motion
    (i)Hon WONG Kwok-hing to move the following amendment: (Translation)

    To delete "Hong Kong has developed into a society with a mature economy where the" after "That, as" and substitute with "the SAR Government attaches too much importance to a few industries, such as the financial and real estate industries, coupled with the fact that some employers have adopted different de-employment means to avoid giving various employment entitlements,"; to delete "coupled with" after "drastically reduced," and substitute with "and employers in general, in order to cut costs, deploy tight manpower to cope with work, giving rise to"; to delete "the Government to" after "this Council urges" and substitute with "that besides developing more industries and creating diversified employment opportunities, the Government should"; to add "including examining ways to reverse the undesirable trend of 'de-employment', and using government departments, public organizations and those organizations with the Government as the major shareholder as an example to encourage employers to recruit employees in proper modes of employment so as to enhance the employees' sense of identity with and belonging to their companies," after "work-life balance for Hong Kong,"; to add "(b) to promote a new occupational health and safety culture, including regulating working hours, providing rest breaks and employing additional staff, with a view to easing the intensity of labour as well as reducing industrial accidents and occupational diseases caused by long working hours;" after "important achievements in life;"; to delete the original "(b)" and substitute with "(c)"; to add "take diversified measures to encourage and subsidize their employees to pursue further studies, and" after "their needs to"; to delete the original "(c)" and substitute with "(d)"; to add "such as child care service during working hours," after "their families,"; to delete the original "(d)" and substitute with "(e)"; to add "standardize the number of statutory holidays and public holidays to 17 days," before "encourage enterprises to implement a flexible leave"; to add "paid" after "give them special"; and to add "wedding leave," after "holidays such as".

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

    To add "a study indicates that the index on family solidarity in Hong Kong has continued to drop and amid the financial tsunami, families at various strata are bearing heavy pressure in their finances and other aspects of daily life; at the same time," after "That,"; to add "and actively implement family-friendly policies" after "campaign for work-life balance"; to add "and through these measures," after "problems at work,"; to add "(b) to introduce 'family impact assessment' to review the impact of public policies and administrative measures on different types of families; (c) to actively promote 'family day' and call on the community to cherish the value of family; " after "important achievements in life;"; to delete the original "(b)" and substitute with "(d)"; to add "(e) to introduce paternity leave and standard working hours as well as encourage employers to implement family-friendly employment policies so that employees can take care of both their families and work at the same time;" after "competitive city;"; to delete the original "(c)" and substitute with "(f)"; and to delete the original "(d)" and substitute with "(g)".

    (iii)Hon LEE Cheuk-yan to move the following amendment: (Translation)

    To delete "and" after "consolidate their morale and increase their passion for work;"; and to add "; and (e) to legislate for the regulation of working hours so as to reduce the situation of employees frequently working overtime" immediately before the full stop.

    Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Labour and Welfare
Clerk to the Legislative Council