Council Meeting (Agenda) 17 March 2010



A 09/10-21

Legislative Council

Agenda

Wednesday 17 March 2010 at 11:00 am

I. Tabling of Papers

Subsidiary Legislation / InstrumentsL.N. No.
1.Inland Revenue (Amendment) Ordinance 2010 (Commencement) Notice28/2010
2.Toys and Children's Products Safety (Amendment) Ordinance 2010 (Commencement) Notice29/2010

Other Papers

1.No. 77-AIDS Trust Fund
Financial statements together with the Director of Audit's report
for the year ended 31 March 2009
(to be presented by the Secretary for Food and Health)

2.No. 78-Employees Retraining Board Annual Report 2008-09
(to be presented by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare)

3.No. 79-The Lord Wilson Heritage Trust Annual Report 2008-2009
(to be presented by the Secretary for Home Affairs)

4.No. 80-HKSAR Government Scholarship Fund
Financial statements together with the Director of Audit's report
for the year ended 31 August 2009
(to be presented by the Secretary for Education)

5.No. 81-Report of changes made to the approved Estimates of Expenditure during the third quarter of 2009-10
Public Finance Ordinance: Section 8
(to be presented by the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury)

6.Report No. 6/09-10 of the House Committee on Consideration of Subsidiary Legislation and Other Instruments
(to be presented by Hon Miriam LAU, Chairman of the House Committee)

II. Questions

1. Hon CHAN Kam-lam to ask:
(Translation)

In recent years, Vietnam has adopted an open economy policy and the livelihood of its nationals has greatly improved as a result. Besides, with the economic ties between Vietnam and Hong Kong growing closer and closer, it has become increasingly common for Hong Kong people to invest in Vietnam. Yet, the immigration arrangements for foreigners visiting Hong Kong for purposes such as investment, studies, employment and training, etc. currently implemented by the Hong Kong SAR Government are not applicable to Vietnamese nationals, thus making it impossible for them to apply under such arrangements for entry into Hong Kong. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)why the existing immigration arrangements implemented in respect of Vietnamese nationals are different from those applicable to the nationals of other countries; and

    (b)whether the Government will base on the national situation of Vietnam at present and consider further relaxing the entry requirements for Vietnamese nationals?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

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

It has been reported that recently a runaway public light bus ran into a queue at a roadside bus stop, resulting in one death and five injuries, and the traffic accident was suspected to have been caused by a momentary blackout of the driver while driving. Regarding the health conditions of drivers and road safety, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the number of traffic accidents caused by professional drivers suffering from bouts of illness while driving, as well as the resultant casualties, in the past five years;

    (b)as the Road Traffic (Driving Licences) Regulations ("the Regulations") provide that the applicant for a driving licence shall make a declaration as to whether or not he is suffering from any disease specified in the First Schedule to the Regulations, or any other disease, but some applicants have never undergone any medical check-up, and therefore simply do not know whether or not they are suffering from such diseases, whether the authorities will explore appropriate measures to enable driving licence applicants and professional drivers to know more about their own health conditions; and

    (c)given that at present the Road Traffic Ordinance has not prescribed the relevant standards on the offence of driving under the influence of drugs or stipulated any arrangement for differentiating a motorist who drives under the influence of drugs, whether the authorities will consider drawing up guidelines to specify that drivers should not drive within a certain period of time after they have taken medicines which may influence their consciousness and judgement or cause drowsiness?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport and Housing

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

In her reply to a written question raised by a Member of this Council on 24 February this year regarding Hong Kong enterprises operating express delivery service within the Mainland, the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development indicated that, apart from having all along been closely monitoring the launch of the Postal Law of the People's Republic of China ("the new Postal Law") and its impact on the local enterprises, the SAR Government had also proposed to include the service concerned under the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement ("CEPA"), so as to enable Hong Kong service providers to operate express delivery service for letters which was outside the monopoly of the China Post Group. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether the aforesaid proposal will be implemented in Supplement VII to CEPA to be announced; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

    (b)given that it has been reported that the new Postal Law was passed on 24 April 2009 by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress only after seven years' deliberations on the Mainland and numerous amendments, whether the SAR Government had conducted any assessment during that period on the impact of the relevant provisions on the courier industry in Hong Kong and relayed to the relevant Mainland authorities the difficulties in operation faced by the trade; if it had, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)whether it has assessed, following the implementation of the new Postal Law, the number of Hong Kong enterprises operating express delivery service within the Mainland which will face bankruptcy or closure, the number of Hong Kong employees who will become unemployed or underemployed as a result, and the possible impact on the business of the Hong Kong enterprises in the Pearl River Delta which have been using the service of these companies for a long time; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development

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

The Neighbourhood Support Child Care Project, which has been implemented since October 2008, provides more flexible forms of day care services for children aged under six to meet the needs of the parents at the neighbourhood level. At present, the Project in respect of each administrative district of the Social Welfare Department is operated by only one operating organization. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the details of the operation of the Project by various operating organizations, including fees charged for the services, average numbers of person-times using the services and utilization rates per month, etc.;

    (b)whether it will review the existing upper age limit of children eligible for the care services and the service hours; and

    (c)whether it will expand the Project so that each administrative district may have more than one organization operating the Project?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Labour and Welfare

5. Hon Audrey EU to ask:
(Translation)

The Government earlier spent $237 million to purchase 3 million doses of Human Swine Influenza ("HSI") vaccine, of which only about 180 000 doses have been administered as at 1 March. Moreover, it has been reported that the World Health Organization has formed a preliminary view earlier that the HSI outbreak had passed its worst stage, and the Controller of the Centre for Health Protection has also admitted that the progress of HSI vaccination in Hong Kong is unsatisfactory and a large surplus of vaccines is expected. It has also been reported that at present, many European and American countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany, etc. have one after another requested pharmaceutical manufacturers to reduce the supply of such vaccines, or have sold the surplus vaccines to other countries in need. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the existing stock of vaccines and their total value, and how the authorities plan to dispose of the vaccines, so as to ensure the optimal use of public funds;

    (b)whether it has assessed the public's acceptance level of the vaccination, so as to estimate the ultimate amount of surplus vaccines, and whether it has followed the practice of some European and American countries with a view to disposing of the surplus vaccines properly; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)whether the authorities have learnt their lesson from this exercise of vaccine procurement, so as to improve the policy on vaccine procurement in the future; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Food and Health

6. Hon Andrew CHENG to ask:
(Translation)

At present, all underground stations of the MTR Corporation Limited ("MTRCL") have been retrofitted with platform screen doors ("PSDs"), and the works of retrofitting automatic platform gates ("APGs") at eight at-grade and above-ground MTR stations will also be completed in 2011. Due to the design of the platforms along the East Rail Line, the retrofitting of APGs may render passengers unable to see the width of the platform gap clearly, thus posing danger. The trial of the mechanical gap filler ("MGF") system carried out by MTRCL for its study to solve this problem was completed in October last year, and a comprehensive review was expected to be completed at the end of last year or early this year. Moreover, in January this year, an incident occurred at Shau Kei Wan MTR Station in which the glass pane of a PSD cracked. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether it knows:
    (a)apart from the above incident, other incidents involving cracking of PSD glass panes or failures of PSDs have occurred at the underground stations since the completion of the works of retrofitting PSDs in 2006; whether MTRCL or its predecessor, MTR Corporation Limited, has conducted any investigation into these incidents; if such investigations had been conducted, of the progress and outcome; if not, the reasons for that;

    (b)at present, MTRCL has put in place a mechanism to test and inspect the quality, safety and operation of PSDs and APGs regularly; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; what measures MTRCL has put in place to prevent the recurrence of incidents of cracking of PSD glass panes; and

    (c)MTRCL has completed the comprehensive review of the MGF system; if so, of the outcome; if not, the reasons for that, and whether there is any specific timetable for the retrofitting of PSDs or APGs at the stations along the East Rail Line and the Ma On Shan Line; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport and Housing

*7. Hon Timothy FOK to ask:
(Translation)

The Financial Secretary has proposed in the 2010-2011 Budget to inject $3 billion into the Arts and Sport Development Fund as seed money and use the annual investment return of the Fund to subsidize the long-term development of sports, culture and arts. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the persons to be responsible for managing the aforesaid seed money;

    (b)how the items of investment of the seed money will be decided; and

    (c)whether the Legislative Council and the relevant sectors will participate in monitoring the operation of the seed money; if they will, of the mode of monitoring to be adopted as well as the scope of powers and responsibilities; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Home Affairs

*8. Hon Cyd HO to ask:
(Translation)

Primary and secondary schools have ceased operation one after another in recent years as a result of the dwindling student population. Yet, the annual number of births in Hong Kong has been on the upward trend since 2004. There have been comments that different population growth rates and uneven distribution of the student population in various districts have led to a mismatch of student places in certain districts, while the education needs in various districts also vary with the changes in population distribution. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)how the authorities assess the birth rates in the coming 10 years and their impact on the demand for primary and secondary school places (including the respective annual intake of school-aged primary one and secondary one students, as well as the respective numbers of primary and secondary schools in various districts which have to cease operation or be built in response to changes in student numbers), so as to make proper arrangement for education resources;

    (b)whether the authorities will review the existing method of applying for admission to primary and secondary schools on the basis of school net, as well as plan afresh and reallocate the education resources for different districts so as to cater for the education needs in various districts which have changed because of changes in population distribution; and

    (c)given that the authorities are exploring the feasibility of facilitating schools to collaborate with one another or with post-secondary institutions/ professional bodies, etc. in operating special featured programmes to develop students' abilities in different areas of special expertise, with a view to alleviating the pressure of schools having to cease operation due to the decline in student numbers, of the details of the plan concerned and the resources involved; how the authorities will provide teacher training to cater for the need to operate special featured programmes and ensure the quality of education?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education

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

In connection with the implementation of the Non-means-tested Loan Scheme ("NLS"), the Non-means-tested Loan Scheme for Post-secondary Students ("NLSPS") and the Extended Non-means-tested Loan Scheme ("ENLS"), will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the respective numbers of applications received and approved under each of the aforesaid loan schemes in each of the academic years from 2005-2006 to 2009-2010, together with a breakdown of the figures for ENLS by the categories of students as set out in the Eligibility section of the Guidance Notes for ENLS;

    (b)of the largest, smallest, median and average loan amounts approved under each of the aforesaid loan schemes in each of the academic years from 2005-2006 to 2009-2010, as well as the respective programmes involved;

    (c)of the number of defaulters and default rate of each of the aforesaid loan schemes in the 2009-2010 academic year;

    (d)of the reasons for setting a maximum loan amount for NLS;

    (e)of the reasons for not setting maximum loan amounts on tuition fees for NLSPS and ENLS; and if it will review whether or not such maximum loan amounts should be set; if it will, of the details and the timetable; if not, the reasons for that;

    (f)whether it will review afresh the practice of setting the interest rate on the basis of the risk-adjusted factor of the various loan schemes; if it will, of the details and the timetable; if not, the reasons for that;

    (g)which of the programmes covered under the various loan schemes are not subject to the regulation of any relevant legislation or the assessment of the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications;

    (h)of the annual number of programmes for which applications were submitted to the Controller of the Student Financial Assistance Agency ("SFAA") for inclusion into the Register of Eligible Course Providers and Courses between 2005-2006 and 2009-2010 academic years, the respective numbers of such programmes for which approval had been and had not been given, as well as the relevant assessment criteria; and the number of programmes being removed from the Register in each of the past five school years; and

    (i)of the measures put in place by the authorities to guarantee the quality of the programmes approved by SFAA and to ensure that such programmes will not be discontinued?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education

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

Under the Employment Ordinance (Cap. 57), when Lunar New Year's Day falls on a Sunday, an employee shall be granted a statutory holiday by his employer on the day immediately preceding that day (i.e. Saturday). Yet, quite a number of members of the public have indicated that such provision in effect has rendered employees of companies and organizations which have responded to the Government's appeal and implemented the five-day week losing one day's holiday. It has been reported that the Chief Executive has indicated earlier that a study would be conducted on this matter. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:
    (a)it has commenced the study on amending the legislation; if so, of the progress of the study; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (b)the Government has any preliminary idea as to the earliest time the proposed amendment to the legislation can be submitted to the Legislative Council for deliberation and scrutiny; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Labour and Welfare

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

Will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the respective numbers of rescue cases, fatal cases and deaths due to other accidents which happened at public swimming pools, beaches and water sports centres during service hours in each of the past five years, together with a breakdown by location as well as the gender and age group (18 or below, 19 to 45, and 65 or above) of the persons injured or died; and

    (b)among the cases in (a), of the respective numbers of those in which the accidental deaths were caused by faults arising from problems with venue facilities and venue management, as well as the amounts of compensation involved?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Home Affairs

*12. Dr Hon David LI to ask:


The Hong Kong SAR Government has taken a proactive approach to facilitate the digital economy and make Government services more accessible, through the Digital 21 Strategy. There are views that while this policy direction has been welcomed by people in Hong Kong, recent news reports about computer hacking activities have raised concerns about the vulnerability of computer networks connected to the Internet. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)what procedures it had put in place in the past three years to counter hacking activities, and how often these procedures are reviewed to ensure that they are adequate to prevent the continually evolving threat posed by hackers; and

    (b)whether any government computer had been subject to hacking activity in the past two years?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development

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

It has been reported that the Government had, in its Budgets in the past 10 years or more, only launched measures to waive rates, with no measure to waive Government rent. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the respective current numbers of accounts that are required to pay Government rent only and those required to pay rates only, as well as those accounts which are required to pay both rates and Government rent at the same time;

    (b)of the respective average amounts of quarterly rates and Government rent payable by residential units at present;

    (c)what criteria it had adopted for deciding to launch in previous Budgets the measure to waive rates only without waiving Government rent at the same time; and

    (d)whether the Government will, when launching the measure to waive rates in the future, consider afresh refunding Government rent to those accounts which are required to pay Government rent only?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

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

According to the statistics of the Employees Compensation Assistance Fund Board ("the Board"), a total of 176 applications were made to the Board between 2005 and 2009 by employees injured at work applying for payments from the Employees Compensation Assistance Fund for their entitlement to compensation, and the amount involved exceeded $95 million. The employers of these employees had failed to make such compensation because they had not taken out valid insurance policies on employees' compensation ("labour insurance policies"). There are views that as such compensation payments at present are paid out of the Employees' Compensation Insurance Levies, which are contributed by employers when they take out labour insurance policies, it has resulted in employers who have taken out labour insurance policies subsidizing those who have not, which is unfair to dutiful employers. Moreover, the number of employers who have been found not having taken out labour insurance policies should be much smaller than the actual number of those who have not done so at present. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the number of employers who were prosecuted in each of the past five years for not having taken out labour insurance policies for their employees as required by the law, as well as the maximum and minimum punishment imposed on the convicted employers;

    (b)whether the authorities have, when investigating cases involving employers not having taken out labour insurance policies, looked into the reasons for the employers involved not having done so, and whether they had, in the past three years, assessed if the penalty on such employers under the existing legislation has sufficient deterrent effect; and

    (c)whether it will consider amending the legislation or taking measures to ensure that employers comply with the law and take out valid labour insurance policies for their employees; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Labour and Welfare

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

Regarding the reduction in the emissions from franchised buses and the resultant pollution problems, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the current number of buses in each of the bus fleets of franchised bus companies, with a breakdown by the emission standard met by the buses;

    (b)of the number of old buses replaced by each franchised bus company in the past five years, the replacement cost per bus and the total replacement costs involved; how these figures compare with the corresponding estimated figures in the next five years; whether it knows if such companies have finalized their respective bus replacement timetables for the next five years; if the timetables have been finalized, of the details; if the timetables have not been finalized, the reasons for that; and

    (c)whether it has studied and estimated the losses suffered and social costs borne by Hong Kong as a result of the pollution problems caused by emissions from franchised buses; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and what solutions the Government has to reduce the losses and costs in this regard?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Environment

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

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ("the Convention") signed by the Central Government in March 2007 has come into force on 31 August 2008 and is also applicable to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. In this connection, will the Executive Authorities inform this Council whether they have taken any new action and measure "to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities ("PWDs")" since the Convention came into force, and whether the following are included in such actions and measures:
    (a)"to take into account the protection and promotion of the human rights of PWDs in all policies and programmes", as required by Article 4(1)(c) of the Convention;

    (b)to provide barrier-free access and facilities to PWDs, as required by Article 9 of the Convention; and

    (c)to improve the employment opportunities for PWDs, as required by Article 27 of the Convention;
if new actions and measures have been taken, of their details, including the resources allocated to each of them; if not, the reasons for that?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Labour and Welfare

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

The Government proposed in 2007 to develop Hong Kong into a regional education hub and sought to attract more quality non-local students to study in Hong Kong. Moreover, the University Grants Committee ("UGC") will earmark, from the 800 additional research postgraduate places to be provided to its funded institutions in phases from the 2009-2010 academic year onwards, about 400 for launching the "Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme" administered by the Research Grants Council ("RGC"), so as to attract quality students from around the world to pursue their PhD programmes in Hong Kong's institutions. According to UGC's information, RGC received about 3 000 applications by the deadline for application. Regarding the level of internationalization of Hong Kong's tertiary education, will the Government provide the following data in table form:
    (a)a breakdown of the number of students who had applied for the above scheme by subject of study, as well as the number of applicants from developed countries such as the United Kingdom, the Unites States, Canada and Australia, etc.; and

    (b)the respective numbers of PhD students and undergraduates currently studying in Hong Kong, together with respective breakdowns of these two types of students by whether or not they are local students, their nationality and subject of study?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education

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

Will the Government inform this Council of:
    (a)the number of persons with disabilities ("PWDs") currently residing in each District Council district; if such data are not available, of the reasons for that; and

    (b)the criteria adopted by the Government at present for assessing the service needs of PWDs in various districts?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Labour and Welfare

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

It has been learnt that when attending the briefing session on the 2010-2011 Budget for this Council on 25 February this year, the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury indicated that he would be pleased to review the implementation of section 39E of the Inland Revenue Ordinance ("section 39E") through the Joint Liaison Committee on Taxation ("JLCT"). In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the reasons for reviewing section 39E through JLCT; whether the review can be conducted through other channels apart from JLCT;

    (b)whether JLCT conducts monthly meetings at present; if not, of the reasons for that;

    (c)why there is only a representative from the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce in the membership of JLCT, and no representative from the Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong, the Federation of Hong Kong Industries and the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce are included;

    (d)whether the Government had reviewed the composition of JLCT since its establishment; whether it will consider appointing representatives from the three major business associations in (c), as well as those from business associations relating to small and medium enterprises, to JLCT; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

    (e)of the details of the reviews on tax issues conducted by JLCT in each of the past 10 years, and whether the Government had implemented all JLCT's recommendations; if it had, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

    (f)whether JLCT had, since its establishment, conducted reviews on tax issues in response to the aspirations of the industrial sector; if it had, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

    (g)when JLCT will commence reviewing the implementation of section 39E, when the review is expected to be completed, and whether it will make public the review report; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; whether the Government will, during the review period, consider suspending the application of section 39E to recover relevant taxes from Hong Kong enterprises; if not, of the reasons for that; and

    (h)given that at present, the Inland Revenue Department may, on a 50:50 basis of apportionment, assess Hong Kong profits tax payable by Hong Kong enterprises in respect of profits from sale of products processed by mainland manufacturing units under "contract processing", whether the authorities will request JLCT to review this arrangement to expand its scope of application to include Hong Kong enterprises engaged in "import processing", so as to encourage the upgrading and restructuring of Hong Kong enterprises on the Mainland; if they will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

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

In view of the serious safety problems in recent months of the vehicles manufactured by Toyota Motor Corporation of Japan, which were caused by faulty design and malfunctioning components, etc., will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether the authorities had received complaints about vehicle safety problems in the past five years, and how such complaints were handled;

    (b)of the counter-measures adopted by the authorities to address the aforesaid problems; and

    (c)of the details of the existing legislation related to the monitoring of the safety of imported vehicles; whether the authorities had, in the past five years, reviewed the measures for monitoring vehicle safety (including whether the monitoring measures are too passive and lax, as well as too reliant on self-monitoring by vehicle manufacturers); if they had, of the outcome; whether a comprehensive review will be conducted and improvements will be made in response to the aforesaid incident?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport and Housing

* For written reply

III. 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 22 February 2010, be approved -

    (a)the Pharmacy and Poisons (Amendment) Regulation 2010; and

    (b)the Poisons List (Amendment) Regulation 2010.

    (The two Regulations were issued on 25 February 2010
    under LC Paper No. CB(3) 489/09-10)
IV. Members' Motions
  1. Proposed resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

    Hon Miriam LAU to move the following motion:

    RESOLVED that in relation to the Designation of Libraries Order 2010, published in the Gazette as Legal Notice No. 22 of 2010 and laid on the table of the Legislative Council on 3 March 2010, the period for amending subsidiary legislation referred to in section 34(2) of the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance (Cap. 1) be extended under section 34(4) of that Ordinance to the meeting of 21 April 2010.

  2. Proposed resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

    Hon Cyd HO's proposed motion in Appendix 1.

  3. Proposed resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

    Hon Albert HO's proposed motion in Appendix 2.

  4. Proposed resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

    Hon James TO's proposed motion in Appendix 3.

  5. Proposed resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

    Hon Mrs Regina IP's proposed motion in Appendix 4.

  6. Proposed resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

    Hon James TO's proposed motion in Appendix 5.

  7. Proposed resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

    Hon James TO's proposed motion in Appendix 6.

  8. Proposed resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

    Hon James TO's proposed motion in Appendix 7.

  9. Proposed resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

    Hon LEE Wing-tat's proposed motion in Appendix 8.

  10. Proposed resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

    Hon LEE Wing-tat's proposed motion in Appendix 9.

  11. Proposed resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

    Hon LEE Wing-tat's proposed motion in Appendix 10.

  12. Proposed resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

    Hon LEE Wing-tat's proposed motion in Appendix 11.

  13. Proposed resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

    Hon Albert HO's proposed motion in Appendix 12.

  14. Proposed resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

    Hon Albert HO's proposed motion in Appendix 13.

  15. Proposed resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

    Hon Audrey EU's proposed motion in Appendix 14.

    Public Officer to attend the joint debate on the motions in Appendices 1 to 14 :Secretary for Development

  16. Supporting the market for traders running small businesses

    Hon Tommy CHEUNG to move the following motion: (Translation)

    That, as the Hong Kong economy has yet to see a strong recovery, and the rents and operating costs in the private sector have remained high in recent years, together with ever increasing prices, the market for small businesses has suffered a severe blow, and this has not only increased the life stress of the grassroots, but has also reduced their chances of achieving self-reliance, making it difficult to improve the unemployment situation; as such, this Council urges the Government to support the market for traders running small businesses, so as to preserve their characteristic of providing quality goods at low prices and serve the grassroots, thereby increasing job opportunities; the relevant measures should include:

    (a)to revitalize hawker stalls by expeditiously allocating no less than 70% of the vacant on-street fixed hawker pitches to the existing registered assistants at fixed hawker pitches for running businesses through priority balloting, so as to enable the registered assistants who are familiar with the hawking trade and the stall environment to start businesses on the same streets or in the same districts, so as to bring vitality to the hawker market;

    (b)to increase the room for survival for licensed itinerant hawkers, reasonably reduce the number of illegal hawking blackspots, and study the designation of proposed hawking locations with time limits or conditions, and publish the list of locations concerned through various means, including facsimiles or telephone-recorded messages, for access by itinerant hawkers;

    (c)to strive to preserve the culture of 'dai pai dong' open-air bazaars, to tie in with the promotion focus of the tourism industry and, apart from improving the sanitary facilities of the existing 'dai pai dongs' and planning and developing them afresh, to expeditiously study subsidizing the development of 'dai pai dongs' or open-air markets in remote areas, so as to stimulate the economic activities of the neighbouring communities and create job opportunities for residents in remote areas;

    (d)to affirm the position and function of public markets as facilities serving the grassroots and determine future rent adjustments by using the affordability of the grassroots as one of the principles, so as to ensure that small traders can continue to capitalize on their selling point of providing quality goods at low prices to counter rent increase by The Link and monopolization by supermarkets; and

    (e)to immediately implement a public market enhancement policy and proactively allocate resources to improve the design and business environment of the public markets, including bearing the installation and maintenance costs for air-conditioning facilities in public markets, so as to enhance the competitiveness of small traders.

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

    To delete "as the Hong Kong economy has yet to see a strong recovery" after "That," and substitute with "although the impact of the financial tsunami is gradually subsiding, the Hong Kong economic outlook remains uncertain"; to add "(c) to implement the voluntary surrender scheme for itinerant hawker licences on a long-term basis, including arrangements such as allowing itinerant hawkers who have voluntarily surrendered their licences to select a vacant fixed pitch;" after "access by itinerant hawkers;"; to delete the original "(c)" and substitute with "(d)"; to delete the original "(d)" and substitute with "(e)"; and to delete the original "(e)" and substitute with "(f)".

    (ii)Hon Fred LI to move the following amendment: (Translation)

    To delete "," after "That" and substitute with "markets for traders running small businesses have all along been a tourist attraction in Hong Kong, attracting a lot of tourists, and are also places where Hong Kong people like to go for shopping; however,"; to add "the costs of" after "including bearing"; to add "works" after "the installation"; to delete "costs" after "maintenance"; and to add "provided that 65% of the tenants in the markets concerned give consent" after "facilities in public markets".

    (iii)Hon WONG Yung-kan to move the following amendment: (Translation)

    To add "improving the business environment for the stalls and waiving the hawker licence fee for one year, as well as" after "hawker stalls by"; and to add "and to extend the rent freeze period for one year," after "the principles,".

    (iv)Hon Paul TSE to move the following amendment: (Translation)

    To add "and to appropriately relax the restrictions on on-street busking and hawking in various districts (particularly in places with tourism value or features)," after "open-air markets in remote areas,".

    (v)Dr Hon Priscilla LEUNG to move the following amendment: (Translation)

    To delete "determine future rent adjustments by using the" after "the grassroots and" and substitute with "use the economic condition of the current year, employment market situation and"; to delete "one of the principles" after "the grassroots as" and substitute with "reference indicators when adjusting the levels of rent of public markets"; to add "in the markets" after "that small traders"; to delete "capitalize on their selling point of providing" after "can continue to" and substitute with "operate with lower rents and provide people with"; to add ", so as" before "to counter"; to delete "and" after "supermarkets;"; to delete "business environment of" after "the design and" and substitute with "sanitary conditions of the markets, step up advertising and promotion, and enhance the ancillary facilities for business operation in"; to delete "bearing the installation" after "the public markets, including" and substitute with "actively studying the expeditious installation of air-conditioning facilities in all public markets and bearing the electricity tariffs"; to delete "for air-conditioning facilities in public markets" after "maintenance costs" and substitute with "incurred"; and to add "in the markets; and (f) if rent reduction or waiver are proposed in the Budget of a certain financial year, to consider also including commercial tenants of public markets as the target beneficiaries" immediately before the full stop.

    Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Food and Health

  17. Adding impetus for promoting upward social mobility

    Hon Mrs Sophie LEUNG to move the following motion: (Translation)

    That, the subject of 'upward social mobility' has recently become the concern of various sectors of the community; upward social mobility involves factors such as personal ability and attitude, etc., and government support is also indispensible; in this connection, this Council urges the Government:

    (a)to promote education which is steered by 'inspiration' in place of 'impartation' mode of teaching, to develop creativity and independent analytical ability among students, with a view to establishing proper attitudes towards life;

    (b)to expand the types of existing education programmes, promote diversified development, increase the opportunities for young people to study abroad and participate in summer exchange programmes and on-the-job training, etc., and provide further support to young people from poor families, so as to enhance the quality of education for the whole community;

    (c)to encourage the public to fulfil their personal potentials and avoid introducing policies which impede the fulfilment of potentials;

    (d)to promote in the Government and various sectors of the community the development of a 'from the heart' attitude of doing things, consolidate Hong Kong's core values of 'being proactive and progressive', and encourage young people to strive harder for improvement and self-reliance, so as to prevent the development of a mentality of dependency;

    (e)to promote upward social mobility through developing the economy and new industries;

    (f)to assist the younger generation in purchasing their homes through measures such as revitalizing the secondary market of Home Ownership Scheme flats and re-launching the Home Starter Loan Scheme, etc.; and

    (g)to establish communication channels such as new media for young people to express views and actively participate in social affairs.

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

    To delete "recently become" after "has" and substitute with "been"; to add "for a long time" after "the concern of various sectors of the community"; to add "(c) to break the vicious cycle of inter-generational poverty and provide support for poor families on all fronts;" after "the whole community;"; to delete the original "(c)" and substitute with "(d)"; to add "create a fair social environment," before "encourage the public"; 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 add "resume the construction of Home Ownership Scheme ('HOS') flats and" before "assist the younger generation"; to delete "Home Ownership Scheme" after "market of" and substitute with "HOS"; to delete "and" after "the Home Starter Loan Scheme, etc.;"; to delete the original "(g)" and substitute with "(h)"; to add "enhance the level of participation of young people in various statutory and advisory bodies, and" before "establish"; to delete "for young people to express views and" after "new media" and substitute with "to listen sincerely to young people's views and let them"; and to add "; and (i) to vigorously develop social enterprises so as to provide alternative development opportunities for those workers who have not been absorbed by the free market" immediately before the full stop.

    (ii)Hon LEE Wing-tat to move the following amendment: (Translation)

    To add "with the prices of private residential properties escalating continuously and the Government having ceased the construction of Home Ownership Scheme ('HOS') flats, people with average income find it difficult to purchase their homes, and as far as housing is concerned, social mobility remains stagnant;" after "That,"; and to delete "Home Ownership Scheme flats and re-launching the Home Starter Loan Scheme" after "market of" and substitute with "HOS flats, resuming the construction of HOS flats and re-launching the Tenants Purchase Scheme".

    (iii)Hon CHEUNG Kwok-che to move the following amendment: (Translation)

    To delete ", the subject of 'upward social mobility' has recently become the concern of various sectors of the community; upward social mobility involves factors such as personal ability and attitude, etc., and government support is also indispensible" after "That" and substitute with "Hong Kong's problem of disparity between the rich and the poor is deteriorating, the problem of inter-generational poverty is serious and the opportunities for upward social mobility have decreased drastically; in order to enhance social mobility, policy support from the Government is very important"; to delete "with a view to establishing proper attitudes towards life" after "students," and substitute with "and to respect the right of young people to achieve self-development"; to delete ", so as to prevent the development of a mentality of dependency" after "self-reliance"; to add "lower the threshold for public housing application, resume the construction of Home Ownership Scheme ('HOS') flats, and" after "(f) to"; to delete "Home Ownership Scheme" after "market of" and substitute with "HOS"; to delete "and" after "the Home Starter Loan Scheme, etc.;"; and to add "; and (h) to re-establish the Commission on Poverty to actively study and formulate long-term policies to solve the problem of inter-generational poverty" immediately before the full stop.

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

    To add "at present with the problem of polarization between the rich and the poor in the Hong Kong society, as well as the downward mobility of the middle class," after "That,"; to delete "recently" after "has"; to add "is essentially the result of a just and fair political system and" after "the community; upward social mobility"; to add ", particularly to the grassroots and the youth who lack sufficient influence over policies" after "indispensible"; to delete "and" after "creativity" and substitute with ","; to add "and critical thinking personality" after "analytical ability"; to add "to distinguish between right and wrong" after "towards life"; to add "caring about the underprivileged, striving for justice, equality, democracy and rule of law, and" after "values of ' "; to delete ", so as to prevent the development of a mentality of dependency" after "self-reliance"; to add "help small and medium enterprises through developing the economy and new industries, so as to prevent large consortiums and real estate developers from monopolizing opportunities for development and" after "(e) to"; to delete "through developing the economy and new industries" after "promote upward social mobility"; to add "reduce housing expenses and" after "(f) to"; to add "increasing the supply of land," after "measures such as"; to delete "flats and re-launching the Home Starter Loan Scheme, etc.; and" after "Home Ownership Scheme" and substitute with "('HOS') flats, resuming the construction of HOS flats and re-launching the Tenants Purchase Scheme, etc.;"; to delete "to" after "(g)" and substitute with "when appointing advisory committee members, the Government should consider the person's ability and not adopt family status and wealth as factors of consideration so that the youth and the grassroots will have equal opportunities to participate; to implement general and fair elections, abolish functional constituencies, and"; to add "have more opportunities to participate in political affairs and" after "new media for young people to"; to add "," after "express views"; and to add ", so that the underprivileged will have more edge and opportunities for upward mobility; (h) to transfer the income of a Comprehensive Social Security Assistance ('CSSA') recipient that exceeds the limit of disregarded earning to a savings accounts, and return the total sum to the recipient when the cumulative sum exceeds twice the ceiling of household income, so that such recipients can leave the CSSA net and have more opportunities for upward mobility; (i) to establish an inter-departmental working group to formulate comprehensive 'poverty elimination policies'; (j) to formulate single-parent family policies and through catering for the needs of single-parent families in different policy areas such as housing and taxation, etc. to increase their opportunities for upward social mobility; and (k) to continuously and vigorously deploy resources for education and various training and re-training programmes, and ensure that people in need are given the opportunities to receive education and training" immediately before the full stop.

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

    To delete "recently become" after "has" and substitute with "always been"; to delete ";" after "the concern of various sectors of the community" and substitute with ", and various strata, be they the middle class, the youth or the grassroots, will surely strive for upward social mobility; however,"; to add ", which includes creating job opportunities, providing more training and improving education, etc.," after "government support"; to delete "," after "diversified development" and substitute with "such as creating additional on-the-job training programmes for the middle-aged grassroots; enhancing the training of talents especially for the six economic areas with good potential;"; to delete "and" after "personal potentials" and substitute with ", including establishing a venture capital fund to provide support on all fronts to business starters in industries with development potentials, such as the creative industries, and at the same time"; and to add "further increase land supply for 'flats with limited floor area', and" after "(f) to".

    (vi)Hon Ronny TONG to move the following amendment: (Translation)

    To delete "education which is steered by 'inspiration' " after "(a) to promote" and substitute with " 'actively providing quality education and skills training' as the principle of education"; to delete " 'impartation' " after "in place of" and substitute with " 'traditional' "; to add "(b) to increase the number of subsidized university places to train local talents;" after "towards life;"; to delete the original "(b)" and substitute with "(c)"; to delete the original "(c)" and substitute with "(d)"; 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 "flats and" after "Home Ownership Scheme" and substitute with "('HOS') flats,"; to add "and resuming the construction of an appropriate number of HOS flats" after "the Home Starter Loan Scheme"; and to delete the original "(g)" and substitute with "(h)".

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

    To add "and on the Mainland," after "study abroad"; to add "open up room for development," after "training, etc.,"; to delete "and" after "the Home Starter Loan Scheme, etc.;"; and to add "; and (h) to introduce tax concessions and other appealing measures for running businesses, so as to strive for business organizations around the world to establish their regional business headquarters in Hong Kong, thereby creating more employment opportunities, providing diversified posts, developing room for upward mobility for young people and their international outlook" immediately before the full stop.

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

    To delete "and on-the-job training, etc.," after "exchange programmes" and substitute with ", encourage on-the-job training, provide more government-subsidized training programmes for people with low education qualifications and low income, further extend the types of courses under the Continuing Education Fund to the six economic areas with good potential,"; to delete ", so as to" after "poor families" and substitute with "and"; to add ", so as to enhance their competitiveness" after "the whole community"; to delete "flats" after "Home Ownership Scheme" and substitute with "('HOS') flats, resuming the construction of an appropriate number of HOS flats"; to delete "and" after "the Home Starter Loan Scheme, etc.;"; and to add "; (h) to promote an enterprising culture among the youth, establish a start-up fund, invite professionals to provide support in setting up and operating businesses, and make use of old industrial buildings as young entrepreneur cities; and (i) to formulate relevant policies to assist professionals and young people in broadening their horizons and understanding developments on the Mainland, and to provide necessary support for those who wish to develop their careers on the Mainland" immediately before the full stop.

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