Council Meeting (Agenda) 7 July 2010



A 09/10-34

Legislative Council

Agenda

Wednesday 7 July 2010 at 11:00 am

I. Tabling of Papers

Subsidiary Legislation / InstrumentsL.N. No.
1.Inland Revenue (Double Taxation Relief and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income) (Brunei Darussalam) Order89/2010
2.Inland Revenue (Double Taxation Relief and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income) (Kingdom of the Netherlands) Order90/2010
3.Inland Revenue (Double Taxation Relief and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income) (Republic of Indonesia) Order

91/2010

Other Papers

1.No. 103-Report by the Trustee of the Correctional Services Children's Education Trust for the period from 1st September 2008 to 31st August 2009
(to be presented by the Secretary for Security)

2.No. 104-Construction Industry Council Annual Report 2009
(to be presented by the Secretary for Development)

3.No. 105-Hong Kong Trade Development Council Annual Report 2009/10
(to be presented by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development)

4.No. 106-Independent Commission Against Corruption Complaints Committee Annual Report 2009
(to be presented by Hon Mrs Sophie LEUNG, who will address the Council)

5.No. 107-Annual Report of The Ombudsman Hong Kong 2010
(to be presented by the Chief Secretary for Administration)

6.No. 108-Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation Annual Report 2009-10
(to be presented by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development)

7.No. 109-Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Independent Commission Against Corruption Annual Report 2009
(to be presented by Hon CHAN Kam-lam, who will address the Council)

8.Report of the Finance Committee on the examination of the Estimates of Expenditure 2010-2011
(to be presented by Hon Emily LAU, Chairman of the Finance Committee, who will address the Council)

9.Report No. 16/09-10 of the House Committee on Consideration of Subsidiary Legislation and Other Instruments
(to be presented by Hon Miriam LAU, Chairman of the House Committee)

10.Report of the Bills Committee on Companies (Amendment) Bill 2010 and Business Registration (Amendment) Bill 2010
(to be presented by Hon Paul CHAN, Chairman of the Bills Committee)

11.Report of the Panel on Manpower 2009-2010
(to be presented by Hon LI Fung-ying, Chairman of the Panel, who will address the Council)

12.Report of the Panel on Administration of Justice and Legal Services 2009-2010
(to be presented by Dr Hon Margaret NG, Chairman of the Panel, who will address the Council)

13.Report of the Panel on Home Affairs 2009-2010
(to be presented by Hon IP Kwok-him, Chairman of the Panel, who will address the Council)

14.Report of the Panel on Security 2009-2010
(to be presented by Hon LAU Kong-wah, Chairman of the Panel, who will address the Council)

15.Report of the Panel on Constitutional Affairs 2009-2010
(to be presented by Hon TAM Yiu-chung, Chairman of the Panel, who will address the Council)

16.Report of the Panel on Food Safety and Environmental Hygiene 2009-2010
(to be presented by Hon Fred LI, Chairman of the Panel, who will address the Council)

17.Report of the Panel on Financial Affairs 2009-2010
(to be presented by Hon CHAN Kam-lam, Chairman of the Panel, who will address the Council)

18.Report of the Panel on Education 2009-2010
(to be presented by Hon Cyd HO, Chairman of the Panel, who will address the Council)

19.Report of the Panel on Development 2009-2010
(to be presented by Hon LAU Wong-fat, Chairman of the Panel, who will address the Council)

20.Report of the Panel on Welfare Services 2009-2010
(to be presented by Hon WONG Sing-chi, Chairman of the Panel, who will address the Council)

II. Questions

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

It has been reported that recently several school authorities one after another coerced their students and teachers into joining the "For Universal Suffrage, Support Constitutional Reform" rally on 19 June 2010 in support of the Government's constitutional reform proposals. Among them, the school authority of the Hong Kong Federation of Education Workers Wong Cho Bau Secondary School in Tung Chung coerced its teachers into participating in the activity using the reason of professional development and teachers not participating were required to explain to the school principal in person. The MFBM Chan Lui Chung Tak Memorial College in Tin Shui Wai issued a circular to the parents of all its 200 Senior Secondary One students, stating that the time spent on the activity would be counted as hours required for Other Learning Experiences in the New Senior Secondary curriculum and, therefore, students' participation was mandatory. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)before the above incidents were reported by the press, whether the Secretary for Education knew that those schools mobilized their students and teachers to participate in the "For Universal Suffrage, Support Constitutional Reform" Rally, as well as the means of mobilization adopted;

    (b)of the Education Bureau's guidelines, measures and complaint mechanism in place to protect students and teachers from being pressurized to indicate their stance on political issues; and

    (c)what sanctions the Education Bureau may impose in future on those school authorities which use the aforesaid means to request their students or teachers to indicate their stance on political issues?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education

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

Some residents of Tsuen Wan District consider that the development intensities of the four development projects at the TW5, TW6 and TW7 sites of the West Rail Tsuen Wan West Station, as well as Tsuen Wan Town Lot Number ("TWTL No.") 393 are too high, and the wall effect created by these developments upon their completion will have impact on the air ventilation in the urban area of Tsuen Wan. It has been learnt that last year, the Tsuen Wan District Council ("TWDC") commissioned an independent academic institution to conduct a detailed study on the overall impact of such four new development projects on the air ventilation in Tsuen Wan town centre. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether the authorities know the specific details of the aforesaid study; whether they have assessed if the methodology adopted in the study, when compared with the Government's separate air ventilation assessments conducted for individual development projects, can reflect more accurately and comprehensively the impact of such development projects on the air ventilation in the Tsuen Wan District;

    (b)whether the authorities will make reference to the outcome and recommendations of the aforesaid study, and implement improvement measures to reduce the adverse impact of such development projects on the air ventilation in the Tsuen Wan District, as well as correspondingly impose restrictions on the development projects which have not been put to tender; and

    (c)given that in her speech on the motion "Reviewing afresh the use of land at the Kowloon waterfront" at the meeting of this Council on 9 December last year, the Secretary for Development indicated that the Government had removed TWTL No. 393 from the Application List, giving the Bureau more opportunities to consider with TWDC the overall accumulated effect brought by the sites of the above four projects so as to decide afresh the use of TWTL No. 393 which had originally been designated for hotel development purpose, of the latest progress in this regard?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Development

3. Hon Tanya CHAN to ask:
(Translation)

On 14 June this year, a member of the public was killed in a tree collapse incident in Yuen Chau Kok Park, Shatin. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)given that the authorities have indicated that they have been conducting detailed analysis and study of the aforesaid tree collapse incident, whether the analysis and study will include if the inspections conducted before the collapse of the tree is sufficient, causes of the tree collapse and the issue of responsibility for the incident, etc.; if they will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

    (b)given that it has been reported that 16 trees in the vicinity of the collapsed tree were removed after the aforesaid incident, whether the decision to remove the trees has gone through the vetting and approving procedure of the Tree Preservation Board under the Leisure and Cultural Services Department; if it has, of the details, including the vetting and approved date and the justifications; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)whether the aforesaid incident will cause the authorities to examine afresh the need for enacting specific legislation for tree management; if so, of the details, including the work plan and timetable for drafting the legislation; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Development

4. Hon Starry LEE to ask:
(Translation)

A large yoga centre closed down in mid-May this year, affecting more than 13 000 members. Some of the affected members have criticized that when consumers choose to make prepayment for services, they are unable to learn about the business status of the service providers, making it impossible for them to guard against any pitfalls. They have also pointed out that the banks offered private loans through merchants to customers for making prepayment for services, but as the loan formalities are handled by staff of the merchants rather than the banks, it is possible that in order to promote sales, the staff avoid mentioning to customers loan terms which may be unfavourable to them. There have been comments that as the prepayments received from members by the yoga centre amounted to nearly $80 million but the amount of assets of the centre was only some $4 million, it raises doubts as to whether the incident involved fraud, misfeasance or other misconduct of the directors. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it will consider requesting companies which charge customers prepayments for services to deposit the received payments to a special bank account, so as to facilitate the Hong Kong Monetary Authority ("HKMA") to monitor the money flow of such funds;

    (b)whether HKMA will consider enhancing supervision of the bank loan procedures handled by merchants for their customers, so as to ensure that consumers fully understand the credit risks to be borne by them; and

    (c)whether the Financial Secretary will consider appointing an inspector under section 143 of the Companies Ordinance (Cap. 32) to investigate whether the above incident involved fraud, misfeasance or other misconduct of the directors?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

5. Hon Paul CHAN to ask:
(Translation)

In recent years, the community is concerned about the short supply of housing in Hong Kong and has urged the Government to make available more land on the market or strive to increase the supply of housing on the market. Yet, the Government Property Agency ("GPA") invited tenders for purchase in one parcel of the two blocks with a total of 168 flats and car parking spaces of former Government quarters at Ventris Road, Hong Kong last year, instead of selling them directly to members of the public, and the tender was eventually awarded to a real estate developer. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the number of former Government quarters sold by tender for purchase in one parcel by GPA in the past five years, and whether the Government had compared and reviewed the differences between the proceeds from the resale of such properties by the successful bidders and those yielded by the sale of such properties by the Government; if it had, list, by the date of sale, the respective locations, names, quantities, numbers of flats and car parking spaces involved and the prices of such properties, as well as the review outcome; and of the number of former Government quarters which GPA plans to sell by tender for purchase in one parcel in the next five years, and list, by the intended date of sale, the respective locations, names, quantities, numbers of flats and car parking spaces involved and the estimated tender prices of such properties;

    (b)given that quite a number of members of the public hope that the Government can increase the housing supply, whether the Government will review the current policy on the leasing and sale of government properties and, placing the interests of members of the public above all else, consider giving priority to leasing or selling all vacant Government quarters to members of the public, instead of selling them by tender for purchase in one parcel to individual real estate developers, so as to avoid depriving the public the opportunities of renting or purchasing such properties; if not, of the reasons for that; and

    (c)given that the Director of Audit pointed out in his report published in March 2008 that some government properties under the management of GPA had remained unused for a long period of time, and it has also been reported in recent months that the situation has not improved since then, whether the Government has held the officials of the relevant bureaux or government departments accountable for that or recorded relevant remarks in their performance appraisals; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that, and whether it will take such actions against them?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

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

Regarding various types of payments under the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance ("CSSA") Scheme, old age allowance ("OAA") and disability allowance ("DA"), will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether the Government will increase various types of CSSA payments, OAA and DA immediately in response to the aggravating inflation and continuous rising rental and food prices; if it will not, of the reasons for that; if it will, the amounts of increases, the effective date of the increase (whether the increase will have retrospective effect from April this year, adopting the same practice in the civil service pay adjustment), and the date of disbursement;

    (b)given that the Government reduced in 1999 and 2003 the standard rates of CSSA payments (by 10% to 20% and 11.1% respectively), special grants (including payments to cover telephone bills, dental filings and spectacles, removal expenses and rent deposit, etc.) and long-term supplement, on grounds of deflation, whether the authorities will restore these payments to their original levels; if they will, of the time of the restoration and the amounts of increases; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)given that the applicants for CSSA, OAA and DA must have been Hong Kong residents for at least seven years and have resided in Hong Kong continuously for at least one year immediately before the date of application (that is, not being absent from Hong Kong for more than 56 days during the one year period), of the number of such applicants whose applications were turned down in each of the past five years because they did not meet both or either one of the aforesaid residence requirements; whether the Government had assessed if the refusal to their applications would render these people unable to support their own living; given that following the High Court decision on 21 June this year that the requirement for the one-year continuous residence imposed on CSSA applicants breaches the Basic Law, the Social Welfare Department has suspended this requirement immediately, whether the Government will immediately lift the aforesaid two residence requirements imposed on OAA and DA applicants; if it will, when the requirements will be lifted; if not, of the reasons for that; and whether the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, being a Principal Official under the Accountability System, will take the blame and resign to shoulder the responsibility for implementing such illegal requirement over the years?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Labour and Welfare

*7. Hon Alan LEONG to ask:
(Translation)

According to a paper provided by the Government to the Panel on Health Services of this Council on 11 May of this year, Ranibizumab (Lucentis), which is licensed in Hong Kong for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration ("AMD"), is a self-financed drug on the Hospital Authority ("HA") Drug Formulary ("the Formulary"), and it is not covered by the safety net provided by the Samaritan Fund ("the Fund") either. However, the governments of more than 20 countries and regions across the globe, including Korea and Australia in our neighbourhood, have committed to bear the full medical costs for the treatment of wet AMD. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it knows if the Drug Utilization Review Committee ("DURC") of HA has made any recommendation to the Fund on the inclusion in its scope of subsidies those drugs listed on the Formulary which are for treating wet AMD ("such drugs"); if DURC has made such recommendations, of the reasons for the Fund not accepting them; if not, the reasons for that;

    (b)whether it knows, apart from the aforesaid drug, if there was any recommendation made in the past three years by DURC on the inclusion of other drugs in the scope of subsidies of the Fund, which had eventually not been accepted; if there were such recommendations, of the reasons for that, and how the public knows whether or not individual drugs have been recommended by DURC to be included in the scope of subsidies of the Fund; and

    (c)given that certain countries provide subsidies to patients for drugs used in the treatment of wet AMD while such drugs are still undergoing clinical tests, whether the authorities will consider making reference to the practices adopted in those countries and introduce measures to provide subsidies to all needy patients for using such drugs during the testing stage, irrespective of whether the patients participate in the tests, before such drugs are listed as standard drugs on the Formulary, with a view to providing assistance to needy patients suffering from wet AMD and so as to avoid their not being able to receive the most appropriate treatment due to financial reasons; if they will, of the details of such measures; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Food and Health

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

I have recently received complaints from quite a number of members of the public, who pointed out that while they were successfully registered on the Waiting List ("WL") for public rental housing ("PRH") units in the New Territories four years ago, they are still waiting for the Housing Department to handle over 40 000 applications with higher queuing numbers ahead of their applications before it is their turn to undergo the income-cum-asset test. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the current number of applications on the WL for PRH units in the New Territories and, among them, the number of applications in which the applicants have already waited for more than three years, together with a breakdown by the district chosen by such applicants;

    (b)of the respective numbers of PRH units in the New Territories which were built and completed in each of the past five years; and

    (c)whether it will consider expediting the construction of more PRH units in the New Territories, so as to meet the rapidly growing demand for PRH within the district; if it will, of the details, if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport and Housing

*9. Dr Hon Margaret NG to ask:
(Translation)

It has been reported that a small increase in radioactivity was observed in the reactor cooling water at Unit 2 of the Daya Bay Nuclear Power Station on 23 May this year, which has aroused grave public concern, and CLP Power Hong Kong Limited will submit an investigation report on the incident to the Daya Bay Nuclear Safety Consultative Committee ("NSCC"). In this connection, will the Government inform this Council, whether it knows:
    (a)the operation of NSCC; whether NSCC has held meetings regularly and made public the minutes of its meetings, and whether it will submit annual reports to the Government;

    (b)the criteria for the appointment of members to NSCC, the list of incumbent NSCC members and their respective years of service; and

    (c)when and how NSCC learned about the aforesaid incident; the actions taken by NSCC after learning about the incident, and whether it has put forward any recommendation to the authorities; if so, of the details?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

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

I have recently received complaints from members of the public about the rusting problem of the hinges of the aluminium windows in quite a number of units in Upper Ngau Tau Kok Estate and Lam Tin Estate, which were completed for occupation for less than a year, necessiting the replacement of nearly 100 000 hinges. It has been reported that results of laboratory test have indicated that the quality of those hinges fails to meet the standard specified by the Housing Department ("HD") in the contracts. Regarding the quality of fixtures in public housing estates ("PHEs"), will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)which parties bear the costs for replacing the hinges;

    (b)of the number of complaints received by the authorities in the past five years about problems involving public housing fixtures in PHEs completed for occupation for less than a year, which required maintenance arranged by HD;

    (c)of the respective current numbers of PHEs completed and under construction the aluminium windows of which were/are supplied by the contractors which provided the aforesaid problem hinges, and whether such contractors also supplied other public housing fixtures in addition to aluminium windows; if they did, of the fixtures involved and progress of such projects;

    (d)whether a set of criteria is in place at present for contractors to follow when HD awards contracts for installation of aluminium windows, to ensure that the materials provided by the contractors meet the requirements of HD; whether projects are followed up and inspected by qualified works staff of HD upon completion; if not, of the reasons for that; if so, whether the authorities have reviewed the inspection criteria and procedures subsequent to the occurrence of the aforesaid incident; whether the authorities will draw up a list to preclude contractors with poor records from bidding for works contracts of HD again; and

    (e)given that there have been repeated problems with the quality of public housing fixtures recently, whether the authorities will carry out detailed reviews and studies on the quality of public housing; if they will, whether they will consider setting up an ad hoc group to follow up the matter and review the problems brought by the use of pre-cast units in building public housing, with a view to preventing the recurrence of similar problems; if not, of the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport and Housing

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

It has been recently reported that certain heads of government departments ("HoDs") were alleged to have misused public funds to procure unnecessary appliances, office equipment and furniture for their own use, and carry out unnecessary renovation works for their offices. Such incidents have aroused public concern about whether or not government officials have abused their office and misused public funds. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the respective numbers of HoDs who had, in the past three years, used public funds to carry out renovation works for their own offices, and procure additional furniture, electrical appliances and expensive office equipment for their own use; of the government departments and ranks to which they belonged, together with a breakdown by the amount of expenditure involved (i.e. below $5,000, $5,000 to $10,000 and above $10,000);

    (b)whether there are application procedure, regulatory standards and approval mechanism in respect of the use of public funds by HoDs to cover the aforesaid expenses at present; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)given that the public is concerned about the situation of senior government officials using public funds to procure stores or services for their own use, whether the Audit Commission will conduct an independent audit review on the aforesaid situations of HoDs using public funds, so as to eliminate the worries of the public expeditiously?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

*12. Hon Jeffrey LAM to ask:
(Translation)

The Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau indicated earlier that it had invited the Joint Liaison Committee on Taxation to study whether Hong Kong manufacturers on the Mainland, who are required to undergo upgrading and restructuring to tie in with the national policies, might continue to be entitled to depreciation allowance in Hong Kong for their machinery after restructuring their business from "contract processing" to "import processing". In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the scope and timetable of the aforesaid study; and

    (b)how it ensures that Hong Kong's taxation provisions tie in with the relevant national policies and actual operation of the aforesaid manufacturers, so that such provisions will not become obstacles in their operation?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

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

The figures provided by the Government reveal that the waiting time for the Judiciary to handle judicial review ("JR") cases and appeals against refusal of leave had increased in the past three years, with the average waiting time from listing to hearing of leave applications increased from 13 days in 2007 to 28 days in 2009; the average waiting time from listing to appeal hearing in respect of refusal of leave increased from 43 days in 2007 to 87 days in 2009, while the average waiting time from listing to hearing of substantive JR cases increased from 100 days in 2007 to 125 days in 2009. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:
    (a)it knows the reasons for the increase in the waiting time for the Judiciary to handle JR cases in the past three years;

    (b)it has studied if the aforesaid figures indicate that the resources put by the Judiciary in handling JR cases are inadequate; and

    (c)it has continuously kept in view the capability of the Judiciary to handle JR cases, and whether the Government has taken corresponding measures in response to the aforesaid increase in the waiting time for handling JR cases; if so, of the details?
Public Officer to reply : The Chief Secretary for Administration

*14. Dr Hon Samson TAM to ask:
(Translation)

The DesignSmart Initiative, which was set up in 2004, includes four funding schemes, namely Design Research Scheme, Design-Business Collaboration Scheme, Professional Continuing Education Scheme and General Support Scheme. It was initially estimated that the initiative would benefit about 700 projects in five years; however, as at the end of April 2010, only 323 projects had been approved under the initiative, amounting to only 46% of the projection. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of:
    (a)the reasons why the total number of projects approved is lower than the projected number, as well as what new measures and actions are in place to improve the utilization rate of the funding schemes;

    (b)the number of applications received so far for each of the aforesaid four funding schemes and, among such applications, the number of those which were approved; and

    (c)the average time required at present for vetting and approving each application; whether it has received complaints about the time taken to vet and approve applications being too long; if it has, of the details; and whether it will consider streamlining the vetting and approving process in order to encourage more applications; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development

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

Recently, a number of squatter residents have sought my assistance who allege that the Government has failed to resolve the squatter problem over the years, and as most squatter residents cannot afford private housing, nor have they been arranged to move into public rental housing ("PRH"), it is therefore difficult for them to improve the quality of their accommodation. Such residents have also pointed out that their squatter huts, which are made of tin plates and wood, have become dilapidated and are even on the verge of collapsing subsequent to years of being affected by winds and rain. Hence, they hope that the Lands Department will allow them to carry out repairs using more solid materials such as bricks and concrete, but their applications were rejected. They have indicated that they are perplexed by the inconsistencies between the standards for vetting and approving the repair and rebuilding of squatter huts and those of licensed structures. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the current number of squatter huts and licensed structures in Hong Kong, their distribution in various districts as well as the respective numbers of residents;

    (b)of the respective numbers of applications for repair and rebuilding of squatter huts and licensed structures received in the past five years, their outcome, including the number of applications rejected, and the justifications for that;

    (c)of the current number of staff members responsible for vetting and approving applications for repairing squatter huts and the time normally required for vetting and approving the applications;

    (d)whether there are staff responsible for investigating the conditions of squatter huts; whether it will exercise discretion to allow and assist the residents in repairing squatter huts which are at risk of collapsing;

    (e)given that most of the squatter huts have been built for a long time and many of them are dilapidated, whether the Government will consider compassionately the housing needs of the residents, relax the existing policy on maintenance of squatter huts and allow the residents to carry out repairs with more solid materials; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (f)whether the authorities have plans to resolve the squatter problem comprehensively, conduct registration and statistical survey of squatter occupancy again, draw up a timetable for demolishing squatter huts in Hong Kong and rehouse the residents to PRH; if so, of the details and the estimated time for completing such initiatives?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Development

*16. Hon Abraham SHEK to ask:


According to government information, for every degree Celsius cooler one sets the temperature of the air conditioner, the power consumption will increase by 10%. Environmental protection groups have urged the Government to formulate a long-term policy on energy-efficient use of air conditioners in classrooms. In this connection, will the Government inform the Council:

    (a)whether a comprehensive energy-efficient approach to regulate air-conditioned classroom temperature had been adopted in the past three years with reference to factors such as humidity, carbon emission and noise in the neighbourhood; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

    (b)of the measures it had implemented in the past three years to review the effectiveness of the publicity and educational programmes on carbon-cum-energy emission reduction in schools and, where appropriate, details of the follow-up reviews by the Environmental Campaign Committee;

    (c)whether the Government will implement in schools a mechanism similar to the comprehensive target-based environmental performance framework; if not, of the reasons for that; and

    (d)whether it had assessed in the past three years the feasibility to forge ahead voluntary recognition schemes with reference to overseas experience such as that in Australia and Singapore, to award schools which have over-achieved the minimum energy efficiency targets in (c); if the assessment outcome indicates that it is feasible to do so, of the details; if the assessment outcome indicates otherwise, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Environment

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

It has been reported that the Development Bureau ("DEVB") revealed in early June this year that after inspections conducted by a number of government departments, it was found that the health of the majority of the trees in Hong Kong was in normal conditions, but about 2 000 of them required further detailed inspection. Subsequently, a tree-falling accident occurred in Yuen Chau Kok Park, Shatin, on 14 June this year, causing the death of a male passer-by, which has aroused concern of the community about the issue of tree management and caring. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of a breakdown, by the name of government departments, of the respective numbers of trees under the custody of the relevant departments at present, the number of trees in need of further inspection, and the manpower involved, as set out in the following table;

    Department Manpower responsible for tree management under its custody
    (general staff and those who are certified arborists)
    Number of trees under its custody Number of trees which require further detailed inspection

    (b)of the specific information required to be filled in by various government departments at present after finishing visual inspections of the trees under their custody, so as to facilitate follow-up actions in the future; whether various government departments currently prepare visual inspection reports in an uniform format; if not, of the reasons for that, and whether the Tree Management Office ("TMO") under DEVB will consider requiring the various departments to use a uniform format;

    (c)whether TMO has drawn up arrangements for further inspection of trees; if so, of the details (including the specific procedure for further inspection and the percentage of trees to be further inspected);

    (d)given that the typhoon season is approaching, whether the various government departments will expedite the process for further inspection of trees; if so, how they will complement the work in terms of manpower; if not, of the reasons for that, and what short-term measures are in place, so as to avoid the recurrence of tree-falling incidents; and

    (e)given that DEVB is conducting a study on the establishment of a database of important or problematic trees, when the study is expected to be completed; what information will be included in the database, and whether it will be made public for information?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Development

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

Compact fluorescent lamps ("CFLs") and fluorescent tubes have been more commonly used by the public in recent years, but such products contain mercury which may cause pollution if they are improperly disposed of. The Government launched a Fluorescent Lamp Recycling Programme ("the Programme") on 15 March 2008, aiming to recycle 400 000 used CFLs and fluorescent tubes and deliver them to the Chemical Waste Treatment Plant at Tsing Yi for treatment. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the total number of CFLs recycled each year since the implementation of the Programme;

    (b)of the quantity of mercury-containing waste treated last year by the Chemical Waste Treatment Centre at Tsing Yi;

    (c)whether the authorities have, since the implementation of the Programme, considered increasing the number of collection points and extending the network of collection points to include the estate offices of the Housing Authority in various districts, courts of the Home Ownership Scheme and offices of District Council members; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

    (d)whether it has considered extending the types of participating companies in the Programme to those in the catering and retailing industries, as well as property management companies of commercial buildings; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

    (e)whether it has compiled statistics on the quantities of CFLs and fluorescent tubes disposed of at landfills in 2008, 2009 and 2010 (from January till to date); if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

    (f)whether it knows the respective quantities of CFLs and fluorescent tubes imported into Hong Kong in each of the past three years; and

    (g)of the projected quantities of CFLs and fluorescent tubes to be discarded in Hong Kong in the coming three years; if a projection has not been made, of the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Environment

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

According to the relevant rules made by the Director of Marine under the Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels) Ordinance (Cap. 548), any person who wishes to operate within Hong Kong waters a pleasure vessel with an overall length exceeding 15 metres must pass the examination for Pleasure Vessel Operator Grade 2 Certificate. Some members of the public have relayed to me that as the examination for the certificate is conducted in written or oral form only and it is not compulsory for the candidates to undergo practical operating skills tests, the operation of jet-skis and speedboats for water-skiing, etc. which are equipped with powerful engines and can travel at high speed, by persons who only hold the Certificate may easily cause accidents with serious consequences. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the numbers of accidents involving various types of pleasure vessels according to the reports received by the authorities in the past five years and, among them, the casualties involved, years of operating experience of operators of the vessels involved in the accidents and the types of certificates they held;

    (b)of the justifications for not making it compulsory for applicants of Pleasure Vessel Operator Certificate (irrespective of Grade 2 or 1) to undergo practical operating skills tests; whether it has assessed which party should be held responsible in the event that an accident occur because the vessel operator who holds a valid certificate does not have practical operating experience, and if the aforesaid forms of examination are similar to those in other regions;

    (c)whether the authorities will consider amending the examination rules for Pleasure Vessel Operator Certificate to require the applicants to undergo specified hours of practical operating skills training and pass the skills examination, in addition to written and oral examinations, before they are issued the relevant certificates, so as to enhance safety at sea; if so, of the specific timetable; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (d)given the popularity of water sports in Hong Kong in recent years, particularly jet-skis and speedboats for water-skiing which are equipped with powerful engines and can travel at high speed but the persons who operate such vessels are only required to hold Pleasure Vessel Operator Grade 2 Certificate, whether the authorities will consider adding a restriction in such certificate on the engine power or speed of the vessels which holders of the certificate are permitted to operate, so as to enhance safety at sea; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport and Housing

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

Regarding the services provided by elderly health centres ("EHCs"), will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the total amount of funds allocated to EHCs, the total number of members, the percentage of such number in the population eligible for enrolling as members, the number of elderly people waiting for enrolling as members and the median waiting time, in each of the past 10 years;

    (b)of the respective numbers of male and female members of EHCs in the past three years, as well as the percentage of such numbers in the population eligible for enrolling as members; whether EHCs had provided examination services for their members which focused on male or female diseases; if they had, of the examination items included and the annual expenditure involved;

    (c)whether the authorities had, in the past three years, assessed the effectiveness of the services of EHCs on improving the health of the elderly, if the services are welcomed by members of the public and are sufficient; if an assessment had been conducted, of the outcome; if not, whether they will consider conducting such an assessment; and

    (d)whether the authorities will, when considering the strategy for developing primary care, allocate to EHCs part of the newly-increased resources for improving the primary care development in response to the increase in the elderly population, so as to increase the services provided by EHCs; if they will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that, and which items will have priority in receiving such resources as well as the justifications?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Food and Health

* For written reply

III. Bills

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

1.Companies (Amendment) Bill 2010:Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

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

(The amendments were issued on 2 July 2010
under LC Paper No. CB(3) 873/09-10)

2.Business Registration (Amendment) Bill 2010:Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

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

(The amendments were issued on 30 June 2010
under LC Paper No. CB(3) 864/09-10)

IV. Motions

1.Proposed resolution under the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance

Secretary for Security to move the following motion:


RESOLVED that the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters (South Africa) Order, made by the Chief Executive in Council on 20 April 2010, be approved.

(The Order was issued on 3 May 2010
under LC Paper No. CB(3) 643/09-10)

2.Proposed resolution under the United Nations (Anti-Terrorism Measures) Ordinance

Secretary for Security to move the following motion:


That the Code of Practice for requiring persons to furnish information or produce material under the new Section 12A of the United Nations (Anti-Terrorism Measures) Ordinance added by Section 12 of the United Nations (Anti-terrorism Measures) (Amendment) Ordinance 2004, be approved.

(The Code of Practice was issued on 18 June 2010
under LC Paper No. CB(3) 806/09-10)

V. Members' Motions
  1. Report of the Subcommittee on Poverty Alleviation

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

    That this Council notes the Report of the Subcommittee on Poverty Alleviation.

    Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Labour and Welfare

  2. Enhancing the administration of tax policy in Hong Kong

    Hon Paul CHAN to move the following motion: (Translation)

    That, whereas:

    (a)Hong Kong, through its membership of the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes under the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and the comprehensive agreements on avoidance of double taxation to be signed with many countries in the world, is increasingly involved in international taxation matters;

    (b)international organizations such as the Group of Twenty ('G-20') are proactively developing tax policies for implementation by the member countries and jurisdictions which are actively involved in the global economy and financial system, including Hong Kong;

    (c)complementary tax initiatives must be introduced in Hong Kong to facilitate the development of industries with competitive edge and the smooth transformation of the Hong Kong economy;

    (d)Hong Kong must compete with other jurisdictions, which offer tax concessions, to attract external investors to establish their regional headquarters in Hong Kong;

    (e)tax initiatives can be an effective tool in addressing the problems of economic and social inequalities in Hong Kong; and

    (f)the tax base of Hong Kong remains very narrow, posing a risk of instability in public finance,

    matters relating to the tax policy in Hong Kong have therefore become increasingly complex and important, yet the Administration has so far vested such matters primarily in the Inland Revenue Department ('IRD') but its function should be confined to the implementation of tax laws; if IRD is required to undertake in-depth and substantial studies on tax policy, it will encounter a conflict of roles as well as resources constraints; as such, this Council urges the Administration:

    (i)to adopt a proactive approach in responding to international agreements on tax initiatives and their requirements, including the tax policies and initiatives introduced by the G-20 and other multilateral international organizations;

    (ii)to critically review the existing taxation system with a view to identifying feasible initiatives to enhance the competitiveness of Hong Kong as a regional business centre;

    (iii)to study the use of tax initiatives as one of the means to address the problems of social and economic inequalities;

    (iv)to study afresh the identification of reasonable and sound initiatives that can broaden the tax base of Hong Kong without undermining its competitiveness; and

    (v)to establish a specialist tax policy unit within the government structure, to be staffed by local and international tax experts with the relevant professional knowledge, technical expertise and practical experience, to assist the Administration in undertaking the tasks in (i) to (iv) above, so as to ensure effective formulation of future tax policy in Hong Kong.

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

    To add "with the increasingly closer economic and trade relationship between Hong Kong and the Guangdong Province under the Framework Agreement on Hong Kong/Guangdong Co-operation, the flow of passengers, goods and information will become more frequent, and" after "(c)"; to add "the upgrading and transformation of small and medium enterprises and to complement" after "facilitate"; to add "to examine afresh all the taxation policies involving cross-border trade and employment, including section 39E of the Inland Revenue Ordinance and assessment of profits tax for the processing trade, and to relax the existing 183-day standard under the Arrangement between the Mainland of China and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income, so as to match the trend in the economic development of Hong Kong and Guangdong and the new life pattern of the 'one-hour living sphere'; (iv)" after "(iii)"; to delete the original "(iv)" and substitute with "(v)"; to delete the original "(v)" and substitute with "(vi)"; and to delete "(iv)" after "tasks in (i) to" and substitute with "(v)".

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

  3. Utilizing young people's power of civic participation

    Dr Hon Samson TAM to move the following motion: (Translation)

    That in recent years, with the development of a knowledge-based society and dawning of the network era, the attitude of young people in Hong Kong towards the discussion of social issues has become increasingly active, and they have gradually become one of the major political commentary groups in society, and the ways of expression and actions of some of these young people have aroused extensive discussions and concerns in the community; some members of the public consider that the Government's lack of effective internal and external communication of information, as well as the obvious inadequacies in its existing consultative framework has affected the formulation of public policies; in this connection, this Council urges the Government to make reference to the relevant experience of other countries or regions to formulate overall objectives and strategies, and allocate sufficient resources to enhance young people's civic participation, as well as:

    (a)to formulate a clear public sector information access policy to make public government information and documents, so that members of the public have the right of access to or commenting on them;

    (b)to make use of the Web 2.0 interactive platform to enhance direct communication between policy-making government officials and young people, so as to listen to the views of young people;

    (c)government officials should change their mentality and mind to bravely deal with interactive communications and accept criticism; and

    (d)starting from education and social culture, to allocate resources to enhance the quality of the network citizens, and to promote a way of communication based on reasons, mutual trust and mutual respect, thereby bringing together social wisdom effectively.

    Amendments to the motion
    (i)Hon KAM Nai-wai to move the following amendment: (Translation)

    To add "young people are the pillar of the Hong Kong society," after "That"; to delete "and" after "criticism;"; and to add "; (e) to establish afresh the youth councils in the 18 districts, and to set up a permanent mechanism for schools and youth organizations of the respective districts to send young people as delegates, so as to effectively promote youth activities and services in the districts; (f) to hold more youth forums, so that young people can put forward their opinions to officials in person and the Government can listen to various voices of young people; and (g) to review the structure and operation of the Commission on Youth, and to assess its effectiveness in promoting youth affairs, as well as to implement a self-nominating mechanism for young people to join the Commission, so as to enhance their chances of participation and the Commission's recognition " immediately before the full stop.

    (ii)Hon Tanya CHAN to move the following amendment: (Translation)

    To delete "the development of a knowledge-based society and dawning of the network era" after "That in recent years, with" and substitute with "continuous enhancement in civic awareness"; to delete "and the ways of expression and actions of some of these young people have aroused extensive discussions and concerns in the community;" after "in society,"; to add "conduct a comprehensive study on young people's social participation," after "urges the Government to"; to delete "and" after "criticism;"; to add "and develop young people's independent thinking" after "network citizens"; and to add "; (e) to increase young people's participation in various public bodies and advisory organizations, in particular those organizations related to major subjects of young people's concern, and to consider drawing up reference indicators for the ratio of young people in the membership of these bodies; (f) to strengthen resources allocation in civic and human rights education, and to make good use of Liberal Studies of the New Senior Secondary School curriculum to nurture young people with civic awareness and independent thinking; and (g) to convene youth summits and related local forums annually, and to provide more appropriate open platforms, so that young people can have more chances to realize public participation" immediately before the full stop.

    (iii)Hon LEUNG Kwok-hung to move the following amendment: (Translation)

    To add "coupled with the fact that the Government's policies are not beneficial to young people," after "network era,"; and to delete "and (d) starting from education and social culture, to allocate resources to enhance the quality of the network citizens, and to promote a way of communication based on reasons, mutual trust and mutual respect, thereby bringing together social wisdom effectively" immediately before the full stop and substitute with "(d) to promote an open attitude in society towards young people's political commentaries, including the ways they express their opinions, so as to uphold their right of expression; (e) to improve the voter registration system, so that young people reaching the age of 18 can participate in voting as early as possible; and (f) to amend the Telecommunications Ordinance and broadcasting policies to provide the airwaves and the television broadcasting platform for young people to fully exercise their freedom of speech and expression".

    Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Home Affairs

  4. Motion for the adjournment of the Council

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

    That this Council do now adjourn for the purpose of debating the following issue: The current arrangement of implementing in Hong Kong sanctions resolved by the Security Council of the United Nations.

    Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development

Clerk to the Legislative Council