LegCo Sitting (Minutes) 6 November 1996

LegCo Paper No. CB(3) 180/96-97

THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL

MINUTES
No. 6 of 1996-97
Minutes of the sitting held on Wednesday 6 November 1996 at 2:30 pm

Members present:

    President --The Honourable Andrew WONG Wang-fat, OBE, JP
    The Honourable Allen LEE Peng-fei, CBE, JP
    The Honourable Mrs Selina CHOW LIANG Shuk-yee, OBE, JP
    The Honourable Martin LEE Chu-ming, QC, JP
    Dr the Honourable David LI Kwok-po, OBE, LLD(Cantab), JP
    The Honourable NGAI Shiu-kit, OBE, JP
    The Honourable SZETO Wah
    The Honourable LAU Wong-fat, OBE, JP
    The Honourable Edward HO Sing-tin, OBE, JP
    The Honourable Ronald Joseph ARCULLI, OBE, JP
    The Honourable Mrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee, OBE, JP
    Dr the Honourable Edward LEONG Che-hung, OBE, JP
    The Honourable Albert CHAN Wai-yip
    The Honourable CHEUNG Man-kwong
    The Honourable CHIM Pui-chung
    The Honourable Frederick FUNG Kin-kee
    The Honourable Michael HO Mun-ka
    Dr the Honourable HUANG Chen-ya, MBE
    The Honourable Emily LAU Wai-hing
    The Honourable LEE Wing-tat
    The Honourable Eric LI Ka-cheung, OBE, JP
    The Honourable Fred LI Wah-ming
    The Honourable Henry TANG Ying-yen, JP
    The Honourable James TO Kun-sun
    Dr the Honourable Samuel WONG Ping-wai, MBE, FEng, JP
    Dr the Honourable Philip WONG Yu-hong
    Dr the Honourable YEUNG Sum
    The Honourable Howard YOUNG, JP
    The Honourable Zachary WONG Wai-yin
    The Honourable Christine LOH Kung-wai
    The Honourable James TIEN Pei-chun, OBE, JP
    The Honourable LEE Cheuk-yan
    The Honourable CHAN Kam-lam
    The Honourable CHAN Wing-chan
    The Honourable CHAN Yuen-han
    The Honourable Andrew CHENG Kar-foo
    The Honourable CHENG Yiu-tong
    Dr the Honourable Anthony CHEUNG Bing-leung
    The Honourable CHEUNG Hon-chung
    The Honourable CHOY Kan-pui, JP
    The Honourable David CHU Yu-lin
    The Honourable Albert HO Chun-yan
    The Honourable IP Kwok-him
    The Honourable LAU Chin-shek
    The Honourable Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen, JP
    Dr the Honourable LAW Cheung-kwok
    The Honourable LAW Chi-kwong
    The Honourable LEE Kai-ming
    The Honourable LEUNG Yiu-chung
    The Honourable Bruce LIU Sing-lee
    The Honourable LO Suk-ching
    The Honourable MOK Ying-fan
    The Honourable NGAN Kam-chuen
    The Honourable SIN Chung-kai
    The Honourable TSANG Kin-shing
    Dr the Honourable John TSE Wing-ling
    The Honourable Mrs Elizabeth WONG CHIEN Chi-lien, CBE, ISO, JP
    The Honourable Lawrence YUM Sin-ling

Members absent:

    The Honourable Paul CHENG Ming-fun
    The Honourable Margaret NG

Public officers attending:

The Honourable Mrs Anson CHAN, CBE, JP
The Chief Secretary
The Honourable Donald TSANG Yam-kuen, OBE, JP
The Financial Secretary
The Honourable Jeremy Fell MATHEWS, CMG, JP
The Attorney General
Mr Michael SUEN Ming-yeung, CBE, JP
Secretary for Home Affairs
Mr CHAU Tak-hay, CBE, JP
Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport
Mr Gordon SIU Kwing-chue, JP
Secretary for Transport
Mrs Katherine FOK LO Shiu-ching, OBE, JP
Secretary for Health and Welfare
Mr Joseph WONG Wing-ping, JP
Secretary for Education and Manpower
Mr Bowen LEUNG Po-wing, JP
Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands
Mr KWONG Ki-chi, JP
Secretary for the Treasury
Mr Stephen IP Shu-kwan, JP
Secretary for Economic Services
Mrs Lessie WEI CHUI Kit-yee, JP
Secretary for Financial Services
Mrs Carrie YAU TSANG Ka-lai, JP
Secretary for Security

Clerks in attendance:

Mr Ricky FUNG Choi-cheung
Secretary General
Mr LAW Kam-sang
Deputy Secretary General
Miss Pauline NG Man-wah
Assistant Secretary General (1)



Papers

The following papers were laid on the table pursuant to Standing Order No. 14(2):

Subsidiary Legislation

L.N. NO.

1. Dutiable Commodities (Amendment) (No.2) Regulation 1996

452/96

2. Dutiable Commodities (Liquor) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulation 1996

453/96

3. Dutiable Commodities (Marking and Colouring of Hydrocarbon Oil) (Amendment) Regulation 1996

454/96

4. Gas Safety (Gas Supply) (Amendment) Regulation 1996

455/96

5. Film Censorship (Amendment) Regulation 1996

459/96

6. Gambling (Amendment) Regulation 1996

460/96

7. Land Survey (Fees) (Amendment) Regulation 1996

461/96

8. Dutiable Commodities (Amendment) (No.2) Ordinance 1996 (46 of 1996) (Commencement) Notice 1996

462/96

9. Mental Health (Amendment) Regulation 1996 (L.N.298 of 1996) (Commencement) Notice 1996

463/96

10. Hong Kong Academy of Medicine (Amendment) Regulation 1996 (L.N.413 of 1996) (Commencement) Notice 1996

464/96

11. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text) (Law Amendment and Reform (Consolidation) Ordinance) Order

(C) 107/96

12. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text) (Societies Ordinance) Order

(C) 108/96

13. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text) (Consular Conventions Ordinance) Order

(C) 109/96

14. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text) (C) 110/96


(Pyramid Selling Prohibition Ordinance) Order



(C) 110/96

Sessional Papers 1996-97

No. 27 - Annual Report of the Protection of Wages on Insolvency Fund Board 1995/96

No. 28 - The Prince Philip Dental Hospital Hong Kong Report by the Board of Governors for the period 1 April 1995 - 31 March 1996

No. 29 - Report of the Director of Audit on the results of value for money audits - October 1996 Director of Audit's Report No.27

No. 30 - Report of the Director of Audit on the Accounts of the Hong Kong Government for the year ended 31 March 1996

No. 31 - Annual Report of the Director of Accounting Services and the Accounts of Hong Kong for the year ended 31 March 1996

Questions

1. Mr Fred LI asked Question 1.

The Secretary for Health and Welfare replied.

Seven Members asked supplementaries and the Secretary for Health and Welfare replied.

2. Mr HO Chun-yan asked Question 2.

The Secretary for Home Affairs replied.

Three Members asked supplementaries and the Secretary for Home Affairs replied.

3. Mr Albert CHAN asked Question 3.

The Secretary for Education and Manpower replied.

Four Members asked supplementaries and the Secretary for Education and Manpower replied.

4. Mr WONG Wai-yin asked Question 4.

The Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands replied.

Five Members asked supplementaries and the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands and the Secretary for Security replied.

5. Mr Ambrose LAU asked Question 5.

The Secretary for the Treasury replied.

Two Members asked supplementaries and the Secretary for the Treasury replied.

6. Mr LEE Wing-tat asked Question 6.

The Secretary for Security replied.

Nine Members asked supplementaries and the Secretary for Security and the Attorney General replied.

Written replies to Questions 7 to 20 were tabled for Members’ information.

Government Motions

Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

The Secretary for Economic Services moved the motion in Appendix I and addressed the Council.

Question on the motion proposed, put and agreed to.

Government Bills

First Reading

Securities and Futures Commission (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 1996

Protection of Wages on Insolvency (Amendment) Bill 1996

Fugitive Offenders Bill

The Bills were read the first time and ordered to be set down for Second Reading pursuant to Standing Order No. 41(3).

Second Reading

Securities and Futures Commission (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 1996

The Secretary for Financial Services moved the Second Reading and addressed the Council.

Question on the Second Reading proposed. The President stated that in accordance with Standing Orders, the debate was adjourned and the Bill was referred to the House Committee.

Protection of Wages on Insolvency (Amendment) Bill 1996

The Secretary for Education and Manpower moved the Second Reading and addressed the Council.

Question on the Second Reading proposed. The President stated that in accordance with Standing Orders, the debate was adjourned and the Bill was referred to the House Committee.

Fugitive Offenders Bill

The Secretary for Security moved the Second Reading and addressed the Council.

Question on the Second Reading proposed. The President stated that in accordance with Standing Orders, the debate was adjourned and the Bill was referred to the House Committee.

Members' Motions

Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

Mr Ronald ARCULLI moved the following motion and addressed the Council:

That section 1 of the Dutiable Commodities (Liquor) (Amendment) Regulation 1996, published as Legal Notice No.329 of 1996 and laid on the table of the Legislative Council on 2 October 1996, be amended by repealing "repealing "female" and substituting "person" " and substituting "repealing "8 p.m." and "female" and substituting "10 p.m." and "persons" respectively".

Question on the motion proposed.

Six Members spoke on the motion.

Mr Ronald ARCULLI replied.

Question on the motion put and agreed to.

Strengthening the supervision of statutory public organizations

Before calling on Mr SIN Chung-kai to move his motion, the President stated that the amendment to Mr SIN's motion proposed by Mr CHEUNG Hon-chung involved leaving out all the effective words of Mr SIN's motion and adding words as an alternative to the words proposed to be deleted. He further stated that if Members voted in favour of the amendment later on, having regard to the practice in the UK House of Commons, he would, after he had declared that Mr CHEUNG's amendment had been agreed, forthwith declare Mr SIN's motion as amended by Mr CHEUNG had also been agreed to by the Council and the debate would end there. However, if Mr CHEUNG's amendment was not agreed, the usual procedure would be followed.

Mr SIN Chung-kai moved the following motion and addressed the Council:

That, as the Boards of Directors of the three large statutory public organizations, namely, the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation, the Mass Transit Railway Corporation and the Airport Authority, are presently allowed by legislation to enjoy high degree of autonomy and decision-making power without being supervised by the Legislative Council, this Council urges that the Government must strengthen its supervision over these organizations, by implementing specific measures which include:

  1. opening up the membership of the Boards of Directors by appointing some elected Members of the Legislative Council as their Board members; and
  2. subjecting these organizations to value for money audits by the Director of Audit,

so as to enhance their transparency and accountability as well as to avoid wasting public moneys due to mismanagement.

Question on Mr SIN Chung-kai's motion proposed. The President stated that Mr CHEUNG Hon-chung had given notice to move an amendment to the motion. He proposed that the motion and the proposed amendment be debated together in a joint debate. There being no dissenting voice, the President ordered that the motion and the proposed amendment be debated together in a joint debate.

Mr CHEUNG Hon-chung moved the following amendment to Mr SIN Chung-kai's motion and addressed the Council:

To delete everything after "That" and substitute with "this Council urges the Government to take effective measures to strengthen the supervision of statutory public organizations, so as to increase their transparency and accountability and to avoid the phenomenon of wasting public moneys due to mismanagement".

Question on Mr CHEUNG Hon-chung's amendment to Mr SIN Chung-kai's motion proposed.

At 5:05 pm, the President's Deputy took the chair during the temporary absence of the President.

The Secretary for Transport spoke on the motion and the amendment.

Five Members spoke on the motion and the amendment.

Mr SIN Chung-kai spoke on the amendment.

The Secretary for Economic Services spoke on the motion and the amendment.

At 5:50 pm, the President resumed the chair.

Question on Mr CHEUNG Hon-chung's amendment to Mr SIN Chung-kai's motion put. Mr CHAN Kam-lam claimed a division. The President then ordered the Council to divide under Standing Order No. 36(4).

The President announced that there were 31 votes for the amendment and 21 votes against it. (Voting record in Appendix II.) He declared that Mr CHEUNG Hon-chung's amendment to Mr SIN Chung-kai's motion was agreed.

The President further declared that Mr SIN Chung-kai's motion as amended by Mr CHEUNG Hon-chung was carried.

Release of WANG Dan

The President stated that some Members had expressed doubts about the propriety of the Council debating this motion and would like him to explain the basis of allowing the motion. These doubts apparently related to whether this Council was competent to debate :

  1. a matter which does not fall within the jurisdiction of the Government of Hong Kong as a dependent territory of the United Kingdom; and
  2. a case pending in a court of law in another territory.

The President explained that given the provision in Clause XXIV(1) of the Royal Instructions and having regard to Erskine May (P.379, 21st Edition) which stated that deliberation of non-domestic courts were not subject to the "sub judice" rule, he was of the opinion that it was procedurally in order for this Council to debate the motion.

Mr HO Chun-yan moved the following motion and addressed the Council:

That this Council urges the Chinese Government to immediately release WANG Dan.

Question on the motion proposed.

29 Members spoke on the motion.

Mr HO Chun-yan replied.

Question on the motion put. Mr CHAN Wing-chan claimed a division. The President then ordered the Council to divide under Standing Order No. 36(4).

The President announced that there were 29 votes for the motion and 26 votes against it. (Voting record in Appendix III.) He declared that the motion was carried.

Members' Bills

First Reading

Education (Amendment) Bill 1996

The Bill was read the first time and ordered to be set down for Second Reading pursuant to Standing Order No. 41(3).

Second Reading

Education (Amendment) Bill 1996

Miss Christine LOH moved the Second Reading and addressed the Council.

Question on the Second Reading proposed. The President stated that in accordance with Standing Orders, the debate was adjourned and the Bill was referred to the House Committee.

Next sitting

In accordance with Standing Orders, the President adjourned the Council until Wednesday 13 November 1996.

Adjourned accordingly at ten minutes past nine o’clock.

(Andrew WONG)
President
Council Chamber
Hong Kong


Last Updated on {{PUBLISH AUTO[[DATE("d mmm, yyyy")]]}}