LegCo Sitting (Minutes) 18 December 1996

LegCo Paper No. CB(3) 377/96-97

THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
MINUTES
No. 13 of 1996-97

Minutes of the sitting held on Wednesday 18 December 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 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 CHAN Kam-lam
    The Honourable CHAN Wing-chan
    The Honourable CHAN Yuen-han
    The Honourable Andrew CHENG Kar-foo
    The Honourable Paul CHENG Ming-fun
    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 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 Margaret NG
    The Honourable NGAN Kam-chuen
    The Honourable SIN Chung-kai
    The Honourable TSANG Kin-shing
    Dr the Honourable John TSE Wing-ling
    The Honourable Lawrence YUM Sin-ling

Members absent:

    Dr the Honourable Philip WONG Yu-hong
    The Honourable LEE Cheuk-yan
    The Honourable David CHU Yu-lin
    The Honourable Mrs Elizabeth WONG CHIEN Chi-lien, CBE, ISO, JP

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 Rafael HUI Si-yan, JP
Secretary for Financial Services
Mr Joseph WONG Wing-ping, JP
Secretary for Education and Manpower
Mr Peter LAI Hing-ling, JP
Secretary for Security
Mr Bowen LEUNG Po-wing, JP
Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands
Mr KWONG Ki-chi, JP
Secretary for the Treasury
Mr LAM Woon-kwong, JP
Secretary for the Civil Service
Mr Stephen IP Shu-kwan, JP
Secretary for Economic Services
Mr KWONG Hon-sang, JP
Secretary for Works

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)
Mr Ray CHAN Yum-mou
Assistant Secretary General (3)



Papers

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

Subsidiary Legislation

L.N. NO.

1. Immigration (Amendment) (No.2) Regulation 1996

516/96

2. Medical Registration (Fees) Regulation

517/96

3. Medical Registration (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulation

520/96

4. Medical Practitioners (Registration and Disciplinary Procedure) Regulation

521/96

5. Road Traffic (Construction and Maintenance of Vehicles) (Amendment) Regulation 1996

522/96

6. Road Traffic (Parking) (Amendment) Regulation 1996

523/96

7. Road Traffic (Public Service Vehicles) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulation 1996

524/96

8. Road Traffic (Registration and Licensing of Vehicles) (Amendment) Regulation 1996

525/96

9. Road Traffic (Village Vehicles) (Amendment) Regulation 1996

526/96

10. Ferry Services (Amendment) Regulation 1996

527/96

11. Road Tunnels (Government) (Amendment) Regulation 1996

528/96

12. Road Traffic Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 8) Order 1996

529/96

13. Protection of Children and Juveniles (Places of Refuge) (Amendment) Order 1996

530/96

14. Drug Addiction Treatment Centre (Chi Ma Wan Drug Addiction Treatment Centre) Order

53/96

15. Immigration (Vietnamese Migrants) (Detention Centres) (Designation) (Amendment) Order 1996

532/96

16. Immigration (Vietnamese Migrants) (Detention Centres) (Amendment) Rules 1996

533/96

17. Securities (Exchange—Traded Stock Options) (Amendment) (No.3) Rules 1996

534/96

18. Employees Retraining Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 2) (No.3) Notice 1996

535/96

19. Gas Safety (Amendment) Ordinance 1996 (3 of 1996) (Commencement) Notice 1996

536/96

20. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text) (Chinese Visa Office (Privileges and Immunities) Ordinance) Order

(C) 128/96

21. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text) (Corporate Bodies Contracts Ordinance) Order

(C) 129/96

22. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text) (Census and Statistics Ordinance) Order

(C) 130/96

Sessional Papers 1996-97

No. 44 - Report by the Trustee of the Police Children's Education Trust, Police Education and Welfare Trust for the period 1 April 1995 - 31 March 1996

No. 45 - Environment and Conservation Fund Trustee Report 1995-96

No. 46 - Report of the Brewin Trust Fund Committee on the Administration of the Fund for the year ended 30th June 1996

No. 47 - Queen Elizabeth Foundation for the Mentally Handicapped Report and Accounts 1995-96

No. 48 - The Lord Wilson Heritage Trust Annual Report 1995-1996

No. 49 - Ocean Park Corporation Annual Report 1995/96

No. 50 - Grantham Scholarships Fund Annual Report for the year 1 September 1995 to 31 August 1996

No. 51 - The Sir Murray MacLehose Trust Fund Trustee's Report for the period 1 April 1995 to 31 March 1996

No. 52 - Emergency Relief Fund Annual Report by the Trustee for the year ending on 31 March 1996

No. 53 - Social Work Training Fund Thirty-fifth Annual Report by the Trustee for the year ending on 31 March 1996

No. 54 - Revised List of Works annexed to the Regional Council's Revised Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for 1996/97

No. 55 - Revised List of Works approved by the Urban Council for the quarter ended 30 September 1996

No. 56 - The Accounts of the Lotteries Fund 1995-96

No. 57 - AIDS Trust Fund 1995-96 Annual Accounts

Address

Mr Ronald ARCULLI presented the "Ocean Park Corporation Annual Report 1995/96" and addressed the Council.

Questions

1. Mr Eric LI asked Question 1.

The Secretary for the Civil Service replied.

Three Members asked supplementaries and the Secretary for the Civil Service replied.

2. Mr NGAN Kam-chuen asked Question 2.

The Secretary for Works replied.

Six Members asked supplementaries and the Secretary for Works replied.

3. Mr CHIM Pui-chung asked Question 3.

The Secretary for Security replied.

Three Members asked supplementaries and the Secretary for Security replied.

4. Mr YUM Sin-ling asked Question 4.

The Secretary for Security replied.

Five Members asked supplementaries and the Secretary for Security replied.

5. Mr CHOY Kan-pui asked Question 5.

The Secretary for Transport replied.

Three Members asked supplementaries and the Secretary for Transport replied.

Written replies to Questions 6 to 20 were tabled for Members’ information.

Government Motions

Sex Discrimination Ordinance

The Secretary for Home Affairs moved the following motion and addressed the Council:

That the Sex Discrimination (Proceedings by Equal Opportunities Commission) Regulation, made by the Secretary for Home Affairs on 3 December 1996, be approved.

Question on the motion proposed.

At 3:35 pm, the President's Deputy took the chair during the temporary absence of the President.

Four Members spoke on the motion.

The Secretary for Home Affairs replied.

Question on the motion put and agreed to.

Sex Discrimination Ordinance

The Secretary for Home Affairs moved the motion in Appendix I and addressed the Council.

Question on the motion proposed, put and agreed to.

Disability Discrimination Ordinance

The Secretary for Health and Welfare moved the motion in Appendix II and addressed the Council.

Question on the motion proposed, put and agreed to.

Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

The Secretary for Health and Welfare moved the following motion and addressed the Council:

That the Disability Discrimination (Formal Investigations) Rules, published as Legal Notice No.474 of 1996 and laid on the table of the Legislative Council on 20 November 1996, be amended in the form of Notice in Schedule 1, by repealing "section 64(1) of the Ordinance" and substituting "section 67 of the Sex Discrimination Ordinance (Cap.480)".

Question on the motion proposed, put and agreed to.

Government Bills

First Reading

Railways Bill

Employees Retraining (Amendment) Bill 1996

Official Secrets Bill

Ozone Layer Protection (Amendment) Bill 1996

Government Rent (Assessment and Collection) 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

Railways Bill

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

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

Employees Retraining (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's Deputy stated that in accordance with Standing Orders, the debate was adjourned and the Bill was referred to the House Committee.

Official Secrets Bill

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

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

Ozone Layer Protection (Amendment) Bill 1996

Government Rent (Assessment and Collection) Bill

The Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands moved the Second Reading and addressed the Council on each of the above two Bills.

Question on the Second Reading proposed. The President's Deputy stated that in accordance with Standing Orders, the debates on the above Bills were adjourned and the Bills were referred to the House Committee.

Commissioner for Administrative Complaints (Amendment) Bill 1996

Resumption of debate on Second Reading which had been moved on 10 July 1996.

Eight Members spoke on the motion.

The Chief Secretary replied.

Question on Second Reading put and agreed to.

Bill read the second time and committed to a Committee of the whole Council.

Arbitration (Amendment) Bill 1996

Resumption of debate on Second Reading which had been moved on 9 October 1996.

Question on Second Reading put and agreed to.

Bill read the second time and committed to a Committee of the whole Council.

Bankruptcy (Amendment) Bill 1996

Resumption of debate on Second Reading which had been moved on 13 March 1996.

A Member spoke on the motion.

At 5:20 pm, the President resumed the chair.

The Secretary for Financial Services replied.

Question on Second Reading put and agreed to.

Bill read the second time and committed to a Committee of the whole Council.

Post-Release Supervision of Prisoners (Amendment) Bill 1996

Resumption of debate on Second Reading which had been moved on 27 November 1996.

Question on Second Reading put and agreed to.

Bill read the second time and committed to a Committee of the whole Council.

Wild Animals Protection (Amendment) Bill 1996

Resumption of debate on Second Reading which had been moved on 13 November 1996.

Question on Second Reading put and agreed to.

Bill read the second time and committed to a Committee of the whole Council.

Submarine Telegraph Bill

Resumption of debate on Second Reading which had been moved on 20 November 1996.

Question on Second Reading put and agreed to.

Bill read the second time and committed to a Committee of the whole Council.

Committee Stage

The Council went into Committee and considered the following Bills:

Commissioner for Administrative Complaints (Amendment) Bill 1996

Question that the following clauses stand part of the Bill proposed.

Question on clauses 2 to 7 and 11 to 14 put and agreed to.

Mr James TO moved amendments to clauses 1 and 9 and addressed the Committee.

Seven Members and the Chief Secretary spoke on the amendments.

Mr James TO replied.

Question on clauses 1 and 9 moved by Mr James TO put. As the Chairman could not judge from the voice votes whether the 'ayes' had it or the 'noes' had it, he ordered the Committee to divide under Standing Order No. 36(4).

The Chairman announced that there were 27 votes for the amendments and 27 votes against them. (Voting record in Appendix III.) The Chairman stated that he had previously exercised his casting vote in accordance with Speaker DENISON's decision in 1867. He then exercised his casting vote in the negative and declared that Mr James TO's amendments were negatived.

Question that clauses 1 and 9 in their original forms stand part of the Bill put and agreed to.

The Chief Secretary moved amendments to clauses 8 and 10 and addressed the Committee.

Question on the amendments proposed, put and agreed to.

Question that clauses 8 and 10, as amended, stand part of the Bill put and agreed to.

Arbitration (Amendment) Bill 1996

Question that the following clauses stand part of the Bill proposed.

Question on clauses 1 to 18 put and agreed to.

Bankruptcy (Amendment) Bill 1996

Question that the following clauses and schedules stand part of the Bill proposed.

Question on clauses 1, 3, 5 to 12, 16 to 19, 22, 26, 27, 28, 30, 32 to 35, 37 to 41, 43, 45, 48 to 69, 71 to 75, 77 to 98 put and agreed to.

The Secretary for Financial Services moved amendments to clauses 2, 4, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 29, 31, 36, 42, 44, 46, 47, 70 and 76 and addressed the Committee.

Question on the amendments proposed, put and agreed to.

Question that clauses 2, 4, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 29, 31, 36, 42, 44, 46, 47, 70 and 76, as amended, stand part of the Bill put and agreed to.

New clauses 47A and 75A read the first time.

The Secretary for Financial Services moved the Second Reading of new clauses 47A and 75A and addressed the Committee. Question on the Second Reading of new clauses 47A and 75A proposed, put and agreed to.

New clauses 47A and 75A read the second time.

The Secretary for Financial Services moved the addition of new clauses 47A and 75A to the Bill. Question on the addition proposed, put and agreed to.

Question on schedules 1 to 4 put and agreed to.

Post-Release Supervision of Prisoners (Amendment) Bill 1996

Question that the following clauses stand part of the Bill proposed.

Question on clauses 1, 2 and 3 put and agreed to.

Wild Animals Protection (Amendment) Bill 1996

Question that the following clauses stand part of the Bill proposed.

Question on clauses 1 to 22 put and agreed to.

Submarine Telegraph Bill

Question that the following clauses and schedule stand part of the Bill proposed.

Question on clauses 1 to 11 put and agreed to.

Question on the schedule put and agreed to.

The Council then resumed.

Third Reading

The Chief Secretary reported that

the Commissioner for Administrative Complaints (Amendment) Bill 1996

had passed through Committee with amendments. She moved that the Bill be read the third time and do pass.

Question on the Third Reading proposed, put and agreed to.

Bill read the third time and passed.

The Attorney General reported that

the Arbitration (Amendment) Bill 1996

had passed through Committee without amendment. He moved that the Bill be read the third time and do pass.

Question on the Third Reading proposed, put and agreed to.

Bill read the third time and passed.

The Secretary for Financial Services reported that

the Bankruptcy (Amendment) Bill 1996

had passed through Committee with amendments. He moved that the Bill be read the third time and do pass.

Question on the Third Reading proposed, put and agreed to.

Bill read the third time and passed.

The Secretary for Security reported that

the Post-Release Supervision of Prisoners (Amendment) Bill 1996

had passed through Committee without amendment. He moved that the Bill be read the third time and do pass.

Question on the Third Reading proposed, put and agreed to.

Bill read the third time and passed.

The Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands reported that

the Wild Animals Protection (Amendment) Bill 1996

had passed through Committee without amendment. He moved that the Bill be read the third time and do pass.

Question on the Third Reading proposed, put and agreed to.

Bill read the third time and passed.

The Secretary for Economic Services reported that

the Submarine Telegraph Bill

had passed through Committee without amendment. He moved that the Bill be read the third time and do pass.

Question on the Third Reading proposed, put and agreed to.

Bill read the third time and passed.

Members' Motions

Sex Discrimination Ordinance

Mr Michael HO moved the following motion and addressed the Council:

That the Code of Practice on Employment issued under section 69 of the Sex Discrimination Ordinance, published as Government Notice No. 5203 of 1996 and laid on the table of the Legislative Council on 20 November 1996, be amended, in paragraph 12.8, by repealing "consider progressive implementation of" and substituting "progressively implement".

Question on the motion proposed, put and agreed to.

Disability Discrimination Ordinance

Mr Michael HO moved the following motion and addressed the Council:

That the Code of Practice on Employment issued under section 65 of Disability Discrimination Ordinance, published as Government Notice No. 5204 of 1996 and laid on the table of the Legislative Council on 20 November 1996, be amended, in paragraph 13.7, by repealing "consider progressive implementation of" and substituting "progressively implement".

Question on the motion proposed, put and agreed to.

Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

Mr Ronald ARCULLI moved the motion in Appendix IV and addressed the Council.

Question on the motion proposed, put and agreed to.

Town Planning Bill

Mr Albert CHAN moved the following motion and addressed the Council:

That this Council regrets that the Government fails to honour its commitment to introduce the Town Planning Bill into this Council but has instead published a consultation paper in the form of a White Bill, and urges the Government to expeditiously introduce the Town Planning Bill into this Council, so as to improve the representativeness of the Town Planning Board and increase the transparency and efficiency of the decision-making process and vetting procedures related to town planning.

Question on the motion proposed.

Seven Members and the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands spoke on the motion.

Mr Albert CHAN replied.

Question on the motion put and agreed to.

At 7:40 pm, the President's Deputy took the chair during the temporary absence of the President.

Regulating credit card business

Dr LAW Cheung-kwok moved the following motion and addressed the Council:

That, as the interest rates charged on the credit cards in Hong Kong are continually on the high side and numerous terms and conditions in the credit card agreements are ambiguous, and coupled with the controversial operational tactics adopted by quite a number of credit card issuing companies, the interests of consumers have been undermined, this Council urges that the Government must suitably regulate the credit card market, so as to ensure the market’s healthy development and safeguard the rights and interests of consumers.

At 7:47 pm, the President resumed the chair.

Question on Dr LAW Cheung-kwok's motion proposed. The President stated that Dr HUANG Chen-ya and Mr NGAN Kam-chuen had separately given notices to move amendments to the motion. He further proposed that the motion and the two proposed amendments be debated together in a joint debate. There being no dissenting voice, the President ordered that the motion and the two proposed amendments be debated together in a joint debate.

Dr HUANG Chen-ya and Mr NGAN Kam-chuen addressed the Council on the motion and their proposed amendments respectively.

Seven Members spoke on the motion and the amendments.

Dr LAW Cheung-kwok spoke on the amendments.

The Secretary for Financial Services spoke on the motion and the amendments.

Dr HUANG Chen-ya moved the following amendment to Dr LAW Cheung-kwok's motion:

To delete "the interest rates charged on the credit cards in Hong Kong are continually on the high side and"; to insert "in Hong Kong" before "are ambiguous"; to delete "coupled"; to delete "have been" and substitute with "are seriously"; to delete "suitably regulate the credit card market" and substitute with "set up a working group to study the suitable regulation of credit card issuing companies, with the scope of study covering the formulation of legislation on credit services, the establishment of a licensing system, the terms and conditions of agreements, the operational tactics adopted, the disclosure of information and the means of recovering debt, etc." to delete "ensure the market's healthy development and"; and to add ", and that the working group must complete its report in mid-1997 for public consultation" after "safeguard the rights and interests of consumers". card market

Question on Dr HUANG Chen-ya's amendment to Dr LAW Cheung-kwok's motion proposed and put. The President stated that he thought the amendment had been agreed.

Dr LAW Cheung-kwok claimed a division. The President then ordered the Council to divide under Standing Order No. 36(4).

The President announced that there were 23 votes for the amendment and 12 votes against it. (Voting record in Appendix V.) He declared that Dr HUANG Chen-ya's amendment to Dr LAW Cheung-kwok's motion was agreed.

Mr NGAN Kam-chuen withdrew his amendment to Dr LAW Cheung-kwok's motion.

Dr LAW Cheung-kwok replied.

Question on Dr LAW Cheung-kwok's motion as amended by Dr HUANG Chen-ya put and agreed to.

Next sitting

In accordance with Standing Orders, the President adjourned the Council until Wednesday, 8 January 1997.

Adjourned accordingly at seven minutes past nine o'clock.

(Andrew WONG)
President
Council Chamber
Hong Kong


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