LegCo Sitting (Minutes) 19 March 1997

LegCo Paper No. CB(3) 749/96-97

THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
MINUTES
No. 24 of 1996-97

Minutes of the sitting held on Wednesday 19 March 1997 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
    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, OBE, 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 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 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 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 Martin LEE Chu-ming, QC, JP
    The Honourable Christine LOH Kung-wai
    The Honourable LEE Cheuk-yan
    The Honourable Paul CHENG Ming-fun
    The Honourable LAU Chin-shek
    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 CHAU Tak-hay, CBE, JP
    Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport
    Mr Dominic WONG Shing-wah, OBE, JP
    Secretary for Housing
    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 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
    Miss Denise YUE Chung-yee, JP
    Secretary for Trade and Industry
    Mr Stephen IP Shu-kwan, JP
    Secretary for Economic Services
    Mr KWONG Hon-sang, JP
    Secretary for Works
    Mrs Stella HUNG KWOK Wai-ching, JP
    Secretary for Home Affairs
    Mr Clement MAK Ching-hung
    Secretary for Constitutional Affairs

Clerks in attendance:

    Mr Ricky FUNG Choi-cheung
    Secretary General
    Mr LAW Kam-sang
    Deputy Secretary General
    Mrs Justina LAM CHENG Bo-ling
    Assistant Secretary General (2)
    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 LegislationL.N. NO.
1. Public Revenue Protection (Dutiable Commodities) Order 199789/97
2. Public Revenue Protection (Estate Duty) Order 199790/97
3. Public Revenue Protection (Motor Vehicles First Registration Tax) Order 199791/97
4. Public Revenue Protection (Rating) Order 199792/97
5. Public Revenue Protection (Stamp Duty) Order 199793/97
6. Western Harbour Crossing Regulation94/97
7. Fire Services Department (Reports and Certificates) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulation 199795/97
8. Road Traffic (Construction and Maintenance of Vehicles) (Amendment) Regulation 199796/97
9. Road Traffic (Driving Licences) (Amendment) Regulation 199797/97
10. Official Languages (Alteration of Text) (Buildings Ordinance) Order 1997 98/97
11. Statutes of the University of Hong Kong (Amendment) Statutes 199799/97
12. Import and Export (Amendment) Ordinance 1995 (30 of 1995) (Commencement) Notice 1997100/97
13. Industrial Training (Clothing Industry) (Amendment) (No.2) Ordinance 1995 (31 of 1995) (Commencement) Notice 1997101/97
14. Import and Export (Registration) (Amendment) Regulation 1995 (L.N.544 of 1995) (Commencement) Notice 1997102/97
15. Air Pollution Control (Motor Vehicle Fuel) (Amendment) Regulation 1996 (L.N.310 of 1996) (Commencement) Notice 1997103/97
16. Air Pollution Control (Vehicle Design Standards) (Emission) (Amendment) Regulation 1996 (L.N.311 of 1996) (Commencement) Notice 1997104/97
17. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text) (Army and Royal Air Force Legal Services Ordinance) Order (C) 30/97
18. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text)(Defences (Firing Areas) Ordinance) Order(C) 31/97
19. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text)(Buildings Ordinance) Order(C) 32/97

Sessional Papers 1996-97

No.74 -Audited Statement of Accounts of the Language Fund for the year ending 31 August 1996

No.75 -Urban Council Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the Financial Year 1997/98, together with a list of works proposed to be undertaken during 1997/98

No.76 -Urban Council list of revised works for the quarter ended 31.12.1996

No.77 -Regional Council Revised Estimates of Expenditure for 1996/97

No.78 -Regional Council Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for 1997/98, together with a list of works proposed to be undertaken during 1997/98

No.79 -Revised list of works annexed to the Regional Council's Revised Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for 1996/97 (position as at 31.12.1996)

No.80 -Occupational Safety and Health Council Annual Report 1995/96

Adresses

Mrs Miriam LAU addressed the Council on the Road Traffic (Public Service Vehicles) (Amendment) Regulation 1997 which was laid on the table of the Council at the sitting on 19 February 1997.

Questions

1. Dr YEUNG Sum asked Question 1.

The Secretary for Constitutional Affairs replied.

Eight Members asked supplementaries and the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs replied.

2. Mr CHIM Pui-chung asked Question 2.

The Secretary for Security replied.

A Member asked one supplementary and the Secretary for Security replied.

3. Dr HUANG Chen-ya asked Question 3.

The Secretary for Health and Welfare replied.

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

4. Mrs Selina CHOW asked Question 4.

The Secretary for Trade and Industry replied.

Eight Members asked supplementaries and the Secretary for Trade and Industry replied.

5. Mr LEE Wing-tat asked Question 5.

The Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands replied.

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

6. Mr Ambrose LAU asked Question 6.

The Secretary for Home Affairs replied.

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

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

Government Motions

Radiation Ordinance

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

That the Radiation (Control of Irradiating Apparatus) (Amendment) Regulation 1997, made by the Radiation Board on 3 March 1997, be approved.

Question on the motion proposed, put and agreed to.

Public Finance Ordinance

The Secretary for the Treasury moved the motion in the Appendix and addressed the Council.

Question on the motion proposed, put and agreed to.

Trading Funds Ordinance

The Secretary for Works moved the following motion and addressed the Council:

That -

  1. those parts of the public sewerage systems and sewage disposal facilities as set out in the document entitled "Inventory of Public Sewerage Systems and Sewage Disposal Facilities - Operation and Maintenance Responsibility Assumed by the Director of Drainage Services during the period from 1 April 1995 to 31 March 1996" kept by the Director of Drainage Services ("the assets") shall be appropriated to the Sewage Services Trading Fund established by resolution of this Council on 9 March 1994 (Cap. 430 sub. leg.);

  2. the assets shall not be disposed of unless the approval of the Financial Secretary has first been obtained.

Question on the motion proposed, put and agreed to.

Government Bills

First Reading

Justices of the Peace Bill

Jury (Amendment) Bill 1997

Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fund (Amendment) Bill 1997

Labour Relations (Amendment) Bill 1997

Trade Unions (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1997

Employment (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1997

Long - Term Prison Sentences Review Bill

Registered Designs 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

Justices of the Peace Bill

Jury (Amendment) Bill 1997

The Chief Secretary moved the Second Reading and addressed the Council on each of the above two Bills.

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

Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fund (Amendment) Bill 1997

Labour Relations (Amendment) Bill 1997

Trade Unions (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1997

Employment (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1997

The Secretary for Education and Manpower moved the Second Reading and addressed the Council on each of the above four Bills.

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

Long - Term Prison Sentences Review 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.

Registered Designs Bill

The Secretary for Trade and Industry 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.

Television (Amendment) Bill 1996

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

Three Members spoke on the motion.

The Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport replied.

Question on Second Reading put and agreed to.

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

Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill 1997

Resumption of debate on Second Reading which had been moved on 29 January 1997.

Question on Second Reading put and agreed to.

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

Fugitive Offenders Bill

Resumption of debate on Second Reading which had been moved on 6 November 1996.

Two Members spoke on the motion.

The Secretary for Security replied.

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:

Television (Amendment) Bill 1996

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

Question on clauses 1, 2, 4 to 7, 11 to 16, 18 and 19 put and agreed to.

The Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport moved amendments to clauses 3, 8, 9, 10 and 17 and addressed the Committee.

Question on the amendments proposed, put and agreed to.

Question that clauses 3, 8, 9, 10 and 17, as amended, stand part of the Bill put and agreed to.

The Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport moved an amendment to the schedule.

Question on the amendment put and agreed to.

Question that the schedule, as amended, stand part of the Bill put and agreed to.

Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill 1997

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

Question on clauses 1 and 2 put and agreed to.

Fugitive Offenders Bill

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

Question on clauses 1, 4, 10 and 25 to 29 put and agreed to.

The Secretary for Security moved amendments to clauses 2, 3, 5 to 9 and 11 to 24 and addressed the Committee.

Question on the amendments proposed, put and agreed to.

Question that clauses 2, 3, 5 to 9 and 11 to 24, as amended, stand part of the Bill put and agreed to.

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

The Council then resumed.

Third Reading

The Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport reported that

the Television (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 Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Bill 1997

had passed through Committee without amendment and

the Fugitive Offenders Bill

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

Questions on the Third Reading of the two Bills proposed, put and agreed to.

Bills read the third time and passed.

Members' Motions

Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

Mr WONG Wai-yin moved the following motion and addressed the Council:

That, in relation to the Road Traffic (Public Service Vehicles) (Amendment) (No.3) Regulation 1997, published as Legal Notice No.69 of 1997 and laid on the table of the Legislative Council on 5 March 1997, the period referred to in section 34(2) of the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance (Cap.1) for amending subsidiary legislation be extended under section 34(4) of that Ordinance to the sitting of 9 April 1997.

Question on the motion proposed, put and agreed to.

China Light and Power’s excess generating capacity and the Scheme of Control Agreement

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

That this Council considers that both the China Light and Power Company Limited (CLP) and the Hong Kong Government should be responsible for the mistaken forecast of electricity demand made in 1992, resulting in the serious excess of generating capacity, and demands that:

  1. CLP excludes from the Scheme of Control Agreement its assets relating to the excess capacity of the generating units 5-8 in Black Point Power Station, so as to ensure that the public need not shoulder additional burdens due to the erroneous investment of CLP;

  2. in conducting the mid-term review of the Scheme of Control Agreements with CLP and the Hongkong Electric Company Limited respectively in 1997 and 1998, the Government should discuss with the two power companies in order to reach an agreement on a comprehensive amendment of the relevant provisions, so as to strengthen the monitoring work and safeguard consumers' interests; and

  3. in the long run, the Government should actively consider opening up the electricity supply market and replacing the existing Scheme of Control with another monitoring system which can better safeguard consumers' interests.

In the course of Mr Michael HO's speech, a Member drew the attention of the President to the absence of a quorum. The President directed that the Council be suspended and Members be summoned. A quorum was then present.

Question on Mr Michael HO's motion proposed. The President stated that Mr CHAN Kam-lam 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 CHAN Kam-lam moved the following amendment to Mr Michael HO's motion and addressed the Council:

To insert "all" before "its assets"; to add "generating" after "relating to the excess"; to delete "of the generating units 5-8 in Black Point Power Station"; to delete ", so as to strengthen the monitoring work and safeguard consumers' interests"; to delete "actively consider opening up the electricity supply market and replacing the existing Scheme of Control with another monitoring system which can better" and substitute with "remove the provisions in respect of the permitted returns of the two power companies under the Scheme of Control Agreements, set a ceiling on tariff increases and enhance the power of the Energy Advisory Committee to examine and approve the applications of the two companies for tariff increases, so as to".

Question on Mr CHAN Kam-lam's amendment to Mr Michael HO's motion proposed.

At 6:10 p.m., the President's Deputy took the chair during the temporary absence of the President.

Six Members spoke on the motion and the amendment.

Mr Michael HO spoke on the amendment.

At 6:50 p.m., the President resumed the chair.

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

Question on Mr CHAN Kam-lam's amendment to Mr Michael HO's motion put and negatived.

Mr Michael HO replied.

Question on Mr Michael HO's original motion put and agreed to.

Long Term Housing Strategy Review Consultative Document

Mr LEE Wing-tat moved the following motion and addressed the Council:

That, regarding the "Long Term Housing Strategy Review Consultative Document", this Council urges that the Government should:

  1. meet the housing demand of the public by increasing the supply of public housing flats;

  2. adopt a development strategy which aims primarily at the provision of public rental flats, to be supplemented by Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) flats;

  3. before the year 2005, further reduce to two years the average waiting time for applicants on the Waiting List;

  4. maintain low rents for public rental flats and not effect hefty rent increases;

  5. set the selling prices of public rental flats on the basis of the construction cost; and

  6. continue to construct HOS flats and Sandwich Class Housing flats and sell them at affordable prices;

and also urges the Government, after extensively consulting the public, to compile and publish a report on the results of the consultation exercise, and to fully take into account the opinions of the public when finalizing its housing strategy.

Question on Mr LEE Wing-tat's motion proposed. The President stated that Mr CHAN Kam-lam and Mr MOK Ying-fan had separately given notices to move amendments to the motion. He 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.

Mr CHAN Kam-lam and Mr MOK Ying-fan addressed the Council on the motion and their proposed amendments respectively.

15 Members spoke on the motion and the amendments.

At 9:15 p.m., the President's Deputy took the chair during the temporary absence of the President.

Another six Members spoke on the motion and the amendments.

At 9:50 p.m., the President resumed the chair.

One further Member spoke on the motion and the amendments.

Mr LEE Wing-tat spoke on the amendments.

The Secretary for Housing spoke on the motion and the amendments.

Mr CHAN Kam-lam moved the following amendment to Mr LEE Wing-tat's motion:

To delete "that" after "this Council urges"; to delete "should"; to delete "meet" and substitute with "to meet"; to delete "adopt" and substitute with "to adopt"; to delete "development" and substitute with "housing"; to delete "before the year 2005," and substitute with "to"; to add ", and undertake to provide at least 20,000 waiting families with public housing flats annually between the years 2001 and 2006" after "applicants on the Waiting List"; to delete "maintain low" and substitute with "not to greatly increase"; to delete "and not effect hefty rent increases"; to delete "set" and substitute with "to use the replacement cost as the foundation, plus factors such as location and depreciation, as the basis for determining the selling prices of public rental flats"; to delete "on the basis of the construction cost"; to delete "continue" and substitute with "to continue"; to delete ", after extensively consulting the public, to compile and publish a report on the results of the consultation exercise, and"; to delete "finalizing" and substitute with "formulating" and to delete "strategy" and substitute with "policy".

Question on Mr CHAN Kam-lam's amendment to Mr LEE Wing-tat's motion proposed, put and negatived.

Mr MOK Ying-fan moved the following amendment to Mr LEE Wing-tat's motion:

To delete "and" after "basis of the construction cost;"; and to add "and (g) maintain the status quo of the existing inheritance system for public rental tenancies;" after "sell them at affordable prices;".

Question on Mr MOK Ying-fan's amendment to Mr LEE Wing-tat's motion proposed, put and agreed to.

Mr LEE Wing-tat replied.

Question on Mr LEE Wing-tat's motion as amended by Mr MOK Ying-fan put and agreed to.

Next sitting

In accordance with Standing Orders, the President adjourned the Council until Wednesday 9 April 1997.

Adjourned accordingly at twenty-two minutes to eleven o’clock.

(Andrew WONG)
President
Council Chamber
Hong Kong


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