LegCo Sitting (Minutes) 22 January 1997

LegCo Paper No. CB(3) 529/96-97

THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL

MINUTES
No. 16 of 1996-97
Minutes of the sitting held on Wednesday 22 January 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
    The Honourable Martin LEE Chu-ming, QC, 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 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 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 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 Mrs Elizabeth WONG CHIEN Chi-lien, CBE, ISO, JP
    The Honourable Lawrence YUM Sin-ling
Members absent:
    Dr the Honourable David LI Kwok-po, OBE, LLD(Cantab), JP
    The Honourable LEE Cheuk-yan
Public officers attending:
    The Honourable Donald TSANG Yam-kuen, OBE, JP
    The Financial Secretary
    The Honourable Jeremy Fell MATHEWS, CMG, JP
    The Attorney General
    Mr Dominic WONG Shing-wah, OBE, JP
    Secretary for Housing
    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 Paul LEUNG Sai-wah, JP
    Secretary for Transport
    Mrs Doris HO KO Suet-yiu, JP
    Secretary for Health and Welfare
Clerks in attendance:
    Mr Ricky FUNG Choi-cheung
    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. Dentists (Registration and Disciplinary Procedure) (Amendment) Regulation 199710/97
2. Ancillary Dental Workers (Dental Hygienists)(Amendment) Regulation 199711/97
3. Midwives (Registration and Disciplinary Procedure) (Amendment) Regulation 199712/97
4. Nurses (Registration and Disciplinary Procedure)(Amendment) Regulation 199713/97
5. Enrolled Nurses (Enrolment and Disciplinary Procedure) (Amendment) Regulation 199714/97
6. Road Traffic (Traffic Control) (Amendment) Regulation 199715/97
7. Hong Kong Airport (Control of Obstructions) Order 19976/97
8. Official Languages (Alteration of Text)(Pneumoconiosis (Compensation) Ordinance) Order 199717/97
9. Official Languages (Alteration of Text Under Section 4D) Order 199718/97
10. Pilotage (Dues) (Amendment) Order 199719/97
11. Accountant's Report (Amendment) Rules 199720/97
12. Overseas Lawyers (Qualification for Admission)(Amendment) Rules 199721/97
13. Overseas Lawyers (Qualification for Admission)(Fees) (Amendment) Rules 199722/97
14. Kowloon-Canton Railway (Restricted Area)Notice 199723/97
15. Official Languages (Amendment) Ordinance 1995 (51 of 1995) (Commencement) Notice 199724/97
16. Costs in Criminal Cases Ordinance (39 of 1996)(Commencement) Notice 199725/97
17. The Hong Kong Institute of Education (Amendment)Ordinance 1996 (65 of 1996) (Commencement)Notice 199726/97
18. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text)(Pilotage Ordinance) Order(C) 1/97
19. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text)(Pneumoconiosis (Compensation) Ordinance) Order(C) 2/97

Sessional Papers 1996-97

No. 60 - Lingnan College President's Report 1995-1996 and Lingnan College Financial Report for the year ended 30 June 1996

No. 61 - Audited Financial Statements and Programme of Activities of the Hong Kong Examinations Authority for the year ended 31 August 1996

Announcement

The President announced that, during question time at the sitting on 20 November 1996, he had undertaken to examine whether the Government should at sittings of this Council reply to Members' questions relating to matters that were clearly within the jurisdiction of the two Municipal Councils.

The President stated that he had discussed the matter with the Administration and come to the view that whilst the Government had overall responsibility for the governance of Hong Kong, there were matters for which the Government could not be said to have responsibility. Such matters included those which by law were the sole responsibility of the two Municipal Councils, and other matters which concerned operation or implementation details although the Government might have overall policy responsibility for them. The President further stated that although he might allow questions relating to such matters that were preceded by the preamble ‘Does the Government have information on etc etc' and although the Government might have obtained the required information sought in such questions from the relevant authorities, it might not be in the best position to answer supplementaries to such questions. In such circumstances, he would regard a public officer as having fully answered the supplementary concerned by saying that the Government had no responsibility for the matter raised in a supplementary.

A Member asked a question and the President replied.

Questions

1. Mr CHENG Yiu-tong asked Question 1.

The Secretary for Education and Manpower replied.

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

2. Mr James TIEN asked Question 2.

The Secretary for Education and Manpower replied.

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

3. Mr LEUNG Yiu-chung asked Question 3.

The Secretary for Transport replied.

Five Members asked supplementaries and the Secretary for Transport replied.

4. Mr WONG Wai-yin asked Question 4.

The Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands replied.

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

5. Miss CHAN Yuen-han asked Question 5.

The Secretary for Health and Welfare replied.

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

6. Mr Albert CHAN asked Question 6.

The Secretary for Housing replied.

Six Members asked supplementaries and the Secretary for Housing replied.

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

Government Bills

First Reading

Administration of Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 1997

Auxiliary Forces Pensions (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 1997

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

Administration of Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 1997

The Attorney General 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.

Auxiliary Forces Pensions (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 1997

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

Rent assistance

Mr James TO moved the following motion and addressed the Council:

That this Council urges the Government to provide rent assistance to persons who have been waiting for allocation of public rental flats for some time, so as to relieve the hardship of low-income people caused by the need to pay exorbitant rent.

Question on Mr James TO's motion proposed. The President stated that Miss CHAN Yuen-han and Mr K K FUNG 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.

Miss CHAN Yuen-han and Mr K K FUNG addressed the Council on the motion and their proposed amendments respectively.

Eight Members spoke on the motion and the amendments.

Mr James TO spoke on the amendments.

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

Miss CHAN Yuen-han moved the following amendment to Mr James TO's motion:

To add ", whereas the Government made a commitment in the 1987 Long Term Housing Strategy to satisfy the needs for public rental flats of families on the Waiting List before 1997, currently there are still more than 100,000 families waiting for public housing," after "That"; to delete "persons who have been" and substitute with "those families which are eligible for public rental housing but have still been"; to delete "low-income people" and substitute with "these families"; and to add "in the interim; at the same time, in order to fully implement its commitment, the Government should expeditiously formulate measures, including increasing the allocation of land and speeding up the pace of construction, etc., to increase the volume of public rental flats" after "pay exorbitant rent".

Question on Miss CHAN Yuen-han's amendment to Mr James TO's motion proposed and put. The President stated that he thought the amendment had been agreed.

Miss CHAN Yuen-han, Mr Edward HO and Mr K K FUNG 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 17 votes against it. (Voting record in Appendix I.) He declared that Miss CHAN Yuen-han's amendment to Mr James TO's motion was agreed.

The President stated that as Miss CHAN Yuen-han's amendment had been agreed, Mr K K FUNG might not proceed with his amendment to the motion as amended. The President explained that any further amendment to the motion had to be at the point immediately following the end of Mr James TO's motion as amended by Miss CHAN Yuen-han. As Miss CHAN's amendment had already included the amendment proposed by Mr K K FUNG, it was not possible for Mr FUNG to propose his amendment.

Mr James TO replied.

Question on Mr James TO's motion as amended by Miss CHAN Yuen-han put. The President stated that he thought the amended motion had been carried.

Mrs Selina CHOW and Mr TSANG Kin-shing claimed a division. The President then ordered the Council to divide under Standing Order No. 36(4).

The President announced that there were 33 votes for the amended motion and 15 votes against it. (Voting record in Appendix II.) He declared that Mr James TO's motion as amended by Miss CHAN Yuen-han was carried.

Ma On Shan/Kowloon rail link

Mr CHOY Kan-pui moved the following motion and addressed the Council:

That this Council urges the Government to implement at an early date the construction of a new railway running from Ma On Shan to urban Kowloon via Tai Wai, so as to ultimately resolve the traffic congestion predicament in the Northeast New Territories region.

Question on Mr CHOY Kan-pui's motion proposed. The President stated that Dr John TSE had given notice to move an amendment to the motion and that Dr LAW Cheung-kwok had also given notice to move an amendment to Dr John TSE's proposed amendment. He proposed that the motion, the amendment and the amendment to the amendment be debated together in a joint debate. There being no dissenting voice, the President ordered that the motion and the amendments be debated together in a joint debate.

Dr John TSE moved the following amendment to Mr CHOY Kan-pui's motion and addressed the Council:

To add ", in order to ultimately resolve the traffic congestion predicament in the Northeast New Territories region," after "That"; and to delete "implement at an early date the construction of a new railway running from Ma On Shan to urban Kowloon via Tai Wai, so as to ultimately resolve the traffic congestion predicament in the Northeast New Territories region" and substitute with "finance the construction of a new railway running from Ma On Shan to urban Kowloon via Tai Wai, so as to enable the early implementation of the project, and to ensure the setting of reasonable fares that the public can afford".

Question on Dr John TSE's amendment to Mr CHOY Kan-pui's motion proposed.

At 6:30 pm, the President's Deputy took the chair during the temporary absence of the President.

Dr LAW Cheung-kwok moved the following amendment to Dr John TSE's proposed amendment and addressed the Council:

To delete "finance" and substitute with "implement at an early date"; to add "and formulate an appropriate financing option," after "the construction of a new railway running from Ma On Shan to urban Kowloon via Tai Wai,"; and to delete "enable the early implementation of the project, and to".

Question on Dr LAW Cheung-kwok's amendment to Dr John TSE's amendment proposed.

Five Members spoke on the motion and the amendments.

At 7:05 pm, the President resumed the chair.

Another two Members spoke on the motion and the amendments.

The President invited Dr John TSE to speak for the second time on Dr LAW Cheung-kwok's amendment.

Mr CHOY Kan-pui spoke on the amendments.

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

Question on Dr LAW Cheung-kwok's amendment to Dr John TSE's amendment put. 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 26 votes for the amendment and 19 votes against it. (Voting record in Appendix III.) He declared that Dr LAW Cheung-kwok's amendment to Dr John TSE's amendment was agreed.

Question on Dr John TSE's amendment as amended by Dr LAW Cheung-kwok to Mr CHOY Kan-pui's motion put and agreed to.

Mr CHOY Kan-pui replied.

Question on Mr CHOY Kan-pui's motion as amended by Dr John TSE which had been amended by Dr LAW Cheung-kwok put and agreed to.

Members' Bills

First Reading

Housing (Amendment) Bill 1997

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

Housing (Amendment) Bill 1997

Mr Bruce LIU 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 Thursday 23 January 1997.

Adjourned accordingly at fourteen minutes to eight o'clock.


(Andrew WONG)

President

Council Chamber

Hong Kong


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