Revised version
OP 96/97-34(1)
(Issued at 11:00 am on 2.6.97)

The Legislative Council
Order Paper

Wednesday 4 June 1997 at 2:30 pm



I. Papers

Subsidiary LegislationL.N. NO.
1. Employees Retraining Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 2) (No.2) Notice 1997287/97
2. Leveraged Foreign Exchange Trading Ordinance (Cap.451) (Commencement) Notice 1997288/97
3. Television (Amendment) Ordinance 1997 (21 of 1997) (Commencement) Notice 1997289/97
4. Television (Advertising) Regulation (L.N.277 of 1997) (Commencement) Notice 1997290/97
5. Television (Programmes) Regulation (L.N.278 of 1997) (Commencement) Notice 1997291/97P
6. Traffic Accident Victims (Assistance Fund) (Amendment) Ordinance 1997 (45 of 1997) (Commencement) Notice 1997292/97
7. Road Traffic (Driving Licences) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulation 1997 (L.N.183 of 1997) (Commencement) Notice 1997293/97
8. Justices of the Peace Ordinance (47 of 1997) (Commencement) Notice 1997294/97
9. The Open Learning Institute of Hong Kong (Amendment) Ordinance 1997 (50 of 1997) (Commencement) Notice 1997295/97

Sessional Papers 1996-97

1.No.103-Report of changes to the approved Estimates of Expenditure approved during the final quarter of 1996-97 Public Finance Ordinance : Section 8
(to be presented by the Secretary for the Treasury)
2.No.104-1996 Annual Report by the Commissioner of the Independent Commission Against Corruption
(to be presented by Mr Eric LI who will address the Council)
3.No.05-The Independent Commission Against Corruption Complaints Committee 1996 Annual Report
(to be presented by Mr Howard YOUNG who will address the Council)

II. Questions

1. Dr C H LEONG to ask :

Regarding recent press reports about the delay of the Government Supplies Department (GSD) in the delivery of drugs to public hospitals and clinics, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the delivery time following the receipt of orders agreed between the GSD and public hospitals and clinics; and whether different drugs have different delivery times and, if so, what the details are;

  2. of the current number of orders for drugs received by GSD in the past five months which have not met the agreed delivery time, and the reasons therefor;

  3. of the range of time, as well as average time, taken by GSD for delivery of drugs following the receipt of orders in the past five months, together with the corresponding figures in the past three years;

  4. of the impact of the delay in the delivery of drugs on patients in the past five months, and whether the Government is aware of the measures put in place by the Hospital Authority and the Department of Health to cope with the situation so as to minimize the effect on patients; and

  5. whether the Government is aware of the proportion of drugs used by public hospitals which is supplied by the GSD?

Public Officers to reply : Secretary for the Treasury Secretary for Health and Welfare

2. Miss Emily LAU to ask : (Translation)

It is learnt that the subject officer in civic education in a technical institute recently received an administrative instruction issued by the institute concerned, which stipulates among other things that (i) civic education lecturers are prohibited from conducting activities which will "upset those in authority"; (ii) activities in which students may discuss political issues are not encouraged; (iii) teaching staff are prohibited from encouraging students to participate in politically-oriented activities, such as voting and expressing views to the government; and (iv) teaching staff are prohibited from posting in the campus materials which publicize activities of any political group. The institute concerned has also suddenly changed its usual practice and imposed a requirement that all notices and posters are to be vetted and approved by its top management before they can be put up on notice boards in the campus. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. whether it knows of the above incident;

  2. of the authority on which the institute concerned prohibits teaching staff and students from participating in such activities;

  3. how it ensures that educational institutions will not, on political grounds, interfere with the promotion of civic education; and

  4. how it ensures that the administrative staff of educational institutions can not stifle students' freedom of speech and freedom of participation in social and political activities?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education and Manpower

3. Mrs Selina CHOW to ask : (Translation)

Regarding the granting of one-way exit permits by the Chinese side in excess of the agreed quota, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. whether it has raised with the Chinese side the issue regarding the granting of 6500 one-way exit permits in excess of the agreed quota by the Chinese authorities concerned in the past year;

  2. whether the granting of one-way exit permits in excess of the agreed quota is in contravention of the agreement reached between the British and Chinese Governments in 1982; if so, whether the Hong Kong Government can refuse entry of those holding one-way permits issued by the Chinese authorities concerned in excess of the quota;

  3. whether the agreement on the quota of one-way exit permits has any legal effect, or whether such an agreement is a gentlemen's agreement without any binding legal effect; and

  4. whether the Security Branch has notified the Census and Statistics Department of the fact regarding the granting of one-way exit permits by the Chinese side in excess of the agreed quota; if not, whether there has been dereliction of duty, abuse of power or maladministration on the part of the Security Branch?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

4. Mr Albert CHAN to ask : (Translation)

The expenditures on hawker control by the Urban Council and the Regional Council respectively have been on the increase in recent years. Does the Government know:

  1. of the expenditures and staff establishment in connection with hawker control in the two municipal councils in 1994/95, 1995/96 and 1996/97 respectively; and the estimated expenditures and staff establishment in this regard in 1997/98;

  2. of the numbers of licensed and unlicensed hawkers in each district in 1994/95, 1995/96 and 1996/97 respectively, and the numbers of prosecutions instituted against unlicensed hawkers in each of the years in the corresponding period; and

  3. whether the two municipal councils have conducted value-for-money studies on the work relating to hawker control; and whether the two municipal councils will carry out an overall review of the relevant legislation, so as to ensure that the hawker control work is cost-effective?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport

5. Mr Howard YOUNG to ask :

As many countries do not accept travel documents with a validity period of less than six months, will the Government inform this Council of:

  1. the number of Certificates of Identity which will expire in the second half of this year, and

  2. the measures taken by the Government to facilitate holders of the above Certificates of Identity, who need to travel overseas during the second half of this year, to obtain valid travel documents?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

6. Mr K K FUNG to ask :

(Translation)

Regarding elderly persons applying for public rental housing (PRH) flats, does the Government know of:

  1. the respective numbers of families whose members are all aged 60 years or above and families with at least one member who is aged 60 years or above, among the applications on the general Waiting List;

  2. the average periods of time which single persons aged 60 or above and families of two persons aged 60 or above have to wait respectively before they are allocated PRH flats;

  3. the average period of time which families with at least one member who is aged 60 years or above have to wait before they are allocated PRH flats; and

  4. the respective numbers of PRH flats reserved for the Elderly Priority Scheme and the Single Elderly Persons Priority Scheme in the current year, the estimated numbers of single persons aged 60 or above and families of two persons aged 60 or above on the general Waiting List who will be allocated such flats, and the estimated time when these flats can be allocated to the families concerned?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Housing

* 7. Mr TSANG Kin-shing to ask :

(Translation)

According to the survey conducted by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) in 1996, 70% of the general public were worried about the problem of corruption in the territory after 1997. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the number of complaints received by the ICAC in the past ten years about corruption activities in the territory involving institutions in Mainland China, the number of such complaints in which prosecutions were instituted and the number of successful prosecutions;

  2. of the special arrangements or strategies adopted by the ICAC in the last three years of the transitional period to combat and prevent corruption activities in the territory's business sector involving party cadres, government officials and enterprises in Mainland China; and

  3. whether the ICAC and the Government departments have encountered any difficulties, in particular difficulties arising from the impending transfer of sovereignty, in handling corruption complaint cases involving institutions in Mainland China?

Public Officer to reply : Chief Secretary

* 8. Mr MOK Ying-fan to ask :

(Translation)

Regarding the provision of Chinese medicine services in the out-patient departments of public hospitals, will the Government inform this Council whether:

  1. it knows of the number of public hospitals which provide Chinese medicine services in their out-patient departments, as well as the number of attendances at these departments for such services in each of the past three years;

  2. it has conducted any study on the use of traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) by the public; if so, of the number of persons who used TCM in each of the past three years, together with a breakdown of their age, education level and reasons for using TCM; and

  3. the authorities concerned have any plans to formulate a policy to promote the provision of Chinese medicine services in the out-patient departments of public hospitals; if so, what the details are; if not, why not?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health and Welfare

* 9. Miss CHAN Yuen-han to ask :

(Translation)

According to the recently published report entitled "Hong Kong Population Projections 1997-2016", as many as 1,095,000 immigrants from the Mainland will come to Hong Kong in the next twenty years. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of:

  1. the methods and assumptions used in the projection of the number, age and sex of the immigrants from the Mainland in the coming twenty years; and

  2. a projection of the immigrants from the Mainland by age group and sex for the period from 1997 to 2016?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services

*10. Dr John TSE to ask :

(Translation)

In the Railway Development Strategy promulgated in 1994, the Government pledged that the Ma On Shan rail link would be completed by 2001 or earlier. In the 1996 Policy Address, the Government indicated that it would study the feasibility of extending this rail link to Kowloon. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. whether the above feasibility study has been completed; if so, what the outcome is and when it will be published;

  2. of the procedures involved and the length of time required for the various Government departments and the Executive Council to vet and approve the above rail link project, and the date on which the construction work on the project is expected to commence; and

  3. given that currently the mass transit system in Northeast New Territories is rather congested during peak hours, whether the Government will expedite the various aspects of the work involved, so that the Ma On Shan rail link can become operational on or before 2001?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport

*11. Mr LEUNG Yiu-chung to ask :

(Translation)

In a written reply to a question on the employment of temporary staff by the Urban Services Department (USD) and the Regional Services Department (RSD) at the Legislative Council sitting held on 19 March this year, the Secretary for the Civil Service stated that 108 temporary staff members had sustained injuries while at work over the past three years. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the number of such temporary staff whose contracts were renewed, and the number of such staff whose contracts were not renewed, in the past three years; and

  2. of the criteria adopted by the USD and the RSD in determining whether or not to renew the contracts of the temporary staff who have sustained injuries while at work?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Civil Service

*12. Miss Emily LAU to ask :

The Government has spent $9 million to build an extension to the VIP lounge at the Kai Tak airport. As the Kai Tak airport will close down next year when the new airport at Chek Lap Kok comes into operation, will the Government inform this Council of:

  1. the reasons for proceeding with the above extension project and, given the fact that the extension could only be used for less than a year, the Government's justification for the cost-effectiveness of the project; and

  2. the reasons for not putting the funding proposal for the project to the Finance Committee of this Council for consideration?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Economic Services

*13. Dr HUANG Chen-ya to ask :

(Translation)

Does the Government know of:

  1. the respective proportions of the expenditure on treating stroke, conorary heart disease and cancer to the total expenditure of the Hospital Authority, and the percentage of the number of patients suffering from each of the three diseases to the total number of patients and beds in public hospitals respectively, in each of the past five years;

  2. the measures in place to prevent and reduce the incidence of the diseases mentioned in (a) above; and

  3. the criteria adopted by the Hospital Authority and the Department of Health in determining whether the resources allocated for the diseases mentioned in (a) above are adequate?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health and Welfare

*14. Mr WONG Wai-yin to ask :

(Translation)

Will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the total number of complaints received by the Lands Tribunal over the past three years concerning problems in building management;

  2. of the average and the longest waiting times for the above complaint cases to receive a hearing;

  3. of the measures in place to shorten the waiting times given in the answer to (b) above; and

  4. whether it will consider setting up a building management tribunal separately in the long run; if so, when such a tribunal will be set up; if not, why not?

Public Officer to reply : Chief Secretary

*15. Mr Albert CHAN to ask :

(Translation)

The residents in the vicinity of the bay areas in Tsuen Wan have, for a number of years, suffered from the noise emitted from vessels during the night and in the early morning, in particular the noise from the vessels' loud hailers. Representatives of the residents have raised this issue with the Marine Police and the Marine Department on a number of occasions, and the relevant LegCo Panel has also discussed the issue. However, not only has there been no improvement in the situation, but there are also signs indicating that the situation is worsening. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of:

  1. the number of vessels which were warned or prosecuted for excessive noise emission in the past three years, together with a breakdown of the locations involved and the outcome of the prosecutions; and

  2. the noise mitigation measures put in place by the Marine Police and the Marine Department to redress the above situation which has not seen any improvement for a number of years, so that the daily life of the residents in the areas concerned will not be unduly disturbed?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands

*16. Mr Howard YOUNG to ask :

It was reported in October last year that the Immigration Department was undertaking a study on the feasibility of introducing the "Travel Pass" system which aims to shorten immigration processing time for bona fide frequent travellers to Hong Kong. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of the up-to-date progress of the study, including details on:

  1. the eligibility criteria and application fee for the "Travel Pass";

  2. whether holders of the "Travel Pass" will still be required to fill in the arrival card;

  3. whether holders of the "Travel Pass" can have their immigration clearance procedures processed at the immigration counters designated for holders of Hong Kong permanent identity cards and Hong Kong identify cards; and

  4. the expected implementation date of the "Travel Pass" system?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

*17. Dr HUANG Chen-ya to ask :

(Translation)

It is learnt that recently a hospital referred a case to the Coroner for investigation because of a dispute with the family of a deceased patient over the cause of the patient's death. In this connection, does the Government know:

  1. of the number of cases referred to the Coroner for investigation by public hospitals in the past year, the reasons for referral in each of these cases, the number of these cases in which the referral was made at the request of the deceased's family, and the number of those in which the referral was opposed by the deceased's family;

  2. of the number of cases mentioned in the first part in (a) above in which the Coroner was of the opinion that a post-mortem examination was not required; and

  3. whether the Housing Authority has formulated any guidelines on matters concerning the referral of cases to the Coroner in order to avoid unnecessary referrals?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health and Welfare

*18. Mr WONG Wai-yin to ask :

(Translation)

Does the Government know of:

  1. the number of academic staff who were dismissed or whose contracts were not renewed over the past three years, and the number of such staff who were regarded as "failing to meet the requirements of the University", in each of the local universities; and how the universities concerned determine what constitutes "failing to meet the requirements of the University"; and

  2. the ranks and years of teaching experience of those academic staff who were regarded as "failing to meet the requirements of the University"?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education and Manpower

*19. Mr IP Kwok-him to ask :

(Translation)

A six-month pilot scheme for the display of publicity materials in designated public places was introduced by the Government in Wan Chai District in November last year. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:

  1. it has carried out a review of the pilot scheme; if so, what the results are; and

  2. there are any plans to extend the above scheme to all other districts in the territory; if not, why not?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands

*20. Mr SIN Chung-kai to ask :

(Translation)

In view of the forthcoming merger of the Land Fund and the Exchange Fund and the takeover work currently being undertaken by the Government, does the Government know of:

  1. the amount of assets managed by the Direct Investment Division of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the number of staff in that Division and the expenditure on staff salaries, in each of the past three years; as well as the amount of assets managed internally by the Land Fund Secretariat, the number of staff involved and the expenditure on staff salaries during the corresponding period;

  2. the respective numbers of external managers employed by the HKMA and the Land Fund Secretariat, and the amounts of assets under the management of such external managers in the HKMA and the Land Fund Secretariat respectively, in each of the past three years; and

  3. the similarities and differences between the Exchange Fund and the Land Fund in respect of their investment portfolios in the past three years?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Treasury

III. Government Motions

Coroners Ordinance

Chief Secretary :

That the Coroners (Witnesses' Allowances) Rules, made by the Acting Chief Justice on 12 May 1997, be approved.

IV. Government Bills

First Reading

Supplementary Appropriation (1996-97) Bill 1997

Second Reading

Debate to be adjourned

1. Supplementary Appropriation (1996-97) Bill 1997

:

Secretary for the Treasury

Debates to resume

2. Railways Bill

:

Secretary for Transport

3. Discovery Bay Tunnel Link Bill

:

Secretary for Transport

4. Midwives Registration (Amendment) Bill 1997

:

Secretary for Health and

Welfare

5. Volunteer and Naval Volunteer Pensions (Amendment) Bill 1997

:

Secretary for Health and

Welfare

6. Auxiliary Medical Service Bill

:

Secretary for Security

7. Civil Aid Service Bill

:

Secretary for Security

8. Official Secrets Bill

:

Secretary for Security

9. Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1997

:

Secretary for the Treasury

10. Registered Designs Bill

:

Secretary for Trade and Industry

11. Outer Space Bill

:

Secretary for Economic Services

12. Civil Aviation (Amendment) Bill 1997

:

Secretary for Economic Services

Committee Stage and Third Reading

1. Railways Bill

:

Secretary for Transport

2. Discovery Bay Tunnel Link Bill

:

Secretary for Transport

3. Midwives Registration (Amendment) Bill 1997

:

Secretary for Health and Welfare

4. Volunteer and Naval Volunteer Pensions (Amendment) Bill 1997

:

Secretary for Health and Welfare

5. Auxiliary Medical Service Bill

:

Secretary for Security

6. Civil Aid Service Bill

:

Secretary for Security

7. Official Secrets Bill

:

Secretary for Security

8. Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1997

:

Secretary for the Treasury

9. Registered Designs Bill

:

Secretary for Trade and Industry

10. Outer Space Bill

:

Secretary for Economic Services

11. Civil Aviation (Amendment) Bill 1997

:

Secretary for Economic Services

V. Members' Motions

1. Measures against infectious diseases

Mr CHAN Kam-lam : (Translation)

That this Council expresses concern about the recent outbreak of infectious diseases, and urges the Government to expeditiously review the existing preventive measures against diseases and plug loopholes in the relevant legislation, and to strengthen the cooperation between the Department of Health and the two municipal services departments to enhance the territory's responsiveness in monitoring and containing infectious diseases as well as in preparing for contingencies; furthermore, with regard to the sources of the recent cholera cases, this Council also urges the Government to step up the inspection of food processing factories and restaurants, provide in-service training to restaurant workers, improve the existing licensing system and demerit points system and carry out wide-ranging publicity and educational campaigns, so as to safeguard public health.

Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Health and Welfare

2. Long term policy to meet the needs arising from population growth

Mr CHEUNG Hon-chung : (Translation)

That, as the latest population projection released by the Government shows that the population of Hong Kong will grow rapidly at a rate of almost 30% to over eight million in the next ten odd years, this Council urges the Government to expeditiously make corresponding adjustments to the policies on housing, education, medical care, transport, human resources, etc., and better utilise the fiscal reserve so as to satisfy the needs of the people in their daily lives and to make preparations for the social pressures brought about by the population growth.

Public Officers to attend : Secretary for Housing
Secretary for Education and Manpower
Secretary for Health and Welfare
Secretary for Transport

Ray CHAN
for Clerk to the Legislative Council


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