Revised version

OP 96/97-22(1)

(Issued at 11:00 am on 3.3.97)

The Legislative Council
Order Paper

Wednesday 5 March 1997 at 2:30 pm



I. Papers

Subsidiary Legislation L.N. NO
1. Road Traffic (Public Service Vehicles)
(Amendment) (No.3) Regulation 1997
69/97
2. Census and Statistics (Quarterly Survey of
Service Industries) (Amendment) Order 1997
75/97
3. Official Languages (Alteration of Text Under
Section 4D) (No.4) Order 1997
76/97
4. Official Languages (Alteration of Text Under
Section 4D) (No.5) Order 1997
77/97
5. Official Languages (Alteration of Text) (Fire
Services Ordinance) Order 1997
78/97
6. Official Languages (Alteration of Text) (Mining
Ordinance) Order 1997
79/97
7. Official Languages (Alteration of Text) (Water Pollution Control Ordinance) Order 199780/97
8. Shipping and Port Control Regulations (Amendment
of Tenth Schedule) Notice 1997
81/97
9. Noise Control (Amendment) (No.2) Ordinance 1996 (61 of 1996) (Commencement) Notice 199782/97
10. Hong Kong Airport (Control of Obstructions)
Order 1997 (L.N. 16 of 1997) (Commencement)
Notice 1997
83/97
11. Waste Disposal (Amendment) Ordinance 1997
(10 of 1997) (Commencement) Notice 1997
84/97
12. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text)
(Stowaways Ordinance) Order
(C) 10/97
13. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text)
(Mock Auctions Ordinance) Order
(C)11/97
14. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text)
(Post Secondary Colleges Ordinance) Order
(C) 12/97
15. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text)
(Immigration Service Ordinance) Order
(C) 13/97
16. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text)(Hotel Accommodation Tax Ordinance) Order(C) 14/97
17. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text)
(Law Reform (Miscellaneous Amendments) Ordinance) Order
(C) 15/97
18. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text)
(Fire Services Ordinance) Order
(C)16/97
19. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text)
(Monetary Statistics Ordinance) Order
(C) 17/97
20. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text)
(Roads (Works, Use and Compensation) Ordinance)Order
(C) 18/97
21. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text)
(Water Pollution Control Ordinance) Order
(C) 19/97
22. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text)
(Mining Ordinance) Order
(C) 20/97
23. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text)
(Radiation Ordinance) Order
(C)21/97

Sessional Papers 1996-97

1. No.71 -The Hong Kong Institute of Education Annual Report 1995-96 and Financial Report 1995-96

(to be presented by the Secretary for Education and Manpower)

II. Questions

1. Mr SIN Chung-kai to ask : (Translation)

Will the Government inform this Council whether it has made a proposal to the Chief Executive (Designate) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region for depositing the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government Land Fund in the Exchange Fund managed by the Monetary Authority; if so, of the reasons for putting forward the above proposal; if not, of the options being considered by the Government for handling the Land Fund?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Treasury

2. Mr LEUNG Yiu-chung to ask : (Translation)

Although the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (the Ordinance) was implemented at the end of last year, the public are still not fully aware of their rights to privacy - for example, the public are not clear as to whether it is an offence under the Ordinance for a member of any private or government organisation (including a police officer) to inspect a person's Identity Card or ask for a copy of it - thus resulting in the Ordinance not being applied generally in the territory. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the ways adopted by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (the Office) in promoting and publicising the Ordinance to enhance the public's awareness of their rights to privacy;

(b) of the steps taken by the Office to promote the Ordinance to various business organisations, so that they can avoid violating the law when requesting personal data from individuals; and

(c) of the number and major types of complaints received by the Office since its establishment; the number of enquiries concerning infringement of rights to privacy, and whether there have been any such enquiries to which the Office could not provide definite replies; if so, of the number of such enquiries, and whether alternative enquiry channels are available to the public?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Home Affairs

3. Mr LAW Chi-kwong to ask :

It is learnt that during the period from January to November last year, the Immigration Department, in exercising its discretionary powers, granted exceptional permission on strong compassionate grounds to 73 applications from Chinese residents wishing to reside in the territory, whereas other applications were rejected due to the lack of such grounds. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the principles and procedures adopted by the Immigration Department in determining if compassionate grounds exist when processing such applications;

(b) in regard to Chinese residents who are spouses or children of local residents applying to settle in the territory, of the number of applications in the past two years in which-

(i) exceptional permission was granted, together with a breakdown of the categories of the grounds for approving the applications;

(ii) exceptional permission was not granted, together with a breakdown of the categories of the grounds for rejecting the applications; and

(c) whether the right of the child as stipulated in Articles 9 and 10 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child has been taken into consideration in adopting the principles and procedures mentioned in the answer to (a) above?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

4. Mr MOK Ying-fan to ask : (Translation)

In connection with the project of social networking for the elderly, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the total amount of resources allocated for the implementation of this project which will last for two years, and their distribution among various districts;

(b) given that volunteers participating in the project are important helpline to identify and understand the needs of the elderly and to bring them into the formal welfare service network, whether the Government has any training programme in hand to enhance the volunteers' knowledge of the general problems faced by the elderly and the formal welfare services provided to them;

(c) whether there are any other ways to promote the project, besides referrals by local groups and organisations, so that more elderly people can learn of and participate in it;

(d) of the respective numbers of elderly people and volunteers who have participated in the project since its implementation last October; and

(e) whether the Government has any plan to carry out the project on a long term basis?

Public Officer to reply :Secretary for Health and Welfare

5. Miss Emily LAU to ask :

Regarding the granting of full British citizenship to Hong Kong people, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of beneficiaries of the British Nationality Selection Scheme (BNSS) who have applied to renounce the British citizenship, and whether the BNSS places arising from the renunciation of British citizenship by this group of people can be re-distributed to unsuccessful BNSS applicants;

(b) whether, in view of the British Government's decision to give full citizenship to the non-Chinese ethnic minorities, those BNSS places which have been given to the ethnic-minorities can be re-distributed to other unsuccessful BNSS applicants; and

(c) whether the Government has any plan to urge the British Government to extend the BNSS to ethnic-Chinese Hong Kong permanent residents wishing to renounce their Chinese citizenship or to grant them full British citizenship outside the BNSS; if not, why not?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

6. Mr K K FUNG to ask : (Translation)

Recently there are indications that property speculation has spread to the secondary market of Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) flats. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the total number of HOS flats currently available for free resale;

(b) the total number of HOS flats that have been resold and the percentage of such flats out of the total number of HOS flats available for resale;

(c) the number of transactions in the past year involving the further resale of HOS flats of ten years standing or above within two years of the resale of such flats, together with the percentage of such transactions out of the turnover volume in the overall secondary market of HOS flats;

(d) the average increase in the price level of secondary HOS flats in the past year;

(e) the number of transactions involving the resale of HOS flats by confirmors in each of the years since HOS flats have become available for free resale; and

(f) the measures adopted by the Government to curb speculative activities in the secondary market of HOS flats, so that prospective home buyers may purchase such flats at reasonable prices?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Housing

* 7. Dr CHEUNG Bing-leung to ask : (Translation)

In connection with the "Garrison Law of the People's Republic of China for Hong Kong Special Administrative Region" passed by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on 30 December 1996, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether there are any corresponding local laws that need to be enacted before 30 June this year; if so, of the progress of the discussions in the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group in this regard; if not, how the Government can ensure that a legal vacuum will not emerge when the British Forces are replaced by the People's Liberation Army troops stationed in the territory on 1 July 1997; and

(b) of the progress of the review of existing laws involving the rights and exemptions enjoyed by troops stationed in the territory?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

* 8. Mr WONG Wai-yin to ask : (Translation)

It is learnt that different speed limits are imposed on private cars and container-trucks on some highways in the territory. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the highways adopting the above speed limit measures, and the speed limits for private cars and container-trucks respectively;

(b) how the Government monitors the speed of vehicles subject to different speed limits on highways, so as to ensure that no speeding will occur; and

(c) of the number of successful prosecutions against drivers of container-trucks for speeding on highways with different speed limits imposed in the past three years?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport

* 9. Mr Howard YOUNG to ask :

At present, the nationals of certain countries are required to obtain visas to visit Hong Kong on business or as tourists, and this process may take many working days. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:

(a) the British embassies in the countries concerned have been given guidelines as to whether the validity of such visas extends beyond 30 June 1997; and

(b) the Chinese Government has been requested to consider whether special measures need to be put in place in good time to accept visa applications from overseas visitors intending to visit Hong Kong on or shortly after 1 July 1997 and who need to apply before that date?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

*10. Dr David LI to ask :

It is reported that single men and women, divorcees as well as older people will be allowed to adopt children through the Social Welfare Department under the revised criteria for adoption which took effect in February this year. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether it will review the existing assessment and supervision systems so as to ensure a healthy upbringing for these children?

Public Officer to reply :Secretary for Health and Welfare

*11.Mr WONG Wai-yin to ask :(Translation)

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the individual public works projects in which compensation in excess of $50 million was claimed by contractors, together with the total amount of compensation claimed, over the past three years;

(b) of the reasons for contractors claiming compensation in respect of the above projects, the outcome of such claims and the amount of compensation ultimately paid by the Government; and

(c) whether there is an upward trend of such claims in recent years and, if so, what the reasons are; and what measures the Government has put in place to improve the situation?

Public Officer to reply :Secretary for Works

*12.Mr CHOY Kan-pui to ask : (Translation)

In view of the great varieties of health food on sale in the market at present, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the legislation regulating the sale of health food;

(b) whether a review will be conducted to examine if the legislation mentioned in the answer to (a) above is adequate in safeguarding the interests of the consumers; and

(c) whether there were any cases of people having health problems due to the intake of health food on sale in the market in the past three years; if so, of the total number of such cases and the main causes of their occurrence?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health and Welfare

*13.Miss Christine LOH to ask :

At the meeting of the Home Affairs Panel of the Legislative Council held on 20 December last year, the Government informed the Panel that about 1,000 private buildings in the territory with potential fire and safety hazards had been put on a "watchlist". In his reply to a written question at the sitting on 22 January this year, the Secretary for Home Affairs released a list of 331 buildings on Hong Kong Island targeted for comprehensive building management improvement. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the names and addresses of the buildings in Kowloon and the New Territories which have been targeted for comprehensive building management improvement;

(b) given that the names of the buildings may be taken off or added onto the 'target' list, whether the Government will consider providing an updated list of such buildings throughout the territory to this Council at 12-monthly intervals; and

(c) whether there have been any changes to the list of 'target' buildings on Hong Kong Island since its compilation last year; if so, what the details are?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Home Affairs

*14. Miss Emily LAU to ask :

At its meeting held on 7 July 1995, the Finance Committee approved a non-recurrent commitment of $485 million at money-of-the-day prices to meet the costs of holding the Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund in the territory in September 1997. In this connection, will the Administration inform this Council:

(a) whether the estimated total expenses of hosting the above event will be kept within the approved budget; and

(b) of the total amount of financial sponsorship which the Chief Executive of the Monetary Authority has secured to-date and whether there is further sponsorship forthcoming?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial

Services

*15. Miss CHAN Yuen-han to ask : (Translation)

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether smoking is prohibited in the lobbies of all court buildings; and

(b) if the answer to (a) is in the affirmative,

(i) of the respective numbers of persons who were warned and prosecuted for smoking in court lobbies last year; and

(ii) which government department is currently responsible for issuing warnings to, or instituting prosecutions against, those persons who smoke in court lobbies?

Public Officer to reply :Chief Secretary

*16. Question withdrawn.

*17. Miss Christine LOH to ask :

Under Annex III to the Sino-British Joint Declaration, all land leases not containing a right of renewal that expire before 30 June 1997 may be extended for a further period, subject to payment of an annual rent equivalent to 3% of the rateable value of the property at the date of extension. For new land leases granted in the period between the entry into force of the Joint Declaration and 30 June 1997, such leases shall be granted at a premium and nominal rental until 30 June 1997, after which date they shall not require payment of an additional premium but an annual rent equivalent to 3% of the rateable value of the property at that date shall be charged. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the reasons behind the 3% charge mentioned above; and

(b) the estimated annual revenue arising from the collection of the above rent?

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

*18.Question withdrawn

*19. Mr Eric LI to ask :

As the Government has proposed that the percentage of the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) assets to be held in Hong Kong dollar should be 30%, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the foreign currency risks, if any, should the 30% restriction be relaxed to include assets held in the US dollar, to which the Hong Kong dollar is officially pegged; and

(b) if such foreign currency risks do exist, whether they are within the acceptable limit in the context of prudential regulation to protect the interests of MPF beneficiaries?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services

III. Government Bills

First Reading

1. Supreme Court (Amendment) Bill 1997

2. Places of Public Entertainment (Amendment) Bill 1997

3. Volunteer and Naval Volunteer Pensions (Amendment)

Bill 1997

4. Crimes (Amendment) Bill 1997

Second Reading

Debates to be adjourned

1. Supreme Court (Amendment) Bill 1997

:

Attorney General

2. Places of Public Entertainment (Amendment) Bill 1997

:

Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport

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

:

Secretary for Health and

Welfare

4. Crimes (Amendment)

Bill 1997

:

Secretary for Security

Debates to be resumed

5. Enduring Powers of Attorney Bill

:

Attorney General

6. Powers of Attorney (Amendment) Bill 1996

:

Attorney General

7. Fire Safety (Commercial Premises) Bill

:

Secretary for Security

8. Auxiliary Forces Pensions (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 1997

:

Secretary for Security

Committee Stage and Third Reading

1. Enduring Powers of Attorney Bill

:

Attorney General

2. Powers of Attorney (Amendment) Bill 1996

:

Attorney General

3. Fire Safety (Commercial Premises) Bill

:

Secretary for Security

4. Auxiliary Forces Pensions (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 1997

:

Secretary for Security

IV. Members' Motions

1. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Dr John TSE : (Translation)

That this Council urges the Chinese Government to enter into the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as a signatory as soon as possible, to fulfil its obligations under the Covenants to ensure that the residents in Mainland China and Hong Kong can enjoy the basic rights which are recognized internationally, and to continue to report to the United Nations on the human rights situation in Hong Kong after 1 July 1997.

Amendment to Dr John TSE's motion

Mr MOK Ying-fan : (Translation)

To add "in order to implement Article 39 of the Basic Law" after "That,"; to delete "the Covenants" and substitute with "these two international covenants"; to delete "Mainland China and"; to insert "continue to" before "enjoy the basic rights"; to delete "which are recognized internationally" and substitute with "prescribed therein after China resumes the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong".

Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Home Affairs

2. Role of Chinese Communist Party in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

Miss Christine LOH :

That, in the light of the fact that the Chinese Communist Party openly plays a leading role in governing China, this Council urges the Government to seek clarification from the Chinese Government and the Chief Executive Designate about how the Party will be represented in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, what its role in the Region will be, what channels of liaison it will maintain with the Government of the Region and with the Chief Executive, and what the content and limits of that liaison will be.


Ray CHAN


for Clerk to the Legislative Council


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