Revised version
OP 96/97-6(1)
(Issued at 11:00 am on 4.11.96)

The Legislative Council
Order Paper
Wednesday 6 November 1996 at 2:30 pm



I. Papers

Subsidiary Legislation

L.N. NO.

1. Dutiable Commodities (Amendment) (No.2) Regulation 1996

452/96

2. Dutiable Commodities (Liquor) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulation 1996

453/96

3. Dutiable Commodities (Marking and Colouring of Hydrocarbon Oil) (Amendment) Regulation 1996

454/96

4. Gas Safety (Gas Supply) (Amendment) Regulation 1996

455/96

5. Film Censorship (Amendment) Regulation 1996

459/96

6. Gambling (Amendment) Regulation 1996

460/96

7. Land Survey (Fees) (Amendment) Regulation 1996

461/96

8. Dutiable Commodities (Amendment) (No.2) Ordinance 1996 (46 of 1996) (Commencement) Notice 1996

462/96

9. Mental Health (Amendment) Regulation 1996 (L.N.298 of 1996) (Commencement) Notice 1996

463/96

10. Hong Kong Academy of Medicine (Amendment) Regulation 1996 (L.N.413 of 1996) (Commencement) Notice 1996

464/96

11. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text) (Law Amendment and Reform (Consolidation) Ordinance) Order

(C) 107/96

12. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text) (Societies Ordinance) Order

(C) 108/96

13. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text) (Consular Conventions Ordinance) Order

(C) 109/96

14. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text) (Pyramid Selling Prohibition Ordinance) Order

(C) 110/96

Sessional Papers 1996-97

1. No. 27 - Annual Report of the Protection of Wages on Insolvency Fund Board 1995/96

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

2. No. 28 - The Prince Philip Dental Hospital Hong Kong Report by the Board of Governors for the period 1 April 1995 - 31 March 1996

(to be presented by the Secretary for Health and Welfare)

3. No. 29 - Report of the Director of Audit on the results of value for money audits - October 1996 Director of Audit's Report No.27

(to be presented by the President)

4. No. 30 - Report of the Director of Audit on the Accounts of the Hong Kong Government for the year ended 31 March 1996

(to be presented by the President)

5. No. 31 - Annual Report of the Director of Accounting Services and the Accounts of Hong Kong for the year ended 31 March 1996

(to be presented by the Secretary for the Treasury)

II. Questions

1. Mr Fred LI to ask : (Translation)

In his Policy Address this year, the Governor pointed out that the Government's current expenditure on welfare was about the same as the public's spending on perfume and cosmetics each year. He also pointed out that public spending would represent a lower proportion of the territory's present Gross Domestic Product for 1997 than in the early 1980s, and that people would be hard-pressed to live it up on the territory's social security. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether it will reconsider the requests made by this Council and community organizations during the past few years regarding the introduction of the Old Age Pension Scheme and the raising of the standard rate of Comprehensive Social Security Assistance for single elderly persons to $2,700 a month?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health and Welfare

2. Mr HO Chun-yan to ask : (Translation)

Will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the resources allocated for improving street lighting in rural areas as well as the number of applications for installing street lights in the Tuen Mun district and the number of street lights installed in each of the past three years;
  2. whether the Government has assessed the demand for street lighting in rural areas; and
  3. whether the Government will consider making any performance pledge regarding the improvement of street lighting in rural areas?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Home Affairs

3. Mr Albert CHAN to ask : (Translation)

It was reported that on the morning of 2 October this year, the crane of a heavy duty crane truck collapsed while carrying out lifting work in Chatham Road in Tsim Sha Tsui. The fallen crane blocked the entire road, causing serious traffic congestion. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the number of accidents that have occurred since January 1993 in which the cranes of heavy duty crane trucks collapsed while carrying out lifting work, and the number of persons who have been injured or killed in these accidents; and
  2. whether the existing regulatory measures over the operation of such vehicles will be improved so as to prevent the occurrence of similar incidents?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education and Manpower

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

It is reported that recently some villagers in the New Territories have been harassed and threatened by developers because of disputes over land ownership rights. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the number of complaints, concerning villagers being harassed and threatened by developers because of disputes over land ownership rights, received by the department concerned in each of the past three years; and
  2. how the departments concerned handled such complaints so as to safeguard the safety of the villagers?

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

5. Mr Ambrose LAU to ask :

It is mentioned in the Policy Commitments of this year's Policy Address that in January this year the Administration handed over to the Chinese Government an updated list of property assets owned by the Hong Kong Government, but no mention is made of when the Hong Kong Government will give the Chinese Government an updated list of other assets owned by the Hong Kong Government. In this connection, will the Administration inform this Council:

  1. of the reasons for not mentioning whether the Administration will hand over to the Chinese Government before July 1997 an updated list of assets other than property assets owned by the Hong Kong Government; and
  2. whether the debt amounting to $1 billion owed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to the Hong Kong Government in connection with the expenses on the care and maintenance of Vietnamese migrants will be included in the list of assets of the Hong Kong Government; if not, why not, and whether the non-inclusion of the debt in the list of assets of the Hong Kong Government will prejudice the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government in recovering the debt from the UNHCR?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Treasury

6. Mr LEE Wing-tat to ask : (Translation)

Regarding the police's recent action to prohibit petitioners from gaining access to the Japanese Consulate, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the detailed legal basis for prohibiting petitioners from gaining access to the Japanese Consulate;
  2. what factors have been taken into account by the police in deciding on the restrictions imposed on the time, venue and target group of such prohibition; and
  3. whether the prohibition has been imposed at the request of the Japanese Consulate or other organizations?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

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

In view of the serious shortage of hostel places for university students, will the Government inform this Council whether resources will be allocated to publicly-funded tertiary institutions which do not at present have student hostels, so as to enable such institutions to provide hostel accommodation for their students in order that they may enjoy a full campus life; if so, what the details are?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education and Manpower

* 8. Mr LAW Chi-kwong to ask :

In view of the medical advancement in the treatment of HIV infection reported last year, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. whether the Department of Health or the Hospital Authority provides new drugs (notably protease inhibitors) and viral load measurement to patients infected with HIV;
  2. whether there is any policy on making protease inhibitors, drug combinations and viral load measurement available to patients infected with HIV; and
  3. of the policy on the funding of new HIV treatment methods and research?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health and Welfare

* 9. Mr Eric LI to ask : (Translation)

It is learnt that in many overseas universities different salary levels are set for teaching staff of different departments. In this connection, does the Government know whether:

  1. the current salary levels of teaching staff of different departments holding similar positions in the territory's universities are the same; and
  2. the authorities will consider conducting a study on the feasibility of setting the salary levels of university teaching staff according to the supply and demand in the market; if not, why not?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education and Manpower

*10. Mr James TIEN to ask :

As some employers claim that changes to the labour legislation over the past two years have resulted in their payroll expenses being inflated by 15%, will the Government provide this Council with a breakdown of the increases in payroll expenses arising from each amendment to labour legislation in the past two years, taking into account the median wage, average age and average years of service of the work force, the ratio between male and female staff and other relevant factors?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education and Manpower

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

Regarding wife battering and child abuse cases in the territory involving new arrivals from China, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the number of these two kinds of cases in the past three years;
  2. whether it has examined the causes of such incidents; and
  3. what measures are in place to prevent the number of such incidents increasing in the face of a continuing rise in the number of new arrivals from China?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health and Welfare

*12. Dr Samuel WONG to ask :

In the Policy Commitments of last year's Policy Address, it was stated that the Government was conducting a thorough review of the existing broadcasting legislation with the aim of bringing all forms of broadcasting within the purview of a comprehensive piece of legislation, so as to make the regulatory framework more user-friendly and adaptable to the rapid changes in technology in the broadcasting industry. However, it was mentioned in the Progress Report of the 1996 Policy Address that work on the proposed Broadcasting Bill has been suspended in order to take forward other higher priority tasks. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council whether it remains committed to implementing the proposed Broadcasting Bill; if so, when the drafting work on the proposed Broadcasting Bill is expected to complete; if not, why not?

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

*13 Mr CHEUNG Hon-chung to ask : (Translation)

It is mentioned in the Policy Commitments of this year's Policy Address that the Government will consider permitting public housing tenants who meet the relevant eligibility criteria to purchase Sandwich Class Housing Scheme (SCHS) flats. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the effectiveness of the SCHS since its introduction; and
  2. whether it has taken into account the fact that the above proposal might diminish the prospects of the sandwich class acquiring their own homes, given that the SCHS is the only scheme through which the sandwich class can purchase their own homes, whereas public housing tenants are already given priority in the purchase of Home Ownership Scheme flats and are also eligible for applying for interest-free loans to purchase their homes?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Housing

*14. Dr LAW Cheung-kwok to ask : (Translation)

Will the Government inform this Council of:

  1. the number of reported cases of loss of identity cards in each of the past three years, as well as the circumstances under which the majority of such cases occurred;
  2. the major types of crimes committed by criminals using stolen identity cards; and
  3. the measures in place to combat criminals using stolen identity cards to commit crimes?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

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

Will the Government inform this Council of the following:

  1. who is responsible for monitoring the safety of slopes within the boundaries of Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) estates; and
  2. having regard to the statement set out in the "Layman's Guide to Slope Maintenance" issued by the Geotechnical Engineering Office that slope maintenance work should be carried out by the owner or the party assigned with such maintenance responsibility, whether the Government or owners of HOS flats should be responsible for maintaining the slopes within the boundaries of HOS estates?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Housing

*16. Mr LEE Wing-tat to ask : (Translation)

Regarding the large number of dead fish found in the fish culture zones at Lantau Island, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. whether the above phenomenon is due to the pollution of the waters in the proximity of the fish culture zones caused by the construction works on the Hei Ling Chau Typhoon Shelter project;
  2. whether it monitors the water quality in the waters near the site of the above project; if so, of the recent changes in the water quality in the area concerned; and
  3. if the answer to (a) is in the affirmative, whether it will consider compensating the fish farmers?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Works

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

Regarding the Government's plan to build 11 413 public rental units and refurbish 20 305 such units for elderly people between 1995/96 and 2000/01, will the Government inform this Council whether it is aware of:

  1. of the estimated annual number of elderly people in need of public housing, and the estimated number of public rental units provided to elderly people annually, in the period between 1996/97 to 2000/01;
  2. whether, given that the Progress Report published by the Government this year points out that there are 27 000 elderly people living in sub-standard accommodation who are not registered on the Housing Authority's waiting list, the Housing Department will take the initiative to register such elderly people for public housing;
  3. whether the Housing Department has estimated the waiting time for the 27 000 elderly people mentioned in (b) above to be allocated housing units after they have been registered as waiting list applicants; if so, what the average waiting time is;
  4. of the number of elderly singletons who have been on the waiting list for two years or more and have no particular preference for the location of the housing unit but who have not been allocated housing units for the elderly, in each of the past three years, despite the pledge made by the Government in the Policy Commitments of the 1994 Policy Address that all elderly singletons would be allocated public housing within two years; and
  5. of the average waiting time for an elderly singleton who opts for a single-person public housing unit to be allocated a unit?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Housing

*18. Dr LAW Cheung-kwok to ask : (Translation)

Will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the respective numbers of urban, New Territories and Lantau Island taxi licences issued, as well as their respective tender premiums, in each of the past three years; and
  2. whether the urban taxi licence premium in the territory is higher than that in other cities?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport

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

Will the Government inform this Council whether the Certificate of Compliance in respect of Home Ownership Scheme estates is issued by the Housing Department itself, and what the purpose of issuing such a Certificate is?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Housing

*20. Mr CHIM Pui-chung to ask : (Translation)

During the "stock market crash" in October 1987, a company named International Commodities Clearing House (H.K.) Limited was responsible for the transaction clearance of the Hong Kong Futures Exchange at the time. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether it knows if the company has completed the transaction clearance work and whether the authorities concerned will make known to the public the problems encountered by the company in handling such work as well as the work progress during the past nine years?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services

* For written reply.

III. Government Motions

Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

Secretary for Economic Services :

(See Resolution at Appendix)

IV. Government Bills

First Reading

1. Securities and Futures Commission (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 1996

2. Protection of Wages on Insolvency (Amendment) Bill 1996

3. Fugitive Offenders Bill

Second Reading

Debates to be adjourned

1. Securities and Futures Commission (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 1996

:

Secretary for Financial Services

2. Protection of Wages on Insolvency (Amendment) Bill 1996

:

Secretary for Education and Manpower

3. Fugitive Offenders Bill

:

Secretary for Security

V. Members' Motions

1. Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

Mr Ronald ARCULLI :

That section 1 of the Dutiable Commodities (Liquor) (Amendment) Regulation 1996, published as Legal Notice No.329 of 1996 and laid on the table of the Legislative Council on 2 October 1996, be amended by repealing "repealing "female" and substituting "person" " and substituting "repealing "8 p.m." and "female" and substituting "10 p.m." and "persons" respectively".

2. Strengthening the supervision of statutory public organizations

Mr SIN Chung-kai : (Translation)

That, as the Boards of Directors of the three large statutory public organizations, namely, the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation, the Mass Transit Railway Corporation and the Airport Authority, are presently allowed by legislation to enjoy high degree of autonomy and decision-making power without being supervised by the Legislative Council, this Council urges that the Government must strengthen its supervision over these organizations, by implementing specific measures which include:

  1. opening up the membership of the Boards of Directors by appointing some elected Members of the Legislative Council as their Board members; and
  2. subjecting these organizations to value for money audits by the Director of Audit,

    so as to enhance their transparency and accountability as well as to avoid wasting public moneys due to mismanagement.

Amendment to Mr SIN Chung-kai's motion

Mr CHEUNG Hon-chung (Translation)

To delete everything after "That" and substitute with "this Council urges the Government to take effective measures to strengthen the supervision of statutory public organizations, so as to increase their transparency and accountability and to avoid the phenomenon of wasting public moneys due to mismanagement".

Public Officers to attend : Secretary for Transport

Secretary for Economic Services

3. Release of WANG Dan

Mr HO Chun-yan : (Translation)

That this Council urges the Chinese Government to immediately release WANG Dan.

VI. Members' Bills

First Reading

Education (Amendment) Bill 1996

Second Reading

Debate to be adjourned

Education (Amendment) Bill 1996

:

Miss Christine LOH


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