Revised version
OP 96/97-35(1)
(Issued at 11:00 am on 6.6.97)

The Legislative Council
Order Paper

Wednesday 11 June 1997 at 2:30 pm



I. Papers

Subsidiary LegislationL.N. NO.
1. Government Rent (Assessment and Collection) Regulation296/97
2. Patents (Designation of Patent Offices) Notice297/97
3. Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Amendment of Fifth Schedule) Order 1997298/97
4. Land Survey Ordinance (Cap.473) (Commencement) Notice 1997301/97
5. Social Workers Registration Ordinance (28 of 1997) (Commencement) Notice 1997302/97
6. Transfer of Sentenced Persons Ordinance (51 of 1997) (Commencement) Notice 1997303/97
7. Air Pollution Control (Construction Dust) Regulation (L.N. 127 of 1997) (Commencement) Notice 1997304/97
8. Hong Kong Letters Patent 1917 to 1995 Authorization by the Governor 305/97

Sessional Papers 1996-97

1.No.06-Employees Retraining BoardAnnual Report 1995-1996
(to be presented by the Secretary for Education and Manpower)
2.No.107-Report of the Select Committee to Inquire into the Circumstances Surrounding the Departure of Mr LEUNG Ming-yin from the Government and Related Issues
(to be presented by Mr IP Kwok-him who will address the Council)
3.No.108-Report of the Public Accounts Committee on Report No.28 of the Director of Audit on the Results of Value for Money Audits (June 1997 - P.A.C. Report No.28)
(to be presented by Mr Eric LI who will address the Council)
4.No.109-Report of the Special Meetings of the Finance Committee on the Draft Estimates of Expenditure 1997-98
(to be presented by Dr YEUNG Sum who will address the Council)

II. Questions

1. Mr CHEUNG Man-kwong to ask : (Translation)

As information technology (IT) is now well developed in modern societies and the utilization of multimedia computers is becoming increasingly popular, other territories or countries are actively applying IT to teaching and learning. At present, many primary, secondary and prevocational schools in the territory are equipped with multimedia computers, but no detailed plans for the promotion and utilization of these computers have been drawn up. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council whether:

  1. a long-term policy on IT education has been formulated; if so, of the specific objectives which have been set under such a policy;

  2. complementary measures have been adopted to promote the application of multimedia computers in teaching and encourage teachers to use such computers, so as to enhance students' interest in learning; and

  3. consideration will be given to compiling suitable and practical syllabuses, providing additional computer rooms in schools and creating posts for computer laboratory instructors or assistants, so as to facilitate the development of new syllabuses and provide sufficient supporting staff with a view to making full use of the additional computer equipment provided in schools?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education and Manpower

2. Mrs Miriam LAU to ask :

(Translation)

Will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the number of persons driving non-motorised vehicles who violated the provisions of the Road Traffic Ordinance and incurred driving-offence points which were recorded by the Commissioner for Transport in accordance with the provisions of the Road Traffic (Driving-offence Points) Ordinance, in the past three years;

  2. of the categories of the non-motorised vehicles mentioned in (a) above; and

  3. whether the Road Traffic (Driving-offence Points) Ordinance applies to persons not in possession of a driving license driving non-motorised vehicles who commit traffic offences in respect of which driving-offence points may be incurred?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport

3. Mr SIN Chung-kai to ask :

(Translation)

Regarding the takeover and management of the Land Fund, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. whether the assets of the Land Fund will be handed over to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government in its entirety on 1 July this year;

  2. of the detailed work schedule for taking over the Land Fund; whether the takeover work will include requiring the Land Fund Secretariat to provide a detailed account of the Land Fund's past incomes and expenditure, a report on its investment strategies as well as the auditor's report; if so, whether the information will be submitted to this Council for examination; if not, why not;

  3. of the number of staff of the Land Fund Secretariat who will leave the Secretariat as a result of the takeover, the amount of compensation involved and the party who will bear the costs;

  4. of the number of staff of the Land Fund Secretariat who will remain in office; whether it is necessary to pay compensation to these staff for change of employment; whether the new appointments are made in line with the existing establishment of the Monetary Authority; please also specify the posts of the staff who will remain in office and their salaries;

  5. of the reasons for not putting the Land Fund under the management of the Direct Investment Division of the Monetary Authority, and instead setting up a new division to manage the Fund; and the structure of the new division;

  6. whether the Land Fund will, under the management of the Monetary Authority, adopt the same criteria as that currently adopted by the Exchange Fund for disclosing information; and whether the Land Fund will be subject to the "Value for Money" audit by the Audit Department; and

  7. as the investments of the Exchange Fund are currently regulated by the Exchange Fund Ordinance, whether the investment strategies of the Land Fund will be subject to regulation by legislation; if so, which legislation regulates the Land Fund; if not, whether the relevant legislation will be enacted?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Treasury

4. Mr Michael HO to ask :

(Translation)

Regarding the recent spate of German measles cases, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the causes of the occurrence of the above cases and whether it is due to the Department of Health not vaccinating schoolboys against German measles, and the main reasons for an upsurge in the number of these cases;

  2. whether a review will be conducted on the existing vaccination programmes; if so, what the details are; and

  3. of the contingency measures adopted to contain the disease?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health and Welfare

5. Mr MOK Ying-fan to ask :

(Translation)

Regarding the "Portable Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme" which was implemented in April this year, will the Government inform this Council of:

  1. the number of eligible elderly persons who have applied to join the scheme since its implementation, together with the number of applications which have been rejected and the reasons for rejection;

  2. the average administrative cost incurred in processing each of the above applications; and

  3. the channels through which the Government publicize the scheme?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health and Welfare

6. Mr Ambrose LAU to ask :

(Translation)

It is learnt that since 1995 the Buildings Department (BD) has been conducting inspections of overhanging advertising signs district by district. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the number to date of overhanging advertising signs which have been inspected by the BD in each district;

  2. of the number to date of notices for the removal of dangerous overhanging advertising signs which have been issued in each district; and whether prosecutions have been instituted against the owners of these signs; if so, of the number of such prosecutions;

  3. of the number of dangerous overhanging advertising signs which have been removed by the owners themselves after the issue of such notices; and

  4. given that dangerous overhanging advertising signs still exist in certain districts despite the issue of the Guide on Erection and Maintenance of Advertising Signs by the BD, whether the Government has considered reviewing the Guide or stepping up publicity in this regard?

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

* 7. Mrs Selina CHOW to ask :

(Translation)

In view of the recent fad of keeping electronic virtual pets among youngsters, some teachers have expressed concern about its effects on teacher-student relationship and children's mental development. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the methods adopted by schools generally in dealing with the problem of students bringing their electronic virtual pets to schools;

  2. whether the Education Department has drawn up any guidelines to advise teachers on the procedures and methods to be adopted in confiscating students' electronic virtual pets;

  3. how teachers or school social workers provide counselling to students who are worried about their confiscated virtual pets "starving to death"; and

  4. given that youngsters have new fads from time to time, whether the Government will review the impact of popular culture on youth, and how it will react in the face of such a phenomenon?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education and Manpower

* 8. Dr YEUNG Sum to ask :

(Translation)

As many educational and social work bodies have repeatedly urged the Government to improve the manning ratio of school social workers, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. given that the manning scale of social workers in schools with a greater need for such services is currently set at a ratio of one social worker to 1000 students and that the manning scale for other schools is set at a ratio of one to 2000, whether there are plans to extend the ratio of 1 to 1000 to all schools gradually;

  2. of the increase in the caseload of social workers in schools which have had an improved manning ratio of social workers in the past two years; and

  3. whether it will re-assess the demand for school social work services, so as to strengthen the provision of such services?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health and Welfare

* 9. Mr Fred LI to ask :

(Translation)

At present, no wind shutters are installed at the end of the corridors in the housing blocks in some of the Harmony, Trident 3 and 4 types of public housing estates. Because of this, the corridors and the lift-lobbies in such housing blocks are exposed to strong winds and heavy rain in the rainy season, especially during a rainstorm and typhoon, thus resulting in serious corrosion of the gates of some units and the lifts. In this connection, does the Government know:

  1. whether wind shutters are a standard facility provided in the above types of public housing estates;

  2. of the public housing estates with housing blocks belonging to the above types, which of them have wind shutters installed at the end of the corridors on each floor; and the criteria for such installation;

  3. of the reasons for not installing wind shutters in some public housing blocks of the above types, and the number of gates and lifts in these housing blocks which were replaced due to corrosion in the past three years; and

  4. whether it has any plan to install wind shutters in the public housing estates mentioned in (c) above; if so, what the progress is; if not, why not?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Housing

*10. Dr John TSE to ask :

(Translation)

In connection with the recent robbery cases in the territory committed by gangs who tied up the victims to trees, will the Government inform this Council what concrete measures will be taken by various government departments to ensure the safety of the public?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

*11. Mr Albert CHAN to ask :

(Translation)

During the torrential downpour on 8 May this year, many districts were affected by floods and the situation in Tsuen Wan was particularly serious. It is learnt that the occurrence of flooding can be attributed to the following three factors: (i) blockage of drains by waste and garbage; (ii) inadequacy of drainage systems; and (iii) sudden gushing down of torrents of rainwater from roadside slopes. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. whether it has fully investigated and assessed the occurrence of flooding in certain districts on that day; if so, what the results are; if not, why not; and

  2. of the measures in place to eliminate the above three factors leading to the occurrence of flooding so that the public will no longer be troubled by flooding?

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

*12. Mr LEUNG Yiu-chung to ask :

(Translation)

Will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the number of subvented organisations in which the employees' salaries are determined in accordance with the civil service pay scales, and the total number of employees in these organisations; and

  2. whether the Government consults the above organisations and their employees when determining the annual pay adjustment for civil servants; if so, what the method of consultation is, and how it differs from that adopted in consulting civil service staff unions; if not, why not?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Treasury

*13. Mr Howard YOUNG to ask :

Will the Government inform this Council whether the differences in the format of the address appearing on envelopes (such as addresses typed in English or Chinese, and those handwritten in English or Chinese) have any effect on the sorting and delivery times of mail in the territory; if so, what the details are?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Economic Services

*14. Miss Emily LAU to ask :

(Translation)

It is learnt that the office of a District Board member situated in a public housing estate has been used for running tutorial and interest classes, and the Housing Department has issued a warning letter to the District Board member concerned. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the number of cases in the past two years involving the use of the district office of a member of the territory's various assemblies for the above purpose; and

  2. whether the above practice contravenes the relevant guidelines on the allowance payable to members of the territory's various assemblies for operating their district offices or the terms set out in the Housing Department's tenancy agreement; if so, of the measures taken by the authorities concerned to deal with these cases; if not, what plans does the authorities concerned have to revise the relevant provisions in order to eliminate the abuse of district offices by members of the territory's various assemblies?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Home Affairs

*15. Mr MOK Ying-fan to ask :

(Translation)

Will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the current average daily number of cases handled by each medical officer at the general out-patient clinics of the Department of Health;

  2. of the daily number of chips distributed at each of these clinics, together with a breakdown of the percentages of chips distributed to elderly persons, civil servants, chronically ill persons and others;

  3. whether consideration will be given to increasing the number of chips for elderly persons, bearing in mind that more than half of the patients seeking medical treatment at these clinics are elderly persons; and

  4. given that the current waiting time for a consultation at these clinics is two to four hours, what measures does the Government have to reduce the waiting time?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health and Welfare

*16. Mr Fred LI to ask :

(Translation)

Recently the Housing Department (HD) has pointed out that of the 350 000 air-conditioners installed in public housing flats in the territory, approximately 120 000 are unauthorized installations which are not in compliance with the safety specifications set by the HD, and that the tenants concerned have been asked to remove such air-conditioners within the grace period, failing which their tenancy will be terminated. In this regard, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the following data in respect of the installation of air-conditioners in public housing estates over the past three years:

    1. the number of newly installed air-conditioners;

    2. the respective numbers of air-conditioners which were installed with and without proper authorization;

    3. the number of cases in which the applications for the installation of air-conditioner were rejected, and the number of tenants who still went ahead with the installation despite rejection of their applications; and of the actions, if any, taken by the HD against such tenants;

    4. the number of cases in which the tenancy was terminated due to unauthorized installation of air-conditioners;

  2. of the reasons for the HD not taking any action against the offending tenants until emergence of the problem concerning the accumulation of a total of 120 000 air-conditioners which are not in compliance with the safety specifications; and how long the HD has tolerated the situation in which air-conditioners are installed by tenants in public housing estates without proper authorization; and

  3. whether there are staff in the estate offices of the HD who are specifically responsible for handling matters relating to the installation of air-conditioners by tenants in public housing estates; if so, of the reasons for the occurrence of such a huge number of cases involving unauthorized installations; if not, how the HD will monitor the installation and safety of air-conditioners in public housing estates?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Housing

*17. Mr LEUNG Yiu-chung to ask :

(Translation)

It is learnt that some local paging companies have set up paging services centres in Mainland China and Macau to provide paging services for customers in the territory. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. whether it is aware of the number of local paging companies which have already relocated their operation out of the territory;

  2. whether a local paging company is required to apply for a permit for relocation out of the territory; if so, of the application procedures and the criteria for approving such applications;

  3. of the estimated number of local employees in the paging services industry who lost their jobs as a result of the relocation of their paging companies, in the past two years; and

  4. of the measures which will be taken by the Government to protect the employment opportunities of local employees in the paging services industry in the face of the relocation of some paging companies out of the territory?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education and Manpower

*18. Mr Howard YOUNG to ask :

It is learnt that at the cross border control point at Man Kam To, the staff of the disciplined service departments who carry out inspections of the underside of lorries entering the territory are not provided with any protective clothing or apparatus against fumes emitted from such lorries. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether measures will be taken (such as providing air filters, masks or goggles to the staff concerned) to ensure that the health of the staff undertaking such inspection duties will not be endangered?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

*19. Miss Emily LAU to ask :

(Translation)

Under By-law 9A of the Public Cleansing and Prevention of Nuisances (Urban Council) By-Laws (Cap. 132 section 15), the registered owner or hirer of a vehicle shall be liable for the deposit of any waste from the vehicle. It shall be no defence for the registered owner or hirer to prove that at the time of the contravention, the vehicle was driven by or was in the charge of a person other than the registered owner or hirer. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the number of prosecutions instituted against offenders and the number of cases in which fines were imposed under the above By-laws in the past three years;

  2. of the justification for holding the registered owner or hirer of a vehicle liable for the deposit of waste from the vehicle; and

  3. whether consideration will be given to amending the By-laws to stipulate that the liability shall lie with the person who deposits the waste?

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

*20. Mr WONG Wai-yin to ask :

(Translation)

Will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the respective numbers of Vietnamese refugees and boat people who, according to the Government's estimation, will remain stranded in the territory during the period immediately before the change of sovereignty; and

  2. whether it is aware of the moral obligations which the British Government has towards these refugees and boat people, as well as the arrangements which will be made by the British Government in this regard?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

III. Government Motions

1. Road Traffic Ordinance

Secretary for Transport :

That the period for which there remains in force the limit on the number of vehicles which may be registered as public light buses specified in the Public Light Buses (Limitation on Number) Notice published as Legal Notice No. 146 of 1986 and extended to 20 June 1997 by Legal Notice No. 245 of 1995, be further extended to 20 June 1999.

Bankruptcy Ordinance

Secretary for Financial Services :

(WITHDRAWN)

Bankruptcy Ordinance

Secretary for Financial Services :

(WITHDRAWN)

Bankruptcy Ordinance

Secretary for Financial Services :

(WITHDRAWN)

Bankruptcy Ordinance

Secretary for Financial Services :

(WITHDRAWN)

Bankruptcy Ordinance

Secretary for Financial Services :

(WITHDRAWN)

2. Drug Trafficking (Recovery of Proceeds) Ordinance

Secretary for Security :

That the Drug Trafficking (Recovery of Proceeds) (Designated Countries and Territories) (Amendment) Order 1997, made by the Governor in Council on 20 May 1997, be approved.

3. Inland Revenue Ordinance

Secretary for the Treasury :

That Part II of Schedule 6 to the Inland Revenue Ordinance be amended by adding -

"10. The African Development Bank.".

IV. Government Bills

Second Reading

Debates to resume

1. Dutiable Commodities

(Amendment) Bill 1997

:

Secretary for the Treasury

2. Supplementary Appropriation (1996-97) Bill 1997

:

Secretary for the Treasury

3. Marriage and Children
(Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 1997

:

Secretary for Home Affairs

Committee Stage and Third Reading

1. Dutiable Commodities (Amendment) Bill 1997

:

Secretary for the Treasury

2. Supplementary Appropriation (1996-97) Bill 1997

:

Secretary for the Treasury

3. Marriage and Children (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 1997

:

Secretary for Home Affairs

V. Members' Motions

1. Legislate for protection of overtime work

Mr Andrew CHENG : (Translation)

That this Council urges the Government to become a signatory to the Hours of Work Conventions, and to legislate as soon as possible to ensure that employees will receive reasonable reward for their overtime work.

Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Education and Manpower

2. Registration and regulatory framework for Chinese medicine

Mr MOK Ying-fan : (Translation)

That this Council urges the Government to give positive consideration to the recommendations of the Preparatory Committee on Chinese Medicine, consult members of the profession and the public on the subject, and set up as soon as possible a proper registration and regulatory framework for Chinese medicine and draw up a timetable for putting it in place, so that Chinese medicine can be expeditiously incorporated into the territory’s health care and education systems, which will serve to protect the interests of the community.

Public Officers to attend : Secretary for Health and Welfare

VI. Members' Bills

Second Reading

Debates to resume

1. Sex and Disability Discrimination (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 1996

:

Miss Christine LOH

Public Officers to attend

:

Secretary for Health and Welfare
Secretary for Home Affairs

2. Employment (Amendment) (No.4) Bill 1996

:

Mr LEUNG Yiu-chung

Public Officer to attend

:

Secretary for Education and Manpower

Committee Stage and Third Reading

1. Sex and Disability Discrimination (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 1996

:

Miss Christine LOH

Public Officers to attend

:

Secretary for Health and Welfare
Secretary for Home Affairs

2. Employment (Amendment) (No.4) Bill 1996

:

Mr LEUNG Yiu-chung

Public Officer to attend

:

Secretary for Education and Manpower

Ray CHAN
for Clerk to the Legislative Council


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