Revised version
OP 96/97-7(1)
(Issued at 11:00 am on 11.11.96)

The Legislative Council
Order Paper
Wednesday 13 November 1996 at 2:30 pm



I. Papers

Subsidiary Legislation

L.N. NO.

1. Merchant Shipping (Prevention and Control of Pollution) (Charges for Discharge of Polluting Waste) (Amendment) Regulation 1996

465/96

2. Builders' Lifts and Tower Working Platforms (Safety) (Fees) (Amendment) Regulation 1996

468/96

3. Employees' Compensation (Amendment) Regulation 1996

469/96

4. Shipping and Port Control Regulations (Amendment of Fifth Schedule) Notice 1996

470/96

5. Specification of Public Office

471/96

6. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text) (Affiliation Proceedings Ordinance) Order

(C) 111/96

7. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text) (Occupiers Liability Ordinance) Order

(C) 112/96

8. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text) (British Nationality Act 1981 (Consequential Amendments) Ordinance) Order

(C) 113/96

9. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text) (British Nationality (Miscellaneous Provisions) Ordinance) Order

(C) 114/96

10. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text) (Undesirable Medical Advertisements Ordinance) Order

(C) 115/96

Sessional Papers 1996-97

1. No. 32 - The Audited Statement of Assets and Liabilities and Statement of Receipts and Payments of the Urban Council for the year ended 31 March 1996

(to be presented by the Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport)

2. No. 33 - Urban Council Annual Report 1995/96

(to be presented by the Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport)

3. No. 34 - Revisions to the 1996/97 Estimates approved by the Urban Council during the second quarter of the 1996/97 financial year

(to be presented by the Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport)

II. Questions

1. Mr Andrew CHENG to ask : (Translation)

The Government has recently announced the setting up of the Athletes Fund (the Fund) and pledged to match community donations to the Fund on a dollar-for-dollar basis (with the Government's commitment being capped at $8 million) until the size of the Fund reaches $16 million. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the latest progress of the Fund;
  2. whether, in the event of public donations to the Fund falling short of the expected $8 million, the Government will consider injecting more money into the Fund so as to ensure that the size of the Fund reaches the target of $16 million; and
  3. whether the Government will draw up any guidelines on the operation of the Fund such that individual athletes or sports organisations can apply to the Fund on an equal footing?

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

2. Mr Paul CHENG to ask :

It is learnt that the progress of the Airport Core Programme (ACP) projects is being held back because of a shortage of skilled labour, delays in completing the design work of some of the projects and other factors. In particular, the problem of shortage of skilled labour is further aggravated by the demand for skilled labour arising from the construction of the extension of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Will the Government inform this Council of the measures taken to alleviate the shortage of skilled labour in the ACP projects and to resolve the design delay problems in the projects concerned, so as to ensure that all ACP projects can be completed on schedule?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Works

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

Regarding the Labour Advisory Board's recent endorsement of the Government's proposal to repeal the provisions in the Women and Young Persons (Industry) Regulations applying to women, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. having regard to the fact that the provisions in section 4 of the Regulations were formulated for the purpose of implementing the Underground Work (Women) Convention (International Labour Convention No. 45) in Hong Kong, whether the present proposal to repeal the Regulations is in breach of the above Convention; if so, of the remedial measures which will be taken by the Government and the timetable for the implementation of such measures; and
  2. whether, in putting forward the proposal to repeal the Regulations, the Government has sought the medical sector's opinion as to whether the repeal of the provisions in the Regulations relating to carrying of weights by women may result in women suffering from gynaecological diseases (such as excessive menstrual flow, menstrual pain, stoppage of menstruation and prolapse of uterus) while moving heavy objects at work; if so, what the details are; if not, why not?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education and Manpower

4. Mr Edward HO to ask : (Translation)

It was reported that between 1989 and 1994, over 100 children lost their lives in accidents which occurred when they were left alone at home. Another such incident occurred recently when a five-year-old child, who was at home by himself, played with fire and got severely burnt. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the distribution of child care centres in various districts, the proportion of these centres to their target clients, and the utilization rate in these centres;
  2. whether consideration has been given to introducing 24-hour child care services in these centres; and
  3. of the measures adopted to prevent the recurrence of such incidents?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health and Welfare

5. Mr LO Suk-ching to ask : (Translation)

Among the Chinese residing in the United Kingdom (UK), many are second or third generation descendants of indigenous villagers of the New Territories and have a close relationship with Hong Kong. The Liaison Section of the London Office of the Hong Kong Government previously granted subsidies to the Chinese schools in the UK for the provision of Chinese language education. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of:

  1. of the amount of subsidies granted to the Chinese schools in the UK in each of the past five years;
  2. whether the London Office's decision to cease granting subsidies to these Chinese schools and to dissolve the Liaison Section is related to the return of the territory's sovereignty to China; and
  3. whether it will consider resuming the granting of subsidies to these Chinese schools, so that future generations of the indigenous villagers of the New Territories residing in the UK are equipped with sufficient proficiency in the Chinese language to serve the community upon their return to Hong Kong?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Trade and Industry

* 6. Mr Henry TANG to ask : (Translation)

In regard to the Stage I Strategic Sewage Disposal Scheme project, will the Government inform this Council of:

  1. the problems which have arisen in the above project resulting in the temporary suspension of the construction work;
  2. the party which should be held responsible for such problems; and
  3. the costs of the improvement works arising from such problems?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Works

* 7. Mr CHAN Wing-chan to ask : (Translation)

Is the Government aware of:

  1. the number of flats produced in respect of each phase of the Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) in the past five years;
  2. the following information under the green-form and white-form categories in respect of each phase of the HOS in the past five years:
    1. quota allocation;
    2. number of applications;
    3. oversubscription rate;
    4. number of cases involving purchasers of uncompleted HOS flats failing to complete sale and purchase agreements after payment of deposits; and
    5. number of cases involving owners of HOS flats surrendering their flats to the Housing Authority on account of default in mortgage repayment;
  3. the reasons for the increase in the number of forfeiture of deposit cases in respect of HOS flats; and
  4. whether the Housing Authority will adjust the production rate and prices of HOS flats in the light of the reasons given in the answer to (c) above; if so, how the rates of such adjustments will be determined?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Housing

* 8. Mr NGAN Kam-chuen to ask : (Translation)

Regarding the treatment of discarded vehicle lubricating oil, will the Government inform this Council of:

  1. the estimated quantity of discarded vehicle lubricating oil requiring treatment in each of the past three years; >
  2. the respective quantities of discarded vehicle lubricating oil collected by the Tsing Yi Chemical Waste Treatment Centre and a privately-run waste collection plant in each of the past three years;
  3. the number of prosecutions against illegal dumping of discarded vehicle lubricating oil in each of the past three years; and
  4. the measures currently adopted by the Government to facilitate the collection of discarded vehicle lubricating oil?

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

* 9. Mr CHAN Kam-lam to ask : (Translation)

The Department of Health recently announced that several brands of Niu Huang Chieh Tu Pien (a kind of Chinese patent medicine) in the market were found to contain high levels of arsenic, and this has aroused concern among the public about the regulation of Chinese patent medicines. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the categories of Chinese patent medicines selected by the Department of Health for testing, together with the number and results of such tests, in each of the past three years;
  2. of the criteria adopted for determining the categories of Chinese patent medicines to be tested, the number of such tests and the methods of conducting such tests;
  3. of the progress made by the Preparatory Committee on Chinese Medicine regarding the Committee's work on the regulation of Chinese herbs and Chinese patent medicines;
  4. whether the Department of Health has considered bringing Chinese patent medicines under the regulation of the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance and setting up a labelling system for Chinese patent medicines; if so, when the relevant measures will be implemented; if not, why not; and
  5. whether the Department of Health at present has regular contacts with the Chinese Ministry of Public Health and the State Chinese Medicine Regulating Bureau; if so, what the details are; if not, whether regular contacts with these two bodies will be made in future?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health and Welfare

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

In a recent interview with an overseas newspaper, the Chinese Vice Premier-cum-Foreign Minister made certain remarks about the freedom of assembly, freedom of expression and freedom of the press in the territory after the transfer of sovereignty in 1997. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. whether the Hong Kong Government will request the British Government to seek clarification from the Chinese Government regarding the remarks made by the Chinese Vice Premier-cum-Foreign Minister; and
  2. whether the Hong Kong Government will consider enacting legislation to further protect the freedom of assembly, freedom of expression and freedom of the press in the territory?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Home Affairs

*11. Dr C H LEONG to ask :

It was reported that the Legal Department recently dropped the charges against the Hong Kong Oxygen and Acetylene Company for mislabelling a gas cylinder. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the reasons for the Legal Department dropping the charges;
  2. how the above "mislabelling" incident was discovered; and
  3. whether the above "mislabelling" incident has caused injuries to persons or damages to properties?

Public Officer to reply : Attorney General

*12. Dr David LI to ask :

It is learnt that many privately-run clinics are closed during long holiday periods, resulting in a significant increase in the number of patients seeking treatment at the accident and emergency departments of public hospitals during such periods. Does the Government know what measures the Hospital Authority will take to relieve the workload of medical and nursing staff at the accident and emergency departments of public hospitals during long holiday periods?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health and Welfare

*13. Mr Albert CHAN to ask : (Translation)

Since the Building Management Ordinance was amended in 1993, many owners' corporations have been formed by owners of private housing estates. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the legal status of a management committee which has been re-appointed by the owners' corporation but which has not yet applied to the Land Registrar for registration; and
  2. whether any legal document signed or resolution passed by a re-appointed management committee is valid prior to the completion of the registration process; if not, what measures have been put in place by the departments concerned to tackle the problem?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Home Affairs

*14. Dr HUANG Chen-ya to ask : (Translation)

Is the Government aware of the following in each of the past three years:

  1. the number of schizophrenia patients admitted into public hospitals, as well as the number of old-case patients hospitalised due to sudden deterioration of their illness and the number of such admissions;
  2. the number of schizophrenia patients under the care of the out-patient departments of public hospitals;
  3. the average and longest waiting time for schizophrenia patients to get their first appointment for follow-up out-patient service in public hospitals; and
  4. the number of schizophrenia patients receiving follow-up out-patient service, the number of attendance of these patients and the number of occasions when these patients fail to turn up at the appointment time?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health and Welfare

*15. Miss Christine LOH to ask :

In his reply to a question raised at the sitting on 9 October this year regarding the Town Planning Board's approval of a property development plan, which includes a high-rise building of 400 metres in height, at the site of the Hong Kong Central Station of the Airport Railway, the Secretary for Planning Environment & Lands stated that the requirement that new building developments in the Central district on Hong Kong Island should not protrude the view of Victoria Peak and its ridgeline is no more than an administrative guideline. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. whether there are any existing high-rise buildings on Hong Kong Island which contravene the above guideline; if so, please provide the names and locations of the buildings concerned; and
  2. whether it will adopt such guideline as a government policy so as to protect the view of Victoria Peak and its ridgeline; if not, why not?

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

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

It is reported that the Hong Kong Government has recently released another 130 Vietnamese migrants (VMs) whose applications for repatriation have been rejected by the Vietnamese Government or who have been stranded in the territory for a number of years pending repatriation. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the estimated number of the above two categories of VMs being stranded in the territory at present;
  2. what measures does the Government have at present to resolve the problem of these VMs being stranded in the territory before the return of sovereignty to China; and
  3. what status will these VMs have in the event that they still remain in the territory after the return of the territory's sovereignty to China?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

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

Recently, many public housing tenants living in the top floor flats of slab housing blocks built in the nineteen-eighties have complained about the problem of water leakage in the ceilings of their flats. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the number of complaints received by the Housing Department (HD) over the past three years regarding water leakage in the ceilings of the flats mentioned above;
  2. whether the water leakage is in any way related to the thermal insulation design of the rooftops of the housing blocks concerned; if not, what the causes of leakage are;
  3. whether the HD has carried out any waterproofing works on the rooftops of the housing blocks concerned at the time of their completion; if not, why not; and
  4. whether the HD will inspect the rooftops of all slab blocks in the territory to ascertain if the waterproofing measures in place are effective, and carry out remedial works on the rooftops of those blocks which have a similar water leakage problem?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Housing

*18. Miss Emily LAU to ask :

The Information Services Department and the Information Technology Services Department announced earlier this year that a bulk tender would be issued to all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) by May of this year, so as to meet the huge demand for Internet services by the Government and to reduce administrative costs. However, it is learnt that the bulk tender has not yet been issued up to the present moment. In this connection, will the Administration inform this Council:

  1. whether it has laid down any guidelines regarding its acquisition of Internet services from ISPs; and
  2. of the reasons for the delay in issuing the bulk tender and when such a tender will be issued?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Treasury

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

Will the Government inform this Council:

  1. whether the facilities in government-aided primary and secondary schools (such as school halls, playgrounds and classrooms etc.) are open for public use outside school hours; and
  2. whether it has formulated any policy regarding making such school facilities available for public use; if so, what the details are?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education and Manpower

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

Does the Government know whether the Housing Authority's levy of a supervision fee on the management fees collected by the companies managing Home Ownership Scheme estates is for profit-making or cost-recovery; if not, of the use to which the supervision fee is put?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Housing

* For written reply.

III. Government Bills

First Reading

1. Wild Animals Protection (Amendment) Bill 1996

2. Motor Vehicles (First Registration Tax) (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 1996

3. Architects, Engineers, Surveyors and Planners Registration (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 1996

Second Reading

Debates to be adjourned

1. Wild Animals Protection (Amendment) Bill 1996

:

Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands

2. Motor Vehicles (First Registration Tax) (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 1996

:

Secretary for the Treasury

3. Architects, Engineers, Surveyors and Planners Registration (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 1996

:

Secretary for Works

IV. Members' Motions

1. Election platforms of the SAR Chief Executive candidates

Mr LEE Cheuk-yan : (Translation)

That, as a number of candidates who participate in the procedure for nomination of the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR designed by the Chinese Government have put forward election platforms which avoid the issues of the development of democracy and the protection of human rights in Hong Kong, thereby indicating a lack of determination to uphold the concepts of 'one country two systems' and 'a high degree of autonomy' and reflecting that, under a system of election controlled by the Chinese Government and in which only a few can take part, only platforms which politically follow the wishes of the Chinese Government are permitted, this Council expresses its profound disappointment over the situation, and emphasizes that only an SAR Chief Executive elected through the one-person-one-vote system by the people of Hong Kong can effectively protect the interests of Hong Kong people.

Amendment to Mr LEE Cheuk-yan's motion

1. Mr IP Kwok-him : (Translation)

To delete "a number of candidates who participate in the procedure for nomination of the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR designed by the Chinese Government have put forward election platforms which avoid the issues of the development of democracy and the protection of human rights in Hong Kong, thereby indicating a lack of determination to uphold the concepts of 'one country two systems' and 'a high degree of autonomy' and reflecting that, under a system of election controlled by the Chinese Government and in which only a few can take part, only platforms which politically follow the wishes of the Chinese Government are permitted" and substitute with "the election of the Hong Kong SAR is carried out in accordance with the stipulations laid down in the Basic Law and that the pace of democratic development in the territory and the protection of human rights are already clearly prescribed in the provisions of the Basic Law"; and to delete "expresses its profound disappointment over the situation, and emphasizes that only an SAR Chief Executive elected through the one-person-one-vote system by the people of Hong Kong can effectively protect the interests of Hong Kong people" and substitute with "supports the election of the SAR Chief Executive in accordance with the Basic Law, so as to effect a smooth transition".

Amendment to Mr IP Kwok-him's Amendment

2. Mr Bruce LIU : (Translation)

To add ", and calls for members of the Selection Committee to fully respect the wishes of the people of Hong Kong by electing an SAR Chief Executive who has the aspiration and ability to adhere to the concepts of 'one country, two systems', 'a high degree of autonomy' and 'Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong'; safeguard the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong provided under the Basic Law; and improve the livelihood of the grassroots people" after "supports the election of the SAR Chief Executive in accordance with the Basic Law".

Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Constitutional Affairs

2. Strengthening the supervision of Hong Kong and China Gas Co. Ltd.

Mr SIN Chung-kai : (Translation)

That this Council reproves the Government’s reluctance to supervise the Hong Kong and China Gas Co. Ltd. (the Company), which possesses a monopolistic edge in the market, as this has resulted in the Company’s arbitrary raising of its charges without regard to the interests of the public, and requests the Government to reconsider supervision of the Company, so as to enhance its transparency and accountability and safeguard the interests of the consumers.

Amendment to Mr SIN Chung-kai's motion

1. Mr CHAN Kam-lam : (Translation)

To insert ", in view of the fact that the Hong Kong and China Gas Co. Ltd. (the Company) has an enormous market share at present," after "That"; and to delete "reproves the Government's reluctance to supervise the Hong Kong and China Gas Co. Ltd. (the Company), which possesses a monopolistic edge in the market, as this has resulted in the Company's arbitrary raising of its charges without regard to the interests of the public, and requests the Government to reconsider supervision of the Company, so as to enhance its transparency and accountability and" and substitute with "urges the Government to take active measures to encourage healthy competition and increase the operational transparency of the Company, so as to".

Amendment to Mr CHAN Kam-lam's Amendment

2. Dr LAW Cheung-kwok : (Translation)

To delete "take active measures" and substitute with "directly supervise the Company and bring in new competitors"; and to delete "to encourage healthy competition and" and substitute with "as well as".

Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Economic Services


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