Revised version
OP 96/97-3(1)
(Issued at 11:00 am on 14.10.96)

The Legislative Council
Order Paper

Wednesday 16 October 1996 and
Thursday 17 October 1996 at 2:30 pm



I. Papers

Subsidiary Legislation

L.N. NO.

1. Dangerous Drugs Ordinance (Amendment of Fourth Schedule) Order 1996

415/96

2. Solicitors' Practice (Amendment) (No.2) Rules 1996

416/96

Sessional Papers 1996-97

1. No. 11 - Companies Registry Annual Report 1995-96

(to be presented by the Secretary for Financial Services)

2. No. 12 - Marine Fish Scholarship Fund Report for the period from 1 April 1995 to 31 March 1996

(to be presented by the Secretary for Economic Services)

3. No. 13 - Agricultural Products Scholarship Fund Report for the period from 1 April 1995 to 31 March 1996

(to be presented by the Secretary for Economic Services)

4. No. 14 - Fish Marketing Organization - Statement of Accounts for the year ended 31 March 1996

(to be presented by the Secretary for Economic Services)

5. No. 15 - Vegetable Marketing Organization - Statement of Accounts for the year ended 31 March 1996

(to be presented by the Secretary for Economic Services)

6. No. 16 - Report by the Trustee of the Prisoners' Education Trust Fund for the period 1st December 1995 to 31st March 1996

(to be presented by the Secretary for Security)

II. Questions

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

It is learnt that the Hong Kong and Yaumati Ferry Company Ltd (HYF) and the Government are still unable to reach an agreement on the regrant premium payable for the development of superstructures on the Company's piers in Central, thus causing delay in finalizing the development project. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the progress of its negotiations with HYF;
  2. whether the authorities have set a deadline for the negotiations; and
  3. of the contingency measures the Government has, if HYF decides to scrap the above development project in the absence of an agreement with the Government on the regrant premium, resulting in HYF not being able to realise its pledge of setting aside a sum in excess of $600m for improving ferry services?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport

* 2. Mr IP Kwok-him to ask : (Translation)

The findings of a survey reveal that 60% of the schools in the territory are not able to offer comprehensive sex education courses due to a shortage of teachers with training in sex education and a lack of the required resources. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the progress in providing training courses on sex education for teachers, and the number of teachers who have enrolled in such courses; and
  2. in view of young people's more open attitude towards sex in recent years, what measures the Education Department has put in place to encourage schools to make sex education more readily available in schools in order that students can have a proper understanding of sex?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education and Manpower

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

The redevelopment projects in the "seven streets" in Tsuen Wan and the "five streets" in Kennedy Town have been delayed for several times, and this has troubled the residents of these two areas for a number of years. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the reasons for the prolonged delay in implementing the two redevelopment projects;
  2. when it expects to be able to reach agreement with the Land Development Corporation on these two redevelopment projects; and
  3. when the redevelopment projects are expected to commence work and when they will be completed?

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

* 4. Mr Ambrose LAU to ask : (Translation)

It is learned that the Government has so far not implemented any measures to sort refuse at the time of collection, and this has resulted in refuse which may be recycled (such as paper) being mixed with other refuse. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council whether:

  1. it will formulate any policy on refuse collection to promote the awareness of environmental protection;
  2. it will consider taking measures to separate paper from other refuse at the time of refuse collection so as to facilitate the recycling of waster paper; if so, how soon such measures can be implemented; if not, why not; and
  3. it will consider providing waste paper collection boxes in a greater number of streets to facilitate disposal of waste paper by the public; if not, why not?

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

* 5. Mr Howard YOUNG to ask :

Will the Government inform this Council of its plan for the provision of public transport services to and from the Chek Lap Kok airport which cater especially for the staff of the airlines and related companies working at the airport, and the estimated number of these staff that have been taken into account in drawing up the plan?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport

* 6. Dr Samuel WONG to ask :

It is learnt that a sum of $30 million has been approved for the development of the Utility Management System (UMS) by the Highways Department. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:

  1. the UMS will conform to the best practices available today in terms of its overall suitability and effectiveness in minimising disruptions to the public caused by road openings;
  2. the UMS will accept geographical information in digital form (i.e. electronic maps) provided directly from the utilities;
  3. the UMS will provide direct access to the Geographical Information System (GIS) database used by the utilities so as to improve planning and coordination of road opening projects; and
  4. the UMS will facilitate electronic data interchange (EDI) among the Highways Department and the utilities, so that emergency road opening projects can be carried out with the benefit of having all the available data concerning the road opening sites in question?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Works

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

Regarding the schooling of the children of new arrivals from China, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. since the Education Department started, from April this year, distributing forms to new arrivals from China at the Lo Wu control point to assist them in finding school places for their children, how many forms have been distributed so far, the percentage of the completed forms returned and the effectiveness of the measure in arranging for school places;
  2. whether the ED will consider publicising the names of those schools which have persistently refused to admit such children without justifiable reasons, or taking other actions to impose sanction against such schools; and
  3. whether consideration will be given to conducting a systematic study on the schooling needs of the children of new arrivals from China (which should include the number, age and educational standard of such children arriving in the next five years as well as the school places and related support services they need) so as to make better use of the available educational resources?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education and Manpower

* 8. Miss Emily LAU to ask : (Translation)

Regarding the recent press reports about the deaths of Chinese white dolphins, will the Administration inform this Council:

  1. of the number of white dolphin carcasses found in the past six months and whether it knows of the causes of death of the white dolphins;
  2. whether any studies have been conducted to ascertain if the dolphins' deaths is related to the polluted waters and the infrastructural projects being carried out in the proximity of the dolphins' habitat; and
  3. what measures will be adopted by the relevant government departments to prevent more white dolphins from dying?

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

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

Regarding the programme for the improvement of security facilities in public housing estates, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the respective numbers of public housing estates that have already been provided with security facilities and those which have not been provided with such facilities;
  2. of the number of crimes which have occurred in each of the public housing estates that have been provided with system A security facilities (which include security gates, close circuit television inside lifts as well as at the main entrance, doorphones and 24-hour security guards) and the number of crimes which have occurred in each of the public housing estates provided with system B security facilities (which include close circuit television inside lifts and night patrol guards from 8:00 pm to 8:00 am), since the installation of the security facilities; and
  3. whether the Housing Authority will consider upgrading system B security facilities in public housing estates to system A security facilities; if so, when it will be implemented; if not, why not?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Housing

*10. Mr LEUNG Yiu-chung to ask :

The Hongkong Telecom IMS has announced that it will enter into an agreement with the Education Department to provide free NETVIGATOR accounts to public sector secondary schools in the territory. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the terms and implementation details of such an agreement; and
  2. whether the Education Department will enter into similar agreements with other providers of Internet services?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education and Manpower

*11. Mr Fred LI to ask : (Translation)

According to the report on the survey of water-main bursts recently published by the Office of the Commissioner for Administrative Complaints, there were a total of over 6 800 such cases in the territory in the past six years, 28% of which involved water-mains which were directly damaged because of the negligence of road works contractors. In 1995/96 alone, the number of cases involving water-main bursts has gone up sharply by 19% as compared with the average number of such cases in the preceding five financial years. In this connection, will the Administration inform this Council:

  1. of the reasons for the significant increase in the number of water-main burst cases in 1995/96;
  2. of the current procedures for approving and issuing road-opening permits; and whether, before issuing such permits, adequate measures are taken to advise road works contractors of the exact locations of underground water-mains; if so, of the reasons why nearly 30% of water-main burst cases in the past six years were caused by road works; and
  3. whether consideration will be given to amending the relevant legislation with a view to imposing heavier penalties for causing damage to water-mains so as to increase the deterrent effect, as well as requiring road works contractors to pay a deposit in advance in order to facilitate the authorities concerned in recovering the costs for repairing the damaged water-mains; if not, why not?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Works

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

Will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the number of Police Communications Officers responsible for answering "999" emergency calls ("999" calls) at the Police Command and Control Centre, together with the number of "999" lines in each of the police regions;
  2. of the average time taken for a "999" call to get through in each police region at present;
  3. of the number of complaints received by the Police in each of the past three years regarding "999" calls not getting through;
  4. whether there are measures in place to reduce the waiting time for a "999" call to get through; and
  5. whether the existing "999" service is capable of handling calls made in Putonghua; if not, what measures will be taken by the Government to improve the situation?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

*13 Mr Howard YOUNG to ask :

Will the Government inform this Council of the recent developments regarding the participation of public transport operators in the smart card scheme?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport

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

Will the Government inform this Council whether facilities such as libraries, research data banks and study rooms in government-funded tertiary institutions are currently made available for use by working people pursuing part-time studies; if so, what the opening hours of these facilities and their conditions of use are?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education and Manpower

*15. Mr Fred LI to ask : (Translation)

Recently, a series of incidents involving objects falling from a height have occurred in public housing estates, some of which have resulted in injuries to pedestrians. It is learnt that such injuries are partly attributable to a lack of covered pavements in public housing estates. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the total number of incidents involving falling objects which have occurred in public housing estates in the past three years, and the locations identified as black spots for such incidents;
  2. how the Housing Department handles such incidents which occur in public housing estates;
  3. whether the Housing Department will consider making the provision of covered pavements a basic facility in public housing estates; if not, why not; and what specific measures will be taken to protect pedestrians in public housing estates from being hit by falling objects; and
  4. whether the Housing Department will promote public education campaigns or adopt other measures in its efforts to prevent incidents involving falling objects; if so, what the specific plans are; if not, why not?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Housing

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

Will the Government inform this Council:

  1. whether it knows of the respective numbers of local employees on overseas assignments who have sustained injuries or died while at work and not at work over the past three years;
  2. whether local employees on overseas assignments who have sustained injury while not at work are protected by the relevant legislation of the territory; if not, through what channels such employees can obtain compensation; and
  3. whether the Government will consider making it a statutory requirement for employers to take out additional insurance for their employees on overseas assignments who meet with accidents while not at work?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education and Manpower

*17. Miss Christine LOH to ask :

Will the Administration inform this Council:

  1. by a breakdown in tabulated form, of the conditioned hours of work as well as the arrangements for compensating overtime work undertaken by officers in various ranks in the disciplined services; and
  2. of the reasons for any differences in the conditioned hours of work and arrangements for compensating overtime work in the disciplined services, and whether a review will be undertaken with a view to removing such differences?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

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

It was mentioned in a letter of 19 July 1996 from the Planning, Environment and Lands Branch that the Administration hoped to implement certain practical measures to ensure that the Tsuen Wan Abbatoir would not generate environmental problems. As the residents living in the vicinity of the Tsuen Wan Abattoir, in particular residents of the Riviera Gardens, are still suffering from the nuisances caused by the bad smell and grunting of pigs emanating from the Abattoir and pigs-carrying vehicles, will the Government inform this Council whether:

  1. the facilities in the Tsuen Wan Abattoir have been improved to bring the sanitary standard of the abattoir to that set for the Sheung Shui Slaughterhouse which will be built soon; and
  2. it will consider improving the traffic arrangements in the vicinity of the Tsuen Wan Abattoir so as to avoid pigs-carrying vehicles passing through the residential area?

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

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

In regard to cases involving the tampering of taximeters, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. whether there is an upward trend in the number of such cases in the past three years;
  2. of the maximum and minimum penalties imposed by the court for such an offence in the same period; and
  3. what measures are in place to ensure that taxi passengers would not be cheated?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport

*20. Mr IP Kwok-him to ask : (Translation)

New arrivals from China face a lot of problems after arriving in the territory. At present, many voluntary agencies (VAs) provide various services to help new arrivals integrate into the community. However, it is difficult for the VAs to further develop these services because of limited resources and such services cannot be provided to more new arrivals. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. whether there are any plans to allocate more resources to the VAs to further develop such services; if so, what the specific plans are; if not, why not; and
  2. in view of the current situation in which many VAs are allocated funds by the Government to provide their services on an annual basis, which makes it difficult for them to make long-term plans for providing services for new arrivals from China, what measures does the Government have to rectify the situation?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health and Welfare

* For written reply.

III. Members' Motions

1. Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

Mr James TO :

That the Mental Health (Amendment) Regulation 1996, published as Legal Notice No.298 of 1996 and laid on the table of the Legislative Council on 10 July 1996, be amended in section 3 -

  1. in new regulation 5(2) -
    1. by repealing paragraph (b) and substituting -

      "(b) a member of the Executive Council;";

    2. by renumbering paragraphs (d), (e) and (f) as paragraphs (j), (k) and (l) respectively;

    3. by adding -

      "(d) a member of the Urban Council;

  2. a member of the Regional Council;
  3. a member of a District Board;
  4. a Justice of the Peace;
  5. a public officer;
  6. a mental hospital visitor;";

    (b) in new regulation 5D -

    1. in paragraph (a), by adding "after exercising the power conferred under regulation 5A or 5C (as the case may be)" after "7 days";

    2. in paragraph (b), by adding "after exercising the power conferred under regulation 5B or 5C (as the case may be)" after "7 days".

2. Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

Mr Ronald ARCULLI :

That the Prison (Amendment) Rules 1996, published as Legal Notice No.300 of 1996 and laid on the table of the Legislative Council on 10 July 1996, be repealed.

Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Security

3. Motion of Thanks

Dr C H LEONG :

That this Council thanks the Governor for his address.

(Debate to be adjourned.)

Amendment to Dr C H LEONG's motion

Mr LEE Cheuk-yan :

To add the following after "for his address":

", but since the British Government has all along been adopting colonial governance as well as refusing to pursue full democratization in the territory, thereby unreasonably depriving the people of Hong Kong of their democratic rights, this Council expresses deep regret"


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