Revised version
OP 96/97-13(1)
(Issued at 11:00 am on 16.12.96)

The Legislative Council
Order Paper
Wednesday 18 December 1996 at 2:30 p.m.



I. Papers

Subsidiary Legislation

L.N. NO.

1. Immigration (Amendment) (No.2) Regulation 1996

516/96

2. Medical Registration (Fees) Regulation

517/96

3. Medical Registration (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulation

520/96

4. Medical Practitioners (Registration and Disciplinary Procedure) Regulation

521/96

5. Road Traffic (Construction and Maintenance of Vehicles) (Amendment) Regulation 1996

522/96

6. Road Traffic (Parking) (Amendment) Regulation 1996

523/96

7. Road Traffic (Public Service Vehicles) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulation 1996

524/96

8. Road Traffic (Registration and Licensing of Vehicles) (Amendment) Regulation 1996

525/96

9. Road Traffic (Village Vehicles) (Amendment) Regulation 1996

526/96

10. Ferry Services (Amendment) Regulation 1996

527/96

11. Road Tunnels (Government) (Amendment) Regulation 1996

528/96

12. Road Traffic Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 8) Order 1996

529/96

13. Protection of Children and Juveniles (Places of Refuge) (Amendment) Order 1996

530/96

14. Drug Addiction Treatment Centre (Chi Ma Wan Drug Addiction Treatment Centre) Order

531/96

15. Immigration (Vietnamese Migrants) (Detention Centres) (Designation) (Amendment) Order 1996

531/96

16. Immigration (Vietnamese Migrants) (Detention Centres) (Amendment) Rules 1996

533/96

17. Securities (Exchange—Traded Stock Options) (Amendment) (No.3) Rules 1996

534/96

18. Employees Retraining Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 2) (No.3) Notice 1996

535/96

19. Gas Safety (Amendment) Ordinance 1996 (3 of 1996) (Commencement) Notice 1996

536/96

20. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text) (Chinese Visa Office (Privileges and Immunities) Ordinance) Order

(C) 128/96

21. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text) (Corporate Bodies Contracts Ordinance) Order

(C) 129/96

22. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text) (Census and Statistics Ordinance) Order

(C) 130/96

Sessional Papers 1996-97

1. No. 44 - Report by the Trustee of the Police Children's Education Trust, Police Education and Welfare Trust for the period 1 April 1995 - 31 March 1996

(to be presented by the Secretary for Security)

2. No. 45 - Environment and Conservation Fund Trustee Report 1995-96

(to be presented by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands)

3. No. 46 - Report of the Brewin Trust Fund Committee on the Administration of the Fund for the year ended 30th June 1996

(to be presented by the Secretary for Home Affairs)

4. No. 47 - Queen Elizabeth Foundation for the Mentally Handicapped Report and Accounts 1995-96

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

5. No. 48 - The Lord Wilson Heritage Trust Annual Report 1995-1996

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

6. No. 49 - Ocean Park Corporation Annual Report 1995/96

(to be presented by Mr Ronald ARCULLI who will address the Council)

7. No. 50 - Grantham Scholarships Fund Annual Report for the year 1 September 1995 to 31 August 1996

(to be presented by the Secretary for Home Affairs)

8. No. 51 - The Sir Murray MacLehose Trust Fund Trustee's Report for the period 1 April 1995 to 31 March 1996

(to be presented by the Secretary for Home Affairs)

9. No. 52 - Emergency Relief Fund Annual Report by the Trustee for the year ending on 31 March 1996

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

10. No. 53 - Social Work Training Fund Thirty-fifth Annual Report by the Trustee for the year ending on 31 March 1996

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

11. No. 54 - Revised List of Works annexed to the Regional Council's Revised Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for 1996/97

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

12. No. 55 - Revised List of Works approved by the Urban Council for the quarter ended 30 September 1996

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

13. No. 56 - The Accounts of the Lotteries Fund 1995-96

(to be presented by the Secretary for the Treasury)

14. No. 57 - AIDS Trust Fund 1995-96 Annual Accounts

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

II. Questions

1. Mr Eric LI to ask : (Translation)

Will the Government inform this Council:

  1. whether any specific guidelines have been formulated and, if so, by which public officer and when, regarding the provision of official residence for public officers; and whether, in determining the provision of official residence for public officers, consideration has been given to the constitutional status, authority and job nature of these public officers as well as the existing facilities available for their use; and
  2. whether the Government will conduct reviews regularly in order to determine if the provision of official residence will be extended to other public officers of equal status to those who are presently provided with official residence; if not, why not?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Civil Service

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

It is learnt that in July this year, the developer of a construction site in Tai Po terminated the contract with the contractor for alleged delays in the construction work. The contractor subsequently went into liquidation, and the subcontractors were thus unable to reclaim payments on wages and materials amounting to over $30 million. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the channels with which the subcontractor can lodge complaints or claims for compensation if he is in dispute with the contractor or the developer; and
  2. whether there is any legislation requiring a contractor to notify, within a certain period of time following receipt of a notice of termination of contract from the developer, the subcontractor to cease work?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Works

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

Will the Government inform this Council:

  1. the total number of fire engines fitted with tower ladders operated by the Fire Services Department (FSD), and the districts in which such fire engines are stationed;
  2. the maximum height reachable by these tower ladders in high-rise rescue operations; and
  3. the rescue measures adopted by the FSD in the event of a fire occurring in a building with its height exceeding that mentioned in the answer to (b) above, and whether the FSD will review and strengthen its fire-fighting equipment so as to better equip itself for high-rise rescue operations?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

4. Mr YUM Sin-ling to ask : (Translation)

Will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the number of people entering Hong Kong from China on two-way exit permits and the number of such people who have overstayed, in the past twelve months;
  2. whether the Government will review the penalties for overstayers to ascertain if these penalties have any deterrent effect; if not, why not;
  3. in view of the fact that some of the two-way permit holders are involved in illegal activities (such as fraud, prostitution, illegal hawking and working as illegal foreign workers), what measures are in place to prevent such people from engaging in these illegal activities during their stay in the territory and to ensure that the offenders will not be able to come to the territory again; and
  4. whether it has discussed with the Chinese Government the problem of two-way permit holders committing crimes in the territory; if so, whether a consensus has been reached with the Chinese authorities for combating such activities?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

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

It is learned that most taxi stands are without shelters except those located at large shopping centres. Given that a considerable number of bus stops are already provided with shelters, will the Government inform this Council whether it will consider providing shelters at those taxi stands where the construction of such shelters is feasible, for the benefit of passengers queuing up for taxis; if so, of the number of taxi stands where the provision of shelters is intended; the expected commencement and completion dates of the projects concerned and the criteria adopted for determining the priority of the construction of shelters at taxi stands?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport

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

It is learnt that the Managing Board of Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) has endorsed the plan to reduce 50% of the staff of its West Rail Division (WRD), and that only about a dozen out of the one hundred or so employees retained are local staff. However, despite this reduction, the monthly expenditure of the WRD still comes to about $20,000,000. This has given rise to public concern about whether the number of expatriate staff and the monthly expenditure of the WRD are still on the high side. In this connection, does the Government know:

  1. having regard to the fact that only about a dozen local employees of the WRD are retained, whether there is any impact on the Division in the long term in such areas as technology transfer, localisation and communication with the Chinese side; if so, what the remedial measures are;
  2. whether the monthly expenditure of the WRD is spent entirely on monitoring consultancy contracts which amount to an average monthly cost of about $20,000,000; if so, of the reasons for this 1:1 ratio of supervision fees which differs from the normal ratio of 1:5;
  3. if the answer to (b) is in the negative, whether part of the monthly expenditure is spent on commissioning the study on Phase II projects; if so,
    1. of the respective percentages of the amounts spent on monitoring consultancy contracts and commissioning the study on Phase II projects; and
    2. whether it is appropriate to commence the study on Phase II projects at the present stage?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport

* 7. Mr LAU Chin-shek to ask : (Translation)

It is learnt that the Mass Transit Railway Corporation will spend more than a billion dollars to refurbish some 700 of its train cars. In this connection, does the Government know:

  1. whether the contract for this project will be awarded through open tender; if so, when the tendering exercise will be conducted; and
  2. of any specific measures in place to ensure that this project is cost-effective and will not lead to fare increases in the future?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport

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

Does the Government know:

  1. of the respective dates of the introduction of rules and codes of conduct by the Securities and Futures Commission and the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited, which spell out clearly the principles and practices which registered stock brokers or their staff should follow when dealing in transactions either for their own accounts or for their clients;
  2. whether, prior to the introduction of the above rules and codes of conduct, it was beyond the power of the authorities concerned to intervene in the way in which registered stock brokers or their staff handled their own transactions or those made on behalf of their clients; and
  3. whether the Financial Secretary or the Secretary for Financial Services has the authority to ensure there is check and balance in the application of the existing rules and codes of conduct; if not, why not?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services

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

Will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the numbers of serving directorate staff in the civil service who have opted for the new Pension Scheme and the old Pension Scheme respectively, together with the names and ages of those directorate staff who have opted for the old Pension Scheme as well as the policy branches or departments in which they are now serving; and
  2. how the authority concerned works out the succession plans in those departments with a relatively large number of directorate staff reaching the age at which they can opt to retire, so as to avoid a succession gap caused by staff wastage?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Civil Service

*10. Mr LEE Kai-ming to ask : (Translation)

Regarding the Supplementary Labour Scheme, will the Governoment inform this Council of:

  1. the total number of applications for the importation of foreign workers which have been approved, as well as the total number of workers involved, since the implementation of the Scheme in February this year; and
  2. the total number of foreign workers who have already entered the territory to work under the Scheme during the same period, together with a breakdown of such workers by industry, type of work and post?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education and Manpower

*11. Mr CHENG Yiu-tong to ask : (Translation)

Regarding the statistics on unemployment, will the Government inform this Council of the following in each of the past five years:

  1. the median duration of unemployment;
  2. the respective quarterly proportions of the unemployed in the following industries, who were unemployed due to dismissal or lay-off or who left employment because of dissatisfaction with their jobs, to the total number of unemployed persons:
    1. manufacturing,
    2. wholesale, retail, import and export trade,
    3. catering,
    4. hotels; and
  3. the quarterly proportion of unemployed persons believed to have no chance of finding employment to the total number of unemployed persons?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services

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

It is learnt that over 100 trucks and private cars recently took part in a slow-drive protest against the Government's failure to provide sufficient land for parking container trucks and storing containers and for use as scrap-yards. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the current total provision of land in the territory for the above purposes and whether any assessment has been made regarding the demand for land for such uses;
  2. of the proportion of agricultural land in the New Territories being used as unauthorised car parks;
  3. of the number of prosecutions over the past three years in respect of the unauthorised use of agricultural land in the New Territories as car parks; and
  4. whether consideration will be given to extending to five years the term for short-term modification of land use in the New Territories?

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

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

In view of the Government's decision to proceed to legislate on offences involving subversion and secession, will the Government inform this Council whether there are major transition issues now under consideration by the Joint Liaison Group over which the Chinese side and the British side have serious disagreement, which may lead again to the Hong Kong Government proceeding to legislate on such issues?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Constitutional Affairs

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

With regard to the mental health hotline service provided by the Hospital Authority (HA), is the Government aware of:

  1. the total number of calls for assistance received in the past twelve months;
  2. the categories of such calls and the ways of handling the calls; and
  3. what publicity plans does the HA have to enhance the public's awareness of the service?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health and Welfare

*15. Dr David LI to ask :

It is learnt that the Housing Department is facing a severe staff shortage problem, with more than 500 posts remaining vacant despite strenuous efforts made to fill them. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of:

  1. the breakdown of the vacancies by grade;
  2. the causes of a large number of vacancies in the Department; and
  3. the measures which will be taken by the Department to resolve the staff shortage problem?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Housing

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

At present, many employees recruited locally are often required to work in Mainland China and Southeast Asian countries for long or short periods. However, the employers may not have obtained from the governments of these countries work permits for their employees before requiring them to work in the countries concerned. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. which of the above countries currently require foreign workers to obtain work permits before they are allowed to work in the countries concerned;
  2. of the current estimated number of locally recruited employees in various trades and industries who are required by their employers to work overseas for long or short periods;
  3. if the employees are required by their employers to work in the countries mentioned in the answer to (a) above on tourist visas and without work permits and:
    1. are consequently prosecuted or detained by the governments concerned; or
    2. met with accidents, fallen ill, sustained injuries or die while at work overseas,

      what responsibilities do the employers have for their employees and what protection do such employees get under Hong Kong's employment or other legislation; and

  4. whether employees can refuse to take up overseas assignments in the countries mentioned in the answer to (a) above if their employers have not obtained the required work permits for them; whether employers are permitted to dismiss their employees for such refusals, and whether employers are liable to prosecution for dismissing the above-mentioned employees who refuse to work overseas?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education and Manpower

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

Regarding the project for the construction of the Island West extension of the Mass Transit Railway (i.e. extending the Mass Transit Railway Line from Sheung Wan to Western District on Hong Kong Island), does the Government know:

  1. of the present progress of the above project;
  2. whether consideration will be given to constructing the above extension before the Green Island Reclamation Area is developed; if not, why not; and
  3. when the construction work is expected to commence and when it will be completed?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport

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

Will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the basis for determining the allocation of the revenue from rates to the Government's General Revenue Account and to the Urban Council and Regional Council;
  2. of the basis for determining the amount, debited from the rates allocated to the Government's General Revenue Account, to be used for meeting the expenses of the Water Supplies Department; and
  3. whether the revenue from rates allocated to the Government's General Revenue Account is used for other specific purposes apart from meeting the expenses of the Water Supplies Department; if so, please specify the purposes to which the revenue from rates is put, the basis for allocation and the amount involved in each of the past threes years; if not, why not?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Treasury

*19. Miss Emily LAU to ask :

In his comments on the controversy over whether beneficiaries of the British Nationality Selection Scheme can get consular protection, the Governor has reportedly stated that any British citizen going to a British Embassy or Consulate to ask for assistance, the British Government will do everything it can to help, just like what it has been doing when Hong Kong residents get into difficulty in China. Will the Administration inform this Council of:

  1. the number of Hong Kong residents who have approached the British Embassy in Peking for assistance since 4 June 1989;
  2. the number of people in (a) above who have been provided with assistance and the nature of such assistance; and
  3. the number of people in (a) above whose requests for assistance have been refused and the reasons for refusal?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

*20. Mr Howard YOUNG to ask :

Will the Government inform this Council how it plans to meet the airlines' requests for operating scheduled and non-scheduled services during the summer months in 1997?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Economic

Services

* For written reply.

III. Government Motions

1. Sex Discrimination Ordinance

Secretary for Home Affairs:

That the Sex Discrimination (Proceedings by Equal Opportunities Commission) Regulation, made by the Secretary for Home Affairs on 3 December 1996, be approved.

2. Sex Discrimination Ordinance

Secretary for Home Affairs:

(See Resolution at Appendix I)

3. Disability Discrimination Ordinance

Secretary for Health and Welfare:

(See Resolution at Appendix II)

4. Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

Secretary for Health and Welfare:

That the Disability Discrimination (Formal Investigations) Rules, published as Legal Notice No.474 of 1996 and laid on the table of the Legislative Council on 20 November 1996, be amended in the form of Notice in Schedule 1, by repealing "section 64(1) of the Ordinance" and substituting "section 67 of the Sex Discrimination Ordinance (Cap.480)".

IV. Government Bills

First Reading

1. Railways Bill

2. Employees Retraining (Amendment) Bill 1996

3. Official Secrets Bill

4. Ozone Layer Protection (Amendment) Bill 1996

5. Government Rent (Assessment and Collection) Bill

Second Reading

Debates to be adjourned

1. Railways Bill

:

Secretary for Transport

2. Employees Retraining (Amendment) Bill 1996

:

Secretary for Education and Manpower

3. Official Secrets Bill

:

Secretary for Security

4. Ozone Layer Protection (Amendment) Bill 1996

:

Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands

5. Government Rent (Assessment and Collection) Bill

:

Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands

Debates to be resumed

6. Commissioner for Administrative Complaints (Amendment) Bill 1996

:

Chief Secretary

7. Arbitration (Amendment) Bill 1996

:

Attorney General

8. Bankruptcy (Amendment)

Bill 1996

:

Secretary for Financial Services

9. Post-Release Supervision of Prisoners (Amendment) Bill 1996

:

Secretary for Security

10. Wild Animals Protection (Amendment) Bill 1996

:

Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands

11. Submarine Telegraph Bill

:

Secretary for Economic Services

Committee Stage and Third Reading

1. Commissioner for Administrative Complaints (Amendment) Bill 1996

:

Chief Secretary

2. Arbitration (Amendment) Bill 1996

:

Attorney General

3. Bankruptcy (Amendment) Bill 1996

:

Secretary for Financial Services

4. Post-Release Supervision of Prisoners (Amendment) Bill 1996

:

Secretary for Security

5. Wild Animals Protection (Amendment) Bill 1996

:

Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands

6. Submarine Telegraph Bill

:

Secretary for Economic Services

V. Members' Motions

1. Sex Discrimination Ordinance

Mr Michael HO :

That the Code of Practice on Employment issued under section 69 of the Sex Discrimination Ordinance, published as Government Notice No. 5203 of 1996 and laid on the table of the Legislative Council on 20 November 1996, be amended, in paragraph 12.8, by repealing "consider progressive implementation of" and substituting "progressively implement".

2. Disability Discrimination Ordinance

Mr Michael HO :

That the Code of Practice on Employment issued under section 65 of Disability Discrimination Ordinance, published as Government Notice No. 5204 of 1996 and laid on the table of the Legislative Council on 20 November 1996, be amended, in paragraph 13.7, by repealing "consider progressive implementation of" and substituting "progressively implement".

3. Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

Mr Ronald ARCULLI :

(See Resolution at Appendix III)

4. Town Planning Bill

Mr Albert CHAN : (Translation)

That this Council regrets that the Government fails to honour its commitment to introduce the Town Planning Bill into this Council but has instead published a consultation paper in the form of a White Bill, and urges the Government to expeditiously introduce the Town Planning Bill into this Council, so as to improve the representativeness of the Town Planning Board and increase the transparency and efficiency of the decision-making process and vetting procedures related to town planning.

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

5. Regulating credit card business

Dr LAW Cheung-kwok : (Translation)

That, as the interest rates charged on the credit cards in Hong Kong are continually on the high side and numerous terms and conditions in the credit card agreements are ambiguous, and coupled with the controversial operational tactics adopted by quite a number of credit card issuing companies, the interests of consumers have been undermined, this Council urges that the Government must suitably regulate the credit card market, so as to ensure the market’s healthy development and safeguard the rights and interests of consumers.

Amendments to Dr LAW Cheung-kwok's motion

1. Dr HUANG Chen-ya : (Translation)

To delete "the interest rates charged on the credit cards in Hong Kong are continually on the high side and"; to insert "in Hong Kong" before "are ambiguous"; to delete "coupled"; to delete "have been" and substitute with "are seriously"; to delete "suitably regulate the credit card market" and substitute with "set up a working group to study the suitable regulation of credit card issuing companies, with the scope of study covering the formulation of legislation on credit services, the establishment of a licensing system, the terms and conditions of agreements, the operational tactics adopted, the disclosure of information and the means of recovering debt, etc." to delete "ensure the market's healthy development and"; and to add ", and that the working group must complete its report in mid-1997 for public consultation" after "safeguard the rights and interests of consumers". market

2. Mr NGAN Kam-chuen : (Translation)

To delete "the interest rates charged on the credit cards in Hong Kong are continually on the high side and"; to add "and the calculation method of the interest rates charged on the credit cards in Hong Kong" after "and conditions in the credit card agreements"; to add "and unreasonable" after "are ambiguous"; to delete "that" before "the Government"; and to delete "must suitably regulate the credit card market" and substitute with "to urge and supervise the banking sector to improve the existing operational tactics of its credit card business".

Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Financial Services


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