Revised version
OP 96/97-24(1)
(Issued at 11:00 am on 17.3.97)

The Legislative Council
Order Paper
Wednesday 19 March 1997 at 2:30 pm



I. Papers

Subsidiary LegislationL.N. NO
1. Public Revenue Protection (Dutiable Commodities) Order 199789/97
2. Public Revenue Protection (Estate Duty) Order 199790/97
3. Public Revenue Protection (Motor Vehicles First Registration Tax) Order 199791/97
4. Public Revenue Protection (Rating) Order 199792/97
5. Public Revenue Protection (Stamp Duty) Order 199793/97
6. Western Harbour Crossing Regulation94/97
7. Fire Services Department (Reports and Certificates) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulation 199795/97
8. Road Traffic (Construction and Maintenance of Vehicles) (Amendment) Regulation 199796/97
9. Road Traffic (Driving Licences) (Amendment) Regulation 199797/97
10. Official Languages (Alteration of Text) (Buildings Ordinance) Order 199798/97
11. Statutes of the University of Hong Kong (Amendment) Statutes 199799/97
12. Import and Export (Amendment) Ordinance 1995 (30 of 1995) (Commencement) Notice 1997100/97
13. Industrial Training (Clothing Industry) (Amendment) (No.2) Ordinance 1995 (31 of 1995) (Commencement) Notice 1997101/97
14. Import and Export (Registration) (Amendment) Regulation 1995 (L.N.544 of 1995) (Commencement) Notice 1997102/97
15. Air Pollution Control (Motor Vehicle Fuel) (Amendment) Regulation 1996 (L.N.310 of 1996) (Commencement) Notice 1997103/97
16. Air Pollution Control (Vehicle Design Standards)(Emission) (Amendment) Regulation 1996 (L.N.311 of 1996) (Commencement) Notice 1997 104/97
17. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text) (Army and Royal Air Force Legal Services Ordinance) Order(C) 30/97
18. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text) (Defences (Firing Areas) Ordinance) Order(C) 31/97
19. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text) (Buildings Ordinance) Order(C) 32/97

Sessional Papers 1996-97

1.No. 74 - Audited Statement of Accounts of the Language Fund for the year ending 31 August 1996
(to be presented by the Secretary for Education and Manpower)

2.No.75 -Urban Council Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for the Financial Year 1997/98, together with a list of works proposed to be undertaken during 1997/98
(to be presented by the Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport)

3.No.76-Urban Council list of revised works for the quarter ended 31.12.1996
(to be presented by the Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport)

4.No.77-Regional Council Revised Estimates of Expenditure for 1996/97
(to be presented by the Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport)

5.No.78-Regional Council Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for 1997/98, together with a list of works proposed to be undertaken during 1997/98
(to be presented by the Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport)

6.No.79-Revised list of works annexed to the Regional Council's Revised Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for 1996/97 (position as at 31.12.1996)
(to be presented by the Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport)

7.No.80-Occupational Safety and Health Council Annual Report 1995/96
(to be presented by the Secretary for Education and Manpower)

II. Questions

1. Dr YEUNG Sum to ask :(Translation)

It is learned that someone in the capacity as a member of the provisional legislature has set up a member's office in the territory. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:

  1. any person in the capacity as a member of the provisional legislature is permitted to establish, before 1 July 1997, a provisional legislature member's office in the territory, or to use the premises of a publicly-funded office of a member of the territory's various assemblies for setting up a provisional legislature member's office; if not, whether legal action will be taken against the person concerned; and

  2. it will raise this issue in the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group and urge the Chinese Government to honour the undertaking made by the Chinese Foreign Minister and to ensure that the provisional legislature will not operate, not even by way of setting up provisional legislature members' offices in the territory, before 1 July 1997?

Public Officer to reply :Secretary for Constitutional Affairs

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

It is reported that the triad renunciation scheme implemented in Taiwan has been quite successful. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the current estimated number of triad members in the territory; and

  2. whether consideration will be given to introducing a scheme under which triad members can renounce their triad membership completely; if so, when such a scheme will be implemented; if not, why not?

Public Officer to reply :Secretary for Security

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

In view of the extremely low passing rate of the licentiate examination held annually by the Medical Council of Hong Kong, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the mechanism put in place to monitor whether the assessment criteria of the licentiate examination are fair;

  2. whether external examiners will be invited from mainland China and overseas countries to ensure the fairness of the licentiate examination; if not, why not; and

  3. whether consideration will be given to standardising the examination papers of the licentiate examination and those of the final examinations for the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degrees in the University of Hong Kong and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, so that the standard and assessment criteria of the licentiate examination are put on a par with those of the Faculties of Medicine in these two universities; if not, why not?

Public Officer to reply :Secretary for Health and Welfare

4. Mrs Selina CHOW to ask :(Translation)

Will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the number of operations carried out by the Customs and Excise Department against the sale of counterfeit goods over the past three years;

  2. how many of these operations were conducted following reports made by members of the public rather than copyright owners or their agents; and

  3. of the number of prosecutions instituted by the Customs and Excise Department against the sellers of counterfeit goods as a result of such operations, as well as the success rate of these prosecutions?

Public Officer to reply :Secretary for Trade and Industry

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

The Government has just announced its plan of releasing eight pieces of land previously used as military sites for residential development, with six of them being designated as low and medium density residential development sites. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether, given the current shortage of housing supply, the Government's intention not to earmark all the sites for use as high density residential developments is related to infrastructural constraints; if so, whether the Government will consider expediting the funding procedures for the relevant infrastructural projects, so as to facilitate their early completion such that the sites in question can be developed for use as high density residential development sites; if not, of the reasons for not earmarking those six sites for high density residential developments?

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

6.Mr Ambrose LAU to ask :(Translation)

The National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China adopted the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (the Basic Law) in 1990, and promulgated its taking effect from 1 July 1997. In view of the impending implementation of the Basic Law, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the measures taken to publicise and promote the Basic Law, and the effectiveness of such measures;

  2. whether there are further actions to step up the publicity and promotion of the Basic Law in the coming months; if so, what the details are; and

  3. whether, apart from publicising the Basic Law to the public in the territory, the Government has introduced the Basic Law to countries and investment organizations which have close ties with the territory; if so, what the details are?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Home Affairs

* 7. Miss Christine LOH to ask : (Translation)

The Education Commission Report No. 7 on Quality School Education was published for public consultation last year and a total of over 200 submissions have been received. While the public generally endorse the main thrust of the consultation document, there are a lot of doubts as to how the aims of quality school education can be achieved. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the numbers of Inspectors of Schools in the Education Department responsible for the inspection of primary and secondary schools respectively, together with the number of Inspectors of Schools in each category with less than five years' teaching experience; and of the number and academic qualifications of Inspectors of Schools for each subject; and

  2. whether the Education Department will consider deploying Inspectors of Schools to undertake teaching duties at primary and secondary schools on a rotation basis, so as to enrich and update their teaching experience?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education and Manpower

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

Does the Government have the following data in respect of each public hospital in the past year:

  1. the respective numbers of in-patients and out-patients who received the following examinations:
    1. gastrocopy;
    2. colonoscopy;
    3. C.T. brain scan;
    4. C.T. abdomen scan;
    5. mammogram;
    6. breast ultrasound;
    7. isotope bone scan;
    8. liver and gall-bladder ultrasound;
    9. IVP; and
    10. bronchoscopy;
  2. the average and longest periods of time which in-patients and out-patients had to wait respectively for each of the above examinations;

  3. whether there were any cases in which the patients were hospitalised unnecessarily due to the prolonged waiting time for the above examinations; if so, of the average number of days for such hospitalisation; and

  4. of the plans in place to reduce the waiting time for the above examinations?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health and Welfare

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

In an industrial accident that took place in a container depot at Fung Kat Heung, Yuen Long, on 4 March this year, a worker responsible for fixing hooks onto containers fell to death while he was working on the top of a pile of containers. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the number of casualties in similar accidents over the past three years; and

  2. whether any measures have been adopted to prevent the occurrence of similar accidents; if not, why not?

Public Officer to reply: Secretary for Education and Manpower

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

It is stipulated in the Deed of Declaration of Trust for the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government Land Fund (the Deed) that upon the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government (HKSARG) coming into being, the Land Fund shall vest in such public officer, body or entity as may be lawfully nominated by the HKSARG for the purposes of receiving and holding the Fund on behalf of the HKSARG. Will the Government inform this Council whether:

  1. the Deed was jointly drawn up by the Chinese and British Governments; if so, of the principles based on which the Deed was drawn up; if not, why not;

  2. the Government has assessed the amount of expenses required for taking over the existing Land Fund Secretariat and its staff; if so, what the estimated annual expenditure is; and

  3. the Government has assessed the amount of expenses involved in disbanding the Land Fund Secretariat and its staff; if so, what the estimated amount is and whether the amount will be deducted from the Land Fund?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Treasury

*11. Mr Andrew CHENG to ask : (Translation)

Will the Government inform this Council whether:

  1. the Hong Kong Special Administrative Government Land Fund (the Fund) has submitted, at regular intervals, detailed statements of income and expenditure, auditors' reports as well as reports on the Fund's staffing, investment strategies and investment returns, to the Sino-British Land Commission over the past ten years;

  2. as the public in the territory have all along been unable to obtain the above basic financial data from the Annual Reports of the Fund, the Government will consider obtaining a full account of such data from the Sino-British Land Commission and submitting it to this Council; and

  3. the Fund's present strategy of investing in securities has violated the provisions in paragraph 6 of Annex III to the Sino-British Joint Declaration which stipulate that the premium income of the Fund should be deposited in banks incorporated in the territory?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Treasury

*12.Mr Eric LI to ask :

Will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the number of cases of tampering with mail in street post-boxes (including theft, damage and other types of mail-tampering) reported to the Police in each of the past three years;

  2. of the measures adopted by the Post Office to prevent illegal access to mail in street post-boxes;

  3. whether there are any special precautionary measures adopted during the tax collection period when many cheques of substantial amounts are mailed; and

  4. of the number of complaints about tampering with mail in street post-boxes received by the Post Office in the past three years, the number of such complaints which have been investigated and the remedial measures taken by the Post Office arising from such investigations?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Economic Services

*13. Dr YEUNG Sum to ask :(Translation)

The Sai Ying Pun section of Route 7, which connects Central District, Western District and the Island portal of the Western Harbour Crossing (WHC), has recently been opened to traffic and the WHC will also be opened ahead of schedule in April this year. However, the Smithfield Extension in Kennedy Town, which serves to divert some of the vehicles bound for Southern District via the WHC, will be completed six months behind schedule. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the reasons for the delay in the completion of the Smithfield Extension;

  2. whether the Government has assessed if, before the completion of the Smithfield Extension, traffic congestion is expected to develop in Western District as a result of the opening of the Sai Ying Pun section of Route 7 in February and the WHC in April this year; if so, what interim measures will be adopted to relieve traffic congestion in the district; and

  3. whether the Government will consider separating the Kennedy Town-Aberdeen section of Route 7 from the Green Island Reclamation Project, and instead using alternative construction methods such as building flyovers, excavating tunnels or cutting hill slopes, so that Route 7 can be completed as early as possible?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport

*14.Mr LEE Cheuk-yan to ask : (Translation)

Will the Government inform this Council of:

  1. the respective quarterly unemployment and underemployment rates in various trades and industries in the past two years; and

  2. the respective reasons for a high unemployment rate in the three trades or industries with the highest unemployment rates last year?

Public Officer to reply: Secretary for Education and Manpower

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

On 26 February 1997, an unidentified gas struck 11 schools in Tin Shui Wai and several thousands of people were affected. As it was reported that the unidentified gas was caused by a tear gas firing drill in a nearby firing range, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the results of the investigations into the above incident carried out by the departments concerned;

  2. of the number of locations in the territory where the British Forces, the Police Force and the Correctional Services Department can carry out tear gas firing drills; as well as the number of drills carried out at these locations, and the number of rounds of tear gas fired during each drill, over the past three years;

  3. how the Government assesses the effects of such drills on nearby areas and residents before the drills are conducted, and whether there are any specific rules for drill participants to observe; and

  4. whether the Government will carry out a comprehensive review of the arrangements for conducting tear gas firing drills so as to ensure that such drills will not affect the safety of the residents living in the vicinity of the firing ranges?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

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

In his reply to a written question asked at the Legislative Council meeting on 5 March this year, the Secretary for Home Affairs provided a list of "target" buildings in Kowloon and the New Territories with potential fire hazard and safety problems. As the buildings in Tsuen Wan and Kwai Chung which appear in the list are all industrial buildings, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the yardstick adopted for identifying "target" buildings; and

  2. given that there are a large number of old private commercial/residential buildings in the Tsuen Wan and Kwai Chung districts, whether the exclusion of private residential buildings in these two districts from the list is due to the fact that all private residential buildings in the two districts are considered safe or that such buildings have been omitted from the inspections carried out by the departments concerned; if the latter case obtains, whether the Government will carry out further inspections as early as possible with a view to including potentially dangerous private residential buildings in the two districts in the list?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Home Affairs

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

Will the Government inform this Council:

  1. whether it intends to establish a body responsible for planning and co-ordinating the development of the territory's information infrastructure for the purpose of enhancing the competitiveness of the local information technology industry; if so, of the estimated amount of funds earmarked for such a plan; and

  2. of the plans in place to steer and co-ordinate the work of various government departments in the development of an information infrastructure network?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Economic Services

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

Last year, the authority concerned introduced measures to strengthen police patrol on Tuen Mun Highway in conjunction with the implementation of the bus-only lane scheme on the Highway. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the average monthly number of traffic accidents occurring on Tuen Mun Highway during the period when the above patrol measures were in force;

  2. of the average monthly number of traffic accidents occurring on Tuen Mun Highway since the cessation of the above patrol measures;

  3. whether, in comparing the answers to (a) and (b) above, the introduction of measures to strengthen police patrol will reduce the occurrence of traffic accidents; if so, whether similar patrol measures will be introduced on other expressways in the territory on a long term basis, so as to reduce the occurrence of traffic accidents; and

  4. whether, in the long term, the Government will consider setting up a highway patrol unit in the Traffic Branch of the Police Force?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

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

Regarding the employment of temporary short-term contract staff by the Urban Services Department (USD) and the Regional Services Department (RSD), will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the respective numbers of temporary staff employed by USD and RSD on short-term contracts over the past three years, and the respective proportions of such staff to the total numbers of staff members in these two departments;

  2. of the reasons for employing temporary contract staff; and whether it will review this recruitment policy;

  3. given that the contracts of temporary staff are often renewed upon the expiry of their current contracts, of the highest number of such contract renewals granted consecutively to an individual staff member and the duration of each renewal; and

  4. whether any such staff members have sustained injuries while at work over the past three years and if so, of the total number of such staff; and whether there have been any such staff members whose contracts have not been renewed during their sick leave periods; if so, of the number of such cases?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Civil Service

*20. Dr C H LEONG to ask :

Will the Administration inform this Council whether chanting the slogan "down with the Queen" is an offence under existing legislation?

Public Officer to reply : Attorney General

III. Government Motions

1. Radiation Ordinance

Secretary for Health and Welfare :

That the Radiation (Control of Irradiating Apparatus) (Amendment) Regulation 1997, made by the Radiation Board on 3 March 1997, be approved.

2.Public Finance Ordinance

Secretary for the Treasury :

(See Resolution at Appendix)

3. Trading Funds Ordinance

Secretary for Works :

That -

  1. those parts of the public sewerage systems and sewage disposal facilities as set out in the document entitled "Inventory of Public Sewerage Systems and Sewage Disposal Facilities - Operation and Maintenance Responsibility Assumed by the Director of Drainage Services during the period from 1 April 1995 to 31 March 1996" kept by the Director of Drainage Services ("the assets") shall be appropriated to the Sewage Services Trading Fund established by resolution of this Council on 9 March 1994 (Cap. 430 sub. leg.);

  2. the assets shall not be disposed of unless the approval of the Financial Secretary has first been obtained.

IV. Government Bills

First Reading

1. Justices of the Peace Bill

2. Jury (Amendment) Bill 1997

3. Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fund (Amendment) Bill 1997

4. Labour Relations (Amendment) Bill 1997

5. Trade Unions (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1997

6. Employment (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1997

7. Long-Term Prison Sentences Review Bill

8. Registered Designs Bill

Second Reading

Debates to be adjourned

1. Justices of the Peace Bill

:

Chief Secretary

2. Jury (Amendment) Bill 1997

:

Chief Secretary

3. Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fund (Amendment) Bill 1997

:

Secretary for Education and Manpower

4. Labour Relations (Amendment) Bill 1997

:

Secretary for Education and Manpower

5. Trade Unions (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1997

:

Secretary for Education and Manpower

6. Employment (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1997

:

Secretary for Education and Manpower

7. Long-Term Prison Sentences Review Bill

:

Secretary for Security

8. Registered Designs Bill

:

Secretary for Trade and Industry

Debates to be resumed

9. Television (Amendment) Bill 1996

:

Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport

10. Dangerous Drugs
(Amendment) Bill 1997

:

Secretary for Security

11. Fugitive Offenders Bill

:

Secretary for Security

Committee Stage and Third Reading

1. Television (Amendment) Bill 1996

:

Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport

2. Dangerous Drugs
(Amendment) Bill 1997

:

Secretary for Security

3. Fugitive Offenders Bill

:

Secretary for Security

V. Members' Motions

1. Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

Mr Wong Wai-yin :

That in relation to the Road Traffic (Public Service Vehicles) (Amendment) (No.3) Regulation 1997, published as Legal Notice No.69 of 1997 and laid on the table of the Legislative Council on 5 March 1997, the period referred to in section 34(2) of the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance (Cap.1) for amending subsidiary legislation be extended under section 34(4) of that Ordinance to the sitting of 9 April 1997.

2.China Light and Power’s excess generating capacity and the Scheme of Control Agreement

Mr Michael HO : (Translation)

That this Council considers that both the China Light and Power Company Limited (CLP) and the Hong Kong Government should be responsible for the mistaken forecast of electricity demand made in 1992, resulting in the serious excess of generating capacity, and demands that:

  1. CLP excludes from the Scheme of Control Agreement its assets relating to the excess capacity of the generating units 5-8 in Black Point Power Station, so as to ensure that the public need not shoulder additional burdens due to the erroneous investment of CLP;

  2. in conducting the mid-term review of the Scheme of Control Agreements with CLP and the Hongkong Electric Company Limited respectively in 1997 and 1998, the Government should discuss with the two power companies in order to reach an agreement on a comprehensive amendment of the relevant provisions, so as to strengthen the monitoring work and safeguard consumers' interests; and

  3. in the long run, the Government should actively consider opening up the electricity supply market and replacing the existing Scheme of Control with another monitoring system which can better safeguard consumers' interests.

Amendment to Mr Michael HO's motion

Mr CHAN Kam-lam : (Translation)

To insert "all" before "its assets"; to add "generating" after "relating to the excess"; to delete "of the generating units 5-8 in Black Point Power Station"; to delete ", so as to strengthen the monitoring work and safeguard consumers' interests"; to delete "actively consider opening up the electricity supply market and replacing the existing Scheme of Control with another monitoring system which can better" and substitute with "remove the provisions in respect of the permitted returns of the two power companies under the Scheme of Control Agreements, set a ceiling on tariff increases and enhance the power of the Energy Advisory Committee to examine and approve the applications of the two companies for tariff increases, so as to".

Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Economic Services

3.Long Term Housing Strategy Review Consultative Document

Mr LEE Wing-tat : (Translation)

That, regarding the "Long Term Housing Strategy Review Consultative Document", this Council urges that the Government should:

  1. meet the housing demand of the public by increasing the supply of public housing flats;

  2. adopt a development strategy which aims primarily at the provision of public rental flats, to be supplemented by Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) flats;

  3. before the year 2005, further reduce to two years the average waiting time for applicants on the Waiting List;

  4. maintain low rents for public rental flats and not effect hefty rent increases;

  5. set the selling prices of public rental flats on the basis of the construction cost; and

  6. continue to construct HOS flats and Sandwich Class Housing flats and sell them at affordable prices;

and also urges the Government, after extensively consulting the public, to compile and publish a report on the results of the consultation exercise, and to fully take into account the opinions of the public when finalizing its housing strategy.

Amendments to Mr LEE Wing-tat's motion

1.Mr CHAN Kam-lam : (Translation)

To delete "that" after "this Council urges"; to delete "should"; to delete "meet" and substitute with "to meet"; to delete "adopt" and substitute with "to adopt"; to delete "development" and substitute with "housing"; to delete "before the year 2005," and substitute with "to"; to add ", and undertake to provide at least 20,000 waiting families with public housing flats annually between the years 2001 and 2006" after "applicants on the Waiting List"; to delete "maintain low" and substitute with "not to greatly increase"; to delete "and not effect hefty rent increases"; to delete "set" and substitute with "to use the replacement cost as the foundation, plus factors such as location and depreciation, as the basis for determining the selling prices of public rental flats"; to delete "on the basis of the construction cost"; to delete "continue" and substitute with "to continue"; to delete ", after extensively consulting the public, to compile and publish a report on the results of the consultation exercise, and"; to delete "finalizing" and substitute with "formulating" and to delete "strategy" and substitute with "policy".

2. Mr MOK Ying-fan :(Translation)

To delete "and" after "basis of the construction cost;"; and to add "and (g) maintain the status quo of the existing inheritance system for public rental tenancies;" after "sell them at affordable prices;".

Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Housing

Ray CHAN
for Clerk to the Legislative Council


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