Revised version
OP 96/97-16(1) (Issued at 11:00 am on 20.1.97)

The Legislative Council
Order Paper

Wednesday 22 January 1997 at 2:30 pm



I. Papers

Subsidiary Legislation

L.N. NO.

1. Dentists (Registration and Disciplinary Procedure) (Amendment) Regulation 1997

10/97

2. Ancillary Dental Workers (Dental Hygienists) (Amendment) Regulation 1997

11/97

3. Midwives (Registration and Disciplinary Procedure) (Amendment) Regulation 1997

12/97

4. Nurses (Registration and Disciplinary Procedure) (Amendment) Regulation 1997

13/97

5. Enrolled Nurses (Enrolment and Disciplinary Procedure) (Amendment) Regulation 1997

14/97

6. Road Traffic (Traffic Control) (Amendment) Regulation 1997

15/97

7. Hong Kong Airport (Control of Obstructions) Order 1997

16/97

8. Official Languages (Alteration of Text) (Pneumoconiosis (Compensation) Ordinance) Order 1997 17/97


9. Official Languages (Alteration of Text Under Section 4D) Order 1997

18/97

10. Pilotage (Dues) (Amendment) Order 1997

19/97

11. Accountant's Report (Amendment) Rules 1997

20/97

12. Overseas Lawyers (Qualification for Admission) (Amendment) Rules 1997

21/97

13. Overseas Lawyers (Qualification for Admission) (Fees) (Amendment) Rules 1997

22/97

14. Kowloon-Canton Railway (Restricted Area) Notice 1997

23/97

15. Official Languages (Amendment) Ordinance 1995 (51 of 1995) (Commencement) Notice 1997

24/97

16. Costs in Criminal Cases Ordinance (39 of 1996) (Commencement) Notice 1997

25/97

17. The Hong Kong Institute of Education (Amendment) Ordinance 1996 (65 of 1996) (Commencement) Notice 1997

26/97

18. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text) (Pilotage Ordinance) Order

(C) 1/97

19. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text) (Pneumoconiosis (Compensation) Ordinance) Order

(C) 2/97

Sessional Papers 1996-97

1. No. 60 - Lingnan College President's Report 1995-1996 and Lingnan College Financial Report for the year ended 30 June 1996

(to be presented by the Secretary for Education and Manpower)

2. No. 61 - Audited Financial Statements and Programme of Activities of the Hong Kong Examinations Authority for the year ended 31 August 1996

(to be presented by the Secretary for Education and Manpower)

II. Questions

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

In view of the continuing increase in the number of Comprehensive Social Security Assistance ("CSSA") cases in the unemployed and low-income categories in recent years, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the measures in place to assist CSSA recipients in the unemployed and low-increase categories to regain employment and to increase their income;
  2. whether it will strengthen the liaison between the Labour Department and the Employees Retraining Board so as to promote the Employees Retraining Scheme (the "ERS") actively among CSSA recipients and encourage them to enrol in the ERS courses;
  3. how many of the 90,000-plus workers who have undergone retraining under the ERS -
  4. are CSSA recipients, or
  5. have now regained employment and are no longer receiving assistance under the CSSA Scheme, together with a breakdown of the trades in which they are engaged and the types of jobs in which they are employed; and
  6. whether consideration will be given to requiring all CSSA recipients eligible for receiving ERS retraining to enrol in the ERS courses, so as to increase their chances of regaining employment; if not, why not?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education and Manpower

2. Mr James TIEN to ask : (Translation)

As the number of imported labour approved under the Supplementary Labour Scheme has exceeded the quota of 2,000, will the Government inform this Council whether:

  1. the Labour Advisory Board will stop vetting applications for import labour quota thus putting the Supplementary Labour Scheme to a halt; and whether the industrial and commercial organisations in the territory should continue to apply for imported labour to fill those job vacancies where local employees are not available; and
  2. there is an upper limit on the quota under the Supplementary Labour Scheme, if so, what the exact number is?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education and Manpower

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

In view of the great difficulties encountered by the disabled in using public transport and the fact that taxis have become the major means of transport for wheelchair users, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the measures adopted to facilitate the disabled to use public transport;
  2. in cases where taxi drivers refuse to assist passengers with a disability in getting on and off the car, whether such acts are in breach of the provisions in the Disability Discrimination Ordinance; if so, of the measures in place to protect the rights of the disabled, and of the departments or institutions with which they can lodge complaints; and
  3. whether specific measures will be introduced requiring taxi drivers to assist passengers with a disability in getting on and off the car; if not, why not?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport

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

Will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the number of cases involving the illegal alteration or redevelopment of small houses on private rural building lots in the New Territories over the past three years;
  2. whether there are any laws prohibiting the carrying out of such works; and
  3. if the answer to (b) is in the affirmative, whether any prosecutions have been instituted over the past three years against the property owners in the cases mentioned in (a) above; if so, of the total number of prosecutions instituted and the highest and lowest penalties imposed amongst the successful prosecutions; if not, why not?

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

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

Regarding the issue of medical certificates by medical officers in public hospitals, does the Government know:

  1. of the criteria adopted by the public hospitals under the management of the Hospital Authority for determining the level of the fee charged on medical certificates issued to patients, and the proportion of the fee charged to the cost involved in issuing such a certificate;
  2. the respective figures on the number of medical certificates issued by medical officers in public hospitals and the income therefrom in each of the years since the establishment of the Hospital Authority; and
  3. the reasons usually put forward by patients in requesting medical officers in public hospitals to issue them with medical certificates; and the average time taken by the medical officers concerned in issuing medical certificates to patients?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health and Welfare

6. Mr Albert CHAN to ask : (Translation)

Will the Government inform this Council of:

  1. the actual supply of residential flats in 1996 and how it differs from the expected supply of flats for that year;
  2. the expected annual supply of residential flats in the next three years; and
  3. the steps which will be taken to ensure that the actual supply of residential flats will reach the targets mentioned in the answer to (b) above?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Housing

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

It is learnt that upon the completion of the redevelopment projects at Kwun Lung Lau and Tanner Hill Estate, the Hong Kong Housing Society (the Society) will put the units of the two housing estates up for sale, as opposed to the existing units in these two housing estates being put to rental use. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of the criteria adopted in permitting the Society to sell the units of the redeveloped Kwun Lung Lau and Tanner Hill Estate?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Housing

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

Regarding fund-raising activities on "flag days", will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the following in each of the past three years -
    1. the number of charitable organisations which applied for permission to sell flags to raise funds;
    2. the organisations whose applications were approved and the dates of the "flag days" allocated to these organisations;
    3. the organisations whose applications were rejected and the reasons for rejection;
  2. of the criteria adopted for granting approval to such applications and for determining the allocation of the "flag days"; and
  3. whether an organisation permitted to raise funds on a "flag day" in a year is required to raise a specified amount of money in order to gain permission to sell flags to raise funds in the following year; if so, what the reasons are?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health and Welfare

* 9. Miss Christine LOH to ask :

At the meeting of the Home Affairs Panel of the Legislative Council held on 20 December last year, the Government informed the Panel that about 1,000 private buildings in the territory with potential fire and safety hazards had been put on a "watchlist". It is learnt that a total of 331 of these buildings are located on Hong Kong Island. In this connection, will the Government provide this Council with a list of the names and addresses of the 331 buildings located on Hong Kong Island?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Home Affairs

*10. Mr LAU Wong-fat to ask : (Translation)

Regarding rental flats under the management of the Housing Society (HS), does the Government know:

  1. of the total number of rental flats managed by the HS;
  2. of the proportion of vacant rental flats to the total number of rental flats, together with the number of such flats being left vacant for over a year, in each of the past five years; and
  3. whether the HS has considered lowering the rent of the flats being left vacant for over a year so as to attract potential tenants?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Housing

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

Is the Government aware of the following data in public hospitals in 1995-96:

  1. the respective numbers of psychiatric patients and non-psychiatric patients who were hospitalised and the respective numbers of psychiatric patients and non-psychiatric patients who attended the out-patient departments;
  2. the respective numbers of psychiatric and non-psychiatric patients who were hospitalised for more than 28 days; and
  3. the establishment and strength of medical doctors and nurses in psychiatric service and non-psychiatric service respectively?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health and Welfare

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

Will the Government inform this Council of the criteria adopted for appointing judges to the different levels of the court?

Public Officer to reply : Chief Secretary

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

Under the Medical Registration (Amendment) Ordinance 1995 which came into effect on 1 September last year, all medical graduates other than those of the local universities have to pass the Universal Licensing Examination before they can practise medicine in the territory. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the number of local residents who, before the commencement of the above Ordinance, had already enrolled in courses at recognised overseas medical institutions and are therefore exempted from the former Licentiate Examination; whether there are any of these students who are not eligible for taking the Universal Licensing Examination and if so, what the details are; and whether such students will, in consequence, become ineligible for registration as medical practitioners in the territory;
  2. whether the Government has advised the overseas medical institutions concerned of the amendments to the Medical Registration Ordinance; if not, when such institutions will be advised; and
  3. whether the students mentioned in (a) above will be given a grace period so that they can be exempted from taking the Universal Licensing Examination; if not, what other kinds of assistance will be provided to these students?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health and Welfare

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

At present, all new public housing blocks are equipped with door-phone systems ("the old systems"). In this connection, does the Government know:

  1. of the names of the housing estates, and the total number of public housing flats involved, which are equipped with the old systems, together with the total costs of the installation of the old systems in these estates;
  2. whether those public housing flats already equipped with the old systems will switch to the entry phone control systems ("the new systems"); if so, what the reasons are and how the authority concerned will dispose of the old systems;
  3. of the names of the housing estates, and the total number of public housing flats involved, which will be equipped with the new systems, together with the total costs of the installation of the new systems in these estates; and
  4. of the number of public housing blocks under construction which will not be equipped with the new systems because the tendering procedures for the installation of the old system in these housing blocks have been completed?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Housing

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

Regarding elderly singletons residing in public housing units, does the Government know:

  1. of the number of elderly singletons presently residing in public housing units which are planned to be redeveloped in three years' time or thereafter, and the number among this group of elderly singletons who are residing in Mark IV public housing units;
  2. of the elderly singletons referred in the answer to (a) above, how many are Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients; and
  3. in the light of the incident which took place at the end of last year in which an elderly singleton living in a public housing unit, which was not equipped with an emergency alarm system, was killed in a fire caused by the short circuit of a mosquito extinguisher, whether the authority concerned has:
    1. conducted any review for the purpose of preventing the occurrence of similar incidents; and
    2. any plan in the near future to assign staff to visit elderly singletons living in public housing units who are not CSSA recipients, so as to assist them in applying for the installation of an emergency alarm system; if so, when the plan will be implemented; if not, why not?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Housing

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

Will the Government inform this Council whether the plaintiff in civil proceedings has the right to make requests to the court regarding the assignment of judges; if not, of the reasons why cases involving certain organisations are always adjudicated by the same judges?

Public Officer to reply : Chief Secretary

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

At present, the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) imposes a surcharge not exceeding 5% of the tax in default on a taxpayer who has not paid the tax by the specified date. However, in the event of overpayment of tax by a taxpayer due to the IRD's incorrect assessment, no interest is paid to the taxpayer when the excess tax is refunded. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council whether the IRD has any plan to pay interest to taxpayers who have paid excess tax; if so, when such a plan will be implemented; if not, why not?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Treasury

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

Will the Government inform this Council of the number of Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients who were among the unemployed and low-income categories of CSSA cases in the past three years but who are no longer receiving assistance under the CSSA scheme, and the respective numbers of these former CSSA recipients who have not applied for CSSA either because their current income exceeds the stipulated income requirement or because of other reasons?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health and Welfare

*19. Miss Christine LOH to ask :

It is learnt that the Administration has proposed that a specified proportion of the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) is to be denominated in Hong Kong dollar. In this connection, will the Administration inform this Council:

  1. of the percentage of the MPF which it has proposed to be held in Hong Kong dollar;
  2. of the objective of imposing the above restriction, and whether such a restriction in effect imposes a ceiling on the MPF's exposure to foreign currency; and
  3. whether such a restriction contravenes Article 112 of the Basic Law which stipulates that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region will not adopt foreign exchange controls?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services

*20. Dr John TSE to ask : (Translation)

As the occurrence of some traffic accidents is due to tail-gating, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the number of traffic accidents caused by tail-gating, as well as the number of casualties arising from such accidents, in each of the past five years; and
  2. whether it will consider introducing legislation to prohibit tail-gating by motorists so as to prevent the occurrence of such accidents?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport

* For written reply.

III. Government Bills

First Reading

1. Administration of Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 1997

2. Auxiliary Forces Pensions (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 1997

Second Reading

Debates to be adjourned

1. Administration of Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 1997

:

Attorney General

2. Auxiliary Forces Pensions (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 1997

:

Secretary for Security

IV. Members' Motions

1. Rent assistance

Mr James TO : (Translation)

That this Council urges the Government to provide rent assistance to persons who have been waiting for allocation of public rental flats for some time, so as to relieve the hardship of low-income people caused by the need to pay exorbitant rent.

Amendments to Mr James TO's motion

1. Miss CHAN Yuen-han : (Translation)

To add ", whereas the Government made a commitment in the 1987 Long Term Housing Strategy to satisfy the needs for public rental flats of families on the Waiting List before 1997, currently there are still more than 100,000 families waiting for public housing," after "That"; to delete "persons who have been" and substitute with "those families which are eligible for public rental housing but have still been"; to delete "low-income people" and substitute with "these families"; and to add "in the interim; at the same time, in order to fully implement its commitment, the Government should expeditiously formulate measures, including increasing the allocation of land and speeding up the pace of construction, etc., to increase the volume of public rental flats" after "pay exorbitant rent".

2. Mr K K FUNG : (Translation)

To delete "persons who have been" and substitute with "impoverished families living in private rented accommodation while"; to delete "for some time"; to delete "low-income people" and substitute with "these families"; and to add "during the waiting period for public housing" after "caused by the need to pay exorbitant rent".

Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Housing

2. Ma On Shan/Kowloon rail link

Mr CHOY Kan-pui : (Translation)

That this Council urges the Government to implement at an early date the construction of a new railway running from Ma On Shan to urban Kowloon via Tai Wai, so as to ultimately resolve the traffic congestion predicament in the Northeast New Territories region.

Amendment to Mr CHOY Kan-pui's motion

Dr John TSE : (Translation)

To add ", in order to ultimately resolve the traffic congestion predicament in the Northeast New Territories region," after "That"; and to delete "implement at an early date the construction of a new railway running from Ma On Shan to urban Kowloon via Tai Wai, so as to ultimately resolve the traffic congestion predicament in the Northeast New Territories region" and substitute with "finance the construction of a new railway running from Ma On Shan to urban Kowloon via Tai Wai, so as to enable the early implementation of the project, and to ensure the setting of reasonable fares that the public can afford".

Amendment to Dr John TSE's Amendment

Dr LAW Cheung-kwok : (Translation)

To delete "finance" and substitute with "implement at an early date"; to add "and formulate an appropriate financing option," after "the construction of a new railway running from Ma On Shan to urban Kowloon via Tai Wai,"; and to delete "enable the early implementation of the project, and to".

Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Transport

V. Members' Bills

First Reading

Housing (Amendment) Bill 1997

Second Reading

Debate to be adjourned

Housing (Amendment) Bill 1997

:

Mr Bruce LIU

Public Officer to attend

:

Secretary for Housing


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