Revised version
OP 96/97-4(1)
(Issued at 11:00 am on 18.10.96)

The Legislative Council
Order Paper
Wednesday 23 October 1996 at 2:30 pm



I. Papers

Subsidiary Legislation

L.N. NO.

1. Prison (Amendment) (No.2) Rules 1996

417/96

2. Merchant Shipping (Safety) (Gas Carriers) (Amendment) Regulation 1996

420/96

3. Air Pollution Control (Specified Processes) (Removal of Exemption) Order 1996

421/96

4. Import and Export (General) Regulations (Amendment of Fourth Schedule) Order 1996

422/96

5. Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Public Markets) (Designation and Amendment of Tenth Schedule) (No.3) Order 1996

423/96

6. Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Public Pleasure Grounds) (Amendment of Fourth Schedule) (No.6) Order 1996

424/96

7. Public Swimming Pools (Designation) (No.2) Order 1996

425/96

8. Official Languages (Translation) Rules

426/96

9. Declaration of Change of Title (Commissioner for Recreation and Culture) Notice 1996

427/96

10. Rabies Regulation (Amendment of Schedule 1) Notice 1996

428/96

11. Tate's Cairn Tunnel Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule) Notice 1996

429/96

12. Declaration of Markets in the Urban Council Area (Amendment) (No.3) Declaration 1996

430/96

13. Companies (Amendment) Ordinance 1995 (83 of 1995) (Commencement) Notice 1996

431/96

14. Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Ordinance 1996 (37 of 1996) (Commencement) (No.2) Notice 1996

432/96

15. Mental Health (Amendment) Ordinance 1996 (38 of 1996) (Commencement) Notice 1996

433/96

16. Nurses Registration (Amendment) Ordinance 1996 (47 of 1996) (Commencement) Notice 1996

434/96

17. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text) (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University Ordinance) Order

(C) 99/96

18. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text) (Munsang College Incorporation Ordinance) Order

(C) 100/96

19. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text) (Vocational Training Council Ordinance) Order

(C) 101/96

20. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text) (The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Ordinance) Order

(C) 102/96

21. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text) (Hong Kong Baptist University Ordinance) Order

(C) 103/96

22. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text) (City University of Hong Kong Ordinance) Order

(C) 104/96

23. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text) (The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts Ordinance) Order

(C) 105/96

Sessional Papers 1996-97

1. No. 17 - Report of changes to the approved Estimates of Expenditure approved during the first quarter of 1996-97 Public Finance Ordinance : Section 8

(to be presented by the Secretary for the Treasury)

2. No. 18 - Land Development Corporation Annual Report 1995-1996

(to be presented by the Financial Secretary)

3. No. 19 - The Land Registry Trading Fund Hong Kong Annual Report 1995-96

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

4. No. 20 - Office of the Telecommunications Authority Trading Fund Report for the period 1 June 1995 to 31 March 1996

(to be presented by the Secretary for Economic Services who will address

the Council)

5. No. 21 - Hong Kong Post Office Annual Report 1 April 1995 to 31 March 1996

(to be presented by the Secretary for Economic Services who will address

the Council)

II. Questions

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

In his 1994 Policy Address, the Governor pledged to implement flood protection schemes in the following three years for 12 villages which were particularly vulnerable to flooding. However, it was mentioned in the Progress Report of the 1996 Policy Address that construction work on flood control schemes has started in three villages only. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council of the reasons for the delay of the commencement of construction work on the flood protection schemes in the remaining nine villages?

Public Officer to reply : Secretaryfor Planning, Environment and Lands

* 2. Mr Ambrose LAU to ask :

Under section 6 of the Official Languages Ordinance, the Chief Justice may by notice published in the Gazette specify the date from which a court (which means any court, and any board, tribunal or person having by law the power to hear, receive and examine evidence on oath) and legal representatives may use either or both of the official languages (namely Chinese and English) in specified proceedings in a specified court. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether the Government has formulated a policy and a timetable regarding the introduction of the use of Chinese in the hearing of cases in the "court" mentioned above (in particular the Board of Review under the Inland Revenue Ordinance); if so, what the progress in implementing such a policy is; if not, whether the Government will consider formulating such a policy and a timetable for its implementation?

Public Officer to reply : Chief Secretary

* 3. Miss Christine LOH to ask :

According to the supplementary information provided to the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights regarding the Third Periodic Report in respect of Hong Kong under Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the estimated number of families inadequately housed in Hong Kong in 1995 was 173,000 (approximately 452,000 persons). In this connection, will the Administration inform this Council:

  1. of the projected figures on inadequately housed families and persons for the years from 1996 to 2001, taking into account the projected population increases in the same period;
  2. whether the Administration has done any projection on the trend of inadequately housed families and persons for the years 2001 to 2010; if so, what the projected trend is; and
  3. what steps the Administration will take to tackle the problem of having a substantial number of inadequately housed persons?

Public Officer to reply : Secretaryfor Housing

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

It is reported that two Senior Superintendents of Police have not honoured their undertaking, given before they were promoted to their present position, that they would remain in the service for at least one year and have submitted applications for retirement a few months after their promotion, thus becoming eligible for higher pension. In this connection, will the Administration inform this Council whether:

  1. the act of the two Senior Superintendents of Police constitutes a breach of the relevant provisions in the Civil Services Regulations;
  2. there are other similar applications which have been approved; if so, what the details are; and
  3. any measures will be adopted to prevent such applications, from being approved in the future?

Public Officer to reply : Secretaryfor the Civil Service

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

The Government has indicated that the scope of the feasibility study on the Ma On Shan rail link has recently been expanded, so as to review the need for an additional rail link between Sha Tin and Kowloon. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. when a decision was made regarding the undertaking of a review on the need for an additional rail link between Sha Tin and Kowloon, and what the progress of the related feasibility study is;
  2. of the work schedule regarding the construction of the Ma On Shan railway; and
  3. whether it is planning to commission a consortium to construct and manage the Ma On Shan railway; and whether there are any consortia which have indicated interest in participating in this project; if so, what these consortia are?

Public Officer to reply : Secretaryfor Transport

* 6. Mr Howard YOUNG to ask :

Will the Government inform this Council:

  1. whether the Airport Authority is seeking to charge aircraft landing related fees at the new airport at Chek Lap Kok at twice the current levels of fees charged at the Kai Tak Airport; and
  2. whether consultations with the international airlines have been conducted on aircraft landing related fees at the new airport; if so, what the outcome is?

Public Officer to reply : Secretaryfor Economic Services

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

Will the Administration inform this Council:

  1. whether the Government or the Hong Kong Monetary Authority has provided assistance to statutory public organisations in securing loans in the past three years; if so, please provide the following information in respect of each of those cases:
    1. the names of the statutory public organisations and the lending institutions involved;
    2. the type of loan (such as bonds, consortium loan), amount involved, repayment period, lending rate and credit rating; and
    3. the government's role (as guarantor, issuer or trustee... etc) and obligation; and
  2. of the circumstances under which the Government will provide assistance to statutory public organisations in securing loans?

Public Officer to reply : Secretaryfor the Treasury

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

Will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the average number of vehicles on each kilometre of road surface in the territory in each of the past four years;
  2. of the average speed of vehicles during rush hours in the urban areas in the same period;
  3. whether there are any international standards regarding the average number of vehicles per kilometre of road surface and the average speed of vehicles during rush hours; if so, whether the figures given in the answers to (a) and (b) above meet such standards; if not, of the targets that the Government plans to attain; and
  4. whether major road construction projects will be carried out in the next few years with the aim of reducing the average number of vehicles on each kilometre of road surface and increasing the average speed of vehicles?

Public Officer to reply : Secretaryfor Transport

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

It is reported that there has been intense speculation in the premiums of urban taxis and public light buses (PLBs), with the former rising rapidly by 30% from $2.1 million in early 1996 to $2.7 million at present and the latter by 40% from $2.1 million to $3 million over the same period. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council whether:

  1. it has investigated the causes of the sharp rises in the premiums of urban taxis and PLBs; if so, what the causes are; and
  2. the sharp rises in premium mentioned above will lead to increases in the fares of urban taxis and PLBs?

Public Officer to reply : Secretaryfor Transport

*10. Mr Howard YOUNG to ask :

Regarding pickpocketing in tourist areas, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the number of pickpocketing cases reported by tourists in the Tsim Sha Tsui and Causeway Bay districts, as well as the numbers of arrests of pickpockets in the districts and prosecutions in the past 12 months;
  2. whether there is an upward trend in the number of pickpocketing cases in the above districts reported by tourists in the first nine months of this year, as compared with that in the corresponding period in the past two years; and
  3. whether police enforcement action will be strengthened to combat pickpocketing in tourist areas?

Public Officer to reply : Secretaryfor Security

*11. Mr James TIEN to ask : (Translation)

In recent years, there has been a continuous contraction in the cotton spinning industry which is also faced with the problem of a serious shortage of technical manpower, particularly mechanical maintenance technicians. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of the measures it has adopted to enhance the training for technicians in the cotton spinning industry and facilitate the early implementation of automation in the industry's production processes, as well as the effectiveness of such measures so far?

Public Officer to reply : Secretaryfor Trade and Industry

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

It is reported that the Lands Department has recently amended the 1996-97 Land Sales Programme by substituting two residential sites in Sham Tseng and Aldrich Bay with a commercial/residential site in Shek Wu Hui, Sheung Shui and a hotel site in Ma On Shan. As a result, the residential housing production generated by land sale this year will be reduced by about 3 900 flats, aggravating the existing shortfall in the supply of residential flats. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. whether it will continue to identify suitable sites for sale by auction within the current year, so as to ease the shortage in the supply of residential flats; and
  2. of the anticipated number of applications for redevelopment or change of the designated use of a site to residential use that will be approved in the current year, and the estimated number of flats which will be produced arising from the approved applications?

Public Officer to reply : Secretaryfor Planning, Environment and Lands

*13 Dr John TSE to ask : (Translation)

In his Policy Commitments this year, the Governor has mentioned that a comprehensive management strategy for the Mai Po Marshes/Inner Deep Bay Ramsar Site will be developed in early 1997. However, as other wet land in the territory is also of environmental importance, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. whether the department concerned has conducted regular surveys on the total area of wet land in the territory; if so, of the total area of wet land in each of the past three years, together with the reasons for any increase or decrease in the total area of wet land;
  2. whether there are any legislative or administrative measures in place to regulate and restrict the development projects in the wet land areas; and
  3. whether there are any long-term measures to ensure that the total area of wet land in the territory will not be reduced?

Public Officer to reply : Secretaryfor Planning, Environment and Lands

*14. Dr C H LEONG to ask :

Regarding the Government's recent implementation of an optional medical and dental group-insurance scheme for civil servants, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the financial implications of the above scheme on the Government;
  2. of the range of annual premium for each participant, and the number of civil servants who have taken part in the scheme so far;
  3. whether the Government anticipates any decline in the number of civil servants using Government medical and dental services in the next ten years because of the above scheme; if so, what the projected decreases are; and
  4. whether, in the long run, the Government will consider hiving off the medical and dental services currently provided to civil servants to the private sector, or replacing the provision of such services partly or wholly by group insurance schemes?

Public Officer to reply : Secretaryfor the Civil Service

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

Will the Government inform this Council of:

  1. the total value of contracts in respect of government projects currently undertaken by Japanese contractors; and
  2. the major categories of government contracts awarded to Japanese contractors, as well as their respective value, in each of the past three years?

Public Officer to reply : Secretaryfor Works

*16. Mr K K FUNG to ask : (Translation)

Under the current policy, addition of persons over the age of 18 to public rental housing tenancies is not permitted. However, the Housing Department may, on the merits of individual cases, exercise its discretion in permitting the addition of persons over the age of 18 to such tenancies so as to enable them to look after singletons over the age of 60 living in public rental flats. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the total number of singletons over the age of 60 living in public rental flats in each of the past three years;
  2. of the number of applications for addition of persons over the age of 18 to public rental housing tenancies, together with the number of such applications which have been approved, in each of the past three years; and
  3. whether the Housing Department will, as a general rule, offer "temporary tenancies" to persons over the age of 18 to facilitate their looking after their relatives who are elderly singletons living in public rental flats, on the conditions that the head of household will not apply for further additions to the tenancy, and that the temporary tenant will move out of the public rental flat upon the death of the head of household; if so, when such an arrangement will be implemented; if not, why not?

Public Officer to reply : Secretaryfor Housing

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

Will the Government inform this Council of the factors taken into account in appointing individuals to serve on the Kowloon Canton Railway Corporation Managing Board and whether the Government will review the existing mechanism and criteria for making such appointments, so as to ensure that the Board fulfils its supervisory responsibility for the operation of the corporation?

Public Officer to reply : Secretaryfor Transport

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

The reciprocal agreement between Hong Kong and the British Government on the provision of medical services has been in place for 14 years. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. whether it knows of the respective numbers of Hong Kong and British citizens who have benefited from the above agreement, and the expenditure involved, in each of the past 5 years; if so, what the details are;
  2. whether the agreement will continue to be in force after the handover of the territory's sovereignty on 1 July 1997; and
  3. whether there are plans to enter into similar agreements with other countries besides Britain so as to ensure that Hong Kong residents can receive medical services in those countries?

Public Officer to reply : Secretaryfor Health and Welfare

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

It was reported that the Legal Department has recently reached an agreement with the defendant in a case. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. whether the Legal Department has laid down any guidelines governing the circumstances under which agreements may be reached with defendants; and
  2. of the mechanism which monitors the Legal Department in handling such matters?

Public Officer to reply : Attorney General

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

Will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the amount of stamp duty collected from share dealings in each of the past three years;
  2. whether consideration has been given to the abolition of stamp duty on share dealings; if not, why not; and
  3. of the differences between the current rate of stamp duty on share dealings levied in the territory and those levied in other Asian countries?

Public Officer to reply : Secretaryfor the Treasury

* For written reply.

III. Government Motions

Ozone Layer Protection Ordinance

Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands :

That the Ozone Layer Protection (Products Containing Scheduled Substances) (Import Banning) (Amendment) Regulation 1996, made by the Governor in Council on 24 September 1996, be approved.

IV. Government Bills

First Reading

1. Discovery Bay Tunnel Link Bill

2. Occupational Deafness (Compensation) (Amendment) Bill 1996

Second Reading

Debates to be adjourned

1. Discovery Bay Tunnel Link Bill

:

Secretary for Transport

2. Occupational Deafness (Compensation) (Amendment) Bill 1996

:

Secretary for Education and Manpower

Debates to be resumed

3. Employment (Amendment) (No.3) Bill 1996

:

Secretary for Education and Manpower

4. Noise Control (Amendment) Bill 1996

:

Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands

5. Telecommunication (Amendment) Bill 1996

:

Secretary for Economic Services

Committee Stage and Third Reading

1. Employment (Amendment) (No.3) Bill 1996

:

Secretary for Education and Manpower

2. Noise Control (Amendment) Bill 1996

:

Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands

3. Telecommunication (Amendment) Bill 1996

:

Secretary for Economic Services

V. Members' Motions

1. Appointment of select committee

Mr IP Kwok-him : (Translation)

That a select committee be appointed to inquire into the circumstances surrounding the departure of Mr LEUNG Ming-yin, former Director of Immigration, from the Government and related issues; and that in the performance of its duties the committee be authorised under section 9(2) of the Legislative Council (Powers and Privileges) Ordinance (Cap.382) to exercise the powers conferred by section 9(1) of that Ordinance.

Public Officer to attend : Secretaryfor the Civil Service

2. Motion of Thanks

Dr C H LEONG :

That this Council thanks the Governor for his address.

(Debate to be resumed - Response from the Administration)

Public Officers to attend :

    Chief Secretary

    Secretaryfor Constitutional Affairs

    Secretaryfor Housing

    Secretaryfor Health and Welfare

    Secretaryfor Security

    Secretaryfor Transport

    Secretaryfor Planning, Environment and Lands

    Secretaryfor Broadcasting, Culture and Sport

    Secretaryfor Education and Manpower

    Secretaryfor Home Affairs

    Financial Secretary

VI. Members' Bills

First Reading

Employment (Amendment) (No.4) Bill 1996

Second Reading

Debate to be adjourned

1. Employment (Amendment) (No.4) Bill 1996

:

Mr LEUNG Yiu-chung

Public Officer to attend

:

Secretaryfor Education and Manpower

Debates to be resumed

2. University of Hong Kong (Amendment) Bill 1996

:

Dr David LI

3. The Orthodox Metropolitanate of Hong Kong and South East Asia Bill

:

Mr Eric LI

Committee Stage and Third Reading

1. University of Hong Kong (Amendment) Bill 1996

:

Dr David LI

2. The Orthodox Metropolitanate of Hong Kong and South East Asia Bill

:

Mr Eric LI


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