Revised version
OP 96/97-10(1)
(Issued at 11:00 am on 25.11.96)

The Legislative Council
Order Paper
Wednesday 27 November 1996 at 2:30 pm



I. Papers

Subsidiary Legislation

L.N. NO.

1. Import and Export (Fees) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulation 1996

484/96

2. Television (Royalty and Licence Fees) (Amendment) Regulation 1996

485/96

3. Marine Parks (Designation) (No.2) Order

486/96

4. Designation of Libraries (Urban Council Area) (No.3) Order 1996

487/96

5. Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Public Pleasure Grounds) (Amendment of Fourth Schedule) (No.7) Order 1996

488/96

6. Food Business (Urban Council) (Amendment) (No.3) Bylaw 1996

489/96

7. Rabies (Amendment) Regulation 1996 (L.N.401 of 1996) (Commencement) Notice 1996

490/96

8. Hong Kong Letters Patent 1917 to 1995 Authorization by the Governor

491/96

9. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text) (Quarantine and Prevention of Disease Ordinance) Order

(C) 122/96

The Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport will address the Council on the Television (Royalty and Licence Fees) (Amendment) Regulation 1996 (L.N. No.485/96).

Miscellaneous

Fourteenth Periodic Report in respect of Hong Kong under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination

(to be presented by the Secretary for Home Affairs)

II. Questions

1. Mr Fred LI to ask : (Translation)

It is indicated in several surveys on the poverty problem published in recent months by community organisations and tertiary institutions that the problem of disparity between the rich and the poor in the territory is acute, and that the low-income group is leading a very difficult life. In this regard, will the Government:

  1. inform this Council of the main causes giving rise to the present poverty problem;
  2. give a response regarding the findings of the surveys conducted recently by the Oxfam Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Council of Social Service that the extreme poverty of the low-income group has been caused by the continuing increase in the rental of domestic premises; and
  3. consider revising the present policy of reducing the number of public rental housing flats, so that more people in the low-income group can be accommodated in such flats, thereby alleviating their burden in meeting rental expenses; if not, whether it will adopt other measures to narrow the disparity between the rich and the poor?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Housing

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

Will the Government inform this Council of:

  1. the number of cases involving the use of counterfeit banknotes in each of the past three years; as well as the amount of money involved in each of these cases;
  2. the methods used by the offenders in the above cases, and the main nationalities of such offenders; and
  3. the measures in place to combat crimes involving the use of counterfeit banknotes, and the effectiveness of such measures?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

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

Will the Government inform this Council whether consideration has been given to issuing commemorative stamps and souvenir covers to commemorate the outstanding achievements of the Hong Kong Paralympic Team at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games; if so, when such stamps and covers will be put on sale; if not, why not?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Home Affairs

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

Regarding the interpretation that the Tate's Cairn Tunnel Ordinance and the Eastern Harbour Crossing Ordinance do not empower the Legislative Council to amend subsidiary legislation relating to the variation of the tolls of the tunnels concerned, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. whether the above interpretation reflects the original intent of the Transport Branch in drafting the relevant bills; if not, when did the Branch reach such an interpretation; and
  2. whether consideration will be given to amending the above Ordinances so as to specify clearly that this Council is empowered to amend subsidiary legislation relating to the tolls of the tunnels concerned; if not, why not?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport

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

It is learnt that the Legal Aid Department (LAD) had delayed processing a case involving a claim for damages in respect of the accidental death of a crew member on board a vessel, and was also mistaken about the particulars of the defendant's fleet, resulting in the plaintiff not being able to file a successful claim for damages. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of:

  1. the criteria adopted by the LAD in assigning cases to counsels;
  2. the remedial measures taken to prevent the recurrence of similar incidents; and
  3. the channels that are open to people in receipt of legal aid for filing complaints and claiming damages in respect of the losses they suffer due to mistakes on the part of the LAD?

Public Officer to reply : Attorney General

* 6. Mr Howard YOUNG to ask :

Will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the respective numbers of arrivals from Taiwan visiting the territory or on transfer during the 12-month period before and after the commissioning of the Macau airport in October 1995; and
  2. how the number of arrivals from Taiwan during the 12-month period after the commissioning of the Macau airport given in the answer to (a) above compares with those from Japan, South Korea and Singapore in the corresponding period?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Economic Services

* 7. Mrs Miriam LAU to ask : (Translation)

It is reported that traffic accident statistics in the United States indicate that drivers of short height and children are prone to be killed by the ejection of safety airbags during accidents. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. whether it has any statistics on the number of drivers and front-seat passengers who escaped injury, as well as those who sustained injuries, as a result of the ejection of safety airbags during accidents in the past three years; if so, what the respective figures were;
  2. how it will regulate the operation of safety airbags in view of the fact that the installation of safety airbags in cars is becoming increasingly common; and
  3. whether measures will be taken to prevent the occurrence of incidents involving injuries caused by the ejection of safety airbags during accidents?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport

* 8. Mrs Selina CHOW to ask : (Translation)

Will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the number of cases involving serving police officers being investigated by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (the ICAC) in the past five years;
  2. of the number of the above cases in which the investigation time lasted for
    1. less than one year,
    2. one to less than two years,
    3. two to less than three years, and
    4. three years or more;
  3. whether the authority concerned has put in place any mechanism for determining if a police officer under investigation should be interdicted with pay; if not, whether, and if so how, such a mechanism will be set up;
  4. of the number of the cases referred to in (a) above in which the ICAC had not been able to complete investigations within a period of two years, resulting in the police officers under investigation being interdicted for a prolonged period; and
  5. whether the ICAC has set a time limit for the ICAC to completion of an investigation and instituting prosecution proceedings where evidence is available or review whether investigations into uncompleted cases should continue; if not, why not?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

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

The Deputy Secretary for the Civil Service stated in April this year that the Government had undertaken a programme for the leasing out of vacant non-departmental quarters (NDQs) and the sale of individual units with a view to reducing the number of surplus NDQs, and that a Working Group had been set up to review the progress of the programme. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the number of vacant NDQs as at the end of October this year, together with their locations and the total floor area involved;
  2. of the latest progress of the above programme, and the number of vacant NDQs mentioned in (a) above which are now included in the programme; and
  3. whether there is still a surplus of NDQs after the implementation of the programme; if so, what the reasons are?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Civil Service

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

It is reported that recently there has been a considerable number of Nepalis, who claim to be descendants of retired Gurkha soldiers previously stationed in Hong Kong, coming to the territory in an attempt to obtain Hong Kong permanent identity cards before 1 July 1997 so that they can remain in the territory to take up employment, and that the number of such people eligible for applying for the Hong Kong identity card is estimated to be in tens of thousands. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the numbers of descendants of retired Gurkha soldiers granted permission to reside permanently in the territory in each of the past twelve months, and the reasons for granting such permission;
  2. of the number of applications for permanent stay in the territory from the descendants of retired Gurkha soldiers that are still being processed at present; and
  3. whether it will consider adopting measures to stop the influx of these people into the territory in large numbers before 1 July 1997, so as to avoid putting the labour market under pressure?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

*11. Dr David LI to ask :

It is learnt that a certain number of the existing 14,500 full-time first-degree places at the seven tertiary institutions funded by the University Grants Committee (UGC) will be allocated to the Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIE) in an effort to boost teacher training. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council what effects the allocation of first-degree places to the HKIE will have on the first-degree places offered by the UGC-funded institutions?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education and Manpower

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

Regarding overseas study tours undertaken every year by members of the Municipal Councils, is the Government aware of:

  1. the number of overseas study tours undertaken by members of the Municipal Councils since 1986 and the total amount of public funds incurred;
  2. the number of the tours mentioned in (a) above which involved the inspection of lavatories and environmental hygiene matters; and the total amount of public funds incurred on such tours; and
  3. whether the Director of Audit has conducted value for money audits on the use of public funds by the Municipal Councils on overseas study tours; if not, how the Government monitors the expenses incurred by the Municipal Councils on overseas study tours?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport

*13. Miss Christine LOH to ask :

Does the Government know of the respective total financial provisions earmarked for the setting up of the three new hospitals in the New Territories, viz. Tai Po Nethersole Hospital, North District Hospital and Tseung Kwan O Hospital?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health and Welfare

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

Does the Government know:

  1. why individual investors are not allowed to open stock storage accounts with the central clearing house under the direct control of the investors concerned; and whether the authority concerned has given consideration to allowing individual investors to open such accounts in the near future; and
  2. whether the authority concerned has assessed if the above situation has resulted in individual investors choosing stock brokers with a banking background for transaction of stocks, thus affecting the business of stock brokers without such a background?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services

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

Recently there have been reports about the shooting of protected wild birds in the Mai Po Marshes. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. when such incidents first came to the attention of the authorities concerned, and of the estimated number of protected wild birds which have been shot dead so far; and
  2. what measures have been put in place by the authorities concerned to prevent the recurrence of such incidents in the future?

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

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

Regarding the impending departure of the Chairman of the Kowloon Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC), is the Government aware of:

  1. the total amount of remunerations payable to the Chairman of the KCRC upon his departure; and
  2. the respective total amounts of remunerations received by each of the past Chief Executive Officers/Chairmen of the Managing Board of the KCRC upon departure?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport

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

It is reported that since April this year, a German plastics plant has shipped 50 containers containing 700 tonnes of contaminated waste into the territory for dumping. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. whether the departments concerned have received any application for the importation of the above waste;
  2. whether the 700 tonnes of waste have been dumped within the boundaries of the territory; if not, how the departments concerned will dispose of it; and
  3. whether the Government has reviewed the Waste Disposal Ordinance to ascertain if the Ordinance can effectively stop the importation of waste from foreign countries into the territory; and whether consideration will be given to amending the Ordinance so as to enhance the powers of the departments concerned in enforcing the provisions of the Ordinance in this regard?

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

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

Regarding the staff establishment and expenditure of hospitals under the management of the Hospital Authority, is the Government aware of:

  1. the respective numbers of administrative staff, medical personnel and non-medical personnel; and their respective staff costs in each of the past five years; and
  2. the expenditure (excluding staff costs) - broken down into administration costs, medical costs and non-medical costs - in each of the past five years?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health and Welfare

*19. Mr Howard YOUNG to ask :

Will the Government inform this Council of:

  1. the number of applications for the inclusion of the '***' symbol to, and the number of applications for the deletion of the '***' symbol from, the Hong Kong permanent identity card in each of the past three years; and
  2. the eligibility criteria, application procedure and processing time in respect of each of the two categories of applications mentioned above?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

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

Regarding the closure of securities companies recently, is the Government aware of:

  1. which securities companies have closed down on account of financial difficulties or other reasons since the beginning of this year, and the amount of capital which could not be recovered by the clients of each of the securities companies concerned;
  2. the operation of the above companies in terms of capital size, management practice and types of clients; and
  3. whether the authority concerned will adopt measures to step up the control of the securities industry so as to safeguard the interests of investors as well as promote the development of the industry?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services

* For written reply.

III. Government Motions

Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

Secretary for Security:

That the Post-Release Supervision of Prisoners Regulation, published as Legal Notice No. 446 of 1996 and laid on the table of the Legislative Council on 30 October 1996, be amended in Schedule 1 -

(a) in item 4 -

(i) by adding -

"section 61 threats to destroy or damage property
section 62 possessing anything with intent to destroy or damage property
section 118E buggery with a defective
section 118F homosexual buggery committed otherwise than in private";

(ii) by repealing -

"section 148 indecent exposure in public";

(b) in item 6, by adding -

"section 26 exposing a child whereby its life is endangered".

IV. Government Bills

First Reading

1. Television (Amendment) Bill 1996

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

Second Reading

Debates to be adjourned

1. Television (Amendment) Bill 1996

:

Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport

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

:

Secretary for Security

Debates to be resumed

3. Securities and Futures Commission (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 1996

:

Secretary for Financial Services

4. Employees' Compensation (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 1996

:

Secretary for Education and Manpower

5. Protection of Wages on Insolvency (Amendment) Bill 1996

:

Secretary for Education and Manpower

Committee Stage and Third Reading

1. Securities and Futures Commission (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 1996

:

Secretary for Financial Services

2. Employees' Compensation (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 1996

:

Secretary for Education and Manpower

3. Protection of Wages on Insolvency (Amendment) Bill 1996

:

Secretary for Education and Manpower

V. Members' Motions

Policy on people’s livelihood for new Hong Kong after 1997

Mr Fred LI : (Translation)

That, as the Chief Executive is not elected through universal franchise, the Chief Executive candidates need not respond to the general public's aspirations concerning their livelihood and fail to formulate a comprehensive policy on people's livelihood for new Hong Kong after 1997, this Council expresses its deepest regrets.

Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Constitutional Affairs

VI. Members' Bills

First Reading

Travel Agents (Travel Industry Compensation Fund (Amount of Ex gratia Payments and Financial Penalty) Rules)(Amendment) Bill 1996

Second Reading

Debate to be adjourned

Travel Agents (Travel Industry Compensation Fund (Amount of Ex gratia Payments and Financial Penalty) Rules)(Amendment) Bill 1996

:

Mr Fred LI

Public Officer to attend

:

Secretary for Trade and Industry


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