Revised version
OP 96/97-33(1)
(Issued at 11:00 am on 26.5.97)

The Legislative Council
Order Paper

Wednesday 28 May 1997 at 2:30 pm



I. Papers

Subsidiary LegislationL.N. NO.
1. Child Care Centres (Amendment) Regulation 1997272/97
2. Fugitive Offenders (Indonesia) Order273/97
3. Fugitive Offenders (Drugs) Order274/97
4. Prison (Amendment) Rules 1997275/97
5. Plant Varieties Protection Regulation279/97
6. Banking Ordinance (Declaration Under Section 2(14)(d)) Notice280/97
7. Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance (39 of 1997) (Commencement) Notice 1997281/97
8. Enduring Powers of Attorney (Registration) Rules282/97
9. Supreme Court Fees (Amendment) Rules 1997283/97
10. Rules of the Supreme Court (Amendment) (No.2) Rules 1997284/97

Sessional Papers 1996-97

1.No.100-Report by the Commissioner of Correctional Services on the Administration of the Prisoners' Welfare Fund for the year ended 31 March 1996
(to be presented by the Secretary for Security)
2.No.101-Regional Council
Revised Estimates of Expenditure 1996/97
(to be presented by the Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport)
3.No.102-Urban Council
Schedule of revisions to the 1996/97 Estimates approved by the Urban Council during the fourth quarter of the 1996/97 financial year
(to be presented by the Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport)

II. Questions

1. Mr Michael HO to ask : (Translation)

Regarding the recent spate of tuberculosis cases involving workers in the service industries, will the Government inform this Council whether the number of people suffering from tuberculosis in Hong Kong is higher than those in Western European countries and developed regions in Asia; if so, what the reasons are, and what specific plans does the Government have to bring the number of tuberculosis patients in the territory down to the level in Western European countries?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health and Welfare

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

Currently, certain types of areas are designated as no smoking areas under the relevant legislation which also prescribes penalties for offenders. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the number of persons prosecuted in the past three years for smoking in designated no smoking areas, and the number of such persons being sentenced to pay the maximum fine of $5,000;

  2. which government department is currently responsible for instituting prosecutions against smokers contravening the law, and whether any officers in the department concerned are specifically charged with the duty of instituting prosecutions;

  3. whether the person responsible for the management of a designated no smoking area is liable to criminal proceedings for failing to enforce the no smoking regulations; and

  4. of the channels open to the public for reporting cases of smoking in designated no smoking area?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health and Welfare

3. Mrs Elizabeth WONG to ask :

The Hong Kong Government's localisation policy has given rise to legal disputes between the Government and the Association of Expatriate Civil Servants (AECS) of Hong Kong. The result of the proceedings in both the High Court and the Court of Appeal was that many fundamental aspects of the localisation policy as applied to overseas officers and former overseas officers who are permanent residents of Hong Kong were held to be unlawful. Will the Government inform this Council:

  1. what proposals, if any, are being discussed with the AECS to obviate the possibility of further litigation proceedings; and

  2. if there are such proposals, whether the proposals are aimed at full compliance with the declarations made by the High Court and the Court of Appeal; if not, why not?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Civil Service

4. Mr David CHU to ask :

The Governor pledged in 1992 to rehouse all urban squatters on government land by 1996. As there are still urban squatters around and in view of the outbreak of fire in a squatter area in Diamond Hill last month, will the Government inform this Council of:

  1. the reasons for the authorities concerned not being able to rehouse all the urban squatters on government land by the above target date;

  2. the date at which the remaining urban squatters on government land and private land are expected to be rehoused; and

  3. the measures which will be taken by the authorities concerned to safeguard the safety of urban squatters before they are rehoused?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Housing

5. Mr K K FUNG to ask : (Translation)

Does the Government know of:

  1. the respective numbers of public rental housing (PRH) flats demolished in each of the past five years;

  2. the net increase in the number of PRH flats (the number of new PRH flats minus the number of demolished PRH flats) in each of the past five years; and

  3. the longest, shortest and average lifespans of the PRH flats demolished in the past five years?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for HousingCOLSPAN=2

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

As the floating class system is still being adopted in some secondary schools, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the number of secondary schools in which the floating class system is still being adopted; and

  2. whether it has any plan to abolish the floating class system completely; if so, what the details are (including the estimated number of new secondary schools to be built and the amount of public funds involved)?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education and Manpower

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

In 1995, the Government issued a new type of licence for the provision of fixed telecommunication network services in order to bring in competition. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. whether the three new operators of fixed telecommunication network services have fully complied with the licence conditions stipulated in the Telecommunication Ordinance since obtaining their licenses; if not, which of the licence conditions have not been complied with;

  2. how the authority concerned monitors the three operators to ensure that they comply with the relevant licence conditions; and

  3. given that the three operators had undertaken to invest in the construction of exchange buildings and other infrastructure facilities, of the progress to date in the construction of such facilities?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Economic Services

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

The findings of a survey conducted recently by the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) show that there is an increasing demand for application software in the local import and export industry and that the software required is becoming increasingly complex. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of the following:

  1. whether, in the past three years, the HKPC has provided assistance to the import and export industry in such areas as software development, technology transfer, technological support and the training of technical staff; if so, what the details are; and

  2. what plans does the HKPC have to ensure that, in the long run, the local software development technology can match the development of the import and export industry and trade developments in the territory?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Trade and Industry

* 9. Dr Samuel WONG to ask :

In order to ease the heavy road traffic between Hong Kong Island West and Hong Kong Island East, funds were allocated two years ago for the commissioning of the Central-Wanchai Bypass and Island Eastern Corridor Link Consultancy Study. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the latest progress of the above study; and

  2. whether the Government will proceed with the Central-Wanchai Bypass and Island Eastern Corridor Link project; if so, when the Government will start reclamation work between Star Ferry Pier and Hing Fat Street to facilitate the construction of the Bypass?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport

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

Will the Government inform this Council:

  1. whether it can provide a breakdown of the data in respect of the following five income groups by "type of housing resided", "geographical area", "household size" and "household composition" in 1986, 1991 and 1996 respectively:

    1. below $4,000;

    2. $4,000 to $5,999;

    3. $6,000 to $6,999;

    4. $7,000 to $7,999;

    5. $8,000 to $8,999; and

  2. if not, what the reasons are; and whether it will consider collecting such information and publishing it on a regular basis?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services

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

Will the Government inform this Council of:

  1. the number of Hong Kong residents currently listed as missing persons, together with a breakdown of their sex and age group;

  2. the longest period of disappearance among the above missing persons, and whether there are special measures to deal with cases of people missing for a long period of time;

  3. whether the Government will take the initiative to offer various kinds of assistance to family members of the missing persons, including financial assistance and psychological counselling; and

  4. in the event of such missing persons being found in places outside the Chinese territory after the transfer of sovereignty, whether assistance will continue to be given to them and their family members?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

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

Will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the current total number of altars and temples situated in private buildings, and the main districts in which they are located;

  2. whether the above-mentioned altars and temples are required to be registered; if so, of the total number of such altars and temples which are not currently registered, as well as the number of these not registered altars and temples which are privately managed or owned;

  3. whether there are any laws regulating the altars and temples situated in private buildings; if so, of the monitoring measures in place to ensure that they are in compliance with the provisions of the Deed of Mutual Covenant and the relevant fire safety regulations; and

  4. if vegetarian food is provided in these altars and temples, whether there are currently any laws stipulating that the food provided in these premises should be up to the required hygiene standards; if so, of the details of the monitoring measures?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Home Affairs

*13. Mr Howard YOUNG to ask :

Will the Government inform this Council whether there are any plans to increase the number of aircraft movements at the Kai Tak Airport to 31 per hour; if so, what the details are?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Economic Services

*14. Miss Emily LAU to ask :

In his testimony given at the trial of a former vice-chairman of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on bribery charges, the Chairman of the Securities and Futures Commission said that taking commission in the transaction involving the transfer of stock exchange membership was considered a grey area. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether there are plans to amend the relevant legislation to stipulate that the taking of such commission is an offence under the law?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services

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

It is learnt that the Government's Working Group on Parking has proposed the inclusion of 10 sites in the Land Sales Programme in the coming three years for building multi-storey car parks. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of:

  1. the exact locations of the above sites for building multi-storey car parks;

  2. the estimated number of parking spaces to be provided by these car parks upon their completion; and

  3. the scheduled dates on which these car parks will come into operation, and how the commissioning of these car parks can contribute to alleviating the shortage of parking spaces in the territory?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport

*16. Mr David CHU to ask : (Translation)

Will the Government inform this Council:

  1. whether there is any legislation which stipulates that packages of imported health food on sale in drug stores or health food shops must contain labels with Chinese descriptions; if so, whether the contents of such labels are subject to regulation under the relevant legislation; and

  2. whether there is currently any legislation which regulates the direct sale of imported health food; if so, what monitoring measures have been put in place to ensure that such health food possesses the effects as claimed by the manufacturers?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health and Welfare

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

According to the statistical data provided by the Office of the Telecommunications Authority, the number of pager users has been decreasing since October last year whereas the number of portable phone users has been on the rise. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. what changes the Employees Retraining Board has adopted in its policy on the provision of training for employees in the paging industry in the face of the above market trend;

  2. of the number of training courses for paging operators offered this year, together with the number of trainees in each of these courses; and

  3. of the comparison between the employment situation of trainees who completed the training courses for paging operators in the first four months of this year and the employment situation of those who completed such courses in the past two years?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education and Manpower

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

Will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the following information concerning adult education in the past three years-

    1. the numbers and types of formal retrieval education courses from primary school to secondary 6 levels provided by the Adult Education Section of the Education Department, and the numbers of persons who completed such courses;

    2. the numbers and types of informal courses provided by the 10 Adult Education and Recreation Centres of the Education Department respectively, and the numbers of persons who completed such courses;

    3. the voluntary organisations which had received subsidy from the Education Department for running adult education courses, the amounts of subsidy involved, and the types and numbers of such courses;

    4. whether the Education Department can provide a breakdown of the data in respect of persons who completed the above three types of courses, by "sex and age"; "sex and industry"; "age and industry"; "sex and occupation"; and "age and occupation";

    5. whether other types of adult education courses were provided by the Education Department; if so, of the types and numbers of such courses, together with a breakdown of the persons who had completed the courses, by "sex and age"; "sex and industry"; "age and industry"; "sex and occupation"; and "age and occupation";

  2. if the answers to (a)(iv) and (v) above are in the negative, of the reasons why the Education Department has not collected such information, and whether it will consider collecting the relevant information and publishing it on a regular basis; and

  3. whether the Education Department will consider expanding the adult education currently offered; if so, what the details are; if not, why not?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education and Manpower

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

Does the Government know:

  1. of the breakdown of the number of blood bags discarded by each public hospital each month in the past three years, and the proportion of the discarded blood bags to the total number of blood bags obtained each month from the Hong Kong Red Cross, in the corresponding period;

  2. of the reasons for public hospitals discarding such blood bags; and

  3. whether the Hospital Authority has issued any guidelines to public hospitals on how to handle blood bags approaching their expiry dates; if so, what the details are, and what mechanism is in place to ensure that the guidelines are being followed in public hospitals?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health and Welfare

III. Government Motions

Companies Ordinance

Secretary for Financial Services :

That the Companies (Winding-up) (Amendment) (No.2) Rules 1997, made by the Acting Chief Justice on 5 May 1997, be approved.

IV. Government Bills

First Reading

1. Judicial Service Commission (Special Provisions) Bill 1997

2. Civil Aviation (Amendment) Bill 1997

Second Reading

Debates to be adjourned

1. Judicial Service Commission (Special Provisions) Bill 1997

:

Chief Secretary

2. Civil Aviation (Amendment) Bill 1997

:

Secretary for Economic Services

Debates to resume

3. Government Rent (Assessment and Collection) Bill

:

Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands

4. Patents Bill

:

Secretary for Trade and Industry

Committee Stage and Third Reading

1. Government Rent (Assessment and Collection) Bill

:

Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands

2. Patents Bill

:

Secretary for Trade and Industry

V. Members' Motions

1. Suppressing property prices

Miss CHAN Yuen-han : (Translation)

That this Council urges the Government to take further effective measures to suppress property prices, lest speculative activities cause property prices to soar beyond the affordability of the public; moreover, in order that the public will not be affected by various property speculation tactics, the Government should increase the transparency of the information on property, so as to help potential buyers to make informed decisions; furthermore, the Government should expeditiously implement the following recommendations:

  1. publishing annually the volume of land supply earmarked for the construction of housing in the next five years;

  2. publishing annually the information relating to the supply of housing, so as to apprise the public of the types, locations and number of units under construction; and

  3. ensuring the availability of a one-year land reserve to cater for the sudden increase in the demand for housing.

Amendment to Miss CHAN Yuen-han's motion

Mr LEE Wing-tat :

(Translation)

To delete "and" after "units under construction;" in (b); to insert "setting up a "Land and Housing Development Fund" for the provision of infrastructure on vacant land in order to increase land supply and land reserve, thereby" before "ensuring the availability of", to insert "at least" before "a one-year" in (c); and to add "; and (d) levying a tax for the short-term resale of residential units not for self-occupation, so as to curb speculative activities" after "demand for housing".

Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Housing

2. Final Report of the Review on Trade Effluent Surcharge

Mr James TIEN : (Translation)

That, as the Final Report of the Review on Trade Effluent Surcharge (TES) has failed to provide an objective and comprehensive review on the TES charging scheme, this Council urges the Director of Audit to immediately conduct a 'value for money' audit on the operation of the entire TES charging scheme, with a view to examining the cost-effectiveness of the scheme and assessing whether public money has been wasted; furthermore, this Council also urges the Hong Kong Government to undertake to freeze the TES rate at the existing level before the completion of the above audit to be conducted by the Director of Audit, and to adopt measures promptly to rectify any unfairness in the current appeal system, so that trades and industries need not bear more unnecessary burdens and transfer the additional costs thus incurred onto the public, hence adversely affecting people's livelihood.

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

VI. Members' Bills

Second Reading

Debates to resume

1. The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (Amendment) Bill 1997

:

Mr Paul CHENG

2. Mass Transit Railway Corporation (Amendment) Bill 1996

:

Mr SIN Chung-kai

Public Officer to attend

:

Secretary for Transport

3. Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (Amendment) Bill 1996

:

Mr SIN Chung-kai

Public Officer to attend

:

Secretary for Transport

4. Landscape Architects Registration Bill

:

Mr Edward HO

Committee Stage and Third Reading

1. The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (Amendment) Bill 1997

:

Mr Paul CHENG

2. Landscape Architects Registration Bill

:

Mr Edward HO

Ray CHAN
for Clerk to the Legislative Council


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