Revised version
OP 96/97-5(1)
(Issued at 11:00 am on 28.10.96)

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



I. Papers

Subsidiary Legislation

L.N. NO.

1. Medical Laboratory Technologists (Registration and Disciplinary Procedure) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulation 1996

435/96

2. Occupational Therapists (Registration and Disciplinary Procedure) (Amendment) (No.2) Regulation 1996

436/96

3. Physiotherapists (Registration and Disciplinary Procedure) Regulation

437/96

4. Securities and Futures Commission (Levy) (Futures Contracts) (Amendment) Order 1996

438/96

5. Schedule of Routes (North Lantau and Chek Lap Kok Airport) (Citybus Limited) Order 1996

439/96

6. Schedule of Routes (Long Win Holdings Limited) Order 1996

440/96

7. Prevention of Bribery Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule) Order 1996

441/96

8. Dutiable Commodities (Amendment) Regulation 1996

444/96

9. Land Registration (Amendment) (No.2) Regulation 1996

445/96

10. Post-release Supervision of Prisoners Regulation

446/96

11. Tax Reserve Certificates (Fourth Series) (Amendment) Rules 1996

447/96

12. Hawker (Permitted Place) (No.3) Declaration 1996

448/96

13. Drug Trafficking (Recovery of Proceeds) (Amendment) Ordinance 1995 (89 of 1995) (Commencement) Notice 1996

449/96

14. Food and Drugs (Composition and Labelling) (Amendment) Regulation 1996 (L.N.80 of 1996) (Commencement) Notice 1996

450/96

15. Official Languages (Authentic Chinese Text) (Hong Kong Red Cross Ordinance) Order

(C) 106/96

Sessional Papers 1996-97

1. No. 22 - Revised list of works annexed to the Regional Council's Revised Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure for 1996/97

(to be presented by the Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport)

2. No. 23 - The Audited Statements of Accounts of the Regional Council for the financial year ending 31 March 1996 and the Director of Audit's Report

(to be presented by the Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport)

3. No. 24 - Regional Council Annual Report 1995-96

(to be presented by the Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport)

4. No. 25 - Hong Kong Tourist Association Annual Report 1995/96

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

5. No. 26 - Open Learning Institute of Hong Kong Annual Report 1995-1996

(to be presented by the Secretary for Education and Manpower who will address the Council)

II. Questions

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

It is learnt that in the 1950's and 1960's, residents in Sai Kung were often killed or injured by the detonation of dud shells whilst picking shell cases in places such as Kau Sai Chau, Tiu Chung Chau, Shelter Island and Basalt Island. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the places in the territory which have been designated as the shooting grounds of the British garrison;
  2. which of the shooting grounds mentioned in the answer to (a) above have not yet been cleared, and whether an estimate has been made of the number of dud shells left behind in those shooting grounds, and whether these dud shells still pose a danger at present; and
  3. whether all the dud shells in the shooting grounds mentioned in the answer to (b) above will be cleared before the complete withdrawal of the British garrison, so as to protect the safety of the people in the territory?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

2. Dr Samuel WONG to ask :

According to the findings released by a study group consisting of representatives from the local taxi and public light bus trades, which went to Japan recently to study the air pollution improvement measures in that country, 96% of the taxis in Japan are using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as fuel. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council whether it will consider introducing LPG as an alternative fuel for taxis and public light buses in the near future; if not, why not?

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

3. Mr David CHU to ask :

If the Government aware of:

  1. the total amount of redundancy payments that will be made to the Chinese military personnel of the British garrison stationed in Hong Kong as a result of the withdrawal of the garrison from the territory by 30 June 1997;
  2. the regulations governing such redundancy payments; and
  3. the criteria for calculating such redundancy payments?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

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

It is reported that following the recent conviction of the defendant in the George TAN case, the Legal Department decided not to apply to the court for an order for the payment by the defendant of costs amounting to around $210 million. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of the grounds on which the Legal Department made such a decision?

Public Officer to reply : Attorney General

5. Mr James TIEN to ask : (Translation)

It is reported that the Chairman of the Equal Opportunities Commission (the Commission) has indicated that the law empowers the Commission to conduct formal investigations on its own initiative. In this regard, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. through what channels and by what means will the Equal Opportunities Commission initiate formal investigations where no complaints are received;
  2. what mechanism does the Government have to ensure that the Commission will not abuse its investigative power and to prevent the Commission from having excessive power; and
  3. whether the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance accords protection to people who are suspected of violating the provisions of the Sex Discrimination Ordinance and Disability Discrimination Ordinance, so as to prevent them from being subjected to unnecessary disturbance whilst they are under investigation by the Commission?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Home Affairs

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

Is the Government aware of:

  1. the number of department heads at or above the assistant project manager and chief engineer levels of the West Rail Division in the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) holding Hong Kong permanent resident status, and the number of such staff who are Chinese;
  2. the factors taken into account by KCRC in the employment of the above department heads, and whether such factors include the localization of department heads;
  3. whether open recruitment has been conducted in the employment of the above department heads; if so, whether the KCRC has accorded preference to those personnel who have taken part in the construction of the territory's Mass Transit Railway and the Airport Railway;
  4. the number of the above department heads who are seconded from the consultancy firms undertaking the Western Corridor Railway consultancy contracts; and whether the question of conflict of interest has been considered when employing such staff; and
  5. whether the KCRC will streamline the establishment of department heads of the West Rail Division, so as to reduce the remuneration expenses arising from the secondment of staff from the consultancy firms?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport

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

It was reported that on 10 October this year, a lorry carrying explosives collided with other vehicles. Fortunately, no explosion occurred. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the safety devices which are required by law to be installed in vehicles carrying different kinds of dangerous goods, and of the regulatory controls concerning safety in the transportation of dangerous goods on roads;
  2. whether drivers of vehicles carrying dangerous goods are required to receive special training on safety; and
  3. what measures the relevant departments will adopt to prevent the occurrence of accidents during the transportation of dangerous goods?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

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

Regarding the daily arrival of 150 Chinese residents for settlement on one-way permits, will the Government inform this Council whether:

  1. the Government plays a role in the assessment and approval of applications by Chinese resident for settlement in Hong Kong; if not, whether negotiation will be held with the Chinese authority with a view to obtaining the Chinese side's agreement to the involvement of the Government in the assessment and approval process;
  2. the Government is aware of the criteria adopted by the Chinese authority in assessing the eligibility of Chinese residents for settlement in Hong Kong and in determining the priority for granting approval to such applications;
  3. the Government will put forward suggestions to the Chinese authority regarding the criteria for assessing and approving applications for one-way permits; and
  4. the Government is in a position to vet the eligibility of individual Chinese residents holding one-way permits issued by the Chinese authority, so as to determine whether such persons should be permitted to enter the territory or to request the Chinese authority to re-assess the applications, of such persons for one-way permits?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

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

Is the Government aware of the ten illnesses which consumed the most of the Hospital Authority's resources, as well as the number of patients and the amount of financial resources consumed in respect of each of the illnesses concerned, in each of the past three years?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health and Welfare

*10. Dr David LI to ask :

According to the Independent Commission Against Corruption, the number of corruption reports made against civil servants in the first nine months of the year has risen by 10 percent as compared with that in the same period last year. Will the Government inform this Council of the reasons for the increase and how it plans to stamp out corruption in the civil service?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for the Civil Service

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

Will the Government inform this Council whether:

  1. the existing election system for the Council members of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (SEHK) is being regulated by the Government or the Securities and Futures Commission; and
  2. the Government is aware of the channel(s) through which members of the SEHK may seek to change the above election system?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services

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

Under the Optometrists (Registration and Disciplinary Procedure) Regulation, any person practising optometry without a recognised professional qualification is required to pass an examination before he is granted a practising certificate. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the number of such examinations held since the implementation of the above Regulation, as well as the number of candidates taking part and the passing rate in each examination; and
  2. whether, in view of the unsatisfactory results in the examination held in May this year, the Government will adopt any measures to strengthen the professional training provided for those practising optometry without a recognised professional qualification?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health and Welfare

*13 Miss Emily LAU to ask :

Will the Administration inform this Council of the total amount of medical and household wastes shipped from the United States for dumping in the territory's landfills in the past three years, and the steps that the Government will take to prevent the shipment of such wastes to the territory for dumping?

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

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

More than a year has elapsed since the completion of the Lok Ma Chau Public Transport Interchange, but the cross-border shuttle bus service at the Interchange has yet to come into operation. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of:

  1. the reasons for the delay in the commencement of the above shuttle bus service; and
  2. the expected date for the commencement of the above shuttle bus service?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport

*15. Mr Howard YOUNG to ask :

Will the Government inform this Council of:

  1. the respective proportions of Hong Kong's current air passenger flow and flight volume not covered by air service agreements and inter-airline commercial agreements between Hong Kong and other countries; and
  2. the two busiest routes on which the Government has yet to conclude air service agreements with the countries concerned?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Economic Services

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

In the Policy Commitments of the 1994 Policy Address, the Government pledged to build an additional 22 300 flats for the elderly over the following four years. However, only 4 300 such flats were built in 1995/96. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council of:

  1. the total number of flats built for the elderly since 1994/95; and
  2. the measures that will be taken to achieve the target set out in the Policy Commitments mentioned above?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Housing

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

Is the Government aware of:

  1. the population within the network to be served by the new Tseung Kwan O Hospital which is now under construction, and the expected date of the commissioning of the Hospital; and
  2. the public hospitals which are currently providing medical services to residents in Tseung Kwan O, together with the number of beds in each of these hospitals and their respective occupancy rates; and whether there is spare capacity in each of these hospitals to meet the extra demand for medical services from residents in Tseung Kwan O?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health and Welfare

*18. Dr David LI to ask :

In the concluding observations of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (the Committee) on a report submitted by the British Government in respect of Hong Kong under Article 44 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Committee recommended the establishment of an independent body in the territory to specifically monitor the execution of Government policy in relation to the rights of the child. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. whether the Government has a comprehensive policy on the promotion and protection of children's rights; and
  2. what measures have been taken by the Government to review existing child-related legislation and services with a view to combating child abuse?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Home Affairs

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

Is the Government aware of:

  1. the respective amounts of transaction levies charged on the various types of commodity trading at the Hong Kong Futures Exchange Limited (HKFE) in each of the past three years;
  2. the uses to which the transaction levies are put and how the transaction levies are distributed; and
  3. whether it knows if the annual income of the HKFE (excluding the above-mentioned transaction levies) is sufficient to cover its recurrent expenses?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services

*20. Miss Emily LAU to ask :

In view of a recent court case in which the prosecution dropped the charge against a naturopath for using the title of "doctor" ( ), will the Administration inform this Council whether it will consider amending the Medical Registration Ordinance so that any person who practises a medical profession but who is not registered under the Ordinance can use the title of "doctor" ( ); if not, why not?

Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Health and Welfare

* For written reply.

III. Government Motions

1. Public Finance Ordinance

Secretary for the Treasury :

That with effect from 1 November 1996 -

  1. this Council approves the establishment of a special suspense account to be known as the Water Supplies Department Suspense Account ("the Account");
  2. the Account shall be employed in relation to the purchase and holding of materials for the Water Supplies Department;
  3. the Account shall be administered by the Financial Secretary who may delegate his power of administration to other public officers;
  4. subject to paragraph (e), the Director of Accounting Services and any public officer duly authorized in writing by him may pay from public moneys such sums as may be necessary for the purchase of materials for the Water Supplies Department and debit the payments into the Account;
  5. total payments made under paragraph (d) shall not exceed in respect of any period specified by the Financial Secretary such sums as he may determine;
  6. the Account shall not at any time be in debt to an amount exceeding $100,000,000 or such lesser sum as the Financial Secretary may determine.

2. Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

Secretary for Economic Services :

That in relation to the Rabies (Amendment) Regulation 1996, published as Legal Notice No.401 of 1996 and laid on the table of the Legislative Council on 2 October 1996, the period referred to in section 34(2) of the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance for amending subsidiary legislation be extended under section 34(4) of that Ordinance until the sitting of 6 November 1996.

IV. Government Bills

First Reading

1. Tsing Ma Control Area Bill

2. Whaling Industry (Regulation) Bill

Second Reading

Debates to be adjourned

1. Tsing Ma Control Area Bill

:

Secretary for Transport

2. Whaling Industry (Regulation) Bill

:

Secretary for Economic Services




V. Members' Motions

1. Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

Mr Ronald ARCULLI :

That in relation to -

  1. the Dutiable Commodities (Liquor) (Amendment) Regulation 1996, published as Legal Notice No.329 of 1996; and
  2. the Professional Accountants (Amendment) Ordinance 1995 (85 of 1995) (Commencement) Notice 1996, published as Legal Notice No.364 of 1996,

which were laid on the table of the Legislative Council on 2 October 1996, 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 6 November 1996.

2. Rate of pay adjustment

Mr LEUNG Yiu-chung : (Translation)

That this Council considers the proposal made recently by some employers' associations, that the rate of pay increase for employees should not be higher than 6% next year, to be grossly unreasonable, as the proposed rate is far from being adequate to enable employees to enjoy the reward that they deserve for their labour; and recommends that, to ensure real improvement to the livelihood of employees, pay adjustments should be determined on the basis of the average rates of inflation and economic growth over the past few years and that, for the long term, Government should establish a collective bargaining system whereby employees can negotiate pay adjustments rates with their employers on an equal footing under the protection of law.

Amendments to Mr LEUNG Yiu-chung's motion

1. Mr Michael HO : (Translation)

To delete "considers the" and substitute with "reproves some employers' associations for their"; to delete "by some employers' associations,"; to delete "to be grossly unreasonable, as the proposed rate is far from being adequate to enable employees to enjoy the reward that they deserve for their labour;" and substitute with "as this is obviously an act interfering with the labour market mechanism"; to delete ", to ensure real improvement to the livelihood of employees, pay adjustments should be determined on the basis of the average rates of inflation and economic growth over the past few years" and substitute with "Government should immediately abolish the policy to import labour to ensure that wage levels can actually reflect the supply and demand in the labour market"; to delete "that" before ", for the long term" and substitute with "should"; and to delete "Government should" after "for the long term,".

2. Miss CHAN Yuen-han : (Translation)

To delete "the proposal made recently by some employers' associations, that the rate of pay increase for employees should not be higher than 6% next year, to be grossly unreasonable, as the proposed rate is far from being adequate to enable employees to enjoy the reward that they deserve for their labour; and recommends"; to delete "basis of the average" and substitute with "prevailing"; to delete "over the past few years"; to insert "Government should expeditiously review the existing provisions in the Trade Boards Ordinance to ensure their effectiveness and," after "and that,"; and to delete "Government" before "should establish a collective bargaining system".

Public Officer to attend : Secretary for Education and Manpower

3. Review of the operation of trading funds

Mr CHAN Kam-lam : (Translation)

That this Council urges the Government to expeditiously conduct an overall review of the operation and cost-effectiveness of the six existing trading funds, and to stop setting up any new one before the completion of the review.

Amendment to Mr CHAN Kam-lam's motion

Dr CHEUNG Bing-leung : (Translation)

To insert ", so as to ensure that consumers can benefit from better services and lower charges as a result of improvements to the cost-effectiveness of each of the funds" before ", and to stop setting up".

Public Officer to attend : Secretary for the Treasury


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