Provisional Legislative Council
PLC Paper No. CB(2)1408
Ref : CB2/BC/3/97
Bills Committee on Legislative Council Bill
Minutes of the 5th meeting held on Saturday, 6 September 1997 from 8:30 am to 10:50 am in the Chamber of the Legislative Council Building
Hon Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen, JP (Chairman)
Present Hon WONG Siu-yee
Dr Hon Raymond HO Chung-tai
Hon NG Leung-sing
Hon LEE Kai-ming
Hon YUEN Mo
Hon MA Fung-kwok
Dr Hon LEONG Che-hung, JP
Hon Mrs Sophie LEUNG LAU Yau-fun, JP
Hon CHAN Choi-hi
Hon CHAN Yuen-han
Hon CHAN Wing-chan
Hon CHAN Kam-lam
Hon Andrew WONG Wang-fat, JP
Hon Howard YOUNG, JP
Dr Hon Charles YEUNG Chun-kam
Hon IP Kwok-him
Hon CHOY So-yukMembers Absent:
Hon Ronald ARCULLI, JP(Deputy Chairman)
Prof Hon NG Ching-fai
Hon Eric LI Ka-cheung, JP
Hon Mrs Elsie TU, GBM
Hon Mrs Peggy LAM, JP
Hon Henry WU
Hon TSANG Yok-sing
Hon CHENG Kai-nam
Hon Frederick FUNG Kin-kee
Dr Hon Philip WONG Yu-hong
Hon Kennedy WONG Ying-ho
Hon Bruce LIU Sing-lee
Hon Mrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee, JP
Dr Hon TANG Siu-tong, JP
Hon Timothy FOK Tsun-tingAttendance by Invitation:
Clerk in Attendance:
- Hong Kong Cultural Sector Joint Conference
- Mr WONG Tim-keung
Ms Catherine AU
Ms Lynn YAU
- Hong Kong Institution of Engineers
- Ir Otto POON
Ir Alfred HO
Ir Anthony KWAN
Ir Raymond HO
- Hong Kong Institution of Textile & Apparel
- Mr M T LO
- Kowloon Federation of Associations
- Mr LEUNG Ying-piu
Ms KO Po-lin
Mr LEE Tat-yan
Mr LEUNG Chiu-shing
Staff in Attendance:
- Mrs Percy MA
- Chief Assistant Secretary (2)3
I.Meeting with deputations
- Mrs Justina LAM
- Assistant Secretary General 2
- Mr Stephen LAM
- Assistant Legal Adviser 4
- Miss Salumi CHAN
- Senior Assistant Secretary (2) 1
Hong Kong Cultural Sector Joint Conference
(PLC Paper Nos. CB(2) 251(03), CB(2) 262(01), CB(2) 293(05) & CB(2) 293(06))
At the invitation of the Chairman, representatives of the Hong Kong Cultural Sector Joint Conference (the Joint Conference) briefed members on their submission which had been issued vide PLC Paper No. CB(2) 251(03). They recommended that "one person, one vote" should be adopted for the Sport, Performing Arts, Culture and Publication functional constituency (FC) on the grounds that -(a) it was unfair if all cultural bodies were entitled to only one vote irrespective of their size and standing in the field; (b) boards of directors of cultural bodies were usually not front-line practitioners and thus their interests might differ from those of individual artists; and (c) "one organization, one vote" might give undue advantage to a person who served on more than one board of directors.
2.Mr LEE Kai-ming asked about the eligibility criteria for individual electors if "one person, one vote" was to be adopted. The Joint Conference responded that reference could be made to the method for election of representatives to the Hong Kong Arts Development Council in 1995 as eligibility of the electors concerned had been verified by the Broadcasting, Culture and Sport Branch at that time. In response to Mr IP Kwok-him's enquiry, the Joint Conference referred members to the "Guidelines for application to be a member of the representative body for the Hong Kong Arts Development Council nomination exercise in 1995" which prescribed the membership criteria for organizations as well as individual artists. The guidelines were tabled at the meeting and subsequently issued to members vide PLC Paper No. CB(2) 293(05).
3.The Joint Conference also drew members' attention to a paper dated 18 May 1992 sent to the Administration proposing the establishment of a Culture FC. The paper, tabled at the meeting and subsequently issued vide PLC Paper No. CB(2) 262(01), had made proposals relating to the eligibility criteria of electors for the proposed Culture FC. The Joint Conference did not foresee any difficulties in drawing up a list of electors for the performing arts and culture sectors, and suggested that the Administration could seek professional opinion from the sport and publication sectors in drawing up similar lists for these two sectors.
4.The Joint Conference pointed out that only statutory and registered arts bodies which had received sponsorship from the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, the Urban Council and the Regional Council were included as electors for the FC (paragraph 24(5) in Schedule 1 of the Bill refers). This arrangement was divisive and would also deprive a large number of bodies of the right to vote, particularly bodies in traditional arts performances.
5.In the event that "one organization, one vote" was to be adopted, the Joint Conference recommended that district cultural organizations and other organizations which had received grants from the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, the Urban Council and the Regional Council should be included as electors for the FC. At Mr Howard YOUNG's request, the Joint Conference undertook to provide a list of such cultural bodies for members' reference.(Post-meeting note : The Joint Conference had provided the requested lists which were issued to members vide PLC Paper No. CB(2) 293(06).)
6.In conclusion, the Joint Conference stressed that "one person, one vote" should be adopted for FC elections to ensure fair representation.
Hong Kong Institution of Engineers
(PLC Paper Nos. CB(2) 251(02) and CB(2) 258(01))
7.At the invitation of the Chairman, representatives of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (HKIE) briefed members on their submission which had been issued vide PLC Paper No. CB(2)251(02). They were of the view that although eligible information technology (IT) professionals of HKIE could elect their representative in the Engineering FC, they should be given a choice if they wished to elect their representative in the IT FC instead.
8.Mr Howard YOUNG referred to the letter dated 13 August 1997 from IT Division of the HKIE (issued vide PLC Paper No. CB(2) 258(01)) and sought clarification on its proposal. HKIE confirmed that HKIE proposed that IT professionals belonging to Group 3 (Information) should be included as electors for the IT FC.
9.Dr Raymond HO expressed support for HKIE's proposal on the grounds that it was the only professional body in Hong Kong which could accredit IT related degree courses. He pointed out that there would not be any overlapping of electorate as these IT professionals would only register as electors either in the Engineering, IT or Education FC.
10.In response to Mr NG Leung-sing's enquiries, HKIE informed members that HKIE had over 17 000 members and the number of corporate members belonging to Group 3 (Information) was about 1 010. HKIE was the only statutory professional body in engineering and the pace of development in IT was much faster than that of other engineering disciplines. Although HKIE was not in a position to advise whether IT professionals would set up an independent body of their own in the near future, it was worth noting that civil engineering, the largest engineering discipline, had remained as a division under HKIE.
11.The Chairman asked and HKIE responded that some members of Group 3 (Information) of HKIE were also members of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE) and Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). In this connection, the Chairman commented that the Administration should not reject HKIE*s proposal on the basis of overlapping of electorate in the Engineering FC and IT FC given that members of both the IEE and IEEE could also choose to register as electors for either one of these two FCs. HKIE shared his view.
Hong Kong Institution of Textile & Apparel
(PLC Paper Nos. CB(2) 251(01) & CB(2) 299(01))
12. At the invitation of the Chairman, the representative of the Hong Kong Institution of Textile & Apparel (the representative) briefed members on the submission which had been issued vide PLC Paper No. CB(2) 251(01). The representative informed members that the Institution had revised its recommendation i.e. all its members (except students and company members) should be included as eligible electors of the Textiles and Garment FC. The representative maintained that members of professional and academic bodies, together with members of major bodies representative of the trade, should be included in the electorate for the Textiles and Garment FC.
13. In response to members' enquiries, the representative said that textiles and garment companies would normally join the relevant trade associations; and that a large percentage of professionals in the textiles and garment were members of the Institution which was the only well-established professional and academic body in the field. However, the membership of the Institution did include members of some major bodies in the trade who had been included as electors of the FC under paragraph 26(1) in Schedule 1 of the Bill.
14. Dr Raymond HO asked whether other eligible electors of the Textiles and Garment FC had agreed to support the Institution's proposal. Members noted that the Institution had yet to conduct any consultation in this respect. Mrs Sophie LEUNG advised members that the Textile Institute was a recognized professional body in the industry, and expressed concern about the status of the Institution. She also raised the question of the representativeness of the representative, pointing out that the President of the Institution had always supported the principle of "one organization, one vote", instead of *one person, one vote* for the FC. In order to clarify the matter, Mr IP Kwok-him suggested and the representative agreed that the Institution President be asked to confirm the Institution's position on the matter.(Post-meeting note : The President of the Institution had confirmed in his letter of 6 September 1997, issued vide PLC Paper No. CB(2) 299(01), that the representative represented the Institution to appear before the Bills Committee.)Kowloon Federation of Associations(PLC Paper No. CB(2)258(05))
15.At the invitation of the Chairman, representatives of the Kowloon Federation of Association (the Association) briefed members on their submission which was tabled at the meeting and subsequently issued vide PLC Paper No. CB(2) 258(05). Members noted that the Federation was a newly established body which represented 38 separate district organizations. These district organizations had nominated members to represent the labour and social services sectors to sit on the Selection Committee for the First Government of HKSAR.
16.The Federation proposed that the Social Welfare subsector under the Third Sector of the Election Committee should be renamed as Social Services subsector and should be allocated 60 seats. In response to Miss CHAN Yuen-han, the Federation explained that in view of the scope and wide representation of the proposed Social Services subsector, the proposed number of seats was considered reasonable. In response to Mr NG Leung-sing's enquiry, the Federation said that if the Social Services subsector was given 60 seats, a smaller quota should be allocated to the Agriculture and Fisheries subsector under the same Sector given its less important role in the community.
17. The Federation also proposed that registered local/district organizations like the Federation should be included as eligible voters for the Election Committee sub-sector. In this connection, Mr LEE Kai-ming pointed out that the Federation might fail to meet the "one-year" rule as prescribed under clause 22(5) of the Bill. The Federation informed members that although the Federation was only set up recently, all the 38 district organizations had been operating for over one year. Mr MA Fung-Kwok asked and the Federation responded that the number of kaifong associations, clansman societies and folks associations etc. under the 38 local/district organizations was estimated to be about 2 000.
18.Some members agreed that registered local/district organizations should be included as voters under the Third Sector of the Election Committee in recognition of their importance and contribution to providing social services. However, Mr IP Kwok-him drew members' attention to the constraint in Article 7 of the Specific Method for the Formation of the First Legislative Council of the Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (the Preparatory Committee's decision) which stipulated i.e. ".... members of the first three Sectors of the Election Committee shall be returned by the 17 FCs set out in Article 5 (excluding the Urban Council, the Regional Council and Heung Yee Kuk), the 15 groups shortlisted for the selection of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region as well as the religious sector in accordance with the allocation of the quota...." if members wished to include local/district organizations as voters for the EC subsector.
19. Mr IP Kwok-him suggested that a feasible solution would be to include appropriate local/district organizations as eligible electors for the Social Welfare FC. Mr IP added that as most of these organizations had formally registered, he did not envisage great difficulties in drawing up a electoral list. Mr Howard YOUNG said that he would be inclined to support Mr IP*s suggestion if members decided to support the Federation's proposal. Mr YOUNG asked whether any of the local/district organizations belonging to the Federation were corporate members of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service. The Federation informed members that some kaifong associations were under the ambit of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service and received subsidies from the Government.II. Date of next meeting
20. The Chairman reminded members that the next meeting would be held on Monday, 8 September 1997 from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm.
21. There being no other business, the meeting ended at 10:50 am.
Provisional Legislative Council Secretariat
21 April 1998