Provisional Legislative Council
PLC Paper No. CB(2)1227
(These minutes have been
seen by the Administration)
Ref : CB2/BC/3/97
Bills Committee on
Legislative Council Bill
Minutes of the meeting held on Monday, 8 September 1997 from 8:30 am to 4:55 pm in the Chamber of the Legislative Council Building
Members Present :
Hon Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen, JP (Chairman)
Hon Ronald ARCULLI, JP (Deputy Chairman)
Hon WONG Siu-yee
Dr Hon Raymond HO Chung-tai, JP
Hon NG Leung-sing
Hon LEE Kai-ming
Hon Mrs Elsie TU, GBM
Hon Henry WU
Hon YUEN Mo
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 TSANG Yok-sing
Hon CHENG Kai-nam
Hon Frederick FUNG Kin-kee
Hon Howard YOUNG, JP
Dr Hon Charles YEUNG Chun-kam
Hon IP Kwok-him
Hon Mrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee, JP
Dr Hon TANG Siu-tong, JP
Hon CHOY So-yuk
Members Absent :
Prof Hon NG Ching-fai
Hon Eric LI Ka-cheung, JP
Hon Mrs Peggy LAM, JP
Hon MA Fung-kwok
Hon Andrew WONG Wang-fat, JP
Dr Hon Philip WONG Yu-Hong
Hon Kennedy WONG Ying-ho
Hon Bruce LIU Sing-lee
Hon Timothy FOK Tsun-ting
Public Officers Attending :
Clerk in Attendance :
- Mr NG Sek-hon
- Deputy Secretary for Constitutional Affairs
- Mr Patrick HO Chung-kei
- Principal Assistant Secretary for Constitutional Affairs 5
- Miss Shirley YUNG
- Principal Assistant Secretary for Constitutional Affairs 4
Staff in Attendance :
- Mrs Percy MA
- Clerk to Bills Committee
- Mr Jimmy MA
- Legal Adviser
- Mrs Justina LAM
- Assistant Secretary General 2
- Mr Stephen LAM
- Assistant Legal Adviser 4
- Miss Flora TAI
- Senior Assistant Secretary (2) 3
I. Outstanding points which required further response by the Administration
Preparatory Committee's decision adopted at the National People's Congress on 23 May 1997 in respect 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 Specific Method)
|The Chairman said that the Administration had earlier agreed to confirm whether the Decision adopted by the Preparatory Committee on 23 May 1997 on the Formation of the First Legislative Council (LegCo) of the HKSAR had been formally endorsed by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC). Deputy Secretary for Constitutional Affairs (DS(CA)) informed members that according to the Administration's records, the Standing Committee of the NPC had endorsed the concluding report of the Preparatory Committee which made reference to the Specific Method. In response to the Legal Adviser, DS(CA) undertook to provide documentary proof in support of the Administration's advice.
Third Sector for the Election Committee (EC)
2. The Chairman said that at the last meeting, the Administration had been asked to explain why the "social welfare" as well as "sports, performing arts, culture and publication" subsectors were included in the Third Sector instead of the Second Sector for the EC. DS(CA) reiterated that the proposed inclusion of these two subsectors in the Third Sector was consistent with the Specific Method. Some members pointed out that it might not be feasible to include district/local organizations in the Third Sector, having regard to Article 7 of the Specific Method.
3. Mr CHAN Kam-lam commented that certain well-established district/local organizations should have the right to vote. He proposed that these organizations should be included as electors for the Social Welfare FC in recognition of their contribution in providing social services. His view was shared by some members. DS(CA) reminded members that the corporate members of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service were eligible to vote in the Social Welfare FC election and that some voluntary organizations and kai-fong associations were corporate members of the Council. Eligible organizations could apply to be members of the Council in order to be included as electors for the FC.
|4. Mr Howard YOUNG said that consideration could be given to including as electors for the Social Welfare FC organizations which were directly subsidized by the Social Welfare Department. He opined that delineation of the electorate of the 21 old FCs should not be changed drastically having regard to their historical development. Mr IP Kwok-him remarked that some district/local organizations might not require subsidy from the Government. He suggested that all registered district/ local organizations should be eligible. In this connection, Miss CHAN Yuen-han pointed out that as District Offices maintained regular contact with these organizations, the Administration should not have any difficulty in drawing up a list of such electors if it was agreeable to the proposal. The Chairman asked the Administration to consider the matter further.
Registration of corporate electors
5. DS(CA) informed members that the Administration would move an amendment to provide for a "rolling over" arrangement for the registration of FC electors.
| 6. In response to members, DS(CA) explained that the Registration and Electoral Office would, after enactment of the Bill, verify whether corporate electors had complied with the "one-year" rule. He added that applications for registration as electors would provide information for verification and that making a false statement in an application would be an offence under the Corrupt and Illegal Practices Ordinance (Cap. 288). Responding to Mrs Sophie LEUNG and Mrs Miriam LAU, DS(CA) undertook to confirm whether the "body" referred to in clause 23(5) was required to be in operation for 12 months before its corporate members were eligible to register as corporate electors for the relevant functional constituency.
Disqualification of a person from being registered as an elector 7. DS(CA) reiterated that the principle adopted in clause 29 was basically the same as that in the former electoral legislation. A person who was a fugitive of any other place would be disqualified from being registered as an elector. The Administration would not change that principle.
Other outstanding points awaiting responses from the Administration
|8. DS(CA) informed members that the Administration was considering carefully the following outstanding points and undertook to revert to the Bills Committee at the next meeting -
- explanation on the Administration's interpretation of Article 7 of the Specific Method that Members of the Provisional Legislative Council (PLC) and the Hong Kong deputies to the NPC must be ex-officio EC members and could not choose to vote in FCs;
- whether the "general electoral roll concept" should be adopted;
- whether an ex-officio EC member should be disqualified from voting at an election if the member had ceased to be eligible to be registered as an elector for a geographical constituency (GC);
- whether the circumstances prescribed in clause 13 were exhaustive; and which specific clause disqualified a Member (not elected from the FCs listed in clause 35(3)) from holding office if he/she acquired the right of abode in a foreign country after being elected; and
- whether it should be made mandatory for electors of the EC to vote for 10 candidates so as to reduce the risk of the electoral process being dominated by a particular group.
To facilitate the Administration to consider its position, the Chairman invited members' views on these outstanding points.
9. With reference to paragraph 8(a), members in general were of the view that ex-officio EC members who were also electors of FCs should be allowed a choice to vote either in the election of the EC or that of a FC to which they belonged. The Administration noted that Mr CHAN Kam-lam might move an amendment in this respect. In this connection, Mr Ronald ARCULLI pointed out that if ex-officio EC members were allowed such a choice, the Administration would have to consider the arrangement of unused quota of EC seats. DS(CA) responded that as some members of PLC could also be Hong Kong deputies to NPC, the Bill already provided for transferring any unused quota to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference subsector. Mr ARCULLI further pointed out that the number of electors could not be finalized until compilation of the final register.
|10. Referring to paragraph 8(d), Mr IP Kwok-him stressed that it was necessary to provide a legal backing for disqualification of a Member (not elected from the FCs listed in clause 35(3)) from holding office if he/she acquired the right of abode in a foreign country after being elected. He urged the Administration to carefully consider the matter. Mr Howard YOUNG shared the view. Mr Ronald ARCULLI said that an elected Member of the 12 specified FCs who was of Chinese nationality should be disqualified if he/she subsequently acquired a foreign nationality, even if the 20% Nationality Rule had not been breached. Mr ARCULLI added that a candidate's nationality constituted an important point of consideration for the electors in voting. To allow the elected Members from these 12 specified FCs to change their nationality after being elected seemed to give privileged treatment to them, particularly in view of the fact that clause 35 was dealing with eligibility for nomination as a candidate. Mr TSANG Yok-sing held a different view. Mr TSANG said that a change of the personal particulars of a candidate should not be a reason for disqualification as long as other legal requirements had not been breached.
11. With reference to paragraph 8(e), members noted that Mrs Elsie TU would consider moving an amendment to make it mandatory for EC electors to vote for 10 candidates in order to reduce the risk of the electoral process being dominated by a particular group. Mr TSANG Yok-sing argued that the proposed amendment would not completely eliminate the possibility of a particular political group or party dominating the electoral process. Moreover, some EC members might not know the candidates well enough to be able to cast all 10 votes. Miss CHAN Yuen-han opined that it was too rigid, from the viewpoint of an elector, to impose a mandatory requirement to cast 10 votes. Mr Ronald ARCULLI opined that it would be more difficult to manipulate the electoral process if each elector was required to vote for 10 candidates. Mrs Miriam LAU added that it would also work to the advantage of independent candidates and small political parties.
II.Submissions from deputations
(PLC Paper Nos. CB(2) 239, 247, 251, 258 and 261)
12. Members noted that the Secretariat had prepared a summary of submissions received (PLC Paper No. CB(2) 261) which was tabled at the meeting. The Chairman then invited the Administration to respond to these submissions.
Hong Kong & Kowloon Trade Union Council
(PLC Paper No. CB(2) 239(02)
13. Members noted that the Hong Kong & Kowloon Trade Union had proposed that the single vote system should be adopted for the Labour FC to prevent domination of election by a particular political party.
14. DS(CA) reiterated that the Block Vote system had been used in the past elections for the Labour FC. The Administration did not see any reason to alter the voting system for the 1998 election. In response to Mr Howard YOUNG's question, DS(CA) explained that the Preferential Elimination Voting system would be used for the six smallest FCs, and the Block Vote System was proposed for the Labour FC because it had three seats.
Hong Kong IT Council, Hong Kong Association for Computer Education Limited (HKACE), Hong Kong Society of Medical Informatics Limited (HKMI), Hong Kong Telemedicines Association (HKTA) and IT Division of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (HKIE)
(PLC Paper Nos CB(2) 239(06) & CB(2) 258(01))
15. Members in general supported the proposal of the Hong Kong IT Council, HKACE, HKMI, HKTA and IT Division of HKIE that they (with the exception of Hong Kong IT Council) should be included as electors for the Information Technology FC to enable information technology (IT) professionals to vote in their own constituency.
16. Mr CHENG Kai-nam asked whether all relevant professionals in the IT field such as professionals in telecommunication had been included in the list of electors. DS(CA) responded that the Administration had already recognized the role of telecommunication in IT by including the Hong Kong Internet Service Providers Association, Hong Kong Radio Paging Association Limited and Telecom Association of Hong Kong as electors. Mr Howard YOUNG asked and DS(CA) explained that Associate Members of the British Computer Society were included as electors because their qualification requirements were equivalent to those of members of other professional bodies. In response to Ms CHOY So-yuk's query, DS(CA) said that Chubb Electronics (Hong Kong) Limited was included together with the Hong Kong Telecom International Limited and Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company Limited because they were IT licence holders.
17. With reference to the HKACE, DS(CA) pointed out that the Administration had concluded that members of HKACE should more appropriately be included in the Education FC as most of its members were in the educational field. Mr Ronald ARCULLI said that it was a policy decision as to whether IT professionals who were engaged in different fields should be allowed to vote in the relevant FC of their choice. He queried why IT professionals were denied such a choice whereas an accountant teaching in university could choose to vote in either the Education FC or the Accountancy FC. Dr Raymond HO and Mr IP Kwok-him also shared the view.
|18. The Chairman asked the Administration to consider the deputations' proposal.
Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (HKIE)
(PLC Paper No. CB(2) 251(02))
19. Dr Raymond HO said that the IT professionals of the IT Division of the HKIE should be included as electors for the Information Technology FC. He pointed out that only a small percentage of members of the IT Division of HKIE were entitled to vote at general meetings of the HKIE. Inclusion of members of the IT Division of HKIE entitled to vote at general meetings of the Division as electors for the Information Technology FC would allow about 1,000 additional electors to vote in the FC election. Ms CHOY So-yuk opined that members of the IT Division of the HKIE which was the only professional body in Hong Kong qualifying IT professionals should be included as electors for the Information Technology FC, particularly as other similar overseas professional bodies had already been included.
|20. DS(CA) explained that the principle was that a body should not be included, as an elector for more than one FC. Members of IT Division of HKIE were not included as electors for the Information Technology FC as members of the HKIE had already been included in the Engineering FC. In view of the information provided by Dr HO, DS(CA) undertook to re-consider the matter.
Hong Kong Theatres Association Limited
(PLC Paper No. CB(2) 239(07))
21. Members noted that the Hong Kong Theatres Association Limited proposed that it should be included as an elector for the Sports, Performing Arts, Culture and Publication FC and not the Wholesale and Retail FC as the nature of business of most of its members was more related to culture and performing arts.
22. DS(CA) reiterated that the Administration had to give due regard to the nature of business and composition of membership of an organization in delineating the electorate of FCs. The Administration had concluded that it was appropriate to include the Association in the Wholesale and Retail FC. He added that members of the Hong Kong Theatres Association were not engaged in production of movies, but in the provision of venues for showing movies.
23. Some members disagreed with the Administration's rationale for the proposed delineation. Miss CHAN Yuen-han also drew the Administration's attention to the fact that there had been cases that staff working at theatres were not eligible to become members of the Hong Kong Department Stores and Commercial Staff General Union.
|24. In the light of members' views, DS(CA) undertook to re-consider the matter.
Hong Kong Video Industry Association Limited
(PLC Paper No. CB(2) 258(01))
25. Members noted that the Hong Kong Video Industry Association Limited proposed that it should be included as an elector for the Sports, Performing Arts, Culture and Publication FC and not the Wholesale and Retail FC as most of its members were also engaged in the production of movies and television programmes. The Administration reiterated that it considered the existing electorate delineation appropriate as most members of the Association were engaged in video rental.
26. Mr CHAN Kam-lam remarked that the Administration had delineated the electorate in an arbitrary manner. Miss CHAN Yuen-han asked whether the Administration would consider including those companies which were only engaged in video production in the Sports, Performing Arts, Culture and Publications FC. DS(CA) responded that it would be difficult to make such a differentiation. Mrs Elsie TU reminded the Administration that according to the Association, the production side of these companies was much larger than the rental side. DS(CA) reiterated that the Administration would not include an association twice as an elector for different FCs. In this connection, Mr Howard YOUNG pointed out that Association of Retailers and Tourism Services had been separated from the Hong Kong Tourist Association and included as an elector for the Wholesale and Retail FC. He suggested the Administration to make reference to such an arrangement.
27. As a related issue, Mrs Miriam LAU also asked the Administration to consider whether the Hong Kong Record Merchants Association Limited should be included as an elector for the Sports Performing Arts, Culture and Publication FC.
Hong Kong Book & Stationery Industry Association Limited
(PLC Paper No. CB(2) 239(03))
28. Members noted that the Hong Kong Book & Stationery Industry Association and the Hong Kong Publishing Professionals Society were members of the Hong Kong Publishing Federation Limited (the Federation). The two organizations requested that their members should be included as electors for the Sports, Performing Arts, Culture and Publication FC.
29. DS(CA) pointed out that the other five members of the Hong Kong Publishing Federation had been included as electors in paragraph 24(6) of Schedule 1 and their own members were entitled to vote. The Hong Kong Book & Stationery Industry Association Limited was not included mainly because the Association was primarily engaged in stationery business. Miss CHAN Yuen-han was of the view that the proposed arrangement was unfair because being a member of the Federation, the Association was entitled to only one vote and its members were not entitled to vote.
|30. The Chairman asked the Administration to consider the matter, having regard to Miss CHAN's view.
G.M.B. Maxicab Operators General Association Limited
(PLC Paper No. CB(2) 239(08))
31. Members noted that the G.M.B. Maxicab Operators General Association Limited proposed that green minibus operators should be given more votes in the Transport FC.
32. DS(CA) said that one of the difficulties in delineating the electorate for the Transport FC was that some associations had a large number of corporate members. After careful consideration, the Administration considered that it would upset the balance of representation if each corporate member was to be given one vote. It was therefore decided that one association should only be entitled to one vote.
|33. Mr Ronald ARCULLI expressed concern that such a arbitrary way of assigning votes would defeat the purpose of having a fair election. Mr CHAN Kam-lam also shared the concern. In this connection, Mr ARCULLI proposed the imposition of a ceiling on the maximum number of votes an association was entitled to so as to prevent a particular association from having a predominant number of votes. To facilitate members' further consideration, Mr ARCULLI requested the Administration to provide a detailed breakdown of the 154 electors for the Transport FC (i.e. names listed in column 2 of paragraph 6 in Schedule 1) into commercial companies and corporate bodies, and the number of members of the latter.
34. Mr WONG Siu-yee queried why the Organization of Hong Kong Drivers was included as an elector for the Transport FC. Principal Assistant Secretary for Constitutional Affairs 4 (PAS(CA)4) explained that the organization was included because its members were providers of highway transport services. Moreover, as it was not a registered trade union, it could not be included in the Labour FC. Mr LEE Kai-ming asked why the Traffic Services Employees Association and Hong Kong Shipping Staff Association which were registered trade unions had been included as electors for the Transport FC. In response, PAS(CA)4 said that if the Traffic Services Employees Association was a registered trade union, the Association would be consulted as to whether it wished to be included in the Labour FC, and the Hong Kong Shipping Staff Association had made a specific request to be included in the Transport FC.
|35. Mrs Miriam LAU suggested the Administration to consider allocating a vote to each franchise holder in the relevant sectors e.g. public bus or ferry franchise holder. DS(CA) agreed to consider. However, he stressed that the existing electorate delineation, albeit not perfect, was already the best alternative.
36. Mrs Elsie TU and Mr LEE Kai-ming pointed out that the proposed delineation was unfair to the green minibus operators who played an important role in transport service. Mrs TU stressed that the Administration should not delineate the electorate for the sake of convenience. Miss CHAN Yuen-han suggested that delineation on the basis of routes might be a fairer arrangement. Under the proposed arrangement, a company which was formed simply for a particular route e.g. the Lei Yue Mun Ko Chiu Road Public Light Bus Merchants Association Limited, and a company operating several routes were both entitled to one vote. DS(CA) pointed out that if a route was used as a basis, a public bus company would be entitled to as many as 300 votes. PAS(CA)4 added that information on the number of routes operated by red minibus operators was not available because their routes were not subject to regulation by the Government.
37. In response to Mrs Miriam LAU's enquiries, PAS(CA)4 explained that transport associations which had contact with the Transport Department had been included in the electorate of the Transport FC. If any association wished to be included in the electorate, the Administration would consider the request on the basis of the association's representativeness in the sector. Mrs LAU asked why the Administration did not consider her proposal of giving votes to transport companies with business registration certificates. DS(CA) responded that the Administration had considered her proposal but concluded that it would not achieve a balance of representation as a particular association could have a large number of corporate members with business registration certificates. Mrs LAU remarked that her proposal could enable each company to have at least one vote. She further quoted the Legal FC as an example, pointing out that every barrister and solicitor was entitled to one vote despite the fact that the former was outnumbered by the latter in the field.
|38. The Administration was asked to re-consider whether green minibus operators should be given more votes in the Transport FC.
Hong Kong Shipping Circles Association Limited, Hong Kong Ship Owners Association and Hong Kong Liner Shipping Association Limited
(PLC Paper No. CB(2) 258(03) & (04))
39. Members noted that the Hong Kong Shipping Circles Association Limited, Hong Kong Ship Owners Association and Hong Kong Liner Shipping Association Limited proposed that the distribution of the number of electors between land and sea transport in respect of the Transport FC should be proportional, and that more organizations which were representative of the trade should be included as electors.
40. Mr YUEN Mo said that as Hong Kong was a major international shipping centre, the importance of sea transport should be recognized. DS(CA) said that in view of the criteria adopted for electorate delineation for the Transport FC, the Administration could not accede to the deputation's request.
41. In response to Mr Howard YOUNG's enquiries, DS(CA) explained that the number of electors for land and sea transport would be about 800 if each corporate member was given one vote, and that a few associations which had 200 to 400 corporate members could dominate the electoral process as they would have as many as 200 to 400 votes. DS(CA) supplemented that this delineation method was proposed because of the uniqueness of the Transport FC.
42. Mr Howard YOUNG asked why only Hoi Kong Container Services Co Limited, Wu Gang Shipping Co Limited and Yick Fung Passenger-ship Agency Limited were included as electors whereas other shipping companies were not. DS(CA) explained that these shipping companies had not joined any shipping associations, and the Administration considered it appropriate to include them because of their importance in the trade. Mr YOUNG opined that it would not be fair if a shipping company was deprived of the right to vote simply because of its membership with a shipping association. Mr CHAN Wing-chan asked why the China Merchants Steam Navigation Co Limited was not included as an elector despite its importance in the trade. PAS(CA)4 explained that it was considered not appropriate to include all shipping companies as electors. The principle adopted was that only associations related to the trade and companies providing passenger service would be included. She pointed out that the China Merchants Steam Navigation Co Limited, being a corporate member, would be represented by the shipping association to which it belonged.
43. In response to members' enquiries, PAS(CA)4 explained that major associations representative of the relevant sectors and establishments which came under some form of registration or licensing system specific to the relevant sectors would be included in the list of electors. Tunnel companies, companies providing passengers service and shipping companies which provided ferry services at a regional level were included in the Transport FC. In this connection, some members considered it unfair that shipping companies which served Southeast Asia or even the whole world as well as those which provided freight service were omitted.
44. Mr YUEN Mo drew members' attention to a list of the main shipping and transport enterprises proposed by the Hong Kong Ship Owners Association, Hong Kong Shipping Circles Association Limited and Hong Kong Liner Shipping Association Limited for inclusion as electors in the Transport FC. The proposed list was tabled at the meeting and issued vide PLC Paper No. CB(2) 277(01). He pointed out that associations of sea transport had fewer corporate members than those of land transport. He urged the Administration to have regard to the uniqueness of sea transport in delineating the electorate. DS(CA) maintained that it would not be fair for corporate members of some associations to be included as electors for the Transport FC.
45. Mr WONG Siu-yee expressed concern that the Administration had been applying arbitrary standards in drawing up the electoral list. He cautioned that it might give a wrong impression to the public that the Administration was manipulating the election. Mr WONG remarked that the numbers of electors between land transport and sea transport should be proportional in order to achieve a more balance representation. Mr Ronald ARCULLI held a similar view.
|46. The Chairman asked DS(CA) to consider whether each corporate member should be given one vote; whether distribution of the number of electors between land and sea transport in respect of the Transport FC should be proportional; and whether more organizations representative of the trade should be included as electors.
47. Mrs Miriam LAU asked the Administration to advise whether any shipping association had been omitted from the list of electors for the Transport FC e.g. the Hong Kong Ship Breaking and Steel Rolling Industry Association .
Joint Meeting of the Hong Kong Higher Education Staff Association
(PLC Paper No. CB(2) 247(03))
48. Members noted that the Joint Meeting of the Hong Kong Higher Education Staff Association recommended that Higher Education should be included as one of the 28 FCs and should not be grouped under the Education FC, and that the quota of 20 votes in respect of the EC should be allocated on the basis of the number of staff in each institution to ensure fair representation.
49. Mrs Elsie TU said that there should be a Higher Education FC because of its importance. She pointed out that over 7,000 out of 52,000 teachers in the Education FC were in tertiary education, and that some sectors with a small number of electors e.g. finance, financial services and insurance, had their own FC. She suggested that the Finance FC and the Financial Services FC could be combined as one so that a new FC could be established for Higher Education.
50. DS(CA) explained that the Administration would not use the number of electors in a sector as a base for deciding whether a FC should be formed. The Administration would have to comply with Article 5 of the Specific Method in the formation of FCs. The Administration did not support the proposal on the grounds that Higher Education was well represented in the Education FC and the Second Sector of EC.
Hong Kong Cultural Sector Joint Conference
(PLC Paper No. CB(2) 251(03))
51. Members noted that the Hong Kong Cultural Sector Joint Conference proposed that "one person, one vote" should be adopted for the Sports, Performing Arts, Culture and Publication FC election to ensure fair representation, and that the list of electors should include district cultural organizations and other organizations which received grants from the Urban Council, Regional Council and Hong Kong Arts Development Council.
52. DS(CA) said that it would be difficult to define the eligibility of an elector for the Sports, Performing Arts, Culture and Publication FC if "one person, one vote" was adopted. The proposal could only be considered if the FC had recognized professional institutions. DSCA also informed members that in response to feedback from the consultation exercise on the delineation of the electorate for the FCs and EC for the First LegCo Election (the consultation exercise), the Bill had already included organizations which received subsidies from the Urban Council, Regional Council and Hong Kong Arts Development Council in the list of electors. As a result, the number of electors for this FC had increased ten fold to over 2,000.
Hong Kong Institution of Textile & Apparel
(PLC Paper No. CB(2) 251(01))
53. DS(CA) said that the Administration did not agree to include members of the Hong Kong Institution of Textile & Apparel as electors as they did not meet the criteria for professional constituencies.
54. Ms CHOY So-yuk supported the lnstitution's proposal, pointing out that it was important to include as many professionals as possible in the relevant sector. Dr YEUNG Chun-kam was of the view that it was unfair not to give a vote to each member of the Institution. He pointed out that the Institution was the only professional body in the textiles and garment sector and its members were mostly graduates of the Institute of Textiles and Clothing of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, which was the only educational institution offering professional training in textiles and clothing.
55. DS(CA) reminded members that the Institution was only established in 1993 and that it would take at least seven years for a person to be qualified as a member of the institution. The Administration had reservation about whether the professional status of this Institution was equivalent to that of other professional bodies. Mrs Sophie LEUNG shared this view and supported the Administration's decision to give only one vote to the Institution in recognition of its representativeness and contribution to the industry.
|56. In response to Mr WONG Siu-yee's enquiries, DS(CA) said that apart from the consultation exercise, the Administration had consulted relevant Government Departments e.g. Trade Department and Industry Department in drawing up the list of electors. DSCA undertook to check whether or not all members of the bodies listed in the Textiles and Garment FC were corporate members.
57. Mr CHAN Kam-lam asked and DS(CA) responded that the overlapping of membership between the bodies listed in paragraph 26(1) and paragraph 26(3) of Schedule 1 would not cause any problem as a registered elector could only vote once.
|58. Ms CHOY So-yuk asked and DS(CA) explained that the list of electors for the Textiles and Garment FC was meant to cover textiles and garment manufacturers and exporters. Importers related to the trade might be included as electors for the Import and Export FC. The Hong Kong General Chamber of Textiles Limited which comprised textiles importers was included because of its close relationship with the trade. In this regard, Dr YEUNG Chun-kam remarked that the Hong Kong General Chamber of Textiles Limited should not be included if it was the Administration's intention to include textiles and garment manufacturers and exporters only. DS(CA) said that the Administration would consider his view. Dr YEUNG Chun-kam also suggested that the Textile Traders Registration system could be used as a basis for the electorate delineation.
Kowloon Federation of Association
(PLC Paper No. CB(2) 258(05))
59. Members noted that the Kowloon Federation of Associations proposed that the "Social Welfare" subsector under the Third Sector of the EC should be renamed as "Social Services" subsector so as to be consistent with the Specific Method, and that 60 votes should be allocated to the proposed "Social Services" subsector, the electors of which should include the Federation and other registered local/district organizations.
|60. DS(CA) said that it would not be consistent with the Specific Method if the Federation was included in the Third Sector of the EC which only covered labour, social services and religion. However, the Administration agreed to consider the suggestion of expanding the electorate of the Social Welfare FC to include registered local/district organizations. However, he cautioned that regard had to be given to the historical development of the Social Welfare FC. Any suggestion to vary the electorate would need careful consideration.
Textile Council of Hong Kong Limited
(PLC Paper No. CB(2) 247(01))
61. Members noted that the Administration was agreeable to the proposal of the Hong Kong Textile Council and would move an amendment to include its members as electors for the Textile and Garment FC.
Kwun Tong Resident Union
(PLC Paper No. CB(2) 247(02))
62. Members noted that the Kwun Tong Resident Union proposed that it should be included in the Third Sector of the EC, and that consideration should be given to including similar societies representing "grassroots" interest.
III. Members' initial proposed amendments to the Bill
(PLC Paper No. CB(2) 266)
IV. Date of next meeting
|63. Members noted the initial proposed amendments made by Hon Mrs Elsie TU, Hon CHAN Choi-hi and Hon Howard YOUNG which had been issued vide PLC Paper No. CB(2) 266. Members urged the Administration to inform the Bills Committee of its position, preferably in writing, on various outstanding issues and the initial proposed amendments made by individual Members as soon as possible. At Mrs Miriam LAU's suggestion, it was also agreed that members should be given advance notice if the Bills Committee would discuss any proposed amendments by individual Members at the next meeting. The Chairman asked the Secretariat to prepare a summary on members' proposed amendments to facilitate discussion.
64. Members agreed that the next meeting originally scheduled for Tuesday, 9 September 1997 at 8:30 am would commence at 2:30 pm in order to allow more time for the Administration to prepare its response to the Bills Committee.
65. There being no other business, the meeting ended at 4:55 pm.
Provisional Legislative Council Secretariat
16 January 1998