Provisional Legislative Council
PLC Paper No. CB(2) 1500
(These minutes have been
seen by the Administration)
Ref : CB2/BC/3/97/S2
Bills Committee on
Legislative Council Bill
Minutes of the meeting held on Friday, 12 September 1997 from 8:30 am to 12:15 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
Hon NG Leung-sing
Hon LEE Kai-ming
Hon Mrs Elsie TU, GBM
Hon YUEN Mo
Hon Mrs Sophie LEUNG LAU Yau-fun, JP
Hon CHAN Yuen-han
Hon CHAN Kam-lam
Hon TSANG Yok-sing
Hon Frederick FUNG Kin-kee
Hon Andrew WONG Wang-fat, JP
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
Members Absent :
Prof Hon NG Ching-fai
Hon Eric LI Ka-cheung, JP
Hon Mrs Peggy LAM, JP
Hon Henry WU
Hon MA Fung-kwok
Dr Hon LEONG Che-hung, JP
Hon CHAN Choi-hi
Hon CHAN Wing-chan
Hon CHENG Kai-nam
Dr Hon Philip WONG Yu-hong
Hon Kennedy WONG Ying-ho
Hon Bruce LIU Sing-lee
Hon Timothy FOK Tsun-ting
Hon CHOY So-yuk
Public Officers Attending :
- Mr NG Sek-hon
- Deputy Secretary for Constitutional Affairs
- Mr Patrick HO Chung-kei
- Principal Assistant Secretary for Constitutional Affairs 5
- Ms Shirley YUNG
- Principal Assistant Secretary for Constitutional Affairs 4
- Mr James O'NEIL
- Principal Government Counsel
- Ms Phyllis KO
- Senior Assistant Law Draftsman (Acting)
Clerk in Attendance :
- Mrs Justina LAM
- Assistant Secretary General 2
- Mrs Percy MA
- Chief Assistant Secretary (2)3
Staff in Attendance :
- Mr Jimmy MA
- Legal Adviser
- Mr Stephen LAM
- Assistant Legal Adviser 4
- Miss Salumi CHAN
- Senior Assistant Secretary (2) 1
I. Clause-by-clause examination of the Bill
(PLC Paper Nos. CB(2) 298(01), 298(02) and 304(01))
SCHEDULE 1 - FUNCTIONAL CONSTITUENCIES
Part 2 - Item 6 Transport Functional Constituency
(PLC Paper No. CB(2) 304(01))
Deputy Secretary for Constitutional Affairs (DS(CA)) and Principal Assistant Secretary for Constitutional Affairs 4 (PAS(CA)4) briefed members on the statistics detailed in CAB Paper No. 4 which was tabled at the meeting and subsequently issued to members via PLC Paper No. CB(2) 304(01). Referring to the estimated electorate size of the Transport Functional Constituency (FC) under the Administration's proposal of "one association one vote" and that of the proposal made by some Members of giving voting right to corporate members of the relevant associations (as shown in the left and right columns of the paper respectively), DS(CA) said that as the number of corporate members of the relevant associations varied greatly, the Administration considered it more appropriate and fair to adopt its proposal of "one association one vote".
2. Members queried how the Administration had worked out the statistics shown in the right column of the paper. PAS(CA)4 explained that the bases for calculation were that if more than 50% of the members of an association were corporate members, each corporate member would be entitled to one vote, and that if more than 50% of the members of an association were individual members, the association as a whole would only be entitled to one vote. Mrs Miriam LAU considered it inappropriate and unfair to adopt these bases. She suggested that a uniform criterion be applied across-the-board i.e. either all members of an association, including corporate and individual members, would each be entitled to one vote, or that one association would have one vote regardless of its proportion of corporate/individual members.
3. Mrs Elsie TU suggested that "business registration" be used as the criterion so that those who had business registration certificates, irrespective of whether they were corporate or individual members of an association, would each be entitled to one vote. PAS(CA)4 responded that this would be inconsistent with the traditional criteria for delineation of FCs. Besides, the proposal would result in one or two sectors dominating the Transport FC. She understood that more than 10,000 taxis in Hong Kong were operating under such certificates.
4. Mr YUEN Mo said that as the Transport FC comprised the land and sea transport, the number of votes in this FC should be evenly distributed between these two sectors and not according to the Administration's proposal of 106 votes for land transport and 44 votes for sea transport. He pointed out that the proposed representation was unfair as the three major associations representing the sea transport, namely, the Hong Kong Shipowners Association Ltd, the Hong Kong Liner Shipping Association and the Hong Kong Shipping Circles Association Ltd, were each entitled to only one vote, whereas the ten driving instructors associations were also entitled to one vote each. DS(CA) pointed out that under the principle of "one association one vote", all associations, irrespective of their sizes, would each be entitled to one vote. Mr Howard YOUNG commented that while it was important to maintain the principle of equity, a right balance of representation should be struck among the various sectors within the same FC. Mr YUEN Mo said that he might move a Committee stage amendment (CSA) to the list of electors of the Transport FC.
Part 3 - Item 7 Education Functional Constituency
5. DS(CA) advised that the Administration proposed to add two training centres, which had the same status as other vocational training centres, to the list of electors of the Education FC. They were the Pinehill Village Advanced Training Centre of the Hong Kong Association for the Mentally Handicapped and the Caritas Lok Mo Vocational Training Centre of the Caritas-Hong Kong under the Caritas-Hong Kong Incorporation Ordinance. The Education and Manpower Bureau supported this proposed amendment.
6. Mrs Elsie TU expressed her concern that there were far too many business FCs. She considered that there should be more FCs representing the non-business sectors of the community and that this could be achieved by adding one more FC to represent tertiary education.
Part 3 - Item 8 Legal Functional Constituency
|7. Responding to Mr Ronald ARCULLI, DS(CA) said that the Administration would consider whether the Legal Adviser, Senior Assistant Legal Adviser and Assistant Legal Advisers of the Legislative Council (LegCo) Secretariat (including the Provisional Legislative Council (PLC) Secretariat) should be included in the list of electors of the Legal FC.
Part 3 - Item 11 Health Services Functional Constituency
8. Responding to the Legal Adviser, PAS(CA)4 explained that there were situations in which only some service units of an organization, but not the whole organization, received subvention from the Government. The phrase "services subvented by the Government" in item 11(13)(d) referred to such service units. Responding to Mr Ronald ARCULLI, PAS(CA)4 advised that the relevant Government department had a list of such service units.
|9. Mr IP Kwok-him asked whether the Auxiliary Medical Services should be included as an elector for the Health Services FC or any other FC. PAS(CA)4 undertook to provide a response later.
Part 3 - Item 12 Engineering Functional Constituency
10. Responding to Dr Raymond HO, PAS(CA)4 said that the professional engineers registered under the Engineers Registration Ordinance (Cap. 409) were included in the list of electors of the Engineering FC in the last LegCo election.
Part 3 - Item 15 Social Welfare Functional Constituency
11. Responding to Mr Howard YOUNG, PAS(CA)4 explained that according to the memorandum of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS), any associations providing direct or indirect social services which had an objective compatible with that of HKCSS could apply to join HKCSS as its member. In fact, some kai fong welfare associations had already joined HKCSS.
12. Responding to Miss CHAN Yuen-han, DS(CA) said that as pointed out at previous meetings, the Administration considered it unnecessary to broaden the list of electors of the Social Welfare FC by adding other types of associations which provided social services. Mr IP Kwok-him said that if the Administration would not move CSAs to this effect, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong would consider doing so.
Part 3 - Item 17 Tourism Functional Constituency
13. Mr Howard YOUNG proposed to add members of the Hong Kong Hotels Association and members of the Federation of Hong Kong Hotel Owners to the list of electors of the Tourism FC. DS(CA) said that the Administration had no objection to Mr YOUNG's proposal.
Part 3 - Item 23 Financial Services Functional Constituency
14. Mr Ronald ARCULLI suggested that the Administration should consider including the association of foreign exchange dealers to the list of electors of the Financial Services FC. DS(CA) responded that the Administration had received no such request during the consultation period. However, Members who had information about the association were welcome to contact the Constitutional Affairs Bureau.
Part 3 - Item 24 Sports, Performing Arts, Culture and Publication Functional Constituency
15. PAS(CA)4 informed members that the Administration proposed to add the Hong Kong Book and Stationery Industry Association Company Limited to the list of electors of the Sports, Performing Arts, Culture and Publication FC.
|16. Miss CHAN Yuen-han said that at the Bills Committee meeting on 6 September 1997, representatives of the Hong Kong Cultural Sector Joint Conference (HKCSJC) had pointed out that the cultural sector was not fully represented under the proposed list of electors of the Sports, Performing Arts, Culture and Publication FC. In response to Miss CHAN's query, PAS(CA)4 advised that the list of electors included those statutory bodies and registered bodies, the primary goal of which was the promotion of arts, and to which grants, sponsorship or performance fees had been approved by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, the Urban Council or the Regional Council. The list should be broadly representative of the cultural sector. In any case, the Administration had not received any submission from HKCSJC. Miss CHAN Yuen-han passed a list of cultural bodies put forward by HKCSJC to PAS(CA)4 and requested the Administration to further look into the matter.
Part 3 - Item 25 Import and Export Functional Constituency
17. Responding to Mr WONG Siu-yee, PAS(CA)4 explained that the licensing system under item 25(2) covered both the import and export companies licensed under the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance for the import and/or export of dutiable commodities. The number of companies involved was about 3 000.
Part 3 - Item 26 Textiles and Garment Functional Constituency
18. DS(CA) advised that the Administration proposed to add members of the Textile Council of Hong Kong Limited to the list of electors of the Textiles and Garment FC.
|19. Dr Charles YEUNG proposed to add those who had been registered by the Trade Department as Textile Traders and were in possession of the textile trader certificates to the list of electors of the Textiles and Garment FC. DS(CA) advised that the Administration was looking into this proposal and would provide a response later.
Part 3 - Item 28 Information Technology Functional Constituency
20. PAS(CA)4 informed members that the Administration proposed to add fellows, senior professional members and professional members of the Hong Kong Association for Computer Education Ltd, full members (Information Technology) of the Hong Kong Society of Medical Informatics Ltd and ordinary members of the Hong Kong Telemedicine Association to the list of electors of the Information Technology FC.
21. Dr Raymond HO said that he would move a CSA to add members of the Information Technology Division of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers to the list of electors of the Information Technology FC. However, if members agreed, this CSA might be moved by the Bills Committee.
SCHEDULE 2 - CONSTITUTION OF ELECTION COMMITTEE
Part 1 - Section 1 How Election Committee is to be constituted
22. PAS(CA)5 briefed members on the Administration's proposed CSAs to section 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 2. The main changes were :
- to add a new subsection (7B) to the effect that any Hong Kong deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC) or PLC Member who was registered as an elector in a FC might, in accordance with regulations in force under the Electoral Affairs Commission Ordinance, decline registration as an ex-officio member of the Election Committee (EC) ;
- to add a new subsection (7A) to the effect that the Electoral Registration Officer must register all Hong Kong deputies to the NPC and PLC Members as ex-officio members of EC in accordance with regulations in force under the Electoral Affairs Commission Ordinance, other than those who had declined registration ;
- to add a new subsection (8A) to provide that if the total number of members allocated to the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) subsector (including the extra number referred to in subsection (8)) was equal to or exceeded the number of the Hong Kong members of the National Committee of the CPPCC, the number of members of this subsector was to be filled by all the Hong Kong members of the National Committee of the CPPCC and, where there was an excess in the number of members allocated, the excess number was to be allocated equally among the "Hong Kong and Kowloon Provisional District Boards (PDBs)" and "New Territories PDBs" subsectors and the remaining number, if any, was to be allocated to the "New Territories PDBs" subsector.
Part 1 - Table 1 First Sector of EC
23. Mr CHAN Kam-lam said that 13 out of the 17 subsectors of the First Sector of EC had an equivalent FC and were allocated 12 seats each while the remaining four subsectors without an equivalent FC were only allocated 11 seats each. He considered this arrangement unfair as the former ones already had representation in the equivalent FCs. He requested a reallocation of the number of members among the subsectors of the First Sector so that those subsectors without an equivalent FC would be allocated more seats. PAS(CA)5 advised that in allocating the number of members among the subsectors, the Administration had taken several factors into consideration, including the requirement not to exceed the total number of 200 members for each Sector. The Administration considered the proposed allocation of number of members for each subsector appropriate.
Part 1 - Table 2 Second Sector of EC
24. Referring to the allocation of 20 seats each for all subsectors of the Second Sector, Miss CHAN Yuen-han said that she shared Mr CHAN Kam-lam's view and considered the arrangement unfair as some of the subsectors had an equivalent FC. PAS(CA)5 reiterated that the Administration considered the proposed allocation under the Bill appropriate.
Part 1 - Table 5 Composition of Subsectors referred to in Section 1(5)(c)
25. PAS(CA)5 advised that the Administration proposed to amend the list of constituents of item 5 of Table 5 - Education Subsector. The amendments were in line with the Administration's proposed CSAs to item 7 of Schedule 1 - Education FC.
Part 2 - Section 2 Composition of the religious subsector
|26. Responding to the Legal Adviser, PAS(CA)5 explained that the "order to be made by the Chief Executive in Council" as stated in section 2(2) of Part 2 of Schedule 2 would be in the form of subsidiary legislation to be published in the Gazette. The Administration would introduce a CSA to make this point clear.
Part 2 - Section 4 Who is qualified for selection as a nominee
27. PAS(CA)5 said that in connection with the Administration's proposed CSAs to section 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 2, the Administration proposed to amend section 4(2)(a) of Part 2 of Schedule 2 to make it clear that all Hong Kong deputies to the NPC and PLC Members, irrespective of whether they were ex-officio members of EC or not, were not eligible to be selected as nominees of the religious subsector of EC.
|28. In response to Mr CHAN Kam-lam's enquiry, Principal Government Counsel advised that a person who "has a substantial connection with the religious subsector" referred to in section 4(1)(b) of Part 2 of Schedule 2 would not be limited to office-bearers of the associations listed in section 2. It would include any member of subsidiary churches and congregation. Mr CHAN Kam-lam suggested the Administration to consider moving a CSA to make the meaning of the phrase more explicit.
Part 3 - Section 7 Interpretation
29. Responding to Mr CHAN Kam-lam's enquiry on the definition of "voter", PAS(CA)5 explained that the term referred to those who would be voting in the EC subsector elections. It was used to distinguish them from "electors", i.e. those who would be voting in the Geographical Constituency, FC and EC elections.
Part 3 - Section 9 Corporate voter to have authorized representative
|30. The Legal Adviser pointed out that at the last meeting, the Administration had advised that it would move a CSA to clause 24(6) to add "for registration or replacement of an authorized representative" after "An application". He suggested that the Administration should consider making a similar amendment to section 9(6) of Part 3 of Schedule 2. PAS(CA)5 undertook to look into it.
Part 3 - Section 13 Who is eligible to be nominated as a candidate at an Election Committee subsector election
31. PAS(CA)5 pointed out that the Administration's proposed CSAs to section 13(2)(b) of Part 3 of Schedule 2 were the same as those to section 4(2)(a) of Part 2.
Part 3 - Section 18 When holding of an Election Committee subsector election can be postponed or adjourned
|32. PAS(CA)5 advised that as suggested by the Legal Adviser, the Administration would move technical amendments to section 18 of Part 3 of Schedule 2. The Administration would further liaise with the Legal Adviser on the exact wording of the CSAs after the meeting.
Part 3 - Section 19 What is to happen if insufficient number of candidates is nominated for a subsector
33. Responding to Mr Howard YOUNG, PAS(CA)5 explained that if an insufficient number of candidates was nominated for an EC subsector election, a by-election would not be held as nomination of candidates for the LegCo election would follow soon.
Part 3 - Section 22 System of voting and counting of votes
|34. The Legal Adviser suggested that for the sake of consistency, the Administration might consider replacing the phrase "simple or relative majority system of election" in section 22(1) of Part 3 of Schedule 2 by "simple majority system of election" as used in other parts of the Bill. PAS(CA)5 agreed to consider.
Part 3 - Section 23 When a voter is disqualified from voting at an Election Committee subsector election
|35. The Legal Adviser pointed out that no reference had been made to "or territory" in a similar provision of the Electoral Affairs Commission Ordinance (section 3(5)(j)). For consistency, he suggested the Administration to consider revising the wordings of the proposed CSA to section 23(1)(f) of Part 3 of Schedule 2.
Part 3 - Section 24 Consequences of non-compliance with requirements of this Ordinance
|36. The Legal Adviser suggested that for consistency, the phrase "if it appears to the Revising Officer" in section 24 of Part 3 of Schedule 2 should be replaced by "if the Revising Officer is satisfied".
Part 3 - Section 27 Election Committee subsector election not to be questioned only because of defect in appointment of electoral officer
37. Responding to Mr CHAN Kam-lam, Principal Government Counsel advised that "defect in appointment" meant to cover the situation where an electoral officer had started to discharge his duty prior to his appointment or that there was procedural defect in the appointment, for example, his name was wrong. It did not relate to the actual conduct of the election or the performance of the officer.
Part 3 - Section 28 Returning Officer to publish result of Election Committee subsector election
38. Responding to Mr Howard YOUNG, PAS(CA)5 advised that a EC member who was registered as an elector for a FC would not be entitled to vote at an election to return a Member for that constituency. However, he could be an authorized representative of a corporate elector and cast the vote on its behalf at a FC election.
Part 3 - Section 30 Voter not to be required to disclose how vote was cast
39. PAS(CA)5 advised that in line with the Administration's proposed CSA to clause 58 of the Bill, the Administration proposed to add a new subsection (4) to section 30 of Part 3 of Schedule 2 to make it clear that "voter" included an authorized representative of a corporate voter.
SCHEDULE 3 - SAVINGS AND TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS
Section 1 - Provisions for first provisional register after enactment of this Ordinance
40. PAS(CA)5 advised that the Administration proposed to amend section 1(3) of Schedule 3 and to add a new subsection (3A) to section 1 to the effect that the corporate electors appeared on the provisional register of FCs that was in force on 30 June 1997 would be transferred to the first provisional register of FCs to be compiled after the enactment of this Ordinance, subject to their meeting of the relevant requirements under the Ordinance.
41. PAS(CA)5 added that the proposed new subsection (3A)(k)(iii) stipulated that the electors for the insurance industry were to be included in the Insurance FC. This implied that they would no longer be included in the Financial Services FC.
SCHEDULE 4 - CONSEQUENTIAL AMENDMENT OF OTHER ORDINANCES
42. PAS(CA)5 briefed members on the Administration's proposed CSAs to Parts 1 and 2 of Schedule 4. The main changes included the addition of a new item 12A to Part 2 of Schedule 4 for the purpose of amending the wording of section 24 of the Corrupt and Illegal Practices Ordinance.
II. Legislative timetable
43. The Chairman said that he would give a verbal report on the progress of the work of the Bills Committee at the House Committee meeting to be held that afternoon, with a recommendation that the Second Reading debate on the Bill be resumed on Saturday, 27 September 1997. If the proposal was supported by the House Committee and agreed by the President, the deadline for giving notice of CSAs would be 18 September.
44. To facilitate Members' consideration of moving CSAs, DS(CA) undertook to provide the Administration's responses to most of the outstanding points on Monday, 15 September 1997 and the remaining points on Tuesday, 16 September 1997. As requested by Mr Howard YOUNG, the Clerk would prepare a summary of CSAs to be moved by the Administration and Members.
(Post-meeting note : Two sets of summary of CSAs, one by topic and one by clause, were issued to all Members under PLC Paper No. CB(2) 383(01) and 383(02) respectively.)
45. Mr Frederick FUNG asked whether Members would be allowed to move amendments to CSAs. The Chairman suggested him to raise this subject for discussion at the House Committee meeting.
III. Scheduling of meetings
46. Members agreed to schedule further meetings with details as follows :
|Monday, 15 September 1997||8:30 am to 10:30 am
|Tuesday, 16 September 1997||10:45 am to 12:30 pm
47. The meeting ended at 12:15 pm.
Provisional Legislative Council Secretariat
5 March 1998