Revised version
A 97/98-5(1)
(Issued at 11:00 am on 15.8.97)


Provisional Legislative Council

Agenda
Wednesday 20 August 1997 at 2:30 pm
I. Papers

Subsidiary LegislationL.N. NO.
1. Prisons (Amendment) Order 1997 400/97
2. Drug Addiction Treatment Centre (Hei Ling Chau Addiction Treatment Centre) (Amendment) Order 1997401/97
3. Patents (General) (Amendment) Rules 1997 402/97
4. Pleasure Grounds (Urban Council) (Amendment) Bylaw 1997403/97
5. Declaration of Change of Titles (Principal Government Town Planner and Government Town Planner) Notice 1997404/97
6. Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) (No.2) (Ordinance 1994 (63 of 1994) (Commencement) Notice 1997 405/97
7. Copyright Ordinance (92 of 1997) (Commencement) Notice 1997406/97
8. Import and Export (Fees) (Amendment) Regulation 1997 (L.N.245 of 1997) (Commencement) Notice 1997407/97
9. Banking (Specification of Public Sector Entities in Hong Kong) (Amendment) Notice 1997 408/97
10. Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance (Cap.486) (Commencement) Notice 1997409/97
11. Commodities Trading (Trading Limits and Position Limits) (Amendment) (No.2) Rules 1997 410/97
12. Estate Agents Ordinance (48 of 1997) (Commencement) Notice 1997 411/97
13. Mental Health (Amendment) Ordinance 1997 (81 of 1997) (Commencement) Notice 1997 412/97
14. Legal Services Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Ordinance 1997 (94 of 1997) (Commencement) Notice 1997 413/97
15. Official Languages (Alteration of Text Under Section 4D) (No.22) Order 1997 414/97
16. Merchant Shipping (Safety) (GMDSS Radio Installations) Regulation (Amendment of Schedule) Notice 1997 415/97

Sessional Papers

No. 3 - Report by Commissioner of Correctional Services on the Administration of the Correctional Services Department Welfare Fund for the year ended 31 March 1996

(to be presented by the Secretary for Security)

Report

Report of the Subcommittee on Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal Rules and Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal Fees Rules

(to be presented by Mr Ronald ARCULLI, Chairman of the Subcommittee, who will address the Council)

II.Questions

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

Since Hong Kong has become the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, will the Government inform this Council whether it has formulated any regulations stipulating that failing to stand up when the national anthem is played at public venues, or showing disrespect when the national flag is raised, is a criminal offence; if not, whether consideration will be given to introducing legislation in this regard?

Public Officer to reply:Secretary for Constitutional Affairs

2.Mrs Selina CHOW to ask :(Translation)

It is reported that the existing 80 police canteens are operating without a licence and that they also serve people who do not work in police stations. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the reasons why these canteens are allowed to operate without a licence;

  2. as the contracts for operating police canteens stipulate that such canteens should only serve staff members of police stations, of the reasons for the canteen operators not complying with the stipulation;

  3. whether it will consider requiring these canteens to apply for a Food Business Licence, given that there are already people who do not work in police stations patronizing these canteens; and

  4. whether contracts for operating police canteens are granted by way of an open tender system; and what criteria are adopted by the Police Force to ensure that these contracts are granted in a fair and impartial manner?

Public Officer to reply:Secretary for Security

3.Miss CHAN Yuen-han to ask :(Translation)

Regarding the management of Home Ownership Scheme ("HOS") estates, does the Government know:

  1. of the basis for the authority concerned earmarking certain public roads and slopes within the boundary of HOS estates when the estates are under construction;

  2. who will bear the maintenance costs of the roads within the boundary of an HOS estate if the roads are used by both the residents of that estate and those of the neighbouring public housing estate(s);

  3. of the reasons why the fines for illegal parking within the boundary of an HOS estate are collected by the firm responsible for the management of that estate or the Housing Department; and

  4. of the reasons why residents of HOS estates have to pay a supervision fee in addition to the management fee; and what is the current average monthly supervision fee paid by each HOS household?

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

4. Dr TANG Siu-tong to ask : (Translation)

Recently an incident involving the collapse of a canopy of an old building in North Point resulted in the injury of five people, and this has aroused the concern of the public over the issue of ageing buildings. In this regard, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the current distribution of private residential buildings in Hong Kong in terms of the age of the buildings;

  2. of the number of old buildings in which parts of their structural components have potential risks of collapse; and what plans or measures does the Government have in eliminating those potential risks, and

  3. whether there are any established procedures governing the inspection of buildings aged over 30 or 40 years, so as to ensure the safety of those buildings?

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

* 5.Dr HO Chung-tai to ask :(Translation)

In recent years, the Government has adopted various measures to prevent flooding, such as improving the designs of sewage pits and stormwater drains as well as strengthening the coordination among various departments. However, there are still some locations in the urban area which are prone to flooding in times of heavy rainfall due to blockage of stormwater drains. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:

  1. the current policy on the promotion of civic education will be reviewed with a view to educating the public about their obligations to keep a clean environment, so as to reduce the chance of stormwater drains being silted up; and

  2. any plan is in place to step up prosecutions against those people who litter and to clean streets more frequently?

Public Officer to reply:Secretary for Broadcasting,
Culture and Sport

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

The Chief Executive (CE) mentioned in his inaugural speech that in future, primary and secondary school teachers should all possess a university degree and have received teacher training. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the respective numbers of serving teachers in primary and secondary schools who do not possess a university degree, and the proportions of such teachers to the total numbers of primary and secondary school teachers in Hong Kong respectively;

  2. of the respective numbers of serving teachers in primary and secondary schools who have not received teacher training, and the proportions of such teachers to the total numbers of primary and secondary school teachers in Hong Kong respectively;

  3. of the estimated number of years required for teachers who do not possess a university degree, or who have not received teacher training, to attain through in-service training the standard mentioned by the CE; and the estimated amount of funds required for providing such training; and

  4. whether it has any plan to upgrade the Hong Kong Institute of Education to university status with a view to providing more graduate teachers, so that the CE's proposal can be put into practice; if so, when the plan is expected to be implemented?

Public Officer to reply:Secretary for Education
and Manpower

* 7.Mr CHAN Choi-hi to ask : (Translation)

In view of a large number of children who have newly arrived in Hong Kong from the mainland, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the number of primary and secondary schools which the Government plans to build in order to meet the educational needs of these children; and whether this will affect the scheme for whole-day schooling in primary schools resulting in the scheme being delayed; and

  2. of the specific plans in place to help these children adapt to the education system in Hong Kong and catch up with the education standard of local school children of their age?

Public Officer to reply: Secretary for Education
and Manpower

* 8.Dr C H LEONG to ask :

It is reported that some countries which previously offered visa-free entry to the British National (Overseas) (BNO) passport holders have ceased to adopt such a practice after 1 July 1997. Will the Government inform this council:

  1. of the reasons for the above countries not offering visa-free entry to the BNO passport holders;

  2. whether any of these countries have undertaken to offer visa-free entry to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport holders;

  3. for countries which have visa-free entry agreement with Britain and thus extended such a practice to Hong Kong before 1 July 1997, under what circumstances will this practice be changed; and

  4. of the actions taken by the Government to ensure that the immigration practices adopted by the 80-odd countries or regions before 1 July 1997 in respect of holders of the BNO passport and the Certificate of Identity will be maintained?

Public Officer to reply:Secretary for Security

* 9.Dr TANG Siu-tong to ask : (Translation)

Will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the total number of small house applications which are still being processed as at 1 July this year, together with the number of applications approved in each of the past three years;

  2. in regard to the undertaking given by the Government two years ago to examine the possibility of contracting out the vetting and approving work so as to speed up the processing of small houses applications, of the outcome of the study in this regard; if the proposal is found to be feasible, of the reasons for not implementing the proposal; and if the proposal is found not feasible, what the reasons are; and

  3. whether the Government has any plans to improve and expedite the vetting and approving procedures for small houses applications, so as to assist indigenous villagers in resolving their housing problem?

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

*10.Dr C H LEONG to ask :

Regarding the AIDS Trust Fund which was set up in mid 1993, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of a breakdown of the respective numbers of applications received, approved and rejected to date in respect of the following categories of applications:

    1. ex-gratia payment,
    2. medical and support services, and
    3. publicity and public education;

  2. of the total payment, as well as the highest and lowest payment for the successful applications in respect of each of the above three categories;

  3. of the criteria adopted for determining whether an application should be approved or not;

  4. of the longest, shortest and average time taken in processing an application (from the date of submission of an application to the date of notifying the applicant of the result of the application) in respect of each of the above three categories in each of the years since the establishment of the Fund;

  5. of the plans, if any, to streamline the procedures in processing applications;

  6. whether people contracting HIV via transfusion of blood or blood products in Hong Kong after 1985 are eligible to apply for the ex-gratia payment; if not, whether consideration will be given to making such people becoming so eligible; and

  7. whether the nationality or resident status of a person contracting HIV via transfusion of blood or blood products in Hong Kong is one of the deciding factors in determining the eligibility for receiving ex-gratia payment?

Public Officer to reply: Secretary for Health and
Welfare

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

Regarding the recent occurrence within one day of fire accidents on three public buses in motion which has aroused public concern over the safety of bus passengers, will the Government inform this Council of:

  1. the number of fire accidents which occurred on buses in each of the past three years, together with the causes of such accidents; and

  2. the measures to be taken by the authority concerned to prevent the recurrence of fire accidents on buses in motion, so as to ensure the safety of the passengers?

Public Officer to reply: Secretary for Transport

*12.Mr HO Sai-chu to ask :(Translation)

It is learnt that the book fair held recently at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre was intended to promote the sale of books as well as to enhance the cultural awareness of the public. However, most of the teenagers who attended the fair rushed to the comic stands, resulting in the venue becoming so crowded that some had even suffered injury. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:

  1. consideration will be given to requesting book fair organizers to hold separate exhibitions at different times for the display of comics and other books in the future; and

  2. any specific plan is in place to promote reading among teenagers so as to enhance the cultural awareness of the community?

Public Officer to reply: Secretary for Trade and
Industry

*13.Mr LAU Wong-fat to ask : (Translation)

The National Flag and National Emblem Ordinance and the Regional Flag and Regional Emblem Ordinance, which strictly regulate the hoisting of the national flag and regional flag, have already come into operation. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. which government department is responsible for monitoring whether private organizations have complied with the stipulations for the hoisting of the national flag and regional flag;

  2. what procedures the relevant department will adopt in advising those private organizations found to have breached the stipulations for the hoisting of the national flat and regional flag to comply with such stipulations;

  3. whether any complaints have been received concerning the hoisting of the national flat and regional flat in an improper manner; if so, of the total number of such complaints received; and

  4. whether consideration will be given to conducting a large-scale publicity campaign, including the setting up of an enquiry hotline, so as to enable private organizations to have a better understanding of the stipulations for the hoisting of the national flag and regional flat?

Public Officer to reply: Secretary for Constitutional
Affairs

*14.Dr David LI to ask :

According to a recent survey conducted by the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups on behalf of the Independent Commission Against Corruption, an increasing number of young people believe bribery is acceptable and one in five of the respondents think there is nothing wrong with breaking the law to make money. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of any plans in place to educate the young people on the values of honesty, integrity and the law?

Public Officer to reply: Secretary for Health and
Welfare

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

The Government indicated in March this year that the feasibility study of the Ma On Shan Railway Project (the Project) had been completed. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

  1. of the findings of the above feasibility study as well as the proposals relating to route alignment;

  2. of the progress to date in examining the findings of the feasibility study;

  3. whether, apart from conducting a feasibility study, the Government has drawn up any timetable for carrying out technical and financial studies concerning the implementation of the various proposals of the Project; if so, what the details are; and

  4. of the date when a decision on the Project is expected to be made, and the date when the Ma On Shan Railway is expected to be completed?

    Public Officer to reply:Secretary for Transport

    *16.Mr YEUNG Yiu-chung to ask : (Translation)

    It is learnt that the management of many schools have revealed that there is slow progress in the school improvement projects and that problems occur in many areas, such as the failure of the department concerned to provide schools with lists of furniture items and guidelines for the purchase of such items, the lack of ancillary furniture and equipment in activity rooms, etc. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of the progress of the School Improvement Programme, and whether ancillary facilities such as furniture, equipment and air conditioners will be provided to schools?

    Public Officer to reply: Secretary for Education
    and Manpower

    *17.Mr NGAN Kam-chuen to ask :(Translation)

    Currently the criteria adopted by the Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) for calculating ex-gratia allowances paid to fishermen are based on the types of fish caught outside Hong Kong waters. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether the AFD will consider conducting tests on the response of fish caught in Hong Kong waters to different suspended solid concentrations, and using the results as the basis for determining the amount of ex-gratia allowances granted; if not, why not?

    Public Officer to reply: Secretary for Economic
    Services

    *18.Mr HUI Yin-fat to ask : (Translation)

    Regarding Hong Kong residents' spouses and offsprings living in the mainland, will the Government inform this Council of:

    1. the numbers of such spouses and offsprings as at the end of last year;

    2. the respective proportions of the above offsprings who are of the appropriate age to receive education in kindergartens, primary and secondary schools in Hong Kong, who are within the age group of 18 to 30, and who are above the age of 30;

    3. the number of Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients who applied for CSSA in each of the past three years because their spouses were living in the mainland and that they had to give up their jobs in order to look after their children in Hong Kong; and

    4. the amount of expenditure in respect of CSSA cases mentioned in (c) above in each of the past three years?

    Public Officer to reply: Secretary for Health
    and Welfare

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

    Will the Government inform this Council of the highest, lowest and average selling prices per square foot in respect of the following categories of private residential properties in Hong Kong in each of the past five years:

    1. luxury residential flats on Hong Kong Island;

    2. non-luxury residential flats on Hong Kong Island;

    3. residential flats in Kowloon; and

    4. residential flats in the New Territories?

    Public Officer to reply: Secretary for Housing

    *20.Mr CHAN Choi-hi to ask :(Translation)

    Will the Government inform this Council whether there will be a comprehensive review of the performance pledges of all government departments and public bodies; if so, when and how the review will be carried out?

    Public Officer to reply: Chief Secretary for
    Administration

    * For written reply.

    III. Bills

    First Reading

    1. Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1997

    2. Legislative Council Bill

    Second Reading

    Debates to be adjourned

    1. Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1997 : Chief Secretary for Administration
    2. Legislative Council Bill :Secretary for Constitutional Affairs

    IV. Motions

    Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

    Chief Secretary for Administration :

    That the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal Rules, published as Legal Notice No.384 of 1997 and laid on the table of the Provisional Legislative Council on 9 July 1997, be amended -

    1. in rule 5(2) and (3) by repealing "
    2. in rules 57, 74, 75 and 76 by repealing "High Court" wherever it appears and substituting "Supreme Court";

    3. in rule 66(2) by adding " " before " ";

    4. in Form A in Schedule 1 by repealing "/Criminal".

    V. Members' Motions

    Vietnamese boat people

    Mrs Selina CHOW : (Translation)

    That this Council urges the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to repatriate as soon as possible all Vietnamese boat people and illegal immigrants stranded in Hong Kong, abolish the port of first asylum policy, as well as expeditiously recover from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees the $1.1 billion advances made by Hong Kong.

    Amendments to Mrs Selina CHOW's motion

    1.Mr LAU Kong-wah : (Translation)

    To insert "immediately" before "repatriate"; to delete "as soon as possible"; and to add ", sign an agreement with the Vietnamese Government for the repatriation of Vietnamese illegal immigrants upon arrest" after "the port of first asylum policy".

    2.Ms CHOY So-yuk :(Translation)

    To delet "abolish" and substitute with "promulgate the abolition of"; to delete "expeditiously recover from" and substitute with "request"; to add "to set a deadline for repaying" before "United Nations High Commission for Refugees"; and to add "; and at the same time, take effective measures to eradicate the problem of black market Vietnamese labour in Hong Kong" after "$1.1 billion advances made by Hong Kong".

    Public Officer to attend: Secretary for Security


    LAW Wing-lok
    for Clerk to the Provisional Legislative Council