Provisional Legislative Council

PLC Paper No.142/96-97

Ref : PLC/HC/4

House Committee of the Provisional Legislative Council
Minutes of the meeting
held at the Main Hall, Huaxia Art Centre, Shenzhen
on Saturday, 12 April 1997 at 2:25 p.m.

Members present:

Dr the Honourable LEONG Che-hung (Chairman)
The Honourable IP Kwok-him (Deputy Chairman)
The Honourable WONG Siu-yee
The Honourable TIEN Pei-chun, James
The Honourable HO Sai-chu
The Honourable HO Sing-tin, Edward
Dr the Honourable HO Chung-tai
The Honourable NG Leung-sing
Prof the Honourable NG Ching-fai
The Honourable LI Ka-cheung, Eric
The Honourable LEE Kai-ming
The Honourable LEE Peng-fei, Allen
The Honourable Mrs TU, Elsie
The Honourable Mrs CHOW LIANG Shuk-yee, Selina
The Honourable Mrs LAM, Peggy
The Honourable WU, Henry
The Honourable NGAI Shiu-kit
The Honourable TANG Ying-yen, Henry
The Honourable ARCULLI, Ronald
The Honourable YUEN Mo
The Honourable MA Fung-kwok
The Honourable CHEUNG Hon-chung
The Honourable Mrs TSO WONG Man-yin
The Honourable LEUNG Chun-ying
The Honourable Mrs LEUNG LAU Yau-fan, Sophie
The Honourable MOK Ying-fan
The Honourable HUI Yin-fat
The Honourable CHAN Choi-hi
The Honourable CHAN Yuen-han
The Honourable CHAN Wing-chan
The Honourable CHAN Kam-lam
The Honourable TSANG Yok-sing
The Honourable CHENG Kai-nam
The Honourable FUNG Kin-kee, Frederick
The Honourable WONG Wang-fat, Andrew
Dr the Honourable WONG Yu-hong, Philip
The Honourable WONG Ying-ho, Kennedy
The Honourable YOUNG, Howard
The Honourable YEUNG Chun-kam
The Honourable YEUNG Yiu-chung
The Honourable CHIM Pui-chung
The Honourable LIU Sing-lee, Bruce
The Honourable LAU Kong-wah
The Honourable LAU Wong-fat
The Honourable Mrs LAU Kin-yee, Miriam
The Honourable LAU Hon-chuen, Ambrose
The Honourable CHOY Kan-pui
The Honourable CHENG Ming-fun, Paul
The Honourable CHENG Yiu-tong
Dr the Honourable TANG Siu-tong
The Honourable FOK, Timothy
The Honourable KAN Fook-yee
The Honourable NGAN Kam-chuen
The Honourable LO Suk-ching
Dr the Honourable LAW Cheung-kwok
The Honourable TAM Wai-chu, Maria
The Honourable TAM Yiu-chung

Members absent:

The Honourable CHU Yu-lin, David
The Honourable LI Kwok-po, David

Clerk in attendance:

Ms Pauline NG     Clerk to the Provisional Legislative Council

Staff in attendance:

Mr Arthur CHEUNG     Legal Adviser
Miss Salumi CHAN     Assistant Committee Clerk 2

I.Election of Chairman
1. The Clerk invited members to nominate a member to preside the election of the chairman. Mrs Selina CHOW was elected and she took the chair.
2. Mrs CHOW invited members to refer to the procedure for the election of the chairman and deputy chairman of the House Committee already circulated to Members and also tabled at the meeting (Appendix I). The procedure was adopted.
3. Mrs CHOW called for nominations for the chairmanship. Dr LEONG Che-hung was nominated by Mr IP Kwok-him and seconded by Mr CHAN Wing-chan, and he accepted the nomination. There being no other nomination, Mrs CHOW declared Dr LEONG Che-hung elected Chairman of the House Committee.


Election of the Deputy Chairman
4. Dr LEONG Che-hung took the chair and called for nominations for deputy chairmanship of the House Committee. Mr IP Kwok-him was nominated by Mr LEE Kai-ming and seconded by Mr Eric LI, and he accepted the nomination. There being no other nomination, the Chairman declared Mr IP Kwok-him elected Deputy Chairman of the House Committee.


Any other business
(a) Holidays (1997 and 1998) Bill
       5. The Chairman advised members that the Bill had been referred to the House Committee at the Council meeting held on 12 April 1997, and was therefore one of the first issues to be dealt with by the House Committee. Members considered that there should be a report by the Legal Adviser on the Bill at the next meeting before deciding whether a Bills Committee should be formed to study the Bill. Mr FUNG Kin-kee pointed out that the setting up of a Bills Committee would be necessary in the light of the views already expressed on the need to grant other additional statutory holidays.

(b) Consultation Document on "Civil Liberties and Social Order"
       6. Referring to the Consultation Document published by the Chief Executive (CE)'s Office, the Chairman invited Mr Bruce LIU to speak on his letter already circulated to Members regarding his proposal to set up a subcommittee under the House Committee on this matter (PLC Paper No. 119/96-97). Mr LIU explained that the subcommittee which he proposed aimed at providing a forum for the exchange of views on this Document, soliciting views and collating such views for reporting back to the House Committee. His proposal was supported by some Members who also considered that the subject required detailed examination and extensive discussion.
       7. Some Members however expressed reservation on setting up the subcommittee at this early stage, and cast doubts on the practicability of inviting members of the public to give views to the subcommittee which apparently would meet in Shenzhen. They pointed out that it might be more appropriate for the law-making body to first understand the proposals in the Document, and take note of the views expressed by the public before speaking on the proposals. Whilst Members in their capacity as members of their affiliated political parties or as individual Members could give their own views to CE, the Council as an entity should refrain from formulating its views on the subject when it was still under public consultation. This would avoid pre-empting the deliberations of the bills by the Council after the bills had been introduced. Nevertheless, there were merits in setting up a subcommittee if the purpose of which was only to study the proposals in detail.
       8. It was also suggested that if considered necessary, a motion debate could take place in the Council so as to provide an opportunity for Members to express views on the proposals for CE's consideration before finalising the bills, but the exact wording of the motion would require very careful consideration. Any Member would be at liberty to move such a motion.
       9. Some members considered that a briefing by the CE's Office would help Members understand more about the proposals in the Document and assist the Committee to assess the need for a subcommittee and determine the scope of its responsibilities. After discussion, the Chairman suggested, and members agreed, that the CE's Office should be invited to brief members at an informal briefing on 26 April 1997. The Chairman and the Clerk would work out the detailed arrangements.

(c) Provisional meeting dates of meetings of the House Committee
       10. Members agreed that the House Committee would meet on the same day of each Council meeting already scheduled, to prepare for the next following meeting of the Council. For planning purposes, all meetings of the House Committee would be scheduled to commence at 2:30 p.m. on the understanding that the Council meeting on the same day would end before lunch. As for the Council meeting on 26 April, the Chairman undertook to discuss with the President on the issues which would be put on the agenda of the meeting.
       11. The Chairman also requested that to enable him to determine the agenda of each meeting, members who wished to suggest any items for a meeting should notify the Chairman or the Clerk before 5:00 p.m. on the Tuesday before the meeting.
       12. The meeting ended at 3:05 p.m.

Provisional Legislative Council Secretariat
14 April 1997

Appendix I

Election of chairman and deputy chairman of
Finance Committee/House Committee

The chairman and the deputy chairman of the Finance Committee/House Committee shall be elected from amongst its members at an open meeting and shall hold office until the dissolution of the Council. Nominations in respect of the chairman and deputy chairman shall be called for at the meeting. The nominations shall be made and seconded orally by at least one member present. All members present shall be eligible to stand for election.

If there is more than one candidate for an office, the election for that office shall be conducted by secret ballot amongst the members present and entitled to vote. A candidate who receives a simple majority of votes shall be declared to be elected.

The procedures for the election of the chairman and deputy chairman of the Finance Committee/House Committee are at Appendix.


Procedure for Election of Chairman of
Finance Committee/House Committee

1. The election of the chairman of the Finance Committee/House Committee shall be conducted at a sitting of the Committee.
2. The election shall be presided by the Member present who is elected by and from among the Members present.
3. The member presiding shall call for nominations for the chairmanship. A valid nomination shall be made orally by a member, seconded by at least one other member, and accepted by the member being nominated.
4. If there is only one nomination, the member presiding shall declare the nominee elected as chairman.
5. If there are two or more nominations, the member presiding shall order a vote by secret ballot and shall order the clerk to distribute a ballot paper to each of the members present, including the member presiding.
6. Each member present who wishes to vote shall put down in legible form the name of the nominee of his/her choice on the ballot paper, and place the ballot paper into the ballot box.
7. After all the members present who wish to vote have done so, the clerk shall count the ballot papers in front of all the members present and report the result to the member presiding who shall check the result for confirmation.
8. The member presiding shall declare elected as chairman the nominee who receives the highest number of valid votes among all the nominees.
9. If two or more nominees receive the same highest number of valid votes, the member presiding shall announce that a lot will be drawn by him/her to decide how he/she shall give the casting vote in respect of these nominees.
10. The member presiding shall then draw a lot and give the casting vote to one of the nominees in accordance with the lot drawn, and shall forthwith declare that nominee elected as chairman.