Provisional Legislative Council

PLC Paper No. CB(2) 657

Ref : PLC/HC/4

House Committee of the Provisional Legislative Council

Minutes of the meeting held at the Legislative Council Chamber at 4:30 pm on Friday, 21 November 1997

Members present :

Dr Hon LEONG Che-hung, JP (Chairman)
Hon IP Kwok-him (Deputy Chairman)
Hon WONG Siu-yee
Hon James TIEN Pei-chun, JP
Hon HO Sai-chu, JP
Hon Edward HO Sing-tin, JP
Dr Hon Raymond HO Chung-tai, JP
Hon NG Leung-sing
Hon Eric LI Ka-cheung, JP
Hon LEE Kai-ming
Hon Allen LEE, JP
Hon Mrs Elsie TU, GBM
Hon Mrs Selina CHOW, JP
Hon Henry WU
Hon Henry TANG Ying-yen, JP
Hon MA Fung-kwok
Hon CHEUNG Hon-chung
Dr Hon Mrs TSO WONG Man-yin
Hon MOK Ying-fan
Hon CHAN Choi-hi
Hon CHAN Wing-chan
Hon CHAN Kam-lam
Hon TSANG Yok-sing
Hon Andrew WONG Wang-fat, JP
Hon Kennedy WONG Ying-ho
Dr Hon Charles YEUNG Chun-kam
Hon YEUNG Yiu-chung
Hon Bruce LIU Sing-lee
Hon Mrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee, JP
Hon Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen, JP
Hon CHOY Kan-pui, JP
Hon Paul CHENG Ming-fun, JP
Hon CHENG Yiu-tong
Hon Timothy FOK Tsun-ting
Hon KAN Fook-yee
Hon LO Suk-ching
Hon TAM Yiu-chung, JP
Hon CHOY So-yuk

Members absent :

Hon David CHU Yu-lin
Prof Hon NG Ching-fai
Dr Hon David LI Kwok-po, JP
Hon Mrs Peggy LAM, JP
Hon NGAI Shiu-kit, JP
Hon Ronald ARCULLI, JP
Hon LEUNG Chun-ying, JP
Hon Mrs Sophie LEUNG LAU Yau-fun, JP
Hon HUI Yin-fat, JP
Hon CHAN Yuen-han
Hon CHENG Kai-nam
Hon Frederick FUNG Kin-kee
Dr Hon Philip WONG Yu-hong
Hon Howard YOUNG, JP
Hon CHIM Pui-chung
Hon LAU Kong-wah
Hon LAU Wong-fat, JP
Dr Hon TANG Siu-tong, JP
Hon NGAN Kam-chuen
Dr Hon LAW Cheung-kwok

Clerk in attendance :

Mrs Justina LAM
Clerk to the House Committee

Staff in attendance :

Mr Ricky C C FUNG, JP,
Secretary General

Mr Jimmy MA
Legal Adviser

Mr LAW Kam-sang, JP
Deputy Secretary General

Mr LEE Yu-sang
Senior Assistant Legal Adviser

Ms Pauline NG
Assistant Secretary General 1

Assistant Secretary General 3

Miss Anita HO
Assistant Legal Adviser 2

Mr Stephen LAM
Assistant Legal Adviser 4

Mrs Anna LO
Chief Assistant Secretary (Complaints)

Ms Kathleen LAU
Chief Public Information Officer

Miss Polly YEUNG
Chief Assistant Secretary (1)3

Mr LAW Wing-lok
Chief Assistant Secretary (2)5

Mrs Betty LEUNG
Chief Assistant Secretary (3)1

Mrs Eleanor CHOW
Senior Assistant Secretary (2)8

I.Confirmation of the minutes of the 25th meeting held on 14 November 1997
(PLC Paper No. CB(2) 620)

1.The minutes were confirmed.

II.Matters arising

(a) Report by the Chairman on his meeting with the Chief Secretary for Administration (CS)

(i) Employment (Amendment) (No. 5) Bill 1997

2.The Chairman said that he had reflected to CS members' concern about the Administration's decision to defer the resumption of Second Reading debate on the Bill. The Administration had now given notice for the Second Reading debate on the Bill to be resumed on 3 December 1997.

(ii) Question Time

3.The Chairman said that CS had undertaken to urge Government officials to be more succinct in their replies.

(b) Buildings Ordinance (Cap. 123)
Building (Administration) (Amendment) (No. 4) Regulation 1997 (L.N. 514)
Building (Demolition Works) (Amendment) Regulation 1997 (L.N. 515)
Building (Standards of Sanitary Fitments, Plumbing, Drainage Works and Latrines) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulation 1997 (L.N. 516)
Building (Ventilating Systems) (Amendment) Regulation 1997 (L.N. 517)

4.Mr Edward HO said that he had some reservations about the requirement set out in the Building (Administration) (Amendment) (No. 4) Regulation 1997 relating to the timing of submission of the personal particulars, qualifications and experience of the operators of equipment and mechanical plants used in demolition works. He suggested and members agreed that a subcommittee should be formed to study the four sets of Regulations. The following members agreed to join: Mr HO Sai-chu, Mr Edward HO and Dr Raymond HO.

(c) Television Ordinance (Cap. 52)
Television (Royalty and Licence Fees) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulation 1997 (L.N. 518)

5.Mrs Selina CHOW said that the television stations concerned had not raised objection to the proposed increase in the annual licence fee. Members agreed that a subcommittee needed not be formed to study the Regulation.

(d) Import and Export Ordinance (Cap. 60)
Import and Export (General) Regulations (Amendment of Schedules) (No. 2) Order 1997 (L.N. 529)

6.Mr MA Fung-kwok said that he had sought clarification from the Trade and Industry Bureau and the Legal Adviser and had no further queries on the Order.

III.Business arising from previous Council meetings

Legal Service Division's report on subsidiary legislation tabled in Council on 19 November 1997 (gazetted on 14 November 1997)

(PLC Paper No. LS 47)

7.The Legal Adviser briefly explained the content of the six items of subsidiary legislation detailed in the paper. He added that the Legal Service Division had identified some typographical errors in the Immigration Service (Treatment of Detained Persons) Order and that the Administration had been advised to rectify the errors.

8.The Chairman said that the Declaration of Constituencies (Legislative Council) Order 1997 would be studied by the Subcommittee on subsidiary legislation relating to Legislative Council election chaired by Mr IP Kwok-him.

9.Members raised no queries on the other five items of subsidiary legislation covered in the paper.

10.The Chairman informed members that the deadline for giving notice to amend the subsidiary legislation at the Council meeting on 17 December 1997 was 10 December 1997.

IV.Further business for the Council meeting on 26 November 1997

(a) Questions

(PLC Paper No. CB(3)357)

11.Members noted the three new questions (Question Nos. 2, 3 and 14) set out in the paper.

(b) Motion

Resolution under section 29I(2) of the Stamp Duty Ordinance (Cap. 117) - to be moved by Secretary for the Treasury

12.The Chairman said that the President had accepted the House Committee's recommendation that the notice requirement under Rule 29(1) of the Rules of Procedure be waived to enable the Administration to move the Resolution at the Council meeting on 26 November 1997. He added that Mr Ronald ARCULLI had given notice to move an amendment to the Resolution.

V.Business for the Council meeting on 3 December 1997

(a) Questions

(PLC Paper No. CB(3) 358)

13.The Chairman said that 15 questions had so far been tentatively scheduled. He reminded members that the deadline for giving notice of questions scheduled for the Council meeting on 3 December 1997 was 24 November 1997.

(b) Bills - 1st and 2nd Readings

14.No notice had been received.

(c) Bill - resumption of debate on 2nd Reading, Committee Stage and 3rd Reading

Employment (Amendment) (No. 5) Bill 1997

15.The Chairman said that Miss CHAN Yuen-han had given notice to move an amendment to the Bill. He reminded members that the deadline for giving notice of Committee stage amendments to the Bill was 24 November 1997.

(d) Members' motions

(i) Motion on " Promoting Hong Kong's tourism industry "

16.Members noted the wording of the above motion to be moved by Mr Howard YOUNG.

(ii) Motion on " Youth policy "

17.Members noted the wording of the above motion to be moved by Mr Kennedy WONG Ying-ho.

18.The Chairman advised members that the deadline of giving notice of amendments, if any, to the above motions was 26 November 1997. The normal speaking time limits would apply.

VI.Advance information on motions for the Council meeting on 10 December 1997

(a) Motion on 'speeding up urban renewal "

19. Members noted the draft wording of the above motion to be moved by Mr IP Kwok-him.

(b) Motion on " Review of social welfare subvention system "

20.Members noted that Mr HUI Yin-fat had given notice to move the above motion.

21.The Chairman said that the deadlines for giving notice of, and amendments if any, to the above motions were 25 November 1997 and 3 December 1997 respectively.


(a) Position report on Bills Committees/Subcommittees

(PLC Paper No. CB(2) 628)

22.The Chairman said that there were one Subcommittee and one Bills Committee in action. In addition, members had agreed under agenda item II(b) to form a subcommittee to study the four Amendment Regulations made under the Buildings Ordinance.

(b) Report of the Subcommittee on subsidiary legislation of the Mandatory Provident Fund System

23.Mr LEE Kai-ming reported on the deliberations of the subcommittee in the absence of its Chairman and Deputy Chairman. He said that the Subcommittee had held five meetings at which the Administration briefed members on the background of the Mandatory Provident Fund System. The Subcommittee had concluded its work and recommended that the House Committee should form a Bills Committee to study the Provident Fund Schemes Legislation (Amendment) Bill 1997 as well as the draft subsidiary legislation. The Subcommittee also recommended that to expedite work, the Secretariat should immediately proceed to invite membership in anticipation that a Bills Committee would be formed at the House Committee meeting on 28 November 1997.

24.Mr LEE added that the Subcommittee would not present a written report to the House Committee. Details of the Subcommittee's deliberations would be recorded in the minutes of the Subcommittee meetings.

25.Referring to the House Committee's decision made at the meeting on 17 October 1997 that the Subcommittee should proceed to study the draft subsidiary legislation, the Chairman said that the Bill proposed important changes to the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Ordinance and not just technical amendments as previously advised by the Administration. A Bills Committee should therefore be formed to study the Bill and the related subsidiary legislation in detail. He suggested that the Subcommittee's recommendations be supported. Members agreed.

26.In response to Mr CHAN Kam-lam, the Legal Adviser said that marked-up copies of the Ordinances in question would be provided to members of the Bills Committee. The Chairman added that other related background information together with relevant extracts from minutes of the former Bills Committee on the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Bill 1995 should also be made available for members' reference.

(c) Report of the Subcommittee on subsidiary legislation relating to Legislative Council election

27.Mr IP Kwok-him, Chairman of the Subcommittee, reported on the Subcommittee's deliberations on the Electoral Affairs Commission (Registration of Electors) (Geographical Constituencies) (Legislative Council) Regulation and the Electoral Affairs Commission (Registration) (Electors for Functional Constituencies) (Voters for Subsectors) (Members of Election Committee) (Legislative Council) Regulation.

28.He said that the Subcommittee had held two meetings to discuss the two Regulations in detail with the Administration. In response to the Subcommittee's comments, the Administration would consult the Electoral Affairs Commission on some technical amendments to the Regulations. If the Subcommittee had no further views, the amendments would be made in the form of Amendment Regulations which would be gazetted on 28 November 1997 and tabled in Council on 3 December 1997.

29.Mr IP further reported that in response to a submission, the Subcommittee had discussed the use of the Chinese character or in the term (Chinese version of " identity " ) at its meeting on 20 November 1997. Most members present at the meeting preferred given that the usage was very well-accepted. The Subcommittee had requested the Administration to provide to the Subcommittee by 24 November 1997 written explanation on why was used. Mr IP said that individual Members might wish to move amendments to the Regulations in the light of the Administration's response. He reminded members that the deadline for giving notice of amendments to the Regulation relating to registration of electors for geographical constituencies was 26 November 1997 and that for the Regulation relating to registration of electors for functional constituencies was 3 December 1997.

30.Mr IP added that unlike in the 1995 Legislative Council election, only persons who were of permanent resident status in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region were eligible to register as an elector. Persons who had not applied for such status before the end of November 1997 would unlikely be able to register in time for the 1998 election. The Subcommittee had urged the Administration to take appropriate measures to notify such persons.

31.Mrs Elsie TU pointed out that the Announcement of Public Interest (API) on television was misleading as it only carried the message that a person would be eligible to vote in the 1998 Legislative Council election if he or she had resided in Hong Kong for seven years. The API failed to advise the public of the need to apply for permanent resident status if they had not done so.

32.The Chairman said that he would reflect members' views to CS. Chairman

33.The meeting ended at 5:00 pm.

Provisional Legislative Council Secretariat
26 November 1997