Provisional Legislative Council
PLC Paper No. CB(2) 1117
Ref : PLC/HC/4
Minutes of the meetingMembers present :
held at the Legislative Council Chamber
at 6:27 pm on Friday, 27 February 1998
Dr Hon LEONG Che-hung, JP (Chairman)
Hon IP Kwok-him (Deputy Chairman)
Hon WONG Siu-yee
Hon James TIEN Pei-chun, JP
Hon David CHU Yu-lin
Hon HO Sai-chu, JP
Hon Edward HO Sing-tin, JP
Hon NG Leung-sing
Hon Eric LI Ka-cheung, JP
Hon LEE Kai-ming
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 Mrs Sophie LEUNG LAU Yau-fun, JP
Hon CHAN Wing-chan
Hon CHAN Kam-lam
Hon TSANG Yok-sing
Hon CHENG Kai-nam
Dr Hon Philip WONG Yu-hong
Hon Howard YOUNG, JP
Dr Hon Charles YEUNG Chun-kam
Hon Bruce LIU Sing-lee
Hon Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen, JP
Hon CHOY Kan-pui, JP
Hon Paul CHENG Ming-fun, JP
Hon CHENG Yiu-tong
Dr Hon TANG Siu-tong, JP
Hon KAN Fook-yee
Hon NGAN Kam-chuen
Dr Hon LAW Cheung-kwok
Hon TAM Yiu-chung, JP
Hon CHOY So-yuk
Members absent :
Dr Hon Raymond HO Chung-tai, JP
Prof Hon NG Ching-fai
Dr Hon David LI Kwok-po, JP
Hon Allen LEE, JP
Hon Mrs Peggy LAM, JP
Hon NGAI Shiu-kit, JP
Hon Ronald ARCULLI, JP
Hon YUEN Mo
Hon LEUNG Chun-ying, JP
Hon MOK Ying-fan
Hon HUI Yin-fat, JP
Hon CHAN Choi-hi
Hon CHAN Yuen-han
Hon Frederick FUNG Kin-kee
Hon Andrew WONG Wang-fat, JP
Hon Kennedy WONG Ying-ho
Hon YEUNG Yiu-chung
Hon CHIM Pui-chung
Hon LAU Kong-wah
Hon LAU Wong-fat, JP
Hon Mrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee, JP
Hon Timothy FOK Tsun-ting
Hon LO Suk-ching
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
- Miss Anita HO
- Assistant Legal Adviser 2
- Mr Stephen LAM
- Assistant Legal Adviser 4
- Mr Arthur CHEUNG
- Assistant Legal Adviser 5
- Mrs Anna LO
- Chief Assistant Secretary (Complaints)
- Ms Kathleen LAU
- Chief Public Information Officer
- Ms LEUNG Siu-kum
- Chief Assistant Secretary (1)2
- 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 34th meeting held on 20 February 1998
(PLC Paper No. CB(2) 1068)
The minutes were confirmed.
II. Matters arising
Report by the Chairman on his meeting with the Chief Secretary for Administration (CS)
2.The Chairman said that he had informed CS of the revised speaking time limits for debate on Members motions without legislative effect.
III. Business arising from previous Council meetings
(a) Legal Service Divisions report on bills referred to the House Committee in accordance with Rule 54(4)
(i) Adaptation of Laws (Interpretative Provisions) Bill
(PLC Paper No. LS 99)
3.The Legal Adviser explained that the Bill sought to amend provisions of the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance relating to the construction, application and interpretation of laws to ensure conformity with the Basic Law and with the status of Hong Kong as a Special Administrative Region of the Peoples Republic of China. He was of the view that the Bill involved the adaptation of some important constitutional and legal concepts and recommended that a Bills Committee be formed to study the Bill.
4.Mr IP Kwok-him suggested and members agreed to form a Bills Committee. The following members agreed to join : Mr WONG Siu-yee, Mr CHENG Kai-nam and Dr Philip WONG Yu-hong.
(ii) Adaptation of Laws (Nationality Related Matters) Bill
(PLC Paper No. LS 109)
5.Referring to the paper, the Legal Adviser said that the main purpose of the Bill was to introduce necessary adaptations to references to "British national", "commonwealth citizen" and similar expressions in the laws of Hong Kong to bring them into conformity with the Basic Law and with the status of Hong Kong as a Special Administrative Region of the Peoples Republic of China. He added that members might wish to consider setting up a Bills Committee to examine the nationality-related matters covered in the Bill.
6.Mr IP Kwok-him suggested and members agreed to form a Bills Committee. The following members agreed to join : Mr IP Kwok-him, Mr Henry WU and Mr Howard YOUNG.
(b) Legal Service Divisions report on subsidiary legislation tabled in Council on 25 February 1998 (gazetted on 18 and
20 February 1998)
(PLC Paper No. LS 110)
7.The Chairman said that the paper covered one item of subsidiary legislation gazetted on 18 February 1998 and 31 items of subsidiary legislation gazetted on 20 February 1998.
8.The Chairman explained that the Public Revenue Protection (Dutiable Commodities) Order 1998 gazetted on 18 February 1998 was an interim measure taken under the Public Revenue Protection Ordinance. The Order included a Bill to amend the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance to give effect to the proposals in the 1998-99 Budget to increase the duty on tobacco, hydrocarbon oil and methyl alcohol by about 6%. He suggested that a subcommittee be formed to study the Order and that the subcommittee should become the Bills Committee to examine the Bill following its introduction into the Council on 4 March 1998. Members agreed. The following members agreed to join the subcommittee : Mr HO Sai-chu, Mr CHAN Wing-chan, Mr CHAN Kam-lam and Mrs Miriam LAU (as advised by Mr Howard YOUNG).
9.In response to Mr IP Kwok-hims enquiry on the Tramway Ordinance (Alteration of Fares) (Amendment) Notice 1998, the Legal Adviser explained that the Hong Kong Tramways Limited could alter the rates of fares subject to the consent of the Chief Executive in Council. Any alteration of fares would come into force one month after its publication in the Gazette or within such shorter period after such publication as the Chief Executive in Council might order. The legislature could only amend the notice period if it was shorter than one month but it did not have the lawful basis to amend the notice in a manner which departed from the new fares consented to by the Chief Executive in Council. The Chairman said that under the existing law, fare revisions made by some public transport companies were not subject to the legislative scrutiny of the legislature. He added that the legislatures role in monitoring public transport fare revisions should be examined by the first Legislative Council of the HKSAR.
10.Referring to the four items of subsidiary legislation made under the Mental Health Ordinance, the Chairman suggested and members agreed that a subcommittee be formed to study the subsidiary legislation concerned. The following members agreed to join : Dr LEONG Che-hung, Mr LEE Kai-ming, Mrs Sophie LEUNG and Dr TANG Siu-tong (as advised by Dr LEONG Che-hung).
11.In response to Mr James TIENs enquiry, the Legal Adviser said that the Road Traffic (Construction and Maintenance of Vehicles) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulation 1998 required buses, light buses, goods vehicles, special purpose vehicles and trailers registered on or after 1 June 1998 to be equipped with mudflaps. Such requirements would also apply to the same types of vehicles registered before 1 June 1998 from a date/dates to be appointed by the Commissioner for Transport by notice in the Gazette. The Administration had indicated that the requirements would be brought into effect within a period of six to nine months.
12.Referring to the Attachment of Income Order Rules, the Legal Adviser explained that the Rules specified the procedures for the recovery of arrears of maintenance due under the Guardianship of Minors Ordinance, the Separation and Maintenance Orders Ordinance and the Matrimonial Proceedings and Property Ordinance. Mr CHAN Kam-lam suggested and members agreed that a subcommittee be formed to study the Rules. The following members agreed to join : Mr David CHU, Mr HO Sai-chu, Mr CHAN Kam-lam, Mr Bruce LIU and Mr NGAN Kam-chuen.
13.Members raised no queries on the remaining 24 items of subsidiary legislation covered in the paper.
14.The Chairman reminded members that the deadline for giving notice to amend the above subsidiary legislation at the Council meeting on 25 March 1998 was 18 March 1998.
IV. Further business for the Council meeting on 4 March 1998
(PLC Paper No. CB(3) 699)
15.The Chairman advised members that 14 questions (four oral and 10 written) had been scheduled.
(b) Bills - First and Second Readings
- Inland Revenue (Amendment) Bill 1998
- Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1998
- Stamp Duty (Amendment) Bill 1998
- Stamp Duty (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1998
- Estate Duty (Amendment) Bill 1998
- Dutiable Commodities (Amendment) Bill 1998
- Air Passenger Departure Tax (Amendment) Bill 1998
16.The Chairman said that the above seven Bills would be introduced into the Council on 4 March 1998 and considered by the House Committee on 6 March 1998.
(c) Bills - resumption of debate on Second Reading, Committee Stage and Third Reading
- Immigration (Amendment) Bill 1998
- Protection of the Harbour (Amendment) Bill 1997
17.The Chairman said that members agreed at the last meeting that the Second Reading debate on the above two Bills be resumed on 4 March 1998.
(d) Members motion
Resolution under section 34(4) of the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance (Cap. 1) - to be moved by Hon Ronald ARCULLI
18.The Chairman said that Mr Ronald ARCULLI, Chairman of the subcommittee on subsidiary legislation relating to fee increases, had given notice to move a resolution at the Council meeting on 4 March 1998 to extend the scrutiny period of the Lifts and Escalators (Safety) (Fees) (Amendment) Regulation 1998 to 18 March 1998.
V. Business for the Council meeting on 11 and 12 March 1998
(PLC Paper No. CB(3) 700)
19.The Chairman said that 13 written questions had been tentatively scheduled. The deadline for giving notice of questions was 2 March 1998.
(b) Bill - resumption of debate on Second Reading, Committee Stage and Third Reading
Appropriation Bill 1998
20.The Chairman said that the Council meeting on 11 and 12 March 1998 would be devoted mainly to the 1998-99 Budget. Members would each have a maximum of 15 minutes to speak in accordance with Rule 36(5) of the Rules of Procedure.
(a) Position report on Bills Committees/subcommittees
(PLC Paper No. CB(2) 1079)
21.The Chairman said that there were four subcommittees and seven Bills Committees in action. The Bills Committee on Housing (Amendment) (No. 3) Bill 1997 had completed work and would report under item VI(b) below. In addition, members had earlier agreed to form three subcommittees and two Bills Committees under item III above.
(b) Report of the Bills Committee on Housing (Amendment) (No. 3) Bill 1997
(PLC Paper No. CB(1) 959)
22.The Legal Adviser introduced the paper in the absence of Miss CHAN Yuen-han, Chairman of the Bills Committee. He highlighted the main deliberations of the Bills Committee as detailed in the paper and said that the Bills Committee had recommended the resumption of the Second Reading debate on the Bill to take place on 18 March 1998.
23.The Chairman added that as members of the Bills Committee had divergent views on some of the proposals in the Bill, individual Bills
Committee members might consider moving Committee stage amendments (CSAs) to the Bill in their own capacity. He reminded members that the deadline for giving notice of CSAs was 9 March 1998.
24.Members agreed that the Second Reading debate on the Bill be resumed on 18 March 1998.
(c) Report of the Subcommittee on the nine Orders made under the Port Control (Cargo Working Areas) Ordinance (Cap. 81)
25.Mr IP Kwok-him, Chairman of the subcommittee, reported that the subcommittee had completed scrutiny of the nine Port Control (Public Cargo Working Area) Orders gazetted on 27 January 1998. The subcommittee accepted the Administrations explanations for re-defining the boundaries of eight existing public cargo working areas and the closure of two such areas in Sheung Wan and Chai Wan. He added that the subcommittee had recommended that the nine Orders be supported and would submit a written report for the House Committees consideration at the next meeting on 6 March 1998.
VII. Any other business
Matters relating to the Panel on Welfare Services
26.Mr WONG Siu-yee, Chairman of the Panel on Welfare Services, said that the Panel should have a chance to discuss and comment on the Report of the Review of Pilot Neighbourhood Level Community Development Projects in Old Areas before the Report was considered by the Executive Council.
|27.The Chairman suggested and members agreed that he should, at his meeting with CS next week, ask the Administration to provide a copy of the Report to the Panel for discussion.
28.The meeting ended at 7:00 pm.
Provisional Legislative Council Secretariat
4 March 1998