PLC Paper No. CB(3) 243
Paper for the House Committee meeting
on 17 October 1997
Questions scheduled for the Provisional
Legislative Council meeting on 22 October 1997
|(1)||Hon Ambrose LAU||(Written reply)
|(2)||Hon Mrs Selina CHOW||(Written reply)
|(3)||Hon CHAN Wing-chan||(Written reply)
|(4)||Hon Frederick FUNG||(Written reply)
|(5)||Hon CHAN Choi-hi||(Written reply)
|(6)||Dr Hon TANG Siu-tong||(Written reply)
|(7)||Hon CHOY Kan-pui||(Written reply)
|(8)||Dr Hon LAW Cheung-kwok||(Written reply)
|(9)||Hon CHIM Pui-chung ||(Written reply)
|(10)||Hon NGAN Kam-chuen||(Written reply)
|(11)||Hon Ambrose LAU||(Written reply)
|(12)||Hon Mrs Selina CHOW||(Written reply)
|(13)||Dr Hon TANG Siu-tong||(Written reply)
|(14)||Dr Hon LAW Cheung-kwok||(Written reply)
|(15)||Hon CHIM Pui-chung||(Written reply)
|(16)||Hon YEUNG Yiu-chung||(Written reply)
|(17)||Hon CHAN Yuen-han||(Written reply)
|(18)||Hon YEUNG Yiu-chung||(Written reply)
|(19)||Hon Howard YOUNG||(Written reply)
|(20)||Hon HUI Yin-fat||(Written reply)
# Member will ask the question in this language
(1) Hon Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen (Written Reply)
As from 1 September this year, the Octopus can be used for six different modes of public transport in Hong Kong (namely the Mass Transit Railway, the Kowloon-Canton Railway, the Light Rail Transit, the Kowloon Motor Bus (KMB), the Citybus and the Hongkong & Yaumati Ferry). However, in just over a month, there have been many complaints about the card from members of the public. In this connection, does the Government know:
- the usage rate of the Octopus in respect of the various modes of public transport mentioned above;
- of the respective numbers of KMB and Citybus vehicles installed with Fare Deducting Processors, and their respective proportions to their total numbers of vehicles;
- of the total number of complaints about the Octopus received so far and the nature of such complaints;
- whether, in promoting the Octopus, the organizations concerned have paid special attention to the needs of children and senior citizens by helping them learn how to use the Octopus; and in view of the many complaints lodged by members of the public, whether publicity will be stepped up to enable them to understand better how to use the Octopus; and
- whether it has plans to review the actual effectiveness of the Octopus and its acceptability to the general public; if so, the basis of such a review?
(2)Hon Mrs Selina CHOW LIANG Shuk-yee (Written Reply)
In view of the frequent occurrence of traffic accidents in Hong Kong recently, will the Government inform this Council:
- of the number of road traffic accidents and casualties in Hong Kong in each of the past three years and, in relation to the consequential prosecutions, of the number of police officers among the drivers who were found guilty of careless driving or reckless driving by the court, and the penalties imposed on them;
- of the measures in place to ensure that traffic accidents involving police officers are dealt with impartially by the Police; and
- whether it will consider increasing the penalties for the offences of careless driving and reckless driving so as to enhance the deterrent effect?
(3)Hon CHAN Wing-chan (Written Reply) (Written Reply)
Will the Government inform this Council of the percentage of compensation of employees in the Gross Domestic Product of Hong Kong, broken down by "industry sector", during each of the three years frhe Gross Domestic Product of Hong Kong, broken down by "industry sector", during each of the three years from 1994 to 1996?
(4)Hon Frederick FUNG Kin-kee (Written Reply)
The Rules of Procedure of the Provisional Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region have spelt out that the Chief Executive may attend meetings of the Provisional Legislative Council for the purpose of answering Members' questions put to him on the work of the Government. Will the Government inform this Council whether it is aware of any arrangements being made by the Chief Executive in this respect and, if no such arrangements are being made, the reasons for it?
(5)Hon CHAN Choi-hi (Written Reply)
Will the Government inform this Council:
- when the findings of the Report on the Study on the Ecological Value of Fish Ponds in Deep Bay Area will be published;
- whether approval will be granted for building residential premises over fish ponds in the vicinity of the Mai Po Marshes;
- whether consideration will be given to extending the scope of the Mai Po Marshes buffer zone; and
- whether it will work with the Central Government to ensure that this piece of land, which has been listed as China's seventh wetland, is free from environmental pollution?
(6)Dr Hon TANG Siu-tong (Written Reply)
In the coming 2 to 3 years, quite a number of legitimate young children of Hong Kong residents who were born in the Mainland may settle in the territory. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:
- the immunization that these children received in the Mainland, such as BCG, combined vaccine and so on, meets the standard or requirement of the territory;
- it has made any arrangements for these children to receive vaccination (or to receive vaccination again) after their arrival in Hong Kong; and
- it will arrange any medical check-ups, such as chest X-ray examinations, for these children, so as to safeguard their health and that of the public?
(7)Hon CHOY Kan-pui (Written Reply)
Will the Government inform this Council:
- whether internal guidelines have been issued on the opening hours of individual post offices;
- why some post offices open as late as 9:30 a.m.;
- why some post offices are closed during lunch time; and
- whether any review has been conducted on whether such opening hours can meet the requirements of the public (including the business sector); if so, what the details are?
(8)Dr Hon LAW Cheung-kwok (Written Reply)
Will the Government inform this Council:
- whether it knows the number of Hong Kong permanent residents who are now serving sentences of imprisonment in the Mainland, together with a breakdown of the offences involved and the sentences imposed;
- of the kind of assistance it can provide to those Hong Kong permanent residents who are charged with criminal offences in the Mainland, whether such assistance includes legal assistance; and
- whether Hong Kong permanent residents sentenced to imprisonment in the Mainland can apply for serving such sentences in Hong Kong; if not, whether the Government has discussed with the Central People's Government the issue of transferring such persons back to Hong Kong to serve their sentences and if so, the progress of such discussion?
(9)Hon CHIM Pui-chung (Written Reply)
Will the Government inform this Council whether it is aware:
- that the T+2 settlement requirement stipulated by the Hong Kong Securities Clearing Company Limited (HKSCC) will be amended in the light of actual needs, so as to enhance settlement efficiency and reduce risks in securities trading;
- since the stocks sold by a stock broker on behalf of his clients are deposited at HKSCC, of the reasons for HKSCC still discounting the marks on the stocks before transferring the amount into the broker's account; and
- if the HKSCC practice of discounting the marks on the stocks before transferring the amount into the broker's account will result in greater fluctuation in the stock market, and hence undermine Hong Kong's status as a financial centre?
(10)Hon NGAN Kam-chuen (Written Reply)
Regarding the control of hazardous and contaminated wastes, will the Government inform this Council:
- of the number of prosecutions instituted against illegal importers and exporters of wastes since the Waste Disposal (Amendment) Ordinance 1995 came into force in 1996, together with the number of prosecutions which resulted in convictions and the maximum fine imposed;
- of the respective numbers of prosecutions which had resulted from detection by the Government and from reports by the public;
- whether the Government will consider increasing the fines to bring them to the level equivalent to the profits derived from such activities;
- whether the Government has launched publicity and educational programmes to enhance the public's (including the persons-in-charge and the employees of shipping companies and transport companies) knowledge about the impact of keeping hazardous and contaminated wastes; if not, why not;
- whether the Government will set up a reporting hotline to enable the public to report such illegal activities; and
- whether the Government has negotiated with the signatories to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, so that prosecution will be stepped up against exporters who illegally export hazardous wastes from the concerned countries to Hong Kong?
(11)Hon Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen (Written Reply)
It is reported that the Kowloon Motor Bus Company Limited, the China Motor Bus Company Limited and the Citybus Limited have submitted fare increase applications to the Transport Department. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:
- the three bus companies have improved the quality of their services over the past three years; if so, what improvements in service have been made by each of them; and
- the improvement of service quality has been cited by any of the above bus companies as one of the justifications for increasing the fares?
(12)Hon Mrs Selina CHOW LIANG Shuk-yee (Written Reply)
Will the Government inform this Council:
- whether, in the past three years, there were incidents involving aircrafts flying at too close a distance from each other within the territorial air of Hong Kong, or incidents involving aircrafts climbing up again in the course of landing due to obstructions on the runway; if so, of the number, dates and course of events of such incidents;
- whether such incidents are related to interference with frequency channels for radio communications; and
- of the current situation regarding interference with radio communications between the Civil Aviation Department of Hong Kong and aircrafts in flight?
(13)Dr Hon TANG Siu-tong (Written Reply)
In some public housing estates in Hong Kong, the exits of the elevator shafts are blocked with concrete on the floors on which the elevators do not stop, thus increasing the difficulties in rescue operations in case emergencies relating to the elevators occur. In this regard, will the Government inform this Council of:
- the current number of public housing estates in Hong Kong which have the exits of their elevator shafts blocked on the floors on which the elevators do not stop; and
- the rescue methods used by the authorities in case of emergencies relating to these elevators?
(14)Dr Hon LAW Cheung-kwok (Written Reply)
Will the Government inform this Council whether the People's Liberation Army (including the garrison in Hong Kong) have used the facilities of the Hong Kong international airport; if so, whether they are required to pay any fees and the basis on which the fees are charged?
(15)Hon CHIM Pui-chung (Written Reply)
It is reported that the acoustics and sound insulating installation in the Court of Final Appeal (CFA) are in need of improvement and additional seats for staff are also required. As unsatisfactory facilities in the court will adversely affect the hearing process, will the Government inform this Council whether it will improve or replace those facilities?
(16)Hon YEUNG Yiu-chung (Written Reply)
It is reported that the Education Department has indicated that schools have the discretion to hoist or not to hoist the national flag on National Day, yet the internal guidelines it issued to government schools stipulated that they should make an application before hoisting the national flag. However, the principals of many government schools have said that they are not aware of the contents of the guidelines. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
- whether the Education Department has issued any relevant internal guidelines and what their contents are;
- if such guidelines were issued, why the principals of many government schools claimed they were not aware of them and their contents; and
- how many government schools hoisted the national flag on National Day this year and how many did not, and the reasons for not hoisting the national flag?
(17)Hon CHAN Yuen-han (Written Reply)
It is learnt that since August last year the Housing Department has suspended the arrangement under which Estate Assistants are entitled to redeem letters of assurance for re-allocation of public rental flats. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
- of the number of public rental flats reserved in each of the past five years by the Housing Department for such officers; and whether this arrangement has affected the waiting time for allocation of public rental flats to the general public; if not, what the reasons are;
- of the reasons for suspending the arrangement; and
- of the Housing Department's future policy on the allocation of public rental flats to such officers?
(18)Hon YEUNG Yiu-chung (Written Reply)
Regarding the provision of more graduate teaching posts in primary schools, will the Government inform this Council of:
- as at end of August 1997, how graduate teaching posts are distributed in primary schools, and the total number of primary school teachers with such qualification;
- the estimated number of primary school teachers who will obtain such qualification within each of the next three years; and
- the specific measures in place for achieving the revised target of providing a 35% graduate teaching posts in the total primary teaching posts by the year 2001?
# (19)Hon Howard YOUNG (Written Reply)
With regard to the recent incident of contaminated ice-cream bars, will the Government inform this Council:
- of the success rate of recalling the product from the market;
- whether the product was packaged in Hong Kong after importation or at source;
- whether ice-cream and fresh milk products are particularly susceptible to bacteria contamination; if so, whether a review of the existing procedures for inspecting such products is called for?
(20)Hon HUI Yin-fat (Written Reply)
Will the Government inform this Council of the number of recipients of comprehensive social security assistance in each of the past seven financial years?