Paper No.CB(2)426(02)


12 September 1997

To: All Members of the Provisional Legislative Council
/Members of the Panel on Home Affairs

Suggestions on the Management of
Private Buildings

1.The present Building Management Ordinance (Cap. 344) should be amended as follows and have new provisions added accordingly:

    1.1to specify the term of the management committee of the corporation. At present, the relevant provisions in the Ordinance are vague and ambiguous, and as they can be interpreted in different ways, disputes occur.

    1.2to provide that the secretary of the management committee of the corporation shall, after an election for a new management committee was held, furnish the Land Registry with the original copy of instruments of appointing proxy by owners for voting in such election and other particulars that have been changed. With this mechanism, cheating in such election could be prevented and other owners could check any problematic instrument through a legitimate channel.

    1.3to stipulate that no mutual aid committee, owners' corporation, management committee of the corporation, or other associations of owners / tenants, or management company of a building shall censor or filter any information from an outside "non-commercial" source to be disseminated within that building; to provide for the provision of a space in a prominent place of every building for the display of notices by elected members of the local district, as well as the provision of another space for the use of other elected members and "non-commercial" organizations on rotation basis. Under Article 16 (2) of the Hong Kong Bill of Rights, everyone shall have the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds. The Government should not allow a handful of people to place management of private properties above and deprive the civil rights of the people (the right to know as a citizen and the political rights to monitor and keep in touch with those who represent their views as a voter), and challenge the system of representative government.

    1.4to provide for the penalty in relation to paragraphs 1.2 and 1.3 above.

2.As District Offices and their respective District Officers are responsible for the implementation of the Building Management Ordinance on behalf of the Secretary for Home Affairs, they should take an active role to help resolve the problem of abuse of power by associations of owners / tenants in their local districts.

    2.1In case (the management) of any building boycotts an elected member of the local district or blocks the dissemination of information by an outside source, the local District Office and District Officer should arbitrate on their own initiative. In order to avoid spoiling the harmony of the local community, they could convene an arbitration meeting (such as that for industrial arbitration) involving all parties concerned, and mediate in the matter as an impartial third-party.

    2.2The Building Management Ordinance should have a new provision to empower the Director of Home Affairs or the Secretary for Home Affairs to apply, via the Legal Department, to the court for an order (to enforce the proposed provisions under paragraph 1.3 above) when arbitration fails.

I sincerely urge the departments concerned to implement the above proposals.

Proposed by : CHAN Lap-shun