LC Paper No. CB(2) 2816/98-99
(These minutes have been
seen by the Administration)

Ref : CB2/H/5

House Committee of the Legislative Council
Minutes of the special meeting
held in the Legislative Council Chamber
at 9:00 am on Thursday, 6 May 1999

Members present :

Dr Hon LEONG Che-hung, JP (Chairman)
Dr Hon YEUNG Sum (Deputy Chairman)
Hon James TIEN Pei-chun, JP
Hon David CHU Yu-lin
Hon Cyd HO Sau-lan
Hon Albert HO Chun-yan
Hon Michael HO Mun-ka
Dr Hon Raymond HO Chung-tai, JP
Hon LEE Wing-tat
Hon LEE Cheuk-yan
Hon Martin LEE Chu-ming, SC, JP
Hon Eric LI Ka-cheung, JP
Hon LEE Kai-ming, JP
Hon Fred LI Wah-ming
Dr Hon LUI Ming-wah, JP
Hon NG Leung-sing
Hon Margaret NG Ngoi-yee
Hon Mrs Selina CHOW LIANG Shuk-yee, JP
Hon Ronald ARCULLI, JP
Hon MA Fung-kwok
Hon James TO Kun-sun
Hon CHEUNG Man-kwong
Hon Ambrose CHEUNG Wing-sum, JP
Hon HUI Cheung-ching
Hon Christine LOH Kung-wai
Hon CHAN Yuen-han
Hon CHAN Wing-chan
Hon CHAN Kam-lam
Hon Mrs Sophie LEUNG LAU Yau-fun, JP
Hon LEUNG Yiu-chung
Hon Gary CHENG Kai-nam
Hon SIN Chung-kai
Hon Andrew WONG Wang-fat, JP
Dr Hon Philip WONG Yu-hong
Hon WONG Yung-kan
Hon Howard YOUNG, JP
Hon YEUNG Yiu-chung
Hon LAU Kong-wah
Hon Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen, JP
Hon Emily LAU Wai-hing, JP
Hon CHOY So-yuk
Hon Timothy FOK Tsun-ting, JP
Hon TAM Yiu-chung, JP
Dr Hon TANG Siu-tong, JP

Members absent :

Hon Kenneth TING Woo-shou, JP
Hon HO Sai-chu, JP
Hon Edward HO Sing-tin, JP
Dr Hon David LI Kwok-po, JP
Prof Hon NG Ching-fai
Hon CHAN Kwok-keung
Hon Bernard CHAN
Hon Jasper TSANG Yok-sing, JP
Hon LAU Chin-shek, JP
Hon LAU Wong-fat, GBS, JP
Hon Mrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee, JP
Hon Andrew CHENG Kar-foo
Hon LAW Chi-kwong, JP
Hon FUNG Chi-kin

Public Officers attending :

Mr Michael SUEN
Acting Chief Secretary for Administration

Mrs Katherine
FOK Secretary for Health and Welfare

Mrs Regina IP
Secretary for Security

Mr Gordon SIU
Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands

Mr Dominic WONG
Secretary for Housing

Mr Joseph WONG
Secretary for Education and Manpower

Mr Fred HO
Commissioner for Census & Statistics

Mr Ambrose LEE
Director of Immigration

Government Economist

Clerk in attendance :

Mrs Justina LAM
Clerk to the House Committee

Staff in attendance :

Mr Jimmy MA, JP
Legal Adviser

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

Miss Mary SO
Senior Assistant Secretary (2)8


1 The Chairman welcomed representatives of the Administration to the special meeting which was arranged at the request of the Administration. He said that the purpose of the special meeting was for the Administration to brief members on its assessment of the implications on social and economic services with the arrivals from the Mainland of people who had been given the right of abode (ROA) in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) by the ruling of the Court of Final Appeal (CFA) delivered on 29 January 1999. He further said that two papers prepared by the Administration entitled "The Judgment of the Court of Final Appeal on Right of Abode Issue - Assessment of Service Implications" and "Estimates of the number of Mainlanders with Right of Abode in Hong Kong" were tabled for members' information.

Administration's assessment of service implications

2. The Acting Chief Secretary for Administration (Ag CS) said that as a result of the CFA judgment, the number of persons eligible for ROA in the HKSAR had increased tremendously. According to the preliminary findings of the mid-term survey conducted by the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD), the number of persons in the Mainland eligible for ROA in Hong Kong arising from the CFA judgment was estimated to reach 1 675 000. Of them, 692 000 were eligible persons of the first generation, while 983 000 were eligible persons of the second generation. Ag CS stressed that although the survey had been conducted by C&SD in an objective and professional manner, there were invariably a number of factors which would cause over-estimation or under-estimation of the total number of eligible persons. Nevertheless, the Administration considered that the figure of 1 675 000 derived from C&SD's survey was the best reference available for making assessment at this stage.

3. Ag CS also said that based on the findings of the survey, the relevant policy bureaux had over the past week conducted a preliminary assessment of the impact of the arrival of eligible persons on infrastructure, social services and employment. The assessment covered housing, education, medical services, social welfare, employment situation, employment services, vocational training and re-training, transport and environment. The Administration's assessment was based on the following assumptions -

  1. The CFA had ruled that the HKSAR Government must process applications for C of E within a reasonable period of time, and that the process must not be delayed by administrative measures. For this reason, the Administration considered it reasonable to assume that the first generation of new arrivals would be absorbed in three years' time, and that the two generations, first and second, be absorbed within ten years.

  2. According to the survey conducted by C&SD, 80% of those interviewed thought that their children in the Mainland would choose to settle in Hong Kong. However, as the experience of the Immigration Department was that the majority of Mainland residents with ROA would choose to come to Hong Kong, the Government should assess the demand for various services and facilities on the assumption that all eligible persons would exercise such a right.

  3. The assessment made had excluded Mainland residents who were already eligible for ROA in Hong Kong before the CFA judgment as the Administration had already planned the facilities and services required for these new arrivals.

4. Ag CS informed Members that in order to meet the needs of the eligible persons of the first and second generations in the provision of facilities and services, the taxpayers in Hong Kong would have to shoulder a capital expenditure of $710 billion in ten years, while the annual recurrent expenditure of various services would reach $33 billion by the tenth year. Ag CS pointed out that, for comparison, the total capital expenditure of the Government for 1998-99 was $55 billion and the recurrent expenditure was $166.9 billion. He further said that the assessment of service provisions was not comprehensive. The increase in the demand arising from increased population for the facilities and services currently enjoyed by Hong Kong people and the service commitments made by the Government - such as municipal, recreational, sports and arts facilities, as well as public services ranging from district affairs to security - had not been taken into account.

5. Ag CS said that apart from this huge financial burden, the bigger problem laid in the large demand for land. It was estimated that 1 277 hectares of land would be required to meet the basic needs of the additional population alone, mostly for public housing, but other infrastructure such as road and community facilities were equally essential for modern city life. The Planning, Environment and Lands Bureau had estimated that a total 6 000 hectares of land would be needed to accommodate the 1 675 000 additional population, based on the current planning criteria in Hong Kong. Ag CS pointed out that in the last decade, the Government was only able to provide about 200 hectares of land on average each year. Besides, land development of a large scale would inevitably give rise to numerous planning and environmental problems. This was the hard reality that the people and the Government would have to face together.

6. Referring to the press reports about the accuracy of the Government's statistics, Ag CS reiterated that despite technical constraints, the statistics formed an adequate basis for the Administration's assessment of the service implications. Even if the assessment results were to be considerably discounted, it was still doubtful whether the Administration had the capacity to cope. He added that the purpose of the meeting was not to find a solution but to brief members on the Administration's assessment of the needs for education, employment, medical services, social welfare, environment and housing arising from the admission of 1 675 000 eligible persons.


7. Secretary for Education and Manpower (SEM) said that according to the age profile provided by C&SD, 170 000 eligible children of the first generation who would come in the first three years, and a further 400 000 eligible children of the second generation who would come in years 8 to 10, were aged below 20 and would require schooling. This represented over 60% of the current student population. A total of 242 schools (136 primary and 104 secondary) would need to be built within ten years, and a further 24 secondary schools were required to be completed in years 11 and 12 to meet the demand of eligible children who gradually grew up and needed additional secondary school places. Given the scarce land resources, finding adequate land (about 158 hectares) for the building of 266 schools over a period of 12 years was a big problem.

8. SEM pointed out that as it was virtually impossible to build the large number of schools within a three-year period, a series of contingency measures would need to be adopted which would affect the delivery of quality education for at least the first three years. These measures included changing the current practice of allocating primary school places from a district to a territorial basis; expanding the class size of secondary schools from 40 to 45 per class; abandoning the plan to achieve the target of 60% of primary school children receiving whole-day schooling by 2002/03. Other more drastic measures, such as converting existing whole-day primary schools to bi-sessional operation and/or further increasing the class size for primary schools, might also need to be adopted. SEM further pointed out that about 15 300 teachers would be required in 12 years' time against the current training capacity of 1 620 pre-service and 1 100 in-service training places a year. This would mean that a large number of teachers would be untrained unless the teacher-training capacity was increased tremendously. He added that the future demand for university places of these children had not been taken into account in the assessment.

Employment services, provision of vocational training and retraining

9. SEM said that with an increase of 876 500 new arrivals to the total labour force, an additional 20 Employment and Guidance Centres for New Arrivals and two Local Employment Service Centres needed to be set up by phases over the next 10 years, i.e. an increase by 200% in 10 years time.

10. SEM further said that about 60% of the new arrivals of working age would require some vocational training. The Vocational Training Council (VTC) estimated that some 123 000 training places would be required over the next 10 years and that two new VTC colleges had to be built to provide technician training. Also, about 876 000 retraining places would need to be provided as 90% of the new arrivals of working age were expected to require retraining.

Unemployment and impact on the economy

11. The Government Economist (GE) said that some 875 000 new arrivals (356,000 of the first generation and 519 000 of the second generation), which was about one-quarter of the current total workforce in Hong Kong, would be entering the labour market over the next 10 years. With the inflow of the first generation of eligible persons, the unemployment rate would start to surge in 2000, and would increase by around 10% by the end of 2002 over and above the prevailing rate without this first wave of inflow. The inflow of the second generation would result in the unemployment rate rising by around 12% by the end of 2009 over the rate that would prevail without this second wave of inflow.

12. GE further said that the substantial increase in labour supply at the lower end of the occupational hierarchy would have the effect of reducing wage cost to employers. It would also have the effect of restraining pay to the local workers involved, thus lowering the per capita GDP for the entire community. Along with the need to allocate a massive amount of resources for the provision of services to cater for the 1 675 000 new arrivals, the investment resources available for furthering the growth of the economy would be correspondingly constrained, thereby affecting the further growth capacity of the economy, and in turn its ability to generate sufficient resources for meeting this and other social needs.

Medical and Health Care

13. Secretary for Health and Welfare (SHW) informed members that 44 hectares of land would need to be made available for building 11 new hospitals over the next 10 years. The total capital expenditure for this massive building programme was estimated to be in the region of $26 billion, and the total annually recurrent expenditure by the end of the tenth year would be $8.3 billion. Given that the lead time (from planning to completion) for building a hospital was about 5 years, the demand for medical services from the first generation would have to be met by existing facilities before new hospitals were available. This would inevitably have a serious effect on the provision of medical services.

14. SHW further said that a number of General Outpatient clinics, Maternal & Child Health Centres, Student Health Service Centres and Special Assessment Centres would need to be provided. The total capital expenditure requirement was estimated to be $1.2 billion, and the total annually recurrent expenditure by the end of the tenth year would be $0.48 billion. Until the new facilities were built, the Department of Health would have to handle the additional caseload by providing additional General Outpatient Clinic sessions and by extending the opening hours of Health Centres. This would result in longer queues and more "turn-aways".

Social Welfare

15. SHW said that according to Social Welfare Department's records, about 13%-14% of the new arrivals from the Mainland were on Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA). On this basis, the additional yearly CSSA expenditure by the end of the tenth year was assessed to be $8.4 billion. The large population inflow arising from the CFA ruling would also result in an increase in demand for welfare services ranging from family and child care services to youth programme and elderly and rehabilitation services, which would require capital expenditure totaling $2.62 billion over the next 10 years, and annually recurrent expenditure of $1.44 billion by the end of the tenth year.

Land and Infrastructure

16. Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands (SPEL) said that according to the Territorial Development Strategy Review (TDSR) published in February 1998, the Administration estimated that it might need to cope with a population of 8 100 000 by 2011. To accommodate this level of population within the next 12 years, the Administration had planned 10 Strategic Growth Areas (SGAs) in the New Territories (NT) and in urban areas through reclamation, forming a total of 5,730 hectares of land. To accommodate a further population of 1 675 000 within the same period as a result of the CFA ruling, an extra 6 000 hectares of land would be needed. This figure represented only the minimum land required to provide the basic accommodation, education and GIC facilities, etc. There were other needs, such as commercial and industrial land to provide the necessary jobs, and other facilities planned on a territory-wide basis. He pointed out that in order to provide the additional land necessary, the Administration would have to explore new SGAs (mainly in Northwest NT and Northeast NT) and, where possible, further increase the density of population in existing built-up areas, and/or undertake reclamation projects outside the central harbour (such as in Shum Tseng, Tuen Mun or Tolo Harbour).

17. SPEL further said that the land required to accommodate an additional 1,670,000 population would be roughly equivalent to the size of three Tseng Kwan O new town. Past experience indicated that to develop a new town on the same scale as Tseung Kwan O, it would take over 15 years from planning, land formation to the completion of housing blocks for the first population in-take. The cost of building new population centres the size of three Tseung Kwan O new town would be in the region of $415 billion. This covered the basic cost of land formation and local infrastructural facilities, but excluded costs of the construction of housing and major transport infrastructure such as trunk roads or railway lines.


18. SPEL said that Hong Kong's current population produced some 8 000 tonnes of municipal solid waste per day. The additional population would increase daily production by 2 000 tonnes a day. The existing three landfills would all be full before 2011 and new landfill sites would have to be found quickly. In addition to solid waste, about 2.1 million cu.m. of sewerage were produced per day. The additional population would add 0.5 million cu.m. per day. The Administration would not only have to expand existing and planned treatment facilities, but also to build new ones.


19. Secretary for Housing (S for H) said that on the basis of the mid-term survey findings released by C&SD, it was estimated that a total of some 173 300 flats would be needed to meet the new housing demand generated by the arrival of the first generation of eligible persons in the first three years. This represented the construction of 13 large housing estates (over 4000 flats per estate) each year for three years. Demand for a further 80 000 flats would be generated from 2003 to 2006, making a total additional demand of 253 000 over the first seven years. Demand for another 280 400 flats would be created from 2007 to 2009. The total number of flats required to meet the housing need of both the first and second generations of eligible persons arriving from 2000 to 2009 would be 533 700 flats (384 000 public and 149 400 private). This worked out to about 53 400 flats per year, representing an increase of 94% over the current annual production rate.

20. S for H added that the admission of eligible persons on this scale would render key housing policy targets unachievable. It would result in overcrowding in both public and private housing, as well as an increase in the number of households living in squatter areas, cubicles and rooftops.

Questions raised by Members

21. The Chairman thanked the Administration's representatives for their assessment of the service implications and invited questions from members.

22. Mr CHAN Wing-chan asked whether the Administration had drawn up any plans to tackle the impact of the arrival of 1 675 000 eligible persons on the provision of services. Ag CS responded that the Administration had made a preliminary assessment of the implications on service provisions and that the drawing up of plans to deal with the problems would be the next step.

23. In response to Dr Philip WONG's enquiry about the basis for the Administration's adoption of the three-year timeframe for admitting the first generation of 692 000 eligible persons, Ag CS said that the Government had to admit the eligible persons within a reasonable time in compliance with the CFA judgment. What constituted a reasonable timeframe should be considered from the point of view of the eligible persons. For instance, the lack of manpower in the Immigration Department in processing C of E applications could not be a valid reason for delaying the entry of these persons. He further said that the public generally considered a three-year period as reasonable.

24. Mr LEE Wing-tat asked whether the Administration intended to abolish the seven-year residency requirement for public housing applicants, as S for H had said that some 253 300 flats would need to be constructed within the next seven years to cater for the intake of eligible persons.

25. S for H responded that the Administration had not contemplated changing the seven-year residency rule for public housing applicants. He reiterated that the assessment of the implications on the provision of housing was made on the basis that 1 675 000 eligable persons would enter Hong Kong within the next ten years. This additional demand would be impossible to meet in the foreseeable future, not because of the seven years residence rule, but because of the lead-time needed to build additional public housing on the scale required. The result would be overcrowding in the public and private sectors, and an inability to achieve our key housing policy targets. Ag CS added that the new arrivals would have housing needs irrespective of whether they were eligible for public housing.

26. Mr CHEUNG Man-kwong said that the Administration should consider other options under existing education provision, such as abandoning the target of 60% of primary schools children receiving whole-day schooling by 2002/2003 before deciding on building more primary schools to meet the demand.

27. SEM responded that the assessment of the implications on the provision of education service had to be made on the basis of existing policies. The Administration could not unilaterally abandon the policy of whole-day schooling in primary schools without first consulting the parties concerned, and it was still the Administration's aim to achieve the target of 100% of primary school children receiving whole-day schooling by 2007/2008. SEM further said that as it was virtually impossible to build the large number of schools required to meet the demand of the first generation of eligible persons under the age of 20 within a three-year period, other contingency measures such as changing the practice of allocating primary school places from a district to a territorial basis, and expanding the class size for secondary schools from 40 to 45 would have to be adopted. This would inevitably affect the delivery of quality education.

28. Mr LAU Kong-wah asked whether the huge costs involved in the provision of services would result in deficit budgets in the next ten years. Deputy Secretary for the Treasury replied that in view of the current economic downturn which had brought about a deficit budget in the short term, coupled with the additional financial demand arising from the intake of eligible persons, it was envisaged that a return to balanced budgets over the medium term could not be realized. She pointed out that on the basis of the assessment of financial implications in providing the services and assuming a forecast trend growth rate of 3.5%, it was estimated that the rate of growth in government spending would exceed that of the economy as a whole by 70% by 2009/2010. As regards public expenditure as a percentage of GDP, the 21.1% figure for 1999/2000 would be likely to increase to about 26% by 2009/2010. She added that in order to redress such imbalance and to comply with Article 107 of the Basic Law, the Administration would need to consider the options of increasing government revenue and imposing swingeing cuts in government expenditure.

29. Mr Martin LEE remarked that the ROA issue had not suddenly emerged from nowhere and asked why the Administration had not drawn up any plans to deal with the implications of the ROA issue since 1984 when the Sino/British Joint Declaration was signed.

30. Ag CS replied that there were people who held the view that the ROA issue had emerged from nowhere. It was a well-known fact that there were different interpretations of Article 24 of the Basic Law in the community, even after the delivery of the CFA judgment. This was mainly attributable to the fact that Article 24 was intentionally written in a loose manner to enable the Government to make laws to set out the detailed implementation provisions later on. He pointed out that prior to the reunification, the Sino/British Joint Liaison Group had reached a consensus on the ROA issue. The Preparatory Committee (PC) made reference to the consensus for forming their views on how Article 24 should be interpreted. Although the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC) accepted the PC's Opinions on Article 24 by endorsing the report on the work of the PC submitted by its Chairman, in which the PC's Opinions were mentioned, the CFA did not consider such Opinions could assist in the construction of the meaning of Article 24 on the grounds that these Opinions were given after the Basic Law was promulgated. He added that in the light of the CFA judgment, the Administration had assessed the impact on service provisions on the basis that all the 1 675 000 eligible persons would exercise their ROA to come to Hong Kong.

31. Mr Fred LI asked whether the one-year residency rule for new arrivals to become eligible for CSSA had been taken into account in arriving at the estimate that the additional yearly expenditure for social security would be $3.5 billion.

32. SHW responded that a number of the new arrivals had parents in Hong Kong who were Hong Kong permanent residents and already in receipt of CSSA. These parents could apply for CSSA in respect of their Mainland children immediately upon their arrival in Hong Kong. She further pointed out that the estimate of $3.5 billion represented the annually recurrent expenditure in social security by the end of the seventh year. The estimate was worked out according to Social Welfare Department's records that about 14% of the new arrivals were on CSSA.

33. Mr CHENG Kai-nam asked whether the Administration's assessment of service implications served to indicate that it was beyond the Government's capability to absorb even a significantly smaller number than the estimate of 1 675 000 eligible persons.

34. Ag CS said that some people might have different assumptions on the number of eligible Mainland residents who would come to settle in Hong Kong. He pointed out that different assumptions would give rise to different assessment of implications on the provision of services, and added that the Administration's assessment of service implications had been worked out based on assumptions it considered to be realistic.

35. Mr James TIEN said that according to the Administration's assessment, 876,000 new arrivals would be added to the labour force, but only 125 000 basic skills/pre-employment training places would be provided over the next 10 years. He asked whether the Administration had assumed that the remaining 750 000 new arrivals were skilled workers or whether the Administration would rely on the private sector to provide the necessary vocational training.

36. SEM replied that vocational training consisted of two parts: basic skills/pre-employment training and retraining. Some 123 000 basic skills/pre-employment training places and 823 000 retraining places would be provided over the next 10 years. The Administration would assess whether it would be necessary to set aside some of the retraining places for basic skills/pre-employment training in the light of actual demand. He pointed out that the question of whether the new arrivals after training or retraining would be able to secure employment would depend on whether a sufficient number of new jobs would be created which, in turn, would be dependent upon the state of the economy.

37. Mr TIEN further asked whether the Administration had assessed how many of the 876 000 eligible persons of working age were without any job skills. SEM replied that the Administration had no knowledge of the job skills of the 876 000 eligible persons who would be added to the labour force. SEM added that assuming that these persons had reached secondary school level, about 90% of them were expected to require retraining.

38. Miss CHAN Yuen-han said that a full-scale household survey should be conducted on the total population in Hong Kong in order to collect accurate data on the number of Mainlanders with ROA in Hong Kong.

39. Commissioner for Census and Statistics (C for C&S) said that half of the 20 000 samples in the general household survey had been covered as at mid-April. He explained that the sample size was not small by international standards and samples already covered formed a separate and scientific random sample by itself and could be used to draw inference on the overall situation. He pointed out that 10 000 - 20 000 specially trained enumerators would be required to conduct a full-scale survey, and that it would take time to train such a large number of skilled enumerators.

40. Miss CHAN Yuen-han asked why the "20-49" age group in the Annex to the paper on "Estimates of the number of Mainlanders with right of abode in Hong Kong" covered a much wider age group than the others given in the Annex. C for C&S explained that the "20-49" age group covered those of working age. He further explained that the "6-11" and "12-19" age groups covered children of primary school age and secondary school age respectively, while the "50-59" and "60+" age groups covered elderly persons.

41. Mr LEE Cheuk-yan expressed reservation on the accuracy of figures on "children born out of registered marriage" obtained under the "randomized response technique (RRT)" in respect of half of the 9 200 households already covered up to mid-April.

42. C for C&S said that enumerators had encountered difficulties in using the "direct questioning method (DQM)" in collecting data on the question concerning "children born out of registered marriage". The enumerators' feedback was that the DQM was a complete failure, as respondents generally felt embarrassed or adopted a perfunctory attitude when being asked the question. He was therefore of the view that the number of "children born out of registered marriage" established via the DQM could not be relied on.

43. Referring to the table in paragraph 3 of the paper mentioned by Miss CHAN Yuen-han earlier, Mr LEE asked why the number of "children born out of registered marriage" was higher than the number of "children born within registered marriage".

44. C for C&S replied that the figure of 172 000 given in the table did not include the 102 000 persons with ROA prior to the CFA judgment. Also, the number of this category of children had decreased over the years because some had already arrived under the One-way Permit (OWP) system. He added that the results from the survey conducted from November 1995 to January 1996 showed that there were 320 000 children born in the Mainland and were still residing there. This number did not include "children born out of registered marriage". A considerable number of the 320 000 persons had already arrived under the OWP system over the last three years, but this was offset to a certain extent by new-borns added to this category. This figure corresponded broadly to the figure of 274 000 of first generation of "children born within registered marriage" shown in the table. Regarding the figure of 520 000 "children born out of registered marriage", he explained that not all of them had been born to "mistresses" or "extra-marital relationship". A considerable number of them were born to "de facto marriage" in the Mainland. He further said that up to the early 1990s, a large number of persons who had children did not go through any formal marriage registration in the Mainland.

45. Mr LEE further asked C for C&S to provide Members with a copy of the report covering the analysis of the respondents' answers to the question relating to "children born out of registered marriage" under the RRT. C for C&S explained that the RRT was a very sophisticated technique adopted by the statistical profession in tackling issues with a high degree of sensitivity in a survey. Individual Members wishing to know more about the RRT could approach him and he would be happy to explain the RRT to them in detail.

46. The Chairman said that there were more than ten members who had yet to ask questions but he had to call the meeting to a close. He suggested that another meeting be convened on Saturday, 8 May 1999 to continue the discussion.

47. The Chairman thanked the Administration's representatives for attending the meeting.

48. The meeting ended at 10:45 am.

Legislative Council Secretariat
14 September 1999