LC Paper No. CB(2) 2695/98-99
Ref : CB2/H/5
House Committee of the Legislative Council
Minutes of the 38th meeting
held in the Legislative Council Chamber
at 5:15 pm on Friday, 9 July 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 HO Sai-chu, JP
Hon Edward HO Sing-tin, SBS, JP
Hon Albert HO Chun-yan
Hon Michael HO Mun-ka
Ir Dr Hon Raymond HO Chung-tai, JP
Hon LEE Wing-tat
Hon Eric LI Ka-cheung, JP
Hon LEE Kai-ming, SBS, JP
Hon Fred LI Wah-ming, JP
Hon NG Leung-sing
Hon Margaret NG
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
Hon CHAN Kwok-keung
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 SIN Chung-kai
Dr Hon Philip WONG Yu-hong
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 LAW Chi-kwong, JP
Hon TAM Yiu-chung, GBS, JP
Hon FUNG Chi-kin
Dr Hon TANG Siu-tong, JP
Members absent :
Hon Kenneth TING Woo-shou, JP
Hon Cyd HO Sau-lan
Hon LEE Cheuk-yan
Hon Martin LEE Chu-ming, SC, JP
Dr Hon David LI Kwok-po, JP
Dr Hon LUI Ming-wah, JP
Prof Hon NG Ching-fai
Hon Bernard CHAN
Hon Gary CHENG Kai-nam, JP
Hon Andrew WONG Wang-fat, JP
Hon WONG Yung-kan
Hon Jasper TSANG Yok-sing, JP
Hon Howard YOUNG, 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 SZETO Wah
Hon Timothy FOK Tsun-ting, SBS, JP
Clerk in attendance :
Staff in attendance :
- Mrs Justina LAM
- Clerk to the House Committee
- Mr Ricky C C FUNG, JP
- Secretary General
- Mr Jimmy MA, JP
- Legal Adviser
- Mr LAW Kam-sang, JP
- Deputy Secretary General
- Mr LEE Yu-sung
- Senior Assistant Legal Adviser
- Ms Pauline NG
- Assistant Secretary General 1
- Mr Ray CHAN
- Assistant Secretary General 3
- Ms Bernice WONG
- Assistant Legal Adviser 1
- Miss Anita HO
- Assistant Legal Adviser 2
- Mr Stephen LAM
- Assistant Legal Adviser 4
- Mrs Vivian KAM
- Chief Assistant Secretary (Complaints)
- Ms Estella CHAN
- Chief Assistant Secretary (1)4
- Miss Salumi CHAN
- Chief Assistant Secretary (1)5
- Miss Kathleen LAU
- Chief Public Information Officer
- Mr LAW Wing-lok
- Chief Assistant Secretary (2)5
- Mrs Betty LEUNG
- Chief Assistant Secretary (3)1
- Miss Mary SO
- Senior Assistant Secretary (2)8
I. Confirmation of the minutes of the 37th meeting held on 2 July
(LC Paper No. CB(2) 2492/98-99)
The minutes were confirmed.
II. Matters arising
(a) Report by the Chairman on his meeting with the Chief Secretary
for Administration (CS)
2. The Chairman said that he had conveyed to CS Members' wish to meet
with leaders of the Central Government during their visits to Hong Kong.
The Chairman added that he had informed CS that he had written to Premier
ZHU Rongji and the Chief Executive (CE) separately on the matter.
3. In reply to Miss Emily LAU, the Chairman said that in his letter
to CE, he had requested CE to also explain the criteria adopted by the
Administration in determining the people to be invited to official functions
organized for national leaders during their visits to Hong Kong.
III. Business arising from previous Council meetings
(a) Legal Service Division's reports on bills referred to the House
Committee in accordance with Rule 54(4)
(i) Evidence (Amendment) Bill 1999
(LC Paper No. LS 225/98-99)
4. The Legal Adviser introduced the paper and said that the Bill sought
to abolish both the common law practice of applying the corroboration rules
in sexual offences and the statutory requirements for corroboration evidence
in sexual offences under the Crimes Ordinance. He added that the
Legal Service Division had raised certain technical points on the Bill
with the Administration and was awaiting the Administration's reply.
5. The Legal Adviser further said that the Hong Kong Bar Association
and the Legal Aid Department had expressed opposition to the proposal to
abolish the corroboration rules in sexual offences. The Administration
had briefed the Panel on Administration of Justice and Legal Services on
the proposal on 22 May 1999. Members of the Panel had divided views
on the proposal and recommended that a Bills Committee be set up to study
the Bill in detail.
6. Miss Margaret NG suggested that a Bills Committee be formed.
The following members agreed to join : Miss Margaret NG, Mrs Selina
CHOW LIANG Shuk-yee, Mr James TO Kun-sun and Miss Emily LAU Wai-hing.
(ii) Arbitration (Amendment) Bill 1999
(LC Paper No. LS 226/98-99)
7. The Legal Adviser said that the main purpose of this Bill was to
amend the Arbitration Ordinance (Cap. 341) to give effect to an agreement
reached between the Mainland and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
on the arrangement for the reciprocal enforcement of arbitral awards.
The Legal Adviser was of the view that the Bill warranted detailed scrutiny
by a Bills Committee, given its impact on the commercial world.
8. Miss Margaret NG suggested that a Bills Committee be formed.
The following members agreed to join : Mr HO Sai-chu, Mr Albert HO Chun-yan,
Mr Eric LI Ka-cheung and Miss Margaret NG.
9. Miss NG further suggested that the Bills Committee should commence
work as soon as possible. She pointed out that three Bills Committees
on adaptation of laws bills were already in action and reiterated her earlier
proposal that no more than two Bills Committees studying such bills should
be in action at any given time. Mr HO Sai-chu concurred with Miss
NG that the Bills Committee formed to study the Arbitration (Amendment)
Bill 1999 should be given priority.
10. The Chairman said that as the priority of government bills introduced
into the Council was determined by the Administration, he undertook to
raise the matter with CS.
(iii) Housing Managers Registration Bill
(LC Paper No. LS 223/98-99)
11. The Legal Adviser explained that the purpose of the Bill was to
provide for the registration and disciplinary control of professional housing
managers. He said that the Administration had briefed the Panel on
Housing on the Bill and that the voluntary registration system proposed
in the Bill had received wide support from the profession. He added
that the Legal Service Division was studying the technical aspects of the
Bill and a further report would be provided.
12. The Chairman enquired about the need for the introduction of the
voluntary registration system if non-registered housing managers were not
prevented from practising as housing managers. The Legal Adviser
said that he would seek clarification from the Administration.
13. The Chairman suggested that a decision on the Bill be deferred pending
the Legal Service Division's further report. Members agreed.
(iv) Adaptation of Laws (No.19) Bill 1999
(LC Paper No. LS 230/98-99)
14. The Legal Adviser said that the Bill dealt with the adaptation of
nine labour-related ordinances and subsidiary legislation. He pointed
out that the proposed adaptation of the term "Crown" to "State" in some
existing provisions raised issues similar to those to be studied by the
Bills Committee formed to study the Adaptation of Laws (No.16) Bill 1999.
He added that the Legal Service Division was seeking clarification from
the Administration on certain amendments to the Apprenticeship Ordinance
and a further report would be provided.
15. The Chairman suggested and members agreed that a decision on the
Bill be deferred pending Legal Service Division's further report.
(v) Hong Kong Arts Development Council (Amendment) Bill 1999
(vi) Hong Kong Sports Development Board (Amendment) Bill 1999
(LC Papers Nos. LS 232/98-99 and LS 233/98-99)
16. The Legal Adviser explained that the two Bills sought to revamp
the membership of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC) and Hong
Kong Sports Development Board (HKSDB). He highlighted in particular
that the proposed deletion of the membership of the chairmen of the two
municipal councils from the HKADC and HKSDB had been provided in the Provision
of Municipal Services (Reorganization) Bill. He added that the legal
and drafting aspects of the two Bills were in order.
17. The Chairman said that in a letter of 6 July 1999 addressed to him
and copied to all other members, the Chairman of the Provisional Urban
Council suggested that a Bills Committee should be formed to study the
two Bills and that the timing to consider the two Bills and the Provision
of Municipal Services (Reorganization) Bill should be synchronized so that
LegCo's decisions on these three Bills could be made at the same time.
The Chairman further said that Mr Timothy FOK, who was not present at the
meeting, had spoken to him prior to the meeting and suggested that a Bills
Committee should be formed to study the two Bills.
18. Mr Ambrose CHEUNG expressed support for Mr FOK's suggestion as a
number of submissions had been received from the arts and sports communities.
He added that the two Bills together with the Provision of Municipal Services
(Reorganization) Bill should be considered at the same Council meeting.
19. The Chairman suggested that two separate Bills Committees be formed
given that the Bills dealt with different subject matters. Members
agreed. The Chairman added that he would ask CS whether the two Bills should
be given priority.
20. The following members agreed to join the Bills Committee on Hong
Kong Arts Development Council (Amendment) Bill 1999 : Mrs Selina CHOW,
Mr MA Fung-kwok, Mr Ambrose CHEUNG, Miss Christine LOH, Mr Timothy FOK
(as advised by the Chairman) and Dr TANG Siu-tong.
21. The following members agreed to join the Bills Committee on Hong
Kong Sports Development Board (Amendment) Bill 1999: Mr HO Sai-chu, Mr
Fred LI, Mr NG Leung-sing, Mr MA Fung-kwok, Mr Ambrose CHEUNG, Miss Christine
LOH, Mr Howard YOUNG, Mr Andrew CHENG (as advised by Mr Fred LI), Mr Timothy
FOK (as advised by the Chairman) and Dr TANG Siu-tong.
22. Miss Emily LAU queried the accuracy of the statement in the LegCo
Brief on the two Bills that the arts and sports communities generally accepted
the proposed membership for the HKADC and HKSDB, given that there were
clearly diverse and dissenting views on the related proposals. Miss
LAU asked the Chairman to raise her query with CS.
(b) Legal Service Division's report on subsidiary legislation tabled
in Council on 7 July 1999 (gazetted on 2 July 1999)
(LC Paper No. LS 236/98-99)
23. The Legal Adviser introduced the paper which detailed the five items
of subsidiary legislation gazetted on 2 July 1999. He pointed out
that the date of tabling of the subsidiary legislation in Council as shown
in the paper should be "7 July 1999" instead of "14 July 1999".
24. The Legal Adviser said that the Human Organ Transplant (Amendment)
(No.2) Regulation 1999 (the "Amendment Regulation") and the Human Organ
Transplant (Amendment) Ordinance 1999 (7 of 1999) (Commencement) Notice
1999 (the "Commencement Notice") were inter-related. The Commencement
Notice promulgated that the Secretary for Health and Welfare had appointed
2 July 1999 as the day of the coming into force of section 2(a) of the
Human Organ Transplant (Amendment) Ordinance 1999, which empowered the
Human Organ Transplant Board to make regulation stipulating the means of
establishing the marriage relationship between the donor and the recipient
and its subsistence. The Amendment Regulation made by the Human Organ
Transplant Board added a new section 2A to the Human Organ Transplant Regulation
1999 specifying the means by which the donor of an organ for transplant
and the recipient of the organ were the parties to a marriage subsisting
for not less than 3 years would be established. The Legal Adviser
added that the proposal in the Amendment Regulation was suggested by the
Hospital Authority and agreed to by the Bills Committee formed to study
the Human Organ Transplant (Amendment) Bill 1999.
25. The Chairman suggested that a subcommittee be formed to study the
Amendment Regulation and the Commencement Notice.
26. Mrs Sophie LEUNG enquired what the subcommittee intended to study
given that the Amendment Regulation was made by the Human Organ Transplant
Board in full compliance with the recommendation of the Bills Committee.
27. The Chairman responded that he was in no way querying the Amendment
Regulation. He had suggested that the Amendment Regulation be studied
by a subcommittee to ensure that there would not be anything that would
give rise to problems or arguments in the future. Members agreed.
The following members agreed to join the subcommittee : Dr LEONG
Che-hung, Dr YEUNG Sum, Mr YEUNG Yiu-chung and Dr TANG Siu-tong.
28. Referring to the Trainee Solicitors (Amendment) Rules 1999, the
Legal Adviser said that the Legal Service Division was seeking clarification
from The Law Society of Hong Kong on certain drafting points and a further
report would be made.
29. The Chairman suggested that a decision on the Trainee Solicitors
(Amendment) Rules 1999 be deferred, given that the deadline for amendment
of the subsidiary legislation tabled on 7 July 1999 was the second
Council meeting in the next session. Members agreed.
30. Members did not raise any query on the remaining two items of subsidiary
legislation covered in the paper.
31. The Chairman informed members that the deadline for giving notice
of amendment to the subsidiary legislation was 6 October 1999.
IV. Further business for the Council meeting on 14 July 1999
(LC Paper No. CB(3)1891/98-99)
32. Members noted the two new oral questions to be raised by Mr Andrew
CHENG and Dr Raymond HO.
(b) Lingnan University Bill
33. Miss Emily LAU asked whether the Administration had replied to the
Assistant Legal Adviser's letter of 30 June 1999 in which mention was made
that under clause 26(1) of the Bill, the Council of the Lingnan College
would not have power to confer degree and academic awards in the name of
Lingnan University prior to the establishment of the Council of Lingnan
34. Assistant Legal Adviser 1 said that according to the Administration,
it was the policy intent to establish the Council of the University by
October and for this new Council to formally endorse the list of graduates
who would receive the degree awards at the end of October. The Legal
Adviser added that the Legal Service Division would ask the Administration
to set out its advice in writing.
V. Consultation Paper of the Committee on Rules of Procedure
(LC Paper No. CB(1) 1666/98-99)
35. Mrs Selina CHOW, Chairman of the Committee on Rules of Procedure,
highlighted the main deliberations of the Committee as detailed in the
paper. She said that the Committee recommended that advance notice
of seven clear days and five clear days should be given for a Motion of
Thanks and amendments to the motion respectively. She added that
the Committee further recommended that the proposed new arrangement should
be adopted for the 1999 Policy Address, and that necessary amendments would
be made to the Rules of Procedure.
36. Members expressed support for the Committee's recommendations.
37. Dr Philip WONG said that in order to ensure the smooth conduct of
business at Council meetings, there should be some restrictions on the
number of times a Member could speak on a question in committee of the
whole Council. He suggested that this issue be considered by the
Committee on Rules of Procedures.
38. Assistant Secretary General 1 said that the issue raised by Dr WONG
had already been scheduled for discussion by the Committee at its meeting
on 20 July 1999.
39. Mr Edward HO suggested that Members who had any views on the issue
should forward their views to the Committee before 20 July 1999.
40. Mrs CHOW said that the Committee would issue a consultation paper
inviting Members' views on its deliberations before finalising its recommendations.
(a) Position report on Bills Committees/subcommittees
(LC Paper No. CB(2)2490/98-99)
41. The Chairman said that there were 15 Bills Committees and six subcommittees
in action, including the subcommittee formed earlier at the meeting to
study the Human Organ Transplant (Amendment) (No.2) Regulation 1999 and
the Human Organ Transplant (Amendment) Ordinance 1999 (7 of 1999) (Commencement)
Notice 1999. The Chairman added that with the formation of four Bills
Committees under agenda item III(a), there were 11 Bills Committees on
the waiting list.
(b) Report of the Panel on Financial Affairs - Securities and Futures
(LC Paper No. CB(1)1672/98-99)
42. Referring to the paper, Mr Ambrose LAU, Chairman of the Panel, said
that the Administration intended to introduce before the end of 1999 the
Securities and Futures Bill which sought to modernize and consolidate the
regulatory framework of the securities and futures industry. He added
that in order that the scrutiny of the Bill could be completed within
the 1999-2000 legislative session, the Panel recommended that a subcommittee
be set up under the House Committee to study the Bill prior to its introduction
into the Council.
43. The Chairman said that there were precedents for the setting up
of a subcommittee under the House Committee to study a bill in advance
of its formal introduction. He cited the Human Organ Transplant (Amendment)
Bill 1999 as a recent example.
44. Mr SIN Chung-kai suggested that the subcommittee should become the
Bills Committee to study the Bill upon its introduction into the Council,
and that membership should be re-opened.
45. Members expressed support for the Panel's recommendation and Mr
SIN's suggestion. The following members agreed to join the subcommittee:
Mr Albert HO, Mr Ronald ARCULLI, Mr James TO, Mr SIN Chung-kai, Dr Philip
WONG and Mr Ambrose LAU.
(c) Report of the Subcommittee on Resolution under section 3 of the
Dogs and Cats Ordinance (Cap. 167) and Dogs and Cats (Amendment) Ordinance
1997 (97 of 1997) (Commencement) Notice 1999
46. Dr TANG Siu-tong, Chairman of the Subcommittee, said that the Subcommittee
had raised no query on the Dogs and Cats (Amendment) Ordinance 1997 (97
of 1997) (Commencement) Notice 1999. Dr TANG further said that the
Subcommittee would continue to study the resolution under section 3 of
the Dogs and Cats Ordinance and a report would be submitted in due course.
(d) Report of the Subcommittee on resolution under the Immigration
(LC Paper No. CB(2) 2531/98-99 tabled at the meeting)
47. Mr Ambrose LAU, Chairman of the Subcommittee, briefed members on
the main deliberations of the Subcommittee as detailed in the paper.
Mr LAU further said that no consensus had been reached by the Subcommittee
as to whether the resolution should be supported. Some members of
the Subcommittee had indicated support for the resolution, while other
members considered that the resolution should be studied in conjunction
with proposed amendments to the Immigration Ordinance and Form 12 in the
Immigration Regulation, as well as the gazette notice to be published by
the Director of Immigration.
48. Miss Margaret NG said that it was regrettable that the Secretary
for Security had refused to let the Subcommittee have sight of the draft
gazette notice on the Certificate of Entitlement application procedure.
Miss NG further said that given that the gazette notice to be published
by the Director of Immigration was not subsidiary legislation and thus
not subject to scrutiny by the Council under section 34 of the Interpretation
and General Clauses Ordinance, the draft notice should be considered by
the Subcommittee before gazettal. The Chairman undertook to raise
the matter with CS.
49. Mr James TO said that the Panel on Security would convene a special
meeting shortly to discuss the application and verification procedures
for the Certificate of Entitlement scheme. Mr TO added that non-Panel
members would also be invited to attend the meeting.
VI. Any other business
(a) Council meeting of 14 July 1999
50. Dr Philip WONG said that a recommendation should be made to the
President that the Council meeting of 14 July 1999 should commence at 9:00
am, instead of 2:30 pm as originally scheduled, in order to avoid the possibility
of the Council having to continue to meet on Saturday, 17 July 1999 or
Monday, 19 July 1999. Members expressed support for Dr WONG's suggestion.
51. In response to the Chairman, Assistant Secretary General 3 said
that the President had decided that if there was a substantial amount of
unfinished business by 10:00 pm on Friday, 16 July 1999, the Council would
continue to meet on Saturday, 17 July 1999 at 9:00 am. If there was
still a substantial amount of unfinished business by 10:00 pm on Saturday,
17 July 1999, the Council would continue to meet on Monday, 19 July 1999
at 9:00 am until all the business on the Agenda had been completed.
52. Mr James TIEN said that all the 10 Members belonging to the Liberal
Party would not be able to attend the Council meeting if it continued on
Saturday 17 July 1999 because of other commitments. He asked that
this be conveyed to the President. Mrs Selina CHOW and Mr Ronald
ARCULLI echoed Mr TIEN's advice.
53. The Chairman said that he had just received a note from the President
in which the President stated that -
- she had accepted the House Committee's recommendation and decided
that the Council meeting of 14 July 1999 would commence at 9:00 am;
- she hoped that with Members' cooperation, all the items of business
on the Agenda would be completed on 16 July 1999; and
- in deciding when the Council would resume if there was still unfinished
business by 10:00 pm on Friday, 16 July 1999, she would bear in mind the
request made by Members belonging to the Liberal Party.
(b) Committee meetings to be held during the summer break
54. The Chairman said that it would be up to individual committees to
decide whether to meet during the summer break, having regard to members'
availability. However, should a committee decide to meet, members
concerned should make every effort to attend the meeting.
(c) Date of next meeting
55. The Chairman said that the next meeting of the House Committee would
be held on Friday, 24 September 1999, unless there was urgent business
which necessitated the calling of a meeting before that date.
56. The meeting ended at 6:15 pm.
Legislative Council Secretariat
19 August 1999