Legislative Council

LC Paper No. CB(2) 2721/98-99

Ref : CB2/H/5

Special Meeting of the House Committee held on 10 May 1999

Minutes of Discussion on Agenda items III and IV

Members present :

Dr Hon LEONG Che-hung, JP (Chairman)
Dr Hon YEUNG Sum (Deputy Chairman)
Hon Kenneth TING Woo-shou, JP
Hon James TIEN Pei-chun, JP
Hon David CHU Yu-lin
Hon HO Sai-chu, JP
Hon Cyd HO Sau-lan
Hon Edward HO Sing-tin, JP
Hon Albert HO Chun-yan
Dr Hon Raymond HO Chung-tai, JP
Hon LEE Wing-tat
Hon LEE Cheuk-yan
Hon Martin LEE Chu-ming, SC, JP
Hon NG Leung-sing
Prof Hon NG Ching-fai
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 Kwok-keung
Hon CHAN Yuen-han
Hon CHAN Wing-chan
Hon CHAN Kam-lam
Hon Mrs Sophie LEUNG LAU Yau-fun, JP
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 Jasper TSANG Yok-sing, JP
Hon Howard YOUNG, JP
Hon YEUNG Yiu-chung
Hon LAU Wong-fat, GBS, JP
Hon Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen, JP
Hon Emily LAU Wai-hing, JP
Hon CHOY So-yuk
Hon Timothy FOK Tsun-ting, JP
Hon LAW Chi-kwong, JP
Hon TAM Yiu-chung, JP
Hon FUNG Chi-kin
Dr Hon TANG Siu-tong, JP

Members absent :

Hon Michael HO Mun-ka
Hon Eric LI Ka-cheung, JP
Hon LEE Kai-ming, JP
Dr Hon David LI Kwok-po, JP
Hon Fred LI Wah-ming
Dr Hon LUI Ming-wah, JP
Hon Bernard CHAN
Hon LEUNG Yiu-chung
Hon LAU Chin-shek, JP
Hon LAU Kong-wah
Hon Mrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee, JP
Hon Andrew CHENG Kar-foo

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

I. The way forward in following up the issue of the right of abode of persons born in the Mainland to Hong Kong permanent residents

II. Meeting with Deputations/Individual

(Verbatim record of discussion on the above two items was issued to Members vide LC Paper No. CB(2) 2182/98-99 dated 2 June 1999)

III. Schedule of Meeting and Deputations Invited/to be Invited

1. Referring members to the proposed meeting dates in LC Paper No. CB(2)1915/98-99, the Chairman said that some meetings of Panels, Bills Committees and other committees would have to be rescheduled to make way for the special House Committee meetings. The Chairman asked the Secretariat to consult the committee chairmen concerned.

2. The Chairman asked members to inform the Secretariat if they had other suggestions in addition to those on the list of organizations and individuals tabled at the meeting. Mr Howard YOUNG said that in inviting an organization or individual to the same meeting, regard should be given to their area of expertise, to facilitate discussion.

IV. Any Other Business

Bombing of Chinese Embassy in Yugoslavia

3. The Chairman said that the items was not on the agenda. However, as most members were present at the meeting, he would like to invite them to consider the following courses of action in response to NATO's bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Yugoslavia -

  1. writing to Commissioner MA Yuzhen to express Members' concern over the bombing; and

  2. holding a motion or an adjournment debate on the matter.

4. Regarding 3(a), the Chairman tabled a draft letter (also at Annex A) and invited members' views. Mr Martin LEE said that he considered the wording appropriate. Mr NG Leung-sing suggested that the letter should also express support for actions taken by China, in addition to expressing concern. Miss Emily LAU said that as it was not known what actions would be taken by China, she preferred not to have this point added. Members agreed that the letter, as drafted, should be sent to Commissioner MA Yuzhen.

5. In respect of 3(b), the Chairman informed members that Mr LAU Kong-wah was seeking the President's approval to change the topic of his motion for debate on 12 May 1999 from "Installation of retro-fitting platform screen doors" to "Condemning NATO" (Wording of the motion tabled and also in Annex B). The President had said that she would consider the request if Mr LAU had the House Committee's support. The Chairman added that Mr HO Sai-chu had indicated that he would withdraw his motion on "Problem of youngster gangs", also scheduled for debate on 12 May 1999, if Members agreed.

6. Miss Emily LAU said that she was in favour of having a motion debate on the matter. However, she had reservation about Mr LAU's request as it would set a precedent of allowing a Member to change a motion topic at short notice. She suggested that the Chairman should move the motion, and that the President's permission to waive the requisite notice period be sought. Mr Albert HO and Dr Raymond HO concurred with Miss LAU. Dr HO added that consideration could also be given to deferring the other two debates if members preferred not to have three debates for the Council meeting on 12 May 1999.

7. Mr HO Sai-chu said that he intended to jointly move the motion on "Condemning NATO" with Mr LAU Kong-wah. In order that Members could focus on debating this motion, he proposed to defer his motion on "Problem of youngsters gangs" to a future meeting. The Chairman responded that there was no provision in the Rules of Procedure which allowed more than one Member to jointly move a motion.

8. Mr CHAN Kam-lam said that a motion debate, rather than an adjournment debate. He added that a serious and consensus view should be taken on the matter. Mr Fred LI said that as three debates on Members' motions for the same Council meeting were allowed under the Rules of Procedure, the other two motion debates already scheduled for 12 May 1999 needed not be cancelled.

9. Mr SZETO Wah said that the wording of the motion should include requesting NATO to publicly apologize for the bombing and also pay compensation.

10. Miss Emily LAU reiterated that it was more appropriate for the House Committee Chairman to move the motion for debate, and that a Member should not change his motion topic at short notice. Mr Fred LI and MR SZETO Wah concurred with Miss LAU.

11. Mr LAU Kong-wah said the bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Yugoslavia called for an immediate response. He hoped that Members would support his application to the President to move a motion on "Condemning NATO" instead of "Installation of retro-fitting platform screen doors" for debate at the Council meeting on 12 May 1999. He added that his application was made in accordance with the Rules of Procedure.

12. The Chairman suggested that a vote be taken on the question that Mr LAU's application be supported. Members agreed. The result was that 11 members expressed support for Mr LAU's application, 15 members voted against, and one member abstained.

13. Members agreed that the Chairman should move the motion on "Condemning NATO" for debate at the Council meeting on 12 May 1999. The Chairman said that he would work out an appropriate wording for the motion to enable Members to give views. He hoped that Members would not move any amendment.

14. Mr LAU Kong-wah and Mr HO Sai-chu said that they would withdraw their motions for debate on 12 May 1999.

15. Mr TSANG Yok-sing enquired whether Mr LAU Kong-wah and Mr HO Sai-chu would be regarded as having used their debate slots. The Deputy Chairman responded that they would not be so regarded if the motions were withdrawn with the agreement of the House Committee. The Deputy Chairman, Mr Fred LI and Mr Andrew CHENG suggested and members agreed that Mr LAU Kong-wah and Mr HO Sai-chu would not be regarded as having used their debate slots.


Legislative Council Secretariat
27 August 1999