LC Paper No. CB(2) 226/98-99
Ref : CB2/H/5
House Committee of the Legislative Council
Minutes of the 6th meeting
held at the Legislative Council Chamber
at 2:35 pm on Friday, 4 September 1998
Members present :
Dr Hon LEONG Che-hung, JP (Chairman)
Dr Hon YEUNG Sum (Deputy Chairman)
Hon Kenneth TING Woo-shou, 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 Cheuk-yan
Hon Martin LEE Chu-ming, SC, JP
Hon LEE Kai-ming, JP
Hon Fred LI Wah-ming
Hon NG Leung-sing
Prof Hon NG Ching-fai
Hon Margaret NG Ngoi-yee
Hon Ronald ARCULLI, JP
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 Kam-lam
Hon Mrs Sophie LEUNG LAU Yau-fun, JP
Hon LEUNG Yiu-chung
Hon Gary CHENG Kai-nam
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 LAU Kong-wah
Hon LAU Wong-fat, GBS, JP
Hon Mrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee, JP
Hon Emily LAU Wai-hing, JP
Hon SZETO Wah
Hon LAW Chi-kwong, JP
Members absent :
Hon James TIEN Pei-chun, JP
Hon Michael HO Mun-ka
Hon LEE Wing-tat
Hon Eric LI Ka-cheung, JP
Dr Hon David LI Kwok-po, JP
Dr Hon LUI Ming-wah, JP
Hon Mrs Selina CHOW LIANG Shuk-yee, JP
Hon MA Fung-kwok
Hon Bernard CHAN
Hon CHAN Wing-chan
Hon SIN Chung-kai
Hon YEUNG Yiu-chung
Hon CHIM Pui-chung
Hon LAU Chin-shek, JP
Hon Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen, JP
Hon CHOY So-yuk
Hon Andrew CHENG Kar-foo
Hon Timothy FOK Tsun-ting, JP
Hon TAM Yiu-chung, 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
- Miss Connie FUNG
- Assistant Legal Adviser 3
- Mr Stephen LAM
- Assistant Legal Adviser 4
- Mr Arthur CHEUNG
- Assistant Legal Adviser 5
- Mr KAU Kin-wah
- Assistant Legal Adviser 6
- Mrs Anna LO
- Chief Assistant Secretary (Complaints)
- Ms Sharon CHUNG
- Chief Public Information Officer (Acting)
- Mrs Mary TANG
- Chief Assistant Secretary (1)1 (Acting)
- Mrs Vivian KAM
- Chief Assistant Secretary (1)5
- Mrs Betty LEUNG
- Chief Assistant Secretary (3)1
- Miss Mary SO
- Senior Assistant Secretary (2)8
I.Confirmation of minutes of meeting held on 24 July 1998 and special meeting held on 5 August 1998
(LC Paper Nos. CB(2) 134 & 170/98-99)
1 The minutes were confirmed.
(a)Report by the Chairman on his meeting with the Chief Secretary for Administration (CS)
. The Chairman informed members that the Administration was fine-tuning the proposed legislation to be introduced in the first half of the session. He further said that if members would like to have priority given to any proposed legislation, the Council could let the Director of Administration know.
(b)Holidays (Amendment) Bill 1998
. The Chairman said that the Administration had given notice to resume the Second Reading debate on the Bill on 9 September 1998. As the Administration was unable to meet the deadline of notice, the Chairman invited members' support for the Administration to request the President to dispense with the requisite notice requirement. Members expressed support.
4. The Chairman further said that the President would be further requested to extend the deadline for Members to give notice to amend the Bill to 12:00 noon on 5 September 1998.
III.Business arising from previous Council meetings
(a)Legal Service Division's report on bills referred to the House Committee in accordance with Rule 54(4)
Securities (Amendment) Bill 1998
(LC Paper No. LS 18/98-99)
5. Referring to the paper, the Legal Adviser said that the objects of the Bill were mainly to enable the contribution of funds by the Securities and Futures Commission to the Unified Exchange Compensation Fund and the introduction of a per claimant compensation in addition to the $8 million statutory limit that applied on a defaulting broker basis. He further said that the Bill was intended to provide a legal basis for implementing the compensation package for eligible clients of the defaulted C A Pacific Securities. The provisions of the Bill would be applicable to other pending claims of compensation resulting from defaults of other stockbrokers.
6. The Legal Adviser informed members that the Legal Service Division had been liaising with the Administration to seek clarification on the legal and drafting aspects of the Bill. Response received from the Administration was presently under consideration by the Division.
7. As the Bill sought to make significant alteration to the regime of administering compensation to investors in securities in Hong Kong, the Legal Adviser said that members might wish to form a Bills Committee to study the Bill. Members agreed. The following members agreed to join the Bills Committee: Miss Margaret NG Ngoi-yee, Mr CHAN Kam-lam, Mr Ronald ARCULLI and Mr LEUNG Yiu-chung.
(b)Legal Service Division's report on subsidiary legislation tabled in Council on 29 July 1998 (gazetted on 24 July 1998)
(LC Paper No. LS 19/98-99)
8. The Legal Adviser said that the report covered six items of subsidiary legislation gazetted on 24 July 1998. Referring to the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Ordinance (Cap. 485) (Commencement) Notice 1998, the Provident Fund Schemes Legislation (Amendment) Ordinance 1998 (4 of 1998) (Commencement) Notice 1998 and the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes (General) Regulation (L.N. 201 of 1998) (Commencement) Notice 1998, the Legal Adviser explained that these three Notices appointed 24 July 1998 as the day on which relevant provisions relating to the establishment of the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority came into operation.
9. The Chairman added that at the meeting on 29 July 1998, the Council approved a resolution moved by him to extend the scrutiny period of the above subsidiary legislation to 9 September 1998. No notice of amendment had been received by the deadline on 2 September 1998.
10. Members did not raise any queries on the six items of subsidiary legislation covered in the paper.
IV.Legal Service Division's reports on subsidiary legislation to be tabled in Council on 9 September 1998 (gazetted on 7, 21 & 28 August 1998)
(LC Paper Nos. LS 21, 23 & 25/98-99)
(a) LC Paper No. LS 21
11. Referring to the paper, the Legal Adviser said that the Statutes of the University of Hong Kong (Amendment) Statutes 1998, gazetted on 7 August 1998, involved the making of changes to the internal operations of the University.
12. Mr Fred LI expressed concern about one of the Amendment Statutes which provided for the system of an appointed Dean in the Faculty of Dentistry and the removal of the limit on the number of Associate Deans in all Faculties. He suggested and members agreed to set up a subcommittee to study the Amendment Statutes. The following members agreed to join the subcommittee: Mr Fred LI Wah-ming, Mr Martin LEE Chu-ming, Mr SZETO Wah, Miss Emily LAU Wai-hing and Mr Andrew WONG Wang-fat.
13. In response to the Chairman, the Legal Adviser said that there was no need to extend the scrutiny period to 14 October 1998 at this stage, as the deadline of amendment was 7 October 1998.
(b) LC Paper No. LS 23
14. The Legal Adviser said that the paper covered two items of subsidiary legislation gazetted on 21 August 1998. They were the Boilers and Pressure Vessels (Exemption) (Consolidation) (Amendment) Order 1998 and the Antiquities and Monuments (Declaration of Historical Building) Notice 1998. He further explained that the Order sought to exempt certain type of cleaning machines from the provisions of the Boilers and Pressure Vessels Ordinance, provided that they were maintained in an efficient and safe condition and operated by persons conversant with the safety requirements relating to the machines. As regards the Notice, it was to declare King Law Ka Shuk at Tai Po Tau Tsuen, Tai Po, New Territories, to be a historical building for the purposes of the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance.
15. Members did not raise any queries on the two items of subsidiary legislation covered in the paper.
(c) LC Paper No. LS 25
16. Referring to the paper, the Legal Adviser said that the paper covered four items of subsidiary legislation gazetted on 28 August 1998. He explained that the Tax Reserve Certificates (Rate of Interest) (No. 3) Notice 1998 was to fix the rate of interest payable on tax reserve certificates issued on or after 1 September 1998 at 8.04% per annum.
17. On the Industrial Training (Clothing Industry) (Amendment) (No. 2) Ordinance 1995 (31 of 1995) (Commencement) Notice 1998 and the Import and Export (Registration) (Amendment) Regulation 1995 (L.N. 544 of 1995) (Commencement) Notice 1998, he said that both Notices specified 28 September 1998 as the day on which the imposition on a specified agent a duty not to send information by using the information technology services unless duly authorised to do so and the provision for penalty for breach of such duty came into operation.
18. As regards the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Passports (Appeal Board) Regulation (L.N. 91 of 1998) (Commencement) Notice 1998, he said that this Notice specified 7 September 1998 as the day on which the Regulation came into operation. The Regulation provided for the establishment of an appeal board to hear and determine the Director of Immigration's decisions in respect of the issue, validity, amendment and cancellation of HKSAR passports.
19. Members did not raise any queries on the four items of subsidiary legislation covered in the paper.
V.Business for the Council meeting on 9 September 1998
(LC Paper No. CB(3) 182/98-99)
. Members noted that 20 questions (six oral and 14 written) had been scheduled.
(b)Bill - First and Second Readings
Human Reproductive Technology Bill
21. The Chairman said that the above Bill would be introduced into the Council on 9 September 1998 and considered by the House Committee on 11 September 1998.
22. No notice had been received.
(d) Members' motions
(i)Resolution under Article 79(6) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China
23. The Chairman said that at the special House Committee meeting held on 5 August 1998, members had decided that a motion under Article 79(6) of the Basic Law to relieve Mr CHIM Pui-chung of his LegCo duties should be moved at the Council meeting on 9 September 1998, and that the motion should be moved by the House Committee Chairman. He had accordingly given notice for the motion on 25 August 1998.
24. The Chairman added that the special meeting also decided that the Committee on Rules of Procedure should be requested to study the procedural arrangements and other relevant issues for implementing Article 79(6) of the Basic Law.
25. The Chairman referred Members to the letter from Mr CHIM's solicitors, Dixon Tang & Co, and asked whether the Legal Adviser would like to respond to the points made therein. The Legal Adviser said that the letter did not contain sufficient reasons to cause him to change his advice given to members at the special meeting on 5 August 1998. He explained that upon a Member being convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for one month or more for a criminal offence committed within or outside Hong Kong, a motion under Article 79(6) could be moved. As the Article did not stipulate as to when such a motion should be moved, it would be up to Members to determine whether, and if so when, such a motion should be moved. The Legal Adviser added that if a motion to relieve a Member of his or her LegCo duties was passed by two-thirds of the Members present, the President would then have to declare that the Member concerned was no longer qualified for office in accordance with the Article.
26. Dr YEUNG Sum said that all relevant issues had been considered in detail at the special meeting on 5 August 1998. Mr CHIM's case should have been dealt with earlier if not for the fact that many Members were away on holiday during the summer break. He objected to deferring the debate to a later meeting.
27. Miss Emily LAU agreed with Dr YEUNG and said that deferring the debate would only give rise to further public criticism. She asked at what stage the Member who was the subject of a motion moved under Article 79(6) could take legal action against the Council. The Legal Adviser replied that the Member could at any time take court action such as seeking an injunction against the Council to prevent the motion from being moved.
28. The Legal Adviser said that in arranging the proposed amendments to the Rules of Procedure for implementing Article 79(6) and the motion under Article 79(6) to relieve Mr CHIM of his LegCo duties to be dealt with on the same day, the Council might be subject to a claim that the Member concerned had not been treated fairly because he did not have sufficient time to consider the implications of the proposed amendments to the Rules of Procedure on his case. The Legal Adviser pointed out that although Members had been kept informed of the deliberations of the Committee on Rules of Procedure, the notice for moving the resolution to amend the Rules of Procedures at the Council meeting on 9 September 1998 had not yet been given. A more cautious approach would be to move the motion under Article 79(6) at a later meeting.
29. In reply to Miss Margaret NG's question, the Legal Adviser explained that in the absence of specific procedures for dealing with a motion under Article 79(6), the practice and procedure to be followed in the Council would be such as would be decided by the President. This would be in accordance with Rule 92 of the Rules of Procedure. He added that upon the Council's approval of a resolution to amend the Rules of Procedure, the amendments would take immediate effect unless the resolution had provided for a specific time for the amendments to take effect.
30. Mr Martin LEE proposed that the House Committee should give agreement in principle for the Secretary General to retain the service of outside counsels in the event that Mr CHIM should apply for an injunction against the Council. Members agreed. The Legal Adviser added that the approval of The Legislative Council Commission would be sought for the expenses to be incurred, if the service of outside counsels was considered necessary.
31. Mr Ronald ARCULLI requested that the President suspend the Council meeting for a short while before the President put the question on relieving Mr CHIM Pui-chung of his LegCo duties to vote.
32. The Chairman invited Miss Margaret NG to report on the recommendations of the Committee on Rules of Committee on behalf of Mrs Selina CHOW, who was out of town. Miss NG informed members that the Committee had held five meetings, including one to which non-Committee members were invited to give their views on the issues involved. The Committee was of the view that the general philosophy and principles underlying the way Council business was conducted should be maintained, and existing procedures governing motions, rules of speaking, etc. should remain unchanged. Only where general rules were considered not applicable should specific rules be drawn up for incorporation into the Rules of Procedure, or suitable amendments made to existing rules, to cater for such special circumstances.
33. Regarding the form of motion, Miss NG said that as the objective and effect of a motion under Article 79(6) were single-barrelled and unequivocal, the Committee took the view that the wording of the motion should be short and in a prescribed form. The Committee also proposed that no amendment to the motion should be allowed as the motion if amended might give rise to uncertainty over whether or not the requirements under Article 79(6) had been fulfilled.
34. Miss NG added that the Committee had deliberated on the appropriate manner to deal with a written statement from the Member concerned. The Committee considered that in the event that the Member concerned could not be physically present at the meeting at which the personal explanation was to be given, the President could direct that the personal explanation submitted to the President be taken as read and the text be recorded in the Official Record of Proceedings.
35. Miss NG also informed members that the Committee had considered in detail the voting procedure and had concluded that the passage of a motion to relieve a member of his duties under Article 79(6) should require a vote of two-thirds of the Members present. The voting procedures in Annex II of the Basic Law which were reflected in Rule 46 should not apply to a motion moved under Article 79(6), but would be applicable to procedural motions moved in the same debate, such as a motion to adjourn the debate.
36. Mr Martin LEE pointed out that if the motion to relieve Mr CHIM of his LegCo duties was negatived, the same motion could not be moved again in the same session. Miss NG concurred and explained that a motion, once carried, became an order or a resolution of the Council. No further motion should be moved in relation to such order or resolution during the same session except a motion to rescind the order or resolution with the permission of the President. However, if the original motion had been negatived, not only that the negatived question could not be considered again in the same session, but also no motion could be moved to rescind the relevant decision. Miss NG added that Rule 32 as presently written could not fully reflect these principles and might create ambiguity in the general application of the Rule. The Committee had therefore recommended that the Rule be rewritten.
37. In response to the Chairman's question, Miss NG said that the remuneration received by Members of the Legislative Council could be regarded as a direct pecuniary interest. As Rule 84 had already laid down the broad principles regarding personal pecuniary interest and at the same time had provided an effective mechanism for disallowing a Member's vote, the Committee did not see a need to resort to other arrangements in this respect.
38. Dr Philip WONG said that the two-thirds majority vote required under Article 79(6) and the voting method for Members' motions in Annex II might not be mutually exclusive. He added that a decision made by the Council on a motion moved under Article 79(6) might be challenged in court. Referring Dr WONG to paragraphs 23 - 26 of the Committee's report, the Chairman said that the matter was discussed in detail at the special House Committee meeting on 5 August 1998 and also at the various meetings of the Committee on Rules of Procedure to consider the procedural arrangements for implementing Article 79(6) of the Basic Law. The Legal Adviser explained that the expression "a motion passed by two-thirds of the Members of the Legislative Council present" in Article 79(6) fell within the category of provisions "otherwise provided for" as specified in Annex II. It had the effect of displacing the Annex II requirement of a simple majority vote of each of the two groups of Members present.
39. Miss NG said that the proposed amendments to the Rules of Procedure for implementing Article 79(6) had been set out in the Appendix to the Committee's report. She added that a resolution would be moved at the Council meeting on 9 September 1998 for the amendments to be approved. Members agreed that the President's permission should be sought for the requisite notice period to be waived. The Chairman informed members that the President would be agreeable to extending the deadline for moving amendments to the resolution to 12:00 noon on Monday, 7 September 1998.
[Post-meeting note: As directed by the President, the deadline for moving amendments to the resolution was subsequently extended to 12:00 noon on Tuesday, 8 September 1998.]
40. In reply to Miss Emily LAU's question on the arrangements for Mr CHIM to attend the Council meeting on 9 September 1998, the Secretary General said that he had yet to be notified of the detailed conditions of leave of absence for Mr CHIM by the Commissioner of Correctional Services.
(ii)Motion on "Attacks on the Hong Kong currency"
41. Members noted the wording of the motion to be moved by Mr Bernard CHAN and the draft wording of the amendment to the motion, tabled at the meeting, to be moved by Mr Albert HO Chun-yan.
[Post-meeting note: The amendment to the motion was issued to members vide LC Paper No. CB(3) 217/98-99 on 4 September 1998.]
(iii)Motion on "Urban renewal"
42. Members noted the wording of the motion to be moved by Mr James TO Kun-sun.
43. The Chairman advised members that the deadline for giving notice of amendments had already expired on 2 September 1998. The speaking time limits stipulated in rule 17(c) of the House Rules would apply to the two motion debates referred to in (ii) and (iii) above.
VI.Business for the Council meeting on 16 September 1998
(LC Paper No. CB(3) 183/98-99)
44. The Chairman said that 20 questions (six oral and 14 written) had been tentatively scheduled. He reminded members that the deadline for giving notice of questions was midnight on 7 September 1998.
(b)Bill - First and Second Readings
Hotel Accommodation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 1998
45. The Chairman said that the above Bill would be introduced into the Council on 16 September 1998 and considered by the House Committee on 18 September 1998.
46. No notice had been received.
(i)Motion on "Relaxing the ceiling for residential mortgage loans"
47. Members noted the wording of the motion to be moved by Mr James TIEN Pei-chun.
(ii)Motion on "Promoting industrial development in Hong Kong"
48. Members noted the wording of the motion to be moved by Dr LUI Ming-wah.
49. The Chairman advised members that the deadline for giving notice of amendments, if any, to the above motions was 9 September 1998. The speaking time limits stipulated in rule 17(c) of the House Rules would apply.
VII.Advance information on business for the Council meeting on 23 September 1998
(a)Bill - First and Second Readings
Securities (Insider Dealing) (Amendment) Bill 1998
50. The Chairman said that the above Bill would be introduced into the Council on 23 September 1998 and considered by the House Committee on 25 September 1998.
51. No notice had been received.
(i)Motion on "Relationship between the Executive Authorities and the Legislature"
52. Members noted that Mr Ambrose CHEUNG Wing-sum had been allocated a debate slot.
(ii)Motion on "Rescuing Hong Kong's air freight industry"
53. Members noted that Mrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee had been allocated a debate slot.
54. The Chairman said that the deadlines for giving notice of, and amendments, if any, to the above motions were 8 September 1998 and 16 September 1998 respectively.
VIII.Report of the Committee on Rules of Procedure on the procedural arrangements for implementing Article 79(6) of the Basic Law
(LC Paper No. CB(1) 128/98-99)
55. The above report had been discussed under agenda item V(d)(i) above.
(a)Report of the Subcommittee on Water Pollution Control (Sewerage) (Amendment) Regulation 1998
(LC Paper No. CB(1) 147/98-99)
56. Miss Emily LAU, Chairman of the Subcommittee, said that the Subcommittee supported the Amendment Regulation to apply section 4(1)b(i) to (iii), 4(2) and 4(3) of the Roads Ordinance to sewerage works of limited scale so that the works did not have to be gazetted during the planning stage. This was to rectify the existing practice of the Director of Environmental Protection resorting to administrative means to execute minor sewerage works without gazetting them. The Amendment Regulation would only exempt the gazettal requirement for sewerage works of a limited scale before a funding application was made to the Public Works Subcommittee of the Finance Committee for such works, or where this was not applicable, before tender was invited for the works.
57. In view of the considerable inconvenience that the closure of roads to execute sewerage works might create for residents living in the vicinity, the Subcommittee had suggested that the Drainage Services Department should consult the Area Committees of the districts concerned and owners' corporations of buildings in the vicinity. Moreover, to enable road users to have prior knowledge of the impending road closure, a board containing information on the works should be displayed at the site some days before the commencement of works. The Administration expressed concern that the display of a notice board on the road or near the pavement might cause obstruction and endanger vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Nevertheless, the Administration would explore the feasibility of displaying a notice board on the railing near the work site a few days before the commencement of works on a trial subject to there being no objection raised by the relevant departments. The Administration would review the new arrangement after it had been operational for 12 months.
(b)Report of the Subcommittee on Review of Allowances for Members of the Legislative Council
(LC Paper No. AS 17/98-99)
58. Referring to the paper, Miss Emily LAU, Chairman of the Subcommittee, explained the background and the proposal of providing to Members an advance of operating funds at the maximum level equivalent to two months' operating expenses (i.e. $225,000 at present reimbursement level), and two separate advances of not more than $100,000 and $50,000 for setting up a district office and the central office respectively. Members who were given an advance of operating funds would be required to repay them when they ceased to hold office, whereas Members who were given advances for setting up offices must complete the setting up and submit the relevant receipts within three months. Subject to members' endorsement, the proposal would be put forward to The Legislative Council Commission for consideration on 8 September 1998.
59. In response to Miss Emily LAU, the Secretary General said that the proposal could be implemented immediately upon the approval of The Legislative Council Commission.
60. On the proposed change of the name of the Subcommittee to "Subcommittee on Matters related to the Reimbursement of Members' Operating Expenses", Messrs HO Sai-chu and Howard YOUNG opined that the Chinese translation of "reimbursement" as failed to correctly reflect the nature of the financial resources provided to Members and should be reconsidered.
61. Members supported the proposal of providing an advance of operating funds to Members, as set out in paragraphs 8 - 10 of the paper, to be put to The Legislative Council Commission for consideration.
62. Miss Emily LAU further said that the Subcommittee would hold a meeting with the Director of Administration and the Director of Housing on 17 September 1998 to discuss the allocation of LegCo Member's offices in public housing estates and the level of operating expenses reimbursement for LegCo Members.
63. Mr SZETO Wah said that the existing allocation policy for Members to set up offices in public housing estates (i.e. single office up to 70m2 or two offices (each up to 35 m2) in different estates) was outdated and should be reviewed, given the present delineation of geographical constituencies. He expressed support for the Subcommittee to take up the matter with the Administration.
(c)Report presented by the House Committee Chairman on Special Briefing on Operation of Hong Kong International Airport held on 9 July 1998
64. Members noted the report presented by the Chairman.
IX.Any other business
(a)Rule 24(m) of the House Rules
65. Miss Emily LAU suggested that the wording of Rule 24(m) of the House Rules should be revised by deleting the words "to facilitate the work of the simultaneous interpreters". Miss Margaret NG and Mr CHEUNG Man-kwong said that the Rule should be applied with flexibility, particularly in situations where representatives from outside organizations were involved. Both Miss NG and the Chairman pointed out that the House Committee of the former Legislative Council had agreed to adopt this Rule mainly out of consideration for facilitating the work of the simultaneous interpreters. The Chairman suggested and members agreed that the Rule needed not be amended.
(b)Meeting of Panel on Financial Affairs on 7 September 1998
66. The Chairman said that the Financial Secretary would attend the meeting of the Panel on Financial Affairs on 7 September 1998 under the agenda item of "Government's intervention in the foreign exchange, stock and futures markets". He added that he had asked the Financial Secretary to allow more time to answer Members' questions.
67. In response to the Chairman, the Legal Adviser briefed members on the court's decision on the election petition brought under section 61 of the Legislative Council Ordinance by Ms CHIANG Lai-wan. Members noted that the court had determined that Dr TANG Siu-tong had not been duly elected and did not determine another person as duly elected.
68. The meeting ended at 3:58 pm.
Legislative Council Secretariat
9 September 1998