Daily Information Bulletin - 1990s - 1995 - JAN - ENG

 DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 842 8777

Monday, January 2,1995

Contents PageJfox

FS: Airport Core Programme in full swing.......................... 1

Code of practice advises on prevention of Legionnaires' disease... 3

Employers' support sought for mother tongue education............. 4

Speedpost pick-up service covers whole New Territories............ 6

Customs to elect best counter staff............................... 7

1

FS: Airport Core Programme in full swing *****

The Financial Secretary, Sir Hamish Macleod, said today (Monday) that the Government would approach the Finance Committee for additional funding for the new airport this month as construction work on the Airport Core Programme (ACP) would be in full swing this year.

"The Government has now obtained 90 per cent of the funding required for the seven Government projects in the ACP and will ask the Finance Committee for a further $2.43 billion for the construction of Government facilities at the new airport later this month."

"We also intend to approach the Finance Committee for some $5.2 billion as the balance of equity funding for the new airport early this year," he added.

Sir Hamish pointed out that more major contracts would be awarded in the next few months for the construction of the passenger terminal building and for the terminal's building services.

Other major contracts, including those for airfield works, would be let as the year progressed.

A total of 102 major contracts worth over $65 billion had been awarded so far for the 10 projects in the ACP.

Sir Hamish was satisfied with the significant developments in funding arrangements and construction work relating to the new airport in the past year.

"The signing of the Sino-British Agreed Minute which sets out the debt and equity levels for the Provisional Airport Authority (PAA) and the Mass Transit Railway Corporation (MTRC) was an important step forward for the ACP.

"Approval by the Sino-British Land Commission for the allocation of all the necessary land for the airport and the Airport Railway was another encouraging development," he said.

Looking ahead, the Financial Secretary hoped that an early agreement on the Financial Support Agreements for the PAA and the MTRC could be reached between British and Chinese experts. An early agreement on the Airport Bill and the airport franchises would also be needed.

2

"Our experts have been discussing these matters with their Chinese side counterparts in a friendly and positive manner and we hope an agreement will be reached as soon as possible so that the PAA and MTRC can launch their borrowing programmes to support their works," he reiterated.

Commenting on cost control, the Financial Secretary said the Government would keep up its efforts in taking the ACP forward with a stringent and fair approach to letting contracts in order to benefit from the highly competitive bids internationally.

He believed that the Airport Consultative Committee and the Legislative Council also had an important role to play in monitoring costs and progress of the programme. They would continue to be updated and consulted regularly.

"The public can rest assured that the funds committed on the ACP will prove to be a sound investment underpinning Hong Kong's economic development in the next century."

On the progress of construction work on the ACP, Sir Hamish saw for himself during a year-end visit to Chek Lap Kok the completion of 82 per cent of the airport platform and at the Lantau Fixed Crossing 65 per cent completion of the Tsing Ma Bridge.

He also noted that foundation work for the passenger terminal building was almost completed and the contract for building the superstructure would be let soon.

Sir Hamish, who is also chairman of the PAA, was accompanied on his visit last Friday by the Secretary for Works, Mr James Blake; the Director of the New Airport Projects Co-ordination Office, Mr Billy Lam; and the Chief Executive Officer of the PAA. Dr Henry Townsend.

End/Monday, January 2, 1995

5

3

Code of practice advises on prevention of Legionnaires' disease *****

The Prevention of Legionnaires' Disease Committee has recently produced a code of practice on the prevention of the disease.

The publication was prepared by the committee with reference to similar codes overseas, such as those in Australia, United Kingdom and Singapore.

The code of practice explains the background of the problem and the medical aspects of the disease, and provides detailed guidelines on prevention in cases concerning cooling towers, condensate pans, centralised fresh water systems and other water systems.

It recommends the practices to be followed in the design, installation, operation and maintenance of air-conditioning and water systems, especially cooling towers and centralised hot water supply systems, for the effective control and prevention of the disease.

Bacteria of Legionnaires' disease are active in poorly maintained fresh water cooling towers and centralised hot/cold water supply systems.

People could get the disease by inhaling air-borne droplets or particles in fine mist containing the bacteria. The bacteria will then pass into the lungs.

A spokesman for the committee said today (Monday) that the code of practice should be followed by all architects, engineers, building owners and building managers, as well as the Government.

I lowever, he stressed that the disease was not common in 1 long Kong.

"Only a few cases have been recorded in the territory in recent years.

"However, these episodic few should not be taken lightly," the spokesman cautioned.

He pointed out that the Government was concerned about the disease, and as living standards and quality of life in Hong Kong keep on rising, more people expect the Government to devote more resources and effort in safeguarding public health.

4

"The Government is taking a prudent and preventive approach by establishing in 1985 the committee to formulate strategies in preventing and dealing with possible outbreak of the disease,” he said.

He pointed out that the Government hoped that the code of practice would be widely adopted by building and factory owners, building services engineers, practitioners in facility maintenance and other related agencies.

’’Through the co-operation of all those concerned to follow the code of practice, the Government is confident that every citizen will enjoy good health without the fear of a spread of the Legionnaires' disease in Hong Kong," the spokesman said.

Copies of the code of practice have been distributed to management of hotels, hospitals, air-conditioning contractors, developers and the Institution of Engineers.

Members of the public who wish to get a copy of the leaflet or more information on the prevention of the disease may write to the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department in Room 514, 98 Caroline Hill Road, Causeway Bay, or call the Legionnaires’ Disease hotline 2808 3696 and fax 2895 0264.

End/Monday, January 2, 1995

Employers' support sought for mother tongue education *****

The Education Department has written to several major employers' associations to explain the Government's policy for medium of instruction in schools as part of its effort to promote mother tongue teaching.

The department believes that through the understanding and support of employers, any parental worries about the effect of mother tongue teaching on students' employment opportunities can be dispelled.

The correspondence with employers' associations was supplemented by research findings that supported the merits of mother tongue education.

5

An Education Department spokesman said at the request of a major employers’ association, a talk has been arranged at the end of January to introduce the subject and answer queries from members.

The department explained in its correspondence with employers' associations that the Government's policy was to encourage secondary schools to adopt Chinese as the teaching medium; to allow schools to choose an appropriate medium of instruction; and to urge schools to adopt a single teaching medium, either Chinese or English, rather than using a mixed code in teaching.

Opportunity is also given to those students who have the ability to learn through the English medium should they so wish.

Among the material sent to employers' associations, a study of the academic achievements of more than 4,500 Secondary 3 students showed that in the heavily language-loaded subjects of Science, History and Geography, students taught in Chinese performed better than their counterparts taught in a mixed code of Chinese and English.

The mean scores of tests at Secondary 3 level for students taught in Chinese were: Science (40.52); History (24.89); and Geography (49.13). These compare with mean scores of 27.73, 17.03 and 41.87 respectively for students in schools using mixed-code as the medium of instruction.

The study found that in a school language environment that is more Chinese than English, students generally were more academically motivated, and were more likely to commit themselves to learning and to try to understand their school tasks rather than just to meet their teachers' requirements.

Their counterparts in the English medium schools who were not competent in English tended to learn by rote memorising, focusing only on selected details. They were more anxious in their studies.

The results clearly suggested that students of low English competence should not be placed in a language environment that is predominantly English.

Otherwise, they are likely to have poor motivation and to apply superficial learning strategies like rote memorisation to deal with the secondary school curriculum, especially in studying language-loaded subjects.

6

Another survey of 2,502 students, the findings of which were also sent to the employers’ associations, indicated that pupils in schools using Chinese as the medium of instruction in all subjects did better in the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination than those in schools using Chinese as the medium of instruction by subject.

The employer associations learned that a third survey on 2,380 Secondary 1 students found almost half of them (49.5 per cent) had difficulties with subjects taught in English while 67.1 per cent thought they would learn better if lessons were conducted in Chinese.

Only 15 per cent of teachers teaching Secondary 1 classes considered that the pupils had the required language proficiency for English medium teaching. Sixty-six per cent of parents of Secondary 1 pupils thought their children had difficulties in understanding textbooks written in English.

End/Monday, January 2, 1995

Speedpost pick-up service covers whole New Territories *****

The Postmaster General, Mr Mike Pagliari, announced today (Monday) that the Speedpost pick-up service would be extended to the whole New Territories on January 16.

"The New Territories is no longer a remote rural area. It is full of new towns, industrial estates and suburban residential areas," Mr Pagliari said.

"The postal service must keep pace with the development of Hong Kong, as it has for the last 154 years.

"The extension of the Speedpost pick-up service to the whole of the New Territories is intended to meet the needs of industrial and commercial concerns in the region," he added.

Speedpost is the courier service operated by the Post Office for the speedy transmission of documents, samples and merchandise overseas.

7

For regular users of the service, the Post Office provides a pick-up service to collect Speedpost items at the sender’s premises on his telephone order.

Same day collection service is provided for telephone orders placed before 3.30 pm.

The pick-up service has until now been provided for Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, and Tsuen Wan and Sha Tin in the New Territories.

Reciprocal Speedpost service is available to 70 overseas destinations.

Further enquiries about the service can be made of the Postal Services Representatives on tel 2921 2277.

End/Monday, January 2, 1995

Customs to elect best counter staff ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

To give recognition to counter staff who have provided quality services, the Customs and Excise Department is inviting the public to pick its best counter staff between January 3 and February 28.

Counter staff can be nominated for awards according to five categories of merits - whether they are courteous, eager to help, efficient, friendly and knowledgeable.

"To ensure fairness, members of the public are requested not to cast more than one vote for the same staff member. The department will select five voters in a lucky draw to receive a souvenir," a spokesman for the department said today (Monday).

"Five officers who obtain the largest number of votes will be given the Best Counter Staff Awards and the office with the largest number of votes per member of counter staff will be given the Best Counter Team Award," he said.

Nomination forms are available at the following offices:

* 2/F & 7/F, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central, Hong Kong

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* G/F, Middle Road, Multi-storey Carpark Building, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon

' ’ _• l • •• . • ’ ■ ' j

' / ' - ■

* 10/F, Canton Road Government Offices, Kowloon

* Room 10, 9/F, MTL Building, Phase I, Container Port Road, Kwai Chung, New Territories

* Room 5002, G/F, Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminal 1, Hong Kong International Airport, Concorde Road, Hong Kong

* Room 3002, New Hall, G/F, Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminal I, Hong Kong International Airport, Concorde Road, Hong Kong

* Room 224 & Room 443, Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminal II, Hong Kong International Airport, Concorde Road, Hong Kong

Members of the public are requested to fill in the nomination forms hnd put them in the collection boxes located in the waiting halls of the offices. The forms can also be sent to the department by fax 2541 7828.

End/Monday, January 2, 1995

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DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 842 8777

Tuesday, January 3,1995

Contents EagejNo,

COMAC to initiate direct investigation..................................... 1

Buildings Department supports COMAC investigation.......................... 2

DCA updates LegCo panel on Hercules accident......................... 2

Planning Department receives petition...................................... 4

Education Conference....................................................... 5

Revision of fees for entry clearances................................ 5

Stamps for Year of the Pig................................................. 7

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results.......................... 9

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations................. 10

1

COMAC to initiate direct investigation

*****

The Commissioner for Administrative Complaints (COMAC), Mr Andrew So, announced today (Tuesday) that a direct investigation would be conducted on the Buildings Department's enforcement actions against unauthorised building works (UBW).

Mr So explained at a press conference that under Section 7(1 )(b) of the COMAC Ordinance, he was empowered to initiate investigations on his own volition, even though no complaint on the matters had been received.

Mr So said the question of UBW had been a regular subject of complaints over the years, particularly in relation to the selective enforcement by the department in accordance with its current policy adopted since 1988.

He had so far concluded 31 investigations of this nature, in the light of which two complaints were substantiated, while another 12 were partially substantiated.

These conclusions were however based on the fact that the actions or nonaction taken by the department were in accordance with its established procedures.

The Commissioner said in the last six months there were already 17 such complaints.

In view of these repeated complaints, he felt that no further piecemeal approach would serve any useful purpose.

Instead he considered that the fundamental question should be addressed, to see if the established procedures themselves might be the underlying reason for complaints.

The direct investigation would focus on the rationale of and procedures on the selective enforcement of UBW.

. ■■■

The Commissioner added that it would not affect the Buildings Department's handling of individual cases of UBW in accordance with its established procedures in the meantime, as provided for under Section 19 of the COMAC Ordinance.

On the question of time frame, the Commissioner said he hoped to complete the investigation in the shortest time possible. However, much would depend on an initial assessment of the situation which his team of investigators was working on.

End/Tuesday, January 3, 1995

2

Buildings Department supports COMAC investigation

*****

The Director of Buildings, Mrs Helen Yu, today (Tuesday) pledged to cooperate with the Commissioner for Administrative Complaints (COMAC) on his investigation on the Buildings Department's enforcement actions against unauthorised building works.

Commenting on COMAC's announcement to initiate the investigation, Mrs Yu said: "I have nominated my Assistant Director/Control and Enforcement, Mr Edward Lok, to be our contact officer for the COMAC investigation."

Mrs Yu pointed out that her department "regularly reviews procedures for enforcement, including clearance operations to see whether, and how, arrangements could be improved in general".

"This is a matter of good practice. In this spirit, we look forward to any improvement measures COMAC may suggest in due course," Mrs Yu said.

"Over the years, we have taken COMAC’s recommendations into account in improving our procedures. For these, we are grateful."

End/Tuesday, January 3, 1995

DCA updates LegCo panel on Hercules accident ♦ * * ♦ ♦

The Director of Civil Aviation, Mr Peter Lok, today (Tuesday) reiterated that the Hercules planes used to repatriate Vietnamese migrants from Hong Kong were authorised for the carriage of passengers.

He was updating a meeting of members of the Legislative Council Economic Services Panel regarding the aircraft accident which occurred at the Hong Kong International Airport on September 23 last year involving a Hercules L-382 operated by Pelita Air Service on a non-passenger carrying flight.

Mr Lok stated that the Indonesian authorities had authorised the Lockheed type L-382 Hercules to be used to carry passengers since the early 1980s . The 1982/83 issue of the authoritative reference book "Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft " testified to this.

3

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) recommendation in Annex 9 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, paragraph 2.40 which required certain information to be produced to the authorities granting a charter permit, did not call for the inspection of the Certificate of Airworthiness or the certificate of competency (variously referred to as the Air Operator Certificate and Air Carrier Certificate) or equivalent.

"When Hong Kong considered the chartering of the aircraft from Indonesia, we exceeded the ICAO's recommended requirement.

"In fact, prior to the Hong Kong Government entering into a charter agreement with Pelita, a team of Hong Kong Government officials visited Indonesia in 1991 to discuss the proposed charter with the operator," Mr Lok said.

"The officials were shown the authorisation issued by the Indonesian authorities in 1988 for the Hercules to carry passengers within Indonesia. The team sought extension of this authority to the international carriage of passengers.

"The Indonesian authorities duly issued a letter on October 11, 1991 extending the authority given in the 1988 authorisation to international passenger carriage. These documents covered the four Hercules, of which the crashed aircraft (PKPLV) was one."

Regarding the concern expressed by a member staff of his department that the PKPLV might not have been properly certificated to carry passengers, Mr Lok said though this staff member was not a member of the investigation team, his concerns were drawn to the attention of the investigation team immediately.

Mr Lok said he would have no objection, in principle, to release this staff member's report. However, it would not be proper for him to authorise this until the full accident investigation has been completed and its official report produced.

As regards the official investigation report, Mr Lok said any non-compliances with relevant regulations would be brought to the attention of the authorities concerned, as would any apparent shortfall compared to ICAO standards. ICAO will receive a copy of the report.

End/Tuesday, January 3, 1995

4

Planning Department receives petition *****

The Planning Department today (Tuesday) received a petition from villagers of Shan Pui Tsuen, Yuen Long. The petition relates to a change of zoning from "Village Typed Development" ("V") to "Conservation Area" ("CA") of a fish pond to the north of Shan Pui Tsuen on the draft Nam Sang Wai Outline Zoning Plan (OZP).

Referring to the background of the case, a spokesman for the department said that the subject was originally zoned "V" on the draft OZP prepared for Nam Sang Wai. The plan was presented to Yuen Long district board and Shap Pat Heung Rural Committee for consultation in September 1993.

At a meeting with the Rural Committee, a Committee member pointed out that the subject site was a "fung shui" pond and could not be developed.

It was suggested and subsequently confirmed by the chairman of Shap Pat Heung Rural Committee that the area to the south of Kam Tin River and east of Shan Pui Tsuen should be zoned "V" instead to cater for the increasing small house demand for villages in Kau Hai area.

In view of the request to preserve the "fung shui" pond and the fact that additional land has been identified for designating as "V" zone to meet small house demand, the zoning of the pond was changed from "V" to "CA" on the draft Nam Sang Wai OZP which was gazetted for public inspection on June 3 last year.

"The planning intention of'CA' is to retain the existing natural characteristics of an area. New development will normally not be allowed unless it is required to support the conservation of the area's natural features and scenic qualities," the spokesman explained.

The village representatives have already submitted an objection to the draft OZP to the Town Planning Board. The objection will be processed under the provisions of the Town Planning Ordinance and it is expected that the objection would be considered by the Board early this year.

End/Tuesday, January 3, 1995

5

Education Conference *****

The Deputy Director of Education, Miss Elaine Chung, is in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands to attend a four-day international education conference opening today (Tuesday).

fhe International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement Conference 1995 brings together high calibre participants from all over the world in a series of keynote presentations, symposia, case study and paper sessions on school themes.

The focus is on research, practice and policy making relating to school effectiveness and improvement.

The conference provides a good opportunity for experience sharing among participants with a view to finding solutions to individual educational problems.

End/Tuesday, January 3, 1995

Revision of fees for entry clearances *****

The United Kingdom Government has announced that fees for entry clearances for the United Kingdom, Commonwealth Countries and Dependent Territories represented by the Immigration Department are to be revised from tomorrow (Wednesday).

The new fees will be:

(A) Entry to the UK

Fees (Pounds Sterling)

(a) Single Entry Clearance

(i) For applicants aged 25 or over 33

(ii) For applicants aged under 25 16.5

«

(b) Direct Airside Transit Visa

(i) For applicants aged 25 or over 25

(ii) For applicants aged under 25 12.5

(c) Multiple Entry Clearance

(i) with validity up to six months 45

t

(ii) with validity up to two years 65

(iii) with validity up to five years 130

(d) Application for settlement, marriage, 145

certificate of entitlement to the right of abode or confirmation of the right of abode

(e) Long-term non-settlement entry clearances 50

(B) Entry to the Commonwealth Countries and Dependent Territories

All types of visa application 20

No handling fees will be charged on visas issued on behalf of Commonwealth Countries.

No referral fees will be charged on visas issued on behalf of Dependent Territories.

The fees for multiple entry clearances will be increased. The increase ranges from 15 pounds to 45 pounds.

Entry clearances for the purpose of settlement or marriage will be increased from 80 pounds to 145 pounds but other long-term non-settlement entry' clearances will be reduced from 60 pounds to 50 pounds.

All fees are to be charged on a per capita basis and collected in Hong Kong dollars converted from the pound sterling at a current official exchange rate.


- 7 -

"The fees are to be collected on application and are normally non-refundable," a spokesman for the Immigration Department said.

"The fees are uniformly imposed world-wide. It is the United Kingdom Government's policy that fees charged should, wherever possible, cover the costs of providing these services,” he added.

Members of the public who wish to make enquiries may telephone 2824 6111 or use the enquiry faxline 2877 7711.

End/Tuesday, January 3, 1995

Stamps for Year of the Pig

*****

The Postmaster General, Mr Mike Pagliari, announced today (Tuesday) that a set of special stamps will be issued on January 17, 1995 on the theme of "Year of the Pig".

This is the ninth in the current series of Lunar New Year special stamp issues released by the Post Office commencing with the Year of the Rabbit in 1987.

There will be four denominations: $1, $1.90, $2.40 and $5. A souvenir sheet incorporating the four stamps will also be issued. A stamp booklet containing six each of the $1 and $2.40 stamps will be available at $20.40 each.

The stamps were designed by Mr Kan Tai-keung and printed by Leigh-Mardon Pty. Ltd. of Australia.

The stamps are now on display at the General Post Office, Tsim Sha Tsui Post Office and Sha Tin Central Post Office.

Official first day covers are now available on sale at all post offices, except the Airport Post Office, at $1 each.

Advance orders for serviced first day covers will be accepted until January 10. The minimum number of serviced first day covers per order is five.

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A restriction of two stamp booklets, 10 souvenir sheets and five sheets of stamps of each denomination (viz, 250 sets of stamps) per customer queuing will be imposed on the first day of issue.

A beautifully designed presentation pack containing the four stamps will also be available for sale at $18 each at all post offices, except the Airport Post Office, as from January 17, 1995.

Serviced first day covers affixed with the set of stamps and cancelled with the first day of issue postmark will be placed on sale on January 17, 1995 at the following seven philatelic offices at $13.80 each:

Beaconsfield House Post Office

General Post Office

Granville Road Post Office Peak Post Office

Sha Tin Central Post Office Tsim Sha Tsui Post Office Tsuen Wan Post Office

On the first day of issue, hand-back service will be provided at all post offices, except the Airport Post Office, to official and privately made covers bearing the first day of issue indication on January 17, 1995.

End/Tuesday, January 3, 1995

9

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Tender date 3 Jan 95 3 Jan 95

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q501 H555

Amount applied HK$4,600 MN HK$2,650 MN

Amount allotted HK$ 1,500 MN HKS800 MN

Average yield accepted 5.60 PCT 6.26 PCT

Highest yield accepted 5.60 PCT 6.27 PCT

Pro rata ratio About 91 PCT About 40 PCT

Average tender yield 5.64 PCT >>✓ , . 6.29 PCT

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

Tenders to be held in the week beginning January 9, 1995

Tender date 10 Jan 95

Paper on offer EF bills

Issue number Q502

Issue date 11 Jan 95

Maturity date 12 Apr 95

Tenor 91 Days

Amount on offer HK$ 1,500+300 MN

End/Tuesday, January 3, 1995

10

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

S million Time (hours) Cumulative change ($million)

Opening balance in the account 2,207 0930 -254

Closing balance in the account 1,591 1000 -254

Change attributable to : 1100 -196

Money market activity -293 1200 -194

LAF today -323 1500 -293

1600 -293

LAF rate 3.75% bid/5.75% offer TWI 121.5 *+0.1* 3.1.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Konj ; Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.14 17 months 2605 6.35 98.76 7.44

1 month 5.20 23 months 2611 6.90 98.74 7.78

3 months 5.61 28 months 3704 6.15 96.49 7.98

6 months 6.23 34 months 3710 7.25 98.27 8.10

12 months 7.02 60 months 5912 8.15 99.51 8.44

Total turnover of bills and bonds - 18,138 MN

Closed January 3, 1995

End/Tuesday, January 3, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 842 8777

Wednesday, January 4,1995

Contents Page No,

Hospital care services on improvement..................................... 1

Transcript of Chief Secretary's speech to media........................... 2

Housing Ordinance to be amended........................................... 2

Regulations on bedspace apartments to be gazetted......................... 3

Measures for display of film posters...................................... 4

No "double standards" for action against unauthorised building works. 6

Appointment to Consumer Council........................................... 7

English Language Broadcasting............................................. g

Youth need family support to stay away from drugs......................... 9

Blankets distributed to street-sleepers.................................. 10

Correctional Services Staff Clubhouse opens.......................... 11

Two lots to let.......................................................... 12

Flushing water cut in Ho Man Tin and King’s Park..................... 13

Hong Kong Monetary Authoirty money market operations..................... 13

1

Hospital care services on improvement *****

Hong Kong is probably the only city in the world where taxation is low but medical and health care is heavily subsidised and, in many instances, virtually free, the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, said.

Officiating at the opening ceremony of the Hospital Authority Convention 1995 today (Wednesday), Mrs Chan said: "We are one of the few places that provides a free and comprehensive immunisation programme to all children protecting them against major infectious diseases.

"In terms of infant mortality, average life expectancy at birth and the ratio of non-smokers to smokers, the health status of our community is among the best in the region."

Speaking on the theme of this year’s Convention, "Transformation in Hospital Services", Mrs Chan said the hospital care services had made significant improvements in the past few years.

These include the substantial elimination of camp-beds in public hospitals, the provision of enquiry services in all hospitals for visitors, and the introduction of a priority system in emergency services which significantly reduces the waiting time for patients.

The Chief Secretary pointed out that effective and efficient health care delivery could only be achieved through active collaboration by providers, carers and patients.

"In this regard, the Hospital Authority has shaped its corporate mission to strengthen the interface between public and private sectors.

"This will not only improve utilisation of resources and avoid duplication of services, but also enhance the continuum of patient care," she said.

The Chief Secretary said in the light of increased public awareness and escalating medical costs, preventive care should receive greater emphasis.

She said: "Through its front-line contact with patients and their families, and close co-operation with the Department of Health on health education programme, the Hospital Authority will add strength to our initiatives to improve preventive care for our community."

End/Wednesday, January 4, 1995

2

Transcript of Chief Secretary's speech to media

*****

Following is a transcript of the Chief Secretary Mrs Anson Chan's speech to the press after officiating at the opening ceremony of Hospital Authority Convention 1995 this (Wednesday) morning:

CS: I'd like to wish you all a very happy Christmas. And I hope that your news reporting during the year will be smooth. I hope that the community as a whole will enjoy continued and strong economic growth, that we'll see strengthened co-operation and communication with the Chinese authorities. In particular, I personally hope that we will have a greater progress in a whole host of transitional issues through the JLG and expert group meetings to be set up under the JLG. Thank you.

End/Wednesday, January 4, 1995

Housing Ordinance to be amended

*****

The Govemor-in-Council has approved that a bill to update and improve several provisions in the Housing Ordinance should be introduced into the Legislative Council.

The Housing (Amendment) Bill 1995, among other things, will empower the Secretary for Housing to appoint an appeal panel to hear appeals under section 19(1) of the Housing Ordinance and to make appeal rules.

To ensure the independence and impartiality of the appeal panel, the secretary will only appoint non-Housing Authority members to the panel.

At present, the Housing Authority is responsible for the appointment of the panel and the making of appeal rules. This arrangement is not very satisfactory since the authority is a party to the appeals.

The bill also seeks to deter the creation of unauthorised mortgages or charges by making them void and rendering the offenders liable to prosecution.

3

A Government spokesman said: "It has come to the Housing Department's notice that some mortgages for Home Ownership Scheme/Private Sector Participation Scheme flats, which do not comply with the terms on which the Director of Housing has signified his approval, have been executed.

"Legal advice is that it would be inappropriate to take prosecution action on the basis of the present provisions in the Housing Ordinance."

Other proposals in the bill include giving the Housing Authority specific power to employ its own staff and advisory services, and removing the need for the Director of Housing to appoint a long list of public officers to whom his power is delegated and to update the list frequently.

The bill will be gazetted on January 13 and be introduced into the Legislative Council on January 25 this year.

End/Wednesday, January 4, 1995

Regulations on bedspace apartments to be gazetted ♦ * * ♦ *

Regulations prescribing a fee scale for the issue and renewal of certificates of exemption and licences for bedspace apartments as well as governing the operation of the Bedspace Apartments Appeal Board will be gazetted on Friday (January 6).

They are the Bedspace Apartments (Fees) Regulation and the Bedspace Apartments (Appeal Board) Regulation, which will come into effect on February 9.

A spokesman for the Home Affairs Branch today (Wednesday) said under the fee regulation, bedspace apartment operators would have to pay $90 for the issue and annual renewal of a certificate of exemption.

As to the issue and renewal of licence, the fee will be set on a sliding scale depending on the number of permitted bedspaces in the apartments.

It will range from $370 for a bedspace apartment with 12 to 20 permitted bedspaces to a maximum of $2,280 for one with more than 70 permitted bedspaces.

The spokesman pointed out that the proposed scale of fees would only cover the administrative costs of the licensing scheme.

4

He said in making the regulation, the Government had also taken into account the financial means of the bedspace apartment operators and the special circumstances of bedspace apartments which provided low cost accommodation for those who needed it.

"The proposed fees, in fact, represent an insignificant percentage of the operating costs of bedspace apartments and therefore the consequential impact per bedspace on tenants will be negligible," he added.

Meanwhile, the regulation on the appeal board has prescribed the practice and procedure of the body.

Any person aggrieved by the decision of the authorities relating to licensing of bedspace apartments can appeal to the board.

End/Wednesday, January 4, 1995

Measures for display of film posters ♦ * * * ♦

The Government has decided to introduce a number of measures aimed at tackling the public display of offensive and pornographic film posters and providing more information to parents to help them make an informed choice on what films they wish their children to watch.

A Film Censorship (Amendment) Bill to this effect will be introduced into the Legislative Council on January 18, a spokesman for the Recreation and Culture Branch said today (Wednesday).

"Advertising materials, including posters of all Category III films, will be required to be submitted to the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority (TELA) for approval before they can be distributed, circulated or publicity displayed," the spokesman added.

"Any person who distributes, circulates or publicly displays Category III film advertising materials without prior approval of TELA will commit an offence and be liable to a maximum fine of $200,OO0 and imprisonment for one year."

5

An across-the-board restriction on all Category III film advertising materials is necessary to ensure that film posters, newspaper advertisement, or handbills and so on do not contain materials that are offensive to public morality and ordinary good taste.

"To cater for the situation where publicity materials for a film need to be prepared prior to obtaining a classification, the bill will introduce an arrangement whereby advertising materials of all films intended for exhibition can be submitted to TELA for vetting on a voluntary basis."

Apart from imposing compulsory censorship on Category III film advertising materials, the spokesman said the existing classification of Category II would also be refined to form two sub-categories. This is made in response to the public wish for providing more information relating to individual films.

"The existing Category II will be split into sub-categories, namely: 'Not suitable for children below 12 and for which parental guidance is recommended' and 'Not suitable for persons below 18:.

"Parents should find the refined film classification system of help in deciding what films they wish their children to watch," the spokesman said.

The opportunity will also be taken to make some minor amendments to the Film Censorship Ordinance to improve its operation.

The number of non-official members of the Board of Review will be increased from six to eight, and its terms of reference expanded correspondingly to cover the extended scope of the ordinance.

The spokesman added that a separate exercise was being undertaken to address the problem of easy access by young people to indecent articles, including indecent comic books.

The necessary legislative amendments to the Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance will be introduced into the Legislative Council in the first quarter of this year.

End/Wednesday, January 4, 1995

6

No "double standards" for action against unauthorised building works *****

The Buildings Department does not apply "double standards" in dealing with unauthorised building works (UBW), the Director of Buildings Mrs Helen Yu stressed today (Wednesday).

She firmly rebutted some newspaper comments that queried whether there are "double standards" in respect of UBW.

"We in Buildings Department enforce the law without fear or favour. We treat all UBW equally, whether they are located in old tenement blocks or new luxury buildings and whether they house the rich or the poor," she noted.

Mrs Yu emphasised: "Government's prime concern with action against UBW is public safety."

"Thus, ours is a policy of priorities based on safety, to ensure that UBW do not pose a threat to the public or to owners and occupiers. We endeavour to do our best but our resources are not unlimited."

Under this policy, Mrs Yu added, priority enforcement action is taken against:

* UBW posing imminent danger to life and property or seriously endangering public health;

* UBW under construction or newly constructed;

* UBW for demolition or remedial measures, recommended by government departments or public bodies such as district boards, environmental improvement committees and building management co-ordination committees; and

* major UBW contravening provisions of both the Buildings Ordinance and lease conditions.

"Actions against UBW outside these priorities are deferred for the time being but they will be upgraded when appropriate." Mrs Yu explained.

"The Buildings Department both responds to reports or referrals and initiates clearances in different districts, some of them being major operations," she said.

End/Wednesday, January 4, 1995

7

Appointment to Consumer Council ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A Government spokesman announced today (Wednesday) that the Financial Secretary had appointed 14 members to the Consumer Council for a period of one to two years with effect from January 1 this year.

Three existing members have been reappointed to the Consumer Council for a period of two years. They are Mr Thomas Kwok Wai-yan, Dr Lo Chi-kin and Dr Michael Tsui Fuk-sun.

Another five existing members have been reappointed for a period of one year. They are Dr Law Cheung-kwok, Mr Lee Kam-hung, Dr Albert Leung Wing-nang, Mr Man Mo->eung and Mrs Yuen Chan Po-hing.

Six new members - Mr William F A Chao, Mr Chan Yan-leung, Dr Joseph K L Lai, Mr Tim Lui Tim-leung, Mr Herman To Yung-sing and Mr Peter T S Wong - have been appointed to the council for a period of one year.

Mr Chao is the executive director of a media company and sits on the Complaints Committee of the Broadcasting Authority.

Mr Chan is the principal of Tsucn Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College. I Ie is also a member of the Board of Review on the Compulsory School Attendance Scheme.

Dr Lai is the head of the Materials Research Centre of the City University of Hong Kong. He is also a member of the Plastics Training Board of the Vocational Training Council.

Mr Lui is a certified public accountant and sits on the Council of the Hong Kong Society of Accountants.

Mr To is the director and general manager of an industrial development company.

Mr Wong is a bank director in retail banking business.


8

Retiring from the Consumer Council are Professor Peter W Cheung, Mr Dennis Lam Haw-shun, Mr Johnny Mok Shiu-luen, Mr Ng Tat-lun, Mrs So Cheung Yee-hing and Mr Anthony Yuen Tak-tim.

"We are grateful to these retired members for the devotion of their precious time and effort to a highly regarded public service. Their contribution to the work of the Consumer Council has been most useful in promoting consumer interests," the spokesman said.

End/Wednesday, January 4, 1995

English Language Broadcasting *****

The Recreation and Culture Branch submitted two information papers to the LegCo Information Policy Panel (the Panel) today on "English Language Broadcasting".

Interest in this topic was sparked off by RTHK's recent decision to broadcast Legislative Council sittings on its English service on a selective basis only.

Panel members were informed that this was not an attempt to downplay the importance of English language broadcasting.

It was purely a programming decision, based on the consideration that since LegCo proceedings were increasingly conducted in Cantonese, English broadcasts comprised mostly simultaneous interpretation which the public generally did not find interesting.

Members were told that RTHK. had since stepped up its news service on LegCo sitting days by providing up- to-the minute reports on its hourly news so that listeners were kept informed of events in LegCo as they unfolded throughout the day.

On the separate question of English language obligations imposed on the two local free-to-air television stations, the Panel was advised that this was not an issue originally included in the 1994 Broadcasting Policy Review recently conducted by the Branch.

9

The Consultancy for the review had merely observed that the two stations were facing increasing cost pressure in English language programming for their English Channels, and that the Government may wish to do something to recognise this.

The Panel was informed that the Administration’s view is that, though the cost pressure on the English channels is recognised, there is no question of reducing the present English language requirement imposed on the two stations.

The economics of the stations and the profitability of their services should be taken as one single business entity rather than on individual channels.

However, the Administration would look further into the question of English language programming on local free-to-air stations in the context of the 1996 review to deregulate the broadcasting market upon expiry of Wharf Cable’s exclusivity period.

End/Wednesday, January 4, 1995

Youth need family support to stay away from drugs *****

Young drug abusers may have lacked the attachments, the stimuli and the adult role models which earlier generations had experienced and parents are urged to make it clear to their children that drug taking is unacceptable.

The Commissioner for Narcotics, Mr Alasdair Sinclair, made these remarks at a luncheon meeting held by the Rotary Club of Kowloon Golden Mile today (Wednesday).

Speaking on the rapid increase in youth drug abuse in recent years, Mr Sinclair said the young people who were now abusing drugs belonged to the cohort which was born in the late 1970s, the beginning of Hong Kong's period of affluence. "With both parents typically out working, they may have lacked the attachments, the stimuli and the adult role models which earlier generation had experienced, notwithstanding their greater educational opportunities.

"In a recent paper, Dr Y W Cheung of The Chinese University has suggested that rapid social change in the domains of family, school and peers might have been conducive to the increase in drug use among adolescents," he said.

10

Mr Sinclair said young people had to be helped to develop healthy and positive attitudes and skills to say no to drugs.

"Schools can do a lot here and the Education Department advises them to do so. All teachers have a responsibility, not just those concerned with the parts of the curriculum into which drug education is integrated.

"Every teacher can contribute to the creation of the right school atmosphere, that is, one which encourages the development of a positive self-image among young people and fosters effective communication between teachers and students," he said.

Mr Sinclair pointed out that the Narcotics Division was active in supplementing the schools' efforts, with more than 300 talks being given last year to more than 75,000 children at all levels from Primary Six upwards.

The Division also ran drug education workshops for aspiring teachers at the various teacher training colleges. Several longer workshops were also jointly organised with the Education Department to familiarise in-service teachers with the resources available for teaching about drugs.

Mr Sinclair noted that youngsters rated forgetting about their troubles as the main satisfaction to be obtained from drug taking. This suggested that drug abuse was a response to an unhappy life, and a sense of rejection, failure and hopelessness, he added. The Commissioner called on parents to take an interest in steering their children away from taking drugs.

"Be open, listen to them, and guide them past a danger which was not so prevalent when we were growing up," he said.

End/Wednesday, January 4, 1995

Blankets distributed to street-sleepers *****

A total of 504 blankets was distributed to 461 street-sleepers by Social Welfare Department staff throughout the territory last (Tuesday) night.

The blankets were given to 172 street-sleepers on Hong Kong Island, 20 in East Kowloon, 229 in West Kowloon, 30 in New Territories East and 10 in New Territories West.

End/Wednesday, January 4, 1995

11

Correctional Services Staff Clubhouse opens *****

A new clubhouse for staff of the Correctional Services Department (CSD) was opened today (Wednesday).

Located next to the Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre, the new CSD Staff Club will provide a wide range of sport and recreational facilities for staff of all ranks and their families.

Work on the $28 million-clubhouse began in mid-1993. The cost was met purely by donations. The biggest single donation of $20 million was made by the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club in 1992.

Representing the Jockey Club to officiate at the opening ceremony was a steward of the club, Mr Michael Thornhill.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Eric McCosh, described the Jockey Club’s support for the project as "truly magnificent".

"I hesitate in using the description ’magnificent support’ because even those words inadequately describe what has been made possible. What the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club gave turned a possibility into a reality," Mr McCosh said.

In addition to the donation from the Jockey Club, CSD held its first 17-kilomctre Victoria - Stanley Run to raise funds among staff in 1991.

"The task of rising finance was daunting, but I truly believed that if we were to try and seek financial assistance from others we should first of all demonstrate that we were willing and able to help ourselves.

"Rather surprisingly everyone who participated, even though the run took place during the height of summer, survived the ordeal," Mr McCosh noted.

Financial support for the construction of the clubhouse also came from the community.

- 12 -

■ ' •

"We owe a very sincere expression of gratitude to this department's numerous friends, whose contributions gave us not only the financial boost we needed, but also a feeling of support for the work that we in CSD do for the community that we serve," he said.

The clubhouse boasts a total area of 2,800 square metres. It has a swimming pool, a pool-side bar, a karaoke lounge, a video games room, a children's playroom, a ■ billiard room, a multi-gym, a tennis court, a library, a meeting room, two sauna rooms, two squash courts and a number of recreation rooms.

End/Wednesday, January 4, 1995

Two lots to let

*****

The Lands Department is inviting tenders for short-term tenancies of two lots of Government land in the New Territories.

The first lot, located at Lai Ping Road, Sha Tin New Town, has an area of 3,525 square metres for storage of goods excluding dangerous goods, or for storage of motor vehicles or plant and equipment. The tenancy is for two years, renewable quarterly.

Covering an area of 1,770 square metres, the second lot at Tsing Nam Street, Tsing Yi, New Territories, is to be used for repairing of vehicles.

The tenancy is also for two years, renewable quarterly.

Closing dates for submission of tenders for both lots are noon on January 20.

A

Tender forms, tender notice and conditions may be obtained from the District Lands Offices at Kwai Tsing and Sha Tin, the District Lands Offices Kowloon, 10th floor, Yau Ma Tei Car Park Building, 250 Shanghai Street, Kowloon and the Land Department, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road.

Tender plans can also be inspected at these offices.

End/Wednesday, January 4, 1995

13

Flushing water cut in Ho Man Tin and King's Park

*****

Flushing water supply to all premises in Ho Man Tin and King's Park will be temporarily suspended from 8 am to 5 pm on Friday (January 6) to facilitate the cleansing of the Ho Man Tin High Level Salt Water Service Reservoir.

End/Wednesday, January 4, 1995

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,591 0930 +377

Closing balance in the account 1.374 1000 +377

Change attributable to : 1100 +348

Money market activity +301 1200 +301

LAF today -518 1500 +301

1600 +301

LAF rate 3.75% bid/5.75% offer TW1 121.7 *+0.2* 4.1.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kone ’ Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.17 17 months 2605 6.35 98.62 7.56

1 month 5.24 23 months 2611 6.90 98.56 7.89

3 months 5.69 28 months 3704 6.15 96.31 8.08

6 months 6.33 34 months 3710 7.25 98.07 8.18

12 months 7.13 60 months 5912 8.15 99.20 8.52

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $28,839 million

Closed January 4, 1995

End/Wednesday, January 4, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 842 8777

Thursday, January 5,1995

Contents Pag? No-

Education important to Hong Kong's future: Governor........................ 1

Alastair Goodlad to visit Hong Kong........................................ 1

Leveraged Foreign Exchange Trade Arbitration Panel membership......... 2

Nomination for MC Elections to starts on Monday............................ 3

Construction of runway exit at HK International Airport underway...... 4

Better fire protection for Kwai Chung residents............................ 5

First-day covers and postcards on "Year of the Pig"........................ 6

Latest issue of "COMAC News" published................................

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations..................

1

Education important to Hong Kong’s future: Governor ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Education is important to the future of Hong Kong, the Governor the Rt Hon Christopher Patten told the gathering at the opening ceremony of the Mary knoll Convent School's extension wing this (Thursday) afternoon.

Mr Patten said it was the team effort of the Government, the school management, the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club and former students that made the extension project possible.

"The project symbolises our joint aim: to improve the quality of education in Hong Kong," he noted.

The new extension wing will provide more room for education - more classrooms and staff rooms and more space for student activities.

Meanwhile, the Governor also praised the school for offering an all-round education to its students, nurturing them to become responsible members of the community.

End/Thursday, January 5, 1995

Alastair Goodlad to visit Hong Kong ♦ ♦ ♦ * *

The Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the Rt Hon Alastair Goodlad MP, will visit Hong Kong from January 8 to 10.

Mr Goodlad’s visit will focus on trade and industry. He will be briefed by the Secretary for Trade and Industry, Mr T H Chau, and the Senior British Trade Commissioner, Mr Francis Cornish.

Visits will include the Hong Kong Productivity Council, Swire Technologies Ltd and the British Chamber of Commerce.

2

Mr Goodlad will also call on the Governor the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, attend a session of the Executive Council and meet members of the Legislative Council.

Attention News Editors:

Mr Goodlad will arrive in Hong Kong by flight BA27 at 6 pm on Sunday (January 8). Media members are invited to cover his arrival.

He last visited Hong Kong in July 1994.

End/Thursday, January 5, 1995

Leveraged Foreign Exchange Trade Arbitration Panel membership

*****

The Acting Secretary for Financial Services, Mrs Lessie Wei, announced today (Thursday) that the Financial Secretary had appointed Mr Frank K S Wong and Mr Chris Pavlou the chairman and deputy chairman respectively of the Arbitration Panel under the Leveraged Foreign Exchange Trading Ordinance.

The Financial Secretary has also appointed the following persons members of the Arbitration Panel:

Mr Alan Chan

Mr Chu Lap Ying.

Mr Francis Chu Siu Chuen

Mr Stanley Ho Wai Hung

Mr Raymond H M Kong

Mr Davy Kwan Kwok Ki

Mr Lam Yim Nam

Mr Tommy Lee Cheuk Shun

Ms Christine Lee Man Fei

Mr Darryl Lewington

Mr Anthony Ngai

Mr Joseph Y W Pang

3

Mr Stefan F Stosik

Mr T H Suen

Mr Ronald Tam Po Chiu

Mr P S Tam

Mr Jimmy Tong

Mr Andrew Tsai

Mr Wong Fook Yuen

Mr Yiu Pak Chow

Mr Anthony K T Yuen

All the appointments are with immediate effect up to and including December 27, 1996.

Under the Leveraged Foreign Exchange Trading Ordinance, a client can require any dispute between him and a licensed trader to be settled by arbitration.

End/Thursday, January 5, 1995

Nomination for MC Elections to start on Monday

*****

Nomination of candidates for the Municipal Council (MC) Elections on March 5 will start on next Monday (January 9) and last until January 23.

Nomination must be handed in by the nominated candidate in person and received by the Returning Officer or one of his Assistant Returning Officers at the respective District Office between 9 am and 5 pm on any day other than a general holiday or a Saturday.

Nomination forms may now be obtained free of charge from any District Office or the Registration and Electoral Office (REO), 10th floor, Harbour Centre, 25 Harbour Road, Wan Chai.

An REO spokesman said for each constituency, unless there was less than two nominated candidates, a poll would be held on the election day on Sunday, March 5, 1995.

4

The spokesman said the REO had specially produced a video to help candidates to better understand the relevant election rules and guidelines.

Each candidate would receive a copy when he submitted his nomination. Prospective candidates could also approach District Offices for viewing the video before they handed in their nomination.

"We hope that through the video prospective candidates will have a general idea on the dos and don’ts in elections. We strongly advise them to study in detail the electoral rules and BEC guidelines before they launch their electioneering activities,” he said.

There will be a total of 59 single-seat MC constituencies open for nomination, 32 for the Urban Council and 27 for the Regional Council.

End/Thursday, January 5, 1995

Construction of runway exit at HK International Airport underway *****

The Civil Engineering Department (CED) today (Thursday) awarded a $9.7 million contract to Wan Hin & Co., Ltd for the construction of an additional runway exit at the Hong Kong International Airport.

The works comprise mainly the construction of 3,800 square metres of bituminous pavement and 1,400 metres of ducts for electrical wiring.

Construction will begin this month for completion in nine months.

On completion, the new runway exit will enable aircrafts to clear the runway more quickly and thus help increase the runway capacity.

The works was designed and will be supervised by the Development and Airport Division of the Civil Engineering Office, CED.

End/Thursday, January 5, 1995

5

Better fire protection for Kwai Chung residents

*****

Residents of several housing estates in Lai King Headline, Kwai Chung, have been provided with better fire protection and rescue service following the completion of the Lai King Fire Station in late 1993.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the fire station today (Thursday), Chief Fire Officer (Headquarters), Mr Hsu King-ping, pointed out that the strategic location of the station constituted essential back-up resources both for the New Territories and Kowloon Fire Commands.

The new station serves a population of 45,000 in more than 50 domestic blocks at Lai King and Lai Yiu Estates, Cho Yiu Chuen and Wonderland Villa.

"It also covers nine schools, three elderly hostels, a dozen industrial buildings and two major container terminals, one of which being the largest in the world," Mr Hsu said.

Lai King is a fast developing area and there are quite a number of sites in the vicinity which are ready for development, he added.

From January to November last year, the station answered a total of 170 fire calls and 145 special service calls.

The Fire Services Department at present operates 65 fire stations and plans to build 10 more within the next five years.

End/Thursday, January 5, 1995

6

First-day covers and postcards on ’’Year of the Pig” ♦ ♦ * * ♦

The Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) and the World Wide Fund for Nature Hong Kong (WWF HK) today (Thursday) announced the launching of two editions of first-day covers and one set of four postcards depicting the Year of the Pig for limited distribution.

The production of these items were timed to tie in with the new special stamps on pig breeds to be issued by the Post Office on the 17th of this month.

The postcards and first-day covers will be on sale from Saturday (January 7) at the WWF HK office, 1 Tramway Path, Central.

AFD's Acting Assistant Director (Agriculture), Mr Chan Chi-chiu said this was a good opportunity to introduce various pig breeds to the public and promote awareness of the importance of pigs as food animals in Hong Kong.

"Hong Kong people love to eat pork. Each person consumes about 25 kilograms of fresh pork per year. AFD has all along been working to upgrade the pig herd in local farms with introduction of modem breeds which are fast growing and lean.”

Mr Chan thanked the WWF HK for the production of these items which also increase public awareness of preserving the existing wild species of pigs.

WWF HK Senior Conservation Officer Ms Jo Ruxton said: ”Pigs are intelligent animals with a keen sense of smell and well developed hearing. They communicate incessantly with squeaks, chirrups and grunts.

’’Habitat destruction, however, threatens many wild species such as Pygmy Hog and Javan Pig. Their population are so low that only habitat protection and captive breeding programmes can save them,” she said.

She pointed out that WWF HK was working to educate the public about the threat of habitat destruction to the environment.

Further enquiries can be directed to either Miss Pauline Cheung of WWF HK on tel 2526 1011 or AFD’s Mrs Christina Lo on tel 2674 0593.

End/Thursday, January 5, 1995

7

Latest issue of’’COMAC News” published

* ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following increasing public awareness of public access to the Commissioner for Administrative Complaints (COMAC), there has been a steady increase in the number of enquiries and written complaints received by the COMAC Office.

This is revealed in the latest issue of ’’COMAC News” published today (Thursday).

For the past six months, the total number of enquiries and written complaints received were 1,656 and 565 respectively, the report said.

The next issue of "COMAC News" will be published on February 6.

Note to Editors:

For press enquiries, please contact Senior Executive Officer (Administration and Community Relations), Miss Anna Chan, on telephone 2805 7015.

End/Thursday, January 5, 1995

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations *****

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (^million)

Opening balance in the account 1,374 0930 +530

Closing balance in the account 1,485 1000 +530

Change attributable to : 1100 +530

Money market activity +531 1200 +531

LAF today -420 1500 +531

1600 +531

LAF rate 3.75% bid/5.75% offer TWI 121.6 *-0.1* 5.1.95

8

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.14 17 months 2605 6.35 98.67 7.52

1 month 5.21 23 months 2611 6.90 98.66 7.83

3 months 5.65 28 months 3704 6.15 96.36 8.05

6 months 6.36 34 months 3710 7.25 98.10 8.17

12 months 7.09 60 months 5912 8.15 99.16 8.53

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $18,644 million

Closed January 5, 1995

End/Thursday, January 5, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 842 8777

Friday, January 6,1995

Contents Page No,

Occupational Retirement Schemes (Amendment) Bill 1995 ............ 1

Improvements to Local Student Finance Scheme...................... 3

District board by-election scheduled.............................. 4

Statement on briefing out of BMFL case............................ 5

Statement on execution of Hong Kong woman......................... 5

Ceremonial opening of 1995 Legal Year............................. 6

Temporary closure of Queen’s Pier................................. 7

Tenders invited for civil engineering works at airport..........

New pre-chlorination house at Tai Lam Chung....................... 8

Sewer improvement works for Yuen Long planned..................... 8

Inquiry into sinking of ship ordered.............................. 9

Air mail services to Rwanda resume............................... 10

35 biotechnology projects apply for funding support.............. 10

54 Ex-China Vietnamese illegal immigrants repatriated........... 11

Green light for flood protection works........................... 12

Trends in empowerment of disabled persons........................ 12

Ma On Shan Outline Zoning Plan amended for housing developments. 15

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations............. 17

1

Occupational Retirement Schemes (Amendment) Bill 1995

* ♦ * ♦ ♦

The Government has proposed to amend the Occupational Retirement Schemes Ordinance to enable occupational retirement schemes to be administered and monitored more effectively.

A Government spokesman said today (Friday) that these proposed changes were in line with the Government’s objective in promoting the popularity of private sector occupational retirement schemes.

Details of the proposed amendments are contained in the Occupational Retirement Schemes (Amendment) Bill 1995 published in the Gazette today.

The spokesman said the Bill would enable scheme administrators of pooling agreements to pool together the assets of participating schemes of the same pooling agreement.

The spokesman explained that under section 21 of the existing Ordinance, administrators of schemes governed by trust were required to keep separate the assets of each scheme to help ensure that the scheme assets were not misapplied.

’’However, this requirement has caused practical problems to trustee administrators of pooling agreements where they, in practice, combine not only the administrative duties but also the assets of each participating scheme. #

’’Strict separation of assets between each of the participating schemes is costly to administer, inhibits diversification of investment and also results in lower returns for scheme members.

’’This would discourage the retirement schemes of small-scale employers from joining a pooling agreement and thus defeat the main purpose of forming such agreements.

’’Provided that the assets of each scheme are kept separate from the employer and remain under trust, their physical separation from other schemes within the pool is unnecessary,” the spokesman said.

Another proposed amendment seeks to enable scheme assets to be invested in mutual funds and in the listed shares of companies on stock markets not recognised by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC).

2

The spokesman said section 27 of the Ordinance required that no scheme assets should consist of investment in the share capital of a company or body corporate the shares of which were not listed on the Unified Exchange or any stock market recognised by the SFC.

"Concerns have been expressed by scheme administrators and their investment managers about this restrictive provision which prohibits investment in shares listed on emerging stock markets in, for example, Taiwan, Indonesia and Spain. Unintentionally, this provision also bans investment in mutual funds.

"If the bill is enacted, scheme administrators may invest scheme assets without limit in mutual funds and up to 15 per cent in the listed shares of companies on stock exchanges not recognised by the Securities and Futures Commission but legally established and regulated as stock exchanges in accordance with the laws of the jurisdictions in which they are established.

"We consider these concerns justified and propose to relax the restriction, while continuing to prohibit investment in private companies," the spokesman said.

Additionally, the Bill also seeks to impose the requirement to obtain the approval of the Registrar of Occupational Retirement Schemes to make certain changes in the registered particulars of a scheme which may materially alter the grounds upon which the scheme has been registered or exempted, and to impose penalties for breaches of such requirements.

The proposed amendments will also enable the Registrar to amend the occupational retirement scheme register where circumstances so require; to prescribe the payment of fees for requested changes in scheme particulars; to cancel the registration of a scheme upon its termination or winding up; and to make rules relating to the approval and notification procedures for changes.

The Bill will be introduced into the Legislative Council on January 18.

End/Friday, January 6, 1995

3

Improvements to Local Student Finance Scheme ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

An additional of some 6,200 tertiary students are expected to benefit from an improvement package to be introduced under the Local Student Finance Scheme from 1995/96 academic year.

The improvements to the Local Student Finance Scheme approved by the Finance Committee today (Friday) include:

(a) Exclusion of the assets of the applicants’ siblings in determining the level of financial assistance;

(b) Allowing for deduction of the accommodation expenses of the applicants’ siblings on hostel fees or rented accommodation who are studying at tertiary or post-secondary institutions as household expenses in the financial assistance calculation formula;

(c) Allowing for deduction as household expenses in the calculation formula an amount up to the Single Person Rate for Elderly Persons under the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme administered by the Social Welfare Department to cater for those applicants whose grandparents are supported by the households in local elderly homes;

(d) Allowing for the expenses on overseas compulsory field trips to be regarded as part of the academic expenses in calculating the maximum grants of the courses concerned in determining the needs of the students;

(e) Revision of the scope and the level of the Discretionary Loans to cater for students with special hardship, including disabled students in receipt of Disability Allowance;

(f) Establishment of an Extended Loan Scheme as an additional component of the Local Student Finance Scheme to help those marginally failed applicants and those successful students with a low level of financial assistance under the current scheme.

The Secretary for the Treasury has been delegated the authority to revise the ceiling of the Extended Loan in accordance with the future revisions in tuition fees.

The Controller of Student Financial Assistance Agency, Mr Alfred Wong, estimated that the total additional grants and loans under the improvement package would be $26.6 million and $55 million respectively.

4

In his policy address on October 5, 1994, the Governor announced that the Government would improve the level of financial assistance to the Hong Kong students by providing, in the coming four years, an additional $122 million in grants and $203 million in loans.

"We expect 1,400 more students to become eligible for financial assistance and 4,800 existing beneficiaries to receive higher levels of assistance," Mr Wong said.

The Local Student Finance Scheme is a means-tested scheme, which provides grants and/or loans to eligible local needy students.

The grants are intended to cover tuition fees, academic expenses and student union fees. The maximum grant varies depending on the course of studies pursued.

The loans are intended to help towards students' living and personal expenses. The financial assistance payable in each case is determined by the financial circumstances and the size of the student's family, as measured by its annual disposable income and the course of studies pursued.

Applicants who possess family assets in excess of a set limit will have their assistance reduced.

End/Friday, January 6, 1995

District board by-election scheduled * * ♦ * ♦

A by-election of a district board member for the Yau Ma Tei constituency in Yau Tsim Mong district will be held on Sunday, March 5.

The nomination of candidates will start on Monday (January 9) and last until January 23.

A Gazette notice of the by-election will be issued by the Chief Electoral Officer on Monday (January 9).

A vacancy was declared in the gazette today by the Chairman of Yau Tsim Mong District Board following the recent death of Mr Chiu Kum-hoi.

End/Friday, January 6, 1995

5

Statement on briefing out of BMFL case ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Legal Department wishes to clarify statements made by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Peter Nguyen, at his meeting with the Legislative Council Panel on Administration of Justice and Legal Services yesterday (January 5).

When discussing the role of the head of Commercial Crime Unit at the time counsel’s fees were paid in respect of the Bumiputra Malaysia Finance Ltd (BMFL) case, the Director of Public Prosecutions did not identify any particular occupant of the post or suggest that the head of that unit had in any way failed to act properly.

Nor did the Director of Public Prosecutions suggest that there were in fact any defects in any of the monitoring procedures.

He was talking in hypothetical terms as all the facts surrounding this matter have not been fully investigated.

The department is continuing to investigate all the facts of the matters and will submit a report to the LegCo panel as soon as possible.

End/Friday, January 6, 1995

Statement on execution of Hong Kong woman ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

In response to the execution of Ms Angel Mou Pui-peng in Singapore today (Friday), the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, said:

"As has happened in previous cases involving Hong Kong residents, the United Kingdom supported a plea for clemency put forward by the European Union on Ms Mou’s behalf. The Hong Kong Government fully supported and associated itself with that plea.

"We have abolished the death penalty in Hong Kong. I believe it was wholly right to have done so. I profoundly regret the use of the death penalty anywhere. I extend my deep sympathy and condolences to the family of Ms Mou."

End/Friday, January 6, 1995

6

Ceremonial opening of 1995 Legal Year *****

The ceremonial opening of the 1995 Legal Year will take place on Monday (January 9).

The ceremony organised by the Judiciary will be divided into three parts.

It will begin with a church service at 3.15 pm in the Catholic Cathedral at Caine Road.

At 5 pm, the Chief Justice, Sir Ti Liang Yang, will inspect a Military Guard of Honour at the Edinburgh Place.

Following this, there will be addresses in the Concert Hall of the City Hall which will start at 5.15 pm. The four speakers will be the Chief Justice, Sir Ti Liang Yang; the Attorney General, Mr Jeremy Mathews; the Chairman of the Hong Kong Bar Association, Mr Ronny F H Wong; and the President of the Law Society of Hong Kong, Mr Roderick B Woo.

Media representatives are invited to cover the ceremony. There will be press positions at all venues:

Press assemble time : Catholic Cathedral 3 pm

Edinburgh Place 4.45 pm

Concert Hall 5 pm

The parade will last about five minutes. Photographers are advised to bring along telephoto lenses. After the parade, the press will be escorted up to the right box of the Concert Hall. -*

End/Friday, January 6, 1995

7

Temporary closure of Queen's Pier

*****

The Marine Department announced today (Friday) that all the landing steps of Queen's Pier in Central would be temporarily closed for maritime traffic from 4 pm to 5.30 pm on Monday (January 9) to facilitate the Ceremonial Opening of the 1995 Legal Year at Edinburgh Place.

No vessel will be allowed to berth at any of the landing steps of Queen's Pier during the closure period.

Small craft owners and operators are advised to use other public landing facilities within the period. There are public landing steps along the waterfronts at Sheung Wan and Wan Chai.

End/Friday, January 6, 1995

Tenders invited for civil engineering works at airport

*****

The Civil Engineering Department is inviting tenders for maintenance and construction of minor civil engineering works at the airport for 1995-1997.

The works include maintenance of runway, aircraft pavements, markings, roads, bridges, car parks, drainage and miscellaneous works, as well as construction of minor civil engineering works within the airport boundary.

The project is expected to start in May and will take 24 months to complete.

Tender forms and further particulars can be obtained from the Chief Engineer, Development and Airport Division, Civil Engineering Office, Civil Engineering Department, second floor, Civil Engineering Building, 101 Princess Margaret Road, Ho Man Tin, Kowloon.

Tender offer will close at noon on January 27.

End/Friday, January 6, 1995

8

New pre-chlorination house at Tai Lam Chung

*****

The Water Supplies Department is inviting tenders for the construction of a new pre-chlorination house near Tai Lam Chung Reservoir.

The works will also include improvement and extension of the existing access road, construction of a vehicular bridge, conversion of the existing pre- chlorination house to a pumping station as well as laying of water mains and associated works.

It is anticipated that the works will commence in March for completion in 18 months.

Tender forms and further particulars can be obtained from the Water Supplies Department, 44th floor, Immigration Tower, 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

Tender offers will close at noon on January 27.

End/Friday, January 6, 1995

Sewer improvement works for Yuen Long planned * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government plans to improve the existing sewer network in Yuen Long District.

This project will involve the construction of a sewage rising main within an area of about 600 square metres of foreshore and sea-bed in the district.

The works will begin in July for completion in December 1996.

The extent of the area affected is described in the Gazette today (Friday).

9

The notice and its related plan can be seen at the Lands Department's Survey and Mapping Office, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong; and at the Yuen Long District Office, ground floor, Yuen Long District Branch Offices Building, 269 Castle Peak Road, Yuen Long.

Any person who considers that his interest, right or easement in or over the foreshore and sea-bed involved will be affected by the above undertaking may submit a written objection to the Director of Lands on or before March 6.

End/Friday, January 6, 1995

Inquiry into sinking of ship ordered *****

The Director of Marine, Mr Allan Pyrke, has ordered a preliminary inquiry into the circumstances attending a Hong Kong-registcrcd bulk carrier, the You Xiu, which stranded on the breakwater at Constanta, Romania and subsequently sank yesterday (Thursday).

In accordance with Section 51(1) of the Merchant Shipping Ordinance, Mr Pyrke this (Friday) afternoon appointed a Senior Surveyor of Ships, Mr John McPartland, to conduct the preliminary inquiry.

The ship had a crew of 27. Only the chief engineer is a Hong Kong resident and the rest came from China.

According to reports received by the Marine Department, two ships had sunk in a storm and five bodies have been recovered from beaches south of Constanta of which three were identified as ethnic Chinese.

End/Friday. January 6, 1995

10

Air mail services to Rwanda resume *****

All air mail services to Rwanda, which have been suspended since May 13 last year, are now resumed, the Postmaster General, Mr Mike Pagliari, announced today (Friday).

Surface mail services to that country remain suspended.

Mr Pagliari noted that because of the substantial damage to numerous Rwandan postal establishments, mail for the interior of the country would, for the time being, took longer than in the past to be delivered.

End/Friday, January 6, 1995

35 biotechnology projects apply for funding support *****

A total of 35 applications from the biotechnology sector have been submitted for funding support under the Additional Funding for Industrial Support Scheme.

More than $200 million of funds will be set aside in the 1995/96 financial year.

The Assistant Director-General of Industry, Mr Raymond Young, said this today (Friday) at the opening ceremony of the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) Information Centre and Workshop held at the City University of Hong Kong.

"This represents the largest number of applications from any industrial sector," he said.

"The workshop, which is supported by a grant from the Biotechnology Committee of the Industry and Technology Development Council, demonstrates how funded projects benefit industrial development in the territory," he added.

Mr Young said another 10 projects, which included biotechnology-related projects, had received funding support in the form of equity participation or loan provision totalling $35 million from the Applied Research and Development Fund Scheme in 1994/95.

Il

He urged companies interested in applied research and development to send in their applications for funding support under the scheme which is ongoing throughout the year.

"In the next financial year, a new scheme providing funding support to those companies pooling resources of local and Chinese experts in undertaking applied research and development work, will be launched. Preparatory work for the scheme is under way," he added.

Also speaking at the opening ceremony was the chairman of the Biotechnology Committee, Mr Y L Lo.

"The workshop is to assist Hong Kong pharmaceutical and allied industries to further develop and get a larger share of the international and local markets by investing in GMP management and facilities," he said.

Beginning today, the one and a half day workshop briefly introduces the concept, philosophy and implementation of GMP for pharmaceutical and allied industries.

"Since GMP requirements may vary from country to country and from product to product, professionals from China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and USA have been invited to speak on these topics and describe the GMP regulations and implementation experiences in their countries," he added.

End/Friday, January 6, 1995

54 Ex-China Vietnamese illegal immigrants repatriated *****

A total of 54 Ex-China Vietnamese illegal immigrants (ECVIIs) comprising 26 men, 13 women, nine boys and six girls were returned to Nanning, Guangxi by air this morning (Friday).

Discussions are continuing with the Chinese authorities on the repatriation of the 390 ECVIIs still remaining in Hong Kong.

End/Friday, January 6, 1995

12

Green light for flood protection works *****

The Governor-in-Council has given authorisation for the Drainage Services Department to proceed with a village flood protection project in San Tin, Yuen Long.

The works of the project involve the construction of an earth bund, a pumping station and a flood storage pond within an area of about 1.62 hectares of foreshore and • sea-bed.

The project will alleviate flooding at Tung Chan Wai, Wing Ping Tsuen, On Lung Tsuen, Fan tin Tsuen, San Lung Tsuen, Yan Shau Wai and Tsing Lung Tsuen.

The works will begin in October for completion in March 1998.

The extent of the area affected is described in a Gazette notice published today (Friday).

The notice and its related plan can be seen at the Lands Department's Survey and Mapping Office. 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road. Hong Kong; and at the Yuen Long District Office, ground floor. Yuen Long District Branch Offices Building. 269 castle Peak road. Yuen Long. •

Any person who considers that his interest, right or easement in or over the foreshore and sea-bed involved will be affected by the above undertaking may send a written claim for compensation to the Director of Lands before January 6, 1996.

He should state in his submission the sum of money he is willing to accept in full and final settlement of his claim and submit particulars to substantiate his claim.

End/Friday, January 6. 1995

Trends in empowerment of disabled persons

*****

The aim of rehabilitation, which is explicitly spelt out in the theme of the Green Paper on Rehabilitation published in 1992, is to enable disabled persons to have as many and equal opportunity in society as ordinary people.

This was stated by Director of Social Welfare, Mr lan Strachan, when he delivered a speech entitled "Policies and Future Trends in the Empowerment of Disabled Persons" at the plenary session of Wai Ji Training Centre's 15th Anniversary at City University of Hong Kong today (Friday).

13

’’Rehabilitation policies all point to this direction. In a sense, all such policies are geared towards empowering d isabled persons to achieve this aim,’’ Mr Strachan said.

Noting that disabled persons in Hong Kong enjoyed the same opportunity for compulsory education as their ordinary counterparts, Mr Strachan said those who could not enter the mainstream were provided special education with various levels of enhanced support.

’’Education is the most effective means to empower individuals, particularly the underprivileged, for upward mobility in society.

"Education brings opportunity. Educated disabled persons not only have a better mastery of their environment, they also become more informed about their rights and obligations. These are the essential motivators for empowerment," he said.

Pointing out that not every disabled persons could fully realise their potential even with the benefits of universal education, Mr Strachan said a spectrum of social rehabilitation programmes were therefore developed for people with various degree of disability and hence different needs.

These programmes include vocational training, supported employment, sheltered work, day activity centres and residential services.

He said disabled persons were empowered through these programmes to make use of available opportunities for achievements to stretch the limits of their capabilities.

On empowerment through participation, the Director of Social Welfare said the policy was for rehabilitation to take place in the community in interaction with the public at large.

"On one hand, the more chances disabled persons have to participate in community life, the more they become integrated in it.

"On the other, the more disabled persons are integrated in society, the more they can contribute towards it and take part in social and political processes," he said.

Pointing out that disabled persons were represented in many of the consultation and policy-making venues such as the Rehabilitation Development Co-ordinating Committee and its sub-committees, Mr Strachan said he looked forward to seeing them going further and contributing to the making of social policies in general.

14

Turning to empowerment through self-help, Mr Strachan said he had noted that an increasing number of self-help groups had become more active over the last couple of years.

"Through self-help, disabled persons or their parents become more resourceful, more sustained in the rehabilitation process and more enriched in social life.

"Besides, they are empowered by their collectivity in soliciting more social concern and public resources for their welfare.

"Recognising these benefits, I am sure the Government will continue to encourage the self-help spirit," Mr Strachan said.

On community support for disabled persons, he said new services such as parents resource centres and community rehabilitation networks were set up to provide information to disabled persons and their families, to help them acquire the needed community resources and to make use of services.

"Other support such as respite care, occasional child care, home-help service, family resource and activity centre, to name just a few, have been available to the carers of disabled persons to empower them in performing and sustaining their caring role in the family.

"This trend will continue. Other innovative approaches in providing community support to families with disabled members will continue to be seen in our community," he said.

Turning to empowerment through legislation, Mr Strachan said the government was actively drafting an anti- discrimination law to protect disabled persons.

"When this is enacted, disabled persons will not be unreasonably denied access to education, employment, services and various areas in social life. This certainly has a great empowering effect," he added.

End/Friday, January 6, 1995

15

Ma On Shan Outline Zoning Plan amended for housing developments *****

The Town Planning Board today (Friday) announced amendments to the draft Ma On Shan Outline Zoning Plan.

"The amendments are to incorporate land use proposals in the Ma On Shan South area, which covers Planning Areas 77 and 82 as well as parts of 86 and 90 with about 59 hectares of land," a spokesman for the board said.

Land use proposals have now been incorporated for the ’Undetermined’ zone to the west of Ma On Shan Road in Planning Areas 77 and 90.

These include a ’Residential (Group A)' zone, with an area of 4.11 hectares, for a public rental housing cum Home Ownership Scheme development of 3,100 flats; a 'Residential (Group B)2' (R(B)2) zone for Sandwich Class Housing and private residential development; a ’Commercial’ (C) zone for commercial or office development; ’Open Space’ (O) zones comprising a 1.6-kilometre waterfront promenade, and 'Government/Institution/Community' (G1C) zones for the development of schools, health and welfare facilities.

"There arc one Sandwich Class Housing site of 1.49 hectares and six private housing sites of 9.33 hectares Within the 'R(B)2‘ zone in Planning Areas 77 and 90. They are expected to produce 1,150 and 6,000 flats respectively," the spokesman said.

Other amendments include rezoning the 'Industrial' (I) and 'O' zones and 'Road' in Planning Area 86 to 'R(B’)2', 'C, 'GIO, 'Other Specified Uses' annotated 'Petrol Filling Station' and 'Road'; and rezoning ’R(B)2' in Planning Area 90 to 'GIC.

A small Country Park area apposite Nai Chung Village has also been rezoned from 'Green Belt' (GB) to 'Country Park' (CP) to reflect the existing use of the site.

"The 'R(B)2' zone in Planning Area 86. which has an area of 1.74 hectares, has been reserved for Sandwich Class Housing for producing 1.350 flats.

"Upon full development, the Ma On Shan South area will accommodate 29,600 people." the spokesman noted.

I he amendment plan (No. S/MOS/3) is available for public inspection until January' 27 from :

16

* Planning Department, 16th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road.

Hong Kong;

* Sha Tin and North East District Planning Office.

Sha Tin Government Offices.

ground floor.

Tung Lo Wan Hill Road, Sha Tin;

* Sha Tin District Office.

6th floor. KCRC House.

Sha Tin Station.

Sha Tin; and

* Tai Po District Office, Tai Po Government Offices, Ting Kok Road, Tai Po.

Any person affected by the amendment plan may submit written objection to the Secretary’ of the Town Planning Board, c/o Planning Department, 13th floor, Murray Building before January 27.

Copies of the draft plan can be bought at the Survey and Mapping Office, Lands Department, 14th floor, Murray Building, and the Kowloon Map Sales Office, ground floor, 382 Nathan Road, Kowloon.

End/Friday, January 6. 1995

17

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations ♦ ♦ ♦ * *

$ million Time (hours.) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,485 0930 +368

Closing balance in the account 1.323 1000 +368

Change attributable to : 1100 +354

Money market activity +356 1200 +356

LAF today -518 1500 +356

1600 +356

LAF rate 3.75% bid/5.75% offer TW1 121.5 *-0.1* 6.1.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.06 17 months 2605 6.35 98.67 7.54

1 month 5.20 23 months 2611 6.90 98.66 7.83

3 months 5.66 28 months 3704 6.15 96.35 8.06

6 months 6.35 34 months 3710 7.25 98.09 8.18

12 months 7.09 60 months 5912 8.15 99.15 8.54

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $13,640 million

Closed January 6, 1995

End/Friday, January 6, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 842 8777

Saturday, January 7,1995

Contents Page No.

Governor talks about authority of government........................... 1

Transcript of Governor's media session................................. 2

Preliminary study of possible impact of US Special 301 action on HK completed.............................................................. 6

Measures to reduce traffic accident toll continuing.................... 7

Asia's finest police keep HK safe and secure........................... 9

Fire and chemical safety campaign completed............................ 9

Fresh water cut in Causeway Bay....................................... 10

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations............... 11

Sunday, January 8,1995

Contents Page No.

Sixty suspended bridge deck units assembled........................... 12

Information books detail social welfare facilities.................... 13

Mild and wet December: report......................................... 14

1

Governor talks about authority of government * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Hong Kong has to ensure that everything it does supports rather than undermines the authority of government and government continues right through 1997, the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, said this (Saturday) morning.

Speaking to reporters after taking the salute of a passing-out parade at the Police Training School, Mr Patten said: "What we have to ensure is first of all that everything we do is in line with the Joint Declaration.

"Secondly, we have to ensure that everything we do is in the best interest of Hong Kong.

"I'm concerned about the authority of government and the credibility of government before 1997 and obviously there are those who will be concerned about the authority and credibility of government after 1997."

In response to questions about the fall of property prices, the Governor said: "I think that much as people were worried about property prices soaring last year, in my experience and the experience of other communities, in North America, in Europe for example, something that worries people even more than property prices going up too fast is property prices falling too rapidly, specially when people’s assets, when their savings are very often tied up in their property.

"So, I think it’s always a question of trying to ensure, in so far as you can, that you strike a reasonable balance."

Mr Patten, however, reiterated the Government’s commitment to meet the housing needs of Hong Kong people as far as possible.

"We have to go on as far as we can as a government, making home ownership available to as many people as possible and we have particular schemes for helping those who are on the margins financially in being able to afford their own homes," he added.

End/Saturday, January 7, 1995

2

Transcript of Governor's media session ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The following is a transcript of the media session by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, after taking the salute of a passing-out parade at the Police Training School this (Saturday) moming:-

Govemor: I'll say a word on my way in, then you can all shoot off and enjoy the rest of the day. I’ve very much enjoyed visiting the Police Training School again. It’s a great privilege to take part in the passing-out parade. We have, as I said in my speech, one of the best police forces in the world and I think you have seen for yourselves the calibre of those who are entering the Police is exceptionally high, women and men. We've been able in Hong Kong largely because of effective policing but also because of the social and economic stability in our community to achieve reductions in violent crime in the last few years. Obviously, there're no grounds at all for complacency and there are some problems which continue to give us cause for concern, particularly a subject which I have mentioned, before the incidence of drug abuse. But we can, I think, remain confident that we have one of the best crime fighting forces anywhere and I want to pay a particular tribute to all those involved in the training of our police here at the Training School.

Question: Yesterday Mr Eason said that property price will be lower a little bit, do you agree ... to have their own property...?

Governor: I think it's extremely difficult to predict movements in property prices. They’re affected by a number of factors and it’s obviously, as I made clear last year, difficult, indeed dangerous, for governments to intervene too directly in the property market. The measures that we took last year were focussed on that part of the problem which, I think, governments can and should affect, that is the availability of accommodations and the supply of new homes. I think that much as people were worried about property prices soaring last year, in my experience and the experience of other communities, in North America, in Europe for example, something that worries people even more than property prices going up too fast is property prices falling too rapidly, specially when people's assets when their savings are very often tied out in their property. So, I think it's always a question of trying to ensure, in so far as you can, that you strike a reasonable balance. In Hong Kong, one of the enduring realities is going to be that there is, on the whole, a shortage of land and because of Hong Kong's past, present and continuing success, there'll always be a large demand for the short supply of land that actually exists, which will have an effect on prices. Short-term movements may sometimes mean a jump in prices or sometimes a fall. But I don’t think that any government which should sensibly be pushed into taking measures which would be unwise in the long term by what happens in the short term.

3

There are two other points I want to make. First of all, we have to go on as far as we can as a government, making home ownership available to as many people as possible and we have particular schemes for helping those who are on the margins financially in being able to afford their own homes.

And secondly, whatever happens to markets in the short term, the fundamentals in Hong Kong as far as our economy is concerned are as strong as any in the world. Just look at our own finances' We've seen recently in Mexico and elsewhere concerns about the financial situations of developing economies. We've looked at the European Community where there are countries whose public deficits are greater than their gross national product. Here in Hong Kong, we have a very sound financial position. We have a very sound trading position. All the fundamentals remain exceptionally strong and that will be an enduring reality in Hong Kong this year, next year and beyond.

Question: But from the beginning of this year, the Hong Kong stock market has fallen sharply, so do you think that this year's economy will be worse than last year ?

Governor: No, we've made our predictions about economic growth for the coming year and we hold to them. There've been some suggestions in the financial press of a slight fall in consumer spending. At the same time, analysts have pointed to an increase in investment in infrastructure which should take up the slack in any form fall in consumer spending. So we remain prudent but positive about the future course of Hong Kong's economy. The Financial Secretary said last year that people of a nervous disposition shouldn't spend too much time in stock exchanges. That's true in everywhere from Wall Street to Hong Kong. It's not for me to predict or comment on day to day rises or falls in the stock market. I leave that to stock brokers who are handsomely rewarded for their endeavours.

Question: Governor, by your future plan to work with the Chinese side for the Preparatory Committee .... is it a preconditioned one or a selective one ?

Governor: No, the only preconditions I set were ones I imagine everybody would agree with including the Chinese side. What we have to ensure is first of all that everything we do is in line with the Joint Declaration. Secondly, we have to ensure that everything we do is in the best interest of Hong Kong. Thirdly, we have to ensure that everything we do supports rather than undermines the authority of government, and government continues right through 1997. I'm concerned about the authority of government and the credibility of government before 1997 and obviously there are those who will be concerned about the authority and credibility of government after 1997. I'm sure that any sensible Chinese officials would recognise that the authority of the government before 1997 is important to ensure that the SAR government itself in 1997 gets off to the best possible start. So there aren't any preconditions except those which touch on the well-being and the fundamental interest of I long Kong.

4

I should perhaps mention one other. All of us want to make certain that we have as smooth a transition for the civil service as possible. You know and the community knows that we have one of the best civil services anywhere. We have a civil service of exemplary professionalism. We have a civil service which has been clean and has given Hong Kong good service over the years. We have some outstanding local civil servants who are now moving in to all the senior positions of government and it should be everybody's concern to ensure that their morale is as high as possible. The questions which are asked, I don't say this in a provocative way, it is a statement of fact, the questions that are asked don't concern what happens before June 30, 1997, the questions arc about what happens from July 1, 1997. The more those questions can be responded to in a positive, quiet, constructive way, the better. One more question.

Question: That means you have detected that there are threats to undermine the existing authority or your concern are ungrounded ?

Governor: No, I've just stated what I think should be not a condition but a recognition of the importance of good government to Hong Kong's well-being and that is that the authority of Hong Kong's government have to remain as high as possible and this year, next year, the year after and beyond. It doesn’t do anybody any good to try to undermine the credibility of government.

Question: Governor, a couple of Legislative Councillors have expressed the decision not to stand in this year's Legco election and some of them have said that they lost confidence in Chinese rule in future and because there is no through train. Do you think that this kind of feel will prevail and affect the competition and representation.... in the coming elections....?

Governor: No, I think that there would be vigorous campaigns for all the elections just as there were for the district board elections and I very much hope that people in Hong Kong whether it's candidates or campaigners or above all is voters will make clear during the course of the year their commitment to representative government in Hong Kong. It's what has been promised to the people of Hong Kong in the Joint Declaration and the best way of ensuring the survival of Hong Kong’s values, the survival of the rule of law and the survival of the sort of government and the sort of society which people enjoy in Hong Kong. It's for people to make it clear through their own actions, through their own votes, through their own behaviour that those are things which greatly and deeply concern them. I think they do.

Question: Return to the OPS...

Governor: I said one more question. You are imaginative.

5

Question: With reference to the Chinese official’s clear and loud opposition to the OPS, will the government opt for other proposals ?

Governor: I answered similar questions at considerable length in the Legislative Council in December. I don't think I could usefully add to what I said then. I stand by every word of what I said in the Legislative Council on that occasion.

Question: But after Director Lu Ping's clear and loud inclination to the mandatory retirement scheme, will the government re-consider ...?

Governor: It's perfectly clear that if Chinese officials denounce proposals for a pension scheme and if business or many representatives of business denounce the very sensible proposals that we put forward for a pension scheme then if we are looking are a consensus, we have to consider the argument again very carefully. A pension scheme by definition is going to be brought in principally for effect after 1997 and therefore one has to take account of the reality which you've just mentioned. I think it's a pity that there hasn't been more widespread support and endorsement for the pension proposals that we put forward, because I still think that they represent the best way forward but we said when we produced our proposals that they were a consultation document, it's a genuine consultation document. We are now considering all the submissions and we'll put forward proposals again in due course. What I don't want to do is to connive at postponement or delay. The community has been debating this issue for 30 years. Is it going to be any easier to deal with the issue in 1997 or will there then be arguments for delay in the mean time the elderly have needs when we have cold weather as we have over the last few days ? The needs of the elderly are even more apparent to all of us. We've been trying to deal with those needs through improving services for the elderly after the report of our working party on the needs of the elderly last August, but we've also obviously got to look at their financial needs. Everybody knows that. Sooner or later, those are social obligations which the community should discharge and certainly has the money to discharge. We’re a well off community. The biggest social problem we have is caring for the elderly and we've got to make some decisions about that. 1 hope that some of those who criticise our very sensible proposals haven't done so on political grounds. I very hope that they'll put the needs of the elderly first. That's certainly what we've been doing.

End/Saturday, January 7, 1995

6

Preliminary study of possible impact of US Special 301 action on HK completed ♦ * * * *

The Trade Department has, in conjunction with the Census and Statistics Department and the Economic Analysis Division, completed a preliminary study of the possible impact on Hong Kong's re-export trade, if the United States Government did implement in full its proposed retaliation list against Chinese imports.

"This preliminary study suggests that if the list was implemented in full in 1993, as much as US$1.45 billion of Hong Kong’s re-export that year could have been affected," Deputy Director-General of Trade, Mr Thomas Yiu, said today (Saturday).

"The Hong Kong re-export items that might be hardest hit, in value terms, include electrical products, plastic articles, furniture items, ceramic household ware and footwear," he said.

"This confirms our concern that US Special 301 retaliation against Chinese products could have knock-on effect on Hong Kong's trade and economy.

"The proposed retaliation list, if implemented, would inadvertently affect Hong Kong traders and their legitimate trade interests, which have nothing to do with the intellectual property rights (IPR) issue between China and the US."

The proposed list was published by the US Government on December 31, 1994 for public comment, as part of its proposed way forward for the investigation on China's IPR practices under the US Special 301 provisions.

Mr Yiu said: "This preliminary study is the first part of the Government's overall assessment of the potential impact on Hong Kong's trade and economy, if the US proposed list was implemented in full."

"The final comprehensive assessment will incorporate the present study on reexports, and cover other direct or indirect effects on our economy.

"Once that is done, we will pass it to the US Government and emphasise our hope that Hong Kong's interests should be taken into account in any decisions which the US may take."

On publishing the retaliation list on December 31, 1994, the US also announced the extension of the Special 301 investigation on China to February 4, 1995, in the light of the need for further time for negotiations to resolve remaining issues.

7

The list, which the US estimates covers about US$2.8 billion of Chinese imports into the US during the 12 months ending September 30, 1994, has been published for public comment until January 30, 1995,

It is one of the US Administration’s proposals for comment that, in the event of a final determination for retaliation against China, Chinese products to be targetted should be drawn from the list and subject to increased tariffs of up to 100 per cent.

Mr Yiu said: "During this period, interested persons can submit written comments, or oral comments at the public hearings scheduled for January 24 - 25. Some of our traders may wish to consider participating in that procedure.

"We are therefore passing our findings on re-export to chambers of commerce, general trade associations and associations of the specific trades affected by the list. We will also as far as possible consider requests from traders for other assistance."

Commenting on reports that China and the US would be resuming talks in midJanuary, Mr Yiu said: "We have consistently said that this is a bilateral trade issue which should be resolved by the two sides through dialogue."

"We remain hopeful that the two sides will reach a resolution and avoid any retaliatory actions," he added.

End/Saturday. January 7, 1995

Measures to reduce traffic accident toll continuing *****

The Government is attacking the problem of traffic accident toll increase on many fronts by a very diverse range of counter measures.

Speaking at the prize-giving ceremony of a drawing and logo-writing competition of the Road Safety Association held today (Saturday), the Commissioner for Transport, Mr Rafael Hui, described traffic accident casualties as "one of the greatest epidemics of our time".

He pointed out that in 1994. almost 21.000 people were injured on the roads of Hong Kong , of them, about 300 people were killed, almost one death each day.

"Fortunately, this epidemic does respond to treatment," he said.

8

"Stringent testing of vehicles and drivers, compulsory wearing of seat belts, education programmes, publicity, Road Safety patrols, traffic management measures and efficient enforcement by the Police have all helped to reduce the accident toll," Mr Hui said.

The programme to reduce road accidents and injuries is ongoing.

"In 1995, the Government plans to place comprehensive proposals before the Legislative Council on drink driving. We also plan to extend compulsory seat belt wearing to rear-seat passengers in private cars," Mr Hui said.

He noted that the Police had also introduced the Selective Traffic Enforcement Policy, under which they specifically targeted their enforcement activities at accident blackspots, and at those traffic offences that were known to be major contributory causes of accidents.

"One of the greatest weapons in the fight for safer roads is undoubtedly to be found in increasing public awareness of the dangers which we face on the roads. All projects that help in enhancing road safety awareness are to be recommended," Mr Hui said.

He said the drawing and logo-writing competition was intentionally aimed at young people under 35 years of age - the group which made up over 60 per cent of all traffic accident casualties.

School children in the five to 15 age group are the most at-risk group as pedestrians, whilst the 20 to 35-year-olds are the most at-risk group overall. Raising road safety awareness among these young people is a matter of vital importance.

The other aims of the competition arc to arouse the interest and talents of these young people in drawing and logo writing, and to foster an understanding and appreciation of road safety matters.

"These objectives have been achieved admirably. Over 2,000 very high quality competition entries have been received. All those who entered are to be congratulated for their efforts," Mr Hui said.

End/Saturday, January 7, 1995

9

Asia’s finest police keep HK safe and secure *****

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, today (Saturday) described the Police as the most professional and respected police force in Asia, a Force who have helped to produce one of the safest cities in the world.

Speaking at a passing-out parade of the Police Training School, he said Hong Kong had a crime rate lower than Tokyo, London and even Singapore.

"Hong Kong people expect the highest standards of their police officers; day in, day out, the Royal Hong Kong Police Force meets those standards,” he said.

Mr Patten told the new recruits and eight probationary inspectors promoted from Station Sergeant rank that their mission was to uphold the rule of law and to protect the freedoms and rights provided by the law.

"Six million people are relying on you; relying on their police force to keep Hong Kong the decent society it is today, a safe and good place to live and to bring up a family.

"By completing your basic training, you have shown that you have the qualities needed to be a police officer in Hong Kong - the discipline, the pride in your work, the intelligence and the physical skills needed.

"You are going to serve Hong Kong at one of the most challenging periods in her history. Hong Kong owes you a great deal," he said.

End/Saturday, January 7, 1995

Fire and chemical safety campaign completed *****

The Labour Department has completed a two-month campaign to alert both employers and employees in the industrial sector to the importance of fire and chemical safety especially in the dry season.

During the campaign held from October to December 1994, factory inspectors made 10,679 inspections of factories housed in poorly managed buildings as well as factories with large quantities of flammable substances and dangerous chemicals.

10

The safety message was conveyed to employers and employees alike while some 6,000 publications on dangerous substances were distributed.

Deputy Chief Factory Inspector, Mr Kan Hon-sang, said 404 summonses were issued against proprietors in the course of the campaign.

"Of these, 247 were issued under the fire safety regulations, involving locking exit doors and obstructing means of escape.

"Twenty-four were for failing to comply with the provisions under the Factories and Industrial Undertakings (Dangerous Substances) Regulations, two for non-compliance with the terms of prohibition notices and 131 for contravening other safety regulations," he explained.

Six employees were prosecuted for breaching fire safety precautions.

Mr Kan cautioned employers and employees not to relax precautions on fire and chemical safety although the campaign had concluded.

"The factory inspectorate will continue to ensure that fire and chemical safety regulations are observed in industrial undertakings at all times.

"Vigorous enforcement action will be taken without prior warning against serious fire safety offences such as locking of exit doors and obstructing means of escape," he added.

End/Saturday, January 7, 1995

Fresh water cut in Causeway Bay *****

Fresh water supply to some premises in Causeway Bay will be suspended from 11 pm on Monday (January 9) to 6 am the following day to facilitate water mains leakage detection.

The suspension will affect all the premises at 256-281 Gloucester Road, 470-532 and 477-539 Jaffe Road, 485-545 and 486 556 Lockhart Road, 483-555 Hennessy Road, 1-5 Great George Street, 2-46 Percival Street, Cannon Street and East Point Road.

End/Saturday, January 7, 1995

11

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million Time (hours.) Cumulative Change ($ million)

Opening balance in the account 1,323 09:30 +450

Closing balance in the account 1,449 10:00 +450

Change attributable to: 11:00 +450

Money market activity +451 11:30 +451

LAF today -325 15:00

LAF rate 3.75% bid/ 5.75% offer TWI 121.6 *+0.P 7.1.95

End/Saturday, January 7, 1995

12

Sixty suspended bridge deck units assembled *****

Sixty steel deck units for the Tsing Ma Bridge have been assembled at a site in Shatian in Dongguan, southern China.

A total of 96 units are required for the suspended span, which measures 1,732 metres, including the 1,377-metre main span.

About 900 engineers, technicians, welders and other skilled workers are working on the assembly of these units, said Project Director of the Lantau Fixed Crossing Management Office, Highways Department, Mr K C Yeung.

On average, six or seven units are assembled at the site every month. Each unit weighs about 420 tonnes and the total weight of steel parts to be assembled will be around 40,000 tonnes.

Each unit is 18 metres long, 7.5 metres high and 41 metres wide.

The four-hectare site in Shatian is conveniently located by the Pearl River for easy loading and unloading.

"The main frames of the deck units arc fabricated in the UK and Japan, while some ancillary components are produced in Australia and Korea," Mr Yeung said.

The parts are shipped to the site. They are cleaned and grit-blasted before being coated with anti-corrosive paint.

In a sub-assembly stage, the smallest units are bolted or welded together to form intermediate units. These are then similarly connected to become a single deck unit.

Mr Yeung noted that assembly work began in October 1993 with the arrival of the first batch of components. The last shipment is due to arrive this month.

"Deck units adjacent to each other are assembled to form 36-metre long "assembled units". The fit-up between these assembled units will be checked to avoid problems in fitting the units when erection takes place in Hong Kong," he said.

"Assembled units will then be transported by barges down the river to the Tsing Ma Bridge site.

13

"High standards have been set for the assembly work. About 60 quality control technicians are employed to check the quality of components and ensure that the assembly work is up to the required standard," said Mr Yeung.

For example, the tolerance level in the accuracy in length for each 18-metre long deck unit is only plus or minus six millimetres.

Four assembly lines have been established at Shatian according to the sequence in which the units will be erected. Assembled units are arranged in such a way that the first unit in each line will also be the first ones shipped to Hong Kong for erection.

To facilitate transport, the lead unit in each line is assembled closest to the jetty on site. These units will be taken from the "head" of a line to the jetty by special multiaxle carriers.

These carriers are also used to move units at the assembly area to make sure that the end unit of a line properly fits the front unit of the following line.

Erection will start from the middle of the main span and work towards the towers of the Tsing Ma Bridge. Erection of side span elements will be sequenced with the main span to balance loads on the tower.

"Erection of the first section for the suspended deck of the bridge is expected to take place this summer," Mr Yeung said.

Work on the 2.2-kilometre bridge is being undertaken by the Anglo Japanese Construction Joint Venture under a $7.14 billion contract. The joint venture's subcontractor. Argos Engineering and Heavy Industries Co Ltd, is responsible for the assembly work at Dongguan.

End/Sunday, January 8, 1995

Information books detail social welfare facilities *****

A set of information books in English containing details of social welfare facilities in each district in the territory is now available for public knowledge.

Copies of the October 1994 edition of the information books have been placed at all regional and district offices of the Social Welfare Department as well as district offices of the City and New Territories Administration.

14

’’Members of the public who are interested in such information can approach any of these offices and ask to see the books which have to be returned after reading,” a spokesman for the Social Welfare Department said today (Sunday).

’’They can also call the department's hotline 2343 2255 in case they have any queries about the books," the spokesman said.

The books contain three parts: a glossary on the types of social welfare facilities and explanation about the services provided, a list of existing welfare facilities in each district and another list of facilities being planned in the district.

"The Chinese version of the information books is being prepared and will be published when it is available," he added.

End/Sunday, January 8, 1995

Mild and wet December: report ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A monthly weather report published today (Sunday) by the Royal Observatory said December 1994 was mild, cloudy and wet.

The mean temperature of 19.8 degrees and the mean minimum temperature of 18.2 degrees were both the second highest for December since record began in 1884.

It was also cloudy with total duration of bright sunshine amounting to only 70.2 hours, the lowest for December.

Heavy rain fell on December 8 and the flood warning was issued for the first time ever in December. The total rainfall of 122.6 millimetres in the month was the fourth highest for December.

The weather during the first two days of the month was warm and generally cloudy. A surge of the northeast monsoon reached the territory on the early morning of December 3 and strong winds affected offshore areas most of the day. Winds turned northerly in the evening bringing cooler temperatures.

The dry northerlies cleared the clouds on December 4 and it remained cool and dry for the next day.

15

Cloudy weather returned on December 6 and 7. A moist easterly airstream brought periods of heavy rain on December 8 with 58.9 millimetres recorded at the Royal Observatory on that day.

More than 160 millimetres fell over the Sai Kung area. During the downpour, two catamarans collided at the mouth of Shekou Channel off Tuen Mun.

The weather remained cloudy with light rain on December 9. It became humid with morning mist on December 10 and 11. Temperatures were generally on the rise as winds turned southeasterly.

The month's highest temperature of 25.7 degrees was reached on the afternoon of December 12. In the evening, a cold front arrived at the South China coast from the north and temperatures fell nearly 10 degrees by the next morning.

With replenishment of the winter monsoon, cool and mainly fine weather persisted from December 13 to 23. Temperatures fell to the month's lowest of 13.7 degrees early in the morning of December 22.

On December 24, Severe Tropical Storm Axel over the South China Sea resulted in a moist easterly airstream over the territory. The weather in Hong Kong turned overcast with rain over the Christmas holidays. A total of 48.6 millimetres of rain were recorded on December 24 and 25.

Rain eased off on December 26 and there were some bright periods from December 27 until the end of the month.

There were two tropical cyclones over the western North Pacific and the South China Sea in December.

Details of the issuance/hoisting and cancel lation/lowering of various wamings/signals in the month are summarised in Table 1.1. Monthly meteorological figures and departures from normal of December are tabulated in Table 1.2.

16

Table 1.1 Warnings and signals in December 1994

Warnings / Signals Effective date and time

Flood Warning 8 Dec 1330- 8 Dec 1730

Strong Monsoon Warnings 3 Dec 0530- 4 Dec 0500 13 Dec 0750- 13 Dec 1015 16 Dec 2315- 17 Dec 0445 31 Dec 2315- 1 Jan 0800

Fire Danger Warning

Yellow 18 Dec 0615- 18 Dec 2400

Table 1.2 Figures and departures from normal - December 1994

Total Bright Sunshine 70.2 hours ; 111.3 hours below normal

Mean Daily Global Solar Radiation 7.31 MJ/sq m ; 4.72 MJ/sq m below normal

Total Rainfall 122.6 mm ; 95.3 mm above normal

Mean Cloud Amount 82 % ; 33 % above normal

Mean Relative Humidity 81 % ; 13 % above normal

Mean Daily Maximum Temperature 21.5 degrees Celsius; 1.0 degree Celsius above normal

Mean Air Temperature 19.8 degrees Celsius; 2.2 degrees Celsius above normal

Mean Daily Minimum Temperature 18.2 degrees Celsius; 2.8 degrees Celsius above normal

Mean Dew Point 16.4 degrees Celsius; 5.2 degrees Celsius above normal

Total Evaporation 55.9 mm ; 55.6 mm below normal

Remarks: All measurements were made at the Royal Observatory except sunshine, solar radiation and evaporation which were recorded at King’s Park.

End/Sunday, January 8, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 842 8777

Monday, January 9,1995

Contents Page Not

Judicial independence a reality and a priority for HK people........ 1

Public to be consulted on legal services............................ 4

AG appoints audit team to review payment of fees to counsel on BMFL case 5 53 nominations received today....................................... 6

Insurance Authority appoints joint managers for insurance company  . 7

US special 301 negotiations against China........................... 8

No nomination received for DB by-election........................... 9

Appointments to the Working Party on Kindergarten Education......... 9

First tunnel unit floated out...................................... 10

BD acts on dangerous and abandoned cooling towers and supporting racks ... 12

Taxi fare conversion table for collection.......................... 13

Manufacturers urged to join awards scheme...................... 15

Lung Cheung Road and Ching Cheung Road improvements................ 17

Volume and price movements of external trade in October 1994....... 18

1995 Crime Victimisation Survey.................................... 22

Fresh water cuts in Yau Ma Tei and Sheung Shui..................... 23

Water storage figure............................................... 24

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations............... 24

1

Judicial independence a reality and a priority for HK people ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

Judicial independence is not a privilege enjoyed by judges : it is a privilege of, and protection for, the people, the Chief Justice Sir Ti Liang Yang said today (Monday), at the ceremonial opening of the 1995 Legal Year.

He said Hong Kong had an excellent record in the past on this score which no one could take away and which everyone recognised needed to be preserved through 1997 and beyond.

Emphasising that judicial independence had not even been an issue in Hong Kong in his time, he said: "I am a living witness on that score. During my 39 years of service with the Judiciary, I have not been once approached by the Administration over the conduct of any trial before me. Nor have I heard from my colleagues of any such interference.”

"As Chief Justice, let me tell you that I have never discussed with successive Governors any matter relating to a judicial decision. This is off limits to the Administration," he said.

Sir Ti Liang pointed out that in addition to the independence from the executive, another aspect of judicial independence, less understood in Hong Kong, was the independence of each judge from other judges, including the Chief Justice himself.

He said there was a public misconception that he can or should ’discipline’ or 'correct’judges, which was not so except in the extreme sense of behaviour.

"There is a proper process of appeal," he said, "but outside that a magistrate or judge is, and must be, adequately powerful in his judgments. This power is symbolic of the rule of law and underpins judicial independence."

On the use of Chinese in courts, Sir Ti Liang said: "With July 1, 1997 only two and a half years away, this is an issue that needs to be tackled with a sense of urgency, pragmatism, flexibility, realism and determination."

He had appointed last September a steering committee under High Court Judge Patrick Chan to advise him on the overall implementation of the use of Chinese in the Courts.

The Chief Justice warned of the many practical difficulties facing the use of Chinese in the courts and allayed fears that a Chinese-only system would be imposed.

2

”We must not forget that ours is a common law jurisdiction and that the common law is founded on English,” he said. "Let us not forget too," he added, "that Hong Kong is, will, and should remain an international business and financial centre where English is the main medium of communication."

"Equally, we must not forget that even our local lawyers are trained in English and probably think in English too," he added.

Nevertheless, the steering committee was taking a pragmatic step-by-step approach with a view to putting in place, as far as possible, a bilingual system in court proceedings before July 1, 1997. It had drawn up a tentative strategy for the phased implementation of the use of Chinese in the District Court and above.

Sir Ti Liang said the steering committee had also studied closely the feasibility of using simultaneous interpretation with the aim of achieving a truly bilingual system.

"The findings indicate that whilst simultaneous interpretation is feasible for some parts of a trial, it is well-nigh impossible for the evidence stage which constitutes the crux of a trial," he said.

"Nevertheless, bearing in mind that appeal cases do not normally involve the giving of evidence, the steering committee has recommended that a limited pilot scheme on providing simultaneous interpretation for the hearing of appeal cases should be launched to ascertain its feasibility."

On the localisation of the Bench, Sir Ti Liang said: "Currently, the Judiciary is over 45% localised. This is not far from our target of achieving an overall localisation of 50% by 1997. And I am confident of meeting this target."

However he pointed out that the Judiciary environment is fundamentally different from the Civil Service as judges had security of tenure as the "cornerstone of the independence of the Judiciary. There is therefore no question of removing an expatriate judge simply to make room for a local judge. After all, the Judiciary still needs to recruit the best legal brains both locally and overseas in the foreseeable future."

"The international dimension of the bench is a strength rather than a weakness of our Judiciary. Indeed this factor is relevant to the argument over the composition of the future Court of Final Appeal,” he added.

On the ’’quiet management revolution" within the Judiciary, the Chief Justice paid tribute to his new Judiciary Administrator, Ms Alice Tai.

3

The list of efficiency improvement measures introduced or being pursued within the Judiciary in recent months ran into some 30 items and ranged from the small to the big: from providing extra public telephones in court premises, through the introduction of state-of-the-art computerisation, a more efficient and flexible listing system, to a fresh approach in its interface with the public symbolised by the Serving the Community pledge.

"An important and ready indicator of judicial efficiency is court waiting time," he said. "I am glad to say that with the fine-tuning of our listing system and the appointment of a Listing Judge in the High Court since last November, the situation has improved considerably and is continuing to improve."

High Court criminal case waiting time had for example dropped significantly over the last year from an average of seven months to four.

The Chief Justice warned that a key factor in keeping court waiting times within reasonable limits and in enhancing judicial efficiency would be more control over the progress of cases by judges themselves.

"In the vast majority of cases, delays occur because of unnecessarily long examination of witnesses, prolix submissions, frequent and prolonged adjournments and the vast number of documents and witnesses," he explained.

"There is a growing body of opinion both here and in jurisdictions elsewhere, that the trial judge should take a more interventionist approach in proceedings, exercising more control over the conduct of cases to avoid time-wasting and repetition, and cutting down on delays and costs."

Sir Ti Liang affirmed that "we need a more robust case management culture" and promised that the Judicial Studies Board would be looking into it in the months ahead.

On sentencing policy, the Chief Justice warned against dictation by public opinion instead of the law as it is, the facts of the case and the background of the accused.

"It would be a sad day," he said, "if a judge were to hand down sentences merely on the strength of, and in the light of, media or public opinion. This would not help the administration of justice and the independence of the Judiciary."

End/Monday, January 9, 1995

4

Public to be consulted on legal services *****

A consultation paper on legal services will be issued in the near future to seek the community’s views on a number of issues relating to lawyers’ services provided to the public, the Attorney General, Mr Jeremy Mathews, said at the Legal Year opening ceremony today (Monday).

The paper will cover a number of important issues, including questions of monopolies enjoyed by lawyers, restrictive practices, access and advertising, fees, the business structure of lawyers practices, quality and remedies, and legal services in respect of conveyancing.

Mr Mathews said there was a growing demand within the community for a legal system that was accessible, effective, affordable and credible and these issues were too important to leave to the lawyers alone.

He said: ’’All these issues are matters of public interests, and the views expressed by members of the public on the paper will have an important bearing on the formulation of Government policy.”

Turning to localisation of the Legal Department, Mr Mathews stressed that targets were set with care to ensure that localisation was not pursued at the expense of quality.

He pointed out that the target of having officers on local terms to hold 60 per cent of posts overall was reached in October last year, a full 14 months ahead of schedule, and the other target of 50 per cent localisation of the directorate would be achieved by the end of the year.

He was confident that the localisation policies, namely the Double Ladder Scheme, Development Posts Scheme, Legal Trainee Scheme and Succession Posts Scheme, were the right ones.

They ensured a steady, carefully calibrated pace of localisation consistent with the maintenance of high standards, he said.

On the issue of the Court of Final Appeal (CFA), the Attorney General said the establishment of the CFA before 1997 would enable the Court to gain acceptance and to build up a track record of jurisprudence and eliminate any uncertainty about what sort of a court would be set up after 1997.

He said: ’’Were a CFA not to be set up now, there would be complete uncertainty as to what form the legislation would take, whether it would be based upon existing and familiar principles or not, and as to who the judges of the court would be.

5

"Moreover, there would be a very damaging judicial vacuum, of possibly two to three years, during which there would be no right of appeal due to the absence of a court with the necessary jurisdiction."

Mr Mathews said the Government was firmly of the view that the 1991 Joint Liaison Group Agreement on the composition of the court - the so-called 4 + 1 formula was in conformity with the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law.

He pointed out that neither the Joint Declaration, nor the Basic Law conferred an unfettered discretion on the CFA to invite judges from other common law jurisdictions to sit on the court.

Instead they established a general principle that the CFA was to have a power . to invite such judges to sit on the court, but left the precise scope of that power to be defined in the course of implementation of that general principle, he said.

Mr Mathews also noted that careful consideration was being given to the comments of the Bar Association on the draft Court of Final Appeal Bill and the Administration would soon seek Executive Council's advice on whether to make any amendments to the technical and practical aspects of the draft bill.

The aim remained to introduce the finalised bill into the Legislative Council as early as possible this year, thus allowing adequate time for discussion of the bill in the Council before the end of the current session in July, he added.

End/Monday, January 9, 1995

AG appoints audit team to review payment of fees to counsel on BMFL case *****

The Attorney General, Mr Jeremy Mathews, today (Monday) appointed an internal audit team within the Legal Department to review the payment of fees to counsel briefed by the department to work on the Bumiputra Malaysia Finance Ltd (BMFL) case.

The team comprises the Senior Assistant Crown Solicitor, Mr Kenneth Somerville, and the Treasury Accountant, Mr Simon Chan.

6

The Attorney General has asked the team to submit an initial report to him before the end of this month with a view to producing a final report by the end of February.

A spokesman for the Legal Department said since the Director of Audit has indicated that he is looking at the arrangement for the briefing out system in general, including the monitoring procedures and allocation of cases, rather than on any particular case, it is considered that it is incumbent upon the Legal Department to carry out a full audit of fees concerning the BMFL case.

End/Monday, January 9, 1995

53 nominations received today *****

A total of 53 nominations of candidates were received today (Monday), the first day of the nomination period, for the Municipal Council Elections to be held on March 5.

The breakdown of nominations received by district is as follows:

Central and Western 3

Wan Chai 0

Eastern 5

Southern 1

Yau Tsim Mong 2

Sham Shui Po 2

Kowloon City 3

Wong Tai Sin 6

Kwun Tong 9

Tsuen Wan 0

Tuen Mun 2

Yuen Long 5

North 2

Tai Po 3

Sai Kung 2

Sha Tin 6

Kwai Tsing 2

Islands 0

Total 53

End/Monday, January 9, 1995

7

Insurance Authority appoints joint managers for insurance company *****

The Commissioner of Insurance, Mrs Pamela Tan, in her capacity as the Insurance Authority, has today (Monday) given a direction under section 35(2)(b) of the Insurance Companies Ordinance to Vahinkovakuutusosakeyhtid Kansa International (Kansa General International Insurance Company Ltd) that, with immediate effect and until further notice, its affairs, business and property in Hong Kong shall be managed by Messrs David Richard Hague and Paul F Winkelmann.

Messrs David Richard Hague and Paul F Winkelmann are appointed the Joint Managers of the Company in Hong Kong by the Insurance Authority today pursuant to the said section 35 (2) (b).

Such arrangement is considered necessary in the light of the declaration of the Company’s bankruptcy by a District Court in Finland and the appointment of interim receivers.

The Insurance Authority is of the view that the appointment of Joint Managers in Hong Kong would ’’ring-fence” the Company's local assets to meet its Hong Kong liabilities, hence protect the interests of the Hong Kong policy holders.

The Company, which was incorporated in Finland in 1920, has established a branch in Hong Kong since 1979. The Company is engaged in general insurance business including employees' compensation insurance in Hong Kong.

As the Insurance Authority, Mrs Tan has already taken into her custody a substantial portion of the Hong Kong assets of the Company.

She believes that these assets, coupled with the Guarantee Funds operated by the Employees' Compensation Assistance Scheme, would provide a high level of security to the Hong Kong policy holders and persons with insurance claims against the Company.

Policy holders and other creditors of the Company who have any queries regarding their policy or position should contact the Joint Managers at 2826 2111 or the Insurance Authority at 2867 3511 during office hours.

End/Monday, January 9, 1995

8

US special 301 negotiations against China ♦ * * ♦ ♦

In response to press enquiries on the preliminary assessment of the possible impact on Hong Kong's re-export trade if the US did implement retaliation against Chinese products under Special 301 provisions, a spokesman for the Trade and Industry Branch said the preliminary study suggested that, based on statistics on Hong Kong's re-export of Chinese products to the US in 1993, about US$1.45 billion of Hong Kong's re-export could be affected if the US did implement the proposed retaliation list in full.

"However, it is expected that even if the US did implement retaliation, the proposed retaliation list would not be implemented in full," he said.

According to the press statement issued by the US Trade Representative (USTR) on December 31, 1994, the USTR estimates that China's exports to the US of the products on the proposed list amounted to about US$2.8 billion a year.

In the event of a final determination for retaliation, the affected products would be drawn from the proposed retaliation list and would be subject to increased tariffs up to 100 per cent.

"The USTR has indicated that he would narrow the list and target US$1 billion of Chinese products for the increased tariffs if the US and China could not agree on steps to address US's intellectual property rights concerns," the spokesman said. The Hong Kong re-export items that might be hardest hit if the proposed retaliation list was implemented in full include electrical products and plastic articles.

In 1993, the value of the US imports of these two categories of products from China amounted to US$1.16 billion, slightly more than the US$1 billion worth of Chinese products which the USTR would target for retaliation.

Of these US$1.16 billion worth of Chinese products, the value of the products that were re-exported to the US through Hong Kong amounted to US$827 million in 1993.

"This amount (US$827 million) represents only a very small portion of Hong Kong's trade: 3.8 per cent of Hong Kong's re-export of Chinese products to the US in 1993, or 0.3 per cent of Hong Kong's total global trade in 1993," the spokesman said.

End/Monday, January 9, 1995

9

No nomination received for DB by-election * * * * *

No nomination of candidates was received today (Monday), the first day of nominations, for the by-election of a district board member for the Yau Ma Tei constituency in Yau Tsim Mong district.

The nomination will last until January 23.

End/Monday, January 9, 1995

Appointments to the Working Party on Kindergarten Education

*****

Appointments to the Working Party on Kindergarten Education with an expanded membership have been made by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Michael Leung, for a two-year period from January 1, 1995 to December 31, 1996.

Announcing this today (Monday), a Government spokesman said the main task of the expanded Working Party was to examine the practicalities of unifying all preprimary services and submit their recommendations to the Secretary for Education and Manpower and the Secretary for Health and Welfare by the end of 1995.

”To equip it with the necessary expertise, the expanded Working Party includes four new members from the Social Welfare Department, the child care sector and the Health and Welfare Branch,” he said.

The Working Party will be co-chaired by the Deputy Director of Education, Miss Elaine Chung, and the Deputy Director of Social Welfare, Mrs Louise Wong.

Other members of the Working Party are:

Sister Lam Sau-ling and Mr Yip Wah who are experienced in operating kindergartens;

Miss Wong Lai-kuen and Miss Mariana Chan Wai- yung representing the childcare sector;

10

Ms Diana Mak, Head of Department, Department of Applied Social Studies, Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Dr K C Pang, Deputy Director, Hong Kong Institute of Education who are experienced in training; and

a representative each from the Education and Manpower Branch and Health and Welfare Branch.

The Working Party will convene its first meeting next month.

The spokesman pointed out that the Working Party on Kindergarten Education was first set up in 1990 following the consideration of the recommendations of the Education Commission's Report No. 2 by the Executive Council.

"The Working Party was tasked to give priority to improvements in kindergarten education. This it has done during the past four years.

"Its remaining task is to look at the question of unifying all pre-primary services," the spokesman added.

End/Monday, January 9, 1995

First tunnel unit floated out

*****

The first concrete unit for the Western Harbour Crossing has been successfully towed today (Monday) from the casting basin in Shek O quarry to a temporary mooring area in Tseung Kwan O.

This 35,000-tonne unit is one of the first four tunnel units which have been cast since mid-1994 at the specially constructed casting basin.

The Western Harbour Crossing, one of the 10 projects in the Airport Core Programme, is being developed under a 30-year build-operate-transfer franchise awarded by the Government to the Western Harbour Tunnel Company Limited in September 1993.

"Construction work is progressing very well, and provided there is no major difficulty during the sinking and jointing of the units, the tunnel will be opened to traffic on target by mid-1997." the Chief Engineer of the Highways Department. Mr Eric Glenville, said.

11

Mr Glenville said the central portion of the project comprised an immersed tube tunnel with a total length of 1,363 metres.

The tunnel will consist of 12 pre-cast concrete units, each weighing about 35,000 tonnes and measuring 113.5 metres long, 33.4 metres wide and 8.5 metres high. They are being cast in three batches at the Shek O casting basin.

With completion of the first four units, preparatory work has been carried out since November last year to prepare them for floating and towing.

"This included the flooding of the 13-hectare casting basin to sea level and immersion checks on the units to ensure that there were no leaks and that they were properly balanced. The sand and sheet pile bund at the mouth of the basin was then removed, and some minor dredging carried out", Mr Glenville said.

"The floating and towing of the first unit began at 8 am today and the whole process took about eight hours to complete.

"The other three units will be floated out and towed to Tseung Kwan O within the next two weeks, after which the casting basin will be sealed and drained for casting of the next four tunnel units," he said.

Meanwhile, at Tseung Kwan O, additional work will be carried out on the first four units to prepare them for sinking and jointing.

"We expect the first of these tunnel units to be ready for positioning within a few weeks, when they will be towed into the harbour, carefully lowered into a dredged trench and then joined together," Mr Glenville said.

When completed in 1997, the Western Harbour Crossing will be Hong Kong's third cross harbour road crossing. It will carry six lanes of traffic, running a total length of two kilometres between Sai Ying Pun on Hong Kong Island and the reclaimed land in West Kowloon.

All of the design and construction works are being carried out by Nishimatsu Kumagai Joint Venture, the main contractor to the franchisee.

End/Monday. January 9, 1995

12

BD acts on dangerous and abandoned cooling towers and supporting racks *****

In the interest of public safety the Buildings Department will take action against owners of air-conditioning cooling towers and supporting frames which are in a poor state of repair or abandoned if they should ignore the letters advising their removal.

Buildings Department's staff have conducted inspections in San Po Kong and Chai Wan and have found :

* cooling towers and supporting frames in poor condition;

* six abandoned cooling towers with rusty and damaged supporting frames; and

* abandoned rusty supporting racks.

The department is issuing advisory letters to owners and occupiers of the factory units concerned.

These advisory letters allow six to eight weeks for removal of the unsatisfactory or abandoned cooling towers and supporting racks. If they are ignored, then the Buildings Authority will serve statutory orders under section 24(1) of the Buildings Ordinance on the registered owners to effect removal.

Experience gained from this exercise would be valuable to the department for considering similar activities in other areas.

The department's priorities for taking action against cooling towers are:

* where there is apparent danger to life and property;

* where works are in progress or newly completed.

Large-scale clearance operations, such as "Operation Catherine Wheel" and "Operation Rolling Stone", will also remove such cooling towers when they are found to be unauthorised.

The Director of Buildings, Mrs Helen Yu, said: "There is no need for structures to be unauthorised, including cooling towers. The law provides for proper procedures for submitting plans and seeking approval from the Building Authority."

Mrs Yu appealed to the owners of these structures to fulfil their obligations not only to design and construct them properly, but also to maintain them in a safe and sound condition.

End/Monday, January 9, 1995

13

Taxi fare conversion table for collection

*****

The Transport Department today (Monday) announced that taxi fare conversion tables showing the existing fare scales as against the new fare scales to be effective from January 15 this year would be available for collection by taxi owners from Wednesday (January 11).

A spokesman for the department said the fare increase was still subject to the Legislative Council's consent.

These tables should be displayed at a prominent position inside the taxi before taximeters are recalibrated, tested and sealed by the Transport Department during their half-yearly inspections, the spokesman said.

Those taxi associations which wish to collect fare conversion tables in a lot for distribution to their members should approach the Public Vehicles Section of the Transport Department.

Hong Kong and Kowloon taxi operators can collect the tables at all Licensing Offices of the Transport Department, the Public Vehicles Section of the Transport Department, third floor, United Centre, 95 Queensway, Hong Kong; and Public Enquiry Service Centres of all urban District Offices and Sha Tin, Kwai Tsing and Tsuen Wan District Offices.

New Territories taxi operators can collect the tables at the department's Licensing Offices, the Public Vehicles Section of the department; and Public Enquiry Centres of the North, Sai Kung, Tai Po, Yuen Long and Tuen Mun District Offices.

Taxi owners are also reminded that the taxi fare tables at the interior nearside rear door and the front dashboard on the passenger side or the front nearside door should show the new fare scale starting from the effective date of January 15.

A special meter sealing exercise for urban and New Territories taxis in connection with the taxi fare increase will be conducted with effect from January 16.

Taxi owners are requested to make telephone bookings during office hours for testing and resealing of taxi meters from Thursday (January 12) for this special sealing exercise. The addresses and telephone numbers of the vehicle examination centres

are:

14

* for urban taxis:

(i) Kowloon Bay Vehicle Examination Centre !:

(a) 5 pm - 9 pm from Mondays to Fridays, and

(b) 9 am - 5 pm on Saturdays (except public holidays)

(ii) To Kwa Wan Vehicle Examination Centre

Additional taxi meter recalibration inspections will be accepted during normal working hours telephone booking No. : 2759 7573

* for New Territories taxis :

Sheung Kwai Chung Vehicle Examination Centre

(a) Additional taxi meter recalibration inspections will be accepted during normal working hours from Mondays to Fridays; and

(b) 8.30 am - 1 pm on Saturday (except public holidays). Telephone Booking No.:2426 9085

Those who have made appointments through their respective taxi associations should not make any telephone appointment.

The taxi owners are reminded that this special arrangement is for meter testing and sealing only. Appointment for annual inspections and bi-annual meter checks will be made in the normal manner.

Those taxi owners who have already made appointment for taxi meter checking in January and February 1995 should stick to their original bookings and should not make any telephone appointment under this special arrangement.

The spokesman said taxi meter should be recalibrated before they were tested and sealed by staff of Transport Department.

"Wherever possible, the existing gearbox seal underneath the taxi should be left intact when the taxi is presented for the special sealing arrangement," he said.

"Taxi owners arc requested to arrange for early recalibration of taxi meters so as to reduce unnecessary complaints arising from any possible misunderstanding of the public on the use of fare conversion tables," the spokesman added.

End/Monday, January 9, 1995

15

Manufacturers urged to join awards scheme *****

The Director-General of Industry. Miss Denise Yue. today (Monday) urged manufacturers to enter into competition of the Hong Kong Awards for Industry, the highest recognition of the pursuit of excellence for the Hong Kong manufacturing industry.

Established in 1989 and expanded over the years, the awards scheme (formerly known as the Governor's Award for Industry) aims at encouraging and recognising excellence in different aspects of industrial performance.

"The new name 'Hong Kong Awards for Industry' would help promote the awards scheme as well as the quality image of Hong Kong's products in major overseas markets." Miss Yue said.

"The manufacturing industry is and will remain an important sector of the 1 long Kong economy. The pursuit of excellence in manufacturing would help maintain Hong Kong's competitiveness in the local and overseas markets. No doubt, the awards scheme will continue well into the 21st century.

"The Organising Committee of the Hong Kong Awards for Industry has therefore decided that as from 1995 the awards scheme should be renamed 'Hong Kong Awards for Industry' to facilitate transition beyond 1997.

"In line with the established practice, the Governor will present the awards at the presentation ceremony scheduled for September." she added.

The awards scheme covers six categories. Each category is run by a different organisation.

The Consumer Product Design Award category, organised by the f ederation of Hong Kong Industries, encourages innovative design in consumer products.

The Machinery and Equipment Design Award category, administered b\ the Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong, encourages upgrading in the design and production of machinery and equipment.

The Productivity Award category, run by the I long Kong Productivity Council, promotes endeavours to achieve improved productivity.

I he Quality Award category, organised by the Industry Department, recognises quality achievements in manufacturing operations.

16

The Environmental Performance Award category, run by the Private Sector Committee on the Environment, recognises attention to protection of the environment in manufacturing.

The Export Marketing Award category, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, recognises the importance of export marketing strategies, methods and techniques in expanding and opening markets abroad.

Entries are invited every year and the best entry in each award category will be presented with the Hong Kong Award for Industry.

Organisers of the various categories may also give their own awards in each award category or confer certificates of merit on deserving entries.

The closing date for entries this year is April 10. The presentation ceremony will be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre on September 28.

As regards the Quality Award organised by the Industry Department. Miss Yue said: "All companies located in Hong Kong and. in the year before the closing date for entries, manufactured products which qualify for a certificate of Hong Kong origin are eligible to enter the competition."

Entries for the Quality Award will be evaluated on two main criteria.

The first is the quality of the company's products, in terms of fitness for purpose, consistency in performance, packaging/appearance. environmental protection aspects, value for money and safety.

The second is the company's quality culture and the extent to which a company's quality management system is applied to design, materials sourcing, production and testing; and how far it eliminates delays and rejections during the manufacturing process and consumer complaints afterwards.

Entry forms and brochures on. the Quality Award are obtainable from the Industry Department or by calling 2736 2306.

End/Monday. January 9. 1995

17

Lung Cheung Road and Ching Cheung Road improvements

*****

Roads and footways will be closed from Friday (January 13) to facilitate the construction of the Phase II works of Lung Cheung Road and Ching Cheung Road improvement project.

They are :

(i) the footways along the northern and southern sides of Lung Cheung Road between Tai Po Road and Lion Rock Tunnel Road;

(ii) a section of slip road at and a section of access near the junction of Lung Cheung Road and Nam Cheong Street and the footway along the eastern side of Nam Cheong Street northbound to Lung Cheung Road and southbound at Cornwall Street Roundabout;

(iii) the footway along the northern and southern sides of Lung Ping Road; and

(iv) the footbridge across Lung Cheung Road near Phoenix House.

Details of a notice of the closure has been gazetteed last Friday (January 6).

Plans showing the roads and footways to be closed can be seen at:

* the Central and Western District Office. Public Enquiry Services Centre. Ground Floor. Harbour Building. 38 Pier Road. Central. Hong Kong:

* the District Lands Officc/Kowloon West. Yau Ma lei Car Park Building. 10th floor. 250 Shanghai Street. Kowloon;

* the District Lands Office/Kwai Tsing. 10th Floor. Tsuen Wan Station Multi-storey Carpark Building. 174-208 Castle Peak Road. Tsuen Wan. New Territories;

* Sham Shui Po District Office, sixth tloor. 290 Un Chau Street. Sham Shui Po. Kowloon;

* the Kowloon City District Office, 141-143 Kau Pui Lung Road, first floor, Kowloon and

18

* the Kwai Tsing District Office, 10th floor, Kwai Hing Government Offices Building, 166-174 Hing Fong Road, Kwai Chung. New Territories.

As from the date of the closure, all public or private rights in. upon, under or over these sections of the roads and footways shall be extinguished.

End/Monday. January 9, 1995 .1

Volume and price movements of external trade in October 1994 *****

In the first 10 months of 1994, the volume of re-exports increased by 14% over the same period last year, while the volume of domestic exports decreased by 2.6%, according to the statistics released today (Monday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

Taking re-exports and domestic exports together, the volume of total exports increased by 11%. Meanwhile, imports increased by 14% in volume.

The growth in the volume of trade is derived from the growth in trade values with the effect of price changes being discounted.

As regards price changes over the same period of comparison, the prices of reexports and domestic exports increased by 1.1% and 1.4% respectively. Import prices increased by 2.2%.

Price changes are reflected by changes in unit value indices, which are compiled based on average unit values or, for certain commodities, based on specific price data.

The terms of trade index, defined as the ratio of total export price index to import price index, decreased by 1.1% in the first 10 months of 1994 over the same period last year.

Comparing October 1994 with October 1993, the volume of re-exports continued to increase markedly, by 16%, while that of domestic exports returned to a moderate increase of 6.1%. Taken together, the volume of total exports increased by 14%. Meanwhile, the volume of imports grew by 20%.

Over the same period of comparison, the prices of re-exports and domestic exports increased by 2.2% and 1.9% respectively. Import prices increased by 4.2%.

19

The changes in the value, unit value and volume of re-exports by end-use category are shown in Table 1.

Comparing October 1994 with October 1993, the volume of re-exports of most end-use categories recorded increases of various magnitudes: capital goods (+27%). raw materials and semi-manufactures (+23%), foodstuffs (+18%) and consumer goods (+10%). The volume of re-exports of fuels decreased by 8.2%.

Over the same period of comparison, increases in the prices of re-exports were noted of foodstuffs (+2.9%), raw materials and semi-manufactures (+2.8%). consumer goods (+2.2%) and capital goods (+1.6%). The prices of re-exports of fuels however remained virtually unchanged.

The changes in the value, unit value and volume of domestic exports by principal commodity group are shown in Table 2.

Comparing October 1994 with October 1993, commodity groups which recorded increases in volume of domestic exports included metal ores and scrap (+35%); and electronic components (+21%).

The volume of domestic exports of radios of all kinds and footwear decreased by 25% and 24% respectively.

Commodity groups which recorded increases in domestic export prices included textile made-ups and related articles (+15%); and metal ores and scrap (+6.3%).

Decreases in domestic export prices were recorded for footwear (-6.9%) and radios of all kinds (-1.1%).

The changes in the value, unit value and volume of imports by end-use category are shown in Table 3.

The import volume of foodstuffs increased by 14% in October 1994 compared with October 1993.

Significant increases were recorded in the import volume of soya bean oil. peanut oil, vegetable oil and lard; wheat and flour; and cereals and cereal preparations (other than rice, wheat and flour). However, decreases were recorded in the import volume of rice; tea and coffee; and vegetables.

Over the same period of comparison, the import volume of consumer goods increased by 18%.

20

Commodity items with considerable increases in import volume included passenger motor car; and radios, television sets, gramophones, records, tape recorders and amplifiers.

Decreases in the import volume were noted of watches and miscellaneous made-up articles of textile materials.

The import volume of raw materials and semi-manufactures increased by 19% in October 1994 compared with October 1993.

Significant increases in import volume were noted of man-made fibres; chemical elements and compounds; and wood, lumber and cork.

Imports of fuels increased markedly by 34% in volume in October 1994 compared with October 1993.

As regards capital goods, the import volume increased by 26% in October 1994 over October 1993.

Notable increases were recorded in the import volume of office machines: and scientific, medical, optical, measuring and controlling instruments and apparatus. The import volume of construction machinery and textile machinery declined.

Comparing October 1994 with October 1993, the import prices of most end-use categories increased: raw materials and semi-manufactures (+5.4%). consumer goods (+4.3%), foodstuffs (+4.0%) and capital goods (+2.8%). The import prices of fuels decreased by 7.9%.

Details of the above statistics are published in the October 1994 issue of the "Hong Kong Trade Index Numbers".

The report will be available on sale from Wednesday (January 11) at $9 per copy at either the Government Publications Centre on the Ground Floor. Low Block. Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway; or the Publications Section of the Census and Statistics Department on the 19th Floor. Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai.

Enquiries regarding regular subscription to this report may be directed to the Information Services Department at French Mission Building. I Battery Path, Hong Kong on tel 2842 8802 and enquiries on trade indices to the Census and Statistics Department on tel 2582 4918.

21

Table 1 : Changes in re-exports by end-use category

Comparing OCT 1994 Comparing JAN-OCT 1994 with OCT 1993 with JAN-OCT 1993

% changes % changes

End-use category Value Unit Value Volume Value Unit Value Volume

Foodstuffs 21.7 2.9 18.5 19.9 2.0 18.1

Consumer goods 13.4 2.2 , 10.4 11.8 1.2 10.4

Raw materials and 27.4 2.8 23.2 22.0 0.3 21.4

semi-manufactures

Fuels -9.7 -0.2 .-8.2 4.6 -10.2 14.1

Capital goods 27.0 1.6 26.6 14.8 2.0 13.4

ALL COMMODITIES 19.1 2.2 16.4 15.0 1.1 14.1

Table 2 : Changes in domestic exports by principal commodity group

Comparing OCT 1994 Comparing JAN-OCT 1994

with OCT 1993 with JAN-OCT 1993

% changes % changes

Commodity group Value Unit Value Volume Value Unit Value Volume

Clothing 6.6 3.6 2.5 1.7 2.0 0.1

Textile fabrics -2.4 2.5 -4.1 -8.7 -1.9 -7.1

Textile yam and thread 15.7 2.9 12.8 -0.7 0.8 -0.6

Textile made-ups and related 10.1 14.7 -6.4 12.9 4.6 6.0

articles

Radios of all kinds -35.0 -1.1 -24.7 -57.8 0.8 -56.5

Electronic components 23.3 0.3 20.9 5.8 3.3 1.9

Footwear -22.7 -6.9 -24.1 -19.8 -3.9 -20.2

Metal manufactures -4.7 2.8 -7.1 -0.3 2.1 -0.4

Metal ores and scrap 47.6 6.3 35.2 -0.7 0.3 5=^-3

Watches and clocks 18.5 1.9 15.0 -5.0 1.9 -6.0

Travel goods, handbags and -18.6 1.4 -18.4 -4.2 3.3 -6.7

similar articles

Domestic electrical appliances 12.5 3.5 8.1 -13.0 1.7 -17.1

ALL COMMODITIES 8.5 1.9 6.1 -1.0 1.4 -2.6

22

Table 3 : Changes in imports by end-use category

Comparing OCT 1994 Comparing JAN-OCT 1994 with OCT 1993 with JAN-OCT 1993

End-use category % changes % changes

Value Unit Value Volume Value Unit Value Volume

Foodstuffs 18.5 4.0 14.2 17.0 1.0 16.1

Consumer goods 21.6 12.8 2.7 11.2 4.3 17.8

Raw materials and semi-manufactures 26.1 5.4 19.1 19.8 2.9 15.9

Fuels 20.0 -7.9 33.6 23.3 -14.3 41.7

Capital goods 28.3 2.8 25.5 13.6 2.1 11.4

ALL COMMODITIES 24.2 4.2 19.6 15.6 2.2 13.6

End/Monday, January 9, 1995

1995 Crime Victimisation Survey ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

A Crime Victimisation Survey will be conducted by the Census and Statistics Department starting from Wednesday (January 11).

The survey is conducted under the auspices of the Fight Crime Committee. The main purpose is to collect up-to-date information about crimes, victims and crime reporting last year.

This is the fifth time that a Crime Victimisation Survey is conducted in Hong Kong. The first such survey was conducted in 1979 and similar surveys were conducted in 1982, 1987 and 1990.

The survey is conducted under Part IIIA of the Census and Statistics Ordinance (Cap. 316, Laws of Hong Kong) and is notified in the Government Notice No. 3762 in the Gazette of October 7 last year.

In accordance with the provision of the Ordinance, all data collected in the survey relating to individual persons or households will be treated in strict confidence and will not be released to any other parties including Government departments. Only statistics will be published.

23

A sample of about 20,000 living quarters has been selected scientifically from all living quarters in Hong Kong. The Census and Statistics Department has sent letters to the selected households notifying them of the survey.

From January 11 to 25, enumerators will visit the sampled households and interview all household members aged 12 or above to collect data on personal characteristics and any crimes which happened to them last year.

Household heads will also be asked to supply information on household characteristics and any criminal acts which affected the household.

During visits to households, all enumerators will each carry a card identifying them as staff for the survey and a certificate issued by the Census and Statistics Department authorising them to conduct the survey. Such identification documents will be available for inspection by the householders.

If household members have any queries about the survey or the identity of enumerators, please call the Census and Statistics Department at 2887 5569.

As the findings of the survey will be very useful to the Fight Crime Committee and the Police in evaluating the effectiveness of existing crime prevention and anticrime measures and in devising new measures, the Commissioner for Census and Statistics appeals to all selected households for their co-operation in the survey.

End/Monday, January 9, 1995

Fresh water cuts in Yau Ma Tei and Sheung Shui ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Fresh water supply to some premises in Yau Ma Tei and Sheung Shui will be temporarily suspended from 11 pm on Wednesday (January 11) and Thursday (January 12) respectively to 6 am the following day to facilitate water mains leakage detection.

The suspension will affect all the premises at Kansu Street, Canton Road, Saigon Street, Shanghai Street, Reclamation Street, Battery Street and Pak Hoi Street in Yau Ma Tei.

In Sheung Shui, the affected areas will include Po Wan Road, Fu Tei Au Road, Man Kam To Road, Jockey Club Road, Hing Yan Tsuen and Sheung Pak Tsuen.

End/Monday, January 9, 1995

24

Water storage figure ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Storage in Hong Kong’s reservoirs at 9 am today (Monday) stood at 71.7 per cent of capacity or 420.294 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 388.162 million cubic metres of water, representing 66.2 per cent of capacity.

End/Monday, January 9, 1995

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (^million)

Opening balance in the account 1,449 0930 +384

Closing balance in the account 1,788 1000 +384

Change attributable to : 1100 +354

Money market activity +349 1200 +351

LAF today -10 1500 +351

1600 +349

LAF rate 3.75% bid/5.75% offer TWI 121.6 ♦+0.0* 9.1.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.11 17 months 2605 6.35 98.62 7.57

1 month 5.23 23 months 2611 6.90 98.53 7.91

3 months 5.70 28 months 3704 6.15 96.18 8.15

6 months 6.46 34 months 3710 7.25 97.80 8.30

12 months 7.14 60 months 5912 8.15 98.54 8.70

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $33,914 MN

Closed January 9, 1995

End/Monday, January 9, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

. ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 842 8777

Tuesday, January 10,1995

Contents Page No,

Increase in water charges approved........................................ 1

Employment (Amendment) Bill 1995 to be submitted to LegCo next week 3

Number of court insolvency cases stabilised last year..................... 6

12 Municipal Council elections nominations received....................... 7

Proprietors alerted on impostors.......................................... 8

Operator fined for running illegal guesthouse............................. 9

Executive Grade pledges to better serve the community.................... 10

Bravery commendations for HMS Starling crewmen....................... 11

21-gun salutes planned for 1995 ......................................... 13

49 Ex-China Vietnamese illegal immigrants repatriated................ 13

Special review article on Hong Kong Energy Statistics, 1983-93 .......... 14

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results.......................... 15

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations..................... 16

1

Increase in water charges approved ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Govemor-in-Council today (Tuesday) approved an increase in water charges.

The increase, which was made following an annual review of water charges in conjunction with a recent review of the rates of return of Government utilities, will come into effect on February 16 this year.

The last increase in water charges was made one and a half years ago, on August 1, 1993.

A spokesman for the Water Authority said the charges for domestic consumers would increase by seven per cent and those for non-domestic consumers by 10.5 per cent.

"The revision is aimed at reflecting more accurately the higher operating costs mainly due to inflation and the costs of expansion of the supply systems in the next few years to cope with future demand," he noted.

The spokesman pointed out that the increase was much below inflation which was 14 per cent for the same period.

Under the new charges, 16 per cent of the 1.7 million domestic consumers will continue to enjoy free supply of water, while 62 per cent will pay less than $7 more per month.

The remaining 22 per cent will pay $7 or more per month. Of this group, about eight per cent (that is less than two per cent of all consumers) will have to pay more than $20 extra per month.

The spokesman further pointed out that the present charges for non-domestic consumers were below production costs.

The higher increase in the charges for this category of consumers, in comparison with the charges for domestic consumers, is aimed at bringing the non-domestic charges closer to the production costs, he said.

"The 10.5 per cent increase for non-domestic supplies is unlikely to have any significant impact on business operations as water charges represent only a small part of the operating costs of most firms," the spokesman noted.

2

He explained: "For example, the new charges will increase the production cost of the bleach-dyeing industry, which is the largest consumer of water, by about 0.33 per cent and that of the entire manufacturing sector by about 0.02 per cent."

"Water charges for other sectors represent an even smaller proportion of their total production costs.

"Therefore the increase in the charges should not have any significant impact on their operations," he said.

The fees for connection and other miscellaneous services will also be increased to reflect the rise in material and labour costs. The last increases in these fees were made on August 1, 1993.

A comparison of the water charges for domestic consumers under the old and new tariffs is shown below:

Consumption in units 1 unit= 1 cubic metre Charges per four-month period Present(S) Charges per four-month period New ($)

12 and below Free Free

13-43 0-116.70 4.16-128.96

44-62 120.59-224.85 135.41 -251.51

63- 120 230.88-705.81 260.56-776.41

Over 120 705.81 plus 8.46 776.41 plus 9.05

per unit over • per unit over

End/Tuesday, January 10, 1995

3

Employment (Amendment) Bill 1995 to be submitted to LegCo next week ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following the endorsement by the Govemor-in-Council today (Tuesday), the Government will introduce into the Legislative Council next week, the Employment (Amendment) Bill 1995 which contains a comprehensive package of improvements for calculating severance pay (SP) and long service payment (LSP).

The improvements contained in the Bill seek to raise both the absolute payment ceiling and the length of reckonable service for the calculation of SP and LSP on a gradual basis.

The improvements are based on the advice of the Labour Advisory Board which held two special meetings after the withdrawal of the Employment (Amendment) Bill 1994 last December to reconsider the issue of SP and LSP. The Bill provides for improvement of employee welfare by:

(a) Removing the ceiling of 12 months' wages for the calculation of SP and LSP;

• f ■ • r

(b) Increasing the years of service for the calculation of SP and LSP from the current limit of 18 years to 25 years plus 50 per cent of any remaining service immediately upon enactment of the legislation.

This limit will be increased by two years on October 1, 1995 and every subsequent year until it reaches 43 years in October 2003. There will be no ceiling as from October 1, 2004.

Details of the agreed increases in years of service are as follows:-

Effective date Years of reckonable service

Enactment to September 30, 1995 25

October 1, 1995 27

October 1, 1996 29

October 1, 1997 31

October 1, 1998 33

October 1, 1999 35

October 1, 2000 37

October 1, 2001 39

October 1, 2002 41

October 1, 2003 43

October 1, 2004 and thereafter . - No ceiling

/ rf.r.

4

(c) Raising the absolute payment ceiling from the current limit of $180,000 to $210,000 upon enactment of the legislation. This limit will be increased by $20,000 on October 1, 1995 and every subsequent year until it reaches $390,000 in October 2003. Details of the increases are:-

Effective date Maximum paymsDl

Enactment to September 30, 1995 $210,000

October 1, 1995 $230,000

October 1, 1996 $250,000

October 1, 1997 $270,000

October 1, 1998 $290,000

October 1, 1999 $310,000

October 1,2000 $330,000

October 1, 2001 $350,000

October 1,2002 $370,000

October 1, 2003 and thereafter $390,000

Commenting on the Bill today (Tuesday), a Government spokesman said the improvement package was both comprehensive and forward looking as it had a definite timetable to increase the length of reckonable service and raise the absolute payment ceiling.

"The year-by-year approach addressed the concerns of both employers and employees. It gives both parties certainty and will help to promote harmonious labour relations as it will no longer be necessary for employers and employees to bargain every year.

"It will bring gradual improvements at a pace acceptable to both employers and employees," he said.

The Bill also seeks to remove an ambiguity in the law regarding maternity leave and to rectify an anomaly on sick leave certificate issued by a registered dentist.

The Employment Ordinance provides that a female employee who has been employed by the same employer under a continuous contract for a period of not less than 26 weeks shall be entitled to maternity leave, which is normally an aggregate of a four-week ante-natal leave and a six-week post-natal leave.

5

"The law is however silent on how to count the 26 weeks although it is only logical that the 26 weeks should be counted backwards from the expected date of commencement of maternity leave. To remove the ambiguity in the law, we proposed to amend section 12(1) accordingly," the spokesman said.

The Employment Ordinance also provides that maternity leave pay should be effected on the normal pay day. However, at present, failure to effect maternity leave pay by an employer within the specified time limit is not an offence hence prosecution action cannot be taken.

"We propose that late payment of maternity leave pay should be an offence liable to a maximum fine of $10,000 upon conviction," he said.

At present, a medical certificate issued by a registered dentist is not regarded as an appropriate medical certificate, an employee having encountered a dental injury or received a dental surgical operation requiring a few days' sick leave is therefore unable to receive sickness allowance.

"To rectify this anomaly, we propose to include the medical certificate issued by a registered dentist as a valid document for the purpose of claiming sickness allowance," the spokesman said.

The amendment bill will be gazetted on Friday (January 13) and introduced into the Legislative Council for the first, second reading, committee stage and third reading on January 18.

"Upon the passage of the Bill, the Labour Department will organise seminars and talks to brief employers and employees on the proposals and distribute information pamphlets to the public through various channels," the spokesman said.

End/Tuesday, January 10, 1995

6

Number of court insolvency cases stabilised last year *****

The total number of new court insolvencies last year slightly decreased in comparison with the previous year (1993).

Reviewing the work of his department in the past year, the Official Receiver, Mr Robin Hearder, said there were 426 new compulsory company liquidations and 306 new personal bankruptcies compared with corresponding figures of 408 and 329 in 1993, a decrease of 0.68 per cent.

The businesses mainly affected by compulsory company liquidations and bankruptcies included garment and knitting manufacturing, restaurants and canteens, company directors giving personal guarantees, electrical and electronic manufacturing, importers and exporters, construction and engineering and transportation and godown.

Petitions were filed by the Director of Legal Aid (42 per cent), trade creditors (25 per cent), banks and financial institutions (16 per cent), shareholders (3 per cent), landlord (3 per cent), personal (1 per cent) and others (10 per cent).

More complicated or significant insolvencies during the year were American Launderland Management Limited, American Launderland Holdings Limited, Hong Kong Video Publishing Company Limited, T.S. Wong (Investment & Finance) Company Limited, Lawe William (China Trade) Limited, Melba Trading Company Limited, ABC Computer Company Limited, Mutual Well Limited and China Tianjin International Economic and Technical Co-operative Corporation.

Seventy-seven summonses as against 100 in 1993 were issued against bankrupts and directors of compulsory wound-up companies for failure to submit statement of affairs to the Official Receiver, failure to keep proper books and records and misconduct.

Seventy-two bankrupts or directors as against 66 in 1993 were convicted. The total amount of fines imposed by the court was $548,380 as against $326,458 in 1993, representing an increase of 67.98 per cent.

A bankrupt who was convicted of taking part in the management of a company without the leave of the court was sentenced to two months’ imprisonment suspended for three years.

Total dividends declared by the Official Receiver during 1994 (excluding BCCHK) amounted to $62.58 million in 232 insolvencies, as against $179.38 million in 251 insolvencies in 1993.

7

The reduction in the amount of dividends declared was essentially attributable to the payment of extraordinary big dividends ($112.7 million) in four insolvency cases in 1993.

Four additional dividends to the large creditors owed more than $100,000 were declared in BCCHK during 1994 amounting to $2,025 million, bringing the total dividends so far to 78 per cent.

One hundred per cent preferential or ordinary dividends were declared in 64 insolvencies. Substantial dividends were also declared to the creditors of First Bangkok City Finance Limited ($12.3 million), Thai Mercantile Development Finance Limited ($3.9 million) and Scotland Insurance Company Limited ($3.4 million).

Funds administered by the Official Receiver at the end of December 1994 (excluding funds pertaining to the BCCHK liquidations) totalled $1,093 million compared with $1,156 million at December 31, 1993, representing a reduction of $63 million.

The Official Receiver also administered US$2.9 million (US$2.1 million at December 31, 1993) and Japanese Yen 270 million (Yen 272 million at December 31, 1993). The BCC funds under the Official Receiver's administration amounted to about $1,949 million ($2,960 million at December 31, 1993).

The total number of active insolvency cases being handled by the Official Receiver’s Office at the end of the year was 2.208. representing 1.347 compulsory liquidations and 861 personal bankruptcies, as against a total of 2,062 at the end of 1993.

End/Tuesday, January 10, 1995

12 Municipal Council elections nominations received *****

A total of 12 nominations of candidates were received today (Tuesday) for the Municipal Council elections on March 5.

The total number of nominations received so far is 65.

The nomination period will last until January 23.

8

The breakdown of nominations received by district is as follows:

Central and Western 3

Wan Chai 0

Eastern $

Southern 3

Yau Tsim Mong 3

Sham Shui Po 3

Kowloon City 4

Wong Tai Sin 6

Kwun Tong 10

Tsuen Wan 0

Tuen Mun 4

Yuen Long 5

North 3

Tai Po 3

Sai Kung 2

Sha Tin 6

Kwai Tsing 2

Islands 0

Total 65

End/Tuesday, January 10, 1995

Proprietors alerted on impostors

*****

The Labour Department today (Tuesday) advised company proprietors to be watchful for people impersonating as officers of the department.

The advice follows several reports in which staff of different companies recently received telephone calls from outsiders who claimed to be officers of the Labour Department and asked for particulars of their companies.

A Labour Department spokesman explained that departmental officers making enquiries would always make known their names and the names of their offices.

"Officers conducting site inspections are also instructed to identify themselves by providing their warrant cards," he said.

9

"If proprietors have any doubts about a caller’s identity, they should ask for his contact telephone number or office address so that follow-up actions can be taken," the spokesman said.

"They should also check with the Labour Department or report immediately to the nearest police station if they have further doubts," he added.

End/Tuesday, January 10, 1995

Operator fined for running illegal guesthouse *****

A guesthouse operator was fined $7,000 by the North Kowloon Magistracy today (Tuesday) after he had.pleaded guilty to a charge of running a guesthouse illegally in Mong Kok.

The court heard that officers of the Home Affairs Department’s Office of the Licensing Authority inspected the Ha Wai Yi Guest House at flat 7F, Far East Mansion, 11 Nelson Street, and found that the establishment was being operated without a certificate of exemption or a licence.

The operator, Tang Chi-wai, was charged with operating the guesthouse in contravention of Section 5(1) of the Hotel and Guesthouse Accommodation Ordinance.

In a related development, the operators of two guesthouses in Chungking Mansions have also been charged with keeping a guesthouse without a certificate of exemption or a licence.

They are expected to appear at the South Kowloon Magistracy on February 6.

A spokesman for the department stressed that enforcement action would be taken continuously in order to eliminate illegal guesthouses and hotels.

’’Policing and prosecution will be a long-term exercise with no time-limit and will not be confined to a particular district," he added.

The spokesman also reminded operators that under the ordinance, offenders are liable on conviction to a fine and two years’ imprisonment.

End/Tuesday, January 10, 1995

10

Executive Grade pledges to better serve the community

*****

The Secretary for the Civil Service, Mr Michael Sze, today (Tuesday) congratulated the Executive Grade on their innovative spirit to better serve the community by coming up with their own Vision and Mission Statement - the first of its kind within the civil service.

At a ceremony, Mr Sze presented to the representatives of the Executive Grade the Vision and Mission Statement which reads:

"Our vision is to serve Hong Kong by providing the highest quality of service in the management of public organisation.

"Our mission is to plan, manage and review resources and systems in the organisations we serve in an overall effort to meet organisational objectives in a most efficient and effective manner."

Mr Sze said the Executive Grade had set a fine example for the civil service and he was confident that the Statement would live up to its objective of providing a sharp focus and a clear direction to guide the Grade in serving the community.

"Today's event will be remembered as a landmark from which the Executive Grade's commitment to serve the community will be developed from strength to strength," Mr Sze said.

The ceremony was attended by heads of policy branches and departments, representatives of the Executive Grade and the Chairman of the Public Service Commission. Mr Augustine Chui.

End/Tuesday, January 10, 1995

11

Bravery commendations for HMS Starling crewmen * ♦ ♦ * ♦

Two seamen from HMS Starling have been awarded the Queen's Commendation for Bravery for their actions on an anti-smuggling patrol on December 30, 1993.

Petty Officer Weapon Engineer Mechanic (Ordnance) Steve Rule and Radio Operator (Tactical) Brian Morris were members of the boarding team of a fast pursuit craft (FPC) from HMS Starling on anti-smuggling patrol in the Sai Kung area.

On receipt of reports of contraband loading activity in the area, both FPCs were deployed covertly from the ship at 7.15 pm.

Directed to enter Port Shelter, some two miles to the north, they established a fully darkened patrol poised to intercept the smuggling speedboats as they departed from their loading sites for China.

Shortly after reaching their patrol area, three "chung feis" smuggling boats approached from the north at speed and both FPCs gave chase.

Both craft closed on the rearmost "chung fei" which began to manoeuvre violently and at times dangerously close to the shore as it attempted to throw off its pursuers.

The coxswain of the "chung fei" was unusually determined and skilful, capable of the most aggressive evasion techniques.

Eventually, after a 10-minute chase at speeds of over 60 knots involving a number of dangerously close encounters, one FPC succeeded in manoeuvring alongside the speedboat.

The crewman realised at that stage that arrest was imminent and jumped overboard.

Aware that they were still up against a particularly hostile and experienced smuggling coxswain - and regardless of the inherent dangers of high speed boarding operations - Petty Officer Rule and Radio Operator Morris leapt onto the laden "chung fei".

On seeing PO Rule enter his cockpit, the chung fei's coxswain fully opened both his engine throttles and turned sharply towards a large fish farm tethered between two nearby islands before he too abandoned his boat.

12

Well aware that he and RO Morris were still at considerable personal risk, PO Rule displayed remarkable composure and professionalism as he endeavoured to take control of the unfamiliar boat.

Meanwhile, RO Morris continued to crawl over the cargo of contraband to the stem of the "chung fei" in an attempt to disable the engines.

Before he could establish a firm hold in the engine bay, and despite PO Rule's best efforts to avoid the fish farm, the "chung fei" collided at full speed with a fish tank, passing through and completely destroying a wooden hut and coming to rest amidst the fish farm tanks.

Remarkably, the two seamen escaped with only minor injuries and PO Rule was able to extract the "chung fei" from the fish farm and return it to HMS Starling for examination and subsequent handover to the Police.

The brave actions of the two men resulted in the arrest of two smugglers and the capture of a boatload of electrical contraband valued in excess of $130,000.

Throughout the incident, both men displayed a complete disregard for personal danger, in the finest traditions of the Service, and are awarded the Queen's Commendation for Bravery.

Petty Officer Rule is aged 31 and comes from Bath. He is married and has served in Hong Kong for over two and a half years. He has served in the Royal Navy since March 1980.

Radio Operator Morris is 26 and comes from Liverpool. He is single and has been in Hong Kong since August 1993. He joined the Royal Navy in January 1988.

End/Tuesday, January 10, 1995

13

21-gun salutes planned for 1995 * ♦ * * *

HMS Tamar's saluting guns on Stonecutters Island will fire for the first time this year at midday on February 7 (Tuesday) on the anniversary of Her Majesty the Queen's accession to the throne.

Other 21-gun salutes to be fired in 1995 are:

April 21 (Friday) -- Anniversary of HM the Queen's birthday

June 2 (Friday) — Anniversary of HM the Queen's coronation

June 10 (Saturday) - Anniversary of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh's birthday

June 17 (Saturday) - HM the Queen's official birthday

August 4 (Friday) - Anniversary of HM the Queen Mother's birthday

All salutes take place at noon. Details of other gun salutes during 1995 will be announced in due course.

Attention news editors:

You are invited to send a photographer to any of the gun salutes. Please inform Joint Service Public Relations Staff (Telephone 2588 3315) 24 hours in advance of any occasion you wish to cover so that transport to Stonecutters Island can be arranged.

End/Tuesday, January 10, 1995

49 Ex-China Vietnamese illegal immigrants repatriated ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A total of 49 Ex-China Vietnamese Illegal Immigrants (ECVlIs) comprising 24 men, 11 women, eight boys and six girls were returned to Nanning, Guangxi by air this morning (Tuesday).

Discussions are continuing with the Chinese authorities on the repatriation of the 340 ECVlIs still remaining in Hong Kong.

End/Tuesday, January 10, 1995

14

Special review article on Hong Kong Energy Statistics, 1983-93

*****

The December 1994 issue of the I^ong Kong Monthly Digest of Statistics contains a special review article entitled "Hong Kong Energy Statistics, 1983- 93".

Energy consumed by final users can be divided into two categories.

The first category includes energy extracted from a stock of reserves in the ground, such as coal, crude oil and natural gas, without undergoing any transformation processes. Such energy is referred to as primary energy.

The other category comprises energy obtained from transformation of primary energy. Such energy is referred to as secondary energy. Examples are petroleum products and electricity.

Since Hong Kong does not have its own indigenous production, different forms of primary energy arc all imported.

Part of such primary energy may be converted to secondary energy such as electricity and gas for final consumption. This article summarises the production and consumption of different forms of energy in the territory in the period 1983-93.

The December 1994 issue of the Hong Kong Monthly Digest of Statistics is available at $48 per copy.

It contains a large volume of commonly used social and economic statistical information.

It can be purchased at the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, Ground Floor, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong and at the Publications Section of Census and Statistics Department on 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

End/Tuesday, January 10, 1995

15

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results

*****

Tender date 10 Jan 95

Paper on offer EF bills

Issue number Q502

Amount applied HK$7,120 MN

Amount allotted HK$l,500 MN

Average yield accepted 5.78 PCT

Highest yield accepted 5.79 PCT

Pro rata ratio About 93 PCT

Average tender yield 5.81 PCT Hong Kong Monetary Authority

Tenders to be held in the week beginning January 16, 1995

Tender date 17 Jan 95 17 Jan 95

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q503 H556

Issue date 18 Jan 95 18 Jan 95

Maturity date 19 Apr 95 19 Jul 95

Tenor 91 days 182 days

Amount on offer $ 1,500+300 MN HKS800+160 MN

End/Tuesday, January 10, 1995

16

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

JLmillian Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,788 0930 +23

Closing balance in the account 1,230 1000 -276

Change attributable to : 1100 -276

Money market activity -418 1200 -279

LAF today -140 1500 -490

1600 -418

LAF rate 3.75% bid/5.75% offer TWI 121.0*-0.6* 10.1.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.06 17 months 2605 6.35 98.59 7.60

1 month 5.22 23 months 2611 6.90 98.49 7.94

3 months 5.73 28 months 3704 6.15 96.09 8.20

6 months 6.51 34 months 3710 7.25 97.73 8.33

12 months 7.16 60 months 5912 8.15 98.26 8.77

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $30,382 MN

Closed January 10, 1995

End/Tuesday, January 10, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 842 8777

Wednesday, January 11,1995

Contents PageNiL

Agreement on surrender of fugitive offenders signed............... 1

Statement by Governor on closure of Overseas Chinese Daily News... 2

11 nominations for Municipal Council elections received today..... 2

Surveillance on sand barges stepped up............................ 3

Land Executives pass land administration course .................. 5

More support for mentally handicapped urged....................... 5

Kwai Chung lot to let............................................. 6

Award scheme spurs primary pupils to do better.................... 7

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations.............. 8

1

Agreement on surrender of fugitive offenders signed

*****

An agreement on the Surrender of Fugitive Offenders which will remain in force after 1997 was signed between Hong Kong and Malaysia today (Wednesday).

This is the fourth Agreement which Hong Kong has signed in this important area of co-operation against international crime. The first agreement was signed with the Netherlands; the second with Canada and the third with Australia.

The Agreement sets out the conditions for the surrender of fugitive offenders between the two places both before and after 1997.

Signing the Agreement on behalf of the Hong Kong Government was Secretary for Security, Mr Alistair Asprey. The Commissioner of Malaysia, Mr Mohamad Khalis, signed on behalf of Malaysia.

Mr Asprey noted that Hong Kong's present arrangements for the surrender of fugitive offenders were based on bilateral treaties between Britain and foreign countries and a set of arrangements with Commonwealth countries, both of which the United Kingdom had extended to Hong Kong.

"However, these arrangements cannot continue in their present form beyond 1997. The British and the Chinese Government have therefore agreed that Hong Kong should negotiate a new network of bilateral agreements on the surrender of fugitive offenders that will survive 1997," he said.

The new Agreement signifies the shared commitment of Hong Kong and Malaysia to combatting international crime. It also contributes to Hong Kong's reputation as a place where the rule of law prevails.

The Agreement contains all the safeguards which are found in other similar international agreements. These include:

* the double criminality rule: the act in respect-of which a fugitive's return is requested must constitute a crime in both jurisdictions at the time it was committed;

* the prima facie rule: there must be a prima facie case against a person whose return is requested;

2

the speciality rule: a returned fugitive should not be tried for offences other than those for \^hich he was surrendered; and

the political offences rule: return may be refused if the offence in question is a political offence.

End/Wednesday, January 11, 1995

Statement by Governor on closure of Overseas Chinese Daily News ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

The following is a statement made this (Wednesday) evening by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, on the closure of the Overseas Chinese Daily News:

"I was very sad to hear the news of the closure of the Overseas Chinese Daily News which for so many years play such a distinguished role in Hong Kong journalism.

The paper was renowned for its integrity and concern for community values and it will be missed by the many thousands of people who turn to it each day for their news and views of life in Hong Kong.

I hope the paper’s staff will quickly find other work and continue their tradition of reporting impartially on Hong Kong affairs.”

End/Wednesday, January 11, 1995

11 nominations for Municipal Council elections received today *****

A total of 11 nominations of candidates were received today (Wednesday) for the Municipal Council Elections on March 5.

The total number of nominations received so far is 76.

The nomination period will last until January 23.

The breakdown of nominations by district is as follows:

Central and Western 3

Wan Chai 2

Eastern 9

Southern 3

Yau Tsim Mong 4

Sham Shui Po 3

Kowloon City 4

Wong Tai Sin 7

KwunTong 10

Tsuen Wan 0

Tuen Mun 7

Yuen Long 5

North 4

Tai Po 4

Sai Kung 2

Sha Tin--------- -7~-

Kwai Tsing 2

Islands 0

Total 76

End/Wednesday, January 11,1995

Surveillance on sand barges stepped up * * * * *

The Marine Department's investigation into the collision between a container ship, M V "K H Chivalry", and a sand barge in the East Lamma Channel on March 8 last year revealed that poor navigation by both vessels in dense fog was one of the causes of the accident.

The investigation also revealed that neither vessel observed the requirements of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972.

Based on the findings of the report, the Director of Marine, Mr Allan Pyrke, today (Wednesday) urged sand barge operators from China, through their local contacts, to observe Vessel Traffic System procedures.

Mr Pyrke said vessels from China passing through Hong Kong waters should be made aware of the need to follow proper traffic lane in the Traffic Separation Schemes, through their Hong Kong agents.

4

"As part of an ongoing exercise, we issue notices and information pamphlets to educate Chinese and local vessels to obey navigational and traffic rules when they use Traffic Separation Schemes and fairways in Hong Kong waters," Mr Pyrke said.

"To further drive home our messages, meetings with agents and relevant associations are also held," he added.

Mr Pyrke said high level discussions with relevant Chinese authorities may be required to persuade them to urge their vessels to comply with all the regulations and requirements of the Immigration Department, Customs and Excise Department, and Marine Department.

"The matter will be discussed with the relevant Chinese authorities through our regular informal meetings," he said.

As vessels from China usually did not carry documents to show that they were permitted to come to Hong Kong carrying sand from China, it was not possible to establish that they complied with all safety requirements, including the masters knowledge of Hong Kong waters and associated local regulations.

"It would appear that greater surveillance by the Marine Police, Marine Department and Chinese authorities is required to try and prevent these craft making unauthorised calls at Hong Kong," Mr Pyrke said.

"The Marine Department has stepped up its surveillance since the accident and action is in hand to prevent the operation of sand barges with improper documentation in Hong Kong waters," he said.

The M V "K H Chivalry" and sand barge "Guan Zhong Yun 255" collided off Wah Fu Estate in Aberdeen about 8.30 am on March 8.

The K II Chivalry sustained minor damage to her bulbous bow while the sand barge capsized after the collision. The Master and the Chief Officer of the barge died in the accident.

Note to Editors:

Summary of the report into the collision between the M V "K H Chivalry" and sand barge "Guan Zhong Yun 255" is available on request.

Those who wish to obtain a copy of the summary are requested to contact the Information and Public Relations Section of the Marine Department on tel 2852 4423 or 2852 4425 during office hours or 9493 8262 after office hours.

End/Wednesday, January 11, 1995

5

Land Executives pass land administration course ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Lands Department has an ongoing training programme to ensure that its staff can maintain a high standard of performance in land administration to meet the needs of the public.

The Director of Lands, Mr Bob Pope, said this today (Wednesday) when he presented certificates to 28 Land Executives of the department who have just passed a land administration course jointly organised by the department and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

’’This training programme marks the first stage of the career of a Land Executive and has given them basic knowledge which is necessary in providing an efficient service to the public.

"The subjects covered include practice and procedure of local services, land surveying, legal studies related to land administration, building construction, and valuation," Mr Pope said.

He also praised the graduates for successfully completing the programme while carrying on a full working load.

End/Wednesday, January 11, 1995

More support for mentally handicapped urged *****

The mentally handicapped can work in the community after receiving special training and what they need is to be given a chance, Mrs Patten said today (Wednesday).

Speaking at a ceremony to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Hong Kong Association for the Mentally Handicapped, she said: "We need the support of not just employers but of the whole community."

Although the two job training teams of the association had found jobs for 172 people in the past couple of years, there arc many more who are still looking for jobs, she said.

"That’s why the association has chosen as its slogan for this anniversary year -’We Want To Work’.

6

"Unfortunately we still see prejudice amongst residents against people with disabilities and this points to the need for further education and publicity," she said

Mrs Patten was delighted to see some of the employers of the mentally handicapped at the ceremony.

"You have set an excellent example which I urge more employers to follow, and give mentally handicapped people a chance to work," she added.

End/Wednesday, January 11, 1995

Kwai Chung lot to let *****

The Lands Department is inviting tenders for the short-term tenancy of a piece of Government land in Kwai Chung.

Covering an area of 3,325 square metres, the lot is for use as a public feepaying car park for the parking of container tractors and trailers only.

The tenancy is for one year, renewable quarterly.

Closing date for submission of tender is at noon on January 27.

Tender forms, tender notice and conditions may be obtained from the District Lands Office. Kwai Tsing; the District Lands Offices Kowloon. 10th floor, Yau Ma Tei Car Park Building, 250 Shanghai Street, Kowloon and the Lands Department, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road.

Tender plan can also be inspected at these offices.

End/Wednesday, January 11, 1995

7

Award scheme spurs primary pupils to do better ♦ * ♦ * *

The Education Department has designed and produced cassette tapes and rulers to promote the Most Improved Primary Pupils Award Scheme.

A spokesman for the department said: "Each primary school will be provided with two cassette tapes containing the choral and the music of the theme song specially composed for the award scheme. Schools are encouraged to make good use of the tapes during school activities or music lessons.

"In order to promote the scheme in primary schools, every primary 4 to 6 pupils will also receive a ruler," the spokesman said.

He said circulars had been sent to principals of all primary schools advising them to collect the cassettes and rulers from tomorrow (Thursday) until January 18.

The award scheme, held for the second year, is jointly organised by Po Leung Kuk, Yan Chai Hospital, Tung Wah Group of Hospitals, Subsidised Primary Schools Council and the Education Department.

The spokesman said the scheme was aimed at encouraging primary pupils to fully develop their potential.

The scheme is open to all types of primary schools including Government, aided, private and special schools.

This year a total of 1,034 pupils attaining the best all-round improvement on completion of primary 3, 4 and 5 will receive an award of $400 in a prize-presentation ceremony on February 25.

End/Wednesday. January 11, 1995

8

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations * * * ♦ ♦

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,230 0930 -180

Closing balance in the account 805 1000 -183

Change attributable to : 1100 -183

Money market activity -265 1200 -182

LAF today -160 1500 -182

1600 -265

LAF rate 3.75% bid/5.75% offer TWI 121.0*+0.0* 11.1.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.00 17 months 2605 6.35 98.53 7.65

1 month 5.29 23 months 2611 6.90 98.40 7.99

3 months 5.83 28 months 3704 6.15 95.99 8.26

6 months 6.57 34 months 3710 7.25 97.57 8.40

12 months 7.24 60 months 5912 8.15 97.94 8.86

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $43,428 million

Closed January 11, 1995

End/Wednesday. January 11, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 842 8777 • •. • • I ■ * "

Supplement

Wednesday, January 11,1995

Contents Page No.

Legislative Council meeting:

Motion debate on sexual assault............................... 1

Waste Disposal (Amendment) Bill............................... 4

Shipping and Port Control (Amendment) Bill.................... 5

Exchange Fund (Amendment) Bill 1994 goes to LegCo............. 7

Debate on Employees' Compensation Bill resumed............ 11

Employees' Compensation Bill at committee stage........... 11

. r • s

Industrial Training (Clothing Industry) Bill................. 12

. : . 'X

Motion to amend election regulations......................... 13

Amendments to Magistrates Ordinance....................... 15

Four new judicial offices set up.......................... 15

Air traffic co-ordination in Pearl River Delta............... 16

/Causes of..

Contents

Page No,

Causes of fatal traffic accidents.................................... 18

Prosecutions regarding smoking in public places...................... 19

Reduction in air pollution................................................ 21

Registration of doctors................................................... 22

Use of courtroom time..................................................... 23

Landfill at Shang Xia Ping Valley......................................... 25

Criteria for promotion of civil servants.................................. 25

Community Electronic Trading Service...................................... 27

New holding area for tourists at airport.................................. 28

Labour importation for new airport projects............................... 30

Arrest of illegal immigrants.............................................. 32

Measures ensure navigational safety in Victoria Harbour................... 34

Traffic accidents in tunnels.............................................. 37

Provision of child services............................................... 39

Industrial safety review.................................................. 40

Forgery of banknotes...................................................... 45

Use of helicopter to carry offenders...................................... 46

Elderly Services Division starts work..................................... 47

Motions on sexual assaults and Chinese medicine passed.................... 49

1

Motion debate on sexual assault *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Security, Mr Alistair Asprey, in the Legislative Council motion debate on sexual assault today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

Introduction

The Government accords high priority to tackling the problem of sexual crimes. Many departments are involved in this effort - the Police, the Legal Department, the Social Welfare Department, the Housing Department, and the Department of Health. We have in place good procedures to co-ordinate their work effectively, both to prevent the occurrence of these crimes, and to provide assistance to victims. We regularly monitor and review these procedures.

Extent of Problem

I should first like to comment on the seriousness of the problem. Recent year have not seen an increase in particular sexual offences. Some statistics will illustrate this. The number of cases of rape reported to the Police in 1990 was 109; in 1991, it was 93; in 1992, it was 99; in 1993, it was 103; and in 1994, it was 100. The number of reported cases of indecent assault are similarly shown no substantial increase in recent years. We are. nevertheless, concerned about all such crimes, and have taken a number of measures to prevent and reduce such crimes and to assist the victims.

First and perhaps most important, the Police are determined to apprehend all those who perpetrate these crimes. In the past four years, more than 350 persons have been arrested for rape and 2,500 for indecent assault. The overall detection rate for these offences is very high at more than 69 per cent. The Police will continue to do all that they can to prevent the occurrence of crimes of this sort and to arrest offenders.

Prevention

So far as prevention is concerned, we have conducted regular publicity programmes to advise people how to minimise the risk of becoming victims of such crimes. The Police Public Relations Branch regularly provides advice through radio and television programmes on how to avoid or respond to sex-related crimes. Pamphlets and guidelines issued by the Crime Prevention Bureau have been distributed to local communities through mutual aid committees, owners committees, District Offices and Police stations.

2

The Police Crime Prevention Bureau also maintains close liaison with the Housing Department on ways to improve and upgrade security in public housing estates to combat criminal activities, including sexual assault.

The Housing Department has taken a number of positive steps to prevent crime, including sexual assaults, in public housing estates. For example, in response to the series of sex-related crimes occurring in. the Tuen Mun District in July last year, the Department has set up special waiting areas in all the public housing estates in the district and arranged for escort services, upon request, for female residents who come home late.

On a territory-wide basis, the Housing Department has begun implementing a $56 million improvement programme to upgrade security measures in public housing estates. The programme will help minimise the opportunity for sex-related and other crimes in the estates. Harmony and Trident blocks will be installed with security gates, doorphones and closed-circuit television inside lifts and at entrances. A guard will be posted at each of these blocks to monitor entry into the estates and activities inside the lifts. Blocks of other design, will be fitted with CCTV inside the lifts, which will be linked up to a control room for central monitoring by a security guard. All of these measures will contribute to a safer environment in public housing estates.

Assistance to Victims

So far as assistance to victims of such crime is concerned, we recognise that the impact of such crimes on the victims can be traumatic. We have therefore developed special procedures for dealing with them sympathetically and sensitively. All police officers are trained to be aware of the special needs of the victims of sexual crimes and the importance of appropriate treatment. Special training is given to a cadre of women police officers and these officers are assigned to deal with victims of rape or other serious sexual offences. Where necessary, the Police Force Clinical Psychologists will assist these officers in dealing with the victims.

Unfortunately, in Hong Kong as elsewhere, some sex crimes are not reported. We have taken steps to make the reporting of these crimes by the victim, less traumatic, so as to encourage fuller reporting. These measures include allowing the taking of statements at the victim's home, providing a comfortable atmosphere in the report room and the use of one-way identification mirrors.

We will also be proposing a number of legislative amendments to the Criminal Procedure Ordinance and the Evidence Ordinance in the current legislative session with a view to reducing the trauma of vulnerable witnesses when giving evidence in court. These amendments will allow vulnerable victims, including children under 14 for all crimes, and those under 17 for sex-related crimes, the mentally handicapped, and those who have been severely intimidated, to testify and be cross- examined in court by way of live video from a room nearby. This will improve the present arrangements for testimony in court by more vulnerable victims.

3

Where necessary, the Police will refer the victim of a sexual offence to other government departments or voluntary agencies for assistance.

The Social Welfare Department provides a wide range of counselling, psychiatric assessment and welfare assistance for victims of sex crimes. Social workers in family services centres or medical social service units provide help to both the victims and their families. Social workers also make appropriate referrals to other Government departments or non-governmental organisations to provide other assistance to victims, such as child care services or rehousing.

Where the victim is aged under 18 and the abuser is a guardian or close relative, the Social Welfare Department may apply for a care or protection order under the Protection of Women and Juveniles Ordinance to protect the victim from further abuse. By virtue of this order, the victim can be placed under the regular supervision of a social worker, and may also be placed in the care of an institution.

Legislation and Sentencing

I would now like to turn to the legislation on sexual offences. This is contained primarily in the Crimes Ordinance. These provisions are regularly reviewed by the Administration. In 1991 several amendments were made to the Crimes Ordinance to update the law relating to sexual offences. For example, the maximum penalty for indecent assault was then doubled from five to 10 years of imprisonment.

I accept that some inconsistencies remain between the penalties for some sexual offences and we shall review these, I do not, however, believe it necessary to conduct a comprehensive review of the legislation relating to sex crimes. The offences are clearly and adequately provided for at present, and in general the maximum penalties adequately reflect the seriousness of the offences. A comprehensive review would be a major law reform exercise, requiring substantial resources and time. It would be better to act more speedily to revise those provisions which are inconsistent and out-of-date; this we propose to do. . <;

p'L

As regards sentencing, I understand that the general public and Members of this Council may sometimes feel that the sentences imposed by the courts for sexual offences are too lenient. However, sentencing is a matter for the Judiciary and the Administration cannot, and should not, infringe upon the independence of the Judiciary in this respect. Where the Attorney General considers that the sentence imposed by court in any particular case is wrong in law, wrong in principle or manifestly inadequate to reflect the gravity of the offence, then he can seek a review of the sentence. I believe that the review of sentence has been sought in four cases of conviction for sexual offences in the past two years.

4

Conclusion

Mr President, I am pleased that this Council has had the opportunity to debate this important subject and I agree with the intent of the motion: we must closely monitor our legislation, our procedures and preventive measures against sexual assault. I am grateful for Members' suggestions about improvements we can make in this area. We will certainly consider these suggestions carefully.

Thank you, Mr President.

End/Wednesday, January 11, 1995

Waste Disposal (Amendment) Bill

*****

Following is a speech by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Tony Eason, in moving the second reading of the Waste Disposal (Amendment) Bill in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move the Second Reading of the Waste Disposal (Amendment) Bill. The Bill seeks to amend the Waste Disposal Ordinance to provide for controls on the import and export of hazardous and other wastes in line with current international standards and to effect other miscellaneous amendments.

The Bill introduces a new Part IVA which provides for a permit system whereby potential exporters and importers will have to apply to the Director of Environmental Protection for a permit before effecting the transboundary movement of specified wastes.

The wastes which it is proposed should be subject to control are set out in two schedules (Schedule 6 and 7). Schedule 6 wastes are those which will have minimal environmental effect and hence will only be subject to control if they are contaminated or imported or exported for purposes other than recycling, recovery or reprocessing. Schedule 7 wastes are those likely to create a significant health hazard and risk of pollution unless properly handled, and their import and export will be subject to control regardless of the purpose.

5

Under the proposed provisions, it will be an offence for a person to import or export waste except under and in accordance with a permit issued by the Director. The proposed penalty is a maximum fine of $200,000 and six months' imprisonment for the first offence and $500,000 and two years' imprisonment for the second or subsequent offences. It will also be an offence to make a false statement to procure the issue of a permit.

The Bill also seeks to effect other minor amendments to the Waste Disposal Ordinance by improving the administration of licensing control, by bringing the term of service for membership of the appeal board already provided for under the Ordinance in line with similar appeal boards set up under other environmental legislation, and by providing greater flexibility in implementing charging proposals.

Mr President, the Waste Disposal (Amendment) Bill seeks to establish a local regulatory regime which is compatible with international standards on control over the export and import of hazardous and other wastes. This will ensure that our trade with parties to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal will not be adversely affected and will prepare us for the eventual extension of the Convention to Hong Kong. The Bill also introduces other miscellaneous amendments to the principal Ordinance. I commend the Bill to Members for their consideration.

Thank you, Mr President.

End/Wednesday, January 11, 1995

Shipping and Port Control (Amendment) Bill ♦ * * * *

Following is a speech by the Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Gordon Siu, in moving the second reading of the Shipping and Port Control (Amendment) Bill in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

1 move that the Shipping and Port Control (Amendment) Bill be read the second time.

The purpose of the Bill is to extend the power of the Director of Marine in regulating traffic, thereby ensuring a higher standard of safety in the waters of Hong Kong. This will be achieved by enabling the director to -

6

(a) close any area of the waters of Hong Kong; and

(b) give general directions

to any number, group, class or any description of vessel at one time.

At present, the Shipping and Port Control Ordinance provides that the Director of Marine may give specific directions for the control of navigation only to one particular vessel at a time. If the Director needs to control the movement of a group or class of vessel, he must repeat such instructions to each and every vessel concerned. This restriction has proved to be both ineffective and inefficient in handling situations such as the diversion of marine traffic from reclamation areas, or, as Members may recall, prohibition of overheight barges from moving close to bridges. We propose to remove the restrictions by giving the Director more general powers so that he may promulgate a notice with which all specified vessels must comply. This concept is not new as similar powers are currently exercised by the Commissioner for Transport or the Commissioner of Police in handling road traffic. The situations requiring the exercise of such powers are usually temporary in nature. Only ad hoc measures are normally required.

To ensure that the Director of Marine is accountable in their exercise of these powers, we propose that each general direction or closure imposed by the Director -

(a) should not last more than six months. Any conditions that need to be imposed permanently should be formally made by the Governor in Council as a regulation; and < j

(b) the Administration shall be required to lay on the table of the Legislative Council in the same way as any other subsidiary legislation. This would allow Members of this Council to review the matter as necessary.

I would like to draw Members' attention to the concurrent amendments to the Shipping and Port Control Regulations. These amendments make specific provisions for the Director of Marine to handle marine traffic during fireworks displays and demonstrations held within the waters of Hong Kong.

As regards demonstrations in our waters, Members have raised concerns about the disruption to normal marine traffic and the safety of harbour users during the demonstration by fishermen in Victoria Harbour on June 14 last year. Having reviewed the matter, we consider that the Director should be given powers to

(a) require advance notification from organisers for holding demonstrations at sea; and

7

(a) to impose any necessary conditions as regards timing and routing.

This will enable measures to be adopted to ensure that demonstrations held within Hong Kong waters can be conducted safely and in an orderly manner. Any safety risks associated with the holding of a demonstration can be dealt with by deploying adequate Government launches at the scene and by imposing conditions on the organisers with respect to the avoidance of accidents and safety of persons.

Thank you, Mr President.

End/Wednesday, January 11, 1995

Exchange Fund (Amendment) Bill 1994 goes to LegCo *****

Following is the speech by the Financial Secretary, the Hon Sir Hamish Macleod in moving the second reading of the Exchange Fund (Amendment) Bill 1994 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move that the Exchange Fund (Amendment) Bill 1994 be read a second time.

The Bill seeks to modernise certain provisions in the Exchange Fund Ordinance with a view to enhancing the robustness of the legal framework for monetary management and for the prudent management of the Exchange Fund.

The Bill covers six main areas. First, in relation to monetary management, Members will be aware that in the past few years, we have implemented a number of monetary reform measures to strengthen our ability to maintain exchange rate stability under the linked exchange rate system. One of the important milestones was the "Accounting Arrangements" introduced in 1988. There is a contractual arrangement between the Financial Secretary as the controller of the Exchange Fund, and the Hongkong Bank as the Management Bank of the Clearing House of the Hong Kong Association of Banks. Under the Accounting Arrangements, the Hongkong Bank is required to maintain an account with the Exchange Fund, and to manage the net clearing balance of the rest of the banking system in such a way that it does not exceed the balance in its own account with the Exchange Fund.

8

The Accounting Arrangements have worked very well. They have provided the Monetary Authority with a mechanism to control the level of interbank liquidity. This enables us to effectively influence interbank interest rates for the purpose of ensuring exchange rate stability. Given the significance of this monetary reform measure, it is important that it be provided a statutory backing. The Bill seeks to achieve this by conferring upon the Financial Secretary the authority to require any authorized institution to open an account with the Monetary Authority for the account of the Exchange Fund. The terms and conditions of operating the accounts will be determined with regard to the purposes of the Fund, as laid down in sections 3(1) and (1 A) of the Ordinance.

This requirement will also facilitate the adoption in Hong Kong of a new and more robust interbank payment system, technically known as the Real Time Gross Settlement System. The conceptual design of this system, which has been endorsed by the Hong Kong Association of Banks and the Exchange Fund Advisory Committee, will involve all licensed banks opening clearing accounts with the Monetary Authority.

While we have enhanced the robustness of our monetary management system through the Accounting Arrangements and other reform measures, we still need the assurance that sufficient funds can be raised at short notice to defend the exchange rate of our currency in a crisis situation. This is the second area covered by the Bill. Section 3(3) of the principal Ordinance provides that the Financial Secretary may borrow for the account of the Fund on the security of any assets held by the Fund or on the general revenue. Such borrowings are, however, subject to a limit of HK$50 billion in section 3(4), which can only be amended through a resolution of this Council. This constraint is undesirable as we cannot afford any delay in raising sufficient US dollars in a pressing situation. I therefore propose to disapply the limit to borrowings which are secured on the Fund's assets. It is, however, considered appropriate that the approval of this Council should still be sought on the maximum amount of the Fund's borrowings secured on the general revenue.

I now turn to the third aspect of the Bill, which is related to the investment power of the Exchange Fund. Over the years, a number of new financial products such as interest rate swaps, currency options and bond futures have become widely used in international financial markets. As these financial products provide very useful vehicles for the Exchange Fund to hedge interest rate and market risks, I propose to broaden the investment ambit of the Exchange Fund so that the Financial Secretary may enter into a wider range of financial arrangements.

9

Mr President, perhaps some Members may wish to remind us of what happened in Orange County in California. Let me reassure Members that there are two safeguards in the Bill against the Exchange Fund engaging in high risk financial activities. First, the financial arrangements can only be entered into for the prudent management of the Fund, i.e. for hedging purposes. Secondly, there will be prior consultation with the Exchange Fund Advisory Committee before the Financial Secretary can enter into such arrangements.

The fourth aspect of the Bill deals with the mechanism for a transfer of "excess assets" of the Exchange Fund to the general revenue and other funds of Hong Kong, as stipulated in section 8 of the principal Ordinance. The present section 8 was an addition in 1964. The purpose was to enable the Financial Secretary, subject to consultation with the Exchange Fund Advisory Committee and with the approval of the Secretary of State, to devote such assets of the Fund which have become surplus to the requirements of the Fund to the general revenue or to any other funds of Hong Kong as the Secretary of State may approve. The reason for the introduction of this measure was to avoid the excessive accumulation of assets in the Fund.

At the time, it was considered that a 105 per cent cover for the Certificates of Indebtedness outstanding, in other words the amount of bank notes issued, would be adequate for the requirements of the Fund. Section 8 was later amended in 1968 to require a 105 per cent cover not only for the face value of Certificates of Indebtedness outstanding but also borrowings for the account of the Exchange Fund.

It is therefore clear that the spirit of section 8 has always been that a transfer from the Exchange Fund can be made only when there are assets surplus to the requirements of the Fund. This is a sound and prudent principle which should continue to apply. However, the quantitative measure in section 8 as to what is adequate for the requirements of the Fund has become itself rather inadequate with the passage of time. First, Hong Kong's monetary system has undergone considerable changes since 1964. Exchange controls were totally abolished in 1973. A freely convertible currency, no exchange controls and free flow of capital have become important features of our monetary system. These features have been enshrined in the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law.

Secondly, exchange rate stability under the framework of the linked exchange rate system has become our primary monetary policy objective since October 1983. Section 3(1 A) of the Exchange Fund Ordinance was also introduced in 1992 to include as the secondary purpose of the Fund the maintenance of the integrity and stability of the monetary and financial systems. Thirdly, there has been phenomenal growth in financial activities worldwide, involving huge flow of funds in an increasingly deregulated environment. The maintenance of currency stability now involves more than just full backing for bank notes and other borrowings.

10

In order to reflect more fully the original spirit of section 8,1 propose to clarify and tighten the conditions under which a transfer from the Fund can be made. The proposed amendment requires that the Financial Secretary must satisfy himself that his ability to achieve the purposes of the Fund laid down in the Ordinance will not be adversely affected before he can make a transfer. Furthermore, instead of listing out the items for which 105 per cent asset backing is required, all obligations for the account of the Exchange Fund will need to be so backed by assets before a transfer can be made. It is also proposed that the Governor in Council should replace the Secretary of State as the approving authority for such transfer. Consultation with the Exchange Fund Advisory Committee will continue to be required.

In introducing these amendments to section 8 of the Ordinance, I must point out clearly that I have no intention to make any transfer. In my opinion as Financial Secretary, a sizable Exchange Fund is crucial to our ability to deliver monetary and financial stability in the transitional period. I simply cannot foresee that the conditions allowing a transfer from the Fund under section 8, if amended, would exist in the next few years.

Let me now briefly mention the fifth aspect of the Bill. As Members know, the issue of bank notes in Hong Kong is backed by the Certificates of Indebtedness issued by the Exchange Fund. At present, the issue and redemption of such certificates involve physical delivery. With a view to improving the efficiency and security of the process, the Bill contains provisions for the issue and redemption of these certificates to be handled through computerized book entries.

Last but not least, the Bill transfers to the Hong Kong Government certain powers over the control of the Exchange Fund which are presently vested in the Secretary of State in the UK Government. These changes are made in a manner which is fully consistent with the relevant provisions in the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law.

Mr President, the Bill is an important piece of legislation which will provide an up-to-date and more robust legal framework for our monetary management and for the prudent management of the Exchange Fund. The enhanced autonomy in the control of the Fund so vested in the Hong Kong Government will also contribute to a smooth transition to 1997.

End/Wednesday, January 11, 1995

11

Debate on Employees' Compensation Bill resumed

*****

Following is the speech by the Acting Secretary for Education and Manpower, Miss Jacqueline Willis, at the resumption of second reading debate on Employees’ Compensation (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1994 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I am grateful to Members for their support for the bill. In particular, I should like to express my appreciation to the Honourable Henry Tang and other members of the Bills Committee for their detailed examination of this bill. In response to the Bills Committee members’ suggestions, 1 shall be moving some amendments to the bill at the Committee Stage later. I have also taken note of the views expressed by members this afternoon.

End/Wednesday, January 11, 1995

Employees’ Compensation Bill at committee stage

*****

Following is the speech by the Acting Secretary for Education and Manpower, Miss Jacqueline Willis, at the committee stage of the Employees’ Compensation (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1994 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr Chairman,

I move that Clause 1(1) be amended as set out in the paper circulated to Members. This technical amendment is to correct the title of the Bill to ’Employees' Compensation (Amendment) Bill 1995'.

I move that Clause 3 be amended as presented in the paper circulated to Members. This amendment comprises two parts :

12

The first part concerns the proposed Section 5(4)(e) of the Ordinance. It seeks to specify that an employee driving or operating any means of transport provided by his employer between his home and his place of work for the purpose of work must be travelling 'by a direct route', in order to be eligible to claim compensation for any injuries sustained in the course of such travel. This will serve to prevent possible abuse of this newly proposed right to seek compensation by employees.

The second part is on the proposed Section 5(4)(g) of the Ordinance. It seeks to further extend the scope of compensation to cover injuries sustained by employees through accidents which occur to them whilst travelling on a work-related trip between two places outside Hong Kong. This is proposed in recognition of a genuine need for this extra protection on behalf of employees.

I move that Clause 7 be amended as set out in the paper circulated to Members for the same reason as 1 proposed to move Clause 1( 1) to this Bill.

With these remarks. 1 beg to move. Mr Chairman.

End/Wednesday. January 11. 1995

Industrial Training (Clothing Industry) Bill *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Trade and Industry, Mr T II Chau, at the committee stage of the Industrial Training (Clothing Industry) (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1994 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr Chairman.

I move that clause I be amended as set out in the paper circulated to Members. This is purely a technical amendment to update the title of the bill.

End/Wednesday. January 11. 1995

13

Motion to amend election regulations *****

Following is a speech by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Nicholas Ng, in a motion to amend the Boundary and Election Commission (Registration of Electors) (Functional Constituencies and Election Committee Constituency) Regulation in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

1 move the resolution standing in my name in the Order paper.

The purpose of the resolution is to amend the Boundary and Election Commission (Registration of Electors) (Functional Constituencies and Election Committee Constituency) Regulation which was tabled in this Council on 16 November. The Council set up a Subcommittee to study the Regulation after members expressed concern over some of the provisions relating to the detailed arrangements for registering electors in the nine new functional constituencies (FC). The Administration and the Registration and Electoral Office met the Subcommittee on three occasions to discuss Members' concerns and to explore ways to address such concerns. The proposed amendments, which have been fully endorsed by the Boundary and Election Commission (BEC), are the result of those useful discussions.

If 1 may recap, the registration of electors for the nine new FCs will mainly be operated through a simple notification system. The success of this system relies on the co-operation of the employers in providing some basic information about their employees eligible to vote in the nine new FCs. Some Members are of the view that although employers' co-operation is necessary, they should not be unduly burdened when it comes to the provision of information. Members consider that only the basic information should be obtained for the purpose of registering the electors. This actually has all along been the BEC's guiding principle and it is not adverse to having it spelt out even more precisely. Thus, to put employers' mind at ease, the Commission has agreed to amend Section 6 of the regulation to provide expressly that, for the purpose of sending notification under Section 7 of the Regulation, the Registration Officer can only obtain from an employer information on the nature of business of an organisation, as well as the names and identity card numbers of his employees. The power of the Registration Officer under the rest of Section 6 of the regulation will still be needed to allow him to obtain other information from relevant persons and organisations to update and improve the accuracy of the voter register.

14

Members have also expressed concern over the first-come-first-served arrangement in the BEC Regulation for registering up to 6 individual electors (or 4 in the case of trade unions) to replace the previously single corporate vote. They are concerned that the Registration Officer might have a problem in selecting which applicants to register if the number exceeds the quota, if they all arrive at the same time. Or that the later arrivals arc the ones that have the endorsement of the organisation after a due process of internal agreement. The BEC has acknowledged the validity of the concern and has decided to replace the first-come-first-served method of registration by the drawing of lots if the quota is exceeded. As some applicants may be eligible for representing more than one corporate entity, provisions are also made to allow them time to register under another firm or organisation if they fail to be included after the first draw. To allow this to happen, the first draw will be held shortly after 1 May for this category of applicants in the amended Regulation. As a final safeguard, those applicants who are by themselves eligible to register in their ow n personal capacity in one of the non-corporate functional constituencies, had they not been required to represent a corporate body, will be encouraged to fill out a standby application so that even if they eventually fail to get registered under an organisation, their individual right to register as an elector for a FC will not be negated. The BEC and Registration and Electoral Office will explain the procedure to corporate voters in detailed guidelines to be issued during the registration period.

Finally, some Members have difficulties with the penalty provision of 6 months imprisonment for an employer’s failure to provide the Registration Officer with information about his employees within the specified time. It is considered that the gravity of the offence should not attract such a severe punishment. While the original penalty provision of level 2 fine ($5000) and 6 months imprisonment can be found in other similar legislative provisions, the BEC has agreed to delete the penalty provision of imprisonment under section 23(4) to allay employers' worry. I understand Members are of the opinion that wilful supply of false or incorrect information to the Registration Officer should still be subject to more severe sanction and therefore the level 2 fine and 6 months imprisonment penalty for such wilful offences have been retained.

Mr President, the registration of electors for the FCs, in particular the nine new functional constituencies, will be an onerous task as the electorate will encompass all eligible persons in our workforce of over 2.9 million. With the next Legislative Council elections scheduled to take place on 17 September, the BEC is operating under a very tight timetable. But registration work can only start upon the passage of this particular Regulation. I believe the proposed amendments have adequately addressed the concerns of members and I urge them to give their support to this resolution.

Mi President, 1 beg to move.

End/Wednesday. January 11, 1995

15

Amendments to Magistrates Ordinance *****

Following is a speech by the Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Gordon Siu, in moving the Third Schedule to the Magistrates Ordinance in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move the motion standing in my name in the Order Paper which proposes that the Third Schedule to the Magistrates Ordinance, Chapter 227 be amended by resolution of this Council pursuant to section 18E(4) of the Ordinance.

Section 18E of the Ordinance provides that the defendant may plead guilty by letter to those offences specified in the Third Schedule. Item 2 in the Third Schedule specifies offences under regulation 3 (unlicensed dogs) and regulation 19 (improper control of dogs) of the Dogs and Cats Regulations, Chapter 167 as offences to which the defendant may plead guilty by letter. These two regulations have now been repealed and substituted by equivalent offences under the Rabies Ordinance. Chapter 421 and the Rabies Regulation. It is accordingly proposed that the Magistrates Ordinance should be amended by resolution of this Council to delete the references to the Dogs and Cats Regulations and to replace them, by the references to the two equivalent offences under the Rabies Regulation.

Mr President. 1 beg to move.

End/Wednesday. January 11, 1995

Four new judicial offices set up *****

Following is a speech by the Chief Secretary, the Hon Mrs Anson Chan, in moving a motion under the Judicial Service Commission Ordinance in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

On 8 July 1994, the Finance Committee of this Council approved the recommendation of its Establishment Sub-Committec that four new Judicial Officer ranks and posts should be created under the Court Leadership Scheme. These four new judicial offices are Chief District Judge, Chief Magistrate. Principal Presiding Officer. Labour Tribunal and Principal Adjudicator. Small Claims Tribunal.

16

Section 2 of the Judicial Service Commission Ordinance specifies the term ’’judicial office” as any judicial office specified in the First Schedule to the Ordinance. The Schedule now needs to be amended to include the four new judicial offices approved by the Finance Committee on 8 July. In accordance with section 14 of the Judicial Service Ordinance, the amendments to the Schedule now require the approval of this Council by resolution.

Mr President, I beg to move.

End/Wednesday, January 11, 1995

Air traffic co-ordination in Pearl River Delta *****

Following is a question by the Hon Steven Poon Kwok-lim and a reply by the Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Gordon Siu. in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

In the Policy Debate of the Legislative Council in October 1991.1 called on the Government to discuss with China the possibility of co-operation to resolve the problem which would arise from the existence of several international airports, including that of I long Kong, in the Pearl River area within a radius of 100 kilometres. It has been reported that efforts are being made by the Chinese authority concerned to seek to make the Zhuhai and Guangzhou airports become the airports co-ordination centre in south China. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of the following :

(a) whether Hong Kong's new airport at Chek Lap Kok will have sufficient facilities to become the airports co-ordination centre in south China;

(b) if the answer to (a) is in the affirmative, whether the Government has suggested to the Chinese authority that Hong Kong's new airport should become the airports co-ordination centre in south China; if so. how the suggestion has been conveyed to the Chinese authority;

(c) whether the Government has assessed the implications on the local economy arising from Hong Kong's new airport becoming the airports co-ordination centre in south China: and

17

(d) whether the Government knows when the Chinese authority will make a final decision regarding the siting of such a co-ordination centre?

Answer:

Mr President,

In view of the proximity of a number of existing and planned airports in the Pearl River Delta Region, the need for careful coordination of airspace management and air traffic control arrangements is well recognised by the civil aviation authorities concerned. Our fundamental objective is to develop, in consultation with neighbouring airports, arrangements which promote the optimal use of airspace, minimise air traffic congestion and lead to the highest levels of operational efficiency and safety.

To this end, regular technical coordination meetings are held between air traffic control managers in I long Kong and Guangzhou to ensure that operational procedures are in place to meet the needs of existing airports.

A number of options exist for the safe and efficient management of airspace in the Pearl River Delta. The establishment of a joint air traffic control centre, responsible for airspace management for a number of neighbouring airports, is one of the options. The British and Chinese sides have agreed that the various options for air traffic coordination in the Pearl River Delta should be discussed under the auspices of the recently established Infrastructure Coordinating Committee (ICC): and we look forward to discussing the issue within the context of the Committee.

If, following discussions in the Committee, it is concluded that a joint air traffic centre is the preferred option, the air traffic control facility at Hong Kong's new airport would be well-able to undertake such a role. Our new airport at Chek Lap Kok will be the largest in the Region, with traffic volumes on opening likely to be more than double the total handled by all neighbouring airports. It will also have the benefit of the most up-to-date radar and other technical equipment.

End/Wednesday, January 11, 1995

18

Causes of fatal traffic accidents *****

Following is a question by the Hon Simon Ip Sik-on and a reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

Deaths resulting from traffic accidents have risen in the past three years and several fatal accidents have occurred recently. Will the Administration inform this council:

(a) what are the most common causes of fatal traffic accidents;

(b) what measures will be taken to prohibit drunken driving;

(c) what measures will be taken to prevent or reduce reckless and careless driving and to enforce good road discipline; and

(d) whether young or newly qualified drivers will be subjected to a more rigorous system of testing?

Reply:

Mr President,

The number of fatal traffic accidents rose from 318 in 1992 to 336 in 1993, but in fact declined to 277 last year.

Based on investigations following fatal traffic accidents the Transport Department has established that the most common causes are:-

(a) driving too fast for the road conditions;

(b) losing control of the vehicle;

(c) pedestrian negligence; and

(d) defective vehicle brakes.

19

Drunken driving is already an offence under the Road Traffic Ordinance. However, enforcement of this particular offence is difficult since the legislation does not specify a limit for the concentration of alcohol in the blood and it does not require a suspected drunken driver to provide samples of breath, urine or blood for testing. For these reasons it is not possible to say with any accuracy the extent to which drunken driving is a cause of fatal traffic accidents, although of course there is circumstantial evidence to suggest that this is a factor. On the recommendation of the Road Safety Council, we plan to introduce legislative amendments correcting these deficiencies in the law on drink driving within the current session of this Council. The introduction of the new legislation will be accompanied by extensive publicity to warn the public about the dangers of driving after consuming excessive amounts of alcohol.

Die Transport Panel of this Council has been briefed on our proposals. I am conscious of the need to do more to prevent reckless and careless driving and to enforce better road discipline. Certainty of detection and prosecution are the most effective means of changing unacceptable driving practices. In this respect, the Police patrols of expressways have increased and unmarked Police patrol vehicles equipped with video cameras will shortly be brought into service. These will facilitate the gathering of evidence to prosecute drivers. Also cameras installed at road junctions have proven to be a very effective deterrent against driving through red traffic lights. More of these cameras are being installed. We are also continuing our publicity efforts aimed at driver education, for example, using television API's, posters, and broadcasts in the road tunnels.

We believe that our system of driver testing is already very stringent. Nevertheless, 1 accept that it is now appropriate to review the situation and reconsider whether any special arrangements need be introduced in respect of young or inexperienced drivers. In this respect we are collecting data from other countries.

End/Wednesday, January 11, 1995

Prosecutions regarding smoking in public places *****

Following is a question by the Hon Man Sai-cheong and a reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare. Mrs Katherine Fok. in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

As smoking is prevalent in certain public places designated as no smoking areas (such as cinemas and public light buses), will the Government inform this Council:

20

(a) whether the Government has conducted periodic reviews on the situation regarding the enforcement of the legislation on prohibition of smoking in public places;

(b) of the number of prosecutions regarding smoking offences in public places in the past year; and

(c) how the Government can ensure that the anticipated effects of the legislation will be achieved?

Reply :

Mr President,

The Smoking (Public Health) Ordinance stipulates that no one should smoke in public transport carriers and certain designated no-smoking areas like cinemas, concert halls, amusement game centres and public lifts as listed in Schedule 3 to the Ordinance. Any person who smokes or carries a lighted cigarette, cigar or pipe in a designated no-smoking area commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a maximum fine of $5,000.

During the period from January to December 1994, we prosecuted 3,015 persons under the relevant provisions. Furthermore, separate enforcement action has been taken by transport operators and managers of designated no-smoking areas to ensure compliance with the law.

The Administration will review regularly the need to strengthen the existing anti-smoking measures in line with community aspirations and public attitude. However, this process of changing traditional culture and personal habits cannot be accomplished by punitive sanctions alone. 1 appeal to Honourable Members of this Council, the Council on Smoking and Health, our non-governmental organisations and the community as a whole to continue to support and participate in our mission to promote a smoke-free society through legislative provisions, publicity campaigns and educational programmes.

End/Wednesday, January 11, 1995

21

Reduction in air pollution

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Christine Loh Kung-wai and a reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Tony Eason, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In his policy address last October, the Governor made a policy commitment to cut vehicle pollution by 20 per cent over the next two years. Will the Administration inform this Council of:

(a) the specific programmes that will be implemented to achieve this target;

(b) the estimates of approximate pollution reduction, by type of pollutant, that are expected from each programme and the timetable for their implementation;

(c) the way in which the reduction in air pollution will be verified as well as the numerical baseline the Administration is working from; and

(d) the frequency of progress updates that the public can expect?

Reply :

Mr President.

To achieve the 20 per cent reduction in vehicle pollution we propose the following measures: the introduction of more stringent vehicle emission standards, a requirement for cleaner automotive diesel fuel, a more stringent vehicle inspection and maintenance programme, higher penalties for smoky vehicles, and a scheme to reduce the reliance on light duty diesel vehicles.

The 20 per cent reduction in vehicle pollution refers to the reduction in respirable suspended particulates. We aim to achieve about 9 per cent of the reduction by the introduction of more stringent vehicle emission standards and cleaner diesel fuel in 1995; about 9 per cent by reducing reliance on light duty diesel vehicles beginning in 1996: and about 2 per cent reduction by combining a stricter vehicle inspection and maintenance programme with the introduction of higher penalties for smoky vehicles by mid-1996.

22

The reduction in air pollution will be verified by monitoring ambient air pollution concentrations. The reference baseline is the projected 1996 air quality conditions without the measures proposed.

We intend to report on the progress on a yearly basis in addition to the air monitoring data already published every month.

End/Wednesday, January 11, 1995

Registration of doctors *****

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Leong Che-hung and a reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Is the Administration aware of cases where persons not qualified for registration, or persons having had their names struck off permanently or removed for a period of time from the Register of Medical Practitioners, professed themselves to be registered and practised medicine or surgery? If so, will the Administration inform this Council :

(a) of the number of cases that have been investigated and successfully prosecuted in the past three years;

(b) what measures the Administration will take to monitor the situation, so as to ensure that all practising medical practitioners are registered; and

(c) whether the Administration will issue any guidelines to enable the public to distinguish "genuine” registered medical practitioners from those who are not registered?

Reply :

Mr President.

The Administration is not aware of any case where registered medical practitioners have continued to practise medicine after having had their names struck off permanently or removed for a period of time from the Medical Register of the Medical Council.

- 23 -

Notwithstanding this, in order to help the Police in initiating action, if necessary, against doctors who practice illegally, the Department of Health will inform the Commissioner of Police and the relevant District Police Commander of the particulars of medical practitioners whose names have been removed permanently or for a period of time from the register at the same time as the Medical Council publishes such orders in the Government Gazette.

The Department of Health and the Medical Council occasionally receive information or complaints from the public about persons not qualified for registration who are practising medicine. These cases are referred to the Police for further investigation and action. Professional input from the Department of Health is provided where necessary'.

From 1992 to 1994 the Medical Council received 8 such complaints directly from the public. These have been referred to the Police. A total of 65 cases have been reported to the Department of Health in the same period. All have been referred to the Police for further investigation. 19 of these cases have resulted in conviction.

A full list of all registered medical practitioners in Hong Kong (with names and particulars) is published twice a year. It is available for sale through the Government Publications Centre, and for reference in major public libraries. The public can refer to the list if they are in doubt of the legitimacy of a doctor's practice. At the same time, they can always make enquiries direct to the Medical Council Secretariat.

End/Wcdnesday. January 11, 1995

Use of courtroom time

* ♦ * * ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Mrs Elsie Tu and a written reply by the Chief Secretary, the Hon Mrs Anson Chan, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

Is the Government aware of the following hearing times in one of the courts in the High Court on three consecutive working days in the month of November last year:

Friday, 18 November Application for bail lasting about half an hour;

24

Monday, 21 November Application for bail lasting about half an hour;

Tuesday. 22 November Plea and judgment lasting not more than one hour;

if so, will the Government inform this Council why such limited use of courtroom time has occurred and whether such a situation has resulted in unnecessary delays to other court cases awaiting adjudication?

Reply :

President,

The Judiciary has looked into the case referred to. A five months' trial was originally scheduled for the court in question. A week or so before the trial was due to commence on 7 November 1994, the case was adjourned at the request of the Defence. This resulted in a three-week gap in the diary of that court.

The unexpectedly vacant court days were immediately filled by other trials. The three vacant days referred to in the question arose as a result of the adjournment of a refixed trial because the Accused in that second trial insisted on changing his legal representative.

In a further attempt to fill the court's diary, several injunction applications were set down. These were duly disposed of. This left two vacant days for which no suitable cases could be found.

This case illustrates the problems that can arise because the present listing system assures parties of fixed dates for trials. Court diaries are fixed months in advance. If for whatever reason, a ease has to be refixed at short notice, or a case runs for a shorter period than expected or is adjourned, it may not always be possible to fill the unexpected gap in the court diary despite the best efforts of the Judiciary.

The Judiciary recognises that there is scope for fine-tuning the listing system to improve judicial efficiency. Various initiatives are being explored to enable the filling of odd slots that unexpectedly arise in Judges' diaries e.g. the possibility of launching an interlocutory running list. Furthermore, the Judiciary is also consulting other relevant parties on how to achieve better case management through firmer control of the process of trials and refusal of unnecessary adjournments.

End/Wednesday, January 11, 1995

25

Landfill at Shang Xia Ping Valley

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Peggy Lam and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Tony Eason, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It is learnt that the Shenzhen Municipal Government and a local company are planning to set up a joint venture to develop a landfill covering an area of 150 hectares at the Shang Xia Ping valley which is located at the northern end of the Luo Hu District. According to environmentalists, the proposed landfill will further pollute the Shenzhen River. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:

(a) the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) is aware of the details of the development project; if so, whether the EPD will assess the extent of pollution which the project will bring to the Shenzhen River; and

(b) the EPD has started any dialogue with Chinese officials regarding the project?

Reply :

Mr President,

The Administration has not been informed that there are plans to develop the landfill referred to. We will try to obtain information on the project however.

End/Wednesday, January 11, 1995

Criteria for promotion of civil servants

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Chim Pui-chung and a written reply by the Secretary for the Civil Service, Mr Michael Sze, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In regard to the promotion system in the civil service, will the Government inform this Council:

26

(a) of the criteria on which the promotion of civil servants is based;

(b) whether the details of the criteria can be disclosed; and

(c) whether the policy secretaries promoted recently have satisfied these criteria?

Reply:

Mr President,

My replies to the three questions raised are as follows:

(a) The criteria for the promotion of civil servants are set out in general terms in the Civil Service Regulations which refer to character, ability, any qualifications prescribed for the promotion rank in question and experience. The regulations require that if no candidate stands out as clearly the most suitable, seniority should then be taken into account. The principle underpinning these regulations is that promotion is not a reward for long service, but a recognition that the officer selected is able and ready to perform the duties of the next higher rank. In line with this principle, individual grades may set out more detailed criteria to meet their particular requirements. In the case of the Administrative Officer Grade the promotion criteria in the Civil Service Regulations are reflected in what are referred to as the four 'P's : namely, performance, personality, postability and potential, which are the governing criteria in the selection of Administrative Officers for promotion;

(b) the general promotion criteria are clearly laid down in the Civil Service Regulations. There are also guidelines requiring Heads of Dcpartments/Heads of Grades to inform officers in the lower rank in writing of the holding of a promotion exercise and the criteria for selection for promotion;

(c) the officers recently promoted to the rank of Secretary were selected in accordance with the selection criteria and procedures laid down in the Civil Service Regulations. The four 'P's referred to in (a) above were the guiding criteria in the selection exercise. These criteria were also used by the posting board which selected and recommended candidates to fill Secretary posts on an acting basis, also recently announced.

End/Wednesday. January 11, 1995

27

Community Electronic Trading Service

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Peter Wong and a written reply by the Secretary for the Treasury, Mr Donald Tsang, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In regard to the Community Electronic Trading Service, will the Government inform this Council of the reasons why the Government contractor had withdrawn from the supply of computer hardware and services to Tradelink in which the Government has a 30% interest and why another contractor was then picked to supply the hardware without a re-tendering exercise?

Reply :

Tradelink is a private company in which Government currently holds a 48% interest. Tradelink's original partner for the Community Electronic Trading Service (CETS) was selected in 1993 on the basis that it would best meet Tradelink's requirements following evaluation of a number of proposals from vendors. During negotiation of the detailed contractual arrangements in the course of 1994, it became clear that a number of important differences could not be resolved between Tradelink and its original partner over the terms and conditions for the system integration contract. Both sides therefore agreed to end the negotiations, allowing fradelink to pursue an alternative solution as quickly as possible. A number of the other original proponents were asked to make further proposals for this purpose and Iradelink selected the one that best met Tradelink's requirements. To launch a tendering exercise ab initio would have been inconsistent with the original selection procedures, would have entailed serious delays to the CETS project and would not have been in the interests of the trading community.

End/Wednesday. January 11, 1995

28

New holding area for tourists at airport *****

Following is a question by the Hon Howard Young and a written reply by the Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Gordon Siu, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Travel agents often encounter difficulties in picking up arriving overseas tourists in the heavily congested arrival area at Kai Tak Airport. In order to facilitate travel agents to meet their clients from overseas, will the Government inform this Council whether it will consider :

(a) granting permission with certain restrictions to some travel agents for entry to the arrival area buffer zone between the exits and the Customs counters to meet arriving tourist groups:

(b) installing TV-monitors outside the designated exits leading to hotel and travel agents transport, to assist the travel agents in locating their clients; and

(c) putting up more signs indicating the ’meeting point’ for tourists at the existing airport as well as the future Chek Lap Kok Airport?

Answer :

The restricted access ’’Buffer Hall", which is located between the Customs and Arrivals halls in the Passenger Terminal at Kai Tak Airport, was established in 1978 to facilitate the smooth flow of arriving passengers and provide incoming visitors with an opportunity to seek assistance in finding accommodation or other services without being subject to possible harassment by touts. Facilities located within, or adjacent to the Buffer Hall, include counters manned by staff of the Hong Kong Tourist Association and the Hong Kong Hotels Association and a Tour Group Reception and Co-ordination Centre at which leaders of group tours can make contact with their local counterparts.

29

As the existing arrangements work well and have been successful in reducing the nuisance and obstruction formerly caused by touts, the Civil Aviation Department considers that the present restrictions on access to the Buffer Hall should be retained. Nevertheless in order to improve further services for travel agents and arriving tour groups the Department is planning to construct a new holding area, adjacent the Arrivals frontage, to serve arriving passengers awaiting group transportation to their hotels. Subject to approval of the necessary resources, this facility will be provided with seating, air-conditioning and flight information displays and will be accessible to travel agents meeting their clients from overseas.

As regards facilities to assist travel agents, closed-circuit television cameras will be installed at the exits of the Buffer Hall leading to the Arrivals Hall, on a trial basis, starting in mid-May. In addition, large television monitors will be positioned at various locations within the arrivals area. These new systems will help alleviate the congestion often experienced near the passenger arrival ramps by enabling greeters to identify incoming passengers on the television display units before moving towards the greeting area.

As regards signs, the Civil Aviation Department will consider the possible need for additional or improved signage to direct arriving tourists to the 'Meeting Point' in the Arrivals Hall at Kai Tak. in consultation with representatives of the travel industry. As regards the new airport, the Provisional Airport Authority (PAA) has held regular meetings with representatives of the travel industry in order to ensure that their requirements for the Passenger Terminal Building will be met. By way of example, the Buffer Hall at the new airport will be designed to accommodate group assembly areas and information desks in response to requests from the industry that they be able to collect their clients prior to entry into the Meeters/Greeters Hall. Also, tall signage posts displaying large graphic symbols and clear signage pictograms will be used.

End/Wednesday, January 11, 1995

30

Labour importation for new airport projects *****

Following is a question by the Hon Michael Ho Mun-ka and a written reply by the Acting Secretary for Education and Manpower, Miss Jacqueline Willis, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

With regard to the importation of labour for the new airport projects, will the Government inform this Council :

(a) of the procedures for the importation of labour for such projects (including the determination of wage rates, approving criteria and ancillary conditions);

(b) of the respective numbers of local and imported workers employed for each of the projects under the Airport Core Programme up to the present moment;

(c) of the types of jobs with imported workers, together with a breakdown of the number of imported workers and their wage levels in each type;

(d) whether the Government has made an estimate of the types of jobs as well as the respective numbers of imported workers required for each type under various airport projects requiring importation of labour in 1996; if so, what are the details of the estimate; and

(e) whether the Government has made an assessment of the impact which an expanded quota of imported workers for the airport projects will have on the wage increase of local construction workers in the next few years; if so, what is the out-come of the assessment?

Reply :

Mr President,

My reply to the Honourable member's question in seriatim is as follows :

31

(a) Employers who have been awarded works contracts which qualify for importation of labour under the special labour importation scheme for Airport Core Projects (ACP) and who wish to do so should first submit a preliminary application to Immigration Department for permission to import workers. The Immigration Department will consult the Labour Department on employment matters and the New Airport Projects Coordination Office (NAPCO) to ensure that the number and types of workers to be imported and the proposed employment periods are compatible with the nature of works and the contract period. The vacancies are then registered with the Local Employment Services of the Labour Department and sent to relevant trade unions for information for a minimum period of four weeks in order that local workers are given first priority to apply for them. When the Immigration Department is satisfied that the application to import labour can be approved, a standard employment contract is provided to the employers who are required, amongst other conditions, to pay the imported workers wages at a level no less than the allowable median monthly wages of local workers for similar jobs in Hong Kong as determined by the relevant wage statistics compiled and published every six months by the Census and Statistics Department. Once their preliminary applications are approved, the employers involved can then submit formal visa applications for the workers to be imported.

(b) The number and percentage of imported workers vis-a vis the total number employed for each of the ACP projects up to 31 December 1994 are set out at Annex A.

(c) The cumulative breakdown of imported workers for the special Labour Importation Scheme for the ACP since it was introduced in 1991 by the types of jobs and corresponding wage levels as at 31 December 1994 is at Annex B.

(d) We have estimated that the total number of workers required for ACP projects when it reaches the peak in 1996 will be 30,000 man-years. This figure has been worked out on the basis of the estimated gross labour demand of three categories of projects, namely, the 7 Government ACP projects and the Western Harbour Crossing, Chck Lap Kok Phase 1A works, and Mass Transit Railway Corporation’s contracts for the Airport Railway. The detailed breakdown is at Annex C.

32

As regards the types of jobs requiring imported workers in 1996, it is not possible to break down the estimated total by types/categories of workers, because the actual types of workers vary with the methods of construction, and they also vary from one contractor to another.

(e) An assessment of the impact on construction wages of a shortage in the supply of construction site workers has revealed that if the additional 17,000 imported workers under the Phase 1 of the revised quota ceiling are not available, it is likely that the wage level of the construction industry as a whole will increase more rapidly than it otherwise will by around 3 percentage points in 1995, 7 percentage points in 1996 when construction works on ACP projects reach their peak and 2.5 percentage points when ACP works advance towards completion. It also shows that even with the interim expanded quota ceiling, construction wages in the next couple of years can still be expected to increase at a faster rate than in the past two years.

End/Wednesday, January 11, 1995

Arrest of illegal immigrants *****

Following is a question by the Hon James To Kun-sun and a written reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Alistair Asprey. in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

There have been a number of robberies committed by illegal immigrants (Ils) in remote villages in the New Territories in recent months, causing great concern among the villagers. In connection with this, will the Government inform this Council:-

(a) of the Ils arrested in each of the past six months, how many have been involved in robbery cases, and what is the number of such cases per month; and how do these figures compare with those of the same period last year;

(b) how many Ils were intercepted by the Police near the border in the past six months and how docs this figure compare with that of the same period last year;

33

(c) whether the number of Ils entering the territory from places near the border is on the increase; if so, what the reasons are;

(d) what difficulties have been encountered by the police in rounding up Ils; and

(e) what measures will be taken by the police to step up efforts to round up Ils in the border area, thereby safeguarding villagers in remote locations from harassment and losses?

Reply :

Mr President,

(a) The number of illegal immigrants arrested in each of the last six months, the number involved in robbery cases and the total number of robbery cases, compared to the numbers in the same period past year are set out below :-

1994 July AugUSl Sept Oct Nov Dec

(i) no. of H's arrested 2524 2628 2741 2682 2766 2648

(ii) no. of Il’s involved in robbery cases 7 10 13 11 19 37

(iii) no. of territory-wide robbery cases 536 448 488 572 535 516

1993 July AugUSl Sept Oct Nov Dec

(i) no. of H's arrested 3107 3188 2942 3219 3102 2996

(ii) no. of H’s involved in robbery cases 1 9 1 6 14 19

(iii) no. of territorywide robbery cases 595 540 588 608 479 561

34

(b) The number of illegal immigrants arrested by Police near the Border in the past six months was 4,787. This compares with a total of 5,212 in the same period last year.

(c) The number of illegal immigrants entering Hong Kong was lower in 1994 than in the previous two years.

(d) A number of factors account for the difficulties experienced by the Police in the arrest of illegal immigrants. The open sea approaches to the Territory and the large number of vessels plying these routes for legitimate reasons provide opportunities for illegal immigrants to enter Hong Kong. The rise in cross border traffic has provided more opportunities for illegal immigrants. The difficult terrain in the Sha Tau Kok area, with its thick undergrowth, provides good cover for illegal immigrants.

(e) The Police have taken a number of measures to step up efforts to arrest illegal immigrants in the Border area. The Field Patrol Detachment, consisting of four PTU companies, covers the Border area from Tsim Bei Tsui in the west to Sha Tau Kok in the east. Three companies are deployed along the Border itself on a 24-hour basis. They are deployed in a combination of ambush positions and patrols. The fourth company is designated as a Quick Reaction Force, capable of deploying manpower at short notice to interdict illegal immigrants. In addition, operations based on intelligence arc mounted at locations where illegal immigrants are known to be present. Close liaison is maintained with villagers to gather information and to give appropriate advice. The assistance of the Chinese authorities is also enlisted to counter the problem.

End/Wednesday, January 11, 1995

Measures ensure navigational safety in Victoria Harbour *****

Following is a question by the Hon Samuel Wong Ping-wai and a written reply by the Secretary for Works, Mr James Blake, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the reclamation works on both sides of the Victoria harbour, will the Government inform this Council :

35

(a) of the shortest distance between the Kowloon peninsula and the Central district as well as Wanchai on the Hong Kong Island respectively when the reclamation works are completed;

(b) whether the existing ferry services are being affected by the reclamation works; if so, what the situation is; and when normal operation of the sendees can resume;

(c) what measures are taken by the Government departments concerned and the ferry companies to avoid accidents involving vessels plying the Harbour; and

(d) whether the Government has conducted an environmental impact assessment on how the Victoria Harbour will be affected before and after the completion of the works; if so, what the details of the assessment are.

Reply :

Mr President,

(a) Upon the completion of the reclamation work, the shortest distance between Kowloon peninsula and Central will be 820 metres, that between Kowloon peninsula and Wanchai will be 880 metres. This may be slightly reduced if a helicopter landing pad is added.

(b) There is very little affect to the one remaining ferry at West Kowloon. Reclamation works affecting Wanchai have given rise to increased journey times and a higher incidence of vessel breakdowns, mainly caused by increased debris in the sea. Ferry operators have made extra efforts to cope with the problems so as to minimise disruption to passengers, e.g., by adjusting berthing arrangements to minimise delays; exploring with engineer manufacturers on improving designs to overcome the problem of increased debris; and undertaking more frequent preventive maintenance.

The effect on the ferry services in Wanchai has been kept to the minimum by suitably arranging the sequence of works. The situation would be back to normal in mid 1996 after the reprovisioned pier facilities become available; and for Central services, in mid 1997 after completion of the current phase of Central Reclamation works. For the Jordan Road ferry service, a temporary ferry pier will be provided at the existing Government Dockyard site by Feb 96, so that the existing ferry pier can be abandoned for the reclamation works. This temporary arrangement will also allow more time to consider alternative locations of the permanent replacement ferry pier in the context of the Kowloon Point reclamation as envisaged under the Metroplan.

36

(c) The following measures has been adopted to ensure navigational safety in Victoria Harbour :

Promulgation of accurate navigational information and safety advice by publication of Marine Department Notices and Notices to Mariners. Navigational information include the boundaries of works areas, the manner of demarcating the limits, nature of works, period of works, establishment of navigational aids, establishment of restricted areas and positions of fairway. Safety advice include professional guidance on speed of vessel, observance of good seamanship and how to avoid navigational hazards.

«

Making announcements of traffic arrangements on radio and television.

-- Establishment of navigational lightbuoys to enable more precise segregation of opposite traffic and to avoid crossing traffic.

Removal of mooring buoys to provide more navigable space.

Diversion of ocean-going traffic away from heavy traffic area of the harbour.

Cancellation of speed restriction exemption when navigating in central harbour. Stepping up prosecutions against overspeeding.

Giving specific directions to works contractors regarding movement of works vessels.

Diversion of fairways to guide vessels to keep a safe distance from works area.

Increase in the presence of patrol launches in harbour waters by commissioning three fast patrol launches and prolonging the operational hours of existing patrol launches.

Keeping ferry (including local ferries, Macau ferries & China ferries) operators up to date on the traffic situation, and getting them involved in planning changes.

Raising the safety awareness of vessel operators.

37

(d) An assessment of the environmental implications of the reclamation in Victoria Harbour was conducted as part of a series of studies including the Harbour Reclamation and Urban Growth Studies completed in 1982, and Port and Airport Development Strategy and the Central and Wanchai Reclamation Feasibility Study, both completed in 1989. Detailed modelling of water quality implications of the reclamation was also carried out as part of Sewage Strategy Study' completed in 1989, the Engineering Studies on Strategic Sewage Disposal Scheme Stage 1 and the current review of the Strategic Sewage Disposal Scheme Stage 2.

For the reclamation strategy currently adopted, the results indicate there would be a reduction in flow through the Victoria Harbour of up to 15%. However, with the implementation of the sewerage master plans, the Strategic Sewage Disposal Scheme as well as an early declaration of Victoria Harbour as a Water Control Zone water quality in the harbour can be within the established criteria.

End/Wednesday. January 11. 1995

Traffic accidents in tunnels

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Miriam Lau and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the adoption of the one-tube-two-way-traffic arrangement in the territory’s road tunnels during certain periods of time, will the Government inform this Council :

(a) of the number of traffic accidents which occurred in tunnels during the periods when such an arrangement was in force, together with the respective figures of casualties and fatalities, in the past three years:

(b) what measures are being put in place to prevent traffic accidents in tunnels during such periods; and

(c) whether such measures will be reviewed so as to reduce the number of traffic accidents?

38

Reply

Mr President,

(a) There were 36 traffic accidents in tunnels in 1992 whilst the one-tube two-way arrangements were in operation. In 1993 there were 44 and in 1994 there were 38. The numbers of casualties were as follows :

Fatal injuries Serious injuries Minor injuries

1992 1923 1994

2 1 4

32 18 30

(b) Road tunnels need to be regularly cleaned and inspected, for example, so that the electrical and mechanical equipment and services within the tunnels can be maintained, repaired and replaced as necessary. The least disruptive time to carry out such work is at night by closing one tube of each tunnel. Consideration has been given to restricting passage to a one-way traffic flow. However, there are operational constraints and this would also cause considerable inconvenience to motorists.

To reduce the likelihood of accidents occurring when one tube is used for two way traffic, the following arrangements are now adopted as far as possible :

(i) cleansing and maintenance works carried out between 1:00 am and 6:00 am, when traffic is light;

(ii) no tunnels are closed at weekends, on long holidays, or on the eve of long holidays;

(iii) before and during closure, adequate warning traffic signs, cones and flashing beacons are provided at strategic locations to alert motorists;

(iv) a lower speed limit of 50 km per hour is imposed, and radar speed checks are carried out;

(v) road safety messages arc broadcast within the tunnels; and

39

(vi) enforcement of the tunnel regulations is strengthened, including more frequent mobile patrols.

(c) These measures are regularly reviewed by the tunnel management, the traffic police and the Transport Department, to ensure that everything possible is done to reduce the incidence of traffic accidents.

The Police have reason to suspect that some serious accidents in tunnels at night have been caused by drunken drivers. I expect to introduce legislation into this Council to tighten the law on drinking and driving during the current session.

End/Wednesday, January 11, 1995

Provision of child services

*****

The following is a question by Dr the Hon Lam Kui-chun and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council as regards the planning for the future provision of child services in the territory :

(a) the respective planning periods for the provision of places in primary schools, day nurseries and day creches; whether the planning for such services has taken into account the number of children bom to Hong Kong residents in China who will come to Hong Kong for settlement in the future;

(b) the anticipated demand for each of the three kinds of services during the planning period; and

(c) the projected changes in the birth rate of the local population up to the

year 2046?

40

Reply :

The reply is as follows :

(a) Generally speaking, the planning period for the provision of places in primary schools is five years. As is set out in the White Paper. "Social Welfare into the 1990's and Beyond", the provision of aided day nursery and day creche places has been planned for the period 1991/92 to 1999/2000. The planning for all of these places has taken into account an estimate of the number of children in China born to Hong Kong residents who will be eligible to settle in Hong Kong in future.

(b) To meet demand for primary school places in the present planning period 1994/95 - 1998/99, 31 new primary schools are planned to be built. The anticipated demand for aided day nursery places is estimated to be about 30,000 by 1999/2000; for aided day creche places, it is estimated to be 3000.

(c) The crude birth rate (the number of live births in a year divided by the mid-year population of the same year) of Hong Kong in 1993 was 12.0 per 1000 population. This rate is expected to rise to 12.8 in 2014. to 13.2 in 2021 and to level out thereafter at about 13.0 with only slight fluctuations.

End/Wednesday. January 11. 1995

Industrial safety review

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Tam Yiu-chung and a written reply by the Acting Secretary for Education and Manpower. Miss Jacqueline Willis, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

Regarding the comprehensive review of the present system lor ensuring occupational health and safety, will the Government inform this Council :

(a) what sorts of persons will be invited to join the newly established interdepartmental committee headed by. the Secretary for Education and Manpower, and how selection criteria are determined:

41

(b) in regard to the other committee which will be set up under the chairmanship of the Commissioner for Labour to study the feasibility of extending the general duties provisions under the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance to cover non-industrial premises, what criteria will be adopted in the selection of representatives from trade unions and the business sector to join this committee;

(c) whether members of the Occupational Safety and Health Council will be invited to join these two committees; and

(d) what is the scope of review of each of the two committees; and when the reviews will be completed?

Reply:

Mr President,

My reply to the Honourable Member's question in seriatim is as follows :

(a) The Steering Group on Industrial Safety which is chaired by the Secretary for Fiducation and Manpower comprises representatives from all policy branches and Government departments responsible for enforcing safety legislation and promoting industrial safety. The membership list is at Annex A. Representatives of non-governmental bodies will also be invited to attend meetings of the Steering Group as and when necessary.

(b) The membership of the ad hoc Committee on 'general duties' provisions under the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance is at Annex B. This Committee consists of members nominated by the LAB representing employers' and employees' interest. It also includes representatives nominated by various non- industrial trade bodies, and representatives of major trade unions and employees organisations which have an interest in the review.

(e) The Executive Director of the Occupational Safety and I lealth Council is a member of the Working Group on Education and Training formed under the Steering Group on Industrial Safety.

The ad hoc Committee on 'general duties' provisions under the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance consists of a member who is also a member of the Occupational Safety and Health Council. Representatives of the Occupational Safety and Health Council will also be invited to attend meetings of this committee as and when necessary.

42

(d) The terms of reference of the Steering Group and the ad hoc committee are at Annexes C and D. Both reviews are expected to be completed by mid-1995.

Annex A

Steering Group on Industrial Safety

Membership List

Chairman - Secretary for Education and Manpower

Members - Secretary for Works or his representative

Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands or his representative

Deputy Secretary for Education and Manpower

Commissioner for Labour

Director of Buildings or her representative

Director of Electrical and Mechanical Services or his representative

Director of Housing or his representative

Secretary - Principal Assistant Secretary for Education and Manpower

43

Annex B

Ad hoc Committee on

Extension of'General Duties' Provisions to Non-industrial Establishments

Membership List

Chairman - Assistant Commissioner for Labour (B)

Members - 2 nominated from among the LAB's employee representatives

2 nominated from among the LAB’s employer representatives

one representative from Retail Management Association

one representative from the Hong Kong Association of Banks

one representative from the 1 long Kong Exporters' Association

one representative from the Real Estate Developers Association of Hong Kong

one representative from the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions one representative from the I long Kong and Kowloon Trades Union Council

one representative from the Federation of Hong Kong and Kowloon Labour Unions

one representative from the 1 long Kong Confederation of Trade Unions

Secretary - Labour Officer (Factory Inspectorate)

44

Annex C

Steering Group on Industrial Safety

Terms of Reference

(a) To review the respective roles and responsibilities of all key players in industrial safety with a view to clarifying and where necessary, redefining such roles and achieving better co-ordination.

(b) To review the provisions of industrial safety legislation and to consider whether any changes should be made to the scope and nature of such legislation and the possible scope of change.

(c) To review the existing organisational arrangements for enforcing industrial safety legislation and to consider whether any changes should be made and the resource implications.

(d) To recommend measures to enhance the standard of industrial safety and to build up a safety culture.

Annex D

Ad hoc Committee on

Extension of'General Duties' Provisions to Non-industrial Establishments

Terms of Reference

To consider whether the "general duties" provisions under the Factories & Industrial Undertakings Ordinance should be extended to all establishments not yet covered by the Ordinance and to make recommendations to the Commissioner for Labour.

End/Wednesday, January 11, 1995

- 45 -

Forgery of banknotes *****

Following is a question by the Hon Henry Tang Ying-yen and a written reply by the Secretary for Security. Mr Alistair Asprey, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

It is reported that the forgery of banknotes by criminal elements using advanced technology has become a serious problem in recent years, particularly in the case of forged US banknotes which constitute 80 per cent of the total number of forged banknotes seized by the Interpol. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether triad syndicates in the territory are involved in the forgery of banknotes activity; if so, whether the Government has taken measures to tackle the problem, and how many forged banknotes have been seized in I

the past three years; I

(b) of the number of forged banknotes in circulation in the territory found by the pplice within the past three years, and whether the users of such banknotes have been charged by the police; if not, why not; and

(c) what methods the police are adopting to differentiate between forged and I

genuine banknotes, and whether such methods can identify banknotes I

forged by crime syndicates using advanced technology? I

Reply

Mr President,

(a) The Police assess that counterfeit currency syndicates may include triad society members, but counterfeiting is not necessarily, or primarily, a I

triad crime. I

The Police maintain close liaison with banks and financial institutions to I

help discover forged banknotes, and conduct regular operations to seize I

such banknotes and arrest the counterfeiters. I


- 46 -

The number of forged banknotes seized in 1992 was 13,623; in 1993, it was 93,180; and in 1994, it was 16,577. In 1993 there were two major seizures of 49,765 and 37,252 counterfeit banknotes.

The Police do not have separate statistics for the number of forged banknotes in circulation.

Anyone manufacturing, distributing or using forged banknotes is prosecuted when sufficient evidence exists to support a charge. Between 1991 and 1994, 28 persons were charged with uttering forged banknotes in Hong Kong, and 11 persons with forger}' of banknotes.

Identification of forged banknotes in Hong Kong is undertaken by the Police Force's counterfeit currency experts, who are well equipped with the technology required. These experts are capable of identifying all types of forged banknotes.

End/Wednesday, January 11, 1995

Use of helicopter to carry offenders *****

Following is a question by the Hon Fred Li Wah-ming and a written reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Alistair Asprey, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Questions:

The former Deputy Crown Prosecutor, Mr Warwick Reid, was released recently after serving his jail sentence. He was deported immediately upon release and was flown in a helicopter direct from the Siu Lam Psychiatric Centre to Kai Tak Airport, fhe transport cost of the trip, which lasted only eight minutes, was about $14,000. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of the following:

(a) whether there were any precedent cases of the use of a helicopter to carry an offender; if so, what the details were;

(b) if the answer to (a) is in the negative, what were the reasons for the use of a helicopter to transport Mr Warwick Reid to the airport; and

(c) whether helicopters will be used to transport tainted witness on all occasions in the future?

47

Reply:

Mr President,

The estimated cost of the use of the helicopter was $6,500; not $14,000.

(a) There is one precedent. In January 1975, Mr Peter Godber - the former Chief Superintendent of Police - was extradited from the United Kingdom on corruption charges. On arrival in Hong Kong, he was flown by helicopter from Kai Tak to Hong Kong Island, and then transferred by road to Central Court.

(b) When Mr Peter Godber was released from Prison in 1977, he was transferred to the airport by road. In the course of this journey, the media pursued the transfer vehicle in such numbers and with such recklessness that they endangered other road users and caused an accident. We took into account these events in our planning for Mr Reid's transfer; we would have had to deploy substantial police resources if transfer had been by road. Use of a helicopter was cost-effective and in the interests of safety.

(c) No. We will consider each case on its merits.

End/Wedncsday, January 11, 1995

Elderly Services Division starts work *****

Following is a question by the lion Eric Li Ka-cheung and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council :

(a) when will the Government complete its review of the operation of the Elderly Services Division in the Health and Welfare Branch, including whether or not a central committee on services for the elderly should be set up;

48

(b)

(c)

Reply :

(a)

(b)

of the channels through which the public will be consulted during the review period regarding the public's evaluation of the Elderly Services Division; and

whether the content of the report will be made public upon the completion of the review; if not, what are the reasons?

The Elderly Services Division in the Health and Welfare Branch was set up shortly after Finance Committee approved the creation of the post for the head of the Division in October 1994. It has, therefore, only recently started its task of overseeing the implementation of the recommendations of the Working Group on Care for the Elderly. The Division is likely to need at least the coming three years to take forward its work. Its effectiveness in so doing will be under constant monitoring and review by both myself and my deputies to whom the head of the Division reports. Whether or not a central committee on services for the elderly should be set up will depend largely on the effectiveness of the new Division in carrying out its tasks.

In addition to being monitored from within the Administration, the work of the Elderly Services Division will, I am sure, also be closely monitored by many outside the Administration, including Members of the Legislative Council. All those affected by the implementation of the Working Group's recommendations will also be well placed to assess the effectiveness of the Division's work and well-established channels exist for non-governmental organizations and service providers to express their views on the way in which the Working Group's recommendations should be implemented. Service users will also be watching closely the implementation process and they, too, have many channels open to them to express their views on it.

In the ways I have described, the work of the Elderly Services Division will be subject to constant review and monitoring from both within and outside the Administration. The impact of its work will affect all those concerned in providing or receiving welfare services for the elderly. The Administration will listen carefully to any views expressed regarding the effectiveness or otherwise of the Division's work. It will take into account these views in reviewing in due course whether the establishment of a central committee on services for the elderly is needed.

End/Wednesday, January 11, 1995

49

Motions on sexual assaults and Chinese medicine passed ♦ * * ♦ ♦

The Legislative Council passed two Private Member's motions during its sitting today (Wednesday).

The motion moved by Rev the Hon Fung Chi-wood urged for expeditious review and improvement of legislation relating to sexual assaults and the procedures adopted by the government departments concerned in handling such cases.

It also called for more educational, publicity and other measures so as to prevent the occurrence of such incidents.

Another motion, moved by Dr the Hon Leong Che-hung, urged the Administration to provide adequate resources, and work out a concrete plan and a timetable for implementing all the recommendations of the Report of the Working Party on Chinese Medicine, having regard to the views expressed by the profession, other health care professionals and the general public.

The Secretary for Security, Mr Alistair Asprey, and the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, responded to the motions respectively on behalf of the Administration.

Of the bills, three - the Exchange Fund (Amendment) Bill 1994, the Waste Disposal (Amendment) Bill 1994 and the Shipping and Port Control (Amendment) Bill 1994 - were tabled for first and second readings. The debate on the bills was adjourned.

Other four bills, namely the Industrial Training (Clothing Industry) (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 1994, the Animals and Plants Protection of Endangered (Specics)(Amendment) Bill 1994, the Shipping (Miscellaneous Powers) Bill 1994 and the Employees' Compensation (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1994, were passed.

During the sitting, Members asked a total of five oral and 14 written questions.

End/Wednesday, January 11, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 842 8777

Thursday, January 12,1995

Contents Page No.

Transcript of Governor's media session.......................... 1

Level playing field essential to commercial life................ 6

Funds sought for PAA to proceed with airport works.............. 7

Chief Secretary visits Singapore................................ 9

BEC respects court decision on election petition............... 10

REO seeks information from 700,000 employers................ 11

Seven nominations for Municipal Council elections received today . 13

FS on Companies Ordinance...................................... 14

Government improves on public works management................. 15

External trade figures classified by country and commodity for November 1994................................................... 17

September 1994 employment and vacancies statistics............. 28

Contents

Page No,

Council members updated on Target Oriented Curriculum trial

scheme............................................................. 31

Young people encouraged to keep healthy lifestyle................... 33

Governor visits Yuen Long........................................... 34

ExCo visit to Judiciary............................................. 34

Temporary restricted area to be set up in Victoria Harbour...... 35

Helpline service for school teachers................................ 36

153 Vietnamese go home voluntarily.................................. 37

Fresh water cut in Tuen Mun......................................... 38

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations............ 39

1

Transcript of Governor’s media session

*****

Following is the transcript of the media session by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, after visiting Yuen Long today (Thursday):

Governor: I’m pleased to have been able to make another visit to Yuen Long. There are a number of problems which the community here faces. Problems for example of flooding and drainage in the summers. There are transport problems which are particularly acute in the Northwest of the New Territories and they make the implementation of our railway development strategy in due course extremely important as well as the completion of Route 3. Of course, there's the importance of protecting the environment and cleaning up some of the environmental black spots that we're all worried about. So I've enjoyed the opportunity of talking about those issues to District Board members, other leaders of the community and I'll look forward to come here again.

Question: How do you react to Jardines saying that it's for the government to see whether it’s necessary to re-tender CT9 ?

Governor: I am not sure that you're entirely, faithfully reflecting the answer to a question at the press conference. Our position on CT9 is absolutely clear. The procedures that we followed were in the best interest of Hong Kong. And that's that.

Question: Do you think that it would be a shortcut to solve the CT9 problem.

Governor: No.

Question: Why not, because it's what the Chinese side requires and the Chinese side....

Governor: I am not going to do anything nor is the Chief Secretary which will undermine, or potentially undermine investors' confidence in Hong Kong. We can't conceivably have a position in Hong Kong in which the government makes decisions on the grounds of political correctness.

Question: How will you solve the urging problem of the permanent resident's definition and try to .. it to, for the Chinese side to clarify the definition of Chinese citizens for the coming SAR government.. ?

2

Governor: We’ve put some proposalss to the Chinese side and of course, we’ve been anxious to have discussions with them. I very hope that we can see these discussions take place and lead to some early conclusions. I don’t think frankly that remarks made by Chinese officials recently have been very helpful. This is an issue which people in Hong Kong are concerned about. They are going to get more concerned the closer we get to 1997. So I do hope that we can see a positive response to the efforts that we’re making and that our Immigration Department are keen to make in order to resolve these problems.

Question: The Director of Immigration is so confident about there will be agreement on the definition. But some of the Chinese officials are not.

Governor: I think that is a reflection of the fact that we in Hong Kong are anxious to solve these problems through consultation and discussion. And I’m afraid not everybody else is. But I hope that people in Hong Kong will make it abundantly clear to Chinese officials there isn’t any politics in this. It is a matter about the well being of the community in Hong Kong. This is a matter which goes right to the heart of people’s concerns in Hong Kong. So let's see the matter discussed as soon as possible and let’s see some practical solutions agreed on. We’ve put forward proposals. We think that these problems could be sorted out very rapidly if there was a will and a commitment on both sides.

Question: Is this issue the government’s trump card on co-operation with Chinese ?

Governor: No, it is not a question of playing these issues as a card in a game. It’s far too important for that. It is about the ability of people from Hong Kong in the future to travel as freely and as easily as they do today. It is about setting people’s minds at rest, about their status in Hong Kong and about their ability to move in and out of Hong Kong as easily as they do today. Those are the issues that are at stake. We really must resolve them as quickly as possible. That can be no conceivable interest in anyone putting off, trying to resolve these issues until 1997. All of that will do is to create worry and create uncertainty. So I very much hope that we’ll be able to get on and sort these matters out. I say that without I hope making political remarks at all. It’s a matter of concern to everyone in Hong Kong.

Question: Mr Patten, do you think Britain has a more active role to play in pursuing the Chinese counterpart in this issue ?

3

Governor: I think we've all got a role to play. In the Joint Liaison Group, this is a point which has been made again and again by British and Hong Kong government officials. We want to see it resolved. We've put forward proposals and ideas. We've been standing by for discussions between our Immigration Department and Chinese officials. There is no interest whatsoever for anybody trying to postpone the issue.

Question: Do you see the vital importance of this issue is linked up to the set up of the SAR government ?

Governor: It obviously will have an effect on the SAR government. It'll have an effect on the speed with which the SAR government can meet the legitimate expectations of people in Hong Kong. We all want the SAR government to have a flying start. We all want the SAR government to enjoy the respect and affection and confidence of people in Hong Kong. This is the sort of issue I don't exaggerate as you know. This is the sort of issue which touches the matter centrally.

Question: Those requirements of the Chinese nationals and permanent residents so far are not clarified and stipulated in the Basic Law.

Governor: No, I think that's a matter which Chinese officials should clarify. Any other questions ?

Question: Shall I refer to the CT9 question. So you're absolutely ruling out the possibility of re- tendering, then what do you think will be the solution, the ultimate solution ?

Governor: We have proceeded in the case of CT9 in the interests of Hong Kong, trying to get the development moving forward as rapidly as possible, in a way which gives us the possibility of increasing competition in the port which will have an effect of course on prices. But we think that the way the issue's been discussed by some others does unfortunately affect the integrity of our system in Hong Kong. And it suggests that we should have some thing other than a level playing field for doing business and that's just not acceptable. If we allow that to happen, then it will have very serious implications for commercial life here in Hong Kong and for international confidence in Hong Kong. We know that there are concerns on the part of bankers and investors about the problems if you are trying to do business where the rule of law isn't absolutely clear.

4

Question: Do you know beforehand that Jardines would have made such a statement ?

Governor: No.

Question: Referring to the Old Age Pensions Scheme, will the government allow a short-lived one that fails to straddle 1997 ?

Governor: We are still considering the submissions that we've received in response to our discussion document. And I've answered quite a lot of questions at length about this before Christmas in the Legislative Council and I haven't got anything additional to say.

Question: As there are a number of anti-triad operations in Yau Ma Tei, what do you think ? How serious is the problem ?

Governor: I want to say straight away that I think the whole community will want to congratulate the Police on the very vigorous measures they've taken recently in relation to triads. There's been as you know another operation today and I think even as we speak the Police are holding a press conference about it. The Police have our complete support in what they are doing to try to break up organised crime. In Hong Kong, we have, without being complacent, we have pretty good crime figures. Any crime is bad. But the figures in Hong Kong in comparison with other places in the region or other places beyond are really pretty satisfactory. But there are areas where we are right to be worried. One of them which I've mentioned on many occasions is in the area of drug abuse and another is organised crime. We must continue to crusade as vigorously and actively as possible against the organised crime. I discussed a number of times with our excellent Commissioner of Police and I'm delighted that the Police have given it so much priority. Last one.

Question: Regarding the close down of Wah Kiu Yat Po, it is the second paper closing down within two months. So are you optimistic of the future prospects of Hong Kong media ?

5

Governor: I very much hope that Hong Kong will continue to have the freest and most vigorous press in the region. I think it’s not an exaggeration to say that that is the condition today. No one in government always loves what’s said about in the press. There isn’t a love affair between those in authority and the media, nor should they be, because it is your job to probe and to question and to find out what's going on and then to tell the truth as accurately and fearlessly as possible. When you have that sort of press, when the media behave like that, then you have a free society and you have an open society and frankly you have a successful society. You get better government if people think that they're going to be asked tough questions about the decisions they take. You get in an open community like ours where there is open trade, inevitably you get the open exchange of ideas. We have in government to do everything we can properly and legitimately to uphold the freedom of the press and that's why we're reviewing a number of laws which have concerned legislators and concerned the Journalists' Association which some people think could be abused and we'll remove those laws from our statutory book. But I have to say that the main determinant in whether Hong Kong continues to have as free a press in the future as it does today will be how much the community shows it cares about that issue and how much individual journalists, editors, and proprietors care about that issue. I don’t invent stories about self- censorship and I hear stories about self-censorship from journalists and editors and proprietors. That affects the broadcasting media as well as the written media. So I hope people will stand up for a vigorous media in Hong Kong. I think it’s important and I’m sure that if they do that in the future as today, we’ll have not just one of the most successful and thriving economies in the region or the world, one of the most successful and thriving newspaper industry and broadcasting media as well. If I can just add, obviously all of us are sad when we see a newspaper close down, particularly one with the history of the newspaper which is closing today. I very much hope that journalists and others employed by the paper will soon find other jobs in other newspapers.

End/Thursday, January 12, 1995 • ■■

6

Level playing field essential to commercial life

* ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Suggestions that Hong Kong should have something other than a level playing field are just not acceptable, the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, said today (Thursday) when responding to media questions on the case of Container Terminal No. 9 (CT9).

"If we allow that to happen, then it will have very serious implications for commercial life here in Hong Kong and for international confidence in Hong Kong,” he said.

Speaking to the media after visiting Yuen Long district, Mr Patten said the Government had proceeded in the case of CT9 in the best interests of Hong Kong, trying to get the development moving forward as rapidly as possible.

"But we think that the way the issue’s been discussed by some others does unfortunately affect the integrity of our system in Hong Kong. And it suggests that we should have something other than a level playing field for doing business and that’s just not acceptable," he added.

"I am not going to do anything nor is the Chief Secretary which will undermine, or potentially undermine investors' confidence in Hong Kong. We can't conceivably have a position in Hong Kong in which the Government makes decisions on the grounds of political correctness."

Asked to comment on the closure of the Overseas Chinese Daily News, the Governor said everyone was sad to see a newspaper close down and he very much hoped that Hong Kong would continue to have the freest and most vigorous press in the region.

"It is your job to probe and to question and to find out what's going on and then to tell the truth as accurately and fearlessly as possible. When you have that sort of press, when the media behave like that, then you have a free society and you have an open society and frankly you have a successful society," he said.

7

’’You get better government if people think that they’re going to be asked tough questions about the decisions they take. You get in an open community like ours where there is open trade, inevitably you get the open exchange of ideas."

"But I have to say that the main determinant in whether Hong Kong continues to have as free a press in the future as it does today will be how much the community shows it cares about that issue," he added.

End/Thursday, January 12, 1995

Funds sought for PAA to proceed with airport works *****

The Government plans to seek approval from the Finance Committee for an additional advance of $5,202 million (in money of the day) for the Provisional Airport Authority (PAA) for the construction of the new airport at Chek Lap Kok.

This additional funding will enable the PAA to enter into financial commitments for further works on the passenger terminal and other airfield infrastructure, a Government spokesman said today (Thursday).

"Of the proposed $5,202 million additional advance, $2,820 million will be for various facilities in the passenger terminal. These include lifts, escalators, walkways, aircraft servicing systems (including loading bridges), passenger and baggage security screening systems, signage and communications systems (including flight information and public address).

"The remaining $2,382 million will be required for carrying out civil engineering works for aprons and associated utilities, airfield ground lighting, apron lighting and seawater pumping equipment," he said.

Discussion papers outlining details of the proposed funding were issued today to members of the Legislative Council Panel on Planning, Lands and Works and the Airport Consultative Committee.

8

The funding proposal will be discussed at meetings of the LegCo Panel and the Airport Consultative Committee on January 16 (Monday).

The spokesman pointed out that this funding application to the Finance Committee was an essential part of the Government's step-by-step approach on advance funding for the PAA, in line with its commitment under the Memorandum of Understanding.

"The $5,202 million being sought is in addition to the $31,446 million (in money of the day) in advances previously approved by the Finance Committee. If approved, this will bring the total advances to the PAA up to $36,648 million, which is the level of equity funding envisaged for the new airport in the Airport Committee Agreed Minute, signed on November 4, 1994, on overall financing for the new airport and airport railway.

"We intend to convert this sum into government equity in the permanent airport body when it has been established upon enactment of the Airport Bill, and when we have signed the Financial Support Agreement (FSA)," he said.

The spokesman hoped that an early agreement could be reached with the Chinese side on the FSAs for the PAA and the Mass Transit Railway Corporation, as well as on other related issues such as the Airport Bill and airport franchises.

"After the signing of the Airport Committee Agreed Minute, we have held discussions with the Chinese side on finalising the FSAs and are making progress.

"We are also consulting the Chinese side on the Airport Bill and hope to introduce it to the Legislative Council in early 1995," he said.

The PAA is making good progress on the new airport works. A total of 1,098 hectares, or 88 per cent of the airport platform at Chek Lap Kok has been formed. Foundation work for the passenger terminal building is in an advanced stage and the terminal's design is also substantially complete.

9

Attention News Editors:

The Airport Consultative Committee will hold its plenary meeting at 2.30 pm on January 16 (Monday) at the Conference Hall, 1st floor, Central Government Offices Main Wing (new annexe), Lower Albert Road, Central, to discuss the proposed additional advance for the PAA. You are invited to cover the meeting.

End/Thursday, January 12, 1995

Chief Secretary visits Singapore *****

The Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, will leave at 11 am tomorrow (Friday) on a five-day visit to Singapore during which she will name a new floating dock and address the Singapore Civil Service College.

The 290-metre long dock, built by Far East Levingston Shipbuilding Ltd for Hongkong United Dockyards Ltd, will be named United on Saturday. It is 58 metres across with an operational width of 40 metres, can lift 40,000 tonnes and will be towed to Hong Kong soon after the naming ceremony.

The HKS35O million structure has been designed for the latest generation of container ships but can handle other types as well. It is Hong Kong's largest floating dock and the biggest to be built in the world for many years. It will initially be moored off Yam O Wan, North Lantau and is due to come into service by April.

Hongkong United Dockyards, which had its origins in Whampoa in 1846, is owned 50:50 by the Swire and Hutchison groups and has been operating in Hong Kong for about 140 years. Dockyards were Hong Kong's major industry until World War II.

Mrs Chan will call on Professor S Jayakumar, who holds two portfolios as Singapore's Minister for Law and Minister for Foreign Affairs, on Monday morning before attending a lunch hosted by the Singapore Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr Yeo Cheow Tong.

10

The Chief Secretary will take part in the Civil Service College’s 1995 ’’New Insights" Lecture Series on Monday afternoon.

Singapore established the college in April 1994 to provide management development programs, develop an esprit de corps and create greater awareness of regional and global developments among senior management in the private and public sectors.

Its chairman, Mr Lee Ek Tieng, is also head of the Singapore Civil Sendee.

The lecture series has attracted chief executive officers of statutory boards, government- linked companies and private industry, plus 150 of Singapore’s most senior civil servants.

Mrs Chan will return to Hong Kong on Tuesday afternoon.

End/Thursday January 12, 1995

BEC respects court decision on election petition *****

The following is issued on behalf of the Boundary and Election Commission:

In response to press enquiries, a spokesman for the Registration and Electoral Office said today (Thursday) that the Boundary and Election Commission respected the court decision on Mr Wong Kin-man’s election petition and would proceed with the arrangements for a district board byelection for Lower Ngau Tau Kok constituency.

The by-election will be held on March 5, the same day as the Municipal Council elections.

The spokesman said conducting the two elections concurrently would provide electors with the maximum convenience and save resources. The byelection will cost about $25,000. He described the incident as most unfortunate. The polling staff responsible have been reprimanded by the commission.

11

"There is, however, no provision under the law for reimbursement of the election expenses of the two candidates concerned."

Apart from Mr Wong, the other candidate of the constituency for the District Board elections on September 18 was Mr Chan Kok-wah.

The spokesman said experienced polling staff would be employed as far as possible.

"The guidelines for these staff will be further improved. There will be a more intensive training programme for them to reduce any possible human errors."

Key polling staff would have practical sessions at mock polling station, he added.

End/Thursday, January 12, 1995

REO seeks information from 700,000 employers *****

The Registration and Electoral Office (REO) will from today (Thursday) send letters to more than 700.000 employers in Hong Kong requesting them to provide names and identity card numbers of their employees.

The purpose is for the registration of electors for the nine new Functional Constituencies (FCs) for the Legislative Council Elections on September 17.

A spokesman for the REO said confirmation would also be sought from the employers about their main line of business.

He said the office would be able to send out the letter to all targeted employers within two to three weeks.

"The information is absolutely necessary in order that a simple registration procedure could be adopted."

12

He stressed that the information would only be used for the purposes of voter registration and elections.

After receiving information from the employers, the REO would send a notification to each eligible employee already registered on the General Electoral Roll (GER) inviting them to allow himself to be registered in one of the nine new FCs according to the main line of business of their employers.

If he has no objection, he would be so registered, without having to undergo any other application procedure.

An employee should report to the REO any change in his address or employment. He may choose to be registered in another FC other than the one indicated on the notification if he is so eligible.

He may choose not to be registered as a FC elector, the spokesman added.

For an employee who is not registered on the GER. a combined registration form for registration under the geographical and new functional constituencies will be sent to him via his employer. The completed forms should be returned to the REO direct.

Meanwhile, as part of a publicity package on FC voter registration, a series of television APIs (Announcements in the Public Interest) and printed materials including a poster, a leaflet and a wall chart have been produced.

A TV API, aimed at strengthening the appeal to employers to help the REO in registering their employees in the new FC, will be broadcast from tomorrow (Friday).

Another API. which features people from different trades and introduces to the public what the nine new FCs are. will be shown shortly.

Copies of a leaflet and a wall chart explaining concisely the registration procedures in the form of a flow chart arc now available free of charge at district offices and the REO sub- office, 10th floor, Guardian House, 32 Oi Kwan Road. Wan Chai.

End/Thursday. January 12, 1995

13

Seven nominations for Municipal Council elections received today ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A total of seven nominations of candidates were received today (Thursday) for the Municipal Council elections on March 5.

One candidate, Mr Tong Sze-hung Kenny, of Fanling and Sha Ta constituency (RC 12) of North district has withdrawn his nomination.

The total number of nominations received so far is 82.

The nomination period will last until January 23.

The breakdown of nominations by district is as follows:

Central and Western 3

Wan Chai 2

Eastern 9

Southern 4

Yau Tsim Mong 4

Sham Shui Po 3

Kowloon City 5

Wong Tai Sin 8

Kwun Tong 11

Tsuen Wan 0

Tuen Mun 7

Yuen Long 5

North 3

Tai Po 5

Sai Kung 2

Sha Tin 8

Kwai Tsing 3

Islands 0

Total 82

End/Thursday, January 12, 1995

14

FS on Companies Ordinance * ♦ * * ♦

A number of potential disqualification cases concerning company directors are now being considered by the Administration for referral to the courts, the Financial Secretary, Sir Hamish Macleod, said tonight (Thursday).

Addressing the annual dinner of the Hong Kong Institute of Company Secretaries, Sir Hamish said with the passing of the Companies (Amendment) Ordinance 1994 which came fully into effect in the middle of last year, the scope and enforceability of the disqualification provisions under the Companies Ordinance had been improved.

He added that the Administration had also sought to make the courts and the crown prosecutors more aware of the new provisions.

"We hope that in future the authorities will be increasingly better equipped to take enforcement action where this is clearly necessary." he said.

Turning to company secretaries. Sir Hamish noted that they played the role of keeping directors of companies fully informed of their responsiblities.

"In my view, the company secretary could play a very important role in encouraging sound corporate governance.

"This applies not only to listed companies, which are already required to appoint non-executive directors, are subject to the listing rules and to greater regulatory scrutiny, but also to the large number of private companies that conduct substantial trading."

The Financial Secretary said the comprehensive review of the Companies Ordinance, now proceeding under Mr Ermanno Pascutto, was the first time that the legislation had been examined in a thorough-going way in over 20 years.

"It provides an opportunity to reflect some of the changes that have taken place in the commercial sector and the community at large during this period, as well as to consider significant developments that have taken place elsewhere." he said.

15

He urged members of the Hong Kong Institute of Company Secretaries to take the opportunity offered by this project to consider what aspects of the legislative and regulatory framework for the conduct of business in Hong Kong needed to be attended to if the territory is to continue to attract investment and to remain competitive.

"This will ensure that Hong Kong, as a business community, will be able to respond and adapt as we confront the inevitable challenges of the next century," he said.

End/Thursday, January 12, 1995

Government improves on public works management ♦ * * * ♦

There has been overall a steady improvement in Government's ability to meet its programme of capital works, the Secretary for Works, Mr James Blake, said this (Thursday) afternoon.

Speaking to the media during a visit to the work site of the Kap Shui Mun Bridge, Mr Blake said expenditure on the public works programme was likely to exceed $22 billion in 1994-95, representing a nearly 20 per cent increase over the previous year.

"A small shortfall in expenditure is likely to be recorded for this financial year, which is largely due to savings from tender prices remaining very competitive," he said.

To help further improve the management of the public works programme, Mr Blake said the Government had introduced a computerised Public Works Management System (PWMS) to monitor the day-to-day progress of each project in the public works programme and to take prompt remedial action where there was a risk of major slippage occurring.

He said the PWMS would house complete data on over 1,500 works items in the public works programme.

16

Mr Blake said the Government was planning to spend some $20 million on improving project management in Works Departments to ensure timely delivery of works within budget.

"With some $100 billion expenditure on non- airport public works scheduled for the next five years, the capital works programme is ever more demanding," he said.

4

On slope safety, Mr Blake said the Government was committed to taking all practical steps to ensure that the public was protected from slope failures.

"Over the next five years, the Government plans to spend $400 million on staff costs to accelerate the landslip preventive measures programme. This is in addition to the $1.28 billion which will be spent over the period on capital works to improve slope safety.

"We will also implement the recommendations of the independent report on the Kwun Lung Lau landslip which was completed by the Canadian geotechnical expert, Professor Norbert Morgenstern," he said.

Turning to construction site safety, Mr Blake said the Government was training 1,500 office and site staff members on Government projects in safety techniques.

In addition, he said, a special unit in the Works Branch had been set up to push through safety initiatives.

"Contractors with continual poor safety records will be penalised, and in extreme cases struck off the Government list," he said.

During the visit this afternoon, Mr Blake saw the progress of the construction of the Kap Shui Mun Bridge and Ma Wan Viaduct which formed a major part of the Lantau Fixed Crossing linking Tsing Yi and Lantau via the island of Ma Wan. The crossing would form the initial access to the proposed port and airport developments on Lantau.


17

The Lantau Fixed Crossing is an essential element within the Government's Airport Core Programme and timely completion of the Kap Shui Mun Bridge and Ma Wan Viaduct is vital to the opening of the new airport.

The design-and-build contract for the Kap Shui Mun Bridge and Ma Wan Viaduct commenced in December 1992 and is scheduled for completion in May 1997.

End/Thursday, January 12, 1995

External trade figures classified by country and commodity for November 1994 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

The value of re-exports in November 1994 continued to show a marked increase, by 20% over a year earlier, to $86.8 billion, according to Census and Statistics Department's statistics on external trade with breakdown by country/territory and commodity.

Comparing November 1994 with November 1993, increases were recorded in the value of re-exports to Singapore (+38%), Australia (+30%), Japan (+28%), China (+24%), Canada (+20%), Taiwan (+19%), the United Kingdom (+16%), the United States (+15%) and the Republic of Korea (+4.6%).

However, the value of re-exports to Germany decreased slightly by

2.8%.

Ilie changes in the value of Hong Kong's re-exports to the 10 main destinations are shown in Table !.

The value of re-exports in the first II months of 1994 was $865.9 billion, 16% higher than that in the same period in 1993.

18

Comparing the first 11 months of 1994 with the same period in 1993, the value of re-exports to all of the main destinations showed increases of various magnitudes: Japan (+24%), Australia (+20%), China (+19%), Singapore' (+19%), the United States (+17%), the United Kingdom (+13%), Canada (+11%), the Republic of Korea (+7.5%), Germany (+3.0%) and Taiwan (+1.6%).

Table 2 shows the changes in the value of re-exports of the 10 principal commodity divisions.

Comparing the first 11 months of 1994 with the same period in 1993, increases of various magnitudes were recorded in the value of re-exports of most principal commodity divisions.

More notable increases were registered for telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $23.5 billion or 35%); electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $13.6 billion or 22%); miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of baby carriages, toys, games and sporting goods (by $13.4 billion or 13%); textiles (by $10.7 billion or 17%); office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $7.4 billion or 29%); and footwear (by $5.6 billion or 13%).

Over the same period, a decrease in the value of re-exports was recorded for road vehicles (by $ 1.3 billion or 4.3%).

The value of domestic exports in November 1994 continued to increase, by 6.8% over a year earlier to $20.5 billion.

Comparing November 1994 with November 1993. increases were recorded in the value of domestic exports to Japan (+29%), the Netherlands (+28%). the Philippines (+13%). the United Kingdom (+8.4%), Singapore (+7.7%). Germany (+3.4%), the United States (+3.1%) and China (+1.4%).

However, the value of domestic exports to Taiwan and Canada decreased by 4.1% and 1.8% respectively.

The changes in the value of domestic exports to the 10 main destinations are shown in Table 3.

19

Comparing the first 11 months of 1994 with the same period in 1993, decreases were recorded in the value of domestic exports to Canada (-13%), Germany (-9.0%), the United Kingdom (-5.0%), China (-3.1%) and Taiwan (-1.8%). "

However, the value of domestic exports to the Philippines increased significantly by 28%. That to Singapore, Japan, the Netherlands and the United States increased by 8.6%, 5.9%, 4.6% and 2.9% respectively.

Taking all destinations together, the value of domestic exports in the first 11 months of 1994, at $202.0 billion, decreased marginally by 0.2% over the same period in 1993.

Table 4 shows the changes in the value of domestic exports of the 10 principal commodity divisions.

Comparing the first 11 months of 1994 with the same period in 1993, decreases in the value of domestic exports were registered for telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $1.5 biJiion or 12%); textiles (by $1.1 billion or 7.2%); miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of jewellery, goldsmiths' and silversmiths' wares (by $1.0 billion or 5.4%); machinery specialised for particular industries (by $370 million or 11%); and photographic apparatus, equipment and supplies, optical goods, watches and clocks (by $141 million or 1.0%).

Over the same period, increases in the value of domestic exports were recorded for electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $2.3 billion or 11%); and clothing (by $1.2 billion or 1.9%).

The value of imports continued to increase significantly, by 27% over a year earlier to $117.1 billion in November 1994.

The changes in the value of imports from the 10 main suppliers are shown in Table 5.

Comparing November 1994 with November 1993, the value of imports from all of the main suppliers showed increases of various magnitudes: the Republic of Korea (+46%), Malaysia (+46%), the United Kingdom (+42%), the United States (+35%), Singapore (+34%), Germany (+30%), Japan (+30%), Italy (+29%), Taiwan (+24%) and China (+19%).

20

Comparing the first 11 months of 1994 with the same period in 1993, the value of imports from all of the main suppliers showed increases of various magnitudes: Singapore (+30%), Italy (+29%), Malaysia (+28%), the Republic of Korea (+20%), the United Kingdom (+19%), China (+17%), Germany (+15%), the United States (+14%), Taiwan (+14%) and Japan (+9.1%).

The value of imports in the first 11 months of 1994, at $1,139.1 billion, increased markedly by 17% over the same period in 1993. This was supported largely by the growth in Hong Kong's re-export trade.

Table 6 shows the changes in the value of imports of the 10 principal commodity divisions.

Comparing the first 11 months of 1994 with the same period in 1993, increases were recorded in the value of imports of most principal commodity divisions.

More notable increases were registered for telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $25.9 billion or 31%); electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $20.4 billion or 19%); textiles (by $17.3 billion or 19%); office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $10.4 billion or 32%); miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of baby carriages, toys, games and sporting goods (by $9.9 billion or 14%); and non-metallic mineral manufactures (by $6.0 billion or 20%).

Over the same period, a marginal decrease in the value of imports was recorded for road vehicles (by $111 million or 0.2%).

All the trade statistics described here are measured at current prices and no account has been taken of the changes in prices between the periods of comparison.

A separate analysis of the volume and price movements of external trade for November 1994 will be released in early February.

Detailed trade statistics analysed by commodity and by country/ territory are published in trade statistics reports.

21

The November 1994 issue of the "Hong Kong External Trade" with detailed analyses on the performance of Hong Kong's external trade in November 1994 will be available for sale at $86 a copy around January 23.

The report can be purchased at the Government Publications Centre on the Ground Floor, Low Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong or the Publications Section of the Census and Statistics Department on the 19th Floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai.

Enquiries regarding regular subscription to the report may be directed to the Information Services Department at French Mission Building, 1 Battery Path, Hong Kong on tel 2842 8802 and enquiries on trade statistics to the Census and Statistics Department on tel 2582 4915.

22

TABLE 1 : RE-EXPORTS TO THE TEN MAIN DESTINATIONS

DESTINATION NOV 1994 (HKD Mn.) NOV 94 OVER NOV 93 (X CHANGE) JAN-NOV 1994 (HKD Mn.) JAN-NOV 94 OVER JAN-NOV 93 (X CHANGE)

CHINA 29,608 + 24.3 294,394 + 18.6

UNITED STATES 17,773 + 15.1 193,911 + 16.9

JAPAN 5,607 + 27.6 50,068 + 24.0

GERMANY 3,790 - 2.8 37,734 + 3.0

UNITED KINGDOM 2,481 + 15.8 24,955 + 12.6

TAIWAN 2,262 + 18.9 20,394 + 1.6

SINGAPORE 2,111 + 38.0 18,461 + 18.5

REPUBLIC OF KOREA 1,440 + 4.6 15,118 + 7.5

CANADA 1,185 + 19.8 12,998 + 11.2

AUSTRALIA 1,495 + 29.7 12,653 + 19.9

23

TABLE 2 : RE-EXPORTS OF THE TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

COMMODITY DIVISION NOV 1994 (HKD Mn.) NOV 94 OVER NOV 93 (% CHANGE) JAN-NOV 1994 (HKD Mn.) JAN-NOV 94 OVER JAN-NOV 93 (% CHANGE)

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY BABY CARRIAGES, TOYS, GAMES AND SPORTING GOODS) 10,829 + 22.8 113,729 + 13.4

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APP.ARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 9,581 + 25.2 89,911 + 35.3

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING

ACCESSORIES 7,247 - 6.9 84,869 + 3.2

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 8,871 + 33.7 75,956 + 21.8

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP

ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 7,708 + 19.5 74,965 + 16.7

FOOTWEAR 4,192 + 8.6 48,777 + 12.9

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 4,664 + 34.2 37,981 + 13.8

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA

PROCESSING MACHINES 3,863 + 40.1 32,917 * 28.8

ROAD VEHICLES 1,566 - 24.0 28,302 - 4.3

TRAVEL GOODS, HANDBAGS AND SIMILAR

CONTAINERS 2,523 f 20.2 28,208 + 15.5

24

TABLE 3 : DOMESTIC EXPORTS TO THE TEN MAIN DESTINATIONS

NOV NOV 94 JAN-NOV JAN-NOV 94

DESTINATION 1994 OVER 1994 OVER

NOV 93 JAN-NOV 93

(HKD Mn.) (% CHANGE) (HKD Mn.) (% CHANGE)

CHINA 5,578 + 1.4 56,143 - 3.1

UNITED STATES 5,514 + 3.1 55,850 + 2.9

GERMANY 1,201 + 3.4 11,425 - 9.0

SINGAPORE 1,119 + 7.7 11,184 + 8.6

JAPAN 1,048 + 29.3 9,454 + 5.9

UNITED KINGDOM 960 + 8.4 9,189 - 5.0

TAIWAN 590 - 4.1 5,586 - 1.8

NETHERLANDS 417 + 27.9 4,181 + 4.6

CANADA 317 - 1.8 3,715 - 13.2

PHILIPPINES 252 + 13.2 2,654 + 27.9

25

TABLE 4 : DOMESTIC EXPORTS OF THE TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

COMMODITY DIVISION NOV 1994 (HKD Mn.) NOV 94 OVER NOV 93 (% CHANGE) JAN-NOV 1994 (HKD Mn.) JAN-NOV 94 OVER JAN-NOV 93 (% CHANGE)

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 6,242 + 3.4 65,446 + 1.9

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 2,310 ' + 19.1 22,695 + 11.3

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY JEWELLERY, GOLDSMITHS’ AND SILVERSMITHS’ WARES) 1,777 - 6.3 17,832 - 5.4

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 1,915 + 24.4 16,028 + 2.5 -

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 1,902 + 24.5 14,662 - 1.0

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 1,369 - 1.2 13,823 - 7.2

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 1,011 - 2.7 10,741 - 12.1

MANUFACTURES OF METALS 378 - 3.3 4,253 + 0.4

PLASTICS IN PRIMARY FORMS 376 + 36.0 3,623 + 14.5

MACHINERY SPECIALIZED FOR PARTICULAR INDUSTRIES 265 - 9.2 2,921 - 11.2

- 26 -

TABLE 5 : IMPORTS FROM THE TEN MAIN SUPPLIERS

SUPPLIER NOV 1994 (HKD Mn.) NOV 94 OVER NOV 93 (% CHANGE) JAN-NOV 1994 (HKD Mn.) JAN-NOV 94 OVER JAN-NOV 93 (% CHANGE)

CHINA 42,855 + 19.0 428,827 + 17.1

JAPAN 17,585 + 29.9 177,914 + 9.1

TAIWAN 10,455 + 23.8 97,458 + 13.5

UNITED STATES 8,331 + 34.9 81,622 + 13.9

SINGAPORE 5,884 + 34.4 56,225 + 30.2

REPUBLIC OF KOREA 5,530 + 45.9 52,564 + 19.7

GERMANY 2,870 + 30.5 26,082 + 14.5

UNITED KINGDOM 2,968 + 41.6 23,091 . + 19.4

ITALY 2,189 + 29.3 20,875 + 28.6

MALAYSIA 1,830 + 45.6 18,142 + 27.5

27

TABLE 6 : IMPORTS OF THE TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

COMMODITY DIVISION NOV 1994 (HKD Mn.) NOV 94 OVER NOV 93 (% CHANGE) JAN-NOV 1994 (HKD Mn.) JAN-NOV 94 OVER JAN-NOV 93 (% CHANGE)

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 14,088 + 35.5 125,370 ♦ 19.4

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 11,124 + 23.1 109,801 + 30.8

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 10,624 + 24.0 107,838 + 19.1

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 8,055 - 1.9 88,026 + 6.2

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY BABY CARRIAGES, TOYS, GAMES AND SPORTING GOODS) 8,020 + 20.8 83,294 + 13.5

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 6,000 + 38.6 49,286 + 11.5

ROAD VEHICLES 4,652 + 79.8 47,553 - 0.2

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 4,920 + 39.4 43,375 + 31.7

FOOTWEAR 3,830 + 10.5 42,913 + 12.8

NON-METALLIC MINERAL MANUFACTURES 3,739 + 16.9 36,599 + 19.8

28

September 1994 employment and vacancies statistics * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Comparing September 1994 with September 1993, there was continued growth in employment in various service sectors, but employment in the manufacturing sector declined further.

Meanwhile, employment on construction sites registered a large increase.

Vacancies in the manufacturing sector continued to fall compared with a year earlier. But vacancies in various service sectors and on construction sites registered increases of different magnitudes.

According to the figures released today (Thursday) by the Census and Statistics Department, there were 438,400 persons engaged in the manufacturing sector in September 1994, representing a decrease of 13.7% from September 1993.

Employment in the wholesale, retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels sector, at 1,051,200 in September 1994, was 9.7% higher than in September 1993.

Employment in the financing, insurance, real estate and business services sector, at 361,100, was up by 7.5% over a year earlier.

Employment on construction sites (manual workers only), at 60,400, was 15.7% higher than in September 1993.

The employment figures for September 1994 in selected major industry sectors, compared with the corresponding figures for September 1993 and June 1994, are as follows :

29

Persons engaged (employment) Percentage change

Selected major industry sector Sep 93 Jun 94 Sep 94 Sep 94 over Sep 93 Sep 94 over Jun 94

Manufacturing 508,100 443,500 438.400 -13.7 -1.1

Construction 52,200 sites (Manual workers only) 57,400 60.400 + 15.7 +5.2

Wholesale, retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels 958.000 1.034.000 1,051.200 +9.7 + 1.7

Financing, insurance, real estate and business services 336.000 351.200 361.100 +7.5 +2.8

The above statistics for selected major industry sectors in September 1994 were derived from the Quarterly Survey of Employment and Vacancies and the Quarterly Employment Survey of Construction Sites conducted by the department. In the former survey, employment in the retail trade excluded hawkers and persons working at retail pitches but included those working in market stalls.

The two surveys mentioned above also provide the vacancy statistics for selected major industry sectors. The vacancy figures, together with a comparison with the corresponding figures for September 1993 and June 1994. are as follows :

30

Number of reported

vacancies Percentage change

Selected major industry sector Sep 93 Jun 94 Sep 94 Sep 94 over Sep 93 Sep 9# over Jhart'94

Manufacturing 14,130 11,240 12,090 -14.5 +7-5. ..4

Construction 550 sites (Manual workers only) 530 980 +78.1 +83..8' • . » c

Wholesale, retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels 31,370 35,440 34,650 + 10.5 -2.2

Financing, insurance, real estate and business services 11,210 11,890 12,270 +9.4 +3.2

Comparing September 1994 with September 1993, vacancies in the manufacturing sector fell by 14.5%.

However, vacancies in the wholesale, retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels sector increased by 10.5% while those in the financing, insurance, real estate and business services sector increased by 9.4%.

Vacancies on construction sites recorded a substantial increase of 78.1% in September 1994 over a year earlier.

31

The remarkable increases in the employment and vacancies on construction sites in September 1994 reflected the heavy demand for construction workers in the new airport projects and some private building projects.

Detailed breakdowns of the above statistics are available from Quarterly Report of Employment, Vacancies and Payroll Statistics, September 1994 and the Quarterly Report of Employment and Vacancies at Construction Sites, September 1994.

They will be available at $24 per copy and $13 per copy respectively at the Government Publications Centre. Queensway Government Offices, Lew Block, Ground Floor, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong and at the Publications Section of the Census and Statistics Department on the 19th floor. Wanchai Tower. 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

End/Thursday, January 12, 1995

Council members updated on Target Oriented Curriculum trial scheme *****

Several members of the Curriculum Development Council saw for themselves the progress of the tryout scheme for the Target Oriented Curriculum (TOC) at the primary section of Good Hope School, which is carrying out the scheme for the second year.

The group was led by the council's chairman, Mr Kenneth Ting, and its vice-chairman. Dr Julian Leung.

Teachers at the school found that students under the curriculum show greater initiative for learning and are much more willing to participate in activities in class. Greater fluency in English is noted as students become more responsive and willing to speak the language.

Enhancement to the learning atmosphere has also resulted in improvement to discipline.

32

Among the problems in the tryout was the lack of TOC textbooks. To solve the problem, the school has designed some learning tasks on its own and is also using a lot of the Exemplar Learning Tasks provided by the Edue-Mbn Department, adding its own adaptations.

Dr Leung told the teachers during a discussion session that a recommended list of TOC packages would be ready in April for the first phase of implementation in September 1995.

"So far, a total of 16 sets of teaching and learning packages on th-e tltece core subjects of English, Chinese and Mathematics have been submitted to the department for vetting," he said.

A teacher, Ms Jacqueline Lau, said she had to be very careful wkh grouping the students during class sessions so as to avoid unduly classifying and ‘labelling’ the students. She is now splitting the class into groups only during class activities.

Nevertheless, she noted that working in groups helped the weaker students complete teachers’ assignments successfully.

"One way to avooid ’labelling' students in grouping is to put both strong and weak students into the same group, with the weak ones posing the questions and the strong ones answering them during the exercise," she said.

The school supervisor, Sister Mary Lam, said the principal and teachers of the school believed in the spirit of TOC.

The school is still "exploring and learning" about TOC.

Earlier, Dr Leung, in his capacity as Chief Executive of the Education Department's Curriculum Development Institute, addressed a seminar attended by some 50 Catholic primary school heads to help them acquire a more indepth understanding of TOC.

Dr Leung has attended similar talks and seminars arranged by two other school sponsoring bodies.

End/Thursday, January 12, 1995

33

Young people encouraged to keep healthy lifestyle

*****

The Government has actively promoted health education in primary' schools to drive home the adverse effects of drug and substance abuse and to help young people fully understand the right ways in using drug, the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, said.

The measure is taken in light of an upward trend of drug abuse among young people in recent years, she said when launching Hong Kong's first Chinese-language Life Education Centre today (Thursday).

According to a report "Case Studies of Drug Abuse Among Young People" published by the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups last October, the average age of young drug abusers was decreasing and there was a lack of alertness to the danger of drugs.

Government statistics showed that up to mid-1994, 58.8 per cent of new drug abuse cases involved young people, as compared with 39.4 per cent in the same period in 1989. This was a drastic increase. Mrs Chan said.

"Stepping up education on preventive measures to remind young people to stay away from drugs is very important."

Through group discussions and role play, the "I ife Education Activities Programme" teaches primary pupils the importance of correctly using drugs and keeping a healthy lifestyle.

fhe teaching materials used in the programme have been translated into Chinese and new Chinese textbooks have been published.

" fhe use of mother tongue in conducting these life education activities is in line with the Government policy of promoting mother tongue education." she added.

Mrs Chan hoped that more primary pupils could benefit from the programme and develop the right concept of a healthy lifestyle.

End/Thursday. January 12, 1995

34

Governor visits Yuen Long

*****

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, sees for himself the latest developments in Yuen Long during a walkabout this (Thursday) afternoon.

At a pagoda in Yuen Long Town Park, he got a panoramic view of the district and was briefed on some major projects in Tin Shui Wai.

He also visited the Yuen Long Town Hall and inspected a parade by the Hall’s Elderly Road Safety Group after louring a driving training centre in Nam San Wai.

Before concluding his visit. Mr Patten met with District Board members and community leaders at a reception.

fhe Governor was accompanied on the trip by Director of Home Affairs Mr Joseph Wong. Yuen Long District Officer Mr Robert Chan and District Board Chairman Mr Tai K.uen.

End/Thursday. January 12, 1995

ExCo visit to Judiciary

* * * * *

The following is issued on behalf of the Judiciary:

It is encouraging that Members of the Executive Council have expressed great concern about the Judiciary’s administrative reforms and pledged strong support for these reforms, the Chief Justice. Sir Ti Liang Yang, said today (Thursday).

Concluding the visit by four Executive Council Members to the Judiciary this morning, Sir Ti Liang said: "We had a useful exchange of views on judicial administration today.

"Judiciary needs support, in particular from Members of the Executive and Legislative Councils, in carrying out its administrative reforms." he said.

35

Noting that the Judiciary also had exchange of views with Legislative Council Members. Sir Ti Liang looked forward to having regular meetings of this kind in future which he said would be helpful to the development of judicial administration.

Led by the Senior Member of the Executive Council, the Rt Hon the Baroness Dunn, Ms Rosanna Wong. Dr Raymond Ch'ien and Mr John Gray were first greeted by the Judiciary Administrator, Ms Alice Tai, at the District Court in Wan Chai.

They were briefed by the Chief District Judge. Judge Gould, on the pilot scheme of computerised recording of court proceedings, which was launched in the District Court in October last year.

The Members then went to the Supreme Court in Queensway to sit in two court cases and toured the Supreme Court Library.

Before concluding their visit, they met the Chief Justice in his Chambers to exchange views on judicial administration.

End/Thursday, January 12, 1995

Temporary restricted area to be set up in Victoria Harbour • *****

As one of the measures to control marine traffic and to minimise risks to essential marine traffic on the day of the Lunar New Year fireworks display, the Marine Department will designate a restricted area in the central part of Victoria Harbour between 7 pm and 9 pm on February 1, Senior Marine Officer Mr Adam Lai Yu-wah said today (Thursday).

"No vessel other than Government launches, vessels directly involved in the fireworks display and vessels granted with permission by the Director of Marine are allowed to anchor or to be underway within the restricted area." Mr Lai said.

"Permission will only be granted to public transport vessels and those for the essential operation of the port." he said.

36

The boundary of the restricted area on the eastern side is a straight line linking the cargo pier at Railway Terminus in Hung Hom and the breakwater at Kellett Island in Causeway Bay.

The western boundary is a straight line linking the southwest extremity of Ocean Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui and a pier under construction at the east of Macau Ferry Terminal in Sheung Wan.

Mr Lai said setting up the restricted area was necessary because of the numerous marine works in the central part of Victoria Harbour.

"Large number of vessels congregating in a particular area at the same time may well be a contributing factor to marine accidents," Mr Lai said.

Additionally, a closed area, encompassing the area 300 metres from the barges used for discharging fireworks, will be set up as in previous years. This closed area will be in effect between 2 pm and 9 pm on February 1.

"No vessels other than those directly involved in the fireworks display will be allowed to enter the closed area," Mr Lai said.

Full details of the arrangements for marine traffic control and other marine safety measures will be announced later this month," Mr Lai said.

End/Thursday, January 12, 1995

Helpline service for school teachers

*****

The Education Department has issued a circular to heads of all secondary and primary schools reminding them about a telephone helpline for teachers who need professional advice or educational counselling services.

A spokesman for the department said the helpline (2712 7958) was set up at the Education Counselling Unit of the Perth Street Special Education Services Centre in February 1993.

37

Services provided by the helpline include:

* support to teachers on matters relating to the delivery of guidance service in school;

* advice to teachers on the strategies to be taken after episodes of traumatic experience;

advice to teachers on the resources and provisions available which can be used to form a network of support for people in crisis; and

helping teachers to enhance their interpersonal skills with pupils, parents and colleagues.

The helpline operates from 8.30 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 5 pm from Monday to Friday, and 9 pm to noon on Saturday.

The spokesman said: "Heads of schools should urge their teachers to draw on the supportive resources within the school when faced with problems related to the delivery of guidance service or interpersonal skills.

"In case circumstances warrant outside professional advice or the service of educational counsellors is considered more appropriate, they are most welcome to make use of this helpline service."

End/Thursday, January 12, 1995

153 Vietnamese go home voluntarily ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

A group of 153 Vietnamese migrants today (Thursday) returned to Vietnam under the Voluntary Repatriation Programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Comprising 60 men, 39 women, 30 boys and 24 girls, they were the 224th batch to go back under the programme.

38

This was the first group of Vietnamese migrants returned voluntarily this year, making a total of 44,347 since the programme started in March 1989.

End/Thursday, January 12, 1995

Fresh water cut in Tuen Mun * * ♦ ♦ ♦

Fresh water supply to some premises in Tuen Mun will be temporarily suspended from 11 pm on Saturday (January 14) to noon the following day to facilitate water mains connection.

The suspension will affect all the premises between Tsing Lun Road and Wong Chu Road in Tuen Mun west, including Siu Hong Court, Affluence Garden, Siu Hin Court, Kin Sang Estate, Tai Hing Estate, Siu Kwai Court, San Wai Court, Siu Lung Court, Tin King Estate, Leung King Estate, Siu Pong Court, Shan King Estate, Hing Tin Temporary Housing Area, Hong Tak Garden. Tai Hing Garden, Greenland Garden, Goodrich Garden, Blossom Garden, Venice Garden, Sun Hing Tsuen, Tsz Tin Tsuen, Kei Lun Wai, Siu Hang Tsuen, Yeung Siu Hang, Tsing Shan Tsuen, Kwong Shan Tsuen, Shan Shek Wan San Tsuen, Castle Peak Boys' Home, Wai Yee Hostel and Tuen Mun industrial area.

Also included will be the Siu Lam Psychiatric Centre, Tsing Yung Terrace and all the premises along Castle Peak Road.

Meanwhile, water supply to some premises in the neighbourhood may be weakened during the period.

End/Thursday. January 12, 1995

39

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

Time Cumulative change

$ million (hours) (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 805 0930 -1,766

Closing balance in the account 2,981 1000 -3,366

Change attributable to: 1100 -3,066

Money market activity -659 1200 -5,418

LAF today +2,835 1500 -939

1600 -659

LAF rate 3.75% bid/5.75% offer TWI 120.8 *-0.2* 12.1.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.59 17 months 2605 6.35 98.48 7.69

1 month 5.55 23 months 2611 6.90 98.38 8.01

3 months 5.90 28 months 3704 6.15 95.96 8.27

6 months 6.66 34 months 3710 7.25 97.51 8.43

12 months 7.31 60 months 5912 8.15 97.87 8.88

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $51,489 mn

Closed January 12, 1995

End/Thursday, January 12, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 842 8777

Friday, January 13,1995

Contents Page No,

Statement on Court of Final Appeal............................... 1

Civil service records will be left for future administration. 2

Bills on motorist and employer insurance coverage gazetted... 3

Legal Aid (Amendment) Bill 1995 gazetted......................... 5

103 Vietnamese transferred from High Island Centre............... 6

Transfer of Vietnamese from High Island Detention Centre today ... 7

Sharp increases in penalties for endangered species offences. 8

Meeting on Hong Kong Arts Development Council Bill.............. 10

BA considers reports on broadcasting scene...................... 13

Five nominations for Municipal Council elections received.... 14

Sewerage improvement works in Chai Wan and Shau Kei Wan...... 15

New roads for Yuen Long proposed................................ 16

Contents

Page No,

Ferry berth planned for Sok Kwu Wan................................... 17

Board amends Ma Wan outline zoning plan............................... 17

Anti-rabies inoculation drive launched in fishing ports............... 19

Operation to flush out illegal immigrants............................. 20

Arrest of immigration offenders....................................... 21

Fire prevention photo exhibitions..................................... 22

Islands District photo exhibition begins today........................ 23

Closure of North Point illegal structures sought...................... 23

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations............. 24

1

Statement on Court of Final Appeal *****

Following is a Government statement on Court of Final Appeal:

"The Government has read with interest the second opinion of Sir William Wade QC in respect of the Court of Final Appeal. We note that it represents a shift from his earlier opinion in 1991.

"On the question of whether the '4+1' composition of the court agreed at the JLG in September 1991 is consistent with the Basic Law, Sir William, having now seen the draft CFA Bill and the statement issued by HMG in November 1994, now considers that -

(a) the use of the word "judges" in the plural in Article 82 of the Basic Law is not conclusive, since it would be natural to use the generic plural so as to leave the number of overseas judges open, to be prescribed by a further law under Article 83, and since the plural need not necessarily mean a plurality on any one occasion; and

(b) Article 82 of the Basic Law, being framed in general terms, is capable of a range of interpretations, from unlimited discretion at one end of the scale to a 'four to one' ratio at the other, and all these interpretations could arguably be said to be in accord with the Basic Law.

In other words, while Sir William would still have preferred a more liberal interpretation, he now accepts that the 4+1 provision in the CFA Bill is arguably consistent with the Basic Law.

"With respect also to the appointment to the CFA of non-permanent Hong Kong judges, Sir William no longer considers the JLG agreement to be in breach of the Basic Law.

"The Government re-iterates its firm belief that the 1991 JLG agreement in respect of the Court of Final Appeal is not in breach of the Joint Declaration or Basic Law."

End/Friday, January 13, 1995

2

Civil service records will be left for future administration * ♦ * * ♦

In response to questions about civil service personnel records, a Government spokesman said today (Friday) that all material, necessary for the administration of the civil service, including staff appraisal reports, would be left for the future Administration.

"The allegation in some press reports today that such material would be sent to the UK before June 1997 is simply not true," he said.

The spokesman added: "Records we keep on civil servants will be available for the future administration.

"The records will include the results of integrity checks for senior civil servants. However, the detailed information required in the checking process will be destroyed. All officers who have been or will be subject to integrity checks, have been informed of this practice."

The spokesman explained that it had always been the Government's intention that, as part of the newly introduced integrity checking system, sensitive personal information collected in the course of integrity checking of senior civil servants would be destroyed once the checking procedure on an officer had been completed and his status established.

"Detailed records which go into an officer's lifestyle and records of interviews including that with his referees, will no longer be required once his integrity has been clearly established," he said.

"Civil servants are naturally concerned about the provision and collection of such highly personal information and destroying the material once the check has been completed provides the necessary reassurance," the spokesman said.

On the question of providing information on senior civil servants, the spokesman said: "Under the Basic Law, the Chief Executive will nominate principal officials to the Central People's Government for appointment.

"To enable the Chief Executive (Designate) to make such nominations, the Hong Kong Government will co-operate by providing him with the necessary information," he said.

3

"The Hong Kong Government is fully committed to the faithful implementation of the Joint Declaration," the spokesman said.

End/Friday, January 13, 1995

Bills on motorist and employer insurance coverage gazetted ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government has proposed to amend the Motor Vehicles Insurance (Third Party Risks) Ordinance and the Employees' Compensation Ordinance to require a motorist or an employer to purchase a minimum amount of insurance cover, instead of the unlimited insurance cover currently required.

The minimum amount of insurance cover in each case would be $100 million for any one event.

A Government spokesman explained today (Friday) that, in line with worldwide trends, reinsurers in Hong Kong had decided that they could no longer provide unlimited reinsurance cover for motor vehicle third party liability and employees' compensation insurance, because such cover was not commercially viable.

"However, without unlimited reinsurance protection, insurers will not be able to provide unlimited insurance coverage to motorists or employers in Hong Kong.

"As a result, the requirements of the Motor Vehicles Insurance (Third Party Risks) Ordinance and the Employees' Compensation Ordinance, under which a motorist or an employer must take out unlimited insurance cover, cannot be met.

"It is, therefore, necessary to set a limit for such insurance cover which, however, should provide adequate protection for victims," he said.

The spokesman said the proposed limit of $100 million for any one event was appropriate, having regard to the capacity of reinsurers to meet claims upon insurers.

4

"We have also noted that the largest such claim so far has not exceeded $30 million for any one event," he said.

The spokesman added that the proposed amendments would not prejudice the rights of an injured person to seek compensation over and above the limit of $100 million in the unlikely event that liabilities exceeded that amount, as any excess above the limit would be payable out of the assets of the insured.

"If any excess liabilities remain unpaid thereafter, the rights of an injured party are further protected by the compensation funds maintained by the Employees Compensation Assistance Fund Board or the Motor Insurers' Bureau of Hong Kong," he said.

The Motor Vehicles Insurance (Third Party Risks) (Amendment) Bill 1995 also proposes to exempt vehicles used exclusively on construction and industrial sites from the requirement for compulsory motor vehicle insurance.

Legislation introduced in 1988 extended the requirement to vehicles used on "private roads", which include construction and industrial sites.

As such vehicles are regarded as plant and equipment, it has been the market practice to insure them by standard all risks insurance policies, not by motor vehicle (third party risk) insurance.

However, such policies exclude liabilities compulsorily insurable under any other legislation. Hence there is a risk that third party claims arising in connection with site-based vehicles will not be entertained under the standard all risks insurance policy.

"The proposed amendment will rectify this anomaly by eliminating the risk and ensuring that vehicles used exclusively on construction and industrial sites may continue to be insured under the standard all risks insurance policy," the spokeman said.

Details of the proposed amendments are contained in the Motor Vehicles Insurance (Third Party Risks) Amendment Bill 1995 and the Employees' Compensation (Amendment) Bill 1995 published in the Gazette today.

They will be introduced into the Legislative Council on January 25.

End/Friday, January 13, 1995

5

Legal Aid (Amendment) Bill 1995 gazetted

*****

The Legal Aid (Amendment) Bill 1995 was gazetted today (Friday). It will be introduced into the Legislative Council on January 25.

A Government spokesman said the Bill sought to implement a number of measures to improve the provision of legal aid services recommended by an inter-departmental working group.

The report of the working group was published last July after the recommendations in it had been approved by the Govemor-in-Council.

"The recommendations will meet the public demand for greater access to legal aid," the spokesman added.

"The Bill proposes an expansion of the scopes of both the standard legal aid scheme and the Supplementary Legal Aid Scheme for the 'sandwich' cases," he said.

"It also proposes that the Director of Legal Aid should also be given the discretion to waive the means test in meritorious civil Bill of Rights (BOR) cases, and that legal aid should be extended to assist individuals to pursue election petitions on BOR grounds."

The working group's recommendations relating to the establishment of an independent Legal Aid Services Council are not dealt with in the present Bill.

"This will be the subject of a separate Bill," the spokesman explained.

End/Friday, January 13, 1995

6

103 Vietnamese transferred from High Island Centre *****

All 103 Vietnamese migrants scheduled for return to Vietnam under the Orderly Repatriation Programme next week voluntarily left the High Island Detention Centre early this (Friday) afternoon for Victoria Prison.

They will undergo pre-flight documentation and medical checks before leaving Hong Kong on Wednesday (January 18).

The Refugee Co-ordinator, Mr Brian Bresnihan, said a transfer exercise was originally planned for tomorrow afternoon. It had been brought forward 24 hours in the light of the fire in the centre early this morning.

The vast majority of the Vietnamese migrants presented themselves for transfer to Victoria Prison before noon. The last group of five volunteered shortly before 2 pm.

At no stage was it necessary to deploy officers of the Correctional Services Department or the Police to remove Vietnamese migrants out of the camp.

In a subsequent search of the camp many home- made weapons were found and eight Vietnamese migrants suspected of involvement in the earlier fire were taken away for inquiries.

The fire broke out simultaneously in four dormitories which suggests that arson was involved.

Mr Bresnihan said he deplored the fire which could have had very serious consequences. "Fortunately, no Vietnamese migrants were injured. The Police are still investigating the incident."

Mr Bresnihan stressed that the Government remained determined to repatriate all screened-out Vietnamese migrants to Vietnam.

End/Friday, January 13, 1995

7

Transfer of Vietnamese from High Island Detention Centre today *****

The Government announced today (Friday) that about 100 Vietnamese migrants would be transferred from High Island Detention Centre this afternoon in preparation for their return home under the Orderly Repatriation Programme (ORP).

They will be transferred to Victoria Prison for pre-flight documentation and medical checks before leaving Hong Kong on January 18 (Wednesday).

A Government spokesman said the transfer exercise had been brought forward 24 hours.

"In the light of the fire in the High Island Detention Centre early this morning, we considered it only prudent to move the Vietnamese migrants to Victoria Prison as soon as possible.

"On December 15 last year, they were told that unless they volunteered by December 22, they could be returned on the next ORP flight.

"Yesterday, they were asked to present themselves for transfer from High Island."

The transfer will be monitored by representatives of non-govemment organisations (Oxfam and for the first time Medecins Sans Frontieres), and non-official Justices of the Peace. The monitors' role is to observe and report on the transfer and their reports will be made public.

The spokesman said the monitors were fully briefed on January 10. "We are very grateful to their agreeing to act as monitors," he said.

Attention News Editors:

There will be a fixed press position at High Island this (Friday) afternoon from where the operation and departure from the camp can be observed. Photographers are advised to bring telephoto lens for the best coverage.

8

Press coaches will be provided, leaving from the Central Government Offices car park, Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong. Your representatives should arrive by 11.45 am.

Anyone wishing to use their own transport will have to stop at the road barrier at the entrance to the reservoir area and to transfer to the press coaches, which will arrive at about 12.45 pm. Access to the area and the press position will be by press coach only.

Reporters covering the operation are advised to bring some snacks and water as it is not known how long the operation will take.

Details of the press arrangements for Januarry 18 will be announced later.

End/Friday, January 13, 1995

Sharp increases in penalties for endangered species offences *****

People who illegally trade in highly endangered species will now have to face a maximum penalty of $5 million fine and imprisonment for two years under the Animals and Plants (Protection of Endangered Species) (Amendment) Bill passed by the Legislative Council on Wednesday (January 11) and published as an Ordinance in the Gazette today (Friday).

The revised legislation set a sharp, across-the-board increases in maximum penalties for contraventions of restrictions on international trade in and possession of endangered species, the previous penalties being a maximum fine of $25,000 for a first offence and $50,000 and six months' imprisonment for a second or subsequent offence.

The levels of penalties will hereafter be decided according to whether the offence is committed for a commercial or non-commercial purpose and whether the species involved is highly endangered or less endangered.

9

Import, export or possession of endangered species without a licence for a commercial purpose attracts the highest penalties under the amended legislation.

Where such an offence involves a highly endangered species, the maximum penalty will be a fine of $5 million and two years' imprisonment. This includes illegal trade in items such as rhino horn, tiger parts, gall bladders and bile from highly endangered species of bear and medicines claiming to contain rhino or tiger ingredients.

Where a less endangered species is involved, the maximum penalty will be $500,000 and one year's imprisonment. This covers animals and plants including their parts and derivatives such as leopard cat, slow loris, owls, some parrots, corals, some wild orchids and some wild American ginseng.

Offences not involving a commercial purpose, but involving a highly endangered species, will attract a maximum penalty of $100,000 and imprisonment for one year. Where such an offence involves a less endangered species, the maximum penalty is $50,000 and six months’ imprisonment.

Commenting on the new changes, the Assistant Director (Conservation and Country Parks) of Agriculture and Fisheries, Mr Frank Lau, said: "The substantial increases in penalties reflect the seriousness Hong Kong attaches to such offences.

"We hope this will provide an effective deterrent on people trading illegally in endangered species since they will now stand a greater risk," he said.

Last year, there was a total of 557 successful prosecutions under the Animals and Plants (Protection of Endangered Species) Ordinance, resulting in a total fine of $ 1.4 million.

End/Friday, January 13, 1995

10

Urban and New Territories taxis to charge new fares on Sunday ♦ ♦ * ♦ *

Fares for urban and New Territories taxis will be revised from this Sunday (January 15).

The flagfall for the first two kilometres will be $13 and $11 for urban and New Territories taxis respectively. Subsequent charges will be revised correspondingly to $1.1 and $1 for every 0.2 kilometre travelled.

A spokesman for the Transport Department said before meter conversion was made, taxis may charge the revised fares by displaying a conversion table showing the revised fare scales.

End/Friday, January 13, 1995

Meeting on Hong Kong Arts Development Council Bill *****

The following is issued on behalf of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council:

The Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC) has put its position to the Legislative Council Bills Committee to facilitate discussions by the committee today (Friday) on the HKADC Bill.

Today’s meeting was held to discuss the outstanding issues relating to Clauses 4(a) and (d) of the bill, together with arts criticism, film art and council membership.

The HKADC understands that in response to feedback from the bills committee, the Recreation and Culture Branch has proposed two options for amending Clauses 4(a) and 4(d), one of which is to combine these two into one clause which reads:

11

(a) to plan, promote, support and improve the broad development of and to promote, support and improve the participation and education in and the knowledge, practice, appreciation, accessibility and informed criticism of the arts, including the literary, performing and visual arts, with a view to improving the quality of life of the whole community;

The HKADC is not in favour of this amendment because it is too unclear, unwieldy and complicated. The Council would therefore like to propose the following new Clauses 4(a) and 4(b) to replace Clauses 4(a) and 4(d) in the original bill:

(a) to plan, promote and support the broad development of the arts, placing emphasis on the literary, performing and visual arts, with a view to improving the quality of life of the whole community;

(b) to develop and improve the participation and education in and the knowledge, practice, appreciation, accessibility and informed criticism of the arts;

As a consequence, the council also proposes that Clauses 4(b) and (c) in the original bill be renumbered as 4(c) and 4(d).

Arts criticism

The HKADC's view on this remains the same as stated in its submission to the bills committee on November 7. The council is also aware that the bills committee has been taking into consideration the views submitted by different knowledgeable parties and individuals. The council considers that the amendments it has proposed to Clause 4 above take proper account of arts criticism in the proper context. As pointed out in the council's submission to the bills committee on October 7, the council’s arts committees have been and will continue to process grant applications for the promotion of arts criticism within its present committee structure. Arts criticism has never been excluded from the council's purview.

12

Film art

The HKADC would like to restate its position on film art as presented to the bills committee by the HKADC deputation on November 22. The HKADC recognises film as an art form. While the council does not preclude any art forms as being worthy of grant awards or other support, the council cannot support the inclusion of film art alongside the literary, performing and visual arts in Clause 4(a). The HKADC’s proposed new Clause 4(a) prescribes an emphasis on the literary, performing and visual arts but does not exclude any other art forms. Clause 4(a) does not attempt to, nor should it, be all inclusive because the list cannot be exhaustive with the continuous evolvement or revival of other art forms.

As explained by the HKADC deputation on November 22, the council is ready to support with appropriate funding projects which further film art on a scale which can be accommodated within the budgets of its Arts Committees, for example, script-writing. Film production projects cannot, unfortunately, be borne by the HKADC within its presently available resources. Meanwhile, some council members have been in touch with people involved in the less commercial side of the film circle to discuss how the HKADC can work with them for the promotion of film art in Hong Kong.

Council membership

The HKADC has welcomed and endorsed the latest amendments to Clause 3(3)(a) put forward by the Recreation and Culture Branch. The HKADC has also endorsed the new Clauses 3(3A) and 3(3B) in principle but with some reservations about their feasibility. The HKADC would like to emphasise its position that it is up to the arts community to organise itself into credible bodies to make use of the opportunity afforded by these clauses. Elections are a matter between the Government and the arts groups and the organisation of such elections should not involve the council in any way.

The HKADC would be glad to give further information and assistance to facilitate the coming bills committee discussion. The council would like to reiterate its concern for an expeditious passage of the bill to allow the HKADC to be set up by April this year, so that the council could embark on its plans to further the development of the arts in Hong Kong with full executive power.

13

The HKADC would not like the passage of the bill to be delayed or prevented by failure to resolve the issue of membership.

End/Friday, January 13, 1995

BA considers reports on broadcasting scene *****

The following is issued on behalf of the Broadcasting Authority:

The Broadcasting Authority (BA) met yesterday (Thursday) and considered a number of reports and analyses on the local broadcasting scene.

Amongst the matters dealt with were some complaints about local television and radio broadcasting. The BA warned Wharf Cable for the broadcast of advertising material on the Cable Learning Channel and the Cable International Channel.

A spokesman for BA said the advertising material in the form of flipcards, billboards and, in one case, a conventional advertisement, was used in some acquired programmes to promote various commercial concerns.

The spokesman said the BA noted that Wharf Cable had not received any payment for the material, but the broadcast of any advertising material was a clear breach of the terms of Wharf Cable's licence.

The BA also issued a serious warning to Metro Broadcast for the indirect advertising within a programme of cars and a record shop.

The BA said its rules required advertising and promotion to be clearly identified as such, so that listeners would not be misled.

The BA noted that its latest survey on radio listening habits and public opinion about radio services has begun on January 12 and will last until February 25.

14

The survey, being conducted on behalf of the BA by International Research Associates (HK) Ltd, will involve face to face personal interviews with members of about 1,500 households, and the results will be used to derive the community’s demands and expectations of radio broadcasting, to assess • public standards and to detect changing trends in radio listening habits.

The survey will provide valuable feedback as the BA embarks on its mid-term review of Commercial Radio’s licence.

End/Friday, January 13, 1995

Five nominations for Municipal Council elections received

*****

A total of five nominations of candidates were received today (Friday) for the Municipal Council elections on March 5.

The total number of nominations received so far is 87.

The nomination period will last until January 23.

The breakdown of nominations by district is as follows:

Central and Western 3

Wan Chai Eastern Southern

Yau Tsim Mong Sham Shui Po Kowloon City Wong Tai Sin Kung Tong Tsuen Wan Tuen Mun Yuen Long North

4

9

4

4

3

6

8

11

0

7

5

3

15

Tai Po Sai kung Sha Tin Kwai Tsing Islands 5 2 10 3 0

Total: 87

End/Friday, January 13, 1995

Sewerage improvement works in Chai Wan and Shau Kei Wan

*****

The Drainage Services Department is inviting tenders for sewerage improvement works in Chai Wan and Shau Kei Wan.

The project involves the upgrading of sewers in the two districts and relining of a trunk sewer on Chai Wan Road and Fung Yip Street. The works are scheduled to begin in April for completion in 24 months.

A notice of the tender invitation was gazetted today (Friday).

Tender forms and further particulars may be obtained from the Sewerage Projects Division, 44th floor, Revenue Tower, 5 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai.

The tender closing date is noon on January 27.

End/Friday, January 13, 1995

16

New roads for Yuen Long proposed ♦ * ♦ ♦ *

The Territory Development Department has proposed constructing new roads at Ha Mei San Tsucn in Yuen Long to meet development needs of the Tin Shui Wai New Town.

The project, which is part of the new town's development programme, also includes the construction of car park spaces and footpaths.

A notice of the proposed road works was gazetted today (Friday).

The plan and scheme showing the proposed works can be seen during office hours at:

* Public Enquiry Service Centre of the Central and Western District Office, ground floor, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central;

* Yuen Long District Lands Office, ninth to 11th floors, 2 Kiu Lok Square, Yuen Long; and

* Yuen Long District Office, Yuen Long District Branch Offices Building, 269 Castle Peak Road, Yuen Long.

Any person wishing to object to the proposals should write to the Secretary for Transport, Central Government Offices, East Wing, second floor, Lower Albert Road, no later than March 14, describing his interest and manner in which he will be affected.

End/Friday, January 13, 1995

17

Ferry berth planned for Sok Kwu Wan ♦ * * ♦ ♦

The Government plans to construct a 75-metre long public pier at Sok Kwu Wan, Lamma Island to provide berthing and landing facilities for Hong Kong Ferry (Holdings) Company Limited and public uses.

The public pier will be built within an area of about 6,000 square metres of foreshore and seabed and works will begin in September for completion by 1997.

The extent of the area affected is notified in the Gazette today (Friday).

The notice and its related plans can be seen at the Lands Department's Survey and Mapping Office, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road; and at the Islands District Office, 20th floor, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central. The plan can also be purchased at the Survey and Mapping Office.

Any person who considers that his interest, right or easement in or over the foreshore and seabed involved will be affected, may submit a written claim of compensation to the Director of Lands on or before January 13, 1996.

He should state in his submission the sum of money that he is willing to accept in full and final statement of his claim, and submit particulars to substantiate his claim.

End/Friday, January 13, 1995

Board amends Ma Wan outline zoning plan

*****

The Town Planning Board today (Friday) announced amendments to the draft Ma Wan Outline Zoning Plan.

A major amendment is to extend the boundary of the "Comprehensive Development Area" in Pak Wan Tsai to incorporate a proposed reclamation area for accommodating additional community facilities to serve the future residents on Ma Wan Island. As a result, the planning scheme boundary has also been extended.

18

Another amendment is to adjust the boundary of the "Village Type Development" zone in Tin Liu to provide more land for village housing development and to retain the over 70-year old Fong Yuen Study Hall.

The amendment plan (No. S/MWI/2) is available for public inspection until March 13 from:

* Planning Department, 16th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong;

Lantau and Islands District Planning Office, 10th floor, Leighton Centre, 77 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong; and

* Tsuen Wan District Office, first floor, Tsuen Wan Station Multi-storey Carpark Building, 174-208 Castle Peak Road, Tsuen Wan, New Territories.

Any person affected by the amendment plan may submit written objection to the Secretary of the Town Planning Board, c/o Planning Department, 13th floor, Murray Building before March 13.

Copies of the draft plan can be bought at the Survey and Mapping Office, Lands Department, 14th floor, Murray Building, and the Kowloon Map Sales Office, ground floor, 382 Nathan Road, Kowloon.

End/Friday, January 13, 1995

19

Anti-rabies inoculation drive launched in fishing ports

The Agriculture and Fisheries Department will launch a half-yearly dog inoculation drive in fishing ports over the next two weeks so that fishermen can have their dogs immunised against rabies.

t Starting from Monday (January 16), mobile dog inoculation teams will go to seven fishing ports one after the other and make boat-to-boat visits between 10 am and 4 pm daily. The whole operation is expected to last until January 24.

.I t J■ •. * • • ».- ■

They will visit the fishing ports in Sha Tau Kok on January 16; Cheung Chau on January 16 and 17; Sam Mun Chai on January 17 and 18; Shau Kei Wan on January 18 and 19; Castle Peak Bay on January 19 and 20; Aberdeen and Sai Kung on January 23 and 24.

The drive, a regular exercise since 1980, is intended to help fishermen who find little time to take their dogs to an inoculation centre or a government kennel for inoculation.

The department's Senior Veterinary Officer, Dr K K Liu, said today (Friday) that the drive was part of the Government's continuing efforts to prevent the outbreak of rabies in Hong Kong.

"The territory regained the rabies-free area status on July 10, 1989 by having successfully prevented the outbreak of any indigenous rabies case since July 10, 1987," he said.

Nevertheless, he stressed that rabies was a deadly disease transmissible from animals to human. Dogs on fishing vessels are particularly vulnerable because of their possible contacts with other animals outside Hong Kong.

"It is, therefore, important that fishermen’s dogs are inoculated against the disease at least every three years to keep up their immunity," Dr Liu added.

He called on fishermen who owned dogs to make full use of the special inoculation service.

Under the Rabies Ordinance, all dogs over five months old are required to be licensed and inoculated against rabies. Failure to do so will render the owner liable to a maximum fine of $10,000.

End/Friday, January 13, 1995

20

Operation to flush out illegal immigrants *****

A territory-wide operation against illegal immigration mounted by the Police has resulted in the arrests of 140 people.

The operation is part of the Government's continuous effort to flush out illegal immigrants.

The 140 suspected illegal immigrants arrested by the Police have been referred to the Immigration Department. Those found to be illegal immigrants will be repatriated.

A Government spokesman reiterated today (Friday) that there was no question of any amnesty for illegal immigrants.

"Our latest operation should drive home the point that there will be no change to this policy. Anyone foolish enough to believe otherwise is only cheating oneself," he said.

The spokesman stressed that apart from continuous checks throughout the territory, there was no let-up in anti-illegal immigration efforts at the border.

"A high state of vigilance will continue to be maintained by the Police and the security forces both at the land and sea borders," he said.

During the operation, which began at 5 am yesterday (Thursday) and ended at 5 am today, the Police stepped up their identification spot checks in public places and carried out checks at suspicious locations throughout the territory.

End/Friday, January 13, 1995

21

Arrest of immigration offenders ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

Immigration investigators conducted an operation at a beancurd workshop in Yuen Long today (Friday) and arrested six Chinese and two Filipino nationals who are suspected to have breached their conditions of stay in Hong Kong.

The five two-way permit visitors and an imported worker from China, all men, aged between 26 and 56, are suspected to have taken up unapproved employment at the workshop.

The Filipino couple, both 39, are on employment status as domestic helpers. They are also suspected to be employed at the same workshop.

A Hong Kong resident who is the owner of the workshop is assisting with investigation.

A spokesman for the Immigration Department reminds that visitors are not allowed to take up any employment, whether paid or unpaid, without the permission from the Director of Immigration.

Imported workers are admitted only for a specific job with a specified employer.

As for foreign domestic helpers, they should only take up domestic duties for their contract employers and are not permitted to work part-time or engage in non-domestic duties.

Those who breach their conditions of stay will be prosecuted and on conviction, the maximum penalty is a fine of $5,000 and imprisonment for two years.

People including employers who aid and abet others to commit these offences are also liable to prosecution and penalty.

Last year, the Immigration Department investigated 666 cases involving imported workers, 2,339 foreign domestic helpers and 5,528 Chinese two-way permit holders.

"The increasing number of illegal workers in 1994 has been a matter of concern.

22

"To tackle the problem, we have stepped up control at the points of entry and increased our enforcement actions through investigation and raids of suspected blackspots.

"The strength of the Immigration Task Force will also be increased from the existing 46 to 92 officers later this year so that more large-scale operations against illegal immigrants and illegal workers can be mounted," the spokesman added.

End/Friday, January 13, 1995

Fire prevention photo exhibitions *****

The Fire Services Department will hold a photographic exhibition on fire prevention in Lei Tung Estate Commercial Complex, Ap Lei Chau, from noon to 4 pm on Sunday (January 15).

The exhibition is one of a series of activities to publicise this year’s Fire Prevention Campaign.

Information pamphlets will be available at the booth.

Similar exhibitions will be held at Po Lam Estate in Tseung Kwan O on February 19 and Hin Keng Estate in Sha Tin on March 26. The opening hours will be the same.

End/Friday, January 13, 1995

23

Islands District photo exhibition begins today ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Sixty-five photos featuring scenic spots and social customs in the Islands District will be on display for three days at the exhibition hall in Shun Tak Centre, Sheung Wan, starting from this (Friday) afternoon.

They are the winning entries of a photo competition organised by the Islands District Board’s Commerce, Industry, Tourism and Environmental Improvement Committee and the Cheung Chau Photographic Society.

Committee Chairman Mr Kwong Kwok-wei said the response to the event was very encouraging.

"We have received over 1,600 submissions and they are all of a very high standard," he added.

The competition was aimed at enhancing the public’s understanding in the Islands district as well as to enhance their interests in photography.

End/Friday, January 13, 1995

Closure of North Point illegal structures sought ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ '3 - **.*»>

The Building Authority is seeking to close two unauthorised structure in North Point so that they can be demolished without endangering the occupants and the public. The two-storey unauthorised structures used as shops are located at the rear service lane in 108-110 Java Road.

Notices applying for Closure Orders from the District Court under the Buildings Ordinance on May 12 this year were posted on the premises today (Friday).

Demolition works are expected to start as soon as the Closure Orders are issued.

End/Friday, January 13, 1995

24

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Time Cumulative change

$ million (hours) (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,981 0930 -5,304

Closing balance in the account 2,735 1000 -5,992

Change attributable to : 1100 -5,482

Money market activity -1,828 1200 -3,927

LAF today +1,582 1500 -1,825

1600 -1,828

LAF rate 3.75% bid/5.75% offer TWI 120.8 *+0.0* 13.1.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 8.09 17 months 2605 6.35 97.83 8.24

1 month 8.24 23 months 2611 6.90 97.60 8.50

3 months 7.75 28 months 3704 6.15 94.98 8.79

6 months 7.88 34 months 3710 7.25 96.37 8.93

12 months 8.10 60 months 5912 8.15 96.32 9.30

Total turnover of bills and bonds - 43,650 MN

Closed January 13, 1995

End/Friday, January 13, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 842 8777

Saturday, January 14,1995

Contents Page No,

Monitors’ report on ORP operation submitted to CS.................... 1

Lucozade Light under recall.......................................... 1

Task force geared up to tackle environment black spots............... 2

New cross harbour bus route No. 115 and re-numbering of route No. 119.. 4

Quality service acknowledged......................................... 5

Cookie campaign funds elderly work................................... 6

Fresh water cuts in Causeway Bay, Tai Po and Tai Hang................ 7

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations................. 7

1

Monitors’ report on ORP operation submitted to CS

*****

The Government announced today (Saturday) that the independent monitors who observed the Orderly Repatriation Programme (ORP) operation in the High Island Detention Centre yesterday (January 13) had submitted their report to the Chief Secretary.

The monitors were Professor Nelson Chow Wing- sun, JP; Mr Chiu Chun-bong, JP; Mr Philippe Gerard from Medecins Sans Frontieres and Mr Stephen Tsui from Oxfam.

The Chief Secretary is grateful to the monitors for observing the operation and producing the report particularly bearing in mind that they were called in at short notice after a decision was made to bring forward the transfer operation by 24 hours.

End/Saturday, January 14, 1995

Lucozade Light under recall

*****

The Department of Health today (Saturday) confirmed that the Smithkline Beecham Limited had recalled a batch of Lucozade Light 250 millilitres as a precautionary measure for consumer safety.

The stock involved was sold in green bottles with green caps with the expiry date December 22, 1995 printed on the side of the bottle caps.

A spokesman for the department urged retailers to co-operate in the recall exercise and follow the steps advised by the company.

Food inspectors of the department had already visited some retail outlets and taken samples of the product for testing.

The spokesman also urged the public not to consume the products under recall. Any person feeling unwell after consumption of the products should consult doctors immediately.

So far, no complaints concerning Lucozade Light 250 ml have been received by the Department of Health.

End/Saturday, January 14, 1995

2

Task force geared up to tackle environmental black spots ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

New Territories residents as well as land owners and operators are urged to give full co-operation to the Lands Department's Black Spots Task Force in cleaning up the environment in the New Territories.

The plea was made today (Saturday) by Dr Samuel Wong, chairman of the special committee set up to advise the Government on matters relating to environmental black spots, and to oversee the work of the task force.

After making his first official site inspection of black spots in northwest New Territories, Dr Wong said: "Cleaning up the black spots in the New Territories is not just an environmental conservation issue. It also has an important bearing on improving the environment in general and the quality of life in particular."

Dr Wong said enforcement actions under the current legislation must be stepped up with a view to terminating the unauthorised developments on crown land, followed by appropriate reinstatement work, such as landscaping.

"Lease enforcement actions should also be taken against those operations that have illegal structures on site, while dialogue with the relevant land owners and operators on ways to improve the environmental impact of their operations should be established.

"However, permission given for operation on land under government control should be terminated if the operation cannot be improved," Dr Wong added.

He acknowledged that it would require time and sufficient manpower to carry out clearance operations, but action must be taken now to tackle the problem.

Head of the task force, Mr Allan Hay, said because of limited resources, it was now concentrating its actions in Pat Heung and Ha Tsuen, where the black spots were inspected today by members of the special committee.

Describing the extent of the problem his staff of about 100 would have to deal with, Mr Hay said: "Over the past 10 years, there has been a proliferation of conversion of agricultural land into open storage yards and other similar unauthorised uses in the rural New Territories, such as car wrecking operations.

"Although this haphazard development is largely a response to legitimate economic pressures, it has led to widespread degradation of the countryside.

3

"In 1991, the Town Planning (Amendment) Ordinance was enacted as a means to contain the problem. Under this ordinance, those conversions that had already taken place when various plans under the ordinance were published were recognised as 'existing uses', and therefore legal.

"While those established after publication of the plans were treated as 'unauthorised development' and are subject to enforcement action, " Mr Hay said.

Mr Hay said the task force, supported by a multi-disciplinary team of land, planning, landscape and technical/field staff, will adopt a concentrated approach of land administration measures, including:

clearance of operations that occupy government land illegally, followed by reinstatement work, for example, landscaping;

lease forcement action against those operations that have illegal structures on site;

* liaising with owners/operators with a view to improving the operations on site and reducing the impact of environmental degradation;

improving the operations on land held under short-term tenancy & shortterm waiver to reduce environmental degradation;

* possible termination of offensive short-term tenancies and short-term waivers;

* possible termination by negotiation of some very offensive operations;

possible relocation of some operations to more suitable sites; and

* liaison with other government departments and outside consultants on the overall problems and to consider alternative approaches to deal with them, for example, legislative amendments.

End/Saturday, January 14, 1995

4

New cross harbour bus route No.l 15 and re-numbering of route No.l 19 *****

The Transport Department announces today (Saturday) that a new air-conditioned cross harbour bus route No.l 15 will start operation from Monday (January 16).

The new cross harbour bus route No.l 15, plying between Kowloon City Ferry Pier to Macau Ferry Pier in Central, will travel via To Kwa Wan Road, Ma Tau Wai Road, Whampoa Garden Bus Terminus, Cross Harbour Tunnel, Gloucester Road, Connaught Road Central, Des Vouex Road Central, Hennessy Road and Wan Chai Road.

The route will operate between 7.15 am and 7.45 pm in 15 minutes intervals from Mondays to Saturdays. No service will be provided on Sundays and Public Holidays.

The fare for each trip is $7.5 and the fare for the journey after the Cross Harbour Tunnel is $4.5.

Meanwhile, starting from the same day (January 16), the existing cross harbour bus route No.l 19 will be re-routed via Eastern Harbour Crossing and it will be renumbered to No. 619.

The cross harbour bus route No. 619, plying between Shun Lee and Macau Ferry Pier in Central, will travel via Kung Tong Road, Hong Ning Road, Lei Yue Mun Road, Eastern Harbour Crossing, Island Eastern Corridor, Man Hong Street, King’s Road, Tsing Fung Street, Victoria Park Road and Wing Hing Street.

The route will operate between 6.43 am and 7.43 pm in 10 minutes intervals from Mondays to Saturdays. No service will be provided on Sundays and Public Holidays.

The fare for the non air-conditioned bus service for each trip is $6.2 and the section fare of the journey after the Eastern Harbour Crossing is $3.1.

The fare for the air-conditioned bus service for each trip is $8. The section fares for the journey after the Eastern Labour Crossing and between Hennessy Road to Shun Lee are $4.5 and $7.5 respectively.

End/Saturday, January 14, 1995

5

Quality service acknowledged ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The high quality of services provided by staff of the Licensing Division of the Transport Department was acknowledged by more and more customers.

Their acknowledgement was expressed in the form of enthusiastically casting their nominations in the Best Licensing Service Award 1994, the second of its kind since June 1993.

A total of 7,577 nomination forms have been received by the department during the month-long nomination period in December last year. This represented an increase of 123 per cent over that of 3,413 forms received in 1993.

The Commissioner for Transport, Mr Rafael Hui, said at the prize- presentation ceremony today (Saturday) that the result was most encouraging and was a clear indication that both the customers and licensing staff were keen in promoting the idea of quality service.

’’The best 10 counter staff received a total of 4,223 nominations. Of these 59 per cent praised our staff as polite and sincere, 52 per cent considered their service efficient, 50 per cent recognised our prize-winning staff pleasant and 47 per cent considered them full of smiles while at service,” Mr Hui said.

"I wish to pay my personal tribute to the winners who are with us today. I also wish to thank other members of our devoted team who have helped to make this exercise a success," he said.

While acknowledging that the licensing staff had to face an ever-increasing workload, Mr Hui said both the department and the Government did recognise their difficult tasks and were actively taking action to improve their working environment.

"For example, the relocation of the Hong Kong Licensing Office from its old premises at Murray Road Carpark to United Centre last August provided a more spacious and convenient environment to both our customers and staff.

"In addition, we plan to spend SI million to improve the design of our Kowloon Licensing Office to better serve the public. Above all, we will continue with our effort to fulfil our performance pledges on licensing services to the community of Hong Kong," he added.

6

The 10 awardees who were presented with trophies and prizes by Mr Hui were: Mr Ho Hau-yuen from the Driving Test Section; Mr Leung Yiu-wah from the Sha Tin Licensing Office; Miss Wong Kam-mai from the Kwun Tong Licensing Office; Mr Yip Tin-kwai, Miss Law Pun-lan and Miss Lee Mei-hing from the Kowloon Licensing Office; and Miss Lo Wai-hing, Miss To Wai-yee, Miss Lai Ching-ying and Mr Yick Yiu-bing from the Hong Kong Licensing Office.

Mr Hui thanked the Shell Hong Kong Ltd, and the Hong Kong and Macau Director of the Company, Mr Robert Young, for their full support and generous sponsorship for the award scheme.

He also thanked the department’s Customer Liaison Group (CLG) members who have devoted their valuable time and effort in giving sound advice to the department to improve various licensing services.

In recognition of the support of those nominators, Mr Young and two CLG members drew 20 nominators, each of them will be awarded an oil coupon worth of $500.

Mr Young also presented a souvenir to representatives of the Sha Tin Licensing Office, the Best Licensing Office 1994 selected by licensing customers.

End/Saturday, January 14, 1995

Cookie campaign funds elderly work ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Mrs Patten today (Saturday) called upon residents to support a Cookie Campaign, which raises funds for Helping Hand to continue its work in running residential care homes, sheltered housing units and a holiday centre for the elderly.

This year Helping Hand chooses "Successful Ageing" as its theme to help more of the elderly take a positive look at life and give them a sense of achievement.

In addition to their regular programmes, elderly people are encouraged to take part in community service projects.

"I was struck by how many of our elderly people are still making their own contributions to our community," she said.

Last autumn, she entertained many of the elderly volunteers to tea in Government House.

End/Saturday, January 14, 1995

7

Fresh water cuts in Causeway Bay, Tai Po and Tai Hang

*****

Fresh water supply to some premises in Causeway Bay will be temporarily suspended from 11 pm on Monday (January 16) to 6 am the following day to facilitate water mains leakage detection.

The suspension will affect all the premises at 7-19 Great George Street, 27-65 and 42-72 Paterson Street, Cleveland Street, Kingston Street and Houston Street.

Meanwhile, fresh water supply to Hong Lok Yuen, Tai Po and some premises in Tai Hang will also be cut off from 11 pm on Tuesday (January 17) to 6 am the next day for water mains leakage detection and connection respectively.

In Tai Hang, the affected areas will include Mount Butler Road, Mount Butler Drive, Moorsom Road, Price Road, Wilson Road, Cooper Road, Goldsmith Road, Purves Road, Henderson Road, Boyce Road, Creasy Road, Perkins Road and 9 Chun Fai Road.

End/Saturday, January 14, 1995

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ Million Time (Hours) Cumulative Change ($ Million)

Opening Balance in the account 2,735 09:30 +441

Closing Balance in the account 2,086 10:00 +441

Change Attributable to: 11:00 +441

Money Market Activity +441 11:30 +441

Laf Today -1,090 15:00

LafRate 3.75% Bid/5.75% Offer TWI 120.8 *+0.0* 14.1.95

End/Saturday, January 14, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 842 8777

Sunday, January 15,1995

Contents Page No,

Hong Kong wants civil servants to straddle 1997........................... 1

Transcript of Governor’s media session.................................... 2

Government response to Law Society’s decision............................. 3

Electronic postage label to bear pig design............................... 3

Australia and US Year of Pig stamp products on sale in HK................. 5

Employer fined for sacking pregnant employee.............................. 6

’’Clean and Green” jingle and slogan design competitions.................. 7

Pupils show their green thumbs............................................ 8

Spring scrolls to spread child care message............................... 8

1

Hong Kong wants civil servants to straddle 1997 *****

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, this (Sunday) morning said Hong Kong wanted its civil servants to go on after 1997 working in as good an environment as they had now and wanted as many civil servants to transfer through sovereignty in 1997.

Responding to media questions after officiating at the opening of the Community Chest Island Walk, about Director Lu Ping's remarks about the transfer of files of senior civil servants, Mr Patten: "We want a smooth transition. That means that we all have to be very careful in what we say. Reinforce the civil service morale rather than the reverse."

The Governor said Hong Kong recognised that there was a relationship between the transfer of sovereignty and the transfer of assets.

"But the specific question here is what personal information about civil servants should be sent to Peking and we've already provided a huge amount of information on civil servants," Mr Patten said.

"We've provided general information about the civil service regulations and the civil service structure and we've provided specific information about the biographical details of civil servants, about salary levels and so on.

"Now, what more does anyone want and why should people be talking about sending to Peking information which we wouldn't dream of sending to London and which London wouldn't dream of asking for.

"I think that people should be specific about what additional information they have."

End/Sunday, January 15, 1995

2

Transcript of Governor's media session *****

The following is a transcript of the media session by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, after officiating at the opening of the Community Chest Island Walk this (Sunday) moming:-

Question: British newspapers said that the Chinese and the British side had a secret deal to improve the Sino-British relationship. Is it true?

Governor: I don't know anything more than the newspapers have reported about that and, obviously, it's a matter for the British Trade Commissioner here and for the British Embassy in Peking but it is not a very surprising story. There are a huge number of exports from Britain to China just as there're a lot of exports from China to Britain and Britain is the largest European investor in China. A good deal of British investment in China is guaranteed by a form of insurance called export credits and it's not very surprising that this particular understanding is backed by export credits. It's not actually cash. It's, as I say, a sort of insurance policy so I don't think it's a particularly exceptional thing, just an indication of the trade relationship between Britain and China which continues.

Question: Lu Ping said any transfer of senior civil servants should be made directly to the Chinese Government, not the SAR...

Governor: Well, I think we want to distinguish between the real issue here and what seems to become a rather notional, theoretical issue. But nobody is arguing that there isn't a relationship between the transfer of sovereignty and the transfer of assets. Of course, there is. We all recognise that but the specific question here is what personal information about civil servants should be sent to Peking and we've already provided a huge amount of information on civil servants. We've provided general information about the civil service regulations and the civil service structure and we've provided specific information about the biographical details of civil servants, about salary levels and so on. Now, what more does anyone want and why should people be talking about sending to Peking information which we wouldn't dream of sending to London and which London wouldn't dream of asking for. I think that people should be specific about what additional information they have. There is one other thing I would say. I do think and I say this in the most moderate way, I do think people should be rather careful about the consequences of what they say. Last week, the PWC was making remarks about the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. Well, you couldn't have chosen a much worse week for doing that and I think you'd only have to look at the newspapers to see some of the assumptions that people were drawing about those remarks. It's not helpful nor is it helpful to make remarks which make some civil servants worry about the future. We want civil servants to go on after 1997 working in as good an environment as they have now. We want as many civil servants to transfer through sovereignty in 1997. We want a smooth transition. That means that we all have to be very careful of what we say, reinforce the civil service morale rather than the reverse.


- 3 -

Question: It seems that the local senior officers association supports sending files to Beijing.... ?

Governor: I think that you would find it very difficult to find civil servants who are in favour of giving more than we've provided already. But, let's be absolutely clear what is required and I'd like to be clear as to how more than we've provided would be good for the civil service in Hong Kong. Our only concern, our only interest, is the longterm interest of Hong Kong and the long-term interest for the civil service and I hope more people will show any good concern about those matters. Thanks.

End/Sunday, January 15, 1995

Government response to Law Society's decision *****

The Government is glad that members of the Law Society have confirmed their support for the draft Court of Final Appeal (CFA) Bill at their Extraordinary General Meeting, the Director of Administration, Mr Richard Hoare, said today (Sunday).

"We now look forward to receiving the Law Society's formal response and comments on the Bill as soon as possible. We will give these comments careful consideration."

Mr Hoare reaffirmed that the Government still aimed to introduce the Bill into LegCo as early as it could in 1995, but noted that precisely when this would be done would depend on the progress of discussions with the Chinese side.

"The draft CFA Bill was handed to the Chinese side last May," Mr Hoare said.

"So far the Chinese side have asked 13 quite straightforward questions, which we answered quickly. We have repeatedly explained the tight timetable to them, and hope to receive their response soon."

End/Sunday, January 15, 1995

Electronic postage label to bear pig design ♦ * * ♦ ♦

The label paper and machine die plate impression of the electronic postage label (Frama label) vending machine at the General Post Office and Tsim Sha Tsui Post Office will be changed from the dog design to the pig design on February 15, the Postmaster General, Mr Mike Pagliari, announced.

No official first day covers will be issued in connection with this change.

4

However, for the convenience of customers, an advance order service for prepackaged sets of Frama labels bearing machine codes ’01’ (General Post Office) and ’02’ (Tsim Sha Tsui Post Office) will be available as follows:

* from 10 cents to $2.30;

* from $2.40 to $5; and

* the most common postage rates of 10 cents, $1, $1.20, $1.90, $2, $2.40 and $5.

Advance orders will be accepted at any post office, except the Airport Post Office, from January 18 to 28.

Customers may collect the labels on February 15 from the post office where they placed their orders.

A limited quantity of pre-packaged Frama labels, bearing the most common postage (10 cents, $1, $1.20, $1.90, $2, $2.40 and $5), will be made available for sale on February 15 at the following seven philatelic offices:

* Beaconsfield House Post Office

* General Post Office

Granville Road Post Office

* Peak Post Office

* Sha Tin Central Post Office

* Tsim Sha Tsui Post Office

* Tsuen Wan Post Office

A hand-back service will be provided at all post offices, except the Airport Post Office, on February 15 for privately-made covers bearing the "First Day" indication.

End/Sunday, January 15, 1995

- 5 -

Australia and US Year of Pig stamp products on sale in HK.

*****

Stamp products issued by Australia Post and the United States Postal Service to celebrate the Lunar New Year of the Pig will be put on sale at seven philatelic offices from January 19.

The offices are at Beaconsfield House Post Office. General Post Office. Granville Road Post Office, Peak Post Office. Sha Tin Central Post Office, Tsim Sha Tsui Post Office and Tsuen Wan Post Office.

The stamp products include Year of the Pig stamps issued by the United States Postal Service and the Year of the Pig miniature sheet and serviced first day cover issued by Australia Post for Christmas Island.

This is the second release of Lunar New Year stamps by Australia Post and the third release by the United States Postal Service, the Postmaster General, Mr Mike Pagliari, said.

The Australia Post (Christmas Island) miniature sheet comprises two stamps with face values of Aus 45 cents and 85 cents.

The serviced first day cover is affixed with a miniature sheet bearing a postmark of the first day of issue.

The United States Year of the Pig stamp has a face value of US 29 cents and will only be available in sheets of 20 stamps.

The selling prices in Hong Kong currency are:

* Christmas Island miniature sheet - HK$8

* Christmas Island serviced first day cover -1 IKS9.50

* United States Year of the Pig stamps - HKS45.50 (sheet of 20)

End/Sunday, January 15, 1995

6

Employer fined for sacking pregnant employee

♦ * * * ♦

The Labour Department today (Sunday) reminded employers not to terminate the employment of a female employee after she had given notice of her intention to take maternity leave.

Siu Chung Garments Limited in Tsuen Wan was recently fined $5,000 in the Tsuen Wan Magistracy for sacking a pregnant employee who had already notified her employer of her intention to take maternity leave.

"Under the Employment Ordinance, a female worker is protected from termination of her employment from the date on which she gives notice of her intention to take maternity leave until the date on which she is due to return to work, if she has been employed for not less than 12 weeks," a Labour Department spokesman said.

"A female employee who has worked for the same employer under a continuous contract for not less than 26 weeks is entitled to maternity leave.

"She is also entitled to maternity leave pay if she has worked continuously for the same employer for not less than 40 weeks before the expected date of her commencement of maternity leave and if she has not more than two surviving children," he added.

Failure to comply with these provisions is liable to a maximum fine of $10,000.

To help pregnant workers understand their rights, copies of a leaflet on maternity protection provisions can be obtained at all the offices of Labour Relations Service, all public hospitals as well as maternal and child care health centres.

The leaflet contains a standard form of notice specifying the expected date of confinement and the commencement date of maternity leave. There is also a declaration form for declaring the number of surviving children.

End/Sunday, January 15, 1995

7

"Clean and Green" jingle and slogan design competitions

• *****

Country park lovers and members of the community with innovative ideas arc invited to join two prize-carrying competitions now being held to mark this year's "Clean and Green" Scheme.

They are welcome to join either or both of the competitions, the jingle design contest and the slogan creation contest, which form part of the many activities for this year’s scheme.

An Agriculture and Fisheries Department’s (AFD) spokesman said the main objective of these contests was to arouse participants’ awareness on the importance of keeping the country parks clean and green.

On the jingle design contest, the spokesman pointed out that it could be entered in individuals or groups.

"Each entrant should submit a one-minute recording tape for a jingle promoting the clean and green message in country parks. The jingle can be either in Cantonese or English, and must be interesting," he said.

The overall winner of this contest will be awarded with a $5,000 cash prize and a trophy.

Turning to the slogan creation competition, he said it would be open to individual entrants only. Each entry should comprise a 20-word or less slogan on keeping country parks clean.

The overall champion of this competition will get a $2,000 cash prize plus a trophy.

The champions and other winners of these two competitions will also be invited to join a fun day at a country park later in the year.

The deadline for the competitions is March 31. 1995.

All entries should be submitted to AFP’s Conservation Education Unit at Room 321, Canton Road Government Offices, 393 Canton Road. Kowloon.

Enquiries on the competitions can also be directed to the Unit on tel 2733 2121.

End/Sunday. January 15. 1995.

8

Pupils show their green thumbs

*****

About 400 pots of vegetables - including carrots, lettuces, cauliflowers, tomatoes and squashes - carefully nurtured by primary school pupils will be on display for three days from Tuesday (January 17).

A prize-giving ceremony and exhibition for the 1994-95 Primary School Children Vegetable Growing (in pots) Competition will be held at the Hong Kong Teachers' Centre, 4 Pak Fuk Road, North Point, at 2.30 pm on Tuesday.

This year, 110 primary schools took part in the competition.

The competition is jointly organised by the Education Department and the Agriculture and Fisheries Department and is sponsored by Choi Hing Lee Seed Company Limited.

The growing of vegetables is an educational activity, not only providing opportunities for children to study the growing of plants through observation and practice, but also awakening their concern for the beautifying of their environment.

Attention News Editors:

You arc invited to send representatives to cover the prize-giving ceremony, to be officiated by agricultural officer Mr Edward Lok at the Hong Kong Teachers' Centre. 4 Pak Fuk Road, North Point, Hong Kong, at 2.30 pm on Tuesday (January 17).

End/Sunday. January 15, 1995

Spring scrolls to spread child care message

*****

The Social Welfare Department (SWD) has produced five sets of spring scrolls, or 'Fai Chuns', appealing to members of the public to make full use of occasional child care service.

Free copies of the spring scrolls, totalling 250,000, will be available for collection from all district offices of the SWD from Thursday (January 19).

- 9 -

"Children should under no circumstances be left alone at home, even for a short while," a spokesman for the department said today (Sunday).

"At present, there are 135 child care centres offering occasional child care service to families who might otherwise leave their children unattended at home," he said.

Child care centres offer temporary care for children aged under six at two-hour, half-day or whole-day basis. The fee for a two-hour session is $13.

Members of the public who are interested in the service may call the SWD hotline 2343 2255 or the child care centre advisory inspectorate at 2836 3114.

"Parents having any child care problems can seek help from the department's various family services centres throughout the territory," the spokesman added.

End/Sunday, January 15, 1995

I

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 842 8777

Monday, January 16,1995

Contents Page No,

Land Registry releases statistics for December and 1994................... 1

Labour Advisory Board holds first meeting of current session.............. 2

Positive concern for heritage called for.................................. 3

Sedimentation study for tidal channels.................................... 5

Index of industrial production for third quarter 1994..................... 6

Air quality report for December........................................... 9

One nomination received for district board by-election................... 10

11 more candidates nominated for Municipal Council elections.......... 11

Weather of 1994....................................................... 11

Water storage figure..................................................... 14

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations..................... 14

1

Land Registry releases statistics for December and 1994

* * * * *

The Land Registry received for registration a total of 114,892 sale and purchase agreements of building units, which include both residential and non-residential properties, last year.

The figure represents a decrease of 13.65 per cent and of 15.06 per cent compared with 1993 and 1992 respectively.

The total amount of the considerations involved in these agreements was $423.95 billion, which was up by 21.49 per cent and 31.46 per cent compared with 1993 and 1992 respectively.

During 1994, 137,876 assignments of building units were lodged for registration, compared with 151,501 and 157,920 respectively recorded during 1993 and 1992, showing a decrease of 8.99 per cent and of 12.69 per cent respectively.

However, the total amount of the considerations involved, amounting to $397.91 billion, indicates increases of 21.80 per cent and 34.40 per cent respectively when compared with the two preceding years.

The total amount secured under mortgages (other than building mortgages) was $102.07 billion, showing a decrease of 1.88 per cent and an increase of 15.28 per cent compared with 1993 and 1992 respectively.

The Land Registry today (Monday) released a table summarising the above figures and other related statistics for the year of 1994, together with the corresponding statistics recorded in 1993 and 1992.

Searches of land records made by members of the public during 1994 totalled 3,480,033, up by 4.56 per cent and 8.50 per cent compared with 1993 and 1992 respectively.

The total number of property owners rose by 5.04 per cent from 1,505,003 in December 1992 to 1,580,877 in December 1993 and again by 5.48 per cent to 1,667,563 in December 1994.

Meanwhile, the Land Registry last month (December) received for registration 7,260 sale and purchase agreements for building units, which include both residential and non-residential properties.

The figure represents a decrease of 12.46 per cent and of 33.5 per cent when compared with November 1994 and December 1993 respectively.

2

The consideration of these agreements in December 1994 totalled $24.22 billion , down 18.6 per cent and 24.2 per cent compared with the amounts of November 1994 and December 1993 respectively.

The figures are contained in the monthly statistics released today by the Land Registry on deeds relating to property transactions received for registration in the Urban and New Territories Land Registries in December 1994.

Relevant statistics for November 1994 and December 1993 were provided for comparison. Figures on sale and purchase agreements received for the past 12 months and the year-on-year rate of change were also released.

These statistics generally relate to land transactions executed up to four weeks prior to their submission for registration, as there is usually a time lag between the execution of deeds and their lodgement for registration.

End/Monday, January 16, 1995

Labour Advisory Board holds first meeting of current session *****

The Labour Advisory Board (LAB) held the first meeting of its current session at the Labour Department Headquarters this (Monday) afternoon.

During the meeting chaired by the Commissioner for Labour, Mr Stephen Ip, members agreed on the composition and terms of reference of the board’s five committees on employees’, compensation, employment services, implementation of international labour standards, industrial safety and health, and labour relations.

It was agreed at the meeting that a delegation comprising LAB members would attend the 82nd session of the International Labour Conference to be held in early June this year in Geneva, Switzerland.

Members noted two progress reports, one on labour legislation and the other on the Ad hoc Committee on General Duties. Members were also briefed on the proposed new legislation on builder's lifts and tower working platforms and the proposed increase in the rate of levy under the Pneumoconiosis (Compensation) Ordinance.

Mr Ip told members that the Labour Department had completed a review of the Pneumoconiosis Compensation Scheme, details of which would be presented for discussion at the board’s special meeting next month.

3

Board members also discussed a proposal to increase the level of fines under the Labour Relations Ordinance, Protection of Wages on Insolvency Ordinance, the Trade Unions Ordinance and its subsidiary Trade Union Registration Regulations.

• • ,l I*. .

Board members were told that the Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (No. 2) Ordinance 1994 was enacted in July last year. This ordinance places all maximum fines in the laws of Hong Kong not exceeding $100,000 upon a standard scale of six levels with fines ranging from $2,000 to $100,000.

They agreed that the level of fines under the three ordinances should be reviewed and amended. Detailed proposals will be discussed at the board's next regular meeting.

Board members were glad to learn that the revised package under the Employment (Amendment) Bill as agreed by the LAB was expected to be passed into law in the Legislative Council on Wednesday (January 18).

End/Monday, January 16, 1995

Positive concern for heritage called for ♦ ♦ * * ♦

The community must be positively involved to show concern, to appreciate and to learn from the relics of our past, the Secretary for Recreation and Culture, Mr James So, said this (Monday) afternoon.

Hong Kong has a long history and the first inhabitants came to live on the island some 6,000 years ago, "a time well before the first Kingdom of China was recorded in written history", Mr So added.

Speaking at a luncheon meeting of the Po Leung Kuk Directors, Mr So said the fact that Hong Kong was as old as other ancient civilisations was bome out by its recent archaeological findings throughout the territory.

"It is therefore extremely important that no effort is spared in preserving and conserving Hong Kong's heritage for the benefits of the community," he said.

The year of 1994 was particularly eventful and fruitful for heritage preservation, with monuments having been declared under the law, adding the total number of declared monuments to 51.

In addition, three historical structures were also deemed as monuments by the Governor, bringing the total number of deemed monuments to 10.

4

Also, 83 buildings were evaluated. Of them 54 were graded, bringing the number of graded buildings to 384.

The Government’s protection of historical buildings and structures did not end upon their being declared as monuments, Mr So said.

"To preserve them for the enjoyment and appreciation of the community, proper maintenance and restoration of these items are of equal importance," he said.

In archaeology, port and airport development and other construction programmes prompted major excavations which helped "to increase significantly our knowledge of prehistoric activities in the Hong Kong region", Mr So said.

He said: "It has been heartening to see that funding of many of these excavation projects came from the developers of the sites in question, signifying that heritage preservation is gaining more recognition and more support from the private sector."

All these efforts, however, would have been in vain if heritage preservation remained an academic pursuit or was only of interest to a handful of scholars, Mr So said.

The Recreation and Culture Branch organised a series of programmes last year to promote awareness of the local heritage among the public, and in particular among young people.

Seminars, workshops, field studies, lectures and voluntary services such as maintenance of historic sites and processing of archaeological finds were frequently held for youth groups and students.

In addition, a 13-episode weekly television programme on Hong Kong’s heritage has begun showing on TVB's Jade Channel, a learning package on local history for junior secondary students prepared by the Curriculum Studies Department of the University of Hong Kong and booklets and exhibitions on local heritage were produced.

The Ping Shan Heritage Trail, opened in December 1993 and the first of its kind in Hong Kong, has attracted more than 320,000 visitors.

Mr So also disclosed that a major international conference on the archaeological heritage was being organised by the University Museum and Art Gallery of the University of Hong Kong to be held between March 9 and 13 this year involving archaeologists from Southeast Asia, China, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

5

The Lord Wilson Heritage Trust, Mr So said, also welcomed applications from interested parties for funding of projects that would promote heritage through education and research as well as through preservation and conservation work.

The.trust was set up in late 1992 and has since given support to schools and youth groups for organising heritage-related activities in addition to organising and sponsoring a number of large-scale promotional projects.

End/Monday, January 16, 1995

Sedimentation study for tidal channels

*****

The Drainage Services Department has appointed a consultant company to undertake a sedimentation Study for all tidal channels in Hong Kong.

The consultancy agreement was signed between the Assistant Director of Drainage Services (Operations and Maintenance), Mr Victor Bradley, and a representative of the Acer Consultants (Far East) Limited at a ceremony this (Monday) afternoon.

The study is scheduled to be completed by October next year.

Mr Bradley pointed out that the study was the first assignment under the Phase III of the Territorial Land Drainage and Flood Control Strategy Study for the department.

"The consultancy study covers 13 major tidal drainage channels, including tributaries.

"The study will recommend the appropriate methodology for optimum maintenance dredging to meet local flood protection standards.

"The selection of appropriate dredging plant and methods of disposal of dredged sediments, some of which will be contaminated, will be key issues," he explained.

In addition, the study would recommend appropriate long-term measures to reduce sediment yield in the tidal channels and to facilitate future maintenance dredging requirements.

End/Monday, January 16, 1995

- 6 -

Index of industrial production for third quarter 1994

*****

The index of industrial production for the third quarter of this year increased slightly by 0.5% over the same quarter last year, according to the results of a survey released today (Monday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

The production of the food, beverages and tobacco industry group registered a moderate increase of 4.9%.

A moderate increase of 4.1% was also recorded in the industry group of electrical and electronic products, machinery, professional equipment and optical goods.

Within this group, the production of consumer electrical and electronic products increased by 4.3% while the production of machinery, equipment, apparatus, parts and components increased slightly by 1.8%.

Small increases were recorded in the textiles (including knitting) industry (1.5%); basic metals and fabricated metal products industry (1.1%); and wearing apparel (except footwear)industry (0.7%).

On the other hand, a decrease of 7.5% was recorded in the industry group of chemical, rubber, plastic and non-metallic mineral products. Within this group, the production of plastic products recorded a notable decrease of 19.0%.

The production of the paper products and printing industry group decreased marginally by 0.2%.

Compared with the second quarter of 1994, the index of industrial production showed a notable increase of 13.7%.

This increase was, however, partly seasonal as manufacturing activities usually entered into peak season in the third quarter.

The index of industrial production reflects changes of local manufacturing output in real terms. In other words, it measures the volume of local production after discounting the effect of price changes.

7

More detailed information can be obtained from the "Quarterly Index of Industrial Production, 3rd Quarter 1994" report, which is on sale at $5 a copy at the Government Publications Centre, Low Block, Ground floor, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong, or at the Census and Statistics Department Publications Section, 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai. Regular subscription may also be arranged.

Enquiries about the survey result may be directed to the General Economic Surveys Section of the Census and Statistics Department on tel 2805 6643.

Note to Editors:

As from the first quarter of 1992, the Hong Kong Standard Industrial Classification (HSIC) is used to form the industry groups and component industries.

8

Indices of industrial production by industry, group and selected component industry

(1986= 100)

Index for % change 3rd Qtr. 1993 over 2nd Qtr. 1994

Industry group / Selected component industry 3rd Qtr. 1994

1. Food, beverages and tobacco 163 +4.9 +6.7

2. Wearing apparel (except footwear) 125 +0.7 +22.1

3. Textiles (including knitting) 135 +1.5 +27.9

4. Paper products and printing 316 -0.2 + 12.7

5. Chemical, rubber, plastic and non-metallic mineral products 71 -7.5 +2.4

— Plastic products (49) (-19.0) (+6.6)

6. Basic metals and fabricated metal products ’ 104 +1.1 +8.8

- Fabricated metal products (except machinery and equipment) (104) (+2.8) (+9.7)

7. Electrical and electronic products, machinery, professional equipment and optical goods 171 +4.1 +8.4

— Consumer electrical and electronic products (127) (+4-3) (+4-1)

- Machinery, equipment, apparatus, parts and components (242) (+1.8) (+8.1)

8. Miscellaneous manufacturing industries 88 -7.4 +7.2

ALL MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES 136 +0.5 +13.7

Notes : 1. Four selected component industries, which carry relatively large weights and are major

components of their relevant industry groups, are also included in the above table. For easy reading, the figures of these selected component industries are shown in brackets.

2. As from the first quarter of 1992, the Hong Kong Standard Industrial Classification (HSIC) has been used to form the industry groups and selected component industries presented in the above table. For the exact coverage of the industry groups and component industries in terms of HSIC codes, please refer to the ’Quarterly Index of Industrial Production, 3rd Quarter 1994’.

3. The % change figures in the above table are derived based on the more precise figures of the production indices up to 2 decimal places.

End/Monday, January 16, 1995

I

- 9 -

Air quality report for December *****

The Environmental Protection Department today (Monday) released air quality information for last month.

A spokesman for the department said the purpose of the announcement was to keep the public informed of the air quality levels in the territory and to explain the measurements. The announcement contains monitoring results from Mong Kok, Central/Westem and Kwai Chung, which represent three important land use types in the territory:

* locations close to road traffic in built-up urban areas;

* combined commercial and residential districts; and

* districts close to industrial areas.

The department currently monitors air quality continuously at eight stations, including the three mentioned. Short-term measurement exercises are also undertaken as and where the need arises.

The reported air pollutants include sulphur dioxide (SO2). nitrogen dioxide (NO2), total suspended particulates (TSP) which comprise all sizes of dust particles, and the respirable fraction of the dust (RSP). All these pollutants can affect respiratory health in sufficient concentration.

In December there were no exceedances of the Air Quality Objectives at any of the three stations, but the highest concentrations of air pollutants were recorded at Mong Kok.

Continued road works at Mong Kok Road have increased pollutant levels at the monitoring station. Traffic management changes near the station also contributed to the increase of measured pollutants.

Low wind speeds and sunny conditions on December 23 allowed NO2 levels to build up in the urban areas, while significant rainfall on the following two days kept dust levels low.

The gases and particles described originated from various sources. SO2 is mostly produced when fuels that contain sulphur arc burned. NO2 is formed during combustion by the combination of nitrogen and oxygen, and by the atmospheric oxidation of nitric oxide (NO), also a product of combustion.

10

Vehicle exhaust is an important source of NO and NO2 in terms of impact on local air quality. It is also a major source of airborne particulate matter, especially the smaller respirable particles.

Diesel-engined vehicles such as taxis, public light buses, passenger coaches, franchised buses and light and heavy goods vehicles are the greatest contributor of particulate matter. Other sources include industry, furnaces and boilers, construction activities, the sea and the soil.

It is worth noting that while the weather and climate always affect the concentrations of pollutants in the air, the only sure way of reducing the levels is to reduce emissions from the man-made sources. Note to Editors:

Illustrations showing the levels of all pollutants at the three stations during December will be boxed.

For further information on this air quality report, please contact Mr Raymond Leung at 2594 6401.

End/Monday, January 16, 1995

One nomination received for district board by-election ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

One nomination was received today (Monday) for the district board by-election in respect of Yau Tsim Mong District’s Yau Ma Tei constituency on March 5.

The candidate is Ms Ng Po-shan, Austen, aged 37. Her occupation is community organiser.

The nomination period will last until January 23.

End/Monday, January 16, 1995

11

11 more candidates nominated for Municipal Council elections *****

A total of 11 nominations of candidates were received today (Monday) for the Municipal Council elections on March 5.

This brings the total number of nominations received to 98.

The nomination period will last until January 23.

The breakdown of nominations by district is as follows:

Central & Western 3

Wan Chai 4

Eastern 10

Southern 4

Yau Tsim Mong 5

Sham Shui Po 3

Kowloon City 7

Wong Tai Sin 9

Kung Tong 12

Tsuen Wan 1

Tuen Mun 7

Yuen Long 5

North 5

Tai Po 5

Sai kung 2

Sha Tin 13

Kwai Tsing 3

Islands 0

Total: 98

End/Monday, January 16. 1995

Weather of 1994

*****

1994 was a very warm year. The annual mean minimum temperature of 21.7 degrees and annual mean temperature of 23.6 degrees were the highest and the second highest respectively since records began in 1884

The year on the whole was also humid with a mean dew-point temperature of 19.6 degrees, the highest on record.

On rainfall, the first half of the year was particularly dry with total rainfall amounting to only 556.9 millimetres, 44 per cent below normal.

However, record-breaking rainfall in July contributed to an overall annual total of 2,725.6 millimetres, 23 per cent above the annual mean of 2,214.3 millimetres.

Only four tropical cyclones necessitated the hoisting of local Tropical Cyclone Warning signals as compared to the annual average figure of about six.

With relatively few outbreaks of cold continental air towards the South China coastal areas, January 1994 was unusually warm and humid in Hong Kong.

Despite the high humidity, only traces of rainfall were recorded at the Royal Observatory. This made the month one of the six second-driest months of January on record.

February continued mild with high humidity. The monthly mean minimum temperature of 15.7 degrees and monthly mean dew-point temperature of 14.4 degrees were respectively the seventh and the sixth highest for February. The first thunderstorm of the year occurred during the month.

Frequent late-season monsoon surges made March cooler and cloudier than normal. The monthly mean pressure of 1,018.5 hcctopascals was the fifth highest on record. It was also relatively dry both in terms of humidity and precipitation.

With a monthly rainfall of only 6.0 millimetres, April 1994 was the driest April. since records began in 1884. It was also the warmest April on record. The mean air temperature of 24.7 degrees, the mean daily maximum temperature of 27.5 degrees and the mean daily minimum temperature of 22.8 degrees were all the highest values for April.

May was on the whole hot and dry. With more sunshine than normal, the monthly mean temperature of 27.4 degrees ranked the fourth highest for May. Monsoon troughs affected the territory occasionally, bringing 183.7 millimetres of rainfall, about 58 percent of the monthly normal.

Under the influence of warm southwest monsoon, June was cloudier and warmer than normal.

The total bright sunshine amounted to 10 .8 hours which was the seventh lowest on record. Severe Tropical Storm Russ became the first tropical cyclone in the year which necessitated the hoisting of local warning signals.


- 13 -

It was unsettled and extremely wet in July. The total rainfall of 1,147.2 millimetres was the highest for the month of July and the second highest for any month on record. During the heavy rain episode from July 22 to 24, a total of 611.2 millimetres was recorded at the Royal Observatory, the highest for any three consecutive days in July.

The Rainstorm Black Warning was issued on July 23. Among many reported incidents, the most disastrous one was the collapse of a retaining wall at the Kwun Lung Lau Estate building in Kennedy Town.

The wet conditions continued into August. However, Harry was the only tropical cyclone in the month that necessitated the hoisting of local Tropical Cyclone Warning signals.

September was more humid and cloudier than normal. The total bright sunshine amounted to only 124.8 hours, the second lowest on record for September. The total rainfall of 298.9 millimetres was near the September average of 299.7 millimetres.

Under the influence of persistent northeast monsoon. October was a fine and dry month. The mean cloud amount was only 36 per cent, 20 per cent below the October normal.

In the absence of significant surges of the winter monsoon, November was much warmer than usual.

The mean minimum temperature of 21.1 degrees and the mean temperature of 22.9 degrees were the highest and the second highest values respectively on record for November. The month was also relatively humid but the weather was generally fine with little rain.

December was mild and humid. The mean temperature of 19.8 degrees and the mean dew-point temperature of 16.4 degrees were both the second highest on record for December.

It was also very cloudy with total bright sunshine amounting to only 70.2 hours, the lowest December record. Heavy rain fell on December 8 and necessitated the issuance of the flood warning for the first time in December, a normally dry month.

End/Monday, January 16, 1995

14

Water storage figure *****

Storage in Hong Kong’s reservoirs at 9 am today (Monday) stood at 71.2 per cent of capacity or 417.325 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 388.613 million cubic metres of water, representing 66.3 per cent of capacity.

End/Monday, January 16, 1995

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,086 0930 -3,466

Closing balance in the account 1,128 1000 -2,466

Change attributable to : 1100 -2,466

Money market activity -1,689 1200 -2,286

LAF today +731 1500 -2,225

1600 -1,689

LAF rate 3.75% bid/5.75% offer TWI 120.9 *+0.1* 16.1.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 6.83 17 months 2605 6.35 98.53 7.66

1 month 6.68 23 months 2611 6.90 98.49 7.94

3 months 6.66 28 months 3704 6.15 96.15 8.18

6 months 6.68 34 months 3710 7.25 97.65 8.37

12 months 7.46 60 months 5912 8.15 98.27 8.77

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $13,809 million

Closed January 16, 1995

End/Monday, January 16, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 842 8777

Tuesday, January 17,1995

Contents Page No.

Government response on civil servants in line with Joint Declaration. 1

Transcript of the CS’s media session............................... 3

Governor sends condolences to victims of Japan earthquake.......... 4

Lai to succeed McCosh as Correctional Services Commissioner........ 4

Rehousing for illegal structure dwellers........................... 5

ExCo approves bridging package for lecturers....................... 6

Bank of Credit and Commerce HK Ltd annnounces 8th dividend to creditors 8

Tender for sixth issue of 3-year Exchange Fund Notes............... 9

Advisory Council on AIDS meets today................................. 11

Unemployment and underemployment figures for Sept - Nov 1994 ........ 11

Six more to contest Municipal Council elections................... 12

49 pollution cases in December..................................   13

Training and employment of disabled under review.................. 14

Abusers experiment with drugs in their mid-teens.................. 15

1995 Crime Victimisation Survey in good progress.................. 16

Fresh water cut in Western District............................... 17

Hong Kong Monetary Authoirty tender results....................... 18

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations.............. 19

1

Government response on civil servants in line with Joint Declaration *****

A Government spokesman today (Tuesday) rejected suggestions appearing in the Hong Kong media that its response to Chinese requests for personal information on civil servants breached the Joint Declaration.

The spokesman said: "The Joint Declaration contains no specific provisions relating to the transfer of information on civil servants. But in accordance with its requirements for closer co-operation in the second half of the transition period, agreement was reached in the Joint Liaison Group in 1990 on the transfer of government archives.

"Career files on serving civil servants are part of the archives and will be dealt with in accordance with that agreement.

"They will not be destroyed, nor removed from the archives before 1997, nor withheld from the Special Administrative Region Government, to whom they will be formally passed through the British and Chinese Governments in 1997. The files will remain in Hong Kong throughout this process."

The spokesman emphasised that over and above the requirements of the agreement on archives, the Hong Kong and British Governments wanted in the run up to 1997 fully to co-operate with the Chinese Government on matters relating to the civil service.

He noted that the Governor had made clear in his LegCo address that "we would provide every possible support to the Chief Executive Designate when he or she • is chosen".

The spokesman noted that in response to a Chinese request in the Joint Liaison Group, the Government had already handed over a great deal of information on the civil service to the Chinese side.

This included biographical and establishment details of the Administrative Service, guides on how appointments and promotions were carried out, as well as a comprehensive set of the regulations on which the management of the civil service is based, including the Civil Service Regulations, Financial and Accounting Regulations and disciplinary regulations.

Subsequently, at the Joint Liaison Group 31st meeting in December, the Chinese side had asked for briefings on a number of areas of civil service management. The Hong Kong Government would be happy to provide these to supplement the information already provided, the spokesman added.

2

He said there had also been preliminary discussion within the Joint Liaison Group concerning information about individual civil servants.

’’But it is not clear either from what the Chinese side have said in the Joint Liaison Group, or from their recent public statements, precisely what information the Chinese side is requesting or why such information would be useful to them,” the spokesman said.

"The Hong Kong Government is however ready to continue to discuss this subject with the Chinese side in the Joint Liaison Group or elsewhere, with a view to clarifying this point."

To clarify any possible misunderstanding on the current practice regarding integrity checking, the spokesman reiterated that the results of such checks are kept on file, but the detailed material required to establish the integrity of individuals is destroyed.

On the question of nationality and right of abode, he stressed that these were not among the criteria considered when assessing a candidate’s suitability for promotion, so information on these questions was not collected.

The spokesman made clear that the formal approval of the Secretary of State was required only for the appointment of the equivalent of Principal Officials. Brief biographical details only were sent to London with the Governor’s recommendations for these posts, he said.

The spokesman added that the handling in the transition period of personal information on civil servants was, as all parties were aware, a matter of extreme sensitivity.

The spokesman said: "It has a direct bearing on the morale of individual civil servants. It needs to be addressed in a way which takes account of their concerns, and therefore enhances rather than undermines confidence in the transition within the civil service.

"The Hong Kong Government is willing to do everything possible in accordance with the Joint Declaration to address legitimate concerns which Chinese officials might have on this issue. But we also need to conduct these exchanges in a manner which commands the support of the civil service and the community as a whole."

End/Tuesday, January 17, 1995

3

Transcript of the CS’s media session ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

The following is the transcript of the media session by the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, at the airport on her return from Singapore this (Tuesday) afternoon.

CS : I’ve just spent four days in Singapore, had a very good visit. I named a floating dock, which is a joint venture between Far East Livingston in Singapore and Hart in Hong Kong. This floating dock will be towed to Hong Kong in the next two weeks for use in the port of Hong Kong. I also had an opportunity to call on the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Trade and Industry. There’s a good deal of interest in Hong Kong, particularly in how Hong Kong is coping with the transition. And both ministers reaffirmed to me their wish to see a strengthening of ties between Singapore and Hong Kong. I was particularly glad to have an opportunity of addressing the senior civil servants of Singapore. The administrative service of the Singapore Government currently is suffering an outflow of talents, particularly in the middle ranks, in the administrative service to the private sector. But I was very glad to be able to say that within the civil service, our vacancy rates are extremely low, and our wastage rate, in fact, has stabilised at about five per cent.

Question : How do you respond to remarks by Lu Ping that Beijing wants to know which government officials having been given the right of abode under the BNSS saying that... will also be in breach of the Joint Declaration?

CS : Can I make it absolutely clear that we have no wish to create difficulties for the nomination of principal official posts. We want to be able to co-operate fully with the Chinese. I am not aware that currently we have adopted any practice that is in breach of the Joint Declaration. We have never breached the Joint Declaration and do not intend to breach the Joint Declaration. As I said, we wish to facilitate the nomination of principal official posts. I think we need an early meeting at the JLG with the Chinese, whereby both parties can discuss exactly what information we currently hold in hand, what are our current arrangements as regards confidential reports on individual civil servants, on security vetting, what information we do hold, what information we destroy. I repeat again we wish to co-operate fully with the Chinese and the earlier we can have discussion on this and the earlier we can come to an agreement with the Chinese, the better. But I must stress also another point and that is that private particulars of individual officers, of course, is a matter of great sensitivity to individual civil servants. So whilst on the one hand we wish to co-operate with the Chinese Government, we must also bear in mind the concerns of individual officers. We want to fetch up with an arrangement that all parties will be comfortable with. All right? Thank you.

End/Tuesday, January 17, 1995

4

Governor sends condolences to victims of Japan earthquake ♦ * * ♦ *

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, has sent his condolences to the Japanese Government and the families of those who died in today's earthquake in Japan.

Mr Patten said: "I was grieved to hear the news this morning of the terrible earthquake in Kobe and Osaka. My feelings are shared by all in the Hong Kong Government and I am sure by everyone in Hong Kong."

End/Tuesday, January 17, 1995

Lai to succeed McCosh as Correctional Services Commissioner ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government announced today (Tuesday) that Mr Lai Ming-kee Raymond will succeed Mr Frederic McCosh as Commissioner of Correctional Services on February 20 this year.

Mr McCosh will proceed on pre-retirement leave on the date after serving the Government for 36 years.

The following are brief biographical notes on Mr Lai and Mr McCosh:

Mr Lai Ming-kee Ravmond, MBE. JE

Aged 50, Mr Lai is at present Deputy Commissioner of Correctional Services. He joined the Hong Kong civil service in 1963 and the Correctional Services Department in 1968 as an Officer. He was promoted to his present rank in 1993 and has since then acted as Commissioner on several occasions.

Mr Frederic McCosh. OBE. OEM, CPM, JP

Aged 57, Mr McCosh joined the Hong Kong civil service as Probationary Police Sub-Inspector in 1958 and rose to the rank of Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police in 1988. He was appointed Commissioner of Correctional Services in 1990.

End/Tuesday, January 17, 1995

5

Rehousing for illegal structure dwellers

* * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government will take steps to make dwellers of illegal structures subject to Government clearance more aware of the well-established rehousing policy and their position in respect of rates payment.

The Commissioner of Rating and Valuation in consultation with relevant branches and departments will work out measures to clarify the misconception that rates payment will bestow legality to any structures.

A Government spokesman reiterated that under the present policy, no one would be made homeless as a result of clearance by the Government.

The Housing Department, Buildings Department and Home Affairs Department work closely together to register people for rehousing well before a clearance takes place.

"Depending on individual eligibility, those who have registered with the Housing Department will be offered rehousing either in a public rental estate or a Temporary Housing Area."

The spokesman pointed out that at present there arc 150.000 applicants on the Public Housing Waiting List. It would not be fair or reasonable to relax the present criteria for one particular group as it would lead to longer waiting time for other applicants.

"Moreover, such a relaxation may encourage people to acquire or put up more illegal structures as a means of short-circuiting the existing allocation system which has been well accepted by the community.”

With regard to the clearance in Tsuen Wan last month, families registered with the Housing Department are rehoused at the Temporary Housing Area. The spokesman urged those who had not yet registered with the 1 lousing Department to come forward now.

He noted that the Housing Department had approached these people again recently, but they continued to decline the offer for registration.

"We fully understand their wish for immediate rehousing in the same district. However, it would not be right under the present policy nor would it be fair to other applicants if we go out of our way to satisfy their demand.

6

"Any further delay in registration would mean further delay in making rehousing arrangements for them," the spokesman added.

Under the present policy, illegal rooftop dwellers will be offered rehousing in a public rental flat if:

(a) they can prove that they were living in the illegal structures on or before June 1, 1982;

(b) the majority of their family members have been living in Hong Kong for seven years or more; and

(c) they have not owned or entered into any sales and purchase agreement of any domestic property in Hong Kong in the last 24 months.

Squatters, including rooftop squatters, who do not meet these criteria are rehoused in temporary housing areas in the New Territories. Those who do not satisfy (b) above but are otherwise eligible may be rehoused in refurbished flats in older estates.

Owners of rooftop structures which are subject to enforcement action by the Buildings Department may apply for public housing.

End/Tuesday, January 17, 1995

ExCo approves bridging package for lecturers ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

The Govemor-in-Council has approved the final package of bridging-over arrangements for the transfer of lecturing staff to the Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd) after considering the views expressed by the staff side on an earlier package of proposals.

Announcing the above after the Executive Council meeting today (Tuesday), the Director of Education, Mr WK Lam, said the Government wanted to encourage as many serving lecturers as possible to join the HKIEd.

"This is essential to the upgrading of teacher education in Hong Kong," he said. "The final bridging-over package has been designed for lecturers to be transferred to the Institute.”

7

For staff who wish to join HKIEd, the package offers a Mixed Service Pension Scheme or a Frozen Pension Scheme. Lecturers on Points 22 - 33 of the Master Pay Scale will remain eligible for a government Down Payment Loan and the Home Purchase Allowance when their turn in the government queue is reached.

Also included is a Sign-up Bonus equivalent to three months of an officer's substantive salary.

For those who wish to revert back to the Education Department, they will either be redeployed to comparable posts in the Target Oriented Curriculum Section or to other Education Grades at basic ranks, carrying their personal salary scale and fringe benefits. A separate seniority list will be maintained for such lecturing staff.

Mr Lam said the one-year secondment period would be extended under certain circumstances to meet operational requirements and individual officer's needs.

"These involve officers who are not yet confirmed to the permanent establishment with the Government, those who would reach normal retirement age within 12 months from September 1, 1995 and those who joined the HKIEd on an acting appointment pending acquisition of the required academic qualifications," he said.

"An officer may also be permitted to remain with the HKIEd until his reversion to fill a post which will become available on or before March 31,1996."

Mr Lam explained that further extension of the secondment period for other lecturing staff would not be possible as the number of comparable posts expected to be available over the next few years would be far short of demand and the arrangement would make it very difficult for the HKIEd to plan its manpower requirement.

He said lecturers redeployed to basic rank posts might be given an adaptation period of three to 12 months.

"Staff who fail to adapt or prove to be unsuitable would be allowed to retire on Abolition of Office terms. Those who are granted these terms will be paid an enhanced lump sum gratuity and monthly pension, and an ex-gratia payment equivalent to six months of substantive salary.

"The department has started individual discussions with staff to ascertain their intentions and plans. These interviews will be completed by February 1995 after which the redeployment plan can be finalised."

8

Mr Lam stressed that it was the Government's wish to encourage lecturers to continue to make contributions to teacher education by joining the HKIEd.

The Education Department today wrote to all lecturing staff informing them of the details of the final bridging-over package approved by the Govemor-in-Council.

End/Tuesday, January 17, 1995

Bank of Credit and Commerce HK Ltd announces 8th dividend to creditors *****

Mr Robin Hearder, the Official Receiver and Liquidator of Bank of Credit and Commerce Hong Kong Limited (In Liquidation), today (Tuesday) announced that an eighth dividend to creditors would be declared in the amount of 5% of their admitted claims on January 20.

The 5% announced today will be the eighth dividend to creditors owed more than HK$ 100,000 and will bring dividends declared to 83%. Creditors owed HK$ 100,000 or less were paid in full following a Scheme of Arrangement approved in September 1992.

Cheques will be despatched from January 20 and all should have been sent by January 27.

This is the fifth dividend payment in the past 12 months and is in accordance with the dividend timetable originally estimated by Mr Hearder of dividend payments every three months, subject to the timing of asset realisations and the resolution of significant claims.

An ongoing review of the levels of cash balances which need to be reserved in order to meet potential dividends to known depositors and other claimants, pending trust claims and future expenditure has allowed the Special Managers to reduce certain of those provisions. This reduction of provisions taken together with continuing substantial debt recoveries has enabled the Special Managers to declare this dividend.

At the time of the payment of the seventh dividend, the Special Managers estimated that the overall return to creditors would be in excess of 80% of admitted claims but that the final payout was still entirely contingent on future realisations and other settlements and was not able to be estimated with any precision at that stage. Whilst this dividend takes the total return over 80%, that proviso regarding future payments still applies.

9

For further information please contact:

Mr A R Hearder

Mr N P Etches

Mr G C K Tam Joint Special Managers

2867 2426

2826 7236

2826 7259

End/Tuesday, January 17, 1995

Tender for sixth issue of 3-year Exchange Fund Notes ♦ * * ♦ ♦

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority announces that the tender for the sixth issue of three-year Exchange Fund Notes will be held next Monday (January 23) for settlement on Tuesday (January 24).

Similar to the previous issue, an amount of HKS500 million three-year notes will be on offer.

In addition to that, another HKS100 million will be held as reserve by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority for supply to Market Makers in the secondary market.

The notes will mature on January 26, 1998 and will carry interest at the rate of eight per cent per annum payable semi-annually in arrears.

Members of the public who wish to tender for the notes may do so through any of the Market Makers or Recognised Dealers on the published list which can be obtained from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority on 30th floor. 3 Garden Road, Hong Kong (or telephone 2878 8150).

Each tender must be for an amount of HKS50.000 or integral multiples thereof.

10

HONG KONG MONETARY AUTHORITY

EXCHANGE FUND NOTE PROGRAMME

TENDER INFORMATION

Tender information for the sixth issue of 3-Year Exchange Fund Notes :

Issue Number : 3801

Tender Date and Time Monday 23 January 1995, 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Issue and Settlement Date : Tuesday 24 January 1995

Amount on Offer : HK$500 million plus an additional HK$100 million as reserve stock for the Monetary Authority

Maturity : Three years

Maturity Date : 26 January 1998

Interest Rate 8% per annum payable semi-annually m arrears

Interest Payment Dates : 24 Jul 1995,20 Jan 1996 24 Jul 1996, 24 Jan 1997 24 Jul 1997, 26 Jan 1998

Tender Amount : Each tender must be for an amount of HK$50,000 or integral multiples thereof. Members of the public who wish to tender for the Notes may approach Market Makers or Recognised Dealers on the published list

Other details : Please see Information Memorandum published or approach Market Makers or Recognised Dealers

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

End/Tucsday. January 17. 1995

11

Advisory Council on AIDS meets today

*****

The Advisory Council on AIDS at a meeting today (Tuesday) learnt of the progress made in promulgating the established HIV/AIDS policy which was contained in a document published last October.

A spokesman for the advisory council said the policy document, entitled "Strategies for AIDS Prevention, Care and Control in Hong Kong", listed four major objectives of the local AIDS programme.

The spokesman said the document covered policy in meeting the needs of people with HIV/AIDS, as* well as strategy in education and surveillance.

He said the publication had been distributed to all government departments, voluntary agencies and public libraries in Hong Kong.

Members of the public who are interested in the document may obtain an executive summary of the publication.

Copies of the summary are available from the Department of Health's Central Health Education Unit and three regional health education centres. For enquiries, please call tel 2572 1476.

The advisor}’ council was appointed by the Governor in 1990. It is underpinned by the Scientific Committee on AIDS, the Committee on Education and Publicity on AIDS, and the AIDS Services Development Committee.

End/Tuesday. January 17, 1995

Unemployment and underemployment figures for Sept - Nov 1994

*****

fhe seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for September - November 1994 was 2.1%, and the underemployment rate was 1.4%. according to the latest labour force statistics released today (Tuesday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

fhe provisional seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the period of October - December 1994 was 2.0%, while the provisional underemployment rate was 1.5%.

12

The latest figures suggest that the labour market remained generally tight in recent months.

During the period of September - November 1994, the number of unemployed persons, adjusted for variations in the number of first-time job-seekers, was estimated at 63,800, while the number of underemployed persons was estimated at 41,600. The unemployment and underemployment statistics were obtained from a continuous General Household Survey conducted by the Census and Statistics Department.

The survey for September - November 1994 covered a quarterly sample of some 12,500 households or 42,700 persons, selected scientifically to represent the land-based civilian non-institutional population in Hong Kong.

Relevant data was obtained by interviewing each individual member aged 15 and above in the households sampled.

In the survey, the definitions used in measuring unemployment and underemployment follow closely those recommended by the International Labour Organisation.

Detailed analysis of labour force characteristics is given in the report on the General Household Survey which is published four times a year.

The next report covering the quarter ending December 1994 will be available at the Government Publications Centre, Low Block, ground floor, Queensway • Government Offices, 66 Queensway, by the end of March at $24 a copy.

End/Tuesday, January 17. 1995

» Six more to contest Municipal Council elections *****

A total of six nominations of candidates were received today (Tuesday) for the Municipal Council elections on March 5. T his brings the total number of nominations received to 104.

The nomination period will last until next Monday (January 23).

13

The breakdown of nominations by district is as follows:

Central & Western 3

Wan Chai 5

Eastern 11

Southern 5

Yau Tsim Mong 6

Sham Shui Po 3

Kowloon City 7

Wong Tai Sin 9

Kung Tong 12

Tsuen Wan 1

Tuen Mun 7

Yuen Long 7

North 5

Tai Po 5

Sai Kung 2

Sha Tin 13

Kwai Tsing 3

Islands 0

Total: 104

: End/Tuesday, January 17, 1995

49 pollution cases in December *****

A total of 49 convictions were made in the courts last month for breaching antipollution legislation enforced by the Environmental Protection Department.

Among them, 18 were convictions made under the Water Pollution Control Ordinance (WPCO), 17 under the Noise Control Ordinance (NCO) and 14 under the Air Pollution Control Ordinance (APCO).

The fines ranged from $500 to $100,000. the owner of Hung Tao Soya Bean Products Factory was fined $100,000 upon his fourth conviction for discharging polluting matter in the Deep Bay Water Control Zone.

14

Note to editors:

Enquiries on specific cases can be directed to the following Principal Environmental Protection Officers:

APCO NCO WPCO

Cases 32-33

Cases 34-35

Cases 36-49

Mr

Mr

Mr

Mr

Mr

Franklin Chung

Steven Ho

Steven Ho

Murray Luo

Patrick Lei

Tel: 2594 6200

Tel:2516 1801

Tel:2516 1801

Tel : 2411 9601

Tel : 2685 1133

However, enquiries on general issues should be directed to the department's Media Relations Unit.

End/Tuesday, January 17, 1995

Training and employment of disabled under review

*****

The Director of Social Welfare, Mr lan Strachan, has set up a working party last year to conduct a comprehensive review of training and employment for people with a disability.

This was stated by Mr Strachan when he officiated at the opening ceremony of the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Mok Law Sui Wah Memorial Sheltered Workshop in Aberdeen today (Tuesday).

"Shortly, an interim report will be compiled. We want to enhance the employment opportunities of disabled persons.

"In particular, 1 wish to see some of the more capable sheltered workers move on to more independent work settings in supported and open employment.

"This will raise their work status as well as their income, which in turn brings them nearer the goal of integration and equal opportunities," Mr Strachan said.

Mr Strachan said the aim of rehabilitation was to assist disabled persons to integrate into society and to enable them to have equal opportunities in life as ordinary citizens as far as possible.

"One significant means to achieve this aim is to enhance independence through various modes of employment services. Sheltered work is one of these services." he said.

15

He said sheltered workshops, historically, provided opportunities for disabled persons to take part in the assembly line of the manufacturing industry in the territory, and sheltered workers were able to get some income in return.

’’However, in most cases, the level of income is not self-sufficient for independent living,’’ Mr Strachan said.

On the expansion of rehabilitation services, the Social Welfare chief said the Government's target was to eliminate all the shortfalls by 1996/97.

”To this end, we need to identify suitable premises to set up rehabilitation facilities in the community.

"This requires public acceptance and community support. So we will continue to liaise closely with local leaders to keep the public informed of planned projects as early as feasible.

"We will step up public education to inculcate a more positive and receptive attitude in the community towards people with a disability," Mr Strachan said.

The sheltered workshop opened today is the first of its kind ever run by the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals which was founded in 1870.

End/Tuesday, January 17, 1995

Abusers experiment with drugs in their mid-teens ♦ ♦ * * ♦

Young drug abusers start to take drugs at average ages of 16.9 and 16.2 for male and female respectively, the Commissioner for Narcotics, Mr Alasdair Sinclair, said today (Tuesday).

Addressing the Progressive Group of Indian businessmen at a luncheon meeting this afternoon, Mr Sinclair built up a profile of drug abusers under 21, whose numbers have recorded a worrying increase in recent years.

Comparing 1993 with the situation four years earlier in 1989, there was a three per cent increase in the number of reported drug abusers over 21 and a much larger increase of 147 per cent among those under 21.

Based on reports made to the Government’s Central Registry of Drug Abuse in the first nine months of 1994, the Commissioner said the typical young male was aged 17.4 and the typical young female was 16.6. They would be most likely to live in densely populated areas.

16

Commenting on other characteristics, Mr Sinclair said both the young male and the young female would have been educated up to lower secondary and would be single.

"The male but not the female would be employed and the male would already have a criminal conviction.

"Both of them would typically be taking heroin, but smoking it rather than injecting. Cannabis and cough medicine are also common in this age group," he said.

I.

There was evidence that living in an area where drug taking was prevalent and having a friend who was a drug taker were characteristics correlated with drug taking, he added. Drug education needs to deal in a rounded and balanced way with all the issues surrounding drug taking, according to Mr Sinclair.

"Feelings of belonging, optimism, self-reliance, the ability to get absorbed in an interest or hobby - all these discourage drug use," he said.

End/Tuesday, January 17, 1995

1995 Crime Victimisation Survey in good progress ♦ ♦ * ♦ *

The 1995 Crime Victimisation Survey conducted by the Census and Statistics Department has started last Wednesday (January 11).

The survey is conducted under the auspices of the Fight Crime Committee. The main purpose is to collect up-to-date information about crimes, victims and attitudes of victims towards reporting crime in 1994.

The findings of the survey will be very useful to the Fight Crime Committee and the Police in evaluating the effectiveness of existing crime prevention and anticrime measures as well as in devising new measures.

The survey is conducted under Part III A of the Census and Statistics Ordinance (Cap.316, Laws of Hong Kong) and is notified in the Government Notice No. 3762 in the Gazette of October 7 last year.

In accordance with the provision of the Ordinance, all data collected in the survey relating to individual persons or households will be treated in strict confidence and will not be released to any other parties, including government departments. Only aggregate statistics will be published.

17

A spokesman for the Census and Statistics Department said up to yesterday (Monday), the enumerators of the survey had made a first visit to all the 20,000 living quarters selected for enumeration but some households could not be contacted. For each such household, a letter was left behind to inform the householder of the visit.

The Commissioner for Census and Statistics appeals to these households to contact the department at the telephone number given in the letter to make prior appointment for the interview to be undertaken at a mutually convenient time before January 25 on which the survey will end.

The Commissioner also reminds the householders to check carefully the identity of enumerators before admitting them.

All enumerators will carry a card identifying them as staff for the survey and a certificate issued by the Census and Statistics Department authorising them to conduct the survey.

In case of queries, please call the Census and Statistics Department at 2887 5569 between 9 am and 10 pm, including Saturday and Sunday.

End/Monday, January 16, 1995

Fresh water cut in Western District ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

Fresh water supply to some premises in the Western District will be suspended from 10 pm on Thursday (January 19) to 8 am the following day to facilitate water mains connection.

The affected areas will include Kennedy Town Praya, Belcher's Street, Collinson Street, Sai Cheung Street, Sai On Street, Holland Street, Li Po Lung Path, Tai Pak Terrace, Hee Wong Terrace, Ching Lin Terrace, To Li Terrace, Academic Terrace, Sands Street, Pokfield Road, Smithfield, Lung Wah Street, Forbes Street, Ka Wai Man Road, Cadogan Street, Kwan Yick Street, Kin Man Street, Catchick Street, Davis Street, Kennedy Town New Praya, Sai See Street, Sai Ning Street, North Street, Rock Hill Street, 1-84 Victoria Road, Hau Wo Street, Kwun Lung Lau, Sai Wan Estate and Kung Man Tsuen.

End/Tuesday, January 17, 1995

18

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results

*****

Tender date 17 Jan 95 17 Jan 95

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q503 H556

Amount applied HK$3,600 MN HK$ 1,620 MN

Amount allotted HK$ 1,500 MN HK$800 MN

Average yield accepted 6.19 PCT 6.60 PCT

Highest yield accepted 6.25 PCT 6.70 PCT

Pro rata ratio About 44 PCT About 85 PCT

Average tender yield 6.31 PCT 6.72 PCT

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

Tenders to be held in the week beginning January 23, 1995

Tender date 24 Jan 95 24 Jan 95

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q504 Y585

Issue date 25 Jan 95 25 Jan 95

Maturity date 26 Apr 95 24 Jan 96

Tenor 91 days 364 days

Amount on offer HKS 1,500+300 MN HKS500+150MN

End/Tuesday, January 17, 1995

19

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,128 0930 -2,137

Closing balance in the account 2,129 1000 -1,587

Change attributable to: 1100 -837

Money market activity -848 1200 -837

LAF today +1,849 1500 -714

1600 -848

LAF rate 3.75% bid/5.75% offer TWI 121.1 *+0.2* 17.1.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.99 16 months 2605 6.35 98.54 7.65

1 month 6.02 22 months 2611 6.90 98.46 7.96

3 months 6.24 27 months 3704 6.15 96.03 8.25

6 months 6.63 33 months 3710 7.25 97.58 8.41

12 months 7.24 59 months 5912 8.15 97.98 8.85

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $23,380 million

Closed January 17, 1995

End/Tuesday, January 17, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 842 8777

Wednesday, January 18,1995

Contents Page No,

Transcript of the Governor's media session................................. 1

Civil servants' information to be resolved in the interest of HK people. 2

"Made in Hong Kong" -- a mark of quality................................... 3

Monitors submit report on ORP operation.................................... 4

104 Vietnamese depart on orderly repatriation flight....................... 4

Fee revisions under two amendment regulations...........................

Applications invited for Language Fund..................................... 8

Red packets for elderly people............................................ 10

Five nominations for MC elections received today........................ 11

One more nomination received for DB by-election........................... 12

Fresh water cuts in Tuen Mun and Kwai Chung............................... 12

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations...................... 13

1

Transcript of the Governor's media session ♦ * ♦ ♦ *

The following is the transcript of the media session by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, after opening the 25th Hong Kong Fashion Week this (Wednesday) morning:

Governor: Morning. I'm delighted to've been able to open the Fashion Exhibition. It's an example of the best of Hong Kong, a good example of how we dominate the world in the fashion industry. I think the way in which the exhibition year after year gets bigger and bigger is an example of how we've been able successfully to move upmarket to improve our quality and design, and to get a bigger share of the international market as a result. Can I say one other thing? I am sure that everyone would have been deeply distressed by the tragic earthquake in Japan. All of us who have seen the scenes on the television and the pictures in the newspapers will, I think, have been particularly moved. I wrote yesterday to Mr Nogami, the Japanese Consul-General in Hong Kong, to express to him and to the Japanese Government our condolences on behalf of the people of Hong Kong, at the loss of life, the bereavement and the tragedy in Japan. We have a very close relationship, as you know, with Japan, and therefore, I think, we're particularly moved by what has happened there. And our thoughts and our prayers are with everyone in Japan at the moment. We are making enquiries or trying to make enquiries about whether any of those who have lost their loves in Kobe are citizens of Hong Kong. It's, as you can imagine, not easy to get through at the moment. But we're trying to make contact with the British Embassy to find out whether there is anyone from Hong Kong who is missing or who's lost their life. And obviously we will keep you posted about whatever we've found out. But I just want to say for the record how concerned we are at what's happened.

Question: Mr Governor, yesterday Mr Lu Ping said that if any Government department refuses to hand over information or file to the Chinese Government, that is a violation of the Joint Declaration, and he also warned that if that happened, they would mean business. What's your reaction to that and do you think that is a serious threat to Hong Kong Government ?

Governor: We put out a statement yesterday, a comprehensive statement, and I don't want to add to that. I would just say that I hope people will remember that what we're talking about are the careers and livelihoods of men and women, that what we're talking about is the best way of securing the good government of Hong Kong. And I don't think this is a subject which it's sensible to discuss through short-tempered sound bites on television. I think the time has come to cool it and to try to take forward a serious discussion in the Joint Liaison Group or in any other forum which others think may be convenient. I think we want to talk about these matters in private and not have people making angry statements about them in public.

2

Question: Do you think Mr Lu's comments are baffling the morale of the civil servants?

Governor: I've said all I want to say.

Question: Do you think that Lu Ping's request for details of the nationalities of individual civil servants is justified ...

Governor: Our statement yesterday made the position perfectly clear on that.

Question: If the Chinese Government wants to get vetted reports of the civil servants, will the Hong Kong Government pass that to them ?

Governor: We made a statement yesterday. It's perfectly clear and I don't think it's helpful to add to it because, to repeat what I have said in case you didn't catch it, I think that it's in the interest of civil servants to try to cool this dispute and that which is not of our making, rather than indulge in government by sound bite.

Question: (on integrity checks)

Governor: I’ve just made a statement which all those of you who have taken it down will have been able to understand. We made a full statement yesterday. I am not going to add to the substance of the statement I made yesterday or to the words that I have just used because I have to have concern, and the Chief Secretary has to have a concern, for the morale and the well-being of the thousands of civil servants who work for us in Hong Kong. And I don’t think it’s very sensible to get involved, as I said earlier, in a public dispute. I think we should try to resolve these questions as calmly and dispassionately and objectively as possible in the interest of the people of Hong Kong.

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

Civil servants’ information to be resolved in the interest of HK people ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The transfer of information on civil servants should be dealt with as calmly, dispassionately and objectively as possible in the interest of the people of Hong Kong, the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, said today (Wednesday).

At the media session after opening the 25th Hong Kong Fashion Week, Mr Patten reiterated that the statement yesterday was talking about the best way of securing the good government of Hong Kong.

3

He said: ”1 have to have concern, and the Chief Secretary has to have a concern, for the morale and the well-being of the thousands of civil servants who work for us in Hong Kong.”

He noted that the questions were about the careers and livelihoods of civil servants and in their interest, it was not very sensible to get involved in a public dispute.

"I think the time has come to cool it and to try to take forward a serious discussion in the Joint Liaison Group or in any other forum which others think may be convenient," Mr Patten added.

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

"Made in Hong Kong" — a mark of quality * ♦ ♦ * ♦

The fashion business displays Hong Kong at its best. The swift and stylish response to customer demand and to competitive pressure is Hong Kong's speciality.

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, said this today (Wednesday) at the opening ceremony of the 25th Hong Kong Fashion Week.

He noted that Hong Kong's speed and style were based upon several factors, such as years of investment in new technology and in the education and training of experts in the field; an open market free from Government interference but backed by fair rules that apply evenly to every player.

He said: "It is that substance of consistent commitment, flavoured with the dash of designers talent and entrepreneurial initiative, that has made Hong Kong in its own right the world's third largest clothing exporter - or the world's largest if you add on our re-export trade."

Mr Patten added that it was long term commitment that had made Hong Kong the hub for the sourcing of garments for delivery to every continent and that had made the label "Made in Hong Kong" a mark of quality around the world.

Hong Kong's fashion industry is well poised to seize the opportunities that the phasing out of the multi-fibre arrangements by 2005 will bring, he noted.

4

He said: "The competitive spirit and business acumen of our clothing manufacturers is very well-known. The growing reputation of Hong Kong's own designers carries great promise for the future.

"But Hong Kong isn't just poised and planning, it is acting decisively to grasp the opportunities."

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

Monitors submit report on ORP operation *****

. u.

The monitors appointed to observe the Orderly Repatriation Programme operation this (Wednesday) morning have submitted their report to the Chief Secretary.

The two monitors, a Justice of the Peace Mrs Chau Ma Pui-kin and Mr Samir Rahman from Oxfam, observed the transfer of 104 Vietnamese migrants from Victoria Prison to the Airport.

Mrs Chau and Mr Rahman commented that the operation was well planned and organised.

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

104 Vietnamese depart on orderly repatriation flight

* ♦ * ♦ ♦

' ’ ' ■■ • J-

A group of 104 Vietnamese migrants returned to Vietnam today (Wednesday) on the 20th flight under the Orderly Repatriation Programme (ORP).

All the returnees, comprising 41 men, 24 women, 20 boys and 19 girls, were from High Island Detention Centre. The oldest is 57 years old and the youngest 10 months old.

Most of them arrived in Hong Kong in 1988 and 1989 with only a handful of them coming to the territory in 1990 and 1991.

The group was the largest on a single flight since the programme started in November 1991 and brought the total number repatriated on ORP flights to 1,089.

5

The returnees were transported to the airport early this morning for predeparture security checks before boarding their flight for Hanoi.

The Refugee Co-ordinator, Mr Brian Bresnihan, said he was pleased that this morning's operation went smoothly.

"It remains our objective to repatriate all screened-out Vietnamese migrants to Vietnam. There is no future for them in Hong Kong and the best option for them is to volunteer to go back to Vietnam," he said.

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

Fee revisions under two amendment regulations * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Fees for registration as fire service installation contractors will be revised with effect from March 9 this year, a Government spokesman announced today (Wednesday).

Licence and permit fees for the manufacture, storage and conveyance of certain dangerous goods will also be adjusted on the same date, he said.

Details of the fee revisions arc set out in the Fire Service (Installation Contractors) (Amendment) Regulation 1995 and Dangerous Goods (General) (Amendment) Regulation 1995 to be gazetted on Friday (January 20).

"The fees had been revised to take into account the increase in costs since their last review in 1993," the spokesman explained.

Following are details of the fee revisions:

Under the Fire Service (Installation-Contractors)! Amendment) Regulation 1995

Existing

Revised

item

(a) Registration

- Class 1, Class 2 or Classes 1 and 2

(b) Written examination

- Class 3

$1,135 $1,250

$640 $705

6

(c) Interview

- Class 3

(d) Workshop inspection

- Class 3

(e) Workshop re-inspection - Class 1, Class 2,

Classes 1 and 2 or Class 3

(f) New workshop inspection - Class 1, Class 2, Classes 1 and 2 or Class 3

(g) New workshop re-inspection - Class 1, Class 2, Classes 1 and 2 or

Class 3

(h) Change of registered name or registered address - Class 1, Class 2, Classes I and 2 or Class 3

(i) Change of qualified person

- Class 1, Class 2 or Classes 1 and 2

$695 $765

$575 $630

$575 $630

$575 $630

$575 $630

$290 $320

$365 $400

Under the Dangerous Goods (General) (Amendment) Regulation 1995.

Existing

Revised

Item

(a) Licence/permit for storage of each store of dangerous goods in category 5,class 1, 2 or 3 (substances giving off inflammable vapour)

(per annum)

(per annum)

7

in quantities not exceeding $190 $210

500 L in quantities exceeding $365 $400

500 L but not exceeding 2,500 L in quantities exceeding $550 $605

2,500 L but not exceeding 5,000 L in quantities exceeding $1,815 $2,000

5,000 L but not exceeding 25,000 L in quantities exceeding $5,445 $5,980

25,000 L (b) Licence/permit for storage (per annum) (per annum)

of dangerous goods in category 2, other than liquefied petroleum gas (i) for each store not more than 10 cylinders $330 $365

more than 10 but not $660 $725

more than 50 cylinders more than 50 cylinders $1,650 $1,810

(ii) for each tank $825 $905

(c) Licence/permit for storage (per annum) (per annum)

of each store of dangerous goods in categories 3-10, other than category 5, class 1, 2 or 3 or category 9A - not exceeding 25 kg $365 $400

exceeding 25 kg but not $730 $800

exceeding 100 kg exceeding 100 kg $1,815 $2,000

(d) Licence/pcrmit for (per annum (per annum

manufacture of dangerous for each , for each

goods of any category category category

other than category 1 or 9A of goods of goods

manufactured) $980 manufactured) $1,080

8

(e) Licence/permit for conveyance of dangerous goods in category 2 or 5

(f) Duplicate, amendment or endorsement on a licence/ permit in (a)-(e)

(per annum) (per annum)

$660 $725

$180 $200

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

Applications invited for Language Fund ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

Organisations, individuals and schools including kindergartens that are interested in undertaking projects or activities to improve language standards in Hong Kong are now invited to apply for allocation from the Language Fund.

The fund is aimed at supporting proposals and initiatives that will raise standards in Chinese (including Putonghua) and English, enhance existing efforts and meet temporary shortfalls in language teaching resources.

In addition, the Language Fund will encourage research into problem areas and initiation of new approaches.

Projects or activities to be funded should be able to fulfil any one or more of the following objectives:

to improve motivation for language learning;

* to enhance the quality of teacher education for language in education;

* to increase the supply and quality of textbooks, reference materials and

appropriate teaching aids; and

* to launch innovative projects which maximise proficiency.

Interested parties may wish to note that among the first batch of 35 successful applications announced in December 1994, 23 were Chinese language (including Putonghua) projects, eight English language projects and four concerned with improving prpficiency in both English and Chinese. There was a balanced mix of research, teaching and learning resource materials, teacher training, curriculum and student activity projects.

9

The Language Fund also welcomes new ideas and innovative projects from schools. In the first fund allocation exercise, two of the approved projects were initiated by individual schools. One involved the joint effort of two secondary schools in developing an English language teaching package while the other undertook a Chinese poem-writing competition.

The Language Fund Advisory Committee has identified some possible areas in which proposals may be drawn up. These include:

improvement of the skills of language teachers and production of additional teaching materials;

programmes to promote students’ interest in language learning and develop the language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing;

development of reference materials on what constitutes good Chinese language use in Hong Kong as a useful reference for teachers and the public;

trying out of various approaches to the development of bilingual proficiency at all levels, in particular pre-primary and primary levels;

* training of professionals in translation who are proficient in both English and Chinese;

* local research into child language development and the acquisition of bilingual proficiency;

local research into language requirements, language uses and desired profiles of bilingual proficiency for academic and vocational purposes;

* investigation into and provision of language improvement measures for the working population;

* research programme to follow the academic and personal development of groups of students, matched for academic ability and experiencing different medium of instruction models;

* assessment on language proficiency in Hong Kong; and

* regular surveys of language ability of new entrants to jobs with respect to listening, speaking, reading and writing skills.

Starting from January 20, Language Fund application forms will be available from the General Enquiries Section of the Education Department, 15/F, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai or by writing to the Language Fund Secretariat in Room 1123 of the same building. The Secretariat may be contacted for enquiries on 2892 6642 or by fax on 2574 0340.

Applications will be called for twice a year with the deadline for the first call this year on March 31 and that for the second call on September 30.

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

10

Red packets for elderly people * ♦ ♦ * *

Thirty-eight residents of the Wan Chai Housing for the Elderly were each given a red packet (Lai See) today (Wednesday) to celebrate the forthcoming Lunar New Year, thanks to the Tang Shiu Kin and Ho Tim Charitable Fund.

The elderly people were also treated to a sumptuous lunch, followed by a series of performances including Cantonese opera, lion dance and ribbon dance.

Officiating at the presentation ceremony at Po Leung Kuk, the Director of Social Welfare, Mr Ian Strachan, said the Lai See distribution had been a benevolent tradition of the Tang Shiu Kin and Ho Tim Charitable Fund Committee to convey their new year wishes as well as their care and concern for people in the community.

About 5,200 single-parent families receiving Comprehensive Social Security Allowance and some 1,100 elderly people will also be given Lai See before the Lunar New Year.

Each single-parent family will receive $250 and an elderly person, $100. More than $ 1.40 million from the Fund has been earmarked for this purpose.

The Fund, which is administered by the Social Welfare Department, provides immediate financial assistance to individuals or families to cope with sudden hardship.

"For many years, the Fund has helped many needy people in the community.

"During the last year, the Fund spent about $3.24 million and had helped 1.378 cases altogether," Mr Strachan said.

Also present today were Dr Ho Tim. Lady Shiu-kin fang and members of the Fund's Committee.

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

11

Five nominations for MC elections received today

*****

A total of five nominations of candidates were received today (Monday) for the Municipal Council Elections on March 5.

The total number of nominations received so far is 109.

The nomination period will last until next Monday (January 23).

The breakdown of nominations by district is as follows:

Central and Western Wan Chai

Eastern Southern

Yau Tsim Mong Sham Shui Po Kowloon City Wong Tai Sin Kung Tong Tsuen Wan

Tuen Mun Yuen Long North Tai Po Sai kung Sha Tin Kwai Tsing Islands

Total:

4

5

11

5

6

3

8

9

13

2

7

7

5

5

2

13

3

1

109

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

12

One more nomination received for DB by-election *****

One nomination was received today (Wednesday) for District Board byelection on March 5 in respect of Yau Ma Tei constituency of Yau Tsim Mong district.

The nomination was submitted by Mr Wong Sui-man (45), a manager.

So far, two nominations have been received since the nomination period started on January 9. The nomination period will end next Monday (January 23).

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

Fresh water cuts in Tuen Mun and Kwai Chung

*****

In order to facilitate water mains connection, fresh water supply to some premises in Tuen Mun and Kwai Chung will be suspended from 10 pm on Friday (January 20) to 6 am the following day and from 8 pm on Saturday (January 21) to 7 am the next day respectively.

The suspension will affect all the premises bounded by Lung Mun Road, Tuen Tsing Lane, Wu Shan Road and the waterfront in Tuen Mun, including the LRT depot, Sun Tuen Mun Centre, Siu Shan Court, Butterfly Estate, Wu King Estate, Siu Hei Court, Marina Garden, Miami Beach Towers, Pierhead Garden, Richland Garden, Melody Garden, Yuct Wu Villa, San Wah Cold Storage and the Tuen Mun Riding School.

In Kwai Chung, the affected areas will include Yuet Lai Court, Lai King Estate, Lai King MTR station, Yin Lai Court, Kwai Fong Court, Kwai Chung police quarters, Kwai Hing MTR station, Sun Kwai Hing Garden, Kwai Chung police station and all the premises at Lai King Hill Road.

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

13

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Opening balance in the account Closing balance in the account Change attributable to :

Money market activity LAF today

Cumulative

$ million Time (hours) change (Million)

2,129 0930 -2,092

1,124 1000 -2,567

1100 -2,611

-1,892 1200 -2,619

+887 1500 -2,092

1600 -1,892

LAF rate 3.75% bid/5.75% offer TWI 121.0 *-0.1* 18.1.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 6.15 16 months 2605 6.35 98.46 7.72

1 month 6.34 22 months 2611 6.90 98.36 8.03

3 months 6.53 27 months 3704 6.15 95.90 8.32

6 months 6.87 33 months 3710 7.25 97.37 8.50

12 months 7.34 59 months 5912 8.15 97.70 8.92

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $29,618 million

Closed January 18, 1995

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 842 8777

Supplement

Wednesday, January 18,1995

Contents EageJSih

./

Legislative Council meeting:

Motion debate on Wong Wai Tsak Tong.............................. 1

Secretary for Housing’s speech on first-time home buyers......... 4

Film Censorship (Amendment) Bill 1995 ........................... 8

Occupational Retirement Schemes (Amendment) Bill................. 10

Employment (Amendment) Bill 1995 introduced to LegCo............. 12

Employment (Amendment) Bill goes through three readings.......... 14

Second reading of Buildings (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill............. 15

Committee Stage of Buildings (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1994....... 16

Securities and Futures Commission (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1994 . 17

Leveraged Foreign Exchange Trading (Amendment) Bill 1994......... 17

Two bills on SFC’s investigatory powers.......................... 18

/Traffic accidents..

Contents Page No.

Traffic accidents involving buses........................................ 19

Labour disputes involving foreign domestic helpers....................... 20

Student representatives on councils of tertiary institutions............. 21

Cases of teacher suicide................................................. 23

Levy for Pneumoconiosis Compensation Fund................................ 24

Public liability insurance being examined by Travel Industry Council.. 26

Implementation of Target Oriented Curriculum Programme................... 27

Part-time court interpreters............................................. 29

Role of Securities Clearing Company................................... 31

Local workers employed on new airport project............................ 34

Special team co-ordinates hiring of local workers for airport project. 35

Enforcement action and publicity to combat hawking of counterfeit goods 36

Scheme to reduce frequency of night shift for nurses..................... 37

Construction insurance for new airport................................... 40

Services for elderly mental patients..................................... 42

Operation of highways maintenance vehicles............................... 43

Widening of footpath along Cenotaph square............................... 45

Drafting of telecoms "self-provision" licence completed.................. 45

Office market being closely monitored.................................... 47

LegCo passes Wong Wai Tsak Tong motion................................... 48

1

Motion debate on Wong Wai Tsak Tong ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Tony Eason, in the Legislative Council motion debate on Wong Wai Tsak Tong’s land ownership today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

There has been a lot of surmise and guess work today about what happened in 1905. Some members have expressed certainty about circumstances about which there can be no such certainty. It is not established that a mistake was made and it is not likely at this distance in time that it can be so established. Mr President, we cannot proceed on the basis of guess work, we cannot proceed purely on the basis of the brilliant clarity of hindsight. We should not pretend that something so complex is so simple. The Wong Wai Tsak Tong was first granted land on Cheung Chau by a Block Crown Lease as long ago as 1905. Since then, the Tong has been granted additional land on Cheung Chau under New Grants with the result that the Tong is now the registered owner of 90% of the private land on Cheung Chau.

The Tong sub-leased most of its land on Cheung Chau, using a simple form of sub-lease which is renewable, on the same terms, every five years until the termination of the Block Crown Lease.

The Block Crown Lease, like the majority of New Territories leases, was extended to 30 June 2047 by the New Territories Leases (Extension) Ordinance relatively recently.

The legal position today is therefore that the Tong is the holder of a lease from Government in respect of the majority of the private land on Cheung Chau with a term up to 2047. Although it may be argued that the Tong has not acted entirely reasonably, this is - and must be - the starting point from which our handling of the disputes which have arisen between the Tong and its sub-lessees must proceed. Our approach to this problem is to identify the specific problems about which there are disputes and to address them in a practical way to try to resolve those disputes. For several years, we tried to do this by mediation between the two parties in the hope that an agreement could be reached. Sadly, this effort proved to be in vain and we have reluctantly concluded that we have no choice but to introduce legislation to regulate the relationship between the Tong and its sub-lessees.

There are three issues about which there are disputes:

First, the renewal of sub-leases;

2

Second, the payment of Government rent; and

Third, the charging by the Tong of fees for giving its agreement to modifications and land exchanges affecting its lease. This issue arises when a sub-lessee wishes to redevelop the sub-leased property in a way which affects the Tong’s interest as head lessee.

The Bill which I will introduce into this Council in April this year will deal with these issues in the following ways.

First, all sub-leases registered in the Land Registry at any time prior to the coming into effect of the legislation will be renewed from the date they would otherwise have expired until 27 June 2047, with the exception of sub-leases which have already been extended beyond 8 November 1994 - the date on which the majority of sub-leases expired - by agreement between the parties.

Second, the Bill will provide that Government rent will be payable directly by the sub-lessees to Government. The Tong will only be entitled to collect from the sublessees the amount of rent specified in the sub-lease.

Third, the Tong will be deemed to have agreed to modifications and exchanges unless it has reasonable grounds for objecting to them. The Tong will be allowed to charge sub-lessees no more than an amount equivalent to 10% of the premium charged by Government for such modifications and exchanges. This is in recognition of the Tong being the owner of the land and the fact that, but for the legislation, the Tong would not be obliged to agree to enter into any modifications or exchanges of the subleased land.

The effect of these proposals will be that, after the legislation has been enacted, the sub-lessees will have certainty as to their interests in their property through to 2047. They will pay Government rent direct to Government. They will be able to continue to occupy and enjoy all the benefits of their properties as they have done in the past. It will be possible to buy and sell properties on the land sub-leased from the Tong in the normal way, just as it was until the current disputes created uncertainty in the minds of prospective purchasers and the banks who were asked to lend money in the form of mortgages. Those sub-lessees who wish to redevelop, in a way that requires some modification of the Tong’s lease or a land exchange affecting that lease, will be able to do so in the knowledge that the Tong will not be able unreasonably to frustrate their proposals and with certainty as to the level of fees which the Tong can charge for giving its consent.

IQ

- 3 -

The motion before us today calls on the Administration to do something quite different from the proposals I have just outlined - to use legislation to revoke the Tong’s status as the leaseholder. In the free-for-all context of a Motion Debate and given the strong feelings that have been running on this issue, as politicians, Members may feel that nothing less than an extreme solution is what should be proposed. As legislators, however, they should consider very carefully what this would mean. It would surely not be right to enact legislation depriving a landowner of property legally come by. To do so in this case would ignore the legal rights of the Tong as holder of a lease from Government and create uncertainty in the minds of others as to whether the Government might one day seek to dispossess them in a similar way.

We must deal with the situation currently obtaining on Cheung Chau. But we must do so in a way that respects the legal rights of the parties involved. I am sure that when we bring the proposed legislation to this Council in the near future, Members will examine it soberly and with their traditional respect for the rule of law and abhorrence of arbitrary deviation from it.

Mr President, I can only agree with the first part of the original motion which is acceptable to the Administration. Neither the rest of it nor any of the amendments proposed would, in our view, provide a sound legal basis for the equitable solution which is required in this case. In the circumstances, the Officials will not support the original motion or any of the amendments and the Administration would have great difficulty in proposing legislation which would comply with any such motion. Similarly, should Members introduce legislative amendments or proposals in like spirit in due course, this also would present the Administration with considerable difficulty. I feel bound, Mr President, to counsel Members against raising the expectations of those they seek to assist that what they are proposing would achieve an easy and quick solution to the problem.

Thank you, Mr President.

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

4

Secretary for Housing's speech on first-time home buyers ♦ * * * ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic S W Wong, in the Legislative Council motion debate on "Assistance to first-time home buyers" tonight (Wednesday):

Mr President,

It is the Government’s policy objective under the Long Term Housing Strategy to provide adequate housing at an affordable price or rent to the people of Hong Kong. At present, over 52% of our population lives in public housing : 41% in public rental housing and 11% in various home ownership schemes in the public sector. Over the past ten years, we have made efforts to increase the home ownership rate in the community from 33% to 48%.

Subsidised..schemes for .home purchase

To achieve this, I must say again that we have indeed introduced various subsidised housing schemes to help eligible families to purchase flats. Under the Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) and the Private Sector Participation Scheme (PSPS) operated by the Housing Authority, flats are sold at up to 48% off the market price to eligible families who earn an income of less than $22,000 per month. Loans of up to 95% of sale price, underwritten by the Housing Authority and repayable over a period of twenty years, are granted to beneficiaries, with interest charged at the prime rate plus half a percentage point. So far, about 190,000 flats have been sold. A further 57,000 such flats are expected to be offered in the next three years, and production is expected to increase steadily, as will also the number of public housing rental flats to be built.

The Housing Authority also administers a Home Purchase Loan Scheme which, since 1988, has helped 9,000 eligible families to buy flats in the private sector. There is an annual quota of 1,500, with an interest-free loan ceiling of $300,000, or an option to receive a grant of $2,600 per month for 48 months for mortgage repayment.

There is also another scheme, the Option to Rent or Buy Scheme, which targets tenants affected by the Comprehensive Redevelopment Programme, clearees from squatter areas and Temporary Housing Areas, and Waiting List applicants due for public housing allocation. The first 1,214 flats were sold at a price level below that of HOS and PSPS, with similar financing arrangements. I can assure members that more such flats will be offered this year and also in the future years.

5

The Government has also responded to calls for housing subsidies from sandwich class families who are not eligible for public housing and yet cannot afford to buy flats in the private market. In August 1993, the Sandwich Class Housing Loan Scheme was introduced as an interim measure, with a government loan of $2 billion operated by the Housing Society. The scheme assists about 4,000 sandwich class families by giving them loans of up to $550,000 at very low interest to meet downpayments for home purchase. Recently we have launched the Sandwich Class Housing Main Scheme. Sites are granted to the Housing Society at half full-market value to build flats for sale at prices affordable to families with an income between $22,001 and $44,000 per month. The first 1,024 flats in Tsing Yi are now being sold at a discount of about 40% off the market price, with major banks agreeing to offer a mortgage ceiling of 80% and with the last 10% underwritten by the Housing Society itself. These flats are four and a half times over-subscribed. I am confident that the Government’s undertaking to assist some 24,000 sandwich class families to buy their own homes before the year 2000 can be achieved.

The schemes which I have just outlined go a long way towards meeting the community’s growing aspiration for home ownership. It is our declared policy commitment to ensure that just under 60% of families in Hong Kong will own their own homes by the end of 1997. Over the next few years, we will help an additional 180,000 families to buy their own homes through the various subsidised housing schemes I have just mentioned.

Task Force on Land Supply and Property Prises

Members will recall that, in response to a wide body of public opinion early last year that property prices had risen beyond the affordability of average households in Hong Kong, the Government set up the Task Force on Land Supply and Property Prices which proposed a package of measures in June last year to cool the over-heated residential property market. The three-pronged approach to tackle the problem of property prices has been followed up vigorously. First, we have dampened speculation by modifying the consent scheme to restrict private sales of uncompleted flats and various types of resale. Second, we aim to increase land for housing supply, and have established an inter-departmental Housing Project Action Team to accelerate housing projects already in the pipeline. We aim to provide land to encourage the private sector to produce about 195,000 flats in the next six years. Third, we are striving to streamline planning and development processes, enhance our knowledge of the market situation and increase our responsiveness to it. Since the package of measures was announced, the prices of new flats have fallen by about 10 to 30% depending on locations, and many speculators have already left the market. We are satisfied that the recommendations of the Task Force are being effectively implemented without undue interference in market forces. The resulting moderation in property prices will help first-time home buyers to purchase their own homes.

6

Private developers' schemes

The Government and public housing organisations are not alone in helping first-time home buyers to purchase their own homes. Private developers too have been offering a variety of supplementary financing schemes to boost the marketability of their flats.

Mortgage ceiling

Some members have called on the Government to encourage banks to provide preferential mortgage loans at more than 70% of property value. Our view is that several schemes to promote home ownership are already in existence for those who are in genuine need of help, that is to say, the low and middle income groups. While trying to help first-time home buyers to buy their own homes, we need to be conscious of another equally important objective, that of preserving the stability of the banking system which is the backbone of our economy. Any problem which puts pressure on its health would threaten to destabilise other sectors of the economy, and have effect on the population at large.

There are good reasons why banks maintain a prudent lending policy and refrain from increasing the lending limit. First, the mortgage ceiling provides banks with a prudent margin of comfort against any erosion of the security for their mortgage loans owing to fluctuations in property prices. The banking sector’s exposure to property Ioans has, I understand, already reached about 40% of total loans for use in Hong Kong. This is a high figure. Second, there are a number of uncertain factors : the rising interest rates in the United States; the possibility of a trade dispute between China and the United States; the macro economic adjustment still underway in China; the consolidation which has been taking place in the local property market, and so on. All these factors underline the need to maintain prudence in the banking sector, which is in turn essential for the financial stability of Hong Kong. Lending decisions are commercial decisions, and clearly the banking sector will need to take careful decisions on their own. The Government cannot and will not encourage banks to take higher risks than necessary. Nor can a government guarantee any risks above the 70% mortgage for a special class of people whose income earnings are already above the income cut-off level of $44,000 per month for the sandwich class. Such preferential treatment is not justified.

7

Tax concession for mortgage interest payments

Some members have urged the Government to introduce a tax concession for mortgage interest paid by first-time home buyers. There are good arguments against such a concession. Under the cunent tax regime, home owners already enjoy two tax benefits. First, any capital gain on disposal of a private residential property by a home owner is not subject to profits tax. Second, a home owner is exempt from property tax on private residence. Granting relief for mortgage interest payments would have the effect of singling out this group of people for even more favourable treatment. Moreover, to provide a tax concession for first-time home buyers would add complexity and cost to the tax system, and is contrary to the international trend to abolish or limit tax relief on home mortgage interest payments. It should also be remembered that personal allowances for salaries tax purposes are not designed in favour of specific classes of expenditure. To introduce a concession for housing expenditure would also make it difficult in future to resist similar requests for other classes of expenditure not incurred in the production of assessable income.

Conclusion

In conclusion, we share Members' views that some first-time home buyers may need assistance to purchase their own homes, but we do not agree that the motion and the amendment moved by the Honourable Fung Kin-kee and the Honourable Tso Shiu-wai respectively are the only solutions. As I have explained at length, the Government, public housing organisations and the private sector have already put in place a wide range of schemes, options and measures to assist first-time home buyers to purchase their own homes. These are concrete plans in themselves which can meet the aspiration for home ownership for those who are genuinely in need of help, without changing our prudential banking supervision policy or our low tax policy. I would stress also that the Government would continue to make land available to increase the supply of both public and private housing in Hong Kong. For these reasons, Mr President, the Administration does not support the motion or its amendment.

Thank you.

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

- 8 -

Film Censorship (Amendment) Bill 1995 *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Recreation and Culture, Mr James So, in moving the second reading of the Film Censorship (Amendment) Bill 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

1 move the second reading of the Film Censorship (Amendment) Bill 1995.

The object of the Bill is to give effect to the policy changes arising from the public opinion survey conducted by the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority (TELA) in 1994, as well as to make minor amendments to the Film Censorship Ordinance to improve its operation.

In order to gauge the prevailing standards of morality and propriety of the public so that the film censorship standards and film classification system adopted by TELA can keep pace with changes in social attitudes, TELA conducts a public opinion survey once every two years. The latest such survey was completed in early 1994.

Let me briefly outline the main findings of the 1994 survey. First of all. there is strong support for TELA to continue its role as the film censorship authority. We are also heartened to learn that the film censorship standards adopted by TELA resemble closely those held by the majority of respondents. In response to the public wish for clearer standards governing the depiction of triads, imitable criminal behaviour and perverted sexual behaviour in films, additional film censorship guidelines covering these matters have been formulated and will be gazetted on 27 January.

The results of the survey as a whole demonstrate general public support for the existing three-tier classification system and standards, and I wish to emphasise here that we have no intention of changing this three-tier system. All our new measures will be incorporated within this three-tier framework.

However, there are two important issues arising from the survey which need to be addressed by legislative amendments. Firstly, there is a clear and strong support for imposing more stringent control on the public display of Category III film posters in view of the public nuisance they caused. More than 70 per cent of the respondents wished to sec posters for Category III films being subject to censorship, as oppose to the present arrangement whereby film posters are regulated under the Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance through a voluntary submission system. Secondly, the findings indicated that the existing Category II classification embraced a very broad range of films. A refinement of this classification into two sub-categories would help provide more information to the public, in particular parents, to choose films for their children or for themselves.

9

Mr President. I would now like to highlight the important clauses of the Bill.

To implement the refinement to the existing Category II classification, Clause 6 of the Bill enables film censors to classify Category II films as either "Not suitable for children below 12 and parental guidance is recommended" or "Not suitable for persons below 18". Same as the existing Category II, these two sub-categories are advisory in nature. The purpose is simply to provide more information in the form of age advice to movie-goers. 1 should add that in terms of the standards to be applied, we are not changing the goal posts.

In the light of the overwhelming public support for tightening control on the public display and publication of posters of Category III films, Clause 15 of the Bill makes it a compulsory requirement that advertising materials of Category III films must be submitted to TELA for approval prior to public display or distribution. The reason for the control to apply to all advertising materials of Category III films is to ensure that the use of excessively offensive material for film promotion will not be permitted, whether in the form of film posters, newspaper advertisement, stills, billboards or handbills. Offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $200,000 and imprisonment for one year.

To cater for the situation where publicity for a film needs to start prior to obtaining a classification, Clause 15 introduces an arrangement whereby advertising materials of all films intended for exhibition can be submitted to TELA for examination on a voluntary basis.

We are also proposing other minor changes to the Film Censorship Ordinance. These changes include the following :-

(a) To cater for the common situation whereby alterations and additions such as sub-titles and soundtracks are made to an approved film when it is published as videotapes or laserdiscs, TELA is empowered under Clause 9 to examine videotapes and laserdiscs which contain alterations to the version approved and to give an appropriate classification;

(b) In line with the expansion in scope of the Film Censorship Ordinance, Clause 17, 18 and 19 expand the terms of reference of the Board of Review so that the Board can in future review TELA's decisions not only in respect of films, but also their advertising materials and packaging; and

(c) The number of non-official members of the Board of Review will be increased from six to eight to allow for greater community participation.

10

Mr President, the aim of our film censorship policy is to maintain a balance between the need to protect public morals on the one hand, whilst safeguarding freedom of expression and artistic creation as well as the rights of the individual to information on the other. I believe that our proposal to require advertising materials for Cat III films to be approved before publication is a necessary measure to achieve this fine balance. I hope that this, together with other proposals in the Bill, will gain the support of Members.

Mr President, I beg to move.

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

Occupational Retirement Schemes (Amendment) Bill ♦ * * ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Michael Cartland, on the Occupational Retirement Schemes (Amendment) Bill 1995 in Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President.

The Occupational Retirement Schemes (Amendment) Bill 1995 before the Council today seeks to amend the principal Ordinance so as to enable the Registrar of Occupational Retirement Schemes to regulate and monitor private retirement schemes more effectively. The proposals would allow greater flexibility in the investment of scheme assets without compromising the safeguards. This is in line with our overall objective of ensuring that private occupational retirement schemes are properly managed and funded, thus providing greater certainty that retirement benefits will be paid to scheme members when they fall due.

The Bill's primary proposal seeks to resolve practical difficulties encountered by trustee administrators of pooled schemes in complying with the statutory requirement to separate the assets of each participating scheme in a pooling agreement. Pooled schemes account for the majority of all private occupational retirement schemes. In practice pool administrators combine not only the administrative duties but also the assets of each participating scheme. Strict separation of assets between each of the participating schemes is costly to administer, inhibits diversification of investment and results in lower returns for scheme members. Inevitably this in turn discourages the small-scale employers from establishing a scheme within a pool. To overcome these problems, pooling of assets will be permitted. There will be two safeguards. Firstly, the assets of each scheme will have to be kept separate from those of the employer and remain under trust. Secondly, the annual accounts of each scheme maintained by the trustee administrator of a pooling agreement will be required to conform to a common accounting year, and be audited by the same auditor.

11

The Bill's second purpose is to seek to relax statutory investment restrictions upon scheme assets but without compromising safeguards against fraud or mismanagement. The statutory investment restrictions have been criticised by scheme administrators as being too severe. They have a point. Investment in mutual funds is prohibited, as is investment in shares not listed on the Unified Exchange or any stock market not recognised by the SFC, for instance in shares on emerging stock markets such as Taiwan, Indonesia and Spain. We consider these criticisms and concerns justified and propose to relax the restriction by allowing scheme administrators to invest up to 100 per cent of a scheme's assets in mutual funds, and up to 15 per cent of the assets in the listed shares of companies on stock exchanges not recognised by the SFC but legally established and regulated as stock exchanges in accordance with the laws of the jurisdictions in which they are established. Investment in private companies will, however, continue to be prohibited.

The Bill also proposes to make a number of miscellaneous amendments to the Ordinance to facilitate administration of schemes by the Registrar. These amendments briefly include -

the imposing of a requirement to obtain the approval of the Registrar before any changes are made to the registered particulars of a scheme which may materially alter the grounds upon which the scheme has been registered;

the imposing of penalties for breaches of such requirements;

the empowering of the Registrar to amend the Occupational Retirement Schemes Register, and to prescribe the payment of fees for changes in scheme particulars; to cancel registration of a scheme upon its termination or winding up; and to make rules relating to approval and notification procedures for changes.

Mr President, with these remarks, I commend the Occupational Retirement Schemes (Amendment) Bill to this Council.

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

12

Employment (Amendment) Bill 1995 introduced to LegCo *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Michael Leung, in moving the second reading of Employment (Amendment) Bill 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move the Second Reading of the Employment (Amendment) Bill 1995.

This Bill seeks to improve the amount of severance payment (SP) and long service payment (LSP) for long serving workers, and to rectify some ambiguities in the provisions of maternity leave and sickness allowance under the Employment Ordinance.

At present, an employee’s entitlement to severance payment and long service payment is calculated at the rate of two-thirds of a month's wages for each year of service, subject to a maximum limit of 12 months' wages or $180,000, whichever is the less. This arrangement has the effect of limiting the reckonable service of an employee to 18 years.

To enable long serving employees to earn severance payment and long service payment beyond 18 years, we now propose to remove the ceiling of 12 months' aggregate wages. The years of reckonable service for the calculation of SP and LSP will be increased from the current limit of 18 years to 25 years plus 50 percent of any remaining service immediately upon enactment of this Bill. This limit will be increased by two years on 1 October 1995 and every subsequent year until it reaches 43 years on 1 October 2003. There will be no ceiling as from 1 October 2004, which means that all years of service will be reckoned thereafter. The absolute payment ceiling will also be increased from the current limit of $180,000 to $210,000 when the amendment takes effect. This ceiling will be increased by $20,000 on 1 October 1995 and on 1 October of every subsequent year until it reaches $390,000 on 1 October 2003. This comprehensive and forward-looking package of improvements will provide substantial improvements to severance payment and long service payment immediately for our hardworking labour force and in the long term further enhancement of the benefits as this will raise both the absolute payment ceiling and the reckonable length of service on a gradual basis and within a definite time-table.

13

Let me now turn to the provisions on maternity protection. At present, a female employee who has been employed by the same employer under a continuous contract for a period of not less than 26 weeks shall be entitled to maternity leave. However, the law is silent on how to count the 26 weeks when the pregnant employee is about to take maternity leave. We propose to remove this ambiguity by specifying in the law that the 26-week period should be counted backward from the expected date of commencement of maternity leave. To improve protection to pregnant employees, we also propose to make late payment of maternity leave pay an offence liable to a maximum fine of $10,000.

Under the existing provisions of the Employment Ordinance, an employer is not liable to pay sickness allowance to an employee unless the employee meets the specific requirements in the Ordinance. Among other things, the day of sickness has to be specified in an appropriate medical certificate issued by a medical practitioner. However, as the law now stands, a medical certificate issued by a registered dentist is not regarded as an appropriate medical practition certificate. An employee having encountered a dental injury or received a dental surgical operation requiring a few days' sick leave is at present unable to receive any sickness allowance. To rectify this anomaly, we now propose to include the medical certificate issued by a registered dentist as a valid document for the purpose of claiming sickness allowance.

Mr President, the proposals in the Bill are the result of the very careful deliberations by the Labour Advisory Board (LAB). They contain further improvements to provisions in the earlier version of the Bill which was withdrawn before the Third Reading on 14 December 1994. Those earlier proposals had been recommended by the LAB and represented the delicate balance achieved through serious negotiations by the employers' and employees' representatives serving on the Board. We therefore felt it was essential to take the matter back to the LAB for further discussion. I should like to reassure this Council that the sole purpose was to enable us to consult the LAB again on the important issue of severance payment and long service payment. This new package of improvements put together by the LAB at two special meetings last month takes fully into account the interests of both the employers and the employees and the views of this Council and the community. I am pleased to note there has been general support for this new package.

I should like to take this opportunity to place on record my thanks to the members of the LAB for their understanding, co-operation and patience in the formulation of the package of proposals in this Bill. The progressive improvement to the LSP and SP with a definite timetable is a major step forward in improving employees' welfare.

I should also like to thank Members of the LegCo Manpower Panel for their support of the proposals in this Bill and I share their wish for a speedy passage through the Council today.

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

14

Employment (Amendment) Bill goes through three readings

*****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Michael Leung, in moving that the second reading debate on the Employment (Amendment) Bill 1995 should not be adjourned in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move under Standing Order 42(3A) that the second reading debate on this Bill shall not be adjourned and the debate be proceeded with now.

I am moving this motion to enable the above Bill to be passed in one single sitting today, so that all the improvements we have proposed for the provisions of Severance Payment and Long Service Payment, as well as the clarifications of the provisions for maternity leave and medical certificates under this Bill can take effect as soon as possible. The Labour Advisory Board, the Manpower Panel of this Council and representatives of the political parties whom 1 met in the last couple of weeks all expressed an earnest wish, which I also fully share, for the speedy enactment of the Bill.

I therefore propose that the three readings of the Bill should be taken in one sitting today to enable eligible workers to benefit from these proposals without any further delay. I commend this Bill to Members for passage in one sitting.

Thank you, Mr President.

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

15

Second reading of Buildings (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill ♦ * * ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Tony Eason, at the resumption of second reading debate on the Buildings (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1994 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I am grateful to the Honourable James Tien, the Chairman of the Bills Committee for supporting the Bill, and to all the other Members of the Bills Committee for their careful and detailed deliberations on this legislation in recent weeks.

The legislative proposal regarding hand-dug caissons is that they should be banned subject to certain exceptions. The legislation aims to protect the health and safety of caisson workers who are susceptible to pneumoconiosis, hearing impairment and serious accidents. A total ban could interfere with other types of manual excavation which are valid practices and do not need such controls.

Members of the Bills Committee were concerned that the exemption of hand-dug caissons of 3 metres deep or less might defeat the aim of the legislation to protect the health and safety of workers. I will move an amendment during the committee stage which will reduce the risk to workers working in hand-dug caissons up to 3 metres deep.

Another exemption proposed is where the use of hand-dug caissons is the only practical construction method or there is no other safe engineering alternative. The decision as to whether a hand-dug caisson proposal falls with the special circumstances and thus can be approved by the Building Authority will only be made after scrutiny by professional officers at least three levels. Further expert advice may also have to be sought. The Labour Department will also be informed of all approved building plans involving the use of hand-dug caissons so that it can monitor the situation. The provision is to cater for very exceptional circumstances and the restricted geotechnical situation of Hong Kong. In some cases, the use of machines may be more dangerous, especially on steep slopes.

The Administration will closely monitor the safety and health of caisson workers and will consider requiring employers to arrange for regular medical examinations of workers engaged in hand-dug caisson operations. The Administration will also keep statistics on all approved hand-dug caisson operations and will provide reports to this Council on a quarterly basis if required.

16

The provisions regarding hand-dug caissons will commence 12 months after the Bill is passed to enable the building industry to prepare for the ban.

Thank you, Mr President.

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995 *

Committee Stage of Buildings (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1994 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Tony Eason, at the Committee Stage Amendments of Buildings (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1994 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr Chairman,

I move that clauses 1(1), 3 and 6 of the Bill be amended as set out under my name in the paper circulated to Members.

The amendment to clause 1(1) changes the short title of the Ordinance following the arrival of the new year.

The amendment to clause 3 imposes an additional condition in relation to the exemption of hand-dug caissons which are 3 metres deep or less. As I have said previously, the Administration believes that it will reduce the risk to workers by providing for hand-dug caissons to be better ventilated. This amendment has been discussed and agreed by the Bills Committee.

The amendment to clause 6 amends the proposed sewage tunnel protection area from 100 metres from cither side of a sewage tunnel to 50 metres. After the Bill was published in the Gazette in September 1994, representations were made by the professional bodies that the proposed sewage tunnel protection area of 100 metres from cither side of a sewage tunnel was too wide. We have accepted this.

Thank you, Mr Chairman.

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

17

Securities and Futures Commission (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 1994 ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Michael Cartland, at the committee stage of the Securities and Futures Commission (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 1994 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr Chairman,

I move that the clause 1 and 4 as set out in the paper circulated to Members.

For the reason I have already explained, the Administration can accept deletion of the phrase ’is about to contravene’ which is the subject to these amendments.

Mr Chairman, I beg to move.

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

Leveraged Foreign Exchange Trading (Amendment) Bill 1994 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Michael Cartland, at the committee stage of the Leveraged Foreign Exchange Trading (Amendment) Bill 1994 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr Chairman,

I move that the clause specified be amended as set out in the paper circulated to Members.

For the reason I have already explained, we can accept deletion of the phrase ’is about to contravene’ which is the subject to this amendment.

Mr Chairman, I beg to move.

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

18

Two bills on SFC’s investigatory powers *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Michael Cartland, in the resumed second reading debate on the Securities and Futures Commission (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 1994 and the Leveraged Foreign Exchange Trading (Amendment) Bill 1994 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I am most grateful to the Honourable Peter Wong and other Members of the Bills Committee for the careful consideration given to the two Bills. The Bills aim at providing the legal basis for the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) to provide reciprocal investigatory assistance to overseas regulators under the Securities and Futures Commission Ordinance and the Leveraged Foreign Exchange Trading Ordinance.

I would like to emphasise with particular reference to the comments we have just heard from Mr Chim Pui-chung, that it is not the purpose of these two bills to widen the powers of the SFC. Under the two Bills, the investigatory powers given to the SFC to enable it to assist overseas regulators will be no wider than those presently available to the SFC under the two ordinances. In other words, cases presented by overseas regulators must involve circumstances similar to those which, had the cases arisen in Hong Kong, would have enabled the SFC to invoke its investigatory powers under the two ordinances.

The Bills Committee in this connection did express concern that the phrase "is about to contravene legal or regulatory requirements” in the proposed section 59A(l)(a) and (b) of the Securities and Futures Commission (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 1994 and the proposed section 63A(l)(a) and (b) of the Leveraged Foreign Exchange Trading (Amendment) Bill may give the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) broader powers of investigation that it has in local cases. These words had originally been adopted so that in certain circumstances a regulatory body could exercise its powers to prevent anticipated breaches of legal or regulatory requirements.

19

But in view of the comments of the Bills Committee, we have reconsidered the proposed wording and concluded that we can accept deletion of the phrase "is about to contravene”. I will therefore move, at the Committee Stage, amendments to this effect. With regard to the question of safeguards and checks and balances with reference to the powers of the SFC that was raised by Mr Chim, Mr Chim is in fact well aware of the existing channels of recourse and in fact he mentioned some of them. There is a formal Securities and Futures Commission appeals body appointed by the Governor which hears statutory appeals on specified matters against decisions of the SFC. The SFC is also subject to the purview of the ICAC and the Commissioner for Administrative Complaints . And there is also, as Mr Chim mentioned, the possibility of recourse to the courts the judicial review. The Administration’s view is that there are adequate checks and balances, but that obviously in all circumstances one cannot expect to please all the customers all of the time, and it's an inevitable fact of life. And that there will be those who're dissatisfied with the decisions and it's up to them to decide whether to take the recourses that are available. The Administration does look into complaints and will consider in future the possibility of amending or improving those checks and balances. That said, Mr President, I believe that the question of how the powers are exercised by the SFC is not raised by this bill because as I have indicated, these bills do not seek to widen these powers.

Mr President, in the light of those comments, I commend the Securities and Futures Commission (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 1994 and the Leveraged Foreign Exchange Trading (Amendment) Bill 1994 to Members.

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

Traffic accidents involving buses *****

Following is a question by the Hon Roger Luk Koon-hoo and a reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

Regarding the serious traffic accidents involving franchised buses in recent months, will the Administration inform this Council :

(a) whether such accidents have primarily been caused by human errors; and

(b) what measures are being taken by the operators to improve safety

standards?

20

Reply :

Mr President,

In 1994, there were 274 accidents involving franchised buses which resulted in fatalities and serious injuries. All these accidents have been investigated, although the outcome of some recent cases are still awaited. From the information available so far, it can be said that about 100 of these accidents can be attributed to errors on the part of bus drivers, mainly turning negligently at junctions, driving too fast or following other vehicles too closely.

All four franchised bus companies recognise the importance of safety. Newly recruited drivers are required to undergo a 4 to 6 weeks training programme and pass stringent driving tests set by both the bus companies and the Transport Department before they are allowed to drive a bus on the roads. Drivers are also required to take refresher training programmes and familiarisation training for new routes and new bus types. Their performance is monitored by inspectors who board buses. All bus companies have restrictions on working hours. Bus companies also have safe driving bonus schemes to promote safe driving amongst the drivers.

In response to recent bus accidents, the Administration has asked bus companies to exercise closer supervision of the performance of their bus drivers and to remind their drivers of the importance of road safety.

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

Labour disputes involving foreign domestic helpers *****

Following is a question by the Hon Mrs Peggy Lam and a reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Michael Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

Recently there has been an increase in the number of cases involving foreign domestic helpers who sued their employers for mistreatment, thus becoming able to stay in the territory legally and take up part- time employment whilst awaiting the completion of the litigation process. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council :

(a) of the number of such cases scheduled for hearing at present;

21

(b) of the average waiting time for such cases to be heard in court; and

(c) whether foreign domestic helpers are allowed to find jobs to make a living during the pre- hearing period?

Reply :

Mr President,

Foreign domestic helpers who wish to sue their employers for mistreatment may lodge their complaints with the Police, the Labour Department, the Labour Tribunal or the Minor Employment Claims Adjudication Board (MECAB). However, statistics are not kept specifically on foreign domestic helpers as a category of complaint. I am nevertheless advised by the Judiciary Administrator that the number of labour dispute cases involving foreign domestic helpers which are now awaiting adjudication by the Labour Tribunal is in the region of 500. 19 cases involving foreign domestic helpers are awaiting hearing by MECAB.

At present, the average length of time between the lodging of a claim with the Labour Tribunal and its adjudication is around 6.5 months. The waiting time for adjudication is expected to be reduced with the setting up of MECAB from 23 December last year.

Foreign domestic helpers whose contracts have been terminated prematurely may be allowed to remain on visitors' condition pending the hearing of their claims against their previous employers. As visitors, they are not allowed to take up employment during the periods of their permitted stay in Hong Kong.

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

Student representatives on councils of tertiary institutions *****

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Conrad Lam Kui-shing and a reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Michael Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

It is learnt that the boards of governors of individual tertiary institutions hold different attitudes towards student participation, and that this has given some students the impression that the boards of governors of their institutions are discriminating against them. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council :

22

(a) of the tertiary institutions in which students are represented on the institutions' boards of governors;

(b) how the respective numbers of student and staff representatives on these institutions' boards of governors are determined;

(c) whether the staff and student representatives on the institutions' boards of governors enjoy equal rights; if not, what are the institutions' reasons; and

(d) whether there are any tertiary institutions in which students are not represented on the institutions' boards of governors; if so, which are those institutions and what are the institutions' reasons for excluding student representatives on their boards of governors?

Reply:

Mr President,

It is understood that the question refers to the "Councils" of the tertiary institutions as the governing executive bodies, as set out in the Chinese version of the question. Accordingly, my reply is :

(a) The Administration understands that students are represented on the Councils of five of the tertiary institutions : namely the University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the City University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Baptist University and the Hong Kong Institute of Education.

(h) The numbers of student and staff representatives on the institutions' Councils arc specified in the respective Ordinances or Statutes of the institutions concerned.

(c) The Administration understands that both staff and student representatives of the Councils of the institutions ertfoy equal rights. However, different institutions have defined different areas of business where participation in discussion by individual members Is excluded. These concern mainly mutters affecting the appointment, promotion and other personnel matters relating to the stalT of the institutions as individuals as well as matters affecting the admission and academic assessment of students as Individuals,

23

(d) The Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Lingnan College, the Open Learning Institute of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts do not have student representatives on their Councils. The Administration understands that these institutions consider the existing channels for students to express their views to be both adequate and reasonable. There are extensive student representation on many of the institutions’ various Boards and Committees such as the Senate or Academic Board, Student Affairs Committee, Student Consultative Committee, etc. on which matters affecting students on different aspects are discussed on a regular basis.

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

Cases of teacher suicide ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Simon IP Sik-on and a reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Michael Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

It has been reported that at least four cases of Reacher suicide have occurred since the beginning of November last year. In this connection, will the Administration inform this Council whether it has conducted any investigations into teacher suicides to ascertain if there are any common factors in such suicides, if so, what the findings are?

Reply :

Mr President,

Police investigations into the four recent suicide cases involving teachers are still continuing. Nevertheless, the Education Department has conducted its own enquiries with the school authorities concerned to try to find out whether the deaths of these teachers were related to their work in schools. On the basis of the information thus revealed to the department, it appears that in at least three of the four cases, there is no such indication.

24

In the fourth case concerning a teacher at a Government school which has attracted some press coverage including suggestions that the deceased had been unfairly treated at work and over promotion, the department has interviewed the principal and some of the teachers of the school. It has also carefully reviewed the records on the deceased's work and performance. The department has concluded that there is no ground to support these suggestions.

However, we have to await the Police's investigation reports before the causes of these suicides may be identified.

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

Levy for Pneumoconiosis Compensation Fund *****

Following is a question by the Hon James Tien Pei-chun and a reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Michael Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

A resolution was passed by this Council on 21 July 1993 to increase the rate of levy for the Pneumoconiosis Compensation Fund by 15 times, raising it from 0.02% to 0.3%. At the meeting of the Leg£o Panel on Manpower held on 8 December 1994, officials of the Education and Manpower Branch disclosed that the Government would further raise the levy rate to 0.45%. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether, in considering the further increase of the levy rate to 0.45%, it has taken into account the impact of the new levy rate on the construction industry as well as sought the views of the construction sector;

(b) how long the levy rate at 0.45% will remain unchanged; and

(c) whether it will consider injecting funds into the Pneumoconiosis Compensation Fund to stabilise the levy rate in the long term, so as to avoid hampering the development of the construction industry?

25

Reply:

Mr President,

The LegCo Manpower Panel was briefed on 8 December 1994 on the need to raise the rate of levy for the Pneumoconiosis Compensation Fund from 0.3% to 0.45%. The position of the levy was further discussed at the meeting on 3 January 1995. An increase in the rate of the levy is necessary to ensure that it will be able to meet its long-term commitments. The possible need for this second phase of increase was already made known to this Council when the rate of levy was last increased from 0.02% to 0.3% in July 1993.

If the rate of levy remains unchanged, it is estimated that the Fund will run into a deficit in 1996 and 1997. The Pneumoconiosis Compensation Fund Board will not then be able to meet the payments due to all eligible beneficiaries.

As regards the 3 specific questions, first, the impact of the proposed increase in the rate of the levy on the construction industry is not expected to be significant. Assuming that the proposed rate of levy comes into effect on 1.4.95, our preliminary assessment is that the operating costs of the construction industry will be increased by 0.006% in 1995, by 0.041% in 1997 and 0.071% in 1999. The construction sector has been consulted on this proposed increase through the Pneumoconiosis Compensation Fund Board on which the Hong Kong Construction Association is also represented.

Second, the proposed levy rate of 0.45%, if implemented, will be kept under regular review, having regard to the actual income and expenditure of the Pneumoconiosis Compensation Fund. However, barring any unforeseen downturn in the construction industry, it is estimated that a levy rate of 0.45% will ensure that the Fund maintains a healthy balance well into the year 2000. The situation will need to be reassessed if further development, improvements are made to benefits payable to pneumoconiotics under the scheme.

Finally, the Pneumoconiosis Compensation Scheme is a collective liability scheme established for the specific purpose of providing compensation to post- 1981 pneumoconiotics through the Pneumoconiosis Compensation Fund. The Fund is to be financed by a levy on the building and construction industry and the quarry industry where the bulk of pneumoconiosis cases are detected. For this reason, there is no question for Government to inject funds into the Fund for the sake of stabilising the levy rate. Nevertheless, as I have stated in the earlier part of my answer, we will keep the levy rate regularly under review to ensure that the Fund can continue to honour its financial commitments without difficulty. In this connection, both the financial position of the Fund and the impact on the construction industry will be closely monitored, so that they can be taken into account when there is a need to revise the rate of levy further.

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

26

Public liability insurance being examined by Travel Industry Council

♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Fred Li and a reply by the Secretary for Trade and Industry, Mr T H Chau, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

There are at present quite a number of travel agents who have not taken out "public liability" insurance policies for their package tours. This often gives rise to problem in determining the responsibility for compensation in the event of an accident. Tourists on such tours are also not given adequate protection. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of the following :

(a) what immediate contingency measures and short- term solution does the Government have to tackle the problem in view of the approaching peak tourist season during the Lunar New Year; and

(b) whether the Government will, in the long term, consider introducing legislation requiring travel agents to take out "public liability" insurance policies for their package tours; if not, what the reasons are?

Reply :

Mr President,

In reply to part (a) of the Honourable Member’s question, we have discussed with the Travel Industry Council and the Consumer Council possible ways to improve protection for outbound travellers, in particular the need for insurance coverage for both outbound travellers and travel agents.

The Travel Industry Council has accepted in principle that travel agents should take out public liability insurance to protect their clients, and has appointed an ad hoc committee to consider possible options. The committee aims to submit its recommendations to the Travel Industry Council next month.

27

As an interim measure, the Travel Industry Council has asked its members to encourage their clients to take out travel insurance themselves and to provide them with detailed information on the travel insurance services available. It has also advised travel agents to disclose details of the insurance coverage included in the travel services provided to their clients. In addition, the Consumer Council and the Travel Industry Council have strengthened their publicity efforts to promote the awareness of travellers of the benefits of being covered by an insurance policy when travelling outside Hong Kong.

Regarding part (b) of the Honourable Member's question, as I have just mentioned, the issue of public liability insurance is being examined by the Travel Industry Council. In the light of the recommendations of the Travel Industry Council and the advice of the Advisory Committee on Travel Agents, the Government will consider whether it is necessary to introduce legislation requiring travel agents to take out public liability insurance for their package tours.

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

Implementation of Target Oriented Curriculum Programme *****

Following is a written question by the Hon Man Sai-cheong and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Michael Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

The Target Oriented Curriculum (TOC) programme will be introduced by the Government in Primary One classes in 70 primary schools with effect from September this year, and full implementation of the programme will take place in September 1996. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council :

(a) how the mechanism to be set up by the relevant authority to undertake periodic reviews of the TOC programme will operate, and

(b) what measures will be adopted by the Government to assess the effectiveness of the TOC programme?

- 28 -

Reply :

Mr President,

(a) The Director of Education intends to establish soon a Committee to monitor the phased introduction of the Target Oriented Curriculum (TOC) starting in the school year 1995-96. The membership of the Committee is being finalised, and is likely to include educationalists, school principals and teachers as well as parents. The Committee will meet regularly to monitor the progress of the implementation plan, identify problems arising from implementation and recommend solutions. It will also evaluate the effectiveness of TOC during implementation and advise the Director on future development.

(b) The effectiveness of TOC can be measured among the three target groups below using the following criteria -

(a) For Pupils

cognitive development - whether there is better

development in pupils' thinking and communication skills;

learning behaviour - whether there is more active,

pleasurable and effective participation in learning activities;

attitude - whether pupils' attitude towards school work is more positive, confident and independent;

achievements - whether pupils' achievements at the end of primary or secondary education are higher in terms of their ability to apply what they have learned in school to their daily life.

(b) For Schools and Teachers

• whether more effective teaching is being adopted through better planned and more stimulating approach, tailored to meet the pupils' abilities and needs.

29

(c)

whether parents are better informed about their children's progress, strengths and weaknesses in specific areas of learning and measures to deal with the weaknesses identified.

The means of measurement can include questionnaires, observations and assessments of performance in the three core subjects of Chinese, English and Mathematics. A decision on the specific techniques to be employed will be made after taking advice from the Monitoring Committee.

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

Part-time court interpreters *****

Following is a question by the Hon Moses Cheng Mo-chi and a written reply by the Chief Secretary, the Hon Mrs Anson Chan, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

The remuneration of part-time court interpreters is of a relatively low level which makes it difficult to attract suitable people to take up the job. In a recent trial of an assault case, the progress of the trial has been impeded because of difficulties in finding a part-time court interpreter who speaks the Wenzhou dialect. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council :

(a) of the number of times that part-time court interpreters were employed by the Judiciary in the past year;

(b) of the amount of money allocated to the Judiciary for employing part-time court interpreters this year, and whether the allocation is sufficient;

(c) of the current method of calculating the remuneration of part-time court interpreters; and whether such method of calculation differs from the method of calculating the remuneration of part- time interpreters employed by tribunals established by the Government such as the Insider Dealing Tribunal; if so, why there is such a difference; and

30

(d) whether the Government will review the remuneration system of part-time court interpreters shortly so as to attract suitable people to take up the job, thus ensuring that the normal operation of the court is not affected?

Reply:

Mr President,

The Judiciary engages part-time interpreters in cases where interpretation service cannot be provided by the full-time Court Interpreters. These are mostly cases involving foreign languages (other than English and Cantonese) or involving dialects not commonly spoken in Hong Kong. When interpretation is required for a foreign language or a dialect which is rarely spoken in Hong Kong, particularly when a trial is complex and involves technical subjects, the Judiciary has occasionally encountered difficulties in finding suitable interpreters. This is usually due to the scarcity of persons fluent in both English and the foreign language or dialect concerned. Many of these freelance interpreters have their own regular work and cannot spare the time to do the court interpretation at the specified time. The level of remuneration is not usually the problem, but where it appears to be a significant inhibiting factor in a particular case, the Judiciary Administrator may exercise her discretion to authorise a higher rate.

In the particular case referred to in the question, interpretation of the Wenzhou dialect was required. There were three freelance interpreters on the Judiciary's register at the time. However, one of them was away from Hong Kong at the time of the trial, and another declined to do the court interpretation for this case because he knew some of the people involved in it. The remaining interpreter was engaged by the Judiciary, but was objected to by the defence on the first day of the trial. The case, therefore, had to be adjourned. Another interpreter was subsequently engaged through a private sector agency.

The specific information requested in parts (a) to (d) of the question is as follows -:

(a) In the last financial year, the total number of times that part-time interpreters were engaged by the Judiciary was 9,402, involving a total of 24,700 man-hours of work.

31

(b) The amount of money allocated to the Judiciary for employing part-time interpreters in the current financial year is $4.63 million. This is likely to be inadequate because of an unexpected increase in demand for foreign language interpreters. To quote an example, there was a recent 398-day trial which required interpretation for a significant number of Vietnamese-speaking witnesses.

(c) The current rate of remuneration of part-time court interpreters engaged by the Judiciary is the same as that applicable to other non-govemment interpreters engaged by government departments. The Judiciary’s rate is determined by reference to the market rate, although the two rates are not strictly comparable, as the market rate also cover elements like overheads, profit margin, etc which are not applicable in the case of the Judiciary’s rate. The method of calculating the remuneration of part-time interpreters employed by tribunals under the Administration follows that adopted by the Judiciary. Special rates may be paid in some particular cases heard by these tribunals, having regard to their complexity and technical nature.

(d) The rate of remuneration of part-time interpreters is reviewed every two years. A review is currently being conducted. The Judiciary is also reviewing the feasibility of engaging staff on a contract basis for the provision of foreign language interpretation which has become increasingly common in the courts, such as Tagalog interpretation.

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

Role of Securities Clearing Company ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Chim Pui-chung and a written reply by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Michael Cartland, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council whether:

(a) it is aware of the organisational structure of the clearing house operating under the Hong Kong Stock Exchange; if so, what the organisational structure is; and

32

(b)

it will consider allowing investors to open accounts directly with the clearing house; if so, whether there will be any government department responsible for handling complaints lodged by investors who have suffered losses; if not, what the reasons are?

Answer:

(a)

(b)

The Government is aware of the organisational structure of the Hong Kong Securities Clearing Company Ltd (Clearing Company). It is a non-profit distributing company, incorporated for the purpose of establishing and operating a centralised securities clearing and settlement system for Hong Kong. The primary function of the Clearing Company is to provide services for the clearing and settlement of transactions in securities admitted into the Central Clearing and Settlement System (CCASS) and effected on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Ltd. (the Stock Exchange).

The Clearing Company is a company limited by guarantee of HK$50 million and has six members: the Stock Exchange, Bank of China, Hang Seng Bank Ltd, Standard Chartered Bank, The Bank of East Asia Ltd and The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd. The Stock Exchange provides 50% of the guarantee and each of the member banks provides 10%.

It is governed by a Board of Directors comprising 10 Stock Exchange appointees, an appointee from each of the live member banks, five directors appointed by the Financial Secretary to represent the public interest, and the Chief Executives of the Stock Exchange and the Clearing Company.

The Clearing Company was designed to provide "wholesale" automated clearing and settlement services to financial intermediaries, such as stockbrokers and banks. Investors are not able directly to participate in CCASS. They must use financial intermediaries, such as stockbrokers and custodians, to access Clearing Company services.

The question of allowing investors to open accounts directly with CCASS is one which would continue to be reviewed by the Clearing Company and the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). The matter requires considerable thought and analysis. The following issues, among others, would need to be addressed.

33

One of the main roles of the Clearing Company is to act as settlement counterparty to all stockbrokers. This role controls the systemic risks of broker defaults. If investors were to participate in CCASS, they would add risk and cost to CCASS operations. Investor access to CCASS would require consideration of what risk management measures would apply to investors and how much they would be required to pay to participate in CCASS. This raises the question of whether investors would be willing to pay the necessary costs.

The Securities (Clearing Houses) Ordinance would need to be reviewed to determine whether legislative amendments would be necessary if the Clearing Company were to change its role from being a wholesale clearing house to also become a retail clearing house.

Another question is whether the Clearing Company is the appropriate entity to provide investors with access to CCASS. This question requires analysis of the appropriate roles of not only the Clearing Company, but also the Stock Exchange and listed companies and their registrars who under the Companies Ordinance are responsible for recording and transferring ownership interests of the company shareholders.

Investors participation in CCASS would not be a panacea. Even if investors were to have direct access to CCASS, they would still remain at risk during the settlement process if a broker or custodian has defaulted or become incapacitated.

The handling of complaints lodged by investors concerning market matters rests primarily with the Stock Exchange and the SFC. An investor who has suffered pecuniary loss as a result of any act done in the course of, or in connection with, the stockbroking business of a stockbroker in relation to any money or securities entrusted to the stockbroker or his employees may claim compensation from the Compensation Fund pursuant to section 109 of the Securities Ordinance. The Compensation Fund is set up by legislation, funded in part by transaction levy and administered by the Stock Exchange and the SFC.

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

34

Local workers employed on new airport project ♦ ♦ * * ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Henry Tang Ying-yen and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Michael Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

Regarding the employment of construction workers for the Chek Lap Kok Airport project, will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the number of local construction workers who have been interviewed for employment by the project contractors since the commencement of the construction works; among these workers, how many have been employed and what are the main positions in which they are employed; how many have been rejected and what are the reasons for rejection; and

(b) the respective numbers of illegal workers who have been arrested and contractors who have been charged since the commencement of the construction works?

Reply :

Mr President,

Up to 31 December 1994, a total of 11,962 construction workers have been employed on the Chek Lap Kok airport project and other Airport Core Programme (ACP) projects. Of this total, 8,751 or 73.2 per cent arc local workers. It has been a long-standing tradition of the local construction industry that workers are employed directly by contractors and subcontractors on a contract by contract basis. The employment of construction workers for ACP works follows the same pattern. For this reason, very few local construction workers use the Local Employment Service (LES) of the Labour Department as a channel to seek employment. The total number of construction workers who are registered with the LES at any one time is about 200.

We therefore do not have any statistics on the number of local workers who were interviewed by the ACP project contractors and the number of such workers who were not offered employment. However, in accordance with the arrangement under the existing special labour importation scheme for ACP projects, employers who wish to import labour are required to register their vacancies with the Local Employment Service (LES) of Labour Department for a minimum period of four weeks in order that local workers are given first priority to apply for them. Labour Department will also send such information to the construction workers' union, inviting their members to make use of the Department's employment service or to make direct referrals to the contractors concerned. These measures have been in place since October 1992.

35

Up to now, a total of 539 referrals of local construction workers have been made to contractors for selection interview through the LES. In addition, the Construction Industry Employees General Union and the Shipbuilding, Machinery and Steel Industries Employees General Union have made 103 direct referrals to the contractors. As a result, a total of 105 of such referrals have resulted in employment.. 480 have been rejected by the contractors for various reasons, including inappropriate working experience and poor performance during the interviews, 28 have declined offers and 29 are still waiting for the results.

Local construction workers for ACP projects have been employed mainly in positions such as carpenters, concreters, crew, electricians, bar-benders, welders, skilled and unskilled labourers.

So far, no illegal workers have been arrested at the Chek Lap Kok airport project site. No ACP contractors have so far been charged for employing illegal immigrants.

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

Special team co-ordinates hiring of local workers for airport project

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Pang Chun-hoi and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Michael Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

Will the Government inform this Council whether it will consider setting up a special division in the Labour Department responsible for co-ordinating the recruitment of local workers for the New Airport Project and stepping up publicity for such work, so as to ensure that local workers are accorded priority in employment?

36

Reply:

Mr President,

At present, the Tsuen Wan Office of the Local Employment Service of Labour Department is co- ordinating efforts in the recruitment of local workers for the New Airport and related Projects. Additional resources have been earmarked in 1995-96 for the establishment of a special placement team comprising 1 Labour Officer, 2 Assistant Labour Officers and 2 Clerical Officers in the Labour Department to strengthen co-ordination of the work in the recruitment of local workers for the Airport Core Programme Projects and to step up publicity on such work.

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

Enforcement action and publicity to combat hawking of counterfeit goods *****

Following is a question by the Hon Howard Young and a written reply by the Secretary for Trade and Industry, Mr T H Chau, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether the Government is aware that there are many hawkers selling counterfeit goods of famous brand names in tourist areas such as Tsim Sha Tsui; and

(b) what actions the Government will take to eradicate these illegal activities in the tourist areas so that Hong Kong’s reputation as the ’’shoppers’ paradise" will not be damaged?

Reply :

Mr President,

The Government is aware of the problem, but the operational experience of the Customs and Excise Department indicates that only a small proportion of hawkers in tourist areas are engaged in selling counterfeit goods.

37

To combat this problem, the Customs and Excise Department conducts frequent raids on hawker black spots, gathers intelligence from trade mark owners and liaises closely with other Government departments, such as the Police and the Urban Services Department, in operations against hawking of counterfeit goods. In 1994, there were 356 counterfeiting cases involving hawkers, resulting in seizure of 40,906 items valued at $2.37 million.

In addition to street-level operations, the department also conducts raids against places where counterfeit goods are stored. In 1994, 62 storage places were detected, resulting in 68 arrests and the seizure of 616,178 items valued at $24.15 million.

Apart from enforcement action, publicity has also been stepped up to emphasise that counterfeiting is an offence and that the availability of counterfeit goods in Hong Kong damages Hong Kong's international reputation.

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

Scheme to reduce frequency of night shift for nurses ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Michael Ho and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the Continuous Night Shift Scheme implemented by the Hospital Authority in mid-1994 to minimise the wastage of nurses, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of hospitals in the territory which have applied to join this scheme and the respective numbers of nurses who have been given approval to join this scheme in each of the participating hospitals;

(b) what are the criteria adopted by the Hospital Authority to appraise the applications filed by the hospitals;

(c) whether there are any hospitals whose applications to join the scheme have been turned down, if so, what the reasons are;

38

(d) of the total resources allocated by the Hospital Authority to this scheme together with a breakdown of the resources allocated to each participating hospital; and

(e) when this scheme will be reviewed; and how the Government will monitor and assess its effectiveness?

Reply:

As at January 12, 1995, 117 nurses in 16 public hospitals have joined the Continuous Night Shift Scheme. A detailed breakdown is attached.

Since the key objective of this scheme is to reduce the frequency of night shift for nurses to an average of once per week, the applications filed by individual hospitals are evaluated by the Hospital Authority Head Office based on their operational requirements and the expected outcome. So far only one application was rejected.

The Hospital Authority has provided sufficient resources for individual hospitals to carry out the service targets contained in their business plans. Hospitals implementing the scheme are operating within their annual budget but additional resources could be allocated to them if necessary. A review of the effectiveness of the scheme is expected to be completed by February 1995.

39

Breakdown of Hospitals Implementing the

Continuous Night Shift Scheme as at 12 January 199.5

Hospital

Prince of Wales Hospital

United Christian Hospital

Tsan Yuk Hospital Caritas Medical Centre Tuen Mun Hospital Tung Wah Hospital Queen Mary Hospital St John Hospital Kwong Wah Hospital Princess Margaret Hospital Yan Chai Hospital Grantham Hospital Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital Nam Long Hospital Queen Elizabeth Hospital

No of Staff

14

4

10

2

10

1

17

1

9

2

10

2

9

117

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

40

Construction insurance for new airport

*****

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Samuel Wong Ping-wai and a written reply by the Secretary for Works, Mr James Blake, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It is learnt that the reclaimed land on which the Kansai International Airport in Osaka, Japan is sited has been continuously subsiding since the airport came into operation. This has led to many people in the territory worrying about whether the same problem would happen in the Chek Lap Kok New Airport. Although officials from the New Airport Projects Co-ordination Office have stated that the soil of the two sites and the reclamation methods employed are different, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether it will consider requiring the Provisional Airport Authority (PAA) and the contractors for the project to take out insurance for the runways during the construction period and after they are brought into use, so that adequate compensation can be claimed to cover the repair cost of the runways and associated facilities in case of a subsidence; and

(b) whether, in considering the safety and operation of the runways, the PAA will, apart from adopting the design provided by the project consultants or contractors, invite a third party such as an insurance company to conduct an independent assessment of the safe operation of the runways; if not, what the reasons are?

41

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) As mentioned in our reply to a Member’s question raised on 10 November 1993, the unique experience at the new Kansai Airport in Japan is not applicable to Chek Lap Kok. There is no evidence so far of the reclamation site having problems with soil settlement. Based on studies of other major reclamation works and observations on a test embankment constructed at Chek Lap Kok in 1982, the Provisional Airport Authority (PAA) adopted a technique which involved the removal of upper layers of soft marine mud. With this removed, it is estimated that the average settlement of reclamation areas will be between 40 and 50 centimetres over a long period. Prediction of settlement, in particular the rate at which it occurs, is always difficult because of variations in geological conditions. Instrumentation has therefore been installed to monitor settlement as reclamation progresses and results so far confirm that the settlement is performing within our expectations. Provision has already been made to accelerate settlement by mechanical means or surcharge, which are normal practices in Hong Kong.

The responsibility for settlement performance lies with the platform designers, while designers for follow-on works such as runways, drainage and so on must ensure that their designs take into account anticipated settlements. The Government is satisfied that the PAA have, through their consultants or contractors, sufficient insurance in place to cover the design and construction of the new airport. Details on the construction insurance as advised by PAA is as follows -

(i) The Government requires the PAA to effect and maintain through their consultants or contractors, Professional Indemnity insurance in respect of design of the airport project which, subject to availability, is to continue in effect for a period up to 10 years after completion of the project;

(ii) Greiner Maunsell, the Master Plan Consultants, who were responsible for preparation of the design of the Airport Platform, have Professional Indemnity insurance in place under their Agreement with the PAA dated 14 July 1990; and

42

(iii) Mitchell, McFarlane Brentall & Partners International Limited and WS Atkins & Partners, Overseas, the designers of the airport runways and pavements, also have Professional Indemnity insurance up to the maximum available in the international insurance market of ? 10 million which is to be maintained (to the extent that it continues to be available) for a period of 12 years after completion of the works.

(b) The new airport will require an Aerodrome Licence from the Director of Civil Aviation prior to opening for normal commercial operations. This will include the need to confirm the runway is safe for full operation. The Government and the PAA arc currently considering the procedures that will be involved to complete the Aerodrome Licence process.

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

Services for elderly mental patients *****

Following is a question by Dr the I Ion Lam Kui-chun and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It is reported that 30 per cent of the elderly people in the territory, totalling over 160,000, suffer from mental illness of varying degrees. However, there are only 20 psychogeriatric practitioners and five outrcaching teams for psychogeriatric services in the territory. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council :

(a) of the measures to be taken to enhance the provision of services for the elderly suffering from mental illness, and

(b) whether additional resources will be provided for the development of different types of psychogeriatric rehabilitation services, such as extending the scope of services of the outreaching teams beyond providing services in the care and attention homes?

43

Reply :

Most of the mental illnesses suffered by elderly people in Hong Kong are mild in nature and can be appropriately treated by primary care physicians.

For the elderly with more,severe mental illness which require specialist psychiatric care, a comprehensive spectrum of services are available in the public sector including acute care, extended care, ambulatory care and community care. These services are staffed by well qualified psychiatrists, psychologists, psychiatric-nurses, occupational therapists, social workers and other health care workers in the medical as well as social welfare services.

The Hospital Authority has developed psychogeriatric services as a subspecialty development of psychiatry. The intention of establishing these teams is to offer expert care to special cases, and especially to develop outreach community care programmes. This will augment the quality of care by ensuring continuity of care through close collaboration with other carers and by providing appropriate early detection and intervention of patients with special mental illness. For the most cost-effective use of resources, these teams are currently concentrating on the larger elderly homes where they can sec more patients per visit, and train up the staff to better care for a larger number of patients.

The Working Group on Care for the Elderly has recommended that four additional psychogeriatric teams be set up to cater for projected demand. I o this end, funds have already been secured for the Hospital Authority to set up a new psychogeriatric team in 1995/96 to serve the eastern part of Hong Kong. Funds for the remaining three teams will be sought.

End/Wcdnesday. January 18, 1995

Operation of highways maintenance vehicles ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following Is a question by Rev the Hon Fung Chi-wood and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport. Mr Haider Burma. in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

On the folo Highway on 4 December last mtr. a truck smashed into the rear of a highway maintenance vehicle which hud u big arrow signal light on display, t he truck pushed the vehicle forward for more than 100 metres before it stopped, and the truck driver sustained serious injuries and died. In connection with this, will the Government Inform this Council :

44

(a) of the details of the accident and the location at which the highway maintenance vehicle was parked;

(b) whether the operation of highway maintenance vehicles as well as road sweepers is a common cause giving rise to traffic accidents; and

(c) whether the Government has issued any guidelines on the safe operation of such vehicles; and whether consideration will be given to introducing further safety measures?

Reply

Mr President, I

(a) This traffic accident occurred at about 3.30 pm on 4 December 1994. A Highways Department contractor was collecting traffic signs and cones from the fast lane of the Tolo Highway northbound near the Ma Liu Shui interchange with the Tate's Cairn Highway, following completion of road maintenance works at that location. Part of the lane was closed to traffic at that time. To draw motorists attention to this, advance warning signs were placed at both sides of the northbound carriageway at 600, 400, 200 and 100 metres before the beginning of closed part of the lane. In addition, vehicle equipped with a yellow flashing arrow sign was positioned at the start of the closed section, to direct traffic into the adjacent lane.

Despite these warning signs, a light goods vehicle crashed into the rear of the sign vehicle and pushed it forward about 36 metres before it came to a halt. The accident resulted in a fatal injury to the driver of the light goods vehicle, slight injury to the driver of the sign vehicle and serious damage to both vehicles.

(b) The operation of highways maintenance vehicles, including road sweepers, is not a common cause of traffic accidents.

(c) The Code of Practice for the Lighting, Signing and Guarding of Road Works contains clear guidelines for the safety of road works and for the operation of road maintenance vehicles. The code includes special requirements for work on expressways. This document is currently being reviewed by Highways Department, Transport Department and the Police with a view to improving road safety requirements. The measures being considered include the mounting of strobe lights on maintenance vehicles 4.5 metres above road level to make them more visible to drivers at a greater distance.

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

45

Widening of footpath along Cenotaph square ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Jimmy McGregor and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council whether it will take steps to widen the pavement running along the North wall of the Cenotaph square (on the southern side of Connaught Road Central) to allow safer movement of pedestrians?

Reply

Mr President,

The section of footpath in Connaught Road Central north of the Cenotaph is about one metre wide. While this may seem quite narrow, the footpath is not heavily used. Widening the footpath would require setting back the existing wall and reducing the size of the Cenotaph square turfed area.

We will study this proposal further in consultation with concerned departments, taking account of the need to ensure pedestrian safety. I will write to the Honourable Member on the outcome in due course.

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

Drafting of telecoms ’’self-provision" licence completed * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Albert Chan Wai-yip and a written reply by the Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Gordon Siu, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It is stated in the Policy Commitments of the 1994 Policy Address that the Government will issue licences to allow companies and organisations to provide their own "external circuits for intra-corporate telecommunications" in the early part of this year. In connection with this, will the Government inform this Council:

46

(a) what is the progress so far in the issue of such licences and what are the terms for granting such a licence; and

(b) what companies and organisations are eligible to apply for such a licence?

Reply:

(a) The drafting of the new "self-provision" licence is substantially completed. We have circulated the draft licence to the

telecommunications industry for consultation and are considering, together with the Law Draftsman, the comments received for incorporation into the proposed licence.

As regards the terms of the licence, the licence will permit the licensee to set up an external private circuit, such as by satellite, for its own communications use. The licensee will not be allowed to offer any external public telecommunications service and the self-provided circuit will not be allowed to be connected to any public telecommunications network in Hong Kong unless for the specific purpose of connecting up the various locations of the licensee's business in Hong Kong as approved by the Telecommunications Authority.

(b) Any legal person such as a company or an organisation is eligible to apply for a licence. A licence will be granted if the Telecommunications Authority is satisfied that the licence conditions could reasonably be complied with.

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

47

Office market being closely monitored

*****

Following is a question by Dr the Hon David Li Kwok-po and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Tony Eason, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

The "Review of the Office Market" prepared by the Planning, Environment and Lands Branch does not recommend any administrative measures to stabilise office prices/rents in the short term. However, in the Government's June 1994 announcement, the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, mentioned that, having implemented measures intended to cool residential prices, the commercial property market is now subject to the attention of the property task force. The Government has not stated categorically that their November 1994 announcement has superseded their June 1994 announcement and investors are left to wonder as to whether or not there would be Government intervention in the commercial property market. Moreover, Hong Kong office rentals are the highest compared with its major competitors in the Asia-Pacific Region, making Hong Kong the most expensive business centre in the Region. Although the supply will increase significantly after 1996, there is no indication that the rentals will drop significantly as the demand remains strong. Will the Government inform this Council, besides increased supply, what other short-term and medium-term measures will be implemented to monitor the commercial property market on one hand, and ease the pressure of rental increase on the other?

Answer:

In July 1994, a Working Group was established under the Task Force on Land Supply and Property Prices to review the commercial property market. The objectives of the review were to establish whether there was a problem and, if so, to recommend measures to ameliorate the situation. The Report on the Review of the Office Market, published in November 1994, concluded that there was no case for Government intervention in the office market, but there was a need to monitor the situation.

Since then, we have been monitoring the office market closely. A Report entitled "Updated Property Market Statistics for the Domestic and Office Sectors" is compiled monthly by the Rating and Valuation Department. In order to make the Report more comprehensive, we have recently included a rental index for selected office developments, a report on supply and a forecast of supply of office premises.

48

The statistics suggest that office rentals have softened since the last quarter of 1994. This is attributed to increased supply and a slight fall in demand. Some 500,000 sq m of office space were completed in 1994, which is 21% more than in 1993. The forecast supply for 1995 and 1996 totals about 950,000 sq m. and substantial additional supply is expected to come on stream later. While the supply of Grade A accommodation in core Central will remain tight during the next two years or so, there will be a healthy supply in other districts. This, coupled with the supply coming from composite industrial/office buildings, should be sufficient to meet demand in the years to come.

Despite rising rents, the number of overseas companies operating in Hong Kong has continued to increase since 1991. This reflects our underlying competitiveness and the fact that rent is only one of several key operating costs. With businesses continuing to find Hong Kong an attractive place to operate and given the healthy supply forecast, we still see no need for Government intervention now or in the foreseeable future. Close monitoring of the situation will continue however.

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

LegCo passes Wong Wai Tsak Tong motion

*****

An amended motion urging the Government to introduce legislative measures expeditiously to resolve the dispute relating to Wong Wai Tsak Tong's land ownership on Cheung Chau and to revoke the Tong's status as the leaseholder, so as to restore the property rights of the affected residents, was passed at the Legislative Council sitting today Wednesday).

The motion was introduced by the Hon Lee Wing-tat with amendments proposed by the Hon Edward Ho and the Hon Tam Yiu-chung.

After Members spoke on the motion, the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Tony Eason, replied for the Government.

Another motion urging the Government to assist first-time home buyers in getting preferential bank loans at 90 per cent of property prices was also passed.

The motion was proposed by the Hon Frederick Fung with amendments sought by the Hon Alfred Tso.

The Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic Wong, replied for the Government.

49

During the sitting, five bills including one private member’s bill were passed with amendments.

These bills were the Employment (Amendment) Bill 1995, the Buildings (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 1994, the Securities and Futures Commission (Amendment) (No.2) Bill 1994, the Leveraged Foreign Exchange Trading (Amendment) Bill 1994 and the private member's bill - the Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden Corporation Bill.

The Employment (Amendment) Bill 1995 went through the first, second and third readings in one single sitting. Speaking at the second reading debate on this bill, the Hon Lau Chin-shek announced that he would resign as a Legislative Council Member with effect from tomorrow (Thursday).

The Film Censorship (Amendment) Bill 1995 and the Occupational Retirement Schemes (Amendment) Bill 1995 were introduced for first and second readings with debates on them adjourned.

The Secretary for Security, Mr Alistair Asprey, presented the Report by the Controller, Government Flying Service on the Administration of the Government Flying Service Welfare Fund for the year ended March 31, 1994.

The Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Michael Leung, presented the Hong Kong Examinations Authority Financial Statements for the year ended August 31, 1994 with Programme of Activities September 1, 1993 to August 31, 1994.

End/Wednesday, January 18, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 842 8777

Friday, January 20,1995

Cunknts Eage No,

Consensus in community on Court of Final Appeal........................... 1

Transcript of Governor’s media session.................................... 1

Investment in social structure............................................ 3

Transcript of Chief Secretary's media session............................. 5

One nomination received for LegCo by-election............................. 6

Two nominations for MC elections received today........................... 6

Technical review board set up to advise on slope safety................... 7

HK provides to US estimate of 301 Action's impact on economy......... 8

Infrastructure Co-ordinating Committee................................... 10

Enhancement of rights accorded priority.................................. 10

Investigation of complaints against the Municipal Councils............... 14

/Airmail will....

Contents

Page No,

Airmail will be delayed by Kansai quake................................ 15

Safety first in removal of dangerous signs............................. 15

Correctional Services thanked for hard work................................ 16

New flyover along Tong Mi Road open to traffic............................. 17

Design of reclamation and edge structures of CT 10 & 11 commissioned ... 18

Value of manufacturers' orders-on-hand in November 1994.................... 19

Payroll and wage statistics for September 1994 ..........................   21

Construction output statistics for 3rd quarter of 1994..................... 24

New access road in Ma On Shan proposed..................................... 25

HIV/AIDS situation in 1994................................................. 26

Amendments to Central road works proposed................................   27

Pre-qualification application for rebuilding of Tai Tam Road invited... 27

Laying of effluent discharge pipework for Tsing Lung Tau................... 28

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations....................... 29

1

Consensus in community on Court of Final Appeal * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

There is a consensus in the community that the Court of Final Appeal should be set up as soon as possible so that there can be available after 1997 a court with experience of working and establishing a body of jurisprudence, the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, said today (Friday).

In reply to questions by reporters on the Court of Final Appeal after officiating at the Correctional Services Department’s annual inspection, the Governor said the consensus was that it should be in line with the Joint Declaration, the Basic Law and with the 1991 agreement.

Noting that the Chinese side have had a copy of the Court of Final Appeal Bill since last May, Mr Patten said: "The first thing we’re looking for, of course, is a reasonably early response from the Chinese side.”

"If the Executive Council agree on Tuesday to make certain amendments to the proposed bill, we'll be sending those to Chinese officials as rapidly as possible," he added.

"We’ve got to give the Legislative Council the time to give the legislation proper care and proper debate, and, of course, we want to mobilise as much consent in the profession and as much agreement in the community as possible," he said.

End/Friday, January 20, 1995

Transcript of Governor’s media session ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The following is the transcript of the media session by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, after officiating at the Correctional Services Department's annual parade today (Friday):

Governor: I am delighted to have this opportunity today of paying another tribute to the Correctional Services Department who do such an excellent job for Hong Kong. We depend on them both in the camps for Vietnamese migrants and in our prisons, and I want to say how grateful I am for everything they do and pay a, particularly, warm tribute to the Commissioner who has done so much for Hong Kong. Thank you very much.

2

Question: What's your reaction to Lau Shan Ching's winning of the legal battle?

Governor: Well, the judge has announced his decision. He hasn't yet let us have his full comprehensive written decision and, I think, we'll all be well advised not to comment until we have seen it. Obviously, we'll want to read what the judge has said and study it in detail.

Question: Two things about the VMs. First of all, what suggestion is the Hong Kong Government going to put forward in next month's summit in Jakarta, and secondly, after the Vietnamese have learnt that they are going to be repatriated as soon as possible, what instructions does the CSD have to release the tension in the camps ...?

Governor: Well, on the second point, first, the CSD has a difficult job in carrying through these repatriations. We carry them out in as caring and careful a way as possible. We've seen some of the consequences alas of that. In the last operation, in which some of those concerned took extremely unfortunate advantage of the fore knowledge they had received about their moves, but I think the Correctional Services Department always learning from their experience of these operations, do a great deal to calm the atmosphere and to encourage those who're travelling to do so peacefully. We have just carried out the largest single mandatory repatriation, over a hundred returning to Vietnam this week. And I hope that's a sign of things to come. I got no doubt at all that the mandatory programme is extremely important to the voluntary programme. We haven't had as big figures for the voluntary programme this year, and that I have no doubt is partly because there was a gap of about five months, for we had to hold the mandatory programme for understandable reasons after White Head. On the first point, we do think it is important to give the CPA some additional impetus and momentum. So we were very pleased at the UNHCR's decision to appoint a new regional co-ordinator, Mr de Mello, who has a very distinguished reputation, who knows about some of the problems in the region. And we trust that will enable us all to work more successfully in the region to deal with what is a common problem.

Question: In regard to the Court of Final Appeal dispute, now the two professional groups had different opinion, as you know, how would the government manage ... this scenario?


3

Governor: Well, I think there is a consensus in the community that we should set up a court in line with the agreements, the Joint Declaration, in line with the Basic Law, in line with the 1991 agreement, that we should set up a court and have a court running as soon as possible, and certainly before 1997, so that there can be available to the SAR Government and the community after 1997 a court with experience of working, with the early experience of establishing a body of jurisprudence. I think there is general agreement about that. What we want to do is to proceed at a reasonable pace. We've got to give the Legislative Council the time to give the legislation proper care and proper debate. And. of course, we want to mobilise as much consent in the profession and as much agreement in the community as possible. The first thing we’re looking for, of course, is a reasonably early response from the Chinese side. They've had a copy of our bill since last May. If the Executive Council agree on Tuesday to make certain amendments to the proposed bill, we'll be sending those to Chinese officials as rapidly as possible. I understand that they want to scrutinise the bill carefully, but I hope they'll be able to give us a reply very soon.

Question: Also about the VMs, after the meeting in Hanoi, they decided that measures will be introduced so that the migrants will get more accurate data on themselves. What are those measures?

Governor: Well, they're principally ensuring that the biodata which is given by VMs is accurate. It's a way of ensuring that accurate information and not just what the VMs arc saying, which may or may not be accurate, is in the hands of the Vietnamese authorities because there is some experience of VMs making up biodata in order to try to ensure that the Vietnamese authorities decline to have them back. OK. Thank you very much indeed.

End/Friday, January 20, 1995

Investment in social structure *****

The Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, said today (Friday) that more investments had been put in Hong Kong's social structure to improve the quality of life, which would in a way enhance the territory's economic success.

Speaking at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce luncheon, the Chief Secretary added that the Government was committed to tailoring increases in public expenditure to the increase in GDP growth so that taxes could be kept low to attract businessmen.

4

"It is the combination of strong economic growth, high rewards and low taxation taken together with the stability provided by a healthy, well-educated and contented workforce which creates the magnet that Hong Kong represents for businessmen the world over,” she said.

"I believe that it is our job to provide good government, a sound legal system, comprehensive physical and social infrastructure, and a business friendly environment.

"As Hong Kong becomes more affluent, it is only natural that our people should ask for more to be spent to improve the quality of life here.

"And it is only right that the Government should respond by putting more money into health, welfare and education," she said.

’ The investment in social structure serves to demonstrate that Hong Kong is a caring community, she added.

On investment on the health side, Mrs Chan said funding for health in 1994/95 had increased by about seven per cent to $17 billion over the year before; land had been given for a Hong Kong-Canadian joint venture to build a hospital; four more new public hospitals would be built in the New Territories at $4.8 billion which would provide an extra 2,700 beds by 1999 and a new Student Health Service at $18 million would be introduced by the end of this year.

On welfare services, to quote some examples, the Government will put in $37 million in 1995/96 rising to $108 million in 1999-2000 on providing care for the elderly; an additional $190 million in 1995/96, on top of the $909 million this year, will be spent on strengthening support for families; and $100 million extra in 1995/96 will be pul in to improve the social security safety net for those who cannot look after themselves.

As for education, a total of $14.7 billion is being spent in 1994/95 to improve the quality of education.

Tihe Chief Secretary added that a working group to look into the direction of international schools would provide more information when it completed its work by the end of May.

End/Frid ay. January 20. 1995

5

Transcript of Chief Secretary's media session ’ *****

Following is the transcript of the media session by the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, after attending the Canadian Chamber of Commerce luncheon today (Friday):

Question: Mrs Chan, can you comment on the high public cost of keeping an empty holiday home?

CS: I am not sure there is any public cost because there is no security. The quarter is just locked up. I accept that we can probably make better use of the facility. I haven't actually found time since I took up the Chief Secretary job to call on the new facility and I don't, in the foreseeable future, intend to use it. So I've asked for an examination to be made as to whether the bungalow might be made available for other civil servants as a holiday home. And if not, there might be other uses, but I certainly intend to make better use of the facility.

Question: But people like rooftop dwellers are obviously feeling very angry when they read about these things, when they took up their things.

CS: Well, bearing in mind that this is, I believe, originally 1 haven't looked at the background of this bungalow. The bungalow actually was used by Sir David Ford. And, as I said, since 1 took up the Chief Secretary post, I haven’t used it. But it was previously actually a store room.

Question: Sorry, you read an statement in Cantonese. 1 didn't catch that. What was that involved when you came out and you spoke in Cantonese?

CS: Oh, it was about the burglary. 1 was saying, first of all. thank you for your concern, that I haven't had time to go out to use the facility, that I don't intend, in the foreseeable future, to use the facility. And I'm asking for ... to see whether there are better uses for the facility, for example, as a holiday home for other civil servants.

' 'J

End/Friday, January 20. 1995

6

One nomination received for LegCo by-election *****

Trade unionist Mr Lee Cheuk-yan, aged 37, today (Friday) submitted his nomination for the Legislative Council’s Kowloon Central constituency by-election scheduled on March 5.

Two nominations were received for the Kwun Tong District Board’s Lower Ngau Tau Kok constituency by-election. They were transportation company owner Mr Ben Chan Kok-wah, aged 37, and graduate master Mr Wong Kin-man, aged 40.

The nomination period of the two by-elections started today and will last until February 3.

Meanwhile, two nominations were received today for the district board byelection for Yau Ma Tei constituency of Yau Tsim Mong district.

The nominations were submitted by community organiser Ms Lai Yuen-ching, aged 35, and certified public accountant Mr Liu Kwong-sang, aged 32.

So far, four nominations had been received for this constituency since the nomination period started on January 9. The nomination period will end next Monday (January 23).

End/Friday, January 20, 1995

Two nominations for MC elections received today

*****

A total of two nominations of candidates were received today (Friday) for the Municipal Council elections on March 5.

The total number of nominations received so far is 120.

The nomination period will last until next Monday (January 23).

7

. The breakdown of nominations by district is as follows:

Central & Western 4

Wan Chai 5

Eastern 13.

Southern 5

Yau Tsim Mong

Sham Shui Po 3

Kowloon City 9

Wong Tai Sin 9

KwunTong 13

Tsuen Wan 5

Tuen Mun 8

Yuen Long 7

North 5

Tai Po 5

Sai Kung 2

Sha Tin 13

Kwai Tsing 6

Islands 1

Total: 120

End/Friday, January 20, 1995

Technical review board set up to advise on slope safety *****

The Govcrnor-in-Council has decided to set up an external Technical Review Board (TRB) as recommended by the independent geotechnical expert. Professor Norbert Morgenstern, in his report on the Kwun Lung Lau landslide, and at the same time decided that any need for a Commission of Inquiry has been obviated by the report.

Announcing this today (Friday), a Government spokesman explained that the Govemor-in-Council had decided in August last year that pending the conclusion of investigations by Professor Morgenstern into the landslide, the question of whether or not to appoint a Commission of Inquiry should be left open.

Supported by the technical investigation of the Geotechnical Engineering Office, Professor Morgenstern completed his investigation report which was submitted to the Governor and made public on November 30 last year.

8

The spokesman said: "The Govemor-in-Council has taken account of the fact that Professor Morgenstern’s review was conducted in an impartial and transparent manner, and furthermore that the report is comprehensive in its findings, conclusions and recommendations.

"Further inquiry will not elicit additional information or provide a more thorough and reliable analysis of the technical factors surrounding the landslide."

The Govemor-in-Council was informed that the programme of verifying the thickness of previously studied masonry walls, another recommendation by Professor Morgenstern, would be complete before the oncoming rainy season. Implementation of the remaining recommendations has also begun, and will be carried, forward as quickly as possible.

The TRB will be made up of non-official eminent practitioners. They will advise on the technical aspects of the work of both the public and private sectors in enhancing slope safety, including keeping abreast of international standards of risk management as applied to slopes. The names of these experts and further details will be announced as soon as they have been confirmed.

The spokesman said the Government had almost completed a parallel review of the overall policies and legislation on slope safety. The results and recommendations will be made public shortly.

End/Friday, January 20, 1995

I IK provides to US estimate of 301 Action's impact on economy *****

In a formal communication to the US Consul-General in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Government today (Friday) provided the United States Administration with a broad estimate of the potential adverse impact on Hong Kong's economy, if the US imposed punitive tariffs on Chinese products on the proposed retaliation list which the US Government had published earlier under its Special 301 provisions.

A Trade and Industry Branch spokesman said: "Given that the US and China are our two largest trading partners, Hong Kong is naturally concerned about the adverse effects on Hong Kong of any retaliation action which the US Government might take if the two sides failed to reach a mutually acceptable solution over intellectual property rights (IPR) protection."

9

"We are therefore passing our assessment to the US Government, together with a request that the US takes into account Hong Kong's interests in any decision it may take," he said.

The proposed list of products, which the US published on December 31, 1994 for public comment until January 30, 1995, includes such articles as electrical products, plastic articles, furniture items, ceramic household ware and footwear, with a total value of about US$2.8 billion.

As the US Trade Representative Ambassador Mickey Kantor has publicly stated that he would narrow down the list to products valued at about US$1 billion, the assessment of the impact on Hong Kong's economy has been made on the basis of US retaliatory action affecting about US$1 billion worth of Chinese exports to the US.

"Because of the punitive tariff, it is possible that up to 1.9 per cent or HK$3.7 billion (US$0.47 billion) of Hong Kong's re-exports from China to the US may be affected," the spokesman said.

"Taking into account the likely spill-over effects on other trading and economic activities, this could affect up to 3,800 jobs in Hong Kong and up to 0.1 of a percentage point of the GDP growth in the year of incidence."

He recognised nevertheless that the impact on specific sectors would vary depending on the rate of the punitive tariff and the amount of trade involved which goes through Hong Kong.

When asked about the Government's further action, the spokesman reiterated that the 1PR negotiations between China and the US was a bilateral trade issue that should be resolved by the two sides through bilateral discussions.

"The Hong Kong Government does not have a direct role. Hong Kong traders could respond to the US Government's invitation for public comments. We have therefore been providing the trade with information and analyses for their reference. "Representatives of the Hong Kong Government would attend the public hearings in the US as observers and we will provide further assistance to the trade as may be appropriate."

Noting that China and the US have resumed talks on the issue, he remains hopeful that a satisfactory solution would be found and no retaliatory action would be taken.

End/Friday, January 20, 1995

10

Infrastructure Co-ordinating Committee

*****

A Government spokesman announced today (Friday) that a team of Hong Kong Government officials will be leaving for Guangzhou on Sunday (January 22) to attend the first meeting of the Infrastructure Co- ordinating Committee on Monday (January 23).

The team will comprise the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Tony Eason; the Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Gordon Siu; the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma; the Director of Planning, Dr Peter Pun; the Deputy Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam; the Principal Assistant Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Miss Margaret Fong; the Chief Engineer of the Highways Department, Mr C K Mak; and Assistant Political Adviser Miss Shirley Yung.

Attention News Editors:

The Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Tony Eason, will speak to the media before the departure of the delegation. Media representatives covering the event please assemble at 1.15 pm on Sunday (January 22) outside the KCRC VIP room, Ground Floor, Kowloon Railway Station, Hung Hom.

End/Friday, January 20, 1995

Enhancement of rights accorded priority

*****

Vigorous efforts to fulfil commitments to enhance protection for the rights of the individual and to eliminate discrimination have turned 1994 into a busy and fruitful year for the Home Affairs Branch (HAB).

Reviewing today (Friday) the work of HAB, the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen, pointed out that a lot had been done during the past year to put in place the package of measures to strengthen the rights of the individual.

"In response to widespread community support, we announced in June 1994 the decision to seek the extension of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) to Hong Kong.

11

’’Within a matter of four months, we completed the drafting of legislation against sex discrimination and introduced the Sex Discrimination Bill into the Legislative Council in October 1994," he said.

The bill, designed to prevent injustice to an individual's prospects on account of his or her gender, is now under the scrutiny of a Bills Committee.

"We hope to see the enactment of the Sex Discrimination Bill in 1995 and to set up the Equal Opportunities Commission as soon as possible after the enactment of the bill," Mr Suen said.

In keeping with community aspirations expressed during the Green Paper public consultation exercise, the bill takes forward the principle of outlawing sex discrimination and sexual harassment in areas of activity including employment, education, provision of goods and services, and the disposal and management of premises, Mr Suen said.

Furthermore, discrimination on the ground of marital status or pregnancy in the employment field will also be made unlawful.

Under the bill, an independent statutory body known as the Equal Opportunities Commission (comprising not fewer than four and not more than 16 members) will be established.

The commission will be tasked with the responsibility of eliminating sex discrimination and promoting equality of opportunity between women and men. It will also provide assistance to persons who have been subject to unlawful discriminatory practices or sexual harassment.

Another important function of the commission will be the development of codes of practice in the areas of activity regulated under the bill. These codes will provide practical guidance for parties concerned to comply with the legislation.

"We are convinced that the Equal Opportunities Commission will be effective in eliminating sex discrimination and sexual harassment. The enactment of the Sex Discrimination Bill will guarantee members of the community the opportunity to make the most of their potentials to participate fully in all aspects of life.

"While individual attitudes and organisational culture cannot be changed overnight, the institution of the bill is a major step forward in securing a fairer environment for free competition in Hong Kong by setting acceptable standards of behaviour and focusing public attention on the importance of upholding gender equality.

12

"Moreover, it will ensure that the people of Hong Kong enjoy a similar level of legal protection, in respect of equal opportunities between the sexes, as their counterparts in other developed countries," he added.

Another initiative taken in the year was the formal extension of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child to Hong Kong.

To promote public awareness of the convention, booklets to publicise the provisions are being prepared and these are expected to be available around April 1995.

On the wider subject of promotion programmes to enhance community awareness towards human rights issues, a total of $20 million will be allocated to the Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education over the next three years. An education unit will be set up under the committee to devise and implement human rights education programmes.

Mr Suen noted that during the past year, the major work theme of the committee was "Rights to Participate in Representative Government", but other topics such as the rule of law and human rights were also promoted through a variety of programmes.

In 1995/96, the committee will focus its work on issues under the general theme of human rights education, with particular emphasis on civic rights and representative government; equal opportunities and elimination of discrimination, and the rule of law. This work will be done through the sponsorship of Community Participation Scheme, media publicity, research projects and the production of education materials such as teaching kits, booklets and videos.

Another important initiative announced in June 1994 was the go-ahead for the development of a Code of Practice on Access to Information covering the whole Government, Mr Suen recalled.

"We firmly believe that more open Government and more accountable Government is better Government, and it is with this goal in mind that we decide to take a further step forward in our commitment to greater transparency."

Mr Suen pointed out that preparation for the pilot scheme to be launched among nine branches and departments early this year was well advanced.

In broad terms, the code will state clearly Government's commitment to greater openness. It will set out the types of information to which the public may have access, the means by which the public can gain access to such information, and the time-frame within which the Government should respond to requests for information.

13

"The aim is to provide information as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Procedures will be kept as simple as possible," he stressed.

He added that the code would be applied throughout the Government by the end of 1996, and consideration would be given thereafter to its application to non-Govemment public bodies.

Another subject that the Home Affairs Branch was actively engaged in was the co-ordination of the implementation of a licensing scheme to regulate the fire and building safety of bedspace apartments following the enactment of legislation in April 1994.

Upon full implementation of the licensing scheme in 1996. bedspace apartment lodgers will live in apartments that meet the safety and sanitation standards and arc less crowded.

So far, 144 apartments have taken out certificates of exemption and upon expiry of the exemption period in December 1996, the Licensing Authority will ensure that all the licensing requirements have been complied with before a licence is issued.

"In addition to statutory control, the Government, concerned about the living conditions in these apartments, has been adopting administrative measures to assist the bedspace apartment lodgers in rehousing.

"Facilities such as compassionate rehousing by the Housing Department, institutional care arranged by the Social Welfare Department and places in Home Affairs Department singleton hostels are available to all bedspace apartment lodgers displaced owing to the implementation of the licensing scheme, including those displaced by closure of bedspacc apartments," Mr Suen said.

Meanwhile. Mr Suen noted that the numbers of bedspace apartments and lodgers had fallen over the years. "This is indicative of a general improvement in the overall situation."

Concluding the review of the branch's work. Mr Suen said one significant development during the year was the re-organisation of the City and New 1 erritories Administration into a policy branch and an executive department. This has helped to establish clear lines of responsibility for policy and executive functions and also resulted in more efficient deployment of staff resources.

End/FridayrJanuary 20. 1995

14

Investigation of complaints against the Municipal Councils *****

Commenting on the discussion at yesterday’s (Thursday) Regional Council meeting attended by the Commissioner for Administrative Complaints (COMAC), Mr Andrew So, a spokesman for COMAC Office said that generalisation on what acts of the Council would be investigable by COMAC, and what would not, would neither be practicable nor possible.

He reiterated the point made by Mr So at the Regional Council meeting that COMAC would not, and could not, comment on hypothetical problems and situations.

The spokesman said what constituted ’’maladministration” was clearly defined in the COMAC Ordinance. It included, among other things, acts of unreasonable conduct, delay, discourtesy, lack of consideration and abuse of power.

The Ordinance did not define and distinguish the difference between "policy” and "administrative act". Instead, it gave COMAC wide discretion, under Section 9 of the Ordinance, to determine questions relating to COMAC's authority and whether to conduct an investigation.

COMAC would therefore approach problems from the point of view of whether they constituted "maladministration" as defined in the Ordinance, and not whether they are policy issues, or administrative acts, as claimed or seen by the organisation.

It would not be possible to distinguish where an administrative act ended, and where policy began.

This was the whole purpose of extending COMAC's jurisdiction to the Municipal Councils, in addition to their executive arms - the Regional Services Department and the Urban Services Department.

The spokesman said COMAC would be glad to work together with the Municipal Councils to draw up some guidelines for each other's reference.

He stressed that such would be no more than guidelines, and that COMAC must reserve his judgment, as required by the law, and determine each complaint on its individual merits.

End/Friday, January 20, 1995

15

Airmail will be delayed by Kansai quake *****

Owing to the substantial damage caused by the devastating earthquake in the Kansai area of Japan on January 17, airmail and Speedpost items destined to areas with postal codes starting with 52 to 79 and 91 in Japan will be subject to delay, the Postmaster General, Mr Mike Pagliari, announced today (Friday).

These areas cover Osaka, Kyoto, Shiga, Nara, Wakayama, Hyogo (including Kobe), Tottori, Shimane, Okayama, Hiroshima, Yamaguchi, Kagawa, Tokushima, Kochi, Ehime and Fukui Prefectures.

A further announcement will be made when the situation returns to normal, he said.

End/Friday, January 20, 1995

Safety first in removal of dangerous signs

*****

Signs should be attached to buildings only with professional help and they should be properly maintained by their owners to prevent them from becoming a potential danger or a nuisance to residents and the public.

The advice came today (Friday) from a Buildings Department spokesman during an operation to remove a number of abandoned signs in Sham Shui Po.

The operation followed inspections of about 7,850 signs in the district where Buildings Department staff found 390 signs to be potentially dangerous.

Two hundred and ten of them have since been rectified by the owners before being served Removal Notices by the Building Authority.

The rest will be removed by the Buildings Department and the cost of removal will be recovered from the owners.

The spokesman said similar inspections would be carried out in other districts

later.

"But we need the assistance and co-operation of District Boards and the local residents. In Sham Shui Po, for example, the District Board has give us a list of the signs suspected or reported to be abandoned or dangerous.

16

"Local residents and District Boards are more familiar with the status and state of the signs in their neighbourhood. They can therefore help in earlier identification," he added.

The spokesman stressed that the Buildings Department’s overriding concern regarding overhanging signs was public safety.

"Our policy is to ensure that signs which could pose a threat to public safety are removed either by the owners themselves or, if necessary, by our contractor."

Under Section 105 of the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance, the Director of Buildings has the power to remove, or to render safe, advertising signs considered dangerous or likely to become dangerous.

"We estimate that there are some 170,000 advertising signs in the territory. Each Year, this increases by about six per cent and about three per cent of the existing signs are replaced," the spokesman added.

"People wishing to put up overhanging signs should seek professional advice for safe design and installation. They must then ensure regular maintenance. This will safeguard public safety," the spokesman said.

End/Friday, January 20, 1995

Correctional Services thanked for hard work *****

Hong Kong’s record of taking in and caring for Vietnamese migrants for so long is second to none, the Governor the Rt Hon Christopher Patten told the gathering at the Correctional Services Department (CSD) annual parade today (Friday).

Great credit is due to the CSD staff for caring for them with dedication and tolerance, even at times of provocation and when under intense pressure and scrutiny, he noted.

Mr Patten said though there were critics and things that with hindsight could be done better, the majority of the public appreciated their difficult task and their capable way in dealing with it.

Turning to over-crowding in prisons, he said for the long term, the Government was committed to building a new medium-security institution as part of the Stanley Prison Area Redevelopment Programme.

17

This will modernise Hong Kong’s largest maximum security prison, provide much-needed new facilities and some relief from the over-crowding.

Short-term measures to alleviate the problem are also being looked at with great urgency, he added.

With regard to the department’s penal programmes, Mr Patten said the programmes sought to restore self-discipline and instil a sense of self- respect in offenders, so as to help them rejoin society as law-abiding citizens.

Pointing out that last year was eventful and difficult for the CSD staff, he expressed gratitude for their commitment.

End/Friday, January 20, 1995

New flyover along Tong Mi Road open to traffic ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A new flyover along Tong Mi Road and Ferry Street between Bute Street and Soy Street will be open to traffic from 4 pm tomorrow (Saturday).

”It will alleviate traffic congestion along Tong Mi Road, especially at its junctions with Mong Kok Road and Argyle Street," a spokesman for the Highways Department said.

The new flyover is part of the first phase of Yau Ma Tei Section of West Kowloon Corridor, and will provide a by-pass for through traffic at these road junctions.

With a width of 8.93 metres, the flyover contains two southbound traffic lanes.

As the construction of the second phase of Yau Ma Tei Section is still in progress, part of the existing ground level road to the south of the flyover is being occupied.

"For this reason, the two southbound traffic lanes along the new flyover will, initially, need to be reduced to one at the downramp near Soy Street," the spokesman said.

18

The other traffic lane at the downramp will be opened on completion of the whole West Kowloon Corridor Yau Ma Tei Section project at the end of 1996.

The $99 million contract for the construction of the flyover was awarded to Sun Fook Kong (Civil) Limited in June 1992. All the works except landscaping were completed in 31 months.

End/Friday, January 20, 1995

Design of reclamation and edge structures of CT 10 & 11 commissioned *****

The Civil Engineering Department (CED) today (Friday) signed a $20 million consultancy agreement for the detailed design of reclamation and edge structures for Container Terminals 10 and 11 (CT 10 & 11) and their back-up areas on Lantau Island.

"The main objective of the consultancy is to design and prepare the contract documents for reclamation designs for CT 10 & 11, their back-up areas and approach channels," a spokesman for the department said.

Under the consultancy agreement, a detailed assessment of the environmental impact during the construction phase will be carried out.

"Marine ecology surveys on white dolphin, fishing activity and fish fry will also be carried out in the Lantau Port area," the spokesman said.

The CT 10 & 11 will be built on reclamation extending south-east from Penny's Bay on Lantau Island.

Each terminal consists of four berths with an operating area of 80 hectares and a quay frontage of 1,280 metres, and will be capable of handling a minimum yearly throughput of 1.6 million TEUs of containers. Back-up areas and other infrastructures necessary for operation of the terminals will also be provided.

The design work is expected to be completed in nine months.

The consultancy will be managed by the Civil Engineering Office of CED.

The contract was signed by the department's Principal Government Civil Engineer, Dr Choi Yu-leuk, and Mr Francis Bong of Maunsell Consultants Asia Ltd.

End/Friday, January 20, 1995

19

Value of manufacturers' orders-on-hand in November 1994 ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The value of manufacturers' orders-on-hand for local production in November 1994 increased by 13% over a year earlier, according to the provisional results of a monthly survey released today (Friday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

Comparing November 1994 with November 1993, significant increases in the value of outstanding orders were recorded in the textiles industry (+43%), plastic products industry (+26%), electronic products Industry (+25%) and fabricated metal products industry (+17%).

On the other hand, decreases in orders were registered in the printing and publishing industry (-21%), wearing apparel industry (-9%) and electrical products industry (-3%).

Compared with October 1994, and bearing in mind that this comparison may be affected by seasonal factors, the value of manufacturers' orders-on-hand in November 1994 increased by 3%. The monthly Survey of Orders-on-hand covers a sample of some 300 manufacturing firms engaging 50 or more workers.

Manufacturers' orders-on-hand refer to orders and parts of orders received earlier by manufacturers for local production which remain unfilled as at the end of the reference month. Orders received by traders not engaged in production are included if such orders arc further placed to manufacturers for production locally.

However, orders placed to manufacturing firms for production in China and other places outside Hong Kong are not included in this series of orders-on-hand statistics.

Beginning from January last year, a new scries of statistics on manufacturers' orders-on-hand in value terms compiled in the form of an index is produced, to replace the old series which was expressed in terms of number of months to complete the outstanding orders.

The new statistical series provides a more direct measure of the overall value of orders in the local manufacturing sector that lead to the generation of local manufacturing output.

A spokesman for the department pointed out that caution should be exercised in interpreting the manufacturers' orders-on-hand figures in a single month.

Instead, the trend movement of the series as displayed over a wider span of time points should be looked at.

20

The survey report for November 1994, at $4.5 a copy, is now available for sale at the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor, Queensway, and at the Census and Statistics Department Publications Section, 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai.

Enquiries about the survey results may be made of the Industrial Production Statistics Section of the Census and Statistics Department on tel 2805 6441.

The following table shows the year-on-year percentage changes in the value of orders-on-hand in different manufacturing industries:

Percentage changes in the value of orders-on-hand in

All industries covered in the survey

* Wearing apparel

* Textiles

* Electronic products

* Electrical products

* Fabricated metal products

* Plastic products

* Printing and publishing

October 1994 over October 1993 (Revised) November 1994 over November 1993 (Provisional)

+13 +13

-7 -9

+33 +43

+26 +25

+21 -3

+32 +17

+49 +26

-14 -21

End/Friday, January 20, 1995

21

Payroll and wage statistics for September 1994 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

Average labour earnings in all major sectors of the economy, as measured by payroll per person engaged, recorded a notable increase of 12.4% in September 1994 compared with September 1993, statistics released today (Friday) by the Census and Statistics Department showed.

After discounting for changes in consumer prices, the increase was 3.6% in real terms.

In September 1994, the overall wage index covering all major industry sectors increased by 9.4% in nominal terms compared with September 1993. After discounting for changes in consumer prices, the increase in real terms was 0.8%.

Analysed by industry sectors, average payroll per person engaged in the manufacturing sector increased by 11.9% in nominal terms or 3.1% in real terms.

Wages showed a smaller increase of 8.1% in nominal terms, equivalent to a marginal decline of 0.4% in real terms. The larger increase in average payroll was due to more overtime work and the issue of irregular payments in some manufacturing industries in September 1994.

For the wholesale, retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels sector, average payroll per person engaged recorded an increase of 5.4% in nominal terms, or a decline of 3.0% in real terms.

The small increase in average payroll in nominal terms in September 1994 was related to the weak retail sales in recent quarters. The wage index for the sector as a whole however still rose by 9.9% in nominal terms or 1.3% in real terms.

Average payroll per person engaged in the transport, storage and communication sector recorded an increase of 12.5% in nominal terms, or 3.7% in real terms.

The corresponding increases in the wage index for the transport services sector were 10.6% in nominal terms or 1.9% in real terms.

For the financing, insurance, real estate and business services sector, average payroll per person engaged increased by 8.7% in nominal terms, or 0.1% in real terms. Wages showed similar increases. The relatively smaller increases were mainly affected by the consolidation in the real estate and securities markets in recent quarters.

22

For the community, social and personal services sector, average payroll per person engaged increased by 16.6% in nominal terms, or 7.4% in real terms.

The wage index for the personal services sector rose by 11.5% in nominal terms or 2.7% in real terms. The large increase in average payroll was mainly due to salary revision and issue of irregular payments by some schools and universities in September 1994.

Changes in the average payroll per person engaged between September 1993 and September 1994 for selected sectors, in both nominal and real terms, are shown in Table 1. Corresponding changes in the wage indices are shown in Table 2.

Statistics on average payroll per person engaged are compiled at quarterly intervals based on the results of the Labour Earnings Survey conducted by the Census and Statistics Department.

The wage indices are compiled from the same survey at half-yearly intervals for March and September of the year. The wage indices cover both manual and non-manual workers up to the supervisory level.

Average payroll includes wages as well as all other irregular receipts such as bonuses and overtime payment.

A spokesman for the department pointed out that statistics on average payroll tend to show larger quarter-to-quarter changes, affected by the number of hours actually worked and the timing of payment of bonuses and back-pay.

Detailed breakdowns of the above statistics are published in the "Quarterly Report of Employment, Vacancies and Payroll Statistics, September 1994" and the "Half-yearly Report of Wage Statistics, September 1994".

They will be available shortly at $24 and $32 per copy respectively at the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, Ground Floor, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong and at the Publications Section of Census and Statistics Department, 19th floor., Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

For enquiries about statistics on average payroll per person engaged, please contact the Census and Statistics Department on tel 2582 5076. As for enquiries on wage statistics, please call the Department at 2582 4744.

23

Table I : Year-on-Year Cha.nge_in_.Pavroll Per Person-Engaged by

Selected Major Industry Sector

% change for September 1994 over September 1993

Selected Major Industry Sector in nominal terms in real terms

Manufacturing + 11.9 +3.1

Wholesale, Retail and Import/Export Trades, Restaurants and Hotels +5.4 -3.0

Transport, Storage and Communication + 12.5 +3.7

Financing, Insurance, Real Estate and Business Services +8.7 +0.1

Community, Social and Personal Services + 16.6 +7.4

All Industry Sectors + 12.4 +3.6

Table 2 : Year-on-Year Change in Wage Indices by Selected Major Industry_S_ec_tor

% change for September 1994 over September 1993

Selected Major Industry Sector in nominal terms in real terms

Manufacturing +8.1 -0.4

Wholesale, Retail and Import/Export Trades, Restaurants and Hotels +9.9 + 1.3

Transport Services* + 10.6 + 1.9

Financing, Insurance, Real Estate and Business Services + 8.8 +0.3

Personal Services^ + 11.5 +2.7

All Industry Sectors +9.4 +0.8

•Excluding industries related to storage and communication

^Excluding industries related to community and social services

End/Friday, January 20, 1995

24

Construction output statistics for 3rd quarter of 1994 ♦ ♦ * * *

The gross value of construction work performed by main contractors, including general and special trade contractors, amounted to $21.9 billion in the third quarter of 1994, and was 14.1% higher than a year earlier, according to the results of a Quarterly Survey of Construction Output released today (Friday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

Compared with the second quarter of 1994, the gross value of construction work performed by main contractors in the third quarter of 1994 decreased by 1.0%.

The gross value of construction work performed on private sector sites totalled $9.0 billion, representing an increase of 25.8% from the third quarter of 1993 but a marginal decrease of 0.4% from the second quarter of 1994.

The gross value of construction work performed on public sector sites was $6.5 billion, and was 2.1% and 0.5% higher than those in the third quarter of 1993 and the second quarter of 1994 respectively.

The gross value of construction work performed by general contractors at locations other than construction sites was $4.2 billion, which was 6.2% higher than that in the third quarter of 1993 but 3.2% lower than that in the second quarter of 1994. This included minor new construction activities and renovation work at erected buildings and structures.

The gross value of construction activities performed by special trade contractors at locations other than construction sites, comprising mainly electrical and mechanical fitting work, totalled $2.1 billion, and was 28.1% higher than that in the third quarter of 1993 but 3.2% lower than that in the second quarter of 1994.

Analysed by end-use, residential building projects (including commercial / residential (composite) buildings) continued to account for the greatest portion of the gross value of construction work performed at construction sites.

The gross value of construction work performed for these projects was $5.2 billion, which was 11.9% and 7.3% higher than those in the third quarter of 1993 and the second quarter of 1994 respectively.

Transport projects remained the second largest category of construction site work. The gross value of construction work performed for these projects was $3.8 billion. This was 5.6% higher than that in the third quarter of 1993 but 13.1% lower than that in the second quarter of 1994.

25

Commercial building projects constituted the third largest category of construction site work. The gross value of construction work performed for these projects totalled $2.1 billion, which was 23.5% higher than that in the third quarter of 1993 but 5.8% lower than that in the second quarter of 1994.

Owing to the widespread sub-contracting practices in the construction industry, a construction establishment can be a main contractor for one contract and a subcontractor for another contract at the same time.

The gross value of construction work performed by main contractors, including both general and special trade contractors, covers only those projects in which the construction establishment takes the role of a main contractor, but not projects in which it takes only the role of a sub-contractor.

However, sub-contractors' contribution to projects should have been included in the gross value of construction work performed by main contractors for whom they worked.

More detailed statistics on construction output are given in the "Report on the Quarterly Survey of Construction Output, 3rd Quarter 1994".

The report is now on sale at $8 a copy at the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor, or at the Census and Statistics Department Publications Section. Wanchai Tower, 19th floor, 12 Harbour Road. Wan Chai. Regular subscription may also be arranged.

Enquiries about the survey may be directed to the Building, Construction and Real Estate Statistics Section of the Census and Statistics Department on telephone 2805 6426.

End/Friday, January 20. 1995

New access road in Ma On Shan proposed

*****

The prospective grantee of two lots of land in I ai Po is planning to construct an access road from Sai Sha Road to his proposed residential developments at the lots, and to widen a section of Sai Sha Road at Cheung Muk fan.

During the construction, necessary access will be maintained so as to minimise inconvenience to the public.

26

Notices concerning the proposed works were published in the Gazette today (Friday).

The plans showing the proposed works can be seen at the central and Western District Office, Public Enquiry Service Centre, ground floor, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central, the District Lands Office/Tai Po and Tai Po District Office, both in Tai Po Government Offices Building, 1 Ting Kok Road, Tai Po, New Territories.

Any person who wishes to object to the proposal may write to the Secretary for Transport, Central Government Offices, East Wing, second floor, Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong not later than March 21, 1995.

End/Friday, January 20, 1995

H1V/AIDS situation in 1994 *****

A total of IO'1 persons were found to be positive for the HIV antibody test in 1994, the Department of Health announced today (Friday).

This brings the number of HIV-infected persons in Hong Kong to 520.

Thirty-eight new AIDS cases were reported last year.

The total number of confirmed AIDS cases is 130 with 74 deaths reported.

Of the 520 HIV-infected, 190 acquired the infection through homosexual or bisexual sex and 212 through heterosexual sex; 11 were injecting drug users; one was a mother-to-child transmission around the time of birth; and 66 acquired the infection through contaminated blood or blood products before 1985 when HIV antibody test and safe heat treated clotting concentrates were not available.

As for the remaining 40, the information available was inadequate for classification.

Under the HIV surveillance programme which started in 1985, a total of 354,746 blood specimens have been tested for the HIV antibody.

The Hong Kong Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service has also screened all blood donors for the antibody.

Up to last month, 1,522,448 units of blood had been tested and 36 donors were found positive.

End/Friday, January 20. 1995

27

Amendments to Central road works proposed

*****

The Secretary for Transport has proposed amending the originally proposed road works and associated works that form part of Central Reclamation project.

The origninal road works and associated works were outlined in a notice published in the Government Gazette on August 28, 1992.

The amended works are required to tie in with the detailed design of the Hong Kong Terminus of the Airport Railway, involving amendments to the alignment of the footbridges and roads; additional laybys along several roads; demolition of existing staircase and escalator at junction of Gilman Street and Connaught Road Central.

A notice of the proposed amendments was gazetted today (Friday).

The plan and scheme can be seen at the Public Enquiry Service Centre of the Central and Western District Office, ground floor, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central; and the District Lands Office, Hong Kong West, 19th floor, Southom Centre, 130 Hennessy Road. Wan Chai.

Any person who wishes to object to the works should send his objection in writing to the Secretary for Transport, Central Government Offices, East Wing, second floor. Lower Albert Road. Central, no later than March 21, describing his interest and the manner in which he will be affected.

End/Friday, January 20, 1995

Pre-qualification application for rebuilding of Tai Tam Road invited ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ »

The Highways Department is inviting applications from approved contractors to pre-qualify to tender for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Tai Tam Road.

The works mainly comprise road surface rehabilitation and associated drainage improvement works along lai fam Road from Stanley Village Road to Chai Wan Road and water main laying works between Stanley Village road and Red Hill Road junctions.

A notice on the application for pre- qualification was gazetted today (Friday).

28

Application documents are available from the Project Manager, Halcrow Asia Partnership Ltd., Room 3201, Central Plaza, 18 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

Completed pre-qualification forms shall be submitted to the Highways Department, eighth floor, Hennessy Centre, 500 Hennessy Road, Hong Kong not later than noon on February 10.

End/Friday, January 20. 1995

Laying of effluent discharge pipework for Tsing Lung Tau

*****

The Governor-in-Council has given authorisation for the Government to allow a firm to use 94.5 square metres of foreshore and sea-bed at Tsing Lung Tau as works area for laying of effluent discharge pipework.

The works will start soon for completion in six months.

The extent of the area affected by the works is described in a notice of authorisation in the Gazette today (Friday).

The notice and its related plans can be seen at the Lands Department's Survey and Mapping Office, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road; and at the Tsuen Wan District Office, first floor, Tsuen Wan Station Multi-storey Carpark Building, 174-208 Castle Peak Road, Tsuen Wan, New Territories.

The plan can also be purchased at the Survey and Mapping Office.

Any person who considers that his interest, right or easement in or over the foreshore and sea-bed involved will be affected may submit a written claim for compensation to the Director of Lands on or before January 20, 1996.

He should state in his submission the sum of money that he is willing to accept in full and final statement of his claim and submit particulars to substantiate the claim.

End/Friday, January 20, 1995

29

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,767 0930 -540

Closing balance in the account 4,778 1000 -370

Change attributable to: 1100 -402

Money market activity -336 1200 -336

LAF today +3,347 1500 -336

1600 -336

LAF rate 3.75% bid/5.75% offer TWI 120.9 ♦-0.4* 20.1.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills

EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 6.47 16 months 2605 6.35 98.33 7.84

1 month 6.54 22 months 2611 6.90 98.27 8.09

3 months 6.66 27 months 3704 6.15 95.79 8.38

6 months 6.96 33 months 3710 7.25 97.31 8.53

12 months 7.58 59 months 5912 8.15 97.40 9.00

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $24,624 million

Closed January 20, 1995

End/Friday, January 20, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 842 8777

Saturday, January 21,1995

Contents Page No.

Lo Wu Terminal extension opens on Monday........................ 1

New employment law explained.................................... 2

Home Affairs Director appeals to residents to vote.............. 2

Pamphlets on peer acceptance and interview techniques published. 3

Firing practice scheduled on five days in February.............. 4

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations............ 4

Sunday, January 22,1995

Contents Page Nq>

Central banks and monetary authorities hold informal meeting.... 5

Provision of lockers to public sector primary schools........... 5

Employers reminded of Lunar New Year holidays................... 6

Boost for education telephone enquiry service................... 7

Works Supervisor awarded Imperial Service Medal................. 8

Central register supplies business establishments data.......... 9

Flushing water cut in Kwai Chung

10

1

Lo Wu Terminal extension opens on Monday

* ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The $230m extension of the Lo Wu Terminal will be open on Monday (January 23) in time to cope with the upsurge in passenger traffic during the Lunar New Year period.

A spokesman for the Railways Division of the Highways Department administering the project said: "The extended terminal will almost double the present passenger handling capacity of 14,200 persons per hour to 26,000 for the two directions."

The extension, comprising a new south wing and a new east wing linking with the main building, will considerably increase the area of the departure hall on the ground floor and the arrival hall on the second floor.

It will enable the Immigration Department to provide 72 more counters and the Customs and Excise Department 30 more.

This will bring the total number of counters for immigration clearance to 160 (92 for arrival, 68 for departure) and for customs check to 64 (48 for arrival, 16 for departure).

The first floor of the extension will accommodate a new visitors' arrival hall for the Immigration Department to clear all non-Hong Kong residents arriving from China.

It would also enable the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation to expand its ticketing area for the convenience and comfort of train passengers.

The Highways Department spokesman said: "Construction of the main building was completed last month. But the overall completion of the extension will not be finished Until March because workmen are still putting the final finishing touch to the two new wings."

End/Saturday, January 21, 1995

2

New employment law explained ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Labour Department today (Saturday) urged employers to pay attention to the Employment (Amendment) Ordinance 1995 which came into effect yesterday (Friday) in calculating severance payment and long service payment payable to dismissed employees.

Chief Labour Officer Mr Yeung Chi-kin explained that employees who had been dismissed by notice or payment in lieu of notice before January 20, 1995 would be entitled to receive severance payment or long service payment, calculated under the new law if the last day of the notice period should fall on or after January 20.

’’Employers and workers should call the Labour Department's General Enquiry Telephone Service hotline 2717 1771 if they need information on the calculations of severance payment or long service payment,” Mr Yeung said. ।.

End/Saturday, January 21, 1995

Home Affairs Director appeals to residents to vote ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

The Director of Home Affairs, Mr Joseph Wong, this (Saturday) evening appeals to voters to actively participate in the municipal elections on March 5.

Speaking at the opening of the Fourth Tai Po Festival at Fu Shin Town Square, Mr Wong stressed that a successful community depended on the close co-operation between the Government and local leaders.

As to the festival, which is held every three years, Mr Wong believed that it would help promote the image of Tai Po as a mixture of a new town and a traditional village as well as strengthen residents' sense of belonging.

Highlights of the month-long festival will include a "Yan Yat" party for the elderly, Cantonese operas, Chinese calligraphy and painting exhibition, Chinese martial art and lion dance performances, orchid shows, games day and New Year galas.

Sponsored by the Regional Council and the Tai Po District Board, the festival was organised by the Tai Po Festival Co-ordinating Committee with the assistance of the Tai Po District Office and the Regional Services Department.

End/Saturday, January 21, 1995

- 3 -

Pamphlets on peer acceptance and interview techniques published

*****

The l abour Department today (Saturday) published a set of seven guidebooks on peer acceptance and a pamphlet on job interviewing techniques.

The guidebooks are aimed at helping employers understand the needs of their disabled employees, dispel misconceptions about them and communicate with them more effectively.

"Each guidebook focuses on a particular type of disability. Types of disabled persons covered in this series include wheelchair-users, spastics, epileptics, hearing impaired, visually impaired, mentally retarded and ex-mentally ill," Labour Officer ^Selective Placement) Ms Annie law said.

She urged employers and co-workers of disabled persons to read these guidebooks for mutual understanding and closer co-operation.

The pamphlet on job interviewing techniques, sponsored by the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club, is targeted at disabled job-seekers.

Written in simple language, the pamphlet gives advice on pre-interview preparations, how to react in case of emergency and how to answer questions.

The pamphlet and guidebooks can be obtained at the following offices of the Selective Placement Division:

* Ground floor. Harbour Building. 38 Pier Road. Central

* Ground floor. Ngau Tau Kok Government Offices. 21 On Wah Street. Kowloon

* Second floor, Tsuen Wan Government Offices, 38 Sai Lau Kok Road.

Tsuen Wan

End/Saturday. January 21. 1995

- 4 -

Firing practice scheduled on five days in February ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Firing practice will take place at the Ha Tsuen-Castle Peak Range on five days next month.

The public is advised not to enter the area when red flags are hoisted.

Following are the dates and times for the firing practice:

Date lime

February 8 (Wednesday)

February 15 (Wednesday)

February' 20 (Monday)

February 27 (Monday)

February 28 (Tuesday)

8.30 am - 5 pm

8.30 am - 11.59 pm

8.30 am - 5 pm

8.30 am - 5 pm

8.30 am - 5 pm

End/Saturday, January 21, 1995

Hong Kong Monetary' Authority money market operations *****

1 $ million lime (bows) Cumulative change ($ million)

Opening balance in the account 4,778 09:30 +270

Closing balance in the account Change attributable to: 3,303 10:00 11:00 +270 +270

Money market activity LAF today +270 -1,745 11:30 15:00 +270

LAF rate 3.75% bid/5.75% offer TWI 120.9 *+0.0* 21.1.95

End/Saturday. January 21, 1995

5

Central banks and monetary authorities hold informal meeting *****

Senior representatives of the central banks and monetary authorities of Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand held an informal meeting at the office of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) on Saturday (January 21) to exchange views on recent currency speculation in the Region.

The meeting was chaired by Mr Joseph Yam, Chief Executive of the HKMA.

The central bankers exchanged useful information concerning the speculative activity, where this occurred, in their currencies.

This included the types of currency speculators, how they operate and how they fund themselves.

The central banks also exchanged views on the appropriate responses on their part, covering operational and supervisory measures.

Those present felt that the meeting had been a very useful one and agreed to keep closely in touch on this subject matter and share relevant information on it.

End/Sunday. January 22, 1995

Provision of lockers to public sector primary schools *****

Installation of the first batch of 50,022 lockers in government and aided primary schools, which started early this month, is expected to be completed in about a week.

The second batch of 189,711 lockers will be installed later this year and in 1996.

A spokesman for the Education Department said the department had been approved a non-recurrent fund of $29.3 million by the Finance Committee to purchase 239,733 lockers.

The spokesman said: "Funding was granted after a survey by the department last July which indicated that the provision of lockers for students to store items that need not be carried daily to and from school was a positive measure to alleviate the problem of overweight school bags.

- 6 -

"The lockers cater for 623 government and aided primary schools. New primary schools completed after September 1995 will all be provided with lockers as part of their standard equipment," he said.

Each locker measures internally 255 millimetres wide and 550 millimetres deep. The height is 300 millimetres and the locker is fitted with a key lock.

The department encourages children to pack their school bags every day according to the timetable and to use satchels which are light and secure.

Children should not carry to school unnecessary items such as comics, toys and video games. Stationery which is light and easy to carry is recommended.

End/Sunday. January 22. 1995

Employers reminded of Lunar New Year holidays

*****

The Labour Department today (Sunday) reminds employers that the Lunar New Year's Day. the second and third days of the Year of the Pig on January 31. February' 1 and 2 respectively arc statutory holidays for workers.

Under the Employment Ordinance, all employees, irrespective of their wage levels, are entitled to statutory holidays and must be paid for the day off if they have worked continuously for the same employer for three months or longer immediately before the statutory holiday.

Holiday pay should be equivalent to an employee's earnings on a full working dav and should include basic wages as well as allowances that can be expressed in money terms such as meals and cost of living allowances.

Where the earnings vary from daj to day, holiday pay should be the average daily earnings during every complete wage period, which could be between 28 and 31 days, preceding the holiday.

If an employee is required to work on a statutory holiday, he must be given an alternative day off within 60 days before or after that day.

Enquiries about statutory holidays may be made of the Labour Department's General Enquiry Telephone Service on 2717 1771.

End/Sunday, January 22, 1995

7

Boost for education telephone enquiry service *****

The Education Department has doubled to 16 the number of lines for its Automatic Telephone Enquiry System to provide better and more efficient service to the public.

The 24-hour telephone enquiry service (No. 2891 0088) came into operation in February 1993.

The service is bilingual and callers can obtain the type of information they require by following the voice instructions in the system.

A spokesman for the department said the extra telephone lines would make it easier for members of the public to have access to the enquiry system and to get information on educational services.

He said: "The system enables the public to hear pre-recorded messages on a range of essential educational services. Callers can also receive hard copies of all recorded messages through their fax machines.

"The subjects covered include Primary One admission, student and careers guidance, application for supply teaching posts, special education service, student guidance, choosing a school, teacher registration, withdrawal of provident fund, non-graduatc teacher qualification assessment and teacher mortgage interest subsidy scheme." the spokesman said.

"The system will also be used to make important announcements such as the suspension of school during typhoons or rainstorms." he added

The Automatic Telephone Enquiry System received over 300.000 telephone calls each month - an average of 700 to 800 calls a day - in the last school year.

The telephone enquiry service system handled a record number of over 3,700 calls on July 25 last year. In the same month, a total of 40,000 calls were received when a number of rainstorm warnings were issued.

Even in the month with the lowest patronage, which was last February, the service received about 16.000 enquiries.

8

The Automatic Telephone Enquiry System is operated by the department's Serving the Community Unit which is housed on 23rd floor, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai. The unit's telephone number is 2961 7436.

The unit welcomes members of the public to give suggestions to improve its service.

End/Sunday, January 22, 1995

Works Supervisor awarded Imperial Service Medal *****

A Works Supervisor of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department has been awarded the Imperial Service Medal by the Queen in recognition of his exemplary' service.

Mr Lai Kam-fat, aged 59, joined the civil service in June 1960. He has been seconded from the department to the Drainage Services Department (DSD) since 1989.

He is one of the most trustworthy, assiduous and loyal Works Supervisors in the Sewage Treatment Sub-division of DSD.

Mr Lai's main duties arc to assist his superiors to carry out operation and maintenance of sewage treatment plants and pumping stations.

The Director of Electrical and Mechanical Services. Mr Hugh Phillipson, described Mr Lai as a reliable and resourceful officer with a strong sense of responsibility.

"He is self-motivated and is always ready to help and give suitable guidance to his subordinates.

"With his sound technical knowledge and experience in sewage treatment works, he has been able to carry out his duties most effectively and efficiently," Mr Phillipson said.

End/Sunday, January 22, 1995

V

- 9 -

Central register supplies business establishments data

*****

The Census and Statistics Department maintains a comprehensive and up-to-date computerised Central Register of Establishments which contains around 400,000 active business establishments in Hong Kong.

The register serves mainly as the sampling frame for various economic surveys conducted by the department.

Besides, many other government departments and private organisations also make use of the records kept in the register in their publicity, business promotion, survey and research work.

A sample listing containing 20 per cent of the records randomly selected from the Central Register of Establishments is accessible by prospective users.

Application for the supply of non-confidcntial particulars such as the name, address, major type of business activity and employment size class of all or part of the listed records can be made to the Central Register of Establishments Section.

The information can be supplied in the form of photocopies or specially run magnetic tapes. A charge will be levied for this service, at the following rates:

* $5.3 per page of photocopy; or

* a minimum charge of $580 for a job requiring up to 20 CRUs (Computer Resources Unit) phis $29 for each additional CRU in excess of 20 CRUs, if the information is required on magnetic tapes. The magnetic tape can be provided by the applicant, or by the department at a charge of $105 per tape.

Further details about the provision of this service can be obtained from the Central Register of Establishments Section on telephone 2582 4760.

End/Sunday, January 22, 1995

- 10 -

Flushing water cut in Kwai Chung

*****

Flushing water supply to some premises in Kwai Chung will be suspended from 9 pm on Tuesday (January 24) to 8 am the following day to facilitate maintenance work.

The suspension will affect all the premises in Lei Muk Shue Estate. Shek Yam Estate, On Yam Estate, Shek Lei Estate and those on Wo Yi Hop Road.

End/Sunday, January 22, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 842 8777

Monday, January 23,1995

Contents Page No,

Governor calls for concrete reassurances on HK’s future.......... 1

Governor's question & answer session at FCC...................... 3

Statement on ICC meeting........................................ 10

139 nominations received for municipal council elections..... 11

Consumer Price Indices for December 1994........................ 12

The new Education Commission meets today........................ 19

Companies Registry releases 1994 figures........................ 21

Three lots for sale............................................. 22

Postal services during Lunar New Year........................... 23

Lunar New Year holidays clinic services......................... 23

New hotline for seekers of airport-related jobs................. 24

Fishermen urged not to use dynamites or cyanide................. 25

Company appointed to handle Speedpost items in France........... 26

Public reminded not to cut trees................................ 27

Immigration mobile office temporarily suspended................. 27

First quarter rates due on January 30.........................   28

Water storage figure............................................ 30

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results..................... 30

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations............ 31

1

Governor calls for concrete reassurances on HK’s future ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

• i

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, today (Monday) calls for more concrete reassurances be given to individuals and businesses if Britain and China are to discharge their common obligation to ensure a successful transition for Hong Kong.

The British and the Hong Kong Governments can do their bit to give reassurance by remaining firmly committed to implementing the Joint Declaration in full, he said.

This can also be done by their obvious commitment to ensuring that Hong Kong is in the best possible economic, environmental, social and educational shape on June 30, 1997, so that the Special Administrative Region Government can get off to the best possible start on July 1, 1997, he added.

’’There are people in Hong Kong who could give more reassurance by being less ready to let go of components of Hong Kong’s economic and social success, to let go of assets assured to Hong Kong in the Joint Declaration and Basic Law, whenever there is any sign of controversy about them,’’ he said. j.V;

Addressing a luncheon meeting of the Foreign Correspondents' Club, Mr Patten pointed out that as 1997 came closer, individuals and businesses were looking not to Britain nor the Governor, but to China to provide reassurances: and indeed concrete _ evidence that the principles enshrined in the Joint Declaration will be upheld and implemented in the future.

Hong Kong and its people have prospered because of Hong Kong’s virtuous adherence to its fundamental virtues.

The fundamentals are a free, open market; low taxes; prudent spending; clean and competent administration; rule of law; an international outlook; investment in the future and exchange rate stability.

Hong Kong is not going to turn back on the secrets of its success, he said.

"There can be no doubt about that before 1997. There should be no doubt about that after 1997. Sadly some people have such doubts,” he said.

Mr Patten said the doubts might have begun to creep in because the Joint Liaison Group had over the years not been able to deal as quickly with outstanding w ,shi issues as people hoped, and because misunderstandings and agreements had emerged.

2

There have been notable achievements on defence lands, the airport and cross border co-operation, but too many uncertainties have been left unresolved.

Issues that have drawn concerns include the right of abode, the Court of Final Appeal, Container Terminal No. 9 and the future of the civil service.

People would like to see these issues settled so that they can take assurance for the future and plan with more confidence.

"The British and the Hong Kong Governments will do all that they can to enable this to be done.

”1 am sure that the Chinese side appreciate their importance to Hong Kong.

. ■ • ’ -. ■ ।

"It is in the common interest of Britain and China, too,” he said.

Britain doesn’t just have a moral obligation to discharge its responsibilities to Hong Kong faithfully, it also has a huge interest in Hong Kong's success after 1997, an interest that comes from the huge investments of British companies in the territory, he said.

By that measure of economic interest, China has an even greater reason for wanting Hong Kong to do well than has Britain, he added.

"A place to start would be the forthcoming Preliminary Working Committee seminar on the future of Hong Kong as an international financial centre.”

It will be reassuring to many people if that seminar produces as strong an endorsement of Hong Kong's fundamental virtues as an economy, and as unequivocal a commitment to uphold them, as I have given today, he said.

. < • .

"I’m sure that officials from the Hong Kong Government would be happy to take part and give the benefit of their experience and advice if asked.

"Beyond that, words need to be acted on with concrete agreements. I do very much hope that more of these will be forthcoming over the next few months.

"The Hong Kong Government, as ever, will be doing all that it can to assist and explain, to help Chinese officials to take those steps that the people of Hong Kong and international investors alike would all welcome," he said.

•• - ‘ • • ■?. • • ;

End/Monday, January 23, 1995

3

Governor’s question & answer session at FCC *****

Following is the transcript of the Governor the Rt Hon Christopher Patten's question and answer session at the Foreign Correspondents' Club today (Monday):

Question: You mentioned that Hong Kong would like to see clear signals from Chinese officials, concrete actions. You deftly avoided mentioning the name of Deng Xiaoping. It would seem to me that any civil servant or any Government official right now would be extremely hesitant to do anything so long as Deng Xiaoping, you know, is on his death-bed. Well, put it this way, do you think Chinese policy now is in limbo until the question of Deng's succession is resolved? And what do you see is the impact on Hong Kong of Deng's death, short term and long term?

Governor: You know me well enough now to know how diplomatic I always am in answering questions and I don't think it is seemly or appropriate for me to speculate about political developments in Peking, though I'm sure everybody else will be. But let me make the following points.

» - ' ■ ’1.»/ i.- I ’ . * J -■ •

First of all, whatever happens in Hong Kong or China, China and Hong Kong have a shared interest in the success of their respective economies which are umbilically linked. It is overwhelmingly in Hong Kong's interest that China should continue the spectacular economic revolution that was begun by Deng Xiaoping, and whatever the occasional bumps along the road, which are inevitable, should continue that as successfully in the next 15 years as it's been carried forward in the last 15 years. Equally, it is very much in China's interest that Hong Kong which today represents 21% of China's GNP, should continue to be a successful and thriving economy.

Secondly, in relation to Hong Kong, putting off decisions doesn't make them any easier. It's bound to make some decisions a bit more difficult. Putting off decisions, whether it's done by the Hong Kong Government or by anyone else, means that there will be a very great deal to do the closer we get to 1997 if we are to secure that smooth transition which everyone in Hong Kong wishes to see.

4

Thirdly, whoever are the principal leaders in Peking will face the same agenda both here and throughout China in the next few years and you know as well as I do what that agenda consists of. We would like to be able to work as closely as is reasonably possible with Chinese officials and with those they choose to join the Preparatory Committee in the year and a half or so before the transition. And we would like to be able to be discussing with Chinese officials as soon as possible, ways in which they think we could best co-operate with and help that Preparatory Committee. Of course we have ideas about that but our ideas aren’t set in concrete and what we can best do will obviously depend a great deal on what Chinese officials think we can most usefully do. Discussions on an issue like that can’t wait indefinitely because time presses and it is in the interests of the future members of the Preparatory Committee, as it is in the interests of the Hong Kong Government and the Hong Kong public, for us to be able to settle down and talk about those things sooner rather than later.

So I hope that decisions won’t be delayed or postponed. And I’m sure that the leadership in China will continue with the economic revolution begun so notably by Deng Xiaoping. And I will no more today than I have in the past, speculate about his health. I'm sure Chinese officials don’t speculate about mine.

Question: This question is asked not so much in memory of your former colleague Mr Lamont in the EMS, but more in recollection of 1984, the last bursting of the Hong Kong asset bubble which led, at the time of political disturbances as well, to the collapse of the Hong Kong dollar and the establishment of the peg. The question is, how high are you prepared to see Hong Kong interests go to protect the peg? Is there any limit?

Governor: Well I am grateful for the comparison with Norman Lamont which I’m sure was well intentioned. I have never shared his financial responsibilities but I know enough about markets not to give an answer to your question. All I will say, as somebody who has shifted his position intellectually on fixed and floating rates over the years, and normally been wrong in the past, all I will say is that I believe that the peg has been an important element in the stability of the Hong Kong economy and Hong Kong society, though I recognise the limitations which it places on the customary conduct of monetary policy and know that you and others have written stimulatingly on the subject. But just in case there is any doubt about it, our position, which I have enunciated on many occasions, is that the peg stays so long as we do, up to the 30th June 1997, and I know that Chinese officials have made it clear, not least at a seminar organised by the PWC which one of our officials attended, that they intend that the link should continue after 1997 too.

■wjaw • ••••*

- 5 - . -

m •

♦» • v ’

Question: Governor, I think I heard you rightly saying that Hong Kong officials were going to be playing a role in the Preparatory Committee and I just wonder if you could elaborate. You seem to have offered something new in saying that Hong Kong officials could participate in the PWC seminar on Hong Kong as a financial centre, is that something new in terms of policy and do you have some sort of -1 don’t know -elaborated plan as to how Hong Kong officials are going to slot in to the Preparatory Committee? . ...

Governor: Well let me clarify what I said, and I think that the tapes - to borrow from a late president of the United States - will, without any deletions, bear out what I’m about to say. First of all, in setting out in terms our existing policy and what actually happens, I’m not enunciating anything new but perhaps merely observing that sometimes people are a little confused about what our position is and maybe that’s our fault, maybe people hear what they want to hear. But we have never had any difficulty at all about briefing PWC members, about taking part in seminars which they organise on their own or with others. We’ve briefed PWC members on the localisation and adaptation of laws. I hope that we may have the opportunity -1 would wish that we had had it earlier - to brief on issues like nationality, visa abolition agreements, right of abode. We attended a seminar on the link. We attended a seminar organised by the PWC and the TDC on economic links with the Mainland. I think about three of our senior officials attended that seminar. And if we are invited to attend the seminar on reclamation in the harbour - we haven't yet had an invitation - but I'm sure we would want to respond to that positively, as we would wish to respond, I'm sure, positively if we were invited to represent the views of the Hong Kong Government at a seminar on the future of Hong Kong as an international, financial centre. -

What we haven't been prepared to do is to join the PWC formally or to treat it as, as it were, an alternative organ to the Joint Liaison Group or to the other institutions set up under the sacred texts. There are some who say the PWC was set up as an attempt to smooth the transition. There are others who say that it was set up as an attempt to establish an alternative power centre. We're prepared to help it as enthusiastically as possible in the first of those categories. If the second was ever in anybody's mind, I don't think it is any business of ours to support it in that endeavour but I'm sure nobody ever thought of that.

6

The second question is how we relate to the Preparatory Committee and there, what I think I said, is that we believe that we should help the Preparatory Committee in every way which they thought was desirable. I didn’t say that members of the Hong Kong Civil Service should be members of the Preparatory Committee. I don't imagine for one moment that Chinese officials or the NPC would consider that. But I do think*, that we have to help. We have to help and would want to help, by the provision of intellectual and administrative resources and in other ways that Chinese officials may think desirable. There are all sorts of examples that one can draw in from other societies or communities. When there is a change of president in the United States, there's a transition team established between one administration and the next to try to smooth things through and I daresay we can draw on that experience as well as to make some of our own ground rules.

There are particular areas where we will plainly have to work very closely with the Preparatory Committee and with the Chief Executive Designate. For example, in drawing up the 1997 Budget. That will involve very close discussions both about public expenditure and about macro economic judgments with designated members of the Preparatory Committee in 1996. So those are all practical ways in which we are prepared to be as co-operative as possible with the Preparatory Committee. I set a number of them out in the autumn of last year in my speech to the Legislative Council. Our impression is that Chinese officials want to connect on those issues, though they haven't - who would expect it? - been loud in their hosannas or thrown their hats very high in the air. But the sooner we can get down to discussing those practical measures and the sooner we can explain the outcome to the Legislative Council and the community, in my judgment, the better.

I said the other day and it wasn't the establishment of pre-conditions, it seemed to me to be a statement of the thunderingly obvious, that we should be prepared to cooperate wherever we believed that it was in the interests of Hong Kong, that it was in the spirit of the Joint Declaration and where it clearly was in the long term interests of those people who man the administration of Hong Kong, and woman the administration of Hong Kong, our civil servants. I repeat, those aren't pre- conditions, they are things I imagine that Chinese officials believe as well. When Mr Qian Qichen talks about the importance of a smooth transition, I imagine that he has some of those things in mind himself.

Question: I'm not sure that Steve Vines' question has actually been clarified. I have a separate question but I'm just wondering if you could pick up on that point and clarify. Are you saying that if the invitation from the PWC is made to the Government and not to the officials themselves that you are prepared to accept it? If that's what you are saying, it does seem to be a shift.

7

My actual question is: You spoke about people seeking assurances increasingly from the incoming sovereign rather than from Britain and I’m just wondering, given the arrest of a Hong Kong businessman, problems with developments in the heart of Beijing, intellectual property rights, etc, if assurances are sought and given, what degree of likelihood do you see that they will actually be believed?

Governor: Let me deal with the second point first. Clearly, there comes a point - and I suspect it’s come - when my reassurances about the business atmosphere or related matters after 1997 are rather less important to investors and businessmen than what Chinese officials say. And what Chinese officials say will always be related to the backdrop of what is happening in China and what is promised for Hong Kong. I think a sensible businessman would recognise the considerable difficulties which Chinese officials have faced and have faced on the whole with considerable success. I would hope too, that a businessman looking to the future would take it as a mark of comfort rather than the reverse that Chinese officials were increasingly so open about the economic problems that they have to face and overcome, sometimes more open and therefore more convincing than some enthusiasts outside. So I hope that people, in taking reassurance from Chinese officials, won't expect the impossible and won't be too starry-eyed in their assessments of what is possible in China.

I think we may be - or you may be - inventing a theological point which I don't quite understand in relation to the Preparatory Committee. Our position is absolutely clear. We think that the Hong Kong community expects the Hong Kong Government to give the maximum help to the Preparatory Committee in all its activities, provided, and I'm sure they will be, that they are in line with the Joint Declaration and appear to be in Hong Kong's interests. Not a question of whether the Preparatory Committee makes an application for assistance to the Government or to individual civil servants. I imagine that one of the things we will want to agree on is some clearing-house through which Preparatory Committee requests for help and information can be put. But those are things which we need to discuss with Chinese officials.

I could share any one of a number of ideas on co-operation with you this lunchtime but it is rather more significant for us to work them out with Chinese officials, either in the JLG or in some other forum. But we have no theological difficulties about supporting, working with, the Preparatory Committee. And the way we work with them, the support we provide, could take any of a number of forms. The provision of facilities, the provision of staff support, all those sort of things which I just offer as examples, we need to talk to Chinese officials about.

8

Question: You've said that transitional matters will be on the agenda when you go to London this week. I seem to recall last year on one of those rare occasions when senior Chinese officials were not speaking directly to senior Hong Kong officials, you indicated that one appropriate subject for direct discussions might be on concrete arrangements for the ceremonies which will have to be held to mark the handover on the 30th June. I just wondered whether you have had any response from China on this issue or indeed any indication that the Chinese side intend to lake part in any Hong Kong ceremony on that date?

Governor: There are aspects of that issue on which exchanges have taken place but we haven't yet connected across the range of issues affecting the actual transition with Chinese officials in the JLG, though I trust we will do so. Chinese officials are understandably concerned with issues of sovereignty and I'm sure will be concerned that the transfer of sovereignty is handled in as dignified a way as possible. And for both those reasons, I would imagine that in due course they would want to talk to us about those things. There are very practical matters involving the movement of the garrison in both directions. There are other matters about who's invited, who’s there. Least important of course is the exact mode of departure of the 28th Governor.

Question: Governor, last week we heard you say very firmly that certain items would not be handed over to the Chinese in relation to civil service files but there was a piece in the paper this morning that was a bit confusing about that. Can you say as exactly as you can at the moment please, what it is that you are willing to handover to the Chinese and what things you are not willing to handover to the Chinese until what you regard is the appropriate moment? I know you've said this many times but there was this impression in the paper this morning that somehow there was some kind of rethink or something. If it's the same as last week, you can just say it's the same as last week.

Governor: It's the same as last week. But I do hope that we can, as it were, continue the discussion in the JLG. I don't think that either Director Lu or myself would want this discussion to continue at a high decibel count in public. 1 think both of us would recognise that it's unsettling for civil servants. Complicated and sensitive issues become the playthings of propaganda departments, which doesn't, I suspect, help to resolve them in a sophisticated, flexible, compassionate way and I hope that we can carry the discussions forward now in the JLG without any more statements being made which unsettle civil servants.

Question: You talked of manned’ and then added womaned' and 1 wondered if 1 might offer you the word ’staffed'. Can I also perhaps offer you the word business people' instead of the word ’businessmen' or businessman'. But that hasn't to do with my question.

9

You emphasised the importance of the rule of law and you also expressed the hope that wealth in Hong Kong didn't give people extra privilege and I wondered what plans you had to make the law of Hong Kong more accessible to ordinary people?

Governor: I stand corrected on the phraseology which goes well beyond political correctness, I recognise, and you make a perfectly reasonable point.

On the second question, which I guess is an issue not just for Hong Kong but for the United Kingdom, the United States, most if not all members of the European Union, indeed I would guess most OECD countries, I hope that the proposals we have put forward on reforming the organisation of legal aid and the provision of legal aid will be of some assistance but I recognise that very often the costs of going to law and the sometimes cultural barriers that people find themselves having to clamber over in order to go to law, both create problems and they are problems that we need to address very vigorously. Because the rule of law isn't just something which guarantees that people will stand by their contracts. The rule of law isn't just something which makes business and investment rather safer. The rule of law is the defining element in a decent and civilised society and it has to apply to everyone however rich or poor they may be. I don't think in any community where the rule of law applies, it is yet possible to point to a sufficiently vigorous administrative structure which makes certain that the rule of law touches the lives of the poorest and neediest as well as others. It has to do with counselling, it has to do with the provision of services, it has to do with access, it has to do with cultural access, it has to do with education, and those are all issues on which we are perhaps coming later than some, in Hong Kong.

Question: I wanted to ask a question on property prices. On property prices, Governor, the interest rate has gone up, which you mention is a function of the linkage of the exchange rates and so there is no interference in that market but there has been interference in the market on property prices to make apartments more affordable. As banks have limited mortgages to 70% would there be any time when the Government would feel it appropriate to interfere in the mortgage market, to instruct banks to make it easier to borrow so that people can buy apartments because as prices have come down, interests rates have come up and transactions are very much down and apartments are still not being bought, they're going unsubscribed?

*

Governor: No. if I'd wanted to become a banker I'd have done so and doubtless have been adequately rewarded for my pains. I said in my speech that I didn't believe in intrusive intervention in markets when they were going up or coming down. 1 certainly don't believe in intrusive interference in the operation of banks or other . financial institutions. If governments start to interfere in that way, sooner or later, if things go wrong with banks and financial institutions, the public or the banks and financial institutions ask the Government to pick up the tab and that is not something which I think is healthy and it doesn't have any part in a free market economy such as this one mostly is.

End/Monday. January 23. 1995

10

Statement on ICC meeting *****

The Infrastructure Co-ordinating Committee held its first plenary session in Guangzhou today (Monday).

Both sides gave briefings on their respective infrastructure projects with cross-border implication.

It was agreed that four panels would be set up as follows:

a) Railway Panel

Leader of British side :

Mr Haider Barma, Secretary for Transport

Leader of Chinese side :

Mr Chai Puan, Deputy Head of External Co-operation Department, Ministry of Railways

b) Roads and Bridges Panel

Leader of British side :

Mr A G Eason, Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands

Leader of Chinese side :

Mr Mao Jiaan, Head of Planning Department, Ministry of Communications

c) Air Traffic Control Panel

Leader of British side :

Mr Gordon Siu, Secretary for Economic Services

Leader of Chinese side :

Mr Ma Xiaowen, Head of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan Department, Civil Aviation General Administration

11

d) Panel on Marine Channels

Leader of British side :

Mr Gordon Siu, Secretary for Economic Services

Leader of Chinese side :

Mr Mao Jiaan, Head of Planning Department, ministry' of Communications

Both sides also agreed to arrange site visits to major projects in Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Hong Kong in early March, and to hold a seminar in Hong Kong on cross-border infrastructure co-ordination. Experts and advisers would be invited to attend the seminar. 9

It was initially agreed that the second meeting of the Committee would be held in April.

End/Monday, January 23. 1995

139 nominations received for municipal council elections *****

A total of 139 nominations were received for the municipal council elections after the 15-day nomination period closed today (Monday).

There were four withdrawals of nominations. They are Mr Tong Sze-Hung, Kenny and Mr Kwok Tin-loi, Samuel of Fanling and Sha Ta; Mr Lau San-ching of Kowloon City North; and Mr Lau Kong-wah of Sha Tin South.

Of the remaining 135 nominations. 114 arc from male candidates and 21 from female candidates.

Ninety-six are incumbent members of district boards, municipal councils and the Legislative Council. Six are LegCo members.

Seven constituencies are uncontested. They are Aberdeen and Bays Area, Sham Shui Po Central. Sham Shui Po East. Wang Tau and Lok Tin. Tai Po Central, Sai Kung Rural and Tak Fu. and Islands.

Eighteen nominations were received on the last day of nomination today.

12

The breakdown of nominations by district is as follows:

Central and Western 4

Wan Chai 6

Eastern 17

Southern 5

Yau Tsim Mong 9

Sham Shui Po 4

Kowloon City 8

Wong Tai Sin 9

Kwun Tong 13

Tsuen Wan 9

Tuen Mun 8

Yuen Long

North 5

Tai Po 5

Sai Kung 3

Sha Tin e 14

Kwai Tsing 8

Islands 1

Total 135

End/Monday, January 23, 1995

Consumer Price Indices for December 1994

*****

The Consumer Price Index (A) in December 1994 was 8.9% higher than in December 1993, according to figures released today (Monday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

This was higher than the corresponding increase of 8.6% in November.

Commenting on the CPI figures, a Government spokesman pointed out that, the faster increase in the CPI(A) in December was mainly due to higher prices of vegetables, as supplies were affected by unstable weather conditions during the month. The prices of vegetables rose by 19% in December over a year earlier. In October and November, the prices of vegetables decreased by 26% and 10% respectively over the same months in the preceding year.

13

The rate of increase in the Consumer Price Index (B), at 9.5% in December, was the same as that in November.

As to the Hang Seng CPI, the increase decelerated from 10.6% in November to 10.3% in December.

The slower increase in the Hang Seng CPI in December than in November was mainly due to a moderation in charges of meals bought away from home and in private housing rentals, which more than offset the effect of higher vegetable prices. The rates of increase in the prices of other components of the CP1(A) remained broadly similar to those recorded in November.

For 1994 as a whole, the rate of increase in the CPI(A) averaged at 8.1%. This was lower than the increase of 8.5% recorded in 1993.

The Composiie CPI, which is compiled based on the combined expenditure pattern of households covered by the three CPIs, showed an increase of 9.5% in December 1994 over the same month in 1993. This was the same as the corresponding increase in November.

Comparing December 1994 with December 1993, relatively faster price increases than the overall average were recorded for housing (12.3% in the CPI(A) and 14.1% in the CPI(B)); miscellaneous services (12.6% and 11.8%); and clothing and footwear (9.7% and 10.1%).

On the other hand, relatively slower price increases than the overall average were recorded for durable goods (2.5% in the CPI(A) and 2.8% in the CPI(B)); alcoholic drinks and tobacco (4.7% and 5.3%); fuel and light (5.4% and 5.5%); food (excluding meals bought away from home) (7.5% and 7.0%); transport (7.5% and 7.0%); meals bought away from home (7.6% and 7.4%); and miscellaneous goods (8.4% and 7.3%).

Comparing December 1994 with November 1994. the CPl(A) and CPI(B) increased by 1.0% and 0.7% respectively. The corresponding increase for the Composite CPI was 0.8%.

In the fourth quarter of 1994. the CPI(A) and CPI(B) were, on average, higher by 8.5% and 9.3% respectively over a year earlier. The corresponding increase for the Composite CPI was 9.3%.

For 1994 as a whole, the CPI(A) and CPI(B) were, on average, higher by 8.1% and 8.6% respectively than in 1993. The corresponding increases for the Hang Seng CPI and Composite CPI were 10.0% and 8.8%.

14

Seasonally adjusted series are also available for the CPIs. The deseasonalised CPI(A) and CPI(B) increased at an average rate of 0.8% and 0.9% per month respectively during the three months ended December 1994. The corresponding increase for the Composite CPI was 0.9%.

More details are given in the "Consumer Price Index Report" for December 1994, which is available at $16.5 per copy from the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, Ground Floor, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong; or from the Publications Section of the Census and Statistics Department, 19th Floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

For local and overseas mailings, contact should be made with the Information Services Department, French Mission Building, 1 Battery Path, Hong Kong.

(

For enquiries about the indices, please telephone the Consumer Price Index Section of the Census and Statistics Department at 2805 6403. Details regarding the Hang Seng CPI are contained in the Hang Seng CPI Report issued by the Economic Research Department of Hang Seng Bank Ltd.

15

Table 1 Component Consumer Price Indices and Rates of Increase for December 1994

(Oct. 89 - Sep. 90 = 100) Caiposite CPI

CPI (A) CPI(B) Hang Seng CPI

Index for Dec 94 % change over Dec 93 Index for Dec 94 % change over j Dec 93 Index for Dec 94 % change over Dec 93 Index for Dec 94 % change over Dec 93

Food 145.9 *7.5 147.3 +7.2 150.7 •8.5 147.3 *7.6

Meals bought away fran heme 154.8 +7.6 154.7 +7.4 158.0 +9.3 155.5 +7.9

Food, excluding meals bought away from home 136.9 +7.5 137.1 +7.0 138.2 +7.0 137.2 +7.2

Housing 174.5 +12.3 178.6 +14.1 181.8 -14.1 178.3 *13.6

Fuel and light 127.9 +5.4 127.4 +5.5 127.6 +5.6 127.7 +5.5

.Alcoholic drinks and tobacco 190.0 *4.7 179.9 +5.3 174.9 +5.2 184.3 *5.0

Clothing and footwear 146.2 +9.7 148.3 *10.1 165.5 -12.5 153.6 -10.9

Durable goods 114.2 -2.5 114.2 -2.8 120.0 •2.6 115.9 +2.7

Miscellaneous goods 139.0 +8.4 134.3 +7.3 132.4 *7.1 135.5 +7.7

Transport 150.9 +7.5 149.6 -7.0 149.1 +7.1 149.9 -7.2

Miscellaneous sendees 168.6 +12.6 162.6 •11.8 151.6 •9.8 161.1 -11.5

All items 153.0 +8.9 154.3 *9.5 158.1 +10.3 154.8 -9.5

Monthly consumer price indices are compiled on the basis of (a) expenditure patterns of relevant households and (b) prices collected currently in the month. Ilie expenditure patterns underlying the 1989/90-based consumer price indices are based on those patterns derived from the 1989/90 Household Expenditure Survey. Hie CPI (A) is based on the expenditure pattern of about 50% of households in Hong Kong, which had an average monthly expenditure of $2,500-89,999 in 1989/90(broadly equivalent to $3,600-514,600 at 1994 prices). The CPI(B) is based on the expenditure pattern of the next 30% of households, which had an average monthly expenditure of $10,000-517,499 in 1989/90(broadly equivalent to $14,600-526,000 at 1994 prices). The Hang Seng CPI is based on the expenditure pattern of the next 10% of households, which had an average monthly expenditure of 517,500-537,499 in 1989/90(broadly equivalent to $26,000-556,000 at 1994 prices).

Whereas the CPI (A), CPI (B) and Hang Seng CPI are based on the expenditure patterns of groups of households with different magnitudes of household expenditure, the Composite CPI is compiled based on the expenditure pattern of all these households taken together. Thus, while the CPI (A), CPI(B) and Hang Seng CPI shew the inpact of consumer price changes on different groups of households, the Composite CPI shows the impact of consuner price changes on the household sector generally.

16

Table 2 Consumer Price Indices for January 1992 - December 1994 (Oct. 89 - Sep. 90 = 100)

Year/month

CPI(A)

CPI(B)

Hang Seng CPI Composite CPI

1992 January February March 119.7 121.8 122.5 119.3 121.2 121.9 119.4 121.0 121.8 119.5 121.4 122.1

April 124.0 123.4 122.9 123.5

May- 124.0 123.8 124.2 124.0

June 125.3 125.1 125.2 125.2

July 125.5 125.4 125.4 125.4

August 125.6 125.9 125.8 125.8

September 128.3 127.9 127.5 128.0

October 128.4 128.4 128.6 128.5

November 128.5 129.0 129.9 129.0

December 129.3 129.8 130.0 129.7

1993 January- 131.8 131.6 131.5 131.7

February 132.4 132.2 132.0 132.2

March 132.0 132.2 133.1 132.4

April 133.5 133.9 134.5 133.9

May- 134.5 134.8 136.3 135.1

June 136.0 135.9 137.1 136.3

July- 135.8 136.1 136.9 136.2

August 136.3 • 136.6 137.4 136.7

September 138.4 138.3 139.2 138.6

October 140.0 139.6 140.7 140.0

November 139.4 139.9 142.2 140.3

December 140.4 140.9 143.3 141.3

1994 January- 140.0 140.7 143.4 141.1

February 142.7 142.9 144.9 143.3

March 142.5 143.0 145.3 143.4

April 143.8 144.8 147.9 145.2

May 145.0 146.1 150.0 146.7

June 146.2 146.9 151.0 147.7

July- 147.3 147.9 150.5 148.3

August 149.6 149.6 151.7 150.1

September 150.3 150.8 153.4 151.3

October 151’. 1 152.2 155.3 152.6

November 151.4 153.1 157.3 153.5

December 153.0 i ■ 154.3 158.1 154.8

I i

17

Chart 1 Year-on-year Rates of Increase in CPI(A)

Chart 2 Year-on-year Rates of Increase in CPI(B)

18

Chart 3 Year-on-year Rates of Increase in Hang Seng CPI

Chart 4 Year-on-year Rates of Increase in Composite CPI

End/Monday, January 23, 1995

19

The new Education Commission meets today *****

The new term of the Education Commission had its first meeting today (Monday) to consider its programme of work in the coming two years. This will cover Education Commission Report No. 6 (ECR6) on Language Proficiency; ECR7 on Quality in School Education; the review of the case for a General Teaching Council; and the co-ordination of reviews of compulsory and post-compulsory education.

Speaking after the meeting, the Commission Chairman, Professor Rosie Young, said "the Commission had made a good start in its new term of office".

"We reconfirmed the broad principles for a language improvement strategy, which we shall pursue further in ECR6," Professor Young said. "These principles are -

a strategy of failure prevention in primary education;

* approaches to the learning of both Chinese and English in primary schools, which take full account of the complex language situation our children face;

* better public understanding of effective language development in a bilingual/trilingual environment; and

* more professional involvement by teachers and other educators.

They will serve as guidelines for drafting ECR6."

It is expected that the Commission will finalise ECR6 in the first half of 1995, and publish it before the summer for another round of consultation.

"We also decided to set up a working group to review the case for a General Teaching Council in Hong Kong," Professor Young said.

"The working group will comprise Commission and non-Commission members, and will be chaired by a Commission member who is not directly working in the field of education.

"We have asked Members to indicate their interest to join the working group and to suggest names of people who could be invited to join as co-opted working group members."

20

Professor Young said "the working group will be set up in February', and its first task will be to review the case for setting up a General Teaching Council with official legislative backing."

Terms of reference of the Working Group are:

(1) to review background to and the need for the establishment of a General Teaching Council;

(2) depending on the outcome of the review at (1) above, to make proposals regarding the establishment of a statutory Council including its objectives, powers and duties, membership criteria and governance arrangements; and

(3) to submit recommendations to the Education Commission as soon as possible on Terms of Reference (1) and by the end of 1995 on Terms of Reference (2).

"We had a slide presentation from the Secretary of the Commission. Mr Chris Godwin, on the 'knowledge revolution', which stimulated a very lively discussion of education reform issue. This will be a useful lead- in to our discussion of the reviews of compulsory and post-compulsory education at the next meeting," said Professor Young.

"The Commission will begin these reviews as soon as possible, bearing in mind the need to complete the current three studies," Professor Young said.

"One key feature of the reviews is that we shall try to stimulate wide discussion and debate on the key issues among all relevant advisory bodies, executive agencies; educational bodies, and parents' and employees' organisations.

"We hope in this way to develop ideas form the bottom up, working together with front-line educators and other interested people."

End/Monday, January 23, 1995

21

Companies Registry releases 1994 figures *****

The total number of companies registered under the Companies Ordinance in 1994 had reached 452,789, nine per cent more than 415,911 at the end of 1993.

The number of new companies registered during the year was 42,723, 19,108 fewer than 1993.

These mixed results for the calendar year 1994 by comparison with 1993 were shown in figures released by the Registrar of Companies, Mr Gordon W E Jones, today (Monday).

The total number of overseas companies registered under part XI of the ordinance stood at 3,956 at the end of the year, 412 more than 1993.

The number of new overseas companies establishing a place of business in Hong Kong and registered under Part XI of the ordinance in 1994 was 573, an increase of 15 per cent over 1993.

The total amount secured by charges registered on the assets of companies decreased by 10 per cent from $67,673 million to $60,790 million whereas the number of charges filed had increased by two per cent from 32,657 to 33,224.

The amount repaid on charges, as evidenced by Certificates of Satisfaction, increased by six per cent from $21,515 million to $22,838 million, and the number of certificates had increased by six per cent from 19,073 to 20.263.

During the year a total of 195 prospectuses of public companies, including 58 in respect of mutual funds, were registered compared with 168 prospectuses, including 52 in respect of mutual funds, during the previous year.

The total number of documents received for filing during the year decreased by seven per cent from 1.294,918 to 1,199,830. The number of searches made by the public during 1994 as compared with that in 1993 increased by seven per cent from 1,842.566 to 1.972.513.

The total number of summonses issued by the Registrar of Companies in 1994 against companies and their directors for breaches of the Companies Ordinance, mainly for late filing of returns of alteration made in the directors or secretary of an overseas company or in their particulars, was 205.

Another 42 summonses were outstanding from 1993.

22

Of the 247 summonses, 196 resulted in convictions (compared with 192 in 1993) and 25 remain to be heard by the court.

The total amount of fines imposed for convictions in 1994 was $2,874,745 compared with $1,580,525 in 1993.

End/Monday, January 23, 1995

Three lots for sale

*****

The Lands Department will auction three lots of land on Hong Kong Island and in the New Territories on January 25 (Wednesday).

The public auction will begin at 2.30 pm in the Concert Hall of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui.

The first lot, on Ap Lei Chau Praya Road, has an area of 16,770 square metres for industrial or godown purposes, excluding offensive trades. ♦

The second lot, in Area 19, Fanling, has an area of 11,280 square metres for non-industrial use, excluding residential, hotel, godown and petrol-filling station purposes, but including commercial uses, a public transport terminus, a public car park, a car park ancillary for commercial use, a day nursery and a social centre for the elderly.

Covering an area of 6,500 square metres for residential use, the third lot is in Area 46 at the junction of Ma Lok Path and Kau To Shan Road, Sha Tin.

Attention News Editors:

Your representatives are invited to cover the auction.

A press area will be designated. Photographers are advised to bring along telephoto lenses.

End/Monday, January 23, 1995

23

Postal services during Lunar New Year

*****

The Postmaster General, Mr Mike Pagliari, today (Monday) announced that a special mail delivery would be provided on the third day of the Lunar New Year (February 2, Thursday).

No delivery would be made on the first and the second day of the Lunar new Year (January 31 and February 1).

All post offices would be closed during the New Year holidays.

End/Monday, January 23, 1995

Lunar New Year holidays clinic services ♦ * ♦ ♦ *

The Department of Health today (Monday) announced special arrangements of general out-patient services for the coming Lunar New Year Holidays.

There will be no clinic service on January 31 (Lunar New Year's Day) and February 1.

However, eight general out-patient clinics will be open between 9 am and 1 pm on February 2 (Thursday)

The clinics are the Violet Peel Health Centre and Shau Kei Wan Jockey Club Clinic on Hong Kong Island; the Kwun Tong Jockey Club Health Centre, the Robert Black Health Centre and Yau Ma Tei Jockey Club Clinic in Kowloon; and the Lady Trench Polyclinic, Shek Wu Hui Jockey Club Clinic and Yuen Long Jockey Club Health Centre in the New Territories.

On the other hand, the evening clinic service will be suspended between January 30 (the day preceding Lunar New Year's Day) and February 2.

End/Monday, January 23, 1995

24

New hotline for seekers of airport-related jobs *****

The Labour Department today (Monday) urged local construction workers looking for airport-related jobs to make use of a new "jobs hotline" 2492 2001.

Senior Labour Officer (Employment Services) Mr Raymond Chan said the new hotline was easier to remember than the previous one.

He also said the Local Employment Service (LES) of the department had been actively helping local construction workers to find jobs in the new airport and related projects.

"To protect the interests of local construction workers, contractors applying for imported workers under the Airport-related Special Labour Importation Scheme are required to register their vacancies with the LES," he said.

As a standing practice, information on job vacancies are displayed in all the nine LES offices throughout the territory.

The LES will also send the vacancy information to over 20 relevant trade unions, inviting their members to apply for the jobs.

"To make sure that local workers are given priority in filling the vacancies, contractors who have set restrictive recruitment requirements will be advised to relax the requirements.

"Failure to do so may result in the refusal of applications for imported workers," Mr Chan said.

Applications from employers found to have no sincerity in employing local workers will also be rejected.

Mr Chan urged local construction workers interested in airport-related jobs to use the "jobs hotline" or visit any of the LES offices.

End/Monday, January 23, 1995

25

Fishermen urged not to use dynamites or cyanide ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Local fishermen have been reminded regularly not to use dynamites or poisonous substances including cyanide in fishing at Hong Kong and other territorial waters to avoid breaking the law and damaging the marine environment.

The latest reminder came from a seminar organised for fishermen from Kat O, Sai Kung and Tai Po by the Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) earlier today (Monday).

Commenting on the appeal, the department's senior fisheries officer Mr Joseph Sham said it was against the law in Hong Kong to use dynamites or poisonous substances including cyanide in fishing at local waters.

Mr Sham said: "Under the Fisheries Protection Ordinance, any person using dynamites or poisonous substances in fishing would be liable to a maximum fine of $10,000 and six months' imprisonment.

‘1

"Apart from breaking the law, fishermen using these methods in fishing could endanger theirs and other people's lives, cause serious damage to the marine environment and reduce fish landings."

To enforce the law and help protect the territory's marine environment and fishery resources, Marine Police and AFD have stepped up patrols in Hong Kong waters, he said.

On the conservation side, AFD has been working actively on the establishment of marine parks and marine reserves. It is also exploring the feasibility of deploying more artificial reefs in the territory.

These measures will help conserve the marine environment and upgrade fishery resources, he added.

Mr Sham also called on fishermen to observe marine regulations of neighbouring countries when fishing in their or international waters.

The maximum penalty for people convicted of using dynamites in fishing at waters in some Southeast Asian nations could be as high as life imprisonment, he added.

26

Today's seminar, held at the Tai Po Wholesale Fish Market, is the last in a series of talks organised by AFD for fishermen. It is aimed at reminding them to fish with lawful and environmentally friendly methods.

The previous seminars, held between September last year and earlier this month for fish folk at Aberdeen, Cheung Chau and Sha Tau Kok, were well received.

End/Monday, January 23, 1995

Company appointed to handle Speedpost items in France ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

The Post Office has appointed Jet Services Courier S.A. to undertake customs clearance and delivery of Speedpost items in France from February 6.

The Postmaster General, Mr Mike Pagliari, said the appointment was necessary following a decision by the postal administration of France to withdraw from the international postal EMS network (known as Speedpost in Hong Kong) and to terminate its existing obligations to other postal administrations to deliver EMS items within its territories at a later date.

The company was recommended by the Universal Postal Union after a rigorous selection process.

"Its service has been carefully tested by the Hong Kong Post Office and found to be both satisfactory and reliable.

"The Post Office is confident that this company will be able to maintain the high standard of service currently provided to Speedpost items destined for France," he said.

End/Monday, January 23, 1995

27

Public reminded not to cut trees ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The public was today (Monday) reminded not to cut trees or plants in the countryside for decorations during the Lunar New Year period.

Country Parks Protection Officer of the Agriculture and Fisheries Department, Mr Edmond Lam Yui-fong, said cutting trees or plants in the countryside was an offence under the Forests and Countryside Ordinance.

The maximum penalty for violation of the Ordinance is a $25,000 fine and one-year imprisonment.

’’Although the public are now more aware of the importance of conserving the countryside, there are reports of people picking flowers or cutting plants,” he said.

He reminded people going to country parks during the Lunar New Year period not to damage any plants there.

Wild flowers and trees are best appreciated in their natural habitat, he said.

Mr Lam also appealed to members of the public to report to the nearest country park management centre if they spotted such illegal activities.

End/Monday, January 23, 1995

Immigration mobile office temporarily suspended ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Immigration Department announced today (Monday) that the services of birth, marriage registration and applications for immigration facilities provided by the Immigration Mobile Office at Sai Kung will be suspended for one day next Monday (January 30).

’’The temporary suspension of services is because of the preparation for the Spring Season Social Gathering by the Sai Kung Rural Committee on January 30," a spokesman for the Immigration Department said.

"The service will be resumed on February 6 (Monday)," the spokesman added.

Members of the public who wish to make enquiries may telephone 2842 6111 or use the enquiry faxline 2877 7711.

End/Monday, January 23, 1995

28

First quarter rates due on January 30 *****

Rates for the first quarter of this year are payable on or before January 30, a spokesman for the Treasury said.

Payment can be made using the Payment by Phone Service or by post addressed to the Director of Accounting Services, P.O. Box 8000, GPO, Hong Kong, or in person at any of the following offices:

* The Treasury Headquarters Collection and Payment Office, Immigration Tower, 1st Floor, 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong;

* The Central Sub-Treasury, Central Government Offices (West Wing), 11 Ice House Street, Hong Kong;

* The North Point Sub-Treasury, Max Share Centre, 1st Floor, 373 King's Road, North Point, Hong Kong;

* The Sai Wan Ho Sub-Treasury, Eastern Law Courts Building, Ground Floor, 29 Tai On Street, Sai Wan Ho, Hong Kong;

* The Yau Ma Tei Sub-Treasury, Kowloon Government Offices, 4th Floor, 405 Nathan Road, Kowloon;

* The Kowloon City Sub-Treasury, Man Sang Commercial Building, 1st Floor, 348-352 Prince Edward Road, Kowloon;

* The District Office at Sai Kung, Sha Tin, Tai Po, North, Yuen Long, Tuen Mun, Tsuen Wan or Kwai Tsing.

The spokesman said ratepayers who had not received their demand notes should bring along those for any previous quarter to any of the Treasury collection offices.

Duplicate demand notes will be issued to them, he said.

If they cannot produce demand notes for any previous quarter, they should enquire of the Treasury Rates Section, Immigration Tower, 30th Floor, 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

Non-receipt of the demand notes does not alter the requirement that the rates must be paid by January 30 and unless so paid, ratepayers may be subject to a surcharge of five per cent under section 22 of the Rating Ordinance.

29

A further surcharge of 10 per cent may be levied on the outstanding amount (including the five per cent surcharge) which remain unpaid six months after the due date.

Ratepayers who have submitted a valid direct debit authorisation should note that if the wording "Payment to Be Made By Autopay" is shown, payment will be made by direct debit to their bank accounts on January 30.

They should then ensure that their bank accounts contain the necessary funds on that date.

If the above wording is not shown, they should pay according to the instructions as set out in the demand notes.

Rates are payable on vacant properties but are refundable under the conditions as specified in section 30 of the ordinance.

Under sections 30(1 A) and (2A), however, no refunds will be made in the case of vacant tenement last used or intended to be used wholly or primarily for domestic purposes or for the parking of vehicles (unless vacant by reason of an order of the Government).

To save queuing time, the spokesman urged ratepayers to use the Payment by Phone Service, or pay by post using cheques or cashier orders, or by early personal attendance at any of the collection offices.

"However, the most convenient payment method is autopay," he said.

Applications for autopay are obtainable from Treasury collection offices, District Offices and all major banks in Hong Kong or by telephoning 2829 5019.

For additional information regarding the Payment by Phone Service, please call 1702 22329.

End/Monday, January 23, 1995

30

Water storage figure *****

Storage in Hong Kong’s reservoirs at 9 am today (Monday) stood at 70.7 per cent of capacity or 414.184 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 389.303 million cubic metres of water, representing 66.4 per cent of capacity.

End/Monday, January 23, 1995

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Tender date 23 Jan 95

Paper on offer EF notes

Issue number 3801

Amount applied HKS2,860 MN

Amount allotted HK$500 MN

Average price (yield) accepted 98.88(8.61 PCT)

Lowest price (yield) accepted 98.88 (8.61 PCT)

Pro rata ratio About 50 PCT

Average tender price (yield) 98.63 (8.71 PCT)

End/Monday, January 23, 1995

31

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 3,303 0930 -1,289

Closing balance in the account 3,389 1000 -989

Change attributable to: 1100 -19

Money market activity -188 1200 +215

LAF today +274 1500 -188

1600 -188

LAF rate 3.75% bid/5.75% offer TWI 121.0 *+0.1* 23.1.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills

EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 6.83 16 months 2605 6.35 98.28 7.89

1 month 6.88 22 months 2611 6.90 98.15 8.17

3 months 6.98 27 months 3704 6.15 95.78 8.39

6 months 7.16 33 months 3710 7.25 97.23 8.56

12 months 7.62 59 months 5912 8.15 97.26 9.04

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $32,652 MN

Closed January 23, 1995

End/Monday, January 23, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 842 8777

Wednesday, January 25,1995

Contents Page No,

Technical amendments to draft Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal Bill. 1

Government intends to appeal High Court decision...................... 1

Two Govt lots sold for $401 million................................... 2

Residential mortgage survey results for December 1994 ................ 2

Lai Chi Kok lot to let.............................................

Household Expenditure Survey making good progress..................... 5

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations...............

4

- 1 -

Technical amendments to draft Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal Bill ♦ * ♦ ♦ * -

A Government spokesman denied today (Wednesday) that one of the technical amendments approved by the Govemor-in-Council yesterday was to make solicitors eligible for direct appointment as judges of the Court of Final Appeal (CFA), as reported by some local newspapers today.

"The Government is proposing to introduce into the Legislative Council an amendment Bill to the existing Supreme Court Ordinance to make solicitors who have practised as such for 10 years or more in Hong Kong eligible for appointment as judges of the Supreme Court (which comprises the High Court and the Court of Appeal)," the spokesman said.

"The Government intends to consider the question of whether to make solicitors eligible for appointment as CFA judges at a later stage, after the legislation to make solicitors eligible for appointment to the Supreme Court has been considered by the Legislative Council," the spokesman added.

The spokesman also strongly refuted a suggestion that the proposal to make solicitors eligible for appointment as Supreme Court judges was part of a secret deal with the Council of the Law Society in return for its support for the draft CFA Bill.

"There is no secret deal of any kind," he said. "The two issues are quite separate."

End/Wednesday, January 25, 1995

Government intends to appeal High Court decision ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

In response to press enquiries, a Government spokesman confirmed today (Wednesday) that the Government intended to appeal yesterday's decision of the High Court to release the Vietnamese migrants involved in the habeas corpus action.

"The appeal will be lodged before the end of the week and pending the decision of the Court of Appeal, no further Vietnamese migrants will be released as a consequence of yesterday's High Court decision," he said.

End/Wednesday, January 25,1995

Two Govt lots sold for $401 million ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Two lots of Government land were sold for a total of $401 million at a public land auction held by the Lands Department this (Wednesday) afternoon.

The third lot, covering an area of 11,280 square metres in Fanling for nonindustrial use, was withdrawn because no bidding was made for the opening price of $600 million.

The lot in Area 46 at the junction of Ma Lok Path and Kau To Shan Road, Sha Tin, was bought by Treasure Properties Limited at $171 million, with bidding opening at $130 million. With an area of 6,500 square metres, it is designated for residential use.

The developer has to complete a gross floor area of not less than 2,340 square metres before March 31, 1998.

The other lot, in Ap Lei Chau Praya Road was bought by Cheerjoy Development Limited at $230 million, with bidding opening at the same price. It has an area of 16,770 square metres for industrial or godown use, but excluding offensive trades. The developer has to complete a gross floor area of not less than 95,589 square metres before March 31, 2000.

Held in the Concert Hall of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui, the auction was conducted by Government Land Agent Mr Timothy Mills.

End/Wednesday, January 25, 1995

Residential mortgage survey results for December 1994 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

The growth in residential mortgage loans for the purchase of properties in Hong Kong remained modest in December 1994, according to the latest monthly survey conducted by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA).

The latest figures show that the total amount of outstanding mortgage lending by the 33 institutions in the survey rose by 0.6% in December (0.8% in November) to $237.1 billion.

The percentage change has been adjusted to allow for the reclassification, securitisation and sale of loans by some institutions amounting to $8.6 billion.

4

- 3 -

The growth rate is below the monthly average of 1.03% over the last 12 months.

"The growth rate for December was a continuation of the slower trend of the last few months," the Deputy Chief Executive (Banking) of HK.MA, Mr David Carse, said.

"While this reflects the current lower level of activity in the property market, seasonal factors may also have played a part."

The annualised rate of growth in lending over the last three months decreased slightly to 6.8%, compared with 7.2% in the three-month period to November. The 12-month average of outstanding loans was stable at an annualised rate of 12.4%, the same as in the previous month.

The amount of new loans approved but not yet drawn fell significantly by 38.7% or $1.9 billion to $3.0 billion in December. "These figures suggest that the growth of outstanding loans will slow further in January," Mr Carse said.

Lending for the purchase of properties in China grew by 0.6% in December to $4.49 billion, compared with the 3.0% growth in November. The increase was entirely attributable to the growth of loans for the purchase of residential properties.

Gross loans made in December fell both in number (to 282 from 376) and in amount (to $121 million from $200 million).

New loans approved in December decreased in number (to 213 from 249) but slightly increased in amount (to $179 million from $173 million).

Residential Mortgage Loans in Hong Kong Results of Survey for December 1994 Dec 1994 HK$ Mn Nov 1994 HK$ Mn

33 authorised institutions

1. Outstanding lending

a. Amount 237,061 244,126 •

b. Monthly change • 0.6% ** 0.8%

c. Twelve-month change 12.5% ** 12.6%

d. Average change (annualized)

Latest three months 6.8% ** 7.2%

Latest twelve months 12.4% ** 12.4%

2. Gross loans made during month

a. Amount 6,583 6,533

b. Number 4502 4540

3. New loans approved during month

a. Amount 5,017 7,276

b. Number 3371 ♦ 4753

4. New loans approved during month but not yet drawn

a. Amount 3,024 4,933

b. Number 1985 3206

Note : *♦ Adjusted to include the effect of re-classification of loans, loans sold and securitisation of residential mortgage loans by some institutions amounting to HKS8.6 billion.

End/Wednesday, January 25, 1995

- 5 -

Lai Chi Kok lot to let *****

The Lands Department is inviting tenders for the short-term tenancy of a piece of Government land in Lai Chi Kok.

Located in a reclamation area, Lai Chi Kok, the lot has an area of 2.76 hectares for open storage of containers, excluding loading and unloading of goods.

The tenancy is for six months, renewable monthly.

Closing date for submission of tender is at noon on February 10.

Tender form, tender notice and conditions may be obtained from the District Lands Office, Kwai Tsing, the District Lands Offices Kowloon, 10th floor, Yau Ma Tei Car Park Building, 250 Shanghai Street, Kowloon and the Lands Department, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road.

Tender plan can also be inspected at these offices.

End/Wedncsday, January 25, 1995

Household Expenditure Survey making good progress *****

Public response to the 1994/95 Household Expenditure Survey, which began last September, has been encouraging.

The survey is jointly conducted by the Census and Statistics Department and the Hang Seng Bank Ltd to collect up-to-date information on household expenditure patterns for rebasing the Consumer Price Indices.

“The survey will last one complete year till September this year so that the data used in compiling the indices is not affected by seasonal fluctuations during the year,” a spokesman for the Census and Statistics Department said today (Wednesday).

"Households visited in the past three months were co-operative in supplying the required information to us," he said.

Interviewers from the department and the Hang Seng Bank will continue to visit selected households in the coming months.

6

Households participating in the survey will be requested to keep daily records on household expenses for 14 consecutive days.

"It would take only a few minutes a day for each household member to record their expenditures.

"Our interviewing officers are ready to help in their record-keeping as far as possible.

"Since some household members may be away from home during day-time, our officers also work in the evening to help," the spokesman added.

Households selected for the survey can be assured that information they provide will be kept strictly confidential. Particulars of individual households will not be released to other Government departments or private organisations in any identifiable form.

"Since the Consumer Price Indices are important indicators of inflation, all selected households should participate actively in the survey and provide accurate information as far as possible."

The spokesman appealed to all households to co-operate fully if they were selected to participate in the survey later.

Anyone who has queries about the survey may call the department on tel 2805 6101 or 2805 6102 during office hours.

End/Wednesday, January 25, 1995

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Million)

Opening balance in the account 1,567 0930 +336

Closing balance in the account 2,031 1000 +426

Change attributable to: 1100 +406

Money market activity +464 1200 +466

LAF today NIL 1500 +466

1600 +464

LAF rate 3.75% bid/5.75% offer TWI 121.0 *+0.0* 25.1.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.68 16 months 2605 6.35 98.57 7.65

1 month 6.20 22 months 26i;i 6.90 93.94 8.08

3 months 6.76 27 months 3704 6.15 97.50 8.23

6 months 6.90 36 months 3801 8.00 99.42 8.39

12 months 7.49 59 months 5912 8.15 98.10 8.82

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $45,355 million

Closed January 25, 1995

End/Wednesday, January 25, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 842 8777

SUPPLEMENT

Wednesday, January 25,1995

Contents Page No.

Legislative Council meeting:

Councillors' role in law-making process recognised............ 1

Motion debate on withdrawal of Employment (Amendment) Bill 1994 .... 3

Improved services for the elderly in the pipeline............. 6

Motion debate on health care plan for the elderly............. 8

Housing (Amendment) Bill 1995 introduced to LegCo............ 13

Employees' Compensation (Amendment) Bill 1995 ............... 14

Motor Vehicles Insurance (Third Party Risks) (Amendment) Bill 1995 .... 15

Legal Aid (Amendment) Bill 1995 introduced................... 17

Civil Service Pension Reserve Fund......................... 18

- • ■ s • • • • t w.1

Company liquidation forms made more user-friendly............ 20

Bankruptcy forms made simpler................................ 21

Legislative Council (Electoral Provisions) Ordinance......... 21

Public Bus Service Ordinance................................. 23

Academy for Performing Arts annual report tabled............. 24

Disclosure of salaries of LegCo members’ assistants.......... 25

/Commemorate 50th...

X

4

Contents Page No,

Commemorate 50th anniversary of end of Pacific War..................... 27

Public transport has not lagged behind demand.......................... 28

Land sales............................................................. 30

Proposal to increase programmed aircraft movements................. 31

All trades must keep income and expenditure records.................... 32

Investigations of conduct of listed companies.......................... 34

Labour rights of workers at new airport................................ 35

Emissions from diesel-powered public buses............................. 37

Eligibility criteria for a Kwai Shing East Estate block................ 38

Overloading of green minibuses......................................... 39

Burglaries in schools.................................................. 40

Immunisation against Hepatitis B....................................... 43

Staff appraisal systems for lecturers.................................. 44

No shortage of domestic helpers........................................ 46

No control over use of social security grants.......................... 48

Clearance of squatter areas............................................ 49

Property price movements............................................... 50

Manufacturers being helped to cope with environmental laws............. 52

Motion to reprove Government passed.................................... 54

1

Councillors’ role in law-making process recognised ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

* i .

The Attorney General, the Hon Jeremy Mathews, today (Wednesday) reassured Legislative Councillors that the withdrawal of the Employment (Amendment) Bill 1994 was not a challenge to their rights in the Council.

The bill was withdrawn because the Government considered it essential to first consult the Labour Advisory Board on the substantial amendment that Members had made to the original proposal on which the Board had achieved a broad consensus.

He said the Government simply exercised the power provided under Standing Order No. 52 of the Legislative Council which explicitly allows the Member in charge of a bill to withdraw or postpone a bill at the beginning of the proceedings on a bill at a sitting.

"Although this action is unusual in Hong Kong, there are many examples in the United Kingdom, on whose parliamentary practice ours is based, where the Government withdrew bills when they had been significantly amended in committee," said Mr Mathews during the motion debate moved by the Hon Anna Wu at the Legislative Council.

Mr Mathews stressed that at no stage in this process did the Administration intend any disrespect to the important role played by the Legislative Council in the law-making process.

He said: "On the contrary, we have always placed great weight on the views expressed by LegCo Members, in this Council, in Bills Committees and elsewhere.

"So I am naturally disappointed that some Honourable Members should seek to reprove the Administration for the withdrawal of the Employment (Amendment) Bill simply because we made the prudent decision to consult the recognised advisory body on labour issues before reverting back to this Council, significantly with an improved package.

"We have never denied the constitutional right of Honourable Members to amend our legislative and expenditure proposals," he added.

However, Mr Mathews pointed out, as an executive-led Government, its primary concern when considering policy issues was the overall interest of Hong Kong.

This may, on certain occasions, mean that some sectional interests advocated or represented by Honourable Members cannot be fully satisfied.

2

"It is no disrespect to this Council to say that we cannot afford to allow sectional interests to be put above the overall interests of Hong Kong.

"The fact that on a few occasions other considerations do not allow us to accept the views of this Council does not in any way undermine the role of the Council in the law-making process.

"The fact that the Administration decides to withdraw a proposal does not mean that there can be no further discussion on it. On the contrary, in the case of the Employment (Amendment) Bill we made great efforts to refine and improve our package.

"If we were practising 'some form of dictatorship', as alleged by some Members, we would surely not bother to go to such trouble."

Mr Mathews also refuted suggestions that the Administration saw LegCo as a "rubber stamp".

He said the Government was aware that it had no divine right to expect Members to support its proposals automatically, and that it was up to the Government to persuade Members that they were in the best interests of the people of Hong Kong.

For example, Members have on many occasions amended or rejected Government proposals in the past.

"The recent example is the Residential Care Homes (Elderly Persons) Bill which was passed by this Council on 12 October. We supported the Third Reading of the Bill, although the Bill contained a committee stage amendment opposed by us," he said.

Concluding, Mr Mathews reiterated that the Administration recognised the important role played by Legislative Councillors.

"We have paid, and will continue to pay, respect to this role, and to the right of Members to interpret it as they wish.

"But we too have a role to play, and I hope that Members will in turn respect that role, and our right to interpret it in the way that we believe is in the best interests of the people of Hong Kong as a whole.

"This is surely the best way to maintain the public's confidence in this Council and the entire system of government in Hong Kong," he added.

. . ' x ; • • • ■ . j-

End/Wednesday, January 25, 1995 •> .

3

Motion debate on withdrawal of Employment (Amendment) Bill 1994 *****

Following is the speech by the Attorney General, the Hon Jeremy Mathews, in the Legislative Council motion debate on withdrawal of the Employment (Amendment) Bill 1994 today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

It is a pity that some Honourable Members have chosen to use strong language in their speeches today. When they criticised the Administration for withdrawing the Employment (Amendment) Bill 1994, I would have hoped that they would have considered the impact that there would have been on our system of consultation through advisory boards and committees, had we taken a different course of action. We need to see the wood for the trees.

Contrary to the allegations made by some Honourable Members, the Administration did not withdraw this Bill because we felt that our authority was being challenged nor because we had little regard for the welfare of employees in Hong Kong. We withdrew the Bill because we considered it essential that we should first consult the Labour Advisory Board, the well recognised and long established advisory body on labour issues, on the substantial amendment that Members had made to the original proposal on which the Board had achieved a broad consensus.

As Honourable Members know, the members of the Labour Advisory Board are elected by employers and employees. Because of their conflicting interests, any agreement reached in the Board is inevitably a compromise that has been achieved through serious and often lengthy negotiations. The Board has an excellent record in reaching agreements on important labour issues. To ignore the views of the Board, or to overturn its proposals lightly, would not only damage the credibility of the Labour Advisory Board as a forum where a reasonable balance between employers' and employees' interests can be struck, but would also put our labour relations at risk. A harmonious relationship between employers and employees is an integral part of Hong Kong's economic success.

4

Mr President, over the years, a number of amendments have been made to the Employment Ordinance. On every occasion, the Administration has consulted, and obtained the agreement of the Labour Advisory Board on the proposals before the amendment bill was submitted to this Council. Because bills committees were normally set up to study previous Bills to amend the Employment Ordinance, the Administration was always able to go back to the Board for further consultation in the event that Legco Members disagreed with any proposed amendments. However, as has been pointed out, no bills committee was set up to examine the Employment (Amendment) Bill 1994. We had no opportunity to consult the Board on amendments to the Bill proposed by the Honourable Lau Chin-shek. Since these were substantially different from the broad consensus reached by the Board, we would have failed in our duty had we allowed the Bill as amended by him to be enacted.

It has been suggested that the Administration could have adjourned the debate on the bill rather than withdrawing it. But what would that have achieved? Had that course been followed, we would have to reintroduce at third reading the same bill, that is the bill as amended in Committee. Withdrawal of the Bill enabled the Administration to come forward with a new bill, as indeed it did. So withdrawal would give much flexibility.

As the Secretary for Education and Manpower has already assured this Council, the sole purpose of withdrawing the Bill last month was to enable the Administration to consult the LAB again on the important issues of severance payment and long service payment. This we did. The new package of improvements endorsed by the Board was embodied in the Employment (Amendment) Bill 1995 which was passed by the Council last week.

Mr President, it is wrong to see that our action in withdrawing the Employment (Amendment) bill 1994 is a challenge to the rights of Honourable Members in this Council. We simply exercised the power provided under Standing Order 52 of this Council. The Standing Order explicitly allows the Member in charge of a bill to withdraw or postpone a bill at the beginning of the proceedings on a bill at a sitting. A bill withdrawn, I stress that word, a bill withdrawn, may subsequently be reintroduced in the same session as another bill with the same objects or with the same provisions as the one which has been withdrawn. We were surprised that Members reacted so strongly to our action. Although this action is unusual in Hong Kong, there are many examples in the United Kingdom, on whose parliamentary practice ours is based, where the Government withdrew bills when they had been significantly amended in committee.

5

At no stage in this process did the Administration intend any disrespect to the important role that this Council plays in the law-making process, as has been suggested. On the contrary, we have always placed great weight on the views expressed by Honourable Members, in this Council, in Bills Committees and elsewhere. So I am naturally disappointed that some Honourable Members should seek to reprove the Administration for the withdrawal of the Employment (Amendment) Bill simply because we made the prudent decision to consult the recognised advisory body on labour issues before reverting back to this Council, significantly with an improved package.

We have never denied the constitutional right of Honourable Members to amend our legislative and expenditure proposals. The suggestion that the Administration sees this Council as a "rubber stamp" is simply wrong. This is a travesty of the truth. We know better than that. We know that we have no divine right to expect Members to support our proposals automatically, and that it is up to us to persuade Members that they are in the best interests of the people of Hong Kong. Indeed, Honourable Members have on many occasions amended or rejected our proposals in the past. The recent example is the Residential Care Homes (Elderly Persons) Bill which was passed by this Council on the twelve of October last. We supported the Third Reading of that Bill, even though it contained a committee stage amendment which we had opposed.

Mr President, it is however true that the Administration and the Members of this Council have different roles to play and different spheres of responsibility in the law-making process. This is an executive-led government. When the Administration considers policy issues, our primary concern is the overall interest of Hong Kong. This may, on certain occasions, mean that some sectional interests advocated or represented by Honourable Members cannot be fully satisfied. It is no disrespect to this Council to say that we cannot afford to allow sectional interests to be put above the overall interests of Hong Kong. The fact that on a few occasions other considerations do not allow us to accept the views of this Council does not in any way undermine the role of this Council in the law-making process. The fact that the Administration decides to withdraw a proposal does not mean that there can be no further discussion on it. On the contrary, in the case of the Employment (Amendment) Bill we made great efforts to refine and improve our package. If we were practising "some form of dictatorship", as alleged by some Members, we would surely not bother to go to such trouble.

6

I J

To conclude, Mr President, the Administration recognises that important role played by Members of this Council. We have paid, and will continue to pay, respect to this role, and to the right of Honourable Members to interpret it as they wish. But we too have a role to play, and I hope that Members will in turn respect that role, and our right to interpret it in the way that we believe is in the best interests of the people of Hong Kong as a whole. That is surely the best way to maintain the public’s confidence in this Council and the entire system of government in Hong Kong.

With these remarks, I urge Honourable Members to vote against this motion.

t

End/Wednesday, January 25, 1995

•U

Improved services for the elderly in the pipeline

*****

The Government is to spend an additional annual recurrent cost of $37 million in 1995/96 to implement the recommendations contained in the report by the Working Group on Care for the Elderly. The amount will rise to $108 million in 1999/2000.

In addition, another $327 million in capital costs will be spent during the five-year period from 1995-2000 in improving services for the elderly, the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, said during the motion debate on health care plan for the elderly in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday).

Mrs Fok said that caring for the elderly had always been a Government priority, as had been abundantly proven in various policy areas such as housing, welfare, and healthcare.

Following the publication of the Report of the Working Party on Primary Health Care in 1990, the Government has not only initiated new ventures targeting the elderly as a group, but have also encouraged a realisation of partnership and the team approach in healthcare for this vulnerable group.

At the policy level, Mrs Fok said, the Government had recently set up a new Elderly Services Division within the Health and Welfare Branch to co-ordinate and oversee policy matters related to health services for elderly people.

At the organisational level, the Department of Health continues to take the lead in collaborating with other healthcare providers to care for elderly people in the community through its network of general out-patient clinics and the new elderly health centres.

7

The Hospital Authority has also reached out to mobilise community support for elderly people at risk of hospitalisation.

New initiatives include the community-based geriatric assessment teams and clinics as well as community psycho-geriatric teams to provide a more structured approach in the provision of outreach medical services and support for welfare institutions.

At the operational level, the Government is working towards a closer but managed interface between healthcare personnel from different disciplines and sectors.

Mrs Fok noted that the growing degree of community involvement was encouraging. For example, self-help support groups for elderly citizens with similar health concerns have been organised at the Nam Shan Elderly Health Centre.

"Through counselling and group activities, participants are informed of the basis of health risks and disease causation as well as equipped with the necessary skills and support to resist social pressure to conform to unhealthy living," she said.

"To ensure continuity of care for discharged elderly patients, close collaboration with carers assumes prime importance."

Another major initiative to foster community participation is the development of volunteer services in Hospital Authority hospitals through which volunteers acquire an understanding of health as they offer their services to those in need.

Another vivid demonstration of intersectoral co-operation and community partnership in health is the organisation of health education programmes and health checks in social centres for the elderly operated by non-govemmental organisations.

The Secretary said these projects and a whole range of other health promotional activities initiated by different healthcare sectors had benefitted many elderly citizens.

"It is our intention that these activities should continue to flourish to cater for the varying needs of our elderly people," she stated.

Mrs Fok also noted that the first elderly health centre which was specifically targeting healthy individuals aged 65 and above had commenced operation at the Nam Shan Estate since May last year.

The second and third centres will be operational in 1995-96 while the others are in the pipeline.

8

"These centres will serve the important purpose of developing and fine-tuning protocol and logistics of preventive and promotive services in an out-patient setting," Mrs Fok said.

"The intention is to accumulate practical experience so that future centres will be successfully integrated in our out-patient clinics on a territory-wide basis."

As regards dental services for elderly people, Mrs Fok said special grants were in place to provide financial assistance to CSSA recipients for dental treatments in designated dental clinics and clinics run by non- governmental organisations and nonprofit making bodies.

She told the Council that although Hong Kong had a sound healthcare system that cared for all age groups, services to cater to specific groups, that is, the older members of the community, would need to be fined.

"Existing services will be critically evaluated to ensure the most cost-effective use of all existing resources.

"Last but not least, we will motivate the community in different ways to help the individual and his family to adopt healthy lifestyles so that the community, as it grows old together, will do so in good health," Mrs Fok said.

End/Wednesday, January 25, 1995

Motion debate on health care plan for the elderly ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

Following is a speech by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council motion debate on health care plan for the elderly today (Wednesday)

Mr President,

First of all, I must thank the Hon Li Wah-ming, the Hon Tam Yiu-chung, and other Members who have spoken during the debate for their diverse views and stimulating ideas on this very important subject of healthcare for the elderly.

9

Caring for our elderly has always been a Government priority. This has been abundantly proven in various policy areas such as housing, welfare, and healthcare. We have in place extensive programmes to promote the health and welfare of our elderly men and women. The Working Group on Care for the Elderly which reported in August last year, made 71 recommendations that carry significant and far- reaching implications on the provision of services for our elderly citizens in the years to come. We will implement the recommendations contained in this Report at an additional annual recurrent cost of $37 million in 1995-96 rising to $108 million in 1999-2000. Another $327 million in capital costs will also be spent between 1995 and the year 2000 in improving services for our elderly people. This is a clear commitment by the Government.

Primary Health Care

The Report of the Working Party on Primary Health Care (PHC) published in 1990 reaffirmed Government’s commitment towards primary healthcare and its important role in the overall health care programme for our citizens. It also set the scene for re-orientation of emphasis towards primary health care in our overall healthcare policy.

In this process, we have followed several guiding principles:

(a) Firstly, although the application of primary healthcare varies between population groups, there should not be an arbitrary segregation of different age groups in health promotion; we agree with the Hon C H Leong who rightly points out that health promotion should start at an early age;

(b) Secondly, a multi-disciplinary and multi-faceted approach should be adopted in the provision of services. This means that primary healthcare should be provided not just through the Government or through the medical profession alone, but also through the non-medical disciplines, such as welfare workers. Many members have also spoken on this topic. The modes of provision of primary healthcare should include not just health screening but also disease prevention, counselling, health education, curative treatment and rehabilitative care. We need to maximise the use of all existing resources, not just in the Health Department but in all Government funded healthcare institutions such as the Hospital Authority and other subvented non-governmental organisations;

10

(c) Thirdly, intersectoral collaboration between the public and private sectors should be encouraged. In Hong Kong, there is a very vigorous private health sector providing choice and quality of service to our citizens. In primary healthcare as in other aspects of the healthcare services, Government should play a co-ordinating and enabling role in promoting collaboration between public and private sectors in providing a comprehensive network of health care services for the whole community;

(d) Fourthly, the success of any healthcare programme depends to a great extent on participation of the community and the individual. Every person has a role to play in ensuring his own health and in promoting the health of others. What the Government can do is to raise the awareness of the importance of good health through community education and disease prevention programmes. But at the end of the day, the role of each individual and the family in healthcare and promotion is extremely important.

Elderly as a target group

These guiding principles of primary healthcare have been applied at the policy level, the organisational level and at the operational levels. In the four years following the Report on Primary Health Care, we have not only initiated new ventures targeting the elderly as a group, but have also encouraged a realisation of partnership and the team approach in healthcare for this vulnerable group.

At the policy level, we have recently put in place a new division called the Elderly Service Division within the Health and Welfare Branch comprising staff of different disciplines including health and welfare. Among other things, this Division will co-ordinate and oversee policy matters related to health services for elderly people, it will introduce a multi- disciplinary approach to this important work. But to succeed, we need everyone's support.

At the organisational level, the Department of Health continues to take the lead in collaborating with other healthcare providers to care for elderly people in the community through its network of general out-patient clinics and the new elderly health centres. At the same time, the Hospital Authority, in its effort to initiate a seamless healthcare system for all, including elderly people, has extended its services outside the boundaries of the hospital so as to reach out and mobilise community support for elderly people at risk of hospitalisation. New initiatives include the community-based geriatric assessment teams and clinics as well as community psycho-geriatric teams to provide a more structured approach in the provision of outreach medical services and support for welfare institutions.

11

At the operational level, we are working towards a closer but managed interface between healthcare personnel from different disciplines and sectors. Furthermore, the growing degree of community involvement is most encouraging. For instance, at the Nam Shan Elderly Health Centre, we organise self-help support groups for elderly citizens with similar health concerns to promote the basic ingredients of healthy living. An example is the promotion of exercise and a balanced diet. Through counselling and group activities, participants are informed of the basis of health risks and disease causation as well as equipped with the necessary skills and support to resist social pressure to conform to unhealthy living.

To ensure continuity of care for discharged elderly patients, close collaboration with carers assumes prime importance. For instance, the community-based geriatric assessment teams within the Hospital Authority carry out visits to offer specialist advice and educational programmes for lay carers and care- givers in residential care homes. Another major initiative to foster community participation is the development of volunteer services in HA hospitals through which volunteers acquire an understanding of health as they offer their services to those in need. We will support the Hospital Authority's initiatives in channelling its resources and efforts with other healthcare providers and the community to create an effective network of preventive healthcare programmes, particularly for the elderly.

The organisation of health educational programmes and health checks in social centres for the elderly operated by non-governmental organisations is another vivid demonstration of intersectoral co-operation and community partnership in health. In these programmes, voluntary medical personnel are invited to give health talks and carry out simple health checks for elderly clients. They also train up staff of the social centre so that they can provide the same service to users.

These projects and other healthcare promotional activities initiated by different healthcare sectors have benefited many of our elderly citizens. It is our intention that these activities should continue to flourish to cater for the varying needs of our elderly people.

Need to try out different healthcare models

In developing different models on healthcare for the elderly, we must not fall into the trap of using only one model to all parts of the territory to the exclusion of other health promotion options. The seven elderly health centres which are specifically targeting healthy individuals aged 65 and above serves as an experimental model for identifying a cost-effective operational model. It is a new, publicly funded service providing a venue where preventive and promotive healthcare programmes are conducted for older members of our community.

12

The first elderly health centre commenced operation in May 1994, and is welcome by all who have used its services. The second and third centres will be operational in 1995/96. The other centres are in the pipeline. These centres will serve the important purpose of developing and fine-tuning protocol and logistics of preventive and promotive services in an out-patient setting. The intention is to accumulate practical experience so that future centres will be successfully integrated in our out-patient clinics on a territory-wide basis.

Concern has been raised by the Hon Fred Li about dental services for elderly people. The Government’s policy on dental service is to provide preventive and promotive services to the general public, and curative service to persons in need of emergency treatment, to specified groups, and to in-patients in public hospitals whose dental treatment forms an essential part of their medical treatment. For elderly people who are CSSA recipients, special grants are in place to provide financial assistance for dental treatments in designated dental clinics and clinics run by non-governmental organisations and non-profit making bodies.

Health Screening

The points raised by the Hon Fred Li and other Members about increasing the accessibility of service venues, improving co-ordination among service providers, providing integrated care, promoting intersectoral collaboration and enhancing community participation are well taken, and deserve our support.

The issue of health screening is a complex subject and I wish to sound a word of caution. As far as I am aware, population screening of the scale proposed by some Members has not been practised in other countries. Health screening programmes should as a rule be based on cost benefit analyses. One must also bear in mind that screening is very much part and parcel of clinical practice. For example, taking of blood pressure and routine urine examinations constitute some form of informal screening. Most elderly persons have access to regular healthcare services, either in the public or private sector. Screening for people as they present themselves to healthcare services is recognised by healthcare professionals to be the most effective and practicable way of identifying people at risk. It would also make the best use of existing resources. Similarly, the Working Party on Primary Health Care advocated the introduction of screening for people aged 65 and above attending general outpatient clinics. The planned integration of elderly health centres into our general outpatient clinics is clearly in line with this recommendation.

13

Future efforts

'Hie concept of primary health care has taken root in our formulation of health care policy. As always, we will work to ensure that no one will be denied access to healthcare services through a lack of means.

As I pointed out earlier, we will also work to better co-ordinate and facilitate growing collaboration among all our healthcare professionals. We have a sound healthcare system that cares for all age groups, but we need to refine our services to cater to specific groups, in this case, the older members of the community. Existing services will be critically evaluated to ensure the most cost-effective use of all existing resources. Innovative ideas originating from the public and private sectors will be encouraged and tried out. Last but not least, we will motivate the community in different ways to help the individual and his family to adopt healthy lifestyles so that the community, as it grows old together, will do so in good health.

Thank you, Mr President.

End/Wednesday, January 25, 1995

Housing (Amendment) Bill 1995 introduced to LegCo ♦ * * ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic S W Wong, in moving the second reading of the Housing (Amendment) Bill 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move the Second Reading of the Housing (Amendment) Bill 1995.

The purpose of this Bill is to update and improve several provisions in the Housing Ordinance. Two significant and two minor amendments are proposed.

First, Clause 4 of the Bill empowers the Secretary for Housing to appoint, under new section 7A of the Ordinance, a panel of members, to hear appeals under section 20(1) of the Ordinance against termination of leases by the Hong Kong Housing Authority. The Bill also empowers the Secretary for Housing to make rules regulating the procedure for appeals to the panel. At present, the Housing Authority is responsible for appointing such a panel and for making such rules. This arrangement is not satisfactory as the Housing Authority is a party to these appeals, and hence the amendments are proposed. Furthermore, to ensure independence and impartiality regarding the handling of appeals, the Secretary for Housing will in future only appoint persons who are not members of the Housing Authority to the appeal panel.

14

Second, Clause 6 of the Bill seeks to deter the creation of mortgages or charges not authorised by the Housing Authority by making them void and rendering offenders liable to prosecution. Paragraph 4 of the Schedule to the Ordinance permits a flat purchaser under the Home Ownership Scheme or the Private Sector Participation Scheme to mortgage or charge the land only on such terms as are authorised by the Director of Housing. It has come to our notice that some mortgages for these flats have been created without the Director of Housing's authorisation. Legal advice is that it would not be appropriate to take prosecution action on 'the basis of this Schedule. We therefore propose the addition of a new section to clarify the legal position and to make people who borrow on the basis of unauthorised mortgages or charges liable to prosecution.

Third, Clause 3 of the Bill expressly empowers the Housing Authority to employ its own staff, consultants and advisers. Section 4(2)(k) of the Ordinance provides the Housing Authority with the general power to do all such acts as are reasonably necessary for the performance of its duties. Legal advice is that although existing contracts of employment can be justified under this section, the Housing Authority should be given specific power to employ its own staff and advisory services. This will put the validity of any future contract of employment beyond doubt.

The fourth amendment, under Clause 5, enables the Director of Housing to delegate any of his functions to officers of a specified class or description. This removes the need for him to appoint long lists of public officers frequently under section 10 of the Ordinance.

Thank you, Mr President.

End/Wednesday, January 25, 1995

Employees' Compensation (Amendment) Bill 1995 *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Michael Cartland, in moving the second reading of the Employees' Compensation (Amendment) Bill 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move the second reading of the Employees' Compensation (Amendment) Bill

1995.

15

The Bill seeks to require employers to purchase a minimum amount of insurance cover of $100 million in respect of their liabilities for employees' compensation, in place of the requirement for unlimited insurance cover under the existing Employees' Compensation Ordinance. I have already explained the reasons for such an amendment when moving the second reading of the Motor Vehicles Insurance (Third Party Risks) (Amendment) Bill 1995.

The proposed limit of $100 million for any one event is also considered adequate in the case of employee compensation : the largest claims for employees' compensation insurance have so far not exceeded $30 million per event. It is also true that in the unlikely event that liabilities exceeded the limit of $100 million, any excess will be payable out of the assets of the insured in the first instance, then out of the compensation funds maintained by the Employees Compensation Assistance Fund Board.

Mr President, the Employees' Compensation (Amendment) Bill 1995 is the result of the concerted efforts of the Financial Services Branch and the Education and Manpower Branch. I therefore speak also for my colleague the Secretary for Education and Manpower in commending this Bill to this Council.

End/Wednesday, January 25, 1995

Motor Vehicles Insurance (Third Party Risks) (Amendment) Bill 1995 * * * * *

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Michael Cartland, in moving the second reading of the Motor Vehicles Insurance (Third Party Risks) (Amendment) Bill 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move the second reading of the Motor Vehicles Insurance (Third Party Risks) (Amendment) Bill 1995.

The main purpose of the Bill is to require motorists to purchase a minimum amount of insurance cover in respect of their liabilities for motor vehicle third party bodily injuries, in place of the requirement for unlimited insurance cover under the existing Motor Vehicles Insurance (Third Party Risks) Ordinance (MVIO). Bearing in mind the need to ensure that the public is adequately protected, we propose that the minimum amount of insurance cover be set at $100 million for any one event.

16

Direct insurers in Hong Kong have so far been able to provide unlimited insurance cover to motorists to insure against their liability for motor vehicle third party bodily injuries by relying on the unlimited reinsurance cover provided by reinsurers. However, following recent shrinkage in reinsurance capacity in the international market, reinsurers in Hong Kong have concluded that it is no longer commercially viable for them to provide unlimited reinsurance cover for this type of policy. Without unlimited reinsurance protection, direct insurers cannot continue providing unlimited insurance coverage to motorists in Hong Kong. Consequently, the requirements of the MVIO, under which a motorist must take out unlimited insurance cover, can no longer be met. It is therefore necessary to amend the Ordinance to specify a minimum obligatory cover that would provide adequate protection for the injured in such circumstances.

The proposed limit of $100 million for any one event is considered appropriate having regard to the capacity of reinsurers to meet claims upon insurers. In proposing this amount, consideration has also been given to the fact that the largest claims for motor vehicle third party bodily injuries insurance have so far not exceeded $15 million per event.

I would like to add that the proposed amendments will not prejudice the right of an injured person to seek compensation over and above the limit of $100 million in the unlikely event that liabilities exceeded that amount. Any excess above the limit will be payable out of the assets of the insured. If any excess liabilities remain unpaid thereafter, the rights of the injured party will be further protected by the compensation funds maintained by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Hong Kong.

In addition, the Bill proposes to exempt vehicles used exclusively on construction and industrial sites from the requirement for compulsory third party insurance under the MVIO. Such vehicles have always been regarded as plant and equipment. It has been the market practice to insure them by standard all risks insurance policies, not by motor vehicle (third party risks) insurance policies. However, an amendment to the Road Traffic Ordinance (RTO) in 1988 unintentionally may have had the effect of requiring vehicles on industrial and construction sites to be compulsorily insured against third party risk under the MVIO. This in turn may have had the effect of rendering null and void any standard all risks insurance held by contractors for site based vehicles, as such policies exclude liabilities compulsorily insurable under any legislation. In other words, there is a risk that third party claims arising in connection with site based vehicles will not be entertained under the standard all risk insurance policies, resulting in losses to claimants.

17

We propose to rectify this situation by exempting site based vehicles from the compulsory third party insurance requirements under the MVIO, thereby placing liabilities arising in connection with such vehicles clearly within the ambit of the standard all risks insurance policies taken out by contractors.

Mr President, the Motor Vehicles Insurance (Third Party Risks) Amendment Bill 1995 is the result of the concerted efforts of the Financial Services Branch, Transport Branch and Works Branch. I therefore speak also for my colleagues, the Secretary for Transport and the Secretary for Works, in commending the bill to this Council.

End/Wednesday, January 25, 1995

Legal Aid (Amendment) Bill 1995 introduced

♦ ♦ ♦ * *

Following is the speech by the Acting Chief Secretary, the Hon Michael Leung, in moving the second reading of the Legal Aid (Amendment) Bill 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move that the Legal Aid (Amendment) Bill 1995 be read the second time. The Bill puts forward a number of amendments to the Legal Aid Ordinance to implement the recommendations of an inter-departmental working group which conducted a comprehensive review of our legal aid services and a number of additional improvement measures proposed by the Director of Legal Aid in the light of the operating experience of the Legal Aid Department.

The Working Party’s report, published in July last year, contains a total of 25 recommendations. Some of these were related to the establishment of a Legal Aid Services Council, which will be the subject of a separate Bill to be introduced into this Council shortly. Most of the remaining recommendations were intended to introduce improvements to the scope and operation of the legal aid scheme. These require legislative amendments to the Legal Aid Ordinance and some subsidiary legislation. I now outline the major improvements provided for in the present Bill.

Clauses 3 and 5 of the Bill provide for increases in the financial eligibility limits for both the standard legal aid scheme and the self-financing Supplementary Legal Aid Scheme for the so-called the sandwich class. The increases take into account the level of inflation since the current limits were set.

18

The Bill also meets the public demand for greater access to legal aid. Clauses 4 and 13 expand the scope of the standard civil legal aid scheme. As a matter of human rights policy, we propose to give the Director of Legal Aid the discretion to waive the means test in any civil case where an applicant has a meritorious Bill of Rights claim. We also propose that legal aid be extended to persons making applications to the Mental Health Review Tribunal against their detention in a mental hospital or the Correctional Services Department Psychiatric Centre, and to persons who pursue election petitions on Bill of Rights grounds.

Clause 14 of the Bill seeks to include in the scope of the Supplementary Legal Aid Scheme claims involving professional negligence on the part of medical doctors, dentists and lawyers.

Finally, the opportunity is also taken to streamline some operating practices. For example, Clause 8 seeks to clarify the application of a first charge by the Director of Legal Aid on any property recovered or preserved for an aided person in proceedings in respect of which the person was legally aided. It also recognises the present practice whereby the Director does not impose a first charge on maintenance payments to children. The existing privileges against disclosing information in connection with a legal aid application are clarified in Clause 9 of the Bill.

End/Wednesday, January 25, 1995

Civil Service Pension Reserve Fund ♦ * ♦ ♦ *

Following is the speech by the Secretary for the Civil Service, Mr Michael Sze, in moving the motion to establish a Civil Service Pension Reserve Fund in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move the resolution standing in my name on the Order Paper.

The resolution seeks to establish a Civil Service Pension Reserve Fund under Section 29 of the Public Finance Ordinance.

The Fund would be used exclusively for the payment of Civil Service pensions in the most unlikely event that the Government were unable to meet its pension commitments from General Revenue. The principal purpose in establishing the Fund would be to address a general concern among civil servants about the security of their pensions. To this extent it would complement the existing statutory provisions in the pensions legislation and reinforce guarantees in the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law.

19

Under the arrangements proposed the Financial Secretary would administer the Fund as he does other funds established under the Public Finance Ordinance. The Fund would remain part of the Government's fiscal reserves and would be placed in the Exchange Fund managed by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. Interest and dividends earned would accrue to the Fund.

Subject to this Council's approval of this resolution, we shall seek the approval of the Finance Committee to transfer $7 billion from General Revenue to the Fund within the current financial year. This transfer would not lead to any increase in public expenditure insofar as it would be a transfer of funds from one account to another.

It is proposed that the balance of the Fund in any given year would be maintained at a minimum of one year's estimated pension expenditure. It may therefore be necessary to top up the Fund from time to time in the future. We estimate that the expenditure on Civil Service pensions in 1994-95 will be $5.7 billion, and that annual pension expenditure for the next ten years will remain at around 5% of Government's annual operating expenditure. On the basis of these estimates, topping-up of the Fund would not be required for at least the next two years.

The Civil Service Central Staff Consultative Councils support the proposal to establish the Fund as soon as possible, but have asked that the initial transfer to the Fund be in the order of $15 billion, failing which it should be increased to that level by June 1997. We have considered this request carefully but have concluded that we could not justify such a large sum to the Finance Committee under present circumstances. In particular, the existing statutory pension provisions, the guarantees and reassurances in the Basic Law and the Joint Declaration and the sound financial position of the Government, mean that it is most unlikely that the Fund would ever be used. Moreover, $7 billion is already a very considerable amount and should provide a clear demonstration to the Civil Service of the Government's commitment to meeting its obligation to pay pensions.

In short, the Administration considers that a Pension Reserve Fund covering a minimum of one year's pension expenditure is appropriate. We have balanced the claims of civil servants against the interests of the community as a whole and be mindful of what the public at large and this Council would accept. We believe that the size and scope of the Fund proposed meets the objective of providing the Civil Service with an important psychological reassurance on the future security of pensions. Whilst we can see no justification for any increase in the proposed scope and size of the Fund, this would not preclude a future administration from so proposing if they feel that circumstances warranted it.

20

I am most grateful for the views of the Legislative Council Subcommittee established to study this resolution, and for the support for early establishment of the Fund. I have examined further a suggestion made by the Subcommitee to include in the resolution a commitment to maintain the balance of the Fund at a minimum of one year's estimated pension expenditure. However, legal advice on this point suggests that it would not be appropriate constitutionally to include such a commitment as it might imply automatic appropriation in the resolution. As agreed with the Civil Service Staff Councils during the consultation exercise, I shall be sending the Councils a written confirmation of the Administration's policy commitment to maintain the Fund at a minimum balance of one year's estimated expenditure. I believe that this will stand as a very clear statement of the Administration's position on this issue, and will serve to provide valuable reassurance to civil servants.

Mr President, I beg to move.

End/Wednesday, January 25, 1995

Company liquidation forms made more user-friendly ♦ * * * *

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Michael Cartland, in moving a motion on the Companies (Winding-Up) (Amendment) (No. 2) Rule 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move the second motion in my name on the Order Paper.

The Companies (Winding-Up) (Amendment) (No. 2) Order was made by the Chief Justice on 3 January 1995. It provides for the repeal of the current Statement of Affairs form and its replacement by a new form.

The Government has conducted a review of statutory forms in use in company liquidations to ensure that they remain relevant and up to date. Form 23 of the forms contained in the Appendix to the Companies (Winding-Up) Rules has to be submitted to the Official Receiver by directors and other persons where the court makes an order for the winding up of a company or the appointment of a provisional liquidator. This form was found to be in need of substantial amendment. The form has been redesigned to make it more user-friendly and to obtain all the relevant information about a company's affairs in a clear and straightforward manner.

Mr President, I beg to move.

End/Wednesday, January 25, 1995

21

Bankruptcy forms made simpler * * * * ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Michael Cartland, in moving a motion on the Bankruptcy (Forms) (Amendment) Rule 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

1 move the first motion in my name on the Order paper.

The Bankruptcy (Forms) (Amendment) Order was made by the Chief Justice on 3 January 1995. It provides for the repeal of the current Statement of Affairs form and its replacement by two new forms.

Form 28 of the Bankruptcy (Forms) Rules must be submitted to the Official Receiver by all persons against whom a Receiving Order is made. In the course of a review of the statutory forms in use in relation to bankruptcies, this form was found to be in need of substantial updating. As some bankruptcies do not involve the collapse of an individual's business, it was considered more appropriate to have two types of form, one for a non trading individual and one for a trader. These forms have been designed to obtain all the necessary information about a debtor's affairs in a clear and straightforward manner. Debtors should find the new alternative forms easier to complete than the single form currently in use.

Mr President, 1 beg to move.

End/Wednesday, January 25, 1995

Legislative Council (Electoral Provisions) Ordinance

*****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Nicholas Ng, in moving a resolution under Note (8)(c) to Schedule 2 to the Legislative Council (Electoral Provisions) Ordinance in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President.

I move the resolution standing in my name in the Order paper.

22

This resolution is made under Note (8)(c) to Schedule 2 to the Legislative Council (Electoral Provisions) Ordinance. The Note provides that in the Social Welfare functional constituency, no more than 6 representatives of each of the agency member of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service, determined in a manner to be provided by resolution of this Council, shall be registered as electors in that constituency.

The purpose of this resolution is to set out the arrangements for registering up to 6 representatives of each of the agency member of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS). In line with the arrangements for registering individual electors in the other functional constituencies which have corporate members, we propose that, for the sake of consistency, the registration of agency representatives should follow those already provided for in section 10 of the Boundary and Election Commission (Registration of Electors) (Functional Constituencies and Election Committee Constituency) Regulation.

In brief, lots will be drawn if the applications for voter registration under an agency should exceed the quota of six by 1 May. Unsuccessful applicants, if they are also eligible to register in other non-corporatc functional constituencies, will then have an opportunity to register by 1 June in another functional constituency if they fail to represent a HKCSS agency after the drawing of lots. These procedures will be clearly explained to the agencies concerned by the Registration Officer.

The Registration and Electoral Office has now started the registration of electors for the functional constituencies. The urgent passage of this resolution is necessary so that the Registration Officer can also register eligible representatives of the agencies of the HKCSS in the Social Welfare functional constituency. 1 hope Members will give their support to this resolution.

Mr President. I beg to move.

End/Wednesday, January 25, 1995

23

Public Bus Service Ordinance

*****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma, in moving the resolution under section 5(3)(b) of the Public Bus Services Ordinance (Cap. 230): New Lantao Bus Company (1973) Limited in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move the resolution standing in my name on the Order Paper.

The Governor in Council has granted a new franchise to the New Lantao Bus Company (1973) Limited (NLB) to operate a public bus service with seven routes on Lantau Island for two years from 1 April 1995 to 31 March 1997.

This franchise will not be subject to a Profit Control Scheme and it is therefore necessary to disapply those sections of the Public Bus Services Ordinance governing the permitted return under the profit control scheme, but retain those sections which enable the Government to specify depreciation rates in respect of franchise related assets and require the company to produce accounts and other information needed for the monitoring of their performance. The resolution before Honourable Members seeks to give effect to these arrangements.

A special Subcommittee of this Council comprising the Hon Lee Wing-tat, the Hon Albert Chan and the Hon Andrew Wong met on 17 January 1995 to examine this resolution. I understand the Subcommittee has given its support.

Mr President, with these remarks, I move the resolution.

End/Wednesday, January 25, 1995

24

Academy for Performing Arts annual report tabled ♦ * * * *

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Recreation and Culture, Mr James So, when he presented the 1993/94 Annual Report of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I am happy to present the 1993/94 Annual Report of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts together with its financial statement and auditor's report to the Council today. This Report covers the year ending on 30th June 1994.

The past year has seen major changes in the top management of the Academy. However, the Academy has continued to deliver quality training to its students under the fine leadership of Mr Lo King-man MBE JP who has replaced Dr John Hosier CBE as Director of the Academy.

The pursuit of the highest international standards remains the aim of the Academy. In this regard, the Academy has benefited from the wide professional experience of its teaching staff. The international experience and contacts of the three new Deans in the Schools of Dance, Music and Technical Arts (Theatre) who have joined the Academy during the year has also helped to attract renowned visiting artists to work with the students. The value of such exposure is enormous in encouraging and stimulating the development of the students.

In 1993/94. there were a total of 586 full-time Tertiary students and 812 part-time Junior students. Recognition of the talents of the Academy's students has been demonstrated by the substantial audiences for Academy concerts and performances and the numerous invitations to perform at overseas events. Recently, for example, the Academy students represented Hong Kong in the ceremonial and cultural events of the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Canada. They have done extremely well in promoting the image of Hong Kong internationally. Furthermore, during the 1993/94 academic year, 27 students won prizes in various local and international competitions.

As regards academic programme development, in September 1993 the Schools of Drama and Technical Arts (Theatre) admitted their first year of Bachelor of Fine Arts students. To date a total of four degree courses are being offered. The School of Technical Arts is now working on the development of another degree course in TV/Film. It is estimated that the course may be introduced in 1996.

25

I am impressed by the tremendous progress made by the Academy over the past ten years since its establishment. The Academy now plays a very important role in the local performing arts scene. Today, there is no area of performing arts activity in Hong Kong which is not touched by Academy students, graduates or staff. Looking forward, I am sure that the Academy will continue to make a significant contribution in raising the standard of performing arts in Hong Kong and to be an institution of which we, in Hong Kong, can all be justifiably proud.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to add a special word of appreciation and thanks to Dr Helmut Sohmen OBE who retired from the Chairmanship of the Academy's Council on 31st December 1994. During his eight years' outstanding service, Dr Sohmen led the Academy through a critical period of growth and development to attain its present status as the foremost degree-awarding institution in Southeast Asia for professional education and training in the performing and related technical arts. This is an excellent achievement and provides a sound legacy to Mr Yao Kang, OBE, JP who succeeded Dr Sohmen as Chairman in January 1995. I am sure under Mr Yao's capable chairmanship, the Academy will be moving from strength to strength in the years ahead.

End/Wednesday, January 25, 1995

Disclosure of salaries of LegCo members' assistants *****

Following is a question by Dr the Hon David Li and a reply by the Acting Chief Secretary, the Hon Michael Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

From January 1. 1995, Executive Councillors must disclose their shareholdings in local companies and their activities in local financial markets. However, such disclosure is made to the Governor only on a confidential basis in order that the rights of Executive Councillors to a reasonable degree of privacy for themselves and their families in respect of their personal finances arc not significantly eroded. By contrast. Legislative Councillors are now required to disclose for public inspection, not only the salaries paid to individual staff members but also their identities. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council :

a) of the reason why the erosion of privacy consideration does not apply equally to Legislative Councillors' assistants who are private citizens of the territory, neither appointed nor elected to public office, nor members of the civil service; and

26

b) how the right to privacy and the personal safety of Legislative Councillors’ assistants will be protected in view of the disclosure of their identities and salaries for public inspection?

Reply :

Mr President,

I do not consider that the analogy that the I Ion Member has made is a fair one. Members of the Executive Council make very similar public declarations to those made by members of this Council. They have agreed that, as advisers to the Governor, they should make further disclosures to him personally of their assets and financial activities. That is something that we should applaud. The proposal that Legislative Councillors should now disclose the identities and salaries of the staff they employ with public funds seems to me an entirely different issue.

To address the specific questions that the Honourable Member has asked, the consideration of a possible erosion of privacy in disclosing the names and salaries of Members’ assistants must be weighed against the legitimate right of the public to know how LegCo Members are using the allowances provided to them out of public funds. An independent Commission, which was appointed by the Governor at the request of members of this Council to review the remuneration package for LegCo Members, concluded that in this consideration the public interest should be paramount, and that LegCo Members should include the names and salaries of their individual assistants in their reimbursement claims, which should be made available for public inspection.

The Administration agrees entirely with the Commission’s view that the public has a right to know how LegCo Members use their allowances and that the approach taken in this area should be one of accountability, credibility and transparency. There is no reason why a major item of expenditure, in this case staff costs, should be exempted from this public scrutiny.

I frankly cannot see how the personal safety of LegCo Members' assistants will be threatened simply because their names and salaries arc made available for public inspection. Indeed, some LegCo Members have been disclosing the names and salaries of their assistants from the beginning, even when this disclosure was not a requirement. I am not aware that these Members - or their staff - have experienced any such difficulties as a result.

End/Wednesday, January 25, 1995

27

Commemorate 50th anniversary of end of Pacific War *****

Following is a question by the Hon Jimmy McGregor and a reply by the Acting Secretary for Security, Mr Ken Woodhouse, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council whether:

(a) it will take steps to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of the Pacific War in August 1945 and pay tribute to the sacrifice and courage of the people of the territory during the war years; and

(b) it will organise a suitable programme to give thanks for deliverance and to express renewed hope for a peaceful and successful future?

Reply:

Mr President,

It is our intention that this important anniversary should be suitably commemorated. Arrangements for this are now well advanced. Last year, at the Governor's request, the Commander British Forces established a steering committee to draw up proposals. Its members include the President of the Hong Kong Prisoners of War Association and representatives of the British Forces and the Govemement. The Governor has now approved a full programme of events recommended by the committee, and we have sought provision for this in the 1995/96 estimates.

The programme will begin on 28 August. Veterans from all over the world are expected to attend. There will be a commemoration parade, a wreath laying ceremony, a service and a march past by the veterans, the British forces and the Hong Kong disciplined services. The Royal Air Force and the Government Flying Service will stage a fly past. There will also be a lunch for the veterans and guests. Over the remainder of the week, there will be a battlefield tour, visits to significant military sites, such as the cemeteries, Stanley Fort and the former Sham Shui Po prisoner of war camp. The programme will end on 2 September with a parade to mark the disbandment of the Royal Hong Kong Regiment (the Volunteers).

End/Wednesday, January 25, 1995

28

Public transport has not lagged behind demand *****

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Samuel Wong Ping-wai and a reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

According to the ’’Annual Traffic Census - 1993 Report”, the provision of public transport increased by just 25% over a ten-year period from 1983 to 1993. However, it was pointed out in the Report of the Working Party on Measures to Address Traffic Congestion that the number of daily trips had doubled in the past 20 years, whereas the population had only increased by one-third over the same period and the proportion of trips using private transport had increased by nearly 50%. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the reasons why the development of public transport services lags far behind the market demand; and

(b) whether the inadequate provision of public transport services has led to the increasing use of private transport by the public, thus aggravating the problem of traffic congestion?

Reply:

Mr President,

May I first point out, with due respect to the Honourable Member, that in his preamble he has not compared like with like. Firstly, Figure 5 in the Annual Traffic Census - 1993 Report depicts a 25% growth in the number of passenger trips made by public transport over the period 1983 - 1993. These figures do not relate to carrying capacities of the different modes of public transport over the same period. Secondly, the number of daily trips referred to in the Report of the Working Party on Measures to Address Traffic Congestion includes journeys by both public and private transport over a 20 year period.

I now turn to the two specific questions asked:

29

(a) The provision of public transport has not lagged behind demand. On the contrary, new services and major improvements have been introduced in the past ten years. The MTR Island Line came into operation in 1985, the LRT system commenced in 1988, and the MTR extended its services from Lam Tin to Quarry Bay via the Eastern Harbour Crossing in 1989. In addition, the number of franchised bus routes rose from 275 to 469 and the number of GMB routes from 109 to 231. During this period, 18% of the franchised bus fleet and all PLBs and taxis have been air conditioned.

(b) I do not agree that the tremendous increase in private car ownership experienced in recent years has been caused by inadequacies in our public transport system. The fact is that public transport in Hong Kong remains one of the best and most efficient in the world. As has been the case elsewhere, the growth in car ownership is mainly related to increases in real income. Private car usage will always be more comfortable and convenient than public transport, and if people can afford it, they will aspire to own cars.

Mr President, I wish to assure Honourable Members that the Administration is not complacent and, indeed, this is demonstrated by firm plans to further expand and upgrade public transport services. For example, the recently announced Railway Development Strategy provides a blueprint for the expansion of our rail systems. Meanwhile, both rail corporations are investing in new signalling equipment to increase train frequencies as well as in station improvements. The franchised bus companies will spend some $500 million on new buses in the next 12 months. And further improvements will be made to ferry services to service the North West New Territories and the outlying islands.

End/Wednesday, January 25, 1995

30

Land sales * ♦ * •

Following is a question by the Hon Albert Chan Wai-yip and a reply *by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Tony Eason, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

There were occasions in the past few years when some of the sites in the land sale programmes had not been sold as planned. Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the total number of sites in the 1994-95 Lands Sales Programme not yet sold to date together with the total area of these sites and their respective usage; and what steps will be taken to ensure that these sites will be sold as planned within this financial year; and

(b) whether there are discrepancies between the actual and anticipated selling prices of the sites sold this year; if so, what the reasons are?

Answer:

Mr President,

(a) To date only 2 sites put up for sale by auction this year have failed to sell. The total area of these sites is 1.07 ha: one was for industrial use and the other for residential.

In respect of the industrial site, the area will be made up by other sites. The residential site will be put up for sale again in March 1995 with an increase in the site area.

The Government will seek to ensure full utilisation of the agreed Land Disposal Programme hectarage as far as possible.

(b) There have been no instances of discrepancy between actual and anticipated selling prices of sites sold so far this year.

End/Wednesday, January 25, 1995

31

Proposal to increase programmed aircraft movements

*****

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Yeung Sum and a reply by the Acting Secretary for Economic Services, Mrs Elizabeth Bosher, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

Residents of Kowloon City, Sham Shui Po, Wong Tai Sin, Kwun Tong and Hong Kong East have long been enduring serious aircraft noise nuisance. However, the Civil Aviation Department has proposed to increase the number of programmed aircraft movements in the early morning hours and extend the programming hours at Kai Tak to 00.30 am. In connection with this, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the reasons for aggravating the problem of aircraft noise nuisance on the grounds of economic benefits at a time when there is a steady growth in the territory's economy;

(b) whether the Government will proceed with the implementation of the proposal of extending the programming hours at Kai Tak in the face of the objections from many residents living in the affected areas; and

(c) whether the Government has made any assessment of the possible economic loss arising from the decline in the quality of life standard and productivity of residents who suffering from the noise nuisance?

Answer :

Mr President,

The Hong Kong International Airport at Kai Tak is now operating at close to capacity. In 1994, the airport handled a total throughput of over 25 million passengers and almost 1.3 million tonnes of air cargo. Air traffic demand continues to increase yet there are virtually no usable runway slots available to satisfy new demand. In the current winter scheduling season, the Civil Aviation Department has had to turn down some 300 flights per week, at considerable cost to business, the tourism industry and the Hong Kong economy as a whole.

32

In the light of the increasing pressure on Kai Tak and the cost to the economy of turning away so many flights, we believe it is prudent to consider whether further measures should be taken to increase Kai Tak's operating capacity. Unfortunately, the options available are limited and rely heavily on fitting in more aircraft movements at those times of the day when there is still runway capacity available namely, in the early morning and late in the evening.

We recognise that any proposals to increase the number of programmed aircraft movements will, if implemented, cause a degree of additional noise nuisance to those living in the vicinity of the airport. The Administration fully accepts the potential economic benefits of increasing capacity at Kai Tak must be weighed carefully against the environmental implications and the impact on the quality of life of those residents affected by aircraft noise.

As members will be aware, the Administration has recently embarked on a comprehensive public consultation exercise to assess the reaction of the community to the various options for increasing Kai Tak capacity. Particular emphasis is being placed on obtaining the views of residents in those districts most directly affected by aircraft noise, as well as the views of the travel and tourism industries and the business sector.

I would like to assure Honourable Members that the Administration is approaching this consultation exercise with an entirely open mind. There is no predetermined outcome. Our priority, at this stage, is to listen carefully to the views expressed by various sectors of the community, including members of this Council, before considering whether the options put forward should be implemented.

End/Wednesday, January 25, 1995

All trades must keep income and expenditure records *****

Following is a question by the Hon Michael Ho Mun-ka and a reply by the Secretary for the Treasury, Mr Donald Tsang, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

At present, the transactions in some trades in the sales and services sectors in the territory are carried out mainly on a cash basis. As such transactions are not accounted for by formal receipts and a proper accounting system, the incomes earned in these sectors may not be accurately reflected in their tax returns. As a result, the Government is unable to collect the correct amount of tax payable, thereby affecting public revenue and creating social inequity. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council :

33

(a) whether the Government will introduce legislation or other measures requiring trades which carry out transactions on a cash basis to maintain clear records of income and expenditure, and to put into place an accounting system which allows accounts to be traced; and

(b) whether consideration will be given to imposing such requirements on certain types of trades first; if not, why not?

Mr President,

The Government is fully committed to fighting tax evasion. Over the past three years, the Inland Revenue Department investigation and field audit staff tackled over 3,500 cases and obtained more than $2.7 billion in back tax and penalties.

In last year's Budget Speech, the Financial Secretary highlighted the problem of under-reporting of income by businesses and professions which receive cash payments for their goods and services. Part of the problem stems from inadequate business records. Since the last Budget Speech, the Commissioner of Inland Revenue has met and written to professional bodies and trade associations to outline the need to keep proper accounts and issue proper receipts.

Specifically concerning the first point raised by the Hon Member, our law already requires all trades, including those which carry out transactions on a payment-by-cash basis, to maintain records of their income and expenditure. The law also requires the traders to retain such records for a period of not less than seven years. Such records should be sufficient to enable the Commissioner to ascertain them readily for the purpose of assessing tax liabilities. We are currently considering whether and, if so, how we need to strengthen the existing provisions in the light of experience gained from field audit and investigation activities.

On his second point, the requirement to maintain sufficient records applies to every person carrying on a trade, profession or business in Hong Kong. We do not think it would be appropriate or helpful at this stage to single out particular professions or trades for more stringent requirements.

End/Wednesday, January 25, 1995

34

Investigations of conduct of listed companies ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Chim Pui-chung and a written reply by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Michael Cartland, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

* Will the Government inform this Council of the number of listed companies investigated by the Securities and Futures Commission last year under Section 33 of the Securities and Futures Commission Ordinance (Chapter 24), and the number of such companies which have been formally prosecuted or convicte’d?

Answer:

Section 33 of the Securities and Futures Commission Ordinance (SFCO) does not empower the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) to investigate the conduct of listed companies. The only power available to the SFC to investigate the conduct of listed companies is section 29A of the SFCO. Section 29A provides a limited power of inspection of books and records if grounds set out therein exist. Since the enactment of section 29A in July 1994, the SFC has commenced three investigations. Two of the investigations resulted in High Court proceedings which are pending before the Court. The one remaining investigation is ongoing. Section 33 of the SFCO, however, does enable the SFC to investigate suspicious dealings by persons in the shares of listed companies. Such investigations may be commenced where contraventions of various ordinances and codes are suspected, for example, the Securities (Insider Dealing) Ordinance, the Securities (Disclosure of Interests) Ordinance, the Code on Takeovers and Mergers and certain of the Stock Exchange’s Listing Rules. A total of 31 such investigations were commenced during 1994. Of these, five have been finalised, with two of them resulting in prosecutions and convictions and one resulting in administrative action by the SFC. The remaining investigations are still ongoing.

End/Wednesday, January 25, 1995

35

Labour rights of workers at new airport *****

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Conrad Lam Kui-shing and a written reply by the acting Secretary for Education and Manpower, Miss Jacqueline Willis, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

It is learnt that imported workers at the Chek Lap Kok Airport construction sites receive harsh treatment at work, such as excessively long working hours and unreasonably low wages etc. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of complaints lodged with the Labour Department by these workers against their employers over the past three years; together with a breakdown of the main categories of complaints and their respective percentages; and

(b) whether the Government will consider adopting measures to safeguard the labour rights of these workers?

Reply :

Mr President.

(a) Over the past three years, the Labour Department has received a total of eight complaint cases from imported workers working on construction sites of the Airport Core Programme (ACP) projects. Each of these cases comprised a variety of complaint items involving a different number of imported workers. The main categories of complaint and their respective percentages are as follows :

Categories of Complaints Percentage of Total

Underpayment of overtime wages 21 %

Non-granting of statutory 16%

holidays and rest days

Underpayment of basic wages

16%

36

Unlawful wage deduction

16%

Long working hours

5%

Others (such as deployment 26%

to other posts and failure to arrange payment of wages by autopay)

(b)

Under the special Importation of Labour Scheme for ACP projects, workers imported are employed under a standard Employment Contract for the duration of the particular works contract provided that it does not exceed two years. This Employment Contract is governed by all labour laws applicable to local workers in Hong Kong. Employers who breach the conditions stipulated under the standard Employment Contract are liable to be prosecuted under the relevant legislation. Furthermore, if they have acted against other conditions under the Scheme, approval may not be granted for replacement workers to be brought in, and their future applications for quotas under the Scheme may be refused. Such control mechanism has been in force since the Scheme began to operate in 1991.

The Labour Department has one special enforcement team tasked with the responsibility of conducting regular inspections at both the accommodation and employment areas of imported workers for ACP projects. If any offences are detected and they are backed up by sufficient evidence, prosecution actions will be taken against the individuals involved. Two more enforcement teams will be added, one in each of the coming two financial years.

To ensure that imported workers are aware of their rights, the Department organises regular briefing sessions for imported workers to inform them of their rights under the standard Employment Contracts governing their employment in Hong Kong. The Department also operates a 24-hour complaint hotline specifically for them.

End/Wednesday, January 25, 1995

37

Emissions from diesel-powered public buses *****

Following is a question by the Hon Henry Tang Ying-yen and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Tony Eason, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It is learnt that the Government is considering requiring all diesel engined vehicles with an axle weight of under four tons to switch to using unleaded petrol (ULP) as fuel in 1996 so as to reduce air pollution. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the extent of air pollution in the urban area caused by exhaust gas emitted by diesel-powered public buses;

(b) whether consideration has been given to the introduction of measures requiring public buses to use ULP at a later stage; if so, what such measures are and when they will be implemented; and whether any measures will be adopted to minimise air pollution by public buses during the transition period; if not, why not;

(c) whether the Government will require bus companies to purchase new vehicles using ULP; if not, why not; and

(d) whether any study has been made to ascertain the rate of increase in operating costs of the bus companies after the switch to ULP as well as its effect on bus fares; if so, what the details are?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) Diesel-powered public buses contribute about 17% of respirable suspended particulates, the major air pollutant in the urban areas, and small diesel vehicles contribute about 60% of this pollutant.

38

(b) As most public buses are larger than four tonnes in gross vehicle weight, and are powered by diesel engines because there is currently no viable petrol alternative for them, the Government has no plans at present to require such vehicles to use unleaded petrol. However, like all other diesel vehicles, starting from 1 April 1995 diesel- powered public buses will be required to use cleaner diesel (with sulphur content below 0.2%) and all newly registered large diesel vehicles, including new public buses, will be required to comply with stringent emission standards similar to those currently adopted in Europe.

(c) The Government has no plans to require bus companies to purchase buses using unleaded petrol, because no such buses are available on the market.

(d) For the reasons stated above, it is not possible to provide substantive data for cost comparison.

The feasibility of requiring diesel engined vehicles under four tonnes to switch to unleaded petrol is still being examined by the Government.

End/Wednesday, January 25, 1995

Eligibility criteria for a Kwai Shing East Estate block *****

Following is a question by the Hon Frederick Fung Kin-kee and a written reply by the Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic S W Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

The Housing Authority has recently decided to reserve Block 12 of Kwai Shing East Estate for rehousing squatter clearees who are eligible for rehousing in Temporary Housing Areas. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:

(a) the eligibility criteria for rehousing in this block are identical to those for allocation of public rental flats;

39

(b) any squatters who meet the rehousing eligibility criteria, irrespective of whether they are affected by any clearance operation, will be allocated flats in this block; if so, what are the criteria for determining the priority for allocation of flats;

(c) residents rehoused in this block can apply for transfer to larger flats in future on the ground of overcrowdedness; and

(d) a date has been fixed for clearing Block 12 of Kwai Shing East Estate; if so, when it will be cleared; and in case of clearance, whether residents of this block will enjoy the same rights as those clearees of redevelopment areas, or be classified as a new category of clearees?

Answer

Mr President,

Block 12 of Kwai Shing East Estate, which will become available in June this year, has been reserved for rehousing squatter clearees in Tsuen Wan and Kwai Chung districts who fail to meet the eligibility criteria for rehousing in public rental housing flats, i.e. those who are only eligible for rehousing in Temporary Housing Areas (THAs) in the New Territories. This special arrangement has been made in view of the shortage of THA spaces to meet the demand arising from squatter clearances in these two districts and the Governor's pledge to clear, by 1996, all THAs built before 1984.

The status of squatter clearees to be rehoused in this block is similar to that of THA residents. They will not be given the same treatment as public rental housing tenants in respect of overcrowding relief or upon redevelopment of the block for which no timetable has been fixed.

End/Wednesday, January 25, 1995

Overloading of green minibuses

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Zachary Wong Wai-yin and a reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma. in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council :

40

(a) whether it is aware of the overloading problem of green minibuses operating in some routes with round- the-clock service or in rural areas; if so, what are the causes of overloading; and

(b) how the authority concerned will monitor and improve the overloading problem in (a) above?

Answer:

Overloading of green minibuses is not a widespread problem. In 1994, Transport Department and the Transport Complaints Unit received only 27 such complaints, of which three were related to all-night or rural services.

Transport Department monitors the operation of green minibuses closely. Complaints about overloading are carefully and thoroughly investigated. Operators are required to conduct their own investigations into these complaints, provide explanations, and rectify the situation where the complaints are substantiated. The Commissioner for Transport has powers to suspend or revoke the licence of the operator if the latter fails to rectify the problem to his satisfaction. In 1994, 10 written and four (4) verbal warnings were given but no licence was suspended or revoked because of overloading offences.

As overloading of green minibuses constitutes a traffic offence, referrals are also made to the Police for investigation and enforcement action.

When there is increased passenger demand for a particular route, arrangements will be made by the Commissioner for Transport to increase service capacity.

End/Wednesday, January 25, 1995

Burglaries in schools

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Cheung Man-kwong and a written reply by the acting Secretary for the Education and Manpower, Miss Jacqueline Willis, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In regard to burglaries in schools, will the Government inform this Council :

41

(a) of the breakdown by district on the number of such cases in each of the past three years, together with particulars of the stolen items and the estimated value in each case as well as the number of cases which have been solved;

(b) whether the Education Department (ED) will ask schools to take out insurance on the relatively expensive items such as audio-visual equipment and computers; and whether the ED has provided funds for schools to replace the lost items in case of thefts: if so. the total amount of funds allocated in the past three years; and

(c) whether the ED has adopted any measures to help schools to improve their security systems, such as installing anti-theft devices in classrooms or rooms where the relatively expensive items are stored, so as to reduce the chances of thefts occurring?

Reply :

Mr President,

(a) The number of burglary cases in schools reported to the Education Department was 28 for the school year 1992/93, 33 lor 1993/94 and 17 for the period from September to November 1994. The items stolen ranged from petty cash, tools and cupboards to audio-visual aids and office equipment such as fax machines and computers. Details are at the Appendix. We do not keep record on the original value of these stolen items and on the number of cases solved by the Police, though each case of burglary must be reported to the Police before compensation may be claimed from the Education Department for replacement purpose. For the amount of compensation, please refer to the Appendix.

(b) Government acts as an insurer of all standard items which include specified audio-visual equipment and computers in all Government and aided schools. Stolen items arc therefore replaced as a matter of policy by the Education Department. For above-standard and non-standard items, schools have been advised to take out insurance by themselves.

(c) The total amount of funds approved for the replacement of stolen standard items since the 1992/93 school year is shown at the Appendix.

The Education Department has advised all schools to strengthen their security. Schools may also apply to the Education Department for funds to install anti-theft measures such as window bars and iron gates.

42

Appendix

Record of Burglary Cases Reported to ED_

School Year No. of Cases. District (No of Cases) Stolen Items Subsidy Approved fpr Replacement

1992/93 28 North (3) TV sets )

Tai Po (2) Video Cassette )

Yuen Long (1) Recorders ) $103,461

Tuen Mun (7) Compact Discs ) (excluding the

Tsuen Wan (1) Stop Watches ) 17 TV sets

Kwai Chung (1) Tools ) and 19 Video

Kwun Tong (2) Safe ) Cassette

Wong Tai Sin (I) Cupboards ) Recorders

Sham Shui Po (2) Calculator ) replaced by

Kowloon City (4) Computers ) ETV Section

Honu Konu East Fax Machine ) directly.)

(1) Typewriter )

Southern (3) )

1993/94 33 North (4.) TV sets )

Tai Po (3) Video Cassette )

Yuen Long (3) Recorders ) $293,679

Tuen Mun (4) Hi Fi System ) (excluding the

Kwai Chung (1) Safe Cabinet ) 22 TV sets

Kowloon City (2) CD Player ) and 9 Video

Yau Tsim(4) Compact Discs ) Cassette

Mongkok (I) Camera ) Recorders

Hong Kong East Computer ) replaced by

(7) Fax Machine ) ETV Section

Southern (2) Petty Cash ) directly.)

Central & )

Western (2) )

1994/95 17 Tai Po (1) TV sets )

Tsuen Wan (3) Video Cassette )

(up to Kwai Chung (2) Recorders ) $199,120

end of Shatin (1) Hi Fi System ) (excluding the

November Sai Kung (1) CD Player ) 3 TV sets

1994) Island (1) Steel Cupboard ) and 9 Video

Wong Tai Sin (1) Computer ) Cassette •

Kowloon City (2) Fax Machine ) Recorders

Hong Kong East ) replaced by

(l) ) ETV Section

Southern (2) ) directly.)

Central & )

'Western (1) )

Wan Chai (1) )

End/Wednesday, January 25, 1995

43

Immunisation against Hepatitis B * * * * *

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Huang Chen-ya and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

As there are now methods to prevent the transmission of Hepatitis B and AIDS by pregnant women to their babies, will the Government inform this Council :

(a) of the total number of pregnant women admitted to public hospitals who have been carriers of Hepatitis B or AIDS virus over the past three years; and

(b) what measures are being taken by the Hospital Authority to prevent babies from being infected with Hepatitis B and AIDS virus, thus ensuring the health of babies?

Reply :

(a) Based on epidemiological studies, the overall prevalence rate of Hepatitis B carriers among the population in Hong Kong is about 10%. Since there have been slightly over 45,000 deliveries annually in public hospitals in recent years, it is estimated that approximately 14,000 pregnant women in public hospitals over the past three years would have been carriers of Hepatitis B.

The prevalence rate of HIV infection among pregnant women in Hong Kong is very low. Epidemiological surveys among newly bom infants in Hong Kong have not detected any unknown HIV carriers to date. There is in fact only one documented case of transmission of AIDS by a pregnant woman to her baby.

44

(b) Pregnant mothers are routinely screened for Hepatitis B during the antenatal period. If discovered to be a carrier, the mother will be given health advice and counselling to minimise the risk of transmission of Hepatitis B to their babies. All babies bom in public hospitals to mothers carrying the virus will be vaccinated with the Hepatitis B vaccine and given a dose of Hepatitis B Immunoglobulin at birth. This will be followed by two more doses of Hepatitis B vaccine at one month and 3 months after birth. In addition, the recommended Hepatitis B Vaccination Programme would ensure that all new bom babies in Hong Kong are given Hepatitis B vaccines as part of the universal immunization programme.

HIV infected patients are given advice and counselling, including the risk of transmission of AIDS to their babies. Should women who are HIV positive become pregnant, specific counselling would also be given. The risk of transmission to the baby would be explained and the pregnant woman would be given the choice as to whether to allow the pregnancy to continue. Appropriate drugs which are known to reduce the rate of vertical transmission from mother to baby may be prescribed for pregnant women who are carriers of HIV, provided that they fully understand the benefits and risks involved and have given their consent. The health of the babies born to these mothers will be ensured by regular check ups.

End/Wednesday, January 25, 1995

Staff appraisal systems for lecturers *****

Following is a question by the Hon Emily Lau Wai-hing and a written reply by the Acting Secretary for Education and Manpower, Miss Jacqueline Willis, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

It is learnt that a performance appraisal system for lecturers on contract terms has been established in tertiary institutions funded by the University Grants Committee (UGC). In this connection, will the Government inform this Council

(a) what methods are used by these institutions to assess the performance of lecturers on pensionable terms; and whether a performance appraisal system identical or similar to that for lecturers on contract terms has been adopted by these institutions; and

45

(b) whether these institutions will consider demoting lecturers whose performance does not meet the required standard?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) The Administration understands that with the exception of the Lingnan College where no academic staff arc employed on pensionable terms, all the UGC-fundcd institutions have established staff appraisal systems for their academic staff employed on superannuablc (pensionable) terms. The methods for assessing the performance of lecturers on superannuable terms vary amongst institutions because of their historical backgrounds and management practices. In short, they in general involve a review of performance in teaching, research and professional and public service.

In the case of the City University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the Hong Kong Baptist University, the performance appraisal systems for academic staff employed on superannuablc terms are identical to those for academic staff employed on fixed-terms contracts.

For the Lingnan College, all staff are employed on fixed-term contracts, hence a single appraisal system is adopted. The Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology do not have an appraisal system for academic staff employed on fixed-term contracts but they do have an established review system for considering reappointment of contract staff

The University of Hong Kong does not have a formal procedure for reviewing performance of staff on fixed-term contracts but such procedures are being developed.

(b) The Administration understands that the UGC-funded institutions all adopt similar practices in dealing with academic staff with substandard performance. For those staff on contract terms whose performance is substandard, they will be encouraged and assisted to improve their performance. Failing that their contracts will not be renewed upon expiry. For those on superannuable terms, the institutions may withhold their annual salary increment or extend the non-substantiated period for the staff concerned. To date no academic staff have been downgraded because of substandard performance.

End/Wcdnesday, January 25, 1995

46

No shortage of domestic helpers *****

Following is a question by the Hon Mrs Peggy Lam, and a written reply by the Acting Secretary for Education and Manpower, Miss Jacqueline Willis, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

Recently survey results indicate that there is a shortfall of 30,000 domestic helpers in the territory, particularly Chinese maids. This has led to many employers abusing the importation of semi-skilled labour scheme in order to import Chinese domestic helpers. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council :

(a) of the number of prosecutions regarding the abuse of the importation of semi-skilled labour scheme by importing Chinese maids in the past three years;

(b) what measures does the Government have to curb the problem of abusing the importation of semi-skilled labour scheme; and

(c) whether the Government will consider permitting the importation of Chinese domestic helpers?

Reply;

Mr President,

We have no statistics which indicate that there is a shortfall of domestic helpers or that the shortage is of a particular nationality or ethnicity in Hong Kong. The demand for domestic helpers can be met by local supply and the importation of foreign domestic helpers, which is subject to normal immigration control but no quota ceiling.

On the other hand, under the General Importation of Labour Scheme, ail the imported workers arc to be employed under a standard Employment Contract for a period of not more than two years. Such imported workers are not allowed to change jobs during their stay in Hong Kong. There are no indications that employers under this Scheme have abused it to hire domestic helpers from China.

My reply, to the three specific parts of the question is as follows :

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(a) The Immigration Department has not received any complaints of such abuse. No imported workers have been prosecuted for taking up unauthorised employment as domestic helpers. Neither have any employers been prosecuted for deploying imported workers to jobs other than those stipulated in their employment contracts under the General Importation of Labour Scheme.

(b) To ensure that imported workers are employed in accordance with the terms of employment under their employment contracts, four special teams of labour inspectors of the Labour Department pay regular inspections to places of employment of imported workers. Prosecutions will be taken against employers who have breached the terms of the employment contracts, according to the relevant labour legislation. Other irregularities concerning breach of conditions under the Scheme which are detected during inspections will also be referred to the Immigration Department for further action.

The Immigration Department conducts regular raids, including joint operations with the Police, at such places of employment to see whether there are breaches of conditions under the General Scheme, such as whether the imported workers have taken up jobs different from those specified in their employment contracts. Any imported workers engaged in unauthorised work are liable on conviction to a fine of $5,000 and imprisonment for two years. They will also be liable to removal from Hong Kong. Likewise, any employers who are prosecuted for deploying their imported workers illegally arc liable to the same penalty, although the liability to removal from Hong Kong will not apply to them. Moreover, they may have their quotas withdrawn and be debarred from participation in the Scheme in future as their adverse record will be taken into account when considering any new applications for importation from them.

(c) Foreign domestic helpers have been allowed to work in Hong Kong for over two decades to meet a specific demand in Hong Kong. We have been making regular improvements to the scheme to cope with the needs of our community, and the arrangements have been working well. Since the importation of domestic helpers from China will pose an immigration problem, we do not consider that it is in our best interest to allow such domestic helpers to enter Hong Kong for employment.

End/Wednesday, January 25, 1995

48

No control over use of social security grants

*****

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Lam Kui-chun and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council whether :

(a) any estimate has been made of the number of drug abusers among the current recipients of payments under the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme; and

(b) there are any measures to prevent the use of the maintenance grants under the Scheme for drugs abuse?

Reply :

(a) No estimate has been made of the number of drug abusers receiving financial assistance under the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) Scheme.

(b) Measures arc taken to ensure that recipients of CSSA payments understand the purpose of the payments, namely to assist in meeting basic needs such as food, clothing and accommodation. But no general control is exercised over the way in which CSSA is actually spent and there are therefore no specific controls to prevent the use of CSSA grants for drug abuse. It would not be operationally possible to exercise such control, although controls exist to ensure claimants genuinely meet eligibility criteria and comply with all the current safeguards in the system to prevent abuse (e.g. able-bodied adult recipients are required actively to seek employment).

End/Wednesday, January 25. 1995

49

Clearance of squatter areas

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Fred Li Wah-ming and a written reply by the Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic S W Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It was mentioned in the 1994 Policy Address that all urban squatters on government land would be rehoused by March 1996. However, there are some squatter areas such as Lei Yue Mun Village and Cha Kwo Ling Village which are situated on both government and private lands. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether the Government has any plan to resume such squatter areas for public purposes; if so, whether there is a specific timetable to clear such squatter areas and how the squatters will be rehoused;

(b) whether, in regard to those squatter areas where there is no plan to resume private land for public purposes, the Government will clear the squatter huts on government land only and rehouse those squatters who are affected by the clearance;

(c) if the answer to (b) is in the affirmative, how the Government will deal with the squatters on private land in the same squatter area who will not be cleared and rehoused; and

(d) if the answer to (b) is in the negative, whether the Government has other

policies to deal with such squatter areas, and how it will fulfil its pledge to rehouse all urban squatters on government land by 1996?

Answer

Mr President,

(a) There are 22 squatter areas in the territory situated on mixed government and private land. The clearance of these areas will not proceed until the private lots have been resumed for public purposes. There is no timetable for such clearance at present.

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(b) The Administration will not consider partial clearance of these squatter areas in view of the likely problems of environment, security and disruption which may be caused to the remaining residents.

(d) The Administration is making steady progress in fulfilling the Governor’s undertaking to clear all urban squatters on government land by March 1996. Squatter areas situated on mixed government and private land do not fall within the Governor's undertaking, and their clearance will only be carried out when the private lots are resumed for public purposes.

End/Wednesday, January 25, 1995

Property price movements *****

Following is a question by the Hon Eric Li Ka-cheung and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Tony Eason, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

The Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands recently mentioned that local property prices might still fall by five to ten percent, and he expected that the gap between property prices and the affordability of the public would be narrowed within this year. Will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the grounds, research or survey data on which the above-mentioned extent of fall in property prices is based;

(b) the objective criteria adapted by the Government to measure the property purchasing power of the public; and what are the actual figures of the public's affordability arrived at by the Government; and

(c) the legitimate authority of known established policy on which the Government relies to provide property price indices to the public and play a direct role in determining the property price level in place of the free market mechanism?

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Answer:

Mr President,

(a) The statements referred to in this question were made spontaneously in response to oral questions from the media. They were not therefore intended to be precisely analytical but were based on my interpretation at the time of various information, including past property price movements, supply indications, the activities of sellers and signs of continuing consumer resistance to prices being asked. They were also made against the background of signs that, on the one hand, over pessimistic statements were being made about the property market, while, on the other, others were seeking to 'talk the market up'. In other words, the statements were intended to strike a balance among other views being publicly expressed.

(b) Property purchasing power and affordability vary considerably from household to household and are constantly changing. They are a function of many factors, such as the income and circumstances of the individual household, aspirations as to type and price of property, interest rates, banks' lending policies, etc. General trends are, however, discernable.

(c) The Rating and Valuation Department compiles price and rental indices for various classes of property as a general guide to price and rental movements. These are derived by analysing actual sales prices and rents. Property price movements, however, are determined by market forces depending on demand and supply. The Government's wish is to see that the consumer or potential purchaser has as much information on price movements and supply as possible so that, with or without expert advice, he can make a considered choice. Government statistics and statements are clearly only two among many sourc