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

 DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Monday, May 1,1995

Contents Pa»e Nq,

Graham Grant's appointment to handle BMFL case justified....... 1

Law Reform Commission publishes consultation paper on fraud.... 5

Sound regulatory environment in HK: FS............................. 7

Feature on revision of the Effective Exchange Rate Indices..... 7

Special arrangements for schools in bad weather.................... 8

Water storage figure.............................................. 10

Flushing water cut in Southeast Kowloon........................... 10

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

1

Graham Grant's appointment to handle BMFL case justified *****

An internal audit team of the Legal Department tasked to examine fees paid to counsel handling the Bumiputra Malaysian Finance Limited (BMFL) case has found the decision to brief Mr Graham Grant to handle the case after he left the Legal Department was justified, the Attorney General, Mr Jeremy Mathews, said today (Monday).

Addressing a meeting of the Legislative Council Panel on Administration of Justice and Legal Services, Mr Mathews said a report submitted by the internal audit team, headed by Deputy Principal Crown Counsel, Mr Kenneth Somerville, also endorsed the decision to brief Mr Grant on a non- standard basis.

The Attorney General said the report found, as a matter of fact, Mr Grant had not on any occasion claimed fees for an 18-hour day.

Of the 762 working days during the period covered by the Report, Mr Grant charged for 13.5 hours or more a day on 23 days, he said.

The review of the fees had also revealed no evidence of payment in excess of the rates agreed nor did it suggest that the hours charged were not worked, apart from $13,200 which was inadvertently paid and which would be deducted against outstanding payment, he added.

Mr Mathews said the Report noted that the senior management of the Prosecutions Division, Legal department, were concerned at the escalating costs and that some measures were taken which resulted in considerable savings.

On the other hand, Mr Mathews said the Report:

* believes that the brief fee and fee rates approved for Mr Grant's retainer were over-generous;

* notes that the main factor influencing the level of Mr Grant's fees was not the fee rates, but the number of hours expended;


- 2 -

* thinks that Mr Grant's fees should have been capped on a daily and/or monthly basis within six months or so of his appointment;

* states that the non-inclusion of the Government's instructing solicitors in counsels' fee negotiations resulted in subsequent misunderstanding concerning their terms of engagement and basis of charging;

* believes that the solicitors were not accorded the requisite control and direction of counsel by the Attorney General's Chambers (AGC);

’ ■“ '-''S’ ■ ' >:<.>■</ ! . j./ ,

* believes that the procedure within AGC for approving the fee notes for

t V • . I payment was flawed;

* believes that the AGC's internal budgetary control arrangements were inadequate.

u.- i ' ’

On the key issues of fee rates and capping, Mr Mathews said there were sharply divergent views between Mr Somerville on the one hand and the former Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr John Wood, and Mr Grant's solicitors on the other.

Mr Mathews said Mr Somerville, very fairly, pointed out in his Report that the issues concerning arrangements for. briefing counsel involved matters of negotiation and judgment in respect of which there were no hard and fast rules and on which lawyers might hold varying opinions and preferences. Mr Somerville also stressed that his comments were based on hindsight.

Mr Mathews added: "This points up this dilemma: how can one make a judgment that is fair, final and conclusive as between those divergent views.

"Mr Wood and Mr (Clive) Grossman were (and are) very senior and experienced criminal lawyers, who were the persons most conversant with the conduct and the progress of this massive case.

"I simply do not believe that it would be right for me, some years after the decisions were reached, to second guess these decisions, decisions .on which there can be no hard and fast rules."

3

Mr Mathews said in order to weigh the respective merits of these differing points of view, it would be instructive to consider in practical terms the effect that a daily cap on chargeable hours might have had.

He said: "Taking seven and a half hours of chargeable time as a reasonable working day and assuming that Counsel worked only 25 days a month and taking the lower Hong Kong court rate of $15,800 a day for the first 16 months, the total paid to Mr Grant would have been $15,281,562.

"If the cap had only been imposed after the first six months the amount paid would have been $16,241,099.

"This is not far off the figure Mr Grant was actually paid ($17.1 million). And were a cap to have been imposed, one would have had to consider its effect on the hours worked, the progress of the case and possible consequences for manning levels.

"So a cap may not necessarily have been a panacea. It emphasises the dilemma faced by the persons who had to make the decisions at the time," Mr Mathews said.

Putting Mr Somerville's Report into the overall context of the BMFL case, Mr Mathews said by any measure, the work involved in the many strands of this case was of massive proportions.

The Legal Department was concerned to make progress in the case, but not at any price, he said: "For example, it was, at one stage, suggested that the case should have four instead of three counsel. Naturally if that suggestion had been followed, the cost would have been much higher.

"The Report makes clear that efforts were made to contain costs with considerable success," Mr Mathews said.

The Attorney General added that costs savings must not loom so large in the department's consideration that its efforts to uphold the rule of law and the proper administration of criminal justice were seriously weakened.

4

He said: "It would be a sad day, indeed, if those charged with the heavy responsibility of making decisions to prosecute and implementing those . decisions, a responsibility discharged faithfully and conscientiously, are dissuaded from doing their duty because of over zealous inhibitions over cost and fear of being pilloried for doing their duty.

"In saying this, I do not, of course, advocate that any prosecution authority should ignore considerations of cost, good housekeeping and accountability. But one cannot make the pursuit of criminal justice subservient to rigid and formulaic concepts of costs."

On procedural matters under the briefing out system, Mr Mathews said he and his colleagues would carefully study the Report's views on procedures and budgetary control arrangements and would consider the lessons to be learned over the role of solicitors where criminal cases were briefed out.

In relating to briefing out procedures generally, Mr Mathews said Members would be aware that the Director of Audit published a report last week setting out a number of recommendations.

He said: "Both Reports have pointed out areas for improvement which I accept. The Department has in fact already taken measures, since January this year, to improve briefing out procedures."

These measures included:

* the documentation on file of the reasons for briefing out in each case;

* the keeping of record of all approaches to counsel for briefing out;

* the documentation on file of the reasons for selecting of and negotiation with private counsel for non- standard briefing out;

* the setting up of a selection panel, consisting of two Deputy Crown Prosecutors, responsible for the selection of and negotiation with private counsel for non-standard briefing out;

5

* the introduction of fee assessment for all standard briefing out cases so that counsel's brief is marked with a fee commensurate with the length and complexity of the case;

* the imposition of a maximum, capped monthly payment, stipulated either on a per counsel basis or per case basis for large and complex cases so that approvals for payments exceeding the limit or the cap have to be given by the Law Officers and brought to the attention of the Attorney General; and

* if payments are'made on an hourly basis, which will be exceptional, the private counsel will be asked to submit very detailed record of work done for checking the reasonableness of hours claimed.

Mr Mathews said the Legal department was always mindful to improve the briefing out system and have regularly reviewed its operation.

"I shall study both the Director of Audit's Report and the internal audit team report carefully to see what further improvements should be made," said the Attorney General.

End/Monday, May 1, 1995

Law Reform Commission publishes consultation paper on fraud *****

The Law Reform Commission today (Monday) published a consultation paper on "Creation of a Substantive Offence of Fraud". The paper has been issued to elicit public comment on the Commission's preliminary proposal that a new offence of fraud should be enacted in Hong Kong.

In announcing the release of the paper, the Secretary to the Commission, Mr Stuart Stoker, explained that at present Hong Kong did not possess a general offence of fraud. He said instead there are a number of specific offences (such as obtaining property by deception) provided in the Theft Ordinance.

6

Where two or more persons are involved in fraudulent conduct, it is possible to charge them with conspiracy to defraud. In the absence of a specific offence of fraud, however, similar conduct committed by one person acting alone does not amount to an offence unless it falls within the confines of one of the Theft Ordinance offences, he said.

Mr Stoker said there had been criticism of the law both here and in England. It had been pointed out that it was illogical that an act which was lawful if done by one person should become unlawful simply because more than one person has agreed to commit it. There had also been criticism of the breadth of the conspiracy to defraud charge, which potentially covered almost every type of dishonest conduct.

Mr Stoker said while neither England nor Hong Kong have a general offence of fraud, a number of other jurisdictions have had such an offence for many years.

"The experience of those jurisdictions which possess an offence of fraud is that it works well, and can readily be understood by laymen and lawyers alike," he said.

The Commission proposes the creation of a new offence of fraud. This would be committed by a person who by deceit induces another to follow a course of action resulting in either (a) actual or potential prejudice to another or (b) benefit to the person committing the fraud. The person committing the fraud must know or believe that his deceit is false and must intend his victim to act upon it.

The Commission is asking for comments on the paper to be submitted by June 30, 1995. Anyone who wishes a copy of the paper should contact the Secretary to the Commission, fourth floor, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong. Views on the paper should also be sent to the Secretary at the same address, or by facsimile on 2845 2215.

End/Monday, May 1, 1995

7

Sound regulatory environment in HK: FS *****

Hong Kong has established a sound regulatory environment which is beneficial to its continued development as an international financial centre, the Financial Secretary, Sir Hamish Macleod, said this (Monday) evening.

Speaking at a reception to mark the sixth anniversary of the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), Sir Hamish said Hong Kong's regulatory system was inevitably tested from time to time, most recently in the Barings incident.

"The efficient and effective handling of that problem speaks eloquently for the system of regulation in place, and the store of experience and expertise that has been built up at the SFS, the Exchanges and the clearing houses.

"They have handled the situation speedily and professionally," he said.

Sir Hamish said Hong Kong would face challenges ahead, not the leasi which was to keep Hong Kong competitive with other markets.

"Meeting this challenge will require an ability to adapt quickly to new market realities and continued vigilance to maintain and enhance the integrity of our market.

"I'm confident that you are all up to that task," he said.

End/Monday, May 1, 1995

Feature on revision of the Effective Exchange Rate Indices *****

A feature article entitled ’’Revision of the Effective Exchange Rate Indices for the Hong Kong Dollar” is published in the April 1995 issue of the Hong Kong Monthly Digest of Statistics (HKMDS).

The Effective Exchange Rate Indices (EERI) for the Hong Kong dollar (HKD) compiled by the Census and Statistics Department are indices which indicate the HKD's overall external value against a basket of selected currencies.

8

A review of EERI has been conducted recently and a new series of EERI has been published since April 1, 1995. The article discusses various concepts in compiling EERI and the revisions made in the new series.

The April 1995 issue of the HKMDS is on sale at $50 a copy. Purchase can be made at the Government Publications Centre, ground floor, Low Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong.

The publication is also available for sale at the Publication Section of the Census and Statistics Department, 19th Floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

Regular subscription can also be arranged with the Publication (Sales) Office of the Information Services Department on tel 2598 8194.

End/Monday, May 1, 1995

Special arrangements for schools in bad weather

*****

The Education Department today (Monday) drew the attention of all kindergartens, schools and parents to the arrangements made by the department in the event of tropical cyclones and heavy rain in the summer months.

Under the arrangements, the Education Department will announce the closure of all kindergartens through radio and television stations when tropical cyclone warning signal No. 3 is hoisted.

When a No. 8 or higher signal is issued, an announcement will be made to close all schools for the day.

In the case of rainstorm warnings - operating on a colour coded warning system of green, amber, red and black - the department will make an announcement to close all schools once the "red" or "black" warning is issued.

A spokesman said: "Whenever possible, the department will make the first school closure announcement before 6.15 am for AM and whole-day schools and before 11 am for PM schools and the PM session of whole-day schools.

9

The spokesman said: "In case students are already on their way to school when No. 3/No. 8 or rainstorm warning signal red/black is issued, schools should arrange with teachers and staff to look after the students until it is safe for them to go, home," the spokesman added.

He advised schools to draw up a contingency plan in advance to deal with the closure of schools or suspension of classes owing to rapidly deteriorating weather.

Schools should inform teachers, pupils and parents of all arrangements to , < be made in bad weather at the beginning of each school year, the spokesman said.

"However, in times of severe local weather affecting road conditions, landslides or unfavourable road traffic conditions, parents should use their discretion in deciding whether or not to send their children to school.

"Principals of kindergartens and schools should also exercise their discretion to close their schools when local weather or road conditions may endanger students' safety on their way to and from schools," the spokesman said.

He advised schools to make alternative arrangements regarding internal tests or examinations for those pupils who could not return to school or were late for schools because of bad weather or adverse road conditions.

Schools should also reassure parents that their children would not be penalised under such circumstances, the spokesman said.

Whenever No. 3 or amber signal issued, the Education Department's Emergency Duty Team will be activated and operated from 5 am to 6 pm on a school day.

Last year, the Education Department Emergency Duty Team was activated 17 times when 14 rainstorm warnings and three tropical cyclone warnings were issued.

End/Monday, May 1, 1995

Water storage figure * * * *

Storage in Hong Kong’s reservoirs at 9 am today (Monday) stood at 65.8 per cent of capacity or 385.709 million cubic metres.

<

This time last year the reservoirs contained 386.000 million cubic metres of water, representing 65.9 per cent of capacity.

, I ■ f 1 "' : .

End/Monday, May 1, 1995

Flushing water cut in Southeast Kowloon

*****

Flushing water supply to some premises in Southeast Kowloon will be suspended from 10 am on Wednesday (May 3) to 6 am the next day to facilitate maintenance works.

The affected areas include Hung Hom, To Kwa Wan, Kai Tak Airport, Tung Tau, Wong Tai Sin, Lok Fu, Kowloon City, Wang Tau Hom, Chuk Yuen, Kowloon Tong, Kowloon Hospital, Ma Tau Wai and Ma Tau Kok.

End/Monday, May 1, 1995

11

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

Time Cumulative change

$ million (hours) ($million)

Opening balance in the account 2,166 0930 +368

Closing balance in the account 2,438 1000 +368

Change attributable to : 1100 +368

Money market activity +405 1200 +368

LAF today -133 1500 +405

1600 +405

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 118.6 *+0.0* 1.5.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 6.16 19 months 2611 6.90 100.54 6.63

1 month 6.13 22 months 2702 7.50 101.47 6.73

3 months 6.09 30 months 3710 7.25 100.80 7.01

6 months 6.09 36 months 3804 6.90 99.52 7.21

12 months 6.28 59 months 5003 7.75 100.55 7.75

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $26,707 million

Closed May 1, 1995

End/Monday, May 1, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Tuesday, May 2,1995

Contents Page No-

Governor's summit meeting with transport operators........................ 1

HIV/AIDS situation in first quarter....................................... 1

Public hearings on Commercial Radio's licence............................. 2

DHA calls on local groups to support voter registration................... 3

Appointment of non-executive directors of SFC............................. 4

Advisory Committee on Teacher Education and Qualifications................ 4

Relocation of Neonatal Screening Clinic................................... 7

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results............................... 7

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations...................... 8

1

Governor’s summit meeting with transport operators *****

The Governor’s third summit meeting with transport operators and representatives of persons with a disability will be held at the New Annexe Conference Hall, Central Government Offices, tomorrow (Wednesday).

The Governor; the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma; the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok; transport operators and representatives of persons with a disability will speak at the meeting.

After the meeting, the Governor will tour an exhibition of buses with passenger-friendly features at the visitors' carpark of CGO. A private passenger car and a motor tricycle specially modified for use by disabled drivers will also be displayed.

Attention News Editor:

A photo call for the media will be arranged before the meeting starts. Media representatives wishing to cover the photo call are requested to assemble outside the New Annexe Conference Hall, CGO, first floor, at 9.15 am.

Cameramen are advised to bring tele-photo lenses.

''r' ■' i. J

Please note that the parking spaces at the visitors’ carpark of CGO will be suspended tomorrow morning to make way for the exhibition.

End/Tuesday, May 2, 1995

HIV/AIDS situation in first quarter

*****

A total of 24 persons were found to be positive Tor the HIV Antibody Test in the first quarter of 1995, the Department of Health announced today (Tuesday).

' .‘j

This brings the number of HIV infected persons in Hong Kong to 544.

Twelve new AIDS cases were reported during the same period.

2

The total number of confirmed AIDS cases is 142.

Of the 544 HIV-infected, 193 acquired the infection through homosexual or bisexual sex and 231 through heterosexual sex; 12 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 41, the information available was inadequate for classification.

The Hong Kong Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service has screened all blood donors for the antibody.

During this quarter, a total of 44,477 units of blood had been tested and no donor was found positive.

End/Tuesday, May 2, 1995

Public hearings on Commercial Radio’s licence *****

The Broadcasting Authority will hold two public hearings for the mid-term review of Commercial Radio’s sound broadcasting licence this month.

The hearings will take place at the lecture hall of the Hong Kong Science Museum, Tsim Sha Tsui, from 6.30 pm to 9.30 pm on May 9 and 18, respectively.

A spokesman for the Broadcasting Authority said today (Tuesday) that the licence of Hong Kong Commercial Radio Broadcasting Co Ltd was renewed in August 1989 for a term of 12 years, expiring in August 2001.

’’The licence carries a condition stating that it is subject to renewal by the Govemor-in-Council not before August 26, 1995,” he said.

”As the statutory body that regulates the commercial broadcasters in Hong Kong, the Authority will evaluate the licensee's performance against the various statutory requirements and licence conditions and consider whether to recommend any changes to these conditions.”

3

The spokesman called on the public to attend these hearings which will concentrate on two major areas, namely the station’s performance in the areas of programming and advertising.

"To assist those attending to express their opinions on how well the licensee has performed in these two areas, the Broadcasting Authority has published an information pamphlet which is available for collection at all district offices.

"Since the two hearings will cover the same topics, members of the public may choose to attend the one most convenient to them. Simultaneous interpretation will be available for both sessions," the spokesman said.

Further enquiries can be made at the Office of the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority or on 2594 5715.

End/Tuesday, May 2, 1995

DHA calls on local groups to support voter registration ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Director of Home Affairs, Mr Joseph W P Wong, calls on area committees and district organisations to support the Government’s voter registration drive for the September Legislative Council elections.

Speaking at a cocktail reception for local groups from the 18 districts throughout the territory, Mr Wong said the employers' co-operation was of paramount importance to the successful registration of electors in the nine new functional constituencies.

He said: "I hope you can help disseminate this message and encourage your employees, members of your associations as well as the kaifongs to exercise their right to vote on September 17."

Meanwhile, Mr Wong also paid tribute to various area committees and local organisations for their contributions in serving the community.

Their support and participation was crucial to the development of the territory, he said.

End/Tuesday, May 2, 1995

4

Appointment of non-executive directors of SFC ♦ * ♦ ♦ *

The Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Michael Cartland, announced today (Tuesday) that the Financial Secretary, under delegated authority from the Governor, had re-appointed Mr Roderick Chalmers, Mr Vincent Cheng and Mr Robert Kotewall as non-executive directors of the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) for a further year in each case.

Under section 5 of the Securities and Futures Commission Ordinance, the Governor shall appoint not less than eight directors of the Commission, half of whom shall be non-executive. At present, the Commission is served by five non-executive directors.

"The three members have contributed significantly to the Commission over the past two or three years. I am sure they and the other non-executive directors will continue to bring an independent view to the management and organisation of the Commission," Mr Cartland said.

The new terms of appointment of Messrs Chalmers and Cheng will end on April 30, 1996, and that of Mr Kotewall will end on May 31, 1996.

End/Tuesday, May 2, 1995

Advisory Committee on Teacher Education and Qualifications

*****

The Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Michael Leung, today (Tuesday) announced the Governor's appointments to the Advisory Committee on Teacher Education and Qualifications (ACTEQ) for its next term of office starting May 1, 1995.

The Chairman, Professor Felice Lieh Mak, and 18 incumbent members are reappointed and four new members are appointed, giving a total of 23 members.

Professor Mak and the following serving non-official members are re-appointed for a further two-year term. They are -

5

Ms BOW Sui-may Headmistress Hong Kong School for the Deaf

Dr Ronnie CARR Dean School of Education, Open Learning Institute

Dr CHENG Kai-ming Dean Faculty of Education, University of Hong Kong

Miss CHOW Lo-sai, Pauline Teacher Wellington College

Dr FU Hoo-kin, Frank Head/Reader Department of Physical Education Hong Kong Baptist University

Mr KOO Yee-yin, Irving Director Jardine Pacific Ltd

Ms KOONG May-kay, Maggie Principal Victoria Kindergarten

Dr LO Nai-kwai, Leslie Dean Faculty of Education Chinese University of Hong Kong

Ms TANG Mei-sin Headmistress Baptist Lui Ming Choi PM Primary School

Mr TIEN Puk-sun, Michael Chairman The G2000 Group

Dr WONG Hin-wah Lecturer Department of Curriculum and Instruction Chinese University of Hong Kong

Mr YANG Yu-wai Principal Education Officer Morrison Hill Technical Institute

The four new non-official members are: Mr CHAN Wing- kwong, Mr LEE Tseun-yuen. Ignatius. Mr YAU Hon-kee and Mr YUEN Tak-tim. Anthony.

6

Mr Chan Wing-kwong is the Headmaster of Po Leung Kuk Luk Hing Too Primary AM School in Tseung Kwan O. He is also a member of the Governing Council of the Hong Kong Institute of Education.

Mr Ignatius Lee is the Manager of the Hong Kong Regional Training Centre of The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd. He is also a member of the Banking Training Board and Committee on Management and Supervisory Training of the Vocational Training Council.

Mr Yau Hon-kee is the Principal of Hong Kong Taoist Association's Yuen Yuen Institute No. 1 Secondary School in Kwai Chung. He is also a member of the Advisory Committee on School Management Initiative.

Mr Anthony Yuen is the General Manager, Corporate Planning of the Provisional Airport Authority. Mr Yuen had been a part-time member of the Central Policy Unit and is at present a member of the Transport Advisory Committee.

The Deputy Secretaries for Education and Manpower and Civil Service, the Director of Education, the Secretary-General/University Grants Committee, and the Executive Director of the Hong Kong Council for Academic Awards will continue to serve as ex-officio members of ACTEQ.

The Director of Hong Kong Institute of Education will serve an ex-officio member of ACTEQ in the new term in accordance with the recommendation of the Education Commission Report No. 5.

The Secretary for Education and Manpower also thanked the two outgoing members, Mr Chan Pui-tin and Mrs Diana Wong Ip Wai-ying, for their wise counsel and contribution to the important deliberations of ACTEQ in the past two years.

ACTEQ was set up in 1993. upon the recommendation of the Education Commission Report No. 5, to provide a single source of authoritative advice to the Government on the teacher education programmes and teacher qualifications.

End/Tuesday, May 2, 1995

7

Relocation of Neonatal Screening Clinic

*****

The Department of Health today (Tuesday) announces that the Central Genetic Neonatal Screening Clinic will be moved to Cheung Sha Wan Jockey Club Clinic on Thursday (May 4).

The clinic will be located on the second floor of Cheung Sha Wan Jockey Clinic at No. 2, Kwong Lee Road, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, and its new telephone number is 2708 9456.

The opening hours of the clinic are as follows:-

Monday to Friday 9 am to 12.30 pm and 1.30 pm to 5 pm

Saturday 9 am to noon

End/Tuesday, May 2, 1995

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results

*****

Tender date 2 May 95

Paper on offer EF bills

Issue number Q518

Amount applied HK$4,750 MN

Amount allotted HK$ 1,500 MN

Average yield accepted 5.81 PCT

Highest yield accepted 5.84 PCT

Pro rata ratio About 5 PCT

Average tender yield

5.87 PCT

8

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

Tenders to be held in the week beginning May 8, 1995

Tender date 9 May 95 9 May 95

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q519 H564

Issue date 10 May 95 10 May 95

Maturity date 9 Aug 95 8 Nov 95

Tenor 91 days 182 days

Amount on offer HK$ 1,500+300 MN HKS800+160MN

End/Tuesday, May 2, 1995

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,438 0930 + 117

Closing balance in the account 2,231 1000 + 117

Change attributable to : 1100 +51

Money market activity +86 1200 +86

LAF today -293 1500 +86

1600 +86

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TW1 118.5 *-0.1* 2.5.95

9

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.83 19 months 2611 6.90 100.62 6.57

1 month 5.86 22 months 2702 7.50 101.55 6.68

3 months 5.89 30 months 3710 7.25 100.86 6.99

6 months 5.95 36 months 3804 6.90 99.64 7.16

12 months 6.25 59 months 5003 7.75 100.81 7.69

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $ 23,530 million

Closed May 2, 1995

End/Tuesday, May 2, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Wednesday, May 3,1995

Contents Page No,

Government statement on CFA...................................... 1

Early meeting on CFA urged.........................;............. 2

Transcript of Governor's media session........................... 3

Acting Chief Justice on CFA...................................... 7

Public transport facilities for people with a disability......... 8

Governor visits North District............................... 11

Temporary accommodation offered to tenants................... 12

ExCo members visit Customs and Excise........................... 13

Two New Territories lots to let.............................. 14

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations......... 15

1

Government statement on CFA *****

The following is a Government statement issued after the LegCo debate on the Court of Final Appeal today (Wednesday):

"The Government's position has been clearly stated by the Chief Secretary and the Attorney General in their speeches. We have not the slightest doubt that establishing the Court of Final Appeal (CFA) before 1997 is in the best interests of the people of Hong Kong, and that the only realistic way to do this is on the basis of the 1991 agreement.

"We are naturally disappointed that Mr McGregor's motion was not endorsed by LegCo.

"However, we are encouraged by the strong support that LegCo members gave to the idea of setting up the CFA as soon as possible, in alignment with the Joint Declaration and Basic Law. This is, of course, exactly what we are proposing to do.

"As the acting Chief Justice has reiterated today, it is important that the CFA should be set up in Hong Kong as soon as possible.

"If the CFA is not set up before 1997, there will be a judicial vacuum for several months before that date (when cases will not have time to be heard by the Privy Council) and for at least a year afterwards (until the Special Administrative Region sets up the CFA).

"The litigants involved (no matter how few they may be) have a right to be heard. It would also be detrimental to the Hong Kong legal system if it is deprived of decisions of the highest judicial authority, vital to the evolution of jurisprudence for Hong Kong.

"Furthermore, public and international confidence in Hong Kong's legal system would also be seriously undermined. Uncertainty is already having a damaging effect. There is clear evidence that contracts are being drawn up which avoid resort to Hong Kong courts in the event of dispute by providing for arbitration overseas - see, for example, the comments by Japanese Consul-General."

End/Wednesday, May 3, 1995

2

Early meeting on CFA urged *****

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, today (Wednesday) said he hoped that it was possible to hold another expert meeting of the Joint Liaison Group as soon as possible to try and resolve the Court of Final Appeal issue.

The Governor was speaking to the media after a visit to the North District.

"We all thought that we had reached an agreement in 1991 and that's why we are surprised that having implemented that agreement faithfully in the bill that we passed to the Chinese side a year ago, we still haven't got their thumbs up for the bill," he said.

He noted that the Legislative Council was debating the issue today.

"It is a very important debate. We will be listening closely to what Legislative Councillors have to say," he said.

"I very much hope that Chinese officials will be listening to what the community in Hong Kong, businessmen in Hong Kong, the Chamber of Commerce for example, and businessmen outside Hong Kong are saying about the importance of this issue to our prosperity and stability."

In reply to a question on press reports about suggestion to "impose some kind of authority on top of the CFA", the Governor said: "I cannot conceive of us under any circumstances agreeing to something in talks which was against the letter and spirit of the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. I repeat, they are absolutely clear about the independent judicial authority of Hong Kong, about the final jurisdiction in Hong Kong courts and absolutely clear as well about the continuance of the Common Law."

End/Wednesday, May 3, 1995

3

Transcript of Governor’s media session * * * * *

The following is a transcript of the Governor's media session after visiting North District:

Governor: It's nice to be back in North District. The last official visits I made were in 1993. One for a general district visit like this, the other to see the consequences of the flooding. On those two occasions, the issues on which I was being most impressed were the building of the North District Hospital and I am delighted to see that that has started and is proceeding well and we hope that the hospital will be completed in 1997 and open in 98. There were two schools which the District Board were very concerned about and they've been completed. As for the flooding, part one of .. and training project, the work on the river, part one will start a little later this year and then we will get on with part two and three as rapidly after that as possible. Today, once again people were expressing, understandably, concerns about the flooding and were also expressing their anxieties about the Sha Tau Kok Road which will obviously have to carry a lot more traffic after the opening of the Northeaster New Territories Landfill. It does look as though the dualling of the road is lagging unfortunately behind the completion of the landfill project. So I take a very clear message from the district board that we've got to put our finger out on the road and get on with improving the road as rapidly as possible because soon there will be a lot more traffic on it, taking refuse up to the landfill dump.

Question: I've seen newspaper reports saying that actually China is not going to give the Court of Final Appeal final decision on some matters, especially on those politically sensitive issues. They are going to superimpose some kind of authority on top of the Court of Final Appeal. How do you react to that ? Do you think that it is true ?

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Governor: Clearly, it's important for us to discuss these issues in confidence and try to reach agreement on them. We all thought we've reached an agreement in 1991 and that's why we are surprised that having implemented that agreement faithfully in a bill that we passed to the Chinese side a year ago, I repeat, a year ago, we still haven't got their thumbs up for the bill. We don't want to have an argument about this, we don't think there should be an argument about it. We think that the terms of the agreement and the terms of the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law are absolutely clear. Under the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, Hong Kong, the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong is guaranteed its own independent judicial authority with the powers of final adjudication and it's promised a continuation of the Common Law. If anyone was to suggest the sort of things which you mentioned, they would clearly fly in the face of those agreements. So clearly, the sooner we get on with the implementation into law of the 1991 agreement the better. It's not an arcane issue. It's not an issue which is just of concern to a limited number of lawyers or politicians. You think of the number of foreign businessmen who've talked about it recently. On the Chief Secretary's visit to Europe, the subject came up again and again. It was mentioned once more yesterday by the American Consul General in a speech that he gave in Hong Kong. It's been mentioned by the Japanese Consul General, mentioned by American businessmen, Japanese businessmen, German businessmen. It's an issue which goes right to the heart of Hong Kong's prosperity as an internationally recognised financial and business centre. So we're not looking for an argument. We just want to get on with the job and get the court set up as rapidly as possible.

Question: How can the Government guarantee judicial independence during the negotiation ?

Governor: Well, the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law are quite clear about the independence of the judiciary and I assume that no one is suggesting that Chinese officials would want to resile from that, would want to abandon that because were it the case it would be very serious for Hong Kong and 1 cannot believe that it would ever be the case.

Question: But the papers are saying that the Chinese side has made such a request during the JLG talks. If they really suggest so, what do you think Britain will do in order to stop them doing so ?

5

Governor: I think that the important thing for us to do is to get on with the expert talks on the CFA. We had a meeting last week. We asked for an early follow-up meeting. We wanted another meeting this week. I very much hoped that it will be possible to hold another meeting as soon as possible and to try to resolve the issues which are being discussed. What surprises us, I repeat, is that we believe and the whole community believes that an agreement was reached -a clear and explicit agreement - in 1991. The whole community also believes that both sides wish to continue to work within the terms of the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. That's certainly the position of Hong Kong and it's certainly the position of Britain. And I assume and hope that it's the position of China too.

Question: Are you saying that Britain is determined to stop China from doing so through those talks?

Governor: What I am saying is that I cannot conceive of us under any circumstances agreeing to something in talks which was against the letter and spirit of the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. I repeat, they are absolutely clearly about the independent judicial authority of Hong Kong, about the final jurisdiction in Hong Kong courts and absolutely clear as well about the continuance of the Common Law. The rule of law doesn't mean, just in case anybody should ever suggest it, that if you don't like what judges say, you have a second or third or fourth or fifth referee until you get the decision you want.

Question: We know the time is running short...

Governor: Yes, it is.

Question: But if the experts meeting has no result, will the government put the bill to the Legco before the end of the Legco year ?

Governor: We want, which is why we've been so patient, we want to proceed if we possibly can with agreement all round. We've worked for as broad a measure of support within the community as possible. That is why we've taken our time. We've given the Chinese side a year, repeat, a year to look at the Bill. It takes quite a long time to draft a bill as complicated as the one that's been put forward. It shouldn't take a year to read bill.

Question: Do you think there is a deadline for both sides to talk about the CFA again ?

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Governor: I never like talking about deadlines. They make good headlines, but I don't think they make for a helpful negotiating atmosphere. But everybody knows what the realities in Hong Kong are and everybody knows that time is not our friend on this issue. The Legislative Council are debating it today. It is a very important debate. We'll be listening closely to what Legislative Councillors have to say. and 1 very much hope that Chinese officials will be listening to what the community in Hong Kong, businessmen in Hong Kong, the Chamber of Commerce for example, and businessmen outside Hong Kong are saying about the importance of this issue to our prosperity and stability.

Question: If the Legco votes down the 1991 agreement, what can the government do?

Governor: I don't think that it makes very much sense, given that I have enough problems to deal with anyway, to answer questions about hypothetical problems, so I very much hope that Legco will endorse the legislative proposals when we eventually put them forward.

Question: But in your personal opinion, do you think that the 1991 agreement should be voted down?

Governor: In my personal opinion ? Well, first of all 1 am not paid to have personal opinion. 1 am the Governor of Hong Kong. Any opinion you get is the governor's opinion. Secondly of course, 1 don't think that. The 1991 agreement was a good agreement and 1 stand wholeheartedly behind it. Anything else?

Question: There is another report saying the Government has considered seconding some officials to the preparatory committee which is to be set up early next year. What level should the officials be?

Governor: Well, what we're looking forward to doing is talking to Chinese officials about ways we can work with the preparatory committee and help the preparatory committee to do its job in laying the foundations as successfully as possible for the Special Administrative Region Government and administration. We're keen to help in every reasonable way we can, and the sooner we can start talking about that the better. But we haven't yet got into the business of putting forward specific proposals, though I would like to. It's the sort of thing that I would much enjoy talking to Director Lu Ping about when he is in Hong Kong. It's the sort of thing that I am sure the Chief Secretary will enjoy talking to him about, with her senior officials when he is in Hong Kong. I imagine he wants to talk about these things, but who knows? Thank you very much.

End/Wednesday, May 3, 1995

7

Acting Chief Justice on CFA *****

In response to press queries about reported comments made on the Court of Final Appeal (CFA) by Mr Anthony Neoh, the acting Chief Justice, Mr Justice Power, reiterated today (Wednesday) the importance of setting up the CFA before July 1, 1997.

"It is a matter of crucial importance that the CFA be set up well before July 1997," the acting Chief Justice said.

"The CFA will be the apex of the future judicial system. If it is not set up before 1997, there must inevitably be a judicial vacuum causing uncertainty and delay."

The acting Chief Justice said whatever the number of cases to come before the CFA, three main problems would emerge in the absence of a CFA.

"First, criminal cases will have to be held up. Persons pursuing appeals, particularly those not on bail, will have to wait much longer for their appeals to be finally determined simply because there will be no final appellate court," he said.

"The second problem relates to civil matters, particularly commercial disputes," he added.

"If there is no CFA, there will be no early resolution of commercial disputes which must affect the confidence of the business community in the administration of justice.

"The third problem arising from the vacuum will be the interruption of the flow of authoritative decisions on test cases which give guidance to the legal profession and the community generally."

The acting Chief Justice reiterated the point made by Sir Ti Liang Yang that it took time to set up the CFA and that the Judiciary would need up to 15 months before the CFA was able to function properly.

End/Wednesday, May 3, 1995

8

Public transport facilities for people with a disability *****

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, is delighted to note that since 1992, the public transport operators have made their transport services more accessible to the vast majority of people with a disability.

Speaking at the Governor's third summit meeting with transport operators and representatives of people with a disability held this morning (Wednesday), Mr Patten said this was significant as it had taken other countries many years for the same development to take place.

The Governor heard progress reports given by the local transport operators, noting that more plans had been drawn up for the coming year.

He was pleased that the rail corporations had completed a number of trial schemes for improving the stations to facilitate travel for those with mobility difficulties and sight or hearing impairment, and that these schemes would be extended to more stations.

He noted that ferry piers and vessels had now largely been made wheelchair accessible, and people with a disability could obtain assistance at the piers. Improvements have also been made in trams.

The Governor heard that special passenger-friendly features had been adopted by the local bus companies for their new bus fleets. These would help not only those with obvious physical disabilities but would also benefit the elderly, parents with prams and young children.

He was delighted to hear that more improvements would be put in place in the future. He noted that it was very important to continue to build on the progress already achieved while at the same time giving transport operators time to resolve financial, technical and operational obstacles.

The Governor said it was very important to maintain a direct, constructive and on-going dialogue between the public transport operators and the disabled community.


- 9 -

The Governor summed up the meeting with the following points for further action:

* the guide book on public transport for the disabled would be updated;

* the rail corporations would evaluate their various trial schemes and expand their existing improvement programmes;

* a scheme would be drawn up for new low floor buses to be put into service on a trial basis;

* Rehabus services would be further expanded;

* a further summit would take place in a year's time to review progress.

Speaking at the same forum, the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma, said from a policy and planning point of view, it was important that the needs of the disabled were taken into account in the design and provision of new transport facilities.

"But, realistically, we also need to recognise and appreciate the constraints which face us.

"For example, I am sure the bus companies do recognise the problem for the wheelchair users. They are also keeping a close eye on the development of new bus models which will be wheelchair accessible. But changes involving the replacement of a bus fleet cannot be achieved overnight," he said.

Mr Barma said public transport operators in Hong Kong had a responsibility to carry some 10 million passengers around the city everyday.

"In that process they are trying their best to ensure that those with a disability are not denied the opportunity to use public transport. A carefully balanced approach needs to be taken.

"But what is encouraging is the determination to press ahead and experiment," he said.

10

Mr Barma added that over the past year, the Transport Branch had held meetings with transport operators and disabled groups to review plans and to explore what more could be done.

"We are delighted to be a partner to continue to co- ordinate, establish standards, and work out an agreed implementation programme.

"This concerted effort is extremely important, and all parties should work together," he said.

The Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, reported that since 1992, scheduled Rehabus routes increased by 20 per cent from 34 to 41 routes. Also, the Dial-A-Ride Service had gone up by 30 per cent in the number of passenger trips. She added that she intended io bid for more resources to expand these services further.

Commenting on the Disability Discrimination Bill, which was introduced into the Legislative Council today, Mrs Fok said the Bill would provide a means of redress if reasonable requests from disability groups were not met by equally reasonable response.

"We hope to see all parties working constructively towards a practical and balanced programme of change to enhance the accessibility of public transport.

"We aim through the Bill to achieve a fair balance between the needs of disabled people and the rest of the community," she said.

Following the meeting, the Governor toured an exhibition and demonstration of buses with passenger- friendly features. A private passenger car and a motor tricycle specially modified for use by disabled drivers were also displayed.

End/Wednesday, May 3, 1995

11

Governor visits North District *****

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, was briefed and saw some of the latest developments in North District today (Wednesday).

I ’

He started the visit at a vantage point for an overview of the North East New Territories Landfill in Ta Kwu Ling. The huge landfill is being developed under the Strategic Waste Disposal Plan and will start receiving waste in July. <

The Governor then visited Kan Tau Wai Village in Ta Kwu Ling and Tang Chung Ling Ancestral Hall in Lung Yeuk Tau, Fanling.

Mr Patten showed great interest in the ancestral hall, which was built in ■ 1525 to honour the founding ancestor of the Tangs. Its shape and main features -■<> have remained essentially the same as originally constructed.

He later toured the Shek Wu Hui Complex in Sheung Shui - the first air-conditioned public market in the New Territories built by the Regional Council.

Before concluding his visit, Mr Patten met with district board members and local community leaders at North District Community Centre. v:

The Governor was accompanied during his visit to North District by the Director of Home Affairs, Mr Joseph W P Wong; the North District Officer, Mr Timothy Tong; and the North District Board Chairman, Mr Tang Kwok-yung.

End/Wednesday, May 3, 1995 .*' **• '* ” ’ w •

: -00

12

Temporary accommodation offered to tenants *****

Tenants of a Fuk Wa Street flat in Sham Shui Po have been offered temporary accommodation in a transit centre in Ma On Shan after electricity supply to their premises was cut off before the owner repossesses the premises.

The tenants sought help today (Wednesday) from the Sham Shui Po District Officer, Ms Linda Lai, who explained that the assistance was being offered to the tenants despite the fact that the premises was not a bedspace apartment.

Ms Lai said the Home Affairs Department's Licensing Authority conducted detailed inspections of the premises in March and found that it was being rented out on a room basis.

She pointed out that the operator of the premises was informed in writing by the Licensing Authority on March 13 that the premises was outside the scope of the Bedspace Apartments Ordinance.

Nevertheless, she advised the tenants with financial difficulties to approach the Social Welfare Department for assistance, which may include compassionate rehousing in deserving cases.

Ms Lai added that three cases had been referred by the Social Welfare Department to the Housing Department for consideration, with one case having been approved for compassionate rehousing while the two others still under consideration.

In response to the tenants' complaint on termination of their electricity supply, Ms Lai advised them to report the matter to the police as this might constitute a case of harassment under the Landlord and Tenant (Consolidation) Ordinance.

A convicted offender would be liable to a fine of $500,000 and, on subsequent conviction, to imprisonment for 12 months.

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Meanwhile, Ms Lai assured that she would liaise with the China Light and Power Company to see if electricity could be restored to their premises as soon as possible.

The meeting, arranged by the district office, was also attended by representatives from the Social Welfare Department and the Police.

End/Wednesday, May 3, 1995

ExCo members visit Customs and Excise *****

Five unofficial members of the Executive Council this (Wednesday) afternoon visited the Customs and Excise Department and had a close look at the work of the Customs Drug Investigation Bureau.

The members were Baroness Dunn, Ms Rosanna Wong, Professor Edward Chen, Professor Felice Lieh-mak and Mr John Gray.

The Executive Council party first visited the Customs and Excise Headquarters at Harbour Building and were met by the Commissioner Mr Don Watson and Deputy Commissioner Mr Lawrence Li on arrival.

They were briefed on the functions and responsibilities of the department by the Commissioner and other directorate officers.

The members then went to the Customs Drug Investigation Bureau on the 10th floor, Rumsey Street Car-Park Building in Central.

They were briefed by Senior Superintendent (Drugs), Mr Chow Kwong, on the work of the bureau and the measures taken to combat the importation of drugs into the territory.

The members were told the Customs and Excise Department had achieved quite a satisfactory result in interdicting the importation of illicit drugs last year. Over 1,100 kilograms and 167,000 tablets of drugs were seized.

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A new team will commence operation early next year to enforce additional control measures on chemical precursors used in manufacturing narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

After the briefing, the members saw some of the exhibits of drug seizures by Customs officers.

End/Wednesday, May 3, 1995

Two New Territories lots to Let * * * * *

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

Located in Sai Tso Wan Road, Area 16, Tsing Yi, the first lot has an area of 2.34 hectares for storing empty containers.

The tenancy is for three years, renewable quarterly.

The second lot is situated at Fung Shue Wo Road, Area 8, Tsing Yi, having an area of 2,710 square metres for open storage of goods including licensed or unlicensed vehicles, but excluding containers, container tractors and trailers and scrap yard.

The tenancy is for two years, renewable quarterly.

Closing date for submission of tenders for two lots are noon on May 19.

Tender forms, tender notice and conditions may be obtained from the District Lands Office, Kwai Tsing, and 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 Plans can also be inspected at the offices.

End/Wednesday, May 3, 1995.

15

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

Time Cumulative change

$ million (hours) ($million)

Opening balance in the account 2,231 0930 +310

Closing balance in the account 1,311 1000 +310

Change attributable to : 1100 +320

Money market activity +326 1200 +338

LAF today -1,246 1500 +338

1600 +326

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 118.2 *-0.3* 3.5.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.72 19 months 2611 6.90 100.75 6.48

1 month 5.70 22 months 2702 7.50 101.69 6.59

3 months 5.75 30 months 3710 7.25 101.07 6.89

6 months 5.85 36 months 3804 6.90 99.85 7.08

12 months 6.17 59 months 5003 7.75 101.08 7.62

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $ 16,572 million

Closed May 3, 1995

End/Wednesday, May 3, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

SUPPLEMENT

Wednesday, May 3,1995

Contents Page No,

Legislative Council meeting:

Chief Secretary on Court of Final Appeal.......................... 1

AG on Court of Final Appeal....................................... 5

SEM on employment policy......................................... 12

Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1995 ...................  18

Public Entertainment and Amusement Bill 1995 .................... 20

Estate Duty (Amendment) Bill 1995 ............................... 22

Dutiable Commodities (Amendment) Bill 1995 ...................... 23

Disability Discrimination Bill................................... 24

Hong Kong Arts Development Council Bill.......................... 26

Academic and professional qualifications for civil servants...... 29

Treatment for terminal renal failure............................. 30

Govt examining report on causes of juvenile crime................ 32

/Promotion of....

4

Contents Page INa-

Promotion of Basic Law................................................ 33

Experience for appointment of departmental heads...................... 34

1996-97 Budget consultation........................................... 36

Volatile organic chemicals in drinking water.......................... 37

Noise nuisance at the airport railway station......................... 38

Mainland women giving birth in HK..................................... 40

Setting up of taxi stands............................................. 44

Sewage extension work along South Bay Road............................ 45

Government clinics to be designated no smoking areas.................. 46

Semi-private beds in government hospitals............................. 47

Warships bounded by Marine Department regulations..................... 48

Use of mobile telephones while driving................................ 49

Supermarkets in public housing and HOS estates..................... 51

False and incorrect information given by voters....................... 58

Overseas education allowance for civil servants' children............. 59

Environmental black spots in the New Territories...................... 61

Government attendance at district board meetings...................... 63

1

Chief Secretary on Court of Final Appeal *****

Following is the speech by the Chief Secretary, the Hon Mrs Anson Chan, in the Legislative Council motion debate on the Court of Final Appeal (CFA) today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

Introduction

All of us know that one of the key elements of Hong Kong's success has been the rule of law and judicial independence. Both the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law specifically provide for the continuation of these systems beyond 1 July 1997, with one important change. Appeals from the courts of Hong Kong may currently be made to the Privy Council in London, but this arrangement must cease not later than 1 July 1997. Both the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law state that the power of final adjudication of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) shall be vested in the Court of Final Appeal (CFA) of the Region, which may as required invite judges from other common law jurisdictions to sit on it.

Early Establishment of the CFA

The Joint Declaration and the Basic Law both provide that the CFA would be in operation in Hong Kong after 30 June 1997. But after the Joint Declaration was signed in 1984, it became clear to us that it would be much more sensible to set it up before 1997. If this was not done, there would be a period both before and after 30 June 1997 when it would not be possible to seek a final adjudication. Before 30 June 1997, because cases can take up to a year to be heard by the Privy Council. After that date, because it would obviously take the SAR Government some time to set up the CFA. That was why we began negotiations with the Chinese side in 1988.

The 1.991JLG. Agreement

In September 1991, after the subject had been discussed by the two Prime Ministers in Peking, we reached an agreement in the Joint Liaison Group (JLG) on the early establishment of the CFA before 1997, including an agreement on the composition of the Court. According to this agreement, the CFA, in every sitting, should be composed of the Chief Justice, 3 permanent Hong Kong judges, who could be either local or expatriate, and 1 non-permanent judge selected from either a list of non-permanent Hong Kong judges or from a separate list of judges from other common-law jurisdictions.

2

Unfortunately this agreement did not meet with universal approval. In December 1991, this Council passed a motion in favour of greater flexibility in the appointment of overseas judges to the CFA. This motion was based on the assertion that the 1991 JLG agreement was inconsistent with the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. However, this assertion which has been repeated today by Mr Martin Lee is not correct. The Attorney General will elaborate on the legal arguments later. All I will say now is that it is frankly inconceivable that the 1991 agreement would have been made if either Government had believed it to be inconsistent with the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. We believed at that time, and we still firmly believe now, that the agreement is fully in accordance with the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law.

Much has happened since December 1991. The Chinese side have made it clear, both publicly and privately, that they are not prepared to re-negotiate the 1991 agreement, and that a CFA set up on any other basis will not survive 1997. But, so far as I am aware, there is universal agreement that we should if at all possible set the CFA up before 1997. Accordingly, the Administration remains convinced that it would be in the best interests of Hong Kong to stand by our commitment to establish the CFA before 1997 on the basis of the 1991 agreement. We therefore strongly support Mr Jimmy McGregor's motion.

Mr Moses Cheng and Mr Martin Lee have both proposed deleting the last part of the motion which refers to the 1991 JLG agreement. As I have said, the Administration is committed to establishing the CFA on the basis of the 1991 agreement. Not only is the agreement consistent with the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, but it is, as Members of this Council know well, the only realistic basis on which the CFA can be set up before 1997. It is, in other words, the only basis for the early establishment of the CFA that both Mr Cheng and Mr Lee - and, I am sure, other Members of this Council - wish to see. So the ex-officio members will vote against both these amendments, and I call upon other members of the Council to do the same.

The present position

Mr McGregor's motion urges the Government to set up the CFA at the earliest opportunity. That is, and has always been, our aim. As members will know, we have drafted a CFA Bill, which we handed to the Chinese side on 5 May last year. We also sought the views of the legal profession on the draft Bill last November. Both the Bar Association and the Law Society supported the establishment of the CFA before 1997. Both also suggested a number of technical amendments to the Bill. We considered these very carefully, and accepted some of them. These we handed to the Chinese side in January.

3

Since receiving the draft Bill, the Chinese side have asked us a total of 28 questions, in 4 batches. We answered them all fully and promptly. The experts of the two sides met on 24 March this year and again on 27 and 28 April. At the latest round of expert talks we made progress. We gave the Chinese side further amendments to the draft Bill in response to suggestions and comments that they had made at the previous round of talks. The Chinese side at last produced a full and clear statement of their outstanding concerns, some of which we were able to deal with on the spot. Both sides welcomed the progress that had been made and agreed that the momentum achieved should be maintained. We proposed that a further expert meeting should take place as soon as possible, but the Chinese side were unable at that stage to agree to a specific date. We are now awaiting confirmation from them of when they will be ready for the next meeting.

Way forward

So that is where we are now. We are committed to introducing the CFA Bill into this Council, in order to implement the 1991 agreement and establish the CFA before 1997. We would like to have introduced the Bill in February, but we have deferred doing this, in order to give the Chinese side as much time as we reasonably can to study the Bill and confirm that they are content with it. They have had the Bill for almost a year now.

The time constraints facing us are very real. Because appeals to the Judicial Committee can take up to a year to be heard, it is important that the CFA should be operating by about July 1996. And the Judiciary will need at least a year after the Bill is enacted to put the practical arrangements in place and to have the CFA up and running. They will have to fit out the premises for the Court, select and appoint the judges - both in Hong Kong and from overseas, draw up detailed rules of procedure and enshrine them in subsidiary legislation. This all means that the CFA Bill must be enacted before the end of the current session. We recognise, of course, that Honourable Members will wish to have a reasonable amount of time to study this important Bill. So we must introduce the Bill into this Council as soon as we possibly can.. ...

This timetable is not one we have invented to put pressure on the Chinese side, or indeed on Members of this Council. It simply reflects what needs to be done if we are to meet our obligations under the 1991 agreement and establish the Court before 1997. If we fail to meet this timetable and the Bill is not enacted by the end of this session, it will need to be introduced into the new session of LegCo. But the new LegCo will not meet until October, and, as Members know, the first month or so of each session is devoted largely to the debate on the Governor's Policy Address. Even if we introduced the Bill at the first possible opportunity, it is not realistic to imagine that it would be enacted before the beginning of 1996, at the very earliest. This would mean a delay of at least 6-9 months. It would then be very difficult to set the CFA up before 1 July 1997.

4

This delay would simply not be acceptable. We would be rightly criticised for not meeting our obligations under 1991 agreement. And we would already be in a situation where appeals going to Privy Council would not be heard before 30 June 1997. That is why, if the Chinese side do not tell us very soon that they are content with the draft Bill, we will have to face the difficult decision of whether to continue to wait for Chinese agreement, or whether to introduce it into this Council anyway in order to meet our obligations under the 1991 agreement and to set up the CFA as soon as possible before 1997, and to do what we believe best for the people of Hong Kong. We hope, naturally, that we do not have to make this decision. And we still believe that, although the time available is now very limited, it should be sufficient to allow us to complete our work in the expert group talks, provided that both sides are willing to work positively and quickly in a spirit of good-will and coroperation.

But the stakes are high. Delaying the Bill beyond the end of this session would mean losing the continuity that the 1991 agreement was meant to provide. We would then be facing the problem of a judicial vacuum that we have worked so hard to prevent. But that, to my considerable astonishment, seems to be what Mr Simon Ip is proposing.

Some have argued that it does not matter much if there is no CFA before 1997 because the number of cases likely to come before it is small and because the Chinese side have said that the SARG will set the CFA up on 1 July 1997. The Administration cannot agree. The fact is that I have said before, if the CFA is not set up before 1997, there will be a judicial vacuum at the apex of our judicial system. This would seriously undermine public and international confidence in Hong Kong. Honourable Members will be aware that the business community, both in Hong Kong and overseas, have expressed considerable concern about this problem. And this concern is being translated into action. It is clear that, as the Japanese Consul-General has pointed out this week, increasing numbers of investors are now insisting on disputes over their contracts being litigated outside Hong Kong or being subject to arbitration, so that they do not come within the jurisdiction of the Hong Kong courts. In other words, one of the key reasons for Hong Kong's success as a premier business location is being undermined.

Nor is that all. A failure to set the CFA up before 1997 would affect the people of Hong Kong in more direct ways. It would mean denying justice to the litigants involved. As a fundamental matter of principle, this would be wrong, no matter how few of them there may be. Test cases which need the most authoritative decisions from the highest court would also have to wait, and Hong Kong’s legal system would be deprived of the important points of law that arises from these cases. And, of course, there would be complete uncertainty over when and on what basis the CFA would be established by the HKSAR after 1 July 1997.

5

I find it hard to believe that this is what Mr Simon Ip wants. Yet that is the risk we would be running if his amendment was passed. Whilst we will continue to work very hard for an agreement in the JLG, we cannot guarantee that we will get one in the timeframe available.

Conclusion

The issue before this Council today is a simple one, but a very important one. It is an issue that must be faced and faced squarely now. Do we, or do we not, want a CFA set up before 1997? The Administration's answer is an unequivocal "yes". We are fully convinced that a CFA established before 1997 is in the best interests of the people of Hong Kong. As a party to the 1991 Agreement, and from subsequent public statements, this view is shared by the Chinese side. And, as I have already pointed out, the only realistic way to do this is on the basis of the 1991 agreement. There is nothing to be gained by further delay.

I therefore strongly urge the Members of this Council to support Mr McGregor's motion. That will give the people of Hong Kong, and international investors, a clear signal that this Council is committed to the rule of law, and that its Members are prepared to do their part in ensuring continuity in the judicial system in Hong Kong during the transition in 1997.

End/Wednesday, May 3, 1995

AG on Court of Final Appeal *****

Following is the speech by the Attorney General, the Hon Jeremy Mathews, in the Legislative Council motion debate on Court of Final Appeal today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

There are few current issues, if any, that are of more importance to our legal system and to the rule of law than the establishment of the Court of Final Appeal. The legal and at times passionate debate this afternoon and this evening there are eloquent testimony to that. The Chief Secretary has spoken earlier of the overwhelming need to establish the court as soon as possible. The speeches today have demonstrated that there is a clear consensus in this Council on that point.

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There is also a clear consensus that the court must be established in alignment with the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. However, there is agreement now, as there was in December 1991 as to whether the Court of Final Appeal should also be consistent with the agreement reached in the Joint Liaison Group in September 1991. Before I address the arguments against that agreement, let me make it quite clear that the Hong Kong Government cannot responsibly ignore or advise this Council or the community to treat as non-existent an international agreement binding on the two sovereign powers responsible for our transition.

Those who disagree with the 1991 JLG Agreement, rely on two main arguments. The first is that they consider the 4 plus 1 composition of the court, provided for in the JLG agreement, as a poor composition. They would like the court to have greater flexibility to invite overseas judges to sit on the court. That may be so. But the inescapable fact is that the JLG agreement cannot be renegotiated, as we have made plain on more than one occasion. Moreover, the 4 plus 1 composition is a ' perfectly acceptable way of implementing the provisions of the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law that provide for judges from other common law jurisdictions to sit on the Court of Final Appeal. It will enable the court to benefit from the experience of eminent overseas judges in particular cases, and will assist in maintaining the links between our own legal system and other common law jurisdictions. There is no merit, there is no merit, in rejecting the JLG agreement simply because some would prefer the court to be able to invite more than one overseas judge to hear any particular case.

Several members have commented on the quality of the judges of the Court of Final Appeal by way of comparison with the judges of our present Court of Appeal. Their remarks may be regarded by some as being somewhat derogatory. I strongly deprecate any remarks which may have the effect of cheapening or devaluing the Court of Appeal. Such remarks are inappropriate, since they may have the effect of lowering the public’s confidence in our courts. Some members have pointed out that the judges of the Court of Final Appeal are likely to be drawn from the Court of Appeal. They suggest that the absence of a Court of Final Appeal should not therefore create any problem as the Court of Appeal will simply act as the highest appellent court. Mr President, this argument is seriously fraud. In other common law jurisdictions, it is usual for the judges of the highest court to be drawn from the court below, so that judges and the Privy Council are drawn from the English Court of Appeal. That does not mean that those jurisdiction could simply do without the highest court. The strength of the judiciary in any jurisdiction depends not only on the quality of its judges, but also on the system of appeals. The existence of an appellate court above the first court of appeal makes it possible for points of law' of public importance to be identified precisely for the legal arguments about them to be fully refined and for the second appellate court to reach a decision that create a binding precedent for lower courts including the first court of appeal. It is therefore quite wrong to suggest that the Court of Appeal would be an adequate substitute for a Court of Final Appeal.

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Legality of J LG agreement

The second objection to the 4 plus 1 composition is based on the assertion that it is inconsistent with the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. Were this so, it would indeed be wrong to implement the JLG agreement. The Administration and this Legislative Council should on no account support any breach of those vital documents. But what is the basis for the assertion of such a breach?

Let me set out some of the arguments.

Arguments against

First, some rely on the use of the plural "judges" in the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law and say that the 4 plus 1 agreement does not allow "judges", but only one judge, to sit on the court. This is a superficially attractive argument, but it is wrong. The provision in the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law is to be interpreted as meaning that in the cases that it hears the court may invite overseas judges. The 4 plus 1 formula satisfies this meaning. Under that formula, the court can invite overseas judges (in the plural) to sit on the court, albeit not more than one for each case. Even Professor Wade, whose opinion was relied upon by opponents of the 4 plus 1 formula in December 1991, concedes this point as Mr Simon Ip has pointed. And since he pointed it out some time ago, I'll repeat it for you. In his latest opinion Professor Wade says this -

"While I see the force of the argument based on the use of the word "judges" in the plural in Article 82 of the Basic Law, 1 do not think it is 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 the plural need not necessarily mean a plurality on any one occasion."

A second argument used to impugn the legality of the 4 plus 1 composition is a reference to the "spirit" of the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. Mr President, as any lawyer knows, when a person relies on the "spirit" of a document it is a clear indication that he or she is on weak ground and cannot rely on any express provision that assists his or her argument. In the case of the Court of Final Appeal, we are told the "spirit" of the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law is the high degree of autonomy granted to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, plus the guarantee of judicial independence and of continued links with the rest of the common law world. It is then argued, by some, that the 4 plus 1 formula is in breach of this spirit. But there is absolutely nothing in the 4 plus 1 formula that prejudices Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy, judicial independence or continued links with other common law jurisdictions. The argument based upon the spirit of the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law therefore has no substance.

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A third argument against the 4 plus 1 formula is that the JLG has no power to amend the Joint Declaration. This argument depends, of course, on the assumption that the 4 plus 1 formula is not consistent with the Joint Declaration, an assertion that I have already demonstrated to be false.

On analysis, the arguments that the 4 plus 1 formula is inconsistent with the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law prove to be ill-conceived. May I remind members that the JLG agreement was entered into by representatives of the two Governments that signed the Joint Declaration. Let me repeat and emphasise what the Chief Secretary said earlier in this debate, that it would have been unthinkable, inconceivable for any government to have entered into the JLG agreement unless it was satisfied that it was fully consistent with the Joint Declaration.

Arguments in favour

Mr President. I now turn to arguments in favour of the JLG agreement. Recently, the British government has taken the unusual step of issuing a statement, approved by Ministers, setting out the reasons why the 4 plus 1 formula is not inconsistent with the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. This reads follows.

Both the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law are, in respect of the Court of Final Appeal, framework provisions which are intended to be fleshed out by more detailed legislative provisions. In particular they leave the detailed composition and workings of the CFA to be defined at a later date. They do not specify, for example, the number of judges who are to sit in the CFA. It does not follow that all such matters are left to the unfettered discretion of the court itself. It is clearly contemplated that they will be the subject of further legislative provision. Let me remind members that Article 83 of the Basic Law provides that:

"The structure, powers and functions of the courts of the I long Kong Special Administrative Region at all levels shall be prescribed by law."

The British Government's statement also rejects the argument that there is any special significance in the use of the word "judges" (in the plural) in the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. I have already dealt with that point. The statement also refers to the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.

Article 31 of the Vienna Convention codifies customary international law for the interpretation of treaties. This applies to the Joint Declaration, since as members know it is an international agreement, registered (under Article 102 of the UN Charter) with the UN Secretariat. Article 31 (3)(a) of the Vienna Convention provides that, in interpreting a treaty, there shall be taken into account, together with the context -

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"any subsequent agreement between the parties regarding the interpretation of the treaty or the application of its provisions.”

As I have said, the Joint Declaration is an international treaty, and the JLG agreement is a subsequent agreement between the parties to that declaration. Those parties, Britain and China, clearly interpret the Joint Declaration in a way that permits the 4 plus 1 composition.

As I have said, the Vienna Convention applies to the Joint Declaration which provides in Section III of Annex I for the establishment of the CFA. Article 82 of the Basic Law is virtually identical to that provision in the Joint Declaration. It sets out the same general principle about the composition of the court, leaving the precise scope of the power to invite overseas judges to be defined by implementing legislation. Article 82 of the Basic Law was designed to implement the provision in the Joint Declaration, and it should thereloie be interpreted in the same way.

Conclusion

The assertion that the JLG agreement is in breach of the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law is therefore not correct. As the motion before this Council suggests, it is perfectly possible to establish the Court of Final Appeal in alignment with the Joint Declaration and Basic Law and in general conformity with the JLG agreement of September 1991. In fact, the establishment of the court must be achieved in this manner in order for the Court to be able to survive the transfer of sovereignty.

The proposal to amend the Letters Patent

The Hon Simon Ip has proposed that, prior to the enactment of the CFA Bill, the Government should consider seeking the incorporation of a provision in the Letters Patent containing the relevant wording of Article 82 of the Basic Law. I have to advise Members that there is no merit in this proposal.

As a matter of law, there is no need to amend the Letters Patent in order for the CFA Bill to be enacted in Hong Kong. This legislature already has the necessary power. The only purpose of the proposal is, as Mr Ip has explained, so that the Bill, if enacted, would be subject to the new provision in the Letters Patent. This would provide an opportunity for a challenge to be made in our courts in respect of the constitutionality of the 4 plus 1 composition of the court set out in the legislation.

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I do not need to remind members that for nearly four years there has been a heated debate within the legal profession of Hong Kong as to whether or not the 4 plus 1 composition of the court is consistent with Article 82 of the Basic Law. We in the Administration and the British Government are confident that it is. Mr Ip in effect suggests that the Administration should have the courage of its convictions and allow its view to be tested in the courts. But the real question is not one of blind courage, but rather of wisdom and the public interest. Is it wise to establish a Court of Final Appeal in such a way that the constitutionality of its composition is immediately open to challenge in the courts?

Let me set out for members what that means. If it were so established, any party to an appeal to the Court of Final Appeal, and any other person with a sufficient interest to do so, could challenge the composition of the court. An application could be made to the High Court for a declaration as to the validity of the legislation and for an injunction to prevent the Court of Final Appeal from exercising its jurisdiction. Whatever the decision of the High Court, the losing party would have a right of appeal to the Court of Appeal, and then there could be an appeal to the Court of Final Appeal. The Court of Final Appeal would be asked to decide on the lawfulness of its own composition! If it were to decide it was not lawfully constituted, then it follows logically that its own decision would be invalid! If it were to decide that it was lawfully constituted, the proceedings before the court could be heard, only after months of devastatingly embarrassing uncertainty about the court’s legality. I have to ask is this the sort of legal quagmire that this Council is prepared to devise? Is that in the public interest?

It has been suggested that courts are frequently asked to decide on their own jurisdiction. But those jurisdictional questions are completely different from the one now being considered. Courts arc sometimes asked to decide whether they have jurisdiction over a particular case. They may occasionally be asked to decide whether a particular tribunal was properly constituted. For example, a few years ago the courts had to decide whether a magistrate had been lawfully appointed. But in such a situation, a higher court was deciding on the lawfulness of a lower court. In the case of the Court of Final Appeal, there will be no higher court which could decide the issue. I knew of no precedent, in any jurisdiction, for deliberately establishing a court of final appeal in a way that is designed to make its composition open to legal challenge.

Mr President, the Court of Final Appeal will be at the apex of our legal system. The eyes of the world will be upon it, including those who need to decide whether to invest in Hong Kong, to do business here, or have their disputes litigated here. We need the court to build up its international reputation as soon as possible. We need the rule of law to be buttressed by a court that is strong and free from any legal uncertainties. But that would not happen if Mr Ip's proposal were adopted.

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Conclusion

Mr President, several members have referred to certain newspaper articles which appeared today. Members will not be surprised if I say that 1 do not intend to comment on newspaper articles. The particular article to which Members refer purport to give an account of proceedings in an expert group of the JLG which gives me the additional opportunity to remind members of the proceedings of the JLG are confidential. But I can understand the concern that Members have expressed, their deep concern. In response I would like to remind them that both the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law clearly state that the Hong Kong SAR would be vested with independent judicial power including that of final adjudication and the common law system will be maintained. Clearly Mr President any proposal that breach the provisions of the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law would be unacceptable to the Government, the British Government, and I am sure the Chinese Government.

Mr President, I have dealt with the legal issues at some length in order to assure members that the arguments for opposing the 1991 JLG Agreement have no force. The real issue for this Council is that described by the Chief Secretary. There can be no question at all that it is overwhelmingly in the public interest for the Court of Final Appeal to be set up before 1997, and on the basis of the 1991 JLG Agreement which provides the only assurance for avoiding a judicial vacuum and uncertainty.

Support for Mr McGregor’s motion will be a powerful re-affirmation by this Council of its commitment to the rule of law of which the Court of Final Appeal is the most potent symbol. I support Mr McGregor's motion and strongly urge members to do the same.

End/Wednesday, May 3, 1995

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SEM on employment policy *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Michael Leung, in the Legislative Council motion debate on employment policy today (Wednesday):

Introduction

Mr President,

I would like to comment on both the motion by Dr Huang and the amendment motion by Mr Tien and in the process respond to a number of points of concern raised by members this afternoon.

The primary concern of Dr Huang’s motion is what the Government should do to enhance the employment opportunities of local workers in light of the increasing difficulty in seeking employment. Members are also concerned about the recent rise in the unemployment rate.

Let me start by stating our commitment: no matter what the unemployment rate is, we are always mindful of the need to safeguard and to improve the employment opportunities of local workers.

The Administration cannot support the motion because we do not consider it right to terminate our labour importation policy, nor do we see the need to legislate to give priority to local workers in employment.

Nature of Hong Kong's employment policy

Our basic employment policy is to ensure that there is a stable, well-trained and well-motivated workforce to support the economic growth of our community. This policy comprises different elements which are formulated to meet the changing needs of the economy and in the best interests of Hong Kong. These include the provision of training and retraining, provision of employment services, promotion of health and safety at work, safeguarding employees’ compensation and promoting harmonious labour relations. Of these, the provision of employment services and training and retraining have always been geared towards the policy objective of enhancing the employment opportunities of local workers.

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Hong Kong's economic success owes much to our hardworking people and our free market system. Entry of foreign nationals to work in Hong Kong is nothing new. From the very beginning, expatriates brought in managerial expertise and professional knowledge. The rapid and large scale development of our manufacturing industry in the fifties and sixties could not have happened without the arrival of large numbers of people with capital and talents from China. Then in the seventies and eighties, foreign domestic helpers arrived to fill vacancies no longer sought by local workers.

At a time of rapid economic expansion and restructuring, we introduced the importation of labour schemes as short-term measures to relieve temporary bottlenecks in our local labour market and to build our new airport and related projects. These schemes are all carefully designed and controlled to ensure that both the types and quantity of the imported workers are strictly confined to those sectors of industry facing genuine shortage of local workers. Many operators in these sectors would not have been able to maintain their business operations and to support their existing local workforce without these schemes especially at times of critical labour shortage. Clearly it is not in the interest of local workers to see the closing down of such businesses. Moreover, Members will wish to note that the policy of importation of labour includes not just admitted under the general schemes and also overseas professionals and foreign domestic workers. Surely, the community will not wish to see to be deprived of the services of these people.

Thus, the importation of labour policy has by no means gone against our efforts to enhance employment opportunities for local workers. On the contrary, it has served to complement what we have been doing. It will not be therefore right to call for its termination without thoroughly and carefully reviewing its value in the context of our overall employment policies and our economy.

Unemployment rate

We arc of course aware that the overall unemployment rate has recently risen during the last few months. The latest rate of 2.8% (or in absolute terms, some 68,000 people out of a total workforce of nearly three million) has prompted discussions in the public arena that in order to contain the unemployment rate, we should discontinue our importation of labour policy now. This, I am afraid, is not the appropriate way to take.

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The rise in the unemployment rate is due largely to the recent moderations in the expansion of some service sectors such as retailing and restaurants, which in turn gave rise to a reduced take-up of workers released from the manufacturing sector. However, more than three-fifths of the unemployed workers in the first quarter of this year have been unemployed for less than three months. This suggests that, in most cases, the unemployment has not been prolonged. Moreover, of those unemployed, over one third have left their jobs to find better ones, rather than being laid off. We should also note that, of those workers now in employment, manpower utilisation has been maintained at a very high level, as shown by the persistently low underemployment rate of around 1.5%, the latest figure being the lowest in recent years at 1.4%.

That said, the Government fully appreciates the recent public concern about a greater number of workers becoming unemployed, and is sympathetic to the genuine difficulties faced by these workers who have to adapt themselves to perhaps entirely new job requirements. We will therefore do all we can in our existing employment policy to help those workers -

First, to extend our job placement sendees and assistance;

Second, to step up training and re-training courses, tailor-made in particular for the needs of such workers;

Third, to strengthen monitoring and control of the labour importation schemes; and

Fourth, to increase and step up enforcement action against illegal workers.

Importation of Labour

As I have said on many occasions, the labour importation policy is built upon the premise of giving priority in employment to local workers and preventing displacement of local workers by imported workers. We will conduct a thorough review of the operations of the General Labour Importation Scheme before proceeding with the next allocation which is not due until early 1996. The purpose is to ensure that it does work according to its intended purpose, and to improve the effectiveness of the various safeguards for deterring abuses. We will study carefully the employment situation of different sectors and recommend appropriate changes to such things as quota allocation criteria and mechanism. Further improvements to the monitoring procedures will also be considered, including the possibility of involving both employers and employees in the process. Both this Council and the Labour Advisory Board as well as employer and employee associations and bodies will be fully consulted on the review, which should be completed before the end of this year.

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Feasibility of introducing legislation to accord priority to local workers in employment

The second part of the Motion proposes to examine the feasibility of introducing legislation to accord priority to local workers in employment. As we have explained to the Manpower Panel last month, we do not see any need to legislate for such purpose. We already have sufficient administrative safeguards under our importation policy to ensure that priority of employment will be given to local workers. The way ahead is to strengthen the effectiveness of such measures. This we will examine in our review.

Moreover, Hong Kong's economic success, and its continued success, hinges largely on the effective operation of our free market economy. By enacting legislation to intervene with the employers’ freedom of choosing suitable employees and the employees’ freedom of choosing jobs will unnecessarily hamper the free market mechanism. As such, it will only tarnish 1 long Kong's reputation as a world-renowned international business centre, and risk discouraging both existing and potential investors from pursuing their business plans in Hong Kong. This is indeed a price which Hong Kong as a whole cannot afford to pay. Lastly, even if such legislation were proved necessary and feasible, it will be extremely difficult if not impossible to have it enforced effectively, without at the same time causing serious disruption to the labour market, damaging our harmonious labour relationship, and unnecessarily restricting the freedom of choice.

Integration of existing Local Employment Sendee and Empk)y_ees_Retraining Scheme

But apart from the employment problems facing local workers, the Government is equally concerned about the same problem facing employers. Both parties should therefore be brought together to communicate with each other direct to resolve this paradoxical problem through mutually agreed means.

We have therefore started this process through our Pilot Job Matching Programme launched on the first of April this year through an integration of the existing services of the Local Employment Service (LES) and the Employees Retraining Board. At five selected offices, actual job vacancies from employers arc being matched with unemployed persons at or over 30 years of age registered at these offices. We give active employment and counselling services to these job-seekers and make direct job referrals. The Employees Retraining Board is also arranging tailor-made retraining courses to strengthen their adaptability. So far the Programme has registered 286 people and has successfully placed 81 of them in jobs with monthly wages ranging from $4,000 to $ 11.000.

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Formulation of a comprehensive employment policy

The third part of the Motion calls upon the Government to formulate a comprehensive employment policy which should include special employment assistance for the older displaced workers, middle-aged women and the disabled and a long-term manpower training programme. May I just remind Members and reassure Members that our present employment policy is already quite comprehensive and sufficiently well-placed to enhance the employment opportunities of local workers.

One important aspect of this policy is to maintain a level of labour standards comparable to those of countries with comparable economic development and sociocultural backgrounds. Employment assistance and job placement services as well as manpower training and retraining facilities are two important elements under this broad policy objective. In this regard, ve abide fully by the relevant International Labour Conventions which, in brief, advocate the establishment of a system of free public employment agencies and an active employment policy designed to promote full and freely-chosen employment with a view to stimulating economic growth and overcoming unemployment.

At the working level, the Labour Department provides a network of free public employment agencies through its Local Employment Service for able-bodied jobseekers and the Selective Placement Service for the physically and mentally disabled ones. The Employment Service of the I long Kong Council of Social Sendee, provides free employment assistance to the socially maladjusted.

In addition, we have a series of special services to cater for the special needs of specific groups-of workers. For displaced workers, we have the Employees Retraining Scheme set up in 1992 to provide these workers with suitable retraining courses to facilitate their re-entry into the active workforce. For unemployed work persons over 30, we have launched the Pilot Job Matching Scheme I have just mentioned. For elderly job-seekers, the priority services for job-seekers aged 50 and above is available in all the LES. Finally, for disabled job-seekers, the Labour Department provides specialised placement services to those wishing to seek jobs in the open labour market and organises a wide range of promotional activities to enhance public awareness of the working ability of the disabled.

A long-term manpower training progiainme

Turning to the policy on manpower training, it has long been Government’s goal to provide a well-trained workforce to meet the demands of our dynamic economy. We are seeking to achieve this:

* bv providing an appropriate system of tertiary and continuing education:

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* by providing a comprehensive system of technical education and vocational training;

* and by retraining displaced workers through the Employees Services Retraining Board

We always endeavour to ensure that our training policy is flexible and adaptable to the needs of the labour market especially those arising from the restructuring of our economy. On retraining, we will work with the Employees Retraining Board to maintain the successful placement rates of 60-70% for its retrainees who are active job-seekers.

Conclusion

While we share with Members of this Council the concern about the recent unemployment problems, we have strong reservations about the proposals to terminate the importation of labour policy and to introduce legislation to give priority in employment to local workers. These are just not the solutions to the problems in question. Adopting such radical measures without assessing their consequences will have a detrimental impact on our economy, leaving our local workers much worse off than before.

The way ahead should therefore be to make a balanced assessment of the situation in our labour market and our economy, and to draw up practical and effective ways to help ease the employment difficulties facing our local workers in certain sectors.

Hong Kong’s success owes much to the formulation and effective implementation of a comprehensive and well-co-ordinated employment policy in tune with the latest economic and social developments. As with any other policies, there is always room for improvements. We in the Government will continue to work with this Council and all employer and employee associations and bodies to introduce suitable improvements to our employment policy in the best interests of the public. For the reasons 1 have already given earlier, we cannot therefore support this motion.

I turn now to the amendment motion. Mr Tien’s amendment to the motion comprises two parts. First, it adds to it the concern about recruitment difficulties facing employers on top of that facing employees in the original motion. Second, instead of asking for a termination of the importation of labour policy and legislation to give priority in employment to local workers, it asks Government to review and formulate a comprehensive employment policy to help resolve the different difficult problems experienced by both employers and employees. This points to a rational and prudent approach in handling the most contentious labour issues ahead of us, and is thus worthy of support.

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As the notion of'employment' is essentially a relationship between employers and employees, any territory-wide labour problems in our economy will invariably involve both employers and employees. The Amendment Motion has thus made up for the deficiency of the original motion by presenting the complete picture of the employment situation facing us today.

To review and formulate an employment policy by striking a balance between different interests of employers and employees in the light of the overall labour situation in the economy has been the Government's long-established policy in dealing with employment-related issues. We would continue to work with Members of this Council and other concerned parties along this approach.

The amendment motion also highlights 'retraining' as a particularly important aspect of our employment policy to be reviewed. This view is fully shared by the Government. As explained earlier, the mismatch of skills and experience arising from our economic restructuring process is in fact the major underlying cause of the paradoxical problem of employers not getting the staff they need and employees unable to find jobs. The provision of suitable retraining programmes to facilitate the displaced local workers to re-enter workforce has proved to be the most practicable and effective means of redressing this imbalance. This is also why we have included arrangements for retraining on top of the proactive employment services of direct job referrals. Of course, we will work with the Employees Retraining Board closely to upkeep the quality of the retraining programme and the success rate of retrainecs in seeking jobs upon completion of such courses. We will of course also welcome views from Members on how to improve the Scheme further.

For these reasons and with the remarks I have just made, the Administration support Mr Tien's Amendment Motion.

End/Wednesday, May 3, 1995

Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1995 *****

Following is the speech by the Financial Secretary, the Hon Sir Hamish Macleod, in moving the second reading of the Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move that the Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1995 be read the second time.

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This is the first of the three Bills which the Secretary for the Treasury and I will introduce this afternoon to give effect to the revenue proposals in this year’s Budget.

The Bill now before Members has two main purposes. First, it seeks to introduce a number of salaries tax concessions to benefit both the taxpaying population in general and specific target groups. Secondly, it seeks to specify the minimum records which a business must keep for tax purposes, and to increase the maximum penalty for non- compliance. These proposals have already been fully covered in my Budget Speech and in the Budget Debate. I shall therefore be brief this afternoon.

Salaries tax concessions

Let me first deal with the proposed salaries tax concessions. Briefly, the Bill proposes to improve existing benefits in three ways.

* First, the Bill increases most salaries tax allowances (notably, the single, married person, first and second child, and dependent parent/grandparent allowances) by 10%, slightly above the rate of inflation.

* Secondly, it increases substantially the allowances for those with extra financial responsibilities. Specifically, it doubles the allowance for taxpayers who look after a dependent parent or grandparent at home and increases by 25% the single parent allowance.

* Thirdly, it introduces a new disabled dependent allowance for taxpayers who support a disabled dependent, whether at home or elsewhere in Hong Kong. This new allowance will be in addition to existing allowances (for example, married person, child or dependent parent) received by the taxpayer in respect of the disabled family member in question.

We estimate that the total cost of these salaries tax concessions will amount to $1.2 billion in 1995-96 and $7.7 billion in the period up to 1998-99.

These proposals seek a prudent balance between leaving money in the pockets of taxpayers, especially those with extra financial responsibilities, and maintaining healthy reserves, whilst at the same time taking into account the impact on inflation. I believe that these proposals do represent a reasonable balance and I hope that Members will be able to support them.

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Business records

Let me turn now to the proposals on business records. The Bill specifies in greater detail the records which a business must keep to enable its assessable profits to be readily ascertained and increases the penalty for non- compliance from $5,000 to $100,000. These proposals are intended to encourage compliance and to enable the Commissioner of Inland Revenue to detect tax evasion more effectively. Again. I hope that they will receive Members' support.

Mr President, with these remarks. I commend the Bill to Members.

End/Wednesday. May 3, 1995

Public Entertainment and Amusement Bill 1995 *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Recreation and Culture, Mr James So, in moving the second reading of the Public Entertainment and Amusement (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move the Second Reading of the Public Entertainment and Amusement (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 1995.

The Bill's aims are to achieve two objectives. Firstly, to repeal the Commissioner for Television and Entertainment Licensing's (CTEL) wide discretionary power to grant, or refuse the grant of, a public entertainment permit under the Places of Public Entertainment Ordinance. This is to remove any possible inconsistency with the Bill of Rights Ordinance. Secondly, to amend the definition of amusement ride in the Amusement Rides (Safety) Ordinance to place legislative control on certain manually driven amusement devices such as multi- axis chairs which may be potentially dangerous.

CTEL issues about 3,200 permits every year to various types of public entertainment in accordance with the provisions of the Places of Public Entertainment Ordinance. In discharging this duty, CTEL has rarely turned down applications on the ground of objections to the form and content of the entertainment. Despite this, we arc proposing to abolish the permit system to remove any possible inconsistency with the Bill of Rights Ordinance.

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The proposed removal of the permit system is part of the Government's continued efforts to give effect to its commitment to promote freedom of expression. The abolition of the permit system will also simplify the existing dual licensing system for public entertainment by making the Urban Council and the Regional Council the sole Licensing Authorities. In future, an organiser of a public entertainment will only need to obtain one licence from the Licensing Authority to comply with the hygiene, fire and building safety requirements for the venue. These requirements are mainly to ensure the safety of participants.

Mr President, I would like to emphasise that the removal of the permit system does not mean that we will lose control over live public performances. Objectionable public performances will continue to be controlled by section 12A of the Summary Offences Ordinance, under which it is an offence to take part in, provide or manage any public live performance of an indecent, obscene, revolting or offensive nature. Police officers acting under a warrant can enter premises where it is suspected that such a performance is or may be taking place, conduct a search and seize articles related to the performance. In fact, the permit system cannot be an effective safeguard against impromptu indecent public entertainments anyway and enforcement action by the Police was relied upon in the past.

The Bill also amends the Amusement Rides (Safety) Ordinance to put amusement devices like multi-axis chairs, which are solely driven by human power but carry potential danger, under comprehensive safety control. However, Members can rest assured that simple and safe mechanical devices found in children's playgrounds like swings, slides and see-saws are not caught by this amendment. Subject to the passage of this amendment, the design, installation, repair, operation, as well as operating personnel in charge of multi-axis chairs will be subject to the extensive and stringent safety measures prescribed in the Amusement Rides (Safety) Ordinance.

Mr President, I now wish to summarise the main provisions of the Bill. •

Clause 2 proposes to revise and update the definition of "entertainment" under the Places of Public Entertainment Ordinance. Outdated forms of entertainment like exhibition of abnormal persons or animals will be removed from the definition whereas a new form of entertainment, i.e. laser projection display, will be included.

The Secretary for Recreation and Culture is empowered under clause 5 to amend the list of entertainments in the Schedule by regulation as well as to determine the circumstances under which licence conditions can be waived, cancelled, added or varied, and the circumstances under which fees can be waived or reduced. An Amendment to the schedule would normally be made at the request of and in consultation with the Licensing Authority.

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Clause 6 repeals section 8 of the Places of Public Entertainment Ordinance, which deals with the permit system for public entertainment.

To give effect to the relevant recommendations in Mr. Justice Bokhary’s report on the Lan Kwai Fong incident, Clause 8 empowers the Licensing Authority to impose licence conditions, including conditions as regards crowd control measures and the provision of first aid services to better ensure the safety of participants in public entertainment events.

Clauses 11 to 12 add a new schedule to the Amusement Rides (Safety) Ordinance so as to define ’’amusement ride" to include manually driven devices which are capable of revolving through more than 90 degrees, including multi- axis chairs. The Secretary for Recreation and Culture is empowered to amend the new Schedule by regulation.

Mr President, the removal of the permit system on Bill of Rights grounds and the amendment to the Amusement Rides (Safety) Ordinance arc proposed in response to public demands for promoting freedom of expression and public safety, respectively. I hope that the Bill will gain the support of Members of this Council.

Mr President, I beg to move.

End/Wednesday. May 3. 1995

Estate Duty (Amendment) Bill 1995 *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for the Treasury, Mr K C Kwong, in . moving the second reading of the Estate Duty (Amendment) Bill 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move that the Estate Duty (Amendment) Bill 1995 be read the second time.

The Bill before Members seeks to adjust the schedule of asset values for the purpose of assessing estate duty so as to offset the effect of inflation on the value of relatively small estates. Specifically it increases, from $5.5 million to $6 million, the level below which no duty is payable and adjust the bands correspondingly above this threshold. Thus estate duty will be payable at 6% on estates between $6 million and $7 million; 12% for estates between $7 million and $8 million; and 18% on estates over $8 million.

Ti

We estimate that the cost of these concessions will amount to $20 million in 1995-96 and $100 million in the period up to 1998-99.

These proposals will help to relieve the tax burden on smaller estates at a relatively modest cost. I hope that Members will be able to support them.

End/Wednesday, May 3, 1995

Dutiable Commodities (Amendment) Bill 1995

*****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for the Treasury, Mr K C Kwong, in moving the second reading of the Dutiable Commodities (Amendment) Bill 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move that the Dutiable Commodities (Amendment) Bill 1995 be read the second time.

The Bill before Members seeks to increase the specific duty rates on tobacco and hydrocarbon oils by 8%, in line with inflation in 1994. This is consistent with our overall budgetary strategy whereby we aim to maintain the revenue yield in real terms from the various sources of revenue to ensure financial stability.

In the particular case of tobacco duty, we also believe that there is a need to increase duty rate in order to maintain the deterrent effect of the duty on smoking. We will work together with the Customs and Excise Department to ensure that the success of the Task Force in tackling cigarette smuggling is maintained in the future.

We estimate that these proposals will generate additional revenue of $560 million in 1995-96 and $2.6 billion in the period up to 1998-99.

Mr President, with these remarks, I commend the Bill to Members.

End/Wednesday, May 3, 1995

24

Disability Discrimination Bill

*****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in moving the second reading of the Disability Discrimination Bill in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move that the Disability Discrimination Bill be read a second time.

With the introduction of this Bill, we are taking a major step forward in achieving our goal of integrating people with a disability into our community. It will require everyone to give them an equal opportunity - a fair chance - to participate fully in the community and it will provide them with the legal means to obtain redress against discrimination, harassment and vilification. It gives the same protection and support to their families and carers as well.

The areas of life in which discrimination and harassment will be unlawful include - employment; education; transport; access to buildings and services; and participation in partnerships, professional organisations, clubs and sports. In short, the Bill is comprehensive in its scope. This is important if integration is to be a reality. But, equally important, the Bill is balanced in its approach. It gives people with a disability a means of redress, while ensuring that the interests of the community as a whole are also taken into account.

In future, it will be unlawful to treat a person with a disability less favourably than others because of their disability, in circumstances that are materially the same. But, on the other hand, employers will not have to hire a certain quota of people with a disability. Building owners will not have to change existing buildings - unless they plan to carry out major additions or alterations: Transport operators will not have to make existing buses, ferries or trams more accessible. This is because the Bill provides for two key exemptions: "unjustifiable hardship" and "genuine occupational qualification" which covers "inherent requirements of the job".

The first means that building owners or transport operators, for example, could defeat a claim of discrimination by proving that it would cause them " unjustifiable hardship" to make special arrangements to meet the needs of a person with a disability.

The second means, for example, that where a person could not meet the requirements of a particular job because of his or her disability, the employer would not be breaking the law in deciding not to hire him or her.

25

The District Court and the Equal Opportunities Commission will play important complementary roles in enforcing the provisions of the Bill. The Equal Opportunities Commission is to be set up under the Sex Discrimination Bill which was introduced into this Council on 26 October last year. Members will know something of the power of the proposed Commission as set out in that Bill. But it is worth repeating the main points. The Commission will receive and investigate complaints of discrimination. We envisage most cases being settled through conciliation. Where this fails, complainants will be able to take their cases to the District Court.

The Equal Opportunities Commission will issue Codes of Practice for each sector so that all parties involved will have practical guidelines to follow regarding how they are expected to behave. The Commission will, of course, consult groups representing people with a disability and the sector concerned in drafting these codes. The Codes will be laid before this Council before coming into effect. When considering a case under this law, the court will have to take into account any relevant provisions in the Codes when making its judgment. These Codes of Practice will provide practical guidelines to help the different sectors in the community to comply with the Bill. Since employment is a major and complex area which we need to get right, we propose, in line with the Sex Discrimination Bill, that the employment provisions in the Bill should not come into effect until the relevant Code of Practice has been issued. The Bill also provides that, for five years, employers with fewer than five employees will be exempted. This is another example of how we are trying to achieve a balanced approach.

Disability discrimination legislation is a relatively new approach the world over. In Hong Kong, we continue to believe that the best way to achieve our goals for people with a disability is for the Government, for disability groups and those who may be affected by the Bill to work together to make it work. And it will work best, if everyone aims to improve life for people with a disability progressively, over time and with reasonable requests being met by reasonable responses. We want to see the law and public education complementing each other. We want to see them bringing about conciliation not confrontation, co-operation not conflict. I hope I can count on Members of this Chamber to support what we are aiming to achieve by introducing this Bill.

Mr President, I move that the debate on the motion be now adjourned.

End/Wednesday, May 3, 1995

26

Hong Kong Arts Development Council Bill ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Recreation and Culture, Mr James So, in resumption of the second reading of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council Bill in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I would first like to thank Members of the Bills Committee, especially its Chairman, Mrs. Selina Chow, for their hard work and thorough examination of the Bill. In the course of this exercise, we have maintained very close liaison with the HKADC and the rest of the arts community to gather their views. We have discussed these views exhaustively with members of the Bills Committee. We have responded positively to the ideas put forward. As a result, we have now reached an agreement with the Bills Committee and the arts community on a package which broadly meets the aspirations of the arts community and includes significant improvements over the original Bill. I hope this Bill will now receive the full support of this Council.

Mr President, I would now like to outline briefly the three major elements of the agreed package.

First, in response to the strong desire of some sectors of the arts community and the Bills Committee, the Government has agreed to include explicit references to film art and arts criticism in appropriate clauses of the Bill. Whilst the Bill is enabling in nature and does not exclude any art forms from the scope of the HKADC, the proposed amendments I am going to move during the Committee Stage will give specific recognition to the contribution of film art to the local arts scene alongside other art forms such as visual, literary and performing arts. Arts criticism will also be appropriately recognised.

Secondly, we have agreed to amend the clauses dealing with the composition of the Council to provide for the membership to include persons drawn, one each, from nine specified categories of the arts. Furthermore, we have introduced a mechanism whereby organisations representing those categories may each nominate one person for consideration by the Governor for appointment as a member of the HKADC. These measures will ensure that the HKADC will have a good range of expert advice representing a wide cross section of the arts interests available to it, together with strong and credible link to the arts community. However, it should always be remembered that the HKADC’s role is to develop the arts for the benefit of the community as a whole. The latter’s interests must also be represented and this will be done by the other nine non official members who will be appointed by the Governor from the community at large.

27

We believe that this creates a proper balance in the non-official membership of the Council. However, since we also need to accommodate four ex officio members, these changes have resulted in the need to increase the size of the Council's membership from 20 to 22 in total.

- ‘J a

These changes have been worked out and agreed by all parties concerned after many rounds of detailed discussions. They have produced a practical and workable solution to a difficult problem. I would like to thank both the Bills Committee and the arts community for their contributions to this process.

In order to help the arts community in the selection of nominees, the Government has prepared a set of guidelines, on which we have consulted the HKADC, the arts community and the Recreation and Culture Panel of this Council. We have now analysed the feedback obtained and have fine tuned the guidelines accordingly. We are now working out an implementation programme. We have already issued the guidelines and it is our intention to issue the implementation plan when it is ready, so that the arts community can start organising themselves and preparing for the nomination process to start once this Bill is passed into law.

The third element of the package which I want to discuss is the method of meeting the calls that have been made for the operations of the HKADC to be more open and transparent in future. During the final stage of our discussions with the Bills Committee, the Honourable Christine Loh proposed a series of amendments to the Bill to require Council meetings to be opened to the public, except in certain circumstances. Let me state here firmly that the Government is totally opposed to these proposed amendments. We believe them to be inappropriate, unnecessary, inflexible and motivated by broad political objectives rather than by the particular needs of the arts community. We have stated that whilst we have no objection in principle to the concept of Council meetings being open, we believe strongly that this matter should be addressed by the HKADC administratively through the use of standing orders, rather than by enshrining such provisions in the law. This is the norm for all other statutory bodies including the Legislative Council, the two Municipal Councils, and the District Boards.

To agree to Miss Loh’s amendment would be to subject the HKADC to additional and unnecessary restriction to those of other statutory bodies. It may also imply mistrust of the HKADC. And I see no justification in fettering the HKADC in this way. Miss Loh’s proposal would also have potentially far-reaching implications for other statutory and advisory bodies in Hong Kong. Her proposed amendments are not germane to the HKADC Bill. It is therefore not appropriate to consider them in the context of this Bill.

28

Mr President, the objectives of achieving open and transparent operations for the HKADC can be met fully by adopting suitable standing orders. In this regard, I am happy to inform this Council that the present HKADC has already decided to open its meetings to the public shortly and has already considered a set of draft standing orders covering this area. These were agreed by the HKADC as a positive and constructive response to Miss Loh's concern. These standing orders have since been issued and will be formally adopted by the HKADC at its next meeting on 11 May.

In the light of this, there is no valid reason for Miss Loh to continue to press for her amendments. Indeed, I am surprised that she should be insisting on moving these amendments, especially since as the current Vice Chairman of the HKADC, she is fully aware that the HKADC has twice voted to reject her proposal to make the holding of open meetings of the Council a legal requirement.

Mr President, I do not wish to reply in great detail to the points that Miss Loh has just made. We have discussed this issue exhaustively and come up with the solution that meets our needs, those of the arts community and of the HKADC. The time has come to heal any wounds caused by the recent disagreements, to go forward and to do the important work required of the HKADC.

The only small point I would like to make is that our Standing Orders which has been adopted by the HKADC are as it happens not based on Miss Loh's proposal but on the tried and true methods adopted by, among others, the Legislative Council itself.

Mr President, with these remarks, and subject to the Committee Stage amendments proposed by the Administration, I commend the Hong Kong Arts Development Council Bill to Members for approval. But I oppose to the Hon Miss Christine Loh's proposed amendments.

End/Wednesday, May 3, 1995

29

Academic and professional qualifications for civil servants

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Simon Ip Sik-on and a reply by the Secretary for the Civil Service, Mr Michael Sze, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In view of the Government’s recent announcement that recognition of academic and professional qualifications for civil service employment will be broadened, will the Government inform this Council whether it has any plans to recognise only those academic and professional qualifications, when employing professional officers for professional posts, which are recognised by their relevant professional bodies in the territory for private practice?

Reply :

Mr President

Let me make it clear at the outset that the announcement referred to in this question was about appointment criteria for posts requiring a general degree. The announcement did not relate to criteria for appointment to posts in the professional grades in the civil service. It is not our intention to change arrangements in respect of professional qualifications which are matters for the relevant professional bodies; arrangements which are well-established and preserved in Article 142 of the Basic Law.

As for general degrees, we have removed previous reference in our recruitment advertisements to British degrees. The guiding elements of our assessment of nonHong Kong qualifications are as follows :-

(a) we must be absolutely satisfied that the qualification in question is at least as good as the comparable Hong Kong qualifications for the purpose of recruitment to the civil service;

(b) we examine each qualification on a case-by-case basis. We may accept some qualifications but not others from a University. And we may accept a certain qualification only if received after a certain date in a case where the standard of a course has been raised above our threshold between one academic year and the next;

30

(c) no preference is given to qualifications from a particular country or group of countries. We use the same test for all qualifications. However, we have had difficulties in the past assessing qualifications from some countries^ And it was for this reason that we recently, enlisted the help of the Hong Kong Council for Academic Accreditation; Since its founding in 1990 the Council has built up an extensive network of international contacts with accreditation bodies and academic institutions. With the Council’s help we are strengthening our system and believe we will shortly have the information necessary to recognise at least some degrees from non-English speaking countries that we have not felt able tb recognisd in the past. I expect this to include some qualifications obtained in China.

*’* ■ ■ • ;i.r

(d) Accepting such qualifications will allow those who have obtained them to participate in the civil service recruitment process, provided of course they are Hong Kong residents. They will need to pass other tests, including basic physical fitness and language proficiency in Chinese and English, as well as a rigorous assessment of suitability and potential in competition with other applicants. <

The steps we are taking to strengthen our assessment of non-Hong Kong degrees are a response to the still small but growing number of Hong Kong youngsters going abroad to study, not just to traditional destinations in the Commonwealth and North America, but to universities in this region. • ’ • L

End/Wednesday, May 3,'1995

• .1 .. ,

Treatment for terminal renal failure

c:

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Huang Chen-ya and a reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday): ' r *

--- 1 ■’ • - 71

Question :

As patients with terminal renal failure have to receive Erythropoietin injections as a treatment for anaemia, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of patients with terminal renal failure at-present; of these, how many have to receive such injections;

31

(b) of the average annual expenditure on such treatments over the past three years;

(c) whether any patients are required to pay for the injections; if so, what the number of such patients is; and

(d) if the answer to (c) is in the affirmative, whether consideration will be given to adopting other kinds of medical treatments for patients who cannot afford to pay for the injections; if so, what the costs of such kinds of treatment are?

Reply:

Mr President,

As at 31 December 1994, about 2,000 patients suffering from end stage renal failure were provided with dialysis treatment in our public hospitals, of whom some 320 were receiving Erythropietin injections. The average annual expenditure incurred by the Hospital Authority in providing such injections over the past three years is $3.13 million.

About half of the 320 renal patients receiving Erythropoietin injections are contributing towards part or full cost for their treatment. This has been a historical practice when new treatment modalities using expensive drugs wer6 launched in our public hospitals.

In line with the policy that no one should be prevented from obtaining adequate medical treatment through lack of means, patients who cannot afford Erythropoietin injections can apply for waivers through the medical social workers. Furthermore, we are conducting a comprehensive review in conjunction with the Hospital Authority to rationalise the fee structure in public hospitals.

Patients who suffer from anaemia could be given other types of treatment such as periodic blood transfusion, the overall cost of which is much less than Erythropoietin injection. The type of treatment to be used should however be determined by the medical needs of patients as well as the efficacy of the treatment modality prescribed.

End/Wednesday, May 3, 1995

32

Govt examining report on causes of juvenile crime ♦ * * * ♦

Following is a question by the Hon James To and a reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the Research Report on the Social Causes of Juvenile Crime which has recently been completed, will the Government inform this Council of the policy to be adopted and the amount of additional resources to be allocated to ameliorate the present serious situation of juvenile delinquency?

Reply:

Mr President,

The research into the social causes of juvenile crime, commissioned by the Fight Crime Committee and undertaken by the Social Sciences Research Centre of the University of Hong Kong, has recently been completed. The Fight Crime Committee was apprised of the findings of the research at its meeting last Saturday. The conclusions of the research project are wide-ranging, covering educational, social service, police, and correctional services aspects of our policy. These will be examined by the concerned policy branches and departments in detail in the coming months, with a view to recommending specific courses of action. It is the Administration's intention to make public the research report as soon as possible, so as to obtain feedback from this Council, other concerned boards and committees, and the community generally as part of this detailed examination process. Until this examination is completed, it is not possible to quantify the precise resource implications.

End/Wednesday, May 3, 1995

33

Promotion of Basic Law

*****

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Tang Siu-tong and a reply by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

In view of the fact that the territory's sovereignty will revert to China in less than three years, will the Government inform this Council whether:

(a) it has formulated any publicity plan to promote widely the Basic Law among the public in a systematic manner; if so, what the details of the plan are; if not, why not;

(b) the Education Department will include the provisions of the Basic Law in the secondary school curriculum before 1997; if so, what the progress is; and

(c) non-government organisations may seek financial assistance from the Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education to promote civic education activities relating to the theme of "the reversion of the territory's sovereignty to China and the promotion of the Basic Law"?

Reply :

The importance of the Basic Law is well recognised by the Government. Efforts are made to promote awareness of the Basic Law in the context of school education, in our promotion of Civic Education and also our training for civil servants.

The Committee for the Promotion of Civic Education is responsible for the promotion of civic education in Hong Kong. This involves enabling the public to have a better understanding of the social, political, economic and legal systems under which Hong Kong is governed. An important objective for the Committee, therefore, is to promote public awareness of the Basic Law and the guarantees that it provides for Hong Kong’s systems and way of life.

The Committee participates in Basic Law programmes. It has, since 1991, sponsored through its Community Participation Scheme, a number of worthwhile Basic Law projects put forward by community groups and Non- Government Organisations. Another such project will receive the Committee's sponsorship in 1995/96 and other bids are welcome.

34

With the Basic Law due to come into effect in a little over two years, the Committee intends to step up its promotional efforts in co-operation with other groups and the media. Ideas being considered include producing a series of three-minute television programmes introducing the Basic Law.

In the context of school education, the Basic Law has been included in the secondary school curriculum since 1990 in subjects like Social Studies, Economic and Public Affairs, Government and Public Affairs. The Education Department has also developed a teaching kit on the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law to assist teachers in presenting the two documents at secondary school level.

End/Wednesday, May 3, 1995

Experience for appointment of departmental heads ♦ ♦ * * ♦

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Samuel Wong and a reply by the Secretary for the Civil Sendee, Mr Michael Sze, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

Following the recent announcement of the next appointment to the post of Commissioner for Transport, the new appointee said on television that she had no previous experience in transport matters but that she was willing to learn. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether it is now the policy to treat D6 posts as training posts; and

(b) how long on average an appointee with no previous specialist experience is expected to take to learn sufficiently about the subject so as to properly discharge his or her duties as a head of department requiring specialist or attributes?

35

Reply :

Mr President,

It is certainly true that Mrs Lily Yam Pui-ying, who had been announced to be the next Commissioner for Transport, has no direct experience in transport matters. What she has is a great deal of experience relevant to the duties of Commissioner for Transport. To require directly relevant professional experience for appointments to Head of Department positions would make it a very inflexible system. If anything we need to move in the direction of a more open directorate.

In the transport field we have seen lime and again that issues can become items of heated public debate very quickly and that political sensitivity presentational skills in addition to management capabilities are key attributes in the Commissioner for Transport. It was for that very reason that the post was designated as an Administrative Officer post in 1981.

As to the two specific elements to this question :

(a) First, let me say that it is neither our policy nor practice to treat D6 posts as training posts. Our policy, as always, is to find the best officer for the job. It is however often the case that officers selected to fill such posts are those with potential to rise higher, and to that extent, the experience gained in D6 posts will provide valuable training for the future; and

(b) as to how long it would take on average for an appointee with no previous specialist experience to settle into the post, this depends very much on the officer and the post in question. Given that the main attributes of a Head of Department are leadership, the management of resources, political acumen, and presentational skills it should come quite naturally to an appointee from the Administrative Service who would have acquired these qualities from broad range of postings he or she would have had. We would expect such an officer to ’’hit the ground running” and be fully effective within a short time.

End/Wednesday, May 3, 1995

36

1996-97 Budget consultation

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Fred Li Wah-ming and a reply by the Financial Secretary, the Hon Sir Hamish Macleod, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

It was reported that in his recent meeting with the Chinese Foreign Minister, the British Foreign Minister indicated that the 1 long Kong Government would consult the Chinese government on the 1996-97 Budget. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council -

(a) whether the Government has changed its stand regarding its reiterations that there was no need to consult the Chinese side on the 1996-97 Budget; and

(b) if the answer to (a) is in the affirmative, what are the reasons for changing its previous stand; and what the specific mechanism for consultation will be?

Reply :

Mr President.

I am glad to be able to reassure Mr. Li that the answer to the first part of his question is 'No'. As I have already made clear on the record, in response to media enquiries on 20 April, there was no truth whatsoever in the news report that there had been a change in our stance over discussions with China over the 1996-97 Budget.

We have handed over to the Chinese side a detailed programme of proposed activities. One stage of this programme involves a Chinese team observing the planning and preparation process for the 1996-97 Budget. A later stage involves consultations on the 1997-98 Budget.

We hope to hold further meetings with the Chinese side at mutually convenient times as soon as possible.

As there is no change in our position, the second part of Mr Li's question does not apply.

End/Wednesday. May 3. 1995

37

Volatile organic chemicals in drinking water

*****

The following is a question by Dr the Hon Huang Chen-ya and a written reply by the Secretary for Works, Mr James Blake, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Given that the chemical solvent tetrachloro-ethylene has been found to cause leukaemia and bladder cancer, will the Government inform this Council of the respective levels of the following volatile organic chemicals :

(a) tetrachloroethylene

(b) trihalomethanes

(c) benzene

(d) dichloroethylene

(e) dichloroethane

detected in the territory’s drinking water in the past five years?

Reply :

Mr President.

The Water Supplies Department carries out extensive quality monitoring of treated water supply in Hong Kong on an on-going basis in accordance with the recommendations as set out in the World Health Organization's (WHO) Guideline Values for Drinking Water Quality.

Over the past five years, more than 1500 water samples have been taken from the supply and distribution network including consumer taps for analysis of trace of organics with the aid of sensitive analytical instruments. The monitoring records indicated that the concentrations of tetrachloroethylene, trihalomethanes (chloroform, bromoform, dibromochloromethane and dichlorobromomethane), benzene, 1,1-dichloroethene, 1,2-dichloroethene and 1,2-dichloroethane in treated water supply were consistently well below the guideline values laid down by the WHO. According to WHO the concentrations of these organic compounds in drinking water at such levels should not pose any threat to public health over a lifetime consumption.

End/Wednesday. May 3. 1995

38

Noise nuisance at the airport railway station *****

The following is a question by Dr the Hon Huang Chen-ha and a written reply by the Secretary for Works, Mr James Blake, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the prevention of noise nuisance at the airport railway station at Cheung On Estate (Tsing Yi North), will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether it is planned to adopt a design of total enclosure or other noise prevention facilities for the airport railway station at Cheung On Estate; if not, what the reasons are;

(b) of the respective construction costs of noise prevention measures for total enclosure and semi-enclosure designs and their respective effects in reducing the noise level; and

(c) whether the Government will consider further consulting members of the Kwai Tsing District Board, Area Committees and Mutual Aid Committees and Legislative Council member of the district concerned about the noise prevention facilities at the Tsing Yi North airport railway station?

Reply:

Mr President:

(a) The criteria for the design of the Airport Railway with respect to the environment were established in the Airport Railway (AR) Environmental Impact Study(EIS), the final report of which has been endorsed by Environmental Protection Department and the Advisory Council on the Environment. The EIS has assessed the worst case operating noise of the AR on the basis of rolling stock noise, train length, operating speed and frequency and the distance separation of the AR from sensitive receivers. The noise prevention facility recommended by the EIS and ultimately to be adopted for the northern side of the AR viaduct facing Cheung On Estate is the provision of a 1.4m high absorptive track side barrier extending from the western end of the Tsing Yi Station to a point 180m long.

39

The EIS has not recommended total enclosure for the Tsing Yi viaduct facing Cheung On Estate as the proposed 1.4m high barrier incorporating acoustically absorbent materials should be able to reduce the AR operating noise at Cheung On Estate to be within the legal criteria, i.c. 60 dB(A)Lcq (30 min) under the Noise Control Ordinance.

In addition, MTRC has also reviewed the design of the turnback siding which had originally planned to be located at the viaduct opposite the West Cheung On Estate. It has now decided to move the alignment of this particular side tr ick (120m in total) away from the residential blocks(from A to B in the location map attached) and construct it in tunnel. This will further reduce the noise impacts on the West Cheung On Estate.

Apart from the above noise prevention measures, a number of other measures will be adopted for other parts of the western end of Tsing Yi Station. These will eventually include a cover over the upper railway tracks between Tsing Yi Station and Tsing King Road and an extended height barrier of 3.8m on the southern side of the viaduct nearest to St. Paul's village. In short, the noise impacts in respect of the AR design and construction have been and will continue to be closely monitored.

(b) The Mass Transit Railway Corporation does not have a cost estimate nor an assessment of the effect of a total enclosure for the AR viaduct facing Cheung On Estate as there has been no need to utilise this measure in accordance with the EIS recommendation. It is also impossible to give a standard rate as each AR section is different. The long tunnel at one end and the Tsing Yi Station at the other would present significant ventilation problems if the design of total enclosure were to be adopted. Very approximately, the cost for the particular AR section involved would probably exceed IIKS200 million.

It is impossible either to give a direct dollar per meter price for the design of a semi-enclosure, but the recommended 1.4m high absorptive barrier will be the most cost-effective solution for the Tsing Yi viaduct facing Cheung On Estate. According to the EIS, with this barrier in place, the AR operating noise at Cheung On Estate would be able to meet the legal requirement under the Noise Control Ordinance.

40

(c) MTRC and Government have already discussed on various occasions with many different parties concerned on issues related to the noise prevention facilities at the Tsing Yi North AR Station, eg. meetings with the Kwai Tsing District Board, its various sub-committees and Area Committees concerned respectively in December 1993, March 1994, as well as January, February and April this year. The Kwai Tsing District Office has assisted in these consultations and will continue to arrange various forums for a fleeted local residents to air their views and concerns over the construction and operation of the AR in the district. Indeed, I understand that another meeting with the Hon Mr Lee Wing Tat and representatives of the Mutual Aid Committee of Cheung On Estate has been scheduled to be held on 8 May. Members can therefore be assured that further consultations and briefing sessions with groups concerned will continue to be conducted as and when appropriate.

End/ Wednesday, May 5, 1995

Mainland women giving birth in HK *****

Following is a question by the Hon Cheung Man-kwong and a written reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the question of pregnant Chinese women who enter the territory with two-way permits or by illegal means and give birth to babies, will the Government inform this Council :

(a) of the respective numbers of such babies born in the territory, as well as the proportion of such births to the total numbers of babies delivered in each of the public hospitals in the past three years;

(b) of the respective numbers of the babies mentioned in (a) who have obtained the right of abode in the territory in the past three years; whether the remaining ones, who did not have the right of abode, were ail sent back to Mainland China;

41

(c) whether medical and educational facilities have been increased accordingly to cater for such newly increased population, so that the resources and standards of the local medical and educational services will not be affected; and

(d) of the ways to tackle the problem of pregnant Chinese women coming to

the territory for childbirth, which the Administration has undertaken to discuss with the Chinese authority concerned; what progress has been made so far?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) The number of children bom to such women in the past three years is as follows : -

Period Children born to II mothers Children bom to Two-way Permit Holders

1992 2.232 4.606

1993 2,634 6.208

1994 2,324 6.943 .

Total 7.190 17,757

The percentage of deliveries by Chinese women who entered Hong Kong by two-way permits or by illegal means over the total deliveries in public hospitals is about 15%. 19% and 18.5% for 1992. 1993 and 1994 respectively. A detailed breakdown by hospital is at Annex.

(b) Not all such children have automatic right of abode in Hong Kong. Their resident status will depend on the resident status of their father. Our statistics show that during the past 3 years the number of such children granted permission to stay is as follows:

42

Year Children bom to II mothers Granted stay Children bom to Two-way Permit Holders Grante.d..siay

1992 (Feb to Dec)* 1,902 4,233

1993 2,453 6,035

1994 2,231 6,725

* No statistics arc available before February 1992.

All those who were not granted permission to stay were repatriated as a matter of policy.

(c) The Government is committed to provide school places to all children who are eligible for public sector places, including children bom to Chinese women who arc granted permission to stay. They have, therefore, been taken into account in projecting the need for education facilities. The facilities and services for children bom to local residents will not be affected. Provision of hospital services to two way permit holders and illegal immigrants giving birth in Hong Kong have been made from existing resources through improved efficiency and productivity without affecting the quality of care for other patients.

(d) We believe that the solution lies in tackling the problem at source. There is already good co-operation with the Chinese authorities in tackling the problem of illegal immigration into Hong Kong. As regards those who enter Hong Kong on two way permits, we have raised the problem with the Chinese authorities during the Annual Border Liaison Meeting in February this year. The Director of Immigration has also raised this with the Director of the Bureau of Exit-Entry Administration of the Public Security Ministry during his recent visit to China. The latter indicated that consideration would be given to adopting measures to try to curb the trend. Such measures may include postponing the issue of two-way permits to women at an advanced stage of pregnancy.

43

Armsi

Percentage of Deliveries by Chinese Mothers in the Total Deliveries of TwelveHospitals from 1991 to 1994

Hospital 1992 1993 1994

CM TD % CM TD % CM TD %

CMC 234 2404 9.7% 409 2633 15.5% 430 2529 17.0%

KWH 1017 5173 19.7% 1794 5338 33.6% 1651 5237 31.5%

PMH 838 4436 18.9% 950 4198 22.6% 1006 4419 22.8%

PWH 1207 7939 15.2% 1565 7943 19.7% 1618 7885 20.5%

QEH 1101 6906 15.9% 1306 6618 19.7% 1258 6153 20.4%

QMH 281 1023 27.5% 213 941 22.6% 114 772 14.8%

TMH 529 5454 9.7% 840 5965 14.1% 924 6508 14.2%

TYH 392 2871 13.7% 746 5069 14.7% 734 4806 15.3%

UCH -207 3457 -6.0% 235 3537 6.6% 255 3511 7.3%

PYNEH# 62 343 18.1% 361 3281 11.0%

POH 91 516 17.6% 90 486 18.5% 103 498 20.7%

OLMH -308 2058 -15.0% -305 2031 -15.0% -348 2325 -15.0%

Total 6205 42237 14.7% 8515 45102 18.9% 8802 47924 18.4%

CM : Deliveries by Chinese Mothers

TD : Total Deliveries

# : PYNEH Start from 15 October 1993

~ : approximate figure

CMC Caritas Medical Centre

KWH Kwong Wah Hospital

PMH Princess Margaret Hospital

PWH Prince of Wales Hospital

QEH Queen Elizabeth Hospital

TMH Tuen Mun Hospital

TYH Tsan Yuk Hospital

UCH United Christian Hospital

PYNEH Pamela Youde Nethersol Eastern Hospital

POH Pok Oi Hospital

OLMH Our Lady Maryknoll Hospital

End/Wednesday, May 3. 1995

44

Setting up of taxi stands *****

Following is a question by the Hon Roger Luk Koon-hoo and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Administration inform this Council :

(a) of the existing policy regarding the setting up of taxi stands;

(b) whether there are plans to increase the provision of taxi stands in the urban areas; and

(c) what measures are being taken to tackle the problem of taxis waiting for fares on the roadside at many locations (e.g. Wan Chai, Mong Kok etc), thereby illegally occupying and using a traffic lane as a taxi stand and creating unnecessary traffic congestion?

Reply:

Mr President,

Taxi stands are provided at locations where passenger demand for taxi services is high. Before a taxi stand is set up, various factors are taken into account, including local traffic conditions, road space and capacity, the width of pavements and road safety.

At present, there are 104 taxi stands in the urban areas. Most of these are located adjacent to public transport interchanges, major business and shopping centres or large housing estates. There are plans to provide about 10 more taxi stands in the coming 12 months.

To enhance traffic circulation busy roads are designated as restricted zones where boarding and alighting are prohibited at certain times of the day. Even at locations where such restrictions do not apply, taxi drivers are not allowed to wait for a fare on a roadside except at a taxi stand. Offenders are liable to fixed penalty tickets or prosecution. Indeed, in recent months the Police launched a number of blitz operations at locations where malpractices were common.

End/Wednesday. May 3, 1995

- 45

Sewage extension work along South Bay Road ♦ * ♦ * *

Following is a question by the Hon Jimmy McGregor and a written reply by the Secretary for Works, Mr James Blake, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council when the sewage extension work which has been going on for the past two years in South Bay Road will be completed and whether this road will then be left undisturbed with no further road openings for a reasonable period of time?

Reply:

Mr President,

The sewer extension work along South Bay Road is part of the HK Island South Master Plan aimed to improve the sewerage infrastructure and water quality in the Island South region. Based on present rate of progress, the Drainage Services Department anticipates that the works will be completed around the end of September 1995.

The Highways Department has also arranged to resurface the road, starting in March this year, to dovetail in with the drainage works. After the completion of the road resurfacing works by October 1995, there will be a one year mandatory restriction on road openings, except for emergencies or other unforeseen circumstances.

End/Wednesday, May 3, 1995

46

Government clinics to be designated no smoking areas ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

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:

Since smoking in government clinics is not a statutory offence, the Director of Health may only carry out the anti-smoking policy through the co-operation of the smokers to observe the instructions given by the staff in such clinics. In this regard, will the Administration inform this Council:

(a) whether consideration will be given making smoking in government clinics a statutory offence as in other public places such as MTR compartments and cinemas, and

(b) what measures the Administration will put in place to effectively prohibit smoking in government clinics if the status quo is maintained?

Reply :

An amendment to the Smoking (Public Health) Ordinance is proposed which will empower heads of government departments and non-government organisations to designate any part(s) of the premises under their control as no smoking areas. Offenders will be liable to prosecution and a maximum penalty of a fine at $5,000 (Level 2).

It is expected that this amendment will be introduced into the Legislative Council on 10 May 1995. Subject to the amendment being passed, the Director of Health intends to designate the public areas of government clinics as no smoking areas. Meanwhile, clinics have been administratively designated as no smoking areas. Although clinic staff cannot take legal action against people who smoke there, they can and do ask offenders to stop.

End/Wednesday. May 3. 1995

47

Semi-private beds in government hospitals ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The following is a question by the Hon Vincent Cheng Hoi-chuen and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the introduction of semi-private beds in the hospitals managed by the Hospital Authority, will the Administration inform this Council:

(a) of the level of subsidy per bed provided by the Government for semiprivate beds in hospitals under the Hospital Authority;

(b) of the breakdown of costs for room, food, nursing, surgical fees, theatre/operation fees, drugs and dressings, laboratory charge, diagnostic tests for such beds; and

(c) whether further pilot studies arc being contemplated; if so, what are the details, including the location of the hospitals and the projected level of fees?

Reply :

The level of subsidy provided by Government for the 39 beds in two hospitals presently operating in the semi-private room pilot scheme is between 40 and 60 per cent. The daily maintenance fee for a semi-private room in Ruttonjee Hospital is $600 per day. For Tsan Yuk Hospital, it is $800 for a double room and $1,200 for a single room. The fee is inclusive of room charges, consultations, meals, drugs, medical investigations and treatment.

Since the level of medical treatment provided to all patients is identical, the operating cost for semi-private beds is essentially the same as for general ward beds, except for a marginal increase in meal and electricity charges as a result of better ’’hotel" services. The components of the operating cost are as follows :

(a) medical services 70%

(including the cost of medical and nursing staff, depreciation on medical equipment and other related expenses)

48

(b) patient support services 15%

(including the cost of radiology, pathology and pharmacy)

(c) hotel services 15%

(including the cost of food, accommodation and administration)

A further 18 semi-private beds arc planned to be provided under the pilot scheme in Grantham Hospital on I long Kong Island in the summer of 1995. The daily maintenance fee will reflect the same 40-60 per cent Government subsidy.

End/Wednesday, May 3, 1995

Warships bounded by Marine Department regulations

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Tam Yiu-chung and a written reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

As it was reported that a US Navy submarine collided with a cargo vessel in Hong Kong waters in mid March, will the Government inform this Council :

(a) Whether the submarine was carrying nuclear weapons at the time of collision; if so, whether the Government has any contingency plan in case of nuclear leakage; and

(b) Whether it is aware of the activities of submarines in Hong Kong waters and able to restrict such activities so as to prevent submarines from colliding with other vessels and ensure water-course safety?

Answer:

(a) United States Government policy is neither to confirm nor to deny the presence of nuclear weapons on board any specific United States warship. The United States authorities have, however, advised that it is not currently the practice for attack submarines, such as the one involved in the collision, to carry nuclear weapons.


- 49 -

The British Forces, and the Hong Kong Government, have detailed contingency plans to deal with the very unlikely event of a release of radioactive material from a warship in Hong Kong waters. The plans include measures both to control the incident and to protect the health and safety of the public. These contingency plans are exercised on a regular basis.

(b) The Hong Kong Government is informed in advance of all planned visits to Hong Kong by nuclear powered warships. These warships, like all vessels using Hong Kong waters, are bound by Marine Department regulations, which are designed to ensure the safety of sea traffic, and by the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collision at Sea. They are assigned to dedicated anchorages, well away from centres of population and busy sea areas.

End/Wednesday, May 3, 1995

Use of mobile telephones while driving *****

The Following is a question by Dr the Hon Lam Kui-chun and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

There is a comparative study in the United States showing that drivers who regularly use car phones are more frequently involved in traffic accidents than those who do not use car phones. Since using mobile telephones while driving is commonplace in the territory, will the Administration inform this Council:

I •

(a) whether the Administration has any information to show whether the above phenomenon also exists in the territory;

(b) if the answer to (a) is in the negative, whether the Administration will consider conducting a similar study and making a report to this Council; and

50

(c) if the answer to (a) is in the affirmative, whether the Administration will

consider introducing legislation to ban the use of mobile telephones while driving motor vehicles?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) The Administration does not have data on the frequency of use of car phones by drivers. Police investigations into traffic accidents have concluded that the use of mobile phones whilst driving have been a contributory cause of accidents on only 2 to 3 occasions each year. Details are annexed.

(b) The Administration will continue to monitor the situation and seek relevant information, including research and other studies, from overseas sources.

(c) The Administration has no plans to legislate to ban the use of mobile telephones by drivers. However, motorists may be prosecuted for careless driving if the use of a mobile telephone is proven to have caused a traffic accident.

The Road Users' Code advises drivers to stop their cars at a safe place if they need to use their mobile phones. This message is also repeated in on-going road safety publicity programmes and, for example, has also been included in the Road Safety Quarterly and in the leaflet "Safety Tips for Road Users".

Annex

Accidents caused by the Use of Mobile Phones whilst Driving

Accidents 1221 1992 1221 1224

Fatal 0 0 0 0

Serious 0 0 1 1

Slight 2 3 1 2

Total 2 3 2 3

End/Wednesday, May 3, 1995

51

Supermarkets in public housing and HOS estates

*****

The following is a question by the Hon Fred Li Wah-ming and a written reply by the Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

The report on the study of supermarkets released by the Consumer Council indicates that of the total number of 106 supermarkets in 236 public housing estates and Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) estates in the territory, 80% are run by two large consortia, while supermarkets in remote areas such as New Territories North and Island South are even monopolised by a single operator. ^Tn this connection, will the Government inform the Council:

(a) of the criteria adopted by luc Housing Department in planning the number of supermarkets in each public housing or HOS estate;

(b) of the number of public housing and HOS estates with only one supermarket, together with the locations of these estates;

(c) of the number and the locations of public housing and HOS estates with no supermarket, resulting in the residents having to use the supermarkets in nearby public housing or HOS estates; and

(d) what long-term measures the Housing Department will put in place to encourage competition and prevent consortia from monopolising the operation of supermarkets in public housing and HOS estates, so as to safeguard the interests of consumers living in public housing and HOS estates?

Answer

Mr President,

When the Consumer Council conducted the survey in March 1994 on which its report was based, 106 out of a total of 236 public rental housing or Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) estates had one or more supermarkets. By April 1995, there were 123 supermarkets in 243 estates, of which about two-thirds were operated by two major chain-store operators. The remainder were run by smaller chain-store operators or individual retailers.

52

Answers to the four specific points raised are:

(a) The Housing Department has guidelines for planning the number of supermarkets in public rental housing and HOS estates. In general, an estate with a population below 10,000 is unlikely to generate sufficient business to attract a supermarket operator, and no such provision is made. A supermarket measuring between 400m2 and 800m2 is normally provided in a new estate with a population of between 10,000 and 30,000. Two supermarkets may be provided if the population exceeds 30,000. Factors other than population, such as the number of supermarkets in the vicinity of the estate, are also taken into account in determining the number of supermarkets to be provided.

(b) A list of public rental housing and 1 IOS estates with one supermarket is at Annex 1.

(c) A list of public rental housing and HOS estates with no supermarket is at Annex 2.

(d) The Housing Department lets commercial premises to supermarket operators by open tender, and will allow new operators to join provided they can offer a satisfactory service to residents. This practice is supported by the Consumer Council. In fact, major chain-store operators do not monopolise the operation of supermarkets in public rental housing and HOS estates, but also face competition from other operators and individual retailers. There is no evidence to show that the two large operators charge higher prices in supermarkets located in geographical districts where they have a larger market share. Indeed, if any operator is found to be abusing its dominating position or adopting a high pricing policy, the Housing Department will take appropriate action and may not renew the tenancy agreement of the operator concerned. Hence, the interests of consumers living in estates are adequately protected.

53

Annex. .1

Public housing estate? with one gurenrartet

1. Apleichau Estate

2. Chak On Estate

3. Cheung Ching Estate

4. Cheung Hang Estate

5. Cheung Shan Estate

6. Cheung Wah Estate

7. Cheung Wo Court

8. Ching Lai court

9. Ching Wah Court

10. Choi Ha Estate

11. Choi Wan(l) Estate

12. Choi Yuen Estate

13. Chuk Yuen South Estate

14 . Chun Shek Estate

15. Fu Heng Estate

16. Fu Shan Estate

17. Fu Shin Estate

13. Fung Tak Estate

19. Fung Wah Estate

20. Hau Tak Estate

21. Heng On Estate

22. Hin Keng Estate

23. Hing Man Estate

24. Hing Wah(2) Estate

25. Hong Tin Court

26. Ka Fuk Estate

27. Kai Yip Estate

28. Kam Ying Court

29. Kin Sang Estate

30. King Lam Estate

31. Kwai Fong Estate

32. Kwai Hing Estate

33. Kwai Shing W. Estate

34. Kwong Fuk Estate

35. Kwong Tin Estate

36. Kwong Yuen Estate

37. Lai Kok Estate

38. Lai Yiu Estate

39. Lee On Estate

40. Lei Cheng Uk Estate

41. Lei Muk Shue Estate

42. Lei Tung Estate

43. Lek Yuen Estate

44. Lok Wah N. Estate

45. Lung Hung Estate

46. Lung Poon Court

47. . Mei Lam Estate

48. Mei Tung Estate

49. Nam Cheong Estate

50. On Kay Court

51. On Ting Estate

52. Pak Tin Estate

53. Ping Shek Estate

54

54. Po Lam Estate

55. Pok Hong Estate

56. Sam Shing Estate

57. Sha Kok Estate

58. Shan King Estate

59. Shek Kip Mei Estate

60. Shek Wai Kok Estate

61. Shui Pin Wai Estate

62. Shun Tin Estate

63. Siu Hong Court

64. Siu Lun court

65. Siu Sai Wan Estate

66. Sui Wo Court

67. Sun Chui Estate

68. Sun Tin Wai Estate

69. Tai Hang Tung Estate

70. Tai Hing Estate

71. Tai Ping Estate

72. Tai Wo Estate

73. Tai Yuen Estate

74. Tak Tin Estate

75. Tin Ma Court

76. Tin Ping Estate

77. Tin Shui Estate

78. Tin Yiu Estate

79. Tsing Yi Estate

80. Tsui Lam Estate

81. Tsui Ping Estate

82. Tsui Wan Estate

83. Tsui Yiu Court

84. Tung Tau Estate

85. Wah Fu(l) Estate

86. Wah Kwai Estate

87. Wah Ming Estate

88. Wan Tau Tong Estate

89. Wan Tsui Estate

90. Wo Che Estate

91. Wong Tai Sin Estate

92. Yau Oi Estate

93. Yin Lai Court

94. Yiu On Estate

95. Yiu Tung Estate

96. Yue Tin Court

97. Yue Wan Estate

V

- 55 -

Annex-2.

Public housing estates with no gupfinaarKet

1. Chai Wan Estate

2. Cheung Kwai Estate

3. Cheung On Estate

4. Cheung Sha Wan Estate

5, Ching Nga Court

6. Ching Shing Court

7. Ching Tai Court

8. Choi Fa Estate

9. Choi Hung Estate

10. Choi Po Court

11. Choi Wan (II) Estate

12. Chuk Yuen North Estate

13. Chun Man Court

14. Chun Wah Court

15. Chung Ming Court

16. Chung Nga court

17. Fu Keung Court

18. Fuk Loi Estate

19. Fung Chuen Court

20. Fung Shing Court

21. Hiu Tsui Court

22. Ho Ming Court

23. Homantin Estate

24. Hong Lam Court

25. Hong Nga Court

26. Hong Pak Court

27. Hong Wah Court

28. Hong Ying Court

29. Hung Hom Estate

30. Jordan valley Estate

31. Ka Lung Court

32. Ka Tin Court

33. Kai Tai Court

34. Kai Tsui Court

35. Kam Hay Court

36. Kam Lung Court

37. Kam On Court

38. King Lai Court

39. King Ming Court

40. King Nga Court

41. King Shan Court

42. King Tin Court

43. King Tsui Court

44. Ko Chiu Road Estate

45. Ko Yee Estate

46. Kwai Chung Estate

47. Kwai Hong Court

48. Kwai Shing (East) Estate

49. Kwai Yin Court

50. ' Kwong Lam Court

51. Kwun Tong (LYMR) Estate

52. L. Ngau Tau Kok (I) Estate

53. L. Ngau Tau Kok (II) Estate

54. L. Wong Tai Sin (1) Estate

55. Lai King Estate

56. Lai On Estate

56

57. Lam Tin (I) Estate

58. Lam Tin (II) Estate

59. Lok Nga court

60. Lok Wah South Estate

61. Lung Tin Estate

62. Lung Yan Court

63. Ma Hang Estate

64. Ma Tai Wai Estate

65. May Shing Court

66. Ming Nga Court

67. Model Housing Estate

68. Nam Shan Estate

69. Ngan Wan Estate

70. North Point Estate

71. On Shing court

72. On Yam Estate

73. Pang Ching Court

74. Po Hei Court

75. Po Lai Court

76. Po Nga court

77. Sai Wan Estate

78. San Fat Estate

79. San Wai Court

80. Sau Mau Ping (I) Estate

81. Sau Mau Ping (II) Estate

82. Sau Mau Ping (III) Estate

83. Shan Tsui Court

84. Shatin Pass Estate

85. Shek Lei (II) Estate

86. Shek Pal Wan Estate

87. Shek Yam Estate

88. Shun Chi Court

89. Shun On Estate

90. Siu Hei Court

91. Siu Hin Court

92. Siu Kwai court

93. Siu Lung Court

94. Siu on ccourt

95. Siu Pong Court

96. Siu Shan Court

97. So Uk Estate

98. Tak Nga Court

99. Tin King Estate

100. Tin Oi Court

101. Tin Wang Court

102. Tin Yau Court

103. Ting Nga Court

104. Tsz Ching Estate

105. Tsz Man Estate

106. Tsz Oi Estate

107. Tsz On Estate

108. Tung Chun Court

109. u. Ngau Tau Kok Estate

110. U. Wong Tai Sin Estate

111. Un Chau Street Estate

112. Valley Road Estate

113. Wang Fuk Court

114. Wang Tau Hom Estate

57

115* Wo Lok Estate

116. Wong Chuk Hang Estate

117. Wu King Estate

118. Yan Ming Court

119. Yan Shing Court

120. Yan Tsui Court

121. Yat Nga Court

122. Yau Tong Estate

123. Yee Ching Court

124. Yee Kok Court

125. Yee Nga Court

126. Yee Tsui Court

127. Ying Ming Court

128. Yu Ming Court

129. Yue Fai court

130. Yue on Court

131. Yue Shing Court

132. Yuen Long Estate

133. Yuet Lai court

134. Yuk Po Court

End/Wednesday, May 3, 1995

58

False and incorrect information given by voters ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

The following is a question by the Hon Eric Li Ka-cheung and a written reply by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Nicholas Ng, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

The Boundary and Election Commission (Registration of Electors) (Functional Constituencies and Election Committee Constituency) Regulation stipulates that any person who provides false and incorrect information upon registration as a voter with the Registration and Election Office is liable to a fine of $5,000 and imprisonment for 6 months. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of the respective numbers of persons convicted of breaching this regulation in each of the past three years together with the numbers of people convicted who were fined and those who were imprisoned?

Reply:

The Boundary and Election Commission (Registration of Electors) (Functional Constituencies and Election Committee Constituency) Regulation only came into operation on 15 December 1994. This Regulation deals with the registration of electors for the Legislative Council functional constituencies and Election Committee constituency. Since the Regulation's coming into operation, there has not been any complaint concerning the provision of false and incorrect information by electors for the functional constituencies and the Election Committee constituency. Nor has there been any conviction for the relevant offence.

Prior to December 1994, legal sanction against false registration in functional constituencies was contained in the Legislative Council (Electoral Provisions) (Registration of Electors and Appointment of Authorized Representatives) Regulations. (The Regulations did not cover Election Committee constituency as it did not exist then.) During the three years immediately preceding December 1994, there was no complaint concerning false registration in functional constituencies; nor was there any conviction for the relevant offence.

There is similar legislation dealing with false registration in geographical constituencies. Before March 1994, the relevant legislative provisions were set out in the Electoral Provisions (Registration of Eectors) Regulations. The provisions are now contained in the Boundary and Election Commission (Registration of Electors) (Geographical Constituencies) Regulations. During the past three years, the Police and the IC AC dealt with a total of 55 cases concerning false registration for geographical constituencies. Following investigation, it was concluded that there was no evidence to substantiate the allegations for 21 of the cases. Action on a further 25 cases has stopped, either because the allegations were subsequently withdrawn, or because there was insufficient information for the concerned departments to pursue the cases further. Investigation on the remaining 9 cases is still continuing.

End/Wednesday, May 3, 1995

* J

Overseas education allowance for civil servants' children *****

Following is a question by the Hon Emily Lau and a written reply by the Secretary for the Civil Service, Mr Michael Sze, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the overseas education allowance for children of civil servants, will the Administration inform this Council:

(a) when and why the allowance was introduced;

(b) how many children are currently benefiting receive from the allowancebenefit;

(c) of the number, ranks and term of service of the civil servants concerned who are in receipt of the allowance; and

(d) how much it will cost in total in 1995-96 to send these children to receive education in United Kingdom?

- 60 -

Reply:

Mr President,

My replies to the four questions raised are as follows

The Overseas Education Allowance Scheme was introduced in 1963 to enable children of overseas officers to continue education in their country of origin. In J 972, the scheme was extended to local officers on grounds of parity.

a 1 , - i . ■ '.i-••. 'i;

In 1994-95, 3683 children were in the scheme.

Within the time and resources available, we have not been able to identify the ranks of all the civil servants concerned. The number and ranks and terms of service of the civil servants concerned, broken down into salary bands, are as follows:

Salary Point Local Officers Overseas Officers Total

MPS 1-9 107 107

>MPS 9 - MPS33 2011 :rz; 5 2016

>MPS 33 - MPS 44 451 33 484

>MPS 44 - MPS 49 141 55 196

Directorate 114 94 208

Total 2824 187 3011

(The total is lower than (b) above because some officers have more than one child studying abroad.) f,

In 1995/96, about 4,000 children are estimated to be in the scheme at a cost of $322M. The great majority of them will be receiving education in the United Kingdom.

End/Wednesday, May 3, 1995

- 61 -

Environmental black spots in the New Territories ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The following is a question by Rev the Hon Fung Chi-wood and a written reply by the acting Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Canice Mak, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the setting up of a task force to tackle and clean up environmental black spots in the New Territories, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the actual work done by the task force in the past six months and the achievements made so far;

(b) of the classification of the black spots identified, together with a breakdown of these black spots by classification; and

(c) how the Government will tackle these black spots and what the specific time-frame for action is?

Answer:

Mr President,

Answers to the three-part question are as follows -

(a) In July 1994, a Black Spots Task Force was set up in the Lands Department to clean up black spots in the New Territories. Since August 1994, the Task Force has been, inter alia, -

(i) implementing an action plan to bring early and visible improvement to areas identified as being environmentally degraded, initially in the Pat Heung area. So far, 203 government sites comprising 5.2 hectares of land being illegally occupied have been cleared, with 84 of which landscaped. The Central Enforcement and Prosecution Section set up in the Planning Department in July 1994 has been complementing the action of the Task Force by stepping up its enforcement efforts under the Town Planning Ordinance, Cap 131 in the Pat Heung area to ensure maximum impact of Government action;

- 62 -

• • ' '• - • /• : Ju

(ii) studying container-related operations in the Ha Tsuen/Lau Fau Shan area;

(iii) exploring the drawing up of a code of practice for container depot operations in liaison with the Hong Kong Container Depots and Repair Association Ltd to encourage self-discipline and improvements; and

(iv) examining suitable sites for relocating port back-up and open storage uses. = *<•

(b) Black spots, in general, constitute any operations/activities which cause visual, traffic, flooding, dust and odour nuisances/problems. Many open storage and port back-up uses in the rural areas of the New Territories are found to be black spots. According to the recently completed Study on Port Back-up Land and Open Storage Requirements by the Planning Department, there were, as at August 1993, 1453 sites (covering 362 hectares) for open storage uses and 237 sites (covering 198 hectares) for port back-up uses. The Task Force is ascertaining exactly how many of these are black spots.

(c) There are three courses of action to tackle black spots : seeking to discontinue the operation/activity, moving it to places where the land use is compatible with the planning, environmental and traffic requirements, and allowing it to continue subject to the necessary improvements.

In view of the widespread nature and complexity of the problem, a 10-year implementation programme is thought to be necessary to clean up the New Territories. Over the next few years, the Task Force will be developing strategies and initiatives to bring about improvements. This will be no easy task. The co-operation and involvement of those living and working in the New Territories will be essential. If necessary, we may consider legislative amendments to deal with problematic areas which cannot be effectively dealt with through the means now at our disposal. We intend to consult widely as we develop our plans of action. Proposals will in due course be made for consideration by the Special Committee set up in November 1994 to advise the Government on all matters relating to environmental black spots in the New Territories and to monitor the work of the Task Force.

End/Wednesday, May 3, 1995

- 63 -

Government attendance at district board meetings ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

’ ’ • U •1 I ’. /«

The following is a question by the Hon Zachary Wong and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

It is learnt that despite repeated requests, the Highways Department has been declining to send representatives to some district board meetings, causing dissatisfaction among members of those district boards. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the criteria adopted by government departments in deciding whether to send representatives to or to decline attendance at district board meetings;

ft , . •» " . . 1 .

•. i ' ' i r

(b) the district boards whose meetings the Highways Department has declined to send representatives to in the last district board session;

t

(c) the district boards whose meetings the Highways Department has declined to send representatives to since the commencement of the current district board session;

(d) of the reasons why the Highways Department declines to send representatives to district board meetings;

(e) whether the operation of a district board was disrupted, as a result of the absence of an official from the Highways Department who had promised to attend a district board meeting but proceeded on leave without arranging for a replacement to attend the meeting, causing delay in the discussion of the projects concerned; and

(f) how the above situation can be improved?

- 64 -

Reply:

■ in-.'u

Mr President,

(a) Departmental attendance at District Board meetings is by invitation and determined by the District Officer, in consultation with the District Board Chairman. Instructions to departments have been promulgated in circulars which are reviewed and up-dated periodically.

(b) & (d) The present practice and standing arrangement is that the Territory Development Department represents all Works Branch Departments (including Highways Department) at District Board meetings on engineering and project programming matters. It is for this reason that Highways Department declined requests to attend, on a regular basis, each and every meeting of the Yuen Long, Eastern, and Central & Western District Boards during the past session.

(c) I have been advised that the Highways Department did not send a representative to attend the discussion at the Yuen Long District Board meeting held on 20 April 1995. However, written advice was provided to the District Board before that meeting.

•’ * ■ . •

(e) & (f) In retrospect, the Director of Highways recognises that the business of the District Board would have been better facilitated had his representative been able to attend. Meanwhile, to improve communication, the Department has recently agreed to attend Yuen Long District Board Traffic and Transport Committee meetings regularly on a trial basis for one year.

End/Wednesday, May 3, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Thursday, May 4,1995

Contents Page No.

More resources for financial sector development.......................... 1

Role in handling labour disputes explained............................... 2

Director of Legal Aid accepts COMAC’s findings........................... 3

Christopher Lee appointed Immigration Deputy Director.................... 3

Agreement on Shenzhen River works........................................ 4

Watch out for gas leak hazards........................................... 5

Applications for summer forestry work camp invited....................... 5

Participation in international education research considered............. 7

’’Respect Our Teacher” competition....................................... 8

Operation to crack down on unlicensed guesthouses........................ 9

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

1

More resources for financial sector development * ♦ ♦ * ♦

The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), Mr Joseph Yam, urged the Asian Development Bank to devote more resources to the development of the financial sector of developing member countries (DMCs) noting that the Bank's resources are likely to become tight.

Giving his speech before delegates to the 28th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of ADB being held in Auckland today (Thursday), Mr Yam said: "It is, I think, time for the Bank to consider positioning itself as a catalyst and promoter of development by directing more resources to improving the capability of DMCs to mobilise resources efficiently, both domestic and external."

He said the need for the Bank to put more emphasis on assisting DMCs in developing robust financial infrastructure was prompted by strong private capital inflows into this Region.

"Financial liberalisation and strong private capital flows, whilst undoubtedly beneficial, can be destabilising. The associated risks can only be minimised through adopting sound macroeconomic policies, and ensuring that the monetary and financial systems are adequately robust," said Mr Yam.

He noted that the Bank already is committed to assisting DMCs in the liberalisation of financial regimes, restructuring of banking system, adoption of prudential and sound banking regulation and deepening of capital markets.

"These are all worthy efforts, and I believe there is scope for the Bank to intensify such efforts through devoting relatively more resources to these areas," said Mr Yam.

Mr Yam is currently leading the Hong Kong delegation to the Annual Meeting, comprises also the Executive Director (External) of HKMA, Mr James H Lau Jr, and Head of the External Relations, Mr Eddie Yue.

End/Thursday, May 4, 1995

2

Role in handling labour disputes explained ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

In response to press enquiries concerning the Judiciary’s report on the review of the operation of the Labour Tribunal, a spokesman for the Labour Department today (Thursday) clarified the stand and role of the department in handling labour disputes.

The spokesman said the department's Labour Relations Division helped both employers and employees settle disputes arising from their contracts of employment.

"Our officers act as impartial conciliators in labour disputes. Through conciliation meetings, they help both parties to reach agreements on the terms of settlement.

"Participation in conciliation is entirely voluntary and its success depends on the understanding and co-operation of the parties concerned.

"Conciliation officers do not have the mandate to adjudicate the claims. Where no agreement on settlement can be reached through conciliation, both parties to the claim have the power provided by statute to refer their claims to the Labour Tribunal for adjudication," he explained.

The department adopts a very serious attitude towards non-compliance of statutory provisions. All complaints are investigated and prosecutions will be taken out where there is sufficient evidence.

The department also adopts an active approach on law enforcement. Labour Inspectors visit places of employment regularly to ensure compliance.

In 1994, there were 3,422 convictions of offences involving failure to pay employment benefits under the Employment Ordinance.

"To provide the public with a fast and simple machinery for settling labour disputes and to assist the Labour Tribunal in handling minor claims, the Minor Employment Claims Adjudication Board was set up in late December last year to adjudicate claims up to $5,000," he said.

Since its operation, the Board has cleared all the backlog cases in this category transferred from the Labour Tribunal.

End/Thursday, May 4, 1995

3

Director of Legal Aid accepts COMAC’s findings

*****

The Director of Legal Aid accepts the findings of the Commissioner for Administrative Complaints (COMAC) in his investigation about failure to monitor closely a legally aided case.

The case in question concerns a land dispute in the New Territories, which involves very complicated legal and factual issues and the application of Chinese Customary and Ching Law.

The department also accepts the Commissioner's recommendations and will take all necessary steps within its power to bring about an early conclusion to this case.

A committee is already established within the department to monitor on a regular basis the assignment of legal aid cases to outside solicitors and counsel.

In the light of COMAC's comments, the Committee will take a closer look at the existing procedures and practices with a view of further improving the system.

In 1994, the department received a total of 25,257 applications for legal aid and 10,369 were granted legal aid certificates. About 60 per cent of the cases handled were matrimonial cases, which normally took one-and-a-halfto two years to complete. Cases which involved employees compensation (10 per cent) took less than a year.

End/Thursday, May 4, 1995

Christopher Lee appointed Immigration Deputy Director

*****

The Government announced today (Thursday) that Mr Christopher Lee Ka keung will assume the post of Deputy Director of Immigration on July 1, 1995.

Mr Lee, aged 50, is at present the Assistant Director of Immigration responsible for Control and Investigation. He joined the Immigration Department in 1965 as an Officer. He was promoted to his present rank in 1987 and has acted in the post of Deputy Director on several occasions.

Mr Lee will replace Mr John Yeung Hin-chung who will proceed on leave on July 1 prior to departing the service.

End/Thursday, May 4, 1995

4

Agreement on Shenzhen River works

*****

An agreement has been reached between the Hong Kong Government and the Shenzhen Municipal Government to start immediately the Stage I works of the Shenzhen River Regulation Project.

The agreement was reached at the fifth meeting of the joint working group on the Shenzhen River Regulation Project held in Shenzhen today (Thursday).

It was also agreed at the meeting that Stage I works would be entrusted to the Shenzhen Municipal Government who will be responsible for the management and supervision of the works.

The contract will be awarded to a joint venture company comprising the China Shenzhen International Co-operation (Group) Company Limited, the fourth Harbour Engineering Bureau of the Ministry of Communications and the China Water and Water Power 13th Engineering Bureau.

The construction cost and management fees will be shared equally by the Hong Kong Government and the Shenzhen Municipal Government.

Stage I works will involve the straightening of two meandering sections of the Shenzhen River near Liu Pok and Lok Ma Chau, which at present severely restrict the flood-carrying capacity of the river.

Works are expected to begin later this month for completion in May 1997.

At today's meeting both sides also discussed the progress of the Environmental Impact Assessment Study for Stage II of the project which will be completed soon and agreed to start discussion on other essential preparatory work for Stage II.

End/Thursday, May 4, 1995

5

Watch out for gas leak hazards ♦ ♦ ♦ * *

The Labour Department today (Thursday) urged construction companies engaged in road works and site formation to watch out for the hazards associated with gas leak.

Chief Factory Inspector Mr Chan Tat-king said live gas pipes near or within a work site had to be carefully identified while workers had to be properly trained and supervised.

"Smoking should be strictly banned on the site. A safety plan with method statement and arrangements for emergency should also be devised," he said.

Under the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance, it is the responsibility of a construction company to provide a safe system of work.

As regards the incident happened last year in which a live gas pipe was wrongly cut on a construction site in Yuen Long, resulting in the suspension of gas supply in Yuen Long and Tuen Mun, Mr Chan said investigation by the department showed that a safe system of work was not provided for the gas pipe cutting work.

"The Labour Department is seeking legal advice on possible action against the contractors concerned," he said.

Mr Chan said if a safe system of work was provided, an incident similar to the gas explosion in South Korea last week would be unlikely to occur in Hong Kong.

End/Thursday, May 4, 1995

Applications for summer forestry work camp invited

*****

Young people between 14 and 25 who wish to camp in a beautiful outdoor environment this summer and take part in countryside conservation work can now apply to join the 1995 forestry work camp.

Applications are now invited from youth groups and schools for this year's work camp to be held from July 3 to August 25.

6

It is an annual event organised by the Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) in conjunction with the Education Department.

The purpose of the work camps is to provide young people the knowledge and first-hand experience in countryside conservation as well as a chance to take part in countryside management for the benefit of the community.

Participants will be required to work half-day everyday on countryside conservation and management. A $30 daily allowance will be given to each camper from the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club donation.

They are also encouraged to organise educational and recreational activities or use the facilities in the country parks during the rest of the day.

The AFD will provide camping facilities in 16 country park management centres in the New Territories, on Lantau and Hong Kong Island. The total single-day capacity is 330 people.

Barrack accommodation with sleeping, cooking, dining and toilet facilities will be provided.

The camps arc under the charge of at least one adult leader or teacher. The number of participants in each group may range from 18 to 23.

Applicants can apply for either a three-day camp or a five-day camp. All applications must be submitted before May 19.

The forestry work camp is one of the many activities organised annually under the Summer Youth Programme.

Interested organisations or groups can contact AFD's Conservation Education Unit on 2733 2121 to enquire about application and camping arrangements.

Applications from schools should be submitted through the Education Department.

End/Thursday, May 4, 1995

7

Participation in international education research considered *****

The Education Department is considering taking part in an international practical research project on ’’value added” in education.

The Deputy Director of Education, Miss Elaine Chung, said this after her recent visit to Tung Wah Groups of Hospitals Practical School in Yuen Long.

The project which is being considered will compare the formulae for success in schools in the United Kingdom, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Miss Chung said: "The concept is to measure in a more tangible way enhancement to the total development of the students, whatever the level of intake, and to match it with the requirements of a business oriented society.

"The project will seek to highlight good educational practice and to identify the mechanisms of success in schools which have students from disadvantaged background but which achieve above average outcomes or are particularly effective ’against the odds’," she noted.

The school which Miss Chung visited is run by the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals with a subvention of $4.7 million as recurrent cost for 1994-95 school year and $40.2 million as capital cost from the Government.

The school was opened in September last year and now has an enrolment of 139 students. Half of the curriculum taught consists of grammar school subjects, including English, Chinese and Mathematics, and the rest are practical skills for making a living and for the students' interest, such as hair styling, accommodation and catering, fashion and clothing and commercial studies.

For other schools on the drawing board, other ideas such as teaching students to learn how to do home catering, landscaping, raising of tropical fish, tourism etc. are being considered.

"There are many success stories in Hong Kong of entrepreneurs with practical skills," Miss Chung said.

"Education is about nurturing young persons to contribute positively to society in a variety of roles. Practical schools are therefore filling a niche in the education scene," she added.

8

She was very impressed with the dedication of the principal, Ms S Y Ng, and of the teachers in accepting this new educational challenge.

She urged parents to seriously consider this new alternative to traditional schooling, especially for children who do not have an aptitude for grammar school education.

End/Thursday, May 4, 1995

"Respect Our Teacher" competition

*****

Kindergartens, primary and secondary schools students will have a chance to show respect and gratitude to their teachers by taking part in the goodwill card design competition and essay contest.

The competitions are part of a series of activities of the "Respect Our Teachers Campaign" to promote teachers' image.

The activities are aimed at providing an opportunity for students to develop their creative potential in Chinese writing and to express their respect and gratitude to teachers.

The theme of the goodwill card design competition is 'Sir, I love you'.

Participants may use any kind of paper and painting materials to make their cards and can also include slogans or phrases to show appreciation of their teachers.

For students taking part in the essay contest, they can express their respect and gratitude to their teachers through prose or fiction.

The essay contest is aimed to establish the healthy image of teachers in 90's and to awaken society to the axiom of respecting the teachers and honouring their teaching.

9

Entries for the goodwill card design competition should reach the Hong Kong Teachers' Association at seventh floor, National Court, 242 Nathan Road, Kowloon, on or before May 20. Whereas entries for the essay contest should be sent to the Hong Kong Teachers' Association on or before May 30.

The "Respect Our Teachers Campaign" is jointly organised by the Education Department, Hong Kong Teachers' Association, Hong Kong Subsidised Secondary Schools Council, Union Heads of Aided Primary Schools of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Association of Heads of Secondary Schools, Subsidised Primary School Council, Sheng Kung Hui Primary Schools Council Principal Conference, Hong Kong Catholic Diocesan Schools Council, and the Association of Heads of Primary Schools, the Hong Kong Council of the Church of Christ in China.

End/Thursday, May 4, 1995

Operation to crack down on unlicensed guesthouses *****

Three men and two women suspected of running unlicensed guesthouses have been arrested.

A total of 12 suspected unlicensed guesthouses at Chungking Mansions in Tsim Sha Tsui were inspected yesterday (Wednesday) by officers of the Home Affairs Department (HAD) in a joint operation with the Police.

Three were found to be operating illegally.

■a i

Assistant Director of Home Affairs Mr Tim Stephenson said the enforcement operation was aimed at ensuring the safety of guesthouses and eliminating those guesthouses operating outside the law.

"The HAD will continue with its enforcement programme and will give no quarter to operators who break the law," he added.

At present, there are 369 licensed tourist guesthouses. A total of 200 have been closed down since the department launched its campaign against unlicensed guesthouses in September 1993.

Mr Stephenson also called on the public to report suspected unlicensed guesthouses to HAD's Office of the Licensing Authority by telephoning 2881 7034

End/Thursday, May 4, 1994

- 10 -

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

* * ♦ ♦ ♦

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

Opening balance in the account 1,311 0930 >■ +1192

Closing balance in the account 1,940 1000 +1192

Change attributable to: 1100 +1209

Money market activity +1,194 1200 +1209

LAF today -565 1500 +1196

1600 +1194

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 118.2 *+0.0* 4.5.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield ! Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.64 19 months 2611 6.90 100.80 6.44

1 month 5.71 22 months 2702 7.50 101.74 6.56

3 months 5.81 30 months 3710 7.25 101.16 6.85

6 months 5.88 36 months 3804 6.90 99.94 7.04

12 months 6.18 59 months 5003 7.75 101.22 7.58

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $ 24,853 million

Closed May 4, 1995

f •

End/Thursday, May 4, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Friday, May 5,1995

Contents Page No,

Government releases MPF consultancy report................................ 1

Government’s response on supermarkets report.............................. 3

Green light for the first phase of Lantau port development.,.............. 5

Hong Kong signs new Air Services Agreement with Germany................... 6

Bill to preserve pension rights of lecturing staff........................ 7

Green light given for container terminal reclamation...................... 8

PDB welcomes China-Taiwan trade ties...................................... 9

HK’s status as international financial centre recognised................. 10

Vessels and cargo statistics for the 4th quarter of 1994 ............ 11

Large number of protected parrots seized................................. 19

New LDC members appointed................................................ 20

SPEL (Designate) appointed to Land Commission............................ 20

/Recommendations to...

Contents Page_Na

Recommendations to improve services for autistic persons............. 21

HK delegation to visit China......................................... 23

Laying of submarine cable system in Deep Water Bay................... 23

Extension block for a skills opportunity school...................... 24

Residents reminded to sign up as voters before June 1................ 25

Yan Oi Tong directors visit SWD...................................... 26

Ballet training good for children.................................... 27

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations................. 27

- 1 -

Government releases MPF consultancy report ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

The consultancy report commissioned by the Government to examine in details various aspects relating to the establishment of a privately-run mandatory provident funds (MPF) system in Hong Kong was released today (Friday).

Presenting the report to the Manpower Panel of the Legislative Council, the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Michael Leung, stressed that the document was only the consultants’ report and that the Government had not taken a position on its detailed findings.

"We are not bound to accept all the recommendations. Indeed, we have reservations on some of the recommendations, such as the interface between MPF system and existing schemes under the Occupational Retirement Schemes Ordinance (ORSO), and the advice that a residual provident fund scheme may not be needed," Mr Leung said.

Mr Leung told Legislative Councillors that while the Government was still considering the various issues and recommendations covered by the report, the Administration wished to share the report with them at the earliest opportunity in view of the importance of the subject.

He noted that the consultants shared the Government’s view that the primary legislation enabling the introduction of the MPF system should be simple in design for better administration and understanding.

"Although Government has not yet decided on the detailed features of the primary legislation, there should be no surprises," he said.

Mr Leung recalled that in his speech to the LegCo motion debate on retirement on March 8, he had already outlined the main features of the primary legislation which would include:

* coverage and eligibility

* contributions

* vesting

* preservation and portability of benefits

* benefit payments

* residual provident funds scheme

* MPF Authority

* compensation fund

offences

* provision for the making of subsidiary legislation

and

* provision for the MPF Authority to make rules.

On the legislative timetable, Mr Leung said Government’s aim remained unchanged, i.e. to introduce the MPF System Bill into the Legislative Council in June and to have the Bill enacted before the end of the current session in July.

’’But this is only the beginning of the process. The primary legislation only provides for the enabling provisions. It does not commit us yet to the final shape of the system to be launched.

"A number of detailed and more complex issues will still need to be discussed, before these can be included in the subsidiary legislation,” he said.

Noting concerns expressed in some quarters over government regulation, Mr Leung said the Government had made its intention clear from the start of the exercise that it did not want to and would not over regulate.

"Neither is it our intention to disrupt the many good schemes in existence," he said.

He reiterated the importance of ensuring a proper balance between what was necessary to protect the interests of scheme members while, at the same time, making sure that the Administration would not stifle the ability of the industry to maximise investment returns.

LegCo Members, interested organisations and individuals are welcomed to express views on the issues raised in the report.

Legislative Councillors would be able to examine and debate the Bill when it was introduced into LegCo.

"There will be more time for public consultation on the detailed issues in the subsidiary legislation in the months ahead," Mr Leung said.

Copies of the Report of the Consultancy on the Mandatory Provident Funds System, jointly prepared by Hewitt Associates LLC and GML Consulting Ltd, and the executive summary will be sent to those organisations and individuals who have expressed an interest in the issue.

Members of the public may obtain copies of the executive summary from District Offices of the Home Affairs Department from tomorrow.

End/Friday, May 5, 1995

3

Government's response on supermarkets report ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

The Government published today (Friday) a detailed response to the Consumer Council's report on supermarkets.

"We congratulate the Consumer Council for producing a valuable and constructive report on supermarkets," a Government spokesman said.

"The report provides an in-depth study of the state of competition in the retail market of foodstuffs and household goods. It puts forward recommendations which will bring about improvement in service by the supermarkets to maximise consumer welfare."

The Government response is prepared on the basis of views expressed in an extensive consultation exercise conducted both within and outside the Government after the Consumer Council published its report in November last year. The Response sets out in detail the Government's deliberations on the recommendations put forward by the Consumer Council regarding supermarkets.

The Government response makes two general observations on the report:

Firstly, the report adopts a narrow definition of supermarkets. It excludes other forms of distributive trades for foodstuffs and household products at the retail level which are in direct competition with the supermarkets. The market share taken up by the major supermarkets will be much less if the competition analysis takes into account of other close substitutes of supermarkets.

Secondly, the report has not found any evidence of collusion among the supermarkets or abuse of market dominance. On the contrary it suggests that in many aspects competition among the supermarkets is intense.

The spokesman said: "We shall take positive actions to follow up specific recommendations of the report."

The report recommends that the Government should inform consumers of the proposed legislative amendment on food labelling, and supermarkets should ensure that their shelves are free of out-dated products.

"We fully support this recommendation. The Secretary for Health and Welfare will step up publicity and enforcement efforts in conjunction with the Director of Health," the spokesman said: "Also all the major supermarkets undertake to check and withdraw any out-dated products."

4

The report recommends that the supermarkets should improve their customer services.

"We fully support this recommendation," the spokesman said: "From our discussions with the supermarkets, we find that they are generally positive towards the suggestions for improvement put forward by the Consumer Council.

"We are glad to hear from the supermarkets their initiatives to improve product labelling, to promote compliance with the Code of Practice issued by the Article Numbering Association, to cater for special customer needs and to strengthen liaison with customers."

The report recommends that the Government should encourage information disclosure by the supermarkets.

"We have taken positive steps to implement this recommendation," he said.

"The Commissioner for Census and Statistics will improve the accessibility and availability of information on supermarkets to the public.

"We are happy to learn from the major supermarkets that they are prepared to provide more information to the Consumer Council to facilitate its future research work," he added.

The report recommends that the Government should develop and implement planning standards for supermarkets in remote districts.

"We recognise the importance of this recommendation. The Director of Planning has commissioned a study to formulate new planning standards and guidelines for retail establishments, including supermarkets," the spokesman said.

"The study will involve the Consumer Council and is scheduled for completion by early 1996.”

The report recommends that the operation right of supermarkets should be granted through open tender.

"It is the on-going practice of the Housing Authority to let supermarket operation rights in new premises through open tender," he said.

"The Housing Authority will consider the need to extend the same practice to existing supermarket sites if there is abuse of market dominance.

5

"We shall monitor closely the implementation of these recommendations and their impact on the consumers.

"We have considered in detail the report's recommendations to establish a body to handle complaints from businesses and to designate a body to monitor supermarkets.

"We do not see the need for special monitoring of the supermarkets at this stage," he said.

"We have not received any strong public support for the establishment of a body to handle complaints from businesses but will keep the need for such a body under review.

"The supermarkets and their substitutes may. however be an area of continuous study by the newly established Trade Practices Division of the Consumer Council," the spokesman added.

Members of the public who wish to obtain a copy of the Government Response may write to the Trade and Industry Branch at eighth floor, Central Government Offices, Ice House Street, Hong Kong.

End/Friday. May 5, 1995

Green light for the first phase ofl.antau port development *****

The Secretary of the Port Development Board, Mr. Tony Clark welcomed today's (Friday) announcement that the Governor-in-Council had approved the reclamation at Lantau Island to enable the construction of container terminals 10 and 11 to proceed.

He emphasised the need to ensure the development was carried out in as sympathetic a manner as possible so that its impact on its neighbours was minimised.

"Against that background, it must be remembered that our port remains Hong Kong's most significant economic asset and its incremental expansion is essential to the continued well-being of our community" he said.

He noted that an advanced works programme, involving the reclamation of back-up areas and which will facilitate the eventual construction of the terminals, was shortly to be undertaken by the Civil Engineering Department. These works were, he said, expected to go out to tender during the first half of this month. Construction could commence in July.

6

With over 11 million TEU's passing through the port last year and an increase of over 20% at the Kwai Chung container terminals for the first three months of this year compared with last year, Mr. Clark says it was vital for the continuing prosperity of Hong Kong that CT10 & CT11 are brought on stream as soon as possible.

The target date for the first berth of CT10 is the first quarter of 1998. Subsequent berths would come on at four monthly intervals.

Meanwhile Port Development Board studies to assess the requirement and timing of future terminals beyond CT 10 and CT11 continue.

"Forecasts show that Hong Kong's future share in meeting the total demand for port facilities in Southern China as a whole will be substantial," said Mr. Clark.

"But it is important to remember that, whilst the full impact of construction and operation of both CT 10 and CT 11 had been described and found acceptable, detailed feasibility studies in respect of future requirements for container terminals will be carried out," he added.

End/Friday, May 5, 1995

Hong Kong signs new Air Services Agreement with Germany *****

An Air Services Agreement (ASA) between the Government of Hong Kong and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany was signed in I long Kong today (Friday).

Under the specific authorisation of the United Kingdom Government, the Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Gordon Siu, signed on behalf of the Government of Hong Kong and the Federal Minister of Transport, Mr Matthias Wissmann, signed on behalf of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany.

The Hong Kong/Germany ASA is the eleventh such agreement designed specifically with the provisions of the Sino-British Joint Declaration in mind. Others have been signed with the Netherlands. Switzerland, Canada, Brunei, France. New Zealand. Malaysia. Brazil. Sri Lanka and Australia.

7

Currently, Cathay Pacific Airways and Lufthansa each operate daily non-stop services between Hong Kong and Frankfurt. In addition, the two designated airlines together operate ten all-cargo services per week between Hong Kong and Frankfurt under a joint venture agreement.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Siu said the new agreement would provide a solid foundation for carriers of the two sides to continue to develop and expand their respective services.

End/Friday, May 5, 1995

Bill to preserve pension rights of lecturing staff ♦ ♦ * * ♦

Lecturing and inspectorate staff of the Education Department who have transferred to the Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd) will be able to preserve their civil service pension rights under a bill to be introduced into the Legislative Council.

Commenting on the Pensions (Special Provisions) (The Hong Kong Institute of Education ) Bill gazetted today (Friday), a Government spokesman pointed out that as part of the transfer package approved by the Govemor-in-Council in January this year, serving lecturers and inspectorate staff could choose to continue to earn pension benefits like civil servants during their employment with the HKIEd.

"Alternatively, they can opt to have their earned civil service pension frozen in order to join the HKIEd superannuation scheme following their transfer to the institution.

"When they retire from HKIEd under the frozen pension, they will receive the civil service pension benefits accrued at the time of transfer and their entitlements under the superannuation scheme for the period of their employment under the HKIEd," the spokesman said.

Since September last year, the HKIEd has taken over the responsibility of teacher training from the Education Department and is recruiting its own staff.

The Bill also seeks to introduce a consequential amendment to the Hong Kong Institute of Education Ordinance to enable the HKIEd to make payments to the Government in respect of the pensions of the transferred officers.

The Bill will be introduced into the Legislative Council on May 17.

End/Friday, May 5, 1995

8

Green light given for container terminal reclamation *****

The Govemor-in-Council has given authorisation for the Government to reclaim about 460 hectares of land within an area of 1,260 hectares of foreshore and sea-bed at northeast Lantau for the development of container terminals 10 & 11 and the associated back-up areas.

Port is one of Hong Kong's key economic assets and about 90 per cent of the territory's merchandise trade goes through it. To ensure that commissioning of container terminals 10 & 11 would meet the forecast demand for container port growth, Government will have to proceed with the proposed reclamation as soon as possible. : t

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) studies have suggested that with the adoption of suitable mitigation measures, the impact of the reclamation on the environment can be minimised.

All necessary mitigation measures will be stipulated in the development conditions of container terminals 10 & 11 as well as other associated works contracts to minimise dust, noise, water quality and glare impacts during construction and operation of the port. '

An environmental monitoring and audit programme will also be implemented in accordance with the EIA recommendations. If the established limits are exceeded, appropriate action would be taken to rectify the situation.

Operators of the fishing industry who are affected by the reclamation project can also seek to redress through the existing established procedure.

The extent of the area affected is described in a notice of authorisation published in the Government Gazette today (Friday). 5.. •

The notice together with its related plan can be seen at the Lands Department Survey and Mapping Office, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, the Tsuen Wan District Office, first floor, Tsuen Wan Station Multi-Storey Carpark Building, 174-208 Castle Peak Road, Tsuen Wan, New Territories and the Islands District Office, 20th floor, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central.

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 to the Director of Lands a written claim for compensation before May 5, 1996. He should state in his submission the sum of money which he is willing to accept in full and final settlement of his claim and should submit particulars to substantiate, his claim.

J* t

End/Friday, May 5, 1995

9

PDB welcomes China-Taiwan trade ties

*****

The Secretary for the Hong Kong Port Development Board, Mr Tony Clark, said today (Friday) that he welcomed the proposed resumed shipping links between Taiwan and China.

"Any easing of artificial barriers to trade can only be good for those communities, such as Hong Kong, which depend on trade for their living," he said, adding that at present the volume of trade between China and Taiwan was heavily weighted in favour of Taiwan.

"Much of that trade is now, and is likely to continue to be, channelled through Hong Kong - the fact is that the greater proportion is destined for areas within our natural hinterland. Hong Kong will inevitably remain the principal port of the Pearl River Delta area for a good many years," he said.

He said the key effect was likely to be, first, that cargoes originating in Fujian province would feed directly into Taiwan rather than passing through Hong Kong as they (illogically) did at the present time and second, that certain transhipment cargoes would move from Hong Kong to Kaohsiung. Those cargoes generate the least in terms of value added to our economy, so this will be no bad thing.

An important side-effect is likely to be that there will be added stimulus to investment by Taiwanese in the key developing areas of China - such as the Pearl River Delta. This would offer scope for greater industrial production in Hong Kong's natural hinterland and hence open up new opportunities for Hong Kong companies.

Mr Clark said in terms of cargo volumes passing through the port, PDB forecasts were that, in a scenario where there was total freedom to trade between the Mainland and Taiwan, the growth rate in container throughput would be reduced by about one percent. This would have no measurable effect on the pressing need for additional terminals to be brought in as quickly as possible in our port.

End/Friday, May 5, 1995

10

HK's status as international financial centre recognised * * * * ♦

The Financial Secretary, Sir Hamish Macleod, tonight (Friday) said Hong Kong's status as a major international financial centre was recognised.

Speaking at the Inauguration Dinner of the Hong Kong Institute of Bankers, Sir Hamish said a total of about 380 authorised institutions were operating in Hong Kong in one form or another.

"Hong Kong has possibly the largest representation of international banks in the world, including over 80 of the top 100. The external assets of the banking sector are the fifth largest in the world.

"Our forex turnover is the sixth largest. We have the largest market capitalisation in the Asian Stock markets outside Japan.

"Our economic growth, averaging over seven per cent a year in real terms for the past 30 years, has resulted in our GDP per capita exceeding that of Britain, Canada and Australia.

"We are the world's eighth largest trading economy, ranking just after the Group of Seven industrialised economies," Sir Hamish said.

He said Hong Kong had done well by developing the five basic foundations of a financial market. They are policy, products, prudential framework, platform and people. “ ■'

Sir Hamish said Hong Kong had a pro-business policy environment and was recently rated by the US Heritage Foundation as the most free economy in the world.

"Our prudential framework provides transparent and impartial rules in line with international standards but without stifling private sector initiatives and competition.

"This is reflected in the highly diversified and sophisticated financial products being offered by banks and other financial institutions and available in the equity, debt and and foreign exchange markets,” he said.

Sir Hamish said the technological platform of the supporting infrastructure was efficient and robust.

11

"We are co-operating closely with the banking community to develop by 1996 one of the most modem real-time gross settlement systems in the world,” Sir Hamish added.

He concluded that all these impressive achievements also needed a well trained, educated and motivated workforce who had the expertise to meet changing market heeds.

End/Friday, May 5 1995

Vessels and cargo statistics for the 4th quarter of 1994 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

In the fourth quarter of 1994, 9,587 ocean vessels with a total capacity of 41.7 million net registered tons (being a unit of measure in volume terms of the space of a vessel available for carrying passengers or goods, one net registered ton equals 100 cubic feet) arrived at Hong Kong.

This information is contained in the report entitled "Hong Kong Shipping Statistics, October-December 1994" published today by the Census and Statistics Department.

The figures reflected an increase of 15% in number of vessels and 9% in capacity over the fourth quarter of 1993.

During the same period, there were 9,622 outgoing ocean vessels with a total capacity of 41.8 million net registered tons, representing an increase of 13% in number and 7% in capacity over the fourth quarter of 1993.

In the fourth quarter of 1994, the total tonnage of seaborne inward cargo comprising seaborne imports and seaborne inward transhipment, was estimated to be 19.6 Million tonnes, representing an increase of 12% over the same quarter in 1993.

.. <... . : . t ■

During the same period, the total tonnage of seaborne outward cargo comprising seaborne exports (domestic exports plus re-exports) and seaborne outward transhipment, was estimated to be 9.4 Million tonnes, representing an increase of 20%.

Of the seaborne inward cargo, 82% in terms of tonnage were seaborne imports and 18% were seaborne inward transhipment. 54% of these cargoes were containerised.

12

Of the seaborne outward cargo, 60% in terms of tonnage were seaborne exports (domestic exports plus re-exports) and 40% were seaborne outward transhipment. 87% of them were containerised cargo.

The above statistics are summarised in Table 1.

In the fourth quarter of 1994, the top five countries of loading for seaborne inward cargo (comprising seaborne imports and seaborne inward transhipment) were Singapore (which accounted for 15% in tonnage terms), Japan (15%), China (13%), Taiwan (10%) and the Republic of Korea (9%). The top five countries of discharge for seaborne outward cargo (comprising seaborne exports and seaborne outward transhipment) were the USA (20%), China (19%), Taiwan (9%), Japan (6%) and the Federal Republic of Germany (5%).

The top five principal commodities of seaborne inward cargo in tonnage terms include petroleum, petroleum products and related materials (19%); coal, coke and briquettes (9%); artificial resins and plastic materials (7%); iron and steel (7%); and paper and paper products (6%). ,7

’* j J

The top five principal commodities of seaborne outward cargo in tonnage terms include machinery (11%); other manufactured goods classified chiefly by material (11%); other manufactured articles (8%); toys (5%); and articles of apparel and clothing accessories (5%).

The distribution of the top ten countries of loading and discharge and their changes in the tonnage of seaborne inward and outward cargo between the fourth quarter of 1994 and the fourth quarter of 1993 are shown in Table 2 and Table 3.

Similar statistics for seaborne inward and outward cargo analysed by the top ten principal commodities are shown in Table 4 and Table 5. »■ ।.

Ocean vessel statistics are compiled primarily from general declarations submitted to the Marine Department by ship masters or authorised shipping agents and cover all ocean vessels entering and leaving Hong Kong, excluding yachts and pleasure craft.

Seaborne cargo statistics are compiled from a sample of consignments listed in the ocean cargo manifests supplied by shipping companies or agents to the Census and Statistics Department. The sampling method is described in the Explanatory Notes of the report. }

More details of ocean vessel and cargo statistics for the fourth quarter of 1994 are contained in the report entitled Hong Kong Shipping Statistics, October -December 1994. This report is now published in bilingual form.

13

The report is now on sale at the Government* Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, Ground Floor, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong, and the Publications Section of the Census and Statistics Department on 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, at $52.00 a copy.

Enquiries on statistics contained in the report may be directed to the Shipping and Cargo Statistics Section of the Census and Statistics Department on 2582 4887.

14

Table 1: Summary of ocean vessel and cargo statistics

4th quarter 1994 % change over 4th quarter 1993

Incoming ocean vessel

Number 9 587 + 15

Capacity (Mn. net registered tons) 41.7 +9

Seaborne inward cargo (Mn. tonnes) 19.6 (54) +12

Seaborne imports (Mn. tonnes) 16.0 (45) +10

Seaborne inward transhipment (Mn. tonnes) 3.6 (93) +24

Outgoing ocean vessel

Number 9 622 +13

Capacity (Mn. net registered tons) 41.8 +7

Seaborne outward cargo (Mn. tonnes) 9.4 (87) +20

Seaborne exports (Mn. tonnes) 5.7 (80) +9

(domestic exports plus re-exports)

Seaborne outward transhipment (Mn. tonnes) 3.7 (97) +42

Note: Figures in brackets denote the extent of containerization in percentage.

15

Table 2: Seaborne inward cargo(l) bv top ten countries of loading

Country of loading 4th quarter 1994 (' 000 tonnes) % shared % change over 4th quarter 1993

Singapore 2 975 15 +4

Japan 2 883 15 +17

China 2 625 13 + 16

Taiwan 1950 10 -3

Republic of Korea 1688 9 +24

U.S.A. 1535 8 +33

Republic of South Africa 836 4 -8

Indonesia 789 4 +149

Australia 526 3 -53

Netherlands 500 3 +79

Notes: (1)

(2)

Seaborne inward cargo comprises seaborne imports and seaborne inward transhipment.

% share is the share in tonnage terms with respect to the total tonnage of seaborne

inward cargo.

16

Table 3: Seaborne outward cargo"’ bv top ten_co_untric$ of discharge

Country of discharge •• • 4th quarter 1994 (’ 000 tonnes) % share''-' % change over 4tJi.Quart.er .1993

U.S.A. 1 881 20 +31

China 1 810 19 +18

Taiwan 821 9 + 19

Japan 549 6 +59

Federal Republic of Germany 450 5 +26

Singapore 408 4 +29

Netherlands 387 4 +24

Philippines 285 3 +15

United Kingdom 276 3 +6

Thailand 257 3 +131

Notes: (1) Seaborne outward cargo comprises seaborne exports and seaborne outward transhipment.

(2) % share is the share in tonnage terms with respect to the total tonnage of seaborne outward cargo.

17

Tabic 4: Seaborne inward cargo 0 hv top ten principal commodities

Commodity group 4th quarter 1994 ^'000 tonnes) % shared % change over 4th quarter 1993

Petroleum, petroleum products and 3 676 19 +2

related materials

Coal, coke and briquettes 1 795 9 -16

Artificial resins and plastic materials 1 470 7 +2

Iron and steel 1 330 7 -9

Paper and paper products 1 141 6 +35

Other manufactured goods classified 991 5 + 14

chiefly by material

Machinery' 943 5 -1

Cement and cement clinker 741 4 -12

Textile yarn, fabrics, made-up articles 660 3 +15

and related products

Stone, sand and gravel 589 3 +4

Notes: (1) Seaborne inward cargo comprises seaborne imports and seaborne inward transhipment.

(2) % share is the share in tonnage terms with respect to the total tonnage of seaborne inward cargo.

18

Table 5: Seaborne outward cargo,,> bv top ten princiDalcQmmodities

4th quarter % change over

Commodity group 1994 (’ 000 tonnes) % share*21 4th quarter 1993

/ t

Machinery 1056 11 +21

Other manufactured goods classified 1 006 11 +43

chiefly by material

Other manufactured articles 771 8 +30

Toys 514 5 +44

Articles of apparel and clothing 446 5 -13

accessories

Petroleum, petroleum products and 439 5 +8

related materials

Other chemicals and related products 385 4 -2

Textile yam, fabrics, made-up articles 306 3 -26

and related products

Crude animal and vegetable materials 305 3 +15

Footwear 295 3 +22

Notes: (1) Seaborne outward cargo comprises seaborne exports and seaborne outward transhipment.

(2) , % share is the share in tonnage terms with respect to the total tonnage of seaborne outward cargo.

End/Friday, May 5, 1995

19

Large number of protected parrots seized * * * ♦ *

A large number of protected parrots and hombills were seized by the Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) from Mongkok pet shops in a series of operations during the past few days.

Following investigations, AFD field officers raided a number of pet shops in Mongkok in the past two days and seized 52 parrots and three hombills from four of the shops. The protected birds are believed to have not been covered by possession licence, issued in advance by AFD.

The seized birds, comprising one species of hombill and six species of parrots, are estimated to be valued at $70,000.

Parrots are usually found in Asian and African regions.

Commenting on the operations, an AFD conservation officer, Mr Cheung Chisun said the number of parrots species seized in this operation was the largest in years.

Mr Cheung pointed out that parrots were wildlife species protected under Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

"Anyone importing, exporting or possessing these Appendix II birds without valid licence would have breached the Animals and Plants (Protection of Endangered Species).On conviction, the maximum penalty will be a $500,000 fine plus one year's imprisonment if the birds are for a commercial purpose," he said.

As for Appendix 1 wildlife, the maximum penalty is a $5 million fine plus two years' imprisonment if they are for a commercial purpose.

Wildlife under Appendix 1 are highly endangered species which include rhino and tiger as well as their parts, gall bladders and bile from certain species of bear, and medicines claiming to contain rhino or tiger ingredients.

Investigations on the case are still continuing.

End/Friday, May 5, 1995

20

New LDC members appointed *****

The Governor has appointed three members of the community to the Land Development Corporation Board for a term of two years starting May 1.

They are Mr Barry Cheung Chun-yuen, a chief executive of an oil company; Mr Eoghan M McMillan, a director of several listed companies; and Mr David Lung Ping-yee, a senior university lecturer in architecture.

A Government spokesman said the three new members possessed rich experience in their own respective field.

"With their expertise and professional knowledge, they will widen the spectrum of the LDC Board."

The LDC Board is chaired by Mr Andrew Li Kwok-nang. Other members include Mr Ambrose Lau Hon-chuen, Mr Lau Wah-sum, Mr Leung Chun-ying. Mr Pao Ping-wing, Mr David Wong Shou-yeh, Mr J C Shaw, Mr Michael Lai, Mr David Lee Tsung-hei, the Director of Planning, the Director of Lands and the Director of Home Affairs.

End/Friday, May 5, 1995

SPEL (Designate) appointed to Land Commission

*****

It has been announced today that Mr Bowen Leung, Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands (designate), has been designated as the Senior Representative of the British side of the Land Commission with effect from May 1, 1995. He will replace Mr A G Eason on the latter's retirement from Government.

End/Friday. May 5. 1995

21

Recommendations to improve services for autistic persons *****

The Hong Kong delegation which went on a study tour to Japan and the United States early this year to enrich local knowledge of rehabilitation service for autistic persons has produced a report outlining a number of recommendations in the light of local situation.

At a report-back seminar orgivsed by the delegation for some 300 parents and service providers‘today (Friday), the chairman of the Rehabilitation Development Coordination Committee (RDCC). Dr Raymond Wu. and the Commission for Rehabilitation, Mr Allan Chow, introduced to the participants details of the recommendations in the report.

The report, which has been endorse*, by RDCC, covers the following topics:

* definition and prevalence rate

* diagnosis and assessment

* training and education for autistic pre-schoolers

* training and education for autistic school-age children

* services for autistic adults and

* others

In summary. Dr Wu said, the delegation noted that the definition/diagnostic criteria as well as the planning ratio in I long Kong were in line with overseas practice.

On training and education for autistic pre-schoolers. Dr Wu said more spacious premises should be provided and that training for special child care workers taking care of autistic pre-schoolers should be reinforced.

"Apart from supporting families with newly identified autistic children and enhancing social work input in special child care centres, more emphasis should be placed on training element vis-a-vis caring element in pre-school services.

"The staff concerned should therefore have some background in education." he added.

Another recommendation the delegation made was to form a central coordinating group amongst the Education Department. Institute of I-'.ducation and special schools to plan and organise systematic training on the TEACCH Programme (Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped Children) in Hong Kong.

22

The TEACCH Programme is legislated and funded by the State Government of North Carolina to provide diagnosis, assessment, treatment, training, research, and education to autistic children and their families.

It emphasises a ’’holistic” approach, structured teaching with focus on the individual needs of a child, parent - professional collaboration, and comprehensive coordinated life-long community-based services.

"We are therefore recommending that a non-governmental organisation may set up a centre of excellence modelling on this TEACCI I Programme," Dr Wu said.

As regards services for auli>tic adults, the delegation considered that the funding approach on a per-capita basis in Tokyo could be a useful reference.

"We would like to see staffing support in skills centres to implement structured and individualised programmes be inc:cased, and some post-training continuous support to autistic persons in supported open employment be provided," Dr Wu said.

"In addition, some computers should be made available to every classroom of pre-school centres and special schools.

"Further improvements in rehabilitation services for people with autism should be made by re-targeting existing secured resources as far as possible," he added.

The study visit, from January 1 I to 20, was organised by the Health and Welfare Branch and subsidised by the Queen Elizabeth Foundation for the Mentally Handicapped.

During the two-wcck tour, the delegation visited selected service establishments in Tokyo and its adjacent areas as well as the Division TEACCH of the University of North Carolina in the United States.

Other members of the delegation, including representatives from RDCC, the Health and Welfare Branch. Social Welfare Department. Education Department, Department of Health. Hospital Authority, Vocational Training Council and nongovernmental organisations, also attended the seminar to share with the participants their major observations overseas and deliberate on the implications to direction and provisions of services for autistic persons.

End/Friday. May 5. 1995

23

HK delegation to visit China *****

The Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma, will be visiting Beijing and Xian from May 10 to 19, a Government spokesman announced today (Friday).

He will be accompanied by seven other Hong Kong Government officials.

This is one in a series of China visits started in 1988 for the purpose of general familiarisation.

The last similar visit, which took place in March this year, was led by Mr Donald Tsang, then Secretary for the Treasury.

End/Friday, May 5, 1995

Laying of submarine cable system in Deep Water Bay ♦ * * * ♦

The Government plans to grant a licence to Hong Kong Telecom Limited to lay submarine cable system at Deep Water Bay for extending telecommunication services among Hong Kong, Thailand and Vietnam.

The works will be carried out within an area of about 595,000 square metres of foreshore and sea-bed at Deep Water Bay.

The work will begin in August this year for completion in about two months.

The extent of the area affected is gazetted today (Friday).

The notice and its related plan can be seen at the following locations: -

* Lands Department’s Survey and Mapping Office, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Central;

* Public Enquiry Service Centre, Central and Western District Office, Ground Floor, Harbour Building, Pier Road, Central;

24

* The District Lands Office, HK South, Southom Centre, 20th floor, Hennessy Road, Wan Chai;

•/

* Southern District Office,

Shop 25, Ground Floor, Mei Fung Court, Aberdeen Centre, Nam Ning Street, Aberdeen.

The plan can also be purchased at the Survey and Mapping Office.

Any person who considers that he has an interest, right or easement in or over the foreshore and sea-bed involved will be affected, may submit a written objection to the Director of Lands on or before July 5, 1995.

End/Friday, May 5, 1995

Extension block for a skills opportunity school *****

The Architectural Services Department is inviting tenders for the construction of an extension block for a skills opportunity school in Shui Pin Tsuen, Yuen Long.

Works include the construction of a five-storey school extension with a multipurpose hall, a student activities centre, 12 classrooms and ancillary facilities on the upper floors.

There will be a design and technology workshop with storage facilities on the ground floor.

Menial staff quarters, a basketball court, a car park and planting areas will also be built.

Construction works are expected to start in July for completion in about a year.

Tender forms and further particulars can be obtained from the Property Services Branch, Architectural Services Department, fifth floor, main block, APB Centre, 9 Sung Ping Street, Hung Hom, Kowloon.

Tender offers will close at noon on May 26.

End/Friday, May 5, 1995

25

Residents reminded to sign up as voters before June 1 *****

The acting Deputy Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Joseph Lai. today (Friday) reminded working people who had not yet received any notification from the Registration and Electoral Office (REO) regarding their registration as a functional constituency elector to pick up a form quickly and sign up before the registration deadline on June 1.

Registration forms are available from over 1,500 places, including District Offices, major banks, post offices and housing estate offices.

There are also temporary registration counters all over Hong Kong, apart from local registration campaigns conducted by the District Offices.

"The Government's aim is to register as many working persons as possible, so that they can have a second vote for the forthcoming Legislative Council elections," Mr Lai said.

Speaking at a luncheon meeting of the FLM1 Society, Mr Lai said there might be two reasons for a resident not to have received any notification from the REO -either he had not registered as a geographical elector before, or his employer had not yet supplied his particulars to the office.

"The REO has sent out over 710.000 letters to all companies in Hong Kong, requesting employers to supply particulars of their employees, and to advise on their main line of business," he said.

Taking the insurance sector as example, Mr Lai said all insurance companies would have received the request back in January' this year.

"If an insurance company responded and supplied to the REO the required information, the REO will cross-check the employees' list with the General Electoral Roll.

"This step is important because you can only register as a functional elector if you arc already a geographical elector." he said.

"For an insurance company employee who is already a geographical elector, the REO will group him under the Financing. Insurance. Real Estate and Business Services functional constituency - one of the nine new functional constituencies.

"The employee will receive a notification to this effect. If he does not object, he will automatically be registered in the new functional constituency."

26

Mr Lai also elaborated on the 21 old functional constituencies that will, together with the nine new functional constituencies, return 30 members to the Legislative Council.

"The old 21 functional constituencies for the 1991 elections will be maintained," he said. "However, the franchise of some of them have been broadened."

"Instead of giving each relevant organisation a vote, or 'corporate voting' as we call it, up to six individuals from the senior management of an organisation can now register and vote," he said.

Mr Lai pointed out that the Legislative Council elections on September 17 would be three elections rolled into one - geographical elections, functional elections, and Election Committee elections.

'The majority of voters who are eligible to cast more than one vote will only-need to visit a polling station once." he said, adding that voting procedures would be simple and easy.

End/Friday. May 5. 1995

Yan Oi Tong directors visit SWD *****

The new Board of Directors of Yan Oi Tong today (Friday) paid a courtesy call on the Acting Director of Social Welfare, Mrs Louise Wong, and discussed with her a wide range of social welfare services provided by the organisation.

Praising Yan Oi Tong for its contribution to the community, Mrs Wong said the Social Welfare Department would continue to give full support to the organisation.

Yan Oi Tong operates some 30 social welfare units throughout the territory since its establishment in 1977.

End/Friday, May 5, 1995

27

Ballet training good for children

*****

Self-discipline and dedication prepares youngsters for life just as much as many of the subjects taught in the classroom, Mrs Patten said today (Friday).

Officiating at the 35th anniversary prize giving ceremony of Jean M Wong School of Ballet, she said ballet training benefited a child in many ways.

She said: "The children develop a grace and poise far beyond their years, and a self-confidence and presence that many an adult without their training would envy."

Mrs Patten also shared with the parents the e,xperiencc in taking their "young dancers" to ballet classes, and acknowledged their dedication and support for their children's efforts and achievements.

End/Friday. May 5, 1995

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million 1 imc (hours) Cumulative change ($.mi.lli_on)

Opening balance in the account 1,940 0930 4-570

Closing balance in the account 1.965 1000 4-570

Change attributable to : 1100 4-565

Money market activity +525 1200 4535

LAF today -500 1500 +535

1600 +525

LAF rate 4.25% bid 6.25% offer I WI 118.2 *40.0* 5.5.95

28

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.49 19 months 2611 6.90 100.85 6.41

1 month 5.64 22 months 2702 7.50 101.80 6.52

3 months 5.79 30 months 3710 7.25 101.24 6.81

6 months 5.90 36 months 3804 6.90 100.04 7.00

12 months 6.13 59 months 5003 7.75 101.38 7.54

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $ 16,202 million

Closed May 5, 1995

End/Friday, May 5, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Saturday, May 6,1995

Contents Page No.

Rooftop occupants urged to co-operate............................... 1

Building contractor fined $185,000.................................. 2

Training course for health workers..............................

Good example important for children's language proficiency...... 4

Residents urged to register as voters...........................

Fresh and flushing water cut in the Southern district............... 6

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations............ 6

1

Rooftop occupants urged to co-operate *****

The Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic Wong, today (Saturday) appealed again to rooftop occupants of Kingland Apartments affected by the Buildings Department's enforcement action to co-operate with the Housing Department on rehousing arrangements.

"Clearly, it is in the interests of the rooftop occupants to accept the type of rehousing for which they are eligible. To do otherwise will only delay the rehousing process, and in any case will not change their eligibility status. We already have well established procedures to rehouse those affected by the Buildings Department's demolition action," he said.

"It is the Government's policy to offer rehousing to those in need prior to any clearance or demolition. Under the policy, no one would be made homeless," Mr Wong reiterated.

The Buildings Department had issued a Notice of Intention last December for demolition of unauthorised rooftop structures in Kingland Apartment..

"Over the past four months, the Housing Department, the Social Welfare Department and the Yau Tsim Mong District Office have been liaising with the residents concerned with a view to rehousing them before the Buildings Department enforces the Closure Order," said Mr Wong.

"Staff of the Housing Branch and the Housing Department have met the residents nine times since mid-January to explain the rehousing policy and to discuss their rehousing arrangements. The residents concerned are well aware of their entitlements and the arrangements made for them under the existing rehousing policy.

"The existing rehousing criteria are reasonable and fair, and should not be changed in favour of a particular group. We do not consider it reasonable to provide immediate rehousing in public rental flats for rooftop occupants who do not satisfy the eligibility criteria. To do so will lead to accusations of'queue jumping', which is unfair to eligible households now on the Waiting List."

. - - . . • , •

2

Of the 39 families involved, six have moved out voluntarily, 22 have accepted the Government's rehousing offers and two are considering the Government's offers. The remaining nine families refuse to accept the Government's offers to rehouse them in urban Temporary Housing Area.

End/Saturday, May 6, 1995

Building contractor fined $185,000 *****

i- • • •• 1

*. ? w j «

Building contractors should ensure that their construction sites are safe, otherwise they will be liable to heavy fines or even imprisonment.

Manfield Building Contractors Limited at Harbour Road, Wan Chai, was recently fined $185,000 at Sha Tin Magistracy for committing four offences under the Construction Sites (Safety) Regulations.

The contractor failed to fence the floor edge, lift shaft openings and a working platform on a construction site in Sha Tin. Moreover, one worker not wearing a safety helmet was allowed to remain on the site.

The Chief Factory Inspector of the Labour Department, Mr Chan Talking, said today (Saturday) that the irregularities tvere discovered by the department's special task force during a special campaign in September last year to inspect construction sites with poor safety records.

» ' . I J. •. ! ' • "

. ■ .

He reminded building contractors that they were required by law to provide a safe system of work, safety training and instructions and suitable personal protective equipment such as safety helmets for the workers.

"Most contractors know that they should provide safety helmets for workers on the sites. However, some fail to realise that it is also their responsibility to train workers on the proper use of such helmets and ensure that they wear the helmets on the sites. Site supervision is generally weak in this area," he said.

3

Any contractor who allows a worker to remain on a construction site without wearing a safety helmet is liable to a maximum fine of $50,000.

Failure to fence the floor edge, lift shaft openings and working platform on a construction site without reasonable excuse will each incur a maximum fine of $200,000 and imprisonment for one year.

End/Saturday, May 6. 1995

Training course for health workers *****

The Social Welfare Department (SWD) is inviting serving health workers who have received medical or nursing training outside Hong Kong to apply for a local training course.

The 11-week training course, which is scheduled to start on June 26, aims at improving the quality of service of personnel in residential homes for the elderly, a spokesman for the department said today (Saturday), adding that applications should reach the department on or before May 25.

"Under the Residential Care Homes (Elderly Persons) Regulation, all health workers are required, among other things, to complete training approved by the Director of Social Welfare before being qualified for registration.

"The course helps to improve the quality of service and give due recognition to the profession," the spokesman said.

The training course for health workers is jointly organised by the SWD and the College of Nursing, Hong Kong. A total of 10 training courses have been organised since 1989.

"The course includes basic skills in rendering health care to the elderly, with emphasis on the psychological and physical changes of the elderly," the spokesman said.

4

Applicants are required to provide documentary proof of their qualification. Priority will be given to those recommended by the elderly homes in which they are serving. The course fee is $1,600 per trainee.

Copies of invitation have already been sent to elderly home operators, inviting them to recommend suitable candidates for the course.

Those interested to take up a job in elderly homes may also forward their applications to the Licensing Office of Residential Care Homes for the Elderly at Room 2354, 23rd floor, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai.

For enquiries, please call the licensing office on 2961 7211 or 2834 7414.

End/Saturday, May 6, 1995

Good example important for children's language proficiency

*****

Education provides children with formal language training. But it is important also for parents, teachers, friends and neighbours to provide a good example when speaking to children.

Mrs Patten said this at the opening ceremony of the Eighth Children’s Month today(Saturday).

"We all have a role to play in contributing to their development and learning through our conversation with them," she said.

Mrs Patten said she was pleased to see the organiser, the Hong Kong Council of Early Childhood Education and Services had chosen "Language Proficiency" this year as the theme for the event.

5

"Language is one of the most important ways by which children learn about the world."

Mrs Patten said whatever language one spoke, one should learn to use it clearly and with meaning. She said clear language understood by all is "a must" in academic work or in business.

End/Saturday, May 6, 1995

Residents urged to register as voters

*****

The Tai Po District Officer, Mr Danny Tsui, today (Saturday) called on residents to support the Government's voter registration drive for the September Legislative Council elections.

Speaking at a reception of the Tai Po Residents' Association, Mr Tsui expressed hope that residents would exercise their rights to register as voters and participate in the 1995 poll.

He said employees should be encouraged to register as electors in the nine functional constituencies.

Meanwhile, Mr Tsui also paid tribute to the association for its efforts in serving the community.

End/Saturday, May 6, 1995

6

Fresh and flushing water cut in the Southern district *****

Fresh and flushing water supply to some premises in the Southern district will be temporarily suspended from 11 pm on Monday (May 8) to 6 am the following day to facilitate water mains leakage detection.

The suspension will affect all the premises at Chung Hom Kok Road, Horizon Drive, Ching Sau Lane, Cape Drive as well as 8-32 and 11 Cape Road.

End/Saturday, May 6, 1995

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

Time Cumulative change

$ million (hours) (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,965 0930 +500

Closing balance in the account 1,205 1000 +500

Change attributable to : 1100 +500

Money market activity +500 1130 +500

LAF today -1,260 1500

1600

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TW1 118.3 *+0.1 * 6.5.95

End/Saturday, May 6, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Sunday, May 7,1995

Contents Page No,

The Governor’s "Letter to Hong Kong"..................................... 1

Transcript of Financial Secretary’s remarks.............................. 3

Demolition of illegal rooftop structures begins.......................... 5

New ferry piers in Central............................................... 6

47 new building plans approved in February............................... 7

Beat drugs course for teachers........................................... 8

Clean and Green Scheme closes with joy................................... 8

"Most Improved students" awarded........................................ 10

Special stamps on "Hong Kong Rural Heritage"............................ 10

Seminar to promote effective building management........................ 12

$ 184 million Lotteries Fund approved.......................... 13

Customs enquiry hotline widely used by the public....................... 13

1

The Governor’s "Letter to Hong Kong" * * * ♦ ♦

Following is the full text of Governor the Rt Hon Christopher Patten’s broadcast on RTHK’s "Letter to Hong Kong":

The memory of one of my very first visits as Governor is still clearly with me.

It was a blisteringly hot afternoon. We were all boiling damp, as my grandmother would have put it. As part of the trip I went to see a sheltered workshop for youngsters with a mental disability. Waiting patiently outside, grilling in the sunshine, were a group of parents and their disabled children, petitioning for better training and day care facilities for themselves. They had posters and banners and T-shirts and hats - and petitions, lots of petitions. They were courteous and kind, and very, very, long-suffering.

A short while later, I went to see one of the parents in her own home. In a small flat, she was bringing up a large family, one of whom was suffered from a severe mental disability. She really did have her work cut out every day looking after this much loved son, preventing him coming to any harm and trying to keep him alert and occupied. She was pretty well on her own, except for the help she got from the rest of the family. No respite. No relief. Day after day of hard work, grinding hard work, day after day of loving care with not many "thank yous" except, I guess, those that families mean but usually forget to say.

Not long after this, I was answering questions at one of my first public meetings. A young man, with a physical disability and wheel-chair bound, asked me a thoughtful question about the government’s commitment to providing services for people like him. People who had to cope and make their way in the world against the odds and often against the prejudices of their fellow men and women.

I took a number of lessons from those various encounters. I was impressed by the qualities of the disabled and their families - those with a disability of the mind as well as of body. I was impressed by their dignity, their determination, their commitment, their courage, their intelligent restraint. How many people with a less good cause, with less strong or important arguments, put their point more aggressively, less thoughtfully.

Well, I don't think that noise is the best argument. Hong Kong’s citizens with a disability and their families deserve a hearing, and I believe they are starting to get a hearing.

2

In some ways, the least demanding thing for the community to do is to provide better facilities - residential places, training, day care. We set ourselves 2 and a half years ago to meet the targets for better services that had already been agreed. We can easily afford to do this. We live in a prosperous community. Most of us are much better off these days. Without any threat that we might be about to break the bank, we can give our fellow citizens with a disability a much better deal.

It's not entirely straightforward, and we're not going as quickly as I would like, because we've often had trouble in getting the homes, the hostels, the work- shops, bought, built and up and running as fast as we wanted. But we are keeping up the pressure. Because every missed target is days, weeks, months of more disappointment, more patience, more hard work, for all those brave families and all those determined individuals who have a disability.

One reason - not a very wholesome reason - for delay has been the hostility in some areas to building facilities for people with a disability in their midst. "Not in my neighbourhood", is sometimes the cry. That's a prejudice that we've got, quite simply, to bury in the goodwill and understanding of the overwhelming majority of the people of Hong Kong. We're going to pass a Bill to make discrimination against those with a disability unlawful. That's an important mark of society's views on behaviour which all should know is totally unacceptable. But you can't really win hearts and minds with laws. Greater understanding, a broader sense of responsibility, and a sense, too, of everyone's worth, are the best ways of overwhelming narrow-minded and shortsighted prejudices.

We need those qualities elsewhere too as well, if we are going to tackle successfully the most difficult areas of all - giving people with a disability the chance to live their lives to the full, to contribute, to excel.

Just think what that means.

There's an excellent coffee bar in Central near the law courts. It's run by a group of people with a disability. Ask yourself - how did they get the job? And then ask - having got it, how do they get to work to do it?

• • • • ‘

Those are two areas that we’ve been looking at - jobs and transport. And with transport, we're really starting to make some progress. The MTRC, the KCR and the LRT are making it easier for people with a disability to use their rail services. And we're starting to get somewhere too with our ferries, ships and even - though it's tougher - with our buses.

It's a start, the result of a sensible, civilised dialogue between the transport operators and concern groups.

3

Creating more job opportunities is a bigger challenge. We're trying to give a lead in government. Some have done particularly well. The Hospital Authority and the Housing Department, for example. We've challenged the private sector to join hands with us in this. Some firms are doing so. And doing so with conviction and success. Some - but not enough. I hope we can persuade more employers to do more themselves, to do everyone a favour.

Why do I say that?

We often say that Hong Kong doesn't have any resources to speak of except its people. And employers often grumble that there just aren't enough people, not enough good people, to go round. So what sort of sense does it make to turn our backs on so many of those who, because of a disability, sometimes need a bit of assistance in order to get the opportunity of contributing? Contributing their skills, their loyalty, their hard work.

Hong Kong has an obligation to help those who face life with a disability, and when we do that, when we hold out a hand, we help Hong Kong to be more prosperous as well as more decent.

Think of the way that standards have soared in the last few years. Not for all, but for most. Standards in housing, and health care. Standards in education - with more young people than we could have ever dreamed possible a decade ago going to our universities today. Standards in our daily living - more food, more shopping, more travel, more money in the bank. Wider horizons and fuller days.

I think it's time to give our friends with a disability in Hong Kong a better and fairer deal loo. Time to give them a happier today and a brighter tomorrow. It's their turn. So let's move over a bit and give them the chance they deserve.

End/Sunday, May 7, 1995

Transcript of Financial Secretary's remarks

*****

Following are the remarks made by the Financial Secretary, Sir Hamish Macleod, after opening the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics today (Sunday):

Good morning.

4

A nice ceremony; I think a good demonstration of the way the community is now uniting to help the mentally-handicapped. In this case, of course, the disciplined forces are all represented here raising funds for the Special Olympics in July, so that was a quite heartening morning, I think. Any questions?

Question: Concerning the Airport Authority Bill, what is the progress now? Is it a fact that the Hong Kong Government must get the support from the Chinese side before gazetting the Bill?

FS: We have, of course, always said that we would discuss the Bill with the Chinese side before we put it to LegCo and that is what we've been doing. I am hopeful that those discussions will be finished pretty soon. Clearly, we want to give LegCo as much time as we can to consider it and hopefully get it through before the end of the session - end of July. So, we will try and get it gazetted and to LegCo as soon as possible. At the moment we are still talking to the Chinese side. I don't expect any serious problem.

Question: But have you got any deadline?

FS: I don't have any deadline, no.

Question: About a month ago, we heard Director Lu Ping has said there is hope that the Financial Support Agreement will come out within weeks but so far we've seen nothing; are there any new difficulties that have arisen?

FS: It is very difficult to give an analysis of why it is taking so long. As you say, there were some hopeful statements - actually, quite a number of hopeful statements. I think we're very nearly there. But we've thought that in the past. But I am optimistic that we will get it fairly soon. It is very important that we do get the Financial Support Agreements fairly soon because - particularly for the airport - we need to enter into some new commitments quite soon, actually, within the next month or so. So, unless we get the agreements - and then of course we have to go to Finance Committee as well for one or two aspects - then we do risk some delay.

Question: So have any new problems arisen so that the information may be (inaudible)?

FS: No, I don't think there are any new problems. I think the subject has been extremely well discussed; we just need, now, to get the will to actually sign up.

Question: Concerning the Budget and the transfer of sovereignty, is there any progress on fixing a date for a new round of JLG expert meetings?

5

FS: No, as far as I know, up until today we are still waiting for the Chinese side to fix a date. But we are ready; we've set out what we would like to discuss with them, brief them on, and we are at their disposal. Thank you very much.

Question: Sir Hamish, is there any new target date for the opening of the new airport?

FS: No, there is no new target date yet. As we've said many times, until at least we've got the FSAs signed up, it’s a bit difficult to start recalculating the likely date. Thank you very much.

End/Sunday, May 7, 1995

Demolition of illegal rooftop structures begins *****

The Buildings Department has commenced demolition of the illegal rooftop structures at Kingland Apartments today (Sunday).

Preparation work for the demolition had started on April 24 following the execution of a Closure Order earlier the same day.

Considering the fact that the affected rooftop occupants would require time to remove their belongings, the department had decided on that day to defer demolition of the structures until today.

"Our prime concern is building safety," Assistant Director of Building, Mr Lok Che-leung, said. "The Building Authority has a duty to safeguard public interest. These illegal structures pose a threat to safety and therefore they have to be demolished."

"All the affected rooftop occupants have been offered rehousing. Staff from the Housing Department, Social Welfare Department, the Yau Tsim Mong District Office and Buildings Department are on site to offer whatever further assistance to the occupants as may be necessary," Mr Lok added.

End/Sunday. May 7. 1995

6

New ferry piers in Central *****

The Marine Department announced today (Sunday) that ferry services will be relocated to new piers at the reclamation in Central in May and advised all vessel masters navigating in the vicinity to note the changes of the traffic pattern.

The new reclamation in Central is in the form of two bunds.

The west bund is immediately eastward of Macau Ferry Terminal and the new pier at this bund is called Pier 1.

The Central-Lamma Island ferry service will be relocated to operate at the east wing of Pier 1 on May 9.

Also, the Central-Cheung Chau and Central-Mui Wo ferry services will be relocated to operate at Pier 7.

Immediately westward of the Star Ferry Piers is the east bund where there are three new piers: Piers 5, 6 and 7, from west to east.

On May 16, a landing pontoon will be moored to the northern end of Pier 6 and the Central-Tsuen Wan ferry service will be relocated to operate at this pier.

Also, the Central-Tsuen Mun ferry service will be relocated to operate at the landing pontoon.

A spokesman for the Marine Department urged masters of all vessels navigating in the vicinity to note the changes ofTraffic pattern in this heavy marine traffic area.

The spokesman said masters should pay particular attention to the need of maintaining a safe distance from the piers.

"Due regard must be taken of the manoeuvring of ferries approaching and departing from the new piers,” he said.

Small craft owners and masters are advised to obtain and take note Marine Department Notice No. 33 of 1995 which promulgates the details of the arrangements and are available at the Port Formalities Office, third floor. Harbour Building Government Offices, 38 Pier Road, Central and at District Marine Offices.

End/Sunday, May 7, 1995

7

47 new building plans approved in February *****

The Buildings Department had approved 47 building plans in February this year.

Among them, 26 are for Hong Kong Island, five for Kowloon and 16 for the New Territories.

The approved plans include 20 for apartment and apartment/commercial developments, 14 for commercial development and two for factory and industrial developments.

In the same month, consent was given for work to start on 33 building projects, which involve 71,984.3 square metres of usable domestic floor area and 95,506.3 square metres of usable non-domcstic floor area.

The declared cost of new buildings completed in the month totalled about $861 million.

Of the buildings certified for occupation in the month, usable floor areas for domestic and non-domestic uses are 61,642.2 square metres and 35,855.5 square metres respectively.

Also in February, the department had issued 18 Occupation Permits - Seven for Hong Kong Island, four for Kowloon and seven for the New Territories.

In addition, 13 demolition consents involving 24 buildings were issued.

The Buildings Department's Control and Enforcement Division had received 575 complaints of unauthorised building works, carried out 1,568 inspections and issued 345 Removal Orders on unauthorised works.

The department's Dangerous Buildings Section had also inspected 788 buildings and obtained an Emergency Closure Order from the court.

End/Sunday, May 7, 1995

8

Beat drugs course for teachers ♦ ♦ * ♦ *

Sixty secondary school teachers are being invited to participate in a three-day course on drug education for them to exchange views on how to help students with drug abuse problem.

The regular course, organised by the Education Department and the Narcotics Division, will be held between August 23 and 25.

A spokesman for the Education Department reminded teachers wishing to attend the course to return completed application form to the Department on or before June 23 as seats would be reserved on a first come, first-served basis.

The course is aimed at enhancing teachers’ understanding of the drug problem and equipping them with the skills required to tackle the problem.

It will feature the harmful effects of drug and treatment process; preventive drug education in schools; identifying and handling students with drug problems; an overview of drug problems in Hong Kong and the work of the Narcotics Division and the use of a drug education teaching kit.

At the course teachers will have the chance to participate in talks, seminars, workshops and small group activities to share ideas.

Among the speakers will be inspectors from the Education Department, staff of the Narcotics Division, social workers, police officers and school principals.

End/Sunday. May 7. 1995

Clean and Green Scheme closes with joy

*****

Hundreds of young people were today (Sunday) treated to hours of music entertainment and outdoor activities in a game-packed fun day to mark the finale of this year's Clean and Green Scheme.

The youngsters were invited to the fun day and the closing ceremony at the scenic Sai Kung East Country Park as an acknowledgement to their efforts and support of the scheme's many activities in the past few months.

9

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Chairman of the Country Parks Board Dr I J Hodgkiss said this year’s scheme was again a success, with record number of participants taking part in the meaningful activities.

• f

Taking the litter collection exercise as an example, Dr Hodgkiss said it had attracted more than 15,000 participants since the launching of the scheme last November.

"Apart from physical involvement in keeping our country parks clean, youngsters also helped promote a cleaner and greener countryside through the participation in slogan and jingle design competitions," he said.

An inter-secondary school quiz contest on endangered species and local wildlife was also organised to arouse students’ awareness of protecting them, he added.

The scheme is an annual educational and publicity programme organised by the Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) to promote the message of keeping our country parks clean and green.

At the closing ceremony, cash prizes and trophies were presented to winners of the scheme’s slogan and jingle design competitions.

The champions of the children and youth sections of the slogan competition went to Mr Wong Moon-wah and Miss Lam Siu-fong respectively. They had each created a very good slogan promoting the message of clean and green country parks. This competition attracted 117 entrants.

In the jingle design competition, three students of a Tung Wah Group of Hospitals school emerged as the overall winner, while the first and second runners-up went to students of the Tai Kok Tsui Catholic Primary School.

At today's fun day, participants also enjoyed music and folk song performed by the Music Office and Lions Club members.

Dr Hodgkiss thanked the local Lions Clubs for their contribution to this year’s scheme by providing financial sponsorship and involving in Clean and Green activities.

Also present at the closing ceremony were AFD assistant director Mr Frank Lau, assistant music administrator of the Music Office Mr K C Yeung and District Governor of Hong Kong and Macau Lions Clubs Mr William Leung.

End/Sunday, May 7, 1995

10

"Most Improved Students” awarded

*****

The Director of Education, Mr W K Lam, will officiate at the presentation • ceremony of the Sing Tao Most Improved Students Award 1994-95 on Tuesday (May 9>-

The annual event, which is open to all secondary schools, including government, aided, private and special schools, is aimed at encouraging junior secondary students to fully develop their individual potential.

This year, a total of 754 students from 391 secondary schools who had attained ' the best all-round improvement in performance over the last school year, will each receive an award of $600 at the prize presentation ceremony.

The scheme, which has been held for six years, is organised by the Education ’ Department and sponsored by the Sing Tao Foundation.

Attention News Editors:

Your representatives are invited to cover the prize presentation ceremony at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium, Oi Kwan Road, Wan Chai, at 2.45 pm on Tuesday (May 9).

End/Sunday, May 7, 1995 l

- ■'1 ■■ > •• . >» <i \»

Special stamps on "Hong Kong Rural Heritage" ♦ * * * *

•*«%. ■ •<-.

The acting Postmaster General, Miss Nancy Law, announced today (Sunday) that a set of special stamps on the theme of "Hong Kong Rural Heritage" will be issued on May 24. There will be four denominations : $1, $1.90, $2.40 and $5. The stamps were designed by Mr Ian Leung Yim-yam and printed by Joh Ensched? of the Netherlands.

This set of stamps features four of the old traditional buildings in the New Territories: Tsui Shing Lau ($1); Sam Tung Uk ($1.90); Lo Wai ($2.40) and Man Shek Tong ($5). »

Miss Law said: "This set of special stamps has two main features which make them a prestigious collection. Firstly for the first time, Hong Kong postage stamps are printed by both Lithography and Intaglio. Lithography is commonly known as off-set lithography printing and is ideal for full colour printing. Intaglio is a traditional printing process seldom used nowadays on Hong Kong stamps.

11

"It is also known as line-engraving or recess-printing. The ink lies in the recesses and the paper is forced into them to take up the ink, hence the characteristic grooves and ridges on stamps printed by Intaglio.

"The combination of the two techniques, which is unique in postage stamp printing, results in an optimum rendering of colours and fine line drawings, and is particularly suitable for the present stamp design characterised by full colour features and heavy linework.

"The second special feature of the stamps is that the stamps are printed in minisheets of ten instead of 50 as is the normal practice. Each mini-sheet has a control serial number. It has a selvage featuring traditional Chinese roof ridges (on the top) and supporting joint brackets (at the bottom). These embellishments are also printed in Intaglio," Miss Law added.

The stamps will be displayed for advance information of the public at the General Post Office, Tsim Sha Tsui Post Office, Sha Tin Central Post Office and Tsuen Wan Post Office as from May 10.

Official first day covers will be placed on sale at all post offices as from May 10 at $1 each. Advance orders for serviced first day covers will be accepted from May 10 to 17. The minimum number of covers per order is five.

A restriction of 15 sheets (150 pieces) of stamps of each denomination per customer queuing will be imposed on the first day.

Hand-back service will be provided at all post offices to all official and privately-made covers bearing the first day of issue indication on May 24.

Serviced first day covers pre-affixed with the set of stamps and cancelled with the first day of issue postmark will be placed on sale on May 24 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

Presentation packs containing the four stamps will also be made available for sale at $18 each at all post offices as from May 24.

End/Sunday. May 7. 1995

12

Seminar to promote effective building management *****

Building management professionals will share their experience with other participants at a seminar next month to promote effective building management.

A spokesman for the Home Affairs Department (HAD) said today (Sunday) flat owners, officer-bearers of owners' corporations, owners' committees and Mutual Aid Committees are all welcome to join the "Building Management Seminar '95" to be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Jointly organised by the HAD and the Housing Department, the seminar on June 24 will discuss the management contract scheme of the Housing Department, the Lands Tribunal's jurisdiction over building management, maintenance of electrical installations in buildings, the importance of professional building management and other related issues.

Speakers will include representatives of the Housing Department, the China Light and Power Co Ltd and the Association of Property Management Co Ltd, and the Registrar of Lands Tribunal.

There will be an open forum at which participants and speakers can exchange views on various issues relating to building management.

Admission is free and is on a first come, first served basis. Application forms are now available at District Offices.

Completed forms should be returned to the HAD headquarters, 29th floor, Southorn Centre, 130 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai before May 25.

Enquiries can be made on tel 2835 1496.

End/Sunday, May 7, 1995

13

$184 million Lotteries Fund approved *****

A total of $184,009,000 has been approved from the Lotteries Fund to finance various social welfare service programmes during the first quarter of 1995, a spokesman for the Social Welfare Department said today (Sunday).

"Of the amount, $24,754,800 are earmarked to family and child welfare services, $25,082,000 to elderly and medical social services, $119,488,400 to rehabilitation services, $10,216,800 to youth services, $171,000 to community development services and $4,296,000 to social welfare support programmes," the spokesman said.

The Lotteries Fund was established for the purpose of financing, by way of a grant, loan or an advance, the operation or development of social welfare services and medical or educational projects with a welfare content.

End/Sunday, May 7, 1995

Customs enquiry hotline widely used by the public

*****

The 24-hour automated telephone enquiry service of the Customs and Excise Department has been widely used by the public since its operation, a spokesman of the Customs and Excise Department said today (Sunday).

"In the month of April, a total of 900 calls was received together with 113 requests for facsimile copies of information leaflet," the spokesman said.

"These figures of enquiries are encouraging in our continued effort to better serve the community," he added.

The enquiry hotline is 2815 7711 which operates through a computerised interactive voice response system and provides information on the following topics -dutiable commodities licences, permit and code; motor vehicle first registration tax; import and export trade declaration; ad valorem charges, clothing levy and penalty charges; consumer protection; and procedures of lodging complaint against the department.

14

Members of the public making enquiry would only need to dial the number and follow the instructions given through the phone.

The system also enables callers to speak to designated staff of the department during office hours for specific enquiries to which the hotline service cannot provide adequate answers.

In addition, it provides a built-in fax-on-demand facility which allows callers to obtain a facsimile copy of information leaflets on the topic requested.

End/Sunday, May 7, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Monday, May 8,1995

Contents Page No-

Governor presents insignia and commendations to 87...................... 1

Positive reaction to Consultation Paper on Legal Services............... 6

Board of Investigation to investigate ship collision.................... 7

Guidelines for setting up arts council sent............................. 8

Relocation of outlying islands ferry services piers..................... 9

Gross Domestic Product for the 4th quarter of 1994 .................... 10

Employees urged to register as electors................................ 14

HK Regiment's last border operation................................. 15

Early registration of optometrists urged............................... 16

Water storage figure................................................... 17

Fresh water cuts in Sham Shui Po and Sheung Shui....................... 17

Tender for ninth issue of 2-year Exchange Fund Notes................... 17

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations................... 19

1

Governor presents insignia and commendations to 87

*****

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, presented insignia and commendations to 87 people at a ceremony at Government House this (Monday) evening.

Of them, 64 were decorated by the Queen for services to the public and 23 the Governor's Commendations.

Following is the list of recipients:

Mr CHAU Tak-hay

Professor Edward CHEN Kwan-yiu

Professor CHENG Yiu-chung

Mr CHAU How-chen

Professor LEUNG Chi-keung

Mrs Sophie LEUNG LAU Yau-fun

MBE

Mr CHAN Hon-yiu

Mr CHENG Cho-yem

Mr CHONG Chan-yau

Mr CHU Hak-kong

Mr Alfred CHUI Wing-man

2

Mr Joseph FUNG Kwok-him

Mr Raymond HO Chau-cheung

Mr LEUNG Yau-yam

Ms LI Fung-ying

Mr Johnny WAN Chung-yiu

Miss Nora WONG Pui-ha

MBE (Military.)

Warrant Officer Class 2 KRISHNADHOJ Sahi

PPM

Mr Benjamin William MUNFORD

QESM

Mr WONG Man-chiu

ISM

Mr LAI Kam-fat

Mr NG Yuen-keung

CPM

Police

Mr CHEUNG Chi-shum

Mr Gordon FUNG Siu-yuen

3

Mrs Christine LEE HUI Ngan-fun

Mr Morgan Alan Philip MAJUREY

Mr Peter CHAN Wai-chi

Mr Robert LEE Chi-yuen

Mr Kerry Stanton PEARCE

Mr TSE Chan-fai

Mr David Graham THOMAS

Mr Jeremy Clive SKINNER

Mr Steven FORD

Mr Stephen LEE Man-yick

Mr CHAN Po-kwong

Mr David Wilfred Frederick O’BRIEN

Mr LEUNG Ka-hung

Mr LAU Wah-on

Mr LO Chi-wa

Mr LIU Si-yung

Mr KAI Wing-hoi

Fire

Mr KWOK Jing-keung

Mr LEE Mui-lam

Mr LUI Kwok-fai

4

Mr HO Kwok-yui

Mr FUNG Fai-ming

Mr CHOY Lim-lai

Badges of Honour

Mr FOK Kwan-wing

Ms Daisy FUNG Kit-har

Ms Junia HO Suk-yin

Dr JIM Chi-yung

Miss Helen LAI

Mr LAM Choi

Mr LAM Tak-leung

Mr LAU Kok-keung

Mr LEUNG Yat-chiu

Mr MAN Mo-leung

Dr Gordon PEI Yaw-liang

.. ja.

Mr POON Huen-wai

Mr SUM Yuk-biu

Mr TANG Kwong-wing

Mr WONG Kwok-chan

Mr WONG Po-ming

Mr WU Man-yung

5

Governor's Commendations for Community Service

Mr CHAN Ming-sang

Mr CHEUNG Yiu-tak

Mr CHOU Wing-ping

Mr CHOW Ching-lam

Mr CHU Kwok-wai

Mr FANG Kwong-chung

Mr FUNG Bing-hau

Mr HO King-on

Mr HOU Chun-kau

Ms LEUNG Kim-yee

Mr LIU Wai-tung

Mr Michael LO Shiu-wah for the late Mr LO Chin-fat

Mr LOK Kam-kau

Mr MA Hing-fong

Mr MA Yat-cheung

Mr POON Fat-lam

Mr PONG Kar-lin

Mr TAM Po-wah

Mr TONG Chu-yue

Mr TONG Man-yiu

6

Mr WONG Kai-wai

Ms WU Kwai-kuen

Mr YIP Tak-lam

End/Monday, May 8. 1995

Positive reaction to Consultation Paper on Legal Services

*****

The initial reaction to the Consultation Paper on Legal Services was very positive with almost all commentators, including members of the legal profession, welcoming it, the Attorney General, Mr Jeremy Mathews, said today (Monday).

Briefing district board members on the Paper today. Mr Mathews said comments to date, noted in the media or obtained through the Government's community links, had tended to concentrate on four areas.

fhey are:

* the proposed abolition of scale fees in conveyancing, which has been welcomed by the Consumer Council, several political parties and many members of the community, but which is opposed by some solicitors;

the proposal to prohibit joint representation in respect of all conveyancing transactions, which has been welcomed by the Consumer Council, estate agents and many members of the community, but which is opposed by some solicitors;

the proposal to allow solicitors to acquire extended rights of audience, which (not surprisingly) solicitors have welcomed but some barristers oppose; and

* the proposed introduction of contingency fees, which has so far drawn mixed responses.

Mr Mathews said in drawing up the Consultation Paper the guiding principle had been: what is in the public interest?

7

"We have been at pains in addressing that question to look at it not only from the view-point of the Administration and the legal profession, but also from the community - those who use and pay for legal services," he said.

In the respect of obtaining the views of members of the community, said Mr Mathews, the administration would have to rely upon District Boards to reflect the views of residents in their districts.

End/Monday, May 8, 1995

Board of Investigation to investigate ship collision *****

The Director of Marine, Mr lan Dale, has ordered a Board of Investigation under the Pilotage Ordinance to further investigate the circumstances surrounding the collision of two container ships on April 16.

The Director of Marine, who is the Pilotage Authority, ordered the Board of Investigation following recommendations made by a Board of Discipline set up on April 18.

The Board of Investigation will investigate the causes of the collision and in particular the actions of the pilots.

Two container ships, the inward bound M V 1 anghe and the outward bound M V California Luna, were both piloted by licensed pilots and collided about one and a half nautical miles north-west of Green Island at about 7.30 pm on April 16.

There was no loss of life or injuries caused by the collision. Both vessels sustained relatively minor damage, but a fire broke out on the California Luna.

A total of 13 containers, four loaded with fireworks and the others with general cargo, were damage in the fire. The fire was extinguished at about 1.30 pm on the following day.

The Marine Department began an investigation immediately after the collision and interviewed the masters and senior officers of both ships.

Based on the findings of the initial investigation. Mr Dale appointed a Board of Discipline to take the matter further.

8

The Board of Discipline completed and submitted its report to the Director last week.

The Director of Marine has accepted its recommendations that a Board of Investigation be appointed to further consider the circumstances surrounding the collision.

The Board of Investigation, when it has completed its work, will make recommendations to the Pilotage Authority.

End/Monday, May 8. 1995

Guidelines for setting up arts council sent ♦ * ♦ ♦ *

A set of guidelines for representative arts organisations and for their nominees for membership of the statutory Hong Kong Arts Development Council has been sent to some 350 arts groups today (Monday).

A spokesman for the Recreation and Culture Branch said the Council would be set up as a statutory body on June I this year under the Hong Kong Arts Development Council Ordinance which was enacted by the Legislative Council last Wednesday.

Under the ordinance, he said, the Council shall consist of a chairman, a vice-chairman, 16 non official members, each of whom shall be appointed by the Governor, and four ex-officio members.

The 16 non official members will include persons drawn from each of nine specified categories of arts interests, namely: literary arts, music, dance, drama, visual arts, film arts, arts administration, arts education and arts criticism.

The ordinance, he noted, also allows for the introduction of a mechanism whereby organisations representing each of those interests may each nominate one person for consideration by the Governor for appointment as a member of the Council.

"In this connection, the guidelines arc to help the arts community to organise themselves, put forward organisations for specification to represent them and select their nominees," he said.

9

’’The guidelines provide information on some of the criteria that will be taken into account when consideration is given to the specification of the representative organisations by the Governor under the ordinance and to consideration by the Governor of the appointment of the nominees selected by these specified organisations.’’

It will take some time for the arts community to form organisations and process nominations. The Government will also need time to evaluate the results. It has therefore been decided that for the first term of office of the Council, the 16 non official members should all be appointed directly by the Governor for a period of seven months with effect from June 1.

"Such appointments will nevertheless include at least one person drawn from each of the nine arts interests specified in the Ordinance.

"And the second term of office will be for two years starting January 1, 1996. At that time, it is intended to include up to nine members who will have been nominated by each of up to nine specified organisations," the spokesman said.

The Recreation and Culture Branch will be holding an open forum on May 23 to answer questions on the guidelines from organisations interested in seeking specification and nominating representatives. Details will be announced in due course.

Copies of the guidelines and the implementation timetable are now available at the Culture Division, Recreation and Culture Branch, 40th floor, Revenue Tower, 5 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai. Flong Kong.

End/Monday, May 8. 1995

Relocation of outlying islands ferry services piers *****

The Transport Department announces that in connection with the Central Reclamation Phase I, the existing pier in Central for ferry services to Lamma Island will be relocated to the pier on the west bund of the new reclamation area from tomorrow (Tuesday), for a period of about two years.

At the same time, the existing pier in Central for ordinary ferry services to Mui Wo , Peng Chau and Cheung Chau will be relocated to the new pier on the east bund of the new reclamation area.

10

Hoverferry services to Mui Wo, Peng Chau and Cheung Chau will continue to operate from the existing Government Pier on Pier Road until further notice.

Also with effect from May 9, CMB routes no 3A plying between Central and Felix Villas, nos 11 and 511 plying between Central and Jardines’s Lookout, no 25 plying between Central and Tin Hau Temple Road, no 91 plying between Central and Ap Lei Chau Estate and no 94 plying between Central and Lei Tung Estate will be extended to terminate at the bus terminus on the east bund of the new reclamation area, which is currently observed by CMB route nos 4, 7, 37 and 71.

Appropriate directional signs will be provided in the vicinity of the concerned piers to guide passengers.

Members of the public may also make use of the enquiries hotline to obtain information on changes of ferry and bus services. The HYF enquiry hotline number is 2542 3082 and the CMB enquiry hotline number is 2565 8556.

End/Monday, May 8, 1995

Gross Domestic Product for the 4th quarter of 1994 *****

In the fourth quarter of 1994, Hong Kong’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 5.1% in real terms over the same quarter in 1993. For 1994 as a whole, GDP grew by 5.5% in real terms, same as the estimate released in March this year. These are shown in the estimates released today by the Census and Statistics Department.

Among the main components of the GDP estimates, Private Consumption Expenditure grew by 4.9% in real terms in the fourth quarter of 1994 over the same quarter in 1993. There was a moderating trend in the growth rate of Private Consumption Expenditure over the course of last year.

Over the same period. Government Consumption Expenditure (defined in national accounts terms) increased only modestly, by 2.6% in real terms.

Gross Domestic Fixed Capital Formation, on the other hand, continued to grow significantly, by 13.9% in real terms in the fourth quarter of 1994 over the same quarter in 1993. Within this component, expenditure on construction showed an increase of 14.2%. while expenditure on machinery and equipment recorded a substantial growth of 20.0%.

11

Regarding external trade in goods, total exports grew by 11.3% in real terms in the fourth quarter of 1994 over a year earlier. Within these, re-exports continued to provide the main impetus to growth, and registered a year:on-year growth rate of 13.8% in real terms. Domestic exports also recovered to show an increase of 1.8% in real terms. Imports rose by 17.1% in real terms in the fourth quarter of 1994 over a year earlier.

On exports of services, the growth rate in real terms was 8.2% in the fourth quarter of 1994 over the same quarter in 1993. The corresponding growth rate for imports of services was 9.0%.

The implicit price deflator of GDP, as a broad measure of overall inflation in the economy, rose by 6.9% in the fourth quarter of 1994 over the same quarter in 1993. For the year as a whole, it rose by an average of 7.7%.

Summaries of the latest GDP figures for the period from the first quarter of 1993 to the fourth quarter of 1994 are presented in Tables 1 and 2.

More detailed quarterly estimates of GDP are published in a report entitled "Quarterly Estimates of Gross Domestic Product, 4th Quarter 1994".

This bilingual report is now on sale at $6.5 per copy at the Government Publications Centre, Quecnsway Government Offices, Low Block, ground Floor, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong; and at the Publications Section of the Census and Statistics Department, 19th Floor, Wanchai l ower, 12 Harbour Road. Wan Chai. Hong Kong. Telephone enquiries may be directed to the National Income Branch (1) of the Census and Statistics Department on 2582 5077.

12

Table 1

Expenditure-based GDP Estimates

first quarter of 1993 to fourth quarter of 1994

GDP at Current Market Prices

GDP at Constant (1990)

Market Prices______

Year/quarter HKS Mn % change over same period of the preceding vear RKS Mn % change over same period of the preceding year 5.9

1993 897,748 15.2 688,449

1994 1,018,980 13.5 725,987 5.5

1993 QI 204,113 17.2 159,327 6.3

02 214,130 15.0 163,847 5.4

Q3 237,274 14.7 181,979 5.9

04 242,231 14.2 183,296 5.9

1994 01 233,822 14.6 168,394 5.7

Q2 i x 9 245,928 14.8 172,737 5.4

Q3 266,992 12.5 192,140 5.6

Q4 272,240 12.4 192,716 5.1

13

Table 2 Expenditure-baaed GDP Estimates

Year-on-year Growth Rates, firat quarter of 1993 to fourth quarter of 1994

Expenditure % change over same period of the preceding year

Coaponents of GDP At.current »arltet prices At constant (1990) earket prices

_____________1993______________ _______________1994______________________________]993________

QI 02 01 01 Annual 01 Q2 Q3 Q4 Annual 01 Q2 Q3 Q4 Annual 01 Q2 Q3 Q4 Annual

Private consumption expenditure 13.8 14.9 12.0 15.8 14.1 19.0 16.0 14.5 15.1 16.1 7.7 9.1 6.4 7.8 7.7 12.1 7.1 5.6 4.9 7.3

Government consumption expenditure 11.5 14.5 12.7 12.9 12.9 15.4 15.4 14.5 13.7 14.7 0.8 3.6 1.8 1.9 2.0 4.4 4.) 3.2 2.6 3.6

Gross domestic fixed capita) formation 18.0 16.9 15.4 11.5 15.3 28.4 20.5 15.7 19.2 20.7 6.3 5.0 3.9 -0.3 3.6 16.3 10.8 11.3 13.9 13.0

nt which : Construction 9.7 14.2 17.9 10.4 12.9 29.3 14.5 17.fi 18.7 20.2 8.0 13.3 12.7 4.2 9. 3 22.6 «.!) IS./ 14.7 15..I

Machinery and equipment 21.6 17.4 8.8 3.5 11.9 15.3 16.5 15.9 25.6 18.4 16.8 8.8 1.4 -2.4 5.2 8.4 13.9 14.7 20.0 14.5

Total exports of goods 18.4 12.4 14.3 8.8 13.1 8.6 11.3 12.6 14.1 11.8 19.1 11.8 14.6 9.8 13.5 7.7 11.3 10.8 11.3 10.4

Imports of goods 17.7 11.8 14.7 6.3 12.2 9.8 15.8 17.4 22.3 16.6 19.1 11.4 15.1 7.0 12.7 8.3 15.1 14.7 17.1 14.0

Exports of services 15.4 15.5 15.3 13.2 14.8 14.5 13.1 14.1 15.2 14.2 9.2 8.6 8.8 7.9 8.6 8.9 7.2 8.0 8.2 8.1

Imports of services 8.3 15.4 10.2 9.4 10.8 13.3 12.2 14.9 18.5 14.7 7.5 12.9 9.2 6.9 9.1 9.0 6.9 7.4 9.0 8.1

Gross Domestic Product. 17.2 15.0 14.7 14.2 15.2 14.6 14.8 12.5 12.4 13.5 6.3 5.4 5.9 5.9 5.9 5.7 5.4 5.6 5.1 5.5

End/Monday, May 8, 1995

14

Employees urged to register as electors ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Registration and Electoral Office (REO) today (Monday) appeals to all working persons who have yet to register as electors to do so before June 1.

"If you have already been notified by the REO of the new functional constituency (FC) you belong to, and if you agree with the registration arrangement, you need not do anything further,” a REO spokesman said.

"If you haven’t been notified, you may have already received an appeal letter and a registration form from the REO sent through your employer’s address. Please fill in the form and return it to the REO before June 1.’’

In the September Legislative Council Elections, all eligible working persons will have the right to vote in one of the nine new FC s representing them in their workplace.

To educate the public about the registration procedure and the main trades and services covered by the nine new FCs, extensive and intensive publicity campaigns have been launched since January. Electronic and printed media are widely used to publicise the voter registration message.

So far, more than 218,000 employers have returned information on their 1.55 million employees. •

To qualify as electors in a new FC, employees must first be qualified as electors of a geographical constituency.

The spokesman said notifications had been sent to more than 647,000 employees who were on the General Electoral Roll (GER).

More than 500,000 appeal letters and registration forms had been sent to those employees not yet registered.

He reminds employees who have not received the appeal letter to take the initiative to pick up a registration form from one of 1,500 outlets where forms are freely distributed. These outlets include district offices, public housing estates, post offices and banks.

He also said if those employees who were unsure of which new functional constituency they belong to, they may call 2891 1001 for advice.

End/Monday, May 8, 1995

15

HK Regiment's last border operation *****

The Royal Hong Kong Regiment (The Volunteers) is carrying out its last antiillegal immigration duties on the border as from last Saturday until the coming Sunday (May 14).

The Volunteers have deployed into six operation areas in pursuit of illegal immigrants and operated closely with and, in support of, the Royal Hong Kong Police. Duties undertaken include patrols, day/night ambushes, intelligence collecting and sweep operations.

The 550 part-time soldiers execute all duties of guarding the areas including Sha Tau Kok, Lok Ma Chau, Sai Kung, Wu Kau Tang, Pak Hok Chau and Pak Fu Shan.

The Regiment, established in 1854 and has served the Hong Kong community for the past 141 year, is set to disband at midnight on September 3.

Attention News Editors:

Members of the media are invited to visit them on the border on Friday (May 12) afternoon until Saturday morning to see their operations there.

A press coach will be arranged to take reporters from Central Government Offices (CGO) at 2.00 pm sharp on Friday to Gallipoli Camp, Sha Tau Kok where they will be given a briefing on border operations by the Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Kestrel Simson.

Reporters will split into groups to see how soldiers carry out their duties along the border. Transport will be provided to take those who do not wish to stay overnight back to the urban area at 6 pm. The overnight group will, after dinner, spend the night with the Volunteers in different parties at various locations. They will be ferried to the nearby railway station at about 7.30 am the following day.

As border permits will have to be arranged, reporters wishing to take part must give their names and identity card numbers to the Duty Officers, Newsroom, G1S on 2842 8747 or 5227 662 before 3 pm on Thursday (May 11).

16

Reporters wishing to stay overnight are advised to bring sufficient clothing and raincoat. Meals and drinks will be provided.

GIS officers will be on hand to assist.

End/Monday, May 8, 1995

Early registration of optometrists urged ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

People practising as optometrists but have not yet applied for registration are reminded to do so without delay.

A spokesman for the Secretariat of the Optometrists Board said all practising optometrists were required by law to be registered by April 1, 1996.

"Although applications for registration will continue to be accepted, the Optometrists Board may not have sufficient time to complete the registration procedures before April 1, 1996, if applications are submitted at too late a stage," the spokesman said today (Monday).

As for provisional registration, the spokesman said this was a one-off exercise and applications would only be accepted until May 31 this year.

"Late applications for provisional registration will not be considered and those who have applied for provisional registration are deemed to be registered until the results of their applications are known," he added.

Application forms and a "guide to applicants" booklet which contains details on the required qualifications and application procedures are obtainable from the Secretariat of the Optometrists Board at Wu Chung House, 17th floor, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai.

Enquiries can be made on 2961 8656 or 2961 8646.

End/Monday. May 8, 1995

17

Water storage figure *****

Storage in Hong Kong's reservoirs at 9 am today (Monday) stood at 65.3 per cent of capacity or 382.609 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 386.112 million cubic metres of water, representing 65.9 per cent of capacity. %

End/Monday, May 8, 1995

Fresh water cuts in Sham Shui Po and Sheung Shui *****

Fresh water supply to some premises in Sham Shui Po and Sheung Shui will be temporarily suspended from 11 pm on Wednesday (May 10) and Thursday (May 11) respectively to 6 am the following day to facilitate water mains leakage detection.

The suspension will affect all the premises at Cheung Fat Street, Po On Road, Wing Hong Street, Kwong Shing Street and Castle Peak Road in Sham Shui Po.

In Sheung Shui, the affected areas will include San Fung Avenue, Fu Hing Street, San Shing Avenue, San Tsoi Street, Tsun Fu Street, Shek Wu Hui Old Street, Man Shang Street, Wing Shang Street, San Hong Street, San Kin Street, San Kung Street and San Wing Street.

End/Monday, May 8, 1995

l ender for ninth issue of 2-year Exchange Fund Notes

*****

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (I1KMA) announces that the tender for the ninth issue of two-year Exchange Fund Notes will be held on next Monday (May 15) for settlement the following day (May 16).

Similar to the previous issue, an amount of HKS500 million two-year notes will be on offer.

18

In addition to that, another HK$100 million will be held as reserve by the HKMA for supply to Market Makers in the secondary market.

The notes will mature on May 16, 1997 and will carry interest at the rate of 6.40 per cent 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 HK$50.000 or integral multiples thereof.

HONG KONG MONETARY AUTIIORITY EXCHANGE FUND NOTE PROGRAMME TENDER INFORMATION

Tender information for the ninth issue of 2-Ycar Exchange Fund Notes :

Issue Number : 2705

Tender Date and Time : Monday 15 May 1995, 9.30 am to 10.30 am

Issue and Settlement Date : Tuesday 16 May 1995

Amount on Offer : HKS500 million plus an additional HKS100 million as reserve stock for the Monetary Authority

Maturity : Two years

Maturity Date : 16 May 1997

Interest Rate : 6.40% per annum payable semi-annually in arrears

Interest Payment Dates : 16 Nov 1995, 16 May 1996 18 Nov 1996, 16 May 1997

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.

End/Monday, May 8. 1995

19

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,205 0930 +1323

Closing balance in the account 1,371 1000 +1323

Change attributable to : 1100 +1323

Money market activity +1,286 1200 +1294

LAF today -1,120 1500 +1294

1600 +1286

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 117.9 *-0.4* 8.5.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills

EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.56 19 months 2611 6.90 101.01 6.29

1 month 5.64 22 months 2702 7.50 102.03 6.37

3 months 5.73 30 months 3710 7.25 101.65 6.62

6 months 5.83 36 months 3804 6.90 100.56 6.80

12 months 6.04 59 months 5003 7.75 102.28 7.31

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $ 13,708 million

Closed May 8, 1995

End/Monday, May 8, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Tuesday, May 9,1995

Contents Page5o.

Government's decision on MPF primary legislation announced......... 1

Exco approves Kindergarten Subsidy Scheme.......................... 4

Working party to review briefing out system........................ 8

Public views sought on regulation for radio programming............ 11

EPD to launch Air Pollution Index.................................. 12

Central to Mid-Levels escalator operation hours.................... 14

Give blood, save lives............................................. 15

Kap Shui Mun Bridge main deck construction to start................ 16

Volume and price movements of external trade in February........... 17

Jockey Club $3.7M donation for arts groups accommodation........... 24

Suspected tiger medicines seized................................... 25

The weather of April............................................... 26

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results........................ 30

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations............... 31

1

Government’s decision on MPF primary legislation announced ♦ * ♦ * ♦

The Government today (Tuesday) announced a decision on the main features to be included in the primary legislation which will provide enabling provisions for the establishment of a mandatory provident funds system in Hong Kong.

This follows careful consideration of the many recommendations by the consultants and after seeking the advice of the Executive Council.

Announcing this at a press conference today, the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Michael Leung reiterated that the main features contained few surprises as most of them had already been outlined in his speech to the LegCo debate on MPF in March.

Mr Leung took the opportunity to clarify some misconceptions which had arisen since the release of the consultants report last Friday.

On coverage, he pointed out that the proposed legislation would require all employees and self-employed persons, unless specifically exempted, to be covered by an MPF scheme.

"It is not right to claim, as some have, that the self- employed will not be covered. We agree with the consultants that it may be necessary to provide coverage in phases, but our goal is to cover the workforce as widely as possible," he said.

Mr Leung also refuted the claim that the Government would be excluding the less well paid from the scheme by setting an income floor at $4,000 for the purpose of contribution.

"By setting an income floor, we are giving an opportunity to the low income group people to decide whether or not they want to contribute to an MPF scheme. If they do decide to contribute, then their employers will have to make a contribution as well. The choice is theirs," Mr Leung said.

For those contributors who are also recipients of the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance, Mr Leung said the Government would arrange for their MPF scheme contributions to be totally deducted from his assessable earnings in the calculation of the amount of assistance payable.

2

Commenting on criticism that the MPF system did little Or nothing for those on the lower end of the economic ladder, Mr Leung cited the finding of the consultants’ report which pointed out that even someone on $4,000 a month, with a 40 years contribution history, could expect a return in excess of the 40% replacement income recommended by the World Bank.

"Furthermore, let us not forget that the MPF system is based on joint contributions, which means that every dollar an employee pays into the scheme will be matched by another dollar from his employer," Mr Leung said.

Turning to residual provident fund scheme, Mr Leung said although the consultants did not think it was necessary, the Government would include in the primary legislation the power to introduce such a scheme to provide coverage for those employees whose employers for one reason or another were unable to find a retirement scheme in the open market.

J,**.! -

"The primary legislation will provide for the establishment of an MPF Authority to administer the scheme. We believe it should be. part of Government, and have the flexibility to employ staff on non civil service terms," Mr Leung said.

The consultants estimated that the MPF Authority would require $350 million to set up, and an annual recurrent cost of $270 million for its ongoing activities.

In addition, the consultants estimated that in the first few years, further expenditure of $1 billion would be incurred to cover such matters as public education, enhanced inspection to ensure compliance with the System, and dealing with existing ORSO (Occupation Retirement Schemes Ordinance) schemes.

"To demonstrate our commitment to implementing the MPF System, and j subject to the approval of the Finance Committee, we believe it to be appropriate to contribute to these expenses through a lump sum capital grant of $5 billion to the Authority. We believe that this, taken together with the interest generated from it and income from modest fees and charges on scheme providers, should provide adequate resources for the Authority to operate as a self- standing agency," Mr Leung said.

The compensation fund to be set up under the MPF legislation would cover all schemes, and would aim to make good some or all of the lost benefits in the event of benefit losses through fraud or other unlawful activity, Mr Leung said.

"The compensation fund will not cover losses due to poor investment strategy, as we believe very firmly that to do so would encourage the kind of investment behaviour that we are trying to avoid, " he stressed.

3

"The compensation fund would be funded by levies assessed on the MPF Schemes, according to the size of their fund balances. In principle we accept the consultants' recommendation that there should be a Government grant or Ioan to help start up the fund. Government will therefore be seeking the approval of the Finance Committee for the amount of $300 million to be used for this purpose,” he said.

Mr Leung pointed out that the Government agreed with the consultants that trustees should be central party in the MPF system and provision for trusteeship would therefore feature in the primary legislation.

"Trustees will in fact be scheme administrators who will be responsible for all aspects of the scheme. They will be subject to the scope of duty imposed upon trustees by law, comparable to those with fiduciary duties," he added.

He reiterated that it remained the Government's aim to introduce the MPF System Bill into the Legislative Council in June and to have the Bill enacted before the end of the current session in July.

"The complex issues relating to the regulation of the MPF System will be dealt with in the subsequent subsidiary regulations to be made," Mr Leung added.

Mr Leung said the Government had considered a number of options, including those in the consultants' report on how to deal with the estimated 20,000 existing occupational retirement schemes which were currently subject to registration under the Occupational Retirement Schemes Ordinance.

"There are no perfect solutions, mainly because of the diverse nature of these schemes. Our objectives are very clear. On the one hand, we want to preserve existing entitlements of employees under these schemes and not to upset the contractual relationship between employers and employees.

"On the other hand, we do not want to create a permanent loophole through which the mandatory requirements of the MPF, particularly preservation can be continuously evaded.

"We have therefore come up with a very simple solution, that is to exempt the existing registered ORSO schemes from the requirements of the MPF System on two conditions," Mr Leung said.

I

- 4 -

To meet the exemption requirements, the overall employers' and employees' contributions in these schemes must equal or exceed the mandatory 10 per cent requirement of the MPF, with employers contributing no less than 5 per cent; and these schemes must not be open to new employees.

"In other words the existing schemes would be allowed to run their course with their existing members and would not be available as an alternative to MPF provision for new members. They will eventually phase out in favour of MPF- consistent arrangements," Mr Leung explained.

The broad principle of conditional exemption will be built into the primary legislation.

End/Tuesday, May 9, 1995

Exco approves Kindergarten Subsidy Scheme ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

The Govemor-in-Council today (Tuesday) approved a scheme, which is estimated to cost $83.42 million for a year, to subsidise Hong Kong's kindergartens starting from September this year.

The council also endorsed the introduction of one "harmonised" salary structure for kindergarten teachers and child care workers in day nurseries from this September.

Under the Kindergarten Subsidy Scheme, which will start this September, non-profit-making kindergartens (NPM KGs) will be eligible to apply for a subsidy based on a rate of $695 per pupil per year, provided that the annual fee per pupil in the 1994/95 school year does not exceed $8,300.

Both the subsidy rate and the annual fee cut-off point will be adjusted for inflation annually thereafter.

"For a standard NPM KG with 320 pupils, the subsidy will be $222,400 per year. For an NPM KG with 80 pupils or less, a flat annual subsidy of $55,600 will be paid," a Government spokesman said.

- 5 -

The spokesman pointed out that among other conditions, NPM KGs applying for subsidy will be required to meet the Government's requirements, produce audited accounts and pay their teachers according to the new harmonised scales.

The same criteria will apply to profit-making kindergartens (PM KGs), which may also apply for the subsidy provided, in addition, that they initiate action to convert to NPM status.

"PM KGs may apply for the subsidy for a transitional period of three years if they wish to convert to NPM KGs," the spokesman said.

"In order to be eligible for the subsidy for the second or subsequent year, PM KGs will have to show that substantive progress has been made in their conversion work in the preceding year to the satisfaction of the Director of Education.

"Conversion to NPM KGs is being encouraged in order to prevent the abrupt closure of those PM KGs operating at marginal profit thereby affecting the supply of kindergarten places."

The spokesman noted that the subsidy scheme would meet most of the cost increases on the part of kindergartens as a result of introducing the harmonised pay scales.

"However, we estimate that under the subsidy scheme, there will still be an average increase in school fees of about $20 per month which has to be shouldered by parents," the spokesman said.

The endorsed harmonised pay scales set the entry qualifications for Child Care Workers and Qualified Kindergarten Teachers at Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination with two passes, introduce a training rank and align the training period for both Child Care Workers and Qualified Kindergarten Teachers to about 360 hours in two years.

The harmonised pay scales are as follows:

6

KINDERGARTENS

Training rank

Untrained Kindergarten Teachers (UKTs)

Training Pay Scale (TPS) 4-5/6

56,995-57,940

DAY NURSERIES

Trainee Child Care Workers

TPS 4-5/6 $6,995-57,940

Qualified rank

QKTs

Master Pay Scale (MPS) 7-18 $9,395-517,290

Supervisor/Principal rank

KG Principals

MPS 14-22/24

514,220-520,955/522,975

CCWs

MPS 7-17 59,395-516,475

CC Supervisors MPS 14-22 S14,220-$20,955

No new scale is proposed for Qualified Assistant Kindergarten Teachers to whom the existing salary scale of MPS 3-11 will continue to apply until the rank is phased out in a few years' time.

The spokesman said the harmonised salary structure had received support in principle by the Working Party on Kindergarten Education and that the Legislative Council Welfare and Education Panels and the Social Welfare Advisory Committee had been consulted.

The spokesman stressed that arrangements would be made so that no existing kindergarten teacher or child care worker would receive less pay than at present as a result of converting to the new scales.

7

"As to those Qualified Kindergarten Teachers currently paid below the minimum point of the cunent scale at MPS 10, of which there are about 650, they have been expecting that their pay will be raised to that point upon the introduction of the Kindergarten Subsidy Scheme.

"Such expectation is not unreasonable and we shall ensure that as long as their kindergartens have joined the subsidy scheme, their pay is adjusted to MPS 10," the spokesman said.

"Arrangements have also been made to enable the new scales for child care workers to be introduced in September 1995 to coincide with those for kindergarten teachers.

"The introduction of the new pay scales for child care workers, together with the resultant allowances for child care workers in special and residential child care centres and the costs associated with additional training needs will require additional resources on a full-year basis of about $56 million."

The spokesman said the new pay scales should be considered as a package to harmonise different salary scales of child care workers and kindergarten teachers.

"The provision of a new Training Pay Scale will give Unqualified Kindergarten Teachers an immediate increase in salary ($565 per month) and increments while training (at present UKTs stay on MPS 1 for three years). This should go a long way to reduce the current high wastage rate of UKTs.

"The new Kindergarten Principal scale going well above the existing limit of MPS 18 should be welcomed since about one third of existing QKTs are in fact principals.

"Child care workers and Child Care Supervisors will receive increased salaries in recognition of their qualifications, training and responsibilities."

End/Tuesday, May 9, 1995

8

Working party to review briefing out system ***** ' j

The Attorney General, Mr Jeremy Mathews, said today (Tuesday) that he intended to set up a working party to conduct a comprehensive review of the Legal Department's system of briefing out work to private lawyers.

Speaking at a meeting with the Legislative Council Panel on Administration of Justice and Legal Services, Mr Mathews said the working party would be chaired by the Director of Public Prosecutions and comprise representatives from other relevant government branches.

He said he also intended to invite the Bar Association and Law Society to nominate representatives to sit on the working party. •

Mr Mathews said since the briefing out system was started more than 30 years ago it had been an essential part of the criminal justice system in Hong Kong.

"It has worked extremely well and has provided the Legal Department with a safety valve to cope with fluctuating caseloads.

"It has also promoted the experience of the Bar in undertaking prosecution work and helped change the perception that all prosecutors must be government lawyers and the private Bar only represent the defence in criminal cases," he said.

"In general, the briefing out system has contributed to the development of the law in Hong Kong." he added.

Mr Mathews added that the Legal Department was always aware of the need to obtain value for money when briefing out, and was constantly seeking ways to improve upon efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Nevertheless, he said the department fully recognised the concerns expressed recently in the Director of Audit's report and the internal audit report, which identified areas in relation to the briefing out system where improvements could be made.

"Bearing in mind the amount of money involved in briefing out. and the fact that we have never embarked on a comprehensive review of the system. I think it is not untimely to have one that will look at the way in which the briefing out system works, and improve upon its efficiency, cost-effectiveness as well as accountability," Mr Mathews said.

9

"I therefore intend to set up a working party, to be chaired by the Director of Public Prosecutions, to look at the briefing out system, including the briefing out of civil cases," he said.

The working party is expected to start work at the beginning of June and submit a report to the Attorney General by the end of this year.

In the meantime, Mr Mathews said the Legal Department would continue to implement the improvement measures to the briefing out system which had been introduced since January this year.

"We would also study the two reports carefully to see what further improvements should be made," he said.

Concerning the fees paid to counsel handling the Bumiputra Malaysia Finance Ltd. (BMFL) case, Mr Mathews said as head of the Legal Department, he accepted ultimate responsibility, as he always did, for what the department did and what went on in it.

"I have never disclaimed or shirked that responsibility. That is why I initiated the comprehensive audit which is being discussed by this Panel. That is why I am now here to answer questions and criticisms," he said.

Responding to queries about the number of cases that had been briefed out to former Legal Department counsel, Mr Mathews said during the last three years, 173 cases (costing $32 million) had been briefed out to those who had left the department since the beginning of 1992.

"This is against a total of 3,565 cases briefed out during the same period at a total cost of $336 million. This means that only 4.9 per cent of cases briefed out were given to those former Legal Department counsel. In terms of money paid, it is about 9.5 per cent, or 4.4 per cent if the BMFL case is excluded," Mr Mathews noted.

He added that during the past three years, there had been only three instances where Crown Counsel left the Department to practise at the private Bar and who had been instructed in cases they were involved with when in the department.

One of these three cases was the BMFL case, and the fees paid in respect of the other cases amounted to $4.7 million, Mr Mathews said.

"In this context, as members will recall, we now have a six-month moratorium on counsel who leave us for the Bar receiving any work from the legal Department, save in exceptional circumstances," Mr Mathews added.

10

On Legislative Council members' concern whether there was any forward manpower planning to cope with the difficult staffing situation in the Legal Department's Commercial Crimes Unit during the early 1990S, Mr Mathews said a local recruitment exercise was held in March 1991 after nine lawyers had left the unit.

He said that exercise had been planned some months in advance and was another attempt to try to break out of the pattern of overseas recruitment which had been a feature of the Legal Department for many years.

This local recruitment exercise however was not very successful, he noted.

Mr Mathews said of 12 vacancies in the department (including eight in Prosecutions Division) only seven were filled.

"So we were forced to undertake an overseas recruitment exercise. Recruitment overseas, by its very nature, takes very much longer, and it was not until August 1991 that we could interview overseas candidates. Those selected did not actually start to take up their duties with us until February 1992," he said.

As regards Council members' concern about the Legal Department's inaction against the Government's "zero growth" policy in 1990, Mr Mathews said he warned at the time that since the Legal Department was basically demand led there might come a situation where the demand for legal services would outstrip the department's capacity.

"In the event we received no increase until 1993/94," Mr Mathews said.

On concerns about the time needed to approve and effect payment of counsel's fees, Mr Mathews said the Legal Department did not give favourable treatment to the processing of Mr Graham Grant's fee notes for payment.

"All counsel's fee notes are as a matter of practice certified and approved (i.e. countersigned) for payment within a few working days upon submission.

"Actual payment by the Director of Accounting Services, however, is effected after a few weeks when all standard accounting procedures have been completed.

"That is the practice for all cases and there were no exceptions in Mr Grant's case," Mr Mathews said.

End/Tuesday, May 9, 1995

II

Public views sought on regulation for radio programming *****

The fundamental philosophy the Government adopts in regulating the broadcasting industry in Hong Kong is one of "positive non-intervention".

This was stated by the Secretary for Recreation and Culture, Mr James So, when addressing the opening of the first of two public hearings on Commercial Radio licence renewal this (Tuesday) evening.

Mr So noted that this philosophy permeated throughout Hong Kong's economic and administrative activities and had served well in developing the territory into a free, prosperous and thriving city.

Applied to the broadcasting industry, this philosophy manifests itself in three broad principles.

"The first lies in protecting the interests of the viewing and listening public," the Secretary said. "In its simplest form, this means providing a wide choice of quality programming, to meet a wide range of interests and tastes at a cost which the community can afford.

"It also means that to ensure that programming is acceptable to the public, broadcasters arc required to observe strict codes of practice relating to technical quality of broadcasts, programme and advertising contents issued by the Broadcasting Authority from time to time as part of the regulatory framework."

Secondly, the Government aims to put in place a regulatory framework that not only provides a level-playing field for different types of broadcasters freely to pursue their business in a fair and equitable environment, but also a framework which is flexible and attractive enough to reinforce Hong Kong's emerging position as a regional broadcasting hub in both radio and television.

The third principle relates to freedom of expression and information. In this regard, the Government has clear rules guarding against extensive cross ownership which may lead to monopolies, and against excessive foreign control through foreign ownership restrictions.

Mr So felt that to come out with just the right amount of regulation for radio programming could be a difficult balancing act.

12

"Community feedback and participation, through fora such as this evening's public hearing, will be instrumental to our striving to maintain this delicate balance," he urged.

The Commercial Radio's licence was granted in 1989 for 12 years and is subject to renewal by the Governor in Council not before August 26 this year.

The hearing is therefore aimed at allowing the Broadcasting Authority to evaluate the licensee's performance against the various statutory requirements and licence conditions before recommending any changes to these conditions.

The second hearing will take place on May 18 (Thursday), also from 6.30 pm to 9.30 pm at the lecture hall of the Hong Kong Science Museum in Tsim Sha Tsui.

End/Tuesday, May 9, 1995

EPD to launch Air Pollution Index ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Starting on June 6, Hong Kong will for the first time have a daily air pollution index (API).

Announcing details of the index at a press conference today (Tuesday), Principal Environmental Protection Officer of the Environmental Protection Department, Mr Tse Chin-wan, said: "Timely information about air pollution levels will help increase the public awareness on air quality.

"The API system provides a simple and uniform way to report daily air pollution concentrations and serves as a basis for advising the public before the onset of air pollution incidents."

The API is based on the measurement of six air pollutants for which the Air Quality Objectives for Hong Kong have been established. These pollutants are nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, ozone, carbon monoxide, total suspended particulates and respirable suspended particulates.

"The measured air pollution concentrations are transformed into an index which ranges from 0 to 500," Mr Tse said.

13

For an API value between 0 and 100, the air quality is good to moderate.

When the API is between 101 and 200, the air quality is unhealthy. The air quality is very unhealthy if the API exceeds 200. However, the air quality in Hong Kong is in general in the range of’’good" and "moderate".

"During the unhealthy days, people already suffering from heart or respiratory illnesses are advised to reduce physical exertion and outdoor activities," Mr Tse said.

"Days classified as ’very unhealthy’ under the API system will be rare in Hong Kong. If, however, one were to occur then the general public would be advised to reduce the non-essential physical exertion and outdoor activities during the very unhealthy days."

To make it easier for the public to quickly identify the air pollution levels relevant to their particular location, the territory has been classified into three types of areas, urban, industrial and new development areas.

Urban area includes Central and Western, Wan Chai, Eastern, Kowloon City, Sham Shui Po, Wong Tai Sin and Yau Tsim Mong districts. Industrial area covers Kwun Tong, Kwai Tsing and.Tsuen Wan districts while new development areas are the Islands, Southern, Sai Kung, Tuen Mun, Yuen Long, Sha Tin, Tai Po and North districts.

"API readings will be reported for each of the three types of area which may have different air quality on the same day," said Mr Tse.

The API will be issued to the media everyday, except on Sundays and public holidays. Past measurements have shown that air pollution is usually low on these days. Forecasts of the API for the following day will be included in the daily report.

Members of the public can obtain the API by calling 2827 8541. Leaflets explaining the API system are now available at EPD offices.

The development work for the API is sponsored by the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club.

End/Tuesday, May 9, 1995

14

Central to Mid-Levels escalator operation hours

*****

The Transport Department announces today (Tuesday) that the operation hours of the Central to Mid-Levels escalator will be extended to 11 pm on a permanent basis as from tomorrow (Wednesday).

A spokesman for the department said a one-month trial scheme had been implemented last month to extend the operation hours from between 6 am and 10 pm to between 6 am and 11 pm daily.

Head counts conducted at Stanley Street before and after the trial showed that an additional 300 to 400 persons had used the escalators during the one-hour extension everyday.

The Central and Western District Office also carried out an opinion survey between April 24 and 29. A total of 107 escalator users were interviewed, of them, 101 supported extending the operation hours to 11 pm.

Two relevant area committees, namely, Chung Wan and Sheung Wan, and Mid-Levels were consulted. The former suggested extending the trials for three more months to collect views from more users while the latter strongly supported that the extension be made permanent.

The spokesman said: " The Traffic and Transport Committee of Central and Western District Board also supported the extension of operation hours. In view of high usage and favourable local opinion, it is decided that the operation hours of the escalator services will be extended permanently."

He said appropriate notices would be displayed on the site and broadcast through the public address system to inform users of the new arrangement.

End/Tuesday, May 9,1995

15

Give blood, save lives

*****

Everyone knows that blood is the source of vitality. However, not everyone realises that it could also be a gift of life.

The Chief Secretary. Mrs Anson Chan, said this when officiating at the Hong Kong Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service Annual Donor Award Ceremony today (Tuesday).

The awarded donors have given blood for at least 25 times in Hong Kong.

Mrs Chan said community response to blood donation had been positive throughout these years: donated blood increased from 50,000 units in 1973 to over 172,000 units in 1994.

The proportion of local Chinese blood donors has grown during the same period from 71 per cent to 97 per cent.

"These donors are also becoming more evenly spread among people from all walks of life, indicating general acceptance of voluntary blood donation as a civic duty." she said.

The Chief Secretary showed appreciation to the regular blood donors for their generosity.

"You also play an active and important role in spreading the message of how by giving blood we can give others a new lease of life, in dispelling misconceptions and unfounded fears, as well as in giving the subtle encouragement that potential donors will need," she said.

Mrs Chan added that the Hong Kong Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service strove to safeguard the recipients of blood products against possible infection.

"It is reassuring to know that ail blood samples collected are carefully screened against a host of known transfusion transmissible diseases to guarantee a high standard of medical care for the patients in I long Kong."

End/Tuesday. May 9. 1995

16

Kap Shui Mun Bridge main deck construction to start *****

Construction of the Kap Shui Mun Bridge has passed the half-way mark and is poised to achieve a major milestone later this month with the start of deck formation work for the main span.

The first segment of the deck, a 500 tonne composite steel and concrete structure, is now scheduled to be lifted into position on May 22.

Excellent progress has been achieved on site during the past few months, said Mr C K Lau, Government Engineer of the Lantau Fixed Crossing Project Management Office of the Highways Department.

"The two concrete side spans on the Ma Wan and Lantau ends were completed in February and March respectively and the two bridge towers have reached their full height of 150 metres," he said.

Mr Lau said the bridge’s main span will be formed by 39 prefabricated segments and will rise 45 metres above the water.

The steel frames for these segments are being fabricated off-site in Shekou, China. The first batch of frames for eight segments have been arriving on site since January this year and are being assembled and concrete added at the assembly yard on Lantau.

"The first bridge segment was completed yesterday and the stay cables for holding the bridge segments in position are now being installed at the two towers.

"The segments will be barged out to the Kap Shui Mun Channel from Lantau. lifted by a crane and connected at the bridge deck level," he said.

The main span will be erected segment by segment. Each segment is bolted to the next and held in position by a pair of stay cables connected to the upper section of the bridge towers. These cables arc then secured to the side spans by a second pair of stay cables.

Mr Lau pointed out that the construction of the main span would take about 11 months. During this period the Kap Shui Mun Channel will be closed for one day a week to facilitate works. The marine traffic will be diverted to Ma Wan Channel instead.

17

"The Highways Department will be liaising closely with the contractor, the Marine Department and the Marine Police to minimise the impact on marine traffic,” he said.

When completed, the Kap Shui Mun bridge will be 820 metres long with a main span stretching 430 metres across the channel between Lantau and Ma Wan. It will be Hong Kong’s first cable-stayed road bridge with the world’s longest span carrying both road and rail traffic.

The double-decked bridge will carry six lanes of expressway on the upper deck and two rail tracks and two single traffic lanes on the enclosed lower deck for use in bad weather.

Together with the 2.2 kilometre long Tsing Ma suspension bridge, it will form part of the Lantau Fixed Crossing on the 34 kilometre long highway network of the Airport Core Programme linking the new airport at Chek Lap Kok and the Tung Chung new town to urban Kowloon and Hong Kong.

The Kap Shui Mun Bridge and the viaduct on Ma Wan are being built by the Kumagai-Maeda-Yokogawa-Hitachi Joint Venture under a $1.6 billion design and construct contract awarded by the Highways Department in November 1992.

The bridge is on schedule for completion in May 1997.

End/Tucsday, May 9, 1995

Volume and price movements of external trade in February *****

In the first two months of 1995, the volume of re-exports increased by 19% over the same period last year, while the volume of domestic exports increased by 12%, according to the statistics released today by the Census and Statistics Department.

Taking re-exports and domestic exports together, the volume of total exports increased by 18%. Meanwhile, imports increased by 22% in volume.

18

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 3.1% and 1.8% respectively. Import prices increased by 5.2%.

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 2.2% in the first two months of 1995 over the same period last year.

Caution should be exercised in interpreting the changes in the volume of trade for a single month at the beginning of each year which may be affected by the timing of the Lunar New Year holidays. It is more meaningful to make comparisons over a longer period.

The changes in the value, unit value and volume of re-exports by end-use category are shown in Table 1.

Comparing February 1995 with February 1994. the volume of re-exports of most of the end-use categories recorded increases of various magnitudes: fuels (+66%). capital goods (+38%), raw materials and semi-manufactures (+36%), and foodstuffs (+7.9%).

On the other hand, the volume of re-exports of consumer goods decreased by 2.5%.

Over the same period of comparison, increases in the prices of re-exports were noted of all end-use categories: fuels (+8.4%). raw materials and semi-manufactures (+7.8%), foodstuffs (+2.3%), consumer goods (+2.3%) and capital goods (+0.4%).

The changes in the value, unit value and volume of domestic exports by principal commodity group are shown in Table 2.

Comparing February 1995 with February 1994. commodity groups which recorded increases in volume of domestic exports included electronic components (+39%); metal ores and scrap (+16%); and textile yarn and thread (111%).

19

On the other hand, the volume of domestic exports of footwear and textile made-ups and related articles decreased by 60% and 14% respectively.

Commodity groups which recorded increases in domestic export prices included textile made-ups and related articles (+14%); and metal ores and scrap (+7.4%).

On the other hand, the domestic export price of travel goods, handbags and similar articles decreased by 5.2%.

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 decreased by 5.7% in February 1995 compared with February 1994.

Significant decreases in the import volume were noted of rice; and live poultry. However, increases in the import volume were noted of soya bean oil, peanut oil, vegetable oil and lard; milk, butter, cheese and eggs; and meat and meat preparations.

Over the same period of comparison, the import volume of consumer goods increased by 3.2%.

Significant increases in import volume were recorded in radios, television-sets, gramophones, records, tape recorders and amplifiers; and cameras, flashlight apparatus and supplies for photography. However, decreases in the import volume were noted of tobacco manufactures; and passenger motor cars.

The import volume of raw materials and semi-manufactures increased by 34% in February 1995 compared with February 1994.

Significant increases in import volume were noted of chemical elements and compounds; and yam of man-made fibres. However, the import volume of inedible animal and vegetable materials declined.

Imports of fuels decreased by 9.1% in volume in February 1995 compared with February 1994.

As regards capital goods, the import volume increased by 46% in February 1995 over February 1994.

20

Notable increases were recorded in the import volume of office machines; transport equipment; electrical machinery and scientific, medical, optical, measuring and controlling instruments and apparatus. The import volume of construction machinery however declined.

Comparing February 1995 with February 1994, the import prices of all end-use categories increased ; raw materials and semi-manufactures (+7.9%), foodstuffs (+5.0%), consumer goods (+3.7%), fuels (+3.3%) and capital goods (+2.5%).

Details of the above statistics are published in the February 1995 issue of the "Hong Kong Trade Index Numbers".

The report will be available on sale around May 11 at HKS14 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 Publications (Sales) Office of the Information Services Department at 28th floor, Siu On Centre, 188 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong (Tel 2598 8194) and enquiries on trade indices to the Census and Statistics Department on 2582 4918.

21

Table 1 : Changes in re-exports by end-use category

Comparing FEB with FEB % changes 1995 1994 Comparing JAN-FEB 1995 with JAN-FEB 1994

% changes

End-use category Value Unit Value Volume Value Unit Value Volume

Foodstuffs 8.2 2.3 7.9 32.7 2.5 30.8

Consumer goods -1.0 2.3 -2.5 10.0 1.7 t 8.8

Raw materials and semi-manufactures 47.7 7.8 36.4 38.4 7.4 28.6

Fuels 70.4 8.4 65.8 68.4 6.0 63.4

Capital goods 35.5 0.4 38.0 30.5 0.6 33.0

ALL COMMODITIES 17.9 3.5 15.4 21.4 3.1 19.0

22

Table 2 *: Changes in domestic exports by principal commodity group

Comparing FEB 1995 Comparing JAN-FEB 1995 with FEB 1994 with JAN-FEB 1994

Commodity group % changes % changes

Value Unit Value Volume Value Unit Value ’ Volume

Clothing -5.8 1.5 -7.5 6.1 1.2 4 9

Textile fabrics -1.1 5.9 -6.2 -1.5 4.7 -5.8

Textile yarn and thread 17.0 5.3 11.0 8.4 2.0 5.6

Textile made-ups and related articles -1.5 14.2 -14.1 -7.3 14.9 -21.3

Radios of all kinds -15.7 * * -48.3 -0.3 -40.9

Electronic components 40.5 3.9 39.1 45.4 4.0 43.7

Footwear -58.4 0.4 -60.2 -61.5 -0.4 -62.6

Metal manufactures 5.9 2.5 5.0 3.6 1.0 4.8

Metal ores and scrap 34.0 7.4 15.7 50.3 5.9 34.5

Watches and clocks -8.1 2.6 -11.2 15.4 3.0 11.6

Travel goods, handbags and similar articles -3.8 -5.2 4.2 -2.1 -4.0 3.0

Domestic electrical appliances 5.6 1.1 6.3 -7.7 -0.5 -6.9

ALL COMMODITIES 9.5 1.8 7.5 14.4 1.8 12.1

* less than 0.05%

23

Table 3 : Changes in imports by end-use category

Comparing FEB 1995 with FEB 1994 Comparing JAN-FEB 1995 with JAN-FEB 1994 % changes

End-use category % changes

Value Unit Value Volume Value Unit Value Volume

Foodstuffs -1.1 5.0 -5.7 22.5 4.9 16.8

Consumer goods 5.7 3.7 3.2 14.6 4.2 11.0

Raw materials and semi-manufactures 45.1 7.9 34.4 36.4 7.9 26.2

Fuels -1.9 3.3 -9.1 53.2 0.8 49.0

Capital goods 49.3 2.5 45.5 45.6 3.1 41.1

ALL COMMODITIES 25.7 4.9 20.1 28.2 5.2 22.2

End/Tuesday, May 9, 1995

24

Jockey Club S3.7M donation for arts groups accommodation *****

Eight local arts groups will shortly be housed under one roof following a donation from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust.

At a ceremony this (Tuesday) morning, Mr John Markwell, representing the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club, presented a cheque for $3.7 million to the Commissioner for Recreation and Culture, Mrs Rachel Cartland, who received it on behalf of the Government.

The sum will enable the Government to renovate a vacant school building in Shek Lei Estate. Kwai Chung, for use by the eight arts groups. They are the Actors' Family, Hong Kong Artists' House, Hong Kong Dance Federation. Hong Kong Festival Fringe. Hong Kong Movie and TV Theatrical Society, Musical Company, Theatre Resolu and the Hong Kong Youth Arts Festival Society.

Mrs Cartland noted that in line with its policy of supporting arts development, the Government as and when it could provided temporary and surplus Government accommodation for local arts groups at nominal rent.

"However, finding suitable accommodation is always a major headache for arts groups," she said. "We hope that with this worry removed, these groups will become even more creative and make an even bigger contribution to the lives of people in our community.

"Wc also believe that the different groups will enjoy the interaction arising from being housed together, that Shek Lei Estate will be brightened up by renovation of an unused building and that local residents may be encouraged to participate in arts activities." she added.

The vacant school has a total floor space of 1,500 square metres. It has been identified by the Government as suitable for housing arts groups provided it is upgraded to an acceptable standard.

Renovation works on the building will start soon and will take a few months to complete.

End/Tuesday. May 9. 1995

25

Suspected tiger medicines seized

* * * ♦ *

The Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) seized a large quantity of Chinese medicines claiming to have contain tiger ingredients during an operation on Hong Kong island yesterday (Monday).

Acting on information, AFD officers conducted a search on a Wan Chai Chinese medicine trading company yesterday morning and seized a total of 841 small packets of medicines claiming to contain tiger ingredients.

•The medicines, consisting of two types, are estimated to be valued over $400,000.

Investigations are still continuing.

An AFD senior conservation officer, Mr Chan Jee-keung said yesterday's raid was one of the many operations conducted by the department aimed at enforcing the related legislation to protect endangered species.

During the first three months of this year, some 70 Chinese medicinal shops were searched by AFD resulting in the seizure of endangered items from 56 of them. Mr Chan said.

"Seized specimens in these operations included claimed rhino and tiger parts, medicines claiming to contain rhino or tiger ingredients, claimed or suspected bear gall bladders and bear bile powder as well as other endangered species items." he said.

In the same period, some 72 prosecutions were made under the Animals and Plants (Protection of Endangered Species) Ordinance resulting in a total fine of $230,000.

In a related development. Customs and Excise officers early this morning seized a total of 35 kg of ivory, illegally imported into Hong Kong. The seizure was made on board a cargo ship from Macau. The seized items, valued at about $200,000, have been handed over to AFD for follow-up investigations.

Mr Chan also took the opportunity to remind traders and members of the community that the maximum penalty under this ordinance had been substantially increased since mid-January this year.

If offences involve highly endangered species such as tiger, rhino and some species of bear, or their parts and derivatives, for commercial purpose, the maximum penalty is $5 million fine plus two years' imprisonment.

End/Tuesday. May 9. 1995

26

The weather of April *****

There was less than normal rainfall in April. The monthly rainfall of 76.3 millimetres was 53 per cent below the average for April. The total rainfall in the first four months amounted to 162.9 millimetres, 46 per cent below the normal of 299.8 millimetres for the same period.

On the whole April was a little warmer than normal with a mean air temperature of 22.5 degrees. The heavy rain on April 19 necessitated the issuance of the flood warning for the first time this year.

Under the influence of the northeast monsoon, the first two days of the month were cloudy and cool with rain. Winds strengthened on April 3 and there were periods of rain. Temperatures dropped to the month's lowest of 14.5 degrees early that morning. There was no rain in the next couple of days but the weather remained overcast.

As winds became light on April 6 and 7, the weather turned humid with mist and rain patches. Apart from some morning fog, it was warm with sunny periods from April 8 to 10. A collision between two Taiwan cargo vessels occurred in poor visibility about 12 kilometres southeast of Waglan Island on April 11. One crewman died and four others were reported missing in the incident.

In the next couple of days, it was generally cloudy with morning mist. With the arrival of a warm southerly airstream, the daily minimum temperature on April 14 rose by more than five degrees as compared to that of the previous day. The weather remained warm with long periods of sunshine from April 15 to 18.

A very active trough of low pressure traversed the south China coast on the evening of April 19 and brought heavy, thundery and squally showers to the territory. Between 6 and 7 pm on that day, over 60 millimetres were recorded in the northeastern part of the New Territories. Hail was also reported in Tai Po. Forty-three cases of flooding were reported in the territory. There was also a landslide at Tai Wo Ping.

27

An easterly airflow brought cooler weather on the following day. However, in the next three days, temperatures were on the rise and the month's highest temperature of 30.2 degrees was reached on the hot and sunny afternoon of April 23. A spell of fine and warm weather persisted from April 24 until the end of the month.

There was only one tropical cyclone over the western North Pacific and the South China Sea in the month of April.

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

28

Table 1.1 Warnings and signals in April 1995

Warnings / Signals

Effective date and time

Strong Monsoon Signals

2 Apr 2230- 3 Apr 1345

3 Apr 1930- 4 Apr 0900

Flood Warning

19 Apr 1830- 19 Apr 2030

Thunderstorm Warnings

7 Apr 1125- 7 Apr 1525 19 Apr 1745- 19 Apr 2145 30 Apr 1430- 30 Apr 1630

Fire Danger Warning

Red

5 Apr 0600- 5 Apr 1815

29

Table 1.2 Figures and Departures from Normal - April 1995

Total Bright Sunshine

Mean Daily Global Solar Radiation

Total Rainfall

Mean Cloud Amount

Mean Relative Humidity

Mean Daily Maximum Temperature

Mean Air Temperature

Mean Daily Minimum Temperature

Mean Dew Point

Total Evaporation

Remarks: All measurements were solar radiation and

142.9 hours ; 34.0 hours above normal i"-.

13.49 MJ/m2; 0.35 MJ/m2 above normal

76.3 mm ; 85.2 mm below normal

81 % ; 3 % above normal

85 % ; 2 % above normal

25.1 °C ; 0.2 °C above normal

22.5 °C ; 0.3 °C above normal

20.7 °C ; 0.5 °C above normal

19.8 °C ; 0.8 °C above normal

92.0 mm ; 14.9 mm below normal

made at the Royal Observatory except sunshine, evaporation which were recorded at King's Park.

End/Tuesday, May 9, 1995

- 30 -

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results

♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

Tender date 9 May 95 9 May 95

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q519 H564 ’jL.'. . 'ey

Amount applied HK$6,540 MN HK$3,010MN • ,x • , f

Amount allotted HK$ 1,500 MN HKS800 MN

Average yield accepted 5.68 PCT 5.85 PCT • ...

Highest yield accepted 5.68 PCT 5.85 PCT • “■

Pro rata ratio About 75 PCT About 88 PCT ? t ' 4

Average tender yield 5.75 PCT 5.87 PCT . -. . 7.

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

Tenders to be held in the week beginning May 15, 1995 ■

Tender date 15 May 95 16 May 95 16 May 95

Paper on offer EF notes EF bills EF bills

Issue number 2705 Q520 Y589

Issue date 16 May 95 17 May 95 17 May 95

Maturity date 16 May 97 16 Aug 95 15 May 96

Tenor 2 years 91 days 364 days

Amount on offer HKS500+100 MN HK$1,500+300 MN HKS500+150 MN

Coupon 6.40 PCT

End/Tuesday, May 9, 1995

31

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

Time Cumulative change

$ million (hours) (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,371 0930 +1174

Closing balance in the account 1,486 1000 +1174

Change attributable to : 1100 +1154

Money market activity +1,155 1200 +1155

LAF today -1,040 1500 +1155

1600 +1155

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 118.0 *+0.1* 9.5.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.63 19 months 2611 6.90 100.99 6.30

1 month 5.65 22 months 2702 7.50 101.99 6.40

3 months 5.75 30 months 3710 7.25 101.57 6.66

6 months 5.83 36 months 3804 6.90 100.48 6.83

12 months 6.01 59 months 5003 7.75 102.35 7.29

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $ 14,066 million

Closed May 9, 1995

End/Tuesday, May 9, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Wednesday, May 10,1995

Contents Page No.

Transcript of Governor's media session................................... 1

Transcript of comments by FS............................................. 6

Public Bus Services (Amendment) Bill 1995 ............................... 8

ExCo approves landfill charging scheme................................... 9

Governor visits pig farm and experimental station................... 11

Funding request for Route 3 project..................................... 12

Transfer of VMs from High Island Detention Centre tomorrow.............. 13

Options to better control fund-raising activities....................... 14

Another ACP contract awarded............................................ 15

Rooftop dwellers urged to accept rehousing.............................. 16

Symposium on Chinese gardens............................................ 16

Closure of four illegal structures sought............................... 17

Three NT lots to let.................................................... 18

Flushing water cut in Sha Tin........................................... 19

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations.................... 19

1

( -I

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

Following is a transcript of the Governor the Rt Hon Christopher Patten's media session after his visit to the Agriculture and Fisheries Department today (Wednesday):

Governor: As you know with Michael Sze, the Secretary for the Civil Service, I have over the last year or so conducted a series of visits to Government departments. And it is still a matter of surprise and delight to see the range of jobs which our civil servants do. And it's a delight, though not a surprise, to see how competently and professionally they work in so many different areas, partly because some of the past jobs I have had in public service, the Environment and Overseas Development, I have seen quite a lot of farms and research stations similar to those I visited today. But I have never seen anything better than I have seen today. And I think it's a great tribute to the AFD who are doing a very fine job for Hong Kong's consumers and Hong Kong's lovers of the environment and countryside and seas as well of course for Hong Kong's farmers and horticultural producers. I think they are doing an outstanding job, an important job in a commercial, environmental and a scientific sense. I am delighted to have been able to have seen it for myself. I am also very pleased that I was able to taste such good vegetables and see such handsome pigs. Winston Churchill said that cats look down on you, dogs look up to you, only pigs treat you as an equal. I thought those were very fine pigs today. My sympathies go out to the poor old boar who seems pretty clucked out by the work he has to do. I'm sorry I can't always take you out to such a nice place in a sunny afternoon.

Question: Mr Patten, when will the Chief Secretary meet with Mr Lu Ping?

2

Governor: Well, we would very much hope that she could meet with Lu Ping during his visit to Hong Kong next week. Back in February, I said to Director Lu Ping that next time he was in Hong Kong we hope that he would be able to arrange a visit with me. I think it's a matter of surprise to people in Hong Kong given that all around the world people talk about a variety of issues that he doesn't seem able to do that. Any way, we wrote again last month to Director Lu Ping, saying that I thought that there was an obligation on us to meet. There is an obligation under the Airport MOU. And that there was a moral obligation as well, which I think is strongly felt by the people of Hong Kong. Wouldn't happen with anywhere else in the world, let's face it. But I said that if he wasn't going to see me it would in my view be important for Hong Kong that he found time to meet the Chief Secretary and to talk with some of her senior officials. The Director is here for seven-and-a-half days and I hope that he'll still be able to find the time to see Anson Chan. He is seeing a lot of other people. I don't think there are many people in Hong Kong who are playing such a vital role in securing stability and prosperity as Mrs Chan. When Mrs Chan visits other countries, she's seen by Prime Ministers, Foreign Ministers, Trade Ministers, Central Bank Governors, Finance Ministers, the leaders of every community . They are all people who have busy diaries but they all manage to find time to see Anson Chan. And they know that she is a tremendous champion for Hong Kong and I think that it would do a huge amount for Hong Kong's morale and confidence if Director Lu or those who organise his programme were able to find during the course of seven-and-a-half days, over 20 meals, a time when he could talk to one of the most distinguished women in public service in Asia, as well as the woman who is the Chief Secretary of the administration of Hong Kong.

Question: Mr Patten, as you know every Hong Kong citizen would like Lu Ping to meet you and Mrs Anson Chan, but the most updated official sources said that Lu Ping is not going to meet either you or Mrs Anson Chan. What do you think will be the repercussions of this to the public?

Governor: Well, I think that's ..

Question: Is that true, first?

Governor: I want to do everything I can to make it easier rather than more difficult for Director Lu and those who advise him or those with whom he discusses these matters to come to a decision which would be in Hong Kong's interest. But you must ask the Director these questions. I still hope, and I hope passionately that even if he doesn't see me, he will meet Mrs Chan and some of her senior colleagues. He's going to be here in Hong Kong. He wants apparently to give reassurance about the future. What better reassurance than starting a dialogue. Nobody for one moment supposes that we'll always manage to agree. All around the world there are people coping with far bigger problems than we have in Hong Kong who sit down at the table and talk to one another. We've put our hand out to Director Lu and his colleagues and I think that most people in Hong Kong who were courteous, and civil, and kind and friendly in their behaviour would expect that gesture to be reciprocated.

3

Question: So you are not sure whether he will meet you or Mrs Anson Chan?

Governor: No. And I suppose given the way these things are invariably conducted, not by us but by others that we won't know until the last minute. I first wrote to Director Lu last month. I've already communicated the message to him orally through the Ambassador last February. The Hong Kong place is pretty good and normally one gets reply pretty swiftly to letters we sent.

Question: When will the Government discuss the pension scheme, the new proposal with the Chinese side?

Governor: We've been discussing it. We've been discussing it with Chinese officials. I was a bit surprised by the remarks of somebody who was said to be a spokesman for the New China News Agency yesterday on the MPF. I wonder whether he'd seen earlier statements by the New China News Agency, by the Director about the MPF. The New China News Agency and its Director not very long ago said no in capitals to the pension Scheme, the old age pension scheme. Now we have a spokesman yesterday saying no to the MPF. The truth of the matter is that what the Legislative Council wants us to do and the community wants us to do and what we are going to do is put an end to all the years of argument and get on with things. The legislation that we are talking about in this session is an enabling legislation. It doesn't complete the whole administrative work of establishing the MPF. It makes it possible to establish an MPF. I have no doubt at all that all the difficult detail, the detail about the monetary implications, the detail about exactly how the scheme will work has to be discussed with those who have the interests of the future SAR Government at heart, so they tell us. That I have no doubt about it at all. But the future SAR Government is not going to thank us if we simply put off decisions and don't make it possible to go ahead with an MPF. And so we are keen on the enabling legislation going through. And I repeat it's enabling, it doesn't end the argument, it doesn't mean that we won't have plenty of opportunities to discuss all the details of the scheme with the community and with Chinese officials. That's what I want to happen and that's what will happen.

Question: Do you see any need to seek Chinese endorsement before tabling the Bill to Legco?

Governor: I see every need and every sense in discussing with Chinese officials on what is going to be in the legislation. They have an interest in that. But I don't think that it's in the interest of Hong Kong for us to simply say just because of one statement by the New China News Agency there is nothing we can do for the elderly people of Hong Kong. There is nothing we can do in order to end the years of uncertainty about financial provision for the elderly people of Hong Kong. Nobody would thank the Governor or the Chief Secretary or the administration or the New China News Agency in 10 or 20 or 30 years if we delay by another three years the establishment of decent financial arrangements for our elderly people in Hong Kong.

4

Question: Mr Patten, you say that you want endorsement from China. The basic argument of the Chinese officials is that they are saying that the public is still very diversified as to MPF scheme ?

Governor: Well, that's what they're saying about the pension scheme. You know we actually have to recognise that Government and responsible government is about making hard and difficult choices and the choice that we are talking about in this case is a choice for an MPF. We will pass, we hope, the enabling legislation which will then allow us to work out all the details and to discuss all the details with the Chinese side, the Chinese officials. But if we don't put in place the enabling legislation, then nothing at all can happen for three years. And what your editorial writers will do, and what the Legislative Council will do, and what the community will do is say: "Why they are sitting on their hands? Why aren't they doing anything? Why aren't they showing sincerity in working for the interests of the elderly?" We are determined to make it possible for the introduction of an MPF which is as broadly based as possible in the community at the earliest possible moment. But of course the details have to be discussed with the community and with Chinese officials.

Question: How about the call for a JLG meeting to talk about this MPF scheme ?

Governor: It's been discussed throught the JLG mechanism and the JLG machinery. I'm sure will be. If what Chinese official is saying is that they want more expert talks on the MPF, that's fine by us. We'll talk almost until the cows come home or the pigs come home. But we are not going to talk the issue out for so long that we don't have the time to at least make it possible to put in place an arrangement which is good for Hong Kong's retired people. One more question .

Question: If the Chinese side doesn't like the ..

Governor: Let's be clear about this. You can't dream up a new proposal every six months. Against the pensions, against the MPF. What next ? We have the interests of the elderly of Hong Kong at heart. I think other people should think about the elderly and not about politics. You can have one more question on another subject.

Question: All the diplomatic units in Hong Kong are invited to meet with *Lu Ping except the British side. Is it true?

Governor: I'm not responsible for Director Lu's programme, but so far as I know, that isn't true. If it were true, I think it would be regarded by the community as, let me be careful and diplomatic with what I say, as not a very sensible way to behave. But I don't believe it is true.

5

Question: Do you think it is sensible to isolate.

Governor: I think that the people of Hong Kong know exactly who's isolating themselves. The people of Hong Kong clearly, plainly want all of us to behave in a responsible, sensible, civilised, courteous, decent, dignified fashion, because that’s what the Hong Kong people are like. They expect all officials to show a concern for their own long term welfare and their own long term interests. And that's what I shall be doing regardless of who meets me or doesn't meet me until the June 30, 1997.

Question: A PWC sub-group is going to visit the Customs Department on Friday...

Governor: Good.

Question: Does it signify a change of the government policy...

Governor: No, we have an extremely sensible policy. I hope the PWC are impressed by what they hear and see. I hope that when members of the disciplined services express their concerns about the future and their need for reassurance about the position after 1997, that the PWC will convey those sentiments to officials in Peking and will take close notice of them. Let us just remember as these PWC meetings take place in next week or 10 days, nobody, nobody in the public service or outside is expressing anxiety about what happens between today, May 10 and June 30, 1997. That isn't what people express anxieties about. The anxieties when they're expressed are about what happen beyond that. I try to give people reassurances. I hope that when he is in Hong Kong next week, Director Lu will be able to give reassurances through deeds as well as words. One of the most sensible deeds would be what everybody else, everywhere else in the world does, which is to take a hand when it's offered to them. That's what everybody else would do and I very much hope that Director Lu will do that as well. I hope that he'll also have good news for us. When he was in the United States, we're told that the FSAs, on the airport and the airport railway were going to be settled within days, within days. I very much hope that we get an end to those days in the next days. Thank you very much.

End/Wednesday, May 10, 1995

6

Transcript of comments by FS ♦ * * * *

Following is the transcript of the comments by the Financial Secretary, Sir Hamish Macleod, after his Consultation with Legco members on Expenditure in the 1996/97 Budget:

FS: Good Morning. Just to make a few comments having finished the usual, what is now the usual round of consultation with LegCo members on expenditure. Again, as usual, we’ll have the round on revenue, their revenue ideas, much later in the year, probably November.

I think because we’ve now been doing this for a few years, it gets better every year in the sense that more and more thoughts have been put into members’ views, more and more of them giving us views in writing as well, which is very helpful. Quite a few new ideas have come up, but I think mainly the focus, the broad focus, as you would expect, is on welfare, health, education, labour and to some extent on law and order. Those have been the main points and if I pick out one, again, perhaps as you would expect, probably the item which nearly everyone mentions is CSSA improvements. And on that I have been just reminding members that if we do indeed give priority to significant improvements in CSSA, it will be very expensive, that’s a fact of life and that means that there will be that much tighter situation in terms of the amount of new money left for other things. We can’t do both. We can't have significant increase in CSSA and lots of other new spending as well, there is a limit. I think Members, by and large accept that, at least as a general point, that it will squeeze the money left for other things.

The other point I've been trying to get over is whilst there's a view that CSSA improvements are a priority, if members could just keep an open mind on precisely how we spend the money, that's to say whether indeed it should all go to the elderly, or whether the household expenditure survey will throw up other information which will suggest that maybe there are other groups that are actually needed as much, or more. So I'm just urging an open mind. Certainly improvements on CSSA, but precisely how much and to which sectors, we would like at the moment to keep an open mind. But I have to say that most members at the moment think the elderly is probably the priority. That’s the present view.

Those views now, we will look at them in more detail. We’ll follow up where we think we need clarification and then they'll get fed into the process which starts with resource allocation process which is an internal process, when we look of course at other proposals too from Policy Secretaries in particular and from members of the public. We do get, particularly people like Chambers of Commerce and so on writing in and we look at those. Then decisions on those expenditure proposals will be reflected to some extent in the Governor's speech, as usual in October, and then of course in the budget, the next budget. So that’s, the process has now begun leading up to the next budget. Any questions?

7

Question: Is there any view about which part of the expenditure items will get the higher percentage of the resource allocation?

FS: Well, I say the only, I mean the broad priority would still be, if you like to call them the livelihood issues or you likely call them social services, that would probably still be the predominant theme with also a strong number of points on labour. The whole question of labour importation, unemployment, retraining, how best to address the issue. Any other?

Question: On CSSA, do you think there is no way for you or the Government to increase CSSA?

FS: No, no. I’m not saying that at all. I'm saying that we are quite prepared, if the general view, if we can confirm the general view is that we should give priority to CSSA improvements, then I think we’ve already said that we would set aside a sum of money when we go through the resource allocation for that purpose. But what I’m trying to get over is, there is no easy option when you can have big increases in CSSA and lots of other new things too. I mean it is a choice. I mean, for example, you can remember that in some of the debates we had, some have called for big increases in CSSA and big increases in Old Age Pensions, Old Age Allowances I should say, Old Age Allowances and a stream of other things. Even Hong Kong, even spending 5% more in real terms a year, you can’t do that. CSSA is a very big item.

Question: How is the Government going to make a balance among CSSA and the other allowances?

FS: It’s not easy, but I think given the size and I’m not prejudging what the increase will be, but given that it’s bound to be quite significant in terms of current expenditure, I think it will mean that probably the rest of the new money will be basically spent on inescapable items, absolutely essential items. There won’t be a lot of scope for desirable, but not essential items.

Thank you very much.

End/Wednesday, May 10, 1995

8

Public Bus Services (Amendment) Bill 1995 *****

The Govemor-in-Council has agreed that the Public Bus Services (Amendment) Bill 1995 should be introduced into the Legislative Council on May 24.

A spokesman for the Transport Branch said today (Wednesday) that the proposed amendments were aimed at strengthening the Government's powers to maintain franchised bus services, for example, in situations where a franchised bus company ceased to operate.

"However, Government has no intention of taking over public bus services which should best be left in the hands of private enterprises," he added.

The spokesman explained that when a franchised bus company failed to maintain a proper and efficient bus service, there were provisions in the Public Bus Services Ordinance for the Govemor-in-Council to revoke its franchise and to take temporary possession of its property for a period not exceeding one year.

He said this was insufficient for present-day circumstances as the Government would need a longer period of temporary possession to select a replacement operator and to allow the replacement operator sufficient time to gear up for the operation of a franchised bus service.

"We propose to extend the one-year period to a maximum of three years," he said.

The spokesman said the Government was also seeking powers to lease or purchase from bus companies assets considered absolutely necessary to maintain bus operations, for example, buses and spare parts.

"We do not propose to buy land and buildings," he said. "Instead these would be leased."

The spokesman said compensation based on an open market rental or value would be paid to bus companies and third party owners. As regards land and buildings, the rental would be calculated with reference to the most favourable land use permitted under the Crown lease.

He said the Government also proposed to seek similar powers to cover the situation where a franchise was not renewed because under such circumstances it would be necessary for the Government to step in to maintain bus services to the public.

9

Attention News Editors:

Representatives from the Transport Branch and the Transport Department will hold a media session on the Public Bus Services (Amendment) Bill 1995 at 4 pm today (Wednesday) at the GIS Press Conference Room, fifth floor, Beaconsfield House, Central.

You are invited to attend.

End/Wednesday, May 10, 1995

ExCo approves landfill charging scheme *****

The Govemor-in-Council has approved that a regulation should be made for the introduction of charges for waste disposal at landfills by private waste collectors. Charges are expected to start on September 20.

The Waste Disposal (Charges for Disposal of Waste) Regulation will set out that charges be calculated on the basis of each tonne of waste disposed by a private collector at a landfill. This is in line with the polluter/user pays principle.

Initially, the charge will be set at $43 per tonne of waste (1995 prices) to recover 50 per cent of the full cost.

Payment will be in the form of pre-paid tickets of one- tonne and five-tonne face value, available at 32 sales offices throughout the territory, including one each at the operational landfills receiving privately collected waste.

Arrangements are being worked out for an electronic payment system to be adopted next year to simplify charge collection procedures and to shorten the processing time at landfills.

To address concerns about the possible impact on domestic premises currently served by private waste collectors, household waste disposed of at landfills by private waste collectors will be exempted.

The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) will register private waste collectors who deliver household waste to landfills and provide them with tickets based on the quantity of household waste they collect and dispose.

10

A Government spokesman said the charging scheme would provide an economic incentive to waste producers to minimise waste generation. Some of the wastes could be recycled or reused, while suitable construction waste could be disposed of at public dumps for land reclamation purpose.

"Waste collectors and producers can factor the initial moderate charges into their operating accounts without significant impact. The arrangement will also enable the waste producers to put in place appropriate measures to minimise waste generation before full-cost recovery charges are introduced," he said.

He said the Government recognised the need for other measures to encourage waste reduction.

"In parallel, we have mounted a publicity campaign on using fewer plastic bags and other disposable items.

"We have also provided advice to industry on how to upgrade to cleaner production processes.

"We are also in the process of finding more suitable sites for use as public dumps. An intermediate sorting plant is being established at the Southeast New Territories landfill for sorting mixed construction wastes.

"Moreover, the Government has commissioned a comprehensive consultancy study of the existing waste generation, collection, recovery and recycling patterns in Hong Kong with a view to developing a strategy for reducing waste generation in the territory.

"To discourage fly-tipping, substantially higher penalty has been introduced under the Waste Disposal Ordinance to deter unauthorised waste disposal.

"The penalty is a maximum fine of $200,000 and 6-month imprisonment for the first offence, and $500,000 and 6-month imprisonment for repeated offence.

"The public may report to EPD Complaint Hotline 2838 31 1 1 on any flytipping activities," said the spokesman.

End/Wednesday, May 10, 1995

11

Governor visits pig farm and experimental station

*****

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, today (Wednesday) visited two major out-stations of the Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) and saw some specialised aspects of the work of the department.

Accompanied by AFD's Director Dr Lawrence Lee, Mr Patten began his itinerary at the Ta Kwu Ling Pig Breeding Centre, where he was greeted by senior officers of the department.

At the Centre, he was briefed by Dr Lee on AFD's diversified work which could be grouped under six programme areas, namely agriculture, animal and plant regulation, fisheries, conservation and country parks, wholesale food markets and technical services.

During a brief tour of the Centre, the Governor learnt that the staff were devoted to testing and improving husbandry techniques for local adoption, and developing high quality breeding stock for the local pig industry to improve productivity.

He was impressed by the pig-on-litter husbandry method when being shown the demonstration pig pens. The method was introduced and improved by AFD to assist farmers to solve the livestock waste disposal problem.

Under this system, pigs are raised on sawdust bedding which provides the environment to decompose the pig waste generated. There is neither effluent nor odour discharged and the used sawdust is re-cycled as soil conditioner and organic fertiliser for plants.

The Governor then proceed to Tai Lung Experimental Station where he was briefed on adaptive studies and the Accredited Farm Scheme.

The Experimental Station is AFD's main centre for horticultural and crop investigatory work. Consisting of established orchards, fields, greenhouses and laboratories, the station is also used for introducing new technology to local farmers in order to facilitate production and improve productivity.

Mr Patten showed much interest in the Accredited Farm Scheme, which was jointly implemented by AFD and the Vegetable Marketing Organisation (VMO) last November.

12

He was told that the objective of the scheme was to assist growers produce safe and high quality products and to help consumers identify these safe produce when purchasing. Produce from accredited farms were monitored at the production stage by AFD and samples checked on pesticide residue by VMO before marketing.

The scheme is being introduced to selected farms in Guangdong.

At the Station, Mr Patten saw field trials and activities on several aspects including premium vegetable production, recycling spent sawdust litter in crop production, integrated approach to vegetable pest control, soilless culture and mass vegetable seedling production techniques.

Before rounding up his visit, he also saw a quick screening test for checking of pesticide residue on leafy vegetables.

End/Wednesday, May 10, 1995

Funding request for Route 3 project

*****

The Finance Committee will be asked to approve $48 million (in money of the day) for improvement works along the Tsing Yi Road West.

This is part of the Route 3 project, one of the 10 projects in the Airport Core Programme.

This funding request will be discussed at a meeting of the Public Works Subcommittee on May 17, prior to consideration by the Finance Committee.

A Government spokesman said today (Wednesday) that in future traffic from Tsuen Wan and Kwai Chung North heading for the new airport and Tung Chung new town would be using the Tsing Yi Road West before reaching the Lantau Fixed Crossing.

"To cope with this projected increase in traffic, it is necessary to widen the Tsing Yi Road West and to carry out alignment improvements at its four junctions," he said.

The improvement works will include re-alignment and widening of carriageway, a roundabout and road junctions, reconstruction of pavements, road drainage and footpath, construction of 210-metre long noise barriers and associated landscaping works.

13

The spokesman said: "Subject to the Finance Committee's approval, tenders will be invited in July this year to allow the works to start in October. Works will be completed by March 1997 to tie in with the opening of the Lantau Fixed Crossing in mid-1997."

A paper outlining details of the proposed funding was issued today to members of the Public Works Sub-committee of the Legislative Council Finance Committee.

End/Wednesday, May 10, 1995

Transfer of VMs from High Island Detention Centre tomorrow ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A Government spokesman announced today (Wednesday) that an operation would be undertaken tomorrow in the High Island Detention Centre to remove some 38 Vietnamese migrants (VMs) who have been selected for return on an Orderly Repatriation Programme (ORP) flight on May 17.

The spokesman explained that following an announcement in High Island on Monday, 43 VMs scheduled for repatriation came forward for transfer to Victoria Prison.

However, in the last 24 hours, tension has mounted in the camp and 30 VMs including two children have climbed on to the rooftops.

"We had hoped that all would come forward voluntarily. We now see little prospect of that happening and with a deterioration of law and order in the camp, we have accordingly decided to mount an operation tomorrow morning,” the spokesman said.

The transfer operation will be monitored by representatives of non-govemment organisations (Oxfam and Christian Action), and non-official Justices of the Peace.

Attention News Editors:

There will be a fixed press position at High Island tomorrow (Thursday) from where the operation and departure from the camp can be observed. Photographers are advised to bring telephoto lens for the best coverage.

14

Press coaches will be provided, leaving from the Central Government Offices car park, Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong. Your representatives should arrive by 7.30 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 8.45 am. 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 May 17 will be announced later.

End/Wednesday, May 10, 1995

Options to better control fund-raising activities

*****

The Government is examining options to better control fund-raising activities in Hong Kong, the Director of Social Welfare, Mr Ian Strachan, said today (Wednesday).

"We are actively considering how to expand the current permit system so that it will cover all types of fund- raising activities in future," Mr Strachan said.

Mr Strachan said this at the First East-Asian Fund- raising Workshop organised by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service in collaboration with the International Fund- raising Group.

He said the permit would require, inter-alia, fund- raisers to keep and publish audited accounts and to ensure that funds raised would be used for specified charitable purposes, thereby protecting the general public from fraudulent and bogus fund-raising activities.

"However, in doing so we are also conscious that the new measures must not be so stringent that they deter organisations and individuals from raising funds for charity," Mr Strachan said.

15

At present, fund-raising activities in Hong Kong are governed by the Summary Offences Ordinance and the Director of Social Welfare is vested with the authority to issue permits to organisations applying to hold fund-raising events which involve any collection of money or sale or exchange for donations of badges, tokens or similar articles in a public place for charitable purpose.

During 1994/95, 48 flag days and 232 fund-raising activities issued with public subscription permits by the Social Welfare Department were organised.

Turning to the provision of social welfare services, Mr Strachan said there were at present 168 non-governmental organisations working hand in hand with the Government.

"They operate more than 2,000 service units with funding from the Government. In 1994/95 such funding allocated to non-governmental organisations amounted to $2,775 million and this is expected to rise to $3,260 million in 1995/96," he added.

End/Wednesday, May 10, 1995

Another ACP contract awarded ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Public Works Tender Board has approved the award of an Airport Core Programme (ACP) contract for the construction of a jetty at Siu Mo To for the new airport at Chek Lap Kok.

The contract, valued at $4.28 million, has been awarded by the Civil Engineering Department to Lau Cheong Kee Marine Engineering Limited of Hong Kong.

The work will comprise the construction of a concrete pier and a walkway to serve the Civil Aviation Department's equipment station at Siu Mo To.

Work will start later this month for completion by the end of this year.

End/Wednesday, May 10, 1995

16

Rooftop dwellers urged to accept rehousing

♦ ♦ * * *

The Yau Tsim Mong District Officer, Mr Bart Ireland, today (Wednesday) urged the former rooftop dwellers of Kingland Apartments now camping outside a Lai Chi Kok Road bank to accept the Government's rehousing arrangements.

In a letter to the residents, Mr Ireland expressed hope that they could, after giving careful thoughts to themselves and their family members, move into the allocated urban temporary housing areas.

He advised residents to direct any enquiries on rehousing to the Housing Department.

"However, they are always welcome to contact the Yau Tsim Mong District Office," he said.

End/Wednesday, May 10, 1995

Symposium on Chinese gardens

*****

The Architectural Services Department (ASD) will hold a one-day symposium on Chinese gardens tomorrow (Thursday).

"The symposium aims at providing a forum for an exchange of theories and practical experiences among architects and experts in this special field," a spokesman for the department said.

The symposium will be held at the Excelsior Hotel, Causeway Bay, between 9 am to 5 pm. Admission is free.

"Architects and specialists from universities and institutes in China will be speaking on the subject.

"Papers to be presented will focus on three main areas comprising the theory of Chinese gardens, Chinese garden art and construction of Chinese gardens," he added.

Two senior architects of the department, Mr Lam Sair-ling and Mr Tse Shun-kai, will present papers on the conservation of historical buildings and antiquities, and the Kowloon Wailed City Park project respectively.

17

Meanwhile an exhibition of two ASD projects, namely the Kowloon Walled City Park and the Kun Ting Study Hall which have won international awards, will also be staged at the venue.

Note to editors:

The Director of Architectural Services, Mr Kenneth Chan, will officiate at the Symposium on Chinese Gardens tomorrow (Thursday).

You are invited to cover the event which will start at 9 am at the Marina Room, Excelsior Hotel, 281 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay.

End/Wednesday, May 10, 1995

Closure of four illegal structures sought ♦ ♦ * * ♦

The Building Authority is seeking to close four unauthorised structures in Tsim Sha Tsui and Ma Tau Wai so that they can be demolished without endangering the occupants and the public.

Three single-storey structures used for storage are located in a building at 54-64B Nathan Road while a similiar structure used for dwelling is located on the first floor of a building at 64-66 Pak Tai Street.

Notices of applying for Closure Orders from the District Court under the Buildings Ordinance on June 7 and October 5 were posted on the premises today (Wednesday).

Demolition works are expected to start as soon as the Closure Orders are issued.

End/Wednesday. May 10, 1995

18

Three NT lots to let

*****

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

Located in Area 44, Fanling, the first lot has an area of 3,820 square metres for use as a fee-paying public carpark.

The tenancy is for one year, renewable quarterly.

The second lot is located in Area 48C, Wo Hop Shek, Fanling, having an area of 2,330 square metres for stone masonry, landscape gardening, plant nursery or commercial gardening.

The tenancy is for two years, renewable quarterly.

The third lot, situated in Area 17, Tai Po, has an area of 1,900 square metres, for use as a fee-paying public car park.

The tenancy is also for two years, renewable quarterly.

Closing date for submission of tenders for three lots are noon on May 26.

Tender forms, tender notice and conditions may be obtained from the District Lands Office, North District Lands Office, Tai Po, and 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 Plans can also be inspected at these offices.

End/Wednesday. May 10, 1995.

19

Flushing water cut in Sha Tin

* * ♦ * ♦

Flushing water supply to some premises in Sha Tin will be temporarily suspended from 8 am to 8 pm on Friday (May 12) to facilitate checking of the supply system.

The affected areas will include Belair Garden, City One Shatin, Yue Tin Court, Prince of Wales Hospital, Yuen Chau Kok Clinic, School Child Dental Clinic, SAGE Kwan Fong Nim Chee Home for the Elderly, Chap Wai Kon Street, Yuen Shun Circuit, Kwong Yuen Street, Kwong Lam Court, Hong Lam Court, Treasure Floating Restaurant, On King Street, On Muk Street, On Lai Street, On Yiu Street, On Ping Street, On Sum Street, On Kwan Street, On Ming Street and the Administration Building of the Tate's Cairn Tunnel.

End/Wednesday, May 10, 1995

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

Time Cumulative change

$ million (hours) (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,486 0930 + 1029

Closing balance in the account 2,404 1000 + 1029

Change attributable to : 1100 + 1053

Money market activity +1,053 1200 + 1053

LAF today -135 1500 +1053

1600 + 1053

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 118.0 *+0.0* 10.5.95

20

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.58 19 months 2611 6.90 101.18 6.16

1 month 5.62 22 months 2702 7.50 102.21 6.26

3 months 5.70 30 months 3710 7.25 101.93 6.49

6 months 5.81 36 months 3804 6.90 100.90 6.67

12 months 5.93 59 months 5003 7.75 102.99 7.13

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $ 24,379 million

Closed May 10, 1995

End/Wednesday, May 10, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

SUPPLEMENT

Wednesday, May 10,1995

Contents Eage No.

Legislative Council meeting:

Detention of Hong Kong businessmen in China.................. 1

Bill to improve the administration of justice................ 3

Administration of Justice Bill............................... 6

Govt response to Public Accounts Committee report........... 10

Telephone (Amendment) Bill.................................. 12

Hospital Authority Annual Report 1993-94.................... 14

Standing Committee on Pressure Groups files................. 16

Defendants jumping bail..................................... 17

Implementation of the Joint Declaration................... 18

Wastage rates of therapists................................. 20

Alcohol duty................................................ 22

/Air quality..

Contents

Page No,

Air quality impact of increased freight cargo traffic.................. 23

Construction works of HK Technical College............................. 24

Counselling services for battering women inadequate.................... 26

Revenues for the years 1991-94 ........................................ 27

Four-year-course university system..................................... 30

Providing false information liable to be fined..................... 31

Benefits of nurses in Care and Attention Homes......................... 32

Manpower requirements of Hospital Authority............................ 34

Government hot-lines................................................... 35

Measures to prevent landslips.......................................... 36

Monitoring the use of dangerous chemicals.............................. 39

Implementing the Land Drainage Ordinance............................... 42

Fund-raising activities of Tung Wah Group of Hospitals................. 43

Airport railway........................................................ 45

Traffic accidents involving motorcycles................................ 46

f

- 1 -

Detention of Hong Kong businessmen in China * * * * *

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, in the Legislative Council motion debate on detention of Hong Kong businessmen in China today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

The Government shares the concerns that Honourable Members, and the community generally feel for fellow citizens detained in the mainland. We attach the same importance to their well-being when abroad, whether in the mainland or elsewhere, as when they are in Hong Kong, be they businessmen, tourists, employees, students or any other Hong Kong resident.

The Hong Kong Government and the British Government had taken reports of Hong Kong residents detained abroad very seriously, regardless of their nationality or residence status. Obviously Hong Kong residents have to abide by the laws of the place they visit. But, where there is reason to believe that a Hong Kong resident may be unlawfully detained, or held under inhumane circumstances, we seek to represent his interest as best as we can.

The precise actions we arc able to take varies according to the circumstances of each case. We have received 20 requests for assistance in the last 4 years concerning Hong Kong residents detained in China. 19 of these cases concerned Hong Kong businessmen. We have taken up all 20 cases with the Chinese authorities. Most of the detainees had been released, but 4 Hong Kong businessmen are still detained in China. We will continue our efforts to bring about early resolution of their cases.

There are, of course, some well-known difficulties in rendering consular type assistance to Hong Kong residents in the mainland. There are legal boundaries beyond which we cannot act. The Hon James To had referred to some of them.

Despite these difficulties, we have in the past taken the following actions:

* we have sought clarification from the authorities concerned of the circumstances under which such Hong Kong residents were detained;

* we have sought assurances that the detention is in strict compliance with Chinese law;

- 2 -

* we have requested access to detainees by their family members and their legal representatives; and

we have sought assurance that the welfare of the Hong Kong resident detained is looked after properly.

All these actions had been taken in accordance with the wishes of the family of the detainee and, in the case of Hong Kong residents having a foreign nationality, in close consultation with the government concerned.

We have well-established channels for raising cases of this kind with the Chinese authorities. Our representations are initially carried out in Hong Kong by the Political Adviser's Office with the New China News Agency in Hong Kong. Where appropriate, the British Government also raise the matter through the British Embassy in Peking. Particularly serious cases where the persons concerned had been detained for long periods have also been raised at ministerial level. Most recently the Secretary of State raised several specific cases with Vice-Premier Qian Qichen on 18 April this year.

We are aware that these cases had given rise to widespread concern in the community, in particular among businessmen having or considering investment in China. We have therefore also drawn the attention of the Chinese authorities to these wider concerns. Other countries with a legitimate concern have also raised the question with the Chinese Government.

Mr President, unlawful detentions of visitors and businessmen, wherever they occur, in circumstances which give rise to doubts about commitment to the rule of law damage business confidence. Where they occur in China, international confidence in Hong Kong's future as a centre for doing business with China is also affected. Much of our success in the past had been built on the confidence on the rule of law, and the Government is determined to do everything to protect it.

Mr President. Ex Officio Members of this Council, we support the motion.

End/Wednesday. May 10. 1995

3

Bill to improve the administration of justice *****

The Administration of Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) No. 2) Bill, which proposes to amend laws relating to the administration of justice and legal services, press freedom and human rights was introduced into the Legislative Council today (Wednesday).

Moving the second reading of the Bill, the Attorney General, the Hon Jeremy Mathews, said the Bill was part of an on-going process of keeping the law relating to the administration of justice under constant review, in order to ensure that it was efficient and effective.

Outlining the proposed amendments relating to the administration of justice and legal services, Mr Mathews said the bill provided that a party to criminal proceedings who proposed to introduce expert evidence should all give advance notice to the other party.

He said the absence of such a requirement could cause unfairness to the prosecution where expert evidence was tendered by the defence at trial.

It might lead to misconceived scientific evidence being unchallenged, or to the trial being adjourned whilst the prosecution obtained its own expert evidence, he said.

Mr Mathews noted that another amendment provided the Attorney General the power to appeal to the Court of Appeal against a High Court judge's decision to quash an indictment.

He said at present, the only way to challenge the correctness of such a decision was to appeal directly to the Privy Council, which was considered undesirable when an appeal to the Court of Appeal would be quicker and less costly.

Another aspect of the Bill was to extend the Law Society's right of intervention in respect of a solicitor's practice so as to afford greater protection to a solicitor's clients.

This would enable the Law Society to act decisively where urgent action was needed, particularly in cases of dishonesty, undue delay and failure to comply with the accounts rules, Mr Mathews noted.

f

- 4 -

On the reforms in respect of press freedom, Mr Mathews said the Bill proposed to remove three unnecessary restrictions on the press and was further proof of the Government’s commitment to freedom of the press.

He said: "At present, section 6 of the Defamation Ordinance provides that any person who maliciously publishes a defamatory libel shall be liable to imprisonment for 1 year and to pay such fine as the court may award.

“The offence does not require proof of an intention to defame nor is truth in itself a defence. The criminal law should not be used to protect reputations except from the most serious and flagrant attacks," Mr Mathews said.

’’Section 5 of the Defamation Ordinance already provides that a person who publishes any defamatory libel knowing it to be false shall be liable to imprisonment for 2 years. This is sufficient by itself and it is proposed that section 6 should be repealed," he noted.

Mr Mathews said the Bill also proposed to repeal section 3(1)(a) of the Judicial Proceedings (Regulation of Reports) Ordinance which made it an offence to print or publish, in relation to any judicial proceedings, ’any indecent matter or any medical, surgical or physiological details which are of a revolting or offensive nature or the publication of which would be calculated to injure public morals’.

A further liberalisation of the law affecting the press, Mr Mathews said, was found in an amendment to the Complex Commercial Crimes Ordinance. The amendment proposed that publication of reports of a preparatory hearing of a serious and complex commercial crime case, which was now prohibited indefinitely, should be allowed after the case had been concluded.

Mr Mathews noted that another important aspect of the Bill was the repeal or amendment of certain provisions which were inconsistent with the Bill of Rights.

One example, he said, related to section 17 of the Summary Offences Ordinance which made it an offence for a person to be in possession of certain things, including an offensive weapon, ’with intent to use the same for any unlawful purpose, or being unable to give satisfactory account of his possession thereof.

The Attorney General said: "In 1994, the Court of Appeal decided that the words 'or being unable to give satisfactory account of his possession thereof were inconsistent with the presumption of innocence in article I 1 of the Bill of Rights Ordinance, and had therefore been repealed.

"The Bill proposes in clause 50, to reflect this decision by deleting those words from the section," he said.

However, he stressed that this amendment would not lead to any weakening of the law relating to offensive weapons. Adequate provision to deal with such weapons was found in the remaining part of section 17 of the Ordinance and in section 33 of the Public Order Ordinance.

Concerning the court's power to hold criminal proceedings in closed court, Mr Mathews said the Bill sought to amend section 123 of the Criminal Procedure Ordinance.

He said: "Under the Bill, this power will only be exercisable if the court is satisfied that it is necessary in the interests of justice or public order or security to close the court.

"The Bill also allows part of the proceedings to be held in closed court and provides that the alleged offence, the verdict and sentence must be publicly announced.

"Under the new provision, there will also be a right of appeal against any closure order," he noted.

Introducing other miscellaneous amendments in the Bill, Mr Mathews said one amendment made it clear that, where a deceased person had expressed a request that his or her body, or any part of it, be used for certain purposes, in particular for an organ transplant, that request should prevail over any views of his or her next of kin.

Another significant amendment provided that when determining a prisoner's eligibility for release under supervision, any period he or she spent in custody before conviction, as well as after, must be taken into account, Mr Mathews said.

End/Wednesday. May 10. 1995

6

Administration of Justice Bill * * * ♦ »

Following is the speech by the Attorney General, the Hon Jeremy Mathews, in moving the second reading of the Administration of Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) (No. 2) Bill 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move that the Administration of Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) (No. 2) Bill 1995 be read a second time.

The purpose of this Bill is to make improvements to the law relating to the administration of justice and legal services, to reform the law relating to press freedom, to repeal or amend certain provisions which are inconsistent with the Bill of Rights Ordinance, and to make miscellaneous minor amendments to our laws. The Bill is part of an on-going process in my department of keeping the law relating to the administration of justice under constant review, in order to ensure that it is efficient and effective.

Administration of Justice and Legal Services

The Bill proposes to amend the law relating to the administration of justice and legal services in three major ways.

First, clause 8 of the Bill improves the administration of criminal justice by providing that a party to criminal proceedings who proposes to introduce expert evidence shall give advance notice to the other party. Under the present law. there is no requirement for the defence to give any advance information to the prosecution except an alibi defence in the case that is tried on indictment. The absence of such a requirement can cause unfairness to the prosecution where expert evidence is tendered by the defence at trial. Counsel for the prosecution may be taken by surprise by this and may not be able to contest the evidence. This may lead to misconceived scientific evidence being unchallenged, or to the trial being adjourned whilst the prosecution obtains its own expert evidence. Thus it is proposed that advance notice of expert evidence should be given.

- 7 -

Secondly, the Bill deals with the situation where an indictment is quashed by the High Court, for example, where a criminal charge is struck down by the High Court as being defective. At present, the only way to challenge the correctness of the High Court decision is to appeal to the Privy Council. It is considered undesirable to have to appeal directly to the Privy Council in respect of such a decision, when an appeal to the Court of Appeal would be quicker and less costly. It is therefore proposed in clause 9 that the Attorney General should have the power to appeal to the Court of Appeal against a High Court judge's decision to quash an indictment. This would follow the present power of the Attorney General under section 8IE of the Criminal Procedure Ordinance to appeal against a decision to discharge an accused person before the trial begins.

Thirdly, clause 11 of the Bill extends the Law Society's right of intervention in respect of a solicitor's practice so as to afford greater protection to a solicitor's clients. This will enable the Law Society to act decisively where urgent action is needed, particularly in cases of dishonesty, undue delay and failure to comply with the accounts rules.

Law relating to Press Freedom

The Bill also contains reforms to the law relating to press freedom. The Bill proposes to remove three unnecessary restrictions on the press and is further proof of the Government's commitment to the freedom of the press.

At present, section 6 of the Defamation Ordinance provides that any person who maliciously publishes a defamatory libel shall be liable to imprisonment for 1 year and to pay such fine as the court may award. The offence does not require proof of an intention to defame nor is truth in itself a defence. The criminal law should not be used to protect reputations except from the most serious and flagrant attacks. Section 5 of the Defamation Ordinance already provides that a person who publishes any defamatory libel knowing it to be false shall be liable to imprisonment for 2 years. This is sufficient by itself and it is proposed that section 6 should be repealed, by clause 5 of the Bill.

The Bill also proposes in clause 6, to repeal section 3(1 )(a) of the Judicial Proceedings (Regulation of Reports) Ordinance which makes it an offence to print or publish, in relation to any judicial proceedings, 'any indecent matter or any rqedical, surgical or physiological details which are of a revolting or offensive nature or the publication of which would be calculated to injure public morals'. This is considered to be an unnecessary restriction on the freedom of the press.

8

A further liberalisation of the law affecting the press is found in the proposed amendment of section 19 of the Complex Commercial Crimes Ordinance. It is proposed, in clause 7, that publication of reports of a preparatory hearing of a serious and complex commercial crime case, which are now prohibited indefinitely, should be allowed after the case has been concluded.

Amendments relating to Bill of Rights.Ordinance

Another important aspect of the Bill is the repeal or amendment of certain provisions which are inconsistent with the Bill of Rights.

Provisions in the Protection of Children and Juvenile Ordinance, the Probation of Offenders Ordinance, and the Community Service Orders Ordinance, require a person (usually a probation officer or social work officer) supervising a female offender to be a woman. These provisions assume that male officers are not suitable to supervise female probationers and deprive female probationers from receiving supervisory assistance from male officers. They are not considered to be objectively justified under article 22 of the Bill of Rights Ordinance and are therefore discriminatory. Clauses 52-54 of the Bill propose they be repealed. There will be sufficient safeguards against any possible abuse. A senior officer will be responsible for supervising the probation officer and will provide guidance to the officer as appropriate. Special arrangements can, if necessary, also be made for any particular probationer, after taking into account the interests of that person. The amendment also removes an operational problem, in that a female officer will no longer need to be assigned for a female probationer.

Another Bill of Rights problem relates to section 17 of the Summary Offences Ordinance. This makes it an offence for a person to be in possession of certain things, including an offensive weapon, 'with intent to use the same for any unlawful purpose, or being unable to give satisfactory account of his possession thereof. In 1994, the Court of Appeal decided that the words 'or being unable to give satisfactory account of his possession thereof were inconsistent with the presumption of innocence in article 11 of the Bill of Rights Ordinance, and had therefore been repealed. The Bill proposes in clause 50, to reflect this decision by deleting those words from the section. However, this will not lead to any weakening of the law relating to offensive weapons. Adequate provision to deal with such weapons is found in the remaining part of section 17 of the Ordinance and in section 33 of the Public Order Ordinance.

9

Clause 10 also amends section 123 of the Criminal Procedure Ordinance to limit the court's power to hold criminal proceedings in closed court. Under the Bill, this power will only be exerisable if the court is satisfied that it is necessary in the interests of justice or public order or security to close the court. The Bill also allows part of the proceedings to be in closed court and provides that the alleged offence, the verdict and sentence must be publicly announced. Under the new provision, there will also be a right of appeal against any closure order.

Other amendments

Mr President, I turn now to some of the more significant of the miscellaneous amendments in the Bill-

* clause 57 makes it clear that, where a deceased person has expressed a request that his or her body, or any part of it, be used for certain purposes, in particular for an organ transplant, that request should prevail over any views of his or her next of kin;

clause 13 clarifies the power of the court to appoint a judicial trustee in respect of a charitable trust. Under the present law, it is not clear whether the court has power to appoint a judicial trustee in respect of a charitable trust. Since the appointment of a judicial trustee might be of great utility to a number of important charitable trusts, the existence of a power of appointment in such cases should be put beyond doubt;

clause 4 raises the upper age of eligibility for the Superintendents' Discretion Scheme from 17 years to 18 years. Under this Scheme, Police officers of the rank of Superintendent and above have a discretion to caution, rather than prosecute, young offenders in appropriate cases. The aim of the Scheme is to help rehabilitate young offenders. The Scheme was established in 1963, when the target group was offenders under the age of 14. After two reviews, the age limit was extended to 16 in 1966 and to 17 in 1988. The Scheme has achieved good results. In April 1993, an interdepartmental Working Group, headed by the then Solicitor General, was established to review the Scheme. The Working Group's Report was submitted to the Fight Crime Committee, which endorsed the recommendations in the Report in September 1994. The present amendment is proposed in order to implement an important part of the recommendations;

10

clause 56 contains a provision relating to the release of prisoners under supervision. It provides that when determining a prisoner's eligibility for release under supervision, any period he or she spent in custody before conviction, as well as after, must be taken into account. It also makes special provision for prisoners who are transferred from other jurisdiction.

As I said earlier, Mr President, this Bill is part of a continuous process of review. I will, from time to time, be bringing forward Bills of a similar nature in order to improve our legal system and to repeal obsolete provisions.

Mr President, I commend the Bill to the Council.

End/Wednesday, May 10, 1995

Govt response to Public Accounts Committee report ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

Following is the speech by the Chief Secretary, the Hon Mrs Anson Chan, introducing the Government Minute which responds to Report No. 23 of the Public Accounts Committee in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

Laid on the table today is the Government Minute responding to Report No. 23 of the Public Accounts Committee. The Minute sets out the measures the Government has taken, or is planning to take, on the conclusions and recommendations contained in the Report. It also seeks to elucidate the Government's position on matters arising from previous PAC reports on which the Committee has made further comments, and where appropriate, updates progress on those matters.

The Hon Peter Wong, Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, spoke in this Council on 15 February 1995 when tabling the Report. I would like to respond to some of the points he made.

The first issue addressed by Mr Wong in his speech relates to the "sale of a commercial site in Garden Road" covered in PAC Report No. 21 A. In the Government Minute dated 12 October 1994, we have already presented clearly the findings and analysis leading to our conclusion that, in that particular case, there is no evidence to substantiate any act of misconduct which would warrant disciplinary proceeding.

11

The Committee has expressed its concern that our conclusion will send out a message that if there is no evidence of "bad faith", an officer's wrong doing of whatever degree of blame will always be tolerated. This is certainly not our intention. We take the question of accountability very seriously and the Committee is aware that we have carried out an extensive investigation into the case. I regret that our conclusion does not appear to be acceptable to the Committee.

As in any organisation, we in the civil service have to give our officers a certain degree of discretion to enable decisions to be taken efficiently, and at the level most appropriate to the case. There will inevitably be occasions when a judgement is made which, with hindsight, may not be considered the best or the most appropriate. However, such "imperfect" judgement does not, and should not, of itself amount to misconduct which warrants disciplinary action. To do otherwise would adversely affect the decision-making mechanism and. in turn, civil service efficiency.

Mr Wong also highlighted the Committee's concern that a number of the situations which attracted the Director of Audit's criticism have been caused, at least partly, by the problem of insufficient information provided to the Executive Council, the Legislative Council or the Housing Authority. I would like to assure Members that we always aim to provide full and accurate information to the two Councils. And 1 am sure this wish is shared by our colleagues who service the Housing Authority. But Members will appreciate that deciding how much information is sufficient and whether the information is relevant for inclusion in a paper must largely be a matter of judgement. It is not something on which we can lay hard and fast rules. Under our system, Honourable Members have the right to question officials and to ask for any additional information necessary for their consideration of a proposal, and we have always responded to these as best as we can. That said, let me assure Members that we note the Committee's concern on the matter, and we will do our best to provide adequate information in our submissions to facilitate the two Councils' consideration of our proposals.

We arc pleased to learn that the Committee appreciates the efforts we have made to improve the presentation of financial and performance information to Members. The answer to the question of "adequacy and quality of financial and performance information provided by the Government to the Legislative Council" is one of balance. A balance between the need, on the one hand, to provide Members with the information necessary to enable them to monitor the efficiency and effectiveness with which Government uses the funds approved by the legislature; and on the other hand, not to burden Members with too many facts and figures.

12

In preparing the Draft Estimates for 1995 - 96, and the submissions to Finance Committee and its Subcommittees, we have already implemented many of the recommendations contained in the Director of Audit's Report. I trust Members have found these changes useful. The form and content of the Government's financial and performance reporting to Members is subject to a process of change and evolution. Let me assure Members that the Administration is committed to the on-going development and refinement of performance measures to assist Members to fulfil their function of monitoring Government's use of resources.

Mr President, the Administration is as keen as the Public Accounts Committee to ensure proper and efficient management of its financial affairs, and appreciates fully the importance of the Committee's findings and recommendations. We will continue to work closely with the Audit Department and the PAC in our quest for greater efficiency. I am confident that the measures we have taken, or are planning to take, will go a long way towards achieving this end.

End/Wednesday. May 10, 1995

Telephone (Amendment) Bill *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Gordon Siu, in moving the second reading of the Telephone (Amendment) Bill in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move that the Telephone (Amendment) Bill 1995 be read a second time.

The purpose of this Bill is to remove those provisions in the Telephone Ordinance which will no longer be required when the Hong Kong Telephone Company Limited is granted a Fixed Telecommunication Network Services or FTNS licence.

When the Hong Kong Telephone Company's monopoly expires on June 30, local fixed network telephone services will be opened to competition. In addition to Hong Kong Telephone, Hutchison Communications, New T & T Hong Kong, and New World Telephone will be licensed to provide local fixed network services, including telephonic and other telecommunications services such as fax and data, on a competitive basis. The four operators will each be granted an FTNS licence to regulate the services they provide.

13

As the new FTNS licence contains comprehensive provisions for the regulation of competitive fixed network services by the Telecommunications Authority, most of the provisions in the Telephone Ordinance will no longer be required and can be repealed. However, two provisions in the Ordinance will need to be retained. These are Sections 22A and 24 which regulate the telephone numbering system and the price cap arrangement which currently applies to the Hong Kong Telephone Company. The powers provided under these Sections cannot be replicated in the FTNS licence and will therefore need to be retained in the Ordinance, but they will be amended and strengthened to take into account of the new competitive environment.

Clause 3 of the Bill amends Section 22A of the Telephone Ordinance by replacing the current definition of telephone numbering plan, which at present only refers to the numbering plan used by Hong Kong Telephone, by a more general definition embodying the numbering plans used by all FTNS licensees. To ensure that the Telecommunications Authority has the necessary power to regulate the fair and effective use of the telephone numbering plan by the competing networks, his role and responsibility to manage Hong Kong’s telephone numbering plan will be specified in the Ordinance. Also, in view of the appeal of special telephone numbers to the public, especially those with so call lucky digits, it is necessary to provide an open and transparent system for the allocation of such numbers. It is proposed that the Secretary for Economic Services be given power to provide for the allocation of special telephone numbers by way of auction or tender. The arrangement will be similar to that for the allocation of special car registration numbers. The amendment only seeks to include an empowering provision in the principal Ordinance. The detailed arrangements for the auction will be set out in regulations and Members will have an opportunity to consider them in due course.

Clause 4 of the Bill amends Section 24 of the Telephone Ordinance to retain the power of the Secretary for Economic Services to specify a price control arrangement for certain basic telephone services provided by the Hong Kong Telephone Company, such as line connection fees and residential and business line rental charges. It is Government’s intention that Hong Kong Telephone’s charges for basic telephone services will continue to be subject to a price cap as long as the company remains the dominant provider of such services. The power of the Secretary for Economic Services to regulate other "non-basic" services provided by the company will be removed. The charges of these services will be subject to market competition and regulated by the Telecommunications Authority under the FTNS licence.

14

Mr President, the amendments proposed in the Bill are essential to provide an effective regulatory framework for the introduction of local fixed network competition. With Members’ assistance I would very much hope that this Bill can be enacted before 30 June when the Hong Kong Telephone Company’s monopoly expires.

Mr President, I beg to move.

End/Wednesday, May 10, 1995

Hospital Authority. Annual Report 1993-94 *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, on the Hospital Authority Annual Report 1993-94 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

It is my pleasure to present this Council with the Hospital Authority Annual Report covering the period from 1 April 1993 to 31 March 1994.

The reporting period covered another year of progress and vigorous developments for the Hospital Authority. Great strides have been made towards the devolution of administrative responsibilities, the nurturing of a patient- centred culture of service and the development of a close partnership with the community.

Continuous quality improvement remains the guiding principle adopted by the Hospital Authority in planning its service initiatives. Through the concept ofclustering and networking, each hospital within the same geographical region is now functioning with a distinctive clinical role to support one another in enhancing the efficiency of service delivery. The new management structure with clear lines of accountability, better responsiveness to changing demands and greater emphasis on the needs of patients has been put into place. The Authority also appointed a Chief Executive with effect from 1 January 1994 to oversee the full range of its activities and to pave way for further rationalization of the staffing structure in the Head Office.

15

One of the Authority's primary objectives is to ensure that its services meet the specific needs of patients and that our public hospital services provide good value for money. To this end, the annual planning cycle has proven to be an effective mechanism to identify key areas for improvement by linking up resource input with service targets and quality outcomes. Development of clinical protocols and outcome indicators will be pursued as the next step to achieve a more rational basis for internal resource allocation and performance monitoring.

In line with its continuous efforts to foster a close partnership with the community, the Hospital Authority has established six new Hospital Governing Committees during the year, bringing together 34 such committees to provide a direct venue for public participation in the management and planning of hospital services. The setting up of a hotline for public feedback and enquiries, the designation of an officer responsible for patients relations in each hospital and the revamped procedures for handling public complaints are all part of this effort.

All these achievements owe much to the dedicated members and staff of the Hospital Authority. I would like to pay a special tribute to Sir S Y Chung, who has led the Authority from its infancy stage in 1988 until his retirement from the Board in March. He has been a tower of strength and the driving force behind many innovative changes brought into our public hospital system. His tremendous success and drive, his leadership and success in building up a strong team within the Hospital Authority have set the scene for further improvement of the system in future.

Last but not least, I would like to thank Honourable Members of this Council and the general public for their invaluable support in our mission to improve the quality of patient care in Hong Kong.

End/Wednesday, May 10, 1995

16

Standing Committee on Pressure Groups files ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Anna Wu Hung-yuk and a reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In his written answer of 15 February 1995 to my question in this Council concerning the establishment and subsequent activities of the Standing Committee on Pressure Groups (SCOPG), the Secretary for Security stated that all SCOPG files containing assessments and reports had been destroyed. In this regard, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) when, under whose direction and for what purpose the SCOPG reports destroyed;

(b) what is the Government's policy concerning the destruction of Government documents; and

(c) on what basis did the former and current Secretary for Security tender their answers to SCOPG-relatcd questions asked at 15 June 1994 and 15 February 1995 sittings of this Council since all SCOPG reports have been destroyed?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) The Standing Committee on Pressure Groups files containing reports and assessments were destroyed over a number of years from the 1980's. Destruction of such files was carried out under the authority of the relevant Branch Secretary or Head of Department. These files were destroyed for record management purposes.

17

(b) Government policy provides for the review of classified material. Government files are destroyed for record management purposes when they no longer serve a useful purpose.

(c) A limited amount of material relating to the Standing Committee on Pressure Groups, principally concerning media questions and answers following its disbandment in the early 1980's, is still in existence. It was on the basis of this material that my predecessor and I answered questions on this subject in this Council on 15 June 1994 and 15 February 1995.

End/Wednesday, May 10, 1995

Defendants jumping bail *****

Following is a question by the Hon Simon Ip Sik-on and a reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council of the causes of the substantial increase over the past four years in the number of defendants who have absconded after being released on bail and what steps will be taken in future to ensure that defendants do not abscond?

Reply:

Mr President,

Our computer system only started collecting data on court bail from the second quarter of 1992. The figures show that the number of persons who jumped bail has increased from 1,349 in 1992-93 to 1,814 in 1993-94, an increase of about 34%. However, we have to put the figures in context. On average, more than 22,000 defendants are granted court bail each year. The proportion of defendants who jumped bail is relatively small.

18

There is no comprehensive study on the causes of defendants who choose to abscond. The most likely reasons are that they want to avoid attending court for trial and to avoid, or at least delay, facing the penalty if convicted by the court.

The Police and other law enforcement agencies have been diligent in tracking down absconders. The figures on the number of persons who jumped court bail and were eventually arrested and sentenced are 962 for the year ending 30 June, 1993 and 1,548 for the year ending 30 June, 1994. The detection rate is higher than 70%. The Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Ordinance, which was passed by this Council and enacted in June last year, makes it a criminal offence for a person to abscond after being released on bail. If convicted, the offender is liable on summary conviction to a maximum fine of $75,000 and to imprisonment for a maximum period of 6 months, and on conviction upon indictment to a fine of any amount and to imprisonment for a maximum period of 12 months. The new provisions will soon take effect when the rules of court are finalised by the Judiciary and passed by this Council. They will provide a good deterrence against potential absconders.

End/Wednesday, May 10, 1995

Implementation of the Joint Declaration

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Emily Lau and a reply by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Nicholas Ng, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In his speech to the Foreign Correspondents Club earlier this year, the Governor said, ’’Each day as 1997 comes closer, individuals and businesses quite naturally are looking not to Britain, not to the Governor of Hong Kong but to China, as the future sovereign, to provide reassurances, and indeed concrete evidence that the principles enshrined in the Joint Declaration will be upheld and implemented in the future.” This view was repeated by the Foreign Secretary during a House of Commons debate on 27 April 1995. In this connection will the Administration inform this Council whether -

19

(a) it will seek elucidation to ascertain how Britain who, as a co-signatory to the Joint Declaration, will ensure that the Joint Declaration will be implemented; if not, why not; and

(b) the Administration will ask the British Government to re-assure the people of the territory that it remains committed to ensuring the implementation of the Joint Declaration; if not, why not?

Answer:

Mr President,

Britain's role in implementing the ID is straightforward. The JD is a treaty which creates rights and obligations under international law. Those obligations are binding upon Britain and China and must be performed by them in good faith. Britain implements the obligations which it has assumed under the JD through a variety of diplomatic channels. In particular it will continue to conduct consultations with China through the JLG until 1 January 2000 in accordance with the JD. Thereafter, Britain will continue to have a responsibility to do all it can to ensure that the treaty is implemented fully and faithfully. We have full confidence that Britain will use every possible avenue to do so.

As for the second part of the question, the British Government has made clear many times that Britain is fully committed to discharging its obligations under the JD. For example, during the House of Commons debate on 27 April this year, referred to by Miss Lau, Mr Hurd said that "the British Government want ......... to ensure the

smoothest possible transition for Hong Kong and the fulfilment by both sides of what [was undertaken in] the Joint Declaration."

I can assure Members that the HKG continues to keep the British Government fully informed of the feelings in Hong Kong on transitional issues. We will, of course, continue to relay to the British Government the concerns of Honourable Members and the community about Britain's responsibilities.

I can also assure Members that the HKG plays its part in the implementation of the JD. I am a Member of the JLG and HKG contributes significantly to the work of the JLG and in other Sino-British negotiations on Hong Kong.

20

Regarding the Preamble to Miss Lau's question, Members will appreciate that while both China and Britain are party to the JD, and both therefore have a responsibility as sovereign governments to ensure its implementation, the Joint Declaration imposes different obligations on the two parties. Thus, Britain has an obligation to be responsible for the administration of Hong Kong up to 30 June 1997 and China has an obligation to follow the basic policies in respect of Hong Kong for 50 years after 1 July 1997. People will quite naturally look to the party that has a particular obligation under the Joint Declaration to deliver on that promise. People, therefore, look to Britain to ensure that Hong Kong is administered properly up to 30 June 1997 and they look to China for evidence that the policies to which it has committed itself will apply in Hong Kong after 1 July 1997.

Mr President, I have said, the Joint Declaration is a binding, international agreement. It is registered with the United Nations. The British Government has a responsibility to do all it can to ensure that China lives up to the undertakings set out in the JD. This is something to which the British Government is committed.

End/Wednesday, May 10, 1995

Wastage rates of therapists

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Eric Li Ka-cheung and a reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the respective wastage rates of physiotherapists, speech therapists, clinical psychologists and occupational therapists in government departments and subvented agencies in the past three years; and

(b) the effect of such wastage on the government departments and agencies concerned, and whether such wastage has brought about a serious shortage of manpower?

- 21 -r.

Reply:

• > , , • .. ■ . i ■. *i -

i Mr President,

Let me start by defining "wastage rate" for the purpose of my answer. The figures I shall refer to represent the number of staff who have left posts in any given Department during a calendar year expressed as a percentage of the average strength of such posts in that year.

On the basis of this definition, the wastage rates of the following posts are as follows:

(i) In the Department of Health, which has only a relatively small establishment of such allied health workers, there are four posts of physiotherapist, the wastage rate was 66.7% in 1992 but since then there has been no wastage. There has been no wastage of speech therapists between 1992 and 1994. The only wastage rate for clinical psychologists was in 1994 - 36.4%. For occupational therapists, the wastage rate was 28.6% in 1992 and 1993. There was, however, no wastage in 1994.

(ii) In the Social Welfare Department, there are no speech therapist post. As for the other three disciplines, there has been no wastage over the past three years.

(iii) The Education Department has 8 posts for speech therapists. There was no wastage in 1992. The wastage rates for 1993 and 1994 were 25% and 33.3% respectively.

(iv) In the subvented sector, as we do not know the number of those leaving their jobs nor the number of new recruits for physiotherapist, speech therapist and occupational therapist posts, it is not possible to work out the wastage rate. As for clinical psychologists, the wastage rate was 12.5% in 1992, 40% in 1993 and 42% in 1994.

Turning to the second part of the question, it is clear that the wastage rate is not a problem for the Social Welfare Department. While the Health and Education Departments have wastage rates in some of these professions, only a relatively small number of posts are involved and the wastage has caused no serious operational problems.

22

A general shortage of physiotherapists, clinical psychologists, occupational therapists and speech therapists is causing concern in the provision of services requiring these skills especially in the subvented welfare sector. Wastage is only one factor contributing to this shortage.

I have established a Working Group on Allied Health Personnel in my Branch to examine the problem of shortfalls in these professions and to propose solutions. The Group has started its work already by studying the shortage of clinical psychologists. It will move on to study the other disciplines concerned as quickly as possible.

End/Wednesday, May 10, 1995

?’■ -...1 •• .

Alcohol duty

*****

• ■ ; • .. , •, t J

f 11 ... ■' / .

Following is a question by the Hon Howard Young and a reply by the Secretary for the Treasury, Mr K C Kwong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council of the total amount of alcohol duty collected by the Government for the months from April to December 1994 as compared with that in the corresponding period in 1993 before the new system of ad valorem duty was implemented?

:« *•. t .<• . • - •

Reply: <

Mr President,

Revenue collected from alcohol duty amounted to $673 million in the period April to December 1994, and $905 million in the same period in 1993.

End/Wednesday, May 10, 1995

23

Air quality impact of increased freight cargo traffic *****

Following is a question by the Hon Christine Loh and a written reply by the acting Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Canice Mak, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Owing to the Administration's intention to develop Container Terminals 10-14, the amount of freight cargo driven by road each year through the territory is expected to increase 250% by the year 2011. In this regard, will the Administration inform this Council of:

(a) the estimated air quality impact of such increase in the five Air Control Zones of the Western New Territories and West Kowloon Air Control Zones in relation to the Air Quality Objectives; and

(b) the estimated vehicle emission levels in 2001 and 2011, for Respirable Suspended Particulates (RSP) and Oxides of Nitrogen, measured in annual tonnes, on the basis of there being no change in vehicle technologies? •

Reply :

Mr President,

The estimated air quality impact due to the projected increase in freight related road traffic is not yet available. The increase in freight cargo quoted by the Honourable Member was the projection of a review of the Port Development Strategy. The main objective of this review was to update the demand forecast for port facilities.

Another study is currently being considered by the Government to review the environmental implications of the projected increase in port and airport throughput. In this study, a strategic environmental assessment will be undertaken to address the cumulative environmental impacts, including impacts on air quality. This will assist the formulation of plans to achieve a sustainable development pattern for Hong Kong.

End/Wednesday, May 10, 1995

24

Construction works of HK Technical College *****

Following is a question by the Hon Emily Lau Wai-hing and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Michael Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It is learnt that the Vocational Training Council (VTC) decided in 1994 to demolish the newly-built swimming pool of the Hong Kong Technical College (HKTC) (Chai Wan), which was yet to be used, to make room for the construction of VTC senior staff quarters. Subsequently it further decided to convert the football field of the College into a swimming pool and a basketball court. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether it has information to indicate when the VTC made the decision to demolish the swimming pool and erect the staff quarters in its place, and when and why the VTC decided to rebuild the swimming pool;

(b) of the respective costs of the above-mentioned projects;

• . ' ■ • ■' 'BO ' »•> ••t. ......

(c) whether it is aware of the sites considered by the VTC for the construction of the staff quarters; if so, what these sites are; and why the site of the original swimming pool of the HKTC (Chai Wan) has been selected; and

(d) whether the reconstruction of the above projects will result in a waste of public money; if so, who should be held responsible for this?

. • . . /TV. .... ...

Reply :

Mr President,

(a) In 1991, the VTC started to convert the Chai Wan Technical Institute z into the Hong Kong Technical College (Chai Wan) after the Government

r granted about 1 hectare of land to it. In late 1993, Hong Kong

experienced a rapid surge in property rental. As a result, rental charged to the quarters which VTC provided for its senior staff increased significantly. At the same time, there was an increasing demand for staff quarters. In response to these changes, VTC proposed to build their own quarters. The Government approved the proposal since this would significantly reduce Government’s subvention for quarter rentals.

25

After considering all relevant factors including the availability of sites, accessibility of location, building cost and staff reactions, the VTC proposed that the most cost-effective solution is to incorporate the staff quarters into the campus of the Chai Wan Technical College. Taking into account the configuration of the site, a swimming pool already in place had to be demolished to provide enough space for the construction of quarters. In order to maintain a good learning environment with adequate amenities for the students, the relocation of the swimming pool to another part of the campus was approved.

(b) The cost of relocating the swimming pool is about $8 million and the cost of constructing the quarters is about $200 million.

(c) When the proposal to build staff quarters was considered, there were no potential sites available for this purpose. VTC had to accommodate the quarters within one of the campus sites of its two Technical Colleges in Chai Wan and Tsing Yi. For the reasons given in (a) above, the Chai Wan Technical College was selected. Within the campus site, the area of the original swimming pool was found to be the most suitable site for the staff quarters as the other facilities such as lecture halls and administration buildings had already been built.

(d) While maintaining a high-quality learning environment for the students, this project will result in substantial savings of public money. As a result of this construction and relocation arrangement, it is estimated that annual saving in excess of $100 million could be achieved after the costs of constructing the quarters were settled.

End/Wednesday, May 10, 1995

26

Counselling services for battering women inadequate ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

. ’ * • • ». - >

Following is a question by the Hon Fred Li Wah-ming and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

As there are only two Social Work Assistants in Harmony House, a refuge providing shelter for battered women and their children, not only is the counselling service provided for the battered women inadequate, but also they cannot provide similar service for the children living there. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council::

(a) whether it will increase the establishment of social work staff for providing counselling service in Harmony House; if not, why not; and

(b) what short - and long - term plans it has to provide counselling service for the children living in Harmony House?

Reply:

Harmony House is a refuge operated by a non-governmental organisation with Government subvention. It provides temporary accommodation for up to 40 battered women and their children for short periods ranging from a few days to up to three months. The refuge is staffed by two Assistant Social Work Officers, one Social Work Assistant, five Welfare Workers and four Workmen.

Battered women and their children admitted into the refuge are provided with services not only by the staff of Harmony House itself but also by caseworkers of family services centres who work closely together to cater for all the needs of clients staying in the refuge. Services rendered include counselling, psychological assessment/ treatment, child care, financial and housing assistance. This is considered to be an effective approach as a variety of services can be mobilised in good time from the family services centres to meet the clients' specific needs and, in particular, the needs of children accompanying their mothers in the refuge.

It is therefore not intended to increase the subvention to Harmony House to provide more social work staff for counselling services. Battered women and their children staying in the refuge will continue to be provided with adequate services including counselling services through the co-ordinated action of both the staff of Harmony House and caseworkers from family services centres.

End/Wednesday, May 10, 1995

27

Revenues for the years 1991-94 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

'u V £, A .

Following is a question by the Hon Jimmy McGregor and a written reply by the Secretary for the Treasury, Mr K C Kwong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In respect of each of the 1991-92, 1992-93 and 1993-94 financial years, will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the revenue it received, broken down by each of the following categories-

(i) Land sales (excluding revenues accruing to the SAR Land Fund)

(ii) Premiums paid for lease variations

t.

(iii) Property taxes

(iv) Stamp duty on property transactions ! I

(v) General rates

(vi) Any other revenue arising from land and property transactions

(vii) Revenue from petrol and diesel fuel for vehicular use; and

(b) the amount of premium income obtained from land transactions paid to the SAR Government Land Fund?

. j. .

28

Answer:

The information sought by the Honourable Member is set out below -

1991-92 1992-93 1993-94

(a) (i) Land revenue (A) Land Premium(Nole , L Gross premium income collected from $ million $ million $ million .7.

• Sales by public auction and tender 13,925 11,511 17,965

• Private treaty grants 3,656 663 v ■ ’ 3,289

• Modification of existing leases, exchanges and extensions 3,358 4,262 22,306

Total(Note2) 20,939 16,436 44,560

II. Net premium income paid to Hong Kong Government (including average land production costs) ^Notes 2 and4) 8,533 8,589 18,229

(B) Other Land Transactions^01'3) 412 267 264

(ii) Property taxes 1,230 1,304 1,511

(iii) Stamp duty on property transactions 7,007 9,694 12,828

(iv) General rates 3,494 4,424 4,461 >

(v) Rents from government properties, quarters and Government land 1,448 1,671 1,956

(vi) Revenue from petrol and diesel fuel for vehicle use 2,960 3,200 3,684

(b)Net land premium income to the future Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government Land Fund(Nole 2) 7,475 7,592 16,893

29

Notes:

1. This represents revenue from land transactions which were completed or decided upon after the coming into force of the Joint Declaration, i.e. after 27 May 1985, and which confer a benefit that expires after 30 June 1997.

2. In accordance with procedures agreed by the Land Commission, revenue collected in each quarter (and credited initially to the Hong Kong Government (HKG) Capital Works Reserve Fund (CWRF) Suspense Account) is only paid into the HKG CWRF Works Account and the future Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government Land Fund in the following quarter. Thus revenue collected in the final quarter of a financial year is only paid into the respective accounts in the first quarter of the following financial year. As a result, the gross revenue collected in each financial year is not equal to the total of the amount paid into the HKG CWRF Works Account and the future HKSAR Government Land Fund in the same financial year.

3. Revenue from land transactions completed or decided upon before the coming into force of the Joint Declaration, i.e. before 27 May 1985, or land transactions conferring a benefit that expires on or before 30 June 1997 are wholly credited to the HKG.

4. In accordance with Annex III to the Joint Declaration, premium income obtained from land transactions, after deduction of the average cost of land production, is shared equally between the HKG and the future HKSAR Government. The total amount paid into the HKG CWRF Works Account is thus the sum of the HKG’s share of net premium income and the amount which represents the agreed average cost of land production. As a result, the total amount credited to the HKG CWRF Works Account in any financial year is slightly larger than the amount credited to the future HKSAR Government Land Fund.

End/Wednesday, May 10, 1995

30

Four-year-course university system

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Henry Tang and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Michael Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

•■J f !*. . ... .

Question:

It is learnt that all seven universities have reached a consensus to put forward a proposal for the adoption of a four-year-course system from 1998 to replace the existing three-year-course system. Will the Government inform this Council whether it has information to indicate the estimated amount of additional resources to be required annually in implementing the new system, together with the increase in the unit cost of each undergraduate degree place to be incurred; if so, what the details are?

4 . " . • • •* •' •• • . * . * - « . v♦

Reply :

Mr President,

The Administration understands that the seven institutions funded by the University Grants Committee have not reached any consensus to implement a proposal to replace the existing three-year-course system with a four-year-course system and no proposal has been made. In the absence of arty such proposal, the Administration cannot provide any information on the additional resources likely to be required to implement such a system, if proposed, nor does it wish to make any judgements on what is at this stage a hypothetical question.

End/Wednesday, May 10, 1995

/ 1 . .. i .

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- / .• •• ?> •’? •' ..

. 1'

31

Providing false information liable to be fined ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Eric Li Ka-cheung and a written reply by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Michael Cartland, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

According to the Census and Statistics Ordinance (Chapter 316), any person who provides the Government with schedules or returns containing false and incorrect information is liable to a fine of $5,000 and imprisonment for 6 months. Will the Government inform this Council of the respective number of persons convicted of breaching this ordinance in each of the past three years, together with the respective numbers of such convictions involving imprisonment and fines?

Reply:

Mr President,

In the past three years, there were no prosecutions made under the Census and Statistics Ordinance in respect of the provision of false and incorrect information.

In conducting statistical surveys under the Ordinance, the C&SD makes every effort to ensure that respondents comply with the requirement to provide correct information through careful explanation of data needs and solicitation of willing cooperation.

End/Wednesday, May 10, 1995

32

Benefits of nurses in Care and Attention Homes ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Li Wah-ming and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It is learnt that there are differences in fringe benefits for the enrolled nurses in subvented Care and Attention Homes (CAHs) and those in the Hospital Authority (HA), e.g. a cash allowance at 16.5% on the monthly basis salary is paid to staff working in HA but not to those in CAHs. This has led to a shortage of manpower in CAHs and some CAHs have to freeze admission applications owing to a shortage of enrolled nurses. In this regard, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether consideration will be given to enhancing the benefits for enrolled nurses working in subvented CAHs to make them in line with those in the HA, so as to attract more enrolled nurses to work in subvented CAHs; if not, why not; and

(b) what other specific short-term measures and long-term policies it has put in place to solve the problem of insufficient nurses in subvented CAHs?

Reply :

The reply is as follows :

(a) The terms and conditions of employment established for Hospital Authority staff were developed uniquely to address issues related to the establishment and development of that Authority. It would not, therefore, be appropriate to adopt such terms and conditions for Enrolled Nurses or any other staff operating in the welfare sector. Any such change could not be limited to Enrolled Nurses alone and would risk completely changing the approach to paying all staff in the subvented welfare sector.

(b) We are, nevertheless, concerned about the shortage of Enrolled Nurses in subvented Care and Attention Homes.

- 33

The long term solution is clearly to train more Enrolled Nurses. In order to attract more to come forward for training, we need to define more clearly a professional role for nurses. To provide the necessary encouragement, we have allocated funds to enrich the curriculum of nursing schools to cover additional topics on geriatrics, psychiatrics, community health and midwifery, improve the teacher-to-student ratio of nursing schools and increase the number of sponsorships of nurses to attend post-registration training courses.

To resolve or alleviate the problem in the immediate term, we have given subvented C & A Homes the flexibility -

to employ Registered Nurses to hold against the posts of Enrolled Nurses; . u

: - ’. -........ . . P- .1L ;■

to employ part-time Registered Nurses on a daily rate; and

to grant daily pay rates to existing staff in residential care homes who are willing to perform extra shift hours of work.

In addition to this, in July 1994 the Social Welfare Advisory Committee endorsed a recommendation to create a health worker grade for subvented residential care homes. The subvented homes have the option of employing health workers if sufficient Enrolled Nurses cannot be recruited. Currently, there are about 300 health workers who have successfully completed the approved training course jointly organised by Social Welfare Department and the College of Nursing. Apart from continuing the joint training programme with the College of Nursing, Social Welfare Department is also considering with other professional bodies the organisation of more training courses in the coming two years to meet nursing requirements both in subvented and private homes for the elderly. I will also examine the shortfall in Enrolled Nurses in the welfare sector with the relevant government departments to make recommendations for any additional measures which can be taken to address the problem.

End/Wednesday, May 10, 1995

34

Manpower requirements of Hospital Authority ♦ ♦ * * ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Michael Ho Mun-ka and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question: '

According to this year’s Budget, the overall growth in the number of medical officers of the Hospital Authority at all ranks has been apparently higher than that of nurses and other allied health professionals for two consecutive years. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of the Hospital Authority’s respective expenditure on salaries and cash allowances paid respectively to (a) medical officers, (b) nurses, (c) physiotherapists, (d) radiographers and (e) occupational therapists in each of the past three financial years?

Reply :

The manpower requirements and staff mix of the Hospital Authority are normally determined by the service development of individual hospitals in the context of their respective annual plans.

A breakdown showing the annual expenditure on salaries and cash allowances paid to different grades of hospital staff in the past three financial years are as follows:

1992/93 1993/94 1994/95

$M $M % $M %

(a) Medical Officers 1,960 2,175 (+10.9) 2,599 (+19.5)

(b) Nursing Staff 3,787 4,287 (+13.2) 4,822 (+12.5)

(c) Physiotherapists 99 140 (+41.4) 158 (+12.8)

(d) Radiographers 154 207 (+34.4) 231 (+11.6)

(e) Occupational Therapists 61 71 (+16.4) 86 (+21.1)

End/Wednesday, May 10, 1995

35

Government hot-lines

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Albert Chan Wai-yip and a written reply by the Chief Secretary, the Hon Mrs Anson Chan, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

At present many government departments have set up enquiry hot-lines for the public. However, quite a number of citizens complain about the difficulty in putting a call through during office hours. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the total number or government departments having such enquirv hot-

lines;

(b) of the average number of telephone lines available on enquiry hot-lines provided by the government departments, together with the average usage rate in the past six months; and

(c) whether consideration will be given to making performance pledges in respect of these enquiry hot-lines so as to enable easier access to the service?

Reply:

Mr President.

(a) At present, 44 government departments are providing a total of 105 enquiry hot-lines to the public.

36

(b) An average of eight telephone lines is available for each government enquiry hot-line. Over the past six months, these hot-lines handled a total of about 117,200 calls from the public each day, with an average of 140 calls per day for each telephone line.

(c) The performance of government hot-lines has been improved considerably with the introduction of automated telephone answering systems, in particular the Interactive Voice Response System. Departments will continue to keep under constant review the possibility of installing modem communication devices and making other improvements to enhance the services provided by the enquiry hot-lines. 17 government departments have already included hot-line services in their performance pledges and the Efficiency Unit will encourage others to follow suit whenever practicable.

End/Wednesday, May 10, 1995

Measures to prevent landslips *****

Following is a question by the Hon Albert Chan Wai-yip and a written reply by the Secretary for Works, Mr James Blake, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

As the rainy season has set in, and landslips occurred again on 19 April 1995 because of the heavy rain, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) what measures, apart from undertaking systematic slope inspections and maintenance, the government departments concerned will take to prevent the occurrence of landslips and thus casualties and what emergency procedures are in place to deal with such accidents; and

(b) whether such measures and procedures have been formulated in the light of the experience gained in the Kwun Lung Lau landslips?

37

Reply:

Mr President,

In addition to undertaking systematic slope inspections and maintenance, the Government is also implementing the recommendations in Professor Morgenstern’s Report relating to measurement of masonry wall thickness, to undertake and support research into improved site characterisation and to establish a Technical Review Board.

As regards the recommendation to develop a programme for direct monitoring and repair of buried services, a Working Group on the maintenance of buried services affecting slopes has been formed. An advisory note on the inspection and maintenance of buried drainage and water-carrying services and a practice note for Authorised Persons and Registered Structural Engineers on constructing new private water-carrying services in such a manner to avoid danger to slopes have been prepared and are being distributed to owners corporations, mutual aid committees, authorised persons and registered structural Engineers. In addition all Departments with responsibility for underground sendees which are adjacent to slopes have arranged inspection programmes.

The recommendation to adopt a more integrated approach into slope stability process is being taken forward.

Works Branch has also completed an extensive review of the slope safety programme with a view to further lessening the risk of landslides threatening public safety. The Review looked in detail at the current legislation, policy and resources on slope safety activities, and complements the earlier recommendations in Professor Morganstem's report.

The report contains the following main recommendations which are being implemented :

(a) The current Landslip Preventive Measures (LPM) programme, which involves the inspection and, where necessary, upgrading of 10,000 manmade slopes listed in the 1977-78 catalogue of the Geotechnical Engineering Office, is being accelerated by 10 years for substantial completion by 2000.

(b) The LPM programme is being extended to cover certain slopes which have previously been classified as ’’low consequence", such as those close to busy roads and footpaths.

38

(c) The system for classifying slopes according to the consequences of their failure is being reviewed.

(d) Public education on slope maintenance is being stepped up. A layman’s guide on slope maintenance and a geoguide for the professionals will be issued. Owners of private slopes and building managers are being made clearly aware of their obligations for slope maintenance.

(e) Response time of Works Departments to landslip emergencies will be reduced through better deployment of stand-by staff, better coordination, extra transport facilities and upgrading of telecommunication equipment.

The Review also puts forward the following recommendations which are receiving further detailed consideration.

(f) Legislative amendments to improve statutory geotechnical control of private slopes and developments. This may include the statutory requirement to appoint qualified Geotechnical Engineers to undertake the investigation, design, supervision and administration of geotechnical works, and

(g) A register to clearly define the responsibilities for slope maintenance.

As regards emergency procedures, the Government has specific contingency plans that outline the response to a variety of emergencies. The Natural Disaster Plan is particularly relevant to the response to landslips.

In the event of a major emergency, the Government Secretariat Emergency Coordination Centre (GSECC) is set up, and assists in co-ordinating the overall response. GSECC also provide logistic and policy support for the front line emergency services that are mobilised.

Liaison Officers from different government departments and Works Branch are deployed to GSECC as required. They provide expert advice, and facilitate communication between their own and other departments, and GSECC.

In the light of the experience gained including the Kwan Lung Lau landslip, GESCC procedures have been reviewed and enhanced so as to improved the flow of interdepartmental communication.

End/Wednesday, May 10, 1995

39

Monitoring the use of dangerous chemicals

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Cheung Man-kwong and a written reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

In view of the recent poisonous gas incidents in the underground railway in Japan and the death of a Hong Kong University of Science and Technology research student after inhaling fumes from toxic chemicals, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) Of its policies on the monitoring of schools (universities and secondary schools), factories or related organisations over the storage and use of chemicals which can be used to manufacture dangerous articles, so as to prevent such chemicals from being taken and turned into articles that can be used to endanger public safety and used for illegal purposes;

(b) Whether it will regularly review the measures to monitor dangerous chemicals in the territory, so as to ensure that chemicals stored in schools (universities and secondary schools), factories or related organisations are adequately monitored;

(c) Whether, in the event of serious incidents such as poisonous gas leakage, the Government has any contingency measures in place including warning the public well in advance, so as to minimise the casualties and damage to property caused by such serious incidents;

(d) What experience the Government has gained from the above-mentioned two incidents in order to prevent and tackle similar incidents?


- 40 -

Answer:

(a) The Dangerous Goods Ordinance classifies substances which are potentially dangerous. This legislation governs the labelling, packaging and storage of such substances. Potentially dangerous substances are required to be kept in a dangerous goods store. Locks and firefighting installations which have been approved by the Fire Services Department must be provided. Dangerous goods stores are licensed by the Fire Services Department, and are subject to regular inspections to ensure compliance with all safety and security requirements. These inspections include an annual licence renewal inspection.

Factories that use potentially dangerous substances in the course of their trade are also required to comply with the safety regulations contained in the Factories and Industrial Undertakings (Dangerous Substances) Ordinance.

Schools that store small quantities of potentially dangerous substances are subject to the requirements of the Education Department as regards safe storage and control. Universities enforce codes of safe practice for university laboratories which include procedures for the safe storage of chemicals.

The importation of some specific substances which may be used to manufacture illegal and harmful substances requires a licence from the Director General of Trade. Such a licence will not be granted unless the Director General of Trade is satisfied that the substance is going to a legitimate and competent end user.

(b) The Government's Dangerous Goods Standing Committee regularly reviews the measures to control and monitor the storage and use of dangerous chemicals in all controlled establishments, including schools, factories and related establishments.

(c) The Royal Hong Kong Police, the Fire Services Department and other Government departments have various contingency plans that lay down the procedures for dealing with many different types of emergency, including plans to deal with the presence of poisonous gas. These contingency plans include procedures for evacuation , the cordoning of areas and buildings, and broadcasting of warning messages as necessary.

41

(d) The incidents referred to provided a salutary reminder to all concerned, including Government departments, of the importance of maintaining credible and reliable measures to control and monitor the import, handling and storage of dangerous materials, and the regular review of these measures. To this end the Fire Services Department (FSD), the Royal Hong Kong Police (RHKP), the Mass Transit Railway Corporation (MTRC) and the Kowloon Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC) hold regular meetings to discuss station safety precautions and emergency response procedures. Since the underground railway gas incident that occurred in Japan, meetings have also been held between the FSD, RHKP, MTRC and KCRC on enhancing operational procedures to deal with such an incident. Joint exercises are conducted on a regular basis to test responses to emergency situations. The next such exercises will be held in June and July of this year.

As regards educational establishments, every such establishment that has a laboratory is required to have a code of safe laboratory practice. The Education Department arranges laboratory safety training for teachers who are new to laboratory work. Principals of schools are also required by the Education Regulations to appoint a senior staff member, who has adequate knowledge of safety measures relating to the chemicals stored in the laboratory, to take charge of the laboratory and the chemicals stored therein. The Education Department reviews these measures annually; following a recent incident they have been reviewed again. The department has just issued an updated edition of its annual circular on laboratory safety.

Laboratories in government schools are subject to safety inspections by the Education Department every four years. Laboratories in private schools, which are not usually situated in dedicated school buildings, are inspected annually.

Universities appoint, at a senior level, Safety Officers whose responsibilities include the safe operation of laboratories. These Safety Officers are assisted in their duties by expert personnel with relevant training and experience. The universities have themselves established a Tertiary Institutions Safety Advisory Group, which oversees safety measures, including those in laboratories. Since the accident at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, a review of university laboratory safety has been set in progress by the Secretary for Education and Manpower. The review will cover both regulatory and procedural aspects.

End/Wednesday. May 10. 1995

42

Implementing the Land Drainage Ordinance

♦ * * * *

Following is a question by the Hon Zachary Wong Wai-yin and a written reply by the acting Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Canice Mak, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In an attempt to alleviate the flooding problem in the New Territories, this Council passed the Land Drainage Ordinance last year. It is learnt, however, that the progress of implementing the Ordinance has been slow. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the progress of implementing this Ordinance to date since its enactment; and

(b) whether the current progress is behind the original schedule; if so, what the reasons are; whether any difficulties have been encountered and what measures are put in place to speed up the progress of the related work?

Answer

Mr President,

Reply to the question is as follows:

(a) There has been no delay in the implementation of the Land Drainage Ordinance (Cap 446). It has always been our plan to implement the Ordinance in five major drainage basins in the north-western and northern New Territories by the end of 1996. To do this, we have commenced a series of preparatory work including the preparation of subsidiary legislation and the Drainage Authority Area plans and the establishment of the Drainage Appeal Board Panel. The present position in this regard is that:

(i) the drafting of the two sets of subsidiary legislation under the Land Drainage Ordinance, namely the Land Drainage (Appeal) Regulation and the Land Drainage (Approval and Consent) Regulation is nearing completion. They will be gazetted shortly;

I

- 43 -

(ii) the first Drainage Authority Area plan, the Yuen Long/Kam Tin/Ngau Tam Mei Drainage Basin Plan will be gazetted in tandem with the subsidiary legislation mentioned above. The second Drainage Authority Area plan, the Indus Drainage Basin Plan, has been completed. We shall commence consultation with the North District Board and relevant rural committees shortly. We aim to gazette the plan in a few months’ time; and

(iii) a Drainage Appeal Board Panel will be set up on 1 June 1995 to deal with appeals against decisions of the Drainage Authority lodged under the Land Drainage Ordinance.

(b) We aim to publish all the five Drainage Authority Area plans by the end of 1996. We are on schedule.

End/Wednesday, May 10, 1995

Fund-raising activities of Tung Wah Group of Hospitals *****

Following is a question by the Hon Michael Ho Mun-ka and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

The five hospitals under the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals, Yan Chai Hospital, Pok Oi Hospital and the Ruttonjee Hospital and Grantham Hospital under the Hong Kong Tuberculosis, Chest and Heart Disease Association have been placed under the management of the Hospital Authority. Regarding the revenues and expenditures in respect of the fund-raising activities organised by these hospitals in 1994, will the Government inform this Council of the following :

(a) the amount of money raised before deducting expenses by these hospitals in each fund-raising activity;

<

. 44 -

(b) the total expenses incurred to these hospitals in each fund-raising activity, together with a breakdown of the expenses and the amount spent under each item;

(c) the amount of net donation received by these hospitals in each fund-raising activity after deducting expenses; and

(d) the respective numbers of man-hours spent and staff mobilised by these hospitals in each fund-raising activity for :

(i) appearing in TV programmes;

(ii) selling flags in the streets; and

(iii) answering donation calls?

Reply :

All the hospital fund-raising activities in question were organised by their respective parent associations, namely the Hong Kong Tuberculosis, Chest and Heart Disease Association, Pok Oi Hospital, Yan Chai Hospital and Tung Wah Group of Hospitals. All of these are established charitable bodies with a long tradition of soliciting community support for the provision of welfare, health and education services in partnership with Government.

While the Hospital Authority is responsible for the management and control of all public hospitals to ensure quality medical services for patients, the affiliated charitable bodies enjoy full autonomy in other areas of their traditional operation. The fund-raising activities organised by these bodies are thus no different from similar events in the welfare sector. The extent of participation by hospital in such activities is entirely voluntary. Under the present arrangement, Government assumes a supporting role and is not therefore in a position to supply the information requested.

End/Wednesday, May 10, 1995


- 45 -

Airport railway

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Frederick Fung Kin-kee and a written reply by the Secretary for Works, Mr James Blake, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

The Mass Transit Railway Corporation (MTRC) states in its Annual Report that the Airport Railway will not become operational until the second quarter of 1998. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council whether :

(a) the railway will be fully or partly operational in 1998; and

(b) the completion date of the terminal building will be delayed as a result?

Reply :

Mr President,

(a) We have already announced that as a result of the delay in the award of the Central Reclamation contract in 1993, it is not possible to complete the Hong Kong Station of the Airport Railway until the second quarter of 1998. The Mass Transit Railway Corporation sees no reason why the Airport Railway cannot be fully operational in 1998.

(b) Under the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Chinese and British Governments in 1991, we are committed to complete the new airport at Chek Lap Kok to the maximum extent possible by mid-1997. In accordance with this obligation, it remains our objective to complete the Passenger Terminal Building according to the current schedule, regardless of any change in the opening date of the Airport Railway.

End/Wednesday. May 10. 1995

t

this Council:

(a)

(b)

(c)

- 46 -

Traffic accidents involving motorcycles *****

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Huang Chen-ya, and a written reply by the acting Secretary for Transport, Mr John Telford, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding traffic accidents involving motorcycles, will the Government inform

of the number of such accidents in each of the past three years;

of the respective rates of death and head injuries resulting from such accidents in each of the past three years; and

what measures are in place to monitor the sale of helmets so as to ensure that they are in compliance with the safety requirements?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) Motor cycle accident statistics for the last three years are as follows :

No. of Motorcycle

Accidents

2,556

2,617

2,632

1992

1993

1994

47

(b) In the same period, the numbers of fatal injuries and head injuries arising from motor cycle accidents were as follows:

1992 1221 1224

Fatal injuries 26(1%) 25(0.9%) 30(1.1%)

Head injuries 265 (10%) 254(9.6%) 263 (9.8%)

The figures in brackets denote the percentages of the total numbers of injuries resulting from motor cycle accidents.

(c) The standards for helmets to be worn by motorcyclists are set out in the Road Traffic (Safety Equipment) Regulations. It is an offence if helmets other than those of an approved type are sold or worn. While the sale of helmets is not specifically monitored by Government, in investigating motor cycle accidents the Police do check whether the helmets worn conform with the approved standard. In the past 3 years, there have been 41 prosecutions for wearing non standard helmets.

End/Wednesday, May 10, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Thursday, May 11,1995

Contents Page No.

Transcript of Governor's remarks........................................... 1

Prevention of Bribery Bill................................................. 2

AG calls for views on legal services consultation paper.................... 3

AG's remarks on BMFL case.................................................. 5

Survey starts on industrial production for 1994............................ 6

Public access and broadcasting services channels rejected.................. 7

Shenzhen River Works Stage I Entrustment Agreement signed................. 10

Air Traffic Control Panel meeting...................................... 11

Grading of beach water quality............................................ 11

38 VMs transferred to Victoria Prison..................................... 15

Lantau Fixed Crossing marine traffic arrangements......................... 16

CS visits Industry Department and factory................................. 19

City University - a university for the future: Governor................... 19

Agricultural delegation departs for Australia on Saturday................. 20

Reduction of paging licence fee........................................... 21

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations...................... 22

1

Transcript of Governor’s remarks ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

The following is a transcript of what the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, said to the media after attending the City University inauguration ceremony:

Governor: I just like to say how happy I am to have presided over this first congregation of the City University of Hong Kong. It's been an extremely good polytechnic. It will be a very fine university. Question: Mr Patten, can you comment on the case of Mr Li Kwan-ha...

Governor: No, I don't comment on individual cases.

Questions: As more and more high ranking Government officials are taking their retirements in these recent days. So according to Mr LI Kwan-ha's case, do you think it is necessary for the Government to strengthen the measures to prevent officials taking retirement ... prevent them from entering the private sector in order to protect the public interest?

Governor: Well, we always have to see what lessons we can learn from individual cases but I don't want to comment on an individual case because it is not fair on any one. Question: Are you going to meet directly with Mr Li so as to look into details...

Governor: Am I going to do what?

Question: Are you going to have a chat or some kind of a formal meeting with Mr Lee?

Governor: No. I have regular formal conversations with the present Commissioner of Police.

Question: Do you think there should be more... on the job description of high ranking civil servants...

Governor: I said earlier that we have to see what lessons we can learn from individual cases but I don't want to comment on this particular individual case.

End/Thursday, May 11, 1995

2

Prevention of Bribery Bill *****

A bill which seeks to amend the law as recommended by the report of the IC AC Review Committee, published in December 1994, will be gazetted tomorrow (Friday).

u

The proposed legislation, the Prevention of Bribery (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 1995, will be introduced into the Legislative Council on May 17.

The aim of the review was to reaffirm the ICACs mandate in the light of present day circumstances and the changing expectations of the people of Hong Kong 20 years after the establishment of the ICAC, a Government spokesman said.

... . a )

"The Government's objectives are to strike a balance between two potentially conflicting views held in the community: that the ICAC needs to have sufficient powers to be effective in the continuing battle against corruption; and that it should be more accountable and transparent in the use of those powers," the spokesman added.

The Bill proposes amendments to the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance, the Independent Commission Against Corruption Ordinance and the Magistrates Ordinance for various purposes.

"One important proposal is that certain of the powers at present vested in the Commissioner, ICAC should be vested in the courts. In particular, court approval will be needed in order for the ICAC to require a person to supply information under section 14 of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance, to search premises (save in exceptional cases), or to prevent a suspect from disposing of property.

"Other provisions are designed to bring the law into line with the Bill of Rights. } Ordinance. For example, the presumption of corruption in section 25 of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance and the power of a court to comment on the failure of an accused to give evidence are to be repealed," the spokesman said.

Otherproposedamendmentswill:

(a) give the ICAC the same access to tax records as exists under the Drug Trafficking (Recovery of Proceeds) Ordinance and the Organised and Serious Crimes Ordinance;

3

(b) modify the power of the Commissioner ICAC to dismiss an officer under section 8(2) of the Independent Commission Against Corruption Ordinance; and

(c) make it possible for the ICAC not to keep a suspect on bail longer than necessary.

I f - *'

End/Thursday, May 11, 1995

AG calls for views on legal services consultation paper

* ♦ ♦ * ♦

The Attorney General, Mr Jeremy Mathews, today (Thursday) called on members of the public, who use and pay for legal services, to express their views on the Consultation Paper on Legal Services.

Addressing a joint luncheon meeting of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce and Hong Kong Coalition of Service Industries, Mr Mathews said in drawing up the Consultation Paper, the guiding principle has been: what is in the public interest?

"We have been at pains in addressing that question to look at it not only from the view-point of the Administration and the legal profession, but also from the community - those who use and pay for legal services," he said.

Mr Mathews said the initial reaction to the report had been very positive. However, comments to date, noted in the media or obtained through the Government's community links, had tended to concentrate on the following four areas:

* the proposed abolition of scale fees in conveyancing,

* the proposal to prohibit joint representation in respect of all conveyancing transactions,

* the proposal to allow solicitors to acquire extended rights of audience, and

♦ the proposed introduction of contingency fees.

Mr Mathews said the Administration needed to receive feedback on the other provisional recommendations.

4

•As I have said earlier, it is vital that we should obtain the views of consumers,” he noted.

He. said the Consultation Paper was issued at the end of March, and the consultation period ends on 30 June.

"We are therefore almost halfway through that period. We are anxious to get as many responses to the paper as possible, since this is a genuine consultation exercise," he said.

Turning to the Consultation Paper itself, Mr Mathews said some concern had been expressed that an introduction of contingency fees would lead to ambulancechasing and to other unethical practices.

He said: "This assumes that we would have a system similar to that in the United States. This is not the case."

He added that the Consultation Paper made it clear that, if contingency fees were allowed in Hong Kong, they would operate very differently.

He said: "Firstly, under our system of civil litigation, the losing party must normally pay the winning party's costs. This acts as a strong deterrent to speculative litigation. This principle does not apply in the United States.

"Secondly, it is proposed that, if contingency fees were allowed, there should be a code of practice in respect of contingency fees and there should be a limit on the amount by which a lawyer is able to increase his fees for working on a contingency basis."

■L ,... .

Mr Mathews said at present, our law did not generally allow a lawyer to agree to charge a fee only if the case was successful. ,

However, the Supplementary Legal Aid Spheme worked on a contingency basis and worked well, he said.

"Provided the amount chargeable on a contingency basis is adequately controlled, and provided contingency fees are not allowed in respect of certain types of proceedings (particularly criminal cases), there is a case for allowing them to be introduced in Hong Kong. This would increase access to the law for people who cannot now afford to bring legal proceedings," Mr Mathews said.

End/Thursday, May 11, 1995

5

AG's remarks on BMFL case

*****

The following remarks were made by the Attorney General, Mr Jeremy Mathews, at a meeting of the LegCo Panel on Administration of Justice and Legal Services today (Thursday) on the Bumiputra Malaysia Finance Limited case (Graham Grant's Fees):

Before Members conclude their deliberations on this matter, I would like to put to them some basic issues, which I would urge them to give careful consideration.

The basic questions to be addressed are these:

First - was the decision to brief Mr Grant when he left AGC a proper decision or was it a case of "jobs for the boys"?

The Report shows clearly that the decision was the right decision. There was no question of this being "jobs for the boys".

Second - were there inadequacies in our procedures in this case?

The Report reveals some inadequacies in our internal procedures and budgetary arrangements in respect of this case. We had already introduced some improvements and I have now proposed a Working Party to review the briefing out system. I am determined that we will have an efficient and cost-effective system of briefing out, with proper monitoring checks and balances.

Third - And this is, I think, the key issue - did the Government over-pay Mr Grant?

The Report said the fees agreed were "over-generous" and should have been capped. However, the former DPP, in his letter to the Panel, strenuously disputes this. We have sharply divergent views on this. You have pressed me to choose one of these views. So what does this mean? What would have been the right level of fees? There are no hard and fast rules. The Report is silent on this. We are now in the position of using hindsight to second guess the judgement of Mr Wood. On Mr Wood's formula Mr Grant was paid $17.1 million for 33 months work. On the other hand, were Mr Grant's fees to have been capped after 6 months, Mr Grant might have received about $16.2 million - a difference of about $900,000. And we are not comparing like with like. I repeat what I said last week that "cap may not have been a panacea".

6

So was Mr Grant overpaid by $900,000? The whole issue boils down to this. Was $900,000 of taxpayers' money squandered?

The issue is one of fairness - fairness to the taxpayer, fairness to the community on whose behalf these criminal proceedings were instituted, fairness, ultimately, to the . rule of law and the upholding of criminal justice. I know that the Panel will not fail to answer these basic issues in a fair and just manner.

End/Thursday, May 11, 1995

Survey starts on industrial production for 1994

*****

The Census and Statistics Department announced today that the Survey of Industrial Production for 1994 has started. The annual survey is part of a continuous programme to compile statistics on the structure and performance of various economic activities in Hong Kong.

The survey aims to obtain up-to-date statistical data for evaluating the contribution of various industrial activities to Hong Kong's gross domestic product and for ascertaining their cost structure, operating characteristics and output levels. The survey results are useful to both the Government and the private sector in formulating policies and making decisions.

The commissioner for Census and Statistics, Mr Frederick Ho, appealed to the managements of all sampled establishments to fulfil their legal and social responsibilities by returning promptly the completed questionnaires and co-operating with officers of the department in the course of the survey. He stressed that information relating to individual establishments would be treated in strict confidence under the Census and Statistics Ordinance. Only aggregate information that does not reveal details of individual establishments will be released.

Mr Ho also pointed out that audited accounts are not essential for the supply of income and expenditure data required in the survey. The Census and Statistics Department accepts figures based on preliminary accounts or estimates which are correct to the best of the respondents' knowledge at the time of submission of the questionnaire, if audited accounts are not yet available.

7

About 6,500 establishments will be enumerated in the present round of the survey, covering the following industrial activities: manufacturing; mining and quarrying; and electricity, gas and water.

Information to be sought in the survey includes: type of ownership, origin of investment, floor area, employment, compensation of employees (i.e. wages, salaries and other employee benefits), payments for industrial work and industrial services, value of purchases and other expenses, sales and other receipts, capital expenditure and stocks and other related information on the business operation of the establishments.

The survey is conducted under the Census and Statistics (Annual Survey of Industrial Production) (Amendment) Order 1995, which was made under the Census and Statistics Ordinance (Chapter 316) and issued as Legal Notice No. 76 in the Hong Kong Government Gazette on February 17.

Survey questionnaires have been mailed to the sampled establishments. These establishments are required by law to complete and return the questionnaires to the Census and Statistics Department by July 31. If required, officers of the department will visit individual establishments and assist them in completing the questionnaires. These officers will each carry a Government Identity Card and a certificate for conducting the survey whilst on duty, which are available for inspection.

Any enquiries regarding the survey may be directed to the Industrial Production Statistics Section of the Census and Statistics Department on 2839 3230 or 2805 6441.

End/Thursday, May 11, 1995

Public access and broadcasting services channels rejected *****

The Governor-in-Council, having considered the report of the interdepartmental Working Group on Government Broadcast Channels, has decided that neither a public access service nor a public broadcasting service on Wharf Cable’s network, should be pursued.

The provision of up to three broadcast channels for Government use by Wharf Cable is stipulated in the latter's subscription television licence granted in June 1993.

8

A spokesman for the Recreation and Culture Branch explained today (Thursday) that a public access service was in effect a channel allowing members of the public to air their own programmes while a public broadcasting service would be an extension or elaboration, on a dedicated channel, of RTHK's existing programmes broadcast by ATV and TVB.

However, he noted that there were at present ample opportunities and avenues on existing television and radio channels, whether provided by commercial licensees or by RTHK. for community groups and individuals to air their views, voice their opinions and grievances, and obtain public information and knowledge.

"There are nearly 165 hours of such television and radio programmes being aired each week," he stated, adding that public access television was not the only means to achieve the broad objective of providing the public with a forum for the free flow of information and expression.

"These existing means and avenues which is broadcast free, unlike cable television which has a much smaller audience reach, continue to serve the community well.

"Having regard to the available avenues to the public, the Governor-in-Council considered that both the public access service and public broadcasting service did not justify priority spending on a resource allocation basis," he said.

The spokesman said public access television was not found anywhere in Asia. Even in western countries, such as the United States and Canada, the experience has not been entirely a satisfactory or happy one.

More importantly, there are serious practical difficulties involved in establishing and running a public access service in Hong Kong. These are:

* the Administration is obliged to maintain the same quality and standards as existing TV broadcasting licensees to ensure that the service would not be misused for political, commercial or pornographic purposes;

* there would be difficulties in relying on post- broadcast sanctions for persons who might make use of a public access service to defame others, infringe copyright or seriously offend public morals or sensitivities. Prescreening or pre-censoring of programmes, on the other hand, would have Bill of Rights implications for freedom of opinion and expression;

9

* to enforce programme standards and protect the service from use by commercial or other undesirable users, it would be necessary to restrict access to identifiable entities that can be traced for post broadcast sanctions or to registered "bona fide" non- profit organisations only; but this would run contrary to the spirit of having a public access service, namely free access to all, and might have Bill of Rights implications;

* for such a service to operate effectively, it would need legal powers. However, setting up a statutory body would not be cost effective for the sole operation/regulation of one channel. Also, this body might duplicate or conflict with the authority of the Broadcasting Authority especially in areas such as imposing standards and sanctions; and

* experience elsewhere shows that the lack of a sustained public demand for such a service beyond the initial novelty stage might lead to the service being dominated by a few consistent users, thus defeating the purpose of true public access.

As regards the proposal related to the public broadcasting service, the Governor in Council considered that, given the claims for new or additional funding in competing programme areas, further allocation of an additional $61 million in recurrent and another $61 million in capital to establish a dedicated channel could not be justified, particularly in view of the limited reach of Cable, even on full development.

The RTHK, which is funded by the Government under a recurrent provision of $373 million for 1995-96, is already providing a series of public affairs programmes.

The Broadcasting Authority has been consulted and agreed with the recommendations of the Working Group.

End/Thursday, May 11, 1995

- 10 -। y 1/

Shenzhen River Works Stage I Entrustment Agreement signed ♦ ♦ * * *

The Hong Kong Government and the Shenzhen Municipal Government signed an agreement on the Stage I works of the Shenzhen River Regulation Project today (Thursday) in Hong Kong.

The two Governments were represented by Mr Mak Chun- fong, acting Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands; and Mr Yaozhi Tang. Deputy Secretary-General, Shenzhen Municipal Government.

The works will begin on May 19 for completion in May 1997.

The works involve the straightening of two meandering sections of the Shenzhen River near Liu Pok and Lok Ma Chau to alleviate the risk of flooding in the areas on both sides of the river.

The cost of the works will be shared equally between the Hong Kong Government and the Shenzhen Municipal Government.

The works will be wholly entrusted to the Shenzhen Municipal Government. A Joint Working Group has been set up with representatives from both sides, for the river regulation project.

The Joint Working Group has agreed on the detailed arrangements for financial control, payment procedures, site security requirements, and construction and environmental management in relation to the works.

The contractor responsible for the works is a joint venture comprising the China Shenzhen International Co-operation (Group) Company Limited, the China Water and Water Power 13th Engineering Bureau, and the Fourth Harbour Engineering Bureau of the Ministry of Communications.

End/Thursday, May 11, 1995

11

Air Traffic Control Panel meeting ♦ * + ♦ ♦

The Air Traffic Control (ATC) Panel of the Infrastructure Co-ordinating Committee held its first full meeting in Hong Kong today (Thursday).

The Panel members visited the new airport site at Chek Lap Kok this morning and were given a briefing on the progress made in the Airport Core Programme projects. In the afternoon the Panel met and was given a briefing by Director of Civil Aviation regarding future air traffic control procedures for the Chek Lap Kok Airport.

The meeting has further strengthened the communication and understanding between the two sides.

The Panel agreed to report the outcome of this meeting to the Infrastructure Coordinating Committee. Thereafter arrangements will be made for a second meeting.

End/Thursday, May 11, 1995

Grading of beach water quality

♦ * ♦ * ♦

The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) today (Thursday) announced grades on the bacteriological water quality of all bathing beaches in Hong Kong.

The purpose of the grading system is to inform swimmers and the general public about the state of bacteriological pollution at various beaches.

The grading will be announced biweekly during the bathing season to coincide with the frequency at which beach waters are usually sampled.

The grading is based on the most recent data obtained by EPD in its routine monitoring programme.

It gives an estimate on the risk of contracting some minor skin or gastrointestinal illnesses resulted from swimming at a beach with some degree of pollution.

The estimate is based on a large scale epidemiological study carried out in Hong Kong in the past bathing seasons.

12

The grading of some beaches fluctuates during the summer. In most cases, this represents a natural fluctuation in the bacteriological quality of bathing waters as rain and tides bring more or less pollution to the beaches.

Beaches with highly developed hinterlands are likely to be more polluted than the grades suggested during and after heavy rain.

Principal Environmental Protection Officer Dr. Malcolm Broom said: "Bathers should avoid swimming at such beaches for two to three days after a storm, or even longer if the weather remains overcast, shorter if there is strong sunshine."

However, the biweekly grades give a general picture of the most recent water quality at bathing beaches at the time of reporting and form the best available forecast for the immediate future.

The system for grading beach water quality is as follows :

Grade " 1" indicates that the water quality is good. The E. coli count is no more than 24 per 100 millilitres at each beach so graded, and the expected risk of minor illness to swimmers is undetectable.

Grade "2" indicates that the water quality is fair. The E. coli count is no more than 180 per 100 millilitres at each beach so graded, and the expected health risk is no more than 10 cases of minor illness per 1,000 swimmers.

Grade "3" indicates that the water quality is poor. The E. coli count is no more than 610 per 100 millilitres at each beach so graded, and the expected health risk is no more than 15 cases of minor illness per 1,000 swimmers.

Grade "4" indicates that the water quality is very poor. The E. coli count is more than 610 per 100 millilitres at each beach so graded, and the expected health risk is more than 15 cases of minor illness per 1,000 swimmers.

The decision whether or not to close a beach to swimmers is based on a judgement of what degree of pollution is acceptable.

Normally, the closure of a beach would only be considered by the Urban or Regional Council if a grade "4" occurred repeatedly, so that the average health risk over the bathing season exceeded 15 cases per 1,000 swimmers.

13

At present four gazetted beaches, namely Anglers', Castle Peak, Old Cafeteria, and Rocky Bay, are closed to swimmers. The decision to close the beaches has been made by the Regional and Urban Councils on the basis of beach water quality monitoring data for 1994. The public are advised not to swim at these beaches. They are identified by an "X" in the following list.

The grades of the bacteriological water quality of various beaches in Hong Kong today are listed below :

Beach Previous Grading (as at 27.4.95) Present Grading (as at 11.5.95)

Hong Kong South

Big Wave Bay 3 2

Chung Hom Kok 1 1

Deep Water Bay 1 2

Hairpin 1 1

Middle Bay 1 1

Repulse Bay 1 1

ShekO 2 2

South Bay 1 1

St. Stephen’s 1 1

Turtle Cove 1 1

Stanley Main 2 2

Rocky Bay X X

To Tei Wan* 1 1

Tuen Mun District

Golden Beach 3 2

Old Cafeteria X X

New Cafeteria 3 3

Castle Peak X X

Kadoorie 3 2

Butterfly 3 3

14

Sai Kung District

Campers 1

Clear Water Bay 1

1st Beach

Clear Water Bay 1

2nd Beach

Hap Mun Bay 1

Kiu Tsui 1

Pak Sha Chau 1

Silverstrand 2

Trio (Hebe Haven) 1

Islands District

Cheung Sha Upper 1

Cheung Sha Lower 2

Discovery Bay* 2

Hung Shing Yeh 1

Kwun Yam Wan 1

Tong Fuk 1

Lo So Shing 1

PuiO 1

Silvermine Bay 2

Tung Wan, Cheung Chau 1

Tung O* 1

Tsuen Wan District

Anglers' X

Approach 4

Casam 3

Gemini 3

Hoi Mei Wan 3

Lido 3

Ting Kau 4

Tung Wan, Ma Wan 2

1 1

2

1 1

1

2

1

1

2

2 1

1

1

1

2

2

2

1

X

4 3

3 3

3 4

2

Note:

"X" The beach has been closed for swimming purposes.

* Non-gazetted beaches.

15

The following beaches have changed grading on this occasion:

Big Wave Bay, Golden Beach and Kadooric from ”3” to "2" and Deep Water Bay, Clear Water Bay 2nd Beach, Pui O and Tung Wan of Cheung Chau from "1” to ”2”.

The changes are within the normal range of fluctuation of the bacteriological water quality of these beaches.

Attention News Editors :

For further enquiries, please contact Dr Malcolm Broom, Principal Environmental Protection Officer of EPD, on 2835 1234.

End/Thursday, May 11, 1995

38 VMs transferred to Victoria Prison *****

A group of 38 Vietnamese Migrants (VMs), selected for return on an Orderly Repatriation Programme flight next Wednesday (May 17), were transferred from the High Island Detention Centre to Victoria Prison today (Thursday).

Earlier this morning, some 60 VMs climbed on to the rooftop of five huts in the Detention Centre. They set fire to blankets and dropped buckets of hot water, burning charcoal, broken glasses, stones and other hard objects on the officers of the Correctional Services Department (CSD) who entered the camp at 9 am.

Other VMs prevented CSD officers from entering their huts by throwing hard objects.

A total of 44 CSD officers and three Police officers sustained injuries in the five-hour transfer operation, which ended around 2 pm.

As at 3 pm, eight VMs were found to have injuries, of whom two were transferred to hospital.

16

The Refugee Co-ordinator, Mr Brian Bresnihan, said CSD and Police officers had exercised great restraint in carrying out today's operation, which was monitored by representatives of non-govemment organisations (Oxfam and Christian Action) and non-official Justices of the Peace.

"Since Monday (May 8) CSD had done everything possible to persuade those selected for repatriation to come forward voluntarily.

"Forty-three had done so by yesterday afternoon. However, tension mounted in the camp with some 30 VMs climbing on to the rooftops.

"We do not like having to use force but we remain determined to resolve the VM problem as soon as possible. Today's exercise is a measure of that determination," Mr Bresnihan said.

. End/Thursday, May 11, 1995

Lantau Fixed Crossing marine traffic arrangements *****

I

Special marine traffic arrangements will be implemented by the Marine Department at the Kap Shui Mun Channel and the Ma Wan Channel when lifting operations of decks unit of the Kap Shui Mun and Tsing Ma Bridges commence on May 22 and June 30 respectively.

Speaking at a press conference on the special marine traffic arrangements today (Thursday). Senior Marine Officer/Airport and Port Co-ordination, Mr John Lamboum. said the lifting operations for both bridges would be co- ordinated so that they did not take place on the same day.

For the Kap Shui Mun Bridge, a barge starting at each end of the bridge span and transporting the deck units will anchor in the channel under the location where the unit is to be fitted to the bridge.

Mr Lamboum said the anchoring pattern would be four anchors arranged in a 250 metre square configuration.

"Since this will block the majority of the 350 metre wide Kap Shui Mun Channel, the channel will be closed whilst lifting operations are in progress," Mr Lamboum said.

17

It is expected to occur at a frequency of one day per week for about 11 months and there will be one back up day allocated per week to provide an alternative if there are delays or other reasons why the allocated day cannot be used.

Lifting operations are expected to be carried out between 8.30 am and 4.30 pm on week days only.

Mr Lambourn noted: "Traffic which normally uses the Kap Shui Mun Channel will be diverted to use the Ma Wan Channel. This is not .expected to create any marine traffic problems."

He added that there would be two Marine Department and two Marine Police launches on site to assist marine traffic to divert to the Ma Wan Channel.

A trial will be carried out on May 15 and this will involve a barge anchoring on one side of the Kap Shui Mun Channel but will not require the channel to be closed.

For the Tsing Ma Bridge, starting in the middle of the bridge span a barge transporting the deck units will anchor in the channel under the location where the unit is to be fitted to the bridge.

The anchoring pattern will be four anchors arranged in a 250 metre square configuration.

"Since this will only cause a partial obstruction to the about 1.200 metre wide Ma Wan Channel, the channel will remain open for marine traffic, but large oceangoing vessels under pilotage will be affected for the first two months of lifting operations for the Tsing Ma Bridge." said Mr Lambourn.

These operations will be for two days per week for about six months. Lifting operations which must start at low water will be carried out according to tidal conditions which may mean that cither the start or completion will not be possible in daylight.

This will affect vessels calling at the Pearl River ports of Chi Wan. Ma Wan and Shekou plus coal deliveries to l ap Shek Kok Power Station.

There may be some rearrangements necessary for vessel movements associated with the floating dry docks at North l.antau and oil tankers calling at Nga Ying Chau on Tsing Yi Island.

Mr Lambourn said: "The arrangements are not expected to create problems."

18

There will be two Marine Department and two Marine Police launches on site to ensure that there are no marine traffic problems.

A trial will be carried out in early June and this will involve a barge anchoring in the Ma Wan Channel but will not result in disruption to marine traffic.

Mr Lambourn said the programme to fix the dates for lifting operations for both bridges will be announced one month in advance.

Notices To Marines, Marine Department Notices and radio announcements will be issued at monthly intervals informing the days when the Kap Shui Mun Channel will be closed and navigation through the Ma Wan Channel will be affected.

The programme of announced dates will be changed at short notice when disrupted by adverse weather and the passage of typhoons.

Briefings on the arrangements are being given to users of Hong Kong waters.

The Guangzhou Harbour Superintendency Bureau was briefed in January when a Marine Department delegation visited Guangzhou especially to discuss the arrangements.

Mr Lambourn said the barges involving in the lifting operations would display international signals and the anchor positions would be prominently marked with buoys and lights.

When operations are completed for the day, the barge and its anchors will be removed from the channel. The Marine Department will make an announcement on radio and marine traffic can return to normal movements.

End/Thursday, May 11. 1995

19

CS visits Industry Department and factory ♦ * ♦ * *

The Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, today (Thursday) visited the Industry Department at the Quality Services Division offices in Wan chai and also visited a major electronics factory in Yau Tong.

At the Industry Department, Mrs Chan was briefed on the organisation and work of the department.

Accompanied by the Director-General of Industry, Miss Denise Yue, she then toured the Standards and Calibration Laboratory and Product Standards Information Bureau.

The laboratory maintains Hong Kong's primary standards of measurement and provides calibration and measurement services. The bureau provides information and technical advice on standards requirements for industry.

Mrs Chan then departed for Maxtor (Hong Kong) Ltd, a major producer of high-tech surface mount printed circuit boards assemblies for hard disc drives.

The Company won the Governor's Award for Industry in 1993 in both the Productivity category and the Quality category.

At Maxtor. Mrs Chan was briefed by the Managing Director, Mr K W Tse, on the factory's production and products, and toured its production lines on printed circuit board assembly.

End/Thursday. May 11.1995

City University - a university for the future: Governor

*****

Universities play an important role of training the intellect of students to help them comprehend the world they live in and to contribute to its development, the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, said.

Officiating at the City University Inauguration Ceremony today (Thursday), the Governor also said the University, essentially a university for the next century, would be an exciting place to develop concerns for academic, cultural and social values to stimulate the enquiring minds of its students.

20

To accomplish these objectives, Mr Patten said the City University would have to apply scholarly activities for its students to meet the needs of society in Hong Kong.

"It implies being responsive to changing concepts, to technical processes and development, to the changing needs of industry and commerce, and to the changing requirements of the students themselves," he said.

He said the University will also have to educate its students to come to terms with the problems facing society at large in the next century.

These problems include the depletion of natural resources, the growth in population, the revolution in forms of communication and travel, and the intrusion of new technologies into people's lives.

End/Thursday, May 11, 1995

Agricultural delegation departs for Australia on Saturday

*****

A 29-member delegation will depart for Australia and New Zealand on Saturday (May 13) to study agricultural production technology and marketing facilities and services in these two countries.

The two-week long visit is an annual study programme organised since 1977 jointly by the Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD), Vegetable Marketing Organisation (VMO) and the Federation of Vegetable Marketing Co- operative Societies (Federation).

To mark the occasion. AFD's Director Dr Lawrence Lee presented a banner to the delegation at a ceremony held at the department's headquarters this (Thursday) morning.

Speaking at the ceremony. Dr Lee said the objective of the annual event was to offer local farmers an opportunity to study modern techniques and systems of overseas countries' agricultural production and marketing.

He said: "By participating in the delegation, farmers would be able to exchange experience with these countries' agricultural organisations with a view to upgrading farming knowledge and promoting each others' agricultural development."


- 21 -

In the past years, study visits have been organised to countries with advanced agricultural technology and systems, including Japan. Australia, the United States, Britain, France, Holland. Belgium and Israel etc.

Areas to be studied in the forthcoming visit include: vegetable growing techniques and variety selection, post-harvest processing and packaging of vegetables, production and quality control of seeds, control of pests and weeds, as well as facilities and operation of vegetable wholesale markets.

Dr Lee thanked the Australian and New Zealand trade commissions in Hong Kong for assisting in the organisation of the study visit.

Led by the Federation's Chairman Mr Yung Tin-tack and accompanied by AFD's Senior Agricultural Development Officer Mr Chan Chi-chiu, the delegation comprises of three other Marketing Advisory Board members, a VMO manager and 23 local farmers.

The group will visit horticultural and research centres, universities, agricultural product wholesale markets, production areas, and farmers' organisations in cities such as Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland and Wellington.

The delegation is expected to return to Hong Kong on May 27.

End/Thursday. May 11. 1995

Reduction of paging licence fee *****

With a resolution under the Trading Fund Ordinance passed by the Legislative Council yesterday (Wednesday), the Office of the Telecommunications Authority Trading Fund will be established with effect from June 1. 1995.

In order to rebalance income from different categories of telecommunications fees and charges, the Director-General of Telecommunications has announced that paging operators, with effect from June 1. 1995. will be invited to convert their current radio paging system licence into public radiocommunications service licences.

The licence fee for each radio pager under the public radiocommunications sendee licence will be $75. whereas that for a radio paging system licence is $80.

22

"Most customers of paging service will benefit from this reduction of fee, a spokesman for the Office of the Telecommunications Authority said.

"Operators will not be allowed to collect a licence fee higher than that specified in the law. Where the licence fees are absorbed by some operators, we will encourage them to pass the benefit back to the customers.'

End/Thursday, May 11, 1995

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

S million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,404 0930 + 109

Closing balance in the account 2,506 1000 +109

Change attributable to : 1100 + 129

Money market activity + 132 1200 + 129

LAF today -30 1500 + 132

1600 + 132

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 118.2 *+0.2* 11.5.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.59 19 months 2611 6.90 101.19 6.16

1 month 5.59 22 months 2702 7.50 102.21 6.26

3 months 5.68 30 months 3710 7.25 101.87 6.52

6 months 5.78 36 months 3804 6.90 100.82 6.70

12 months 5.91 59 months 5003 7.75 102.74 7.20

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $19,515 million

Closed May 11, 1995

End/Thursday. May 11, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Friday, May 12,1995

Contents Page Nq,

Transcript of the Governor's media session............................... 1

Slope safety measures underway........................................... 3

Use of Chinese in higher Courts.......................................... 5

New provisions to the Code of Practice................................... 7

Accession to the Istanbul Convention..................................... 8

Monitors' report submitted to CS......................................... 9

US bank granted licence to conduct business in HK....................... 10

Reports on vehicle registration tax increase denied.................. 11

Biotechnology Internship Programme well received..................... 11

Tsim Sha Tsui development scheme plan published......................... 12

HK's external trade statistics by country and commodity................. 14

Heritage Trust and Philharmonic Society members appointed............... 24

Rating (Amendment)......

Contents

Page No,

Rating (Amendment) Ordinance 1995 .................................... 24

Report by Standing Commission on Civil Service ready.................. 25

Promotions in the administrative service announced.................... 27

Improvement to roads in Kwun Tong..................................... 27

New clinic for Tseung Kwan O.......................................... 28

Kennedy Town and Mount Davis OZP amended.............................. 29

Land to be resumed for flood control works............................ 30

Eligible electors of old FCs reminded to register..................... 30

Tips for summer job seekers........................................ 31

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations.................. 34

1

Transcript of the Governor’s media session *****

The following is a transcript of the Governor the Rt Hon Christopher Patten’s media session after opening the Methodist Shelter for Domestic Workers today (Friday):

Question: Mr Patten, what is you birthday wish?

Governor: I hope that we have a happy and successful and prosperous year in Hong Kong. I very much enjoy my last year. Hong Kong is a wonderful place to live in and I want it to remain as great a place in the future. I also hope that I’ll have a nice dinner tonight.

Question: As we can remember on your birthday last year, you said that you wanted to meet with Director Lu Ping. But during the last year, your hope hasn’t come true. Are you disappointed with that?

Governor: I think Hong Kong is probably disappointed. As you know under the Airport Memorandum of Understanding, there’s an obligation on us to meet regularly and I think there is a moral obligation on us to try to work together. You look around the world and everywhere else you see people trying to sort out much bigger problems than we have here in Hong Kong. Problems that have often led to bloodshed and disaster. They try to sit down at the table even if they have disagreements and sort things out together. We should be doing that more positively and more constructively here in Hong Kong. So we’ve held out our hand and I hope that one day it will be taken by Chinese officials and that they will hold out their hand as well.

Question: Do you want to receive any present from the Chinese side?

Governor: I don’t think they are likely to send me any presents. They haven’t sent me a present so far. The best present would be the assurance that they would co-operate with the Government of Hong Kong during the transition. It’s puzzling I think for some people that we hear Chinese officials saying again and again that they want to know more about this and more about that, that they want us to work with them more on this and more on that. But here they are, coming to Hong Kong, and they are not talking to the people who are responsible for the Hong Kong Government and administration and will be for the next couple of years. I think people sometimes feel that are rather puzzling contradictions. But even no cake, no card, no present, I very much hope that the Director will have a successful visit to Hong Kong. I hope that the weather will be nice. I hope that he will meet as wide a cross section of the community as possible. I hope he will hear all the voices. And I hope that he will be able to give reassurances about the Court of Final Appeal, about civil service issues, about the financial support agreements which when he was in America he said would be settled within a few days. So I hope he will be able to give some reassurances while he is here. But I hope he will have a successful visit and I hope that very sincerely and I hope he will come more frequently in the future.

2

Question: On the court of Final Appeal, will the next round of Joint Liaison Group talks later this month be the last before Government puts through the Bill on the Court of Final Appeal?

Governor: I would like to think that there could be an agreement at those talks. In which case they would be the last. We're trying to find a way forward with the Chinese side and with the whole community. As you know the Chinese side have had the Bill for a year and they still haven't said in what way the Bill differs from the agreement that we reached in 1991. And it was an agreement. The Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom and the PRC, had you remember met in Peking and they discussed this matter and following that meeting there was an agreement in the JLG and it's only recently that one or two Chinese officials have rather puzzled the rest of us by saying "Oh, no, it wasn't really an agreement at all." When is an agreement not an agreement. It was an agreement and I think that the people of Hong Kong expect me to implement it and get the court set up in good time before 1997.

Question: If there is no agreement, will you shoot through ...

Governor: I always try to be positive. One of my resolutions now I am 51, even more positive. So all I will say is that all of us are very curious about what it is that the Chinese side find difficult about our Bill. Why not ask them?

Question: Governor Patten, in the case of Mr Li Kwan-ha, the ex-Police Commissioner, will the Government take any action against him?

Governor: What we are doing at the moment is trying to find out what exactly the facts are. We take an issue like this very seriously. The rules for civil servants and for all public servants are very clear. There is no doubt about them. And they are clear for an excellent reason. When civil servants retire many of them still have many years of service which they can provide to the private sector in the community. And they've gone on from the time in the civil service and they've done outstanding jobs elsewhere in the community. We can all think of some who are doing that today. What the community needs is the reassurance that any move to the private sector will be entirely above-board. They don't want to think that there would have been or could have been any conflicts of interests in a public servant's career. And it's imperative that we do everything possible to retain the confidence of the community in those arrangements. It's unfair to other public servants if those arrangements are brought into dispute, if they are shadowed by controversy. So, we've doing what you expect us to do. We're making enquiries to find out what exactly has happened in this case and I very much hope that at the end of the day we'll find that what has been done has been within the letter and the spirit of the very clear rules that are in place for all public servants. I repeat that it's not an insignificant issue. It matters for the community and it matters for all those excellent serving members of the disciplined forces, it matters for all those serving civil servants who can contribute more after their retirement from the public service to the community and want to be able to do so in a way the rest of the community can feel is without any compromise of their position as public servants.

3

Question: Does Mr Li do anything that’s...

Governor: I repeat what I said. We are trying to establish what the facts are and it would be totally wrong of me to comment on an individual case before we knew all the facts. But the general principles are absolutely plain. The rules are clear and every public servant has to abide by them.

End/Friday, May 12, 1995

Slope safety measures underway ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A package of measures recommended following an extensive review of the slope safety programme by the Works Branch are being implemented, the Secretary for Works, Mr James Blake, said today (Friday).

Speaking at a press conference to launch a Slope Maintenance Campaign, Mr Blake said the measures include:

* acceleration of the Landslip Preventive Measures (LPM) Programme;

extension of the LPM Programme to include slopes close to busy roads and footpaths;

review of the system for classifying slopes according to consequence of failure;

* promotion of slope maintenance; and

* maintenance of buried services affecting slope safety.

Elaborating on the measures, Mr Blake said acceleration of the LPM Programme was aimed at completing the studies and the necessary upgrading work of 10,000 man-made slopes listed in the 1978 Catalogue by the year 2000, 10 years earlier than the target date.

Additional staff resources had been allocated to the Geotechnical Engineering Office (GEO) and the Buildings Department (BD) for this task. These included 133 new posts in the GEO and 27 in the BD. In addition, the capital cost would be in the order of $1.3 billion.

The LPM Programme had been extended in scope to include the upgrading of slopes close to busy roads and footpaths. A modified priority system was being worked out by the GEO to give the appropriate order of priority for investigation and upgrading.

4

A comprehensive review of the consequence-to-life categorisation for slopes had been carried out. The term "low" for the middle category of consequence would be revised accordingly. This would not affect Government's decision to include slopes close to busy roads and footpaths in the LPM Programme.

Mr Blake pointed out that approval had been given and additional funds had been obtained for stepping up the publicity campaign on slope maintenance.

Leaflets, posters and an animated 30-second TV Announcement of Public Interest (API) on slope maintenance had been produced.

The GEO would also assist the Home Affairs Department to produce a promotional video on building management to explain to Owners' Corporations and Mutual Aid Committees that it was the responsibility of property owners to carry out maintenance of slopes within their property lots.

Geotechnical guidelines on slope maintenance, for use by professionals, and the layman's guide to Slope Maintenance were being prepared and would be published later in the year.

The Works Branch had set up a working group on maintenance of buried services with participation of the Planning, Environment and Lands Branch, BD, Housing Department, GEO, Drainage Services Department, Highways Department, Water Supplies Department and Architectural Services Department.

An Advisory Note has been prepared covering inspection and repair of buried services where leakages might have an impact on slope safety. This will be issued to Owners' Corporations, Mutual Aid Committees, authorised persons and registered structural engineers.

In addition, further detailed consideration was being given to development of a register of the maintenance responsibilities for all man-made slopes and ways of strengthening geotechnical control of slopes on privately- occupied land through legislation.

Speaking of flood control in the New Territories, Mr Blake pointed out that projects being implemented by the Drainage Services Department, at a total estimated cost of about $5 billion, comprised main river training works for the Shenzhen River, the Shan Pui River and the Kam Tin River, and flood protection schemes for low-lying flood prone villages.

A total of 15 such schemes were in operation.

5

Special arrangements were being put in place to monitor the progress on land acquisition, a critical factor in delivering the flood control projects on programme.

Short-term improvement and management measures were being taken to alleviate flooding, including local drainage improvement works, maintenance activities to prevent drain blockages, surveillance activities to ensure that the integrity of the drainage system was preserved, and installation of local flood warning systems to alert the residents of flood prone villages.

Most of these activities were carried out on a continuous basis and action was stepped up before and during the rainy season each year. Some $140 million had been spent on these activities during the past two years, and $90 million were being spent this year.

Works departments also monitor flood inducing activities connected with construction sites.

Before the rainy season, reminders would be sent to engineers, authorised persons, consultants and contractors in charge of construction sites requesting their cooperation in exercising strict control of their construction activities.

A wide range of flood preventive measures had been completed at the Tuen Mun (Fu Tei) Pumping Station.

These include installation of flood alarms and raising of concrete side walls to drainage channels, building raised concrete curbs and flood gates around the station, and installation of large capacity sump pumps in the basement of the station.

’’With these measures in place, we are confident that the station will not be flooded again during heavy rain,” Mr Blake noted.

During the press conference, the TV API and slides on slope maintenance were shown.

End/Friday. May 12, 1995

Use of Chinese in higher Courts *****

The Official Languages (Amendment) Bill 1995 which seeks to remove the present restriction on the use of Chinese in the higher courts was published in the Gazette today (Friday). It will be introduced into the Legislative Council on May 24.

6

At present, the proceedings in the magistrates courts and some tribunals may be conducted in either English or Chinese. However, the Official Languages Ordinance specifies that proceedings in the Court of Appeal, the High Court, the District Court and certain tribunals may be conducted only in English.

"The proposed Bill will enable the judge presiding over a court hearing to use either English or Chinese," a Government spokesman said.

"However, the judge’s choice of the language will not dictate what language a party, a legal representative or a witness is to use.

"Like the judge, lawyers representing the parties will be allowed to use either English or Chinese. A party to the hearing will also be allowed to issue a writ or file a defence or notice of appeal in either language as well.

"Furthermore, a party or a witness may continue to use either English or Chinese, or even another language, when attending a court hearing." he said.

The wider use of Chinese in judicial proceedings will require additional facilities and expertise.

Interpretation and translation services will be provided as required, and the written transcription will be prepared in either English or Chinese as the court thinks fit.

The Executive Council has endorsed an eight-phase implementation strategy recommended by the Chief Justice’s Steering Committee on Use of Chinese in Courts.

The spokesman said the pace of the phased implementation would be decided by the Chief Justice, who would take into account the experience gained from a series of trial schemes due to start in August.

"The aim is to put in place a framework which allows the use of Chinese, along with English, in all judicial proceedings in Hong Kong before July 1. 1997," the spokesman said.

"This reform will give an option to those people who feel that justice is best served by the use of Chinese, rather than English, in their cases. This is in line with the Government's bilingual policy," he added.

End/Friday. May 12, 1995

7

New provisions to the Code of Practice *****

At its meeting held on May 11, the Broadcasting Authority (BA) decided to add new provisions to the Code of Practice on Programme Standards to regulate the presentation of hypnotism and superstition on television and radio.

The BA spokesman explained that these changes arose from the mid-term review of the commercial television licences conducted in 1994.

"A similar provision already exists in the code for subscription television. On equity grounds, the same provision should be made to apply to terrestrial and satellite television,” she continued. "The Broadcasting Authority wants licensees to be careful when dealing with the subject of hypnotism and to avoid causing any possible adverse impact on the audience,” she said.

Another new provision, which will be introduced across the board to television and radio alike, concerns the promotion of harmful superstition and supernatural beliefs.

"Broadcasters are advised not to encourage people to treat psychic or occult practices as commonly accepted appraisals of life or exact sciences in broadcasting. They must exercise due care to avoid causing undesirable emotional disturbances in children and young people," the spokesman cautioned.

She said the amendments to the Codes of Practice will take effect from May 15.

The BA considered a total of 72 complaints at the meeting.

Metro Broadcasts was seriously warned for including indirect advertising elements for a property exhibition in its programme "Enjoy Yourself This Morning" broadcast on FM Select. The offer of a guaranteed percentage of return in investment in property or a guaranteed rental return was also in breach of the advertising code.

The BA issued two serious warnings to ATV for the broadcast of a programme promo for "Just Wanna Have Fun" and the film "A Moment of Romance II" on the Home service during the family viewing hours.

The promo contained some nudity and material of an adult-nature and the film featured some prolonged and excessively violent sequences which constituted unsuitable material for children’s viewing and should not have been broadcast on television between 4 pm and 8.30 pm.

8

A drama serial "lenakiko" broadcast during the family viewing hours on ATV Home channel was considered to be problematic.

The spokesman explained that the drama contained a lot of unsuitable children material which might have some harmful effect on children. The dishonest and revengeful acts; and in particular the suicidal attempts of a small girl might invite imitation. Some violent scenes might unnerve and unsettle young viewers.

TVB was strongly advised to observe the code in portraying superstitious elements. The BA considered that the portrayal in the drama serial "A Change of Fate” broadcast on Jade during the family viewing hours might arouse fear and anxiety in young viewers.

The BA also studied a report on the provision of subtitles to programmes on commercial television and was happy to note that both ATV and TVB had increased the presentation of subtitles for news programmes on their Chinese services.

“This is a welcome initiative for those who are hard of hearing," the spokesman said.

The BA also reviewed the first public hearing on the mid-term review of the licence of the Hong Kong Commercial Broadcasting Company Limited (CRHK) held on May 8 and made an appeal to those who missed the first to go to the second public hearing scheduled for Thursday (May 18), at the Hong Kong Science Museum from 6.30 pm to 9.30 pm.

End/Friday, May 12, 1995

Accession to the Istanbul Convention

*****

Hong Kong will become a contracting party to the Convention on Temporary Admission of Goods with effect from Monday (May 15), a Government spokesman announced today (Friday).

"Among contracting parties, the trade declaration requirement for certain goods for temporary admission will be waived," the spokesman said.

The Convention was signed at Istanbul in 1990 to facilitate the temporary admission of goods by waiving all import taxes or duties and certain customs formalities.

9

"The Convention is commonly known as the Istanbul Convention. It was adopted by the World Customs Organisation to consolidate a number of pre-existing conventions concerning the temporary admission of goods," he added.

Most of the pre-existing conventions are already applicable to Hong Kong.

"Hong Kong does not charge any import taxes or duties. Certain goods for temporary admission are already exempted from the trade declaration requirement.

"To comply fully with the obligations under the Istanbul Convention, we have amended the Import and Export (Registration) Regulation to waive the trade declaration requirements for the temporary admission of broadcasting equipment and means of transport," he said.

The spokesman added that the Amendment Regulation would take effect on May 15.

"Apart from waiving the trade declaration requirements, the Istanbul Convention also requires contracting parties to accept the use of certain customs papers called ATA carnets issued by members of the International Chamber of Commerce as substitutes for trade declarations to facilitate temporary admission of goods," the spokesman said.

To tie in with the accession, the spokesman said "the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce will be issuing ATA carnets for the purposes of the Istanbul Convention with effect from May 15, 1995".

"Hong Kong's accession to the Istanbul Convention will facilitate the expansion of Hong Kong's external trade and enhance our competitiveness in the international trade arena," the spokesman said.

"It will also enable Hong Kong to participate actively in the development of customs procedures through the World Customs Organisation."

End/Friday, May 12, 1995

Monitors' report submitted to CS * * * * ♦

The monitors appointed to observe the Orderly Repatriation Programme (ORP) operation yesterday (Thursday) have submitted their report to the Chief Secretary today (Friday).

10

The four monitors were two Justices of the Peace, Mr Chow Chun-fai and Mr Hui Chun-fui, Mr Edward Chan Chai-shi from Oxfam and Mr Surya Rao from Christian Action.

They observed the transfer of 38 Vietnamese migrants (VMs) from High Island Detention Centre to Victoria Prison yesterday.

The monitors described the operation as having been carried out "without any major incidents". They observed that throughout the operation, the disciplined forces acted with restraint and patience and adopted a passive and self-protective approach towards the VMs.

End/Friday, May 12, 1995

US bank granted licence to conduct business in HK *****

A Government spokesman said today (Friday) that NBD Bank (NBDB) had been granted a banking licence to conduct business in Hong Kong.

NBDB is a wholly-owned subsidiary of NBD Bancorp, Inc., a bank holding company. NBD Bancorp, Inc. is the 18th largest banking group in the USA and ranks 95th in the world in terms of capital. NBDB operates 328 domestic branches and has overseas branches in the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and Australia.

In Hong Kong, NBDB opened a representative office in 1976. The office was upgraded to a restricted licence bank in 1991 to take over the deposit-taking business of its wholly-owned subsidiary, NBD Asia Ltd.

The bank believes that by further upgrading its operations to a licensed bank, it would be able to provide a fuller range of commercial banking services to its customers.

The principal business of the proposed branch will include trade financing, commercial lending and deposit services.

The spokesman said the continuing interest of foreign banks in entering the local market reflected Hong Kong's continued importance and attractiveness as a major international financial centre. The licence for NBDB is the third banking licence granted in 1995.

There are now 182 licensed banks in Hong Kong, of which 151 are incorporated outside the territory.

End/Friday, May 12, 1995

11

Reports on vehicle registration tax increase denied

*****

In response to media enquiries, a Transport Branch spokesman today (Friday) described as pure speculation reports in a few Chinese newspapers that the Government would increase dramatically vehicle first registration taxes and annual licence fees next year.

On electronic road pricing, he said it was too early to say how much it would cost to implement the scheme as a technical consultancy study on the proposal had yet to be conducted.

A consultant for the study was expected to be selected in a few months’ time, he

added.

He said the Government was still putting together the package of proposals to tackle traffic congestion taking into account views expressed by the public during the consultation period.

"An announcement will be made within the next few months," the spokesman said.

End/Friday, May 12, 1995

Biotechnology Internship Programme well received ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Biotechnology Internship Programme had received encouraging response from the industry and tertiary and research institutions, with the number of internship places offered increased from 15 last year to more than 40 this year, the Assistant Director-General of Industry, Mr Raymond Young, said today (Friday).

Organised by the Biotechnology Committee of the Industry and Technology Development Council (ITDC), the programme is aimed at upgrading manpower resources for the emerging biotechnology industry in Hong Kong by allowing local tertiary students to acquire industrial exposure prior to their graduation.

"The Internship Programme is organised for the second time this year following the successful completion of the Programme last year. The Biotechnology Committee concluded after a review that the training scheme was successful in better preparing Hong Kong's tertiary students to meet the requirement of the industry," Mr Young said.

12

"The number of co-sponsoring companies/organisations have also doubled from seven last year to 14 this year.

’’Leading biotechnology-related companies such as Amoy Industries (International) Ltd and Amersham (Far East) Trading Ltd have joined the programme for the first time.

’’Companies such as Bio-Rad Pacific Ltd. and Hoe Hin Pak Fah Yoew Manufactory Ltd have joined the programme again this year in view of the good performance of the students last year.”

Research institutions such as the Hong Kong Institute of Biotechnology, the University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology had also offered industry-related applied research and development (R&D) projects for interns, Mr Young added.

In addition, he said, the Hong Kong Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association had taken a lead and co-ordinated its members to offer four postings for interns.

’’Nine of the interns will be sent overseas, such as in China, Australia, Taiwan and Singapore,” he said.

As in last year, co-sponsoring companies/institutions will be required to contribute at least 50 per cent of the cost of their respective programmes.

"In view of the favourable response, the ITDC has advised that the BC should continue to run the programme in the next three years," Mr Young said.

The 1995 Biotechnology Internship Programme will be implemented between June 15 and September.

End/Friday, May 12, 1995 fj • '•

... • » v ■ a • ■ . . V1

' ' '■ ' । ' * K

Tsim Sha Tsui development scheme plan published i

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

> . ■

The Town Planning Board today (Friday) announced the publication of the draft Land Development Corporation (LDC) Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui Development Scheme Plan and the associated Land Use Diagram for a proposed redevelopment scheme in the central part of Tsim Sha Tsui.

The Scheme area, with an area of about 0.76 hectares, is bounded by Hanoi Road, Mody Road, Bristol Avenue, Cornwall Avenue and Carnarvon Road. Most of the buildings in the area which is in acute shortage of parking and loading and unloading spaces are five to seven storey composite buildings completed in the 1950’s. >

13

"The Scheme area is designated as 'Comprehensive Development Area' to facilitate the LDC to undertake comprehensive redevelopment for the area," a spokesman for the Town Planning Board said.

"The Scheme Plan provides a planning framework fro the redevelopment of the Scheme area by restructuring the existing land uses and street patterns. The proposed redevelopment, as shown on the Land Use Diagram, will comprise commercial and public open space uses. The development is envisaged to be in the form of an office and/or hotel tower block(s) above a retail and/or commercial podium. Apart from the provision of lay-bys for private cars, taxis and coaches, parking spaces and loading and unloading facilities would be provided at basement levels to improve the local traffic circulation," he added.

To achieve efficiency in land use, Cornwall Avenue will be closed and turned into a landscaped area. Upon redevelopment, a minimum of 1,200 square metres public open space, including the landscaped area, will be provided at street and podium levels.

LDC will be required to submit a master layout plan for the Scheme area to the Town Planning Board for approval.

The draft Scheme Plan (No. S/K1/LDC1/1) is now available for public inspection until July 12 at:

* Planning Department, 16th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong;

. * Kowloon District Planning Office, 11th floor, Leighton Centre, 77 Leighton Road, Hong Kong; and

♦ Yau Tsim Mong District Office, sixth floor, Mong Kok Government Offices, 30 Luen Wan Street, Mong Kok, Kowloon.

14

Any person affected by the Scheme Plan may submit written objection to the Secretary of the Town Planning Board, c/o Planning Department, 13th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong on or before July 12. ,

Copies of the draft Scheme Plan are available for sale at the Survey and Mapping Office, Lands Department, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong and Kowloon Map Sales Office, ground floor, 382 Nathan Road, Kowloon.

.... . ... • E . • '

End/Friday, May 12, 1995

\ । . -<C F'/.f .

*

HK’s external trade statistics by country and commodity ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Census and Statistics Department today (Friday) released detailed statistics on external trade with breakdown by country/territory and commodity for March 1995.

The value of re-exports continued to increase substantially, by 22% over a year • earlier to $86.9 billion in March 1995.

Comparing March 1995 with March 1994, the value of re-exports to all of the main destinations showed increases of various magnitudes: Japan (+46%), Canada (+34%), Singapore (+30%), the Netherlands (+26%), the United States (+24%), the United Kingdom (+20%), Taiwan (+19%), China (+15%), Germany (+14%) and i South Korea (+4.5%).

Changes in the value of Hong Kong’s re-exports to 10 main destinations are shown in Table 1.

The value of re-exports in the first quarter of 1995 was $240.1 billion, 22% higher than that in the same period in 1994.

Comparing the first quarter of 1995 with the same period in 1994, the value of re-exports to all main destinations showed increases of various magnitudes: Japan (+32%), Singapore (+30%), Canada (+30%), Taiwan (+24%), China (+22%), the Netherlands (+22%), the United States (+21%), South Korea (+17%), the United Kingdom (+7.7%) and Germany (+3.6%).

Table 2 shows changes in the value of re-exports of 10 principal commodity divisions.

- 15 -

Comparing the first quarter of 1995 with the same period in 1994, 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 $8.3 billion or 43%); electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $7.7 billion or 45%); miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of baby carriages, toys, games and sporting goods (by $5.3 billion or 25%); textiles (by $5.3 billion or 34%); office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $3.9 billion or 51%); and photographic apparatus, equipment and supplies, optical goods, watches and clocks (by $2.2 billion or 26%).

Over the same period, a decrease in the value of re-exports was recorded for clothing (by $724 million or 3.6%).

The value of domestic exports in March 1995, at $17.6 billion, increased by 11% over a year earlier.

Comparing March 1995 with March 1994, increases were recorded in the value of domestic exports to Japan (+33%), Taiwan (+26%), Canada (+16%), the United Kingdom (+16%), the Philippines (+14%), the United States (+10%), the Netherlands (+8.8%) and China (+3.9%).

However, the value of domestic exports to Singapore and Germany decreased slightly by 0.7% and 0.5% respectively.

Changes in the value of domestic exports to 10 main destinations are shown in Table 3.

Comparing the first quarter of 1995 with the same period in 1994, the value of domestic exports to most main destinations showed increases of various magnitudes: Japan (+35%), Taiwan (+19%), the Philippines (+16%), the Netherlands (+14%), Singapore (+13%), Canada (+12%), the United States (+11%), China (+11%) and the United Kingdom (+6.6%).

However, the value of domestic exports to Germany decreased slightly by 1.8%.

Taking all destinations together, the value of domestic exports in the first quarter of 1995, at $50.6 billion, increased markedly, by 13% over the same period in 1994.

Table 4 shows changes in the value of domestic exports of 10 principal commodity divisions.

16

Comparing the first quarter of 1995 with the same period in 1994, increases of various magnitudes were recorded in the value of domestic exports of all principal commodity divisions. More notable increases were registered for electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $1.4 billion or 26%); office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $1.3 billion or 34%); clothing (by $1.3 billion or 9.9%); photographic apparatus, equipment and supplies, optical goods, watches and clocks (by $610 million or 19%); plastics in primary forms (by $278 million or 34%); professional, scientific and controlling instruments and apparatus (by $232 million or 54%); and miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of jewellery, goldsmiths' and silversmiths' wares (by $213 million or 5.0%).

The value of imports continued to increase substantially, by 26% over a year earlier to $121.6 billion in March 1995.

Changes in the value of imports from 10 main suppliers are shown in Table 5.

>

Comparing March 1995 with March 1994, the value of imports from all main suppliers showed increases of various magnitudes: Singapore (+62%), Malaysia (+52%), South Korea (+37%), the United States (+32%), Taiwan (+29%), China (+27%), Japan (+17%), the United Kingdom (+14%), France (+7.5%) and Germany (+6.7%).

Comparing the first quarter 1995 with the same period in 1994, the value of imports from all main suppliers showed increases of various magnitudes: France (+86%), Singapore (+58%), Malaysia (+42%), South Korea (+39%), the United States (+30%), Taiwan (+29%), Japan (+24%), China (+23%), the United Kingdom (+19%) and Germany (+17%).

The value of imports in the first quarter of 1995, at $326.3 billion, increased markedly, by 27% over the same period in 1994.

Table 6 shows changes in the value of imports of 10 principal commodity divisions.

Comparing the first quarter of 1995 with the same period in 1994, increases were recorded in the value of imports of all principal commodity divisions. More notable increases were registered for electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $11.5 billion or 41%); telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $8.9 billion or 36%); textiles (by $6.9 billion or 29%); office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $4.4 billion or 49%); miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of baby carriages, toys, games and sporting goods (by $3.8 billion or 23%); photographic apparatus, equipment and supplies, optical goods, watches and clocks (by $2.7 billion or 23%); and footwear (by $1.8 billion or 16%).

17

All the trade statistics described here are measured at current prices and no account has been taken of changes in prices between the periods of comparison.

A separate analysis of the volume and price movements of external trade for March 1995 will be released early next month.

Detailed trade statistics analysed by commodity and by country/ territory are published in trade statistics reports.

The March 1995 issue of the "Hong Kong External Trade" with detailed analyses on the performance of Hong Kong's external trade in March 1995 will be available for sale at $122 per copy around May 23.

The report can be purchased either at the Government Publications Centre, ground floor, Low Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong • Kong, or the Publications Section of the Census and Statistics Department, 19th Floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

Enquiries regarding regular subscription to this report may be directed to the Publications (Sales) Office, 28th Floor, Siu On Centre, 188 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong (Tel No. 2598 8194) and enquiries on trade statistics to the Census and Statistics Department (Tel No. 2582 4915).

18

TABLE 1 : RE-EXPORTS TO TEN MAIN DESTINATIONS

DESTINATION MAR • 1995 (HKD Mn.) MAR 95 OVER MAR 94 (% CHANGE) JAN-MAR 1995 (HKD Md.) JAN-MAR 95 OVER JAN-MAR 94 (% CHANGE)

CHINA 32,778 + 15.5 84,572 + 21.8

UNITED STATES 16,032 ♦ 24.0 47,297 + 21.1

JAPAN 5,541 + 45.8 14,695 + 31.8

GERMANY 3,303 + 13.9 9,995 + 3.6

TAIWAN 2,253 + 18.9 6,256 + 24.4

UNITED KINGDOM 2,198 + 19.8 6,252 + 7.7

SINGAPORE 2,021 + 30.4 5,602 ♦ 30.3

SOUTH KOREA 1,603 + 4.5 4,454 + 16.9

NETHERLANDS 1,255 ♦ 25.9 3,721 + 21.5

CANADA 1,164 + 34.1 3,652 + 30.1

19

TABLE 2 : RE-EXPORTS OF TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

COMMODITY DIVISION MAR 1995 (HKD Mn.) MAR 95 OVER MAR 94 (% CHANGE) JAN-MAR 1995 (HKD Ma.) JAN-MAR 95 OVER JAN-MAR 94 (% CHANGE)

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 9,632 + 38.2 27,816 + 42.6

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY BABY CARRIAGES, TOYS, GAMES AND SPORTING GOODS) 9,307 ♦ 28.3 26,482 + 25.1

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 8,724 + 35.9 24,593 + 45.4

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP

ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 8,282 + 32.2 21,058 + 33.5

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING

ACCESSORIES 6,345 + 15.7 19,424 - 3.6

FOOTWEAR 4,430 + 19.5 14,207 + 16.4

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 4,397 + 58.8 11,609 , + 51.2

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 3,830 * 27.0 I 10,736 + 25.9

TRAVEL GOODS, HANDBAGS AND SIMILAR CONTAINERS 2,693 + 30.5 7,573 + 18.4

GENERAL INDUSTRIAL MACHINERY AND EQUIPMENT4, AND MACHINE PARTS 2,820 + 21.9 6,852 + 23.8

20

TABLE 3 : DOMESTIC EXPORTS TO TEN MAIN DESTINATIONS

DESTINATION MAR . 1995 (HKD Mn.) MAR 95 OVER MAR 94 (% CHANGE) JAN-MAR 1995 (HKD Mn.) JAN-MAR 95 OVER JAN-MAR 94 (% CHANGE)

CHINA 5,211 ♦ 3.9 13,700 + 10.6

UNITED STATES 4,052 + 10.4 12,218 + 10.9

SINGAPORE 1,055 - 0.7 3,119 + 13.2

JAPAN 1,200 + 33.3 3,068 + 35.4

GERMANY 756 - 0.5 2,588 - 1.8

UNITED KINGDOM 726 + 15.5 2,229 + 6.6

TAIWAN 630 + 26.1 1,642 + 18.9

NETHERLANDS 364 + 8.8 1,158 + 14.0

CANADA 277 * 16.3 952 + 11.6

PHILIPPINES 295 + 13.9 772 + 16.4

21

TABLE 4 : DOMESTIC EXPORTS OF TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

COMMODITY DIVISION ■ < • MAR 1995 (HKD Mn.) MAR 95 OVER MAR 94 (% CHANGE) JAN-KAR 1995 (HKD Mn.) • JAN-MAR 95 OVER JAN-MAR 94 (% CHANGE)

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING

ACCESSORIES 4,327 + 19.5 14,132 + 9.9

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARIS THEREOF 2,373 + 13.0 6,610 + 25.9

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 1,759 + 23.4 4,994 + 34.3

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY JEWELLERY, GOLDSMITHS' AND SILVERSMITHS' WARES) 1,682 + 1.5 4,448 + 5.0

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 1,352 + 16.6 3,866 + 18.7

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP

ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS .1,205 + 2.4 3,169 + 0.3

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 903 - 12.8 j 2,617 ’ + 5.4

PLASTICS IN PRIMARY FORMS 413 + 21.7 1,091 + 34.2

MANUFACTURES OF METALS 425 ■- +’ 12.1 1,058 + 3.6

PROFESSIONAL, SCIENTIFIC AND CONTROLLING INSTRUMENTS AND APPARATUS 250 + 68.9 658 + 54.4

TABLE 5 : IMPORTS FROM TEN MAIN SUPPLIERS

SUPPLIER MAR 1995 (HKD Mn.) MAR 95 OVER MAR 94 (% CHANGE) JAN-MAR 1995 (HKD Mn,) JAN-MAR 95 OVER JAN-MAR 94 (% CHANGE)

CHINA 42,758 + 26.8 115,350 + 23.5

JAPAN 19,528 + 17.2 51,302 + 24.3

TAIWAN 11,133 + 28.8 28,297 + 28.5

UNITED STATES 8,870 + 31.7 23,948 + 30.0

SINGAPORE ’ 6,557 + 62.2 17,631 + 57.5

SOUTH KOREA 6,374 + 37.0 16,623 + 38.7

GERMANY 2,619 + 6.7 7,308 + 17.2

UNITED KINGDOM 2,289 4 14.0 6,497 + 18.5

FRANCE 1,461 + 7.5 6,429 + 85.5

MALAYSIA 2,190 + 52.1 6,049 .+ 42.3

I j

23

TABLE 6 : IMPORTS OF TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

COMMODITY DIVISION MAR 1995 (HKD Mn.) MAR 95 OVER MAR 94 (% CHANGE) JAN-MAR 1995 (HKD Mn.) JAN-MAR 95 OVER JAN-MAR 94 (% CHANGE)

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 14,067 + 30.9 39,482 + 41.1

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 11,563 + 26.6 Jr 33,334 >. • + 36.2

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 12,151 + 27.9 30,358 + 29.4

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY BABY CARRIAGES, TOYS, GAMES AND SPORTING GOODS) 7,797 + 25.1 20,566 + 22.7

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 7,529 16.1 20,276 + 2.7

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 5,298 + 17.0 14,484 + 23.3

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 5,034 + 45.8 i 13,581 + 48.7

FOOTWEAR 4,281 • + 18.4 12,533 + 16.4

ROAD VEHICLES 4,468 + 6.3 11,164 + 4.4

NON-METALLIC MINERAL MANUFACTURES 4,368 + 16.7 10,649 + 14.1

End/Friday, May 12, 1995

24

Heritage Trust and Philharmonic Society members appointed * ♦ ’

The Governor has appointed Mr Andrew Dixon as a member of the Council of the Lord Wilson Heritage Trust.

Mr Dixon’s term will run from May 1, 1995, to March 31, 1997.

It is also announced that Mr Vincent Chow Wing-shing has been appointed a member of the General Committee of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Society with effect from June 1 until further notice.

The above appointments are published in the Government gazette today (Friday).

End/Friday, May 12, 1995

Rating (Amendment) Ordinance 1995 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Certain provisions contained in the Rating (Amendment) Ordinance 1995 were gazetted to come into effect today (Friday).

The new ordinance streamlines procedures and the administration of the rating system.

• ■ ■ ...

’’Various technical amendments have been introduced today to streamline the procedures for rates assessment, service of notices and rating appeals,” a spokesman for the Rating and Valuation Department said.

"For instance, to avoid ambiguity, appeal procedures will now follow the provisions of the Lands Tribunal Ordinance and Rules.

"To help contain costs being awarded against them, parties to an appeal before the Lands Tribunal may, before the appeal is decided, lodge a sealed offer of settlement.

* • V 1 ’• \' *• ''. .... , •

"Additionally, when ratepayers appeal to the Lands Tribunal, the Commissioner of Rating and Valuation may allow in certain circumstances payment of all or part of the rates to be held over, pending a decision on the appeal.”

The spokesman explained that the other major changes would probably take place on July 1.

25

"It is planned that the Commissioner of Rating and Valuation would take over the responsibility for rates billing and collection from the Treasury on 1 July 1995," the spokesman said.

Currently the Commissioner is responsible for the assessment of rateable values, and the Treasury, for the billing and collection of rates.

"This segregation of responsibility is inefficient and ratepayers are often unsure which department they should contact in case of enquiries", the spokesman said.

"The transfer of responsibility will optimise the resources of the Treasury and the Rating and Valuation Department and enable the Commissioner to provide a one-stop service for ratepayers."

Another change scheduled for July 1 is the abolition of the half refund of rates presently allowed for vacant non- domestic premises. However vacant open land and vacancies resulting from court orders obtained by the Government will remain eligible for full refunds.

"Ratepayers are reminded that for the time being the existing procedures for vacancy refunds continue," the spokesman said.

"Ratepayers must serve a notice in writing not later than the 15th day of the month for which they intend to claim a refund."

"New non-domestic properties assessed to rates after the date of cancellation (probably July 1, 1995), but whose effective date of interim valuation is before that date, may still claim refunds for vacant periods before the abolition," the spokesman added.

Ratepayers of vacant properties in the department's register at the date of abolition will be individually notified of the changes. If members of the public wish to have more information, they can contact the department on 2805 7666.

End/Friday, May 12, 1995

Report by Standing Commission on Civil Service ready *****

The Standing Commission on Civil Service Salaries and Conditions of Service, chaired by Sir Sidney Gordon, has published its progress report for 1994 (Report No. 31).

26

During the year, the Commission tendered advice on four improvement proposals made by the Administration dealing with individual grades.

These include the creation of a new Primary School Master grade in the Education Department and a new rank of Assistant Cartographer in the Cartographer grade; the implementation of alternative appointment requirements for Personal Secretary II and the introduction of a special allowance for the Social Secretary and Housekeeper in Government House.

In addition, the Commission also examined and endorsed a number of other proposals made by the Administration.

These include improvement of the Home Financing Scheme; introduction of flexible contract terms for non- Public Service Commission posts; implementation of a new set of common terms of appointment and conditions of service for future civil service recruits; introduction of an allowance for officers required for "on call" duty; and implementation of Human Resource Management Review proposals on recruitment.

During the year, members of the Commission held informal discussions with major staff associations to keep abreast of development of issues of concern to the civil service.

The report also contains a description of the functions and composition of the Pay Trend Survey Committee, a brief account of the 1993-94 Pay Trend Survey and minor modification to the methodology to be adopted for the pay trend survey in 1994-95.

The Standing Commission on Civil Service Salaries and Conditions of Service is an advisory body appointed by the Governor to advise and make recommendations on the principles and practices governing pay and conditions of service and salary structure of the non-directorate civil service, other than the Judiciary and Disciplined Services.

The progress report is now on sale at the Government Publications Centre, ground floor, Lower Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong.

End/Friday, May 12, 1995

27

Promotions in the administrative service announced

♦ ♦ ♦ * *

The Government announced today (Friday) the substantive promotion of 15 officers to Administrative Officer Staff Grade C (AOSGC) and 26 officers to Senior Administrative Officer (SAO) in the Administrative Service with effect from April 1, 1995.

"I am delighted to see that we have on this occasion promoted a total of 41 young and capable officers who have the ability and commitment to serve the community through the transitional period and beyond. This is certainly a good sign for the future," the Secretary for the Civil Service, Mr Michael Sze, said at a ceremony to present promotion letters to the officers.

"Staff Grade C is the first directorate rank in the Administrative Service. It is therefore a particularly important step in an officer's career.

"I am very happy to see that a group of young officers who have demonstrated their abilities to handle a wide range of very challenging responsibilities, have been promoted to the SAO rank which is also a relatively senior level in the Civil Service," Mr Sze said.

Officers at Staff Grade C rank normally fill the posts of Principal Assistant Secretary in the Government Secretariat, District Officer in the Home Affairs Department, or Assistant Director in Departments.

In this promotion exercise, the average age of officers promoted to Staff Grade C is 36 and those to SAO is 30.

End/Friday, May 12, 1995

Improvement to roads in Kwun Tong *****

The Highways Department is inviting tenders for the reconstruction of Sau Ming Road and part of Sau Mau Ping Road to improve road riding conditions and to upgrade the road drainage system.

The works include reconstruction of Sau Ming Road; reconstruction of Sau Mau Ping Road section from Sau Ming Road to Block 32 of Sau Mau Ping Estate; and ancillary drainage and landscaping works.

28

Construction is scheduled to commence in August this year and is expected to be completed in about 14 months, except landscaping works.

A notice on the tender invitation was published in the Gazette today (Friday).

Forms of tender and further particulars may be obtained from the Regional Highway Engineer/Kowloon, Highways Department, 13th floor, room 1321, Nan Fung Commercial Centre, 19 Lam Lok Street, Kowloon Bay, Kowloon. Enquiries can be made on 2707 7422.

Tenders must be clearly marked and addressed to the Chairman, Central Tender Board, and placed in the Government Secretariat Tender Box at the lift lobby on the lower ground floor of the Central Government Offices (East Wing), Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong, before noon on June 9.

Late tenders will not be accepted.

The works have been designed and will be supervised by the Highways Department.

End/Friday, May 12, 1995

New clinic for Tseung Kwan O *****

The Architectural Services Department is inviting tenders for the construction of a three-storey clinic with a gross floor area of 3,220 square metres in Tseung Kwan O, New Territories.

Works include the construction of an out-patient department with four rooms on the ground floor; a maternal and child health centre with two consulting rooms on the first floor; and a dental clinic on the second floor.

Construction works are expected to start in August for completion in September next year.

Tender forms and further particulars can be obtained from the Architectural Services Department, 34th floor, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong.

Tender offers will close at noon on June 16.

End/Friday, May 12, 1995

29

Kennedy Town and Mount Davis OZP amended * * * * *

The Town Planning Board today (Friday) announced amendments to the draft Kennedy Town and Mount Davis Outline Zoning Plan (OZP) No. S/Hl/5.

One of the amendments is to designate the area proposed for the Island West Refuse Transfer Station (IWTS) in a cavern under Mount Davis to 'Green Belt (Subarea 1)' and 'Village Type Development (Sub-area 1)', and to rezone the site previously reserved for the IWTS back to 'Green Belt' and 'Village Type Development'.

The amendment is to facilitate the implementation of the IWTS scheme selected by the Government, which is a more cost-effective and desirable development option from land use, environmental, engineering, operational and programming points of view as compared with the one shown on the previous OZP No. S/Hl/5.

Another amendment is to rezone the two abattoir staff quarters sites at Ka Wai Man Road, with a total site area of about 0.41 hectare, from 'Govemment/Institution/Community' to 'Residential (Group A)' ('R(A)'). As the two staff quarters sites are no longer required for their original use and will be vacated soon, they are rezoned to 'R(A)' to provide land for residential development.

The amendment plan (No. S/Hl/6) is available for public inspection until June 2 at:

* Planning Department, 16th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong;

* Hong Kong District Planning Office, 11th floor, Leighton Centre, 77 Leighton Road, Hong Kong; and

* Central and Western District Office, Public Enquiry Service Centre, ground floor, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Hong Kong.

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 June 2.

30

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

End/Friday, May 12, 1995

Land to be resumed for flood control works *****

The Government will resume 85 private agricultural lots with a total area of 107,676.5 square metres in Yuen Long, New Territories, for the construction of a floodway and a concrete nullah for the Kam Tin Area.

The works are expected to start in November and will take 36 months to complete.

The Kam Tin Basin of Yuen Long has long been susceptible to flooding, and the Government has proposed an extensive programme to alleviate the flooding problem in the river catchment area of Kam Tin. The works form the second phase of the Kam Tin river programme to construct a drainage channel to replace the existing zigzagging river channel.

Landowners affected by the resumption will be offered ex gratia compensation. The Yuen Long District Lands Office will also assess other items of ex gratia compensation payable under the resumption.

Details of resumption were notified in the gazette today (Friday).

The land will be reverted to the Government three months after the Gazette Notice.

End/Friday, May 12, 1995

Eligible electors of old FCs reminded to register

* * * * *

The Chairman of the Boundary and Election Commission, Mr Justice WOO Kwok-hing, today (Friday) reminded all eligible electors of former functional constituencies (FCs) constituted by "Corporate Electors" to register at once.

31

"There will not be any ’rolling-over’ arrangements for 'corporate electors’ to vote in the old FCs. You must register afresh before our deadline of June 1," Mr Justice Woo said.

"Corporate electors" will be abolished for the 1995 Legislative Council Elections. Those "authorised representatives" who represented their organisations and voted in the 1991 LegCo FC elections can no longer do so.

The franchise of these FCs has been broadened and the voting right will now go to individual persons who fulfil the statutory requirements.

"If you are one of such persons and wish to vote in the forthcoming LegCo FC elections, you must make a new application which must reach the Registration and Electoral Office (REO) by June 1 this year," the Chairman said.

So far, only 2,136 such persons registered with REO, against a potential pool of electors of 32,444.

Publicity through the electronic and printed media will be stepped up.

The Chairman had also written to the 10 Legislative Councillors of the FCs seeking their assistance in appealing to their constituents to register. The REO staff is telephoning all organisations and companies concerned to remind the potential electors to register.

He added that those electors already registered on individual qualifications in the old FCs such as education, legal and accountancy, need not register again.

End/Friday, May 12, 1995

Tips for summer job seekers *****

Students wishing to take up summer jobs are advised to watch out for employment traps and familiarise themselves with basic labour and industrial safety laws.

Senior Labour Officer (Employment Services), Mr Raymond Chan, today (Friday) offered the following six tips on avoiding employment traps :

* Be careful of dubious recruitment advertisements, especially those require no skill or academic qualifications but promise a high pay;

32

* During a job interview, be alert of whether the offer is genuine;

* Avoid accepting jobs with possible immoral implications and which infringe the law;

* Be careful in signing any contract;

* Consider carefully before accepting any demand from the employer on monetary guarantee, or payment of cash either for training purposes or purchasing goods;

* In case of doubt or problems, consult parents, careers teachers or appropriate authorities immediately.

Mr Chan said the Labour Department had produced a new poster to alert the public, especially students, of employment traps.

The first-ever Summer Job Bazaar tailor-made for summer job seekers will be held in Sha Tin Town Hall on June 7.

To enhance public awareness of employment traps, the department staged an exhibition in the 5th Education and Careers Expo in February. Booklets have been distributed to students through secondary schools and youth organisations while exhibits on employment traps are being displayed in all Local Employment Service Offices.

On labour law for summer job seekers, Senior Labour Officer (Labour Relations Promotion), Mrs Bernadette Lai, said a booklet had been produced for this target group.

The booklet outlines restrictions governing the employment age, working hours and types of jobs which children could not do under the Employment of Children Regulations.

The employment conditions of young people between 15 and 18 years of age in industrial establishments under the Women and Young Persons (Industry) Regulations are also included.

There are some salient points on employment relationship and employment contract covering the termination of contract, holidays, rest days, sick leave and payment of wages.

"To make the booklet more appealing to young job- seekers, cartoons have been incorporated into the text," Mrs Lai said.

33

Some 30,000 copies of the booklet have been distributed to secondary schools through the Education Department and 12,000 copies were distributed at the 5th Education and Careers Expo.

The booklet will also be distributed at exhibitions to be held in City University and Baptist University this month and at the Summer Job Bazaar.

"The public can also obtain the booklet from all the offices of the Labour Relations Service and Local Employment Service," Mrs Lai added.

A video highlighting the rights and obligations of an employee under an employment contract will also be shown at the Summer Job Bazaar.

Superintendent of Factory Inspectors (Training), Mr Yam K.wong-lun, said the number of industrial accidents involving summer job students last year decreased slightly.

"In 1993, 18 summer workers were injured and another died in industrial accidents. Last year, 17 summer workers were injured," he said.

Noting that most of the industrial accidents were related to the operation of machinery, fall of person and handling of hot or corrosive substances, Mr Yam urged students to stay away from these potentially dangerous jobs.

"Jobs which require the operation of wood-working machinery, the handling of chemicals, toxic substances or fire-related processes are not suitable for summer job students as they have no proper training," he said.

Young persons under 18 years of age are not allowed to operate any lifting appliances driven by mechanical power or give signals to the driver of the appliance. They are also prohibited from cleaning any dangerous part of machinery in notifiable workplaces.

Moreover, the law forbids untrained young persons to work on construction sites.

"Students who want to work in catering establishments should exercise extra care to avoid work injuries as they might be required to use sharp knives or hot cooking equipment on a potentially slippery floor," Mr Yam added.

End/Friday, May 12, 1995

34

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

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

Opening balance in the account 2,506 0930 +2

Closing balance in the account 2,453 1000 +2

Change attributable to : 1100 -3

Money market activity -3 1200 -3

LAF today -50 1500 -3

1600 -3

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 119.0 *+0.8* 12.5.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.58 19 months 2611 6.90 101.06 6.25

1 month 5.62 22 months 2702 7.50 102.09 6.33

3 months 5.72 30 months 3710 7.25 101.67 6.61

6 months 5.80 36 months 3804 6.90 100.61 6.78

12 months 5.96 59 months 5003 7.75 102.36 7.29

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $11,718 million

Closed May 12, 1995

End/Friday, May 12, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Saturday, May 13,1995

Contents Page No,

Government's response to statement issued by CMB on bus bill.... 1

$98.5 million paid to traffic accident victims.................. 2

Late compensation costs $60,000................................. 3

Government committed to expand nursing education................ 4

Town Planning Board publishes annual report..................... 5

BEC presents certificates to its ambassadors.................... 6

Young violinist selected for international music camp........

Fresh water cut in Wan Chai..................................... 8

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations............ 8

Sunday, May 14,1995

Contents Page No,

$8M given to launch 29 green projects........................... 9

13th Annual Review Meeting between Guangdong and HK Customs. 10

More language projects receive funding...................... 11

203 Government sites cleared in seven months.................. 12

Guided walks for students and country park visitors........... 14

1

Government's response to statement issued by CMB on bus bill *****

In response to a statement issued by the China Motor Bus Company (CMB) yesterday on the Public Bus Services (Amendment) Bill 1995, a Government spokesman reiterated that the Bill which will be introduced into the Legislative Council on May 24 is aimed at strengthening the Government's powers to maintain franchised bus services in situations where a franchised bus company ceased to operate, and to reduce the scope for avoidance of the existing legislation by transferring title in the bus service related assets to a third party, such as a group company.

The Government will only acquire or possess assets used or kept by the bus franchisee which are needed to provide a public bus service, for example, buses, spare parts and depots.

In leasing or in purchasing depots or buses from the bus companies or third parties, compensation based on an open market rental or value would be paid to the owners.

Open market value in these circumstances aims to take into account the potential of the assets and the most favourable land use permitted under the Crown lease.

Refuting CMB joint managing director Irene Ngan Kit-ling's claim that the Bill is a "retroactive ordinance", the Commissioner for Transport, Mr Rafael Hui, stressed that this is not the case. Legal advice is also to that effect. After the legislation is enacted it will affect rights that exist when the Bill is enacted and this is not uncommon in the public interest and to prevent avoidance of legislation.

Government would like to see the Bill, which would serve the public interest, passed in the cunent Legislative Council session ending this July.

It is necessary for the Government to have adequate powers to maintain bus services to the public when a franchise is not renewed or is revoked. The four franchised bus companies in Hong Kong carry over 3.5 million passengers daily.

KMB has 3,360 buses, and is supported by 170,000 square metres of depot spaces. CMB has 940 buses and is supported by 35,000 square metres of depot spaces. Considering the size of operation, a longer period is needed to gear up for replacing their operation.

End/Saturday, May 13, 1995

2

$98.5 million paid to traffic accident victims

* ♦ * * *

The Social Welfare Department (SWD) had paid out more than $98.5 million from the Traffic Accident Victims Assistance (TAVA) Fund to traffic accident victims or their dependants in 1993-94.

According to the 1993-94 TAVA Fund annual report, a total of 5,791 applications were received during the period, representing an increase of 4.9 per cent when compared with 5,517 applications in 1992-93.

The TAVA scheme, operating since 1979, is one of the social security schemes administered by the SWD.

"It aims to provide speedy financial assistance to traffic accident victims or their dependants, regardless of the means of the family or the element of fault in causing the accident," a spokesman for the department said today (Saturday).

During 1993-94, the SWD had handled 32 cases of serious traffic accidents in which heavy casualties were involved.

The accident resulting in the largest number of casualties occurred on July 25, 1993, when a KMB bus overturned at Hung Tin Road, Tin Shui Wai.

As a result, 43 people were injured, of whom 17 were found eligible for assistance. A total amount of $172,866 were paid to these victims.

"To be eligible for assistance, an application must be made within the six months of the accident which must have been reported to the police," the spokesman said.

He said staff from the SWD's TAVA Section would, in major traffic accidents, take the initiative to contact victims or their dependants directly to help them apply at an early date.

"In the case of injury not causing death, an applicant must obtain a certificate from a registered doctor requiring at least three days of sick leave.

"Beneficiaries under the scheme still retain the right to make claims for legal damages or compensation from other sources in the usual way," he said.

"However, those who receive compensation in respect of the same traffic accident are required to repay the amount of assistance they have received from the TAVA scheme.

3

"But in any case the amount to be repaid shall not exceed the amount of compensation awarded," he added.

Applications under the TAVA scheme can be made either in person or by post.

Application forms may be obtained at the Accident Investigation Units of Regional Police Headquarters, District Offices of the Home Affairs Department and SWD's TAVA Section at room 942, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai.

Enquiries can be made on 2834 7472.

End/Saturday, May 13, 1995

Late compensation costs $60,000 *****

The Labour Department today (Saturday) reminded employers that periodical payment for an injured employee had to be paid within seven days after the due day for payment.

Two partners of Chuen Cheung Engineering Company at Connaught Road Central were recently fined a total of $60,000 at Western Magistracy for failing to pay an injured employee periodical payments within the statutory period for three wage periods.

Labour Officer (Prosecutions) Mrs Tonia Leung said failure to pay periodical payment to an injured employee within the statutory period was an offence under the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance.

When the defendants committed the offence, the maximum penalty was $20,000 but it has increased to $25,000 since August 1 last year.

Mrs Leung also urged employers not to dismiss an employee who had suffered incapacity in circumstances which entitled him to compensation under the Employees' Compensation Ordinance.

She quoted a recent case in which an employer dismissed a worker, who had sustained injury while at work and was granted sick leave by the doctor, on a sickness day.

- 4 -

The employer, Ngai Kin-chung, was fined $20,000 at Western Magistracy.

The maximum penalty for this offence is $25,000.

End/Saturday, May 13, 1995

Government committed to expand nursing education ♦ * * * ♦

The Government is committed to expand and improve the quality of nursing education at all levels, the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, said today (Saturday).

Speaking at the Opening Ceremony of the Annual Conference of the College of Nursing, Mrs Fok said advancement of medical technology, advent of new clinical treatment, rising community expectations and demographic changes had called for the need to re-examine the evolving role of nurses and their scope of duties.

In recognition of these changes, she said, an amount of $10 million has been reserved each year for the specific purpose of improving the post-registration education of nursing staff working in the Hospital Authority and the Department of Health since 1994.

"Furthermore, $34 million has been earmarked in 1995 onwards to increase the learning component of Student Nurses by 22 per cent," she said.

"Plans are also in hand to expand the number of nursing degree places for matriculants from 40 to 180 by 1997-98."

Noting the increased emphasis towards "patient-oriented" or "holistic" care, Mrs Fok pointed out that nurses were now functioning as independent practitioners in the clinical setting.

"New initiatives such as pre-admission/pre-discharge planning and outreach medical services also presented the nursing profession with new challenges and exciting opportunities," she added.

End/Saturday, May 13, 1995

u

- 5 -

Town Planning Board publishes annual report *****

The Town Planning Board has published its 1994 annual report.

Since the first annual report for 1990, the Board’s annual report has taken an active and systematic approach in informing the public, planners and planning-related professionals of the Board’s work in the year under review and the statutory planning and application procedures.

The 1994 annual report outlines the statutory planning process in terms of planmaking and implementation as well as the planning permission system.

It also contains a description and statistics of work undertaken by the Board in the year.

In the foreword of the report, the outgoing Chairman of the Board, the former Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Tony Eason, described 1994 as an eventful and busy year for the Board.

He said a record number of 1,005 applications under section 16 of the Town Planning Ordinance were processed by the Board last year, showing a 37 per cent increase compared with the previous year.

Similarly, 156 applications were reviewed under section 17 of the Ordinance, representing a large increase of 61 per cent compared with 1993.

In addition, over 400 objections were considered in the year.

The report is divided into three parts. The first part covers the establishment and functions of the Board; the second gives an account of its work in 1994; and the third explains its work on nature conservation, in particular that for the Mai Po and Inner Deep Bay area.

The English version of the report can now be bought at $28 a copy at the Government Publications Centre, ground floor, Low Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway.

The Chinese version will be put on sale once it is available.

End/Saturday, May 13, 1995

4

- 6 -‘ • • i’j :■

BEC presents certificates to its ambassadors ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

The Boundary and Election Commission (BEC) today (Saturday) presented certificates to some 60 young Voter Registration Ambassadors in recognition of their work to spread the "get-register" message.

The "Ambassador Scheme", an important feature in voter registration drive, is now entering its second year.

Speaking at the certificate presentation ceremony, BEC Chairman, Mr Justice Woo Kwok-hing, said in promoting voter registration, the ambassadors would be able to share the sense of achievement in contributing to community service.

He said the success of the scheme would not be measured by the number of voter registration forms collected.

More importantly, it is by the enhancement of civic awareness so that members of the public, particularly youngsters, understand their civic rights and duties in society.

"This will be a long-term mission which will not end with the close of our voter registration drive on June 1," the Chairman said.

i . • • * < .

This year's voter registration drive started in January.

He said the ambassadors worked at three levels: firstly, with their family, relatives and friends; secondly, at their workplace or school; and thirdly, through their own initiatives to promote voter registration.

Mr Justice Woo also said they could also join activities organised by the district offices on voter registration.

He reminds the ambassadors that the information of an elector is confidential which cannot be released to anyone apart from the authorities concerned.

The league of ambassadors comprise media organisations, enthusiastic groups, students, artists and public-spirited individuals.

Most of the ambassadors present today are secondary school students from various districts.

End/Saturday, May 13, 1995

7

Young violinist selected for international music camp ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

An 18-year-old violin player, Cheng Ka-ming, has been selected by the Music Office of the Recreation and Culture Branch to represent Hong Kong to attend the 1995 World Youth Symphony Orchestra Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan, USA, this summer.

Cheng has made remarkable achievements in music in the past few years. He was the Champion in Violin Sonata Class and Violin Concerto Class in the 1992 Hong Kong Schools Music Festival, the first runner-up in the 1993 Commercial Radio Prize, and the 1993 Student Musician of the Year organised by South China Morning Post.

Currently, he is the concert master of the Hong Kong Youth Symphony Orchestra and the La Salle College School Orchestra.

Cheng said he was delighted to have the opportunity to participate in the Interlochen Arts Camp and to meet young musicians from different countries in the coming summer.

"I am looking forward to staging concerts together with renowned musicians and I would do my best to introduce Hong Kong to other campers,” he added.

The music camp, to be held from June 25 to August 21, is aimed at promoting friendship among young musicians aged between 14 and 18 through music.

The eight-week intensive training will include master classes and workshops conducted by renowned musicians. In addition, recreational activities such as sing-a-song round camp fires, canoeing and swimming will be arranged.

End/Saturday, May 13, 1995

8

Fresh water cut in Wan Chai * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Fresh water supply to some premises in Wan Chai will be temporarily suspended from 11 pm on Monday (May 15) to 6 am the following day to facilitate o water mains leakage detection.

The affected areas will include the Royal Hong Kong Police Headquarters, 38-72 Gloucester Road, 44-92 and 69-93 Jaffe Road, 33-85 Lockhart Road, 15-21 and 16-20 Fenwick Street as well as 15-23 and 20 Luard Road.

End/Saturday, May 13, 1995

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

Time Cumulative Change

•’ 'L.if ’b $ Million (Hours) ($ Million)

Opening Balance in the account 2,453 09:30 +50

Closing Balance in the account 985 10:00 +50

Change Attributable to: 11:00 +50

Money Market Activity +50 11:30 +50

Laf Today -1,518 15:00

» • । ‘ - ...v . ■ 2 »i

Laf Rate 4.25% Bid/6.25% Offer TWI 119.2 *+0.2* 13.5.95

End/Saturday, May 13, 1995

I

- 9 -

$8M given to launch 29 green projects *****

Twenty-nine environmental and conservation projects have been given funding support from the Government's Environment and Conservation Fund (ECF) and the Woo Wheelock Green Fund. The total funding allocation amounts to more than $8 million.

The projects, to be carried out by environmental, academic and community groups, are financially supported by the two Funds. It is expected approval will soon be given to two more, and there are 26 other applications being processed.

Among the projects approved is one which aims at promoting public awareness through a campaign to reduce the usage of foam containers. Others seek to stimulate environmental concern among students and young people; conduct research into seafood contamination; and study the effects of air pollution on the health of school children.

"The range and variety of projects put forward for consideration by the Environment and Conservation Fund and the Woo Wheelock Green Fund demonstrate a high degree of interest in, and regard for, the protection of Hong Kong's environment," a spokesman for the ECF Secretariat said.

"In making our selection of projects to be funded we have been greatly impressed by the innovative ideas and the considerable amount of dedication and attention given to the ways in which various environmental problems can be addressed."

The spokesman said: "We are interested in achieving positive results of benefit to the community of Hong Kong. The initial batch of projects are expected to make a genuine contribution to further heightening awareness of environmental problems, and finding solutions.

"It is our hope that other corporations in Hong Kong will add their support to the protection of our environment by contributing their skills and helping to finance similar efforts."

The aim of the Environment and Conservation Fund and the Woo Wheelock Green Fund is to support practical, result-oriented projects designed to improve and sustain Hong Kong's environment.

The funding scheme is open to applications all-year-round. In considering applications, the Environment and Conservation Fund Committee, a statutory body comprising non-official members from a wide cross-section of society, assesses the merits of individual proposals, their benefits to the community and the ability of applicants to implement their plans.

Application forms together with information about the two Funds are obtainable from the Planning, Environment and Lands Branch, the Environmental Protection Department, District Offices, and Wheelock and Co Ltd.

End/Sunday. May 14, 1995

13th Annual Review Meeting between Guangdong and HK Customs *****

A delegation of seven from the Guangdong Branch of PRC’s Customs General Administration led by its Director, Mr Liu Wenjie, visited Hong Kong from May 8 to 12 to attend the 13th Annual Review Meeting on customs liaison arrangement with the Hong Kong Customs delegation headed by the Commissioner of Customs and Excise, Mr Don Watson.

The meeting reviewed liaison arrangements between the two Customs Administrations over the past 12 months. They also reviewed operational achievements attained through the co-operation and liaison of both sides.

Other topics discussed included smuggling and trafficking trends, antismuggling and anti-narcotic strategies, training assistance and future co-operation.

At the end of the meeting, both sides agreed to the following:

* to strengthen their co-operation by formalising co-operative arrangements, convening meetings between experts of both sides, and assisting each other in the investigation of customs offences;

* to consider more effective channels for timely exchange of intelligence on drug smuggling:

* to explore ways to assist each other in the suppression of smuggling of articles infringing intellectual property rights;

* to enhance co-operation and assistance in training;

11

* to hold the 14th Annual Review Meeting in Guangdong in April 1996.

During the meeting both sides acknowledged that, according to the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, after July 1, 1997, the Hong Kong Special Administrative region would be an independent Customs territory, could participate in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and other relevant international organisations and international trade agreements including the World Customs Organisation (WCO), and would continue to be a member of the WCO under the name of "Hong Kong, China".

The co-ordination and co-operation between Guangdong Customs and Hong Kong Customs would progress even much better in future.

End/Sunday, May 14, 1995

More language projects receive funding ♦ * * * *

Funds totalling $18.07 million have been approved for 11 language improvement projects in the second round of the first allocation exercise of the Language Fund.

The Fund's Trustee, Director of Education, Mr W K Lam, accepted recommendations of the Language Fund Advisory Committee to award funding to the projects.

Of the 11 successful applications which are aimed at improving language proficiency of teachers, students and members of the public, six are English language projects, three Chinese language/Putonghua projects and two concerned with improving language proficiency in both English and Chinese.

"There is a good combination of research, teaching and learning resource materials, training as well as learning activity projects," an Education Department spokesman said.

"They all meet the stringent criteria set by the Language Fund Advisory Committee and should be a great help in raising language standards in Hong Kong."

The spokesman noted that among the successful bidders are two projects comprising activity programmes and other activities to promote the learning of English and Putonghua respectively at the community level through a two-year pilot project at six children's and youth centres.

4

- 12 -

There is also a project to improve the quality of written English and Chinese in the business community through research into the nature and dimension of present writing problems, with a view to developing practical suggestions to address the problems.

’’Endorsement of these projects clearly show the Language Fund's support for projects at the community/workforce level," the spokesman said.

The successful applications were among 27 left over in the first round of the assessment exercise which needed further clarifications from applicants.

End/Sunday, May 14, 1995

203 Government sites cleared in seven months ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Task Force Black Spots (TFB) of the Lands Department has successfully cleared 203 sites with a total of 52,659 square metres of government land in the Pat Heung Pilot Action Area in the New Territories, within the seven month period ending March.

Reviewing the achievements of the task force since its formation in August last year, the Government Land Agent, Mr Alan Hay, said this meant an average of 29 government land sites had been cleared each month.

Positive environmental improvement actions by the Task Force has resulted in 68 sites with a total area of 13,752 square metres having been landscaped. Landscaping on the remainder of the sites will be completed by the end of this summer.

In parallel with the works on government land, Mr Hay said the survey of private land had been completed and identified 391 undertakings which had potential adverse impact on the environment.

Of these undertakings, liaison with the Planning Department has ascertained 59 existing use cases and 57 unauthorised development cases.

"The TFB will concentrate on the 'existing use' cases, while the Central Enforcement and Prosecution Section of the Planning Department will deal with the unauthorised cases as a concerted effort with the TFB in improving the overall environment in the area," Mr Hay said.

13

’’The TFB will spearhead an important programme of the ’existing use' undertakings through negotiation with the operators for in situ improvement works," he added.

A second action area at Ping Che and Ko Po has been identified and a preliminary survey indicates some 210 industrial undertakings.

"Most of these undertakings are situated on private land. Unlawful occupation of government land is not too serious.

"A detailed survey of all industrial undertakings will be further conducted with a view to sorting out the actionable cases.

"Based on experience gained in the Pat Heung Pilot Action Area, lease enforcement or regularisation subject to in-situ improvements will be instituted upon completion of the detailed survey at the end of 1995," Mr Hay said.

Mr Hay added that the investigation work in Ha Tsuen and Lau Fau Shan Container Study Area had been completed.

"The Task Force is now correlating these findings in relation to the nature of trade, tenure information, ownership pattern, zoning, holding capacity and planning status of these undertakings and are actively searching for alternative sites suitable for relocation of container-related and other open storage operations," he said.

The Task Force reports to a Special Committee which advises the Government on all matters relating to the environmental black spots and oversee the Task Force's work.

It was set up with a commitment to clean up the New Territories, where there has been a proliferation of conversion of agricultural land into open storage yards and other similar unauthorised uses in the rural areas.

End/Sunday, May 14, 1995

14

Guided walks for students and country park visitors ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) will organise a series of countryside educational walks for students and country park visitors in July and August.

An AFD spokesman said the main aims of the annual programme were to provide visitors with countryside education and to increase their awareness of the need for countryside conservation.

The spokesman said the guided walks were intended for students of primary four or above and country park visitors.

"Each walk will take about two hours, either from 10 am to noon or from 2 pm to 4 pm.

Among destinations of the walks are major country parks in Ma On Shan, Tai Mo Shan. Pat Sin Leng, Aberdeen, South Lantau and Shing Mun.

Other areas of special interest such as the Tai Tong Nursery, Shing Mun Aboretum and Lions Nature Education Centre.

The spokesman pointed out that each guided visit would have its own unique theme.

"By visiting the Clear Water Bay Country Park, participants will be able to know more about erosional coastal features and seashore plants.

"They are also expected to gain a more in-depth knowledge of the woodland ecology after going on an itinerary at the Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve," he said.

The guided walks to country parks is one of many activities organised under the annual Summer Youth Programme, sponsored by the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club.

These country park ranger-guided walks are only available to schools or organised groups of 30 to 40 participants with advance booking.

Those interested in taking part in these meaningful activities in summer should contact AFD's Conservation Education Unit, Room 321, Canton Road Government Offices, Kowloon. Telephone enquiries can be made on 2733 2121.

End/Sunday, May 14, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Monday, May 15,1995

Statement on meeting between Mr Lu and CS/Policy Secretaries......... 1

Meeting with former Police Commissioner................................... 1

Landfill charging scheme fair and reasonable.............................. 2

12,964 agreements lodged with Land Registry in April...................... 3

Tender for MTRC Notes..................................................... 3

New health centre for the elderly........................................ 10

Air quality report for April......................................... 11

New denomination stamps introduced....................................... 16

Plover Cove Visitor Centre closed for maintenance........................ 16

Water storage figure..................................................... 17

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results.......................... 18

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations................. 18

1

Statement on meeting between Mr Lu and CS/Policy Secretaries

*****

In response to press enquiries, a Government spokesman confirmed that the Chief Secretary had not been invited to meet with the Director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, Mr Lu Ping, during his visit to Hong Kong this week.

On enquiries about Mr Lu’s invitation to the Chief Secretary to meet with him at Zhuhai, the Government spokesman clarified that this was a separate invitation with a date proposed towards the end of the month in Zhuhai.

"Although the Chief Secretary is delighted to be invited to China, she will in fact be overseas at that time," the Government spokesman said.

"She will be away on a business engagement in London including meeting with UK businessmen and speaking at the Dragon Boat Dinner organised by the Hong Kong Association.

"She has made clear that she welcomed a meeting in China with Director Lu as soon as that could be arranged."

End/Monday, May 15, 1995

Meeting with former Police Commissioner ♦ * * * ♦

3 j ...

The Secretary for the Civil Service, Mr Michael Sze Cho-cheung, said today (Monday) that he had just had a meeting with Mr Li Kwan-ha, former Commissioner of Police to discuss media reports of Mr Li's employment in the private sector.

Mr Sze said immediately following the meeting he had sent Mr Li a letter seeking formal clarification on a number of issues relating to Mr Li's employment, including details of the contract and other information required to deter nine whe her civil service regulations had been complied with.

Mr Sze also said, in view of the public interest in the case, Mr Li 1 iad decided to cease working for any private sector interests with immediate effect and ural the details of his employment had been considered by the Governor and, if • Accessary, permission to work in the private sector had been given.

End/Monday, May 15, 1995

1

2

Landfill charging scheme fair and reasonable

*****

In response to press enquiries, a spokesman for the Planning, Environment and Lands Branch said today (Monday): ’’The charging scheme for waste disposal at landfills by private waste collectors has been worked out after wide consultation with the trade and relevant bodies. It is fair and reasonable."

The spokesman welcomed the support expressed by the Hong Kong, Kowloon and New Territories Grab-Mounted Lorries Association of the principle of polluter/user pays in working out the charging scheme.

He said: "Under this principle, waste producers in the commercial/industrial sectors are expected to bear the charges ultimately as private waste collectors and lorry owners pass charges on to their customers.

"In working out the implementation date of the charging scheme, we have already taken into account the concern expressed by some lorry drivers/owners, who are at present billing their clients every three months, about the amount of cash that could be tied up initially.

"The proposed September implementation date should give sufficient lead time for operators in the trade to work out shorter billing periods with their clients or other financial arrangements as necessary."

The spokesman said: "To further address their concern, we are willing to assist them in reflecting their views on the billing arrangements to the Hong Kong Construction Association whose members are the main users of the waste collection services provided by the grab-mounted lorry trade.

"In fact, we have maintained a continuing dialogue with the Hong Kong Construction Association and other major associations in the real estate development, commercial and industrial sectors. They also accept the principle of polluter/user pays."

The spokesman hoped the Hong Kong, Kowloon and New Territories Grab-Mounted Lorries Association will not take drastic action which may adversely affect the waste disposal operation of the territory.

"We are willing to discuss with the Association to identify ways whereby the effect of the charging scheme on their trade can be minimised," he said.

End/Monday, May 15, 1995

3

12,964 agreements lodged with Land Registry in April

*****

A total of 12,964 sale and purchase agreements for building units, which include both residential and non-residential properties, were lodged with the Land Registry last month.

The figure represents an increase of 73 per cent from that of March this year, and a 5.7 per cent drop compared with April last year.

The total consideration of these agreements is $37.67 billion, up 84.7 per cent and down 27.8 per cent as compared with the amounts for March 1995 and April 1994 respectively.

The figures are contained in the monthly statistics released today (Saturday) by the Land Registry on deeds relating to property transactions received for registration in the Urban and New Territories Land Registries last month.

Relevant statistics for March 1995 and April 1994 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.

The 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, May 15, 1995

Tender for MTRC Notes

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced today (Monday) the tender for the inaugural issue of Mass Transit Railway Corporation (MTRC) Notes to be held on Friday (May 19).

An amount of HK$500 million in MTRC Notes will be offered for tender this Friday for settlement the following Monday (May 22).

The 5-year Notes, which mature on May 22, 2000, will carry interest at the fixed rate of 7.90 per cent per annum payable semi-annually in arrears.

4

Terms and conditions of the issue are described fully in the Information Memorandum.

The HK.S500 million MTRC Notes issue is the first tranche of the MTRC Note Issuance Programme in which the HKMA acts as the arranger, custodian, agent and operator.

The MTRC Notes, which are denominated in HK$50,000, will be cleared through the Central MoneyMarkets Unit (CMU) and will qualify as eligible securities for repo under the Liquidity Adjustment Facility operated by the HKMA.

The MTRC Notes will be covered by the existing market-making arrangements for the Exchange Fund Bills and Notes, marking the first time a non-Govemment debt issuance programme has joined the arrangement.

So far, 28 Market Makers and 62 Recognised Dealers (see Annex A) have responded to HKMA's invitation to participate.

"The response is very encouraging," the Chief Executive of the HKMA, Mr Joseph Yam, said.

"The market making arrangement is expected to help increase the liquidity of the Notes and thus enable MTRC to achieve cost effective Hong Kong dollar funding."

The Treasurer of the MTRC, Mr Jimmy Lau, also said: "We expect the MTRC Notes Programme will be well received by the market in view of the significant number of Market Makers and Recognised Dealers who have accepted appointment to the Programme."

Under the revised market-making arrangement, effective today, Market Makers of both Exchange Fund and MTRC papers can go short in any issues of such papers provided they hold sufficient amount of other Exchange Fund or MTRC papers in the system to cover their short positions by entering into a repo transaction with the HKMA at the end of the day. In return the market makers are obliged to quote two-way (bid-ask) prices during normal money market hours.

MTRC will use the proceeds for general working capital, refinancing and other corporate requirements.

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 HKMA at 30th floor, 3 Garden Road, Hong Kong (or telephone 2878 8150).

Each tender must be for an amount of HK$50,000 or integral multiples thereof.

5

Annex A

Market Makers of MTRC Noles

1. Banque Nationale de Paris

2. BOT International (H.K.) Limited

3. Bank of China e

4. Bank of East Asia Limited

5. Banque Indosuez

6. Banque Paribas, Hong Kong

7. Chemical Securities Asia Limited

8. Citicorp International Limited

9. Credit Lyonnais, Hong Kong Branch

10. DKB Asia Limited

11. Dah Sing Bank, Limited

12. Daiwa Securities (H.K.) Limited

13. Hang Seng Bank Limited

14. IBJ Asia Limited

15. Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corp. Limited

16. Jardine Fleming Bank Limited

17. Kwangtung Provincial Bank. Hong Kong Branch

18. Mitsubishi Finance (H.K.) Limited

6

19. Nanyang Commercial Bank, Limited

20. National Westminster Bank Plc

21. Nomura International (H.K.) Limited

22. Sakura Finance Asia Limited

23. Sanwa International Finance Limited a

24. Schroders Asia Limited

25. Societe Generale Asia Limited

26. Standard Chartered Bank

27. Union Bank of Switzerland

28. Wing Lung Bank Limited

7

Recognised Dealers of MTRC Notes

1. ABN AMRO Bank

2. Allied Capital Resources Limited

3. Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Limited

4. Bank of America (Asia) Limited

5. Bank of Communication. H.K. Branch

6. Bankers Trust Company. Hong Kong Branch/Cedel

7. Belgian Bank

8. Canadian Eastern Finance Limited

9. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

10. Central Asia Capital Corp. Limited

11. Chekiang First Bank Limited

12. China Development Finance Co (HK) Limited

13. China and South Sea Bank Ltd. I long Kong

14. Chiyu Banking Corporation Limited

15. Cho Hung Finance Limited

16. Chuo Trust Asia Limited

17. Commerzbank AG. Hong Kong Branch

18. Credit Agricolc. Hong Kong Branch

19. Creditanstalt-Bankverein

20. Deutsche Bank AG. I long Kong Branch

8

21. Dresdner Bank AG, Hong Kong Branch

22. East Asia Finance Company Limited

23. Fuji International Finance (HK) Limited

24. Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corporation (Nominees) Limited

25. Hachijuni Asia Limited

26. Hang Seng Finance Limited

27. Hokuriku Finance (HK) Limited

28. Hua Chiao Commercial Bank Limited

29. Internationale Nederlanden Capital Markets HK Limited

30. Juroku Bank Limited

31. Ka Wah Bank Limited

32. Kincheng Banking Corporation

33. Korea First Finance Limited

34. Kwong On Bank Limited

35. Lehman Brothers Finance Limited

36. Liu Chong Hing Bank Limited

37. Liu Chong 1 ling Finance Limited

38. Mitsubishi Trust Finance (Asia) Limited

39. Mitsui Trust Finance (HK) Limited

40. National Australia Bank Limited

Euroclear

41. National Commercial Bank Limited

42. Nippon Credit International (I IK) Limited

9

43. Oakreed Finance Services Limited

44. Po Sang Bank Limited

45. Shanghai Commercial Bank Limited

46. Shizuoka Finance (HK) Limited

47. Sin Hua Bank Limited

48. Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken

49. Societe Generale

50. Sumitomo Finance (Asia) Limited

51. Svenska Handelsbanken

52. The Bank of Bermuda Limited

53. The China State Bank, Limited

54. Tokai Asia Limited

55. Toyo Trust Asia Limited

56. UCO Bank

57. United Chinese Bank Limited

58. United Overseas Bank

59. Westeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale

60. Yamaichi International (HK) Limited

61. Yasuda Trust Asia Pacific Limited

62. Yokohama Asia Limited

End/Monday. May 15. 1995

10

New health centre for the elderly

♦ * ♦ * *

To enable elderly people to live a healthy, happy and fruitful life is a task the local community which has an ageing population has to face, Legislative Councillor, Mr Michael Ho Mun-ka, said today (Monday).

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Kwun Tong Elderly Health Centre, Mr Ho said a large number of elderly people was an important social force and the setting up of an elderly health programme was therefore necessary.

Mr Ho said he was pleased that the Government had taken a good start by setting up elderly health centres in the territory.

Noting that there were about 64,000 elderly people in Kwun Tong, Mr Ho said the Kwun Tong Elderly Health Centre was instrumental in the health promotion of the elderly in the district.

Also speaking at the ceremony, the Director of Health, Dr Margaret Chan, said it was essential that the elderly knew how to keep themselves healthy and prevent diseases.

Dr Chan said this was the goal of the primary health care services, which included health services for the elderly.

Kwun Tong Elderly Health Centre is the second elderly health centre run by the Department of Health. It offers health education, health risk assessment and simple screening test to people aged 65 and above.

The objective of the service is the promotion of health and the prevention of disease as well as early detection of common diseases.

Each client is issued with a health record and they will also receive individual counselling.

End/Monday, May 15, 1995

11

Air quality report for April ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Environmental Protection Department today (Monday) released air quality information for April.

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.

High levels of dust and NO2 were recorded on April 6. Levels of TSP and RSP also exceeded the respective 24-hour air quality objectives at the street-level site in Mong Kok on that day. The high levels of pollutants were caused by low wind speeds which prevented the dispersion of locally emitted pollutants.

Sulphur dioxide levels remained low at all sites throughout the month.

The gases and particles described originated from various sources. SO2 is mostly produced when fuels that contain sulphur are 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.

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.

12

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:

For further information on this air quality report, please contact Mr S W Pang at 2594 6413.

13

Graphical Presentation of 24-Hour Air Quality Data for APR. 1995

_____g___________

CENTRA L/WESTERN

KWAI CHUNG

KWAI CHUNG

MONG KOK

APR 1995

Daily Concentrations (ug'm A3) WAokfc/**

Monthly Averages

APR 1995 1 •V 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 26 27 28 29 3Q 04,95 (>4*94 MAX MIN

CW SO2 CW NO2 (AV TSP •CW RSP 6 53 6 45 5 46 9 •19 8 •19 42 8U 176 14? 21 59 16 72 34 73 39 80 35 80 30 75 129 85 7 46 25 30 104 27 22 23 14 23 43 50 90 48 31 50 9 50 17 61 28 39 66 41 8 45 78 47 3<» 65 15 11 56 11 48 29 60 27 37 62 32 25 52 107 25 51 73 53 104 80 l?6 147 5 23

KCSO2 KC NO2 K( TSP K( RSP .30 4 35 6 31 a 12 6 •16 82 89 178 152 13 55 13 57 2? 58 41 76 66 89 30 51 109 74 14 52 112 55 66 47 70 43 21 38 39 48 78 38 40 46 9 31 9 42 55 43 33 51 8 33 56 35 41 56 12 34 8 38 7 41 44 52 41 45 69 _34 31 49 98 66 46 65 34 112 l?8 152 4 31 56 34

MK S()2 19 17 -V* 24 19 6-1 41 30 45 67 51 40 27 38 82 44 30 41 52 21 32 50 44 29 29 25 19 26 32 37 82 82 17

MK NO2 1OI 91 106 1(16 87 133 107 103 17 116 122 101 62 94 112 103 77 67 78 79 91 77 80 62 95 83 133 62

MKTSP MK RSP 290 200 166 97 46 70 113 60 152 61 174 98 146 63 290 200 113 60

%_®fAirQualityObjcctiYc £ f' A u P

Iapr^ss i 3 1 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 21 25 26 27 28 29 MAX MLN

<AV SO2 CAVNO2 (AV TSP 35 30 1 31 3 33 33 12 53 68 6 39 5 ■18 10 49 11 53 10 53 9 21 50 31 7 20 30 18 6 15 4 15 12 33 35 9 33 3 33 5 41 8 26 19 27 3«» 30 26 9 43 4 3 3? 3 32 8 40 X 25 21 18 30 53 68 82 1 15 24

,CW BSP 82 47 2?

KC SO2 KC NO2 KCTSP KCRSP 2 26 1 21 2 28 2 31 23 59 68 84 4 37 4 38 8 39 12 51 19 59 9 34 42 41 4 35 32 37 19 31 20 29 6 25 11 32 30 21 11 31 3 21 3 28 16 29 9 34 22 22 19 12 37 3 25 27 13 35 12 30 27 19 32 59 68 84 1 21 22 19

MKSO2 5 5 6 7 5 18 12 9 13 19 15 11 8 11 23 13 9 12 15 7 9 14 13 8 8 7 5 7 9 23 5

MK NO2 MKTSP MKRSP 67 61 7| 71 58 89 112 III 7| 69 78 77 81 64 54 67 41 56 39 63 75 69 51 45 52 43 33 53 61 51 53 41 58 36 89 112 n. 41 43 33

Notes: Air Quality Objective (daily) for SO2-NO2-TSP-RSP- 350 150 260 180 Ug/mA3 ug/mA3 ug/niA3 ug/mA3 CW -KC-MK- ( E.NTRAL/W ESTERN KW AI CHI NG MONG KOK

HONG KONG AIR QUALITY REPORT FOR APR, 1995

(unit-microgram uer cubicjnMre)

APR 1995 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

cw so; 6 6 5 9 8 42 21 16 34 39 35 30 7 25 104 22 14 43 31 9 17 28 66 8 30 15 11 11 29 27

CW NO2 53 45 46 49 49 80 59 72 73 80 80 75 46 30 27 23 23 50 50 50 61 39 41 45 65 56 48 60 37

CW TSP 176 129 90 78 62

CW RSP 147 85 48 47 32


MAX MIN

104 5

80 23

176 62

147 32

KC SO2 7 4 6 8 6 82 13 13 27 41 66 30 14 112 66 70 21 39 40 9 9 55 33 8 41 12 8 7 44 41

KC NO2 39 35 31 42 46 89 55 57 58 76 89 51 52 55 47 43 38 48 46 31 42 43 51 33 56 34 38 41 52 45

KCTSP 178 109 78 56 69

KC* RSP 152 74 38 35 34

112 4

89 31

178 56

152 34

MK SO2 19 17 22 24 19 61 41 30 45 67 51 40 27 38 82 44 30 41 52 24 32 50 44 29 29 25 19 26 32

MK NO2 101 91 106 106 87 133 107 103 117 116 122 101 62 94 112 103 77 67 78 79 91 77 80 62

MKTSP 290 166 146 113 152

MK RSP 200 97 70 60 64

82 17

133 62

290 113

200 60

1 Notes : Air Quality Objective (daily) for SO2 => 350 ug/mA3 NO2-150ug/mA3

H TSP - 260 ug/mA3

RSP- 180 ug/mA3 I

CW - CENTRAIVWESTERN KC - KWAI CHUNG MK - MONG KOK

End/Monday, May 15, 1995

16

New denomination stamps introduced * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Postmaster General, Mr M Pagliari, announced today (Monday) that arising from the postage revision which will take effect on June 1, four new denominations of the current definitive stamps will be introduced. They are: $1.10, $1.50, $2.10 and $2.60.

A first day cover to commemorate the issue of the new denominations will be put on sale at all post offices as from May 25 at $1 each. Advance orders for special positions of the four new denominations can be placed at the following seven philatelic offices from May 18 to 23:

* 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

Customers may collect their orders on June 1 at the post office where they place their orders.

Hand-back service will be provided at all post offices on the same day to all official and privately-made covers bearing the first day of issue indication.

End/Monday, May 15, 1995

Plover Cove Visitor Centre closed for maintenance ♦ ♦ * * *

The Plover Cover Country Park Visitor Centre has been closed for routine maintenance until further notice.

An Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) spokesman said today (Monday) the closure was necessary for maintenance of the premises and re-introduction of new exhibits.

The centre was expected to be re-opened in two months' time, the spokesman

said.

17

However, six other country park visitor centres in the territory are still be open for public use.

The six visitor centres which still provide service to the public are in country parks in Aberdeen, Sai Kung, Tai Mo Shan, Clear Water Bay and Shing Mun as well as in Lions Nature Education Centre, Sai Kung.

The spokesman pointed out that visitor centres were open daily except Tuesdays, between 9.30 am and 4.30 pm.

"No advance booking is required for tours to these centres by individual visitors. But availability for group visits may be confirmed by telephoning AFD's Conservation Education Unit on tel 2733 2121,” he said.

The spokesman said a number of facilities and exhibits had been installed inside visitor centres for educational purpose.

Among the standard facilities are an audio-visual room, a reception area, a nature comer and many colourful photographs concerning the respective country park and its unique features.

End/Monday, May 15, 1995

Water storage figure

*****

Storage in Hong Kong's reservoirs at 9 am today (Monday) stood at 64.8 per cent of capacity or 379.479 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 383.354 million cubic metres of water, representing 65.4 per cent of capacity.

End/Monday, May 15, 1995

18

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results * * ♦ ♦ *

Tender date Paper on offer Issue number

Amount applied

Amount allotted

Average price (yield) accepted

Lowest price (yield) accepted

Pro rata ratio

Average tender price (yield)

15 May 95

EF notes

2705

HK$2,890 MN

HK$500 MN

100.19(6.40 PCT)

100.16(6.41 PCT)

About 72 PCT

100.11 (6.44 PCT)

End/Monday, May 15, 1995

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

kmiilkm Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 985 0930 +1,563

Closing balance in the account 3,202 1000 + 1,563

Change attributable to : 1100 + 1,567

Money market activity +1,557 1200 + 1,567

LAF today +660 1500 +1,557

1600 +1,557

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 119.0 *+0.0* 15.5.95

19

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.62 19 months 2611 6.90 101.07 6.24

1 month 5.62 22 months 2702 7.50 102.11 6.31

3 months 5.75 30 months 3710 7.25 101.73 6.58

6 months 5.83 36 months 3804 6.90 100.69 6.75

12 months 6.00 59 months 5003 7.75 102.46 7.26

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $ 21,286 million

Closed May 15, 1995

End/Monday, May 15, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Tuesday, May 16,1995

Contents EatteJNo-

Governor voices concern over unemployment figures.................... 1

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

Unemployment and underemployment figures for Jan - Mar 1995 ......... 5

Launching of Hong Kong Internet Home Page............................ 6

Abuse of trade rules for protectionist purpose....................... 8

Survey starts on building, construction and real estate.............. 11

Relocation of ferry services in Central.............................. 12

52 pollution cases in April.......................................... 13

Teachers require in government schools............................... 14

Flushing water cut in Kwai Chung..................................... 15

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results.......................... 16

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

- 1 -

Governor voices concern over unemployment figures ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, today (Tuesday) expressed concern over the rate of unemployment in Hong Kong.

Mr Patten was commenting on unemployment figures released today when he spoke to the media after a visit to the Hong Kong Technical College (Chai Wan).

He said the figures were undoubtedly disturbing. However, he did not think that anybody had to be alarmed at the trend in unemployment.

The Governor noted that unemployment in Hong Kong is much lower than in most other communities.

"Nevertheless, we have enjoyed very low unemployment figures for many years, and all of us want to see it staying like that.

"In order the ensure that we have the best possible labour market and the best possible employment figures and prospect in the future, it is extremely important to do everything we can to go on improving training, re-training and job placement.

"And I want to see us give particular priority to these areas of policy in coming months and years,” he said.

The Governor said he knew that there were concerns on the part of unions and the workforce about the trend in unemployment over the past few months.

"So I have invited leaders of our unions and their representatives in the Legislative Council to come and meet me this week on Thursday to discuss their concerns,” he said.

Replying to a question on the importation of labour, the Governor said this was an issue which the Government would like to discuss with representatives of the workforce.

He noted that during a recent debate on the subject in the Legislative Council, the Government had made it clear that it intended to review the general labour importation scheme and that for the time being there would be no new quota allocated.

- 2 -

’’The first point I'll make is that the number actually coming in under the general importation scheme is of course a great deal lower than the number of unemployed. It's about a third of the number of unemployed.

"Secondly, under the importation scheme, we do have provision to ensure that people aren’t coming to jobs which could be taken by locals," he said.

End/Tuesday, May 16, 1995

Transcript of the Governor's media session *****

Following is a transcript of the media session by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, after visiting the Hong Kong Technical College (Chai Wan) today (Tuesday):

Governor: As I am sure you know, the Vocational Training Council has established two excellent technical colleges to take over the Higher Diploma and Higher Certificate courses that were formerly conducted by the polytechnics. I’ve visited the other of our new technical colleges, Tsing Yi, on a couple of occasions. I was very keen to come to Chai Wan and see the work that's being done here. I think anybody who comes to our technical colleges can be very proud of our young people and of the colleges themselves. I think it is a good reason for having confidence in the future when you see what is being accomplished here. One reason why I think it is particularly relevant is brought home to us all by this afternoon's undoubtedly disturbing unemployment figures. I don't think that anybody has to be alarmed the trend in unemployment, but I think there is room for concern. Of course, it is true to say that unemployment in Hong Kong is much lower than in most other communities. But, nevertheless, we’ve enjoyed very low unemployment figures over the years. And all of us want to see it staying like that. In order to ensure that we have the best possible labour market and the best possible employment figures and prospect in the future, it is extremely important to do everything we can to go on improving training, re-training and job placement. And I want to see us give particular priority to these areas of policy in the coming months and years. I know that there is concern on the part unions and the work force about the trend in unemployment over the last few months. So I have invited leaders of our unions and their representatives in the Legislative Council to come and meet me this week on Thursday to discuss their concerns and it won't of course be the first time that I've met them and it won’t be the first time that I've been involved in union activities in Hong Kong. But I do think it is extremely important that we try to avoid politicising this issue and try to ensure that we have the best possible dialogue in the community about employment and about continuing to ensure that Hong Kong, unlike a lot of other communities, has the best possible employment prospects.

3

Question: Some legislators criticised that the high unemployment rate is due to the importation of foreign labour. What will the Government do to curb the increasing of the rate? Will the Government stop to import foreign labour?

Governor: We have a good debate about that in the Legislative Council a few weeks ago. During that debate we made clear first of all that we intended to review the general labour importation scheme and secondly that for the time being there’ll be no new quota allocated. I just want to make a couple of obvious points about the importation scheme which is not to see that we don’t recognise that this is an issue which we want to discuss with representatives of the work force. The first point I'll make is that the number actually coming in under the general importation scheme is of course a great deal lower than the number unemployed. It's about a third the number of unemployed. And, it is a great deal lower than the number of job vacancies in the community which is just below the number of unemployed. Secondly, under the importation scheme, we do have provision to ensure that people aren't coming to jobs which could be taken by locals. Now, one of the points I want to discuss with union representatives is their concern which they articulated, which some of our Legislative Councillors articulated, that there is occasionally abuse of the scheme and that sometimes it is used in ways which weren't intended. So, that's one of the reasons why we are reviewing it. And, I hope that we can be entirely open about ways in which the scheme can be improved if that's necessary.

Question: Governor, many Hong Kong people would like to see Anson Chan change her diary to facilitate a meeting with Director Lu Ping. Why is this impossible to do?

Governor: I think many people in Hong Kong, indeed the majority of people in Hong Kong don't want to see this week entirely dominated by discussion about why it is Director Lu during his week with us and during the 20-odd meals that he is eating in Hong Kong, isn't able to see the Governor or the Chief Secretary. I don't want to say any more about that. I think that is an issue which we should try to put behind us and look to the future. The Chief Secretary has made a statement this morning, looking to the future she said and there's a point that I share with her, that we both hope that now that she's been invited to meet Director Lu in China and I think that is a welcome advance, he will be able to suggest some dates which she would find available and convenient. And she's pointed out she would welcome that, for example, during the whole of July which has even more than one week in it. So I hope that proves possible and I think that to repeat myself, everybody in Hong Kong would very much welcome it if we could sort out a date during the course of this week, bearing in mind that it's said that Director Lu's diary seems to be so full. But that's all I think I want to say on the subject, I want us to get with the job of getting on top of our problems, resolving our difficulties, and I hope we can do that in co-opcration with Chinese officials. I think it is a pity that opportunities have been lost this week.

4

Question: Do you think that....

Governor: I don’t want to add to what I’ve said . I think that's a question which you should put to the Director during one of his press conferences this week. I am sure he will be very happy to answer. Any others? I think the community would like us to meet, judging by a poll which I think has been conducted and announced this afternoon.

Question: What do you think about the facilities of this College?

Governor: What do I think about the facilities of this College? I think that they are extremely good. I think they will be even better when you’ve got the new sports facilities, the swimming pool built, which will be make next summer more bearable. I was very impressed by the equipment in the College, as you know the expenditure on the equipment is about half the cost of the total expenditure on the College. It is a very, very well-equipped College and I am sure all the students here will take the maximum advantage of the opportunities available to them. I am looking forward to coming back and eating at the College in the dining room. I don’t want you to think I am obsessed with food. But I am very much looking forward to coming back and having an evening meal either in the Chinese or in the international restaurant. Very, very good, many of you who can manage to get in them will know that there are also excellent karaoke singers. Thank you very much indeed.

Question: Governor, will you approve the former Police Commissioner employed by the Cheung Kong Holdings?

Governor: Former Commissioner Li Kwan-ha. I am pleased that Mr Li had a meeting with the Secretary for Civil Service yesterday. I think that was useful. I think it's helpful that while the issue is sorted out, Mr Li has decided not to continue with his work. And I hope that the problems with the questions which Michael Sze has asked can be answered as soon as possible. There is no question that this is an issue in which there is a very great deal of public interest. It's important for the integrity of the public service, it's important for other civil servants, it's important for other serving police officers, it's important for the community's confidence in the civil service and in our discipline services that we make sure it is sorted out and that people have the maximum faith in the existing rules which govern employment opportunities for retired public servants.

End/Tuesday, May 16, 1995

5

Unemployment and underemployment figures for Jan - Mar 1995 ♦ * * ♦ *

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for January - March 1995 was 2.8%, and the underemployment rate was 1.4%, according to the latest labour force statistics released today (Tuesday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

The provisional seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the period of February - April 1995 was 3.0%, while the provisional underemployment rate was 1.5%.

"The latest unemployment figures show that the labour market has eased somewhat from the latter part of last year," a Government spokesman said.

"This is in part due to more lay-offs, but is also the result of more workers quitting because they were not satisfied with their jobs. Nevertheless, for those in employment, the underemployment rate has remained at a low level."

During the period of January - March 1995, the number of unemployed persons was estimated at 78,800. Of this, 6,300 were first-time job-seekers. The number of underemployed persons was estimated at 42,800.

The unemployment and underemployment statistics were obtained from a continuous General Household Survey conducted by the Census and Statistics Department.

The survey for January - March 1995 covered a quarterly sample of some 12,600 households or 42,800 persons, selected scientifically to represent the land-based civilian non-institutional population in Hong Kong.

Relevant data were obtained from the survey by interviewing each individual member aged 15 or over in the households sampled.

In the survey, the definitions used in measuring unemployment and underemployment follow closely those recommended by the International Labour Organisation.

6

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 March 1995 will be available at the Government Publications Centre, ground floor, Low Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong by the end of next month at $32 a copy.

End/Tuesday, May 16, 1995

Launching of Hong Kong Internet Home Page * * ♦ ♦ ♦

In keeping with its position as one of the world's most advanced economies, Hong Kong today (Tuesday)launched a government-backed Internet Home Page for economic and business development.

Developed by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (ETO) in San Francisco, the Home Page contains extensive information on the territory, its business climate and economy, ongoing business developments and guidance for doing business there.

"Hong Kong is the hub of the world's most exciting and vibrant market. It just made sense to those of us entrusted with continuing its economic growth that we use the most exciting and vibrant technology - the Internet - to help us do our job," said the Director of the Hong Kong ETO in San Francisco, Thomas Chun-yuen Chan.

According to the Internet Society in America, the network consists of 1.5 million computers linked together by 30,000 different networks, and spanning some 200 countries world-wide. The number of users of the Internet is estimated to be between 20 and 30 million, with a projected growth rate of 10 per cent monthly.

He said no wonder the Governor of Hong Kong, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, described the Internet as "one of the most exciting developments in the world of personal communications" in his welcome message on the Hong Kong Home Page.

Mr Patten compares the magic in the Web to the magic of Hong Kong's postwar development:

7

"A refugee community with no more natural resources than a fine harbour has built one of the greatest cities of the modem world. Six million lively and hardworking people packed into a few small islands and a mountainous peninsula have built the world's eighth largest trading economy, one of the world's leading financial centres and a breathtaking gateway between the heart of Asia and the rest of the world."

The Governor also said the magic of Hong Kong comes as no surprise: Hong Kong offers free markets, the rule of law and respect for individuals. It is a tolerant society that encourages economic development and provides free access to information. It is one of the world's most sophisticated telecommunications environments, and people there are becoming a rapidly growing part of the Internet community.

The Hong Kong Home Page provides users with an on- line access to of all major government information relating to business and trade. It uses graphics, illustrations and links to move users quickly and easily through its various sections.

Businesses interested in locating or investing in Hong Kong can get complete details on government regulations, personal and corporate taxes, banking and finance and projected economic growth.

The Home Page also contains practical details such as updated information on office rental and housing costs, expected expatriate and local compensation, hotel and shopping information.

It opens with a welcome message from Mr Patten and consists of the following sections:

* Background on the territory: including a complete transcript of the Sino-British Joint Declaration on the future of Hong Kong:

* Doing business: a section containing information from business registration forms to taxes and projected office rental and housing costs;

Travel and Tourism: a section with complete hotel, shopping and sightseeing information;

* News: a compendium of the ETO's monthly reports on the territory.

8

"We are very excited about using the Internet to reach thousands of prospective business partners and to move our messages quickly to the audience of entrepreneurs using the Internet," said Mr Chan.

"We want these leading-edge businesses to know that Hong Kong is their best platform for doing business in Asia."

As the gateway to China and the rest of Asia, Hong Kong is the regional headquarters for more than 700 international firms. Its strategic geographical location, advanced telecommunications and transportation infrastructure and established financial and legal systems have made it the free-est (according to the Heritage Foundation) and most business-friendly (ranked by Fortune Magazine) economy in the world.

The Hong Kong Government has set up offices to advance and safeguard Hong Kong's economic and commercial interests overseas. There are offices in Washington DC, New York, San Francisco, London, Geneva, Brussels, Toronto and Tokyo.

End/Tuesday, May 16, 1995

Abuse of trade rules for protectionist purpose ♦ ♦ * * *

A Trade Department official today (Tuesday) hit out at the abuse of trade rules saying this would create restrictive, distorting or disrupting effects on international trade.

Addressing a luncheon meeting of the Rotary Club of Hong Kong, Assistant Director-General of Trade. Miss Emma Lau, said it was important that trade rules were put to their proper use.

"In the playing field of international trade, rules can be extremely useful and valuable if they arc used as tools to construct a free and open multilateral trading system and to build up liberal and open trade regimes," she said.

"Therefore, our playing field of international trade, which is currently centred on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), is governed by rules on tariffs and non-tari IT barriers, on export subsidies, on anti-competitive trade practices and on dispute settlement."

9

Miss Lau cited anti-dumping as an area to illustrate that international trade rules could easily be misused for protectionist purposes.

"Anti-dumping is a contingent protection which aims at providing remedies against unfair trade practices involving injurious price discrimination," she said.

"Under the rules of anti-dumping, importing countries can impose antidumping duties on imported products if it can be established that dumping exists, material injury is done to the domestic industry, and a casual link exists between these two."

Miss Lau said "dumping" was determined by a mechanical comparison of the "normal value" of the product with its "export price" but such a simple formula approach failed to distinguish predatory pricing from legitimate price effects of normal competition.

"As regards ’injury', this remains a matter of subjective judgement. Although there are references to economic indicators such as output, market share, revenue, profits, capacity utilisation, there is no defined criteria for determining when injury is 'material'," she said.

"Needless to say, the determination of casual link between 'dumping' and 'injury' is always more a matter of subjective judgement than objective analysis."

Miss Lau said the results were that anti-dumping was applied inappropriately and ineffectively in the modem economy.

"The proliferation of anti-dumping cases create enormous disruption to trade. And, ironically from time to time, we are amused by, or saddened at, the absurd results arising from selected cases," she said.

"Theoretically, while it is difficult to see how small firms in open and highly competitive economies like Hong Kong can be a source of dumping, we in Hong Kong experienced a flood of nine cases within a short period of two years in 1988 and 1989.

"Although eight out of nine cases were subsequently terminated, Hong Kong was the loser as trade was stifled in the process."

10

Speaking of rules of origin, Miss Lau pointed out that in the modem globalised economy, as the processes of sourcing, manufacturing and marketing of products rarely took place in one single country, it was difficult to decide where a particular product was made.

However, she said, rules of origin are still being applied in many aspects of trade activities and, in some instances, manipulated by individual players to protect their domestic industries.

"In reality, changes to rules of origin can be and are used as trade harassment tools and could create immense difficulties for businessmen in the conduct of trading activities on a daily basis," she said.

"We have bitter experiences in this respect. The textiles and clothing industry would have vivid memory of the disruption caused to our trade by the sudden change of US origin rules for certain restrained textiles and clothing products in 1984-85.

"More recently, the imposition of the new Mexican origin requirement last year created immense problems for our traders.

"And now, we arc faced with another proposed change to origin rules for textiles and clothing products by the US which will take effect in July 1996."

Miss Lau said the best way to prevent abuse was to ensure the proper use of rules to achieve desirable objectives.

"To this end, we should continue to play our active and constructive part to promote free and open trade within a stable and effective multilateral trading system governed by fair and sound rules," she said.

"On top of this, it is also important that we work hard to ensure that improvements to existing systems of rules which are set out in the World Trade Organization Agreements are faithfully implemented.

"In the longer term, we should not lose sight of the need to explore how authorised rules could be further improved, enhanced or even replaced, in pursuit of free trade and competition."

End/Tuesday, May 16, 1995

11

Survey starts on building, construction and real estate *****

The Census and Statistics Department announced today (Tuesday) that the Survey of Building, Construction and Real Estate Sectors for 1994 has started. The annual survey is part of a continuous programme to compile statistics on the structure and performance of various economic activities in Hong Kong.

The survey aims to obtain up-to-date statistical data for evaluating the contribution of the building, construction and real estate activities to Hong Kong’s gross domestic product and for ascertaining their cost structure, operating characteristics and output levels. The survey results are useful to both the government and the private sector in formulating policies and making decisions.

The Commissioner for Census and Statistics, Mr Frederick Ho, appealed to the managements of all sampled establishments to fulfil their legal and social responsibilities by returning promptly the completed questionnaires and co-operating with officers of the department in the course of the survey.

He stressed that information relating to individual establishments would be treated in strict confidence under the Census and Statistics Ordinance. Only aggregate information that does not reveal details of individual establishments will be released.

Mr Ho also pointed out that audited accounts are not essential for the supply of income and expenditure data required in the survey. The Census and Statistics Department accepts figures based on preliminary accounts or estimates which are correct to the best of the respondents' knowledge at the time of submission of the questionnaire, if audited accounts are not yet available.

About 5,000 establishments engaged in the following activities will be enumerated in the present round of the survey, including a full coverage of prominent establishments and a random sample of smaller establishments:

* building and civil engineering construction;

* real estate development;

* architectural, surveying and project engineering; and

* real estate leasing, brokerage and maintenance management.

12

The survey is conducted under the Census and Statistics (Annual Survey of Building, Construction and Real Estate Sectors) (Amendment) Order 1995, which was made under the Census and Statistics Ordinance (Chapter 316) and issued as Legal Notice No. 77 in the Hong Kong Government Gazette on February 17.

A different version of survey questionnaire is used for each of the four aforementioned categories of establishments. In general, information to be sought in the survey includes: type of ownership; number of direct employees; compensation of employees; consumption of materials and supplies; payments for sub-contract work; other operating expenses; value of construction work performed; value of properties under development and the associated project outlays (including land values); other forms of business receipts; capital expenditure; and other related information on the business operation of the establishments.

Survey questionnaires have been mailed to the sampled establishments. These establishments are required by law to complete and return the questionnaires to the Census and Statistics Department by July 31. If required, officers of the department will visit individual establishments and assist them in completing the questionnaires. These officers will each carry a Government Identity Card and a certificate for conducting the survey whilst on duty, which are available for inspection.

Any enquiries regarding the survey may be directed to the Building, Construction and Real Estate Statistics Section of the Census and Statistics Department on 2839 3204.

End/Tuesday, May 16, 1995

Relocation of ferry services in Central *****

The Transport Department announces that starting from Thursday (May 18) the berthing points in Central for the Tuen Mun to Central. Tsuen Wan to Central via Tsing Yi ferry services and the Mui Wo to Central, Cheung Chau to Central and Peng Chau to Central hoverferry services will be relocated from the Central Harbour Services Ferry Pier and the government pier at Pier Road to new Pier No. 6 on the northern edge of the Central reclamation phase I.

Appropriate directional signs will be provided in the vicinity of the concerned piers to guide passengers.

End/Tuesday, May 16, 1995

13

52 pollution cases in April ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A total of 52 convictions were made in the courts last month for breaching antipollution legislation enforced by the Environmental Protection Department.

Among them, 10 were convictions made under the Air Pollution Control Ordinance (APCO), 13 under the Noise Control Ordinance (NCO), 15 under the Water Pollution Control Ordinance (WPCO), 11 under the Waste Disposal Ordinance (WDO) and three under the Ozone Layer Protection Ordinance (OLPO).

The fines ranged from $800 to $60,000. Sussex Development Limited was fined $60,000 for discharging polluting matter in the Tolo Harbour and Channel Water Control Zone.

Attention News Editors:

Enquiries on specific cases can be directed to the following officers:

Case Officer Tel

Cases 1-5 Betty Cheung 2402 5201

Cases 6-8 Franklin Chung 2417 6074

11

24-25

Cases 9, 12 Dick Rootham 2755 2200

Cases 13-20 Patrick Lei 2685 1133

26-30

39-44 r

Cases 21-23 Steven Ho 2516 1800

38

Cases 31-37 Murray Luo 2411 9601

10

45-49

Cases 50-52 Raymond Leung 2594 6401

However, enquiries on general issues should be directed to the department’s Media Relations Unit.


End/Tuesday, May 16, 1995

14

Teachers require in government schools * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

■ ' .t ■'> ••' ’ . I • ;* • ' ’

The Education Department is inviting applications for teaching posts of Assistant Education Officer (AEO) and Certificated Master/Mistress (CM) in government primary and secondary schools.

A spokesman for the department today (Tuesday) said applicants for the AEO post should be holders of a Hong Kong degree or equivalent.

Final year students taking their degree examination this summer may also apply for the post, the spokesman added.

For the post of CM, applicants should have a teachers’ certificate from a Hong Kong college of education or the Hong Kong Technical Teachers’ College two-year or three-year full-time training course with appropriate elective subject or equivalent. • ■ ■

Final year students of the Hong Kong Institute of Education or candidates who will be awarded a qualified teacher status after completion of the Non-Graduate Teacher Qualification Assessment Scheme may also apply, their appointments will be subject to their obtaining of a teacher’s certificate or qualified teacher status this year.

... j

Successful candidates for AEO will be required to teach English language/literature or Chinese language in government secondary schools.

Whereas successful candidates for CM will be responsible? for teaching English, music, physical education, home economics and design and technology in government primary or secondary schools or the practical education centre.

The pay scale for the AEO post is between $ 16?475 and $34,690. Candidates without a Postgraduate Certificate in Education or equivalent, if appointed, will not be permitted to proceed beyond Point 27 of the Master Pay Scale, that is, $26,335 per month, without acquiring the qualification subsequently.

The pay scale for the CM post ranges from. $14,220 to $22,975. Successful applicants who have completed a two-year full-time teacher training course before 1982, or a one-year full-time teacher training course and have a certificate in the Advanced Course of Teacher Education will be appointed at $13,535. Holders of Non-Graduate Teacher Qualifications Assessment Certificate, if selected, will be appointed at $12,760.

15

. >■

Application forms are available at district offices of the Home Affairs Department and the Labour Department's local employment services.

Completed application forms should reach the Education Department's Appointment Registry, Appointments and Personal Sub-division, Room 1631, 16th floor, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai, on or before May 27.

Applicants who have applied for the same posts in November 1994 need not reapply-

For further enquiries about the post of AEO, please call 2892 6159, and for CM please call 2892 6102.

End/Tuesday, May 16, 1995.

Flushing water cut in Kwai Chung ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Flushing water supply to some premises in Kwai Chung will be temporarily suspended from 9 am to 5 pm on Thursday (May 18) to facilitate maintenance work.

The suspension will affect all the premises in Lei Muk Shue Estate, Shek Lei Estate, Shek Yam Estate, On Yam Estate, Shek Wai Kok Estate, Cheung Shan Estate and those at Wo Yi Hop Road.

End/Tuesday, May 16, 1995

16

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results ♦ * * * *

Tender date 16 May 95 16 May 95

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q520 Y589

Amount applied HK$3,810MN HK$3,340 MN

Amount allotted HK$ 1,500 MN HKS500 MN ?>

Average yield accepted 5.71 PCT 5.97 PCT

Highest yield accepted 5.73 PCT 5.98 PCT

Pro rata ratio About 40 PCT About 80 PCT

Average tender yield 5.73 PCT 6.01 PCT

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

Tenders to be held in the week beginning 22 May, 1995

Tender date 23 May 95 23 May 95

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q521 H565 ' '

Issue date 24 May 95 24 May 95

Maturity date 23 Aug 95 22 Nov 95

Tenor 91 days 182 days

Amount on offer HK$ 1,500+300 MN HK$800+160 MN

End/Tuesday, May 16, 1995

- 17 -

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 3,202 0930 -672

Closing balance in the account 2,738 1000 -672

Change attributable to : 1100 -679

Money market activity -679 1200 -679

LAF today +215 1500 -679

1600 -679

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 118.9 *-0.1* 16.5.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.55 18 months 2611 6.90 101.17 6.16

1 month 5.60 24 months 2705 7.40 100.36 6.30

3 months 5.71 29 months 3710 7.25 101.98 6.46

6 months 5.78 35 months 3804 6.90 100.98 6.63

12 months 5.96 58 months 5003 7.75 103.00 7.13

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $ 13,870 million

Closed May 16, 1995

End/Tuesday, May 16, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Wednesday, May 17,1995

Contents Page Nq,

Transcript of the Governor’s media session .............................. 1

New Legislative measures for building safety proposed.................... 4

Membership of Medical Council to be enlarged............................. 5

HKMA Annual Report 1994.................................................. 6

Study on the social causes of juvenile crime completed..................  8

Sino-British Land Commission........................................ 11

Governor visits Shek Kip Mei Estate................................. 11

Rehabilitation society chiefs visit training centre..................... 12

Licentiate Examination results announced................................ 12

Monitors’ report submitted to CS........................................ 13

84 VMs depart on Orderly Repatriation Flight............................ 13

Applications invited for mortgage subsidy............................... 14

Tsuen Wan lot to let................................................ 15

Relocation of ferry services in Central................................. 15

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations.................... 16

1

Transcript of the Governor’s media session ♦ ♦ ♦ * *

The following is a transcript of the media session by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, following a visit to Shek Kip Mei Estate:

Governor: Those of you who come to ExCo meetings as well, I mean not actually to ExCo meetings but to wait to see if anybody will say anything after or before ExCo meetings, you’ll remember that in early April, I received a petition from Shek Kip Mei tenants about redevelopment of their estate. I was very keen to come to the estate with Rosanna Wong, the Chairman of the Housing Authority and with the Director to see for myself the conditions of the estate. The Housing Authority have, in the meantime added seven blocks to their redevelopment programme. I am pleased to see both the work that needs to be done in the next five year programme and will be done and to see some of the work that have already been done in improving the quality of the housing on the estate. We’re building a large number of flats in Hong Kong. We’re spending a lot of money on modernising and redeveloping flats, on removing THAs as rapidly as we can, beginning with the older ones. And that’s all important work and we can't ever forget that people’s housing conditions are one of their great priorities and remain one of the principal tasks of the administration. And I will continue to make regular series of visits with the chairman, who does such an excellent job, to see conditions for myself.

Question: The PWC has proposed a two-page opinions on the establishment of the Court of Final Appeal, how it should be arranged. This seems to cause further complications on this matter. Do you think this will cause further complications and do you think the consequence will be that the Court of Final Appeal couldn't be set up by 1997?

Governor: I am not sure why they need to do this work. There is after all already an agreement on the Court of Final Appeal reached in the Joint Liaison Group in 1991. It's a good agreement. We’ve put it into legislation. The Chinese side have had that Bill since May last year and perhaps it would have been interesting to hear from the PWC whether there were any ways at all in which our Bill departs from the agreement in the Joint Liaison Group. I'm sure they must have recognised that the community, not least business community, and international investors want us to get on with the job of establishing a Court of Final Appeal as soon as possible. One thing I don’t quite understand is the suggestion that they can simply set up a Court of Final Appeal on July 1, 1997. That betrays a certain lack of understanding of the procedures, of the amount of time it would take, not of course just getting premises and so on, but selecting the judges, agreeing on the procedures of the court and getting those procedures accepted in subsidiary legislation. That's all quite a lengthy process. I don't think anybody in the legal profession in Hong Kong has raised any questions about the time that it will take to get the CFA up and running which is why we want to get on with it as soon as possible.

- 2 -

Question: Do you think there should be somebody trying to tell them that it's not such a simple matter and its a very complicated one and they can't...

Governor: I am sure that the members of the JLG. And one of their most distinguished former members is a member of the PWC, Ambassador Guo. I am sure that he could tell them that there had been an agreement in 1991 and I'm sure that since Chinese officials are always very keen for us to involve the PWC, and they would want to involve the PWC and show them the agreement and explain to them that the agreement is entirely in line with our Bill. It would be helpful, and I say this not in a political or critical spirit, it would be very helpful if Chinese officials could explain in what way our Bill they've had for over a year differs from the 1991 JLG agreement.

Question: Do you think they understand it?

Governor:. I think that's a question for them. Who am I to speculate on whether they comprehend what they’ve agreed already.

Question: Do you think what the PWC have done is a way that the Chinese Government is going to set up this CFA without British consent?

Governor: I can't believe that Chinese officials are proposing they should break an agreement which they've already entered into.

Question: One more director of a listed company did not disclose his criminal record. What's your comment on this case?

Governor: I understand that its being investigated by the Stock Exchange and it is of course a serious matter and one which they are quite proper to investigate.

Question: You know, just a few cases about this hiding of criminal records, will that affect the reputation of Hong Kong as a financial centre?

Governor: If we weren't to deal with it, it would affect the reputation of Hong Kong which is why I am delighted that the Stock Exchange is dealing with it. We've got in Hong Kong extremely good and widely respected regulatory authorities. We have the SFC, we've got the Stock Exchange itself and we have to make absolutely certain that our reputation as a good, clean, corruption crime free place to do business is maintained because it is one of the reasons why so many people from elsewhere invest money here. It's one of the reasons why so many people want to use Hong Kong as a base for doing business elsewhere in the region.

Question: So you are quite satisfied with the regulation now underway?

3

Governor: I'm never so satisfied that I'm not prepared to consider the room for improvement. But I think in the present circumstances, the rules are clear and I'm pleased that the Stock Exchange are intent on applying them. But if anybody can ever suggest to me or the Stock Exchange that we should be tougher in our regulation then I'm sure we'd want to look at that.

Question: Back to the PWC suggestions. One of the suggestions is that CFA shouldn't have any power to deal with any case concerning the act of state. What is your opinion on that?

Governor: Acts of state are clearly understood in English common law and they are understood to be matters of foreign policy and defence. There's no dispute about that. I think that one of the problems which Chinese officials are having is trying to reconcile the common law which has applied in Hong Kong and which is guaranteed for 50 years about 1997 with some of the provisions of the Basic Law. But that is a problem for Chinese officials and one which everyone in Hong Kong hopes they will resolve satisfactorily.

Question: Why docs the Government offer the Mong Kok roof dwellers temporary housing when the government policy is to get rid of temporary housing estates ?

Governor: Because you have to have somewhere for people to go before they can get permanent housing. We are committed to removing temporary housing estates in Hong Kong. We are making good progress with that. We're on target. I've made it clear that we're intent on removing the older temporary housing estates first which didn't use to be the policy. We used to actually remove them as it became convenient, but we're now concentrating on all the older ones first. But if you're moving people from illegal structures on rooftops, you want to make sure that they arc rehoused and they've got to go somewhere before they have more permanent accommodation to be rehoused. ...Rosanna may want to add ....There is just one thing I'd like to add. The overwhelming majority of those who've been moved from the illegal structures which the demonstration has been about today, the majority of those moved from those illegal structures have accepted the offer of rehousing. It's only a small number who are left. I do think the community recognises that we have to give priority in these circumstances to those who've been waiting for housing for longer.

Ms Wong: Just one point. Because we still have a very long waiting list and if we allow people from the rooftop to go on directly to public rental housing and then those who are waiting for a long time.... wait even longer. So I think this is very.

Governor: And one thing which would obviously do rather paradoxically is to encourage more illegal structures because people would realise that it was a way of getting earlier on to the housing list. So it's a fair policy and I think most people accepted as that. Thank you all very much.

End/Wcdncsday. May 17. 1995

- 4 -

New Legislative measures for building safety proposed

*****

New legislative measures for site safety and registration of professionals and contractors will be gazetted on Friday (May 19) and introduced into the Legislative Council on May 31, the Director of Buildings, Mrs Helen Yu, said today (Wednesday).

"The Buildings (Amendment)(No 2) Bill 1995 proposes to strengthen safety assurance at work sites and to implement self-regulation by building professionals," Mrs Yu said.

Following the collapse of a part of a wall under demolition in Nathan road in September last year, the Government announced a comprehensive action plan to improve safety on work sites.

"The action plan outlined immediate, interim and long range measures to tighten control including legislative review.

"The Bill is the result of this review." Mrs Yu said.

The Buildings Ordinance and subsidiary Regulations will be strengthened in three areas:

* The Building Authority's powers to impose conditions and to require information to ensure safety;

* The system for registration of contractors; and

* Offences and penalties, including those for not providing proper supervision of building works.

"The parties concerned are building owners, registered contractors, site agents, works supervisors, building professionals and any persons carrying out building works.

"Their responsibilities will be defined. Our proposals in the Bill accommodate practically all the recommendations of the Coroner's Court which recently completed an inquest into the deaths at the demolition site at Nathan Road." she said.

"For the new system of contractor registration," Mrs Yu said, "we propose two types of contractors, general building contractors and specialists contractors.

»

- 5 -

"A key requirement for contractors is that their qualification, experience and competence will be assessed by a statutory committee.

"Furthermore, registration will be personal to an individual but corporate bodies or unincorporated associations of persons will not be able to register.

"A grace period of two years is initially proposed for the existing contractors to comply with the new requirements," Mrs Yu said.

"We are also introducing changes to the registration of building professionals, namely 'authorised persons' and 'registered structural engineers.' It will be a system of self-regulation so that their competence and their practice are subject to peer supervision.

"On supervision of sites with works in progress, we have been in consultation with relevant bodies including the professional institutions. The Bill is a framework for safety assurance: we are proposing an enabling provision," Mrs Yu said.

"Regulations have yet to be made on the way in which supervision of sites should be carried out. We will be discussing further with the professional institutions and others concerned on details.

"Our concern is for public safety. Our approach will be a pragmatic one. We will take into account any reasonable and realistic views," she added.

End/Wednesday, May 17, 1995

Membership of Medical Council to be enlarged

*****

A bill which seeks to revise the composition of the Medical Council and its procedures for transacting business as well as the system of registration and examination of medical practitioners, will be introduced into the Legislative Council on June 7.

Under the proposed Medical Registration (Amendment) Bill 1995, the membership of the Medical Council will be increased from 14 to 24 so as to broaden its representation and to cope with its increased workload.

"The enlarged Council will include additional representation from the University of Hong Kong, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Medical Association (HKMA) and the lay sectors." a spokesman for the Health and Welfare Branch said today (Wednesday).

6

"It is also proposed-that the new Council will include 12 elected members - six to be elected from all registered medical practitioners on the General Register and the rest to be elected by the HKMA.

"The introduction of elected members is in line with Government policy of encouraging greater involvement of the profession in its own affairs," he added.

The Bill further proposes to introduce a universal Licensing Examination, the passing of which will qualify a person to be registered under the Medical Registration Ordinance.

This will provide an equal opportunity for anybody who wishes to register as a medical practitioner in Hong Kong, irrespective of where he received his training.

Another proposal in the Bill is the introduction of a General Register and a Specialist Register. The former is to replace the existing register of medical practitioners while the latter contains a list of medical practitioners entitled to be known as medical specialists in their respective specialties.

In addition, three more committees will be set up under the Medical Council, namely the Education Committee, the Ethics Committee and the Health Committee. These are in addition to the existing Licentiate Committee and the Preliminary Investigation Committee.

The spokesman said the proposed Bill had been drawn up after extensive consultation with the Medical Council and the Hong Kong Medical Association.

End/Wednesday, May 17, 1995

HKMA Annual Report 1994

*****

The 1994 annual report of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), published and tabled at the Legislative Council today (Wednesday), provides a detailed account of HKMA's roles and functions. It also contains considerable new information including the approach in managing the Exchange Fund and the outlook of the banking sector in 1995.

Introducing the HKMA’s second annual report, the Chief Executive of the HKMA, Mr Joseph Yam, said: " The year 1994 was fruitful for the Monetary Authority. On the exchange rate front, the year 1994 was comfortably uneventful, which is good for the stability and prosperity of Hong Kong."

7

Throughout 1994, the exchange rate of the HK dollar against US dollar remained very stable.

Explaining the success of the linked rate system, Mr Yam said the currency board mechanism and strong economic fundamentals such as the very high level of foreign reserves, and fiscal discipline had combined to provide a firm anchor for the exchange rate not available in those economies which practised ’’pegged” exchange rate systems.

"These aspects are sometimes overlooked, in particular by some of those who were encouraged by the Mexican crisis to speculate against the Hong Kong dollar in January 1995”, he added, referring to HKMA’s success in defending the Hong Kong dollar during the January episode.

On the management of the Exchange Fund, the annual report reveals in detail the investment strategy adopted by the HKMA, with a clear description of the three operational portfolios of the Fund. These three operational portfolios are the portfolio of assets to act as a hedge against the interest-bearing liabilities of the Fund, the portfolio of liquid reserves and the investment portfolio to preserve the value of the Fund for future generations of the people of Hong Kong.

The operating environment of the banking sector in Hong Kong became more difficult in 1994 amid US interest rates hikes and partial deregulation of retail deposit interest rates. According to the report, the return on assets of the locally incorporated banks fell to 1.83% in 1994 from 1.94% in 1993, although this is still high by international standards.

Although the growth of the banking sector’s profits derived from operations in Hong Kong was more subdued in 1994, Mr Yam is confident that the banks in Hong Kong are well placed to meet the challenges ahead.

Mr Yam said: "While 1995 is likely to be another challenging year for the banking sector, its basic position remains sound. The return on assets enjoyed by locally incorporated banks remains high and they are well capitalised by international standards."

The consolidated capital adequacy ratio of the locally incorporated institutions improved to 17.5% in 1994 from 17.0% in 1993, according to the report.

Turning to the supervisory role of the HKMA in safeguarding the safety and stability of the banking system in Hong Kong, Mr Yam said HKMA had worked closely with the banking community to address a number of supervisory issues. Measures were also taken to enhance the competitiveness of Hong Kong's banking system.

8

Last year, considerable progress had been made on the development of the financial infrastructure of Hong Kong. The project on implementing Real Time Gross Settlement in Hong Kong made a good start in 1994 and is expected to be completed by end-1996. The HKMA is exploring with the central banks in China and the United States possible linkages with their payment systems.

"There is much work ahead for the Monetary Authority. This will continue to be carried out with enthusiasm and professionalism, and in a manner that commands the confidence of the people of Hong Kong and the international financial community," said Mr Yam.

The HKMA’s 1994 annual report will be on sale from May 18 at the Government Publications Centre.

End/Wednesday, May 17, 1995

Study on the social causes of juvenile crime completed *****

The Fight Crime Committee has received the final report and executive summary of research it commissioned into the social causes of juvenile crime in Hong Kong, the Principal Assistant Secretary for Security, Mr Jack Chan, said today (Wednesday).

Mr Chan told a press conference that the Administration would examine in detail the research report and its recommendations, with a view to recommending specific courses of action to tackle the problem of juvenile crime.

He explained that, in May 1990, the Fight Crime Committee noted with concern the considerable increase in juvenile crime and had recommended that research into the causes and problems of juvenile crime should be conducted.

"The Fight Crime Committee commissioned, in September 1992, the Social Sciences Research Centre of the University of Hong Kong to conduct the research," Mr Chan said.

"The objectives of the research were threefold: first, to identify the social causes of crimes committed by young people aged between seven and 20 years; second, to study repeated offending among young offenders; and third, to make recommendations on government policies affecting youth," he added.

Mr Chan said copies of the research report would be sent to the Legislative Council and other interested organisations, committees and advisory bodies, such as the District Boards, the District Fight Crime Committees and the Commission on Youth.

Also speaking at the press conference, the Director of the Social Sciences Research Centre of the University of Hong Kong, Dr John Bacon-Shone, the spokesman for the research team said the research had been large scale and territory wide.

"More than 2,100 students from 30 secondary schools and five technical institutes, and 200 young persons from seven youth centres over the territory completed a detailed questionnaire. The research team also interviewed about 400 young people who were known to be offenders," he said.

"We then analysed the data and came up with our research findings," he said.

The following are the major findings of the research:

* Self-reported delinquency is widespread, but the majority of delinquent acts are committed by only a small proportion of young people (for example, 51 per cent of all delinquent acts mentioned in the questionnaire were committed by only 11 per cent of the sample).

* Delinquency and recidivism among young people are largely the result of subcultural factors (for example, undesirable leisure activities, lifestyles and friends or level of involvement in marginal youth subcultures) and negative labelling, especially from schools. In general, delinquents tend to spend less time at home with parents, more time with friends and in public places, such as amusement games centres, and they hold anti-school attitudes.

* "Problem behaviour" does not necessarily lead to delinquency. Indeed, the study suggests that the relationship is complex, and often the reverse is the case. In general, the data suggest that there are different pathways to delinquency.

* Family members often monitor delinquents and detect delinquency - this suggests that many families do monitor their young members and do not simply allow them to go their own way.

* While many young offenders do escalate from, committing property offences to crimes against the person, the violence involved is usually minor.

* There are some associations, although not a direct causal relationship, between mass media consumption and delinquency. Mass media consumption can be regarded as part of a wider subcultural array of behaviour that influences delinquency.

10

* Some young offenders are placed under supervision, in residential institutions or custody after only a short "criminal career" involving only minor offences; this finding is based principally on the self-reports of young offenders and should therefore be interpreted with caution, although it is supported by Social Welfare Department and Correctional Services Department statistical data.

* Outreaching social work may indirectly reduce or prevent delinquency.

Dr Bacon-Shone said according to the findings, there was no single "cause" of juvenile delinquency, though several factors related to school, the family and the use of leisure time could make delinquency more likely, and such factors could reinforce each other.

"In general, the earlier the onset of delinquency, the longer and more serious the delinquent 'career' will be. but those who are labelled as delinquent experience further problems as a result; this may drive them further into the marginal youth subculture and reinforce their patterns of offending," he said.

Based on the findings, Dr Bacon-Shone said the following recommendations were made:

* Schools should do more to retain their marginal students.

* Family support should be extended.

* Work with marginal youth should be developed and expanded.

* Liaison between the Police and social workers should be enhanced.

* Use of cautioning under the Superintendents' Discretion Scheme should be expanded and the provision of supplementary welfare services to cautioned young persons should be further developed.

* A consultative body, comprising representatives of the Police, and the Social Welfare and Education Departments, should be established to monitor cautioning practices.

* Further alternatives to residential and custodial penalties should be introduced, such as the creation of community-based programmes.

* Further research should take greater account of intcractionist theories and concentrate on the studies of marginal youth subculture and the significance of family relationships as a defence against delinquency.

End/Wednesday. May 17. 1995

J

Sino-British Land Commission *****

The two sides of the Sino-British Land Commission have agreed that the Commission's 30th meeting will be held on May 19, 1995. The meeting will discuss the 1995/96 Land Disposal Programme.

End/Wednesday, May 17, 1995

Governor visits Shek Kip Mei Estate *****

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, today (Wednesday) visited Shek Kip Mei Estate to look at changes brought about by the redevelopment programme and the community services available in the sprawling estate with 44 blocks.

Met on arrival by the Chairman of the Housing Authority, Ms Rosanna Wong, and the Director of Housing. Mr Fung Tung, the Governor was briefed on the history of the estate and details of its future redevelopment.

The party then visited a family of three in Block 2 which had moved from the Shek Kip Mei squatter area in 1964 and another family of four in Block 8 which is a converted self-contained block with bathroom and kitchen.

The. next stop was Block 42 where the Governor saw the job-training and employment opportunities provided to the mentally retarded at the Po Leung Kuk Shek Kip Mei Workshop.

Mr Patten finally visited the Yan Chai Hospital Tang Bik Wan Memorial Social Centre for the Elderly in Block 21. The Centre organises different activities for the elderly in the district to promote a sense of belonging to the community.

End/Wednesday. May 17. 1995

- 12 -

Rehabilitation society chiefs visit training centre *****

The Chairman of the Society for the Rehabilitation of Offenders (SRO), Mr Arthur Garcia, and Vice-Chairman, Mr Justice Wong visited the Correctional Services Department’s Lai King Training Centre and Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre this (Wednesday) morning to see for themselves the management and operation of the two institutions.

Accompanied by the Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Lai Ming-kee, Mr Garcia and Mr Justice Wong first toured the Lai King Training Centre. They visited the vocational training workshops, computer training room, classrooms, dormitories, dining and recreation hall, and kitchen of the centre.

They then proceeded to Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre where they visited the laundry, workshops, dormitories, cells, dining hall, exercise compound and hospital.

The two visitors were very impressed by the care and effort made by Correctional Services Department's staff in reforming the young offenders.

Lai King Training Centre came into operation in 1978. At present, it accommodates some 310 young offenders. Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre came into operation in 1977. It is a maximum security penal institution providing accommodation for over 1,000 convicted and remand adult male prisoners.

End/Wednesday. May 17, 1995

Licentiate Examination results announced

*****

The Licentiate Committee of the Medical Council of Hong Kong announced today (Wednesday) that a total of 42 candidates have passed Part II of the Licentiate Examination for unregistrable doctors this year.

The Part II examination, a paper on English for professional use, was held in March and May, giving candidates a choice of examination dates and also the opportunity for those who failed in the first examination a second chance to take this part of the examination in the same year.

Among 35 candidates who took the Part II Licentiate Examination in March, 28 passed while 14 out of 17 candidates who took the examination in May passed.

13

All those who have passed the Part II examination this year are eligible to take the Part III examination scheduled for July.

The Part III examination is an oral test on candidates' ability to apply professional knowledge to clinical problems in each of the three disciplines of medicine, surgery and obstetrics and gynaecology.

End/Wednesday, May 17, 1995

Monitors' report submitted to CS

*****

The monitors appointed to observe the Orderly Repatriation Programme operation this (Wednesday) morning have submitted their report to the Chief Secretary.

Mr Warren Hui Wor-lam, a Justice of the Peace, and Mr Surya Rao from Christian Action observed the transfer of 84 Vietnamese migrants to the airport this morning.

The monitors described the operation as organised and smooth.

End/Wednesday, May 17, 1995

84 VMs depart on Orderly Repatriation Flight

*****

A group of 84 Vietnamese migrants (VMs) returned to Vietnam today (Wednesday) on the 22nd flight under the Orderly Repatriation Programme (ORP).

The returnees, comprising 33 men, 28 women, 11 boys and 12 girls, were mainly from High Island Detention Centre. The oldest is 46 years old and the youngest is one-and-a-half.

Most of them arrived in Hong Kong in 1988 and 1989. Two arrived last year.

The group brought to 1,271 the total number repatriated on ORP flights since November 1991.

The returnees were transported to the airport early this morning for predeparture security checks before boarding their flight for Hanoi.

/

- 14 -

' -I • ♦

The Refugee Co-ordinator, Mr Brian Bresnihan, stressed that the Government was determined to repatriate all screened-out VMs 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, May 17, 1995

Applications invited for mortgage subsidy

***** f

The Education Department is inviting eligible full-time employees holding subvented posts in aided schools to apply for assistance under the 1995-96 Mortgage Interest Subsidy Scheme (MISS).

• *5 • •

A spokesman for the Education Department said today (Wednesday) that eligible staff are:

♦ those receiving a monthly basic salary equivalent to master pay scale point 22 or above ($20,955 or more) and having a minimum of 10 years’ continuous recognised service as at April 30, 1995; or

* those receiving a monthly basic salary below master pay scale point 22 who have minimum of 20 years’ continuous recognised service as at April 30, 1995.

The closing date for submitting applications is June 28, 1995.

’’Circulars, application forms and relevant information leaflets have been sent to heads of schools today.

’’Under the scheme, successful applicants will receive a monthly subsidy for payment of interest on their home mortgage loan,” the spokesman said.

Enquiries about the scheme should be directed to the MISS Section on 2961 7406 or 2961 7409.

• G-‘- . •

End/Wednesday, May 17, 1995

•f

- 15 -

Tsuen Wan lot to let , * ♦ ♦ * *

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

* St

Located in Wo Tik Street, Tsuen Wan, the lot has an area of 3,699 square metres for use as a fee-paying public carpark.

The tenancy is for one year, renewable quarterly.

Closing date for submission of tender is at noon on June 9. ,.

•* >x.

Tender forms, tender notice and conditions may be obtained from the District Lands Office, Tsuen Wan, 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, May 17, 1995.

Relocation of ferry services in Central ♦ * * * *

The Transport Department announces that starting from tomorrow (May 18) the berthing points in Central for the Tuen Mun to Central, Tsuen Wan to Central via Tsing Yi ferry services and the Mui Wo to Central, Cheung Chau to Central and Peng Chau to Central hoverferry services will be relocated from the Central Harbour Services Ferry Pier and the Government pier at Pier Road to new Pier No. 6 on the northern edge of the Central reclamation phase I.

Appropriate directional signs will be provided in the vicinity of the concerned piers to guide passengers.

End/Wednesday, May 17, 1995

- 16 -

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

t 9 $ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account . / 2,738 0930 1 5 -209

Closing balance in the account 2,101 1000 -209

Change attributable to : 1100 -247

Money market activity -227 1200 -247

LAF today -410 1500 -227

■ ' t'. ' 1600 -227

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 119.1 *+0.2* 17.5.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.58 18 months 2611 6.90 101.14 6.18

1 month 5.63 24 months 2705 7.40 100.29 6.34

3 months 5.74 29 months 3710 7.25 101.83 6.53

6 months 5.82 35 months 3804 6.90 100.78 6.71

12 months 5.99 58 months 5003 7.75 102.72 7.20

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $17,719 million

Closed May 17, 1995

End/Wednesday, May 17, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

SUPPLEMENT

Wednesday, May 17,1995

Contents Page No,

Legislative Council meeting:

SHW on UN summit for social development............................. 1

SHA on declaration of world summit for social development........... 4

Debate on review of Home Ownership Scheme........................... 7

Bill to amend anti-corruption laws introduced...................... 11

Prevention of Bribery (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 1995 ........ 14

Pensions (Special Provision) Bill 1995 ............................ 17

Matrimonial Causes (Amendment) Bill 1994 .......................... 18

Land Survey Bill................................................... 23

Energy efficiency.................................................. 27

Measures to safeguard foreign exchanges reserves................... 28

Illegal immigrants in prison....................................... 30

/Hong Kong.....

t

Contents PageNo,

Hong Kong Academy of Medicine.......................................... 32

Village representatives elections........................................... 33

Benzene volatilised from petrol stations.................................... 35

Use of Chinese language in Government departments...................... 37

Sexual abuse cases involving children....................................... 40

Number of directorate posts in public hospitals........................ 41

CLP's customer-owned development fund....................................... 43

Nurses for care and attention homes......................................... 44

Disclosure of personal data of LegCo members’ assistants............... 45

Allocation of funds to hospitals....................................... 46

Schools in North and TP................................................ 51

Illegally occupied public housing flats.......................<........ 54

Private residential care homes......................................... 55

Public safety in former firing range areas............................. 57

University lecturers’ lecturing hours.................................. 59

Bulling cases in schools............................................... 61

Hospital Authority's expenses in operations............................ 62

Accuracy of electoral roll............................................. 64

1

SHW on UN summit for social development ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council on motion debate on declaration of World Summit for social development today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I am grateful for the opportunity provided by this Motion Debate to draw attention to the commitments made in the Declaration agreed at the World Summit for Social Development in March this year.

As my colleague, the Secretary for Home Affairs, has already said we are more than happy to publicise the contents of the Declaration as requested in the Motion. Let us pause and think how well we measure up against the commitments in the Declaration.

For my part, the commitments are of particular relevance with regard to the measures we take in Hong Kong to alleviate the effects of poverty and to meet our healthcare needs. Members will not be surprised to hear me say that I am wary of making commitments with regard to ’poverty’. As I explained in this Council on 22 February this year in reply to a question raised by the Hon Li Wah-ming, the Administration sees no purpose in seeking to define ’poverty’. As the Declaration itself makes clear, poverty exists in all parts of the world. However affluent a society may be, those who have the least in it are likely to be categorised as living in poverty. It is a relative and not an absolute concept and as such defies the clear definition needed if the term is to be used in setting policy goals.

While, therefore, the Administration fully supports the spirit of Mr Hui’s Motion, we must place on record our reservation about some of its precise wording. It would be rash, for example, for us to commit to the elimination of poverty when we know that, for all practical intents and purposes, we have no workable definition of it.

We have a strong welfare safety net in place in Hong Kong to catch those who, for whatever reason, are unable to meet their own basic needs. Nobody in Hong Kong needs to go without food; nobody needs to go without shelter and nobody will be denied medical care or education as a result of a lack of means. This is why we believe we comply already with the main commitments in this respect in the Summit Declaration. ? 7 ,

2

That is not to say, however, that we are complacent. We know more can and must be done to help. That is why we have in recent years increased the rates for payments under the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance scheme at a pace far in excess of inflation; rates have increased by an average of 30% over and above inflation in the last three years.

The Declaration also made commitments with regard to the provision of health care. In this field, we are already doing exceptionally well in global terms. For instance, our infant mortality rate was 4.7 per 1,000 live births in 1993, which was comparable to 4.5 in the case of Japan in 1992 but significantly better than other advanced western countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States, the same figure of which stood at 6.6 and 8.5 respectively in 1992. In Hong Kong, the average life expectancy at birth is 81 years for females and 75 years for males, both of which compared favourably to corresponding indices of 79 and 74 in the case of the United Kingdom or 79 and 72 in the case of the United States.

The main thrust of our health policy is to safeguard and improve the health of our community through accessible and affordable health care for all. The comprehensive range of health services available, together with improvements in the standard of living, have fostered a good general level of health in Hong Kong.

Communicable diseases are well under control. In particular, vaccine preventable infectious diseases have been contained at a low level as a result of the very high coverage of our free immunisation programme for children against the 9 common childhood infectious diseases, together with other services provided at the Maternal and Child Health Centres.

The Summit's commitments also refer to the treatment of AIDS and HIV infection. Our policy on this is clear. It entails 4 basic components -

First, prevention of HIV infection and transmission; secondly, care of people with HIV/AIDS; thirdly, surveillance and control; fourthly, partnership in HIV/AIDS prevention and care.

Our emphasis is on the promotion of AIDS awareness and on combating prejudice and discrimination.

In health promotion, health education programmes are aimed at promoting healthy lifestyle practices for all and enhancing people's awareness of disease prevention.

3

We are continuing to emphasise primary health care as the most effective means of achieving the maximum benefits for health. Improvements to general outpatient service, the establishment of woman health centres and elderly health centres as well as the soon-to-be-launched Student Health Service, reflects the administration's efforts in implementing its health care policy directives towards these goals.

Mr President, the World Summit for Social Development set ambitious goals and made important commitments. When we look at what we are already doing in Hong Kong, we can see that our policies and action plans are fully consistent with the commitments set out at the Summit. Indeed, we are experiencing in almost all sectors a much greater success than most other places in meeting such commitments. We have mercifully left behind us the major problems still faced by so many in Third World but have so far eluded most of the social and economic ills now besetting many advanced economies. But we must remain watchful.

We have the policies in place to support the sustained economic growth which is vital to enable us to continue to tackle successfully any social problems which may arise. Our social services have developed to a level where all basic needs, and some relatively more sophisticated needs, are met by publicly funded services at no cost or at heavily subsidised cost to those who cannot afford to pay.

The Administration feels comfortable, therefore, with the spirit of Mr Hui's Motion and, with the reservation I have already mentioned regarding the definition of poverty, has no hesitation in supporting it.

End/Wednesday, May 17, 1995

4

SHA on declaration of world summit for social development ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council motion debate on declaration of world summit for social development today (Wednesday):

• • : :;: ■..«: s . • j . ' •«*

Mr President, , ...

The Administration welcomes this opportunity to hear Members’ views on the Commitments agreed by the UN member states, including Britain and China, at the World Summit for Social Development in March this year. (

These Commitments cover nearly every form of human activity with a focus on three core issues - alleviating poverty, reducing unemployment and promoting social integration. They are a consensus of the concerns, interests and priorities of all UN member states.

The Summit did not create any mandates or institute new programme of work. Implementation of the Declaration and the Programme of Action is left for each country to decide in the light of its own domestic priorities and policies. The Economic and Social Council of the United Nations will be considering what followup action is appropriate within the UN, system.

We will ensure that the goals of the Summit are publicised in Hong Kong. As for all the UN Covenants and Conventions, we will prepare a bi-lingual booklet of the main recommendations and make this available through resource centres, public libraries and District Offices. We will also promote the objectives and conclusions of the Summit through publicity programmes.

The Commitments made at the Summit bring home how much there is to be proud of in Hong Kong. The Summit looked at the problems of the world and saw many

rich nations with high unemployment, disaffected youth, racial tensions, high crime rates and political instability, or

desperately poor nations with problems of starvation and rampant disease, with constant warfare ravaging an uneducated population most of whom had not even the most basic of human rights.

- 5 -

Hong Kong is not without its problems but in the world arena it is a thriving and successful place a fact which is all too often overlooked in the cut and thrust of domestic politics.

To pursue the objectives of the Summit we already have in place a comprehensive array of Government policies to foster the social and economic development of Hong Kong. Through our adherence to the international covenants on Civil and Political Rights and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Hong Kong fully ”i observes and respects international norms and standards on human rights. We have a well-entrenched tradition of the rule of law, a truly independent judiciary and a Bill of Rights Ordinance which provide a solid and enviable foundation for the protection of human rights. We have extended the Convention of the Rights of the Child to Hong Kong; we are now seeking the extension to Hong Kong of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women; we have introduced the Sex Discrimination Bill and the Disability Discrimination Bill into the Legislative Council; we have introduced legislation to provide greater access to legal aid, and to set up an independent Legal Aid Services Council to oversee the administration of legal aid services. We have allocated extra resources to promote human rights education; we are also implementing an administrative Code on Access to Information to increase the transparency of the Government. All these steps give real effect to the Commitments made at the World Summit.

In terms of social and economic development, the government’s approach to the economy is one of minimum interference and maximum support, a firmly-held economic philosophy which has transformed Hong Kong into one of the true miracles of the world in the late 20th century. We provide the necessary infrastructure and a sound, impartial, legal and administrative framework conducive to economic growth and prosperity. The basically free-enterprise, market-disciplined system has greatly contributed to the economic success of Hong Kong, generating the wealth required to meet the rising standards of public service that the people of Hong Kong demand. Over the last few years, there had been substantial improvements in the standard of living, health, welfare and cultural life of the people in Hong Kong.

The economy of Hong Kong has grown at an average rate of 6% in real terms over the past ten years - double the corresponding growth rate for OECD countries as a whole. In terms of standard of living, Hong Kong’s per capita GDP at US$21,800 in 1994 is among the highest in Asia, second only to Japan.

Our strong economy allows us to offer highly subsidised hospital services and health care which compares well with what is provided else where in the advanced world. We also have in place comprehensive ’’safety net" of social services for disadvantaged individuals and their families. Over 3 million people benefited, through our housing programmes, from various types of assisted housing.

6

This is an impressive record but there is no room for complacency. Our unemployment rate, for example, is low compared with other major economies but the latest unemployment figures show that the labour market has eased somewhat from the latter part of last year. This is a situation which must be monitored closely and assistance given to unemployed workers where we can. The Labour Department has recently launched a Pilot Job Matching Programme and has been successful in arranging job placements for over a hundred people in the first few weeks of its.,, operation. Also, the Employees Retraining Board has stepped up its retraining efforts , in equipping the unemployed with new skills so that they can rejoin our workforce.

3

We must also heed one of the most important calls made at the Summit for UN , members and member states to look beyond their own boundaries and to actively participate in international, regional and sub-regional co-operation in social development through the United Nations and other multilateral organisations. We will continue to do all we can to contribute especially at the regional level through our involvement in APEC and ESCAP. We will also remain one of the staunchest supporters of free trade and multilateral trading system through our membership in the World Trade Organisation.

The Summit's recommendations do not invoke courses of action for Hong Kong. We have always been a society which cares deeply about the well-being of our people. The recommendations do, however, remind us of our duty to use a proper share of the wealth we generate to ensure that members of our community do not suffer from poverty or deprivation and to ensure that they have the education, skills, job opportunities and circumstances to allow them to live a rich, full and meaningful , life.

The Summit seeks to launch a new era of international co-operation between governments and peoples based on a spirit of partnership that puts the people's needs, (J rights and aspirations at the centre of decision making and planning for the benefit of all humanity now and into the twenty-first century. We will look to fulfil our part in this common cause.

End/Wednesday, May 17, 1995

7

Debate on review of Home Ownership Scheme *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic Wong, in the Legislative Council on motion debate on review of Home Ownership Scheme today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I have listened with great interest to comments made by Honourable Members on various aspects of the Home Ownership Scheme, and am grateful for their views and suggestions. I shall respond briefly to the main points raised.

Number of flats, pace of production and proportion

Since the introduction of subsidised flats for sale in 1978, over 209,000 flats have been sold under the Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) and its sister scheme, the Private Sector Participation Scheme (PSPS). In the first few years, the average annual production was about 5,000 flats. Average annual production increased to about 13,000 flats between 1982 and 1990, representing about 30% of public sector flat production. Since 1991, the proportion has been adjusted to allow for the target production of roughly the same number of public rental flats and flats for sale in order to reflect the community's increasing prosperity and rising aspirations for home ownership. Even so. demand in recent sale exercises has exceeded supply by about 15 times. We have already announced the target of building another 148,000 subsidised flats for sale to low income families over the next six years.

We agree that the HOS and the PSPS play an important role in promoting home ownership which fosters a sense of belonging and contributes to social stability in Hong Kong. Moreover, these two schemes have assisted, in particular, about 120,000 public rental housing tenants to become home owners and consequently have enabled the Housing Department to recover over 83,000 rental flats for allocation to others in greater need on the general waiting list I thank the Honourable Selina Chow for her support of home ownership in various forms. We will review the rate and proportion of HOS/PSPS flat production in relation to public rental flats beyond the year 2001 in the context of the Long Term Housing Strategy review which will commence towards the end of this year.

8

Pricing policy

On pricing policy, the basic principle used to determine flat prices is affordability. Since the Government only charges the Housing Authority a nominal land cost at 35% of the building development cost, these flats can be offered for sale at a significant discount on market prices. The guiding discount rate adopted by the Housing Authority is 30%. However, as private property prices rose in the past few years, the discount rate was gradually increased to 48% in 1993 and 1994 to assist home buyers. As property prices softened since April last year, the discount rate was adjusted slightly downwards to 45% in the first half of this year. Thus the discount rate movements reflect affordability in relation to property prices, which principle remains the prime consideration in pricing flats. We shall continue the practice of reviewing the discount rates in relation to affordability for future sales. A few members of this Council commended on the profits to the Housing Authority from the sale of HOS flats. A large proportion comes from government subsidy on land as I have mentioned earlier. In any case, the profits are entirely plough back into the production of more subsidised housing for those who are in need of housing assistance.

Mortgage loans and repayments

As regards mortgage loans, the Housing Authority has reached agreement with lending institutions to provide loan financing to HOS/PSPS flat purchasers on very favourable terms. Purchasers may borrow up to 90% of sale prices, and in the case of 'green form' buyers loans up to 95% of sale prices are made repayable over a maximum period of 20 years. The interest rate charged is only half a percentage point above the prime rate. In order to obtain these favourable terms from lending institutions, the Housing Authority provides a 100% guarantee. These financing arrangements have worked well. It is difficult to imagine any further improvement to the already very favourable terms offered to borrowers.

9

Quality of flats

In terms of quality, HOS/PSPS flats are built generally to a high standard. The Housing Authority adopts a quality assurance system comprising three main features. First, structures are designed to British Standard 8110. It is a higher standard than British Standard 114 which is commonly used in the private sector. Notwithstanding the publicity given to occasional complaints against the quality of HOS flats. It is important that they should be seen in the proper perspective. To quote an example, out of 70,000 flats in harmony blocks, only 103 cases of window leakages or 0.15 per cent were reported in the last two years. The record speaks for itself compared to the private sector. Second, all contractors used by the Housing Authority must be certified as having attained ISO 9000, a specified international standard in terms of quality control procedures. Third, to provide an objective yardstick to measure contractors' performance, the Housing Department has adopted a Performance Assessment Scoring System under which the quality of construction work is monitored and scores are assigned on a monthly basis. A contractor's future opportunity to tender is determined by his scores. Only contractors with proven track record and consistently satisfactory performance are allowed to tender. Hence, while I agree with the Honourable Tam Yiu-chung that the tender system favours contractors who bid at low prices. It is not true to say that low prices lead to poor quality. The performance assessment scoring system coupled with the tender system assured good value for money.

While HOS/PSPS projects have generally been completed on schedule and with good quality, I regret that there has been a notable exception with one project in Yau Tong. The delay is due partly to inclement weather, but mainly to slow progress and poor workmanship on the part of the contractor. Although the causes are beyond the control of the Housing Authority, it has agreed recently to offer ex-gratia payments to purchasers in view of the inconvenience caused. The Housing Authority has also decided to revise future sale and purchase agreements to protect the interests of purchasers, and to look for ways to improve further the quality of HOS/PSPS blocks and the performance of contractors.

10

Maintenance and repair

As regards maintenance and repair, HOS/PSPS flat owners are responsible for their properties in the same way as others in the private sector. As a responsible developer, however, the Housing Authority requires building contractors to observe a 12-month maintenance period, usually known as the defects liability period, during which any building or service defects not caused by irresponsible use of the premises will be rectified by contractors free of charge to owners. For certain items, for example roofing, the guarantee is up to ten years, and for acrylic paint as external decorative coating, seven years. These are more favourable maintenance arrangements than those prevailing in the private sector where contractors normally accept responsibility for a period of six months. After the defects liability period, Housing Department or management company staff still offer advice to flat owners on improvements which should be carried out to keep the building concerned in a proper state of repair. Although maintenance and repair standards of these blocks are generally high, we welcome and will consider honourable members’ suggestions for further improvement.

System of management

On management of HOS/PSPS flats, it is the Housing Authority’s policy to encourage privatisation. Private management was first introduced in 1987 and, since 1989, has been employed in all newly completed blocks. At present, out of a total 122 blocks, about 70 per cent are managed by private management agencies. Housing Department staff pay weekly visits to check management standards also and require monthly reports to be submitted. To ensure that flat owners are satisfied with management services, they are consulted on the renewal of contracts. The progress of privatisation of management will be reviewed regularly.

11

Future of subsidised schemes of home ownership

Mr President, as I have indicated earlier, both the Home Ownership Scheme and the Private Sector Participation Scheme have successfully promoted home ownership in the community, and have helped over 209,000 families to acquire their own homes. Nevertheless, we acknowledge that some problems have emerged and we believe that further improvements can be made. For this reason, the Home Ownership Committee of the Housing Authority has decided recently to conduct a comprehensive review of these two schemes. Although the review may not be completed within six months, we support the spirit of the motion and will be happy to furnish this Council with a progress report in six months' time. With these remarks, Mr President, we support the motion.

Thank you.

End/Wednesday, May 17, 1995

Bill to amend anti-corruption laws introduced *****

A bill which seeks to make legislative amendments needed to implement the recommendations in the report of the ICAC Review Committee published in December last year was introduced into the Legislative Council today (Wednesday).

Moving the second reading of the Prevention of Bribery (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 1995, the Attorney General, the Hon Jeremy Mathews, said in promoting the Bill, the Government's objectives were to strike a balance between two potentially conflicting views held in the community: that the ICAC needed to have sufficient powers to be effective in the continuing battle against corruption; and that it should be more accountable and transparent in the use of those powers.

"This Bill is an essential step in reaffirming the ICAC’s mandate in the light of present day circumstances and the changing expectations of the people of Hong Kong 20 years after the establishment of the ICAC," Mr Mathews said.

He said the Bill proposed amendments to the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance, the Independent Commission Against Corruption Ordinance and the Magistrates Ordinance. The amendments could be grouped into three categories.

12

The first category related to certain of the powers at present vested in the Commissioner, ICAC, which were to be transferred to the courts.

"In particular, court approval will be needed in order for the ICAC to require a person to supply information under section 14 of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance, to search premises (save in exceptional cases), or to prevent a suspect from disposing of property," he added.

The second category of amendments were to ensure that the legislation relating to the ICAC was consistent with the Bill of Rights Ordinance. The amendments would provide:

* that the Commissioner's special powers of investigation arise only if he has reasonable cause to believe that an offence under the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance may have been committed;

* that the Commissioner's power to apply to a magistrate for a notice requiring a person to surrender his travel documents arises only if he reasonably suspects that person to have committed such an offence;

* that a person who has surrendered a travel document has the option of applying to the Commissioner of the ICAC, or a magistrate, or both, for its return: and

* that a statutory declaration or written statement made in compliance with a requirement under the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance will be admissible in evidence against the person who made it only if he gives evidence that is inconsistent with it.

Additionally, provisions in the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance that created a presumption of corruption and allowed a court to comment on the failure of an accused to give evidence were to be repealed. Mr Mathews said.

He also said the opportunity presented by the Bill was taken to amend section 10(2) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance in order to ensure that it was safe from challenge under the Bill of Rights Ordinance.

"Section 10(1) makes it an offence for a Crown servant to maintain a standard of living above that which is commensurate with his official emoluments, or to be in control of pecuniary resources or property disproportionate to those emoluments," he said.

13

Mr Mathews added that the importance of section 10 was recognised in a recent case decided by the Court of Appeal, which said in its decision:

"And in case after case over the years, section 10 has proved its effectiveness in the fight against corruption. Although less visible, its deterrent effect must have been even greater. Chapter 201 of the Laws of Hong Kong is rightly named the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance. Section 1 O's worth is well-established."

Mr Mathews said at present section 10(2) created a presumption, in a prosecution under section 10(l)(b), that certain assets were in the control of the accused, until the contrary was proved.

"It is now proposed to amend section 10(2) by replacing the legal presumption with an evidentiary presumption. The effect of this will be that the accused is not required to prove that the assets were not in his control, there merely has to be some evidence to that effect in order to displace the presumption," he said.

The Attorney General said the third category related to miscellaneous amendments. These included amendments:

* to give the ICAC the same access to tax records as exists under the Drug Trafficking (Recovery of Proceeds) Ordinance and the Organised and Serious Crimes Ordinance;

* to modify the power of the Commissioner of the ICAC to dismiss an officer under section 8(2) of the ICAC Ordinance;

* to make it possible for the ICAC to keep a suspect on bail no longer than is necessary; and

* to enable the Commissioner of the ICAC, in discharging specified corruption prevention duties, to gain access to all records, books and documents held by public bodies.

End/Wednesday, May 17. 1995

14

Prevention of Bribery (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 1995 *****

Following is the speech by the Attorney General, the Hon Jeremy Mathews, in moving the second reading of the Prevention of Bribery (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move that the Prevention of Bribery (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 1995 be read a second time.

The purpose of this Bill is to make the legislative amendments needed in order to implement the recommendations in the report of the 1CAC Review Committee. That committee was established at the beginning of last year to review the powers of the ICAC and the accountability of the ICAC in the exercise of its powers. It was chaired by Mr Helmet Sohmen and included members of this Council, community leaders and members of the Administration.

The report of the Review Committee was published in December 1994 and contained 76 conclusions and recommendations. Those recommendations may broadly be described as evolutionary rather than revolutionary. Members of this Council were given copies of the report, and the Security Panel of the Council discussed the report in January of this year. The panel expressed strong support for several of the recommendations.

The Administration has announced that, in principle, it accepts the recommendations in the report, although some minor procedural refinements may be required in some cases. Certain of the recommendations can only be implemented by legislation, and that is the purpose of the Bill that 1 am now introducing. In promoting this Bill, the Government's objectives are to strike a balance between two potentially conflicting views held in the community: that the ICAC needs to have sufficient powers to be effective in the continuing battle against corruption; and that it should be more accountable and transparent in the use of those powers.

The Bill proposes amendments to the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance, the Independent Commission Against Corruption Ordinance and the Magistrates Ordinance. The amendments can be grouped into three categories.

15

Control by the courts

The first category relates to certain of the powers at present vested in the Commissioner, ICAC, which are to be transferred to the courts. In particular, court approval will be needed in order for the ICAC to require a person to supply information under section 14 of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance, to search premises (save in exceptional cases), or to prevent a suspect from disposing of property.

Bill of Rights Ordinance

The second category of amendments are to ensure that the legislation relating to the ICAC is consistent with the Bill of Rights Ordinance. The amendments will provide -

(a) that the Commissioner's special powers of investigation arise only if he has reasonable cause to believe that an offence under the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance may have been committed;

(b) that the Commissioner's power to apply to a magistrate for a notice requiring a person to surrender his travel documents arises only if he reasonably suspects that person to have committed such an offence;

(c) that a person who has surrendered a travel document has the option of applying to the Commissioner of the ICAC. or a magistrate, or both, for its return; and

(d) that a statutory declaration or written statement made in compliance with a requirement under the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance will be admissible in evidence against the person who made it only if he gives evidence that is inconsistent with it.

Provisions in the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance that create a presumption of corruption and allow a court to comment on the failure of an accused to give evidence are to be repealed.

The opportunity presented by the Bill is taken to amend section 10(2) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance in order to ensure that it is safe from challenge under the Bill of Rights Ordinance. Section 10(1) makes it an offence for a Crown servant to maintain a standard of living above that which is commensurate with his official emoluments, or to be in control of pecuniary resources or property disproportionate to those emoluments. The importance of section 10 was recognised in a recent case decided by the Court of Appeal. 1 quote from the decision:

16

"And in case after case over the years, section 10 has proved its effectiveness in the fight against corruption. Although less visible, its deterrent effect must have been even greater. Chapter 201 of the Laws of Hong Kong is rightly named the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance. Section 1 O's worth is well-established."

At present section 10(2) creates a presumption, in a prosecution under section 10(l)(b), that certain assets were in th? control of the accused, until the contrary is proved. It is now proposed to amend section 10(2) by replacing the legal presumption with an evidentiary presumption. The effect of this will be that the accused is not required to prove that the assets were not in his control, there merely has to be some evidence to that effect in order to displace the presumption.

Miscellaneous amendments

The third category relates to miscellaneous amendments. These include amendments -

(a) to give the ICAC the same access to tax records as exists under the Drug Trafficking (Recovery of Proceeds) Ordinance and the Organised and Serious Crimes Ordinance;

(b) to modify the power of the Commissioner of the ICAC to dismiss an officer under section 8(2) of the ICAC Ordinance;

(c) to make it possible for the ICAC to keep a suspect on bail no longer than is necessary; and

(d) to enable the Commissioner of the ICAC, in discharging specified corruption prevention duties, to gain access to all records, books and documents held by public bodies.

Comment

Mr President, this Bill is an essential step in reaffirming the ICAC's mandate in the light of present day circumstances and the changing expectations of the people of Hong Kong 20 years after the establishment of the ICAC.

Thank you. Mr President.

End/Wednesday. May 17. 1995

17

Pensions (Special Provision) Bill 1995 *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for the Civil Service, Mr Michael Sze, in moving the second reading of the Pensions (Special Provisions)(The Hong Kong Institute of Education) Bill 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move that the Pensions (Special Provisions) (Hong Kong Institute of Education) Bill 1995 be read for a second time.

The Bill is technical in nature. It seeks to provide for two pension arrangements for staff of the Education Department transferring to the Hong Kong Institute of Education on 1 September 1995. The arrangements constitute part of the bridging-over package for the civil servants concerned.

The first is the "mixed service pension" arrangement which is designed to enable civil servants to preserve their pension rights after transferring to the Institute. Their total length of service for the purpose of pension calculation will thus be the sum of their service with the Government and the Institute.

The second is the "frozen pension" arrangement which is designed to give civil servants the alternative of joining the Institute's superannuation scheme after transfer. The pension earned during their government service will thus be frozen and payable when they retire from the Institute.

Since September 1994, when it took over the four Colleges of Education and the Institute of Language in Education, the Hong Kong Institute of Education has been staffed by civil servants on one-year secondment from the Education Department. Lecturing staff have now indicated whether they wish to join the Institute or return to the Education Department. More than half will join it. The Institute has been and is recruiting staff to 1111 these expected vacancies when the secondment period ends, as planned, on 31 August 1995. The provisions in the Bill if enacted will come into operation before I September 1995 so that the staff who choose to join the Institute can opt. before their formal transfer on that date, for one of the two pension arrangements provided to preserve their pension rights.

Thank you. Mr President.

End/Wednesday. May 17. 1995

18

Matrimonial Causes (Amendment) Bill 1994 *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Home Affairs. Mr Michael Suen, on resumption of the second reading debate and at the committee stage of the Matrimonial Causes (Amendment) Bill 1994:

Second reading debate of the Matrimonial Causes (Amendment) Bill

Mr President,

I would like to thank the Honourable Mrs Peggy Lam, Convenor of the Bills Committee to study the Matrimonial Causes (Amendment) Bill 1994, and the other Members of the Bills Committee for their constructive suggestions, time and effort spent in scrutinising the Bill.

The law of divorce in Hong Kong has remained largely unchanged for the past twenty years or so. Over that period, community attitudes towards divorce have altered. There is now a widespread view that current divorce legislation imposes unnecessarily onerous requirement on those seeking a divorce. This view is reflected in the findings of a comprehensive survey of public opinion commissioned by the Law Reform Commission. Further to those findings and its consultations with experts and interested parties working in this field, the Law Reform Commission made recommendations in 1992 for an overhaul of the divorce law. The Bill seeks to implement these recommendations.

As I mentioned when I introduced the Bill into this Council on 12 October last year, its underlying objective is to reduce the hardship, acrimony and distress that so often accompany divorce proceedings. Such ill-feeling can arise in part from the current requirement that divorce proceedings must be conducted on an adversarial basis, with one party as petitioner and the other party as respondent. To avoid this, the Bill provides for the introduction of a new non-adversarial means of obtaining a divorce by joint application based on either one year’s prior separation or one year’s period of notice. Under the latter procedure, the couple are not obliged to separate. This will mitigate difficulties caused by the current requirement to find separate accommodation in advance of a divorce where prior separation is relied on in divorce proceedings.

19

In supporting this new joint application procedure, Members of the Bills Committee suggested that it should be available to all couples undertaking divorce proceeding. That is, by means of consequential amendments to the Matrimonial Proceeding and Property Ordinance, couples who have not reached final agreement with respect to child custody, financial arrangements and other matters concerning ancillary relief should also be able to undertake divorce proceedings by joint application. We accept this suggestion. It is in line with the principle of our Bill to promote a non fault-based approach to divorce.

The Bill provides for a reduction in the time restriction on divorce early in marriage from the current three years to one year. I note that the Hon. Rev. FUNG Chi-wood is due at Committee Stage to move an amendment that would provide for the time restriction on divorce early in marriage to be set at two years. The Administration's view remains that one-year period proposed by the Law Reform Commission is appropriate. The proposed two-year time bar will create undue hardship to couples whose marriages have genuinely broken down irretrievably at an early stage. I note that the proposal was not supported by a majority of the Bills Committee.

Members of the Bills Committee expressed concern about whether the Administration is making separate and adequate provision for marriage counselling services in the community. Indeed, Honourable members who have just spoken highlight these concerns. Let me take this opportunity to re-assure honourable Members and the public generally that the Administration recognises the family as fundamental to society and has been devoting considerable resources to expand, strengthen, and promote the services in support of the family. I understand from the Secretary for Health and Welfare that a number of new initiatives have been undertaken recently to strengthen these services. They include an increase in the number of family caseworkers, and the opening of a Family Care Demonstration and Resource Centre and 19 Family Activity and Resource Centres. We are also committed to making information on marriage counselling and mediation services more available and accessible to potential clients. The information will be widely distributed through various channels including the Divorce Registry, Legal Aid Offices, the Police, Social Welfare Department, District Offices of the Home Affairs Department, non-govemment organisations and legal practitioners working in the family law area.

With these remarks, Mr President, I recommend the Bill to Members.

20

Addition of new clauses to Matrimonial Causes (A) Bill

Mr Chairman,

I move that Heading clause 19 before new clauses 19, 20 and 21 be added to the Bill as set out in the paper circulated to Members be read the second time.

New clauses 19, 20 and 21 are added to the Bill to meet the Bills Committee’s suggestion that the new divorce procedure by joint application provided for in clause 7 of the Bill should be available to couples who have not reached agreement on financial and custody matters. The clauses amend sections 3, 20 and 21 of the Matrimonial Proceedings and Property Ordinance (Cap. 192) to enable ancillary and other relief to be granted by the court to couples seeking divorce under the new joint application procedure.

Mr Chairman, I beg to move.

Amendment to Clause 6 of Matrimonial Causes (A) Bill

-*' • •

Mr Chairman,

I move that clause 6 of the Bill be amended as set out under my name in the paper circulated to Members.

Clause 6(a) seeks to amend section 6 of the Principal Ordinance under which a wife is treated differently from a husband in respect of the court's jurisdiction to presume death. Clause 6(a) provides for habitual residence of three years in, or substantial connection with, Hong Kong by either of the parties to a marriage to be grounds for jurisdiction in such circumstances. In practice, however, where it is submitted that the respondent should be presumed to have died, it would not be possible to show that he or she had been habitually resident in Hong Kong for three years "immediately preceding the date of the petition". We therefore propose to amend clause 6(a) by substituting "the petitioner" under new section 6(1 )(b) for "either of the parties to the marriage".

Mr Chairman, I beg to move.

21

Amendment to Clause 7 of Matrimonial Causes (A) Bill

Mr Chairman,

I move that clause 7 of the Bill be amended as set out under my name in the paper circulated to Members.

The amendment to clause 7 corrects a printing error in the gazetted version of the Bill in the alphabetical numbering under the new section 11.

Mr Chairman. I beg to move.

Amendment to Clause 10 of Matrimonial Causes (A) Bill

Mr Chairman.

I move that clause 10 of the Bill be amended as set out under my name in the paper circulated to Members.

The amendment to clause 10 will bring section 15(3)(a), which relates to the hearing of petitions for divorce early in marriage, into line with the proposal to reduce the time restriction on divorce early in marriage from three years to one year.

Mr Chairman. I beg to move.

22

Matrimonial Causes (A) Bill; reply to Rev the Hon Fung Chi-wood's proposed amendment

Mr Chairman,

In reply to the Hon Rev Fung Chi-wood's proposed amendments to clauses 8 and 10 to reduce the time restriction on divorce early in marriage from three years to two years, we continue to believe that the one-year period proposed by the Law Reform Commission is appropriate. First, the Bill provides for separation for one year to be sufficient evidence of marital breakdown where both parties consent to the divorce. It is arguably inconsistent to require couples whose marriages have genuinely broken down irretrievably and who have satisfied the one year separation requirement to stay married until after two years of marriage. Second, blocking divorce for two years may cause unnecessary hardship and distress to parties locked unwillingly into marriage. Some Members worry that a shorter time restriction will encourage divorce. In response to this, I would like to point out that elsewhere such a reduction in the time restriction on divorce early in marriage has not resulted in a significant change in the long term divorce rate trend.

I therefore recommend that Members not support the Hon Rev Fung Chiwood's proposed amendments.

Thank you, Mr Chairman.

End/Wednesday, May 17, 1995

23

Land Survey Bill * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday) on the resumption of the second reading debate and at the committee stage of the Land Survey Bill:

Second reading of the Land Survey Bill

Mr President,

I am grateful to the Honourable Edward Ho, the convenor of the Bills Committee on the Land Survey Bill, for supporting the Bill, and to other Members of the Bills Committee for their careful and detailed deliberations over the last 11 months.

The Land Survey Bill seeks to provide for the registration and discipline of land surveyors engaged in land boundary surveys, for the control of standards of land boundary surveys, for the establishment of land boundary records and for related matters.

In the course of the Bills Committee’s deliberations, Members raised concern over clause 30(1). This clause requires any deed, conveyance or other instrument in writing effecting a division of any land and delivered in the Land Registry for registration to be accompanied by a land boundary plan. The plan should show and delineate the parcels of land resulting from the division and be signed and certified by an authorized land surveyor. There was concern that this provision would affect the rights and interests of land owners.

I would like to assure Members that the Bill does not affect or change the law relating to entitlements to land and interests of land owners. A system of registration of deeds is provided under the Land Registration Ordinance. Such deeds are, as a normal practice, accompanied by plans. Clause 30(1) of the Bill only requires that such plans must accompany the deeds and be signed and certified by an authorized land surveyor where the deeds concern divisions of land.

24

Registration of instruments, whether or not accompanied by a plan, only governs the priority of each registered instrument under the Land Registration Ordinance. Registration by itself does not confer validity on the instrument or the plan accompanying it when it does not otherwise have.

Through the enactment of the Bill, Government will be able to start building up an effective land record system which will provide a more reliable, accurate and unambiguous definition of land parcel boundaries.

The Bills Committee also raised concern over the protection of consumers with regard to the publication of fees charged by authorized land surveyors.

Members may wish to note that such information is already quite accessible to the general public. The Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors publishes a "Scale of Professional Charges for Land Surveying Services in Hong Kong" and revises it annually. All chartered Land Surveyors practising in Hong Kong are encouraged to adopt die scale. In view of Members' concern, the Administration will advise authorized land surveyors to inform their clients of the availability of the Scale upon commencement of the legislation.

Mr President, as a result of the Administration's discussion with the Bills Committee, I shall later move 18 amendments during the Committee stage to improve the Bill.

j

The Administration also do not disagree with the Honourable Ronald Arculli’s proposed edition of new clause 30 (9) to the Land Survey Bill. A land boundary plan under the bill does not have effects beyond those it has under the Land Registration Ordinance. As I have said earlier, the bill does not affect the change of law relating to entitlements to land and interests of land owners.

Thank you, Mr President.

25

Amendment to Clause 15 and 16 of Land Survey Bill ’

Mr Chairman,

I move the clauses specified be amended as set out in the paper circulated to Members.

Clauses 15 and 16 are amended to bring the Bill into line with similar provisions under the Surveyors Registration Ordinance.

The addition of a new clause 30(7A) and consequential amendment to clause 20(1) seek to confer statutory power on the Land Survey Authority to improve the accuracy of the land boundary plans and survey record plans deposited with the Authority by an authorised land surveyor.

The Administration considers that the Authority should have the power to require an authorised land surveyor who certifies a land boundary plan or a survey record plan to amend them to comply with any approved code of practice under the Bill. This is the purpose of the new sub-clause 30(7A). Upon failure to comply with the requirement of the Authority to rectify the plan in accordance with the code of practice, the authorised land surveyor could be disciplined according to clause 20(1) of the Bill.

The Administration agrees that clause 32 should be deleted to allay the public's concern that the registration of a notice of inaccuracy may adversely affect the title of a land owner.

Proposed amendments to clause 34 are consequential amendments to the deletion of clause 32.

Proposed amendments to clauses 7, 27, 28 and 31 of the Chinese version of the Bill are aimed to clarify the meaning of the provisions as stated in the English version of the Bill.

The various fines prescribed in clause 36 are amended to refer to levels instead of amounts to accord with the prevailing practice.

Mr Chairman, I beg to move.

Addition of new clause to Land Survey Bill

Mr Chairman,

I support the Hon Ronald Arculli's proposed addition of the new clause 30(9) to the Land Survey Bill. A land boundary plan under the Bill does not have effects beyond those it has under the Land Registration Ordinance (Cap 128). As I have said earlier, the Bill does not affect or change the law relating to entitlements to land and interests of land owners.

Thank you, Mr Chairman.

-

End/Wednesday, May 17, 1995

27

Energy efficiency

♦ ♦ * * *

Following is a speech by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday) in response to Dr the . Hon Samuel Wong's comment on the Code of Practice for the meeting of Building ., (Energy Efficiency) Regulation:

Mr President,

I am grateful for the Honourable Dr Samuel Wong's comment on the Code of Practice which has been published to provide guidance for professionals to meet the Building (Energy Efficiency) Regulation.

Under the Buildings Ordinance, the authorised person (AP), who is a professional, is the coordinator of building works and he is required to certify plans and all documents and submit them to the Building Authority. Requiring a registered professional engineer to certify OTTV forms for submission would cause confusion in terms of the statutory responsibility of the AP.

Whereas an AP may not be directly conversant with all aspects of buildings services design such as lighting installations, air-conditioning systems, lifts and escalators, he is able and expected to consult an appropriate professional engineer where building works or installations beyond his competence are proposed in a building project. Experience indicates that this is generally practised among all APs and has not presented any problem. There is therefore no reason to believe that professionalism in OTTV calculation and form completion cannot be secured in the same way.

The Administration have consulted widely on the Code of Practice before finalising it for publication. The Building Sub-committee of the Land and Building Advisory Committee and the Authorised Persons and Registered Structural Engineers Committee were also consulted and the general view is that the existing arrangement whereby the AP coordinates and certifies all submissions to the Building Authority is working satisfactorily.

Moreover, adding a mandatory requirement into the Code of Practice, as the Honourable Dr Samuel Wong has suggested, is not legally permissible under the existing primary legislation. We would require additional enabling legislation to do so, but this will inevitably delay the implementation of OTTV control, which is already an "overdue" energy efficiency initiative in the building industry.

28

The Administration has taken note of the Honourable Dr Samuel Wong's concerns about a lack of annual reconfirmation of the competence of APs. We shall address these concerns in the Buildings Amendment (No. 2) Bill 1995 which we hope to introduce into this Council on 31 May 1995. The proposals included in the Bill will facilitate the implementation of the principles of self regulation and continuing professional competence and will only allow registered professionals under the relevant professional Registration Ordinances to be qualified as candidates for registration as APs under the Buildings Ordinance.

As a result, the Administration do not intend to include, at this stage, in the Code of Practice a clause which requires completion and certification of the OTTV forms by a party other than the AP. Nevertheless, as the Honourable Dr Samuel Wong has pointed out, the Administration do recognise the potential contribution by professional engineers to improving energy efficiency in building designs. We have, therefore, encouraged the use of such professional service in the Practice Note to Authorised Persons. It is our intention to review the existing control standard and arrangement after two years, and I can assure the Hon Dr. Samuel Wong that his suggestion will be included as one of the review items.

End/Wednesday, May 17, 1995

Measures to safeguard foreign exchanges reserves

* * * ♦ ♦

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Philip Wong Yu-hong and a written reply by the Financial Secretary, the Hon Sir Hamish Macleod, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In view of the depreciation of the US Dollar by a big margin, will the Government inform this Council whether the Hong Kong Monetary Authority has adopted any measures to safeguard the territory's foreign exchange reserves and fiscal reserves; if so, what these measures are; if not, why not?

29

Answer:

In its management of the Exchange Fund, the Monetary Authority pays close regard to market sentiment and expectations. Earlier this year both of these pointed to the US dollar weakening, and the Monetary Authority has therefore been switching a modest proportion of the assets of the Fund out of US dollars and into DM and Yen.

However I would like to put these moves in perspective. The statutory purposes for which the Exchange Fund was created are basically "to affect ... the exchange value of the currency of Hong Kong" and "to maintain the stability and integrity of the monetary and financial systems of Hong Kong." In view of this, the management strategy that the Monetary Authority pursues for the assets of the Exchange Fund places a very high degree of emphasis on liquidity and security of the assets.

The link of our currency to the US dollar, the fact that the Exchange Fund's liabilities are all denominated in HK dollars and the need not to run unwarranted risks will mean that the proportion of US dollars in the Fund will remain relatively high. At the end of 1994, this proportion was 73%.

Within these constraints, we have brought the level down slightly, currently to about 70%. We have done so in a gradual manner because the Exchange Fund is a very substantial fund, and it would be counterproductive from an investment angle and potentially disruptive to the currency markets to move major parts of the Fund between currencies quickly.

I have full confidence in the professional capability of the Authority, with the guidance of Exchange Fund Advisory Committee, to manage the Exchange Fund.

End/Wednesday, May 17, 1995

30

Illegal immigrants in prison

*****

Following is a question by the Hon M G Barrow and a written reply by the acting Secretary for Security, Mr James Morris, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In regard to the jailing of illegal immigrants, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the percentage of illegal immigrants in the prison population, their average length of sentence, together with a breakdown by the offences committed;

(b) of the estimated annual cost of maintaining these illegal immigrants in jail;

(c) whether there is evidence that a jail sentence in the territory is more of a deterrent than immediate return to China; and

(d) whether the Government will review its policy of jailing those illegal immigrants whose only crime has been working here illegally, rather than sending them back to China?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) As regards the first part of the question, there are about 3 300 illegal immigrants in prison. This accounts for approximately 26% of the total penal population of about 12 500.

72% of the illegal immigrants in prison were sentenced to periods ranging from one month to 18 months. The rest are serving sentences of more than 18 months.

31

It is our policy to prosecute illegal immigrants who are found at places of employment or who, in addition to having entered Hong Kong illegally, have committed other criminal offences. Against this background, the breakdown of offences committed by illegal immigrants who are now in prison is as follows -

(i) Unlawfully remaining in Hong Kong 41%

(ii) Other immigration offences (e.g. 35%

possession of forged ID Cards, and using ID Cards of another person)

(iii) Offences against Property 11%

(iv) Other offences (e.g. murder, perjury, 13%

possession of arms and ammunitions and dangerous drugs offences)

(b) As regards the second part of the question, we do not keep separate statistics on the cost of maintaining illegal immigrants in prisons. The direct costs of maintaining the 3 300 illegal immigrants we now have in prison is, in very rough terms, about $22 million per year. This includes food, clothing, bedding, welfare and so on. It does not include staff costs because staff levels are determined with regard to certified prison accommodation and not the actual total numbers of prisoners in prison at any one time.

(c) We believe that for illegal immigrants whose principal purpose in coming to Hong Kong is to obtain employment here, the prospect of imprisonment is an additional deterrent to repatriation to China. However, there is no scientific research on which irrefutable evidence can be adduced.

(d) The Government will keep its overall policy towards illegal immigration under review. But, there is no plan to cease prosecuting those illegal immigrants found working in Hong Kong. Decisions on sentencing are, of course, a matter for the Courts.

End/Wednesday. May 17. 1995

32

Hong Kong Academy of Medicine *****

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Lam Kui-chun and a reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

In view of fact that it is essential to maintain a high standard of specialist medical care in the territory after the termination of reciprocal recognition of professional qualifications with the British Commonwealth in 1997, will the Administration inform this Council whether :

(a) it is aware that the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine has been established and is functioning; and

(b) whether the Academy has established ties with relevant professional organisations in England, Australia and the United States, on whom the territory has so far depended heavily for post-graduate medical training?

Reply :

Mr President,

The Hong Kong Academy of Medicine Ordinance was enacted on 25 June 1992 and came into effect on 1 August 1992 to establish the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine as an independent statutory body. An interim Council of the Academy was appointed by the Acting Governor with effect from the latter date.

At its inauguration on 9 December 1993, Fellows were admitted into the Academy from 12 specialty medical Colleges and two Faculties. A Council of the Academy was elected from among its own members to replace the interim Council appointed by the Governor.

The Regulations drafted by the Academy were approved by this Council on 30 March 1994. The Academy has also passed its own Bylaws.

33

The Academy has established ties with relevant professional organisations in the United Kingdom and in Australia.

In short, the Academy has been established and is functioning, although much work still needs to be done.

End/Wednesday, May 17, 1995

Village representatives elections *****

Following is a question by the Hon Zachary Wong and a reply by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the election of village representatives (VRs) in the New Territories, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the villages in the New Territories which have elected their VRs under the one-person-one-vote system, as well as the villages which have not elected their VRs under this system, as atthe end of March this year;

(b) of the villages which have not yet elected their VRs, together with the reasons giving rise to this state of affairs; and

(c) when and how the Government will require all villages to adopt the one-person-one-vote system in the election of VRs, and whether a timetable will be set?

34

Reply:

Mr President,

There are 691 villages in the New Territories. As 1 explained to this Council in my written reply to Hon Cheung Man-kwong's question at the sitting on 23 November 1994, since the Heung Yee Kuk promulgated its one-person-one-vote rule on village representative elections, we have been actively promoting compliance of the new rule by the 555 villages under 25 Rural Committees in the New Territories which had yet to hold elections. Since at that time the Sha Tin and Tai Po Rural Committees were already organising their elections, this figure does not include the 136 villages under these two Rural Committees.

(a) On the first question: Of the 555 villages concerned, 396 villages have by the end of March this year held election of their village representatives in accordance with the Heung Yee Kuk's model rules. The position has further improved during the last month. During the month of April, an addition of 22 villages have completed their village representative elections on the new rules, thus bringing the total number to 418 villages.

Of the remaining 137 villages, 108 villages will be holding their new village representative elections in compliance with the Heung Yee Kuk's model rules.

In summary, therefore, 526 out of the 555 villages concerned have by now held or will hold village representative elections under the "one-person-one-vote" rule. The Heung Yee Kuk can rightly regarded this as a significant achievement in less than one year.

35

(b) On the second question: As stated above, 137 villages have yet to hold VR elections. Of these, only a small number, 29, have yet to accept the new rules. Given the NT residents' respect for established customs and traditions, it should not be of surprise to find that a small number of them still holds an entrenched attitude for traditional practices. On village representative elections, the residual small number is a good reflection of the combined efforts between the Government, Heung Yee Kuk, and the Rural Committees in this joint endeavour. We should of course also thank Members of this Council for their support. I can assure Members that we will continue to persevere to persuade the remaining villages to comply with the model rules. Discussions are in progress and I understand that the prospects are good.

(c) On the third question regarding time-table, we anticipate that 47 of the 108 villages will hold their elections in the coming two months. This will be followed by further 42 and 19 in the third and fourth quarters of this year, respectively. We will continue to step up promotional and educational activities in these villages to ensure that the targets are met.

End/Wednesday, May 17, 1995

Benzene volatilised from petrol stations *****

Following is a question by the Hon Peggy Lam and a reply by the Secretary of Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

According to a survey conducted in Happy Valley, the amount of benzene volatilized from petrol stations in the district is higher than the recommended acceptable level of 16ug/m3 in Britain. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether :

36

(a) there are provisions in existing legislation governing the amount of benzene volatilized within the compound of a petrol station as well as the distance between a petrol station and residential premises; if not, whether the Government will consider introducing legislation to specify the distance between a petrol station and residential premises so as to ensure the safety of the public; and

(b) the Government has considered the effects of such gases on the health of the public, as well as the effects on residential premises in the event of an outbreak of fire in petrol stations?

Reply:

Mr President,

I would first of all wish to thank the Hon Mrs Peggy Lam for giving me the opportunity of replying to my first Legislative Council question in my new post. I am sure there will be many such occasions in future. I shall try my best to reply to Members' questions in a frank and detailed manner.

The question from the Hon Mrs Lam refers to benzene levels in petrol stations. The standard for benzene quoted by her is proposed by an expert panel in U.K. on the basis that such a level represents an exceedingly small risk to health. Surveys carried out by the Environmental Protection Department show that the general ambient and roadside benzene level in Hong Kong is only about 3-7 ug/m3. Measurements taken near other petrol filling stations also show that the benzene levels are in general within the proposed limit, though there are two instances of excess.

Our laws at present do not control the amount of benzene volatilized within petrol stations. However, the local oil industry has agreed to keep the benzene level in automotive petrol below 5%. This limit is in line with those adopted in Europe, Australia and Japan. Our fuel surveys show that the oil industry has always kept to the agreement and the average benzene content for leaded petrol is 3.2% and unleaded petrol 3.4%.

- 37 -

We do nevertheless have regulations governing the siting of petrol filling stations and the distance with residential premises. The Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines require fire safety consideration to be taken in selecting any site for a petrol filling station, so as to ensure that there are adequate space to permit safe location of tanks, vent pipes, tank fitting point, tank vehicle off-loading stands, pumps and dispensers in relation to both the operation of the station and safety of adjacent premises. In general, petrol filling stations should be situated on open ground or at acceptable areas within commercial or industrial buildings. They will not be allowed inside residential buildings. In addition, the Fire Services Department administers the licensing of petrol filling stations vigorously under the Dangerous Goods Ordinance and in line with the Marketing Safety Code issued by the Institute of Petroleum. Tank openings and dispensers should be located so that their centre lines are not less than 4.25m from any fixed source of ignition or from the boundary of the premises. Where such safety distance cannot be provided, stringent fire protection measures such as automatic foam water spray system and complete separation from other parts of buildings by materials having a fire resisting period of four hours are required.

With regard to health risk, there are some evidence in overseas countries that repeated long term exposure to high benzene concentration, particularly in confined spaces, may result in death or leukaemia. The emphasis is however on high concentration and long term exposure. A release of benzene in a single incident from a low concentration compound in our petrol will not give rise to significant health risks. The main concern associated with petrol filling stations is fire safety, and as I have said earlier, we already have very stringent controls in this regard.

End/Wednesday, May 17, 1995

Use of Chinese language in Government departments * * * * *

Following is a question by the Hon Man Sai-cheong and a reply by the Secretary for Civil Services, Mr Michael Sze, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In view of the fact that Chinese and English are both official languages under the Official Languages Ordinance and Article 9 of the Basic Law, will the Government inform this Council whether it has a specific timetable to fully implement the use of Chinese in government departments; if so, what the details are, and whether it will adopt a periodic review of the progress; if not, why not?

- 38 -

Reply:

Mr President,

Under the Official Languages Ordinance of 1974, both Chinese and English are our official languages for the purposes of communication between the Government and members of the public. In this context, the public has long been able to deal with the Government in either Chinese or English.

The priority for us now is to further extend the use of Chinese internally within the Government, in line with the social and political development of Hong Kong. Our ultimate objective is a civil service which is bi-literate (Chinese and English) and trilingual (Cantonese, Putonghua and English). When that stage is reached, officers could deal with each other in English or Chinese without having to go through translation or interpretation. We have already laid a modest foundation in that Chinese is increasingly used in notices, circulars and correspondence with junior officers; and so is Cantonese at meetings.

A Working Group has been established recently under my chairmanship to develop a practical and pro-active strategy to achieve the above objective. It has to-date:

(a) advised on the early introduction of a language proficiency requirement at a pass in a Chinese subject in the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (HKCEE) for permanent and pensionable appointments to all grades with entry requirement at five passes in the HKCEE or higher qualifications. This we have implemented;

(b) recommended further steps to enhance the use of Chinese in the day-to-day management of the civil service, e.g.

appraisal reports on junior staff;

proceedings of internal meetings;

invitations to selection interviews and appointment letters for the junior ranks; and

valedictory letters.

39

(c) identified a number of departments such as Housing and Home Affairs for a pilot scheme to develop practical steps to promote on a systematic basis the wider use of Chinese;

(d) identified the need for a change of the language culture in the civil service, particularly among bi-lingual officers whose competence in Chinese might have deteriorated through lack of practice;

(e) identified the need to step up training for both local and overseas officers in their language skills. All local Administrative Officers would be required to undergo basic Putonghua training by 1997. Already those who are on probation are required to achieve a certain standard in Putonghua before their confirmation. Starting from this year, new recruits will have to attend courses in written Chinese to update them on their ability to write modem practical Chinese relevant to their work. Overseas permanent and pensionable officers who have opted to remain in service after 1997 will be given intensive training in Cantonese, or retraining and where practical written Chinese;

(f) highlighted the need for technology support in terms of the provision and standardisation of hardware and software for Chinese word processing throughout the civil service;

(g) identified the need to train over 13,000 General Grades staff mainly typists and secretaries in the next three years in Chinese word processing skills; and

(h) advised on the need to bid for resources in the 1996/97 estimates to implement these ideas.

As can be seen from the above account, the approach is necessarily evolutionary. We have to take account of the fact that English has so far been the major medium of communication; the varying standard of Chinese among civil servants; the nature of work and circumstances of different departments; as well as the need to strike the right balance so that the greater use of Chinese would not be at the expense of English nor efficiency. It is therefore not possible to give a specific timetable as requested by the Hon Man Sai-cheong. We will however keep the Public Service Panel of this Council informed of progress as the Working Group moves along.

End/Wednesday, May 17, 1995

40

Sexual abuse cases involving children

*****

Following is a question by Dr the Hon David Li Kwok-po and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

According to the figures released by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service in the first three quarters of 1994, sexual abuse cases involving children rose by almost a third as compared to the corresponding period in the preceding year. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether :

(a) additional provision will be allocated for preventive education; and

(b) consideration will be given to introducing a mandatory set of standards for child- minding services and providing training programmes in order to monitor the quality of such services?

Reply:

According to statistics maintained by the Social Welfare Department (SWD), the number of reported sexual abuse cases involving children increased from 54 in 1993 to 73 in 1994.

In March 1995, we launched the first phase of a major publicity campaign aimed at educating the general public about the early detection and reporting of all child abuse cases including those involving sexual abuse. The campaign includes television announcements, a poster, a series of leaflets on each category of abuse and a radio programme. The second phase of the campaign will be launched towards the end of this year. To promote community education and to tackle the problem at district level, SWD will set up multi-disciplinary district committees on child abuse in five districts within this financial year. This approach is building on the successful pilot scheme conducted in Tuen Mun where a district forum was established in September 1993 .

41

To improve and monitor the quality of child-minding services, we are now considering legislative amendments to prohibit unsuitable persons from acting as child-minders, and to empower the Director of Social Welfare to inspect and suspend the operation of child-minding services provided by mutual help groups if it is considered that the operation may expose the children involved to any danger. Another purpose of these amendments will be to encourage the formation of mutual help groups by permitting the maximum size of such groups to increase from 5 to 14 children under 6 years of age. We intend to introduce the proposed legislative amendments into the Legislative Council in the next legislative session.

But we must be wary of over-regulation in this field. In spite of the ambitious expansion programme now in hand to provide additional places in day nurseries and day creches, not all parents in need of such services yet have access to them. It is, therefore, vitally important that we continue to encourage informal child care mutual help groups to provide a flexible form of child care arrangement. The risk to a child left unattended at home is still much greater than the risk the child might face of mistreatment at the hands of a child-minder. The long term goals are, of course, to provide an adequate number of child care places to meet the full demand and progressively to upgrade the skills and monitoring of those providing the childminding services. In the interim, we cannot move too fast and risk, as a result, making it too difficult for an adequate number of child- minding places to be provided to meet the increasing demand for them. Above all, we shall continue to educate parents about the importance of taking great care in selecting the appropriate type of child care arrangement conducive to the healthy development of their children.

End/Wednesday, May 17, 1995

Number of directorate posts in public hospitals *****

Following is a question by the Hon Michael Ho Mun-ka and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the increase in the number of directorate posts in various hospitals under the management of the Hospital Authority (HA), will the Government inform this Council of:

42

(a) the breakdown by year of the numbers of posts at D2, D3 and D4 of the Directorate Pay Scale respectively in each of the HA hospitals from 1 December 1991 to 1 April 1995; and

(b) the annual rate of increase of such posts during the same period?

Reply:

Consultant doctors working in public hospitals are remunerated based on D2 to D4 of the Government Directorate Pay Scale. Creation of new consultant posts must be justified by functional needs arising from new/improved services or facilities. A summary of cumulative increase in the last three years is provided as follows:

Year 1991/92 1992/93 1222Z24 1994/95

Existing Services (Number of Posts) 241 241 241 241

New/Improved Services - 13 21 28

(Cumulative total) (13) (34) (62)

New Hospitals/Facilitics - 5 32 31

(Cumulative total) (5) (37) (68)

Total 241 259 312 371

: ===== ===

End/Wcdnesday, May 17. 1995

43

CLP's customer-owned development fund

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Christine Loh Kung-wai and a written reply by the Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Gordon Siu, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question

It is learnt that the China Light and Power Co. Ltd. (CLP) could not meet its guaranteed rate of return through electricity sales last year and has therefore withdrawn over $1.2 billion from the customer-owned Development Fund as permitted by the Scheme of Control. In this connection, will the Administration inform this Council of:

(a) the estimated amount of funds that CLP will withdraw annually from the Development Fund over the next five years;

(b) CLP's annual net assets forecast over the next five years;

(c) the projected annual permitted return over the next five years; and

(d) the projected annual amount of kWh sold locally over the next five years?

Reply:

The Development Fund of the China Light & Power Company, Limited (CLP) was drawn down by $903 million during the financial year ended 30 September 1994. Part of the draw-down as returned to consumers through a special tariff rebate of 3? per unit from 1 March to 30 September 1994. The remainder was transferred to the profit and loss account in accordance with the terms of the Scheme of Control Agreement (SCA).

The provisions governing the Development Fund in the Government's SCAs with the power companies state if the actual return earned by the companies, after the required deductions, is above or below the level of return to which they are entitled under the terms of their SCA, any excess shall be credited to the Development Fund and any shortfall deducted from it. The primary purpose of the Development Fund is to assist in the acquisition of fixed assets. The level of the Fund during the period covered by a Financing Review is subject to approval by the Executive Council.

44

The Development Fund is a liability of the relevant company and does not accrue to the benefit of shareholders. This is illustrated by the fact that the power companies are required to pay interest at a rate of 8% per annum on the average balance of the Fund. The interest income accrues to consumers through a Rate Reduction Rebate and is used to offset tariff increases.

Under the terms of the SCAs, certain information is provided by the companies to Government in confidence, because it is commercially sensitive. For this reason it is not possible to disclose a forecast of CLP's annual net fixed assets over the next five years, nor the projected annual permitted return.

Over the next five years CLP expect local sales to grow by approximately 5% per annum. The Company's capital expenditure on fixed assets, tariff levels and management of the Development Fund will be in accordance with the approved Financing Plan for the period 1992 to 1999.

End/Wednesday. May 17, 1995

Nurses for care and attention homes

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Fred Li Wah-ming and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Care and Attention Homes may employ non-Commonwealth enrolled nurses trained and qualified at the Hong Kong College of Nursing to work as health workers as an interim measure to alleviate the manpower shortage problem. However, unlike Commonwealth enrolled nurses who come under the supervision of the Nursing Board of Hong Kong which is empowered to deal with any professional misconduct, such health workers are not subject to supervision by any monitoring body. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council whether it will consider setting up a similar monitoring body for non-Commonwealth enrolled nurses so as to ensure that the quality of services provided by these health workers can be maintained at an acceptable level; if so, what the detailed plan is; if not, why not?

45

Reply:

The qualifications needed to be able to be registered as health workers employed by care and attention homes are set out in the Residential Care Homes (Elderly Persons) Regulation. A person has to complete a course of training approved in writing by the Director of Social Welfare or has to satisfy the Director that, by reason of his or her education, training, professional experience and skill in health work, he or she is a suitable person to be registered as a health worker.

The Director is empowered to cancel the registration of a person if the registration was obtained by fraudulent means or if the person ceases to be found suitable to be registered. In view of the authority vested in the Director to register, refuse to register and cancel registration, the Director is also responsible for monitoring the quality of service provided by health workers. Medical inspectors appointed under the Residential Care Homes (Elderly Persons) Ordinance have been assigned this monitoring function. They use their professional knowledge to advise the Director whether a residential care home is being operated and managed satisfactorily. Since there are sufficient safeguards in the Residential Care Homes (Elderly Persons) Ordinance and Regulation to ensure the appropriate monitoring of the quality of services provided by health workers, the establishment of an additional monitoring body would serve no useful purpose.

End/Wednesday. May 17. 1995

Disclosure of personal data of LegCo members' assistants

♦ * * * *

Following is a question by the Hon Henry Tang Ying-yen and a written reply by the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council whether the Government, in arriving at its decision to require Legislative Council Members to disclose the names, identity card numbers and wages of their assistants, has taken into consideration Article 14 of the Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance concerning the protection of privacy, family, home, correspondence, honour and reputation?

46

Reply:

Mr President,

The purpose of the requirement for Legislative Council Members to disclose the names, identity card numbers and salaries of their assistants is to increase the accountability and transparency of the use of allowances provided to LegCo Members out of public funds. It was introduced, on the advice of an independent Commission, after careful consideration of all relevant factors, including any possible effect on the privacy of those concerned. The Administration is confident that the requirement is consistent with Article 14 of the Bill of Rights which provides, among other things, that no one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy. To the extent that the requirement might be considered an interference with the privacy of those concerned, such interference would be neither arbitrary nor unlawful.

End/Wednesday, May 17, 1995

Allocation of funds to hospitals

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Szeto Wah and a written reply by the Secretary of Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

With regard to the allocation of funds to hospitals managed by the Hospital Authority, will the Government inform this Council :

(a) of the annual amount of funds allocated to each hospital in the past three

years;

(b) of the criteria adopted in the allocation of funds; and

(c) whether additional measures will be put in place to assist small hospitals, which may not have been allocated sufficient funds to provide high-quality facilities and services, so as to improve their management and operations?

47

Reply:

During the past three years, the Authority has progressively devolved management responsibilities, including budgetary control, to the hospital level. During the process, the various components of the budget have been decentralised to hospitals in phases. This has involved significant budgetary adjustments and redefinition of cost centres. The implementation of hospital clustering and service networking also helped rationalise service delivery and delineate clearly the roles and responsibilities of different institutions within the same geographical region, resulting in reorganisation and transfer of activities and services with consequential budgetary adjustments.

This process of adjustment has now been completed and the budgets for individual hospitals in 1995/96 will be a more accurate reflection of their clinical role and scope of activities. The budgets for 1995/96 are being presented to the Hospital Governing Committees and will be available to Members within one month. The breakdown of budgets by hospital in 1993/94 and 1994/95 is at Annex.

Global resource allocation is conducted by the Hospital Authority through its annual planning process, during which quality standards and performance targets are set to facilitate outcome monitoring. The criteria adopted in this process are based on the volume, scope, level and complexity of services involved. Given an improved role delineation between institutions and the revamped mechanism for resource allocation, small hospitals will be able to bid on an objective basis for additional funds based on their service targets and aspired achievements.

48

Annex

Budgets for Public Hospitals

Hospital 1994/95 Smillion (Note 1 &2) 1993/9.4 Smillion (Note 2)

Duchess of Kent Children’s Hospital 62 53

Fung Yiu King Hospital 46 41

Cheshire Home, Chung Hom Kok 8 7

Grantham Hospital 197 172

MacLehose Medical Rehabilitation Centre 36 32

Nam Long Hospital 42 36

Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital 530 245

Queen Mary Hospital 1033 899

Ruttonjee Hospital 194 143

St. John Hospital 26 99 A*

Tang Shiu Kin Hospital 118 106

Tsan Yuk Hospital 98 81

Tung Wah Eastern Hospital 130 107

49

Hospital 1994/95 Smillion 1993/94 Sniillion

Hong Kong Buddhist Hospital 88 76

Hong Kong Eye Hospital 62 56

Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service 100 92

Kowloon Hospital 267 231

Kwong Wah Hospital 631 543

Margaret Trench Medical Rehabilitation Centre 20 16

Our Lady of Maryknoll Hospital 121 103

Queen Elizabeth Hospital 1330 1198

Rehabaid Centre 5 3

United Christian Hospital 437 339

Wong Tai Sin Hospital 119 101

Castle Peak Hospital 267 214

Cheshire Home, Sha Tin 42 35

Fanling Hospital 45 36

Haven of Hope Hospital 87 67

Tung Wah Hospital 196 171

50

llosjiiial 1224/25 Smillion 1993/94 Smillion

Kwai Chung Hospital 306 239

Lai Chi Kok Hospital 42 34

Pok Oi Hospital 135 106

Prince of Wales Hospital 1014 902

Princess Margaret Hospital 794 752

Shatin Hospital 158 104

Siu Lam Hospital 45 27

Tuen Mun Hospital 674 529

Yan Chai Hospital 306 108

Note 1 : There were changes and redefinition of cost centres and further decentralisation of budgets to hospitals in 1994/95

Note 2 : Staff oncosts are excluded

End/Wednesday, May 17, 1995

51

Schools in North and TP

* * * $ *

Following is a question by the Hon Tik Chi-yuen 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 of the class structure and anticipated class size of the secondary schools in the North District and Tai Po District of the New Territories for the 1995/96 academic year?

Reply:

Mr President,

The proposed 1995/96 class structures of all the secondary schools in Tai Po and North Districts are set out at Annex.

Regarding class size, it will be -

(i) pupils per class for SI to S5; and

(ii) pupils per class for S6 to S7.

However, in view of the temporary shortfall of SI school places in the two districts in 1995. some schools have agreed to admit one to two more pupils per SI class through the Secondary School Places Allocation system.

52

Annex

Tai Po District

Name of School 95/96 Proposed Class Structure S.l S.2 S.3 S.4 S.5 S.6 S.7 Total

Assembly of God Hebron Secondary School 8 8 8 4 6 0 0 34

Buddhist Chi Hong Chi Lam Memorial College 6 6 8 4 4 2 2 32

Buddhist Hui Yuan College 8 9 9 4 5 0 0 35

Buddhist Tai Kwong Middle School 6 6 6 3 3 2 2 28

Carmel Pak U Secondary School 5 5 5 5 5 3 3 31

Confucian Ho Kwok Pui Chun College 6 6 8 4 4 2 2 32

HK Red Swastika Society Tai Po Secondary School 6 6 8 4 4 2 2 32

HKTA The Yuen Yuen Inst. No. 2 Secondary School 6 6 6 4 4 2 2 30

Hong Kong Teachers’ Association Secondary School 5 5 0 0 0 0 0 10

Immanuel Lutheran College 6 6 6 5 4 2 2 31

Kau Yan College 6 8 8 4 4 2 0 32

Law Ting Pong Secondary School 8 8 8 4 4 0 0 32

SKH Bishop Mok Sau Tseng Secondary School 5 5 5 5 5 3 3 31

Valtorta College 5 5 5 5 5 2 2 29

Wong Shiu Chi Secondary School 5 5 5 5 5 2 2 29

CCC Madam Fung Leung Kit Memorial Prevoc. School 6 6 6 4 4 1 1 28

NTHYK Tai Po District Secondary School 6 5 6 4 4 2 2 29

Tai Po Government Secondary School 6 5 6 4 4 2 2 29

Tai Po Sam Yuk Secondary School 6 6 6 4 4 2 2 30

53

North District

Name of School 95/96 Proposed Class Structure S.l S.2 S.3 S.4 S.5 S.6 S.7 Total

Buddhist Ma Kam Chan Mem. English Secondary School 8 8 9 4 4 0 0 33

De La Salle Secondary School N.T. 3 3 3 3 3 1 1 17

Fung Kai No. 1 Secondary School 7 6 6 4 4 2 2 31

HKTA Tang Hin Memorial Secondary School 6 6 6 4 4 2 2 30

Kei San Secondary Technical School 5 4 4 3 2 1 1 20

SKH Chan Young Secondary School 6 6 8 4 4 2 2 32

St. Francis of Assisi’s College 8 8 9 4 4 0 0 33

Tin Ka Ping Seconary School 8 10 0 0 0 0 0 18

TWGHs Kap Yan Directors’ College 6 6 6 4 4 2 2 30

TWGHs Li Ka Shing College 6 6 6 4 4 2 2 30

Caritas Chan Chun Ha Prevoc. School - Fanling 6 6 6 4 4 1 1 28

A new school operated by Po Leung Kuk 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 5

Fanling Government Secondary School 7 7 9 4 4 0 0 31

Sha Tau Kok Government Secondary School 6 6 6 3 3 1 1 26

Sheung Shui Government Secondary School 7 6 7 4 4 2 2 32

Fung Kai No. 2 Secondary School 4 3 3 3 3 0 0 16

Fanling Lutheran Secondary School 6 6 6 4 4 1 1 28

End/Wednesday, May 17, 1995

I

54

Illegally occupied public housing flats * * * * *

Following is a question by the Hon Elsie Tu and a written reply by the Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In regard to unoccupied or illegally occupied flats in public housing estates, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the total number of such flats in public housing estates;

(b) what steps the Housing Department is taking to recover such flats for allocation to applicants on the waiting list, those recommended for compassionate housing, the elderly, and those living in overcrowded conditions; and

(c) how many of such flats have been recovered in the past twelve months?

Reply:

Mr President,

The Housing Authority’s tenancy agreements require tenants and their families to reside regularly in the flats allocated to them, and prohibit sub-letting or improper use of these flats. It is difficult to quantify how many tenants breach the agreements and the number of flats involved.

Since 1993. the Housing Department has set up Special Investigation Terms to deal with suspected cases of non-occupation, irregular occupation, sub-letting or improper use of rental flats. A territory-wide publicity campaign has also been launched to educate tenants on the proper use of flats and to emphasise the Housing Authority’s determination to stamp out tenancy abuse. Tenants are encouraged to report suspected cases of tenancy abuse to the housing estate office concerned or by using the Department's complaints hotline.

55

Whenever an irregularity is detected by estate staff or in the course of investigations, an oral warning is given to the tenant, followed by a warning letter from the Housing Manager. Depending on the seriousness of the breach, the tenant may be given one to three weeks to rectify the irregularity or may be asked to surrender the flat voluntarily. In serious cases, the tenancy can be terminated by serving a Notice-to-Quit. In such cases, tenants have the right to appeal to an Appeal Panel.

During the twelve months ending 30 April 1995, 420 improperly used flats were recovered for allocation to others in need. A further 85 flats are being recovered and 105 cases are being investigated.

End/Wednesday, May 17, 1995

Private residential care homes ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Cheung Man-kwong and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

As private residential care homes have now started applying for licences or certificates of exemption following the implementation of the Residential Care Homes (Elderly Persons) Regulation in April this year, will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the existing number of private residential care homes situated in commercial buildings which are likely to fail to meet the standard required for the issue of licences or certificates of exemption as stipulated in the Regulation due to violation of the Buildings Ordinance or codes of practice for fire prevention; and how it will handle such private residential care homes;

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(b) the breakdown of the respective numbers of private residential care homes situated in locations which are not permitted under Part VI of the Regulation, including any part of an industrial building or any premises located immediately above or below any godown, cinema, theatre or premises wherein any trade is carried on and which, in the opinion of the Director of Social Welfare, may pose a risk to the life or safety of the residents; and how it will handle residential care homes situated in such locations; and

(c) the estimated number of beds which will be affected as a result of the private residential care homes failing to meet the specified requirements on account of the problems referred to in (a) and (b) above; and whether it can ensure that there will be sufficient beds to house the elderly persons who have to move out because of such problems?

Reply :

The reply is as follows :

(a) The Social Welfare Department has so far identified over 130 private residential care homes operating in non-domestic buildings. These homes will need to be inspected by both the Social Welfare and Buildings Departments who will need to satisfy themselves on a case by case basis whether there exist any problems which constitute a real threat to the health and safety of the residents. If there are none, then the Social Welfare Department will issue an exemption under the Residential Care Homes (Elderly Persons) Regulation and the Buildings Department will exercise its discretion, as provided for under the Buildings Ordinance, not to prohibit the continued use of the premises for a residential home, notwithstanding the fact of their location in a non-domestic building;

(b) No private residential care home has been found to be situated in an industrial building, or near to any godown, cinema or theatre. However, some homes are in premises which pose risks to the safety of the residents due to one or more of the following reasons :

emergency vehicle access not available;

location immediately above or below or adjacent to a trade with a high fire potential;

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occupying premises which are situated in or under any structure built without the approval of the Buildings Authority or which have large portions of unauthorised buildings works;

occupying premises with inadequate means of escape.

As it is unlikely that licences or certificates of exemption will be issued to these homes, operators have been advised to find alternative premises for reprovisioning if they wish to go on providing residential care to their elderly residents. Most operators are now actively finding acceptable alternative premises.

(c) The Social Welfare Department has drawn up contingency plans to deal with any elderly residents of private homes who might need to be moved to alternative accommodation. Places will be found for them either in Govemment-subvented homes or in other private elderly homes, some of which may be receiving financial assistance from the Social Welfare Department under the Bought Place Scheme in Private Homes for the Elderly.

End/Wednesday, May 17, 1995

Public safety in former firing range areas *****

Following is a question by the Hon Howard Young and a written reply by the acting Secretary for Security, Mr James Morris, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) what measures the government has undertaken to survey and sterilise former firing range areas, such as those located on some islands in the Sai Kung area, to ensure public safety is not put at risk by left-over unexploded shells; and

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(b) whether the Government will consider requesting the British military authority in the territory to undertaken such task within the next 2 1/2 years as a pubic service so as to reduce public expenditure?

1 * ’ . ■ • 1

* * kX • • j •'

Reply: ' "■ ■■

Mr President, ’7 /-.n

I believe the Honourable Member is referring to the former Post Shelter firing range which was established in 1936. Most of the range ceased to be used for firing in the mid-1970s.

(a) In 1980, the Queen's Gurkha Engineers conducted a search of paths and some private lots on Kau Sai Chau, near the edge of the range. In 1983, they completed a search ten metres either side of the footpath across the Lung Ha Wan peninsula in the Clearwater Bay area. Nothing of significance was found in either case; and

(b) British Forces in Hong Kong no longer have the necessary manpower, equipment or expertise to conduct a clearance of the former range area.

'V

Police and military experts have advised that a search and clearance exercise -particularly in a large expanse of rocky, scrub-covered terrain like the former range -could not guarantee that the areas in question are totally free of unexploded ordinance. That is why we maintain some 57 warning notices around the periphery of the former range. The presence of unexploded ordinance is by no means unique to former firing ranges. Such ordinance - mostly unexploded bombs from the second world war - is also found on construction and other sites around the territory. The Explosives Ordinance Disposal Bureau of the Royal Hong Kong Police Force seeks to render them safe, with no injuries to any member of the public. The Bureau maintains a duty team on 24-hour stand-by to render safe all finds of this kind.

End/Wednesday, May 17, 1995

59

University lecturers’ lecturing hours

♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦ . \

Following is a question by the Hon Emily Lau and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and manpower, Mr Michael Leung in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It is learnt that a lecturer at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) was assigned to lecture for only two hours throughout the academic year 1994-95, which is a much lower figure than the previous annual average of ten-plus lecturing hours assigned to the lecturer concerned. The HKU Management has, however, given no explanation to the lecturer regarding this arrangement. In connection with this, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether any lecturers teaching at the universities funded by the University Grants Committee are known to have been assigned less than five lecturing hours in 1994-95; if so, how many such lecturers there are in each university and what the reasons are;

(b) if the answer to (a) is in the affirmative, whether such arrangements have resulted in a waste of human resources at the universities; and

(c) who is responsible for determining the annual number of lecturing hours for university lecturers and how is it determined; and what channel of appeal is available if individual lecturers wish to raise objections?

Reply:

Mr President,

Academic staff of the University Grants Committee funded institutions are expected, under their terms of employment, to undertake a variety of duties which may include lecturing, taking tutorial/seminar sessions, taking laboratory sessions, supervising research students, supervising field work, supervising term/year research projects, research, administration, service on institutional governing and academic bodies, etc. The mix of such duties may vary from one staff member to another and is normally determined in the first instance by the Department Head in consultation with the staff member concerned.

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With reference to part (a) of the question, the Administration understands, on the basis of information provided by the institutions concerned, that 4 academic staff were assigned less than 5 hours teaching duties during the academic year 1994-95. The 4 academic staff involved were:

(a) a Head of Department at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and two Faculty Deans at Lingnan College who were relieved of teaching duties during the year to enable them to devote more time to the administration of the Department/Faculties concerned; and

(b) one lecturer at Hong Kong Baptist University who was relieved of teaching duties because she was commissioned by the President & Vice-Chancellor to take up a major research project for the University.

As regards part (b) of the question, none of the arrangements described above has resulted in a waste of human resources.

With regard to part (c) of the question, the determination of the number of teaching hours for academic staff is a matter within institutional autonomy. The Department Heads of the institutions, in consultation with their academic staff, are responsible for assigning the teaching load of the Department among the academic staff. There are established administrative appeal channels within the institutions for staff who wish to raise objections regarding their duties including their teaching assignments. If an individual staff member is not content with his/her teaching assignments as determined by the Department Heads concerned, he/she can appeal to the relevant Dean, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor concerned, or ultimately the Vice-Chancellor.

End/Wednesday, May 17, 1995

61

Bulling cases in schools *****

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Huang Chen-ya and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Michael Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

According to the findings of a survey conducted in the United Kingdom, 27% of junior school students and 10% senior school students have been bullied by their peers at schools. School children who are subjected to such bullying may develop psychological and learning problems, but they seldom report such incidents to their teachers or parents. Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the extent of bullying at schools in the territory;

(b) whether any research on the problem has been conducted; and

(c) what mechanism is in place to monitor the problem?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) On the basis of data regularly provided by our schools to the Education Department, the number of bullying cases in the 1993-94 school year was 260 in primary schools and 326 in secondary schools. This represented 0.05% of primary school pupils and 0.07% of secondary school pupils.

(b) The Education Department conducts an annual survey on the discipline and behaviour problems in our schools. In the survey, all schools are required to report to the Department details of disciplinary cases including bullying cases. The Board of Education's Advisory Committee on School Guidance and Support Services monitors the survey results and advises the Department on the broad strategic measures to be taken.

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(c) Separately, the Education Department analyses such cases and follows up on special cases e.g. by sending professional officers to the schools concerned to provide specific assistance. In general, schools are encouraged to adopt the whole school approach on matters of guidance and discipline, whereby all teachers in a school actively participate in assisting pupils to resolve their problems.

End/Wednesday, May 17, 1995

Hospital Authority's expenses in operations ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

Following is a question by the Hon Frederick Fung Kin-kee and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

t ... . .

Question:

Regarding the Hospital Authority (HA)'s expenses in various kinds of operations, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of operations performed in HA hospitals in the last fiscal year, together with the average amount of expenses incurred each time for using the relevant medical equipment, in respect of the following :

(1) total joint replacement for hip, knee, shoulder and elbow;

(2) replacement of spine disc;

(3) percutaneous transluminal coronary stenting;

(4) percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty;

(5) percutaneous balloon mitral valvotomy (Inoue balloon catheter);

(6) percutaneous balloon pulmonary valvotomy;

(7) balloon angioplasty; and

(8) items of prosthesis for cardiac operation :

(i) Pacemaker;

(ii) Carbomedic Valve (aortic and mitral);

(iii) Medtronic Hall Aortic Valve Conduit;

(iv) Medtronic Hall Valve (aortic and mitral);

(v) Carpentier Ewards Biological Valve (aortic and mitral);

(vi) Sorin valve (aortic and mitral); and

(vii) filter for blood transfusion of thalassanemia major?

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(b) of the expenses incurred in each of the categories mentioned in (a) above, how much is borne by the Hospital Authority, the Samaritan Fund or other funds, and the patients themselves respectively?

Reply:

Since operational statistics are kept by the Hospital Authority according to outcome of clinical diagnosis based on the International Classification of Diseases, a breakdown on the number of operations using specific implants and consumable is not readily available.

While the unit cost of these implants and consumable will tend to vary between different suppliers and specifications, a rough indication of cost is provided at Annex.

Since patients with the ability to pay are normally advised to purchase these implants and consumable direct from the suppliers, information is not available on the total expenditure involved. Nevertheless, about $4 million was paid out from the Samaritan Fund in 1994/95 to provide partial or full waivers for those in need.

Annex

Items of Implants or Consumable Unit Cost ($)

Total joint replacement 5,000 - 250,000

Replacement of spine disc 10,000-20,000

Percutaneous transluminal coronary stenting 18,000-22,000

Percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty 12,000- 15,000

Percutaneous balloon mitral valvotomy (inoue balloon catheter) 14,000- 15,000

Percutaneous ballon pulmonary valvotomy 7,000 - 8,000

Balloon angioplasty 5,000 - 6,000

Items of prosthesis for cardiac operation (i) Pacemaker (ii) Carbomedic Valve (aortic and mitral) (iii) Medtronic Hall Aortic Valve Conduit (iv) Medtronic Hall Valve (aortic and mitral) (v) Carpentier Edwards Biological Valve (vi) Sorin Valve (aortic and mitral) (vii) Filter for blood transfusion of thalassanemia major 8,000 - 36,000 9,000 - 10,000 22,000 - 23,000 9,000 - 10,000 9,000- 10,000 9,000 - 10,000 300 - 600

End/Wednesday, May 17, 1995

64

Accuracy of electoral roll

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Eric Li Ka-cheung and a written reply by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Nicholas Ng, in the Legislative Council '' today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the nine new functional constituencies, the number of voters who are eligible to register amounts to about 2.7 million. As the registration procedures are complicated and the Government can only verify the declared information on a selective basis, there is likely to be inaccurate information in the electoral roll. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether it will adopt measures to prevent voters and candid