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

 DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

Friday, December 1,1995

Contents EagfiJSo*

Governor's spokesman on FCO statement........................................ 1

Hong Kong - Europe's business base in East Asia........................ 1

Airport Financial Support Agreement signed................................... 3

Majority satisfied with present situation: HAB survey.................. 5

Chinese drafts for all legislation prepared............................ 6

Monitors' Report submitted to CS.......................................

Public Service Commission member appointed............................. 10

Hong Kcng Annual Digest of Statistics 1995............................. 10

Ah Navigation (Hong Kong) Order 1995 takes effect...................... 11

Appointments to financial services bodies announced.................... 12

New "pay-as-you-eam" tax scheme introduced............................. 13

Extension of Sai Kung West Country Park proposed....................... 14

Mrs Patten opens " 10 years of AIDS in Pictures" exhibition............ 15

HKMA and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas sign agreement................ 17

Lectures on

Contents Page No.

Lectures on Hong Kong's heritage to be held................................. 17

Santa Claus flies in by Wessex helicopter............................... 18

Draft Shau Kei Wan Outline Zoning Plan amended.............................. 19

Amendments to Tsing Yi Outline Zoning Plan announced........................ 20

Board amends draft Shek Kip Mei Outline Zoning Plan......................... 22

Draft North Point Outline Zoning Plan amended............................... 23

Import (Radiation) (Prohibition) Regulations amended........................ 24

Road closure and alteration at O'Brien Road in Wan Chai..................... 25

Refuse transfer facilities in Cheung Chau................................... 26

Refuse transfer facilities at Lamma Island.................................. 27

Tenders invited for sewage works............................................ 28

Two secondary schools for Tseung Kwan O..................................... 29

Reprovisioning of Lai King Community Hall................................... 30

Tenders invited for indoor games hall renovation............................ 30

Fresh water cut in Tsing Lung Tau and Sham Tseng............................ 31

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations.................... 31

1

Governor's spokesman on FCO statement

*****

In response to media inquiries on the statement issued today (Friday) by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the Governor's spokesman, Kerry McGlynn, said:

"Everybody in Hong Kong knows the Governor’s views on this issue. The FCO statement speaks for itself. The British Government is obviously as concerned as the Hong Kong community about perceived threats to Hong Kong's autonomy after 1997."

Asked if the Governor knew in advance of the FCO action, Mr McGlynn said: "Yes. Ministers always consult the Governor on matters relating to Hong Kong, especially when threats are made to Hong Kong's promised autonomy."

End

Hong Kong - Europe's business base in East Asia

*****

The Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, continuing her official visit to Paris, today (Friday) impressed on French business leaders the advantages of establishing and maintaining a presence in Hong Kong.

"Hong Kong is Europe's business base in East Asia. It is the place that European companies choose, above all other places in the region, to set up their regional headquarters," she said.

Mrs Chan was delivering a keynote speech at a luncheon hosted by the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. About 200 business people packed the lunch venue, despite many encountering transport difficulties stemming from the industrial dispute affecting the city.

She said that in addition to the obvious advantages of Hong Kong as a business centre - from its position as an aviation, shipping, communications and information hub - the territory had become a major market in its own right.

2

"Our appetite for European goods and services is large. So far this year our imports from France - ranging from luxury goods, foods and wines to aircraft - have surged 85 per cent.

"But businesses do not flock to Hong Kong for the domestic market alone. They come to do business with the whole of the East Asian region, particularly China. According to a recent estimate, there are now some 160,000 enterprises in China funded from Hong Kong and jointly managed; and on a cumulative basis our realised direct investment in China is now estimated at US$66 billion, accounting for 60 per cent of China's total," Mrs Chan said.

She emphasised that not only did Hong Kong invest in China, but it helped to strike deals, raise funds and direct interested investors to the right projects.

I

Seventeen Chinese state-owned enterprises had enjoyed successful listings on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and there was considerable scope for Hong Kong to develop further as a funding centre for both the Chinese equity and debt markets.

The Chief Secretary pointed out that China was a fast developing market, but an unfamiliar one in which the business environment would be much more challenging and risky than that in Europe, North America or Hong Kong. However, Hong Kong's commercial expertise and knowledge of China could help minimise the risks for overseas investors wanting to enter that market.

Mrs Chan said Hong Kong's geographical position played a part in its success as a business centre. But, "the key is that Hong Kong provides the legal infrastructure on which business depends".

"We have the rule of law which has protected our liberties and allowed free rein to the natural talents and entrepreneurial skills of our overwhelmingly Chinese population, free from the threat of arbitrary intervention in our daily lives," she said.

The Chief Secretary added that the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law recognised that Hong Kong's success as a community and as a business centre depended on the continuation of its system of government and its way of life beyond 1997. And that was why it was agreed in the Joint Declaration that Hong Kong would not become a part of China just like any other province, but a Special Administrative Region with a high degree of autonomy.

3

"What we are going through in 1997 is unique in history. Everyone in Hong Kong who is honest about it will admit that they have concerns about the transition. But everyone also wants to make it work," Mrs Chan said.

Today, Mrs Chan held meetings with directors of the big French company, Thomson CSF, the major French employers federation CNPF, and the President of the Paris Stock Exchange, Mr Jean-Francois Theodore, as well as giving interviews to both French and Hong Kong media representatives.

Mrs Chan said there was a great deal of interest in Europe about Hong Kong and she was able to bring Italian and French business people and political leaders up to date with the progress being made with transitional issues.

She said they were generally confident about the prospects for the Hong Kong economy, but there were concerns about the arrangements for the transition, in particular the progress of discussions with the Chinese.

"Overall, they are concerned that Hong Kong should be able to maintain its current lifestyle, its current systems and the freedoms that the community currently enjoys," Mrs Chan said.

End

Airport Financial Support Agreement signed

* * * * ♦

The final piece of the financing arrangements for the Airport Core Programme has been "slotted into place" with the signing of the Financial Support Agreement (FSA) for the new airport today (Friday).

This was stated by the Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, after signing the FSA with the Airport Authority's (AA) Chairman, Mr Wong Po-yan.

The signing took place after AA held its first board meeting following the coming into force of the Airport Authority Ordinance.

As ex-Chairman of the Provisional Airport Authority (PAA), Mr Tsang said he was pleased that work at Chek Lap Kok had been proceeding at full pace towards its April 1998 opening date.

4

He said with the signing of FSA the opportunity was now opened to the private sector to invest in the new airport project.

"The FSA opens the way for the AA to conclude its arrangements with banks and other lenders to raise the $11.6 billion it needs to complete the new airport project.

"And major franchisees would also be able to finalise their own financial arrangements on the basis of the FSA," he said.

Mr Tsang said the Government would continue to give strong support to the new airport project and wished the new chairman and the Authority every success with the completion of the project on time, within budget, and with the operation of what will be one of the world's finest airports.

Also speaking at the signing ceremony, Mr Wong said: "Today is a very important day in the history of Hong Kong's new airport project, as it has seen the establishment of the AA in succession to the Provisional Airport Authority first set up five years ago."

"Our task as the AA continues from that of the PAA before us, first to provide, and then to operate, an airport that will maintain Hong Kong's status as a centre of international and regional aviation."

Mr Wong pledged that he and his fellow members and staff of the Authority would all remain committed to ensuring that in April 1998 "we provide Hong Kong with an international airport worthy of this great city: an airport of which Hong Kong can be proud."

He said the first meeting of the AA board and the signing of FSA were two events that would help to ensure that the momentum already achieved in developing Hong Kong's new airport would, with Government's assurance of its strong support, continue under the new Authority.

"Today’s signing of the FSA gives the Authority the certainty it needs of access to the borrowing required to finance the project up to airport opening. A major part of that borrowing has already been very successfully underwritten." he said.

Having signed the FSA, AA would move quickly to sign the key airside franchises for air cargo, aircraft catering and aviation fuel supply services.

End

5

Majority satisfied with present situation: HAB survey ♦ * * * ♦

A public opinion survey conducted in November by the Home Affairs Branch (HAB) has shown that 62 per cent of the respondents were satisfied with the present situation in Hong Kong.

Releasing the latest findings of the bimonthly survey, an HAB spokesman said the percentage was the same as that recorded in September.

The survey also showed that 60 per cent of the respondents believed the Government had taken public opinion into account when formulating policies and making decisions.

As to the overall performance of the Government, 38 per cent expressed satisfaction while 36 per cent thought otherwise. The corresponding figures in the September poll were 36 per cent and 38 per cent.

The survey also revealed that of the three most-mentioned problems facing the territory, labour-related problems continued to top the list of concerns, at 66 per cent compared with September's 60 per cent.

Among that group of respondents, those who were concerned about "unemployment" dropped from 86 per cent to 82 per cent while the number of those who worried about the "importation of labour" remained at 30 per cent.

However, 60 per cent (up from 45 per cent) considered that the Government had exerted effort in solving the labour problem and five per cent (up from two per cent) said the problem had been well handled.

"Housing-related problems" came second on the list at 30 per cent while "economy-related problems" took third place at 21 per cent, compared to 27 per cent and 17 per cent in the previous findings respectively.

The survey was the 61st in the series to gauge the trend of public opinion on perceived problems in Hong Kong and the community's views of the general situation.

Through a random sampling of residential telephone numbers. 1,518 persons aged between 15 and 64 were interviewed.

End

6

Chinese drafts for all legislation prepared ♦ * ♦ * *

The Legal Department has prepared Chinese drafts for all ordinances and subsidiary legislation which were enacted in English only, the Attorney General, Mr Jeremy Mathews, said today (Friday).

Speaking at the annual general meeting of an international association of law firms which was attended by representatives of law firms from 16 countries, Mr Mathews said by the end of November this year, of all the ordinances and subsidiary legislation enacted only in English language, the Chinese texts of 174 ordinances had been approved by the Bilingual Laws Advisory Committee (BLAC) and declared authentic by the Governor-in-Council.

Of the remaining ordinances, drafts of 101 items had been examined by BLAC, and drafts of all other ordinances and subsidiary legislation that were to remain in force had been prepared by the Legal Department, he said.

"My target is to have the Chinese texts of all that legislation authenticated before July 1, 1997," Mr Mathews said.

The Attorney General also disclosed that since the first bilingual ordinance was enacted in April 1989, all ordinances, other than those amending monolingual ordinances, had been enacted bilingually.

By the end of November this year, a total of 132 bilingual principal Ordinances had been enacted. In addition, 47 bilingual amending ordinances had been enacted, and hundreds of pieces of bilingual subsidiary legislation had been made, he said.

At present, there are more than 600 principal Ordinances and about 1,000 pieces of subsidiary legislation in Hong Kong.

Outlining the Legal Department's work in preparation for the transfer of sovereignty in 1997, Mr Mathews said of the over 200 multilateral international agreements extended by the United Kingdom to Hong Kong, the British and Chinese sides of the Joint Liaison Group (JLG) had reached agreement, in principle, on the continued application of 170 treaties.

7

These included 23 agreements establishing international organisations in which Hong Kong participates, for example the Asian Development Bank, the World Health Organisation, the Customs Co-operation Council, the international Maritime Organisation, and the World Intellectual Property Organisation. There were less than 20 treaties left for discussion, Mr Mathews said.

On bilateral agreements extended by the United Kingdom to Hong Kong in a variety of practical areas, such as extradition, investment promotion and protection, and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters, Mr Mathews said agreement had been reached in JLG on model texts for Hong Kong bilateral agreements in areas such as investment promotion and protection, surrender of fugitive offenders, mutual legal assistance, and transfer of sentenced persons.

A number of bilateral agreements based on those model texts had already been signed. They included six Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements and three Surrender of Fugitive Offenders Agreements, Mr Mathews said.

"Further agreements have been initialled and are awaiting clearance in the JLG before signature.

"Negotiations are continuing as quickly as possible with additional partners in order that a reasonably comprehensive framework of bilateral agreements can be in place by July 1, 1997," he said.

He added: "Assuming timely agreement from the Chinese side on consultation papers now with them or-still to be handed over, it should be possible to introduce localising Bills covering most of the UK enactments which apply to Hong Kong by late 1996 at the latest."

As regards the adaptation of laws, Mr Mathews said proposals for the adaptation of nearly 270 ordinances had been handed over to the Chinese side in over 60 papers. More papers were now being prepared.

He said much of the work was routine (for example, adapting terminology such as "the Governor"). But there were more complex matters (for example relating to Crown land. Crown proceedings, nationality and right of abode) which would require careful consideration before they were adapted.

8

"The precise forum in which these proposals will be discussed and the precise mechanism by which the proposals will be given legislative effect have not been resolved, but our plans for the exercise have been fully explained to the Chinese side through the JLG channel," Mr Mathews said.

He added: "It is clear that a great deal of work has been done in the two areas of localisation and adaptation of laws, and more remains to be done.

"My department is pushing ahead with the work and our programmes will allow us to complete the work in a timely fashion.

"I am confident that as a result of our work, the integrity of the Hong Kong statute book will be maintained after 1 July 1997."

Mr Mathews said another aspect of the Legal Department's work in preparing for the transition was that of enhancing mutual understanding with their legal counterparts in the Peoples' Republic of China and establishing a good working relationship with them.

"Just as personal friendships require constant nurturing and repair, relationships between institutions in different jurisdictions require constant effort and determination to ensure mutual understanding," he noted.

Mr Mathews added that channels for achieving such understanding with Chinese legal officials included organising visits to and from China, and holding briefings for visitors from China.

He said in 1994, there was a total of 16 incoming visits and four outgoing visits. This year, there had so far been 16 incoming visits and nine outgoing visits.

"One of these was my own visit to Beijing and Shanghai, where I had the opportunity to discuss many issues of common interest," Mr Mathews said.

He said all these efforts were directed towards the smooth transfer of sovereignty, the preservation of our common law system, and the continued maintenance of the rule of law.

He said he had heard of some people painting a picture of the rule of law being swept away as if by some evil deluge of Biblical proportions at the stroke of midnight on June 30, 1997.

9

He remarked that such dire predictions were based on no justifiable grounds and he for one totally rejected such a doomsday scenario, adding that the Government offered hope to the people of Hong Kong - hope through action.

He said: "Over the past years, we have worked to preserve and enhance the rule of law in Hong Kong and to make it a better place for all to live in for now and the future."

"We shall continue to do so, for the benefit of the community and the generations to come."

"Our legal system in the future will be very much the same, if not better, than the one in which we now take pride," Mr Mathews said.

End

Monitors' Report submitted to CS ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The monitors appointed to observe the transfer yesterday (Thursday) of 192 Vietnamese migrants selected for the Orderly Repatriation Programme from the High Island Detention Centre to Victoria Prison have submitted their report to the Chief Secretary, a government spokesman said today (Friday).

The four monitors comprised two non-official Justices of the Peace, Mrs Leung Lau Yau-fun and Mr Robert Chan Chin-yuan. The other two were representatives of two non-govemment organisations - Miss Marie Vander Elst from Medecins Sans Fronticres and Mr Stephen Tsui from Oxfam.

End

10

Public Service Commission member appointed * * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government announced today (Friday) the appointment of Ms Bebe Chu Pui-ying as member of the Public Service Commission for a two-year period from December 1.

Ms Chu is a solicitor with Stevenson, Wong and Co. She has served for two years on the Board of Directors of the Surviving Spouses' and Children's Pensions Scheme and is actively involved in voluntary services. She is a member of Hong Kong Federation of Women Lawyers, Council on Professional Conduct in Education and Family Law Association. She is also the Chairman of Family Law Committee, Law Society of Hong Kong.

Chaired by Mr A K Chui, the Public Service Commission advises the Governor on appointments, promotions and disciplinary matters in the middle and senior ranks of the civil service.

Other members include Mr P J Thompson, Mrs Eleanor Ling Ching-man, Mr D G Jeaffreson, Mr Christopher Cheng Wai-chee, Dr Thomas Leung Kwok-fai, Miss Eleanor Wong Bei-lee and Mrs Ng Yeoh Saw-kheng.

End

Hong Kong Annual Digest of Statistics 1995 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The 1995 edition of the Hong Kong Annual Digest of Statistics, published by the Census and Statistics Department and presented in both English and Chinese for the first time, is now on sale.

The report contains statistics on a wide range of topics including population; births and deaths; labour; external trade; industrial production; distributive trades; food supplies; transport services; building and construction; communications and tourism; public accounts; money and finance; prices; housing; education; medical and health; social welfare; law and order; culture, entertainment and recreation; the environment; climate and geography; and national accounts.

11

There are altogether 265 tables in 18 sections. Most of the data are presented for seven years, spanning over a period of 10 years.

The report is available at $92 per copy from the Government Publications Centre at Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor, 66 Queensway.

It can also be purchased at the publications Unit of the Census and Statistics Department, 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

End

Air Navigation (Hong Kong) Order 1995 takes effect ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Air Navigation (Hong Kong) Order 1995 takes effect today (Friday), a government spokesman announced today.

"The Privy Council approved the new Order on October 18, 1995 and it will become effective on December 1, 1995," the spokesman said.

The Order is essentially an updated version of the Air Navigation (Overseas Territories) Order 1977, and contains provisions on technical issues relating to civil aviation.

"This includes, inter alia, provisions governing airworthiness; operation and equipment of aircraft; management of aircraft crew; licensing and operation of aerodromes and control of air traffic," the spokesman said.

"The new Order will provide an up-to-date framework for regulating and administering civil aviation in Hong Kong, which is essential in maintaining our role as a centre of international and regional civil aviation."

"At a later date, our intention is that the Order be localised as part of the process of localising civil aviation enactments currently applied to Hong Kong," he added.

End

12

Appointments to financial services bodies announced ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Financial Secretary has appointed two bankers and an actuary to three financial services bodies.

A spokesman for the Financial Services Branch announced today (Friday) that -

Mr David Wong has been appointed as a member of the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) Advisory Committee;

Mr Stuart Leckie as a director of the Hong Kong Securities Clearing Co Ltd (HKSCC); and

Mr Anthony Yuen as Deputy Chairman of the Arbitration Panel established under the Leveraged Foreign Exchange Trading Ordinance.

Mr Wong, a banker, replaces Mr Henry Fan who has become a non-executive director of the SFC. Mr Wong's appointment is for a period of two years from November 28, 1995.

Mr Leckie, an actuary, is re-appointed to the board of the HKSCC from November 28, 1995 to the date of the 1996 Annual General Meeting of the HKSCC.

Mr Yuen, a banker and a serving member of the Arbitration Panel, replaces Mr Chris Pavlou who has resigned following his recent transfer to Tokyo. Mr Yuen's appointment as Deputy Chairman of the Arbitration Panel is for the period between November 28, 1995 and December 27, 1996.

End

13

New "pay-as-you-earn" tax scheme introduced

*****

The Tax Reserve Certificate (Amendment) Ordinance 1995 and the Tax Reserve Certificate (Fourth Series) (Amendment) Rules 1995 will come into operation on Monday (December 4), a government spokesman announced today (Friday).

"The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has implemented an additional system for purchasing and redeeming Tax Reserve Certificates (TRC).

"The new scheme, which will initially be piloted in the civil service, will enable civil servants to authorise the Treasury to deduct a specified sum from their monthly salaries for the purchase of TRCs.

"The deduction, which will be recorded on civil servants’ monthly salary statements, will be credited to a TRC account maintained by IRD in the taxpayer’s name.

"When tax is due for payment, the demand note will be settled by IRD on its due date by deduction from the credit available in the taxpayer’s TRC account." the spokesman said.

The spokesman added that the minimum amount of each purchase of TRCs had been increased from $50 to $300 and that, as from the same day, the annual rate of interest payable on tax reserve certificates will be increased from 5.04% to 5.64%.

Further enquiries may be made by calling the Tax Reserve Certificate Section of the Inland Revenue Department on 2594 3048.

End

14

Extension of Sai Kung West Country Park proposed ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Country and Marine Parks Authority (the Authority) has proposed to extend the Sai Kung West Country Park.

The proposed extension, measuring about 123 hectares, covers the Wan Tsai peninsula and its three neighbouring islands at Hoi Ha Wan.

A spokesman for the Authority said the extension was mainly for landscape conservation and recreation, with the nearby hills and undulating plains being offered for passive outdoor activities such as hiking and picnicking.

The spokesman said: "The proposed extension in the north-eastern part of Sai Kung West Country Park is formerly a borrow area which has been successfully restored by tree planting."

On management of the area, he pointed out that it would be in two phases.

The first phase will primarily aim at preserving the landscape and upkeeping the existing trails connected to the Wan Tsai peninsula from Hoi Ha and Tai Tan.

Subject to availability of resources, the phase two development will involve the provision of recreational and educational facilities and the promotion of more extensive use of the area by hikers.

To preserve the landscape character of the three adjacent islands, recreational facilities will not be provided.

On visitor facilities, the spokesman said the existing footpaths would be maintained in Wan Tsai peninsula in the first phase.

Phase two of the development would involve the provision of recreational facilities such as picnic tables, benches, litter bins, shelters, information boards, view compasses and way markers at strategic locations, he said.

Marine conservation education facilities may be provided along the coast of the peninsula when Hoi Ha Wan becomes a marine park.

In accordance with section 8 of the Country Parks Ordinance, the Authority has prepared the draft map and explanatory statement for the proposed Sai Kung West Country Park (Wan Tsai Extension). A notice to that effect was published in the Government Gazette today (Friday).

15

Copies of the draft map are available for inspection by the public free of charge at the Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD), Land Registry, Lands Department's Survey and Mapping Office as well as public enquiry service centres of district offices.

Uncoloured copies of the draft map are also available for sale at $35 each from AFD on 14th floor of Canton Road Government Offices, 393 Canton Road, Kowloon.

1 End

Mrs Patten opens "10 years of AIDS in Pictures" exhibition

♦ * * * *

I

Mrs Patten today (Friday) urges the public to take preventive measures against AIDS and points out that everyone has the responsibility to protect himself or herself, their families and others from infection.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the "10 Years of AIDS in Pictures" exhibition at the Plaza of the Headquarters of Hongkong Bank in Central, Mrs Patten said despite advances in medical science, AIDS still remained as an incurable disease and continued to grow around the world and in Hong Kong.

I

She said the disease not only threatened the life and health of millions of people world-wide, but also had a devastating effect on families and communities.

"In the absence of any effective cure, prevention plays a very important part in containing the disease. Educating the public in order to increase their knowledge of the disease is vital," she said.

Mrs Patten pointed out that under the Chairmanship of Ms Carlye Tsui, the Committee on Education and Publicity on AIDS had launched many useful campaigns.

The theme of the 1995 World AIDS Day is "Shared Rights, Shared Responsibilities”. %

Mrs Patten said "everyone with HIV or AIDS has the rights to be treated with human dignity without discrimination and the rights to proper health care".

16

"Everyone has the shared responsibility not only to protect him or herself, their families and others from infection, but to show tolerance and compassion to those with the disease."

It is the responsibility of the communities to care for those living with HIV and AIDS and to educate their members about the epidemic. It is also the governments' responsibility to ensure that adequate resources are devoted to HIV and AIDS programmes and that all people, including the disadvantaged and vulnerable have access to available HIV and AIDS prevention and care programmes.

"1995 is a very significant year in the history of AIDS in Hong Kong because it has been a decade since the first case of AIDS was diagnosed. The photos in the exhibition show us that history in pictures," Mrs Patten said.

Also officiating at the ceremony were the Chairman of the Committee on the Education and Publicity on AIDS (CEPAIDS), Ms Carlye Tsui; the Director of Health, Dr Margaret Chan; and the Director of Information Services, Mrs Irene Yau.

Ms Carlye Tsui said she was concerned about the spread of AIDS in Hong Kong. "Since that first AIDS case was reported ten years ago , 602 people in Hong Kong have been infected by the HIV virus and of these 161 have developed AIDS. Many have died of AIDS complications," she said.

Ms Tsui added that the most effective way to fight against AIDS was through education, and that was the reason CEPAIDS was set up in 1987.

She said: "By targeting the general public, drug abusers, community groups, schools, and the youth of Hong Kong, we have helped to raise AIDS awareness significantly. And we intend to continue that fight until a cure is found."

The "10 Years of AIDS in Pictures" exhibition is jointly organised by the Committee on Education and Publicity on AIDS to commemorate the World AIDS Day 95. More than 90 memorable pictures of different aspects on AIDS are being be displayed in the exhibition.

The exhibition will be staged at the Plaza of the Headquarters of Hongkong Bank in Central from today until December 9. Members of the public are welcome to visit the exhibition.

End

17

HKMA and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas sign agreement

* ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) announced that it signed a bilateral repurchase agreement (repo) with Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas today (Friday) in Hong Kong, the fifth such agreement HKMA has entered into with central banks in the region.

On November 20, HKMA signed agreements on the repo of US dollar government securities to provide liquidity on a bilateral basis with the Reserve Bank of Australia, Bank Indonesia. Bank Negara Malaysia and Bank of Thailand.

Repos are simultaneous agreements to buy securities for an agreed amount of cash and to agree to sell back the same securities at a specified later date for a specified amount.

Bilateral repos are straightforward commercial transactions that the Exchange Fund has been transacting with commercial banks and investment houses to improve its liquidity.

Establishing well secured repo lines with central banks whose credit standing are generally higher than that of private sector banks would improve liquidity of the Exchange Fund under minimum risk.

End

Lectures on Hong Kong's heritage to be held ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Antiquities and Monuments Office (AMO) is organising a series of lectures starting from tomorrow (Saturday) on Hong Kong's heritage.

The opening lecture on villages in the New Territories will be given by Dr Patrick Hase of the Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong Branch at 2.30 pm at the AMO Gallery, 136 Nathan Road, Kowloon.

18

The talk will be illustrated with past and present photographs of the villages to enhance people's understanding of what they see in those areas and the traditional life and history of Hong Kong.

Topics of the lectures to follow include "Kowloon Walled City". "The Space and Face of 19th Century Urban Hong Kong". "Approach to Conservation - Work on Historic Buildings in Hong Kong" and "Our Heritage: I long Kong's old Chinese and colonial buildings".

These free lectures will be held in some of the Saturday afternoons from now until March 2. They are to coincide with a photographic exhibition on the old faces of Sheung Wan and Western District now being held at the AMO Gallery.

Details of the lectures and the exhibition can be obtained from AMO on 2721

2326.

End

Santa Claus Ilies in by Wessex helicopter *****

The lack of snow in a Hong Kong December morning will not deter the arrival of Santa Claus at the St Stephen's Chapel Family Fete. Abandoning his traditional mode of transport - his reindeer-driven sleigh - Santa Claus will arrive in style in Royal Air Force Wessex helicopter.

Helicopter pilot. Flight Lieutenant Alex Szymanski, from 28 (AC) Squadron, based at Sck Kong, will rendezvous with Santa Claus "somewhere south of the North Pole" and deliver him at 11.20 am tomorrow (Saturday) to the playing field of St Stephen's College at Wong Ma Kok Road, Stanley where his passenger will be given a rousing welcome by local children.

Over the years, the annual St Stephen's Chapel Family Fete has been able to contribute generously to many local charities. Money raised at this year's event will go to the Ing Mei Orphanage Fund, the Methodist Shelter at Stanley Fort, TREATS, the Children's Cancer Foundation and Father I uiz.'s Home in Macau.

End

19

Draft Shau Kei Wan Outline Zoning Plan amended * * * * ♦

The Town Planning Board today (Friday) announced amendments to the draft Shau Kei Wan Outline Zoning Plan.

A spokesman for the Board said the amendments to the land use layout and the road alignment for the Aldrich Bay reclamation area would facilitate the early implementation of a Private Sector Participation Scheme (PSPS) development to meet the housing demand.

In the reclamation area, three sites are reserved for residential development.

A 2.32-hectare in the eastern part is reserved for a PSPS development. A public rental housing and Home Ownership Scheme development which occupies an area of 7.6 hectares is proposed in the central part.

Another site with an area of 0.74 hectare in the north-western part is reserved for private housing.

Three sizeable "Open Space" zones are proposed in areas located to the western and eastern part of the public housing site and along the waterfront.

Meanwhile, two "Govemment/Institution/Community" sites along Tai On Street and along the waterfront are reserved for school developments.

"To allow a more flexible design for industrial use and a larger open space development, an 'Industrial' zone ('!') located along Tung Hei Road in A Kung Ngam is swopped with a nearby 'Open Space' ('O') zone and 'Road Reserve' area," the spokesman said.

"The resulting T and 'O' zones will have an area of approximately 0.5 hectare and 0.23 hectare respectively," he added.

The amendment plan (No S/H9/5) is now available for public inspection until December 22, 1995 at:

* Planning Department,

16th floor, Murray Building,

Garden Road,

Central. Hong Kong;

20

♦ Hong Kong District Planning Office, 11th floor, Leighton Centre, 77 Leighton Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong; and

* Eastern District Office Public Enquiry Service Centre, ground floor, Eastern Law Courts Building, 29 Tai On Street, Sai Wan Ho, Hong Kong.

Any person affected by the amendment plan may submit written objections to the Secretary of the Town Planning Board, c/o Planning Department, 13th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong before December 22, 1995.

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

End

Amendments to Tsing Yi Outline Zoning Plan announced ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Town Planning Board today (Friday) announced amendments to the approved Tsing Yi Outline Zoning Plan.

Major amendments involve the provision of residential development at two

sites.

One of the sites is located at the end of Liu To Road. With an area of 4.81 hectares, the site has been rezoned from "Govemment/Institution/Community" ("G/IC") to ’’Residential (Group A)" (”R(A)”) to facilitate a public housing development there.

The other site to the south of Tsing Luk Street, with an area of 1.01 hectares, has been rezoned from ’’Open Space” (”O") to ”R(A)’’ for a private sector participation scheme development.

In connection with the development of the Airport Railway Tsing Yi Station, a site to the north of the elevated Tsing Tsuen Road has been rezoned from ”O” to ”G/IC” for a public lorry park cum transport interchange.

21

An area at the intersection of the Tsing Ma and Ting Kau Bridges has been rezoned from "Road" to "Other Specified Uses" annotated "Ventilation Building".

A site to the east of Tsing Yi Heung Sze Wui Road has been rezoned from "G/IC" to "Other Specified Uses" annotated "Sewage Treatment Plant" to reflect existing use.

Technical amendments to the plan include amendments to the covering Notes of the plan and the Notes of a number of land use zonings.

The amendment plan (No S/TY/11) is now available for public inspection until February 1, 1996 at:

* Planning Department,

16th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong;

Tsuen Wan and Kwai Tsing District Planning Office, 27th floor, Tsuen Wan Government Offices Building, 38 Sai Lau Kok Road, Tsuen Wan, New Territories; and

* Kwai Tsing District Office, 10th floor, Kwai Hing Government Offices Building, 166-174 Hing Fong Road, Kwai Chung, New Territories.

Any person affected by the amendment plan may submit written objections to the Secretary of the Town Planning Board, c/o Planning Department, 13th floor, Murray Building before February 1, 1996.

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

End

22

Board amends draft Shek Kip Mei Outline Zoning Plan *****

The Town Planning Board today (Friday) announced an amendment to the draft Shek Kip Mei Outline Zoning Plan.

The amendment relates to a residential development on a 4.35-hectare site zoned "Residential (Group C) 5" ("R(C)5") at Tai Wo Ping near Beacon Heights off Lung Ping Road. The "R(C)5" zone is divided into two sub-areas with maximum building heights of 131 metres and 194 metres above the Hong Kong Principal Datum.

The revised zoning and height restrictions will facilitate a better layout for housing development to overcome the noise problem arising from Lung Cheung Road.

The amendment plan (No S/K4/6) is now available for public inspection until December 22, 1995 at:

* Planning Department,

16th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong;

* Kowloon District Planning Office,

11th floor, Leighton Centre, 77 Leighton Road,

Causeway Bay, Hong Kong; and

* Sham Shui Po District Office,

sixth floor, 290 Un Chau Street, Cheung Sha Wan, Kowloon.

Any person affected by the amendment plan may submit written objections to the Secretary of the Town Planning Board, c/o Planning Department, 13th floor, Murray Building before December 22, 1995.

Copies of the draft plan are available for sale at the Survey and Mapping Office, Lands Department, 14th floor, Murray Building and the Kowloon Map Sales Office, ground floor, 382 Nathan Road, Kowloon.

End

23

Draft North Point Outline Zoning Plan amended ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Town Planning Board today (Friday) announced two amendments to the draft North Point Outline Zoning Plan.

"As the existing Causeway Bay Police Station at Electric Road is no longer required by the Royal Hong Kong Police Force, part of the site, with an area of 0.13 hectare, has been rezoned to 'Commercial' and the remaining 0.06 hectare of the site to 'Open Space'," a spokesman for the Town Planning Board said.

Another amendment is to rezone a 0.25-hectare site near the junction of Tong Shui Road and Wharf Road from "Other Specified Uses" annotated "Comprehensive Redevelopment Area" to "Govemment/Institution/Community" ("G/IC").

"A site at Oil Street currently occupied by the Government Supplies Department as office and storage depot has been rezoned from 'G/IC' to 'Comprehensive Development Area' ('CDA').

"The 'CDA' site, with an area of 1.16 hectares, will include a mix of office, hotel, carpark, open space, retail and residential development," the spokesman added.

Technical amendment includes the addition of a set of new Notes for the "CDA" zoning.

The amendment plan (No S/H8/6) is now available for public inspection until December 22, 1995 at:

* Planning Department,

16th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road. Central, Hong Kong;

* Hong Kong District Planning Office, 11th floor, Leighton Centre, 77 Leighton Road. Causeway Bay, Hong Kong; and

* Eastern District Office,

Public Enquiry Service Centre, ground floor, Eastern Law Courts Building, 29 Tai On Street, Sai Wan Ho, Hong Kong.

24

Any person affected by the amendment plan may submit written objections to the Secretary of the Town Planning Board, c/o Planning Department, 13th floor, Murray Building before December 22, 1995.

Copies of the draft plan are available for sale at the Survey and Mapping Office, Lands Department, 14th floor, Murray Building and the Kowloon Map Sales Office, ground floor, 382 Nathan Road, Kowloon.

End

Import (Radiation) (Prohibition) Regulations amended ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Import (Radiation) (Prohibition) (Amendment) Regulation 1995, which seeks to provide a definition of "irradiating apparatus" and "radioactive substance" in the existing regulations along the same line as the provisions in the Radiation Ordinance, was published in the Government Gazette today (Friday).

A government spokesman said: "An amendment to the existing Schedule to the Import (Radiation) (Prohibition) Regulations under the Import and Export Ordinance has been approved by the Governor in Council on November 21, 1995.

"Under the amendment, the existing Schedule of chemical elements and apparatus would be repealed and substituted by a new Schedule which makes reference to the new definitions of radioactive substances and irradiating apparatus."

He said: "These two terms are now defined in the Regulation in the same way as they are defined in the Radiation Ordinance.

"Under the Ordinance, radioactive substance means any substance which consists of or contains any radioactive chemical element, whether natural of artificial, and whose specific activity exceeds 75 bequerels of parent radioactive chemical element per gram of substance.

"Irradiating apparatus means any apparatus which is intended to produce or emit ionizing radiation; or is capable of producing or emitting ionizing radiation at a dose rate exceeding five microsievert per hour at a distance of five centimetres from any accessible point of the surface of the apparatus."

End

25

Road closure and alteration at O'Brien Road in Wan Chai *****

The Government intends to implement temporary closure and permanent alterations at a section of O’Brien Road in Wan Chai from January 4 next year to facilitate improvement works at the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) Wan Chai Station.

A section of pavement in O'Brien Road between Hennessy Road and Johnston Road will be temporarily closed and permanently altered to facilitate demolition of the existing MTR entrances and construction of new station entrances and associated structures.

Pedestrian walkway will be maintained to the adjacent shops and building entrances during the construction period.

A lane of the carriageway of another section of O'Brien Road and its junction with Thomson Road will be temporarily closed and altered to facilitate construction. Temporary traffic diversion will be implemented.

Alternative vehicular routing and suitable pedestrian facilities will be provided. Traffic signs will be set up to guide motorists.

Details of the closures and alterations are contained in a notice published in the Government Gazette today (Friday).

Any claims for compensation must be made in writing to the Director of Lands.

Plans showing the affected area are available for public inspection at the Public Enquiry Service Centre of the Central and Western District Office, ground floor, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central, Hong Kong; the Public Enquiry Service Centre of the Wan Chai District Office, ground floor, 2 O'Brien Road, Wan Chai; and the District Lands Office (Hong Kong West), 19th floor, Southorn Centre, 130 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

End

26

Refuse transfer facilities in Cheung Chau *****

The Government intends to carry out works at Tai Kwai Wan in Cheung Chau to provide berthing facilities and marine access for refuse transfer vessels operating in the area.

Works will involve the modification of about 55 metres of sloping seawall to vertical seawall, the construction of a mooring dolphin and protective works for an existing water mains to the north of the site, and the dredging of sea-bed within an area of about 1,860 square metres.

Works will commence early next year for completion by mid-1997.

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

Any person who considers that his interest, right or easement in or over the foreshore and sea-bed involved will be injuriously affected by the undertaking of the works may submit a written claim for compensation to the Director of Lands on or before December 1, 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 such particulars which he possesses to substantiate his claim.

The notice together with its related plans can be seen and copies can be purchased on order at the Lands Department Survey and Mapping Office, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong.

They can also be seen at the Islands District Office. 20th floor. Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central, Hong Kong and at the Cheung Chau Sub-office of the Islands District Office, ground floor, 22 San Hing Street, Cheung Chau.

End

27

Refuse transfer facilities at Lamma Island ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government intends to dredge the foreshore and sea-bed within an area of about 1.4 hectares at Sok Kwu Wan in Lamma Island.

This is to form a site for developing refuse transfer facilities and to provide marine access for refuse transfer vessels for the Sok Kwu Wan Station of the Outlying Islands Refuse Transfer Facilities.

A government spokesman said an initial environmental impact assessment for the Outlying Islands Refuse Transfer Facilities was carried out in September 1993 based on a conceptual design.

The assessment concludes, among other things, that the site formation work at Sok Kwu Wan would not cause unacceptable impacts to the environment, provided that certain mitigation measures are incorporated.

’’The contractor will be required to carry out a Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment to assess the environmental impact caused by the site formation work and to address the details of the mitigation measures with reference to his actual design,” the spokesman added.

’’Suitable mitigation measures will be incorporated in the work to ensure that there will be no unacceptable impact and that the mariculture operation nearby will not be affected," he stressed.

Work will commence in the middle of next year for completion by late 1997.

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

Any person who considers that he has an interest, right or easement in or over the foreshore and seabed involved may submit a written objection to the Director of Lands on or before February 1, 1996.

Notice of such objection should describe the interest, right or easement of the objector and the manner in which he alleges he will be affected.

The notice, in both English and Chinese, together with its related plans can be seen on notice boards posted near the site.

28

The plan can also be seen and copies can be purchased on order at the Lands Department Survey and Mapping Office, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong.

The plan is also available for public inspection at the Islands District Office, 20th floor, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central, Hong Kong.

End

Tenders invited for sewage works ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Drainage Services Department (DSD) is inviting tenders for a works contract relating to the construction of a sewage treatment plant in Sham Tseng, the New Territories.

The works mainly involve the reclamation of about three hectares of the foreshore at Sham Tseng adjacent to the existing Garden Bakery site to provide land for the construction of a new sewage treatment plant.

A buffer area will also be provided to separate the treatment works from other buildings in the area.

A spokesman for DSD said the contract formed part of the Ting Kau and Sham Tseng Sewerage, Sewage Treatment and Disposal Project.

"When the project is completed all sewage in the coastal area from Ting Kau to Tsing Lung Tau will be collected and treated at the new sewage treatment plant before discharge into offshore waters.

"This will improve the water quality along the western coastline of Tsuen Wan," he noted.

Works are scheduled to begin in March 1996 for completion in about 15 months.

A notice of the tender invitations was gazetted today (Friday).

29

Tender forms and further particulars may be obtained from Montgomery Watson Hong Kong Limited, 1911 Windsor House, 311 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay.

The tender closing date is noon on December 22, 1995.

End

Two secondary schools for Tseung Kwan O ♦ * * ♦ ♦

The Architectural Services Department is inviting tenders for the construction of two secondary schools in Tseung Kwan O.

The schools will be constructed to a new standard design, each comprising 26 classrooms, 14 special rooms, three remedial teaching rooms, an assembly hall and ancillary facilities, two basketball courts, covered playground and car park.

There will also be a student activity centre, staff common rooms, guidance activity/interview rooms, more playground area as well as facilities for the disabled. The gross floor area of each school will be about 9,400 square metres.

Works will start in March next year for completion in August 1997.

Forms of tender and further particulars may be obtained from the Architectural Services Department, 34th floor Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong.

Tenders must be clearly marked and addressed to the Chairman of the Central Tender Board and placed in the Government secretariat tender box at the lift lobby, lower ground floor, Central Government Offices (East Wing), Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong before 12 noon on Friday, December 29.

Late tenders will not be accepted.

End

30

Reprovisioning of Lai King Community Hall

*****

The Architectural Services Department is inviting tenders for the reprovisioning of Lai King Community Hall at Lai King Estate, Kwai Chung.

Works involve construction of a single storey community hall block of about 800 square metres in gross floor area together with drainage and ancillary external works.

Forms of tender and further particulars may be obtained from the Architectural Services Department, 34th floor, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong.

Tenders must be clearly marked and addressed to the Chairman of the Central Tender Board.

It must be placed in the Government Secretariat tender box in the lift lobby on the lower ground floor, Central Government Offices (East Wing), Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong, before noon on Friday, December 22.

Late tenders will not be accepted.

Only contractors on the Approved Contractors for Public Works List I in Groups A, B and C for Building Works will be permitted to tender.

End

Tenders invited for indoor games hall renovation

*****

The Architectural Services Department is inviting tenders for the renovation of entrance halls and public areas and provision of air-conditioning to six Regional Council indoor games halls.

Forms of tender and further particulars may be obtained from the department at 34th floor, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong.

Tenders must be clearly marked and addressed to the Chairman of the Central Tender Board.

31

It must be placed in the Government Secretariat tender box in the lift lobby on the lower ground floor, Central Government Offices (East Wing), Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong before noon on Friday, December 29. Late tenders will not be accepted.

Only contractors on the Approved Contractors for Public Works List I in Group C for Building Works and List II for Building Works will be permitted to tender.

End

Fresh water cut in Tsing Lung Tau and Sham Tseng

*****

Fresh water supply to all premises in Tsing Lung Tau and Sham Tseng will be temporarily suspended from 11 pm on Tuesday (December 5) to 6 am the following day to facilitate watermain works.

Affected areas include Sham Tsz Street, Garden Bakery, San Miguel Brewery, Rhine Terrace and Garden, Lido Garden, Seacrest Villa Phase 1 to 4, Sham Tseng Tsuen, Sham Tseng Tung Tsuen, Pai Min Kok Tsuen, Tsing Lung Tau Tsuen, Yuen Tun Tsuen, Hong Kong Garden, Lung Tan Court, Choi Yuen Tsuen and Ka Lung Tsuen.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

Time Cumulative change

$ million (hours) (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,519 0930 -250

Closing balance in the account 1,272 1000 -250

Change attributable to : 1100 -250

Money market activity -256 1200 -250

LAF today +9 1500 -250

1600 -256

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 122.6 ♦+0.2* 01.12.95

32

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF notes

EF bills

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 1 month 3 months 6 months 12 months 5.65 5.61 5.55 5.54 5.53 2 years 3 years 5 years 7 years 5 years 2711 3810 5009 7211 M502 5.60 6.15 6.95 6.82 7.30 100.04 100.90 102.71 100.68 102.38 5.65 5.89 6.38 6.81 6.84

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $19,694 million

Closed December 1,1995

End

9

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

Saturday, December 2,1995

Contents EassLNQx

Volunteers in adoption service commended.................................. 1

"Unreasonable" dismissal case clarified................................... 2

Interconnection charges by Internet service providers..................... 3

Contracts for employment outside HK must be observed................ 4

Yuen Long Fire Station Open Day..................................... 5

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations................ 5

Sunday, December 3,1995

Contents Eage_N<L

The Governor's "Letter to Hong Kong"................................ b

Plea on safe use of electrical and mechanical products.............. 9

Watch out for imposters.............................................

•9

- 1 -

Volunteers in adoption service commended ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Eighty-four volunteers who have rendered dedicated service to special needs children awaiting for adoption were today (Saturday) commended by the Director of Social Welfare, Mr Ian Strachan.

Speaking at the Third Award Presentation Ceremony for Volunteers in Adoption Service, Mr Strachan paid tribute to the volunteers for their unfailing support and hard work in assisting these children.

"Without your efforts, our special needs children could not be so well-prepared for adoption.

"Your help in visiting the children, taking them out to play and exercise, providing them with pre-adoption fostering, assistance in medical and nursing care and rehabilitation programmes, and sharing with them your love and care, are most important to our children's development in their health condition, self-care abilities, social skills and emotional development."

All these had greatly facilitated the children's successful integration into their new adoptive families, he added.

He noted that the young, normal and healthy children could join adoptive homes relatively quickly, most of them within three months after they were found suitable for adoption.

However, disabled children, those having health problems, children of older age and those with complicated family background had to wait longer for a suitable home, Mr Strachan said.

. .1

In order to increase the adoption chance of special needs children, Mr Strachan said his department had enlisted the co-operation of Mother's Choice and the International Social Service (Hong Kong Branch) and had entered into a formal arrangement on overseas adoption service with Holt International Children's Services in May.

"All these agencies have put in much efforts to publicise our overseas adoption programme so that more adoptive parents can be recruited for our special needs children.

2

"We have in the past years five foster families and volunteers who extend their love and care by providing the special needs child a permanent home through applying for adoption," he said. Mr Strachan said there were two similar successful cases and another one was in process this year.

The Social Welfare Department has successfully arranged 106 children for local adoption and another 15 for overseas adoption in 1994-95.

End

"Unreasonable" dismissal case clarified * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

In response to press reports about a temporary staff of the Labour Department who claimed to have been dismissed after enquiring about the benefits she was entitled to under the Employment Ordinance, the Deputy Commissioner for Labour, Mr Alfred Chan, today (Saturday) clarified the case.

He said Ms Yuan Yuan was employed by the department as a temporary Workman II in two contracts. The first contract was effective from June 1, 1995 to August 31, 1995. Due to the need for additional hands for a recarpeting exercise in the department in mid-September, she was offered another contract from September 11, 1995 to December 9, 1995.

"The rescheduling of working hours of other permanent Workmen II in the General Registry has allowed the department more flexibility in the deployment of workmen. We no longer see any need for temporary staff from December 1995 and have therefore decided not to offer Ms Yuan a third contract.

"As her second contract is due to expire on December 9, notice was given to her on November 28, 1995 about the expiry. There is no question of a dismissal, much less a dismissal after she has enquired about her benefits under the Employment Ordinance," Mr Chan said.

He added that Ms Yuan would receive all the benefits she was entitled to under the Employment Ordinance on expiry of her contract.

• End

3

Interconnection charges by Internet service providers ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Telecommunications Authority, Mr Alexander Arena, today (Saturday) released a Statement on the requirement for Internet Service Providers to pay interconnection charges to the Hong Kong Telephone Company (HKTC).

Mr Arena said: "Having considered submissions from the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and the fixed telecommunications network operators, and having taken legal advice, 1 must confirm that under the current law the ISPs must pay the interconnect charge to HKTC when the ISPs' customers access information over the World Wide Web."

This matter has been the subject of differing views in the industry, with some ISPs paying the charge and others not paying it.

"I have no alternative but to apply the existing law as it is written," said Mr Arena. "And to ensure that it is applied uniformly across the industry."

"The ISPs have made a number of submissions to me on the interconnection charge which I will consider further in a number of reviews that OFTA has been conducting on pricing and charging issues."

Details of these reviews are included in the TA’s Statement. A study of the methodology and level of the interconnection charge, which is currently set at 9 cents per minute, is one of these reviews. Another review concerns the price control arrangements which apply to HKTC.

"Should these reviews lead to a change in policy regarding the PNETS charge, the Hong Kong Government will attempt to put forward new legislative proposals quickly," continued Mr Arena. "However, I cannot anticipate what these policy changes might be and, in the interim, I have no alternative but to enforce the existing law."

End

Contracts for employment outside UK must be observed ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Every contract for employment outside Hong Kong must be signed by the employer or his representative and the employee before the employee leaves Hong Kong.

The contract must contain all the particulars required by the Contracts for Employment Outside Hong Kong Ordinance to define the rights and obligations of both parties and be presented to the Commissioner for Labour for attestation before the employee's departure.

The acting Labour Officer (Employment Agencies & External Employment), Mr David Tam, said today (Saturday) that the Ordinance applied to all contracts entered into in Hong Kong by manual employees and those non-manual employees with monthly wages not exceeding $20,000 who were employed to work outside Hong Kong by employers who were not in Hong Kong and were not running a business locally.

"An employer or his agent will commit an offence if he fails to obtain a written contract or present a contract for attestation by the Commissioner before the employee leaves Hong Kong.

"Moreover, a person will commit an offence if he induces an employee to enter into a contract which does not comply with the Ordinance or leave Hong Kong to take up employment before the contract is attested," he explained.

The maximum penalty for each offence is $50,000.

Enquiries on overseas employment may be made to the Labour Department's External Employment Service on 2852 3511 or 2852 3540.

- 5 -

Yuen Long Fire Station Open Day ♦ ♦ * * ♦

The Yuen Long Fire Station will be open to members of public from 10 am to 6 pm tomorrow (Sunday).

The Chairman of the Yuen Long District Board, Mr Tai Kuen, will officiate at a lion eye-dotting ceremony to kick off the open day.

The event is part of the Fire Services Department's efforts to promote the 1995-96 Fire Prevention Campaign.

Members of the public visiting the fire station will have a chance to learn more about fire prevention in commercial premises - the theme of this year's campaign.

They can also see various modem fire engines and equipment, and a demonstration on fire-fighting and rescue.

More than 1,000 primary students and teachers have been invited to visit the fire station which is located at 2 Fung Kam Street, Yuen Long.

End

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

$ Million Time (Hours) Cumulative Change ($ Million)

Opening Balance in the account 1,272 09:30 -9

Closing Balance in the account 1,963 10:00 -9

Change Attributable to: 11:00 -9

Money Market Activity -9 11:30 -9

Laf Today +700

LafRate 4.25% Bid/6.25% Offer TWI 122.6 *+0.0* 2.12.95

End

6

The Governor's "Letter to Hong Kong" *****

Following is the full text of the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten's broadcast on RTHK's "Letter to Hong Kong" today (Sunday):

What's the best view in Hong Kong, the one that most indelibly prints the essence, the very nature of Hong Kong on your memory?

Is it the view from the Star Ferry on a fine day as you buck and weave your way across the harbour, looking up at the Peak and the skyscrapers - those side-by-side tributes to God and mammon?

Or is it the view from the top of the Dragon's Back - Shek-0 and its silver beaches below, and the deep green hill tops folding and unfolding ahead of you?

Or maybe you prefer Sai Kung, Double Haven, the Lantau Buddha; or any market scene with the red light shades, the exotic fruit, the fish in tanks, the hens in wicker cages; or the window of your favourite baker's; or the back of the shop in any ironmonger's.

Well, there's no shortage of choices. But high up on everyone's list must surely come the spectacle of race night at Happy Valley; Hong Kongers enjoying themselves, doing one of the things they like best. Every visitor I've ever taken to Happy Valley has come away just as excited as I'd told them they would be. The first time my sister came to Hong Kong, she went virtually straight from the 'plane to the race track. She's never forgotten that initial overwhelming sight. There's literally nothing like it in the world.

The crowd and the hustle and the bustle as dusk closes in and the lights around the track and up and down the sides of the valley and on the passing double decker buses blaze across the sky. The yellows and greens and reds of the jockeys and the swagger and polish of the trainers. The excitement of the races themselves - flashing boards with their incomprehensible mathematical messages to the betting faithful, a squadron of galloping horses cresting the last bend and hitting the gallop for home, the sound of the hooves and the roar of the crowd and the whoosh of relief when it's all over, and the bouquets and the silver trophies and the "bigwigs" from the Jockey Club in the winners' enclosure.

7

Last weekend it was better than ever. We went - over 50,000 of us altogether -to the opening of the new track, a broad band of green velvet cambering over what had once been the Football Club. It was a perfect evening, the end of a flawless autumn afternoon - blue skies and scudding white clouds. Stepping on to the track from the new marble halls where the ancient and powerful club administers its affairs, you could see the race track sweeping down from its highest point to the grandstands rising like cliff-faces to the right. If the horses ran backwards, that I suppose would be their Tattenham Comer view.

I said it was a perfect evening. Not quite. I tried a new system of betting. It works even less well than its predecessors. Let me tell you about it so that you can avoid doing anything half so stupid yourselves.

You turn to the chart in your favourite newspaper which summarises the predictions of all the professional tipsters from Captain Courageous to Madame Voodoo. Then you take a pencil and draw a line diagonally across the paper from the top left hand corner of the chart to the bottom right hand. Following this, you proceed to bet on each of the predictions touched by the line, so for example in the first race you bet on the horses at the top of the left hand column; in the second, you bet on the horses two down in the column second from the left. And so on triumphantly down the page. A multiple tierce on each one will help to maximise your chances of losing steadily all evening.

I can now confirm that this is not a system that will make your fortune; it is not even a system that will enable you to pay for a taxi home, should that be required. You would think twice about recommending it to the person you liked least in the world, and you might not even offer it to a friend.

So next time, I'm going back to the drawing board, and combining the clairvoyance of a friend's amah, names that my wife likes, numbers that are divisible by three, and grey horses. However, if any of these animals walks side-ways when it gets out on the track my most distinguished adviser tells me to drop it like a hot cake straightaway. He may be right or he may just have an aversion to hairy crabs.

Win or lose, it was a happy evening.


8

Even as the crowds streamed home - some presumably having done better than me - a small group of very distinguished American think-tankers and scholars was arriving in Hong Kong, carrying under their arms heavy volumes which summarised their judgements on the economies of the world, ours included. They come from a celebrated Washington number-crunching, philosophy-thumping organisation called the Heritage Foundation. Every year they survey the economies of the world and pronounce their verdict. What are they searching for? It doesn't have to be grey or divisible by three. But it is the sort of thing you'd want to put your money on. What they are looking for is the free-est economy in the world.

Their index of freedom covers all the traditional long term guarantees of economic health and social harmony. They comb through all the statistics and the policies and the records, looking at the rule of law and tax and prudent spending policies - prudent spending policies - and regulation and de-regulation and open markets and hands-off or hands-on policies on business. They have ten tests like that. And when they've measured performance, they tot up the figures and give an overall assessment.

You may have read the result already, or guessed it from my breathless buildup. Yes, Hong Kong won once again - at a canter. Last year they placed us first equal with Singapore. This year we were out front on our own, winners by at least a head.

Hong Kong - the free-est economy in the world.

Now, it's not patronising to suggest that most of those at Happy Valley last Saturday evening have probably never heard of the Heritage Foundation and its Freedom Index. But they won't have been surprised by its conclusions. They know we've got a system which is unbeatable - free, decent and successful. They know that their way of life - which includes the right to keep the Jockey Club well-endowed through the proceeds of their free choices about what to do with their own money -they know that their way of life is admired by the rest of the world. They want their way of life to continue.

I hope all those who make a lot of noise in the next year and a half will remember that. I hope they'll recognise that their responsibility to safeguard that way of life transcends all else - ambition, fear, puzzlement, duty, worry. Let's hold on to a few simple truths.

What was really the best sight at Happy Valley? Simple. Free men and free women enjoying themselves in a free society. A free Chinese society. A free Chinese society that's worth betting on and worth standing up for.

End

9

Plea on safe use of electrical and mechanical products ♦ ♦ * * ♦

The Deputy Director of Electrical and Mechanical Services, Mr Leung Cham-tim, today (Sunday) urged members of the public to exercise more care in the use of electrical products and mechanical machinery.

"Improper usage of these facilities may post a danger to our lives," he warned.

Mr Leung made the appeal when officiating at the opening ceremony of an electrical and mechanical safety carnival at the Shek Wu Hui playground this afternoon.

The carnival was organised by the Electrical and Mechanical Industry Safety and Health Committee.

Mr Leung noted that in order to protect workers and the general public from unsafe mechanical and electrical facilities, the Government had introduced, through legislation, a series of essential safety regulations and standards.

"Electrical work can only be carried out by electrical workers and contractors who have registered under the Electricity Ordinance.

"Their performance are monitored through a point system to ensure that their works comply with the required safety standards," he said.

Turning to the safety of electrical products, Mr Leung said the Plugs and Adaptors (Safety) Regulation enacted on March 23 this year had helped improve considerably the safety standards of plugs and adaptors sold to consumers.

"A more comprehensive Electrical Products (Safety) Regulation, which aims at controlling all household electrical products, is being drafted. The drafting is expected to be completed by early 1996," he said.

On the safety of lifts and escalators, Mr Leung said all such installations in Hong Kong must be tested, inspected and registered in accordance with the Lifts and Escalators (Safety) Ordinance.

"In order to ensure that only compatible persons are allowed to carry out such work, all lifts and escalators engineers and contractors must be registered with the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department," he noted.

End

V

- 10 -

Watch out for imposters ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

The Labour Department today (Sunday) advised company proprietors to watch out for people posing as officers of the department.

The advice followed recent reports about some companies which received telephone calls from people who claimed to be officers of the department and asked for particulars of their companies.

A spokesman for the department said departmental officers making enquiries would always make known their names and the names of their offices.

"Officers conducting site inspections are also instructed to identify themselves by showing their warrant cards.

"If proprietors have any doubts about a caller's identity, they should ask for his contact telephone number or office address so that follow-up actions can be taken," he said.

They should also check with the Labour Department or report immediately to the nearest police station if they have further doubts.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

Monday, December 4,1995

Contents Page No,

CJ confident of independent Judiciary................................... 1

HK to act as regional debt financing services centre.................... 3

Refugee Co-ordinator holds talks in Hanoi on VM issue................... 4

Co-operation to stamp out rogue shipping operators urged................ 5

Smooth ride on Tuen Mun Road continues.................................. 7

More assurances for building and demolition site safety................. 8

Statement on Fairview Park houses....................................... 9

Assistance to retrainees for civil service post considered............. 10

Special postmark to mark Lions Forum................................... 11

Water storage figure................................................... 12

Fresh water cut in Mong Kok............................................ 12

Fresh water cut in Sheung Shui......................................... 12

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

1

CJ confident of independent Judiciary

*****

The Chief Justice, Sir Ti Liang Yang, is confident that Hong Kong is, and will remain after 1997, a going and thriving concern, built firmly on the bedrock of an independent and impartial Judiciary.

Speaking at a business summit this (Monday) morning, the Chief Justice said Hong Kong had the rule of law and independent and impartial administration of justice, so that there was a level playing field for business and an unimpeded access to justice.

’’More particularly, businessmen find it easy to carry on their commercial activities here because the basic philosophy of our law accords with that of their own countries,” Sir Ti Liang said.

Noting that the independence of the Judiciary has been a firm tradition in Hong Kong, Sir Ti Liang said: ”By judicial independence, I mean that a judge carries out his judicial duties strictly according to the law, unfettered by any person or body not a party to the case before him - not even a more senior judge.

"He brooks no interference from any person, no matter how powerful, nor from any group or body no matter how large, nor, more importantly, from the Government. "In his deliberations he is not influenced by considerations of race, religion, class or politics, but is guided only by the law, and the law alone.

"Independence is not a privilege accorded to the individual judge; it is part of his duty, held sacrosanct by the whole community."

The Chief Justice continued: "The preservation of judicial independence presupposes that the Administration is fully committed to the concept.

"It must respect the Judiciary and does nothing to undermine its status and authority. It must respect and carry out the court's decisions. It must itself faithfully abide by the law.

"The Judiciary’s authority is a moral authority. We have neither guns nor financial resources to protect ourselves. Protection comes from the executive arm of Government and the public at large."

2

The Chief Justice said Hong Kong had every reason to anticipate the continuation of a legal and judicial system which had served us so well as the answers were spelt out in Articles 8, 9 and 19 of the Basic Law.

Sir Ti Liang also noted that while Article 158 vested the power of interpretation of the Basic Law in the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (SCNPC), the same Article provided that the Standing Committee should authorise the courts of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to interpret on their own, in adjudicating cases, the provisions of the Basic Law which were within the limits of the autonomy of the Region.

As a further safeguard for Hong Kong, the same Article finally provided that SCNPC should consult its Committee for the Basic Law of Hong Kong before giving an interpretation on the Basic Law, he said.

"This Committee for the Basic Law shall consist of 12 members, six from the mainland and six from Hong Kong, including persons from the legal profession, appointed by the SCNPC for a term of office of five years.

"The Hong Kong members shall be nominated jointly by the Chief Executive, President of the Legislative Council and the Chief Justice of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region for appointment.

"The tenor of this Article is therefore to leave the interpretation of the bulk of the provisions of the Basic Law in the hands of Hong Kong courts. The provisions in the Basic Law which touch our daily lives and basic freedoms are to be interpreted by us, on our own.

"A sound legal and judicial infrastructure is in place to take Hong Kong through 1997 and beyond. We will continue to be part of the Common Law world.

"With concerted effort and goodwill on our part, we should look to the future with confidence," Sir Ti Liang concluded.

End

3

HK to act as regional debt financing services centre *****

Hong Kong is well-placed to act as the regional centre for debt financing services for the region's huge infrastructure investment programmes, the Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, said today (Monday).

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Asia Pacific Issuers and Investors Forum, Mr Tsang said Hong Kong's debt market was geared up to further expansion in the coming years.

"With its critical mass of financial institutions, excellent market infrastructure, advanced telecommunications, common law legal system and sound accounting and logistical support. Hong Kong can certainly play an important role in arranging such debt issues," he said.

The Asian Development Bank and the World Bank have both estimated that the region's infrastructural investment needs will amount to US$1.5 trillion to US$2.5 trillion in the years up to 2000 and that China alone will account for one-third of this amount.

A substantial part is likely to be met by external borrowing through the international debt market.

"Hardly any other city is better placed than Hong Kong in arranging for China's debt issues," Mr Tsang said.

He said the development of Hong Kong's debt market had made a significant headway since early 1990s.

In terms of volume, the outstanding amount of Hong Kong dollar debt paper has experienced a phenomenal five-fold increase in the past five years to around HK$170 billion currently.

"Hong Kong now has a thriving debt market which has built up a critical mass for further development within a relatively short period of time," he said.

He said the outlook of the debt market was very positive. Besides substantial private sector projects, the ongoing funding requirements for infrastructure projects create a strong demand for debt financing.

4

"The total amount of debt to be raised by our new airport and railway project alone is expected to be in the region of HK$23 billion.

"The Hong Kong investor base is likely to broaden along with the increasing number of pension funds, retirement schemes and insurance companies in Hong Kong," he added.

. Citing the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes for Hong Kong's workforce as an example, Mr Tsang said the size of the funds contribution was estimated to be HK$40 billion per annum or about four percent of Hong Kong's, gross domestic products. "Accumulation of funds of this size invested in the economy will form a significant block of new capital and will result in a deepening and broadening of the Hong Kong debt market," he said.

Mr Tsang said the government's philosophy that private sector initiatives should lead the development of the market would continue.

"At the same time, the Government will continue to play its part in putting in place a market infrastructure which is up to international standards and attractive to both investors and borrowers," he said.

End

Refugee Co-ordinator holds talks in Hanoi on VM issue

*****

The Refugee Co-ordinator, Mr Brian Bresnihan, held talks with the Vietnamese authorities in Hanoi today (Monday), a government spokesman said.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the British Embassy were also represented at the meeting.

The spokesman said the discussions were technical in nature and centred on ways of accelerating the clearance of Vietnamese migrants (VMs) for return to Vietnam and the simplification of the procedures involved.

Commenting on the talks, Mr Bresnihan said it was inevitable in a repatriation programme involving so many people that procedural difficulties would arise.

5

The purpose of the meeting was to see how best such difficulties could be resolved, he said.

"There is an ongoing dialogue with the Vietnamese authorities on the VM repatriation programme. This meeting was part of that process.

"The talks took place in a cordial atmosphere; there was a frank exchange of views and we had the opportunity to hear at first hand the thoughts of our Vietnamese counterparts.

"We also advised them of our concerns. Wc arc particularly pleased that we agreed on arrangements for the early repatriation of new arrivals," Mr Bresnihan said.

End

Co-operation to stamp out rogue shipping operators urged *****

The Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Gordon Siu, called for co-operation to ensure all flag states work hand in hand with Port State Control in policing the rogue operators in the shipping industry.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the third meeting of the Port State Control in the Asia-Pacific region hosted by the Marine Department this (Monday) morning, Mr Siu said the scourge of substandard ships remained to this day as some operators still found it more convenient to cut comers at the cost of safety.

In this respect. Port State Control played a crucial role in keeping to ensure the safety standards of ships, he said.

Under Port State Control, a port state carries out inspection on foreign ships calling at its port to make sure that they comply with the safety and pollution prevention requirements of the International Maritime Organisation conventions and thus discourage the operation of substandard ships.

6

Representatives from 16 maritime authorities are in Hong Kong for the third Asia-Pacific regional port state control meeting in support of adequate and effective standards of maritime safety and pollution prevention.

Mr Siu said: "These are issues which need international, as well as regional, cooperation.

"Our aim must be to send a clear message that substandard ships are unacceptable in our ports and on our seas.

"Their operators should be in no doubt that the international community today demands safer ships and a cleaner environment."

Representatives attending the meeting will work out the harmonisation of inspection procedures, information exchange and the training scheme for inspectors at a regional level.

The outcome of their discussion here will help to enhance the co-ordination of port state control activities in the Asia-Pacific region.

Mr Siu said Hong Kong was proud to be part of the regional effort in coordinating Port State Control.

In 1994, 5,000 different foreign ships called at Hong Kong and the number was expected to rise to 8,000 by the year 2000.

On the territory's role in Port State Control, Mr Siu said this year Hong Kong should achieve an inspection rate of five per cent.

"Our target is to achieve the full 15 per cent by the year 2000 and under the able leadership of the Director of Marine. Mr Ian Dale, I am sure we shall be able to make Hong Kong an even better port where safety and environmental standards will be the highest in the region and where business will thrive," he said.

End

7

Smooth ride on Tuen Mun Road continues *****

Traffic flow had been generally smooth on Tuen Mun Road in both directions during day time and early this evening (Monday), the first weekday following the implementation of the temporary traffic arrangements last Saturday.

Commenting on the traffic situation in general, the Transport Department's Principal Transport Officer (New Territories), Mr Sam Chan, said: "The situation was satisfactory with better traffic flow in the morning. The journey time observed in the evening was only slightly longer as compared to that of a normal weekday.

"The smooth flow of traffic can be attributed to the effective police monitoring and speedy response to traffic accidents and vehicle break-downs by the Police. Such speedy action helps to resume normal traffic at the earliest possible time.

"The effective public transport services which have been enhanced probably contributed to less car traffic.

"We have closely monitored the traffic situation through our closed circuit television system at the Department's Emergency Transport Co-ordination Centre since 6.30 am.

"The Police with stand-by tow cars are on duty at strategic locations on the road to provide efficient recovery and perform emergency duties as required.

"While we expect similar traffic pattern in the coming days, we shall continue to look at the situation closely and fine tune the arrangements when needed."

The travelling times on Tuen Mun Road and Castle Peak Road in the morning and evening peak hours are reflected by KMB Route Nos 60M and 52M respectively

as follows: Morning peak hours (Kowloon-bound) Evening peak hours (Tuen Mun-bound)

60M 36 minutes 36 minutes

52M 58 minutes 59 minutes

8

Passengers carried by buses and ferries to and from Tuen Mun during the morning and evening peak hours were about 73,100 and 53,210 respectively with breakdowns below:

Morning peak hours (from Tuen Mun)

Evening peak hours (to Tuen Mun)

Buses

Ferries

69,000 4,100 (to Central)

210 (from Tsuen Wan)

50,000

3,000 (from Central)

The existing traffic and transport arrangements will continue tomorrow (Tuesday).

End

More assurances for building and demolition site safety *****

The Government is committed to further enhancing building and demolition site safety through a series of immediate, medium and long term measures, the Assistant Director (Legal and Management) of the Buildings, Mr Cheng Wei-dart, said today (Monday).

One of these measures is the introduction of a package of proposed legislative amendments under the Buildings (Amendment) (No 3) Bill 1995, he said.

Speaking at a seminar organised by the Hong Kong Construction Association, Mr Cheng said the Bill was aimed at tightening safety control over building works and active sites and improving the system of registration of building professionals and contractors.

The Bill proposes to set up a new registration system under which there will be two types of registered contractors, namely general building contractors and specialist contractors.

9

’’Their competence will be assessed by a statutory registration committee with membership mostly drawn from the building professions and the building industry,” Mr Cheng said.

For overall safety assurance, Mr Cheng said criminal liability had been proposed for failure to provide proper supervision of building works in a prescribed manner, and for non-compliance with the conditions attached to the Building Authority’s approval of building plans or consent to the commencement of building works.

"Sanctions will be applicable to building owners, registered contractors, site agents, works supervisors, building professionals and construction workers.

"Their responsibilities will be clearly defined, in the form of a supervision plan to be prepared by the building professionals with input from contractors and approved by the Building Authority, to reflect the different roles of the parties involved on a work site," Mr Cheng said.

Noting that the Buildings Department has thoroughly consulted all concerned bodies in the building professions and the building industry, Mr Cheng emphasised that all parties shared a common objective of improving safety at construction and demolition sites.

"We believe that the No 3 Bill is a reasonable, workable and effective approach to protecting building and site safety," he said.

End

Statement on Fairview Park houses * ♦ ♦ ♦ *

The Administration has thoroughly examined the legality of the houses at Fairview Park which were not issued with occupation permits (OP) under the Buildings Ordinance.

The construction of private buildings in Hong Kong is governed by:

10

(i) the Buildings Ordinance, or,

(ii) the Buildings Ordinance (Application to New Territories) Ordinance

Under the latter, buildings meeting certain criteria (such as size and height) in the New Territories are exempted from the provisions of the Buildings Ordinance including the need to obtain an OP.

There are currently 5,017 domestic houses at Fairview Park, of which 1,357 received OP.

Of the remainder, 3,658 houses came within the purview of the then Buildings Ordinance (Application to the New Territories) Ordinance and were exempt houses. These were issued with certificate of occupation (CO) by the then Buildings Ordinance Office.

The Government confirms that all these houses met all technical standards and safety requirements and were erected in accordance with lease conditions.

There is therefore no question over the legality of their status or the validity of the titles as a result of the exemption.

However, there are two houses which were incorrectly issued with a CO, instead of an OP, owing to an administrative oversight in 1980.

The Government is now taking action to deal with the situation and will be contacting the concerned owners to assure them of the early action.

End

Assistance to retrainees for civil service post considered ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The General Grades Office of the Civil Service Branch has been in touch with the Executive Director of the Employees Retraining Board (ERB) to consider what assistance can be given to rctrainees within the requirements of the civil service appointment system, as the current training programmes run by the Board are not targeted specifically for employment in the civil service.

This was stated today (Monday) by the Director of General Grades, Mr Cletus Lau, in response to an appeal by workers that they should be considered for appointment to the civil service after the completion of training courses run by ERB.

11

Mr Lau pointed out that academic qualification was the benchmark in determining civil service pay, entry qualifications therefore could not be varied arbitrarily for the retrainees.

"We will continue our discussions with the Executive Director of the ERB to consider the relevance of the training provided by the Board and whether such training could be designed to bring the educational levels of the retrainees to those stipulated for our appointments," Mr Lau said.

End

Special postmark to mark Lions Forum ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Postmaster General, Mr Robert Footman, announced today (Monday) that a special postmark will be introduced on Thursday (December 7) to commemorate the 34th Orient and South East Asia Lions Forum (OSEAL) to be held in Hong Kong from December 7 to 10.

OSEAL Forum is hosted by the Lions Clubs International (LCI) District 303 (Hong Kong and Macau). It is LCI's convention for the Asia Pacific Region.

While the Post Office will not issue any philatelic item on this occasion, the special postmark will be made available for hand-back service on Thursday for any privately-made covers bearing an indication of the event at the following seven philatelic officers:

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

End

- 12 -

Water storage figure

*****

Storage in Hong Kong's reservoirs at 9 am today (Monday) stood at 96.9 per cent of capacity or 567.701 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 480.229 million cubic metres of water, representing 81.9 per cent of capacity.

End

Fresh water cut in Mong Kok

*****

Fresh water supply to some premises in Mong Kok will be temporarily suspended from 11 pm on Wednesday (December 6) to 6 am the following day to facilitate watermain works.

The suspension will affect area bounded by Ivy Street, Tai Kok Tsui Road, Cherry Street and sea front as well as area bounded by Cherry Street, Oak Street. Anchor Street and Tit Shu Street, Ming Kei College and Sharon Lutheran School.

End

Fresh water cut in Sheung Shui ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Fresh water supply to some premises in Sheung Shui will be temporarily suspended from 11 pm on Thursday (December 7) to 6 am the following day to facilitate water main works.

The affected area will include Po Wan Road, Fu Tei Au Road, Man Kam To Road and Jockey Club Road, including Hing Yan Tsuen and Sheung Pak Tsuen.

End

13

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,963 0930 -693

Closing balance in the account 1,560 1000 -693

Change attributable to : 1100 -693

Money market activity -691 1200 -691

LAF today +288 1500 -691

1600 -691

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 122.4 ♦-0.2* 04.12.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.64 2 years 2711 5.60 100.10 5.62

1 month 5.63 3 years 3810 6.15 100.98 5.86

3 months 5.55 5 years 5009 6.95 102.79 6.36

6 months 5.54 7 years 7211 6.82 100.83 6.78

12 months 5.51 5 years M502 7.30 102.54 6.80

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $13,259 million

Closed December 4, 1995

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE. HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

Tuesday, December 5,1995

Contents Page No.

Transcript of the CS's media session...................................... 1

ACP contractors may be sued for breaching labour law...................... 2

Important step to open up government information further.................. 3

Bills of Rights: South African Experience................................. 5

Code on Access to Information further extended............................ 6

Smooth traffic continues on Tuen Mun Road................................. 7

Civil Aviation Department organises air search and rescue................. 8

ExCo approves taxi fare increases......................................... 9

Pilot community development projects will undergo review................. 10

Fire-fighters commended for distinguished performance................ 11

First Nepali takes command of Gurkha Infantry Battalion.................. 12

Contract awarded for government facilities at Chek Lap Kok............... 13

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results.............................. 13

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations..................... 14

1

Transcript of the CS’s media session *****

Following is the transcript of the remarks (English) by the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, at the airport this (Tuesday) afternoon on her return from a visit to Europe and Singapore:

Chief Secretary: I am glad to be back. I’ll say a few words first. I had very good visits to Milan, Rome and Paris and signed investment promotion and protection agreements with the Italian and French Governments. There’s a good deal of interest in Hong Kong, in how we are preparing for the transition and both Italian and French officials reaffirmed their support for Hong Kong to achieve a smooth transition. There’s considerable interest particularly in how we are preparing for Hong Kong after 1997 in the maintenance of the rule of law, continuity in the legislature and I was asked questions quite closely on recent statements concerning the possibility of the setting up of a shadow government, the threat to reinstate laws that have been repealed because they do not comply with the international covenant on civil and political right. So this was a good opportunity for me to bring French officials, Italian officials and businessmen up to date on where we are in Hong Kong and how we are co-operating with the Chinese on resolving transitional issues. I was also delighted to hear whilst I was abroad that the first informal get-together between senior Government officials and their Chinese counterparts went very well. They were conducted in a very cordial atmosphere and I understood that a range of topics were covered. In the light of this first get-together, clearly we would wish to arrange the next get-together as soon as possible. There are a number of detailed arrangements to be sorted out, but as soon as these are sorted out, we would of course announce the date and the officers who will take part in the get-together.

Question: (on Mr Xu Ze’s remarks on the two power centres)

CS: Of course we welcome Mr Xu’s assurance that there will not be established two centres of power. We have always said that we will co-operate fully with the Preparatory Committee, but it would have to be in circumstances where the effective administration of Hong Kong is not affected and Government’s credibility is not undermined in any way.

End

2

ACP contractors may be sued for breaching labour law

*****

Subject to the advice of the Attorney General's Chambers, the Government intends to prosecute a number of employers who bought in workers under the labour importation scheme for new airport related projects, for breaching the legislation, the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong said today (Tuesday).

Speaking at a special meeting of the Legislative Council's Panel on Manpower, Mr Wong said two of the cases involved Thai workers and three involved imported workers from China.

"A decision on whether or not to prosecute will be taken shortly," Mr Wong said.

The Panel was informed of the Government's plan to introduce further measures as soon as practicable to strengthen the monitory system which aims at preventing abuses of the Scheme and providing protection for imported workers. They include:

Verification of Employment Contract

To enable the imported workers to understanding fully their terms of employment, the Government will ask employers to give an undertaking to the Labour Department that the imported workers, before their arrival in Hong Kong, have already received a copy of the employment contract specifying the post and amount of wages.

i *

The workers will be asked to present the contract to Immigration Department officers for inspection. s

This arrangement is to ascertain that workers are fully aware of their job nature, salary and entitlements before they arrive in Hong Kong.

Provision of Meals

To stem out possible malpractice involving excessive deduction of wages for meals, the Government will revise the standard employment contract to the effect that employees should be responsible for their own meals; however, if meals are provided by the employer, they shall be provided free of charge.

3

The proposal will remove an existing condition of the ACP Scheme under which an employer can deduct up to a maximum of 15 per cent of a worker's monthly salary to pay for the meals provided.

Undertakings by Employers on Provision of Accommodation

To ensure that workers are provided with reasonable accommodation, employers will be required to give an undertaking to the Immigration Department that up-to-standard accommodation will be provided to their imported workers and this has been made a condition for visa approval.

Prior to the issue of visas by the Immigration Department, the Labour Department will inspect the accommodation to ascertain that suitable and furnished accommodation which meets the standard set out in the employment contract has been made available for the workers before they arrive in Hong Kong.

End

Important step to open up government information further

* ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Dissemination of government information "turned a new page" today (Tuesday) with the launching of the Hong Kong Government Information Centre on the Internet.

The Hong Kong Government home page, a single access to all government and quasi-govemment information, also marks an important step to open up more government information to members of the public. It is an important tool to help build the image of Hong Kong overseas by tapping into the fast expanding Internet user group which is estimated at well over 40 million people.

The new home page can be accessed at http://www.info.gov.hk/. Internet users are welcome to send e-mail messages to OPRS@isd.gcn.gov.hk on the Internet.

In a media demonstration session today (Tuesday), the Secretary for the Treasury, Mr Kwong Ki-chi, said in order to navigate the information superhighway efficiently, it was necessary to have proper sign-posting to point people to where they wanted to go.

4

The Hong Kong Government home page on the Internet serves precisely that purpose. It facilitates searches of home pages developed by individual branches and departments.

He noted that more home pages were being developed by various departments under the wings of the Hong Kong Government home page.

The Director of Information Services, Mrs Irene Yau, said the home page was designed with different users in mind. Journalists, businessmen, academics and students, whether local or overseas, can easily find information they need on the home page.

The Government Information Centre offers 10 sections of current and background information about Hong Kong, with statistics and pictures.

The section "News Update" features important government press releases, statements and speeches by the Governor and senior officials.

Job-seekers might find the recruitment advertisements useful, while contractors and suppliers can find the latest tender notices on the Notice Board section. There is also a "How to Apply" series to provide guidance to users of government services.

The Hong Kong Government Information Centre also provides users with online access to other government departments and related organisations which already have their own home pages.

These include: the Civil Service Branch, Intellectual Property Department, Information Services Department, Information Technology Services Department, Office of the Telecommunications Authority, Radio Television Hong Kong, Hong Kong Trade Development Council, Hong Kong Tourist Association and the Hospital Authority.

"We hope that this new service will eventually provide a useful and user-friendly alternative to the hotlines and other services through which the government seeks to inform the public," Mrs Yau added.

The Government Home Page has been jointly developed by the Information Services Department and the Information Technology Services Department, with the participation of the Efficiency Unit and the Government Supplies Department.

5

Also present at today's launching ceremony were the Director of Information Technology Services, Mr K H Lau, and the Deputy Director of Information Services (Overseas), Mr Robin Gill.

End

Bills of Rights: South African Experience ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

Eminent jurist, the Rt Hon Sydney Kentridge, Q C, will deliver the second Peter Allan Memorial Lecture in Hong Kong on Thursday (December 7) on the subject "Bills of Rights: The South African Experience".

Mr Kentridge was President Mandela's personal counsel and is now Member of the Constitutional Court of South Africa half-time. He still practises law and is recognised as a renowned advocate.

His speech in Hong Kong will be about the way the Constitutional Court interprets and deals with the new Bill of Rights in South Africa.

A spokesman for the Legal Department said the Peter Allan Memorial Lecture was set up last year in memory former Crown Solicitor and Commissioner of ICAC, Mr Peter Allan.

During his service with the Government, Mr Allan played a major part in promoting a broader understanding of the role of public law in the community.

To commemorate Mr Allan and in recognition of his contribution to the law in Hong Kong, a Fund was established by public donation, mainly from local lawyers.

The object of the Fund, which is administered by the University of Hong Kong, is to invite to Hong Kong on a regular basis eminent jurists of international stature to deliver lectures on public law, the spokesman said.

All interested members of the public are invited to the lecture, to be held at 6 pm on Thursday at the Rayson Huang Lecture Theatre, University of Hong Kong (main campus).

End

6

Code on Access to Information further extended *****

The Government announced today (Tuesday) that a further 17 departments and four branches of the Government Secretariat would be subject to the Code on Access to Information from next Monday (December 11).

This will bring to 57 the total number of agencies covered by the code, which was first introduced nine months ago on a pilot scheme basis.

Under the code, anyone can seek information or copies of records held by government departments.

"A department can only refuse access to information in strictly defined circumstances, which must be explained in the event of a refusal," a spokesman for the Efficiency Unit of the Government Secretariat said.

"Anyone who thinks that a department has not complied with the code can ask for a review, or can complain to the Commissioner for Administrative Complaints."

It was also announced that the full text of the code, together with the Government's internal guidelines on how it should be interpreted, had been published on the Internet. The Internet address for the Code on Access to Information is http://www.info.gov.hk/access/index.htm.

The spokesman said that this was a logical way of publicising the code, given the rapidly increasing number of Internet users, and since the World-Wide Web was a popular source of information for students and journalists, two groups of people who appeared to be making increasing use of the code to support their research activities.

The additional branches and departments to become subject to the code on December 11 are:

Civil Service Branch

Financial Services Branch

Housing Branch

Trade and Industry Branch

Agriculture and Fisheries Department

Census and Statistics Department

Civil Engineering Department

Department of Health

Education Department

7

Government Flying Service

Industry Department

Information Technology Services Department

Lands Department

Marine Department

Official Receiver's Office

Registration and Electoral Office

Technical Education and Industrial Training Department

Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority

Trade Department

Transport Department

Water Supplies Department

End

Smooth traffic continues on Tuen Mun Road ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

Traffic on both directions of Tuen Mun Road continues to flow smooth this (Tuesday) morning.

"The Kowloon-bound travelling times on Tuen Mun Road and Castle Peak Road remain normal this morning as reflected by KMB routes 60M and 52M which took 37 minutes and 58 minutes respectively to complete their journey," the Transport Department's Chief Traffic Enginccr/New Territories West, Mr Chow Ying-shun, said at the department's Emergency Transport Co-ordination Centre.

About 70,000 passengers were carried by 640 bus trips from Tuen Mun/Yuen Long to Tsuen Wan and urban areas this morning.

The KMB special route 60P carried about 290 passengers from Tuen Mnn to Sheung Shui between 7 am and 9 am.

In addition, HYF had operated 29 ferry trips carrying about 4,100 passengers from Tuen Mun to Central/Wan Chai.

End

8

Civil Aviation Department organises air search and rescue *****

The annual search and rescue exercise organised by the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) to provide training and familiarisation in search and rescue techniques for members of local and foreign rescue units started today (Tuesday).

The three-day exercise began with a static display of search and rescue aircraft and equipment at the Hong Kong International Airport this morning and a short range exercise at the Shek Kong Airfield in the afternoon. A long range exercise will swing into action in the South China Sea tomorrow (Wednesday).

The short range exercise included water bombing demonstration, winching of simulated survivors, electronic search of distress beacon and a tandem jump of paramedic personnel from a C130 aircraft.

A CAD official responsible for organising and co-ordinating the exercise said the main event would be the long range exercise which was aimed at testing the alertness, co-ordination and communication facilities of various participants.

The exercise will be activated this (Tuesday) evening, simulating an aircraft in distress about 130 kilometres Southwest of Hong Kong, and aircraft, helicopters and ships will be despatched to search and locate the targets in the South China Sea.

In addition to CAD, other participants include the United States Air Force, Marine Department, Government Flying Service, Royal Air Force, United States Coast Guard, United States Navy, Japanese Maritime Safety Agency, Guangdong Maritime Emergency Search and Rescue Centre, Royal Navy, Civil Aid Services and Government Information Services.

A number of personnel from organisations and countries in the Asia-Pacific Region including Guangdong Maritime Emergency Search and Rescue Centre; Zhuhai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou Airport Authorities; Thailand; and Singapore have also attended as observers.

End

9

ExCo approves taxi fare increases * * * ♦ *

The Governor in Council today (Tuesday) approved a fare increase of 8.5 per cent for urban and New Territories (NT) taxis to take effect on February 4. 1996.

The revised fares will be tabled in the Legislative Council on December 13.

Under the new fare structure, flagfall charges for the first two kilometres will be increased from $13 to $14 for urban taxis, and from $11 to $11.8 for NT taxis.

For every subsequent 0.2 kilometre, the fares for both urban and NT taxis will go up by 10 cents to $1.2 and $1.1 respectively.

The waiting time charge will rise by 10 cents per minute to $1.2 for urban taxis and $1.1 for NT taxis.

A government spokesman said that in considering the fare increase applications, the Executive Council had taken into account such factors as the financial position of the taxi trade, the level and quality of taxi services, the fare differential between taxis and other modes of public transport, and public acceptability of the fare increase.

He pointed out that the approved rate of increase was slightly below the projected inflation rate.

"An annual moderate increase would also help the taxi trade maintain a healthy financial position and most taxi passengers have the choice of using less expensive modes of public transport," the spokesman added.

The Executive Council also agreed that the current level of $5 for telephone booking surcharge and baggage surcharge for urban taxis and $4 for NT taxis should remain unchanged for the time being.

End

10

Pilot community development projects will undergo review *****

The Executive Council decided today (Tuesday) that a review should be carried out in early 1997 by an independent team on the two pilot Neighbourhood Level Community Development Projects (NLCDPs) being conducted in Mong Kok and Sham Shui Po to determine whether there is a need for this type of service in old urban areas.

A government spokesman said: "the review will address the concern that gaps might exist in the provision of welfare services in old urban areas. In the light of this concern we have advanced the review by one year.”

He said the review team for the two pilot projects would be headed by a nonofficial and would include representatives from the Administration and the welfare sector, as well as independent members of the community.

"Details of the review would be worked out nearer the time, but it is expected to focus on the effectiveness of the two pilot projects and the applicability of this type of service within the context of the overall provision of welfare services in old urban areas."

The Executive Council decided that there was no need to extend NLCDP service to rural areas, new towns and public housing estates (PHEs) not yet affected by redevelopment as proposed by the welfare sector. It also decided that there was no need to conduct an overall review of the service.

Pending the results of the review on the two pilot projects, NLCDP teams whose service areas are to be cleared shortly would be given a choice to continue to provide NLCDP service in PHEs undergoing redevelopment or temporary housing areas (THAs) which qualify for the service under the existing policy, or to serve in other welfare projects.

The spokesman said the decision was taken after considering all views expressed by the welfare sector, the Legislative Council, District Boards and residents’ groups on the NLCDP service.

He explained that the decision not to extend NLCDP service to new towns, rural areas and PHEs not undergoing redevelopment was taken against a background of substantial expansion in welfare services over the past 20 years and as communities generally became more stable and established.

t>

- 11 -

The spokesman added that in future, applications from concerned agencies for redeployment to areas qualified for NLCDP service or to other welfare services would be considered by the Subventions and Lotteries Fund Advisory Committee. •

There are at present 54 NLCDP teams. Each team comprises one Assistant Social Work Officer and two Social Work Assistants. The annual total subvention for the service is about $54 million.

End

i|

Fire-fighters commended for distinguished performance

*****

Three Fire Services members were awarded the Director's Commendation and another four the Chief Fire Officer's Commendation for their distinguished performance displayed at a fire-fighting and rescue operation in Aberdeen on August 13.

Speaking at the presentation ceremony today (Tuesday), the acting Director of Fire Services, Mr John Tsang Kwong-yu, praised the three officers for their outstanding leadership in the operation.

"They demonstrated their high standard of professionalism, courage and resourcefulness at the incident," he said.

The Chief Fire Officer (Hong Kong), Mr Paul Chan Hoi, also commended another four personnel for their skill, bravery and resourcefulness in handling the same incident.

A major landslide occurred on the hillside at Shum Wan Road, Aberdeen shortly after 4 am on August 13, pushing three shipyards away from their original locations.

Immediately after the landslide, a fire broke out at a timber yard adjacent the ruined shipyards and caused serious threat to the wooden structures nearby.

As two persons were reported missing, a team of Fire Services personnel mounted a search and rescue operation at once whilst another team and a fireboat concentrated their effort in fighting the fire.

12

The continual heavy rainfall and unstable ground made the rescue and firefighting operation complicated and difficult.

The recipients of the Director's Commendation are a Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Mr Pik Ying-keung, and Station Officers Mr Chu Kam-hung and Mr Yik Kwok-hung.

The recipients of the Chief Fire Officer's Commendation are an Assistant Divisional Officer, Mr Tam Tai-keung and Firemen Mr Chan Lung-hau, Mr Luk Man-leung and Mr Lai Yiu-shun.

End

First Nepali takes command of Gurkha Infantry Battalion *****

History will be made tomorrow (Wednesday) when, for the first time in 180 years, a Nepali officer takes command of a Gurkha infantry battalion.

The handover of command will take place at 9 am tomorrow outside the guardroom at the 1st Battalion the Royal Gurkha Rifles (1RGR) in Malaya Lines in Sek Kong.

With effect from tomorrow, Lieutenant Colonel Bijaykumar Rawat takes over as commanding officer of the 1RGR from Lieutenant Colonel Nick Hinton.

Lt Col Rawat enlisted in the Brigade of Gurkhas in October 1972 and served in the 1st Battalion 2nd King Edward’s Own Gurkha Rilles from 1973 to 1980.

He was commissioned in 1981 from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst where he was awarded the Sword of Honour.

From August 1994 to September 1995, Lt Col Rawat assumed the appointment of Second in Command of 1 RGR and now returns to the Territory as commanding officer of the battalion.

Lt Col Hinton returns to the United Kingdom on promotion as full Colonel to take up a post with the Ministry of Defence.

End

13

Contract awarded for government facilities at Chek Lap Kok *****

The Government has awarded an Airport Core Programme (ACP) contract for the supply and installation of communication equipment for the Aviation Meteorological Data Processing System (METPS) for the new airport at Chek Lap Kok.

The contract, valued at $2.65 million, has been awarded to Automated Systems (Hong Kong) Limited by the Royal Observatory.

The communication equipment will link up the data servers and workstations of the METPS and facilitate communications between the METPS and interfacing systems of the Civil Aviation Department and the Airport Authority.

It will also facilitate the dissemination of meteorological information to airlines and other relevant users via telephone lines and modems.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results

*****

Tender date 5 Dec 1995 5 Dec 1995

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q549 H579

Issue date 6 Dec 1995 6 Dec 1995

Maturity date 6 Mar 1996 5 Jun 1996

Coupon

Amount applied HKS6.200 MN HKS4.800 MN

Amount allotted HK$ 1,500 MN HKS800 MN

Average yield accepted 5.50 PCT 5.49 PCT

Highest yield accepted 5.52 PCT 5.50 PCT

Pro rata ratio About 4 PCT About 30 PCT

Average tender yield 5.53 PCT 5.53 PCT

14

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

Tenders to be held in the week beginning December 11. 1995

Tender date 12 Dec 1995

Paper on offer EF bills

Issue number Q55O

Issue date 13 Dec 1995

Maturity date 13 Mar 1996

Tenor 91 days

Amount on offer I IKS 1,500 + 300 MN

End

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

Time Cumulative change

$ million (hours) (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,560 0930 -287

Closing balance in the account 1,832 1000 -287

Change attributable to : 1100 -287

Money market activity -298 1200 -298

LAF today +570 1500 -298

1600 -298

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 122.5 *+0.1* 05.12.95

15

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.62 2 years 2711 5.60 100.08 5.63

1 month 5.62 3 years 3810 6.15 101.02 5.84

3 months .5.55 5 years 5009 6.95 102.98 6.31

6 months 5.53 7 years 7211 6.82 101.08 6.73

12 months 5.51 5 years M502 7.30 102.84 6.72

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $11,856 million

Closed December 5, 1995

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

Wednesday, December 6,1995

Contents Page No,

113 VMs depart on orderly repatriation flight........................... 1

Monitors' Report submitted to Chief Secretary........................... 1

District Festival facilitates community building: DHA................... 2

Water cut in Yuen Long.................................................. 3

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations.................... 3

Legislative Council Meeting

*

Bill to codify preliminary offences introduced into LegCo............... 5

AG moves second reading of Crimes (Amendment) Bill...................... 7

Pneumoconiosis (Compensation) (Amendment) Bill...................... 11

Noise Control (Amendment) Bill......................................... 13

Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill....................................... 15

Prevocational schools

Contents

Eage No,

Prevocational schools curriculum......................................... 16

Building and demolition sites safety..................................... 17

Ferry services for Tuen Mun.............................................. 20

Refusal of visas by United Arab Emirates to HKCI holders............. 21

Measures to safeguard taxi drivers against robbery....................... 23

Government's position on British citizenship issue....................... 24

Salaries tax system...................................................... 25

Economic Advisory Committee.............................................. 27

Strength of medical and related personnel................................ 28

Demolition sites and dangerous canopies inspection....................... 30

Clearance of landslides debris........................................ - 32

Differences between GNP and GDP in HK's economy.......................... 34

Increase in production of Home Ownership Scheme flats.................... 36

Safety of schools located near dangerous goods stores.................... 37

Median wage of local workers.........................................     38

Transportation of LPG on roads........................................... 40

Cost of fringe benefits for civil servants............................... 40

Complaints lodged with SFC on delisted companies......................... 43

Measures to improve water quality of Deep Bay............................ 46

Rainstorm and flood warnings............................................. 49

1

113 VMs depart on orderly repatriation flight

* ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A group of 113 Vietnamese migrants (VMs) returned by air to Hanoi, Vietnam today (Wednesday) on the 27th flight under the Orderly Repatriation Programme (ORP).

All but one of the returnees, comprising 51 men, 27 women, 19 boys and 16 girls, are from south and central Vietnam.

Most of the returnees were transferred from High Island Detention Centre to Victoria Prison on November 30. The majority of them arrived in Hong Kong in 1991, with the remaining in 1988, 1989 and 1990.

The group, which is the largest on any single flight so far, brought to 1,737 the total number repatriated on ORP flights since November 1991.

The Refugee Co-ordinator, Mr Brian Bresnihan, stressed the commitment of the Hong Kong Government to the Comprehensive Plan of Action and the return of non-refugees to their home country.

End

Monitors' Report submitted to Chief Secretary

*****

The monitors appointed to observe the Orderly Repatriation Programme operation this (Wednesday) morning have submitted their report to the Chief Secretary.

The monitors were Mrs Lisa Chee Leung Siu-ling, a Justice of the Peace; and the Rev John A Aldis from Christian Action.

End

2

District Festival facilitates community building: DHA

*****

The Sham Shui Po District Festival has been a major vehicle to community building in the district, the Director of Home Affairs, Mrs Shelley Lau, said this (Wednesday) evening.

Officiating at the opening ceremony of the annual festival at Hong Kong Coliseum, Mrs Lau said this was because the festival had strengthened residents' sense of belonging towards their district.

Members of the public, Mrs Lau said, could be involved in community affairs while they joined the various programmes designed to promote the theme of this year's festival - Building A Better Sham Shui Po.

The opening ceremony was followed by a variety show produced by the Metro Broadcast Corporation which featured performances by famous singers and local groups.

t

As many as 46 cultural and recreational activities will be organised by local groups between today and January 14 next year, including carnivals, outings, feasts for the elderly, singing and dancing contests, as well as photo and drawing competitions.

Residents wishing to know more about the festival activities can obtain a programme leaflet at the Sham Shui Po District Office and its sub-offices, or telephone 2720 4251 extension 35.

The festival is organised by the Sham Shui Po District Festival Co-ordinating Committee with the assistance of the Sham Shui Po District Office.

It is sponsored by the Sham Shui Po District Board and China Light and Power Company and subsidised by the Urban Council.

End

3

Water cut in Yuen Long

*****

Fresh and flushing water supply to some premises in Yuen Long will be temporarily cut off from 11 pm on Saturday (December 16) to 11 pm the following day to facilitate watermain works.

The suspension will affect Fung Chi Tsuen, Chung Hing San Tsuen, Chung Hau Tsuen, Tung Tau Wai San Tsuen, Kwan Lok San Tsuen, Wang Chau Tung Tau industrial area, Wang Chau Yeung Uk Tsuen, Yeung Uk San Tsuen, Wang Chau Tai Tseng Wai, Tai Tseng Ng Uk Tsuen, Wang Chau Fuk Hing Tsuen, Shing Uk Tsuen, Lam Uk Tsuen, Sai Tau Wai, Chung Sam Wai and Ting Fuk Garden.

In addition, water supply pressure to Long Ping Estate will be reduced.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million

Cumulative

Time change

(hours) (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,832 0930 -560

Closing balance in the account 1,617 1000 -561

Change attributable to: 1100 -561

Money market activity -570 1200 -560

LAF today +355 1500 -560

1600 -570

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 122.4 *-0.1* 6.12.95

4

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

! ■ « EF bills . • .. s EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.79 2 years 2711 5.60 100.07 5.64

1 month 5.68 3 years 3810 6.15 100.93 5.88

3 months 5.56 5 years 5009 6.95 102.80 6.36

6 months 5.54 7 years 7211 6.82 100.86 6.77

12 months 5.53 5 years M502 7.30 102.58 6.79

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $20,712 million

Closed December 6, 1995

End

5

Bill to codify preliminary offences introduced into LegCo ♦ ♦ ♦ * *

A bill seeking to codify the preliminary offences of conspiracy, attempt and incitement was introduced into the Legislative Council today (Wednesday).

Moving the second reading of the Crimes (Amendment) Bill 1995, the Attorney General, the Hon Jeremy Mathews, said the offences of incitement, conspiracy and attempt formed an important part of the criminal law. "They provide sanctions against those who are engaged in activities preparatory to objectives which are prohibited by law," he said.

However, he noted that in Hong Kong, the law governing these preliminary offences was based almost entirely on judicial precedents and was in certain respects unclear and lacking in precision.

The Bill seeks to implement the recommendations in the Law Reform Commission's (LRC) Report published in March last year.

Mr Mathews said that as the LRC recommended, codification of these preliminary offences would enhance accessibility of the law in that it would no longer be necessary to consult a large number of cases to find out what the law was.

The law would also become more comprehensible to lawyers and non-lawyers alike and more certain in its operation, he noted.

Explaining the offence of conspiracy. Mr Mathews said the offence at common law consisted of an agreement between two or more persons to effect some unlawful purpose.

In respect of the offence of conspiracy, the Bill provides for:

* a statutory definition of the elements constituting the offence of 'conspiracy', which is essentially an agreement by two or more persons to do an act amounting to or involving an offence; and

* abolition of the two common law offences of conspiracy to corrupt public morals and conspiracy to outrage public decency.

6

On the latter proposal, Mr Mathews noted that the LRC recommended the abolition of these offences on the grounds that they were "of extreme and uncertain width", were "largely subjective and could evolve into a means of suppressing unpopular or religious beliefs".

In addition, it was pointed out that the offences served little purpose as they had not been employed in recent years, if at all and there were in any case existing statutory provisions which adequately dealt with obscene public performances, displays and publications.

Turning to the offence of attempt, the Attorney General said the Bill provided for a definition of "attempt" as an act which was more than merely preparatory to the commission of an offence.

It also provided that, where it is an offence to do something recklessly, it would also be an offence for a person to be reckless in attempting to do that thing, he said.

On the offence of incitement. Mr Mathews said the Bill provided for a statutory definition of the offence.

It also sought to retain the offence of incitement to conspire as recommended by the LRC because of its importance in the context of triad crime, which related to long term conspiracies such as those involving gambling, prostitution and drugs, he added.

Mr Mathews said in respect of each of the three offences, the Bill sought to remove the defence of impossibility, in line with the LRC's proposal on the basis that "it leads to the acquittal of individuals who would otherwise be considered a danger to society".

Debate of the Bill was adjourned.

End

7

AG moves second reading of Crimes (Amendment) Bill ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Attorney General, the Hon Jeremy Mathew's, in moving the second reading of the Crimes (Amendment) Bill 1995, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move that the Crimes (Amendment) Bill 1995 be read a second time.

The purpose of the Bill is to codify the preliminary offences of conspiracy, attempt and incitement.

These offences, which are generally referred to as the preliminary offences, form an important part of the criminal law. They provide sanctions against those who are engaged in activities preparatory to objectives which are prohibited by law. In Hong Kong, the law governing these preliminary offences is based almost entirely on judicial precedents. That law is in certain respects unclear and lacking in precision.

In March 1994, the Law Reform Commission published a report recommending the codification of the preliminary offences, based largely on relevant legislation in the United Kingdom. Such a codification would result in the following benefits -

* it would enhance accessibility in that it would no longer be necessary to consult a large number of cases to find out what the law was;

it would be more comprehensible to lawyers and non-lawyers alike; and

* it would be more certain in its operation.

In addition to setting out the law in legislative form, the Commission recommended its amendment and improvement in two key areas. First, the defence of impossibility (which at present can lead to anomalous results) should be abolished in respect of all three preliminary offences and secondly, the common law offences of conspiracy to corrupt public morals and outrage public decency should be abolished.

The Commission's proposals followed extensive consultation within the legal profession, the Judiciary, the tertiary institutions and law enforcement agencies.

8

Mr President, there was elear support for the recommended codification of the offences of conspiracy, attempt and incitement and for abolition of the common law offences of conspiracy to corrupt public morals and outrage public decency. The Bill now before the Council seeks to implement the recommendations in the Law Reform Commission's report.

Conspiracy

Let me say briefly what those preliminary offences mean and the proposed codification of the relevant laws. The offence of conspiracy at common law consists of an agreement between two or more persons to effect some unlawful purpose. The Bill's provisions for the codification of the offence of conspiracy are set out in new sections 159A - 159E under clause 2 and are based on the provisions in Part I of the English Criminal Law Act 1977. The more significant provisions provide for:

* a statutory definition of the elements constituting he offence of 'conspiracy' is set out in new section 159A(1). Essentially it is an agreement between two or more persons to do an act amounting to or involving an offence. The Law Reform Commission considered that such a definition gives a greater degree of clarity to the law and recommended its adoption;

* secondly, the abolition of the two common law offences of conspiracy to corrupt public morals and conspiracy to outrage public decency. This is dealt with in new section 159E. The Law Reform Commission recommended the abolition of these offences on the grounds that they were "of extreme and uncertain width", were "largely subjective and could evolve into a means of suppressing unpopular or religious beliefs". In addition, it was pointed out that the offences served little purpose as they had not been employed in recent years, if at all. There were in any case existing statutory provisions which adequately dealt with obscene public performances, displays and publications.

9

Attempt

Turning to the offence of attempt, a person attempts a crime if he takes more than preparatory steps towards the commission of that crime. The Bill's provisions for codification of the offence of attempt arc based on the English Criminal Attempts Act 1981 (as amended) and the draft criminal code contained in a report entitled "A Criminal Code for England and Wales" published by the English Law Commission. They provide for:

* a definition of 'attempt' as an act which is more than merely preparatory to the commission of an offence. This is contained in new section 159H. The definition gives flexibility. It is designed to be wide enough to cover two varieties of case:

- First, where a person has taken all steps which he believes to be necessary toward the commission of a crime, as when a person fires a gun at another and misses; and

- Secondly, where a person has to take some further step to complete his crime, assuming he has the necessary mental element to commit it. An example would be where the defendant has raised a gun to take aim but has not squeezed the trigger.

* that, where it is an offence to do something recklessly, it will also be an offence for a person to be reckless in attempting to do that thing. For example, since it is already an offence for a man to have intercourse with a non-consenting woman if he realises that she may not be consenting, it will also be an offence for a man to attempt to have intercourse in such circumstances; and

* retention of the offence of attempt to conspire. The English Law Commission has cited a good example of a charge of attempt to conspire : where A agrees with B to commit an offence and B is a police informer who tries to prevent the offence from being committed, there is no completed conspiracy because B lacks the necessary intention. However. A has done all he can to conspire and does have the necessary intention. I here is in such a case no reason why A should not be guilty of an attempt to conspire. The Law Reform Commission recommended the retention of this offence.

10

Incitement

The offence of incitement takes place when one person seeks to persuade another to commit a crime. The provisions for codification of the offence of incitement are based on clauses in the English Law Commission Draft Criminal Code. The more significant provisions provide for:

* a statutory definition of the offence of incitement, set out in new section 159M; and

* retention of the offence of incitement to conspire as recommended by the Law Reform Commission because of its importance in the context of triad crime, which relates to long term conspiracies such as those involving gambling, prostitution and drugs.

Defence of Impossibility

In respect of each of the three offences, the Bill removes the defence of impossibility, in line with the Commission's proposal. New section 15911, for instance, deals with that defence in relation to attempt and addresses the situation where the offender has the necessary guilty mind to commit an offence but because of some fact of which he is ignorant or about which he is mistaken, the result he intended could not be achieved, or if it could be achieved, would not give rise to the crime he intended to commit. Under current law. for instance, a would-be pickpocket who attempts to steal from an empty pocket could plead the defence of impossibility. The Bill proposes to remove such a defence, on the basis (as argued by the Commission) that "it leads to the acquittal of individuals who would otherwise be considered a danger to society".

The Bill is part of an on-going process in my department of keeping the criminal law under constant review and reform to ensure that it is more accessible, comprehensible, consistent and certain.

Mr President. I commend the Bill to the Council.

End

11

Pneumoconiosis (Compensation) (Amendment) Bill

*****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong, in moving the second reading of the Pneumoconiosis (Compensation) (Amendment) Bill 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move the Second Reading of the Pneumoconiosis (Compensation) (Amendment) Bill 1995.

The Bill seeks to make a number of improvements to the Pneumoconiosis Compensation Scheme following a review of the scheme we completed earlier this year.

First, we propose to introduce a separate compensation item for pain, suffering and loss of amenities (PSLA) at $2,100 per month and to provide that all eligible pneumoconiotics under the Scheme will receive the same monthly compensation payment of $2,100 irrespective of their degree of incapacity assessed under the Scheme. Currently, the amount of $2,100 is included in the compensation formula without being specified as compensation for PSLA but the actual amount payable is calculated according to the degree of incapacity. As a result, only about 3.5% of the total number of pneumoconiotics assisted under the Scheme can receive the full amount of $2,100. This proposal will be a substantial improvement to the Scheme in that all eligible pneumoconiotics will be able to receive the full amount of $2,100 as compensation for PSLA. This includes more than half of the pneumoconiotics who opted into the Scheme after it was last amended in 1993. but who could not receive any part of $2,100 because they had been assessed to have suffered no additional degree of incapacity.

12

Secondly, we propose to provide a certain degree of flexibility to the Pneumoconiosis Medical Board in its assessment of incapacity. Under the existing Ordinance, a pneumoconiotic's degree of incapacity is determined solely upon his loss of lung function measured by reference to the Forced Vital Capacity (FVC) figure obtained through a spirometric test. While we consider it appropriate to continue using the FVC test to assess the pneumoconiotics' degree of lung function loss, we also consider it necessary to provide a certain degree of flexibility to the Medical Board in its assessment so as to take account of the varying physical conditions of patients. We therefore propose to empower the Medical Board to consider, where necessary, the findings of not only the FVC test but also other lung function tests or clinical findings relevant to a pneumoconiotic's loss of lung function, and to adjust the degree of incapacity as assessed by reference to the FVC test by no more than 5%. We further propose that where a pneumoconiotic cannot perform the FVC test at all due to certain co-existing medical conditions such as stroke or tracheostomy, the Medical Board should be empowered to assess the degree of that pneumoconiotic's loss of lung function on the basis of the findings of such other clinical examinations as it considers appropriate.

Thirdly, as rehabilitation is as important to the well-being of pneumoconiotics as the prevention of pneumoconiotics through educational, publicity and research programmes already financed by the Pneumoconiosis Compensation Board, we propose to expand the functions of the Pneumoconiosis Compensation Fund Board to cover the conduct and financing of rehabilitation programmes.

Fully, we propose to improve the operation of the Scheme in the right of the Fund Board's experience in the following areas:

* First, a the payment of medical expenses. We propose that in the event pneumoconiotic dies before receiving any payments for medical expenses claimed by him. the expenses for medical treatment or medical appliances which were incurred or paid for on his behalf by another person should be paid to that other person. This other person may be his family member, relative, friend or any supplier of medical equipment. This will be an improvement over the existing provision under the Ordinance whereby all such payment goes to the family members of the deceased pneumoconiotic regardless of whether they are the ones who have actually incurred such expenses.

13

♦ Second, the monthly interim payments of compensation payable to the family members of a deceased pneumoconiotic pending final settlement of compensation for death. At present, interim payments are required to be paid in equal shares. We propose that these interim payments should be distributed amongst these family members in the same proportion as the distribution of other compensation items under the Ordinance. This will serve to uphold the original intention underlying the provision of interim payments that the aggregate of such payments to the family members of a decreased pneumoconiotic should not exceed the total amount of the compensation for death to which they are entitled. It will also prevent cases of overpayments which have occurred as a result of the two different distribution systems under the existing Ordinance.

To finance the above proposed improvements to the Pneumoconiosis Compensation Scheme, we will submit to the Finance Committee of this Council a proposal to provide an interest-bearing loan of $80 million to the Fund Board to enable it to overcome its cashflow problems arising from such improvements. It is also necessary to increase the rate of levy imposed on the value of construction works exceeding $1 million and of quarry products from 0.3% to 0.4% so that the Fund Board will have sufficient funds to meet its long-term commitments. I intend to move a resolution of this Council under Section 36 of the Ordinance to give effect to such an increase after the enactment of the Bill.

Thank you.

End

Noise Control (Amendment) Bill

*****

Following is the speech by the acting Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Canice Mak, in moving the second reading of the Noise Control (Amendment) Bill 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

1 move that the Noise Control (Amendment) Bill 1995 be read the second time.

14

Traffic noise is a major source of noise pollution in Hong Kong. While planning is the most effective means of preventing the problem, control on the noise from vehicles at source is equally important. However, the existing control on vehicle noise is limited and confined only to the mandatory installation of silencers on exhaust pipes. This measure is inadequate in reducing the noise levels of vehicles with inferior noise performance. It is therefore considered necessary to impose stringent but appropriate noise standards on vehicles at the registration stage.

Consequently, I propose to adopt Japanese and European noise emission standards as these are the most stringent in the world. Adoption of these standards enables Hong Kong to keep up with international standards and prevent importation of vehicles with inferior noise performance. In the long run, as old vehicles are replaced by new ones which meet the standards, noise pollution from vehicles can be minimised.

The proposed control will be integrated to form part of the "Motor Vehicle Type Approval" process which currently covers road worthiness and exhaust emission requirements. A noise certification report issued by vehicle manufacturers will be required for each type or model of new motor vehicle before the model can be registered in Hong Kong. The proposed control scheme will not have a major economic implications as over 90% of the new motor vehicles are already able to meet the proposed noise emission standards. On the other hand, imported used vehicles will need to be individually tested at competent testing centres to ascertain that they meet the stipulated emission standards.

The noise emission standards to be applied to newly registered motor vehicles are prescribed in the Noise Control (Motor Vehicles) Regulation, an advance copy of which has been distributed to Members for reference. This Regulation will be tabled before this Council in early 1996 for the proposed control scheme to commence in March 1996. To make this Regulation, the Noise Control Ordinance and the Road Traffic Ordinance have to be amended to empower the Director of Environmental Protection to prescribe the noise emission standards and the Commissioner for Transport to refuse registration of vehicles which do not meet the stipulated standards. These amendments are enshrined in the Noise Control (Amendment) Bill 1995 and the Road Traffic (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1995. I will talk about the Road Traffic (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1995 separately when I move its second reading.

15

The Noise Control (Amendment) Bill seeks to elaborate on the regulationmaking power of the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands under the Noise Control Ordinance to enable specific regulation to be made to control noise emission from motor vehicles for the purposes of first registration under the Road Traffic Ordinance. Under such regulation, the Director of Environmental Protection could be authorised to provide for the application of international or local noise emission standards and test procedures for control, to exempt certain motor vehicles from any requirements of the regulation, and to provide for the acceptance of other standards which are as stringent as or more stringent than the stipulated standards.

Traffic noise is a major cause of environmental nuisance and has an adverse impact on the quality of life. With increases in traffic flow, more stringent noise emission controls are necessary to minimise such pollution. 1 urge this Council to give this bill favourable consideration.

Thank you, Mr President.

End

Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill

* ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the acting Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Canice Mak, in moving the second reading of the Road Traffic (Amendment) (No 2) Bill 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

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

I explained, in the context of moving the Noise Control (Amendment) Bill 1995, details of the proposed scheme to require newly registered vehicles to meet noise emission standards. To effect the scheme, a link has to be established between the Noise Control Ordinance and the Road Traffic Ordinance.

16

The Road Traffic (Amendment) (No 2) Bill 1995 provides this link. It empowers the Commissioner for Transport to refuse first registration of motor vehicles which do not comply with the noise emission standards specified in the Noise Control (Motor Vehicles) Regulation to be made later.

I look to Members to support this Bill which is necessary for the implementation of noise emission standards on newly registered vehicles.

Thank you, Mr President.

End

Prevocational schools curriculum *****

Following is a question by the Hon Henry fang and a reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In his 1995 Policy Address, the Governor indicated that the Government was conducting a comprehensive review of the practical and technical curriculum offered in prevocational schools. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) how much manpower will be required for the review and which departments will participate in it;

(b) what are the terms of reference of the review and what is the timetable for conducting the review; and

(c) how it will improve the curriculum in prevocational schools to meet the needs of the territory’s changing economy?

17

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) The Education Department will shortly commence a comprehensive review on the curriculum offered in prevocational schools. The review will involve staff of three divisions in the Department, namely the Curriculum Development Institute, the Advisory Inspectorate and the School Division. The review will take full account of public comments expressed on the subject. In addition, the Department will seek the views of all organisations concerned including the pre-vocational schools themselves, the Hong Kong Examinations Authority and the Vocational Training Council. The findings of the review will be submitted to the Board of Education and the Curriculum Development Council for advice before the Department puts forward firm recommendations for implementation.

(b) The review will critically examine the suitability and adequacy of the prevocational curriculum in meeting the needs of Hong Kong's changing economy and the role as well as the structure of prevocational schools in the education system vis-?-vis grammar and technical schools. The review is expected to be completed by mid 1996.

(c) The review will, among other things, result in recommendations to ensure that the curriculum offered in the pre-vocational schools will continue to meet the demands for knowledge and vocational skills of the territory's changing economy.

End

Building and demolition sites safety

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Chan Yuen-han and a reply by the acting Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Canice Mak, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

A number of accidents involving the collapse of external walls or canopies of buildings (including existing buildings and buildings under construction or demolition) have occurred recently, causing injury and death to several workers and passers-by. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

18

(a) whether the Government has any systems to monitor the structural safety of buildings and industrial safety at construction sites; if so, what are the details of such systems and why the accidents mentioned above still occur despite the existence of such systems;

(b) whether the Government will review the existing systems to find out if any loopholes exist;

(c) whether there are any cases where civil servants who have been negligent in enforcing the systems have been reprimanded or disciplined; and

(d) whether the Buildings Department will consider making the register of building contractors and the register of building owners available for public inspection, so that after the occurrence of accidents involving the collapse of external walls or canopies of buildings the public can pursue the question of liability with the contractors and the building owners concerned?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) The structural safety of private buildings and industrial safety at construction sites are governed by the Buildings Ordinance and the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance and their subsidiary regulations. The Buildings Ordinance and its regulations place certain statutory responsibilities on building owners, authorised persons, registered structural engineers and registered contractors. It also requires buildings and sites with works in progress to comply with standards of health and safety, in regard to workers at site and members of the public. The Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance and its regulations protect employees' safety and health in industrial undertakings including construction and demolition sites. They lay down minimum safety and health standards. They also require proprietors and contractors to provide safety training, protective equipment and supervision for their employees.

19

Staff of Buildings Department and Labour Department carry out regular inspections of buildings and construction/demolition sites. During these inspections, the Buildings Department staff search for any possibility of danger which will be removed once identified. The Labour Department staff inspect sites to ensure that the law is complied with by contractors and workers. Prosecution will be taken if a work situation is likely to cause risk of injury or where there is a blatant disregard of the law.

Enforcement of the laws is also accompanied by publicity and education efforts to promote the message of building safety and construction site safety. There is close liaison between the Buildings and Labour Departments and with the Occupational Safety and Health Council.

While there is always room for further improvement, the existing control over building and construction site safety is generally effective. Despite this, accidents may occur for a number of reasons such as human neglect and error.

(b) The answer is of course positive. The Government will review regularly the control system to plug any loophole and generally to make the system more effective. The Buildings (Amendment) (No. 3) Bill, which is now before the Bills Committee, is the result of such a review.

(c) 1 am not aware of any civil servant who has been reprimanded or disciplined in the past two years for being negligent in enforcing building and industrial safety legislation.

(d) The Buildings Department will disclose the identity of owners and contractors of buildings involved in collapses and the responsible authorised person or registered structural engineer upon request.

End

20

Ferry services for Tuen Mun

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Edward Ho Sing-tin and a reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Considerable inconvenience is often caused to residents of Tuen Mun when the Tuen Mun Highway is wholly or partially closed owing to traffic accidents. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:

(a) it has any plan to expand the Tuen Mun Ferry Pier so as to improve the ferry service in the district; if so, when the plan will be implemented; if not, why not; and

(b) it has held any discussion with the Hongkong and Yaumati Ferry Company Limited about contingency measures to carry the large number of commuters to and from work during the closure of the highway; if so, what are the details?

Reply:

Mr President.

The Honourable Edward Ho is right. When there is a major accident on Tuen Mun Road, traffic flow could well be impeded resulting in congestion. When accidents occur, the Police try their best to get the traffic moving again as soon as possible.

Unless really long periods of delay are expected, the provision of special ferry services would not help because it would take at least an hour to mobilise extra ferries. Traffic on Tuen Mun Road should have returned to normal by then.

The busiest time at Tuen Mun Ferry Pier is during the morning rush, between 7:00 am to 9:00 am when there are a total of 27 sailings to Central and Wan Chai. There are more than adequate berthing facilities and queuing space to cope with demand.

21

Indeed, there is spare capacity. There is no need, and we therefore have no plans, to expand Tuen Mun Ferry Pier.

Transport Department has a 24 hour hotline with all major transport operators and, in fact, contingency plans to provide emergency transport services have been drawn up. Transport operators have been ven co-operative. For example, during the partial closure of Tuen Mun Road in late August and early September, because of the danger of landslips, extra ferry services between Tuen Mun and Central were provided. On that occasion, a pontoon was tied to a viewing platform to the west of the Tuen Mun Ferry Pier to provide a temporary facility. This arrangement worked well and can be adopted again should circumstances so warrant. A special ferry service between Tuen Mun and Tsuen Wan was also provided.

With the temporary closure of one of the six lanes with effect from last Saturday, to facilitate slope stabilisation and climbing lane works at Sham Shing Hui and So Kwu Wat, HYF is providing 3 special ferry trips from Tsuen Wan to Tuen Mun during the evening peak on weekdays. In addition, HYF has standby arrangements to lay on extra sailings from Central to Tuen Mun to cope with the evening rush should there be such a demand.

End

Refusal of visas by United Arab Emirates to HKCI holders ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

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

Question:

In regard to the refusal by the United Arab Emirates recently to grant visas to holders of the Hong Kong Certificate of Identity, will the Government inform this Council :

(a) whether prior notification of the refusal was given to the Government; if so, whether the Government has lodged a protest against the United Arab Emirates’ action; and

22

(b) whether the Government has, subsequent to this incident, taken any action to resolve the issue either directly or through the British Government?

Reply:

Mr President.

(a) We have been receiving different messages from various sources about UAE's non-acceptance of Certificates of Identity for visa purposes. For example, an UAE official had in January informed our Immigration Department through the British Embassy in Abu Dhabi that C of Is would be accepted for visa purposes and had asked for samples of C of I for submission to the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs. However, in July, the UAE authorities informed us, through British Embassy, Abu Dhabi, that Certificates of Identity would not be accepted for visa purposes, because these documents do not prove the holder's nationality. Since we have received confirmation of the formal position in July, the British Embassy in Abu Dhabi, at our request, made representations to the UAE authorities, urging them to change their position.

(b) Following reports of the latest incident of non-acceptance of Certificate of Identity, we have again made representations to UAE Ambassador in London through the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, and to the UAE authorities through the British Embassy in Abu Dhabi. The British Minister of State responsible for Hong Kong Affairs, Mr Hanley, raised the matter with the UAE Minister of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs when he visited that country on 27 November. The UAE Minister of State has undertaken to look into the issue as a matter of priority. We will be monitoring further developments closely.

End

23

Measures to safeguard taxi drivers against robbery ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

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

In view of the recent spate of robberies in taxis, will the Government inform this Council whether:

(a) the Police have put in place any special measures to safeguard the personal safety of taxi-drivers; and

(b) the Transport Department will consider permitting taxi-drivers to install safety devices such as anti-robbery plastic partitions in their taxis? Reply:

Mr President,

(a) The number of reported cases of taxi robbery has indeed increased recently. During the first nine months of the year, there were 228 such cases, which represents an increase of 45% over the same period last year. So far, 68 (or 30%) of these cases have been detected, resulting in 66 persons arrested.

We are concerned about the upsurge of such crime, and the Police are taking measures to tackle the problem. Police officers on patrol duties are briefed specifically on the latest intelligence on taxi robbery so that particular attention is given to this crime. In addition, covert observations are also conducted at identified blackspots. Special task forces have also been set up in districts where the taxi robbery problem is more serious; for example, a Task Force headed by a Senior Inspector, 2 Station Sergeants, 7 Sergeants and 47 PCs was recently established in Tai Po to deal with the problem. In the last four months, they have arrested three suspects who are involved with seven recent taxi robberies. In addition, during the first nine months of the year, the Police have mounted over 15,000 road block operations, especially during late evenings and early mornings when most taxi robberies take place.

The Police Crime Prevention Bureau has maintained close liaison with 42 taxi owners' and drivers' associations. The Bureau provides them with detailed information on the latest trends of the crime, and a list of the latest blackspots every month. Taxi drivers are also reminded to keep in touch with their taxi control centres and colleagues regularly, and alert them in covert code when they are in doubt of the passengers' intentions, so that the control centres or their colleagues can then report immediately to the Police for assistance.

24

(b) As to the second part of the question, I understand that neither the Transport Department nor the Police has any objection in principle to the installation of such safety devices in taxis. In fact, The Crime Prevention Bureau and the Transport Department have had detailed discussions with taxi associations on the feasibility of installing various anti-robbery devices in taxis. These include plastic partition at the driver's seat, vehicle tracking devices, and a covert device by which the drivers can cause the rooftop signs to flash to call for police assistance when in need. The Bureau has also introduced the sources of supply for such anti-robbery devices to the taxi associations. The Police have just conducted a questionnaire survey in September 1995 to seek the opinions of taxi drivers and their associations on these security measures. The survey has now been completed and its findings will be available by end of 1995. Results of the survey will be supplied to and discussed with the taxi associations in due course.

We will study the results of the survey carefully and continue to monitor the problem of taxi robbery closely to ensure that appropriate measures are taken to safeguard the personal safety of taxi drivers.

End

Government's position on British citizenship issue

*****

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

Question:

In a recent speech to the Hong Kong Management Association, a Preliminary Working Committee member mentioned that the Chinese Government might set up a Special Administrative Region provisional secretariat and a provisional legislature in the colony next year. This has given rise to public concern over a smooth transfer of power upon the change of sovereignty. Will the Government inform this Council whether it will step up efforts to persuade the British Parliament to consider giving full British citizenship to all citizens in the colony who are holders of the British Dependent Territories Citizen passport or British National (Overseas) passport?

25

Reply:

Mr President,

The Hong Kong Government's position is that British citizenship should be granted to all Hong Kong British Dependent Territories Citizens. We have stated our position clearly on a number of occasions in this Council, including at the debate on a motion moved by the Hon Emily Lau in October last year.

We will continue to put our position to the British Government, as effectively as we can and whenever the opportunity arises. As Honourable Members are aware, the British Government's position is that the grant of British Citizenship to 50,000 heads of household and their dependants was the right response. It does not accept the case for granting British citizenship to all Hong Kong BDTCs.

We believe that the best way to allay public concern about a smooth transition is to ensure that Hong Kong continues to be the place where Hong Kong people wish to remain. To this end we will seek to preserve its way of life, its prosperity and stability, and the rule of law; and ensure that the safeguards for these provided for in the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law are honoured in full.

End

Salaries tax system ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Eric Li Ka-cheung and a written reply by the Secretary for the Treasury, Mr Kwong Ki-chi, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

Regarding the territory's salaries tax which is shouldered by a small number of salary earners and which is based on a system with a high degree of progressivity, will the Government inform this Council:

26

(a) whether it has carried out any comparisons of the progressivity of the territory's salaries tax system with that of other countries with a similar economic situation such as Singapore, Taiwan and the United Kingdom; if so, what the conclusions are; and

(b) if the answer to (a) is in the negative, whether it will obtain the necessary information from the countries in (a) above to work out the proportion of salaries tax to the total revenue paid by every 100,000 working population in the countries concerned, so as to compare these figures with the corresponding figures in the territory; if so, when it will submit the findings to the Panel on Financial Affairs of this Council for discussion; if not, why not?

Answer:

(a) Whilst we do keep abreast of developments in other tax jurisdictions, we have not to date carried out any detailed evaluation of the relative progressivity of the salaries tax system of other countries such as Singapore, Taiwan, United Kingdom etc. vis-?-vis that of Hong Kong.

(b)We are seeking the required information from the relevant tax administrations and would aim to submit the findings to the Legislative Council Panel on Financial Affairs when they are available. We would, however, wish to point out that, given the different socio-economic situations, we should take care in interpreting such comparative data.

End

27

Economic Advisory Committee

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Sin Chung-kai and a written reply by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

At the resumption of the debate on the Motign of Thanks this year, the Financial Secretary expressed doubts about the setting up of an Economic Development Committee suggested by some Members of this Council as the existing Economic Advisory Committee and the Governor's Business Council were already providing the Government with valuable views and suggestions on economic and related issues. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether the Economic Advisory Committee has discussed the trend of the territory's future economic development as well as such issues as how to stimulate the economy and how to solve the unemployment problem; if so, what the conclusions are; if not, why not; and

(b) whether consideration will be given to changing the present modus operandi of the Economic Advisory Committee, which is not answerable to the public and which does not seek public opinions, so as to enhance its accountability and transparency?

Reply:

(a) The Economic Advisory Committee is set up with the remit of advising the Financial Secretary on matters relating to the economy. Pursuant to this remit, the Committee has deliberated on a large variety of economic issues. The trends and prospects of the Hong Kong economy are matters of continuous interest and are reviewed in depth on a regular basis. The unemployment problem is amongst the main current issues that the Committee has had thorough and comprehensive discussions and will continue to be closely monitored. As for measures to stimulate the economy, the general consensus was that ad hoc interventions by the Government would not be effective or could even be counter-productive, and the economy should be left to adjust to cyclical fluctuations through the market mechanism. On measures to tackle the unemployment problem, the Committee supports the Government's approach of enhancing employment counselling, job matching and placement, and retraining and upgrading of skills.

28

(b) The present modus operandi of the Economic Advisory Committee fits its basic remit very well and there is no reason for change. The Committee consists of experts, professionals and experienced practitioners in a wide range of economic affairs and provides advice to the Administration, which then formulates policy decisions. Public accountability therefore should rest with the Administration and not its advisory bodies.

End ,

J.-'i .- ’ ’ J'

- . . i <

Strength of medical and related personnel j

Following is a question by the Hon Chan Wing-chan and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question

Will the.Government provide this Council with a breakdown by rank of the annual actual strength in respect of:

(a) medical doctors (except those performing administrative duties only);

(b) nurses;

(c) allied health professionals;

(d) and administrative personnel remunerated at a salary point equivalent to point 34 or above on the Master Pay Scale in the Hospital Authority since its establishment in 1991?

■ * • . . < •• •' ’ * ’

, • - • • • ‘ • • • . ‘

Reply

The information requested is as follows:

..

29

1991-2 1992-3 1993-4 1924ri

Medical Doctors

Consultant 235 253 291 366

Senior Medical Officer 489 531 548 611

Medical Officer 1554 1578 1703 1798

Intem/Extem 273 273 283 288 j*,-x

Sub-total 2551 2635 2825 3036 'i»’:: a

Nurses

Nursing Officer and above 2497 2493 2569 2705

Registered Nurse 7010 7383 7696 8107

Student Nurse 2670 2570 2436 2294

Enrolled Nurse 2934 3023 3153 3294

Pupil Nurse 944 829 915 937

Midwife 141 129 116 100

Non-standard Nurse 83 77 50 37

Sub-total 16279 16504 16935 17474

-,v/

30

Allied Health

Clinical Psychologist 20 19 21 35

Dietician 46 48 56 54

Dispenser 473 483 559 606 -4

Medical Laboratory Technician 743 738 769 996

Mould Laboratory Technician 37 30 36 31 A

Occupational Therapist 212 227 267 304

Occupational Therapy Assistant 173 175 194 209

Pharmacist 81 88 103 127

Physicist 28 29 35 35

Physiotherapist 416 432 471 519

Prosthetist-Orthotist 77 79 84 89

Radiographer 549 558 591 619

Scientific Officer (Medical) 32 32 35 51

Social Workers 65 70 74 99

Others 60 64 64 69

Sub-total 3012 3072 • 3359 3843

Administrative Personnel*. 179 225 286 346

♦ This is the total number of administrative staff who have a maximum pay point above point 34 of the Government’s Master Pay Scale.

End

Demolition sites and dangerous canopies inspection ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Chan Kam-lam and a written reply by the acting Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Canice Mak, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday): Question:

In regard to the recent series of accidents involving the collapse of the external walls and canopies of buildings, will the Government inform this Council:

31

(a) of the number of buildings under demolition and the number of illegal and dangerous canopies at present;

(b) whether the Buildings Department will deploy staff to inspect buildings under demolition and speed up the removal of unauthorised structures with potential danger, so as to safeguard the public's safety;

'■» .

(c) what are the details of the Government's plan to introduce legislation to require building owners to submit periodic building inspection reports to the Buildings Department; and

(d) whether there are sufficient qualified professionals in the territory at present to cope with the demand for their services arising from this requirement; if not, what measures the Government will put in place to resolve the problem of shortage of such professionals?

Answer:

Mr President,

The answers to the four parts of this question are as follows -

(a) There are about 150 demolition sites in Hong Kong at present.

Since no territory-wide survey on unauthorised canopies has been conducted, the Administration does not have data on the number of illegal or dangerous canopies, t < ■

(b) To protect public safety, staff of the Buildings Department regularly carry out planned surveys to locate dangerous unauthorised building works (UBW), including dangerous unauthorised canopies. All such structures are cleared once identified. In addition, we will launch an extensive publicity campaign in early 1996 to encourage the public to report suspected dangerous UBW cases to the Buildings Department.

Public safety is the prime concern of the Administration. A dedicated Site Monitoring Team constituting 34 staff was established in the Buildings Department in October 1995. The principal function of the Team is to regularly inspect construction and demolition sites to ensure that proper safety measures are provided. Since establishment, the Team has inspected some 350 sites, and the safety standards of the inspected sites have consequentially improved.

32

(c) Owners should have the duty to ensure that their properties are in proper maintenance condition. The Administration therefore proposes to introduce a mandatory scheme under which owners will be required to have their buildings inspected by professionals periodically. Details of this proposal are still being examined.

(d) There are at present 1,049 Authorised Persons and 363 Registered Structural Engineers in Hong Kong. Demand for their services will be taken into account before the Administration goes ahead with any mandatory building inspection scheme.

; End

Clearance of landslides debris

♦ ♦ ♦ * *

Following is a question by the Hon Fred Li Wah-ming and a written reply by the Secretary for Works, Mr Kwong Hon-sang, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Jt Si '

Question:

During the rainy season this year, there were many landslips caused by rainstorms and typhoons. In particular, there were a number of landslips and treefalling incidents in the squatter areas at Lei Yue Mun and Cha Kwo Ling in Kwun Tong. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) what procedures does the Government have to clear the mud sent down by landslips; and

(b) which Government departments are responsible for inspecting and dealing with trees dangling under the influence of rainstorms which may cause danger to residents in squatter areas?

•' 'V ?

33

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) As a matter of principle, the Government departments or their agents which are responsible for the slopes have the responsibility to clear away the landslide debris arising from those slopes. However, for landslips which occur in squatter areas, the Highways Department (HyD) will be responsible for carrying out emergency repair as recommended by the Geotechnical Engineering Office (GEO) to remove any immediate danger to the public and clear away associated landslide debris in the course of the emergency repair works. For situations not involving emergency or where the emergency no longer exists, there is, at present, no department explicitly responsible for clearing debris from landslides occurring in unallocated government land. However, such cases will be dealt with individually and, wherever necessary, appropriate arrangement will be made in each case considering its particular circumstances.

(b) Trees in squatter areas are not maintained or managed by any government department and consequently there is no routine inspection of such trees.

For trees damaged or affected by a rainstorm which may cause danger to residents in squatter areas, the Police or Fire Services Department staff attending the scene will do what they can to remove the danger. The Agricultural and Fisheries Department (A&FD), the Urban Services Department (USD) and the Regional Services Department (RSD) will also respond to emergency requests to remove dangling branches of trees which may endanger residents in squatter areas.

End

34

Differences between GNP and GDP in UK’s economy *****

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Law Cheung-kwok and a written reply by the Secretary for Financial Services. Mr Rafael Hui. in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the collection of statistical data in recent years to compile the territory's Gross national Product (GNP) figures, will the Government inform the Council of the following:

(a) when will the GNP figures be released; and

(b) what are the major differences between the GNP and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the present structure of the territory's economy?

Reply:

(a) Based on the latest results of the first round of the annual Survey of External Factor Income Flows, preliminary estimates of GNP. in respect of reference year 1993, are now available. They were released on 13 November 1995 while the final GNP estimates will be released in March 1996.

The timetable for releasing GNP estimates is as follows:

.GNP

Release Date

Reference year Preliminary Estimates Final Estimates*

1993 1994 1995 1996** Nov 1995 Mar 1996 Aug/Scp 1996 Mar 1997 May/June 1997 Mar 1998 Mar 1998 Mar 1999

Note: (*) To be released at the same time as the final estimates of GDP

35

(**) As from 1996, the preliminary GNP estimates will be released within 15 months from the reference year

(b) GNP is a measure of the total income of residents of a country or territory in a specified period, irrespective of whether the income is earned from investment and employment within the domestic boundary of that country or territory, or outside.

On the other hand, GDP is an aggregate measure of the total value of net output produced within the domestic boundary of a country or territory in a specified period. Since production is rewarded by income, GDP also measures the total income arising from such current production, irrespective of whether the factors (i.e. labour and capital) for producing the goods or providing the services are owned by residents or non-residents.

Hence, GNP is compiled by adjusting GDP by: (i) adding total income earned by Hong Kong residents from outside Hong Kong, and (ii) subtracting total income earned by non-Hong Kong residents from within Hong Kong.

GNP emphasises the composition of aggregate income of Hong Kong residents, while GDP emphasised the composition of aggregate production. They are both useful data, complementary to each other in supporting economic analyses.

Based on the preliminary estimates of GNP, the total inflow of external factor income in 1993 was HK$318.4 billion, while the total outflow was HKS308.5 billion. This resulted in a net income inflow of HK$9.9 billion. Combining the net income inflow with the latest revised GDP estimate for 1993 of HKS899.9 billion, the preliminary estimate of GNP for 1993 is therefore HKS909.8 billion. Given the highly externally-oriented structure of the Hong Kong economy, such substantial external income flows are not unexpected. However, with only a small net income flow, the value of GNP in 1993 was only 1.1% above that of GDP.

End

36

Increase in production of Home Ownership Scheme flats

*****

Following is a question by Dr the Hon David Li and a written reply by the Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic S W Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

A significant but temporary rise in government expenditure on affordable public housing would fulfil the public’s aspirations to have their own homes, stimulate the economy, and mitigate the unemployment problem. In this connection, will the Administration inform this Council whether consideration will be given to building more Home Ownership Scheme flats in the short run, whilst at the same time ensuring that the Government spending is kept within 20% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the long run?

Answer:

Mr President,

Need and affordability are the guiding principles in the provision of, and charging for, public housing. We agree that subsidised home ownership schemes play an important role in promoting home ownership, which in turn fosters a sense of belonging and contributes to social stability in Hong Kong.

Since the introduction of these schemes in 1978, we have been building an increasing proportion of such flats in relation to public rental flats, and the split is now about 50% of each.

We have already announced the target of building 175,000 flats between April 1995 and April 2001 through various subsidised home ownership schemes. We are on course to achieve this target. As a lead time of around five years is required from initial planning to physical completion of flats, it would be difficult to add significantly to this target in the short term.

37

We are, however, examining ways to increase the production of home ownership flats in the longer term. In fact, we shall consider the future level of provision of all types of housing up to 2006 in the context of our current review of the Long Term Housing Strategy, which will be completed in the middle of 1996.

The Housing Authority's budget is separate from the Government's budget. The construction costs of home ownership flats form part of public expenditure rather than Government expenditure, because these flats are funded by the Housing Authority and not directly by the Government. Our medium range forecast up to 1998-99 projects that public expenditure as a percentage of GDP will remain well below 20%.

End

Safety of schools located near dangerous goods stores ♦ * ♦ * *

Following is a question by the Hon Cheung Bing-leung and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower. Mr Joseph Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

Following the recent incident of gas leaking from a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tank-truck in Tuen Mun, the public has expressed great concern about the safety of students studying in schools located near hazardous installations. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) how many schools are currently located near dangerous goods stores;

(b) whether a comprehensive risk assessment of schools located near hazardous installations will be conducted; if so, how it will be conducted and when its findings will be made known; and

(c) whether such schools will be given special guidelines on how to formulate measures to deal with evacuation and other emergencies?

38

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) There are at present 46 schools which are located near petrol filling stations, LPG storage tanks and other dangerous goods stores.

(b) All the existing petrol filling stations, dangerous goods stores and LPG installations in Hong Kong are constructed and operated to very stringent safety standards to ensure maximum safety to the public. We consider the current provisions adequate to safeguard the 46 schools in paragraph (a) above, and a comprehensive risk assessment of the relevant facilities located near these schools is not necessary. This notwithstanding, both the Fire Services and the Electrical and Mechanical Services Departments are conducting a thorough check on these installations. In addition, arising from the isolated incident of gas leakage of an LPG road tanker in Tuen Mun on 3 November. 1995, the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department is undertaking a review to see whether further safety improvements are necessary.

(c) Under Education Regulation 38, school heads are required to draw up a practical scheme for evacuation of the school premises in case of fire and to ensure that fire drills, including the use of all exits from the school premises, are conducted from time to time. In case of emergency other than fire, school principals are responsible for the prompt and orderly evacuation of their pupils as necessary, using similar procedure. A circular on 'Measures to be taken in case of leakage of gas' was issued in 1982 to all school heads for compliance. This circular sets out, among other things, circumstances where the emergency services e.g. Police and Fire Services are to be called.

End

Median wage of local workers

*****

Following is a question by the hon Lee Wing-tat and a written reply by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Gcrvernment inform this Council of:

39

(a) the median wage of local workers in 1975, 1985 and 1995 respectively;

(b) the average price of a 500 sq. feet flat in a large private residential development in the urban area in each of the years mentioned above?

Reply:

(a) The median wage of local workers is as follows:

JlKS/monlh

1975 N.A.

1985 (average of March and 2,675

September figures)

1995 (March figure) 8.691

Notes: (i) Including workers up to the supervisory level.

(ii) The Government started to compile statistics on median wage rate in September 1982. Information on the median wage rate in 1975 is therefore not available.

Source: Census & Statistics Department

(b) The estimated average price of a flat of 500 sq feet in gross floor area in the urban area is as follows:

1975 (average for the year)

1985 (average for the year)

1995 (average up to the third quarter)

LiKS

95,000

300,000

1,700,000

Note: Covering flats of all ages, and not necessarily confined to large residential developments the price information on which is not readily separable.

Source: Rating & Valuation Department

End

40

Transportation of LPG on roads ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Samuel Wong Ping-wai and a written reply by the Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Gordon Siu, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In regard to the recent incident of gas leaking from a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tank-truck at Siu Hong Court in Tuen Mun, will the Government inform this Council whether the Government will carry out a quantifiable risk assessment study on the transport of LPG on roads; if so, when the study will be completed?

Reply:

Earlier this year, the Government commissioned an independent consulting firm to carry out a quantifiable risk assessment study on the transport of LPG throughout Hong Kong by road and sea. The objective of the study is to assess the risks to individuals, and to society as a whole, of hazardous incidents which might arise from the transport of LPG and what practical measures should be taken to minimise these risks. The study takes nine months and a study report will be submitted to the Government in early 1996. The Economic Services Panel of the Legislative Council will be briefed on the results of the study.

End

Cost of fringe benefits for civil servants *****

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Leong Che-hung and a written reply by the Secretary for the Civil Service, Mr Michael Sze, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Administration inform this Council of:

41

(a) the total cost of fringe benefits enjoyed by all civil servants (including the cost of such benefits as pension, vacation, quarters, etc.) in 1995/96; and the proportion of such cost to the total basic salary cost of all civil servants in the same year; and

(b) a break down of the average annual cost of fringe benefits and its proportion to the average annual basic salary cost for 1995/96 in respect of a civil servant in the following categories:

(i) directorate pay scale,

(ii) upper pay band (master pay scale point 34 and above),

(iii) middle pay band (point 10 to 33), and

(iv) lower pay band (below point 10)?

Answer:

Mr President,

(a) The main components of civil service fringe benefits are pensions, housing, leave, education allowances and medical and dental benefits. The costs of these benefits are assessed and reflected in the Government’s Staff Cost Ready Reckoner. This reckoner is updated annually to take account of the most current salary revisions and fringe benefits. Some of the fringe benefits such as pensions are not payable until many years in the future in which case the cost is the estimated future liability of pensions now being earned. Some other benefits such as quarters are provided in kind and the cost reflects an appropriate valuation of the quarters provided. According to the 1995 Staff Cost Ready Reckoner, the total annual value of fringe benefits of the entire civil service for 1995-96 is about $24,450 million or 56.7% of the total annual basic salaries.

(b) A breakdown of the average annual cost of fringe benefits and its proportion to the average annual basic salary for 1995/96 according to the pay bands as requested is as follows:

42

(i) Directorate and Equivalent

• • • ■ . . • • ’y (annual average salary = $1,210,130)

$ % of salary

«•* Pensions & gratuities 371,330 30.68 • • * ••

Leave 194,310 16.06

Housing benefits 378,260 31.26

Education allowance 25,880 2.14

Other (note 1) 50,940 4.21

...—

1,020,720 84.35

(ii) Upper pay band (MPS Pt 34 to Pt 49 and Equivalent)

(annual average salary = $610,400) $ % of salary

Pensions & gratuities 183,490 30.06

Leave 74,960 12.28

Housing benefits 173,540 28.43

Education allowance 9,980 1.64

Other (note 1) 7,740 1.27

:T. •> 449,710 73.68

t. . ' . •.?

• r. , I 7* f.

(iii) Middle pay band (MPS Pt 10 to Pt 33 and Equivalent)

ft. < .1 (annual averagi $ < •••• e salary = $242,060) . % of salary

Pensions & gratuities .. ,75,000 > 30.99

Leave .27,850 11.50

Housing benefits 22,880 9.45

Education allowance 3,030 1.25

Other (note 1) 3,350 1.38

132,110 54.57

43

(iv) Lower pay band (below MPS Pt 10 and Equivalent)

(annual average salary = $ 130,910)

$ % of salary

Pensions & gratuities 32,290 24.67

Leave 12,020 9.18

Housing benefits 1,790 1.37

Education allowance 840 0.64

Other (note 1) 3,610 2.76

50.550 38.62

Note 1: Medical & dental benefits and passages.

End

Complaints lodged with SFC on delisted companies

*****

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Huang Chen-ya and a written reply by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of listed companies which have been privatised or voluntarily delisted in the past 3 years;

• ** • • ' . •

(b) how many of the cases referred to in (a) above have given rise to complaints from minority shareholders; and

(c) how many of such complaints have been lodged directly with the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC); and whether the SFC has carried out investigations in order to find out if the interests of minority shareholders’ have been damaged in such cases?

44

Answer:

(a) In the 3-year period ending 30 November 1995, 13 companies publicly listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong have voluntarily delisted. Of these, five involved take-over action by major shareholders, or what the market has termed '•privatised”. In addition, there is one case of proposed take-over ultimately not proceeded with. Details are in the Appendix.

(b)&(c) The SFC has received a total of six complaints. The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong has not received any complaint, and we have no information of complaints directly lodged with the companies concerned.

Of the six complaints, one was against Lafe International Holdings Ltd. (Lafe). The complaint alleged that the take-over offer price was too low.

The remaining five complaints were in respect of Fountain Set (Holding) Ltd (Fountain) which was subsequently aborted. Here, the minority shareholders not only complained about the low take-over offer price, but also alleged that certain shareholders were not independent.

In both the Lafe and Fountain cases, the SFC conducted full investigations. To the extent that the SFC does not pass judgement on the commercial merits of the takeover offer prices, SFC's investigations were restricted to establishing whether all shareholders had been treated equally. In both cases, the SFC concluded, that they were.

The SFC regulates all transactions involved in a take-over by ensuring that the parties concerned comply with the relevant provisions of the Hong Kong Code on Takeovers and Mergers. Under the Code, the board of the company being taken over is required to appoint an independent financial adviser to consider the merits of the proposal and give appropriate recommendations to the minority shareholders. It also requires a take-over proposal to be approved by a majority of shareholders in number representing 90% in value of those shares that are voted either in person or by proxy at a duly convened general meeting by shareholders other than the person seeking to privatise the company and persons acting in concert with him. The SFC routinely examines the relevant voting results, and where appropriate, would seek to confirm the independence of the shareholders who voted in the exercise.

45

Appendix

Voluntary delistings in the 3-vear period ending 30.11.95

Companies privatised (5): Month/Year

Evergo International Holdings Company Ltd 12/93

Novel Enterprises Ltd 01/95

B+B Asia Ltd 05/95

Paliburg International Holdings Ltd 08/95

Lafe International Holdings Ltd 11/95

Companies with alternative listings (8):

The News Corporation Ltd 10/92

Tiphook Plc 05/94

Jardine Matheson Holdings Ltd 12/94

Jardine Strategic Holdings Ltd 12/94

Mandarin Oriental International Ltd 03/95

Hong Kong Land Holdings Ltd 03/95

Dail y Farm Inlet national Holdings I Id ()io>

London & Pacific Insurance Company Berhad 10/95

Privatisation aborted (1):

Fountain Set (Holdings) Ltd 10/95

End/Wednesday, December 6, 1995

46

Measures to improve water quality of Deep Bay

*****

Following is a question by the Hon John Tse Wing-ling 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 pollution problem in Deep Bay and the Shenzhen River which are in the vicinity of the Mai Po Nature Reserve, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the total resources allocated in the past three years to improve the water quality of Deep Bay;

(b) what plans or measures does the Government have to improve the water quality of Deep Bay and its wet land, so as to protect Mai Po against pollution; and what resources have been used for such purposes;

(c) whether the Government has co-operated with the relevant authorities in Shenzhen to prevent the Mai Po Nature Reserve from being polluted; if so, what is the progress and whether any specific plan has been drawn up; and

(d) what criteria are used in determining the area of the buffer zone in Mai Po, and what measures the Government will take to ensure that the minimum area of the buffer zone is maintained?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) The resources that have been allocated to improve the water quality of Deep Bay in the past three years are as follows:

* $ 175 million on new sewerage and sewage treatment and disposal facilities;

* $656 million in ex-gratia allowances to livestock farmers who choose to cease farming rather than comply with new pollution control requirements;

47

$7.2 million in capital grants to livestock farmers for the installation of pollution control equipment;

$46.2 million on personal emoluments and $3.9 million on departmental expenses to pay for the enforcement of controls over pollution caused by effluent discharges, chemical wastes and livestock wastes.

(b) We will continue to enforce the relevant pollution control legislation vigorously. Specific steps include the following:

(i) The continued application of the livestock waste control scheme in the Deep Bay catchment. We estimate that we will spend a further $230 million on ex-gratia payments and capital grants over the next few years.

(ii) Spending a further $1,300 million to provide new or improve existing seweiage and sewage treatment facilities in the catchment.

(iii) Continue work on the development of a regional control strategy for Deep Bay. Consultants were commissioned in July 1995, at a cost of approximately $12 million, to carry out this work. The study will be completed in mid 1997.

The resources devoted to the planning stages of the above programmes cannot be quantified because it involves input from a large number of government staff at various levels in different departments.

(c) The Hong Kong - Guangdong Environmental Protection Liaison Group was established in 1990 to provide a forum to discuss environmental protection issues of mutual concern. Both Hong Kong and Guangdong authorities recognised at a very early stage that proper environmental management of Deep Bay should be accorded a high priority. This being so a joint water quality monitoring exercise began in October 1993, whereby both sides carried out co-ordinated monitoring of water quality in the waters of the Deep Bay catchment falling in their respective jurisdictions. The programme has just been concluded and a report will be submitted to the Liaison Group in January next year. The Liaison Group has also agreed that it is important to determine the assimilative capacity of Deep Bay and then to derive a control strategy to ensure that that capacity is not exceeded. It has been agreed that Hong Kong will take the lead on this issue. The study referred to in (b)(iii) above is therefore initiated.

48

(d) The purpose of the buffer zone is to help protect and conserve the Mai Po Nature Reserve and the sites of special scientific interest. In determining the coverage of the buffer zone, we have taken into account the following factors:

(i) In accordance with the precautionary principle, the buffer zone covers an area as large as practicable to ensure that the Mai Po Nature Reserve and Inner Deep Bay are protected and conserved as a natural habitat to enhance and sustain the wildlife in the area.

(ii) No important ecological habitats should be left as isolated islands and should be linked with one another.

(iii) In the immediate vicinity of Deep Bay -

(1) only land uses devoted to conservation management of the wetland areas and environmental education are permitted;

(2) semi-natural habitats such as fish ponds and gei-wais are preserved; and

(3) natural features and scenic qualities are conserved.

(iv) In the wider area adjacent to (iii), an effective buffer should be created between the Mai Po Nature Reserve and Inner Deep Bay on the one hand and the built-up areas on the other by -

(1) preserving fish ponds in the wider area;

(2) controlling building development;

(3) protecting the overall amenity and water quality of the area; and

(4)preserving the rural setting.

49

The buffer zone is protected by law under the Town Planning Ordinance. The relevant Outline Zoning Plans have designated areas in the buffer zone as, respectively, "Conservation Area", "Site of Special Scientific Interest" and "Recreation" as appropriate. In Buffer Zone I i.e. the area referred to in (iii) above, no development other than that devoted to conservation management and environmental education is allowed. In Buffer Zone 2 i.e. the area referred to in (iv) above, no development which may pose a threat to the environment and ecology of the area is allowed. The Town Planning Board has issued guidelines to provide guidance to the public on the protection of the buffer zone.

End

Rainstorm and flood warnings ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

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

Question:

Currently a rainstorm red warning or black warning is issued according to the recorded average rainfall of the whole territory, but very often. However, serious flooding has already occurred in the Northwest New Territories and the Northern District during a torrential downpour before the relevant warning is issued. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether the Government will consider issuing such warnings on a district basis instead of on a territory-wide basis, in view of the fact that the low-lying regions in the New Territories are particularly prone to serious Hooding; if not, why not; and

(b) if the answer to (a) is in the negative, what other measures docs the Government have which will give an early warning of a flood to villagers constantly threatened by flooding?

50

Reply:

Mr President

The rainstrom and flood warnings are now well established as territory-wide warnings. They are based on predicted and actual rainfalls throughout the territory as a whole. In addition, we have introduced siren warning systems in five particu ar flood-prone areas. These systems, in Tan Kwai Tsuen. San Tin, Kwu Tong. Tak Yuet Lau and Tai Tau Leng, automatically activate when local conditions produce a significant risk of local flooding.

We will continue to investigate options to develop further flood warning systems which take into account local needs and which would enhance the current rainfall and flood warning systems.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE. HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

Thursday, December 7,1995

Contents Page No

HK offers combination of benefits to broadcasting industry.................. 1

Secretary for Security to visit Macau....................................... 2

Positive policy on elderly services: SHA.................................... 3

Board recommends declaration of three historical sites...................... 3

Youth forum to attract 600 participants..................................... 6

Department of Health further extends performance pledges.................... 7

Applications invited to operate new GMB routes.............................. 8

Sha Tin to be lit up for the festive season................................ 10

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

1

HK offers combination of benefits to broadcasting industry * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Hong Kong stands to benefit from the huge new opportunities offered by the expansion of Asia’s broadcasting and entertainment industries, the Secretary for Recreation and Culture, Mr T H Chau, said today (Thursday).

Speaking to a visiting delegation from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Mr Chau said Hong Kong possessed a critical mass of broadcasting talent which was probably unmatched in East and Southeast Asia.

"We have the technological expertise and the people that broadcasters need. And we have a transparent and fair regulatory system which sets out clearly what is expected of broadcasters, and then leaves them to get on with running their business," he said.

Many international broadcasters have chosen to locate their regional operations in Hong Kong, including CNN, NBC and ESPN. Locally-based broadcasters, such as Star TV and Wharf Cable are pioneers in their field. And Hong Kong also looks forward to hosting the first commercial-scale VOD service in the world, to be launched by Hong Kong Telecom next year.

For those seeking to address Asia's largest market, China, there are particular benefits to locating their operations in Hong Kong.

"Nowhere else can match the combination of proximity, knowledge of market conditions, and the wide range of business and official contacts which make doing business in China so much easier," Mr Chau said.

"That's why both the Chinese Television Network and the Chinese Entertainment Television Broadcast Limited chose to set up in Hong Kong."

Mr Chau also noted that the delegation's visit to Asia was timely because "Asian broadcasting is being swept along by three powerful forces: growing affluence, deregulation of broadcasting markets, and far-reaching technological developments."

2

Growing affluence is creating huge new markets in China, India and Indonesia, and has increased the attraction of more mature markets in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Korea. Deregulation opens the door to markets which until recently have been largely served by a few state-owned channels. And technological development offers ways both to enhance the technical quality of the product, and to expand distribution channels.

"In short, there has never been a more exciting time or place for the broadcasting industry," he added.

End

Secretary for Security to visit Macau * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, will pay a visit to Macau this (Thursday) afternoon during which he will meet with his counterpart, Major-General Lages Ribeiro.

This is one of the regular meetings for the secretaries in the two places to exchange views on security matters.

"We shall discuss a number of issues of mutual interest, including the crime situation, illegal immigration, drug trafficking and illegal firearms," Mr Lai said.

"Apart from these, the existing liaison arrangements and the results of cooperation will also be reviewed."

Noting the close liaison between Hong Kong and Macau in law enforcement matters, he said it was important that the excellent relationship should continue to develop on this basis.

The former Secretary for Security, Mr Alistair Asprey, had visited Macau in 1993.

Mr Lai will take the opportunity to attend the inauguration ceremony of the Macau International Airport tomorrow (Friday) before returning to the territory in the afternoon.

He will be accompanied on the visit by the Asistant Secretary, Security Branch. Mr Clement Leung, and Chief Superintendent of Police Chris Prowse.

End

3

Positive policy on elderly services: SHA * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government has formulated a positive policy in the provision of services for the elderly in recent years, the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen, said today (Thursday).

Speaking at a ceremony in Sheung Shui to mark the setting up of the Preparatory Committee for the Construction of Fung Kai Care and Attention Home for the Elderly, Mr Suen said: "We care not only the elderly in our home but also those in the community so that they can live in joy and comfort.

"With well received support and efforts from the community, it is envisaged that elderly services will achieve significant progress."

The Fung Kai Public School has taken the lead in donating $10 million for the construction of the first care and attention home in North District which can provide as many as 250 care and attention places for the elderly.

At the ceremony today, the Liu Man Shek Tong also donated $1 million towards the project.

Construction work for the home is expected to commence in early 1996.

End

Board recommends declaration of three historical sites * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Three historical sites in Hong Kong have been recommended to the Antiquities Authority for declaration as monuments.

At a meeting on December 5, members of the Antiquities Advisory Board agreed to recommend to the Antiquities Authority the declaration of Cheung Shan Kwu Tsz and Lo Wai in Fanling; as well as the Yamen and the remnants of the original South Gate at the Kowloon Walled City as monuments.

4

Members noted that Cheung Shan Kwu Tsz, a historical monastery in the local context, was believed to have been rebuilt in the 7th year of Tongzhi reign (1868). A two-hall structure with two internal open courtyards, it was constructed on two platforms with the rear one about one metre above the front. Buddha, Kwun Yum and Tei Chong Wong (King of Hell) are worshipped there. Other deities, like Wei} Tp (Defender of the Way), and To Tei (Earth God), are also placed there.

Lo Wai is one of the five renowned walled villages in Lung Yeuk Tau, Fanling, established by the Tang clan. It was originally a village enclosed by brick walls on all sides. Although it was largely rebuilt with the entrance tower relocated, part of the original village walls and the layout of the village still exist.

The Yamen at the Kowloon Walled City is a three-hall structure with the central portion of the building serving as the Yamen office while the rear block as the residence for the officials and their dependants. The South Gate was the main entrance to the building.

। । .

Another item discussed at the meeting was a proposal by the Housing Department to reconstruct Murray House at Ma Hang Village in Stanley. The building was originally situated at the junction of Queensway and Garden Road in Central.

Under the proposal, the department will re-erect the three-storey building for a variety of uses. The ground floor will house mainly tourists-oriented shops while the first and second floors are for restaurants, pubs and cafes.

Members expressed hopes that the project, upon completion, would become a successful tourist attraction for both local and overseas visitors.

The Board further noted an information paper concerning the Ohel Leah Synagogue in Robinson Road. The Historical Buildings and Structures Committee of the Board discussed the matter in detail at meetings in October and November and had asked the Antiquities and Monuments Office (AMO) to convey their concern about the future preservation of this place of worship to the Incorporated Trustees of the Jewish Community of Hong Kong and to offer any expert assistance required for the maintenance and preservation of the synagogue upon request. The AMO had written to the Trustees accordingly.

5

Although it is the Board's policy not to impose declaration on private properties and religious buildings in use without the consent of the owners, the Board nevertheless reiterated its concern that the building should be preserved and urged the AMO to continue to monitor the case closely in liaison with relevant government departments. The AMO undertook to do so.

Members also spent some time discussing the further development of the old mental hospital in High Street, Sai Ying Pun. The meeting was told that there were plans to redevelop the site into a new District Community Centre with various welfare facilities.

The masonry facade of the hospital would be preserved in its existing form and incorporated into the centre to form a veranda on each floor which could provide a quiet sitting-out area for users of the centre's facilities and local residents.

Members strongly supported preserving the historical facade on the one hand and understood the need to provide essential community facilities in Western District on the other.

The Antiquities Advisory Board, under the chairmanship of Mr David Lung, is responsible for advising on any matters relating to antiquities, proposed monuipents or monuments referred to it under the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance by the Antiquities Authority, who is the Secretary for Recreation and Culture.

Enquiries about Hong Kong's heritage and the work of the Antiquities Advisory Board and the Antiquities and Monuments Office should be channelled to the Antiquities and Monuments Office at 136 Nathan Road. Tsim Sha Tsui. Kowloon.

End

6

Youth forum to attract 600 participants ♦ ♦ ♦ * *

Young people will have an opportunity to exchange views with their peers, professionals whose work concern young people and other well-known personalities to help them establish their identity and character at a youth forum to be held on December 17, the Chairman of the Commission on Youth, Mr Eric Li, said at a press conference today (Thursday).

"To mark the 10th anniversary of the International Youth Year, the Commission on Youth, the Hong Kong Council of Social Service, the Home Affairs Branch and the Social Welfare Department, will jointly organise a large-scale open forum for young people," Mr Li said.

"The theme of the forum is to examine the self-identity of young people in the '90s. It is hoped that the event could help young people understand how various social factors influence the development of the self-identity of young people."

Some 600 young people aged between 15 and 25 will take part in group discussions on five different topics including the family, education, media, commercial culture and politics. The discussions will be guided by experienced social workers.

Guest speakers will include legislators Mrs Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee and Ms Christine Loh Kung-wai; Mr Peter Lam Yuk-wah from the media; and Mr Tsang Yok-sing from the political sector. They will field questions from the participants.

In addition to group discussions, there will be performance by pop singers and dramas to stimulate discussions on how to deal with difficult situations.

"We hope the experience will encourage the next generation to face challenges as they grow up and to shoulder responsibilities towards society.

"The views and expectations of young people voiced at the forum will be compiled by the organisers and will be reflected to the authorities concerned for reference in the formulation of policies on programmes and services for young people," Mr Li added.

The youth forum will be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from 9.30 am to 5 pm on December 17.

End

7

Department of Health further extends performance pledges ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

To further provide quality service to the public, the Department of Health recently has launched the final stage of its performance pledges.

Among the latest service units which join the pledges are TB and Chest Service, Social Hygiene Service, Child Assessment Service, Special Preventive Programme for AIDS and Hepatitis B, Pharmaceutical Service, Student Health Service, School Dental Care Service, Occupational Health Service and Hygiene Division.

A spokesman for the department today (Thursday) said: "The department has a huge interface with the public. In 1994, for example, we had over 11 million encounters with members of the community through services at our over 270 service units.

"As a service department, we place great emphasis on the provision of quality service."

He pointed out that the Department of Health had embarked on a Performance Pledge Programme since December 1992.

Up to now, the majority of the department’s 105 general out-patient clinics and maternal and child health centres have been included in the Programme and pledged to provide efficient service, quality customer/patient service and comfortable environment to users.

"The department is encouraged that the pledges have gone down well with staff and customers alike and considers that the time has come to fully extend performance pledges to all of its service units," the spokesman said.

Some of the common pledges for all the centres and clinics are individual medical record, patient privacy and confidentiality of patient information, labelling of dispensed drugs and provision of health education materials.

To improve communication with the users, all staff of the service units will wear name badges. The enquiry and communication procedures will be clearly displayed and there will be an officer designated to handle problems related to services provided.

8

In a booklet produced by the department, the expected waiting time for individual service and the standard of service that the user can expect are clearly listed out.

Under the newly introduced Student Health Service, for example, students will be attended to within 30 minutes of the specified appointment time. They will be provided with a self-held health record. Students and their parents can also make use of a telephone enquiry service.

For services that deal with applications of licences and permits, the number of working days required for processing are clearly specified.

The booklet also informed the public the steps to take if they want to make any comments and suggestions about the department's services, the spokesman added.

End

Applications invited to operate new GMB routes

*****

The Transport Department today (Thursday) announced that applications will be invited tomorrow (Friday) for the operation of 17 new green minibus (GMB) routes.

Of these 17 routes, three are on Hong Kong Island, four in Kowloon and 10 in the New Territories.

Applications must be made on the application form entitled "Application for Passenger Service Licence in Respect of the Packages of Public Light Bus (Scheduled) Routes Gazetted in 1995", which will be obtainable free of charge from tomorrow on request at the following offices:

* Transport Department Headquarters. 41st floor. Immigration Tower. 7 Gloucester Road. Wan Chai. Hong Kong;

* Transport Department Kowloon and New Territories Regional Offices, seventh floor, Mongkok Government Offices. 30 Lucn Wan Street. Kowloon;

9

* Hong Kong Licensing Office, third floor. United Centre. 95 Queensway. Hong Kong;

* Kwun Tong Licensing Office, fifth floor. Kowloon East Government Offices. 12 Lei Yue Mun Road, Kowloon; and

* Sha Tin Licensing Office, fifth floor. Citylink Plaza, Sha Tin Station. Sha Tin, New Territories.

Details of the new routes and guidance notes will be provided to assist applicants in completing the application form.

Completed application forms must be returned by registered post to the Transport Department Headquarters at 41st floor. Immigration Tower, 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong on or before January 8, 1996. Applications by any other means or late applications will not be considered.

A spokesman for the department said applications would then be processed for introduction of sendee in about seven to eight months’ time.

A selection board comprising a non-official member of the Transport Advisory Committee and officials from the Transport and other government departments, including the Independent Commission Against Corruption and Transport Branch, will select the applicants on the basis of the established criteria laid down by the board.

These criteria include experience of the applicant in transport service, his financial resources, the percentage of the Heel owned by the applicant and the quality of these vehicles including their vehicle examination records, their age and the availability of air-conditioning.

"Applicants are advised to read carefully the guidance notes provided in completing the application form and to observe the application deadline." the spokesman added.

End

10

Sha Tin to be lit up for the festive season *****

Festive illuminations with seasonal greetings will he switched on in Sha fin tomorrow (Friday) to celebrate the coming Christmas and New Year.

The glistering lighting along Lek Yuen Bridge. Sand Martin Bridge and Bunyan Bridge. Sha Tin Town Centre. Ma On Shan as well as Tai Wai Town Centre is organised by the Planning Committee on Festive Lighting in Sha I in with the assistance of the Sha Tin District Office and sponsored by the Regional Council and the Sha Tin District Board.

The switching-on ceremony will be enriched by performances of the Sha I in District Board Children Choir and a variety show.

Officiating the ceremony will be Deputy Director ol Home Affairs. Mr Lee Lap-sun; Sha Tin District Officer. Miss Wong Mei-lin; Assistant Director of Regional Services (Leisure Services). Mr David Chiu: Sha Tin District Board Chairman. Mr Choy Kan-pui; and Regional Council's Sha fin District Chairman. Mr Pang Cheung-wai.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

Time Cumulative change

$ million (hours) (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1.617 0930 -345

Closing balance in the account 1,620 1000 -345

Change attributable to : 1100 -345

Money market activity -347 1200 -342

LAF today +350 1500 -342

1600 -347

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TW1 122.5 *+0.1* 7.12.95

11

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.84 2 years 2711 5.60 100.04 5.65

1 month 5.73 3 years 3810 6.15 100.86 5.90

3 months 5.56 5 years 5009 6.95 102.67 6.39

6 months 5.54 7 years 7211 6.82 100.75 6.79

12 months 5.53 5 years M502 7.30 102.47 6.81

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $10,792 million

Closed December 7, 1995

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

Friday, December 8,1995

Contents EagfiJSo,

Transcript of the Governor’s media session........................ 1

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

Governor to visit the Philippines................................. 4

Informal get together............................................. 5

Volume and price movements of external trade in September.... 6

HK to hold talks with the US on new origin rules............. 12

Fire chief visits China...................................... 13

Strike may cause delay to airmail service to France.......... 14

New welfare advisory committee members appointed............. 14

Invitation of tenders for rehabilitation of Sai Sha Road..... 15

Car salesman fined for tax evasion........................... 15

Royal Observatory Calendar 1996 now on sale.................. 16

The weather of November...................................... 17

Temporary suspension of section of Mid-Levels escalators  ... 20

Fresh water cut in Causeway Bay.............................. 20

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

21

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

Following is the transcript of the remarks by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, after opening the 34th Orient and South East Asian Lions (OSEAL) Forum this (Friday) afternoon:

Governor: I'll say a few words when I'm leaving for the Philippines on Sunday. You would need anything urgent.

Question: Some reports say that the Chairman of the Hospital Authority, Peter Woo, will the first Executive Head of the SAR Government. Do you think it is suitable for a commercial man to be the ...?

Governor: I can't speculate on that, it is not a decision for me. There are many people in Hong Kong with superb records of public service working in the community who are also distinguished in commercial life. Mr Woo is one of those. He is a very capable, dedicated Chairman of the Hospital Authority. But I really couldn't speculate. I think you would find that there are quite a few names mentioned in the coming weeks and months. I notice that Director Lu whom we are all delighted to see fighting fit, back at work, had said that there were dark horses and there were horses that presumably have more bets riding on them. Well, if you've been to Happy Valley you sometimes know that the dark horse wins and sometimes the favourite wins. So who knows.

Question: So what do you think about Mr Lo Tak Shing has got a Chinese passport?

Governor: That is a matter for him to explain, not for me to speculate about.

Question: Do you expect the British Government to give the visa exemption to the SAR passport holders?

Governor: Well, as you know', what we arc trying to do at the moment is to reach an agreement with Chinese officials about the integrity of the SAR passport, not just its security as a document, but the security of issuing the passport. And 1 think that was a point that was put very clearly in a speech the other day by the distinguished Canadian Commissioner in Hong Kong. I hope that once we've got an agreement with the Chinese authorities, the sort of agreement which would be convincing not just to Britain but to other countries, we can go and talk to ministers in Britain about the importance of visa free access. You know that I've always supported it. But you also know 1 think that there are some questions about the passport which need to be cleared up first. They are not just questions for Britain. There are obviously going to be questions which will be asked all round the world and it is in everybody's interest, particularly the interest of Hong Kong, that we sort them out.

2

Question: The PWC will be dismissed this afternoon and the PWC will start the work. Do you think there will be more conflict or co-opcration because some of the PWC members predict that there will still be conflict...?

Governor: Well, I hope that if the members of the Preparatory Committee who come from Hong Kong speak up for Hong Kong’s interest, there will be much less argument. There will clearly be less argument if the Preparatory Committee members for Hong Kong are representative of all the views in the community. But I don’t choose the members of the Preparatory Committee. When I make choices. I try to draw people from a broad section. For example, the Executive Council that I have in Hong Kong is broadly reflective of all the views in the community. And I think that gives it strength. The problems that have been in the last few weeks have not been caused by any of us in Hong Kong. There have been things said which seem to us to undermine our autonomy. There have been things said about our civil liberties. There have been things said about our levels of decent welfare provision. And I think the best thing for all for us to do would be to put those arguments behind us and hope that now that Director Lu is back at the office and in full health that we can turn a page and get on with a more co-operative and understanding approach to Hong Kong's problems.

Question: Do you ... that we get the Executive Council members to be the ...?

Governor: As I say, I don’t choose the Preparatory Committee. But I am sure that if any of my Executive Councillors were approached, they would discuss the matter with their colleagues on the Executive Council and with me. As far as I am concerned, the more experienced and the more knowledgeable the members of the Preparatory Committee and the more they reflect the breadth of views in Hong Kong the better. That is in all our interest.

End

3

Transcript of CS's media session ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

Following is the transcript of the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan's media session after meeting Legislative Council members today (Friday):

Chief Secretary: I've just had a briefing with members of the LegCo and for this first briefing, I've told them the topic of contacts with China because I think it's an issue that is of concern not only to the community but also of concern to my colleagues in the civil service. I am very happy on this occasion to be able to say that following the success of the first informal get-together, we have now agreed with the Chinese that the next get-together will take place on December 14, that is next Thursday, at the Happy Valley Racecourse Voting Members' Box. The civil servants taking part in this get-together will be the Secretary for Home Affairs and the Secretary for Health and Welfare together with their responsible Heads of Departments and also the Director of Information Services. I very much hope and 1 am sure that this get-together will be conducted in a similar manner as the first one. that is in a very informal, relaxed atmosphere, facilitating a frank exchange of views between my colleagues and Chinese officials.

Question: Will there be any agenda for this meeting. I'd like to ask?

Chief Secretary: Bearing in mind that the Secretary for Home Affairs and the Secretary for Health and Welfare, together with the Director of Social Welfare, the Director of Health, the Director of Information Services, I would expect that the discussion will evolve around those spheres of activities, particularly on our welfare expenditure and on what progress we have in the coming years. There will be a good opportunity for Mrs Fok and for the Director of Social Welfare to put Chinese minds and hearts at ease in so far as expenditure on welfare side is concerned. 1 stress again we adopt a very prudent financial management. Expenditure on the welfare side is well within economic growth. Wc intend to keep it that way. So there need be no concern that we are going down the road of welfarism.

Question: We have in the past budgets that deficits turned out to be surpluses, will we discuss the issue of budget deficits and surpluses with the Chinese side?

Chief Secretary: We have consultations with the Chinese on budget preparation. You know that currently we are taking the Chinese side through how we actually go about preparing for the budget and there will be consultation on the next budget. So there is plenty of opportunity for both sides to explain and to address concerns.

End

4

Governor to visit the Philippines ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, will make a two-day visit to the Philippines beginning on Sunday (December 10) at the invitation of President Fidel Ramos.

It will be the first official visit to the Philippines by a Hong Kong Governor. Mr Patten will return on Tuesday night (December 12).

During his stay, Mr Patten will have a series of top level meetings with government and parliamentary leaders, including President Ramos; the President of the Philippines Senate, Mr Neptali A Gonzales; the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Ernesto Maceda; and Manila's Cardinal Jaime Sin.

The Governor will be guest of honour at dinners and luncheons hosted by a number of business groups, including the Hong Kong-Philippines Business Community, the Philippines Chamber of Commerce, the Metro Manila Development Authority and the Subic Bay Development Authority.

Mr Patten will also visit the former United States base at Subic Bay which has now been transformed into a major enterprise zone with significant investment from Hong Kong interests.

A government spokesman pointed out that there was growing trade and investment links between the two communities.

Hong Kong was the Philippines fourth largest trading partner, with trade growing by 19 per cent a year over the past five years; and it was also the second largest source of foreign investment in the Philippines. Much of the investment was in manufacturing, telecommunications and power.

Hong Kong is also home to an estimated 140,000 Filipinos - the largest expatriate community in the territory. •

End

5

Informal get together

*****

Informal Get Together Between Senior Hong Kong Civil Servants and Officials of the Chinese Si_&

Following consultation with the Xinhua News Agency (Hong Kong Branch), we are pleased to announce that the second informal get together between senior Hong Kong civil servants and officials of the Chinese side will take place on December 14, 1995, at the Voting Members’ Box, Happy Valley Racecourse starting at 10.30 am. It will end after lunch.

Participating officers will be:

Mr Michael Sucn

Secretary for Home Affairs

Mrs Shelley Lau

Director of Home Affairs

Mrs Irene Yau

Director of Information Services

Mrs Katherine Fok

Secretary for Health and Welfare

Mr lan Strachan

Director of Social Welfare

Dr Margaret Chan

Director of Health

They will be accompanied by Mr Michael Stone, Deputy Secretary for the Civil Service and Mr Joshua Law, Principal Assistant Secretary lor the Civil Service.

End

6

Volume and price movements of external trade in September *****

In the first nine months of 1995, the volume of re-exports increased by 16% over the same period last year, while the volume of domestic exports increased by 4.6%, according to statistics released today (Friday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

Taking re-exports and domestic exports together, the volume of total exports increased by 14%. Meanwhile, imports increased by 16% in volume.

The growth in the volume of trade is derived from the growth in trade values with the effect of price changes being discounted.

As regards price changes over the same period of comparison, the prices of reexports and domestic exports increased by 3.9% and 2.5% respectively. Import prices increased by 5.8%.

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 2.1% in the first nine months of 1995 over the same period last year.

Comparing September 1995 with September 1994, the volume of re-exports increased by 17%, while that of domestic exports increased by 3.5%. Taken together, the volume of total exports increased by 14%. Meanwhile, the volume of imports grew by 11 %.

Over the same period of comparison, the prices of re-exports and domestic exports increased by 3.6% and 3.3% respectively. Import prices increased by 4.6%.

The changes in the value, unit value and volume of re-exports by end-use category are shown in Table 1.

Comparing September 1995 with September 1994, the volume of re-exports of all end-use categories recorded increases of various magnitudes: fuels (+94%), capital goods (+26%). raw materials and semi-manufactures (+18%). foodstuffs (+13%), and consumer goods (+12%).

7

Over the same period of comparison, increases in the prices of re-exports were noted of most of the end-use categories: raw materials and semi-manufactures (+8.1%), consumer goods (+2.4%), foodstuffs (+1%), and capital goods (+0.5%).

On the other hand, the re-export price of fuels decreased by 6.4%.

The changes in the value, unit value and volume of domestic exports by principal commodity group are shown in Table 2.

Comparing September 1995 with September 1994, commodity groups which recorded increases in volume of domestic exports included radios of all kinds (+103%); and travel goods, handbags and similar articles (+34%).

On the other hand, the volume of domestic exports of footwear and textile made-ups and related articles decreased by 77% and 21% respectively.

Commodity groups which recorded increases in domestic export prices included textile yam and thread (+9.1%); and radios of all kinds (+6.6%).

On the other hand, the domestic export price of domestic appliances decreased by 0.3%.

The changes in the value, unit value and volume of imports by end-use category are shown in Table 3.

The import volume of foodstuffs increased by 5.6% in September 1995 compared with September 1994.

Significant increases in the import volume were noted of meat and meat preparations; and sugar. However, decreases in the import volume were noted of tea and coffee; and soya bean oil, peanut oil. vegetable oil and lard.

Over the same period of comparison, the import volume of consumer goods increased by 6.2%.

Significant increases in import volume were recorded in alcoholic beverages; and household-type electrical appliances. However, decreases in the import volume were noted of passenger motor cars; and tobacco manufactures.

The import volume of raw materials and semi-manufactures increased by 12% in September 1995 compared with September 1994

8

Significant increases in import volume were noted of wool and other animal hair; and thermionic, cold cathode or photo-cathode valves and tubes, diodes, transistors and so on and parts thereof. However, the import volume of silk fabrics; and raw cotton declined.

Imports of fuels increased by 16% in volume in September 1995 compared with September 1994.

As regards capital goods, the import volume increased by 20% in September 1995 over September 1994.

Notable increases were recorded in the import volume of construction machinery; and textile machinery. The import volume of transport equipment; and industrial machinery, other than electrical machinery and textile machinery however declined.

Comparing September 1995 with September 1994, the import prices of most of the end-use categories increased: raw materials and semi-manufactures (+8.2%), foodstuffs (+4.5%), consumer goods (+3.2%), and capital goods (+2.0%).

On the other hand, the import price of fuels decreased by 4.6%.

Details of the above statistics are published in the September 1995 issue of the "Hong Kong Trade Index Numbers".

The report will be available on sale around December 12 at $14 per copy at either the Government Publications Centre, ground floor. Low Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway; or the Publications Unit of the Census and Statistics Department, 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. Tel 2582 4918.

9

Table 1 : Changes in re-exports by end-use category

Comparing SEP with SEP % changes 1995 1994 Comparing JAN-SEP 1995 with JAN-SEP 1994

% changes

End-use category Value Unit Value Volume Value Unit Value Volume

Foodstuffs 14.8 1.0 13.3 20.3 2.1 19.4

Consumer goods 15.1 2.4 11.9 11.1 2.3 8.9

Raw materials and semi-manufactures 28.3 8.1 18.2 31.4 9.1 20.3

Fuels 84.5 -6.4 94.0 46.5 1.4 44.3

Capital goods 19.6 0.5 25.9 24.8 0.4 29.0

ALL COMMODITIES 19.7 3.6 16.6 19.4 3.9 16.1

10

Table 2 : Changes in domestic exports by principal commodity group

xu .. Y* -t * j

■ ■ ., -■ V • .:■■■ . ■ •*<»£••* »• • <. f' Commodity group Comparing SEP 1995 with SEP 1994 % changes Comparing JAN-SEP 1995 with JAN-SEP 1994 % changes

Value Unit Value V olume Value Unit Value Volume

Clothing 5.2 2.8 3.7 4.5 1.7 * 3.3*

Textile fabrics -15.7 4.0 -20.2 -5.5 -'4.4 -10.2 ‘

Textile yarn and thread -12.8 9.1 -20.0 -8.h- *4.0 ■*il.O '

Textile made-ups and related articles -20.5 0.3 -20.7 11.3 9.7 0.4

Radios of all kinds 117.4 6.6 102.8 22.3 1.9 25.6'

Electronic components 26.9 5.7 22.7 23.8 4.6 ” 20.7

Footwear -76.0 0.2 -76.8 -60.0 3.3 - •62. r

Metal manufactures -12.0 5.8 -17.6 4.4 3.1 1.3

Metal ores and scrap 2.9 4.4 -0.4 36.2 6.0 29.2

Watches and clocks 18.9 0.9 17.0 11.5 2.0 8.3

Travel goods, handbags and similar articles 34.2 1.6 34.3 3.3 -1.4 6.1

Domestic electrical appliances -3.6 -0.3 -2.7 -6.0 1.0 -6.3

ALL COMMODITIES 6.1 3.3 • 3.5 7.4 2.5 4.6

11

Table 3 : Changes in imports by end-use category

Comparing SEP 1995 with SEP 1994

Comparing JAN-SEP 1995 with JAN-SEP 1994

End-use category % changes % changes

Value Unit Value Volume Value Unit Value Volume

Foodstuffs 10.2 4.5 5.6 17.7 4.8 12.4

Consumer goods 9.4 3.2 6.2 11.8 4.1 8.0

Raw materials and semi-manufactures 20.0 8.2 11.8 29.7 9.1 19.0 t

Fuels 14.8 -4.6 15.6 16.4 -0.4 18.1

Capital goods 21.7 2.0 20.4 33.4 4.4 28.6

ALL COMMODITIES 15.3 4.6 10.8 22.2 5.8 15.9

End

12

HK to hold talks with the US on new origin rules ♦ ♦ * * ♦

In response to press enquiries on the possible impact of the new US origin rules for textiles and clothing products on Hong Kong's exports to the US, a Trade Department spokesman said today (Friday) the matter would be discussed in consultations with the US next Monday (December 11) in Washington DC.

The spokesman said although the department had completed a preliminary impact study on the new US origin rules which were scheduled to come into force on July 1, 1996, it was not possible to give a complete and accurate assessment because key areas of the new rules were unclear.

"For example, for cut and sewn garments, the new rules require assembling as the origin conferring process instead of the existing rule of cutting," the spokesman said.

"At the same time, however, the new rules state that minor attachments, minor embellishments, and minor subassemblies will not affect the status of goods as wholly assembled in a single place. Unfortunately, the new rules do not provide sufficient explanations as to what exactly are such minor processes."

The situation remained unclear even after briefings given in Hong Kong by three visiting US officials from the Customs Service and Department of Commerce who had just visited Singapore and Indonesia to give talks on the new rules.

They briefed a group of Hong Kong textiles and clothing manufacturers and exporters at a seminar jointly organised yesterday by the Trade Department and the Textile Council. After the seminar, they also held an informal meeting with Trade Department officials.

The spokesman said the meetings were useful in clarifying some points but the US officials were unable to provide definitive advice to some of the questions raised at the informal meeting.

For other textiles and clothing products, the spokesman said the new US origin rules were clearer.

"For example, for finished fabrics and certain textiles made-up articles such as bed, table and kitchen linens, scarves and handkerchiefs, under the new rules, such products using imported grey fabrics will no longer be regarded as of Hong Kong origin.

13

"This could seriously affect Hong Kong's exports of such products to the US." the spokesman said, noting that the values of Hong Kong exports to the US of these two types of products in 1994 amounted to HKS235 million.

In respect of these types of products, the spokesman said, the new US rules of origin were fundamentally different from existing rules and represented a drastic departure from established practices.

To reiterate Hong Kong's objections to the new US origin rules both in principle and in practice, Hong Kong will hold formal consultations with the US next week.

"If we cannot reach a mutually agreeable solution to the problem through bilateral consultations, Hong Kong will have to consider referring the matter to the World Trade Organisation for a recommendation." the spokesman added.

The Deputy Director-General of Trade. Mr Thomas Yiu, will lead the Hong Kong delegation to the consultations with the US.

Separately, at the consultations, Hong Kong will also raise the issue of the unilateral move by the US earlier to impose import control on Hong Kong's textiles and clothing products.

The Hong Kong delegation will depart for the US tomorrow (Saturday).

End

Fire chief visits China *****

The Director of Fire Services. Mr Peter Cheung, will lead a group of six fire officers to visit their Chinese counterparts tomorrow (Saturday).

During their trip, they will exchange views and experiences on matters of mutual interest with officials of the Fire Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security in Beijing.

The group will also visit the Beijing Fire Brigade, the Qingdao Fire Brigade and the Shanghai Fire Brigade.

They will return to Hong Kong on December 18 from Shanghai.

End

14

Strike may cause delay to airmail service to France

*****

The Assistant Postmaster General (Postal Services), Mr P C Luk, announced today (Friday) that due to the public administration and public transport strike in France, all airmail services to France, including Speedpost service, may be subject to delay.

A further announcement will be made as and when the services return to normal.

End

New welfare advisory committee members appointed

*****

The Government has gazetted today (Friday) the appointment of three new members and re-appointment of five incumbent members to serve on the Social Welfare Advisory Committee (SWAC) for a period of two years with effect from December 1.

The three new members are Ms Virginia Chan Choi-ying, Mr Moses Cheng Mo-chi and Dr Law Chi-kwong.

The five incumbent members who have been re-appointed arc Dr Philemon Choi Yuen-wan, Mr Michael Lai Kam-cheung, Mr Lam Hoi-ham, Mr Ng Shui-lai and Dr Owen Wong Hong-hin.

The appointments were made strictly on an ad personam basis. The three new members had been chosen because they all had valuable contributions to make in their own right. They were not appointed to represent the views of any party or organisation of which they might be a member.

The main functions of the Committee are to keep social welfare services under continuous review; and to advise the Government on all matters of social welfare policy.

End

Invitation of tenders for rehabilitation of Sai Sha Road ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Highways Departments is inviting tenders for the rehabilitation a section of Sai Sha Road in Sai Kung.

The project is to rehabilitate the existing Sai Sha Road between Long Keng and Kei Leng Ha Lo Wai and to improve four roadside slopes.

Works are expected to commence in February 1996 for completion in April

1997.

Forms of tender and further particulars may be obtained from the Regional Highway Engineer/New Territories, Highways Department, second floor, Room 218, Ho Man Tin Government Offices, 88 Chung Hau Street, Ho Man Tin, Kowloon.

Tenders must be addressed to the Chairman, Public Works Tender Board, and placed in the Public Works Tender Box on 34th floor, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong, before noon on Friday, December 29, 1995. Late tenders will not be accepted.

End

Car salesman fined for tax evasion ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A 56-year-old sales representative of a motor car company pleaded guilty in the Western Magistracy of submitting false salaries tax returns contrary to Section 82(1 )(d) of the Inland Revenue Ordinance.

Alec Louie Shiu-keung was convicted of tax evasion and sentenced to imprisonment for two months, suspended for 12 months. In addition, Louie was fined a total of $81,000 - 179 per cent to the tax evaded - and ordered to pay $6,000 costs.

Louie, a sales representative of Crown Motors Limited, was charged with three counts of tax evasion by falsifying his cllim for outgoings and expenses deduction through the submission of false invoices. Jash sale notes and cash memos. The false deduction claims amounted to $283,566 ail'd the salaries tax evaded was $45,297.

16

The tax evasion offences involved the submission by Louie to the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) of salaries tax returns for the tax assessment years 1988-89 to 1990-91 in which assessable income had been understated, and as a result, salaries tax evaded.

An IRD spokesman reminded the public that tax evasion is a criminal offence. Upon conviction, the maximum sentence is three years imprisonment and a fine of $20,000 on each charge (or $25,000 for an offence committed during the period from August 1, 1994 to July 18, 1995 or $50,000 for an offence committed after July 18, 1995), plus a further fine equivalent to three times the amount of tax undercharged.

End

Royal Observatory Calendar 1996 now on sale *****

The Royal Observatory Calendar 1996 is now available for sale to the public at the Government Publications Centre and the Royal Observatory Headquarters.

The theme of the calendar is "Meteorology in the Service of Sports" which is also the theme of the World Meteorological Day 1996 (March 23).

This calendar describes the close connection between weather and sports and how the various meteorological services and information provided by the Royal Observatory help to enhance the enjoyment of various sports and avoid weather-induced inconveniences or hazards to sportsmen in Hong Kong.

It also contains useful geophysical information such as rising and setting times of the sun and moon, tide and monthly climatological normals and extremes.

This beautifully printed and attractively presented calendar would be an excellent gill to friends and relatives for Christmas and the New Year.

The calendar can be purchased at the Government Publications Centre, ground floor. Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, 66 Queensway and the Royal Observatory Headquarters, 134A Nathan Road, Kowloon at $72 a copy.

End

17

The weather of November *****

November 1995 was dry with only 1.8 millimetres of rainfall recorded against a normal of 35.1 millimetres. Despite this, the accumulated rainfall since January 1 amounted to 2746.5 millimetres, 26 per cent above the normal for the same period.

The monthly mean relative humidity was only 64 per cent, five per cent below normal. The Fire Danger Warnings had to be issued for 19 days in the month.

Under the influence of a continental airstream, November started fine and dry. The first day of the month happened to be the Chung Yeung Festival, and about 160 cases of hill fire were reported. Fine weather prevailed until November 5 when the outer rainbands associated with Severe Tropical Storm Angela, moving over the South China Sea towards Hainan, began to affect local areas.

A dry surge arrived on the afternoon of November 7 and winds strengthened from the north. The dry air gradually cleared the clouds and temperatures climbed to 27.9 degrees, the highest of the month, on November 10.

An easterly airstream arrived on November II. Although it brought more clouds to the territory, the air was still relatively dry and firemen had to fight a hill fire at Kowloon Peak for 20 hours on November 12.

A surge of the winter monsoon arrived from the north on November 14, bringing cooler air to the territory. Local winds strengthened and there was light rain during the night.

Between November 16 and 25, the weather was marked by long sunny periods. Strong northerly winds accompanied by cool and dry air reached the territory on November 23. A scaffolding was brought down in Tsim Sha Tsui in the afternoon.

The relative humidity dropped to only 17 per cent, the lowest on record for November, on the afternoon of November 24. Temperatures at the Royal Observatory dropped to 13.9 degrees, the lowest for the month, on the morning of the following day. Temperatures at Ta Kwu Ling on that morning were even lower with a minimum of only 4.5 degrees.

Cloud amount increased again on November 26 as easterly winds replaced the northerlies and gave rise to some light rain patches on November 28 and 30.

There were four tropical cyclones over the western North Pacific and the South China Sea in the month of November.

18

Details of the issuance/hoisting and cancellation/lowering of various wamings/signals in the month are summarized in Table 1.1. Monthly meteorological figures and departures from normal of November are tabulated in Table 1.2.

Table 1.1 Warnings and signals in November 1995

Warnings / Signals Effective date and time

Strong Monsoon Signals 7 Nov 1500- 8 Nov 0500 4 Nov 2100- 15 Nov 0530 23 Nov 1130-24 Nov 0930

Fire Danger Warnings

Red 1 Nov 0000 - 2 Nov 2400

Yellow 4 Nov 0000- 5 Nov 1530

Red 8 Nov 0600- 9 Nov 2310

Yellow 11 Nov 0000 - 11 Nov 0600

Red 11 Nov 0600- 12 Nov 0600

Yellow 12 Nov 0600- 12 Nov 2330

Red 16 Nov 0600- 17 Nov 0600

Yellow 18 Nov 0600-20 Nov 0600

Red 20 Nov 0600 - 22 Nov 0600

Red 23 Nov 0600 - 26 Nov 2315

19

Table 1.2 Figures and Departures from Normal - November 1995

Total Bright Sunshine 181.6 hours; 0.1 hours above normal

Mean Daily Global Solar Radiation 12.50 MJ/SQM; 0.89 MJ/SQM below normal

Total Rainfall 1.8 mm; 33.3 mm below normal

Mean Cloud Amount 54%; 1 % above normal

Mean Relative Humidity 64%; 5% below normal

Mean Daily Maximum Temperature 24.6 Degrees Celsius; 0.4 Degree Celsius above normal

Mean Air Temperature 21.2 Degrees Celsius; 0.2 Degree Celsius below normal

Mean Daily Minimum Temperature 18.8 Degrees Celsius; 0.4 Degree Celsius below normal

Mean Dew Point 13.7 Degrees Celsius: 1.5 Degrees Celsius below normal

Total Evaporation 102.8 mm; 26.3 mm below normal

Remarks: All measurements were made at the Royal Observatory except sunshine,

solar radiation and evaporation which were recorded at King's Park.

End

20

Temporary’ suspension of section of Mid-Levels escalators * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The two escalators linking Queen Victoria Street with the Central Escalator Link Alley on the second floor of Central Market will be temporarily suspended from 9 am tomorrow (Saturday) to 5 pm on December 23 (Saturday).

The temporary suspension is to facilitate the Urban Services Department’s painting of the wall and the ceiling of the void above these two escalators at the frontage facing the street.

The painting work will be supervised by Architectural Services Department.

Members of the public are advised to use the staircase situated at the Jubilee Street entrance of Central Market or the escalators next to Hang Seng Bank to enter or leave the Central Escalator Link Alley.

Escalator users who wish to enter or leave the Central to Mid-Levels Escalator and Walkway System can also use the escalators situated at Queen's Road Central next to the CRC Department Store.

Notices will be displayed at all major entrances. Broadcasts through the public address system of the escalator and walkway system will also be made to inform escalator users of the new arrangement throughout the period of the temporary suspension of the two escalators.

End

Fresh water cut in Causeway Bay ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Fresh water supply to some premises in Causeway Bay will be temporarily suspended from 11 pm next Monday (December 11) to 6 am the following day to facilitate watermain works.

Affected area will include all odd number premises between 9-11 Kingston Street, 310-311 Gloucester Road, all even number premises between 2-10 and odd number premises between 11-29 Great George Street, Sugar Street, all odd number premises betweeen 1-31 Yee Wo Street, all even number premises between 2-36 and odd number premises betwen 1-27 Paterson Street.

End

21

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

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

Opening balance in the account 1,620 0930 -382

Closing balance in the account 2,419 1000 11 aa ■jo/ *147

Change attributable to: 1100 1 AAA ^47

Money market activity -323 1200

LAF today +1,122 1500 1600 -347 -323

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 122.5 *+0.0* 8.12.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.88 2 years 2711 5.60 99.97 5.69

1 month 5.80 3 years 3810 6.15 100.70 5.97

3 months 5.60 5 years 5009 6.95 102.44 6.45

6 months 5.58 7 years 7211 6.82 100.40 6.86

12 months 5.56 5 years M502 7.30 102.19 6.88

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $13,337 million

Closed December 8, 1995

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

Saturday, December 9,1995

Contents Page No.

Government comments on PWC statement on civil service issue...... 1

Boundaries talks schedule for next week.......................... 2

"Beat Drugs" carnival to be held in Kwun Tong.................... 2

Sai Wan Ho Fire Station Open Day................................. 3

Christmas comes earlier.......................................... 4

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations............. 4

Sunday, December 10,1995

Contents Page No.

Transcript of the Governor's media session....................... 5

Shell house to promote sense of nature conservation.............. 7

Public co-operation crucial in fight against drugs............... 8

Workers should observe industrial safety law..................... 8

Sand sculptors shape anti-drug message........................... 9

Exhibition on slope maintenance opens........................... 10

New District Officer for Kwai Tsing............................. 11

Inter-school theme song singing contest....................... 11

Calendar cards to promote child care............................ 12

Fresh water cut in Sai Kung..................................... 12

1

Government comments on PWC statement on civil service issue ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a statement issued by the Government in response to the Preliminary Working Committee’s statement on civil service issue:

"We welcome this comprehensive statement from the Preliminary Working Committee on areas in the Basic Law relating to the civil service. It is good that the PWC recognises the importance of the civil service in a smooth transition. Naturally we would like to study it in some detail.

"However, we can now say that it is helpful the PWC have emphasised the importance it attaches to the significant sections in the Basic Law dealing with the civil service, for example the*way in which appointments are made to the civil service, promotion considered on merit, and the various bodies which give advice to the Government on these matters.

"We also welcome the restatement that all public servants may remain in posts in their same jobs after 1997. It is also useful to have clarified which posts the PWC regard as Principal Official posts and we note that this amounts to 27.

"The PWC have also made some comments on areas such as the handling over of files of civil servants and of their nationalities. Our position on this is very clear and has been spelt out many times. We do not think it needs to be reiterated here.

"All we would say is that we have an agreement with the Chinese side for handing over of archives in June 1997 and we shall stick to this.

"All the archives necessary for the administration of Hong Kong after 1997 will be transferred by the British Government to the Chinese Government who will in turn authorised the Government of the SAR to take them over. This process of transfer will not require any physical movement of the record.

"We have also said the Chief Executive (Designate) will have access to all the files/information that he needs well before June 1997 in order to nominate officers to the Central People’s Government for appointment to Principal Official posts.”

End

2

Boundaries talks schedule for next week ♦ * * * *

Further discussions on matters relating to the boundaries of administration between Hong Kong and Guangdong will take place in Hong Kong on December 11 to 13 between the Hong Kong Government and the Guangdong provincial authorities, a government spokesman said today (Saturday).

The Deputy Political Adviser, Mr John Ashton, will lead the Hong Kong team.

Mr Xiao Jinzhe, Deputy Director of the Foreign Affairs Office of the Guangdong Provincial Government will lead the Guangdong team.

... yj

' ■ A • ; J.

End

"Beat Drugs" carnival to be held in Kwun Tong ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

To arouse young people's awareness of the problems of drug abuse, the Kwun Tong District Fight Crime Committee (KTDFCC) will organise a "Beat Drugs" carnival in the district tomorrow (Sunday).

Specially-designed game stalls will be set up by local voluntary agencies and secondary schools to educate the residents on the importance of staying away from drugs while having fun.

Exhibition which introduce the Action Committee Against Narcotics (ACAN)'s work in law enforcement, preventive education, treatment and rehabilitation, and international co-operation, will be at the venue.

Winning entries of the anti-drug slogan and comics competitions organised earlier in the district will be on display.

Other highlights of the carnival include quizzes, singing, magic and acrobatics shows.

The carnival will begin at 1.30 pm at Playground No 8 of Lower Ngau Tau Kok Estate.

3

Officiating guests of the opening ceremony include the Kwun Tong District Officer, Mr Tsang Hing-kay; the KTDFCC chairman, Mr Cheung Shing-kuen; Chairlady of the Kwun Tong District Board, Mrs Winnie Poon; the Police District Commander for Kwun Tong, Mr lan Blair; and the Deputy Police District Commander for Sau Mau Ping, Mr Ian Griffiths.

The activity is organised with the assistance of Kwun Tong District Office and the joint sponsorship of Kwun Tong District Board and AC AN.

End

Sai Wan Ho Fire Station Open Day *****

Sai Wan Ho Fire Station will be open to members of the public from 10 am to 6 pm tomorrow (December 10).

The event is part of the Fire Services Department's effort to promote the 1995-96 Fire Prevention Campaign.

Visitors will have a chance to learn more about fire prevention in commercial premises - the theme of this year's campaign.

They can also see various modern fire engines and equipment as well as a rescue demonstration.

More than 1,000 students and teachers have been invited to visit the fire station which is located at 20, Wai Hang Street, Sai Wan Ho, Hong Kong.

End

4

Christmas comes earlier ♦ * ♦ * ♦

Some 40 children from the Social Welfare Department's Sha Kok Children's Home were today (Saturday) treated to an early Christmas party.

The seasonal function, hosted by the Director of Social Welfare. Mr Ian Strachan, also marked the 10th anniversary of the home in Sha Tin.

In addition to enjoying a series of entertaining performances, the children were treated to a delicious buffet lunch and were each presented a most welcome Christmas gift.

The home, opened in 1985, provides 40 residential places and care services to children aged between six and 12.

End

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

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

Opening balance in the account 2,419 09:30 -1,075

Closing balance in the account 1,232 10:00 -1,075

Change attributable to: 11:00 -1.075

Money market activity -1,075 11:30 -1.075

LAF today -112 15:00

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 122.5 *+0.0* 9.12.95

End

5

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

Following is the transcript of the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten's media session at the airport before leaving for the Philippines this (Sunday) afternoon:

Governor: Good afternoon. At the invitation of the President, I'm making the first ever official visit to the Philippines by a Governor of Hong Kong. It underlines our strong trading and economic relationship. Our trade with the Philippines has been growing steadily at a rate of about 25 per cent a year. We are the second largest investor in the Philippines. And of course there are many Filipinos working here in Hong Kong contributing to our economic success story, over 140,000 Filipinos altogether, of whom about 129,000 are domestic helpers. So it is a strong economic relationship. I'll be talking about that and about our role together in APEC with the President, with parliamentary leaders, with business leaders. And I'm also visiting Subic Bay where there are many Hong Kong investors in what is in effect an enterprise zone or free port. 1'11 also be seeing Cardinal Sin tomorrow morning and making a number of speeches. In addition to discussions about the economy and trading matters, 1'11 also be raising one or two other issues with President. For example, there is a good deal of concern in the community which has been expressed by the Legislative Council about the length of time that two of our citizens have been waiting for the hearing of an appeal into their sentence four years ago. None of us and no members of the Legislative Council and certainly not the administration wishes to interfere in the independent judicial process in the Philippines, but we do very much hope that the appeal itself can be expedited, can be heard as soon as possible, because Mr Au and Mr Wong have been waiting a very long time for that to happen. But it is important to stress I think the positive economic and trade relationship we have with the Philippines which has course had a very successful transition to democracy over the last few years and that's something 1 think everybody in the region greatly applauds.

Question: (on domestic helpers)

6

Governor: I'll be explaining what we have been doing to ensure that domestic helpers get as fair and decent a bargain as possible. And there is a report coming out on domestic helpers tomorrow which will, I think, underline the importance of making sure that their contracts have stressed the sort of living conditions which they have when they are in Hong Kong. I'm sure the President and others will ask me about the situation after 1997. Obviously that is going to be a matter for the SAR Government. But I will point to them that under the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, a labour policy is entirely a matter for the SAR Government. And of course as the case today Filipinos make a very substantial contribution to our economy and I am sure they will continue to do so.

Question: (inaudible)

Governor: As I've said, I'll be raising that with President Ramos.

Question: (on Au's case)

Governor: I've already said that is what I am going to do.

Question: (on domestic helpers)

Governor: No. They have, as you know, a very good consulate here and take up cases that come to their attention where there are problems with some of the Filipino community. I have been involved in one or two charitable activities to provide better facilities for Filipinos, but I can't think of a specific case which has been raised with this. The Philippines Government is concerned in general about the welfare of their citizens not just in Hong Kong, but in the region and around the world. I think here in Hong Kong we can say that we give Filipinos as good and cheerful a welcome as anybody in the world does.

Question: (inaudible)

Governor: That hasn't been raised with me. Whether it will be raised on this visit we'll see. But I think the main questions will be about the implications of the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law and .1997 for what is a substantial community, 129,000 people helping us.

End

7

Shell house to promote sense of nature conservation ♦ * * * ♦

It is hoped that the construction of a house on shells would arouse the public's interest towards the beauty of shells and the need for nature conservation, the Director of Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr Lawrence Lee, said today (Sunday).

Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony of the house for exhibition in the Lions Nature Education Centre, Dr Lee said the project was an indication of continued co-operation and dedication among non-government organisations and the Agriculture and Fisheries Department in the area of nature conservation and education.

The construction of the house is a joint project between the Lions Clubs International District 303 (Hong Kong and Macau) and the Shell Hong Kong Limited.

Dr Lee said the displays in the exhibition house, to be known as the Lions Shell House, would cover various aspects of shells.

"They will include ecology, diversity, commercial and economic value and conservation.

"In order to enrich the exhibition, live specimens will also be displayed. There will also be a photo-taking corner for visitors to capture pleasant memories," Dr Lee said.

"The addition of this exhibition house in the Lions Nature Education Centre will no doubt enhance its attractiveness and education value of the Centre," he added.

End

8

Public co-operation crucial in fight against drugs

*****

Kwun Tong District Officer, Mr Tsang Hing-kay, said today (Sunday) the residents' and local groups' participation and co-operation are crucial in spreading the message of "Staying Away From Drugs" effectively.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Kwun Tong District "Beat Drugs" Carnival, Mr Tsang said: " As long as we all perform our civic duties in reporting drug-related crimes and taking preventive measures against drug abuse among young people, I believe that the situation in our district will improve."

He also paid tribute to the Kwun Tong District Fight Crime Committee (KTDFCC) for its efforts in organising activities to further the public's co-operation with the police in combating crime.

Today's carnival, organised by KTDFCC with the assistance of Kwun Tong District Office, was aimed at arousing young people's awareness of the dangers of drug abuse.

Carnival activities included game stalls specially designed by local voluntary agencies and secondary schools, anti-drug exhibitions, quizzes, singing, magic and acrobatics shows.

End

Workers should observe industrial safety law

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Workers in various industries are reminded today (Sunday) to comply with industrial safety regulations in the same way as their employers.

Chief Factory Inspector of the Labour Department, Mr Chan Tat-king, said full co-operation and commitment of workers in the adoption of safety precautions was a key element in improving and maintaining the standard of safety and health at work.

9

Under the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance and its subsidiary regulations, a proprietor has the duty to protect the safety and health of workers by providing a safe system of work, a safe plant, necessary training and instructions as well as suitable personal protective equipment where required.

"A worker is also required to care for the safety and health of himself and of other people. When circumstances dictate that certain personal protective equipment must be worn, he must wear it. It is after all for his own protection,” Mr Chan said.

He said the Factory Inspectorate would ensure that safety regulations were observed and would not hesitate to prosecute anyone who breached the law, be he the employer or the employee.

Any worker who breaches the safety regulations is liable to a maximum fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for six months. The maximum penalty for an employer is a fine of $200,000 and imprisonment for one year.

End

Sand sculptors shape anti-drug message ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A joint effort to construct sand sculptures will produce the best results, in much the same way as to combat the drug abuse problem.

The remark was made by the Commissioner for Narcotics, Mr Alasdair Sinclair, today (Sunday) at the presentation ceremony of the Anti-drug Sand Sculpture Competition held at Shek O Beach, Hong Kong Island.

The event was organised by the Youth Volunteer Group (YVG) of the Action Committee Against Narcotics.

"In watching the construction of the sand sculptures, 1 have been struck by the way in which different members of each team contributed.” Mr Sinclair said.

He said in much the same way, a joint effort to combat the drug abuse problem would make the greatest impact.

10

"Not only the Government, but numerous voluntary agencies and individuals are pooling their efforts to prevent people's lives, especially young people's lives, from being ruined by drug abuse." he said.

The Commissioner admired the effort and imagination the participating teams put into creating their sculptures.

"I am sure that none of them would have preferred to pass the few hours they have spent here in taking illicit drugs.

"The secret of a healthy and successful life is to do our best in every aspect and engage positively with the opportunities that present themselves," he said.

Mr Sinclair said drug abuse helped nobody except the drug dealer.

"Challenges and pressure need to be faced up to with courage. If there is anything you cannot deal with, look for somebody who can help, for example, family members, teachers or social workers," he said.

About 200 people turned up in Shek O Beach to vie for the championships of the competition which was divided into three categories - open, students and families.

Also officiating at the ceremony were member of the Visual Arts Society, Mr Ha Pik-chuen, and YVG Chairman, Mr Wong Ho-fai.

End

Exhibition on slope maintenance opens ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

Members of the public will have a chance to know about slope maintenance through a roving exhibition which will begin tomorrow (Monday) at the Wonderful Worlds of Whampoa in Hung Hom.

Organised by the Geotechnical Engineering Office (GEO)of the Civil Engineering Department, the exhibition is aimed at bringing home the message of the importance of slope maintenance.

The exhibition will feature various aspects of proper slope maintenance by means of colourful illustrations, photographs, charts and graphs.

Also being displayed at the exhibition are the two guide books on slope maintenance, namely the "Geoguide 5 - Guide to Slope Maintenance" and the "Layman's Guide to Slope Maintenance".

Visitors will also be able to take home leaflets on slope maintenance.

11

The exhibition at Hung Hom will last for one week and will be open daily between 8 am and 10 pm.

The same exhibition will also be mounted at Dragon Centre. Sham Shui Po from January 8 to 14 next year and at Peninsula Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui East between February 5 and 12.

Information on slope maintenance can also be obtained by calling the GEO's 24-hour automatic hotline 2762 5165.

End

New District Officer For Kwai Tsing ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

Mr Ngai Wing-chit will assume the post of Kwai Tsing District Officer tomorrow (Monday).

Mr Ngai, aged 36, joined the Government as an administrative officer in 1987 and was promoted to senior administrative officer in April last year.

He has worked in the Housing Department and the Constitutional Affairs Branch. His last posting was Assistant Secretary for Constitutional Affairs.

End

Inter-school theme song singing contest ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Eighteen primary schools will compete in the 1995-96 Most Improved Primary Pupils Award Scheme Inter-school Theme Song Singing Contest at Tsuen Wan Town Hall tomorrow (Monday).

The competition is organised by the Education Department, Yan Chai Hospital, Tung Wah Group of Hospitals, Po Leung Kuk and Subsidised Primary Schools Council.

It aims at promoting the Most Improved Primary Pupils Award Scheme which seeks to encourage primary pupils to develop their potential fully and strive towards greater achievement.

The first prize winner will be awarded $5,000 while the second and third prize winners will be awarded $3,000 and $2,000 respectively.

In addition to cash award, all winners will be presented a trophy.

End

12

Calendar cards to promote child care ♦ * ♦ ♦ *

The Social Welfare Department has produced 150,000 copies of a calendar card for the year 1996 to further publicise the message of home safety.

The calendar cards, which convey a message appealing to members of the public to make full use of the occasional child care service, are now being distributed free at all service units of the department, all child care centres and all maternal and child health centres of the Department of Health.

"Children should under no circumstances be left alone at home, even for a short while," a spokesman for the department said today (Sunday).

"At present, there are 149 child care centres providing a total of 453 occasional child care places to help needy parents to temporarily look after their children," he said.

The child care centres offer temporary care for children aged under six on a two-hour, half-day or whole-day basis. The fee for a two-hour session is $14.

Members of the public who wish to use the service may contact the Social Welfare Department hotline 2343 2255 or the Child Care Centre Advisory Inspectorate on 2835 2725.

End

Fresh water cut in Sai Kung ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Fresh water supply to some premises in Sai Kung will be temporarily suspended from 11 pm on Wednesday (December 13) to 6 am the following day to facilitate watermain works.

Affected area will include Sai Sha Road between Wong Chuk Wan and Cheung Muk Tau.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

Monday, December 11,1995

Contents PageJNJh

The seven revenue virtues of public finances........................ 1

Foreign domestic helpers............................................

Efforts to minimise impact of water main bursts..................... 3

Action against land encroachment in Tai Tong Valley................. 5

NAPCO sends reminder to ACP contractors............................. 5

HK delegation to visit China........................................ 6

Use of unlined galvanised steel water pipes banned..................

$15-million donation to elderly home................................

Tender for the sixth issue of 5-year exchange fund notes............ 8

Promotions in the administrative service............................

Over 8,000 agreements lodged with Land Registry in November......... 11

Buildings Department moves to new office............................ 12

Water storage figure................................................ 12

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

13

1

The seven revenue virtues of public finances ***** . f

The Government will continue to adhere to the seven revenue principles upon which Hong Kong’s public finances have been based for many years, the Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, said today (Monday).

Speaking at the luncheon of the Hong Kong Economic Association, Mr Tsang said these seven revenue virtues had brought Hong Kong to its present level of success and would continue to do so in future.

The seven revenue principles outlined by Mr Tsang are the "living-within-our-means" rule; maintaining adequate fiscal reserves; a low, simple and predictable tax system; a rigorous user-pays system for fees and charges to underpin the low tax regime; combating tax avoidance and tax evasion; providing tax concessions where most needed and; avoiding fuelling inflation.

Mr Tsang said the "living-within-our-means" principle was the golden rule of Hong Kong's public finances.

"We ensure this in two ways: by carefully controlling the growth of government spending in line with the trend growth rate of the economy; and by adhering to the first revenue principle: to raise sufficient revenue to meet our known spending commitments," Mr Tsang said.

"Having kept a firm grip on spending, we ensure, by fine tuning the revenue system, that our revenue growth is commensurate so that we keep our budgets broadly in balance."

Mr Tsang stressed that Hong Kong must maintain adequate fiscal reserves to provide a cushion against future uncertainties. The Hong Kong Government currently maintains fiscal reserves of $151 billion.

"Hong Kong's fiscal reserves at their present level give us the assurance we need as we enter the final stages of the transition that our public spending on vital services will not be disrupted by short term fluctuations in our economy.

"The existence of reserves is also a great boost to public confidence during the transition. The bulk of the reserves are deposited within the Exchange Fund to help protect the Hong Kong Monetary Authority to protect the Hong Kong Dollar. Nothing could be more important to Hong Kong over the next few years than defending the link with the US Dollar," he stressed.

2

Mr Tsang said Hong Kong was famous around the world for having a tax system based on low taxes that were simple to understand, to implement and to predict.

"So potential investors know not only what taxes are going to be like this year but in broad terms what they are going to be like in five years' time and ten years' time. It is this assurance, as much as the low tax rates and their simple nature, that makes Hong Kong so attractive," he said.

Mr Tsang pointed out that the best investments took many years to pay off.

"These are the sort of investments that can best provide jobs for Hong Kong people," he said.

Mr Tsang stressed that a rigorous user-pays system for setting fees and charges was an integral part of our low tax regime.

"After all, failing to recover the cost from the user does not make the cost disappear. It simply means that the taxpayer has to pay it instead of the user," he said.

He said nonetheless where there are compelling social grounds for the Government to intervene, such as in the education and medical sectors, services are either free or heavily subsidised.

Mr Tsang said the Government would continue to combat tax avoidance and tax evasion. Two pieces of legislation have been enacted earlier this year to end the abuse of the service company system to disguise employment situation and to ensure proper records of cash transactions are kept.

Mr Tsang said tax concessions had been provided to individuals who deserved help and to enterprises to provide support for business and to keep red tape to a necessary minimum.

"And finally when applying all the above six principles we seek to pursue the seventh, which is to avoid fuelling inflation as far as possible," he said.

End

3

Foreign domestic helpers

*****

In response to press enquiries on the recommendations by the Commissioner for Administrative Complaints in his report on investigation concerning accommodation for foreign domestic helpers, a spokesman for the Immigration Department said today (Monday) the department can readily accept four out of the 10 recommendations in the report.

"The remaining recommendations require further study because they involve additional manpower or a policy change," the spokesman said.

"The recommendation of issuing a special type of identity card for foreign domestic helpers is already in hand. It is one of our measures to tackle the illegal employment problem. We will soon be issuing identity cards with a 'W' prefix to foreign domestic helpers," the spokesman pointed out.

"In dealing with the foreign domestic helpers, we must strike a balance between the interests of foreign domestic helpers and those of the employers."

End

Efforts to minimise impact of water main bursts *****

The Water Supplies Department has well established guidelines and instructions for staff to follow in case of water main bursts to reduce the impact on suspension of water supply to consumers.

"We have been trying our best with the available financial and staff resources to tackle the problem of main bursts in order to minimise inconvenience to the public," a spokesman for the department said today (Monday).

The remarks was made in response to an announcement made by the Commissioner for Administrative Complaints (COMAC) today that COMAC would be conducting a study on the prevention and reduction of main bursts.

4

"We were informed by COMAC earlier this month about their planned study. We have no objection to that, though we are not aware what prompted COMAC to conduct such a study on the general issue of main bursts," the spokesman said.

"Our department has from time to time received complaints from consumers of inconvenience caused by the sudden interruption of water supply as a result of main bursts.

"However, we have never received one single case of complaint through COMAC regarding maladministration leading to injustice to any member of the public on main bursts."

He pointed out that over the years, the department had all along been carryihg out programmes to improve and replace water mains that were more problematic.

"Waste detection activities have started since the 1950s to identify leaks in water mains for early repairs before they develop into burst," he said.

"However, some 80 per cent of the main bursts were caused directly or indirectly by other activities outside our control.

"We therefore set up dedicated inspection teams in mid-1993 to check construction activities in the vicinity of water mains to reduce the chance of water mains being damaged.

"We also maintain regular co-ordination with the Highways Department and the utility companies, and remind contractors from time to time to avoid damaging water mains."

Meanwhile, the spokesman said, the department was in the process of conducting an underground asset management study.

"This will help us to know more accurately about the condition and performance of the water mains and to develop a comprehensive and cost-effective asset management plan, with a view to undertake preventive maintenance or replacement of water mains in a more systematic and scientific manner." he said.

End

5

Action against land encroachment in l ai Tong Valley

*****

The Government will take enforcement action tomorrow (Tuesday) to stop unauthorised encroachment of government land in lai Tong Valley in Yuen Long.

Crown land notices were posted on site on November 8 demanding cessation of unlawful occupation before December 8 after illegal structures including shelters and poultry houses were found constructed and fruit trees planted on unicased government land for commercial purposes.

Recent site inspection conducted revealed that the occupier had demolished some of the illegal structures on the unleased government land.

The Government, in accordance with the Crown Land Notice, will take possession of any property or structure left on the said unleased land.

End

NAPCO sends reminder to ACP contractors

*****

The Director of the New Airport Projects Co-ordination Office. Mr Billy Lam, has reminded contractors that they stand to lose their quotas to import workers for the Airport Core Programme (ACP) projects il they abuse the special labour importation scheme.

In a letter sent to 43 principal ACP contractors following the recent labour disputes involving imported workers on ACP sites. Mr Lam said:

"We are very concerned about these labour disputes because it is very important that the terms of employment and welfare of all ACP workers, both local and imported, arc fully protected.

"We regard any abuse of the Special Labour Importation Scheme for ACP projects as detrimental to the smooth implementation of the ACP and the conditions of work of employees who come to Hong Kong to help build these projects."

6

Mr Lam reminded the eontractors it was their duty to ensure that imported workers in their employment or, in accordance with the deed of undertaking, in the employment of their sub-contractors, were treated in full accordance with the terms of their employment contracts and labour laws and the requirements ol the Special Labour Importation Scheme and to take immediate action to rectify any irregularities.

In his letter sent today (Monday), Mr Lam said: "1 would also like to remind you that should a contractor contravene the conditions of the Special Labour Importation Scheme, he will be liable to withdrawal of quotas in hand, refusal of application for extension of stay of the employee upon expiry of visa, and refusal of application to import labour under the ACP scheme in the future."

Contractors who arc found to have contravened provisions of labour laws are liable to prosecution.

As at the end of October, there were about 19.800 workers working on ACP sites, of whom 4.650 were imported, representing 23 per cent of the workforce.

End

I IK delegation to visit China *****

The Secretary for Education and Manpower. Mr Joseph Wong, will be visiting Beijing and Hangzhou from December 14 to 23. a government spokesman announced today (Monday). 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 spokesman said.

fhe last similar visit, which took place in August, was led by Mr Rafael Hui. then Secretary for Financial Services (Designate).

End

7

Use of unlined galvanised steel water pipes banned *****

The Water Supplies Department today (Monday) reminded architeets and plumbers that the use of unlined galvanised steel pipes would be banned from December 23 this year.

A spokesman for the department said the new requirement would be enforced in accordance with the Waterworks (Amendment) Regulation 1994 which was enacted late last year.

"Under the new requirement, all plumbing proposals for new buildings submitted to the Water Authority for approval will not be allowed to use unlined galvanised steel pipes as fresh water inside service," he said.

"Consumers should also observe the new requirement if their plumbing systems in the existing buildings undergo refurbishment after the specified date.

"However, the new requirement will not be applicable to fire service installations in new and existing buildings or minor repairs to existing fresh water plumbing systems."

The spokesman added: "With the implementation of the new requirement, we would expect to resolve, in the course of time, entirely the problem of discoloured tap water which has been experienced over the years by some consumers due to corrosion of pipes in their plumbing systems."

find

$15-million donation to elderly home * * * ♦ ♦

A new l ung Wah Croup of Hospitals care and attention home in the Wong Chuk Hang Complex for the Elderly today (Monday) received an enormous donation of $15 million from the Yu Chun Keung Charitable Trust.

On behalf of the trust, Mr David Yu Kai-chiu, presented a cheque for that amount to the Chairman of the Tung Wah Group, Mr Willie Lui Pok-shek, in a brief ceremony.

8

The home, which has started operation since July this year, provides residential and care services for 200 elderly people. It will be named after the late Yu Chun Keung, father of Mr David Yu and his brother. Dr Yu Chi-chiu, and their sisters. Construction of the complex including this subvented home costs $290 million.

The Director of Social Welfare. Mr Ian Strachan, who arranged for the donation, praised the Yu family and the trust for their very generous support to this worthy project.

End

Tender for the sixth issue of 5-year exchange fund notes

*****

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (I IKMA) announces Today (Monday) that tender for the sixth issue of 5-year exchange fund notes will be held on December 18 for settlement on December 19.

Similar to the previous issue, an amount of $500 million 5-year notes will be on offer. In addition to that, another $100 million will be held as reserve by HKMA for supply to market makers in the secondary market.

The notes will mature on December 19. 2000. and will carry interest at the rate of 6.38% 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 HKMA at 30th floor. 3 Garden Road. Hong Kong. Tel 2878 8150.

Each tender must be for an amount of $50,000 or integral multiples thereof.

Following is the tender information for the sixth issue of 5-ycar exchange fund

notes:

Issue Number

: 5012

Tender Date and Time

: Monday December 18, 1995

9.30 am to 10.30 am

9

Issue and Settlement Date : Tuesday December 19, 1995

Amount on Offer : $500 million plus an additional $100 million as reserve stock for the Monetary Authority

Maturity : Five years

Maturity Date : December 19, 2000

Interest Rate : 6.38% per annum payable semi-annually in arrears

Interest Payment Dates : Jun 19, 1996, Dec 19, 1996 Jun 19, 1997, Dec 19, 1997 Jun 19, 1998, Dec 21, 1998 Jun 21, 1999, Dec 20, 1999 Jun 19, 2000, Dec 19, 2000

Tender Amount : Each tender must be for an amount of $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

Promotions in the administrative service *****

The Government announced today (Monday) the following promotions in the Administrative Service with effect from January 1, 1996:

10

To the rank of Administrative Officer Staff Grade B1

Lessie Wei Deputy Secretary for Financial Services

Chris Jackson Deputy Secretary for the Civil Service

Keith Kwok Deputy Secretary for Works

Doris Ho Deputy Secretary for Health and Welfare

Alan Lai Deputy Secretary for the Treasury

Stephen Lam Deputy Secretary for Constitutional Affairs

To the rank of Administrative Officer Staff Grade B

Lee Kai-fat Deputy Commissioner for Labour

Nancy Law Deputy Postmaster General

Dominic Law Deputy Director-General of Industry

Patrick Lau Deputy Secretary for the Civil Service

Paul Tang Deputy Director of Administration

Alex Fong Deputy Secretary for Security

Maria Kwan Deputy Secretary for Economic Services

Peter Cheung Commissioner, Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority

Yvonne Choi Commissioner for Official Languages

Raymond Wong Principal Assistant Secretary for Security

Joshua Law Principal Assistant Secretary for the Civil Service

Rebecca Lai Assistant Director-General of Trade

- 11 -

The following overseas officers will be superseded for promotion to Administrative Officer Staff Grade Bl with effect from January 1. 1996:

Michael Stone

Robert Wilson

Deputy Secretary for the Civil Service

Deputy Secretary for I lealth and Welfare

End

Over 8.000 agreements lodged with Land Registry in November *****

A total of 8.008 sale and purchase agreements for building units, which include both residential and non-residential properties, were lodged with the Land Registry last month (November 1995).

The figure represents an increase of 27.8 per cent from that ol October 1995. but a 3.4 per cent decrease when compared w ith the same month last year.

The total consideration of these agreements is $20.6 billion, up 24.8 per cent and down 30.8 per cent as compared with the amounts for October 1995 and November 1994 respectively.

The figures arc contained in the monthly statistics released today (Monday) 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 October 1995 and November 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

12

Buildings Department moves to new office

*****

The Buildings Department will move to its new office in Mong Kok tomorrow (Tuesday).

The new address is 12th to 18th floors. Pioneer Centre. 750 Nathan Road, Kowloon.

Covering an area of about 10.800 square metres, which is about 57 per cent larger than the old office in Murray Building in Central, the new premises will provide a more spacious and pleasant environment for the public to check building plans and enquire about building safety matters.

"The new office, located in a modern commercial building, is also easily accessible by public transportation.

"Direction signs have been put up at the nearby Prince Edward Mass 1 ransit Railway Station, which is about two minutes' walk from the new office." a spokesman for the department said.

The new telephone numbers are:

Building safety hotline 2626 1234

Building information hotline 2626 1313

General enquiries 2626 1616

Facsimile 2537 4992

End

Water storage figure

*****

Storage in Hong Kong's reservoirs at 9 am today (Monday) stood at 93.9 per cent of capacity or 550.211 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 470.292 million cubic metres ot water, representing 80.2 per cent ol capacity.

End

13

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

* ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,232 0930 +62

Closing balance in the account 1,843 1000 +206

Change attributable to : 1100 +206

Money market activity +207 1200 +209

LAF today +404 1500 +209

1600 +207

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 122.5 *+0.0* 11.12.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.80 2 years 2711 5.60 100.01 5.67

1 month 5.78 3 years 3810 6.15 100.81 5.92

3 months 5.62 5 years 5009 6.95 102.57 6.41

6 months 5.60 7 years 7211 6.82 100.58 6.83

12 months 5.56 5 years M502 7.30 102.28 6.86

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $15,446 million

Closed December 11, 1995

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

Tuesday, December 12, 1995

Contents Rage No,

Governor ends action-packed visit in the Philippines....................... 1

Public consultation on comprehensive language strategy..................... 2

Government welcomes language proficiency draft report...................... 5

ExCo approves new franchise for Citybus.................................... 6

LegCo members' views sought on housing strategy review..................... 7

APEC Action Agenda good for business in Hong Kong.......................... 8

Diesel vehicle emissions deteriorate air quality...................... 11

External trade statistics by country and commodity........................ 12

Tsuen Wan Arts Festival kicked off........................................ 22

Air Quality Report for November........................................... 23

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results............................... 27

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations...................... 28

1

Governor ends action-packed visit in the Philippines

*****

The closure of Manila Airport has delayed the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten's return to Hong Kong after his first official visit to the Philippines.

The Governor ended what he described as his "action- packed" two-day programme today (Tuesday) with a press conference following visiting to Subic Bay, the former US naval base which is now being developed into a free port and enterprise zone.

In the morning he met President of the Senate, Neptali A Gonzales, and the Chairman of Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Ernesto Maceda for an one hour discussion on issues of mutual concern to the Hong Kong and Philippines' governments, including the future of the domestic helpers after 1997, and the prospect for continuing economic and trade relations.

In Subic Bay, the Governor, accompanied by Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Chairman, Mr Richard Gordon, and other senior officials, toured new industrial and commercial developments, several of which are being runned by the Hong Kong investors.

He was also taken to see the site of the facilities which are being developed for next year's APEC Economic Leader's Meeting.

During his two-day visit, Mr Patten had told the Philippines' leaders, including President Ramos, that Hong Kong would prepare to offer any assistance that might be required. -

At the press conference today, Mr Patten pointed out that Subic Bay had already attracted the interest of a number of Hong Kong investors as well as investors from the rest of the world.

"Hong Kong, last year, invested overall US$290 million in the Philippines and at least some of that was in Subic Bay.

"Subic Bay is impressive, but I don't think any of us in Hong Kong have ever been worried about competition.

2

"I think we have always believed that other cities and communities developing and honing their competitive edge was something we could welcome and live with rather than resent and try to elbow out of the game," he said.

Mr Patten also took the opportunity to discuss with Philippines officials the position of the Filipino community in Hong Kong.

Yesterday (Monday), he was able to discuss with President Ramos the position . of Mr Paul Au and Mr Wong Chuen-ming, and one of the the Governor's staff, Mr > Kim Salkeld, had visited them today.

End

Public consultation on comprehensive language strategy *****

iEr.

The Education Commission today (Tuesday) released for public consultation its sixth report setting out 38 recommendations which will form the basis of a comprehensive and co-ordinated approach to enhancing language proficiency in Chinese (including Putonghua) and English in education.

In the report, the Commission recommends that, as a priority, the Government should put in place an institutional framework to be known as the Standing Committee on Language Education and Research (SCOLAR) to serve to develop, monitor, and evaluate language goals and policy in a coherent and co-ordinated manner.

It was recommended that SCOLAR should be formally linked to the Language Fund Advisory Committee established in 1994 to advise the Administration on the disbursement of funds for language projects.

The Commission also considers that as a long term solution, Hong Kong should aim for a fully-trained language teaching profession and to develop benchmark qualifications for language teachers as soon as possible.

In view that institutional changes and long term measures take time for their effects to be felt, the Commission has proposed short to medium term measures to address language proficiency problems of students. These measures include:

- 3 -

* Extending intensive English courses for English-medium students in Secondary 6 and Secondary 7 to help them improve their English skills to the level required for entry to tertiary institutions.

* Encouraging schools to employ more qualified native English-speaking teachers on local terms of service.

* Creating more senior teacher posts in primary schools as Panel Chairs in Chinese and English language subjects.

* Extending extensive reading and writing schemes to all levels in primary and secondary schooling, and to both Chinese and English languages.

* Providing intensive vocational language courses in English and Putonghua for school leavers joining the workforce.

* Promoting Putonghua by making it part of the core curriculum for all primary and secondary students in line with the Governor's initiatives in the 1995 Policy Address

* UGC-funded institutions to consider enforcing strictly minimum language entrance requirements.

* Providing support services to assist untrained new language teachers to teach the relevant language.

Releasing the Report "Enhancing Language Proficiency: A Comprehensive Strategy", the Chairman of the Commission, Professor Rosie Young, said the Commission had found that the major weakness regarding language in education stemmed from the lack of a coherent framework for the formulation, monitoring, and evaluation of language policy and the fact that a large number of language teachers were not fully trained.

"We must take steps now to improve language education and the language proficiency of the young people of Hong Kong because language proficiency is essential to maintaining Hong Kong's role as an international centre of finance and commerce and the hub of trade and development for China and the Pacific rim.

"The Commission takes note that the demand for people proficient in both Chinese (including Putonghua) and English at all levels will become more urgent as Hong Kong develops and as our ties with China strengthen," she said.

4

Professor Young appealed to all sectors of the community to give their views on the report before the consultation ended on January 31, 1996.

She said if the comprehensive strategy recommended in the report was implemented fully, the language proficiency of Hong Kong’s young people would be greatly enhanced.

’’They will be better equipped with the relevant language skills to lead a fuller life as individuals and play a positive role in the life of the community.

’’Also, Hong Kong’s position as a leading service, financial, and economic centre for China and the Pacific rim will be maintained,” she added.

The Commission formulated its proposals after taking into account recommendations of the Working Group on Language Proficiency released last year for public consultation, the public response, the result of a language proficiency perception survey commissioned by the Working Group and other developments on language improvement programmes.

Since the report differs in some ways from the Working Group’s report and that its contents are of great importance, the Commission has decided ta issue the report for public consultation before finalising its recommendations.

During the consultation period, the Commission will hold a series of briefings for the teaching profession, parents, business communities and district boards to solicit their views.

A user-friendly leaflet highlighting the background and the major recommendations of ECR6 is being produced. The leaflet and the report will be available for public collection on December 16.

Comments and views on the report should be sent to:

The Secretary, Education Commission c/o Education and Manpower Branch, Room 922, West Wing v..».

Central Government Offices, i’--

11 Ice house Street, Central FaxNo 2537 4591

End -i- >•;

5

Government welcomes language proficiency draft report *****

The Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong today (Tuesday) welcomed the publication of the Education Commission No 6 Report "Enhancing Language Proficiency: A Comprehensive Strategy" for public consultation.

"The Administration supports the general thrust of the report and sees the vital need for improving language proficiency of our students. Language proficiency in English and Chinese, including Putonghua is important to Hong Kong's continued development as an international business and financial centre and for Hong Kong's expanding political and economic links with China," Mr Wong said.

Expressing the Government's gratitude toward the commission for drawing up wide-ranging recommendations after a thorough study of the issue in the past two years, Mr Wong said the Government would take a view after the Commission had finalised the recommendations.

He appealed to all sectors of the community to give their views and comments on this important issue during the six-week public consultation period which would end on January 31,1996.

Mr Wong noted that among its 38 recommendations, the commission had proposed some major long-term measures including the setting up of a Standing Committee on Language Education and Research and requesting the Advisory Committee on Teacher Education and Qualifications to develop benchmark qualifications for language teachers.

Mr Wong said the Administration was looking forward to receiving the final recommendations from the commission early next year and would take a view on the way forward.

End

6

ExCo approves new franchise for Citybus *****

The Governor-in-Council today (Tuesday) approved the terms of a new franchise for Citybus Limited which will confer upon the company the right to operate a public bus service for 10 years from September 1, 1996.

A government spokesman said the recommendation of granting a longer franchise to Citybus would allow the company to plan ahead and to have more time to recover its investment and to secure financing in an easier manner.

"Of course, the company's performance is also an important consideration," he added.

The spokesman pointed out that a number of changes and several new provisions were incorporated into the new franchise. These include a new requirement for a mid-term review.

"The mid-term review is to be conducted after the fourth year of the new franchise. Based on the results of such a review, the Governor-in-Council may, if the need arises, and with the consent of Citybus. amend the terms of the franchise," he said.

The spokesman emphasised that the new provisions would strengthen the Administration's role in monitoring Citybus' services.

"Under the new franchise. Citybus's network would be similar to the one it currently operates." he noted.

The spokesman added that since this was a major franchise straddling 1997, the Chinese side would be consulted.

End

7

LegCo members’ views sought on housing strategy review

*****

The Secretary for Housing. Mr Dominic Wong, has held a scries of meetings with Legislative Council members to listen to their views on areas for attention in the comprehensive review of the long term housing strategy.

During these meetings. Mr Wong gave a short factual presentation to illustrate the background to the review.

It was observed that the private housing stock had increased by some 300.000 units in the past decade ending December 1994.

Members also noted that 511.000 new housing units will come on stream in the next six years up to 2001. These will comprise 141.000 public rental flats. 175.000 subsidised units for sale and 195,000 private units.

The additional public rental flats will reduce the average waiting time for applicants from seven years now to less than Live years.

Mr Wong said meeting housing demand is a dynamic process.

”As incomes continue to grow in real terms, both the ability and desire to have better housing increase.

”1 he comprehensive review will enable us to reassess demand carefully and to adjust production targets accordingly so as to find out the best and most cost-effective way to meet this changing demand for decent and affordable housing.” he said.

He thanked LegCo members who attended these meetings for giving useful and constructive views to help set the scene for the comprehensive review.

"We will also be take account of views expressed through the media.

"It is our intention to issue a public consultation document early next summer, setting out the main conclusions and recommendations," Mr Wong said.

End

8

APEC Action Agenda good for business in I long Kong *****

The Action Agenda agreed at the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) meeting in Osaka last month is good for business in I long Kong, the Director-General of Trade, Mr Tony Miller, said today (Tuesday).

"It means breaking down barriers and cutting through red-tape. It means getting rid of bureaucratic hassle. It means bringing the Asia Pacific region 'on line' and making making-money easier.

"It will also mean business getting more involved in telling APEC what it has to do," he said.

Speaking at a luncheon meeting of the Lions Club of South Kowloon on the Osaka meeting of APEC, which is the regional vehicle for promoting open trade and practical economic co-operation among Asia Pacific economies, Mr Miller said breaking down barriers would involve progressively eliminating all tariffs.

"The goal is completely free trade in all goods and services. So tariffs will be either eliminated immediately if they are already low, or brought down in stages.

"In either case, the result is the same. The volume of trade increases automatically, production processes speed up and the opportunities for businessmen expand," he said.

Citing China's reduction by 30 per cent of tariffs on two-thirds of all trades goods and similarly impressive offers from Indonesia, Chile and New Zealand among others, he said these reforms would have far-reaching consequences.

Mr Miller said breaking down the barriers was not simply going to be confined to trade in goods. Trade in services must also be tackled.

"Again, in some cases, the 'Initial Actions' remove some barriers to services, fhe Action Agenda highlights work already in hand in APEC in four service areas: telecommunications, transportation, tourism and energy, fhe need for urgent action to unblock bottlenecks in these areas has been recognised, as has the need to give the market freer rein," he said.

9

’’Hong Kong is already well ahead of the game in most areas. Even so, we were able to include the deregulation of local telephone services among our Initial Actions.”

The Director-General of Trade said tariffs and non-tariff barriers are not the only things which get in the way of business. Red tape and bureaucracy are often just as bad, or even worse.

"This is an area where APEC is determined to make progress. It is also an area where we want to harness the speed and efficiency of advances in information technology," Mr Miller said.

"Already, all APEC members have got complete tariff data onto common format CD-ROMs. The next step will be to incorporate information on all non-tariff measures pending their final removal. This will be followed in 1998 by making available to the public information on all administrative guidelines, procedures and rulings, in addition to customs laws and regulations."

Mr Miller said common standards for products region wide was one of APEC’s targets.

"Work is already well advanced on four priority case studies covering electrical and electronic appliances, food labelling, plastic products and rubber products, " he said, adding that it was also a target set by APEC to introduce a system which guaranteed region-wide acceptance of products tested in any recognised testing centre in any member economy.

Noting APEC's determination to make full use of information technology in an effort to increase efficiencies, Mr Miller said one of the targets was full conformity by all economies by 1998 with the Guidelines on Trade in International Value-Added Network Services (IVANS) as well as the Guidelines on the Regional Harmonisation of Telecommunications Equipment Certification Procedures.

"Taken together these two measures will radically simplify things for those who produce or trade in telecommunications systems and equipment." he said.

In addition to putting tariff and non-tariff data on CD-ROMs, the next step would be to computerise customs procedures all around the APEC region by 1999.

10

Information on Hong Kong's Government Procurement can be found under Government Supplies Department on the Hong Kong Government Home Page on the Internet at: http://www. info.gov.hk.

Mr Miller also talked about the advice and pressure from the private sector in APEC affairs and cited as an example the Pacific Business Forum (PBF) which has played an important role in pushing APEC governments into looking beyond traditional trade barriers.

"The PBF has more than fulfilled its mandate, next year, its place is to be taken by the permanent Asia-Pacific Business Advisory Council (ABAC) through which your needs can be channelled to APEC governments collectively. We look forward to working with the Council," he added.

In conclusion, Mr Miller urged Hong Kong's businessmen to tell his department the problems they encountered around the region and how his department could make their lives easier both at home and abroad.

He said that next year, each member economy would produce its own action plan as to how it intended to achieve the ultimate goal of free Hows of goods, services and investment.

"No doubt, each of us will have slightly different priority and slight different time-tables. Nevertheless, we will do our best to concert these in order to achieve the greatest possible impact," Mr Miller said.

"It is relatively easy for governments to identify restraints in its own economy. Il is rather less easy to pin down priorities for what needs doing elsewhere.

"We cannot do this without your help. So tell us what your priorities are so that we can make them our own."

End

- 11 -

Diesel vehicle emissions deteriorate air quality *****

Air quality in Hong Kong will continue to deteriorate unless effective measures are taken quickly to reduce excessive emissions of respiratory suspended particulates (RSP) from diesel vehicles which cause respiratory illnesses and increased mortality.

The Deputy Secretary for Planning. Environment and Lands (Environment) Mr Tony Cooper said: ’’Pollution from RSP emissions is far more serious than other pollutants emitted by vehicles.

”At present. RSP emissions in the urban areas remain consistently at a high level that almost doubles the acceptable limit set in our Air Quality Objective.

"None of the proposals other than the scheme proposed by the Government will be able to bring RSP levels down to an acceptable level.

"Neither the suggestions of stringent emission control nor cleaner diesel will achieve our objective.

"Moreover, stringent control will be very disruptive as operators will be required to pull their diesel vehicles off the road almost once every month for maintenance and inspection.

"The use of cleaner diesel fuel as an alternative is also not practical because diesel free from these pollutants is very expensive.

Mr Cooper noted that other pollutants emitted by vehicles on the road, namely benzene, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide, were emitted at significantly lower than the acceptable levels.

"The roadside benzene level in Hong Kong is only 45 per cent of the UK standard. The level is expected to drop to 20 per cent when older vehicles without catalytic converters are phased out.

"The proposed diesel-to-petrol scheme will not cause any economic hardship because the Government will include in the scheme financial incentives to help keep the cost increase, attributable to the switch, to one to two per cent.

"Moreover, the Government is prepared to consider extending the conversion period and to monitor the operating cost estimates closely with a view to adjusting them if necessary upon the implementation of the scheme." Mr Cooper said.

End

12

External trade statistics by country and commodity *****

The Census and Statistics Department today (Tuesday) released detailed statistics on external trade with breakdown by counlry/territory and commodity for October 1995.

The value of re-exports continued to show a notable increase, by 12% over a year earlier to $102.1 billion in October 1995.

\

Comparing October 1995 with October 1994. the value of re-exports to all of the main destinations showed increases of various magnitudes: Prance (t 39%). United Kingdom (+25%). Taiwan (+25%). Japan (+17%), China (+16%). Germany (+13%). South Korea (+12%), Singapore (+10%). Canada (+0.7%) and the United States (+0.3%).

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 ten months of 1995 was $923.5 billion, 19% higher than that in the same period in 1994.

Comparing the first 10 months of 1995 with the same period in 1994, the value of re-exports to all main destinations showed increases of various magnitudes : Singapore (+31%), France (+29%). Japan (+28%). I aiwan (+27%). C hina (+19%), the United Kingdom (+18%). South Korea (+17%). Canada (+16%). the United States (+12%) and Germany (+9.9%).

Table 2 shows changes in the value of re-exports ol 10 principal commodity divisions.

Comparing the first 10 months of 1995 with the same period in 1994. increases of various magnitudes were recorded in the value ol re-exports ol most principal commodity divisions.

More notable increases were registered for electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $27.6 billion or 41%); telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $19.1 billion or 24%); miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of baby carriages, toys, games and sporting goods (by $17.2 billion or 17%); office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $17.1 billion or 59%); textiles (by $10.8 billion or 16%); and plastics in primary forms (by $8.3 billion or 49%).

13

Over the same period, re-exports of clothing fell by $1.5 billion, representing a decrease of 1.9% over a year earlier.

The value of domestic exports in October 1995, at $20.8 billion, decreased slightly, by 2.6% over a year earlier. This was partly due to a high base of comparison in October last year, when domestic exports showed a notable increase of 8.5%.

Comparing October 1995 with October 1994, increases were recorded in the value of domestic exports to Taiwan (+16%). the United Kingdom (+11%). Canada (+6.2%), the Netherlands (+3.6%), France (+1.6%) and Japan (+1.5%).

However, the value of domestic exports to the United States, Germany, China and Singapore decreased by 7.9%, 7.1%, 3.7% and 3.6% respectively.

Changes in the value of domestic exports to ten main destinations are shown in Table 3.

Comparing the first 10 months of 1995 with the same period in 1994, the value of domestic exports to most main destinations showed increases of various magnitudes: Taiwan (+33%), France (+20%), Japan (+18%), the Netherlands (+12%), the United Kingdom (+8.5%). Canada (+7%), China (+5.1%), Singapore (+1.8%) and the United States (+1.5%).

However, the value of domestic exports to Germany decreased by 3.9%.

Taking all destinations together, the value of domestic exports in the first 10 months of 1995, at $192.7 billion, increased by 6.1% over the same period in 1994.

Table 4 shows changes in the value of domestic exports of ten principal commodity divisions.

Comparing the first 10 months of 1995 with the same period in 1994, increases in the value of domestic exports were registered for electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $5.7 billion or 28%); clothing (by $1.8 billion or 3%); photographic apparatus, equipment and supplies, optical goods, watches and clocks (by $1.3 billion or 10%); office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $1 billion or 7.4%); and miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of jewellery, goldsmiths' and silversmiths' wares (by $594 million or 3.7%).

14

Over the same period, decreases in the value of domestic exports were recorded for telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $678 million or 7%); and textiles (by $671 million or 5.4%).

The value of imports continued to increase, by 13% over a year earlier to $131.3 billion in October 1995.

Changes in the value of imports from ten main suppliers are shown in Table 5.

Comparing October 1995 with October 1994, the value of imports from most main suppliers showed increases of various magnitudes : France (+87%), Malaysia (+36%), South Korea (+25%), Taiwan (+24%), the United States (+21%), the United Kingdom (+21%), Singapore (+14%), China (+7.9%) and Japan (+6.1%).

However, the value of imports from Germany decreased by 10%.

Comparing the first 10 months of 1995 with the same period in 1994, the value of imports from all main suppliers showed increases of various magnitudes: France (+85%), Malaysia (+45%), South Korea (+31%), the United States (+30%), Singapore (+28%), the United Kingdom (+25%), Taiwan (+23%), China (+16%), Japan (+16%) and Germany (+15%).

The value of imports in the first 10 months of 1995, at $1,238.5 billion, increased by 21% over the same period in 1994.

Table 6 shows changes in the value of imports of ten principal commodity divisions.

Comparing the first 10 months of 1995 with the same period in 1994, increases were recorded in the value of imports of most principal commodity divisions.

More notable increases were registered for electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $43.3 billion or 39%); telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $22.9 billion or 23%); office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $17.4 billion or 45%); textiles (by $12.3 billion or 13%); miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of baby carriages, toys, games and sporting goods (by $12.1 billion or 16%); and photographic apparatus, equipment and supplies, optical goods, watches and clocks (by $8.9 billion or 20%).

15

Over the same period, a decrease in the value of imports was recorded for road vehicles (by $4.2 billion or 9.8%).

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 October 1995 will be released in early January 1996.

Detailed trade statistics analysed by commodity and by country/ territory are published in trade statistics reports.

The October 1995 issue of the Hong Kong External Trade with detailed analyses on the performance of Hong Kong's external trade in October 1995 will be available for sale at $122 per copy around December 21.

The report can be purchased at either the Government Publications Centre, ground floor. Low Block. Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong or the Publications Unit 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, Wanchai, Hong Kong. Tel 2598 8194. and enquiries on trade statistics to the Census and Statistics Department on 2582 4915.

16

*6 •

TABLE 1 : RE-EXPORTS TO TEN MAIN DESTINATIONS

DESTINATION OCT 1995 (HKD Mn.) OCT 95 OVER OCT 94 (% CHANGE) JAN-OCT 1995 (HKD Mn.) JAN-OCT 95 OVER JAN-OCT 94 (% CHANGE)

CHINA. 33,267 * 15.7 316,088 + 19.4

UNITED STATES 22,393 + 0.3 197,020 + 11.9

JAPAN 6,997 + 17.0 56,951 + 28.1

GERMANY 4,169 + 13.0 37,301 + 9.9

UNITED KINGDOM 3,311 + 24.7 26,430 + 17.6

TAIWAN 2,489 + 24.7 22,953 + 26.5

SINGAPORE 2,305 + 10.1 21,432 + 31.1

SOUTH KOREA 1,625 + 11.5 15,950 + 16.6

FRANCE 1,665 + 38.6 14,396 + 28.8

CANADA 1,457 + 0.7 13,758 + 16.5

17

TABLE 2 : RE-EXPORTS OF TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

COMMODITY DIVISION OCT 1995 (HKD Mn.) OCT 95 OVER OCT 94 (% CHANGE) JAN-OCT 1995 (HKD Mn.) JAN-OCT OVER JAN-OCT 94 (K CHANGE;

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY BABY CARRIAGES, TOYS, GAMES AND SPORTING GOODS) 15,043 ♦ 11.4 120,101 + 16.7

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 11,724 + 5.2 99,473 + 23.8

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 10,797 + 20.0 94,652 * 41.1

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 8,079 + 8.5 78,026 + 16.0

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 8,295 - 3.6 76,149 - 1.9

FOOTWEAR 4,992 * 33.9 50,326 + 12.9

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 5,317 ♦ 42.7 46,197 + 59.0

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 4,632 + 11.7 41,125 + 23.4

TRAVEL GOODS, HANDBAGS AND SIMILAR CONTAINERS 3,002 + 9.8 29,613 + 15.3

PLASTICS IN PRIMARY FORMS 2,895 ♦ 43.6 25,178 + 49.1

18

TABLE 3 : DOMESTIC EXPORTS TO TEN MAIN DESTINATIONS

DESTINATION OCT 1995 (HKD Mn.) OCT 95 OVER OCT 94 (% CHANGE) JAN-OCT 1995 (HKD Mn.) JAN-OCT 95 OVER JAN-OCT 94 (% CHANGE)

CHINA 5,509 - 3.7 53,139 + 5.1

UNITED STATES 6,277 - 7.9 51,098 + 1.5

SINGAPORE 1,062 - 3.6 10,248 + 1.8

JAPAN 1,008 + 1.5 9,885 * 17.6

GERMANY 891 - 7.1 9,828 - 3.9

UNITED KINGDOM 940 + 11.2 8,930 + 8.5

TAIWAN 789 + 16.3 6,627 + 32.6

NETHERLANDS 327 + 3.6 4,209 + 11.8

CANADA 383 + 6.2 3,635 + 7.0

FRANCE 255 + 1.6 2,607 + 19.5

19

TABLE 4 : DOMESTIC EXPORTS OF TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

COMMODITY DIVISION OCT 1995 (HKD Mn.) OCT 95 OVER OCT 94 (% CHANGE) JAN-OCT 1995 (HKD Mn.) JAN-OCT 95 OVER JAN-OCT 94 (% CHANGE)

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 6,880 - 7.0 61,003 * 3.0

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 2,924 ♦ 29.9 26,041 * 27.7

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY JEWELLERY, GOLDSMITHS' AND SILVERSMITHS' WARES),. 1,865 - 1.6 16,650 * 3.7

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 1,385 - 16.5 15,155 + 7.4

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 1,576 - 5.6 14,039 + 10.0

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 1,268 - 6.9 11,783 - 5.4

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 1,001 - 12.8 9,052 - 7.0

MANUFACTURES OF METALS 387 - 10.2 3,861 - 0.3

PLASTICS IN PRIMARY FORMS 442 + 21.8 3,794 + 16.8

PAPER, PAPERBOARD, AND ARTICLES OF PAPER PULP, OF PAPER OR OF PAPERBOARD 23'7 - 13.5 2,488 + 2.7

20

TABLE 5 : IMPORTS FROM TEN MAIN SUPPLIERS

SUPPLIER OCT 1995 (HKD Mn.) OCT 95 OVER OCT 94 (% CHANGE) JAN-OCT 1995 (HKD Mn.) JAN-OCT 95 OVER JAN-OCT 94 (% CHANGE)

CHINA 48,779 * 7.9 449,020 + 16.3

JAPAN 18,965 + 6.1 185,548 + 15.7

TAIWAN 12,278 + 24.3 107,328 + 23.4

UNITED STATES 10,159 + 20.9 95,017 + 29.6

SINGAPORE 6,592 + 14.0 64,541 + 28.2

SOUTH KOREA 6,363 + 24.6 61,446 + 30.6

GERMANY 2,423 - 10.3 26,806 + 15.5

UNITED KINGDOM 2,542 + 20.8 25,146 + 25.0

MALAYSIA 2,480 35.9 23,574 + 44.5

FRANCE 2,115 + 87.4 23,103 + 84.8

21

TABLE 6 : IMPORTS OF TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

COMMODITY DIVISION OCT 1995 (HKD Mn.) OCT 95 OVER OCT 94 (% CHANGE) JAN-OCT 1995 (HKD Mn.) JAN-OCT 95 OVER JAN-OCT 94 (*o CHANGE)

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 17,137 + 24.0 154,618 + 38.9

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 14,291 + 5.7 121,610 + 23.2

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 11,146 + 12.2 109,529 + 12.7

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY BABY CARRIAGES, TOYS, GAMES AND SPORTING GOODS) 9,735 + 5.3 87,385 + 16.1

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 9,147 + 0.4 81,419 + 1.8

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 5,895 + 20.8 55,889 + 45.3

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 5,364 + 16.4 52,153 + 20.5

FOOTWEAR 4,329 + 10.4 43,866 + 12.2

ROAD VEHICLES 3,850 - 18.6 38,710 - 9.8

NON-METALLIC MINERAL MANUFACTURES 3,530 - 8.3 36,865 + 12.2

End

22

Tsuen Wan Arts Festival kicked off *****

A rich programme of cultural and recreational activities to celebrate the 16th Tsuen Wan Arts Festival from today (Tuesday) to January 13 next year is expected to attract a record turn-out of spectators and participants.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the festival this evening, the Chairlady of the Tsuen Wan Arts Festival Co-ordinating Committee, Ms Maureen Chu, said: "The Arts Festival aims to promote a better appreciation of cultural and recreational activities in a festive atmosphere among residents in the district.

"We also hoped that this will engender a stronger sense of community belonging and promote harmony in the district.”

She said a total of 26 entertainment cultural and recreational activities and four exhibitions would be staged at various housing estates, community halls and centres, and shopping arcades to cater for different tastes of local residents, especially children and the elderly.

Highlights of the festival include a popular drama. "Death of a Salesman", performed by artistes of the Hong Kong Federation of Drama Societies: piano recitals by two young pianists from Sichuan - Cheng Sa and Wu Chi; Chinese operas by Ming Chee Sing; and various singing, dancing and orchestral performances.

Some of the shows will be staged by kindergarten students.

Organised by the 16th Tsuen Wan Arts Festival Co-ordinating Committee and Tsuen Wan Culture and Recreation Co-ordinating Association, the festival is coorganised by the Tsuen Wan District Office.

The festival, expected to cost about $2 million, is jointly sponsored by the Tsuen Wan District Board, the Regional Council and local organisations.

End

23

Air Quality Report for November *****

The Environmental Protection Department today (luesday) released air quality information for November.

The purpose of the announcement is 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/Westcrn 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 reported air pollutants include sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), total suspended particulates (TSP) which comprise all sizes of dust particles, and the respirable fraction of the dust (RSP). All these pollutants can affect respiratory health in sufficient concentration.

In November, there were no exceedances of the 24-hour Air Quality Qbjective (AQO) values at any of the three sites. Mong Kok station recorded the highest concentration of air pollutants, with the 24-hour average NO2 slightly more than 90 per cent of the corresponding AQO on November 22.

Throughout the month. Hong Kong was mainly affected by the dry continental air stream from the northeast, resulting in higher dust levels. But the dust levels were still within the 24-hour AQO.

The gases and particles described originated from various sources. SO2 is mostly produced when fuels that contain sulphur arc burned. NO2 is formed during combustion by the combination of nitrogen and oxygen, and by the atmospheric oxidation of nitric oxide (NO), also a product of combustion.

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.

24

•■•••> ,'U' ,‘|l ;

Diesel-engined vehicles such as taxis, public light buses, passenger coaches, franchised buses and light and heavy goods vehicles are the greatest contributor oi 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.

HONG KONG AIR QUALITY REPORT FOR NOV. 1995

Daily Concentrations (y,g/m 3) $0

MoiitJUy Averages

NOV.1996 1 2 3 4 6 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, 16 22 23 27 19 18 15 25 25 39 25 21 31 22 19 18 19 15 17 29 25 38 19 18 23 19 18 21 18 18

NO, 46 72 82 89 65 63 55 81 83 109 78 62 92 73 63 77 80 69 63 82 84 103 60 64 94 94 90 76 80 79

TSP 216 206 159 170 116

RSP 137 123 93 115 73

KC SO, 10 14 16 16 11 15 9 16 21 25 15 8 36 14 11 14 11 12 18 16 32 15 11 15 21 15 13 19 15

NO, 33 51 60 50 32 44 37 44 72 71 44 36 81 35 53 63 42 37 46 47 94 37 42 70 92 63 51 59 61

TSP 166 150 116 139 125

RSP 117 109 74 102 80

MK SO, 22 28 33 21 23 22 34 26 43 30 20 24 24 24 23 24 20 22 31 30 43 27 30 29 17 23 26 22 19

NO, 96 112 118 61 86 83 101 107 130 122 110 110 84 83 98 103 95 110 102 137 90 101 122 109 130 116 104 104

TSP 219 207 166 190 137

RSP 138 87 119 73

NOV.1WS NOV.1M4

22 14

77 64

173 114

106 63

16 53 140 96 17 52 98 59

Percentage of Air Quality Objective (AQO)^ IS

NOV. 199$ 1 2 3 4 S 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, 5 6 7 8 5 5 4 7 7 II 7 6 9 6 5 5 5 4 5 8 7 11 5 5 7 5 5 6 5 5

NO, 31 48 55 59 43 42 37 54 55 73 52 41 61 49 42 51 53 46 42 55 56 69 40 43 63 63 60 51 53 53

TSP 83 79 61 65 45

RSP 76 68 52 64 41

KC SO, 3 4 5 5 3 4 3 5 6 7 4 2 10 4 3 4 3 3 5 5 9 4 3 4 6 4 4 5 4

NO, 22 34 40 33 21 29 25 29 48 47 29 24 54 23 35 42 28 25 31 31 63 25 28 47 61 42 34 39 41

TSP 65 58 45 53 48

RSP 65 61 41 57 44

MK SO, 6 8 9 6 7 6 10 7 12 9 6 7 7 7 7 7 6 6 9 9 12 8 9 8 5 7 7 6 5

NO, 64 75 79 54 57 55 67 71 87 81 73 73 56 55 65 69 63 73 68 91 60 67 81 73 87 77 69 69

TSP 84 80 64 73 53

RSP 77 48 66 41

Notea: Air Quality Objectives (24-Hours) for SO,: 350 ag/m*

NO,: ISO rfm*

TSP: 260 pg/m*

RSP:

Legend: CW: Central/Wcstern SO,: Sulphur Dioxide

KC: Kwai Chung NO,: Nitrogen Dioxide

MK: Mong Kok TSP: Total Suspended Particulates RSP: Respirable Suspended Particulates

MAX MIN

39 15

109 46

216 116

137 73

36 8

94 32

168 116

117 74

26 39 43 17

105 108 137 81

184 183 219 137

104 75 138 73

MAX MIN

11 4

73 31

83 45

76 41

10 63 65 65 2 21 45 41

12 91 84 77 5 54 53 41

N> cn

26

—muV ft ® !<

H GRAPHICAL PRESENTATION OF

• 24-HOURS AIR QUALITY DATA FOR NOV.1995

CENTRAL / WESTERN & &

KWAI CHUNG

I 3 5 7 9 H 13 15 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 2 8 14 20 26

MONG KOK t)i $

I 3 5 7 9 || 13 13 17 19 21 23 25 27 29 2 8 14 20 26

FnH

27

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results *****

Tender date 12 Dec 95

Paper on offer EF bills

Issue number Q55O

Issue date 13 Dec 1995

Maturity date 13 Mar 1996

Amount applied HK$3,628 MN

Amount allotted HK$ 1,500 MN

Average yield accepted 5.63 PCT

Highest yield accepted 5.63 PCT

Pro rata ratio About 85 PCT

Average tender yield 5.64 PCT

I long Kong Monetary Authority

Tenders to be held in the week beginning 18 Dec 1995 -

Tender date 18 Dec 95 19 Dec 95 19 Dec 95

Paper on offer EF Notes EF bills EF bills

Issue number 5012 Q551 11580

Issue date 19 Dec 95 20 Dec 95 20 Dec 95

Maturity date 19 Dec 2000 20 Mar 96 19 Jun 96

Tenor 5 Years 91 days 182 days

Amount on offer HK$500+100 MN HK$1,500+300 MN HKS800+160 MN

Coupon 6.38 PCT

End

28

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

Time Cumulative change

$ million (hours) (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account Closing balance in the account Change attributable to : Money market activity LAF today LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer 1,843 1.423 -420 NIL TWI 122.5 *+0.0* / 0930 1000 1100 1200 1500 1600 12.12.95 -411 -411 -411 -420 -420 -420

Hong EF bills Terms Yield Kong Monetary Authority EF notes Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.78 2 years 2711 5.60 100.00 5.68

1 month 5.78 3 years 3810 6.15 100.80 5.93

3 months 5.64 5 years 5009 6.95 102.55 6.42

6 months 5.59 7 years 7211 6.82 100.62 6.82

12 months 5.57 5 years M502 7.30 102.35 6.84

Total turnover ol I T bills and notes - $8,640 million

Closed December 12, 1995

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

Wednesday, December 13, 1995

Contents Page No.

Transcript of the Governor's media session.............................. 1

Technological upgrading in industry vital............................... 3

Support for use of Chinese in courts.................................... 4

Actions to tackle juvenile crime announced.............................. 5

First JLG Expert Group meeting on handover ceremonies................... 8

Operation targets unlicensed guesthouses for local residents............ 8

ICC to hold fourth plenary meeting...................................... 9

New roads for Tseung Kwan O New Town................................... 10

112 VMs depart on Orderly Repatriation flight.......................... 10

Monitors' Report submitted to CS.................................... 11

Three NT lots to let................................................ 11

New regional office for Water Supplies Department...................... 12

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

1

Transcript of the Governor's media session *****

The following is the transcript of the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten's media session after officiating at the 1995 Chiang Technology Achievement Awards Presentation Ceremony this (Wednesday) evening:

Reporter: Welcome back.

Governor: It's nice to be back. It took slightly longer than we've intended.

Question: Was it a good experience in Manila?

Governor: The two and a half days I spent in the Philippines were extremely interesting and I think helped to underline the value of our relationship with the Philippines. We know that there are many personal ties between us. All those Filipinos who work in Hong Kong and help to make our family life more stable and help our economy as well, and all those others who work for Cathay Pacific and in other ways in the community. I know that businessmen and political leaders in the Philippines are very grateful for the very substantial investment made by Hong Kong in the Philippines. I went to Subic Bay where there is a good deal of Hong Kong investment, and overall we are now the second largest investor in the Philippines. I was particularly grateful for the kind and gracious way in which I was received by the President and his colleagues. I was glad of the opportunity to raise the concern that people in Hong Kong have about the case of Mr Au and Mr Wong and I'll be keeping in touch with their case personally. I was obviously particularly pleased that after the accident which closed much of Manila Airport, the President and his colleagues made much strenuous efforts to ensure that I could get back to Hong Kong not least to attend this function this evening.

Question: Mr Patten, was there an element of disbelief on your part when you're in your jet this morning...you realised that, once again, you weren't going to leave the

Philippines?

2

Governor: These things happen. I've flown in small planes before and have one or two difficulties. We weren't quite sure where we were going to touch down, whether we were going to Subic Bay which we've been to yesterday, or whether we were going back to Manila Airport itself. But I think the people who were most surprised were our hosts when we returned. I said that I wanted to come back again. They weren't expecting to see me quite so soon. They were then very, very helpful in getting a new plane and I guess for all of us it was a reminder of the importance of not leaving the airport too fast after you've seen the friends or relations off. But it was all done with obviously the main premium on safety as should always be the case.

Question: By the way, any good news to Mr Wong and Mr Au's family?

Governor: We will obviously be getting in touch with them to let them know about the precise details of the conversation that I had with the President and I know that we all want to let them know about my Deputy Private Secretary, Kim Salkeld's visit to them in prison. I was pleased that we were able to tell them personally about the latest stage of play as we saw it. I very much hope, because this is the objective, I very much hope that the result of my carefully thought through intervention is that it will actually speed up their case. I repeat what I have said before that we are not seeking to interference in the judicial process in the Philippines. We just want that judicial process to be speeded up as much as possible. Just as the Philippine Government feels strongly about the position of its own citizens when they are abroad. So I have to say we feel strongly about the position and welfare of our citizens abroad.

Question: Governor, Times newspaper on the subject of detention. Wei Jingsheng received 14 years sentence today. This is Christmas. What do you think the effect of this is ... Hong Kong and whether you have thoughts... Mr Wei?

Governor: There's been very deep concern in Hong Kong and around the world on behalf, I'm sure, of countless millions of people about Mr Wei's case and that concern will have been made even more profound by what happened today. The British Government I know during Mr Qian Qichen's visit to London made its concern about Mr Wei clear. The British Government strongly supported the initiative taken by the European Union on December 7 about Mr Wei's case. I am sure that Britain will be talking to partners in the European Union about what further can be done. You asked about Christmas and about people's personal reactions to this. I guess that Mr Wei will be in many people's thoughts and prayers this Christmas and he'll certainly be in mine.

3

Question: Do you think that it will affect the confidence of Hong Kong people after 1997?

Governor: I hope that leaders in China consider the impact on people in Hong Kong. We've just had a discussion, a debate, not prompted by Hong Kong, prompted by officials in China and by some who purport to advise China. We've just had a debate about the protection of civil liberties in Hong Kong. It was an indication of the importance which people attach to their civil liberties, their values, their freedoms in Hong Kong. I invite Chinese leaders to think what people in I long Kong think about those matters tonight.

End

Technological upgrading in industry vital *****

Hong Kong has demonstrated the value of technological upgrading in industry, the Governor, the Kt Hon Christopher Patten, said today (Wednesday).

"Despite much higher labour costs than in adjacent countries, we still employ 400,000 people in manufacturing industry, contributing $222 billion last year to our economy through exports," Mr Patten said.

%

Speaking at the 1995 Chiang Technology Achievement Awards presentation ceremony and opening of the Third International Conference on Manufacturing Technology, the Governor said that was a vital contribution.

"It is one that is made through the initiative and leadership of industrialists and technologists, not the direction of Government," he said.

The Governor said the role of the Government was to provide good soil in which industrial and technological sectors could flourish.

It included good education; infrastructure development; a good business environment; support for the Hong Kong Productivity Council, Industrial Technology Centre, New Technology Training Scheme and applied research and development; encouraging contacts between Hong Kong and other scientists; and civic freedoms that encourage innovation and initiative.

4

He added that there had been no better demonstration of the value of private initiative than the establishment of the Chiang Industrial Charity Foundation, with its commitment to the development of human resources and technological understanding throughout Hong Kong, mainland China and Taiwan.

Mr Patten also said since belter tools and techniques were indispensable to the sustenance of the community, it was imperative to improve levels of understanding and skills in the use of technology.

He said the Government was doing that through improvements at all levels in the education system.

These are the reduction in pupikteachcr ratios in primary and secondary schools, doubling of the numbers of computers in schools last year, expansion of opportunities for tertiary education and putting of resources into research.

End

Support for use of Chinese in courts *****

Commenting on the recent Ursi High Court trial conducted in the Chinese language, a spokesman for the Legal Department today (Wednesday) expressed support for the historic attempt and noted that the department would continue to contribute to the wider use of Chinese in the courts.

"For some years, the department has been anticipating an increase in the use of Chinese and, to meet this challenge, the Law Draftsman, with advice from the Bilingual Laws Advisory Committee, has been preparing an English-Chinese Glossary of Legal Terms.

"This Glossary is a compilation of terms and expressions appearing in the authentic Chinese-language text of the Laws of Hong Kong. As such, it bears authority and represents the fruit of intensive labours on the part of the executive as well as the legislative branches of the Government," he said.

fhc first volume of this Chinese-language legal glossary was published by the Legal Department in March this year with a second volume due out next spring.

5

The spokesman pointed out that with increasing court hearings conducted in the Chinese language, there would be increasing citation of relevant statutory provisions in the authentic Chincse-language text.

"This process will underscore and reinforce the authenticity of the Chinese terms and expressions and give a judicial stamp of approval to them, thereby rendering them, eventually, a universally accepted standard." he said.

End

Actions to tackle juvenile crime announced *****

Fhe Government today (Wednesday) announced a comprehensive action plan to tackle the problem of juvenile crime, involving efforts from the Police, the Education Department and the Social Welfare Department.

Speaking at a press conference, a Principal Assistant Secretary tor Security, Mr Jack Chan, said the plan of action had taken into account recommendations made in a research into the social causes of juvenile crime in Hong Kong commissioned by the Fight Crime Committee (FCC). The findings of the research were announced in May this year.

The action plan consists of seven new initiatives and a scries of on-going programmes being conducted to tackle the problem ol juvenile crime.

"One of the new initiatives is for the Police to submit half-yearly reports to the FCC and the District Fight Crime Committees (DFCCs) on the Police Superintendents’ Discretion Scheme from next year.

" This w ill enable the FCC and the DFCCs to monitor the cautioning practices under the scheme, which gives Police officers of the rank of Superintendent or above the discretion not to prosecute people under the age of IS who have committed minor offences," Mr Chan said.

" fhe $1.3 million Fight Crime Publicity Campaign for 1995-96 is also focused on the fight against youth crime," he said.

6

In order lo improve existing rehabilitation programmes for young offenders provided by the Social Welfare and the Correctional Services Departments, Mr Chan said the Standing Committee on Young Offenders (SCOYO) would commission a research to assess their effectiveness and to identify areas for improvements.

"It is hoped that the study would be completed by March 1997," he said.

"The SCOYO will also commission a smaller scale research, probably on the topic of’youth gangs and runaway youths'."

The other new initiatives include:

* to set up a district-level School Resource File, jointly developed by the Education and the Social Wellarc Departments, to provide information on alternative schooling opportunities and support services for youth under the guidance of social workers. The target date for the first set of these files is mid-1996:

* to set up a permanent Curriculum Support Team for Schools in 1996-97, by the Education Department, to provide expert support to schools with a high proportion of academically low achievers;

* to set up a Student Discipline Team in 1996-97, by the Education Department, to provide expert support and guidance to schools with serious discipline problems; and

* to provide services for new immigrant children from China, by the Education Department, to cater to their specific needs in view of their higher risk of becoming delinquents due to difficulties in assimilation and lack of adequate guidance from schools and parents.

On the last initiative. Mr Chan pointed out that with the assistance of voluntary agencies, the Education Department had launched a new induction programme in April this year lo help new immigrant children to adapt lo life in I long Kong.

"To meet the expected increase in demand for school places by the new arrivals, five more primary schools will be built by 1997-98." he said.

Apart from the new initiatives, existing education and social work services programmes would be boosted in order to provide better assistance and support to marginal youths. Mr Chan said.

7

"These include a further increase of 10 per cent of primary and secondary schools adopting the Whole School Approach to Guidance in 1996-97; the development of a more diverse curriculum for students; the setting up of two more practical schools and five more skills opportunity schools by 1998-99 for students with serious learning difficulties; and the setting up of 22 additional school social worker units in 1996-97.

"The Social Welfare Department, on the other hand, plans to set up two more outreaching social work teams per year for three consecutive years from 1996-97 onwards, in addition to the existing 30 teams operated by 13 non-government organisations," he said.

"While the Education Department will seek to step up home-school cooperation, the Social Welfare Department will strengthen its family services by creating’an additional 92 family caseworker posts in 1995-96, as well as setting up three new family services centres in 1995-96 and five new Family Life Education worker units in 1996-97.

"By providing guidance and counselling services, this should help strengthen family support to help youth development," he added.

Meanwhile, the Social Welfare Department has been providing communitybased programmes as alternatives to institutional and custodial penalties for young offenders.

"One of these is a pilot Community Support Service Scheme which started in 1994. Two experimental projects have been introduced under this scheme to help stimulate young people's interest in school or in work and to develop their social skills.

"This pilot scheme will be evaluated in October next year," Mr Chan said.

End

- 8 -

First JLG Expert Group meeting on handover ceremonies

*****

The Sino-British Joint Liaison Group will hold its first round of Experts Talks to discuss handover ceremonies on December 14 (Thursday) in Hong Kong.

The British team will be led by Mr Hugh Davies, British Senior Representative on the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group. The Chinese team will be led by Mr Zhao Jihua, Chinese Senior Representative on the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group.

End

Operation targets unlicensed guesthouses for local residents *****

The Government is determined to put guesthouses which cater mainly for local residents under licensing control in order to ensure the safety of patrons by taking enforcement action against unlicensed premises, the acting Deputy Director of Home Affairs, Mr Tim Stephenson, said today (Wednesday).

Speaking at a press briefing at the conclusion of a two-day operation conducted by the Home Affairs Department against unlicensed guesthouses, Mr Stephenson said the operation marked the start of a full-scale drive aimed at unlicensed local person guesthouses with more than 10 rooms.

"Because of the amount of furnishings, the internal layout and lack of windows, these guesthouses are known to be hazardous. They have been given one full year to carry out safety improvements as advised by the Home Affairs Department and were required to be licensed by December 1, 1995.

"In the two-day operation conducted in Kowloon Tong, a total of 29 premises were inspected and 11 were found to be operating illegally. The seven persons managing the premises will be issued summonses charging them with operating a guesthouse without a licence under the Hotel and Guesthouse Accommodation Ordinance. Operators or controllers of the premises may also be summonsed," Mr Stephenson said.

He explained the three-fold purpose of the operation.

9

"First, it is imperative that operators understand that we will not allow them to jeopardise the safety of their customers by opening for business premises which do not comply with fire and building safety requirements.

"Many of the premises inspected were operating either having done none of the required work or, in a number of instances, whilst the work was still going on. In both cases, this poses a totally unacceptable risk to patrons," Mr Stephenson said.

"Secondly, we hope to drive home the message to operators of smaller local person guesthouses, who have until September 1996 to upgrade, that they should begin work without delay unless they wish to find themselves in a similar situation in nine months time.

"Lastly, we wish to warn the public of the dangers of frequenting these guesthouses and urge members of the public to help crack down on unlicensed guesthouses by reporting them to the Licensing Authority."

Reports can be made by telephoning 2881 7034 or 2881 7035.

Mr Stephenson advised operators who encountered difficulty in carrying out the improvements to cease operation and contact officers of the Licensing Authority, who would be pleased to give advice.

End

ICC to hold fourth plenary meeting ♦ ♦ ♦ * *

fhe Infrastructure Co-ordinating Committee (ICC) will hold its fourth plenary meeting in Hong Kong on Saturday (December 16) at 9.30 am al 28 Kennedy Road.

The Hong Kong team will be led by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands. Mr Bowen Leung, and the Chinese team by the Director. Hong Kong Economic Department, the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of the Chinese State Council. Mr Zhang Liangdong.

The meeting will receive reports from the ICC panels and discuss the next stage of work of the main committee and its panels.

End

10

New roads for Tseung Kwan O New Town *****

Works will soon start on the construction of new roads and subways in the northern part of Tseung Kwan O Town Centre.

A $275 million contract for the works was signed today (Wednesday) by the Territory Development Department’s Project Manager for the New Territories East Development Office, Mr John Bosco Yu, and a representative of the contractor. China State Construction Engineering Corporation.

The road works were part of the department's on-going development programme for the Tseung Kwan O New Town, said Mr Yu after the contract signing.

"The works comprise the construction of about 3.8 kilometres of roads, a 23-metre wide and 80-metre long road bridge, eight subways and associated engineering works.

"Construction will start this week for completion in 27 months," he said.

End

112 VMs depart on Orderly Repatriation Hight

* * * * *

A group of 112 Vietnamese migrants (VMs) returned by air to Hanoi, Vietnam today (Wednesday) on the 28th flight under the Orderly Repatriation Programme (ORP).

All but three of the returnees, comprising 52 men, 30 women. 13 boys and 17 girls, are from south and central Vietnam.

Most of the returnees were transferred from High Island Detention Centre to Victoria Prison on November 30. The majority of them arrived in Hong Kong in 1991. with the remaining in 1988. 1989 and 1990.

I he group brought to 1.849 the total number repatriated on ORP Hights since November 1991 and to 864 the number repatriated this year.

II

Commenting on the flight, the Refugee Co-ordinator, Mr Brian Bresnihan, said the total number repatriated through ORP in 1995 was double the highest number returned in any year since the programme was introduced.

"The non-refugees in our camps have no future in Hong Kong and we remain determined to repatriate them as soon as possible in accordance with the principles laid down in the Comprehensive Plan of Action,” he said.

End

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.

The monitors were Mr Thomas Chan Siu-kam. a Justice of the Peace, and Mr Christopher Stokes from Mcdecins Sans I rontieres.

End

Three NT lots to let

* * * * *

The Lands Department is inviting tenders for the short-term tenancies of three pieces of government land in Kwai Chung and Yuen Long.

The first lot, located at the junction of Container Port Road and Kwai I ai Road, Kwai Chung, has an area of 3,190 square metres for use as a fee-paying public car park for parking of goods vehicles, container tractors and trailers only.

The tenancy is for three years, renewable quarterly.

12

The second and the third lots arc both located at Ping Fuk Lane, Tong Yan San Tsuen, Yuen Long, having an area of 550 and 530 square metres respectively.

Both lots arc intended to be used for repairing, lubricating and/or maintenance of vehicles. Tenancies for both will be for two years, renewable quarterly.

Closing date for submission of tenders for all three lots is noon on December

29.

Tender forms, tender notices and conditions may be obtained from the District Lands Office, Kwai Tsing. 10th floor, Tsuen Wan Station Multi-storey Carpark Building, 174-208 Castle Peak Road, Tsuen Wan; the District Lands Office, Yuen Long, ninth floor, Yuen Long Government Offices and Tai Kiu Market, 2 Kiu Lok Square, Yuen Long; the District Lands Office, 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

New regional office for Water Supplies Department *****

The Water Supplies Department's Mainland South East Regional Office will operate from its new office at 180 Po Kong Village Road. Diamond Hill, from December 15 (Friday).

The new office is accessible from the Wong Tai Sin or Choi I lung Mass transit Railway stations.

It is responsible for the daily operation and maintenance of the water supply systems and to provide technical services to consumers in Wong l ai Sin. Kwun Tong. Tseung Kwan O and Sai Kung.

All technical faults complaints such as water main burst and leaks or weak water supply pressure should continue to be directed to the I echnical Complaint Centre and the Communications Controllers' Office at 128. Sai Yee Street. Mong Kok. The 24-hour hotline is 2396 0210 and the faxline is 2396 5731.

End

13

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,423 0930 +9

Closing balance in the account 1,489 1000 +9

Change attributable to : 1100 +9

Money market activity -14 1200 +13

LAF today +80 1500 +22

1600 -14

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 122.6 *+0.1* 13.12.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.86 2 years 2711 5.60 99.96 5.70

1 month 5.84 3 years 3810 6.15 100.77 5.94

3 months 5.67 5 years 5009 6.95 102.47 6.44

6 months 5.62 7 years 7211 6.82 100.54 6.83

12 months 5.60 5 years M502 7.30 102.20 6.88

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $15,025 million

Closed December 13, 1995

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

SUPPLEMENT

Wednesday, December 13,1995

Contents Page No.

Employees' Compensation Ordinance.................................... 1

Pneumoconiosis (Compensation) Ordinance.............................. 2

Stamp Duty Ordinance amendment....................................... 3

Teaching by mother tongue............................................ 6

Merits payments to Hospital Authority senior staff........................ 9

Assistance to Chief Executive (Designate)................................ 10

Property transactions.................................................... 12

Broadcasting Bill........................................................ 13

Political Adviser's Office............................................... 14

Education for school-age children from China............................. 15

Standards of roads in the New Territories................................ 17

Answering of "999" calls................................................. 18

Matrimonial Causes....

Contents

Page No,

Matrimonial Causes (Amendment) Ordinance................................... 20

Safety for glassware products.......................................... 21

Relocation of methadone clinic............................................. 22

Air services between Hong Kong and Taiwan.................................. 25

Applications for search warrants........................................... 26

Air fare for civil servants on overseas duty visits........................ 28

Fill material for proposed reclamation at Kowloon Bay...................... 30

Oxygen content in air.................................................. 31

Predicted profits and performance of H shares companies...........

32

1

Employees’ Compensation Ordinance ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong, in moving the resolution of the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move the motion standing in my name on the Order Paper.

The purpose of this resolution is to revise the levels of compensation and certain compensation-related items under the Employees' Compensation Ordinance. The Ordinance provides for payment of compensation by employers to employees who are injured or killed as a result of employment-related accidents. Our policy since 1978 has been to review the levels of compensation every two years to take account of wage movements, inflation and other changes. The existing levels of compensation have been in force since 1 January 1994 and are now due for revision. We propose that the revised rates should take effect as from 1 January 1996.

We propose to increase the ceiling for monthly earnings from $15,000 to $18,000. This figure is the basis on which the maximum amounts of compensation for permanent total incapacity and for death are calculated under the Ordinance. We also propose to increase the minimum levels of compensation for death from $219,000 to $262,000, and for permanent total incapacity from $248,000 to $297,000. In addition, we propose that the maximum amount of compensation for the costs of required by another person be revised from $297,000 to $356,000. For late payment of compensation, we propose to increase the minimum amount of surcharge imposed upon expiry of the payment period from $350 to $420 and the minimum additional surcharge imposed three months after expiry of payment period from $700 to $840. Each of these six proposed revisions represents an increase of about 19.7% over the existing levels, which is in line with the increase in nominal wages during the past two years.

The ceilings on three other forms of compensation are to be adjusted to take account of inflation since their last revision in 1994. The proposed changes include increasing the maximum amount for burial expenses from $12,000 to $14,000, and increasing the maximum payments to be made by an employer towards the costs of supplying and fitting a prosthesis or a surgical appliance from $24,000 and $74,000 respectively to $28,000 and $86,000 respectively.

2

We also propose to raise the maximum daily rate of reimbursement of medical expenses from $120 to $160 to take account of the increase in fees charged by public hospitals and clinics since 1994.

•«H;. ■■

Finally, we propose to revise the amount that is deemed to be the minimum earnings per month for the purpose of calculating compensation from $2,250 to $2,450. This proposed increase serves to keep the deemed minimum earnings of an injured employee broadly in line with the existing rate of payment to a singleton under the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme.

These proposals have been endorsed by the Labour Advisory Board and I recommend them to this Council for approval.

. »• i

Mr President, I beg to move.

ti\-End

Pneumoconiosis (Compensation) Ordinance

*****

• ■ ■ : Ii

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong, in moving the resolution of the Pneumoconiosis (Compensation) Ordinance in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move the motion standing in my name on the Order Paper.

The purpose of this resolution is to revise the levels of compensation and certain compensation-related items under the Pneumoconiosis (Compensation) Ordinance. The Ordinance provides for payment of compensation for persons who were diagnosed after 1 January 1981 to be suffering from pneumoconiosis. AVe propose that the revised rates should take effect as from 1 January 1996.

3

We propose to raise the ceilings in respect of two items of compensation under the Ordinance to take account of inflation and wage movements since July 1993. First, we purpose to increase the amount for calculating the monthly compensation for total incapacity, from $2,100 to $2,570. In this respect, it should be noted that under the Pneumoconiosis (Compensation) (Amendment) Bill which was introduced into this Council on 6.12.95 (i.e. last Wednesday), the amount of $2,100 was proposed to be a made a separate compensation item for pain, suffering and loss of amenities which would be paid to all eligible pneumoconiotics regardless of their degree of incapacity. Therefore, if this proposed revision is approved, we will move a Committee Stage Amendment to the Bill to revise the amount to $2,570. Secondly, we prepare to increase is the amount of compensation for care and attention from $3,500 to $4,050.

Separately, we also propose to revise the rates of funeral expenses and medical expenses payable under the Ordinance which have always been identical to those specified in the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance. As the rates of such expenses under the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance have just been raised by a resolution of this Council, I propose that the levels of these two items be similarly revised.

The proposals have been endorsed by the Labour Advisory Board and I recommend them to this Council for approval.

Mr President, I beg to move.

End

Stamp Duty Ordinance amendment

*****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for the Treasury, Mr K C Kwong, in moving a resolution on Stamp Duty Ordinance Amendment to section 291(1) in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move the resolution standing in my name on the Order Paper.

4

I would like to first outline the background. In January 1992, Members approved amendments to the Stamp Duty Ordinance (Cap. 117). Among other things, these amendments required stamp duty to be paid on all agreements for sale of residential property. By contrast, stamp duty was previously only payable on the assignment of the property.

This measure was one of a series of action to curb speculation in residential property. It is a disincentive to those who speculate on property in the period between the conclusion of a sale agreement and the assignment. Apart from the additional stamp duty a speculator has to pay for each sale before assignment, the speculator also has a potential profits tax liability. The information on sale agreements provided to the Commissioner of Inland Revenue under the measure enables him to identify property transactions which may be liable to profits tax. This ensures that the speculators pay the fair share of their profits tax liability. The cost of speculation has therefore been significantly increased. Genuine home-buyers are not affected by this measure except insofar as they have to pay stamp duty slightly earlier.

• ' i .

Under the terms of the original amendments, the measure would have expired at midnight on 31 December 1993. The intention was to allow both the Administration and Members the opportunity to examine all relevant factors before deciding whether the measure should be extended. On 15 December 1993, Members approved a resolution to extend the measure for two years until 31 December 1995.

The residential property market today

The residential property market has gradually softened. The problem of speculation has now been largely contained. This is the combined effect of measures proposed by the Inter-departmental Task Force on Land Supply and Property Prices, mortgage lending policy of banks, changes in interest rates, as well as the increased cost of speculation as a result of the stamp duty measure. It is therefore important that the stamp duty measure be extended. Otherwise, it would send a wrong signal to the market that the Government no longer wished to curb speculation in residential property. There would also be a significant risk that speculation may be rekindled to the detriment of genuine home-buyers.

5

Extension to 31 December 1927

The motion before Members today seeks the extension of the measure by a further period of two years beyond 31 December 1995. I am grateful that the Legislative Council Sub-committee formed to study the motion supports the extension of the measure in principle though I understand that there are different views in respect of the period of extension, i.e. whether the measure should be extended for one year or two years.

It is clear that the measure is effective in containing speculation. It does not affect genuine home-buyers. It has been in place for nearly four years and is well established and accepted by the public. I therefore do not see any reason why we should deviate from our previous practice of extending the measure for two years which may otherwise give a wrong signal to the market in respect of this Council's determination in containing speculation. In fact, we have informed the sub-committee that it is also our plan to seek the views of Members later with a view to introducing an amendment to the Stamp Duty Ordinance to make the measure permanent. This will eliminate unnecessary speculation which may otherwise occur each time the expiry date of the measure approaches. The proposed two-year extension would allow Members sufficient time to study the permanent arrangement proposal. However, if the measure were to be extended for one year only and the amendment to the Stamp Duty Ordinance to make the measure permanent could not be processed in time, we might have to seek an extension again at the end of next year, thereby adding an unnecessary burden to the heavy agenda of this Council. I therefore strongly recommend to Members that the two-year extension should be supported.

Finally, I am also grateful to the Members of the Subcommittee for their views on how we should revise the stamp duty system in order to alleviate the financial burden of genuine home-buyers and to safeguard against abuse. I can assure Members that we will examine these views carefully before we submit the permanent arrangement proposal to this Council.

■Mr President, I beg to move.

End

6

Teaching by mother tongue *****

Following is a question by the Hon Ip K.wok-him and a reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

According to the findings of the research conducted by the Education Department, it is more appropriate forabout 70% of Form One students to receive education their mother-tongue, but there are only less than 20% of all the secondary schools in the territory) which have adopted mother-tongue as the medium of teaching. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council :

(a) whether it has promoted the importance of teaching by mother-tongue to parents of secondary school students; if so, what are the details, and what achievement it has made in this regard; and

(b) what plans does the Government have to make more schools accept and adopt teaching by mother-tongue?

i . .

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) The Government's policy is to encourage secondary schools to adopt Chinese as the medium of instruction, to allow individual schools to exercise discretion in the choice of their medium of instruction where their students may learn effectively in either Chinese or English, and to strongly discourage the use of mixed-code in schools. This policy is based on the following considerations:

(i) that teaching and learning are generally more effective through the mother tongue; and

(ii) that while students can learn more effectively in the mother tongue, those who have the ability to learn effectively in English should be given the opportunity to do so if they wish.

7

Starting in 1994. parents of primary 6 students were provided with information on the language ability of their children, grouped according to their proficiency in Chinese and English. Schools have since been categorised into three groups as follows:

(a) schools which should use Chinese as their medium of instruction;

(b) schools which may use cither Chinese or English as their medium of instruction; and

(c) schools which may use Chinese or English for some classes and should use Chinese only for other classes as their medium of instruction.

At the same time, the Education Department has been promoting robustly the benefits of mother-tongue teaching by:

(i) publicising'the results of research studies undertaken in conjunction with Hong Kong University and Chinese University of Hong Kong between 1987 and 1994 on using mother tongue as the medium of instruction. These studies indicated that students generally learned and performed better with mother tongue as the medium of instruction, particularly in language-loaded subjects. Abstracts of these results have been distributed to all kindergartens, primary and secondary schools. Video tapes have also been produced. Starting from 1995, such information is also given, in the form of pamphlets, to all parents of Primary 6 students who will have to choose secondary schools for their children;

(ii) producing posters for schools to display during parents' days;

(iii) holding roving exhibitions on Government's medium of instruction policy and findings of the relevant research studies; and

(iv) organising seminars on the effectiveness of mother-tongue teaching for secondary school heads.

As a result of these efforts, the number of schools adopting Chinese as the medium of instruction for all subjects except English has increased from 52 in 1994 to 69 this year. In fact, some 280 secondary schools or about 70% of all the secondary schools use Chinese as the medium of instruction to varying degrees. Of these, some 150 schools use Chinese for most of the school subjects.

8

(b) To encourage more schools to use Chinese as the medium of instruction in the coming years, the Education Department will continue to implement positive discrimination measures including the following:

(i) providing additional teachers of English, movable partitions, wirefree induction loop systems as well as one-off library grant to enhance English teaching and learning;

(ii) providing training courses to prepare teachers to teach in the medium of Chinese;

(iii) providing incentives for publishers to produce good quality Chinese textbooks in various subjects - the Finance Committee of this Council has recently approved $54M for implementing phase 4 of the incentive scheme; and

(iv) providing glossaries of technical terms in both languages for major subjects.

In addition, the Education Department is currently conducting a 3-year longitudinal study starting from 1994 to gauge the effects of different modes of medium of instruction on the academic achievement and learning process of Secondary 1 to Secondary 3 students. In the light of these findings, we will formulate and issue to schools firm guidance in 1997 on the appropriate medium of instruction to be adopted starting from September 1998.

These efforts will be re-inforced by the following publicity activities to be launched by the Department in 1995/96? that is the current financial year:

(i) organising eight seminars on benefits of mother-tongue teaching for primary school teachers who will pass the messages onto their pupils and parents;

(ii) producing TV programmes and Announcements of Public Interest (API) on radio with the TV programmes targeted specially at parents;

(iii) displaying posters at M I R stations;

(iv) preparing and distributing new pamphlets to parents of Primary 4 to 6 students; and

9

(v) publicising, through the mass media, successful examples of schools adopting mother-tonguc-teaching, particularly the outstanding achievements of their students.

The total cost of these activities is estimated at $2.6M.

End

Merits payments to Hospital Authority senior staff ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Chan Wing-chan and a reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare. Mrs Katherine Fok. in the Legislative Council (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether merit payments are granted to senior executives of the Hospital Authority; if so, what are the criteria for granting such payments, which types of executives arc eligible for receiving such payments, and what is the basis for determining the amount granted: and

(b) of the annual amount appropriated for such payments by the Hospital Authority over the past three years?

Reply:

Mr President,

The Chief Executive and Hospital Chief Executives arc senior executives of the Hospital Authority whose remuneration contains a performance related element. Such payments are determined by assessment panels set up to evaluate the overall performance of individual executives in discharging their management duties and achieving agreed service targets.

10

In the case of Hospital Chief Executives, the assessment panel comprises members of the Hospital Authority Board as well as the respective Hospital Governing Committees, and the payment ranges from 0% to 15% of pay. In the case of the Chief Executive, the assessment panel comprises Hospital Authority Board members, and the payment ranges from 0% to 30% ol pay.

The amount of performance related payments granted by the Hospital Authority in 1992-93. 1993-94 and 1994-95 were in the order of $0.6 million, $4 million and $7 million respectively.

End

Assistance to Chief Executive (Designate)

* * * * *

Following is a question by the Hon Lee Wing-tat and a reply by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs. Mr Nicholas Ng. in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

As the Chief Executive (Designate) and Principal Officials (Designate) ("Team Designate") will be appointed in 1996. will the Government inform (his Council:

(a) what is the composition of the "Team Designate" as the Government understands it;

(b) whether, in regard to providing assistance to the Special Administrative Region (SAR) Government (Designate) in its work during the transition, the Government will provide assistance to the Principal Officials (Designate). Executive Councillors (Designate) or the "Team Designate" as a whole in addition to providing assistance to the SAR Chief Executive (Designate):

(c) in what ways will such assistance be given; and

11

(d) whether the Government will urge the British Government to request the Chinese Government to state clearly that the secretariat consisting of a few hundred staff proposed to be set up by a member of the Preliminary Working Committee (PWC) to provide assistance to the Chief Executive (Designate) will not result in the existence of a "shadow government"; and whether the Government will request the British Government to clarify if the PWC's proposal contravenes section 4 of the Sino-British Joint Declaration?

Reply:

It is not for the Hong Kong Government to define for the Chinese side what the term "Team Designate" stands for. The only occasion that this term had been explained to us was in the context of discussions on the Court of Final Appeal. On that occasion the Chinese side told us that the "Team Designate" would be led by the Chief Executive (Designate) and would include the Principal Officials (Designate) and others qualified to take part in the establishment of the Court of Final Appeal.

It is obviously in Hong Kong's interest to ensure that the transition will be as smooth as possible. It is, therefore, essential that we render assistance to the Chief Executive (Designate). In the Governor's Policy Address, we have already undertaken to do so. I he details and the form of such assistance will need to be discussed with the Chinese side.

Under the Joint Declaration, the administration of Hong Kong before 1997 will remain a British responsibility. We have made it clear that we will maintain effective administration of the territory and will not accept any parallel or shadow government. We have noted from recent press reports that the Chinese side have affirmed their support for this principle and that there should not be an alternative centre of power before 30 June 1997.

End

12

Property transactions

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Eric Li and a reply by the acting Secretary for Housing, Mr Fung Tung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday): 9

Question:

Since .lune 1994, the Government has implemented administrative measures to regulate property transactions and to curb property prices in order to enable families in need of a home to have the opportunity to purchase for the first time at relatively reasonable prices. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of new residential flats completed between June 1994 and October this year;

(b) what is the number of flats for which transactions have been concluded during the above-mentioned period; whether there is information to show how many of the transactions are in respect of flats purchased by first-time home-buyers; and what is the average vacancy rate during the period; and

(c) whether the number of first-time home-buyers and the number of new residential flats referred to in the above-mentioned period have shown an increase when compared with the corresponding figures in each of the 3 years immediately before the implementation of the measures to regulate property transactions; if not. what are the reasons?

Answer:

Mr President.

Since the introduction of the anti-speculation measures in June last year,

a) the number of new residential flats completed up to October 1995 is 76.107 units, including all private and public housing flats;

b) the number of transactions concluded during the same period is 128,738. We have no records showing the number of transactions involving first-time home-buyers. The vacancy rate for private domestic flats, which is compiled on an annual basis, was 4.7% in 1994;

13

c) the number of new residential flats completed has increased by 4%, 8% and 23% when compared with those in the past three years respectively immediately before the introduction of the new measures.

End

Broadcasting Bill

* * * * *

Following is a question by the Hon Andrew Cheng Kar-foo and a reply by the Secretary for Recreation and Culture, Mr T H Chau, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

The Government indicated to this Council on 2 November 1995 that it would seek the views of interested parties and consult the Chinese side on the Broadcasting Bill (the Bill). In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) how it will go about seeking such views; whether it will conduct public consultations on major issues arising from the Bill, such as the restrictions on "cross media ownership" and the regulation of "interactive multimedia services"; and

(b) what progress has been made to date in its consultation with the Chinese side on the Bill: and what are the specific details on the consultation ?

Reply:

Mr President,

As drafting of the Bill is still underway, we have not yet decided precisely how the consultation should be conducted, and neither have we initiated consultations with the Chinese side. However, I can say that it is our intention that all interested parties will have an opportunity to comment on all matters in the Bill, and that all comments received will be considered carefully before the Bill is finalised for enactment.

End

14

Political Adviser’s Office ♦ * * * ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Emily Lau and a written reply by the Chief Secretary, the Hon Anson Chan, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

It is learnt that three new posts have been created in the Office of the Political Adviser. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the reasons for the creation of these new posts;

(b) the salary scale and area of responsibilities of each of the posts; and

(c) from which departments the officials presently holding these posts were transferred and what posts did they hold in the departments concerned?

Reply:

Mr President

The Political Adviser's Office has recently been reorganised, on a trial basis, to bring together those functions of the Hong Kong Government which derive directly from UK sovereignty and which will cease in June 1997 when the office will be wound up. This has involved the transfer of certain responsibilities and loan of posts from other Secretariat Branches. The answers to the specific questions are as follows -

(a) No new posts have been created on the establishment of the Political Adviser's Office. However as a result of the reorganisation there are now three additional officers designated as Deputy Political Advisers. Two of these posts are on loan from other Secretariat Branches: the third is an officer filling an existing post which has been retitled;

(b) All these officers arc filling existing AOSGC posts at the D2 level. The Deputy Political Adviser (Security) post deals with certain security issues related to UK sovereignty. The Deputy Political Adviser (Personnel) post deals with HMOCS and other sovereignty related Civil Service transitional matters and the Deputy Political Adviser (General) post is responsible for contributing to the China advice function and supporting the Political Adviser as a member of the Joint Liaison Group;

15

(c) The Deputy Political Adviser (Security) is filling the post of Principal Assistant Secretary (Security)D currently on loan from Security Branch. The Deputy Political Adviser (Personnel) is holding the post of Principal Assistant Secretary (Civil Service) Development on loan from Civil Service Branch. The third post. Deputy Political Adviser (General) is an existing AOSGC directorate post in the Political Adviser's Office which has been retitled.

End

Education for school-age children from China

• *****

Following is a question by.the Hon Edward Ho Sing-tin and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Since the middle of this year, the number of Chinese immigrants arriving daily in the territory for permanent residence has increased from 105 to 150 and many of these immigrants are school-age children. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether, in the light of the increasing number of children (aged 6 to 12) from mainland China settling in the territory, the Education Department (ED) has made any assessment and co-ordination of their educational needs at various levels of schooling in the next 5 to 10 years: if so. what arc the details of the assessment and coordination plan: if not, why not; and

(b) whether the ED has set up any task force to provide assistance and counselling to such children and their parents to cope with the difficulties the children may encounter in their studies?

16

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) To meet the demand for primary school places from an increasing number of Chinese immigrant children who are aged between 6 and 12 over the next few years, we are committed to building five additional primary schools for completion in 1997-98. In the interim, we arc making use of the existing vacancies in primary and secondary schools resultant from an overall decline in our school population to accommodate these children. We shall conduct a review of the’ longer term requirements for school places at different levels, including secondary schools, as well as the various support services in 1996.

(b) There is close co-ordination among various sections in the Education Department in the provision of services to immigrant children and their parents. These services include school placement, tailor-made induction programme, remedial teaching, and guidance and counselling service.

On guidance and counselling, student guidance officers/student guidance teachers arc stationed in primary schools to assist in:

(i) promoting pupils' positive behaviour, strengthening their motivation towards learning and enhancing their self-esteem;

(ii) training on study or social skills so as to enable the pupils to cope with their learning, adjustment or behavioural problems; and (iii) providing individual guidance to help them deal with more complicated adjustment, social or family problems.

Regarding parents, the Education Department has provided subvention to 14 non-government organisations in the 1995/96 school year to run short adaptation courses for adult immigrants. The course contents include the technique to help them cope with the difficulties their children encounter in studies.

The Home Affairs Department has been tasked to monitor and assess the services provided for new arrivals from China to ease the process ol integration, to identify groups who are specially at risk, and to recommend the most suitable approach for responding to the practical problems as they emerge.

End

17

Standards of roads in the New Territories ♦ * * * *

Following is a question by the Hon Choy Kan-pui and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport. Mr Haider Banna, in the l egislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

At present, there are still a number of roads in the New Territories which were constructed by the Government many years ago and which have all the time been managed by the Government. These roads, which include Fan Kam Road, the Yuen Long Section of Lam Kam Road and Kam fin Road, can no longer meet the current standards for highways nor can they cater for the needs ol the rapid developments in the New Territories. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council :

(a) of the total number of such roads in the New Territories at present, together with their names and locations; and

(b) whether the Government has formulated a timetable for the reconstruction of these roads to meet the current road standards so as to ensure the safety of road users; if so. what arc the respective dates for the commencement and completion of the reconstruction work; if not. why not?

Reply:

Mr President.

fhe road network in the New Territories has developed over the past 50 years. At the time individual roads were constructed they all fully met the then prevailing standards. Higher standards have evolved over the years resulting in better and more modern roads. I lowever, this does not mean that the other roads are either unsafe or ol an unacceptable standard.

It is fully recognised that with the pace of development in the New lerritories some existing roads may not be able to cope with increased levels of traffic. I hose roads need to be improved, fhe Lam Kam Road (Yuen Long Section) and Kam I in Road fall into this category.

18

The improvements currently proposed cover:

(i) the widening of Kam Tin Road in two stages from the existing single carriageway to dual-2 carriageway. The first stage from Au Tau to Kam Tin will start in early 1998 and is scheduled for completion in early 2000. The second stage from Kam Tin to Lam Kam Road will start in 2002 and is scheduled for completion in 2005;and

(ii) the widening of Lam Kam Road from Kam Tin Road to Kadoorie Farm from the existing single carriageway to possible dual 2 carriageway. This is scheduled to start in 2002 for completion in 2005.

A re-construction and maintenance programme for l an Kam Road, Kam Sheung Road, Yuen Long Section of Castle Peak Road and Route Twisk is also in hand and will be completed over the next 5 years. Improvement measures will include the provision of proper footpaths and drainage.

As regards minor roads, traffic management measures are implemented to maintain safe and efficient movement of traffic. For example, where necessary, speed limits arc imposed or certain categories of vehicles are prohibited.

We shall continue to upgrade the road network to keep pace with traffic demand.

End

Answering of "999" calls

♦ * * * *

Following is a question by the Hon Selina Chow Liang Suk-yee and a written reply by the Secretary for Security. Mr Peter Lai, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It was reported that a member of the public recently dialled "999" to report a bank robbery but only to receive the recorded reply "the line is busy’’, in view of this, will the Government inform this Council:

19

(a) of the average number of police communication personnel responsible for answering ”999" calls and the average number of calls they have to handle per shift at present, and how do these figures compare with the corresponding figures in each of the past three years;

(b) of the total number of calls made to ”999" to report crime which received the recorded reply "the line is busy" this year;

(c) of the average time currently taken for a call to ”999" to be answered by the staff manning the number, and how does this figure compare with those of the past three years?

Reply:

Mr President,

The answers to the three parts of the question are as follows:

(a) There are eighteen Police Communications Officers and three Senior Police Communications Officers manning the ”999" Consoles per shift in the three Police Regional Command and Control Centres in Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and New Territories. The number of staff deployed for such duties is the same for the past three year. In the first 10 months of this year, each shift handles an average of 445 calls. The average figures for 1992, 1993 and 1994 arc 328. 338 and 401 respectively.

(b) fhe pre-recorded bilingual broadcast message was introduced in September 1994. Our computer system does not capture statistics on the number of calls answered by the message. However, the pre-recorded message invariably asks the caller not to hang-up in order that the call could be dealt with as soon as possible.

(c) While we do not have statistics on the average time taken to answer a ”999" call in the past three years, the findings of a recent snap-shot survey conducted by the Police show that on average a ”999" call is answered within six seconds. It is possible that a caller may need to wait longer than six seconds to get through when a major incident takes place. However, this does not affect the response time of the Police because such cases are often reported by more than one caller. For example, in the case referred to in the question, the Police received two other reports of the same case at the .time of the bank robbery. It should be noted that the first police officer arrived at the scene six minutes from the receipt of the calls.

End

20

Matrimonial Causes (Amendment) Ordinance

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Miriam Lau and a written reply by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

The Matrimonial Causes (Amendment) Ordinance 1995 was passed by this Council on 17 May 1995 but it shall come into operation on a day to be appointed by the Secretary for Home Affairs by notice in the Gazette. Will the Government inform this Council of the reasons why, after a lapse of 6 months since its passage, the Ordinance has still not come into operation; and when it is expected that a notice will be published in the Gazette to bring the Ordinance into operation?

Reply:

Mr President:

1 share the Honourable Member's wish for the Matrimonial Causes (Amendment) Ordinance (the Amendment Ordinance) to be brought into operation as soon as possible. However, before this can be done, it is necessary for the Matrimonial Causes Rules (the Rules) to be amended to bring court procedures in relation to matrimonial proceedings into line with its provisions. Amendments to the Rules arc made by the Chief Justice. Home Affairs Branch has been co-ordinating the preparation of the necessary amendments to the Rules. The relevant professional bodies are currently being consulted on an advanced draft. We expect to be able to finalise the amendments to the Rules and submit them to the Chief Justice for consideration within the next few weeks.

The Amendment Ordinance will be brought into force at the same time the amendments to the Rules to be made by the Chief Justice come into effect.

End

21

Safety for glassware products

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Chan Kam-lam and a written reply by the Secretary for Trade and Industry, Miss Denise Yue, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of accidents involving industrial and household glassware products and installations in the past three years; and

(b) whether it will consider introducing regulations to stipulate the safety standards for glassware products and to require manufacturers to specify on their products the types of glass used and the level of durability measured in an impact-test?

Reply:

Mr President

(a) We do not have statistics on the number of accidents involving industrial and household glassware products and installations. Industrial accident statistics are analysed by cause and by industry. There is no breakdown by either the material or the equipment involved in industrial accidents. The Hospital Authority compiles patient statistics according to international classification of diseases. It does not have separate figures on the number of accidents involving use or installation of glassware products.

(b) The safety of glassware products for private use or consumption is already covered by the Consumer Goods Safety Ordinance, which came into force in October this year. This Ordinance imposes a statutory duty on manufacturers, importers and suppliers of consumer goods (including glassware products) to ensure that the goods they supply in Hong Kong arc safe. Section 4 of the Ordinance further requires that consumer goods (including glassware products) supplied in Hong Kong must comply with a general safety requirement which includes, inter alias, the adoption of reasonable safety standards published by a standards institute. Any supplier who fails to comply with the requirement under the Ordinance commits an offence. The Commissioner of Customs and Excise will monitor the situation and take enforcement action as appropriate.

22

Accordingly, wc do not see the need to introduce specific regulations to stipulate the safety standards for household glassware products and to require manufacturers to specify on their products the types of glass used and the level of durability measured in an impact-test.

End

Relocation of methadone clinic

* * * * *

Following is a question by the Hon Fred Li Wah-ming and a written reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

The ten-year redevelopment programme for Kwun Tong Town Centre proposed by the Land Development Corporation includes the relocation of the methadone clinic at the Town Centre to Tsui Ping Estate nearby. As methadone clinics often bring nuisance to the community in which they are located, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether it will consult local community groups and residents in this regard; if so, what are the details: if not, why not;

(b) whether the Government will make alternative arrangements to set up the methadone clinic further away from Tsui Ping Estate in view of the worsening drug abuse problem in that Estate; and

(c) what long-term and interim measures the Government has adopted to tackle the drug abuse problem in the neighbourhood of Tsui Ping Estate?

23

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) Phe Kwun Tong Town Centre Redevelopment Scheme • proposed by the Land Development Corporation (LDC) is still being considered by the Corporation and the Administration. If the Scheme is to be implemented, the Kwun Tong District Board, and other relevant local bodies where appropriate, will be consulted in advance on any proposal to relocate the methadone clinic.

(b) No decision has been made on whether and where the methadone clinic in Kwun Tong should be relocated. The Government is open-minded about the location of methadone clinics. An important consideration is the accessibility of the clinic, as the objective of the methadone programme is to offer a readily accessible out-patient service for those drug abusers who seek treatment but, for various reasons, would not be able to take part in residential treatment programmes.

(c) The drug abuse problem in the neighbourhood of Tsui Ping Estate is being tackled at source by stepped up law enforcement action, and preventive education and publicity.

Police enforcement action against drug activities in Tsui Ping Estate has been stepped up. T his can be seen from the number of arrests for serious narcotics offences in Tsui Ping Estate, which has increased from 46 in 1994 to 80 in the first nine months of 1995. At the street level, enhanced enforcement actions are taken on a daily basis against drug sellers and users. Information and intelligence on drug activities, with particular emphasis against drug sellers, are collected, collated and acted upon by the Kwun Tong District Special Duties Squad to target known drug sellers.

fhe Police also contributes to anti-drug education by organising school visits and seminars with school headmasters and discipline masters, focussing on the prevention of drug abuse by students.

Extra efforts have been put in preventive educational and publicity measures to arouse awareness among Kwun l ong residents on the drug problem. Emphasis has been laid on enhancing parents' understanding on the prevention and early detection ol their children's involvement in drugs. In 1995/96, a total ol seven programmes involving 10.000 participants have been/will be implemented by the social welfare service units in the district. Existing counselling services of family services centres and probation offices in the district have also been strengthened to help young people with drug problems and their families.

24

The District Social Welfare Office (DSWO) in Kwun Tong has formed a Working Group on "District-wide publicity campaign in combating illicit use of drugs among young people in Kwun Tong District" in April 1995, to promote co-ordination and co-operation among government departments and local organisations to tackle the drug problem. A "Drug Ambassador Scheme" is now being launched by the Working Group, with the aim of publicising widely anti-drug messages among young people through a signature campaign. So far over 7.000 participants from more than 30 local organisations have been enrolled. The Working Group also compiles leaflets on district beat-drug activities on a regular basis to encourage participation of local residents.

In the longer term, the DSWO in Kwun Tong will continue to take active part in the Kwun Tong District Fight Crime Committee to plan and co-ordinate anti-drug strategies at the district level. Group work units in the district, particularly the Group Work Unit of the Kwun Tong Community Centre (which is located in Tsui Ping Estate) will organise regular activities to educate young people to stay away from drugs. Services fronl the "Against Substance Abuse Scheme" provided by the team of specially trained social workers newly set up by the Social Welfare Department would also be tapped whenever necessary.

A paper on "Illicit use of drugs in Kwun l ong District" was discussed at the Kwun Tong District Fight Crime Committee meeting in May 1995 to co-ordinate district efforts in tackling the problem. Local Non-Government Organisations will be encouraged to organise anti-drug activities through various channels such as the Kwun Tong District Committee on Family Life Education, the Kwun long District Group and Community Work Service Co-ordinating Committee. Social workers ol the Society for the Aid and Rehabilitation of Drug Abusers working in the methadone clinic in the district will continue to provide casework services to drug abusers to facilitate their social rehabilitation.

End

25

Air services between I long Kong and Taiwan *****

Following is a question by the l ion Law Cheung-kwok and a written reply by the Secretary For Economic Services. Mr Gordon Siu. in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council

(a) whether, in order to be eligible to apply for a licence to operate air services between Hong Kong and Taiwan, the China National Aviation Corporation (CNAC) has made a formal application to become an airline whose principal operation is based in the territory: if so. what factors the Government will take into consideration in determining whether a licence will be granted to CNAC to operate the route; il not. whether it will consider inviting CNAC to make such an application; and

(b) what share of the market does the Cathay Pacific Airways (CPA) have in providing air sen ices between I long Kong and 1 aiwan. and whether C PA has adopted any policy which is not in the interest of the consumers?

Reply:

(a) The China National Aviation Corporation (Hong Kong) Ltd (CNAC(HK)) submitted an application for an Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) to the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) on 29 March 1995. Securing an AOC is a necessary pre-requisite to operate Hong Kong registered aircraft lor the purpose of public transport. An AOC may be granted if the Governor is satisfied that the applicant is competent, having regard in particular to his previous conduct and experience, his equipment, organisation, staffing, maintenance and other arrangements to secure the safe operation of aircraft of the types specified in the certificate. CNAC(HK) has not yet submitted any documents in support of its application. CAD will give due consideration to the application when such documents are received.

26

An application for an AOC is the first of several steps which a company has to go through before it will be able to mount scheduled air services with Hong Kong registered aircraft. In addition, the company will also have to apply for registration of its aircraft, obtain a licence for a specific route from the Air Transport Licensing Authority and seek designation by the Government for the route concerned. Il is not Government policy to invite any particular airline to make an application for any route; the airline concerned would have to apply and fulfil all the necessary requirements before it will be permitted to operate.

(b) Al present, scheduled air services between Hong Kong and Taiwan are operated between Hong Kong and two cities in Taiwan, namely Taipei and Kaohsiung. On the Hong Kong ? Taipei route. Cathay Pacific Airway's (CPA's) market share was 51.1% in the twelve months up to August 1995. On the Hong Kong ? Kaohsiung route. CPA's market share was 53.8% in the same period.

On both of the routes between Hong Kong and Taiwan, there is a choice for consumers. On the Hong Kong ? Taipei route (which constitutes 82% of the total traffic between Hong Kong and Taiwan), six other airlines, apart from CPA. operate on the route. They are British Asia Airways. China Airlines. Japan Asia Airways, Singapore Airlines. Garuda Indonesia Airways, and Thai Airways International. On the Hong Kong ? Kaohsiung route where traffic is only about 18% of the total traffic between Hong Kong and Taiwan, China Airlines operate on the route in addition to CPA.

End

Applications for search warrants

* * * * *

Following is a question by the Hon Chim Pui-chung and a written reply by the Chief Secretary, the Hon Anson Chan, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In regard to applications for search warrants by government departments, will the Government inform this Council:

27

(a) of the criteria on which the court's approval of an application for a search warrant filed by a government department is based and whether there is any system to keep this power in check: (b) whether the court or the department which files the application will be held responsible in the event that the application is subsequent!} proved to be at fault or ultra vires;

(c) of the time normally taken for obtaining a search warrant: and

(d) if members of the public have objections to the contents of an application for a search warrant, to which department should they go to in order to raise their objections prior to the grant of the search w arrant?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) In granting applications for search warrants, the court acts in accordance with the provisions in the relevant legislation under which the applications arc made. The magistrate responsible will make sufficient enquiry to satisfy himself that there is reasonable cause to suspect that the items in respect of which the warrant is sought are on the premises to be searched. Such enquiry could include questioning the police officer requesting the search warrant under oath or affirmation or requiring the information in support of the warrant to be more precise.

I he power to grant warrants is discretionary. Therefore, a magistrate is not required to accede to an application for a search warrant even where the statutory requirements have been met. This, together with the fact that a magistrate must refuse to grant a w arrant if he is not satisfied that there is reasonable cause to suspect that the items in respect of which the warrant is sought are on the premises to be searched, serves to keep searches by government departments in check.

(b) Whether the court or the department which filed the application would be held responsible in the event that the application is subsequently proved to be at fault or ultra vires depends upon the circumstances in which the search warrant was issued.

In general terms, a court could only be held responsible where it was established that it was acting maliciously and without reasonable and probable cause: and a government department could only be held responsible where it was established that it was acting maliciously.

28

(c) A department can normally obtain a search warrant from the court on the same day it files an application.

(d) An application for a search warrant is made ex parte, i.c. only the party making the application is present. To inform the owner of the premises to be searched of the application would defeat the purpose of the search.

End

Air fare for civil servants on overseas duty visits *****

Following is a question by the Hon Cheung Man-kwong and a written reply by the Secretary for the Civil Service. Mr Michael Sze, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

With regard to the purchase of air-tickets by the Government for civil servants on overseas duty visits and training, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of its policy on purchasing such air-tickets;

(b) whether agreements have been made with any airlines for the purchase of airtickets; if so. what arc the details and why such agreements have been made;

(c) of the expenditure involved in purchasing such air-tickets during the past two years, together with a breakdown of the number of civil servants involved and their destinations;

(d) whether the Government has information to show that the adoption of its present policy on the purchase of such air-tickets, as compared with purchases made through travel agents or by other means, will result in a higher expenditure of public funds; if so. what arc the reasons for continuing with the present policy; and

29

(e) whether consideration has been given to reviewing the present policy on the purchase of such air-tickets; if so, what are the details; if not, whether the Government will consider adopting other arrangements to purchase such air-tickets, such as placing orders with the airline charging the lowest fares or introducing other forms of competition?

Answer:

Mr President,

The answers to the questions raised are:

(a) Government has an agreement with British Airways (BA) and Cathay Pacific Airways (CPA) under which air-tickets (from any airlines) for civil servants on overseas duty visits have to be purchased through Jardine Airways (BA's general agent) or CPA. Air-tickets for civil servants on overseas training are not covered by the agreement, and can be purchased through any travel agent which accepts direct payment by the Treasury.

(b) The passage agreement with BA and CPA basically covers Government's duty and school passages, but Government may also make use of the contract fares for other passages to and from the United Kingdom. The main features of the agreement are:

(i) BA and CPA provide air-tickets at reduced fares on the Hong Kong -United Kingdom direct route (the UK route); and

(ii) air-tickets on non-UK routes (from any airlines) have to be purchased through Jardine Airways or CPA.

Government entered into an agreement with the two airlines because the service required by Government was and remains mainly passages on the Hong Kong - United Kingdom direct route - the bulk of which relate to school passages. Until 1994 only BA and CPA provided direct-route service to the United Kingdom. With the exception of Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA) which started operating on the Hong Kong - United Kingdom direct route in 1994, the other airlines do not provide direct-flight service on this route and therefore are unable to participate. We are discussing with BA and CPA the possibility of including the service of VAA in the current agreement.

30

(c) The expenditure involved in purchasing air-tickets for civil servants’ overseas duty visits and training in 1993/94 and 1994/95 is $85.4 million, involving a total of 5,956 return passages. We have not kept specific records on the destinations of these passages.

• . 1 1 ; j • ' • i

(d) On the whole, we are getting a reasonable deal out of the agreement with BA and CPA as the Government is able to benefit from the reduced fares on the HK-UK direct flights with guaranteed bookings in both peak and off-peak seasons. The current arrangement for the purchase of air-tickets for civil servants' overseas duty visits and training, even if considered on its own, does not incur a much higher public expenditure, since the costs of published-fare air-tickets are roughly the same irrespective of from which agent they are bought. We are using published fares because the lower-fare air-tickets available in the market are very often special or promotional-fare tickets with usage restrictions attached, which would frequently not meet the operational requirements of these duty visits.

(e) With a view to achieving further savings, we are discussing with BA and CPA the possibility of including the service of VAA in the current agreement. We are also reviewing the scope of our being able to make use of the cheaper air fares available in the market for civil servants' overseas duty visits and training.

End

Fill material for proposed reclamation at Kowloon Bay *****

i. , . . • . .

Following is a question by the Hon Lau Hon-chuen and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Now that the Government is consulting the public on the feasibility df the Green Island Public Dump Scheme and that the removal of Hong Kong International Airport has been scheduled for 1998, will the Government inform this Council whether consideration will be given to transporting construction waste on Hong Kong Island by land or by sea to the waters off the Airport and Kowloon Bay for dumping as an interim measure, as such a move will prepare that area for the future reclamation work on the one hand and allow more time for the public to study the policies relating to the Green Island reclamation on the other?

31

Answer:

Mr President,

The Territory Development Department has commissioned a feasibility study on the proposed future development of Kowloon Bay and the current Hong Kong International Airport. The study will examine, among other things, the possible sources of fill material, including construction waste, suitable for the proposed reclamation at Kowloon Bay. Findings of the study will help Government in considering the viability of public dumping at Kowloon Bay and I or the Airport. The study is scheduled to be completed in mid 1997. No decision will be made before the Government has examined the findings thoroughly.

End

Oxygen content in air *****

hollowing is a question by Dr the Hon Samuel Wong Ping-wai and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands. Mr Bowen Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

fhe proportion of oxygen in the air in some urban districts is sometimes found to be as low as 10%, although the normal oxygen content in the air is about 20%. In such circumstances, people will have to inhale more air, and hence more pollutants, than normal in order to get the oxygen required. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:

(a) the Government will consider releasing the multiplication factor of pollution intake in each district due to lower oxygen content along with the pollution indices now published daily by the Environmental Protection Department; and

(b) if the answer to (a) above is in the negative, whether the Government will consider taking such factor into account in determining the pollution indices?

32

Reply:

Mr President

The Air Pollution Index is designed to reflect the quality of outdoor air. of which the oxygen content is constantly at the normal level of 20%. In the outdoor environment, the carbon dioxide level in Hong Kong is well below 0.5% and variations around this level of concentration will not affect the oxygen content of the air. The issue of low oxygen in outdoor air is only relevant to locations at altitudes above 10,000 feet: but this is not relevant to Hong Kong. It is therefore not necessary for the Air Pollution Index to take into account the oxygen content. Hence, the answers to both (a) and (b) are in the negative.

End

Predicted profits and performance of H shares companies . *****

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Huang Chen-ya and a written reply by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council whether:

(a) the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) will make a comparison between the profits predicted in the prospectuses of H share companies and the performance of these companies as published after the first year:

(b) the SFC has carried out investigations into companies which have recorded marked discrepancies between the predicted and actual profits; if so, what are the findings; and

(c) there are statutory provisions requiring merchant banks to be responsible for the accuracy of the information contained in prospectuses; if so, what are the liabilities of the merchant banks in the event that the particulars in the prospectuses are found to be incorrect, and what penalties will be imposed on them; if not, whether the Government will require merchant banks to assume responsibility, so as to reduce the chance of investors being misled?

33

Answer:

(a)&(b)The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (SEHK) is the front line regulator responsible for the supervision of listed companies and the administration of all related matters. The SFC oversees the SEHK but is not directly involved in such matters.

The SEI IK reviews the performance of all newly listed companies, including II share companies, for the first accounting year after their listings, and compares that with the projected profits staled in the respective prospectus of the companies.

All listed companies are required to sign a Listing Agreement and to abide by the SEI IK Listing Rules. Under the Listing Agreement, a listed company is obliged to notify shareholders promptly of the occurrence of any event which could cause the forecast assumptions to be materially different from those stated in the prospectus and to indicate the likely impact of such event on the projected profits. The Listing Agreement also requires a company in such circumstances to include an explanation for such material difference in its directors' report and accounts.

The SEHK monitors compliance with the Listing Rules and carries out inquiries where necessary. During the past three years, the SEHK has found two cases (one of which involves an II share company) where the actual results published in the directors' report and accounts differed materially from the projected profits stated in the relevant prospectus. In both cases, the company involved has issued a clarification statement to the public in accordance with the relevant Listing Rules.

(c) There arc no statutory provisions which expressly impose special responsibilities on merchant banks for the accuracy of prospectuses. However, there arc statutory provisions under which merchant banks could be exposed to criminal and civil liability in respect of untrue statements in prospectuses. Such liability is imposed on every person who has authorised the issue of the prospectus containing untrue statements. Coming within the wide class of persons who authorise the issue of the prospectus can be brokers, merchant banks, solicitors and others associated with the prospectus.

Civil liability is created by section 40 of the Companies Ordinance (the Ordinance) in respect of Hong Kong companies, and section 342E of the Ordinance in respect of companies incorporated outside Hong Kong. The liability is to persons who subscribe for securities on the faith of a prospectus and sustain loss or damage by reason of any untrue statement contained therein.

34

Criminal liability is created by section 40A of the Ordinance in respect of Hong Kong companies and section 342F of the Ordinance in respect of companies incorporated outside Hong Kong. If a prospectus contains a false statement, any person who authorised its issue will be guilty of an offence unless he can establish certain specific defences.

The penalty for breaching section 40A or section 342F of the Ordinance is a fine of $500,000 or imprisonment for three years on indictment, and a fine of $100,000 and imprisonment of 12 months on summary charge.

If a merchant bank acts as a sponsor in relation to a listing, it also has to comply with the Model Code for Sponsors of the Listing Rules. The Code requires that the sponsor should be closely involved in the preparation of the listing document and in ensuring that all material statements therein have been verified and that it complies with the Listing Rules and all relevant legislation. Failure by a sponsor to meet its obligations under the Listing Rules without reasonable excuse may render that person unacceptable to the SEI IK for performing the role of a sponsor in the future.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

Thursday, December 14,1995

Contents Page No,

Governor's question-and-answer session in LegCo........................... 1

New air services arrangements with Australia reached..................... 19

Statistics on insurance industry released................................ 19

Modern correctional system needed to help offenders...................... 22

Maximum support for manufacturing industry............................... 23

Supplementary Labour Scheme.............................................. 24

CS presents $10 million cheque to Community Chest........................ 25

Education Board members visit Astronomical Centre........................ 25

Office hours for collection of BN(O) passports extended.................. 26

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

Governor’s meet-the-press sessions in the Philippines on December 11 and 12

Transcript of the Governor's media session............................... 28

Transcript of the Governor's press conference............................ 30

Transcript of the Governor’s press session............................... 37

1

Governor’s question-and-answer session in LegCo

*****

The following is the transcript of the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten's question-and-answer session in the Legislative Council today (Thursday): . .

Let me begin by saying a few words about my visit to the Philippines and then I will be happy to answer questions on that subject or on the overall question of the economy.

I had a very useful and productive visit to the Philippines from 10-13 December. I am very grateful to President Ramos for his kind invitation and for all the arrangements which were made for me and my party. I am particularly grateful to the Philippine authorities for helping to get me home yesterday.

I had an hour long meeting over breakfast with President Ramos on Monday, followed by a meeting with Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin. I spoke at a seminar organised by the Asia Pacific University, and also gave speeches to Hong Kong and Filipino business representatives. On Tuesday morning I met the President of the Senate, Senator Gonzalez, and the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Maceda. I also visited Subic Bay and saw for myself the impressive developments underway there, which included of course investments from Hong Kong.

1 believe that my visit helped to confirm the very strong commercial and trading relationship between Hong Kong and the Philippines, and will have strengthened our partnership in APEC. Hong Kong is the second largest direct investor in the Philippines. Last year we invested some US$290 million there. So we have an important stake in the future of the Philippines, and it is important to keep our overall relationship in good repair.

I also had the opportunity of discussing with President Ramos and others the position of the substantial Filipino community in Hong Kong. I assured the President that we would continue to do our best to ensure that domestic helpers, who constitute the overwhelming majority, although not the entirety, of the Filipino community in Hong Kong, enjoyed proper legal protection. The President and his colleagues were appreciative of the efforts made by the Hong Kong government and by the whole community on behalf of domestic helpers here.

2

I also took the opportunity to raise with President Ramos the one cloud over the otherwise fine relationship between Hong Kong and the Philippines, namely the position of Mr Au and Mr Wong who have been in prison since 1991 in Manila. I also sent one of my staff to see Mr Au and Mr Wong to underline to them the concern we have for their case, and to report to them my discussion with President Ramos. As honourable members know, there is a great deal of concern in the community about this case, as well as in this Council and in the media. I intend to continue to take a close interest in what happens to Mr Au and Mr Wong. We will be keeping in touch with the case and with the Filipino authorities. Mr Au and Mr Wong will continue to receive regular visits from the British Embassy, who report back to us. President Ramos assured me that he understood the concern in Hong Kong about the case and would be contacting the Justice Ministry about it. I told Mr Ramos that we had no wish to interfere in the judicial process in the Philippines. We were asking for that judicial process to take place as rapidly as possible as both Mr Au and Mr Wong have been waiting for a very, very long time. 1 think that no one in the Philippines or in the Filipino government will have been surprised at our concern about two of our citizens, given the concern which the Filipino authorities themselves have expressed about the position of Filipinos in difficulties overseas.

So , I repeat, a useful, busy, visit. I will be happy now to take questions from honourable members.

. :iinr <

Mr Cheung Man-kwong (in Chinese): Mr President, I have a question for the Governor. Hong Kong's economic prosperity depends on the rule of law and as we all know, yesterday the Beijing Procuratorate gave Wei Jingsheng 14 years of imprisonment for subversion and this to the outside world is very rash and Hong Kong people have worries about the rule of law after 1997.

Previously there was an agreement between the two sovereign states on the Court of Final Appeal and it cannot touch on anything that is related to defence and foreign affairs and also acts of state, and as a result Hong Kong will be affected. And according to our ordinance, when we talk about subversion it might be considered acts of state and therefore it cannot be taken up in Hong Kong courts and as a result there will be political trials similar to Wei Jingsheng case in Hong Kong after 1997.'

Will the Government do anything to alleviate our fears and will anything be done to reflect the worries of Hong Kong people?

3

Governor: Let me first of all agree with the honourable member about the relationship between Hong Kong's economic prospects, the main subject on which 1 was proposing to answer questions today, and Hong Kong's way of life. It's naive of people purporting from time to time to speak for Hong Kong or to speak for the business or economic interests of Hong Kong to argue that there isn't the relationship between our freedoms, our pluralist values, the accountability of our legislature and our prosperity, there plainly is, and when you go to other countries in the Region, that is a point that people make to me and to others explicitly. Hong Kong would not be so successful if it was not so free. So the first point on which I agree with the honourable member is that there is a clear and explicit and intimate relationship between the sort of place Hong Kong is and the extraordinary developments in Hong Kong's economy over the years.

Hong Kong has, of course, been a haven over the years for those who have fled from events elsewhere and arrive in Hong Kong with a very sharp and marked appreciation of the benefits of living in a free and open society.

Secondly, we know from the recent expressions of concern, by this Legislative Council and by the community, that the future of our way of life, the future protection of our civil liberties is a matter of major importance to people from all professions, from all backgrounds in Hong Kong. We know that when things were said by those who, sometimes it seems to me rather ill advisedly, tell PRC officials what they think should happen in Hong Kong and when things were said by PRC officials about gutting the Bill of Rights, about removing from our statute book laws which brought our own legislative framework into line with the international covenants, we know that when those things were said it sends a real worry, a real shiver of concern around the community. I don't make those things up. If anything I rather understate them. Just look at what the editorials in virtually the whole of the Chinese language press said about those matters. The Legislative Council when it voted was clearly in line with the overwhelming majority of opinion in this community.

So against that background, it's not very surprising that an event like the sentencing of Mr Wei yesterday causes further concern in the community, because people understandably worry about how substantial our protections, their protections are, after 1997.

4

Now I add two things. First of all, as the Honourable gentleman knows, I don’t agree with him that after 1997, the agreement made this summer on the Court of Final Appeal means that anyone who wished could drive a coach and horses through the English common law in Hong Kong. I think it is defeatist to take the view that the tensions which undoubtedly exist between the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s constitution and the common law won't be worked out in the courts, in the independent courts, by an independent judiciary, here in Hong Kong. I think that’s an important point for us to recognise.

Secondly, I’m sure that the international community will understandably express its concern about Mr Wei's position. The British Government, the present sovereign power in Hong Kong, was associated, strongly supported, the European Union initiative that was made on Mr Wei's behalf in early December, and I am sure will be discussing with its European colleagues and with others what more pan be done to try to persuade the Chinese authorities that what has happened to Mr Wei is understandably a matter of international concern and a matter which inevitably affects people's attitudes towards the PRC, a great country which surprises many people when it behaves in this way. Those who have understandable cause to be most clearly concerned are the people of Hong Kong because 1997 is an event in our calendar, not in anyone else's.

Mr Cheung Man-kwong (in Chinese): Mr President, Article 23 of the Basic Law says that in relation to any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion, then there can be law against the central people's government and then the PWC considers that probably this will have to be taken up after 1997. So the question is, will you continue, at the forum of JLG, continue to talk to the Chinese authorities in relation to Article 23 and relevant law? And is it possible that before 1997, we can establish legislation because when we talk about treason, secession, sedition and subversion, there might be great impact on people with dissenting views, after 1997?

Governor: That is certainly what we would like to be able to do. We’ve put a number of proposals to Chinese officials in the JLG, for example on official secrets as well as the matters that the honourable gentleman has mentioned. Our proposals are, in our judgement, entirely in line with the international covenants and with the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law and I hope that we can make progress on them.

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These matters have a great deal more resonance, have a great deal more impact and importance because of the particular circumstances in which Hong Kong finds itself. Under normal circumstances, I don't think anybody in this Legislative Council would be particularly worried about official secrets for example. We have never, so far as my researchers can tell me, we have never actually used the official secrets legislation to prosecute anyone in Hong Kong, but because of our particular circumstances and because of events like yesterday's, this is the sort of thing which legislators are concerned about and which the whole community is concerned about, because these worries cast a shadow over people's aspirations, over people's ambitions, over people's concerns about their way of life.

I repeat, the Legislative Council, the Administration, the Governor of Hong Kong, aren't making these anxieties up and when people give the impression that they are, to Chinese officials, or when they give the impression that these things are simply fabricated, when they're talking to people in the United States or elsewhere, they are doing a profound disservice to Hong Kong.

Mr Howard Young: Mr Governor, welcome back to Hong Kong after your many attempts. I suppose three is a lucky number.

I, myself, and many members of the legislature, and also the tourism industry, is indeed very grateful for you having raised the case of Messrs Au and Wong in the Philippines, which is an issue which has been pursued by the tourism industry for four years now, and recently upgraded to LegCo.

During your absence from Hong Kong it was shown on television that apparently during an interview with Mr Au, he seemed to convey the message that there was an option of dropping the appeal and just waiting for clemency. Now, I am a bit puzzled by that and I was wondering whether this sort of option came up during your discussions with the Philippine authorities or whether, when your aides went and visited the two in prison, whether they had expressed any indication of what they actually desired to do in this respect?

Governor: Can I, in expressing my gratitude to the honourable member for his gratitude that I managed to return to Hong Kong -1 know that view is widely shared in Happy Valley - can I say to the honourable gentleman that we are, in the Administration, grateful for the interest taken by him and other honourable members in the case of Mr Au and Mr Wong, grateful for the interest and support given by the Hong Kong Tourist Authority, and understand that until the case is resolved one way or the other, honourable members like the honourable member, and other representatives of the community, will continue to press both the Philippine authorities and the Hong Kong Government about the position in which Mr Au and Mr Wong find themselves.

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I'm sure the honourable member will appreciate it when I say that legislators or governors are always in a difficult position when pursuing a case like this, because none of us wants to put ourselves in the position in which we are, as it were, second-guessing legal advice, in which we are jumping over the concerns of a family, in which we are steering or leading the opinion of those concerned, in a way which might be unjustified. It is very difficult to give advice responsibly in these circumstances.

It is true that in my discussions with the Philippine authorities it was pointed out that a pardon can only be offered when all the legal hoops have been gone through. But that wasn't, I believe, an offer or a suggestion of a bargain, it was a straightforward description of what the position is.

I don't think that I can do more in my representations than to argue that the Philippine authorities should deal with the issue as expeditiously as possible. I don't think that I should do anything which appears to second-guess the judicial authorities in the Philippines or to intervene in the judicial process in the Philippines, but it is reasonable for us to say: this has been going on for an unconscionably long time.

These men were sentenced in 1991. Their appeal has, as the honourable member knows, been there since 1993. It is a matter of concern to the Legislative Council and to the community that they are having to wait so long for their appeal to be considered, and that is the point on which we have to press.

Now, we have been pressing. To my knowledge, the issue has been raised vigorously by two British ministers visiting the Philippines. To my knowledge, it has been raised by British officials visiting the Philippines on a number of occasions, and regularly raised by the British Ambassador. It has been raised with the Philippine authorities by members of this Legislative Council. The Legislative Council have discussed it and made their own position absolutely clear.

I hope we can resolve it quickly. I pointed out to the President that we have an amicable relationship; that it is a relationship sufficiently robust to enable us to address one another on a matter like this in fairly vigorous terms; and I think that the President, who has after all addressed himself to similar issues with equal or perhaps greater vigour, I think the President recognised that we had a legitimate interest and I assured him that I would be keeping in touch with him about this matter if it wasn't resolved quickly.

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Mr I toward Young: Thank you Governor. Tomorrow morning it will be exactly one month since 1 myself and five other legislators handed three letters to the Philippine Consulate asking for a date for us to go down to sec the President, to speak to their Parliament and also the Justice Minister, to express our views directly on the case. To dale we have not received any sort of reply.

Now, during your discussions with Philippine officials did you get the impression that they had not received our request, or thought it was not necessary, or was it at any time raised that we should be preparing ourselves to get a reply and go soon? Not that we want to add to the Christmas traffic peak season in the Philippines, but perhaps, I would have thought we would at least hope to go some time between Christmas and Chinese New Year.

Governor: Wc will be happy to remind the Government in the Philippines of the honourable member's request and that of other honourable members. And I hope that that visit can be arranged, if it is necessary, reasonably quickly, but I hope it won't be necessary because 1 hope that Mr Au and Mr Wong will have their appeal heard sooner rather than later.

There have, as the honourable member knows, been one or two unfortunate events which have apparently delayed the appeal. But that said, judicial delay is always a cause of very considerable frustration, as anybody will know from reading Bleak House', or from other events in legal history.

Mr Frederick Fung (in Chinese): Thank you Mr President. A question for the Governor. Sir. regarding the imprisonment of Mr Wei Jingsheng for 14 years, it has a very huge impact on the people of Hong Kong. Wc are all very worried. Dissenting views with the authority in China has resulted in conflict. 1 think many people in Hong Kong have dissenting views from that of mainland China and yet Mr Wei has been accused of subversion. I have asked the opinions of some legal professionals and in the common law we don't have the concept of subversion but in Article 23 of the Basic Law we do have a mention of the concept of subversion. Mr Cheung Man-kwong referred to the situation after 1997, when Hong Kong is reverted to China. Have you considered asking China to clearly define what is meant by subversion and how does it relate to the common law?

Governor: On the first point that the honourable member made, I hope that if 1 don't set out again my thoughts on this particular case, the honourable member won't think it's disrespectful or shows a lack of concern about Mr Wei's position. 1 think I set out my views in response to the earlier question fairly extensively and I wouldn't want to go on repeating arguments which I feel very strongly.

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On the second part of the honourable member's question, the question he raised is one that we will hope to be pursuing through the Joint Liaison Group when the Chinese authorities respond to proposals that we've put to them. But, of course, the honourable gentleman is correct in drawing attention to the difficulty of accommodating the concept which has plainly been implemented in Peking in the last 24 hours, with the common law. I could draw some parallels from English political history, but they might be parallels that got me into difficulty. But 1 do think that there are tensions, as I've said before, between the Basic Law and the common law and that our independent courts are the right place to resolve those tensions. Many honourable members write and say things about the Hong Kong Government, but they're still here asking me questions today.

Dr John Tse Wing-ling (in Chinese): Recently, the Gini co-efficient shows that there is a disparity between the rich and the poor and the situation is getting worse. Yesterday we passed a motion on the Old Age Pension Scheme and only 70,000 elderly people are recipients of CSSA and they arc below the subsistence level. Now without crashing the car, how can we resolve this problem Mr Governor?

Governor: Well 1 don't think there's any danger of us crashing the car. We have after all passed the advanced motoring test, as the International Monetary Fund have just pointed out, it's something to which I shall refer again if I get the opportunity. We've just had our regular consultation with the International Monetary Fund, the so-called article 4 consultations. The International Monetary Fund review the economy of individual countries from time to time. They've given us about as favourable report as one could possibly hope to receive. Their only concerns are that we might be encouraged to depart from the policies that we've been pursuing, but there's no question of us doing that. I very much hope that when the Chinese executive director of the World Bank is told about those findings by the UK representative to the International Monetary Fund and the IBRD, he'll pass on the good news to other Chinese officials so they will be better informed in any future discussions of the Hong Kong economy and its management.

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The honourable member refers to a widening gap between the rich and poor in Hong Kong. I'm not entirely sure what figures he's referring to, whether he's referring to increases in personal income or to other figures. What is true is that by and large, everybody has got better off, though some have become even better off than others, but the honourable member is right to say that as a prosperous community we have a particular responsibility to those who are not well off, to those who are in need, to those who are deprived, to those who are handicapped, to those who are sick, to those who have other sorts of need, and we recognise that responsibility, which is one reason why social welfare payments have increased in the last five years by 66 per cent, while at the same time we've kept public spending growth within the overall growth rate in the economy because during the same period, spending as a whole has increased by 30 per cent against a 32 per cent increase in our GDP. So what we've been doing is reallocating resources sensibly so that while we have a prudent control of public spending, we give more to those who need it.

The honourable member also mentioned the pension scheme. 1 assume by his body language that the honourable member voted for the pension scheme yesterday. All I can say is, why didn't we have the honourable gentleman a few months ago when we needed him, when we had a discussion about the pension scheme in this Legislative Council, we'd love to have had the honourable gentleman then supporting the Government in its hour of need. Unfortunately, when that debate took place only one member of the Legislative Council supported anything like the pension proposal we'd put forward. We can't to and fro, come and go on this issue in favour of pensions in the spring and the autumn, in favour of mandatory provident funds in the summer and winter. We actually have to take a view and stick to it. We tried to implement the pension scheme. 1 don't recall when 1 was out arguing for it in front of the television cameras, very many legislators joining me in that enduring battle. W. K. Lam and I were out there arguing for it, I don't remember anybody else being around to help. When the Legislative Council gave that a thumbs down, we conscientiously brought forward further proposals, they gained a mandate in this Council and we're now trying to implement them and will continue to try to implement them and if we can't, then I'm afraid any proposals for the long-term financial support of the elderly will have to wait. But it won't be the Government which is to blame for them waiting.

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Dr John Tse Wing-ling (in Chinese): The Governor talked about the disabled and the difference between the more affluent and those who are in need and according to a report 80 per cent of those working in sheltered workshops. Now every month, every month, the monthly earning is less than $500. The Hong Kong Government is the biggest employer in Hong Kong with 180,000 employees and there are only 34 mentally handicapped within the civil service and so the percentage in fact is extremely low and even in the fast food chain they employ more mentally handicapped than the Government does. So how can you enhance employment for the mentally handicapped, particularly in the civil service because in this way we will be able to narrow the gap between the rich and the poor?

The President: We asked for elucidation only but if the Governor is prepared to answer your question.

Governor: Always prepared to answer everything. Sometimes in a more circumlocutory way than others.

We've had two extremely useful summit meetings on the employment prospects of those with disability, just as we've had now I think three similar meetings on the transport requirements of those with disability. I think we've been more successful at moving things forward on the transport front, not least thanks to the excellent reactions from the MTRC and the Kowloon Canton Railway. But even on employment prospects for those with disability, we've made some progress. I think that we are in Government making progress in offering more opportunities for those with disabilities, as a whole, though I'm not sure of the breakdown and I'm not sure exactly how many of those who are mentally handicapped feature among the quite large number of disabled that we employ. But I know that some of the groups representing the disabled think that the Government sometimes draws the bounds of disability too wide when its defining the employment prospects that it offers to the disabled. But we will continue to do more. We will continue to try to encourage our management to give the disabled the opportunity of applying for jobs and taking on jobs and we'll continue to try to give a lead to other employers. 1 think it's fair to say that both the Housing Authority and the Hospital Authority give a very good lead. If one looks at the commercial sector, some firms in the sector do extremely well. One of our broadcasters does extremely well in offering employment prospects for those with disabilities, others do, it seems very little. So there is plainly more that everybody could do and I'll be holding another summit on this subject next year so that we can review progress since the last summit.

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1 say now, as I've said before, that Hong Kong needs everyone's talents. The talents of those with disabilities 1 include very high up on that list. We're not so prosperous that we can afford to do without the talents of any of our citizens.

Mr Leung Yiu-chung (in Chinese): Mr President, recently, the economy has slackened; many medium and small businesses are shrinking and as a result many employees have lost their jobs or they have become unemployed or under-employed. It is because, in the past, the entire society of Hong Kong as well as the Hong Kong Government, lacked a long term economic policy and an industrial policy. So a question for the Governor.

In the light of the circumstances, what solid measures, what concrete measures, will be taken up by the Government to solve the problem? What sort of a role will be played by the Government so that people would not remain unemployed?

Governor; 1 hope the honourable gentleman won't take it personally if I say that I take exception to his argument that we don't have a long term economic policy and happen to think that the endorsement of the International Monetary Fund, the World Economic Forum and the Heritage Foundation, are perhaps of greater moment than his criticism of government policy.

The one anxiety expressed by the IMF whose report is and I quote in their own words, "highly positive and favourable", the one concern that they have is that we won't stick to present policies. Present policies which have brought us now, I think it is. 36 years of uninterrupted economic growth. Present policies which have made this community, as far as the region and the world is concerned, a model about how to run a free market economy.

Now. of course from lime to time we have to make adjustments, but I don't think that one of the adjustments that we should make is into - and 1 don't mean this in any political sense of course - is into old style socialism. I don't think that we should start getting into the sort of interventionist policies which have caused so much havoc elsewhere in the world.

That does not mean that we don't do anything to help our industry. Let me give the honourable member three examples of what 1 am talking about, first ol all, the most helpful thing you can do with industry is to tax it less, and there is hardly any commercial activity in the region or the world which operates within a more benign tax regime than happens in Hong Kong.

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Secondly, we do recognise that the substantial shift in employment to the service sector in Hong Kong means that we need to look again at our policies and the support that we give employment creation and wealth creation as a whole. That is why my honourable friend, the Financial Secretary, has set up a task force, including some members of this Council, to look at the support that we give service industries and to see what more we can do for sei-vice industries, where I believe I am right in saying we have created about a million extra jobs in the last few years.

Thirdly, let me turn to the manufacturing industry -and I recognise that even though the share of employment in manufacturing has gone down in the last few years and even though the manufacturing share of GDP has gone down in the last few years, the manufacturing sector remains a vital part of I long Kong's wealth creation. In the manufacturing sector we are working in subtle ways to help employers and wealth creators.

First of all we are helping through the provision of land and the provision of space for those who want to set up factories. That is what the Industrial Estates Corporation does, that is what the Industrial Technology Centre does. The latter, for example, providing space for companies to undertake their R&D.

Secondly, we are helping our manufacturing sector with the creation of the skills that arc required for the industries of the future. That is what our universities are doing. That is what the Vocational Training Council is doing, not least in the work that it is doing on university campuses.

Thirdly, we are helping with technology transfer. That is what the Applied Research Centre is doing, that is what the Productivity Council is doing, that is what the Industrial Technology Centre - to refer to it again - is doing.

And fourthly, we are providing substantial amounts of money - for example, through the Industrial Support Fund where the allocation has gone up to 210 million this year - to help them with high technology developments which can be commercially successful in Hong Kong.

So we help in a number of ways. It is not true that we don't have a long term vision of Hong Kong. But my long term vision of I long Kong happens to be that it will stay the same open free economy that it is today.

President: Mr Leung, do you wish to have a follow up?

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Mr Leung Yiu-chung (in Chinese): Mr President, in his reply the Governor referred to the non-interventionist policy. He also referred to a number of ways to assist the industry. But I just doubt the effectiveness of the measures. So even though the Governor has referred to the Industrial Technology Centre, etc. etc, but my understanding is that the Government has suggested the idea of a Science Park, but 1 don't think it will do any particular good to us. It is only a centre for the re-export of technology from China to overseas countries or the other way round. It won't help a lot in the case of the local industries. So can you tell us about other measures as well as the actual benefits to be brought by the Science Park to the industries of Hong Kong?

Governor: I am glad the honourable member is reminding me of things I didn't mention, and the possibility of creating a Science Park is one of them. But I really don't believe that the creation of a Science Park would merely be. as it were, a sort of trampoline for technology from China to bounce out of Hong Kong into the wider world. A Science Park would be a way in which we could not only help local manufacturers but also, conceivably, a way in which we could bring together Chinese researchers and local manufacturers, or Chinese researchers. Hong Kong researchers and local manufacturers, in the common or wider good.

I don't think that the honourable member should argue as though I long Kong could succeed as a closed economy. We are an open economy - perhaps the most open in the world. We arc an economy where in the first nine months of this year our exports in manufactured goods went up by 14 per cent, our exports of services went up by 13 per cent. We are an open economy where there is substantial inward investment from other communities into our own manufacturing. We arc an open economy where the private sector will have increased its investment so far this year by over 20 per cent in plant and machinery. So we are a successful open economy. And a successful open economy welcomes ideas and their resources and people and skills from elsewhere, adds value to them and gets richer in the process.

Mrs Elizabeth Wong: Mr President, thank you. I would like to ask Governor Patten an important question on factors which will affect Hong Kong's future economic success.

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Sir, according to some newspaper reports, it is reported that Mr Lu Ping, your good friend, said that our future Chief Executive might be a dark horse. Now, one wouldn't care very much if it was a black horse or a white horse so long as it is a good horse. Sir, I would like to be asking one question of the Governor: 1 will be grateful for his view as to what are the factors in the Chief Executive which will affect Hong Kong's economic success? What kind of person? What kind of process, should we go through to maintain Hong Kong's economic success in the future through a very important person, the Chief Executive?

Governor: First of all the honourable lady has given me the opportunity of wishing Director Lu a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and I hope that his recovery to full health continues. And I hope that next year he will find more opportunities of visiting Hong Kong and visiting it frequently, and 1 hope that his diary won't on every occasion be so busy that he is not able to see the Governor of Hong Kong.

Secondly, whatever sort of horse the honourable lady or others have in mind, the one thing which is imperative is that the Governor of Hong Kong should not back it or bet on it, because if the Governor of Hong Kong bets on horses they never win as I have discovered from two recent outings to Sha Tin and Happy Valley.

To be serious, 1 thought the general criteria which the Director of the Hong Kong Macau Affairs Office set out seemed very sensible. It is not right for me to say who should be the Chief Executive of the SAR. and I don't seek to impose or insert my views into the process. But I think that taking the relatively narrow point raised by the Honourable lady in her question - that is: what sort of qualities help towards the creation of a successful economy in Hong Kong? - I would say that anyone who was dedicated 101 per cent to the continuance of the rule of law in Hong Kong; anybody who was dedicated 101 per cent to continuing to do business in Hong Kong on the same basis that we have in the past, that is with clear and open procedures for franchises and public contracts; anybody who was determined to keep a level playing-field for business in Hong Kong; anybody who was determined to continue to run Hong Kong as an open free economy with low taxes and prudent control of spending; anybody who was determined - determined - to ensure that I long Kong's economy was run by him or her and Hong Kong people; anybody who had those attitudes would help to ensure that the Hong Kong economy continued to be prosperous.

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I mentioned the last of those factors with some vigour because I think it is exceptionally important. When the IMF refers to our success, when the World Economic Forum refers to our success, when others refer to our success, they arc referring to the success created by Hong Kong people; Hong Kong people running this economy.

Does anybody seriously suppose that even though Britain is the sovereign power at the moment that the British Chancellor of the Exchequer or British Treasury officials tell us how to run our economy? They have got quite enough to do in trying to run Britain's economy without running this one.

The reason for our success is because we have been pursuing, ourselves, successful policies and we have not had others interfering and intervening. As a result of that - as a result of that - the fiscal reserves of Hong Kong in 1997 will total about 150 billion; the fiscal reserves of Hong Kong by 1998. when you add in the Land Fund, should total about 325 billion. Those are the best possible indications of success. And I hope that anyone who is Chief Executive of the SAR - and our prayers and best wishes will go to whoever it is - will be as successful in running the Hong Kong economy as 1 long Kong officials have been for the last 40 or 50 years.

Dr David Li: Governor, in view of Hong Kong's sluggish economy, high inflation, soaring costs, rising wages and high rents, will you advise this Council what measures will be adopted to safeguard our competitive edge as an international financial centre?

Governor: Heavens above! 1 wonder where the honourable member is talking about. The honourable member knows even more about the International Monetary Fund than I do. 1 am sure that he will want to study as carefully as the rest of the Council, when it comes out. the IMF's Report. In view of the question he put he will, presumably, be amazed by the IMF Report - but I don't think anybody else will be.

Of course there are problems in Hong Kong. Inflation is higher than we would like it to be. though at nine per cent it is almost five per cent less than it was in the year before the 28th Governor arrived in Hong Kong. Of course we would like our GDP growth to be even higher than it is. but at around five per cent, with that predicted to continue by the Asian Development Bank and others - the other Asian Development Bank and others - into next year, we are still doing pretty well. Of course at 3.5 per cent, unemployment is too high but we have created. I think, about 2.5 per cent more jobs overall in our economy over the last year - and the problem has been that the work force has increased by four per cent with a resulting increase in unemployment. All those things could be improved, and I hope they will be improved.

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What we won't. 1 think, see in the next year or so is any decrease in our competitiveness. We came third in the World Economic Forum's Table - that is up one on where we were last year. That seems to me to represent pretty good progress.

In the property sector we have seen prices in the secondary market (all by about a quarter from their peak in April of 1994; we have seen the prices of new property decrease by between 30 and 40 per cent from the peak, though prices are still above where they were in January 1993. So I think we have managed to dampen down property prices pretty successfully.

Overall, there is always more to do and always new challenges to rise to. but I think at the end of the day, the success of the economy speaks for itself. And I am sure that at least a part of the success of the bank which the honourable member chairs with such distinction, is due to the success of the Hong Kong economy as a whole.

One can always, when one looks at one's term's report, sec ways in which we can do better. But I don't think, in examining ways in which we can do better, we should forget just how well we have done - not the Governor of Hong Kong but his officials and those who actually make the economy hum.

Miss Emily Lau: Mr President, I want to ask the Governor a question about the future of the - is it 140,000? - Filipino domestic helpers in Hong Kong, and whether that question was discussed during his recent visit. I am sure the Governor is aware of a lot of speculation within the community about their future. Many of these people think that they do not have a future. In fact some have, a few years ago, begun emigrating to Canada - like the rest of the more fortunate Hong Kong people. And some Hong Kong people, including members of this council, have said that the Government should not allow them to come, even before 1997. And maybe people on the mainland have said that there is this pot of gold, why should we allow foreigners to take advantage of it.

So there is all this speculation. Of course you will probably say that after 1997 is none of your business. But I don't know whether you can share with this council the current thinking of the Administration. Because, after all. I think we owe these people something: to tell them, as far as we can see. what their future is, especially for those whose contracts may run out next year - whether their contracts will be renewed, whether the Government is in a position to renew their contracts, and whether you have been given any indication by the Chinese authorities that they are going to stay or they will all definitely be kicked out.

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Governor: 1 did, of course, discuss this issue when I was in the Philippines. Understandably, it is of considerable concern to the Philippine authorities. There are at present 129,000 Filipino domestic helpers in Hong Kong. There arc about 140,000 members of the Filipino community but the others are cither about 1,000 working in other labour importation schemes, or about 10,000 in professional and managerial capacities, including 1,000 members of the staff of Cathay Pacific.

One hundred and twenty-nine thousand Filipino domestic helpers - up 47,000 since 1 arrived in 1992 - a very steep increase over the last decade. And, 1 think, the whole community recognises that those domestic helpers play an extremely important part in our society. First of all in helping to keep together families in a stable way. Secondly, giving spouses the opportunity to work who would not otherwise be able to do so. So they make a major contribution to our harmony as a society and to our economic prospects.

There arc problems from time to time, and there are occasional abuses, and we have to deal with those. But by and large it is a story of 129,000 people giving a lot of support to Hong Kong.

1 did have to point out, when I was asked by President Ramos and by others, that there was a limit to how much reassurance 1 could give because the policy after 1997 would be one for the SAR Government. But let me underline that: it is a policy not to be decided by the authorities in Peking but by the SAR Government. Under the Basic Law, labour policy is a matter for the SAR. It is not a matter for anybody else. So it will be for the Chief Executive and her or his team to decide whether or not the present policies regarding Filipino domestic helpers should continue.

I find it difficult to imagine any sense in which things could change so dramatically in 1997 as to mean that the reasons for employing 129,000 people in 1996 suddenly were not there in 1998. It seems to me that if we concede, if we agree, that there is a substantial job for these 129,000 women, and a few men, to do before 1997, then that job is going to continue, in all probability, to be there after 1997. and I would find it difficult to imagine circumstances in which that was not the case. I said all that to President Ramos and to his officials when I was asked, and they seemed reasonably satisfied with the reply.

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I also pointed out that under the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, Hong Kong's economic and social system were to stay the same after 1997, and the economic and social system, today, is one in which there arc these 129,000 people working so well for us. So I hope that they will be reasonably reassured. We will continue to operate our labour policy until 1997, looking at applications for new contracts as they arise, and it will be for the SAR Government to do so afterwards.

Perhaps I can add one point. President Ramos went out of his way to express his gratitude to Hong Kong for the way in which we offer a warm welcome to domestic helpers and ensure, by and large, that they work within the terms of the International Labour Conventions and with the full protection of the law. 1 think that many Filipinos would wish that their domestic helpers in other countries were protected as well as they are in Hong Kong.

Miss Emily Lau: Mr President, just a very short follow up. Right now, of course, the Government has its own reasons for not allowing mainlanders to come to Hong Kong to work as domestic helpers. Do you think those reasons will still be valid after 1997, and hence there will still be a need for us to employ domestic helpers from the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia?

Governor: I imagine that by and large the same civil servants will be writing submissions on these issues after 1997. And the submissions that I would receive today on the question would, 1 am sure, point to the difficulties of the immigration tale which would follow if you were to try to replace 129,000 Filipino domestic helpers with domestic helpers from the mainland. 1 am sure that the same arguments would be put after 1997, but I have to be careful not to sound as though I am making post-1997 decisions.

President: Before I adjourn the council for the Christmas break, may I take this opportunity to wish the Governor, honourable members and public officers and their families, a very holy Christmas and a most successful 1997— I mean 1996. I’m in a hurry.

Governor: I am sure next year will flash past - but we seem to have disposed of the Preparatory Committee. I am sure it won’t pass that quickly.

Can I wish the President a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Can I wish all honourable members the same. And can I wish some of those who would choose not to be spending Christmas in the circumstances in which they will find themselves, a Happy Christmas and a Happier New Year than the one they have only recently, alas, enjoyed.

End

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New air services arrangements with Australia reached ♦ * ♦ ♦ *

The Government announced today (Thursday) that it had reached an agreement with the Australian Government over future air services arrangements.

The two sides had agreed on June 26 to renegotiate the existing arrangements in order to settle a dispute over the level of fifth freedom traffic carried by Qantas between Hong Kong and Singapore and Hong Kong and Bangkok.

A government spokesman said these negotiations had now concluded and a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) had been signed today by representatives of the two governments.

"From our perspective, the key element in the new package is the agreement to cap fifth freedom loads. This was the nub of the original dispute, and we are pleased that the issue has been settled once and for all," said the spokesman.

Due to commercial confidentiality, the exact terms of MOU would not be disclosed.

However, the spokesman said in addition to the understanding reached on fifth freedom traffic, the two sides had also agreed to review capacity arrangements for services between Hong Kong and Australia, the aim being to complete that exercise within six months.

End

Statistics on insurance industry released *****

The Hong Kong insurance industry grew by 20 per cent last year, according to the provisional statistics for 1994 released today (Thursday) by the Commissioner of Insurance, Mr Kos Lam.

The total income of general and long term business amounted to $39.2 billion which represents about 3.8 per cent of the Hong Kong Gross Domestic Product.

20

Gross premiums of general business maintained a healthy growth of 16 per cent to $19.7 billion. Direct business and reinsurance inward business grew to $14.8 billion and $4.9 billion respectively.

Except motor vehicle business, all classes of business experienced growth in gross premiums, with general liability business achieving the highest growth of 46 per cent.

"Property damage business remained the largest class of business, accounting for 27 per cent of total gross premiums.

"Motor vehicle business still maintained its position as the second largest class although its share declined from 25 per cent in 1993 to 21 per cent in 1994," Mr Lam stated.

Net premiums, that is gross premiums less premiums for reinsurance, rose by 17 per cent to $12.4 billion. Retention ratio of the industry increased slightly from 62 per cent in 1993 to 63 per cent in 1994. Motor vehicle business continued to be the largest contributor, with a share of 25 per cent of net premiums in 1994.

This was followed by property damage and general liability business with a share of 23 per cent and 20 per cent respectively.

Total claims paid of general business fell by three per cent to $7.2 billion. After deducting reinsurance recoveries of $3 billion, total net claims paid amounted to $4.2 billion.

"The claims experience of general business continued to show improvement in 1994," Mr Lam said.

The overall net claims incurred ratio, that is net claims incurred to net earned premiums, improved slightly from 53 per cent in 1993 to 52 per cent in 1994.

As regards the underwriting performance of the general insurance industry, Mr Lam remarked that this continued to enjoy a profit for the second consecutive year in 1994. An overall underwriting profit of $1.2 billion was made, which represents 10 per cent of net earned premiums.

Turning to the long term insurance business, Mr Lam said it achieved a faster growth with office premiums increased by 26 per cent to $19.5 billion in 1994, compared with 19 per cent in 1993.

"In 1994, a total of 569,578 new individual life policies were sold, generating office premiums of $4.4 billion, an increase of 12 per cent over the prior year,” he added.

21

Of these policies, non-linked business accounted for 71 per cent of total office premiums while linked business accounted for 29 per cent.

Whole life insurance remained the main type of non-linked policy sold, accounting for 48 per cent of total office premiums for new individual policies.

"As a result of sustained growth in new business, individual business in force at the end of 1994 continued to grow with office premiums in force expanding by 30 per cent to $14 billion," Mr Lam explained.

The growth in office premiums of in-force business was mainly attributable to the expansion of whole life policies by 18 per cent to $8.4 billion.

At the end of 1994, the number of individual life policies in force exceeded 2.5 million which covers about 40 per cent of Hong Kong population, compared with 37 per cent at the end of 1993.

Net liabilities for these policies increased by 23 per cent from $21.2 billion to $26 billion in 1994.

On the other hand, office premiums in force for group policies grew by 30 per cent while the number of policies in force increased by nine per cent to 8,327 policies.

"Total number of retirement schemes management policies increased by 22 per cent to 11,057," Mr Lam said.

The amount of contributions also grew by 13 per cent to $4.9 billion, representing 25 per cent of total long term business income. Net liabilities rose slightly by two per cent to $22.3 billion.

End

22

Modern correctional system needed to help offenders

*****

A cosmopolitan society like Hong Kong needs a modem correctional system aims at providing inmates with the opportunity to develop, or maintain their skills that would enhance their chances of living a crime-free life after they are released, skills which lead to responsibility, self-reliance and self-discipline.

Speaking at a luncheon meeting of the Y's Men's Club of Hong Kong today (Thursday), the Assistant Commissioner (Vietnamese Migrant) of, Correctional Services Department (CSD), Miss Bonnie Wong, said CSD had conducted various incentre programmes and post-release supervision to achieve these aims.

"These programmes all aim at helping offenders to live a law-abiding life after their release," she stressed.

At present, the department runs four in-centre programmes. They are the prison programme, Training Centre programme, Drug Addiction Treatment Centre Programme and Detention Centre Programme.

"Apart from running these programmes, the CSD is .also involved in making recommendations to the courts on the most appropriate sentence to be imposed on young offenders and drug addicts," Miss Wong said.

Moreover, CSD is also responsible for the statutory post-release supervision of released offenders.

’’This service, previously only available to young offenders and those sentenced under the Drug Addiction Treatment Centre Ordinance, has now been extended to adult prisoners serving long and medium term sentences,” she said.

’’Many modem penal legislation is directed to the rehabilitation of offenders, and there are people who maintain that reformation should be the main, if not the only, object of sentencing.

However, Miss Wong agreed that rehabilitation of offenders was not easy.

"It is never easy to change a person," she said.

"While we cannot guarantee that prisoners’ experience behind bars will not have involved emotional or social suffering, we should at least provide them with the best possible opportunity to become law-abiding member of the society afterwards."

End

23

Maximum support for manufacturing industry *****

The Government will provide maximum support for Hong Kong's manufacturing industry to, move into higher technology, higher value-added production which is the key to sustaining its international competitiveness.

In her keynote speech at the "Symposium on The Hong Kong Science Park" today (Thursday), the Director-General of Industry, Mrs Regina Ip, said the Government helped the manufacturing industry move up the technology ladder mainly through the nurturing of indigenous, technology-based businesses, promoting technology transfer and regional co-operation.

"In recent years, we have provided additional incentives for local industry support organisations and companies to undertake more applied R&D, either on their own or in collaboration with researchers in China, through the introduction of the Industrial Support Fund, the Applied R&D Scheme and the Co-operative Applied R and D Scheme," she said.

Mrs Ip said a science park would have a decisive role to play in the further development of Hong Kong's manufacturing industry.

A science park in Hong Kong would contribute enormously towards helping the manufacturing sector to leapfrog in technological development by bringing together multinationals, technology-based firms from China and local enterprises with technological competence in particular niches, she said.

Public consultation on a consultancy study on the setting up of a science park in Hong Kong will complete by end-December 1995.

Commenting on the outflow of lower-skilled, lower value-added manufacturing processes to lower cost regions, Mrs Ip said Hong Kong was part of a world-wide trend of globalisation of production.

However, she stressed that there was no question of the "hollowing-out" of the manufacturing industry, as manufacturers continue to undertake most functions of a manufacturing process other than actual assembly in Hong Kong.

24

’’The manufacturing activities undertaken in Hong Kong, such as R and D, product design, prototype development, material and component sourcing, tooling and making precision parts and components, and quality control are creating more value,” she said.

With the retention of the higher skilled, higher value added processes, Hong Kong had become the manufacturing control centre of production across a wide geographical spread in the Asia Pacific region, Mrs Ip continued.

She added that there were Hong Kong companies which demonstrated a competitive advantage by world standards by engaging in technology-based • production, citing successful examples in making electronic learning aids and high frequency digital cordless telephones, IC packaging and testing, multi-layer printed circuit board assembly, and liquid crystal display technology.

The gross output and productivity of the manufacturing sector has sustained »• healthy increases in the past decade, and a higher percentage of the manufacturing workforce is engaged in higher skilled and better paid jobs.

’’During the period 1983 to 1993, the gross output of our manufacturing and productivity of the manufacturing sector increased at the average growth rates of 6.2 per cent and 14.4 per cent respectively," said Mrs Ip.

End

Supplementary Labour Scheme ***** •

In response to press enquiries, the acting Secretary for Education and Manpower, Miss Jacqueline Willis, today (Thursday) said discussions with Legislative Councillors, members of the Labour Advisory Board, employee and employer j representatives on the proposed Supplementary Labour Scheme had reached an advance stage.

"We will be putting forward our proposal to the Executive Council very soon." -Miss Willis said.

End

25

CS presents $10 million cheque to Community Chest

******

The Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, today (Thursday) presented a cheque of $10 million to the Community Chest at a ceremony held at the Police Officers' Club in Causeway Bay.

The money was raised by about 10.000 civil servants, representing 15 policy branches and 73 departments, who took part in a charity walk held at the Sha Tin Park in October.

Mrs Chan also presented awards to 10 highest fund raising departments and to departments with the highest number of participants.

The Secretary for the Civil Service, Mr Michael Sze, also presented awards to 10 departments with the highest contribution per participant and 10 departments with the highest participation rate while the Chest presented awards to 13 top individual fund raisers.

End

Education Board members visit Astronomical Centre

*****

The Chairman of Board of Education. Dr Tam Man-kwan. and seven other members, accompanied by Senior Assistant Director. Hsu Show-hoo, today (Thursday) visited Ho Koon Nature Education cum Astronomical centre at Tsuen Wan.

The members were Dr Cheng Hon-kwan. Dr Pang King-chec. Sister Maric Remedios, Mr Chan Tak-hang, Mr Michael Hong Man-hoi, Mr Isaac Ise Pak-hoi and Mrs Chu Tang Lai-kuen.

On arrival, the group was welcomed by the principal of the centre. Dr Philip Tsoi Hack-kie. who briefed them while touring around the centre. :

Hie centre, which started operation in April, consists of the Held study centre and the astronomical centre.

26

The field study centre is to provide a venue for Secondary 6 and 7 full time students to carry out residential ecology or geography studies.

In the 1995-96 school year, the centre has organised 11 Biology and 11 Geography weekly residential field studies courses.

End

Office hours for collection of BN(O) passports extended *****

A spokesman for the Immigration Department annouced today (Thursday) that the extended working hours to 3 pm on Saturdays in some of the offices to facilitate applicants in collecting their BN(O) passports had been further extended for another three months.

The arrangement will be reviewed by the end of February 1996.

The Offices with extended working hours are:

* Travel Document (passport) Section at the Immigration Headquarters in Wan Chai

* Immigration - East Kowloon Office

* Immigration - West Kowloon Office

* Immigration - Sha Tin Office

* Immigration - Tai Po Office

* Immigration - Fanling Office

* Immigration - Tsuen Wan Office

* Immigration - Tuen Mun Office

* Immigration - Yuen Long Office

* Hong Kong Island Re-entry Permit and Passport Issuing Office

Applicants who have been notified to collect their BN(O) passports are reminded that for their convenience, they should pick up the documents at the specified office within two months from the date when the passport is ready for collection.

27

They may be required to collect their passports at another office if they do not do so within the specified period.

For enquiry, members of the public may telephone 2824 6111 or use faxline 2877 7711.

End

I long Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million rime (hours) Cumulative change ({million)

Opening balance in the account 1,489 0930 -56

Closing balance in the account 2,120 1000 -56

Change attributable to : 1100 -56

Money market activity -94 1200 -56

LAF today +725 1500 -56

1600 -94

I.AF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TW1 122.6 *+0.0* 14.12.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.84 2 years 2711 5.60 99.93 5.72

1 month 5.83 3 years 3810 6.15 100.73 5.95

3 months 5.68 5 years 5009 6.95 102.45 6.44

6 months 5.63 7 years 7211 6.82 100.45 6.85

12 months 5.61 5 years M5O2 7.30 102.15 6.89

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $12,757 million

Closed December 14, 1995

End

28

Transcript of the Governor's media session *****

The following is a transcript of a stand up press session given by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, after a formal breakfast meeting with President Fidel V Ramos on Monday (December 11) in Manila:

Governor: I've had a good discussion for about an hour with the President. We reviewed our work together in APEC; we talked about the substantial economic and trading relationship between Hong Kong and the Philippines; we talked about the very substantial Hong Kong investment in the Philippines; and, of course, the work and role of Filipino domestic helpers in Hong Kong.

We also talked about the importance of concluding negotiations on the Air Service Agreement between Hong Kong and the Philippines and some other bilateral issues of that sort.

There was one other issue that I raised with the President: I pointed out that there was one shadow over our relationship and that while it was marvellous that so many of you had come from Hong Kong to the Philippines, alas, you hadn't come here to report on the economic relationship between Hong Kong and the Philippines, you had come here mainly because of substantial public concern about two Hong Kong citizens who have been in prison in the Philippines for four years.

I noted that just as the Government in the Philippines was concerned about the welfare of its citizens when they were abroad, so we too in Hong Kong were concerned about the welfare of our men and women when they were abroad; and that there was very substantial concern in the community, in the Legislative Council, in the media, about the fact that the appeal process for Mr Au and Mr Wong had taken so ver>z long. I underlined the fact that none of us in Hong Kong were in any way questioning the Judiciary or the judicial process in the Philippines; we weren't seeking to interfere or intervene. But we were worried, and understandably worried about the length of time it was taking to bring these matters to a conclusion.

The President said that he understood that concern and worry, that he would speak with his Justice Ministry about what could be done to expedite the case, and that he would let me know what the conclusion was. I did say that speaking between friends, that I wanted him to know that I would continue to take an interest in this case and that everybody in Hong Kong would expect me to continue to take an interest in this case.

29

While I am in the Philippines, one of the members of my staff who speaks Cantonese will be going with the British Consul to see the two Hong Kong citizens involved, just so that he can report to me personally about their state of mind and about what they are thinking. But I think that the Government in the Philippines, our friends in the Philippines, are aware of our deep concern about this matter.

Question-and-Answcr session

Question: Did ... consider to give a pardon to the Hong Kong men?

Governor: No.

Question: Any concrete promise on Paul Au's case?

Governor: On?

Question: On Paul's case; any concrete promise?

Governor: No, I've told you exactly what was said to me.

Question: Did you tell the President about Mr So's recommendations on domestic workers?

Governor: 1 told the President that COMAC was producing a report today covering issues like the accommodation of domestic workers and that the Government supported the main thrust of those recommendations.

End

30

Transcript of the Governor’s press conference

*****

Following is a transcript of a press conference given by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, at the Manila Peninsula Hotel, Manila, on Monday (December 11):

Governor: Do you want to go straight into questions rather than an opening statement? You heard my speech earlier. I am delighted to be making this first official visit by a Governor of Hong Kong to the Philippines. I was very grateful for the President’s invitation and I much enjoyed my discussion with him this morning. We discussed, obviously, the growing economic trade relationship between Hong Kong and the Philippines; growing at the rate of 25% a year. Wc discussed the substantial —

(Interruption by members of the press)

Governor: I am delighted that 1 was able to accept the President's invitation to visit the Philippines. There is a very strong economic relationship between Hong Kong and the Philippines, manifested both in our trade which is growing at about 25% a year as shown, as well, in the investment by Hong Kong in the Philippines - last year US$290 million was invested here from Hong Kong - and shown, as well, by the very substantial contribution which the Filipino community makes to our well-being in Hong Kong.

We have got common interests in APEC, which I was able to discuss with the President this morning. We have got some issues that we have not yet resolved - like concluding an Air Service Agreement, which 1 hope we will be able to manage in the New Year. And we have got much that we share, both in terms of our values as well as in terms of our commercial activities. So it is a useful visit for me. I am looking forward to further meetings with political and business leaders, and, of course, to my visit to Subic Bay tomorrow. Questions?

Questions: Mr Governor, during your meeting with President Ramos this morning, did you discuss with him the issue, or did you appeal for the pardon of Hong Kong national Paul Au? Did you discuss that issue with him then?

31

Governor: Let me repeat what I said at the Palace this morning after my meeting with the President. I said to the President that there was only one shadow over our relationship and that was the great degree of concern in Hong Kong about the case of two Hong Kong citizens, Mr Au and Mr Wong, who have been in prison since 1991, and whose appeal has been waiting adjudication since 1993. I said that no one in Hong Kong wanted to challenge the Judiciary in the Philippines or interfere in the judicial process, but that we did feel very strongly about the amount of time that Mr Au and Mr Wong had had to await the consideration of their appeal.

1 noted that the Government here felt very strongly about the treatment and the welfare of Filipinos when they were abroad, and nobody should therefore be very surprised when we, the Administration, our Legislative Council, our media and the whole community felt just as strongly about the position of our citizens when they were in other countries. I said that 1 hoped that the appeal process could be expedited. The President said that he would speak to the Justice Ministry about the issue, that he would let me know the outcome. He understood our concern and he recognised my interest, and 1 said that that interest was not merely something for a Monday in December when I was visiting the Philippines, it was something that I intended to continue to pursue, if necessary, though I hope that won’t prove necessary.

I said to the President that I spoke as I did because I thought that it was better between friends to say these things absolutely clearly and plainly. We are friends. But when there is a problem like this that concerns us, it is right for us to address it as 1 did this morning. And I hope it can be resolved very quickly.

Question: Didn’t you ask - because President Ramos is, after all. the ... for a pardon -didn't you ask for a pardon for Mr Au? And since we are in the area of prisoners, there are 12 Filipinos in Hong Kong and they are serving long sentences; did President Ramos say anything about repatriating the Filipinos to the Philippines?

Governor: The answer to the second question is no. The answer to the first question is, it would have been wholly improper of me, without consultation, to have proposed that two citizens of Hong Kong should drop appeals which they have lodged in good faith. That is entirely a matter for them and it would have been entirely improper for me to have usurped their position or that of their lawyers. When government leaders make interventions, as I have done, you have to be extremely careful of the ground on which you do so; you have to be extremely careful to honour the sovereignty and the judicial independence of the country in which you are speaking - and that is something recognise. And above all, you have to be very, very careful not - in order to make what sounds like a sharp point - to make the position of the people on whose behalf you are intervening worse than it would otherwise have been.

32

I'm not Mr Au or Mr Wong's lawyer; I’m not a member of their family. What I want to do is to help them rather than to make a very, very difficult position worse. I think that it has had some impact on their health and obviously a considerable impact on them rather than that of their friends and families, and the sooner it can be resolved one way or the other, the better.

Question: Is a prisoner exchange a possibility - from Hong Kong’s perspective?

Governor: I don’t quite understand why one or two people have been raising this issue, since prisoner exchange does not deal with the question of the appeal against the sentence. That is the issue. And I don't honestly think that prisoner exchange is something which has been put by them, and it certainly hasn’t been put to me. 1 want to underline the point: it has not been put to me by the Government.

Question: Mr Patten, what is the purpose and the content of your meeting with Cardinal Sin?

Governor: The purpose of my meeting Cardinal Sin was first of all that he is one of the most distinguished and internationally renowned members of this community, whose views on moral and other issues around the world carry considerable weight. Secondly, I know that he has many admirers in the Filipino community in Hong Kong - a number of whom I hear singing most Sunday mornings. And thirdly, having heard him preach in the past, I was very keen to meet him myself. He has got a global reputation and has much to contribute to anyone's understanding of Asia and the tensions and pressures of life in Asia.

I had an extremely interesting discussion with him about the past and the present, and indeed the future, and was struck one again - as 1 had been when I heard him preach - was struck once again by his considerable eloquence and humour.

Question: Was the Spratleys issue one of the things you discussed with ... this morning?

Governor: Sorry?

Question: Was the Spratleys issue one of the things you discussed with ...? The issue of the Spratleys Islands.

Governor; No. The Spratleys Islands have not come up in any of the discussions that I have had.

33

Question: Governor, regarding on Paul Au's case, you said that you would send one of the Hong Kong officials to the prison to visit Paul Au. What is the purpose of the visit and what message will the Hong Kong official bring to him?

Governor: Well. 1 am asking one of the officials who is travelling with me, who speaks Cantonese, to visit Mr Au and Mr Wong with the British Consul, and he will be relaying what I have said in my discussions today. He will be relaying the concern of the community in Hong Kong, not least the Legislative Council, who as you know have raised the issue a number of times, and he will be undertaking to keep in touch with Mr Au and Mr Wong.

Question: How about the issue of Filipino maids - did you discuss it with President Ramos?

Governor: Yes.

Question: And did you or Mr Ramos detail a programme of action of the plight of Filipino maids after 1997?

Governor: It is not for me to say what the status of domestic helpers - which I think is a fairer description - will be after 1997. What I did was first of all explain to him what the situation is today. That we are. 1 think, one of the perhaps minority of communities which has regulations governing the employment of domestic helpers which arc entirely in line with the International Labour Covenants. I pointed out that we would apply those covenants faithfully and accurately as far as the Filipino community was concerned.

I also told him that today our Commissioner on Administration, that is our Ombudsman, has produced a report on improving the living conditions and the accuracy of the contracts of Filipino domestic helpers, and that we would be accepting the main thrust of those recommendations.

And 1 pointed out. as well, that we were grateful not only for the contribution of 129.000 Filipino domestic helpers but about 1.000 other workers who come in under our various Labour Importation Schemes on contract, and to the 10.000 or so professionals and managerial staff from the Philippines who work in Hong Kong, about 1.000 of them from Cathay Pacific.

34

1'hc President was complementary about the way in which we have tried to provide decently for the Filipino community in Hong Kong. He knows the efforts that we have made to provide activity centres for Filipino domestic helpers. He knew about the service centre that wc recently opened in Kennedy Town, and the further service centre that wc intend to open in Mong Kok. And 1 told him about the Methodist Centre for those Filipino domestic helpers who get into difficulties during their contracts, that my wife and I opened a few months ago in Stanley. So obviously, he and his wife are very well briefed about the position of Filipino domestic helpers in Hong Kong.

As for the future. I noted that the Special Administrative Region Government would have autonomy in labour issues, including matters affecting Filipino domestic helpers: that the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law made that clear, as they equally made clear the continuance of Hong Kong's economic and social lifestyle after 1997. And while I could give no guarantees as to what the SAR Government would do after 1997. I saw no reason at the moment why anybody should wish to change a situation which plainly is to the advantage of Hong Kong and to the Philippines.

Question: Mr Patten, did President Ramos raise any concerns about the existing ...?

Governor: No. The President expressed gratitude for the arrangements made in Hong Kong for the employment of Filipino domestic helpers. I think that there is general recognition, frankly, that Filipino domestic helpers arc probably treated better, more decently, in a more civilised way in Hong Kong than pretty well anywhere else in the region. But that is not a reason for us being complacent about the way we treat any of our workers, imported or those who have always lived in Hong Kong.

There are problems from time to lime. There arc abuses from time to time. One of the things that the Ombudsman has urged us to do is to try to check on bad employers more accurately from time to time, so that we can stop them abusing the situation.

Question: Mr Patten, did President Ramos ever agree to ... and from the ... reports how confident are you that you might ...such powers for LegCo? ...

35

Governor: No proposal was made to me to convey to Mr Au and Mr Wong. But what President Ramos did say was that he understood my concern and Hong Kong’s concern, that he would reflect that to the Justice Ministry and to the other parts of the Administration involved, and that he would come back to me and let me know the outcome. OF course I recognise that he has powers of pardon when the judicial process has been completed, and that is something that I think we touched on elsewhere in our conversation. But there wasn't, as has been hinted in some of the media, an explicit proposal made. And 1 don't think it would have been right in the circumstances. The President and I arc not in the business of. as it were, haggling or negotiating about these men's fate. What we are talking about is the judicial process operating as rapidly as possible and not dragging on forever.

Question: Did he indicate when he w ill come back to you?

Governor: No. but he knows that I am very concerned about the issue. And I have written to him tw ice on it so far, once in November, once just before I came to Hong Kong. 1 don't w ant to either understate the importance of the issue or to overstate its importance in our bilateral relationship. I think the fact that I was able to discuss it forcefully, vigorously, but without it being in any way an acrimonious discussion, is an indication of the maturity of our relationship. And I suspect that what has some effect on opinion here, is that people in the Philippines know how much concern is aroused locally in the community when you consider the plight of your ow n citizens in other countries.

Question: Mr Patten, what were your discussions with the Security Council this morning?

Governor: I had a discussion with them both about the debate on Asian values and the place of the Philippines and Hong Kong in the context of that debate. I think that the remarks I made will be available on the record later on. They won't surprise you very much, since I've made them in the past and occasionally aroused a touch of controversy as a result. But they are less controversial in a free society.

Question: Governor, was there any concern expressed about China's ... and perhaps ...?

Governor: No.

Question: In your discussions with Cardinal Sin you said you spoke about the future. Did that include the future of religious freedoms in 1 long Kong?

36

Governor: Yes, I told him what the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law say about the freedom of religious organisation and religious worship. And we also briefly discussed relations with the church in China, which obviously aren’t a matter for me but are a matter on which he is very knowledgeable.

Question: Were the concerns ..?

Governor: 1 Ie did not express concern.

Question: Mr Patten, some people are just hoping that some of the business that will close and will actually move out after 1997 from Hong Kong will come to the Philippines. Would you think there is a chance that... international situation?

Governor: I hope you will take it in good heart if I say that my enthusiasm for all that you have achieved in the last few years in the Philippines does not extend to hoping that Hong Kong firms will depart from our territory and set up in your own country. I think there is every reason why Hong Kong firms should retain their roots in Hong Kong. But of course Hong Kong businessmen and Hong Kong investors have prospered over the years by investing overseas as well as in Hong Kong; US$290 million has been invested from Hong Kong in the Philippines in 1994. 1 hope that is an indication of our international view but I don't think you can expect us to do any more than that.

Question: It seems that the Philippine Government is going to ...I ilipino domestic workers back to the country ... so do you think that it will affect Hong Kong?

Governor: I don't believe anything that anybody has said to me suggests to me that it is true, particularly given the importance of the repatriation of overseas earnings to the Philippines economy. Were it to be true, though I don't believe it is, it would obviously have an impact on Hong Kong as well as an impact on the Philippines. But I repeat that I don't believe it's true. And nobody, while I've been in the Philippines, has suggested that it is about to happen.

End

37

Transcript of the Governor's press session *****

Following is a transcript of a roundup press session given by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, at the Villamor Air Base, Manila, on Tuesday (December 12):

I am very grateful to the President for his very kind invitation to the Philippines, and I am grateful to all those officials who have helped to make my visit so enjoyable and successful. I hope and believe that it will have confirmed the very strong commercial and trading relationship between Hong Kong and the Philippines, and will have also strengthened our partnership together in APEC.

I have enjoyed my meeting with political leaders and with business leaders, and I particularly enjoyed today my visit to Subic Bay. Subic Bay has, of course, already attracted the interest of a number of Hong Kong investors as well as investors from the rest of the world. Hong Kong, last year, invested overall US$290 million in the Philippines and at least some of that was in Subic Bay. Subic Bay is impressive, but I don't think any of us in Hong Kong have ever been worried about competition. I think we have always believed that other cities and communities developing and honing their competitive edge was something we could welcome and live with rather than resent and try to elbow out of the game. So it was an extremely interesting experience for me visiting Subic Bay, meeting a number of Hong Kong entrepreneurs who are working there, and seeing again Chairman Gordon's excellent work which I am sure will be beneficial to the whole Philippine economy.

1 have also, of course, had the opportunity of discussing with Philippine officials the position of the Filipino community in Hong Kong, and given such reassurance as I am able to give about their position.

And. of course. I was able to discuss, yesterday, with the President, the position of Mr Au and Mr Wong, and one of my staff today. Mr Kim Salkeld went to see Mr Au and Mr Wong and you'll know the results of that visit.

So , an action-packed 48 hours. A useful one. I think, for Hong Kong, given that the Philippines is one of our closest friends and partners.

38

Question-and-Answer session

Question: Have you discussed the issue of Mr Au and Wong with the Senators this morning?

Governor: No, because 1 raised it with the President and they obviously don’t have any specific locus in that issue. I was meeting the President of the Senate, and the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Question: Did you discuss the question of domestic helpers with them?

Governor: They raised it with me and I set out the position which I referred to, I think, in my press conferences and interviews yesterday.

Question: Are you going to send people to visit Mr Alan Wong in the future?

Governor: There will be regular visits from the Consul, the British Embassy, and we assured Mr Au and Mr Wong today that we would be keeping in touch with their case and that I would be keeping personally in touch with it and with the Filipino authorities. We are also taking back from Mr Au and Mr Wong some letters for their family and friends.

Question: We talked to Mr Au and Mr Wong this morning and they are very pleased about what you did yesterday. But they arc a little bit worried. What Mr Wong said -maybe he will speak to the Justice Office may be only a kind of courtesy to you. And he is not really clear on the matter. So, also, for example, last night the Justice Department - I don't know whether he is talking about...

Governor: First of all, the Philippine's Government knows that as far as I am concerned, concern about Mr Au and Mr Wong isn't simply a ceremonial issue; isn't something that 1 have raised just because I was meeting the President, and now intend to forget. l'he whole community in Hong Kong is worried about Mr Au and Mr Wong: the Legislative Council is worried about Mr Au and Mr Wong: the media in Hong Kong are worried about them; and. of course, their family and friends are particularly concerned. As the leader of the community, as the representative of the community, when I travel abroad I intend to take a continuing interest in what happens to them and hope that I don't have to do so for too long, because we very much hope that the appeal which they have lodged will be brought forward as rapidly as possible.

39

I repeat that we have at no stage wished to interfere with the judicial process in the Philippines. That is not what we arc asking for. that is not what we arc pressing for at all. What we are asking for is that the judicial process takes place as rapidly as possible. And no fair minded person, 1 think, could deny that Mr Au and Mr Wong have been waiting for a very, very long time.

I think because of the concern which they have themselves expressed about the position of Filipinos in other communities, the leaders of the Government, and others in public life in the Philippines, understand why we are concerned about two of our citizens.

Question: Do you think there’s a ... in the case of Paul Au. and Wong?

Governor: It's too early to say. and it would be unfair to them to raise expectations without any solid evidence. All that I will say is that I very much enjoyed my meeting with President Ramos and believe that he was entirely sincere in the concern he expressed and in what he said to me about contacting the Justice Ministry and getting back to me about the position of Mr Au and Mr Wong. But I would not w ant to offer more hope than has been justified by the discussions that 1 have had.

Question: Do you expect to get back instructions pretty soon?

Governor: I hope so. And so, I imagine, do Mr Au and Mr Wong.

Question: After the meeting this morning about Mr Au and Mr Wong, are you now satisfied that the right course forward is, as you said yesterday, to pursue the appeal as quickly as possible?

Governor: We will continue - and this is always our position when dealing with these sort of cases - we w ill continue to keep in the closest touch w ith Mr Au and Mr Wong themselves, and with their families and legal advisers, because one never wants to be in a position in which one is taking action which isn't in line with what the accused themselves want to have done. So we will be continuing to keep in touch with them and I hope that any action that we take will continue to be in line with their expectations and wishes.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

Friday, December 15, 1995

Contents Page No.

Land for Housing Authority............................................ 1

Government committed to human rights enhancement...................... 4

Unemployment and underemployment statistics........................... 8

Comprehensive approach in dealing with cancer important: SHW...... 9

New elderly home in Eastern District opens........................ 11

Memorandum with Chinese Academy of Sciences signed................ 12

15 people receive bravery award...................................... 13

Development of Causeway Bay site clarified........................ 15

Owners urged to remove defective advertising signs................... 16

Order sought to close Kwai Chung building............................ 17

Court rules to protect vulnerable witnesses gazetted................. 17

Election report submitted to the Governor......................... 19

New compensation rates for employees gazetted........................ 19

Tuen Mun Road traffic surveillance system seeks bidders.............. 20

Draft maps....

Contents

Page No.

Draft maps for proposed marine parks gazetted........................... 21

Tenders for supply of Chinese word processing software.................. 23

Drainage improvement works in Tuen Mun and Yuen Long.................... 23

Footbridge across Lung Poon Street...................................... 25

Prequalification of tenderers for road improvement works................ 26

New pier for Ma Wan Marine Traffic Control station...................... 26

Sale of land by Letter A/B or cash tender............................... 27

Villages expansion and improvement works for Sha Tin.................... 28

Tenders invited for mainlaying in Fo Tan and Ma Liu Shui................ 29

Engineering works for Tung Chung new town............................... 30

Flood protection scheme in north NT..................................... 30

Land resumption for open space development.......................... 31

Sewerage improvement works for east Kowloon............................. 32

Fresh water cut in NT and Hong Kong South.............................   33

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations.................... 33

1

Land for Housing Authority ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government announced today (Friday) that it has earmarked about 30 hectares of additional land for allocation to the Housing Authority for construction of public housing up to the year 2000-01. In addition, a further 30 hectares are under active consideration for inclusion in the public housing programme.

A government spokesman said the Government attached great importance to achieving its targets for both rental and home ownership flats for the period 1995-96 to 2000-01.

• I.

"In terms of land requirements, we agree that we need to identify further sites for the Housing Authority in order to ensure that our targets can be safely met," the spokesman said.

The Government has decided to earmark administratively six sites for use by the Housing Authority for the purpose of constructing public housing up to March 2001. Three of the sites are new sites not currently in the Public Housing Development Programme (PHDP).

The remainder are sites which are already in the PHDP but where the Government will help accelerate production so as to bring completion dates forward into the 1995-96 to 2000-01 timeframe.

"In addition, we have identified seven other sites which planning or other constraints make it impossible to earmark now for the Housing Authority's use. We will use our best endeavours to see whether all or part of these sites can be made available to the Housing Authority in due course," the spokesman said.

The spokesman said in order to ensure that as much as possible is done to expedite the statutory or administrative procedures to which these sites may be subject, a special committee on land for public housing has been set up.

It is chaired by the Deputy Secretary for Housing, with senior representatives from the Housing Branch, the Planning, Environment and Lands Branch, the Housing Department, the Planning Department and the Lands Department as members.

"If necessary, problems affecting a particular site will also be brought to the attention of the Housing Project Action Team chaired by the Secretary for Housing to accelerate development," he added.

2

The spokesman said the Government would now proceed to determine appropriate housing production targets for the public and private sectors, and associated land requirements, up to the year 2005-06.

To make this possible, there is a need to complete an overall review of the Long Term Housing Strategy, covering key aspects of government housing policy.

"LegCo members are already being consulted by the Secretary for Housing for their initial views," the spokesman said.

"In parallel, the Working Group on Housing Demand will continue to refine its assumptions so that the implications of any proposed policy changes for housing production targets for the public and private sectors and associated land requirements can be properly assessed," he added.

The spokesman noted that the Government's conclusions in respect of its Long Term Housing Strategy, together with the methodology and the assumptions used by the Working Group on Housing Demand, would be included in a public consultation document to be published in mid 1996.

Following are two lists of sites earmarked for and under consideration for allocation to the Housing Authority:

Sites earmarked for allocation to the Housing Authority . for construction of public housing up to the year 2000-01

Site Site area (ha)

I. New sites not within PHDP

1. Yuen Chau Kok, Shatin 9.6

2. Blackdown Banacks, Choi Hung 7.2

3. Fortune Street Playground, Cheung Sha Wan 2.3

Sub-total 19.1

3

II. sites already within PHDP to be accelerated for completion by March 2001

4. Tiu Keng Leng, Tseung Kwan O Area 74, Phases 1 and 2 4.2

5. Tin Shui Wai Reserve Zone Area 11 IB 2.9

6. Tin Shui Wai Reserve Zone Area 105, Phases 1 and 2 4.6

Sub-total *' -7

Total 308

Sites under consideration

Site Site area (ha)

1. New sites, the use of which has to be finalised

1. Diamond Hill ^.0

2. Ho Man Tin 3 8

Sub-total ?-8

II New sites confirmed for public housing to be accelerated (now outside PHDP)

3. Inverness Road, Kowloon City 1 7

4. Tung Tau Cottage Area, eastern site, Kowloon City 1 -5

5. Tung Tau Cottage Area, western site, Kowloon City 0.8

4.0

Sub-total

4

III. Sites already within PHDP to be accelerated

6. Lung Tin Tsuen, Yuen Long Area 13 12.3

7. Tiu Keng Leng, Tseung Kwan O Area 73A&B 7.5

Sub-total 19.8

Total 31.6

End

Government committed to human rights enhancement

*****

The Hong Kong Government has put the enhancement of human rights at the centre of its policy initiatives and is firmly committed to the vision that human rights are people's fundamental rights bestowed by virtue of their existence, the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen, said tonight (Friday).

Addressing the Amnesty International forum, Mr Suen said the right to life, to liberty and security, to freedom of thought and expression, to equality before the law and equal protection under the law arc fundamental rights and not gifts of governments or any organisations.

Elaborating in his speech "Human rights: achievements and the way ahead", Mr Suen said: " We have a respectable record but cannot afford to be complacent."

Mr Suen said the Administration, apart from recognising the role and contribution of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as a driving force behind human rights development in Hong Kong, had taken its reporting to international human rights bodies very seriously.

5

He said the Home Affairs Branch was co-ordinating action in the territory on the matters raised by the United Nations Human Rights Committee and intended to offer the Legislative Council, NGOs and the public an opportunity in early 1996 to give their views on the issues to be covered in a special report on Hong Kong under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1CCPR).

The report, to be submitted by the United Kingdom to the United Nations Human Rights Committee in May next year, will cover developments in respect of the issues raised in the Committee's concluding observations issued on November 3 including, most importantly, the obligation to submit periodic reports under Article 40 of ICCPR, he said.

Turning to the protection of human rights in the territory, Mr Suen said it was provided by the rule of law, a truly independent judiciary, a free and active press, a fairly elected Legislature, open and accountable government, effective and reliable complaints channels and the Bill of Rights Ordinance (BORO).

He said: "The rule of law in Hong Kong means that the powers of the Government are subject to the law and may be challenged in the courts. Everyone is subject to the law and everyone is equal before the law.

"Our laws are interpreted and applied by an independent judiciary. Prominent in this process is the Bill of Rights Ordinance, which gives effect in local law to the provisions of the ICCPR as applied to Hong Kong.

"Our citizens can, and do, take the Government to Court when they consider that we have infringed their rights. Clearly, this path of redress should not be constrained by financial considerations.

"Therefore, we have given the Director of Legal Aid discretion to waive the financial eligibility test for people wishing to pursue cases under the BORO."

Mr Suen added that BORO had been the yardstick in the ongoing review of legislation which was to ensure that legal restrictions on people's rights and freedom were reasonable, necessary and proportional to the problems they sought to address.

"So far we have enacted 36 amending ordinances to ensure that we will continue to enjoy a free society where the rights of the individual, press freedom and freedom of expression are guaranteed. We will continue to review our laws.

"The general public has come to accept the BORO as a fundamental and essential guarantee of human rights, and as part of the fabric of the laws of Hong Kong.

6

"The Preliminary Working Committee's proposals in respect of BORO have, therefore, aroused strong public concern.

"We have, and will continue to explain to the Chinese Government the misconceived nature of these proposals and the importance of preserving the Bill of Rights Ordinance as the cornerstone of human rights protection in Hong Kong."

Mr Suen also paid tribute to the first fully elected Legislature which he noted now acted with a mandate from the largest and most broadly based electorate in the territory's history.

On the Government’s commitment to greater openness and accountability, Mr Suen said the Code on Access to Information introduced earlier this year was a major step forward.

In the belief that more open and accountable government is a better government, the Administration has formulated the Code which was intended to make available to the public as much information as possible to enhance understanding of the formulation and implementation of public policies.

"Some two-thirds of the Government is now covered by the Code and we intend to extend it to the remainder before the end of 1996."

As to the protection of personal privacy, Mr Suen said the Government would establish the Privacy Commission to promote and enforce compliance with the newly enacted Data Protection (Privacy) Ordinance.

On the issue of equal opportunities, Mr Suen said the territory had not been left on the sidelines amid an increasing level of interest on the topic world-wide.

"But it is not in our nature to rush headlong into changes simply because they are fashionable or politically expedient.

"We need first to be sure that injustices exist, that government action, whether administrative, educational, or legal, is the appropriate remedy and, if so, where the balance should be struck in meeting different aspirations of the community."

He said the Administration had proposed and LegCo had enacted in 1995 the Sex Discrimination Ordinance and the Disability Discrimination Ordinance after studies and public consultations revealed a clear and unambiguous need and demand for legislation against these practices.

7

On top of these first steps, he added, the Government was now studying discrimination on the grounds of age, family status and sexual preference.

"We will consult the public on the extent of the problems identified in these areas and how to solve them. In this way. we aim to tackle discrimination through means best suited to the circumstances, norms and needs of our society."

At the international level, the Convention on the Rights of the Child was recently extended to the territory which obliges Hong Kong to respect and protect children's rights.

Another recent "extension" was the Convention Against Torture which obliged the territory to outlaw and combat torture. Efforts in this area had been further strengthened by the enactment of the Crimes (Torture) Ordinance which prohibited torture, he said.

On channels to handle complaints. Mr Suen said the Commissioner tor Administrative Complaints (COMAC) and other more specialised channels had served Hong Kong well and were constantly under review.

"Access to COMAC used to be by referral; now it is direct. Measures have also been taken to improve the system of handling of complaints against the police and action is in hand to make the Independent Police Complaints Council a statutory body," he said.

In spite of all these positive government measures to preserve and further human rights. Mr Suen said, it was still imperative for people to remain vigilant and assert their rights.

"Knowledge is a pre-requisite of such vigilance: people must be aware of what their rights are - and why they should care about them - before they can be effective watchdogs in their own best interests.

"That is why we have devoted substantial resources and effort to human rights education and established a special education unit to support the Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education in its efforts to promote public awareness," he said.

In conclusion. Mr Suen said all these measures, taken together, had laid a solid and reliable foundation for human rights protection in Hong Kong.

8

"Now we must build on this foundation, in the same spirit in which it was laid. The rule of law will remain our guiding principle. We will not allow the independence of judiciary to be fettered,” he said.

As set out clearly in the Policy Commitments, the Government would continue to co-ordinate the review of legislation to ensure its compliance with BORO, Mr Suen said.

”We will expedite action in establishing the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner to ensure that our discrimination legislation and data protection legislation are fully implemented.” he said.

End

Unemployment and underemployment statistics *****

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the period August to October 1995 was 3.6%, and the underemployment rate was 2.3%, according to the latest labour force statistics released today (Friday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

The provisional seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the period September to November 1995 remained al 3.6%, while the provisional underemployment rale was slightly lower, at 2.2%.

Commenting on the latest figures, a government spokesman said while the unemployment rate was still relatively high, the labour market situation seemed to have remained generally stable.

"Unemployment in the restaurants, and community, social and personal services sectors declined, offsetting the rise in unemployment in the construction and transport sectors. Unemployment in the manufacturing sector remained broadly stable. "As to underemployment, there was some reduction mainly in construction," the spokesman said.

The spokesman also noted that total employment continued to show a notable increase, by 2.4% in the three months ending October 1995 over a year earlier. But total labour supply rose even faster, by 3.9% over the same period.

9

During the period August to October 1995, the number of unemployed persons with previous jobs was estimated at 98,700. Another 17,200 unemployed persons were first-time job-seekers. The number of underemployed persons was estimated at 72,800.

The unemployment and underemployment statistics were obtained from a continuous General Household Survey.

The survey for August to October 1995 covered a quarterly sample of some 18,000 households or 61,600 persons, selected scientifically to represent the land-based civilian non-institutional population in 1 long Kong.

Data were obtained from the survey by interviewing each 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.

’Seasonally adjusted' refers to adjustment for seasonal variations in the proportion of first-time job-seekers in the labour force.

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 September 1995 will be on sale at the Government Publications Centre at ground floor, Low Block, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong, by the end of December.

End

Comprehensive approach in dealing with cancer important: SHW *****

A comprehensive approach in dealing with cancer, the number one killer disease that takes away more than 9,000 lives in Hong Kong every year, should be adopted, the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, said.

In this respect, she added, emphasis should be placed on prevention, early detection and treatment, as well as palliative care pending a breakthrough in medical research that would eliminate this cause of misfortune.

10

Mrs Fok was speaking at the 32nd Annual General Meeting of the Hong Kong Anti-Cancer Society at the Nam Long Hospital today (Friday).

Noting that the promotion of a healthy lifestyle was primary in preventing cancer, Mrs Fok said: "The Government in May this year set up the Health Care and Promotion Fund, with an injection of $80 million.

"The Fund provides financial support to health care promotion projects that encourage people to change their lifestyle towards a state of optimal health."

Early detection is also important in reducing the mortality and morbidity of cancer patients.

Since the Department of Health opened its first woman health centre in May last year, breast cancer screening and cervical cancer screening were provided to over 3,000 and 3.500 women respectively.

"Thanks to these screening programmes, 24 women have been identified to be in the early stages of these forms of cancer and are now receiving appropriate treatment," Mrs Fok said, adding that a further 69 cases of suspected cancer were being investigated.

Another centre will be opened in Chai Wan early next year, and a third planned for the New Territories in 1997.

The Secretary also paid tribute to the Society for imparting knowledge on cancer to the community. These include educational talks in schools and community centres, and a weekly column on cancer in a local newspaper.

In addition, it has joined hands with the Hospital Authority in promoting hospice care through the organising of a three-week programme - I lospice Awareness 1995.

Furthermore, a three-month open house programme launched by Nam Long Hospital, is still on-going and provides the public an opportunity to get to know more about hospice care.

End

11

New elderly home in Eastern District opens * * * * *

Hong Kong people with the improvement of health and welfare services now enjoy a life expectancy which is longer than almost anywhere else in the world.

This was stated by Mrs Lavender Patten when she officiated at the opening ceremony of the Women's Welfare Club (Eastern District) Hong Kong Ng Siu Mui Home cum Care and Attention Unit for the Elderly at Yiu Tung Estate, Shau Ki Wan today (Friday).

Noting that this had led to a growing demand for services for the elderly, Mrs Patten said the government's goal in supporting the provision of these services was to improve the quality of life for elderly people, who had contributed much to Hong Kong's success over the years, so that they could now enjoy a comfortable and dignified old age.

"Government seeks to achieve this by offering a range of community support and residential care services to meet the ever-changing needs of elderly people.

"This goal could not, however, be achieved without the staunch support and long-term commitment of voluntary groups like the Women's Welfare Club (Eastern District) Hong Kong," Mrs Patten said.

The new elderly home, the second of its kind operated by the club, provides residential and care services to 105 elderly people.

Also present at the ceremony today were the Assistant Director of Social Welfare (Elderly and Medical Social Services). Mrs Anna Mak; Assistant Director of Social Welfare (Family and Child Welfare), Mrs Patricia Chu; the District Officer of Eastern, Mr Lui Hau-tuen; and the Chairman of the Women's Welfare Club (Eastern District) Hong Kong. Ms Christina Ting.

End

12

Memorandum with Chinese Academy of Sciences signed *****

The Director-General of Industry, Mrs Regina Ip, today (Friday) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) on technology collaboration on applied research and development between Hong Kong and China.

The signing took place at the Industry Department with the Director of Bureau of Applied Research and Development, Mr Huang Tieshan, and was witnessed by a delegation from the Academy headed by the Vice President, Professor Yan Yi-xun.

Under MOU, the Academy will provide support for the Co-operative Applied Research and Development Scheme (CARDS) by facilitating its research units and researchers to co-operate with recipient companies under the Scheme.

Administered by the Applied Research Council, CARDS was launched in June to promote applied R and D activities in Hong Kong by providing funding support for worthwhile projects undertaken by Hong Kong manufacturers utilising the technological research expertise of Hong Kong and China.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Mrs Ip said the signing of MOU "signifies an important step forward in technology collaboration and exchanges between China and Hong Kong".

"It will foster closer links and co-operation between the Industry Department and the Chinese Academy of Sciences in developing R and D and high technology, in a bid to commercialise technological achievements." Mrs Ip said.

"To adjust to changing market conditions, the manufacturing industry in Hong Kong has been moving towards the high-tech and high value-added direction in recent years.

"In order for Hong Kong to remain competitive in world markets, the manufacturing sector has an urgent need to engage in more applied R and D work."

The Chinese Academy of Sciences, China's highest research centre for natural sciences, has over 50,000 scientists and technologists, and attained outstanding achievements in the area of scientific and technological research. Hong Kong manufacturers who had applied for funds under CARDS would have much to benefit from the assistance of the researchers of CAS, the Director-General said.

13

In less than half a year since its inception, funds have been approved for three projects, all of which involve the participation of research institutes in China, and one of them is a research institute of CAS.

End

15 people receive bravery award

*****

Fifteen people were today (Friday) commended by the Director of Marine, Mr Ian Dale, for their brave acts of saving lives of the others from the sea.

Among the 15 recipients of the 1995 Director of Marine's Commendation for Bravery is a 65-year-old employee of China Motor Bus Company, Mr Yuen Yan-ho.

Mr Yuen together with Police Inspector Lo Kwan-tung and Police Constables Chan Chi-ming and Liang Wai-ching, rescued a 60-year-old woman from the sea off North Point Ferry Pier on September 14, 1994.

Mr Yuen, who was working in the bus conductors' office at North Point Ferry Pier, saw the incident. He took a ladder from his office, tied it to a railing and climbed down into the sea in an attempt to rescue the drowning woman.

He managed to grasp the woman with one hand and held onto the ladder with the other hand. Despite the motion of the woman in the rough sea and the onset of fatigue, he held on to her until the arrival of a team of policemen.

On arrival at the scene, Inspector Lo. Constables Chan and Liang, jumped into the sea and together with Mr Yuen, the four kept the woman afloat in rough sea under a strong monsoon until firemen arrived.

The heroic acts of the four together with the 11 others saved a total of 43 lives from the sea.

Twenty-two crew members of a Thai vessel which met her fate and sank about 235 nautical miles south of Hong Kong on November 13. 1995 were saved because of the action taken by a Hong Kong seaman, Captain Wong Chong-lin.

14

Captain Wong, who was in command of a vessel registered in Singapore, responded to a call from the Hong Kong Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre and rushed his ship to render assistance to the crew in distress.

His selflessness and determination to discharge a seafarer's obligation to save lives at sea have resulted in the rescue of all the 22 crew members of the sunken vessel.

Another police constable was awarded for his swift action which resulted in saving the life of a 15-year-old girl off the Outlying Islands Ferry Pier in Central around 5.15 pm on August 18, 1995.

While Constable Chan Chung-yeung was patrolling with two colleagues in the area, they saw a girl jumping into the sea. Disregarding the busy sea traffic at the time, the choppy and heavily polluted water, Constable Chan jumped into the sea, swam to and secured the girl.

With the assistance of his two colleagues who threw buoys and radioed for further assistance, the girl was eventually rescued from the sea.

Speaking at the presentation ceremony, Mr Dale offered his thanks on behalf of the community to these 15 brave people.

"There are I believe many brave men and women in Hong Kong whose selfless acts are never reported, and thus the community at large has no opportunity to thank them. To those unknown and unnamed courageous people I offer the gratitude of our community," he said.

He appealed to anyone who is aware of a marine rescue incident to report it to the Marine Department.

"If justified those who placed their own lives in danger to help others will be invited to receive bravery award," he said.

The newly-elected Chairman of the Hong Kong Shipowners’ Association, Mr George Chao, represented the Hong Kong maritime industry to offer thanks to the • recipients.

Mr Chao said that through his involvement with the maritime industry, safety was the most important element of a successful marine business.

’’Safety of people who work on ships or at the waterfront and safety of the ship to protect the marine environment," he said.

15

"But we do not live in a perfect world. Accidents happen, and people's lives are put in jeopardy, despite all our efforts to create a marine environment that has the highest of safety standards.

"It is at these times when we need the help of the brave men and women of our society who put their own safety at risk to aid others," he said.

End

Development of Causeway Bay site clarified ♦ * * * ♦

In response to media and public enquiries on the development of a site at 44 Jardine's Crescent in Causeway Bay which will be put up for public auction next week, a spokesman for the Lands Department said today (Friday):

"In order to facilitate demolition of the existing building and construction works on the site, the Director of Urban Services will, upon request from the purchaser, arrange temporary resite of some fixed pitch hawker stalls in front of the site.

"However, the purchaser is expected to make its own arrangement to obtain vehicular access to the site during construction. The Government will provide assistance, if possible."

"The Fire Services Department may require additional fire service installations such as fast response sprinkler system and pressurised staircase at the existing access to the site. Detailed fire safety requirements will be formulated upon receipt of formal building plans," he added.

The site at 44 Jardine's Crescent, together with another site at Stubbs Road in Wan Chai, will be offered for sale at a public auction on Tuesday (December 19).

End

16

Owners urged to remove defective advertising signs ♦ * * * ♦

The Buildings Department today (Friday) urged property and shop owners to take the initiative to remove poorly maintained or abandoned advertising signs for public safety.

The Senior Structural Engineer (Dangerous Buildings) of the department, Mr Robinson Chung, made the appeal after a clearance operation this afternoon to remove a number of abandoned advertising signs in Mong Kok.

Mr Chung said the signs were found to be potentially dangerous during a district-wide survey on advertising signs in Mong Kok from September this year.

"So far we have inspected more than 1,600 signs and 45 of them were found to be defective. They will be removed by the Buildings Department’s contractors and the removal cost will be recovered from the owners.

"The survey on advertising signs will continue and similar clearance operations will be carried out in other districts," Mr Chung said.

Noting that public safety was the Government’s prime concern, Mr Chung pointed out that it was the property or shop owners’ responsibility to ensure safety erection and maintenance of advertising signs.

"There are more than 180,000 advertising signs in the territory and the figure increases by about six per cent each year.

"Before putting up overhanging signboards, people should seek professional advice for safe design and maintenance. They must also ensure that the signs are properly maintained after installation," he said.

Members of the public could also make reports to the Buildings Department if they identify any advertising signs which are posing danger to public safety. Mr Chung said.

The 24-hour Building Safety hotline is 2626 1234.

End

17

Order sought to close Kwai Chung building *****

The Buildings Department will apply for a closure order from the court tomorrow (Saturday) morning to close a number of units of Kwai Hing Industrial Building which were severely damaged in a No 4 alarm fire yesterday (Thursday).

Speaking after inspecting the damaged units. Senior Structural Engineer (Dangerous Buildings) of the Buildings Department. Mr Lei Kai-ping, said the sixth and above floors of the building will be closed because part of the building structure had been damaged by the blaze.

"We will subsequently serve a repair order on the owners requiring them to carry out the necessary repair work by building professionals.

"The period of the closure will depend on the progress of the repair work." Mr Lei said.

Meanwhile, a government contractor has been employed to remove the loosened window frames and cooling lowers supporting racks to prevent them from falling off.

End

Court rules to protect vulnerable witnesses gazetted *****

Rules of court made to implement legislation enacted to provide greater protection for vulnerable witnesses when giving evidence in criminal proceedings were gazetted today (Friday).

A Legal Department spokesman said the Live Television Link and Video Recorded Evidence Rules gazetted today were made by the Chief Justice under the Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Ordinance 1995 which was passed by the Legislative Council in July this year.

18

The ordinance introduces four new procedures to enable vulnerable witnesses to give evidence free from intimidation and to allay the trauma and anxiety experienced by them when giving evidence.

The spokesman said the first procedure would enable vulnerable witnesses, with the leave of the court, to give evidence at trial in a room separate from the court room through a live television link.

This would allay their anxiety arising from giving evidence in court and child witnesses, in particular, would be spared the trauma of being close to the alleged abuser again, he said.

To spare the witness of repeating the ordeal of describing the incident, the spokesman said the vulnerable witnesses would also be able to give their account of the incident in informal surroundings when reporting the offence and a video recording of their statement could be accepted as evidencc-in-chicf in court.

He also noted that a third procedure would prevent child or mentally handicapped witnesses from being required to give evidence in court twice in relation to serious abuses - once at the committal proceedings and again at trial.

’’Committal proceedings will not be needed when the Director of Public Prosecution issues a notice of transfer certifying that the evidence is sufficient for the accused to be committed for trial,” he said.

He pointed out that in cases where it was unavoidable that a trial could not be heard without delay, or where exposure to a full trial would endanger the physical or mental health of the child and mentally handicapped witnesses, a written deposition taken’by a magistrate would be admissible as evidence without further proof.

The spokesman said the rules, among other things, set out the procedure in applying for vulnerable witnesses to give evidence through a live television link, the manner in which the application was to be determined, the procedures on the notification of the decision, as well as restrictions on the persons who might accompany a vulnerable witness.

They also provided for application procedures for video recordings of testimony from vulnerable witnesses, the manner in which the application was to be determined, and the procedures on the notification of the decision, he said.

End

19

Election report submitted to the Governor *****

The Boundary and Election Commission (BEC) today (Friday) submitted its report to the Governor on the Legislative Council elections held on September 17.

BEC is responsible for the supervision and conduct of elections. It is required under the law to submit a report to the Governor within three months of the date of each general or ordinary election.

End

New compensation rates for employees gazetted *****

New compensation rates under the Employees’ Compensation Ordinance (ECO) and Pneumoconiosis (Compensation) Ordinance (PCO) were gazetted today (Friday) and would take effect on January 1, 1996.

The wage ceiling for calculating compensation for permanent total incapacity and death under ECO will be raised to $18,000.

Accordingly, the maximum amount of compensation payable for permanent total incapacity and death will be $1,728,000 and $1,512,000 respectively.

The minimum compensation will be $262,000 for death and $297,000 for permanent total incapacity. For employees requiring attention, the maximum amount of compensation will be $356,000.

A spokesman for the Labour Department said allowances for victims of work accidents to acquire prostheses or surgical appliances would also be revised. The maximum costs for supplying and fitting such items will be raised to $28,000 and those for repair and renewal to $86,000.

He said for the purpose of calculating compensation, the level of deemed minimum earnings per month would be raised to $2,450.

20

The minimum surcharge for late payment of compensation assessed or approved by the Commissioner for Labour will be increased to $420 on expiry of the payment period. Where compensation remains unpaid three months after the expiry period, the minimum surcharge will be $840.

"The burial expenses for employees who died at work and the maximum daily reimbursement for medical expenses under the ECO will be revised to $14,000 and $160 respectively," the spokesman said.

The same rates will apply to funeral and medical expenses payable under PCO.

The amount of compensation for care and attention under PCO will be increased to $4,050. The amount of $2,100 included in the formula for calculating the monthly compensation for total incapacity will also be adjusted to $2,570.

Enquiries on employees’ compensation can be made on 2717 1771.

End

Tucn Mun Road traffic surveillance system seeks bidders

*****

The Transport Department today (Friday) invites prequalified tenderers to bid for the Tuen Mun Road Traffic Surveillance and Information System (1 MR TSIS) Stage II works.

A spokesman for the department said Stage II works comprised the installation of automatic incident detectors along TMR mainline and electronic message signs on Tucn Mun Road.

In addition, electronic message signs would also be installed on Castle Peak Road near Sham Tseng and Siu Lam Interchanges, and at major roads in Tsuen Wan, Tucn Mun and Yuen Long districts feeding traffic to Tuen Mun Road.

Stage I works of the TMR TSIS involved the installation of 19 closed circuit television cameras for monitoring traffic conditions along the Tuen Mun Road (TMR) was completed in July.

Transport Department has recently completed the related tender documents for both the construction and subsequent maintenance works of TSIS.

21

Tender documents will be issued to the prequalified tenderers today for preparation of tender.

The works are expected to commence in April 1996 for completion in late

1997.

The construction works for the project will be supervised by Delcan International Corporation in association with Parsons Brinckerhoff (Asia) Ltd, the consultant engineers for Highway Surveillance and Systems Division of the Transport Department.

End

Draft maps for proposed marine parks gazetted

*****

The Country and Marine Parks Authority has prepared draft maps of two proposed marine parks and a proposed marine reserve.

. The proposed marine parks are at Hoi Ha Wan and Yan Chau l ong while the proposed marine reserve is at Cape D'Aguilar on Hong Kong Island.

A notice was published in the Government Gazette today (Friday) informing the public that the draft maps are ready for public inspection for a period of 60 days.

They can be seen at the Land Registry; the District Lands Office. Hong Kong South; the New Territories Land Registries at Tai Po, Tucn Mun and North; the Agriculture and Fisheries Department; the Marine Department and various public enquiry sendee centres of District Offices.

The draft maps are also available for sale at $35 for each uncoloured copy from the Agriculture and Fisheries Department. Room 1452, 14th floor. Canton Road Government Offices, 393 Canton Road, Kowloon.

22

Any person who wishes to object to the draft maps may within 60 days from the date of gazetting, send a written statement of his objection to the Country and Marine Parks Authority at the Agriculture and Fisheries Department, 12th floor, 393 Canton Road, Kowloon, stating the nature of and reasons for the objection, and if the objection would be removed by an alteration to the draft map, any alteration proposed.

Hoi Ha Wan is a sheltered bay situated at the northern coastline of Sai Kung Peninsula. The proposed marine park covers an area of about 260 hectares. Wan Tsai Peninsula to its east and the three islands in the middle have already been gazetted on December 1, 1995 for designation as part of the Sai Kung West Country Park.

Being a sheltered bay and not open to oceanic waters and not affected by pollution, Hoi Ha Wan provides a good environment for the corals to flourish. Thirty-nine out of the 49 recorded local stony coral species can be found there, and several species new to scientists have been recorded in the area.

The proposed Yan Chau Tong Marine Park covers a total sea area of about 680 hectares. A wide variety of landforms can be found within the area, creating diversified beach types ranging from mudflat to rocky shores.

Features of particular ecological importance include a diversity of stony corals, and the marine eel grass which is rare in the tropics can be found in the area.

In addition, a large standing crop of Halophila ovata was newly recorded at Lai Chi Wo occupying an area of about 1,000 square metres, which is the largest coverage in the territory.

The proposed marine reserve at Cape D’Aguilar covers a sea area of about 20 hectares. Because of its high biological, geomorphological and geological interests, it has been listed as a Site of Special Scientific Interest since 1990.

The coastal flora and fauna of the site are rich and their zonations arc typical. The natural habitat provides valuable opportunities for educational studies and scientific research.

End

23

Tenders for supply of Chinese word processing software ♦ * * ♦ ♦

The Government is inviting tenders for the supply of microcomputer systems for Chinese word processing (CWP) and related services to various departments.

Announcing this today (Friday), a spokesman for the Chinese Language Division (CLD) said the procurement of the personal computers and CWP software was to implement recommendations of the Working Group on the Use of Chinese in the Civil Service which had identified a package of proactive measures to encourage the greater use of Chinese throughout the civil service.

This tendering exercise is part of the $112.8 million procurement and training project which has been approved by the Finance Committee in October.

’’The supply of the PCs and the software is to meet the increasing demand for secretarial and technical support in Chinese word processing as more Chinese is used.

"Along with the availability of equipment, the project aims at providing training for some 13,000 general grades staff to use CWP. It will begin in the next financial year and takes about three years to complete," the spokesman said.

CLD, which is responsible for overseeing and co-ordinating the project, will become an independent department next April with a new title - the Official Languages Agency.

The tender notice was published in the Gazette today.

End

Drainage improvement works in Tuen Mun and Yuen Long

*****

The Government intends to carry out drainage improvement works in Tuen Mun and Yuen Long to protect villages in the two areas from Hooding.

In Tuen Mun, works will start in February next year to construct a reinforced concrete rectangular channel measuring 640 metres long and 4.5 metres wide.

The project, when completed in early 1998, will provide a long-term solution to flooding in Tsing Chuen Wai area.

24

Drainage works will also be carried out in Kam Tin, Yuen Long to alleviate Gooding problems in Shui Tau Tsuen and Kam Hing Wai villages.

Two open channels with lengths of 480 metres and 160 metres respectively and another 140 metres long overflow twin channel will be constructed.

There will be an ancillary 3.5-metre wide vehicular access road and two 1.6-metre wide footpaths, one on each side of the channel, to facilitate maintenance works.

The 480-metre open channel will run along the western periphery of Shui Tau Tsuen to collect stormwater runoff. It will be joined by another shorter open channel from the east before discharging into the Kam Tin River.

From further upstream, the overflow twin channel will run along the northern periphery of Kam Hing Wai and will eventually be connected to the 160-metre long open channel.

Works will commence in early 1996 and scheduled for completion in mid-1998.

To enable these drainage works to be carried out, two notices were published in the Government Gazette today (Friday), announcing government plans to resume 41 private agricultural lots with a total area of 27,075.1 square metres in Yuen Long and 43 private agricultural lots with a total area of 6,859.1 square metres in Tuen Mun.

Details of the lots affected are contained in the two Gazette notices.

Plans for the Tuen Mun project can be seen at the Tuen Mun District Lands Office, sixth floor, Tuen Mun Government Offices, 1 Tuen Hi Road, Tuen Mun, New Territories.

Plans for the Yuen Long project can be seen at the Yuen Long District Lands Office, ninth floor, Yuen Long Government Offices and Tai Kiu Market, 2 Kiu Lok Square, Yuen Long, New Territories.

End

25

Footbridge across Lung Poon Street *****

The Highways Department proposes to construct a covered footbridge across Lung Poon Street connecting the existing footbridge across Fung Tak Road.

It will also link the future elevated walkway leading to Diamond Hill MTR Station and the adjacent future public transport interchange/commercial development.

The footbridge includes a main span across Lung Poon Street with an associated ramp and a staircase.

The project is scheduled to commence in November next year for completion in about 12 months. The extent of the works is described in a notice published in the Government Gazette today (Friday).

The notice (in both English and Chinese) can be seen on notice boards posted near the site.

The plan and scheme of the works may be inspected by members of the public free of charge at the following offices:

Public Enquiry Service Centre Central and Western District Office, ground floor, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central, Hong Kong;

* District Lands Office, Kowloon East, 10th Floor, Yau Ma Tei Car Park Building, 250 Shanghai Street. Kowloon; and

Wong Tai Sin District Office, San Po Kong Government Offices Building, fourth floor. King Fuk Street. San Po Kong. Kowloon.

Any person who wishes to object to the works or the use. or both, is required to address his objection in writing to the Secretary for Transport, Central Government Offices, East Wing, second floor. Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong on or before February 13, 1996.

End

26

Prequalification of tenderers for road improvement works

*****

The Government is inviting interested contractors to apply for prequalification for improvement works to Castle Peak Road from Siu Lam to So Kwun Tan.

The works comprise widening of the existing 7.3-metre wide carriageway of the 2.5-kilometre long road section to a dual two-lane carriageway and other associated works.

They also include the demolition and reprovision of a vehicular bridge across So Kwun Wat River and the construction of a footbridge over Castle Peak Road near Fiona Garden.

Details of the prequalification invitation are published in today's (Friday) Gazette.

Prequalification documents can be obtained from the Senior Engineer/New Territories 1, Major Works Project Management Office. Highways Department, third floor, Ho Man Tin Government Offices, 88 Chung Hau Street, Ho Man Tin, Kowloon.

Completed applications should be submitted as directed not later than noon, February 26, 1996.

End

New pier for Ma Wan Marine Traffic Control station

*****

The Government intends to construct a pier and a catwalk at the east of Gemini Point in Tsucn Wan to provide berthing facility for the patrol launches of the Marine Department's Marine Traffic Control Station at Ma Wan.

At the same time, the existing pier at Gemini Point will be demolished.

Work will commence in March next year and scheduled for completion in January 1997.

The work will be carried out within an area of about 4,400 square metres of foreshore and sea-bed. Details are contained in a notice published in the Government Gazette today (Friday).

27

Any person who considers that his interest, right or easement in or over the foreshore and sea-bed involved will be injuriously affected may submit a written claim for compensation to the Director of Lands on or before December 15, 1996.

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

The notice, in both English and Chinese, together with related plans can be seen at and copies can be purchased on order at the Lands Department, Survey and Mapping Office, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong.

The notice is also available for public inspection at the Tsuen Wan District Office, first floor, Tsuen Wan Station Multi-storey Carpark Building, 174-208 Castle Peak Road, Tsuen Wan, New Territories.

, .; ■ -I I

End

Sale of land by Letter A/B or cash tender ***** ■'

The Lands Department is inviting tenders by Letter A/B or by cash for three lots of land in the New Territories for non-industrial and residential purposes.

Two sites with an area of 8,000 square metres and 21,160 square metres ' respectively are located in Area 47A in Fanling. Both are for non-industrial use excluding godown, hotel, petrol filling station and any offensive trade.

The third site, located at Area 108 in Ma On Shan, covers an area of 25,825 square metres for private residential purposes.

Details of the tender notice are contained in the Government Gazette published today (Friday).

. • * ’ f ‘ ri I •

Application forms, applications notices and conditions of grant may be obtained from, and sale plans inspected at, the Lands Department, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, Hong Kong; the Kowloon District Lands Offices, Yau Ma Tei Car Park Building, 10th floor, 250 Shanghai street, Kowloon; and the District Lands Offices of Sha Tin, Tuen Mun, Yuen Long, Tsuen Wan, Kwai Tsing, Tai Po, North, Sai Kung and Islands.

28

Applications must be made on the designated application form, addressed to the Director of Lands and placed in the Public Works Tender Box at the lift lobby, 34th floor, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong, before noon on Friday, January 12, 1996.

Late applications will not be accepted.

End

Villages expansion and improvement works for Sha Tin *****

The Government intends to carry out expansion and improvement works at three villages in Sha Tin.

On completion, a total of 11.86 hectares of land will be made available at the villages of Ngau Pei Sha, Chap Wai Kon and To Shek, a government spokesman said today (Friday).

"The land will be used for open spaces, car or lorry parking spaces, footpaths, emergency vehicular access, three refuse collection points, two electricity sub-stations and 126 small house sites.

"The small house sites will be available for direct grant to eligible villagers in accordance with the Small House Policy to relieve the congested housing situation in the three villages," he added.

The spokesman explained that to ensure compatibility with the development of the Sha Tin new town, a comprehensive village layout for the three villages was designed and subsequently approved in January 1991.

Work will commence in June next year and scheduled for completion in 18 months.

To enable the works to be carried out, a notice was published in the Government Gazette today announcing government plans to resume 226 private agricultural lots with a total area of 31,232.6 square metres and one building lot of 40.5 square metres in area.

29

Details of the lots affected are contained in the Gazette notice.

Plans can be seen at the Sha Tin District Lands Office. 2 l ung l.o Wan Hill Road, Sha Tin. New Territories.

End

Tenders invited for mainlaying in Eo fan and Ma Liu Shui

*****

The Water Supplies Department is inviting tenders for mainlaying works in Io Tan and the Ma Liu Shui section of Tai Po Road to improve water supply to the northern areas of Sha fin.

The works include the laying of about two kilometres of water mains with a diameter of 400 to 600 millimetres.

Work w ill commence in March next year for completion in about 11 months.

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

Tenders must be clearly marked and addressed to the Chairman of the Public Works Tender Board. It must be placed in the Public Works Lender Box at the lift lobby, 34th floor, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway. Hong Kong before noon on Friday, January 12, 1996.

Late tenders w ill not be accepted.

End

30

Engineering works for Tung Chung new town

*****

The Government intends to carry out engineering works in l ung Chung as part of the new town development.

The works, which will include the construction of new roads, footbridges and drainage systems, will provide necessary support to the future public and private developments in Tung Chung, the ninth new town development in 1 long Kong.

Works will commence in the middle of next year and scheduled for completion in 30 months.

To enable the works to be carried out. a total of 363 private agricultural lots totalling 75,002.2 square metres and another 161.8 square metres of a private building lot will need to be resumed.

Details of the lots affected arc contained in the Government Gazette published today (Friday).

Plans can be seen at the Lands Department. New Airport Section (New Territories Office), 22nd floor, Tsuen Wan Government Offices. 38 Sai Lau Kok Road. Tsuen Wan. New Territories.

End

Flood protection scheme in north NT

*****

The Government intends to carry out engineering works to protect Tsung Pak Long and Tai Tau Leng villages in north New Territories from flooding.

The flood protection scheme includes the construction of new embankments and flood protection retaining walls along Sutlej River near the two villages.

A government spokesman said the existing embankment along the southern side of Sutlej River, adjacent to the two villages, was low.

"During and after heavy rainfalls, the water level of the river rose above the embankment causing flooding to these two low-lying villages." he added.

31

The scheme will be implemented in two phases. Phase I involves the laying of a box culvert along the access road to Tsung Pak Long, the construction of a retaining wall at the southern embankment of the existing Sutlej River channel and the reprovisioning of a covered footbridge across Sutlej River.

Phase II involves the construction of open channels, an earth embankment, a storage pond and a storm-water pumping station, minor drainage improvement works and reprovisioning of footpaths.

Works on Phase I will start shortly and Phase II in June next year with the completion of the project expected in June 1998.

To enable works to be carried out, a notice was published in the Government Gazette today (Friday) announcing government plans to resume 77 private agricultural lots with a total area of 33,516.1 square metres.

Details of the lots affected are contained in the Gazette.

Relevant plans can be seen at the North District Lands Office, sixth floor, North District Government Offices Building, 3 Pik Fung Road, Fanling, New Territories.

End

Land resumption for open space development *****

A total of about 4,400 square metres of land will be resumed in Diamond Hill for open space development.

The resumption will involve both government and private land, a government spokesman said today (Friday).

9 , .

"In total, 70 families comprising 200 persons will be affected. They will be given a three months' notice of the resumption as from today.

32

"Those eligible occupiers will be rehoused and offered ex-gratia domestic removal allowances in accordance with the current policy, while compensation to owners of private land affected will be assessed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Lands Resumption Ordinance or based on ex-gratia rate of compensation according to current policy," he said.

Details of the lots affected are contained in a notice published in the Government Gazette today.

Anybody who wishes to see the plan can approach the Central and Western District Office, Public Enquiry Service Centre, ground floor, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central.

End

Sewerage improvement works for east Kowloon

*****

The Drainage Services Department will start works in March next year on improving the sewerage system in the industrial areas of San Po Kong and Kwun Tong.

The works involve replacing the existing sewers and reconnect expedient connections.

The improvement project also include the construction of about 12.4 kilometres of sewers of diameters from 225 mm to 1,350 mm.

The works, to be completed in about 22 months, will significantly reduce water pollution in the areas and improve the overall efficiency of the sewerage system of east Kowloon. A' notice of inviting tenders for the works was gazetted today (Friday).

Tender forms and further particulars may be obtained from the office of the Consultant Engineers, Montgomery Watson Hong Kong Limited, 1911 Windsor House, 311 Gloucester Road, Causeway Bay.

The tender closing date is noon on January 5, 1996.

End

33

Fresh water cut in NT and Hong Kong South * ♦ ♦ ♦ *

Fresh water supply to some premises in Sheung Shui and Yuen Long in the New Territories; and Southern District on Hong Kong Island will be temporarily suspended from 11 pm next Monday (December 18) to 6 am the following day to facilitate water main works.

In Sheung Shui, the suspension will affect Pak Wo Road and Pak Fuk Tsuen Road.

In Yuen Long, premises along Castle Peak Road between Fui Sha Wai and Hung Shui Kiu, Tan Kwai Tsuen Road, Tan Kwai Tsuen, Tai To Tsuen and Fui Sha Wai will be affected.

In Southern District, the affected area will include Big Wave Bay Village, Big Wave Bay Road, Nos 1-21 Shek O Road, Shek O Village, Shek O New Village and Shek O Headland.

End

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

Time Cumulative change

$ million (hours) (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,120 0930 -689

Closing balance in the account 2,298 1000 -689

Change attributable to : 1100 -689

Money market activity -704 1200 -689

LAF today +882 1500 -689

1600 -704

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TW1 122.6 *+0.0* 15.12.95

34

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills

Terms Yield Term

1 week 5.85 2 years

1 month 5.84 3 years

3 months 5.68 5 years

6 months 5.62 7 years

12 months 5.60 5 years

EF notes

Issue Coupon Price Yield

2711 5.60 99.94 5.71

3810 6.15 100.72 5.96

5009 6.95 102.47 6.44

7211 6.82 100.45 6.85

M502 7.30 102.25 6.86

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $7,161 million

Closed December 15, 1995

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

Saturday, December 16,1995

Contents Page No.

ICC meeting in Hong Kong......................................... 1

Informal get together............................................ 2

Hong Kong/Taiwan air services.................................... 3

Director of Information Services on suspension of publication of newspapers....................................................... 3

Students display their visions of Hong Kong...................... 4

Co-operation crucial to sound building management................ 9

Joint operation to flush out illegal immigrants................. 10

Statutory holiday reminder................................... 11

No evening clinic service on Winter Solstice.................... 12

Salt water cut in Sham Shui Po.................................. 12

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

Sunday, December 17,1995

Contents

Protect our country side: SPEL.................................. 14

Young people play important roles in society.................... 15

"Family gathering" warms up young hearts........................ 16

Temporary study rooms for students.............................. 17

Fresh water cut in NT and flushing water cut in east Kowloon. 18

1

ICC meeting in Hong Kong *****

The Sino-British Coordinating Committee on Major Cross-border Infrastructure between Hong Kong and the Mainland (ICC) held its 4th plenary meeting in Hong Kong on Saturday, 16 December 1995. The British side's leader Mr Bowen Leung, Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands and the Chinese side's leader Mr Zhang Liangdong, Director of the Economic Department, HKMAO, State Council attended and chaired today's meeting. The meeting received the reports from the various panels on their work since the 3rd plenary meeting and discussed the way forward for their work.

The meeting endorsed the progress made and the consensus reached in the panels. On the proposed Lingdingyang Bridge and the Shenzhen Western Corridor, both sides considered that from the perspective of long-term development, it is necessary to have an additional link between Hong Kong and South China. The British side further reported on the progress of the study on the two proposals' impact on Hong Kong's environment and transport infrastructure, which would be helpful to the Chinese side's further study on the feasibility of the two projects. On the question of the Tonggu Channel, the meeting came to the view that as the Western alignment would be relatively more viable in engineering and technical terms and more ecologically friendly, it should be the recommended alignment. The two sides agreed that the panel shall discuss their work in the next stage, including issues such as the engineering feasibility study of the Tonggu Channel. On the additional passenger crossing at Lok Ma Chau - Huanggang, the meeting came to the view that there was a need for an additional passenger crossing to enhance the capacity for handling passengers between Hong Kong and the Mainland. The two sides agreed to have further consultation on the arrangement for establishing this additional passenger crossing. On the question of airspace and air traffic control coordination for Hong Kong's new airport, experts from the two sides shall conduct their work on the basis of site visits to the neighbouring airports and further exchange of information.

The meeting reviewed the good progress made in the ICC in the past twelve months. The two sides hold the view that the continued cooperation and coordination between the two sides on major cross-border infrastructure projects is conducive to the promotion of developments in both the Mainland and Hong Kong. The date of the next ICC plenary will be decided in the light of the progress in its various tasks.

End

2

Informal get together * ♦ ♦ ♦ *

Informal Get Together Between Senior Hong Kong Civil Servants and Officials of the Chinese Side <

Following consultation with the Xinhua News Agency (Hong Kong Branch), we are pleased to announce that the third informal get together between senior Hong Kong civil servants and officials of the Chinese side will take place on 21 December

1995 at the Voting Members’ Box, Happy will end after lunch.

Participating officers will be:

1 ‘ . . . * .

Mr Rafael Hui

Secretary for Financial Services

g.

Mr Frederick Ho

Commissioner for Census and Statistics 1 '■< tin • • • ;

Mrs Regina Ip

Director-General of Industry

Valley Racecourse starting at 16.30 am. It

Miss Denise Yue

Secretary for Trade and Industry • t . . I . ‘ . -

Mr Tony Miller

Director-General of Trade

Mr Stephen Selby

Director of Intellectual Property

Mr Joseph Yam, Chief Executive, Hong Kong Monetary Authority will also be attending.

• i - /. ■ ............

They will be accompanied by Mr Patrick Lau, Deputy Secretary for the Civil Service and Mr Joshua Law, Principal Assistant Secretary for the Civil Service.

End ' .< t

3

Hong Kong/Taiwan air services

*****

In response to press enquiries, a government spokesman said today (Saturday) the Hong Kong Government understood that Cathay and Dragonair had initialled a commercial agreement with two Taiwanese airlines on air services between Hong Kong and Taiwan.

"We have not received the initialled agreement from the Hong Kong airlines.

"After the initialled agreement has been received from the Hong Kong airlines, we will put it to the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group.

"The agreement will be signed by the airlines and will come into effect after clearance by the JLG," he said.

"Before the agreement comes into effect, services between Hong Kong and Taiwan will continue under the existing commercial arrangements between Cathay Pacific and China Airlines," he added.

End

Director of Information Services on suspension of publication of newspapers *****

Commenting on the suspension of the publication of the Express and the United Daily News, the Director of Information Services, Mrs Irene Yau, said: "A flourishing media industry is conducive to a free flow of information.

"It is always sad to see a newspaper fold. But we cannot comment on the price war since these are basically business decisions to be taken by individual newspapers."

End

4

Students display their visions of Hong Kong *****

Thirty-nine students were today (Saturday) awarded prizes for their unique ’’vision” of the future development of Hong Kong.

They were among the 1,737 primary and secondary school students who took part in the "My City of Vision” student painting competition jointly organised by several government departments to promote students’ awareness of the growth and future development of the territory.

The winning entries had reflected a high level of creativity and artistic skills, said the chairman of the organising committee and Principal Government Town Planner, Dr Edward Pryor, at the prize-presentation ceremony.

’’All of the entries displayed a great sense of dedication and a range of artistic talents.

’’Every entry was carefully examined by a team of experts on the basis of the content of the vision, the composition and the artistic skills of the three groups, that is primary school, junior secondary school and senior secondary school entrants,” he said.

He said the organising committee was overwhelmed by the response.

"Over 1,700 entries were submitted from 126 primary schools and 95 secondary schools,” he added.

The champions, the first runners-up and the second runners-up of the three groups were each presented with trophies and cash coupons for S 1,500, $1,000 and $500 respectively. Certificates of merit were given to 10 selected entries of each group.

An exhibition of all entries for the competition will be held at the Exhibition Hall, City Hall Low Block between today and December 19 (Tuesday).

The winning paintings will also be displayed in the 13 Urban Council public libraries from January to September 1996.

5

Officiating at today’s ceremony were the Director of Architectural Services, Mr Kenneth Chan; the Director of Information Services, Mrs Irene Yau,; the Director of Urban Services, Mr Albert Lam; the Deputy Director of Education, Mr Kwan Ting-fai; and Principal Government Town Planner of the Planning Department, Dr Edward Pryor.

The 39 winners of the competition are:

Group A (Primary 1 -£1

Champion

Goh Cher Huan, Lionel

Singapore International School

First Runner-up

Lau Lai Hung

CNEC Lui Ming Choi Primary School

Second Runner-up

Low Jun Fung

Singapore International School

Certificate of Merit

1. Kong Wan Fung

Victoria Park School for the Deaf

2. LiSzeYu

St Peter’s Catholic Primary School

3. Liew Xiao Yun, Roann

Singapore International School

4. Ng Wai Lun

St Peter's Catholic Primary School

5. Cheuk Chi Wing

Dr Catherine F Woo Memorial School

6

6. Lai Tsz Kan, Joanne

St Stephen's Girls' Primary School

7. Yeung Shing Him, Bernard

Canossa School (1 long Kong) A M

8. Tan Shin Ee

Singapore International School

9. Lo Ching Yang

Kiangsu & Chekiang Primary School

10. Lam Kai Hong

Salesian Yip I Ion Primary School

Group B (Secondary 1 - 3)

Champion

Chan Hoi Yan

Helen Liang Memorial Secondary School

First Runner-up

Fung Mei Ling. Sandy

Sacred Heart Canossian College

Second Runner-up

Lee Ka Ying, Jessica

Sacred Heart Canossian College

Certificate of Merit

1. Leung Pui Kie, Paggie

Sacred Heart Canossian College

2. Lo Wing Sze. Winnie

Sacred Heart Canossian College

7

3. Chan Ming Chi

TWGHs Kap Yan Directors’ College

4. Lam Siu Chung

Jockey Club Ti-I College

5. So Shuk Fan

Lai Chack Middle School

6. Chan Pui Shan

Jockey Club Ti-I College

7. Wong Ling Tai

St Paul's College

8. Dania Mu

St Mary's Canossian College

9. Tsui Yuen Man

Jockey Club Ti-I College

10. Chan Mei Yuk

Jockey Club Ti-I College

Group C (Secondary 4 & above)

Champion

Wong Suet Yuk. Milly St Paul's School (Lam Tin)

First Runner-up

Shum Yin Yan, Christine St Paul's School (Lam Tin)

Second Runner-up

Chan Tsz Chung, Kitty

Sacred Heart Canossian College

8

Certificate of Merit

1. Yeung Kwan Wai, Clara

Sacred Heart Canossian College

2. Chan Ka Yee, Teresa

Sacred Heart Canossian College

3. Ho Mo Ching, Cathy

Sacred Heart Canossian College

4. Ngai Hiu Ying, Diana

Sacred Heart Canossian College

5. Yeung Nga Yee, Winnie

Sacred Heart Canossian College

6. Chan Yee Fan. Angel

Sacred Heart Canossian College

7. Tong Kam Pang

Kwun Tong Government Secondary

8. Ma Ka Yi, Claire

Sacred Heart Canossian College

9. Au Yeung Hiu Yan

Tak Oi Secondary School

10. Chan Wai Man

Lai Chack Middle School

End

9

Co-operation crucial to sound building management

*****

Sound and effective building management depends on close co-operation among residents, members of Owners' Corporation (OCs) and Mutual Aid Committees (MACs) and various government departments, the Wan Chai District Officer. Mrs Karen Pong, said today (Saturday).

Speaking at the closing of the 1995 Wan Chai Building Management Seminar, Mrs Pong said Wan Chai district had a high concentration of multi-storey buildings which had mixed commercial and residential uses.

"Good building management is especially important in our district," she said.

In order to promote awareness in building management among residents, Mrs Pong said the Government had attached great importance to educational activities.

"Each year we organise courses and seminars on building management. In July, a three-day exhibition was staged at Times Square, benefiting many local residents.

"Our Building Management Co-ordination Team provides professional advice to residents, OCs and MACs. However, the Government's efforts can never replace close co-operation among owners, residents and the Government," Mrs Pong stressed.

Mrs Pong also thanked the Chairlady of the Wan Chai District Board, Mrs Peggy Lam and the Chairman of the board's Environmental Improvement Committee, Mr Wong Hon-ching, the speakers, participants and all those involved in making the event a success.

Mrs Lam also spoke at the closing ceremony.

"Without the unselfish efforts made by members of OCs, an effective building management will not be possible.

"I hope the Government can give them more moral or other forms of support. This will help make our environment better and our neighbours happier," she said.

Jointly organised by the Wan Chai District Board's Environmental Improvement Committee and the Wan Chai District Office, the three-day seminar attracted more than 600 participants. They were offered professional advice by nine speakers from various government departments and independent bodies.

10

Topics discussed included fire prevention, repair of electrical installations, security, slope maintenance, structural problems, unauthorised building works, anticorruption, tendering of works, Building Management Ordinance and the roles of the Lands Tribunal and Small Claims Tribunal as legal means to resolve problems.

End

Joint operation to flush out illegal immigrants ♦ * ♦ * *

A territory-wide operation against illegal immigration jointly mounted by the Police, Immigration Department and Labour Department has resulted in the arrests of 194 people. The operation is part of the Government’s continuous effort to Hush out illegal immigrants.

A total of 173 suspected illegal immigrants arrested by the Police have been referred to the Immigration Department. Those found to be illegal immigrants will be repatriated.

A government spokesman reiterated today (Saturday) that there was no question of any amnesty for illegal immigrants.

"Our latest operation should drive home the point that there will be no change to this policy. Anyone foolish enough to believe otherwise is only cheating oneself," he said.

The spokesman stressed that apart from continuous checks throughout the territory, there was no let-up in anti-illegal immigration efforts at the border.

"A high state of vigilance will continue to be maintained by the Police and the security forces both at the land and sea borders," he said.

During the joint operation, which began at 5 am yesterday (Friday) and ended at 5 am today, the Police stepped up their identification spot checks in public places and carried out checks at suspicious locations throughout the territory.

As a result, a total of 15,991 persons, 1,431 vehicles and 436 vessels were stopped for identification checks.

During the operation. Immigration investigators visited a total of 18 residential addresses and business establishments and arrested 21 suspected immigration offenders.

11

Among the 21 people arrested, there were 18 women and three men, of whom six were Two Way Permit holders, one was an illegal immigrant from China, four were foreign domestic helpers, three were imported workers, one was a visitor and the remaining six were Hong Kong residents.

All the Two Way Permit holders, foreign domestic helpers and imported workers were arrested at places of work. They were suspected of having taken up illegal employment or overstayed in Hong Kong. Five of the Hong Kong residents were suspected of being employers of the arrestees and the remaining one was a suspected aider and abettor.

On the labour front, inspectors of the Labour Department visited 1,312 establishments to weed out any illegal immigrants who may be working there and to check that employers fulfil their legal obligation of keeping proper records of their employees.

A total of 3,559 employees had their proof of identity checked and 12 establishments were found not able to provide a record of employees for inspection.

The spokesman reminded employers that they could be fined up to $250,000 and jailed for up to three years if they were found to be employing illegal immigrants.

End

Statutory holiday reminder *****

The Labour Department today (Saturday) reminded employers to designate either the Chinese Winter Solstice Festival (December 22) or Christmas Day (December 25) as one of the 11 statutory holidays for employees.

Under the Employment Ordinance, all employees, irrespective of their wage levels, are entitled to statutory holidays and must be paid for the day off if they have worked continuously for the same employer for three months or longer before the statutory holiday.

12

Holiday pay should be equivalent to an employee's earnings on a full working day and should include basic wages as well as allowances that can be expressed in money terms such as meals and cost of living allowances. Where the earnings vary from day to day, holiday pay should be the average daily earnings during every complete wage period, which could be between 28 and 31 days, preceding the holiday.

If an employee is required to work on a statutory holiday, he must be given an alternative day off within 60 days before or after the holiday.

Enquiries about statutory holidays may be made at the Labour Department's General Enquiry Telephone Service on 2717 1771.

End

No evening clinic service on Winter Solstice *****

The Department of Health today (Saturday) announced that there would be no evening general out-patient clinic service on Friday (December 22), which is the Winter Solstice.

End

Salt water cut in Sham Shui Po

♦ * * * *

Salt water supply to all premises in Sham Shui Po district will be temporarily suspended from 10 pm on Tuesday (December 19) to 6 am the following day to facilitate water main works.

During the same period, salt water supply pressure to all premises in Mong Kok will also be reduced.

End

13

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ Million Time (Hours) Cumulative Change ($ Million)

Opening Balance in the account 2,298 09:30 t -860

Closing Balance in the account 1,683 10:00 -860

Change Attributable to: 11:00 -860

Money Market Activity -860 11:30 -860

LafToday +245

Laf Rate 4.25% Bid/6.25% Offer TWI 122.6 *+0.0* 16.12.95

End

14

Protect our countryside: SPEL *****

Hong Kong's country parks are our valuable natural assets and require the cooperation and concerted effort of everyone in the community to conserve them and make them clean and green, the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands (SPEL), Mr Bowen Leung, said today (Sunday).

Speaking at the launching ceremony of the Clean and Green Scheme 1995-96 held at the Sai Kung East Country Park, Mr Leung said the Government has attached great emphasis in protecting these precious natural resources.

"Country parks have become a major source of recreation and relaxation for our community. Over 10 million visitors visit and enjoy these parks every year," he said.

He pointed out that through many years of education and publicity, the number of hill fires had now been contained to a low figure, from 208 hill fires 10 years ago to 96 in 1994-95.

Mr Leung added that litter was unhygienic and degraded our country parks, and some 3,500 tonnes of litter were left in country parks by visitors last year.

"Collection and disposal of dispersed litter in the vast country parks require enormous manpower resources which could otherwise be deployed for better uses such as developing new country park facilities. It would make a great difference if all country park visitors are more considerate and show care for our countryside environment," he said.

Also speaking at the ceremony, the acting Director of Agriculture and Fisheries, Mr Michael Lee, said the Clean and Green Scheme was initiated by the Agriculture and Fisheries Department in 1982 and had since become a popular annual event.

"Its aim is to get the public involved in keeping the country parks clean and green. Last year, the scheme attracted about 18,000 participants and was sponsored by Lions Clubs International District 303. I am glad that Lions Clubs have again kindly agreed to sponsor this year's scheme," Mr Lee said.

He added that the scheme this year would last from December to April next year. It comprises four major clean and green activities which will be open to the public.

15

The finale of the Scheme would be a "Clean and Green Countryside Fun Day" to be arranged in May next year in a scenic country park, Mr Lee continued.

Winners and outstanding participants of the clean and green activities would be invited to the Fun Day so that they could enjoy the clean and green countryside and share their experience in countryside conservation.

Activities for Clean and Green 1995-96 include "Know Your Country Parks" Guided Walk; Cleaning Country Parks Campaign and Quiz on Countryside Interests. Participating groups and individuals will be presented with pennants and souvenirs.

There will also be a gift design competition in which participants are required to prepare a handy-size gill resembling plants, wildlife or other countryside interests from waste material. The top winner will be awarded $1,500 and a trophy.

Details of the clean and green activities are contained in posters displayed in country parks, schools, housing estates and other popular public venues.

End

Young people play important roles in society * * * * *

Young people are confronted with unprecedented challenges presented by the impending social change of the territory, the Chairman of the Commission on Youth. Mr Eric Li, said today (Sunday).

Speaking at the opening ceremony of a youth forum in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the International Youth Year. Mr Li said young people were playing important roles in our community.

"To help them face up to the challenges during this period of great changes while fulfilling their responsibilities towards society, we have chosen a forum theme that would encourage examination of their character and identity." he said. "It is hoped that the event would give young people an opportunity to reflect and exchange views to help build up their self-confidence and self-esteem.

16

"We believe this exchange under the guidance of professionals and the participation of well-known personalities serving as role models would help youngsters understand how the diverse social factors influence the development of their personality and the establishment of their identity."

"As reflected in the slogan: ’Darc to be different', we hope young people would not be afraid to pursue their individuality within the coniines of proper behaviour, and that they would come to accept their own individuality as they accept others," Mr Li added.

About 750 youngsters aged between 15 and 25 took part in the- forum activities which included group discussions on the family, education, mass media, commercial culture and politics. They were held under the supervision of social workers.

Guest speakers included legislators Mrs Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee and Ms Christine Loh Kung-wai: Mr Peter Lam Yuk-wah from the media; and Mr Tsang Yok-sing from the political sector. They spoke to forum participants about their own experiences. There were also performances by pop singers and dramas to stimulate discussions on how to cope with difficult situation in daily life.

The forum, held at the Mong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, was jointly organised by the Commission on Youth. Hong Kong Council of Social Service, Home Affairs Branch and Social Welfare Department.

End

"Family gathering" warms up young hearts *****

Some 230 children shared the Christmas love and joy today (Sunday) with their "father" - the Director of Social Welfare. Mr lan Strachan - in a hotel in Wan Chai.

To give the "family gathering" more fun. the organisers staged a series of entertaining performances and interesting games, in addition to a delicious buffet lunch and the giving out of Christmas presents to the children. The children, aged between five and 15, are wards of the Director of Social Welfare because their natural parents arc unable to exercise their parental right temporarily or on a long-term basis.

17

More than 800 such children arc now put under the director's guardianship.

Some of them are being looked after by relatives or placed in foster or small group homes. Others are being taken care of by hostels, residential creches or nurseries operated by the Social Welfare Department or non-governmental organisations.

"Like other children, these wards should also be given an opportunity to enjoy the festive fun," Mr Strachan said.

"I want my 'children' know that they arc being loved and cared for by their carers, social workers as well as many people in the community," he added.

Mr Strachan thanked all the donors for their generosity in supporting the event and the carers for taking care of his wards over the years.

End

Temporary study rooms for students

*****

The Education Department will open four temporary study rooms in two government primary schools for students in the Eastern District from January to March, 1996. The study rooms will be open from 2 pm to 5 pm on Saturdays and from 9 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 5 pm on Sundays.

The opening of the four temporary study rooms is a pilot scheme to provide a quiet study place for primary and secondary students in the Eastern District.

The scheme will provide a total of 180 seats. It will be reviewed after three months.

The two schools arc Java Road Government Primary School. West Block, North Point Estate: and Shau Ki Wan Government Primary School. 19 Main Street West.

Students in the Eastern District are encouraged to make use of the study room facilities.

End

18

Fresh water cut in NT and Hushing water cut in cast Kowloon

*****

Fresh water supply to some premises in Tai Po and Yuen Long will be temporarily suspended from 11 pm on Wednesday (December 20) to 6 am the following day to facilitate water main works.

In Tai Po, the suspension will affect premises in Hong Lok Yuen Road, including Hong Lok Yuen.

In Yuen Long, all premises in Sai Tai Street. Kuk Fing Street. Shui Che Kwun Street, Yuen Long On Lok Road, Tai Lee Street including Tai Hang Street, l ung Tai Street, Tai Cheung Street, Shui Che Square and Tai Fung Street will be affected.

In east Kowloon, flushing water supply will be suspended from 7 pm on Wednesday (December 20) to 8 am the following day.

The affected area will include San Po Kong, Kowloon Bay, Choi Hung, Ping Shek, Choi Wan, Shun Lee. Shun On, Shun Tin, Sau Mau Ping, Lam Tin, Ngau Tau Kok. Kwun Tong and Cha Kwo Ling.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE. HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

Monday, December 18, 1995

Contents Page No.

Transport study for new airport.......................................... 1

EC chairman appeals for public views on draft report..................... 3

Action called on Education Commission Report No 6........................ 4

Results of 1995 Survey of the Derivatives Market in HK................... 5

AFD seizes endangered species........................................ 7

Two lots of land up for auction.......................................... 8

Water storage figure................................................. 8

Deadline for applying for financial assistance by farmers............ 9

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results............................. 10

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

1

Transport study for new airport *****

A government commissioned Transport Study for the New Airport (TRANSNA) recommended that the Airport Railway would be the principal mode of transport to Lantau, said the Deputy Secretary for Transport, Mr Isaac Chow.

"In addition to feeder services to the Airport Railway, a wide range of choices of public transport services will be provided," he added.

At a press conference today (Monday) on TRANSNA which outlined the proposed public transport strategy, Mr Chow explained that the study was aimed at developing a strategy for the provision of public transport services to the new airport and Lantau for the period from 1997 to 2006.

"The study has resulted in the drawing up of a number of preliminary proposals covering a wide range of transport modes and taking into account passenger demand, financial viability, public acceptability and fare levels," he noted.

Mr Chow emphasised that the Government would conduct an extensive public consultation exercise during which the preliminary proposals would be presented to Transport Advisory Committee, District Boards, the LegCo Panel on Transport, the Sub-committee on Traffic and Transport of the Airport Consultative Committee and other main airport users and transport operators.

"The Government will take into account comments and views of various sectors in finalising the study recommendations," he said.

He pointed out that according to the proposed public transport strategy, Airbuses, conventional buses, high-speed ferries and taxis including urban, New Territories and Lantau taxis would complement the Airport Railway. On the Airport Railway, Mr Chow said it would consist of two separate services, the Airport Express Line (AEL) and the Lantau Line (LAL).

"The AEL will provide a high quality premium fare service for air passengers, greeters and well-wishers. It will run from Central to the new airport with two stops at Tsing Yi and West Kowloon Reclamation.

"The LAL will provide a conventional MTR service for airport workers and people living and working on Lantau. There will be six stations, providing access to the bus and rail lines in the urban area," he said.

2

Mr Chow said Airbuses, conventional buses, high-speed ferries and taxis would also be important components in the public transport strategy.

"The Airbus routes will serve major hotel and commercial areas while the conventional franchised bus services will cater for workers at the new airport and residents of Tung Chung New Town travelling to Kowloon and the New Territories," he said.

"It is proposed that the commencement of the Airbus services would coincide with the opening of the new airport while the introduction of two new external bus routes would coincide with the demand brought about by the completion of the first public housing blocks in Tung Chung New Town in June 1997."

Mr Chow said the provision of the Airbus and conventional bus services would be tendered out as would be the high-speed ferry service between Chek Lap Kok and Tuen Mun.

Commenting on the operation of taxi services, Mr Chow pointed out that all three classes of taxis would be permitted to access the Ground Transportation Centre (GTC) but only urban taxis would be allowed to access other parts of Chek Lap Kok Island and Tung Chung New Town.

"For NT taxis, they will also be permitted to serve Tsing Yi Airport Railway Station to enable passengers to interchange for Airport Railway to the new airport, Tung Chung New Town and the urban areas.

"The Lantau taxis, besides accessing the GTC, will be permitted to pick-up and drop-off passengers at Tung Chung village areas, the public transport interchange at the Airport Railway Station and the clinic in Tung Chung New Town," he said.

Mr Chow added that the consultant had considered carefully the functions of the three different classes of taxis and, many other factors before coming up with the taxi-related proposals.

He reiterated that these were preliminary proposals and the Government would consult all interested parties and take into account their comments in making a decision on the final recommendations.

.1 j ■

End . <•. > , . ;

- 3 -

EC chairman appeals for public views on draft report *****

The Chairman of the Education Commission, Professor Rosie Young, today (Monday) renewed her appeal to all sectors of the community to give their views on the commission's Report No 6 "Enhancing Language Proficiency: A Comprehensive Strategy", which was released last week for public consultation until January 31, 1996.

Speaking to the press after a meeting of the commission, Professor Young pointed out that views of the community were very important to the commission in finalising the recommendations to be submitted to the Administration in early 1996.

Professor Young said she was pleased with the initial response to the draft report, adding that a series of briefings would be held during the consultation exercise for the teaching profession, parents, business communities and district boards to gauge their views.

A concise leaflet highlighting the background and the major recommendations of the draft Education Commission Report No 6 has been produced. Copies of the leaflet and the main report are available for public collection from District Offices and sub-offices of the Education Department.

At the meeting, the Board of Education .reported on the progress of the review on compulsory education and the Working Group on General Teaching Council also gave a progress report on its work.

End

4

Action called on Education Commission Report No 6 *****

The Board of Education (BOE) has called on the Government to act without delay on the recommendations in the recently published Education Commission Report No 6 in order to improve the quality of education.

At a meeting of the board today (Monday), the Chairman of the Education Commission, Prof Rosie Young, briefed BOE members on the recommendations in Education Commission Report No 6.

Board members were told that there would be a six-week public consultation and members of the public had been encouraged to submit their views.

BOE members generally felt that, in preparing the report, the Education Commission Working Group on Language Proficiency had conducted wide consultation on various sectors and that the report was very comprehensive.

However, they suggested that the Government should consider making preparations, while awaiting the final report, to carry out remedial measures proposed in Report No 6 to prepare for the full implementation of those recommendations.

On a separate issue, the Chief Executive of the Curriculum Development Institute, Dr Julian Leung, informed the meeting that an Ad hoc Working Group on the Review of the Guidelines on Civil Education was formed in March with members from schools, tertiary institutes. Education Department and organisations active in promoting civil education.

The draft guidelines were finalised last month. It will be issued to schools and concerned groups for consultation.

"A series of seminars on the Guidelines will be organised in January and February 1996 to brief schools and institutions concerned on the draft Guidelines and to collect their preliminary feedback. The plan is to submit the final draft of the Guidelines to the Curriculum Development Council for consideration next April. If endorsed, the new Guidelines will be adopted for use in September 1996,” Dr Leung added.

Meanwhile, BOE members noted a progress report prepared by the Advisorv Committee on School Administration and Finance.

End

5

Results of 1995 Survey of the Derivatives Market in UK *****

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (11KMA) has conducted for the first time a survey on the size of the derivatives market in Hong Kong. The results arc summarised in the table below -

Hong Kong is the world's fifth largest trading centre for foreign exchange derivatives in the world. The average turnover amounted to US$56 billion per business day during April 1995, after adjustment to eliminate double counting between reporting institutions in Hong Kong (1). This represented about 6% of the global total.

The interest rate derivatives market of Hong Kong ranked eighth in the world, with an average turnover of USS 18 billion per day in April 1995.

The following table shows the turnover and stock (that is outstanding amount of contracts) figures for different types of derivatives. As shown from the table, foreign exchange and interest rate derivatives were far more frequently used than derivatives on equities, stock indices and commodities.

(USS billion)

Average Outstanding amount at end March 1995

daily turnover Notional amount Market value

Type of derivatives during April 1995 All OTC only OTC only

Foreign exchange Interest rate 56 18 970 666 966 477 60 6

Equity and stock index N.A. 6 5 1

Commodity Total N.A. . 74 2 1,644 1 1,450 0 67

The market value of outstanding derivatives contracts was very small as compared to the notional amount, reflecting the large amount of leverage possible in using derivatives.

The foreign exchange derivatives were more frequently traded than interest rate derivatives, as indicated by the higher ratio of the turnover to the stock.

In respect of counterparties, the majority of both foreign exchange derivatives and interest rate derivatives were traded with overseas banks.

As regards the maturity structure of contracts, nearly all of the foreign exchange derivatives had maturities of less than one year. As for interest rate derivatives, the majority (78%) had maturities of less than one year but a considerable proportion (22%) had longer maturity of over one year. This is in line with the frequent use of interest rate derivatives in hedging interest rate exposures arising from long term financial assets such as bonds.

Similar to the global pattern, the most common currency pairs for foreign exchange derivatives were US dollar/Japancse yen and US dollar/Deutschemark while for interest rate derivatives, US dollar and Japanese yen interest rates were the most common. Regarding equity and stock index derivatives, the majority had Hong Kong equities and the Hang Seng Index as the underlying assets. As regards commodity derivatives, gold was the most common underlying commodity.

For foreign exchange derivatives, forwards (including both outright forwards and foreign exchange swaps) was the most commonly traded type of contract with over 90% of turnover. As for interest rate derivatives, futures accounted for about three quarters of the turnover, followed by interest rate swaps (10%) and forward rate agreements (9%). However, options was most popular for equity and stock index derivatives (86% of outstanding notional amount) and commodity derivatives (77% of outstanding notional amount).

Background

The survey is part of a global survey in April 1995 co-ordinated by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). For the first time questions on derivatives were added to the triennial survey of the foreign exchange market. (The results on foreign exchange activities were released in September 1995 and described in detail in an article in the November issue of the HKMA's Quarterly Bulletin.)

7

The survey covered all authorised institutions in Hong Kong, which included 178 licensed banks, 62 restricted licence banks and 136 deposit taking companies. Several financial institutions which are major securities firms or investment houses were also invited to participate in the survey. A total of 26 countries participated in the global survey. BIS will also release preliminary global results today and final results in 1996.

Further information about the survey results will be contained in the February 1996 issue of the HKMA Quarterly Bulletin.

(1) All turnover and stock figures are adjusted to eliminate double counting between institutions in Hong Kong, unless otherwise specified.

End

AFD seizes endangered species *****

Officers of the Agriculture and Fisheries Department, acting on information, raided two market stalls in Kowloon last week and seized a number of endangered species.

During the raid on Thursday, a market stall in Kowloon was searched. As a result, two bear paws, three live giant salamanders and two pangolin carcasses were seized.

On Friday, the department's officers conducted another raid and seized one live pangolin, one live giant salamander, five live owls, three otter carcasses, two pangolin carcasses and 1.6 kilograms of pangolin scales. Investigations into these two cases are continuing. It is believed that the items are for food purposes.

A Conservation Officer of the department, Dr So Ping-man, said among the seized items, bear paws and giant salamanders were listed on Appendix I (highly endangered species) under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the rest were on Appendix II (endangered species).

Dr So said people convicted of illegal possession of highly endangered species items for commercial purpose would be liable to a maximum fine of $5 million plus two years' imprisonment, and for endangered species items, a $500,000 fine plus one year's imprisonment.

8

Dr So took the opportunity to appeal to members of the public that they should refrain from consuming endangered species to help conserving these species. If they come across any market stall or restaurant which is suspected of selling endangered species illegally, they should report to the Fauna Conservation Section of the Agriculture and Fisheries Department on 2733 2144.

Subject to their health conditions, the live animals seized in the raids will be released to the wild, or kept in rescue centre, either locally or overseas as appropriate.

End

Two lots of land up for auction

*****

The Lands Department will auction two lots of land on Hong Kong Island tomorrow (Tuesday).

The public auction will begin at 2.30 pm in the Concert Hall of the Hong Kong Cultural centre, Tsim Sha Tsui.

The first lot, located in Stubbs Road, has an area of 3,045 square metres for private residential use.

Located in 44 Jardine's Crescent, Causeway Bay, the second lot has an area of 550 square metres for non-industrial use, excluding godown.

End

Water storage figure

*****

Storage in Hong Kong's reservoirs at 9 am today (Monday) stood at 90.6 per cent of capacity or 531.224 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 454.249 million cubic metres of water, representing 77.5 per cent of capacity.

End

9

Deadline for applying for financial assistance by farmers *****

Livestock farmers in certain control areas who wish to apply for financial assistance under the Livestock Waste Control Scheme (LWCS) should submit their applications by the end of this month.

The affected areas include the corridor between Tuen Mun and Yuen Long and part of Yuen Long and Kam Tin River areas.

An acting Principal Environmental Protection Officer of the Environmental Protection Department (EPD), Mr Wong Ho-yan, said: ’’Existing livestock farmers in these control areas who wish to continue their business can apply for Capital Grant (CG) and low-interest loans to cover the cost of waste treatment system in order to comply with the regulatory requirement under the Waste Disposal Ordinance, while those who prefer to cease business can apply for Ex-gratia Allowance (EGA).”

Letters had been sent in August this year to all affected farmers informing them of the deadline for applications.

"Farmers in these areas are reminded to keep all relevant documents, such as receipts of purchase of feedstuff and sale of livestock, if they wish to apply for financial assistance under the LWCS," Mr Wong said.

Some $760 million of EGA and $16 million of CG had been given to eligible farmers since the LWCS was implemented in phases in 1988.

Operators of livestock farms in the affected areas who have not received the letters should contact EPD on 2685 1148. Application forms are obtainable from the department’s Local Control office (Territory North), second floor, On Wo House, Tai Wo Estate, Tai Po.

Late applications will not be accepted.

End

10

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results

*****

Tender date

Paper on offer

Issue number

Issue date

Maturity date

Coupon

Amount applied

Amount allotted

Average price accepted (yield)

Lowest price accepted (yield)

Pro rata ratio

Average tender price (yield)

End

18 Dec 1995

EF notes

5012

19 Dec 1995

19 Dec 2000

6.38 PCT

HK$l,410MN

HK$500 MN

99.94 (6.50 PCT)

99.90 (6.51 PCT)

About 25 PCT

99.86 (6.52 PCT)

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

Time Cumulative change

$ million (hours) (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,683 0930 -246

Closing balance in the account 2.381 1000 -247

Change attributable to : 1100 -276

Money market activity -251 1200 -250

LAF today +949 1500 -250

1600 -251

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TW1 122.5 *-0.1* 18.12.95

11

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.85 2 years 2711 5.60 99.95 5.70

1 month 5.83 3 years 3810 6.15 100.72 5.96

3 months 5.68 5 years 5009 6.95 102.44 6.44

6 months 5.64 7 years 7211 6.82 100.41 6.86

12 months 5.59 5 years M502 7.30 102.28 6.86

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $5,524 million

Closed December 18, 1995

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

Tuesday, December 19,1995

Contents Page No,

JLG expert talks on Hong Kong's sewage disposal scheme................... 1

Appointment of new Director of Legal Aid announced....................... 1

AG welcomes appointment of new Director of Legal Aid..................... 2

Two lots sold for $1,051 million......................................... 2

ACAN discusses Beat Drugs Fund........................................... 3

Study on fisheries resources and fishing operations...................... 5

Parking fee increases for government car parks........................... 6

TAC endorses NLB fare increase recommendation............................ 6

71 pollution convictions in November..................................... 7

Blankets distributed to street-sleepers.................................. 8

Christmas holiday clinic service......................................... 8

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

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

1

JLG expert talks on Hong Kong's sewage disposal scheme * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A fourth round of talks between experts of the British and Chinese sides of the Joint Liaison Group on matters relating to Hong Kong's strategic sewage disposal scheme will be held in Hong Kong on Wednesday, December 20.

The British team will be led by the Hong Kong Government Secretary for Works, Mr H S Kwong. The Chinese team will be led by Chinese Representative, Mr Chen Zuo'er. They will be assisted by experts from the two sides.

End

Appointment of new Director of Legal Aid announced ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government today (Tuesday) announced that a Principal Crown Counsel of the Legal Department, Mr Chan Shu-ying, will be promoted to Director of Legal Aid in June 1996. Mr Chan will succeed Lady Cheung upon her retirement.

Following is a brief biographical note of Mr Chan -

Mr Chan, aged 48, joined the Civil Service in 1965. He was admitted as a Solicitor in Hong Kong in 1977, and in the same year he was appointed Assistant Crown Counsel in the Legal Department. He rose to the rank of Crown Counsel in October 1979 and was promoted to Senior Crown Counsel in February 1982. In July 1986 he was further promoted to Deputy Principal Crown Counsel and in December 1991 to his present rank of Principal Crown Counsel. Mr Chan's 18-year postqualification experience covers a broad spectrum of government legal work, including prosecution; civil advisory and litigation; conveyancing; commercial; and lands and works advisory fields.

End

- 2 -

AG welcomes appointment of new Director of Legal Aid *****

The Attorney General, Mr Jeremy Mathews, today (Tuesday) welcomed the announcement of the promotion of Mr Chan Shu-ying to the post of Director of Legal Aid.

> • •• •; •. ■

He noted that Mr Chan was taking up a post in which he would face many challenges, but he had no doubt that Mr Chan would be more than equal to them. He wished Mr Chan every success in his new appointment.

Mr Chan joined the Civil Service in 1965. He is currently the Deputy Crown Solicitor heading the Civil Litigation Unit of the Civil Division. Mr Chan was admitted as a Solicitor in Hong Kong in 1977 and in the same year he was appointed Assistant Crown Counsel in the Legal Department. His 18-year post-qualification experience covers a broad spectrum of Government legal work, including prosecution; civil advisory and litigation; conveyancing; commercial; and lands and works advisory fields.

End

Two lots sold for $1,051 million *****

Two lots of Government land were sold for a total of $ 1,051 million at a public auction held by the Lands Department this (Tuesday) afternoon.

The first lot, located in Stubbs Road, was bought by AP City Limited at $860 million, with bidding opening at $550 million.

With an area of 3,045 square metres, the lot is designated for private residential use.

The developer has to complete a gross floor area of not less than 9,135 square metres on or before December 31, 1999.

The second lot, located at 44 Jardine's Crescent, Causeway Bay, was sold to Star World Property Limited at $191 million, with bidding opening at $170 million.

It has an area of 550 square metres for non-industrial use, excluding godown.

3

The developer has to complete a gross floor area of’ not less than 4,950 square metres on or before December 31, 1999.

Held at the Concert Hall of the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui, the auction was conducted by Government Land Agent, Mr Timothy Mills.

End

ACAN discusses Beat Drugs Fund *****

Members of the Action Committee Against Narcotics (ACAN) at a meeting today (Tuesday) discussed the proposed administration and management of a $350 million Beat Drugs Fund, which is expected to be established in April next year subject to the approval of the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council.

According to the proposal discussed at the meeting, the ambit of the fund will include the furtherance of drug preventive education and publicity, research, training, law enforcement and treatment and rehabilitation.

Projects to be funded would be of a capital or short-term recurrent nature lasting not more than three years. Only income generated from the fund, estimated to be about $19 million in the first year, will be utilised so as to preserve the capital base of the fund.

ACAN's advice will be sought on the support-worthiness of applications having regard to the need, the scale of the project, the implementation plan and the budget: and on the relative priority of projects and the level of’ grants. ACAN will also monitor the progress of implementation of approved applications.

Applications to the fund will be invited twice each year, in April and October. They will be processed by the Narcotics Division which will consider the merits of each application and formulate recommendations in consultation with relevant branches and departments before submitting to ACAN for consideration.

As a general rule, approved projects will be expected to start within nine months after approval.

4

It is proposed that the Director of Accounting Services be responsible for the investment of monies in the fund, the payment of grants and the compilation of statements of accounts of the fund. The annua! statement of accounts will be audited by the Director of Audit.

The proposal to set up the fund was among the 92 proposals put forward by participants at the Governor’s Summit Meeting on Drugs in March this year. The fund is to provide additional resources for non-government agencies and government departments working in the drug-related field and to tackle the growing problem of drug abuse among young people.

At the meeting today, ACAN members also discussed the figures of young drug abusers in the third quarter of 1995 which continued to decline following the previous two quarters.

The number of drug abusers aged under 21 reported to the Government's Central Registry of Drug Abuse (CRDA) decreased by 9.1 per cent to 1.372 in the third quarter this year, as compared to 1.510 in the corresponding period last year.

Of them, 496 were reported to CRDA for the first time, representing a drop of 23.2 per cent from 646 in the third quarter last year. An increase of 1.4 per cent was however noted for previously reported young drug abusers, from 864 in the third quarter last year to 876 in the same period this year.

As for drug abusers of all ages, the third quarter of this year registered a decrease of 11.1 per cent to 7,191 from 8,088 in the same period of 1994. The numbers of newly reported persons and previously reported persons were down by 14.8 per cent (from 1,219 to 1,039) and 10.4 per cent (from 6,869 to 6,152) respectively.

Members noted that the percentage of female drug abusers ol all ages increased from 9.4 per cent (762) to 10.6 per cent (763) for those under 21. an increase of 1.6 percentage points from 20 per cent (302) to 21.6 per cent (296) was noted.

On the treatment front, a total of 3.820 persons were admitted to the three main government-funded treatment programmes as compared with the same period last year, of which 993 (or 26.0 per cent) were first-time admissions.

These represented a decrease in total admissions by 14.7 per cent and a decrease in new admissions by 16.6 per cent.

5

For those under 21, the decrease in new admissions was the highest in the Methadone Treatment Programme, by 22.3 per cent, followed by the voluntary treatment programme run by the Society for the Aid and Rehabilitation of Drug Abusers, by 10.9 per cent.

End

Study on fisheries resources and fishing operations *****

The Agriculture and Fisheries Department has commissioned a consultancy study on fisheries resources and fishing operations in I long Kong waters.

The consultancy agreement was signed today (Tuesday) by the Director of Agriculture and Fisheries, Dr Lawrence Lee, with representatives of the consultancy firm.

The study will assess the current fisheries resources in Hong Kong waters; identify sites of special ecological importance to fisheries, particularly spawning and nursery grounds; assess the cumulative impacts of development works on fisheries resources; and draw up guidelines for minimising the impact of development projects on these resources.

The data obtained from the study will also enable the Government to review the basis for assessing ex-gratia allowances for fishermen affected by development works.

The study, which costs $15 million, will commence next month and is expected to be completed in mid-1997.

It will pave the way for the formulation of a long-term fisheries management plan for the conservation, development and sustainable use of fisheries resources in 1 long Kong waters.

End

6

Parking fee increases for government car parks

*****

Parking fees for 14 government public car parks will be increased with effect from January 1 next year.

A spokesman for the Transport Department said an average 7.3 per cent increase was approved by the Government. The two contractors managing the car parks had applied for an increase of 18.7 per cent.

In real terms, the increase ranges from $ I for hourly rates and $ 100 to $400 for monthly tickets.

The spokesman said in considering the increase rates, the department had taken into account the charges of the nearby private sector car parks; inflation since the last increase on January 1. 1995; the utilisation of the government car parks as well as the fee increases in Housing Authority car parks.

"The new charges are still lower than those in private sector car parks nearby," he said.

Monthly passes for January 1996 will be on sale at the new rates tomorrow (Wednesday) for the five car parks managed by Wilson Parking (Garden Road, Rumsey Street. Yau Ma Tei, Tsuen Wan Station and Tin Hau) and on Sunday (December 24) for another two car parks (Shaukeiwan and Sheung Fung Street).

The seven car parks managed by Metropark Ltd (Star Ferry, City Hall. Murray Road. Aberdeen, Middle Road. Kwai Fong and Tsuen Wan Transport Complex) will start selling monthly passes on Saturday (December 23).

End

TAC endorses NLB fare increase recommendation

* * * * *

At its meeting held this afternoon (Tuesday), the Transport Advisory Committee ( TAC) endorsed the Administration's recommendation of a 10.4 per cent fare increase for New Lantao Bus (NLB) to take effect in February 1996.

The recommendation will be submitted to the Executive Council for consideration.

7

The recommended fare increase would mean that about half of NLB's passengers would pay 50 to 80 cents more per trip and a quarter of the passengers would pay only 10 to 40 cents more per trip. Passengers aged 65 or above will continue to enjoy half fare.

TAC noted that NLB last increased its fares by 10.5 per cent on September 13, 1993. Without a fare increase, NLB would suffer a loss in 1996 because of rising operating costs over the last two years.

The proposed increase of 10.4 per cent is well below the forecast inflation rate of 22 per cent between the last increase and February 1996, when the new fares are to take effect.

TAC was satisfied that NLB has been providing a proper and efficient service.

End

71 pollution convictions in November *****

A total of 71 convictions were made in the courts last month (November) for breaching anti-pollution legislation enforced by the Environmental Protection Department.

Among them. 15 were convictions made under the Water Pollution Control Ordinance (WPCO), 17 under the Noise Control Ordinance (NCO), another 17 under the Air Pollution Control Ordinance (APCO), 20 under the Waste Disposal Ordinance (WDO) and two under the Ozone Layer Protection Ordinance (OLPO).

The fines ranged from $1,000 to $82,000. Willy Fine Ltd was fined $82,000 for failing to comply with the requirements of a noise abatement notice.

End

8

Blankets distributed to street-sleepers

*****

A total of 59 blankets were distributed to 33 street-sleepers in the New Territories by Social Welfare Department (SWD) staff last (Monday) night.

Among the blankets distributed, 36 were given to street-sleepers in New Territories East and 23 in New Territories West.

"It is a normal practice for the SWD to distribute blankets to street sleepers when the temperature falls near or below 10 degrees Celsius." a spokesman for the department said.

End

Christmas holiday clinic service *****

Eight general out-patient clinics will remain open between 9 am and 1 pm on December 24 (Sunday) and 26 (Tuesday), which arc Christmas Eve and the first weekday after Christmas Day, the Department of Health announced today (Tuesday).

They are - the Violet Peel Health Centre and Shau Kei Wan Jockey Club Clinic on Hong Kong Island; the Kwun Tong Jockey Chib Health Centre. Robert Black Health Centre and Yau Ma Tei Jockey Club Clinic in Kowloon; the Lady Trench Polyclinic. Shek Wu Hui Jockey Club Clinic and Yuen Long Jockey Club Health Centre in the New Territories.

There will be no holiday clinic service on December 25 (Monday).

End

9

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results

*****

Tender date 19 Dec 95 19 Dec 95

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q551 H580

Issue date 20 Dec 95 20 Dec 95

Maturity date 20 Mar 96 19.Jun 96

Coupon - -

Amount applied HKS3.410MN HK$2,288 MN

Amount allotted HK$ 1,500 MN HKS800 MN

Average yield accepted 5.73 PCT 5.69 PCT

Highest yield accepted 5.74 PCT 5.70 PCT

Pro rata ratio About 75 PCT About 20 PCT

Average tender yield 5.75 PCT 5.70 PCT

I long Kong Monetary Authority

Tenders to be held in the week beginning December 25, 1995

Tender date 27 Dec 95 27 Dec 95

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q552 Y597

Issue date 28 Dec 95 28 Dec 95

Maturity date 27 Mar 96 27 Dec 96

Tenor 90 days 365 days

Amount on offer HK.S1,500+300 MN HKS500+150 MN

End

10

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

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

Opening balance in the account 2,381 0930 -954

Closing balance in the account 2,014 1000 -953

Change attributable to : 1100 -957

Money market activity -964 1200 -957

LAF today +597 1500 -957

1600 -964

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TW1 122.4 *-0.1* 19.12.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Ferms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.85 2 years 2711 5.60 99.83 5.77

1 month 5.84 3 years 3810 6.15 100.51 6.04

3 months 5.73 5 years 5009 6.38 99.57 6.59

6 months 5.69 7 years 7211 6.82 99.99 6.94

12 months 5.64 5 years M502 7.30 102.06 6.91

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $12,507 million

Closed December 19, 1995

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

Wednesday, December 20,1995

Contents RagfcJNth

Transcript of the Governor's media session............................ 1

Statement by Secretary for Works on sewage meeting.................... 2

HK's role as regional centre assumes importance: D-G/I................ 2

HK attracts external investment in manufacturing industries........... 4

Manufacturing industries maintain high productivity................... 5

First gifted education centre officially opened.......................

HKMA statement on Fed funds rate cut.................................. 9

Proactive marine traffic management plans unveiled.................... 10

Regulations to localise UK enactments................................. 12

Summonses issued to contractor for suspected late payment............. 15

New drop-off area completed to relieve congestion at airport.......... 15

December issue of Monthly Digest of Statistics published.............. 16

Investigation into sinking of oil barge............................... 17

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations.................. 18

1

Transcript of the Governor's media session *****

Following is the transcript of the Governor's remarks to the media after opening the Fung Hon Chu Gifted Education Centre in Tsuen Wan today (Wednesday):

Governor: Good morning. I'm delighted to have the opportunity of opening this excellent centre for education and gifted children. It is a very considerable charitable tribute to the memory of Mr Fung and his family. And I think the whole community is grateful for what this centre will contribute to our educational service.

Question: Would the Government accede to the Democratic's request to amend the ordinance...?

Governor: Well. We've put proposals, as I think you know, to the Chinese side through the JLG, proposals which are entirely consistent with the Bill of Rights. I hope we'll get a response from the Chinese side before long and then we'll let the Legislative Council know how we think we should best proceed. Nobody should be very surprised that these issues are once again the focus of attention and debate. It is not because of anything the Hong Kong Government has done. And I think perhaps Chinese officials and Chinese advisers should ask themselves why there is so much concern in Hong Kong about these civil liberties matters.

Question: Would the Government... push it through at JLG?

Governor: We'll continue, as we always do, patiently but firmly pressing for what we believe is in Hong Kong's best interest in the JLG.

Question: Any idea when there might be a reply?

Governor: No. But our patience while legendary is not infinite.

Question: (on remarks on Governor's role in the handover ceremony)

Governor: As it is Christmas, I think we should all be charitable and not comment on nonsense. Thank you very much.

End

2

Statement by Secretary for Works on sewage meeting

*****

Following is a statement made by the Secretary for Works, Mr Kwong Hon-sang, after the Fourth Round of the Expert Group Meeting on Sewage under the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group (JLG) today (Wednesday):

"As you will all know, this is the first meeting of JLG sewage experts since March this year when both sides agreed to the setting up of a Technical Group to look at a number of issues related to the Strategic Sewage Disposal Scheme (SSDS). The group has been working hard since then in a practical and harmonious way.

I am pleased to be able to report today, that we have been able to satisfy our Chinese counterparts over many of their concerns, and we have this morning endorsed the work of the Technical Group. I would like to thank the leaders and members of the Group on their hard work.

We have also agreed today that we should press ahead as quickly as possible with the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the SSDS in order to confirm the best options for future stages. Our Chinese counterparts will be participating closely in the EIA, both through this Expert Group, and directly with the consultants undertaking the work.

Both sides are committed to making SSDS a success, to bring maximum early environmental benefit to Hong Kong."

End

HK's role as regional centre assumes importance: D-G/I

***** k u

Hong Kong's strategic location and excellent external communication links have enabled it to become a major regional centre of the Asia Pacific, the Director-General of Industry, Mrs Regina Ip, said today (Wednesday).

This role had assumed increasing importance with the rapid economic development in the Asia Pacific region in recent years, she added.

3

Speaking at a press conference to announce the findings of the 1995 Survey of Regional Representation by Overseas Companies in Hong Kong, Mrs Ip said the survey identified 2,068 regional operations by overseas companies in Hong Kong. They included 782 regional headquarters and 1,286 regional offices in Hong Kong.

In last year's survey, 714 regional headquarters and 1,132 regional offices of overseas companies were identified in Hong Kong.

The United States had the largest number of regional headquarters in Hong Kong, with 198 companies, followed by Japan (116 companies) and the United Kingdom (94 companies). The major lines of business of these regional headquarters included trading and distribution, manufacturing, finance and banking, and transport and related services.

As regards regional offices, the survey showed that Japan had the largest number, with a total of 303. The United States (228 companies) was next, followed by the United Kingdom (132 companies) and China (81 companies). Trading and distribution were the most common economic activities pursued by regional offices in Hong Kong, followed by finance and banking, manufacturing, and transport and related services.

On the perception of Hong Kong as a regional centre, more than 90 per cent of the respondents considered banking and financial facilities to be the most important and favourable factors. Other important and favourable factors included Hong Kong's infrastructure, regional location, availability of managerial, professional and technical skills, and government economic policy.

About 70 per cent of the respondents considered that, compared with last year, the overall attractiveness of Hong Kong as a regional representation centre had improved or had been satisfactory.

End

4

HK attracts external investment in manufacturing industries *****

'' '■ ■ - > i .

The continuing increase in external investment in Hong Kong's manufacturing industries in the past 10 years reflects the attractiveness of Hong Kong as a manufacturing base, the Director-General of Industry, Mrs Regina Ip, said.

Mrs Ip was commenting on the findings of the latest survey conducted by Industry Department on external investment in Hong Kong's manufacturing industries at a press conference today (Wednesday).

She said according to the latest survey findings, the total value of external investment totalled $44 billion, at original cost, at the end of 1994, representing eight per cent higher than the amount identified in last year's survey. It was four times the figure of $11.4 billion in 1984 when the first survey on external investment in Hong Kong's manufacturing industries was conducted.

"The increase was largely accounted for by the rise in stock of fixed assets,” Mrs Ip said. ■

Japan kept its position as the leading source country of external investment, accounting for $14.7 billion or 34 per cent of the total.

The United States of America was the second largest investor with investment totalling $11.8 billion (27 per cent of the total), followed by China with investment valued at $4.2 billion (10 per cent) and the United Kingdom at $3 billion (seven per cent).

The electronics, electrical products, textiles and clothing, and food and beverages industries accounted for about 60 per cent of total external investment last year.

"External investment is important to Hong Kong not only because of the capital inflow, but also because it helps to introduce new or improved products, advanced technologies, innovative designs and management techniques to help Hong Kong's manufacturing industries remain competitive in the world market," Mrs Ip said.

The survey found that 149 of the 424 respondent companies (35 per cent) with external investment were joint ventures with local partners, which is a form of cooperation that facilitates technology transfer.

5

One hundred and seventy-seven companies (42 per cent of the respondents) also reported benefiting from the managerial, professional and technical skills of experts sent to work in Hong Kong by the parent overseas companies. Two hundred and forty-six companies (58 per cent) reported that they received assistance from external investors through engineering and technical assistance, acquisition of machinery and equipment, or licensing arrangements. Two hundred and twenty-three companies (53 per cent) reported that external investors had been involved in the transfer of one or more types of advanced technology.

On the attractiveness of Hong Kong as a manufacturing base, more than 80 per cent of the respondents considered banking and financial facilities and infrastructure were the most attractive factors, Mrs Ip said.

Other favourable factors included availability of managerial skill, regional location and availability of professional/technical skill.

With regard to the outlook of business in the coming few years, the majority of companies surveyed (61 per cent) expected business in 1995 to be satisfactory or good. Twenty-four per cent of the respondents revealed plans for expansion in Hong Kong and another 58 per cent planned to continue the current operations in the territory.

End

Manufacturing industries maintain high productivity *****

Hong Kong's manufacturing industries have maintained a high level of productivity, the Director-General of Industry, Mrs Regina Ip. said today (Wednesday).

Introducing the report - 1995 Hong Kong's Manufacturing Industries -published by Industry Department, Mrs Ip said at a press conference that the dollar value of the gross output of Hong Kong's manufacturing industries increased at an average annual rate of six per cent from $170.7 billion in 1983 to $31 1.8 billion in 1993.

6

Productivity, measured in terms of value added per person, increased at an average annual rate of 14.4 per cent during the same period. The manufacturing sector enjoyed the highest growth rate in productivity among the four major economic sectors during 1983 to 1993. It was also higher than the growth rate of the Hong Kong economy as a whole, which was at 13.3 per cent.

Investment in Hong Kong’s manufacturing industries, measured in terms of gross additions to fixed assets, increased at an average annual rate of some eight per cent between 1983 and 1993.

’’These statistics demonstrate the substantial amount of manufacturing activities, in Hong Kong, and the continued importance of the manufacturing sector to our economy. But the contribution of the manufacturing sector is really much more if one takes into account the Hong Kong-owned factories in Southern China and the businesses that they have brought to Hong Kong’s manufacturing-support services sector," Mrs Ip said.

Mrs Ip also pointed out that Hong Kong's manufacturing sector was well-known for its flexibility and ability to adapt to frequent changes in market demand.

"Over the years, there has been a continuous shift from the assembly of relatively labour-intensive and simple products to the manufacture of more technology-intensive and sophisticated products with a higher value-added content," she said.

The report also contains the findings of a survey of Hong Kong’s manufacturing environment conducted by Industry Department between June and September this year.

Questionnaires were sent to 2,867 sampled establishments in 14 selected manufacturing industries. A total of 2,081 valid returns were received.

When asked to comment on the favourableness of 12 given investment factors, at least half of the respondents considered six of those factors to be favourable. The six were: Hong Kong's infrastructure, banking and financial facilities, geographical location, availability of professional/technical skills, availability of managerial skills and labour productivity.

End

7

First gifted education centre officially opened

*****

The Fung Hon Chu Gifted Education Centre will enhance the Education Department's services to gifted children and provide a good foundation for long-term support for the development of gifted education in Hong Kong, the acting Director of Education, Mr Kwan Ting-fai, said today (Wednesday).

Addressing the opening ceremony of the centre, which was officiated by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, Mr Kwan noted that the Education Department had been providing enrichment programmes for gifted primary school pupils since the eighties.

"The establishment of this centre will further enhance our services to children of high abilities," he said.

Mr Kwan said the centre would help raise the awareness of the general public in the area of gifted education and rally support from the community at large. Parents of gifted children will also be helped to maximise the potential of their children.

The centre is equipped with facilities and resources of a high standard to provide assessment and counselling services as well as training and enrichment programmes for gifted children, their parents and teachers.

The centre also houses a selection of audio-visual materials, computer assisted instruction and learning packages, library books, journals and magazines relating to gifted education.

Mr Kwan believed that the wide range of services offered will undoubtedly bring about positive cumulative effects on the education of pupils of high abilities.

He paid tribute to the late Fung Hon Chu, from whose education trust fund an $8 million donation was made to establish the centre.

The Education Commission Report No 4 recommended that school-based programmes should be provided for academically gifted children with the support of a resource centre.

[he Fung Hon Chu Gifted Education Centre is located at the vacated premises of the Tsuen Wan Government Secondary Technical School at 7 Shing Mun Road, Tsuen Wan.

8

It houses a theatre for 200 spectators, a library, a computer room, a language laboratory, a science laboratory, resource teaching rooms, training rooms, interview rooms and other ancillary facilities.

Being the first and only resource centre on academically gifted education, the centre is aimed at serving all the academically gifted children identified, in particular those in the pilot school-based programme, their parents and teachers.

Major services provided include -

training courses and enrichment programmes for individuals or groups of academically gifted children;

* training courses, workshops and seminars for teachers, parents of academically gifted children and professionals on gifted education;

* counselling services for academically gifted children and their parents;

* research work on academically gifted education.

Learning and thinking skills activities will be conducted at the centre in 1995-96. There will also be a series of teacher training workshops by overseas consultants in December 1995 and January 1996.

From 1996-97 onwards, the programmes conducted at the centre will gradually be extended to serve 1,300 students in 81 primary schools who are already identified to be academically gifted. In the long run, it will serve all the academically gifted children in Hong Kong, estimated to be around 20,000, representing two per cent of the total population.

Schools which are interested in making use of the facilities in the premises may contact the centre-in-charge.

An Education Department spokesman said that to maintain a smooth operation of the Fung Hon Chu Gifted Education Centre, a management committee comprising representatives from the Education Department, the Board of Trustees of the Fung Hon-chu Foundation Trust Fund, tertiary institutions, school personnel and parents will be set up.

9

The spokesman said it has been the Government's explicit aim to develop the talents of young people in Hong Kong, which is why the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, the Hong Kong Sports Institute and the Jockey Club Ti-1 College are established.

"The setting up of the Fung Hon Chu Gifted Education Centre represents another government effort to help the development of gifted children. The Government will continue to provide opportunities for young people to develop their talents," the spokesman said.

End

HKMA statement on Fed funds rate cut *****

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) issued the following statement this (Wednesday) morning:

"The US Fed has decided to cut the Fed funds rate by 25 basis points, but not the discount rate.

The HKMA expects the movements of Hong Kong interbank interest rates, particularly those for short term money, would in time reflect the cut in the Fed funds rate.

The HKMA has decided to leave LAF rates unchanged, in line with the decision by the Fed not to cut the US discount rate.

It is for the Committee of the Hong Kong Association of Banks (HKAB) to decide on whether adjustments should be made to interest rates for retail deposits of less than 7 days.

It is for individual banks to decide on whether adjustments should be made to their best lending rates and other lending rates."

End

10

Proactive marine traffic management plans unveiled *****

The Marine Department today (Wednesday) unveiled a series of proactive initiatives in marine traffic management to better manage traffic in the busy waters of Hong Kong harbour.

The General Manager (Vessel Traffic Services) of the department, Mr Roger Tupper, said these initiatives were designed to cope the ever increasing marine traffic and to ensure the safe and efficient operation of the port.

During the past 10 years ocean-going ship movements have increased by over 200 per cent whilst river-trade cargo vessel and ferry transits experienced similar growth.

The tremendous increase in the volume of traffic posed a major challenge to the Marine Department’s marine traffic management style, which in the past was focused on passive monitoring of ship movements, Mr Tupper noted.

He said the response to cope with the increase required a more active interventionist form.

The department has hence embarked on a series of initiatives for belter management of the fast growing traffic. Some of these initiatives begin to pay off while others are al the advanced stage of planning.

Mr Tupper said a latest round of re-alignment of the principal fairways and anchorages in the western part of the harbour had been completed.

"The new arrangement facilitates the movements of ocean-going traffic in line with the traffic activity level and minimises conflict vicinities," he said.

Additionally the department keeps constant watch on the sophisticated traffic management surveillance system which came into operation in 1989. A latest move in this direction is the introduction of Local Marine Traffic Control Centres at conflict vicinities.

"The first centre at the Ma Wan Channel commenced operation in June this year, initially with limited operating hours but starling from last Saturday (December 16) the centre is manned round the clock," Mr Tupper said.

"To supplement the surveillance system and to provide a physical presence on the spot, the operations of the patrol launch licet has extended considerably over past year.

11

"More recently the compulsory pilotage, which was first introduced in 1985, has extended to all vessels over 3,000 gross registered tons and all tankers over 1,000 gross registered tons.”

While these measures were able to meet the present challenge to maintain the port of Hong Kong as one of the safest and efficient ports in the world but there was no room for complacency, Mr Tupper said.

"Predicted growth of marine traffic for the next five years to 2001 secs further significant growth in both ocean-going and river-trade vessel movements," Mr Tupper added.

The department has taken another five-year Programme of Proactive Traffic Management. Major initiatives in the programme include -

(1) Update on the Strategic Planning model through completion of the Marine Activities, Associated Risk Assessment and Development of a Future Strategy for the Optimum Usage of Hong Kong Waters Study by December 1996;

(2) Improved response time at the Vessel Traffic Centre by the establishment of an additional work station in April 1997 to direct vessels approaching from the west;

(3) To enhance the above, the installation of a very high frequency direction finder at Black Point to assist in vessel radar target identification;

(4) To widen the radar coverage of the Vessel Traffic System by the installation of an additional radar to cover Mirs Bay by mid-1998:

(5) l o extend pilotage provision by establishing a pilot station al the southern end of the East Lamina Channel;

(6) To construct additional Local Marine Traffic Control Centres at Kwai Chung Port in late 1998 and Green Island in 2000; and

(7) To enhance the patrol vessel activities by the purchase of new vessels suited to local vessel control and management, and progressive extension of operation hours.

12

"With these initiatives in place, the Director of Marine, is satisfied that he can meet the demands of a vibrant growing port and maintain the present reputation of Hong Kong as a safe and efficient harbour," Mr Tupper said.

End

Regulations to localise UK enactments

*****

As part of an exercise to localise certain United Kingdom enactments relating to seafarers, the Government is introducing a series of regulations or rules made under the Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) Ordinance, a Marine Department spokesman said today (Wednesday).

A total of 28 sets of regulations or rules relating to the health, safety and welfare of seafarers and the mercantile marine industry have been prepared under the ordinance.

"Among them. 18 sets of regulations enshrine existing administrative practice in legislation while the others replace the existing items of subsidiary legislation." the spokesman said.

"The Government's intention is to bring the ordinance and its subsidiary legislation into operation on March 1, 1996." the spokesman said.

For administrative convenience, the 28 sets of regulations or rules have been divided into three batches for tabling to the Legislative Council for consideration.

"The first batch of nine sets of regulations will be gazetted this I riday (December 22)." the spokesman said.

The Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) (Allotments) Regulation prescribes the form of an allotment note, provides for the calculation ot the amount which may be allotted, and limits the circumstances in which and the number of persons to whom an allotment may be made.

The regulation also prescribes the times and intervals at which the payments under an allotment note are to be made.

13

The Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) (Entry into Dangerous Spaces) Regulation requires the master of a ship to ensure that all entrances to unattended spaces on the ship be secured against entry, and requires the employer to ensure that procedures for safe entry and working in dangerous spaces be clearly laid down and observed.

It provides that drills be carried out in tankers of 500 tons or over and on other ships of 1,000 tons or over, and requires the employer to ensure that equipment for testing dangerous spaces be carried and maintained in good working order.

The regulation also provides the Director of Marine with the powers to inspect and detain Hong Kong ships and other ships while they are within the waters of Hong Kong.

The Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) (Health and Safety: General Duties) Regulation requires the employers of seafarers on board Hong Kong ships, other than certain fishing vessels, to ensure the health and safety of all those seafarers and of other persons who may be affected by their acts and omissions.

In particular, the regulation provides for the maintenance of plant, machinery and equipment, the use. handling, stowage and transport of articles and substances, the provision of information, instruction and training, the maintenance of the ship in a safe condition, the maintenance of a safe environment on board the ship, and collaboration with other employers.

It requires a seafarer to take reasonable care for the health and safety of himself and other persons.

The regulations provides for the inspection and detention of Hong Kong ships and other ships by the Director of Marine while they are within the waters of Hong Kong.

The Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) (Hours of Work) Regulation which applies to all seagoing Hong Kong ships of 500 GRT (gross registered tons) and over but excluding fishing vessels, requires masters of, and employers of seafarers on, ships to ensure that seafarers do not. except in an emergency, undertake navigational or engine room or machinery watchkeeping duties unless they are adequately rested, and that when in charge of such watches, they do not undertake excessively long periods of duty.

14

The Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) (Provisions and Water) Regulation specifics requirements as to provisions and water to be provided to seafarers employed in seagoing Hong Kong ships, and other seagoing ships while they are within the waters of Hong Kong.

In particular, it specifies the duties of the employer and master of a ship to ensure the standard of water provided on the ship. The Regulation does not apply to fishing vessels except certain trawlers.

The Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) (Returns of Births, Deaths and Missing Persons) Regulation deals with matters concerning the returns of births, deaths and missing persons from the ship.

The Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) (Safe Movement on Board Ship) Regulation requires that safe means of access be maintained to any place on a ship where a person may be expected to go. and that transit area be kept free from materials or substance likely to cause a person to slip or fall.

It requires that adequate lighting be provided, that standard safety signs be used, that guard rails be provided where appropriate, that ladders be soundly constructed and that vehicle movements be carried out safely.

It also provides for the inspection and detention of Hong Kong ships and other ships by the Director of Marine while they are within the waters of Hong Kong.

The Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) (Ships' Doctors) Regulation requires every Hong Kong ship, which is not a coastal-going ship and which goes to sea having more than 100 persons on board, to carry a medical practitioner.

Ihe Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) (Crew Accommodation) Regulation governs the standard of the crew accommodation to be pros ided in I long Kong ships

End

15

Summonses issued to contractor for suspected late payment

*****

The Labour Department today (Wednesday) issued six summonses to a building contractor for suspected late payment of wages to a group of imported workers from Thailand in July and August this year.

The summonses were served on Dragages cl Travaux Publics, the contractor of a construction site under the new airport and related projects at the Central Reclamation Phase One under Section 23 of the Employment Ordinance.

Section 23 of the Employment Ordinance stipulates that wages shall become due on the expiry of the last day of the wage period and shall be paid as soon as practicable but in any case not later than seven days thereafter. The maximum penalty for the offence is a $200,000 fine and imprisonment for one year.

The case will be heard in Western Magistracy on January 19, 1996.

A Labour Department spokesman said labour officers were still investigating a number of cases involving late payment of wages to imported workers engaged in the new airport and related projects.

"Prosecution will be taken once we collect sufficient evidence and upon receiving advice from the Attorney General." the spokesman added.

End

New drop-off area completed to relieve congestion at airport

*****

In a bid to improve customer service and relieve pressure on the already congested roads in the airport during the Christmas and Chinese New Year, finishing touches have just been put to the new drop-off area at Kai Tak Airport.

A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Department said today (Wednesday) the new drop-off area was converted from the second floor of the car park and was easily accessible from Olympic Avenue.

16

’’This is a real boon for vehicles arriving at the airport from the cross-harbour tunnel and Tsim Sha Tsui," he said.

Huge new signs have been placed on the end of the car park marking the entrance to the drop-off area.

"Access by car is easy - just take the far right lane from Olympic Avenue and miss all the queues," the spokesman added.

"We now have three sets of lilts to take passengers straight to the check-in areas in the terminal, and there are plenty of trolleys provided."

He urged passengers to use the new area as much as possible.

"We are very conscious of the difficulties that drivers encounter, even at normal times, trying to drop off passengers at the departures level at Kai Tak.

"At this time of the year, the problem is particularly acute and we believe that the new drop-off area will help tremendously," the spokesman said.

End

December issue of Monthly Digest of Statistics published *****

A feature article entitled "Gross National Product (GNP) Estimates for 1993" is published in the December 1995 issue of the Hong Kong Monthly Digest of Statistics.

The first set of Hong Kong’s Gross National Product (GNP) estimates, in respect of reference year 1993, has been released. It is compiled on the basis of the latest revised Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimate (November 1995) and data obtained from a new annual survey (Survey of External Factor Income Flows).

The feature article introduces the basic concepts and compilation methods related to GNP and describes the salient features of the preliminary GNP estimates for 1993.

17

The December 1995 issue of the Hong Kong Monthly Digest of Statistics is already on sale at $50 a copy. It contains all information about Hong Kong's latest situation regarding economic growth, the labour market, inflation and many other social and economic issues that have important impact on business and everyday life.

Purchase of this publication can be made at the Government Publication Centre, ground floor, Low Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong. The publication is also available for sale at the Publications Unit 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 Publications (Sales) Office of the Information Services Department on 2598 8194.

End

Investigation into sinking of oil barge ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

The Marine Department is investigating circumstances leading to the sinking of a Hong Kong licensed oil barge, the Ruby 3, off Western District yesterday (Tuesday).

The 10.97-metre, 18.94-gross registered ton Ruby 3, while carrying diesel oil from Tsuen Wan to Western District, listed to its port side and subsequently sank between mooring buoys B15 and B21 at about 9 am yesterday.

Two crew members of the oil barge swam to another barge.

No one was injured in the incident but it caused a spill of diesel oil measuring 10 metres by 10 metres.

The Pollution Control Unit of the Marine completed cleaning up the oil spill at 3.30 pm yesterday.

The oil barge has been salvaged and is now moored at Tsuen Wan Dangerous Goods Anchorage awaiting repairs.

End

18

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

Cumulative

Time change

$ million (hours) (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2.014 0930 -579

Closing balance in the account 2,031 1000 -579

Change attributable to : Money market activity -583 1100 1200 -559 -55?

LAF today +600 1500 -559

1600 -583

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 122.6 *+0.2* 20.12.95

I long Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.74 2 years 2711 5.60 100.02 5.66

1 month 5.73 3 years 3810 6.15 100.84 5.91

3 months 5.63 5 years 5012 6.38 100.05 6.47

6 months 5.61 7 years 7211 6.82 100.63 6.82

12 months 5.57 . 5 years M502 7.30 102.40 6.83

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $22,824 million

Closed December 20, 1995

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

Friday, December 22,1995

Cpjjtfiois Eage.No,

Transcript of the Governor's media session............................ 1

177 applications for Industrial Support Fund received................. 4

Residential mortgage survey results for November 1995 ................ 6

A step further to combat pollution from ships......................... 11

Tunnels remain fully open during holiday periods...................... 12

Leap second adjustment on New Year's Day.............................. 13

A feast for the eyes of nature lovers................................. 13

Law Amendment and Reform (Consolidation)(Amendment) Bill.............. 14

Ban on use of unlined galvanised steel water pipes.................... 15

Mandatory safety inspection of trailers advanced...................... 16

Tenders for secondary school in Tsui Wan Estate invited............... 17

New road proposed for North Point..................................... 18

Footbridge across Yen Chow Street..................................... 19

Footbridge system in Argyle Street.................................... 20

Road works for Tuen Mun proposed...................................... 20

Road works for Tung Chung New Town.................................... 21

Prequalification tenders invited for slaughterhouse................... 22

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations.................. 23

1

Transcript of the Governor’s media session ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the transcript of the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten’s media session after opening the Kowloon Walled City Park this (Friday) afternoon:

Governor: Hope you enjoy the garden while you are here. I just like to say once again what a marvellous job I think everybody has done in transforming what was a very environmentally unpleasant slum into a beautiful garden.

Question: We’ve heard that the Chinese side insists that the 1997 sovereignty transfer ceremony should be a simple one, and as the Governor what do you think? Should it be big or just keep it simple?

Governor: I think it should be dignified. I think it should be solemn. I think it should be in keeping with the historic event that we are marking in Hong Kong. I think everybody has to remember that the eyes of the whole world will be on Hong Kong at the end of June in 1997, and perhaps to some time beyond that as well. We are negotiating, we are discussing these things with the Chinese side. And I hope the negotiations produce results as soon as possible.

Question: How would you comment on recently there were three police officers committing suicide by their own gun? Will there be any follow-up measures taken by the Hong Kong Government?

Governor: I am sure the whole community has been disturbed by the reports of these suicides, and I would like to offer my condolences to those who have been bereaved in such distressing circumstances. Obviously the police and their welfare department are looking at the moment at each of the cases. There is no reason at present to suppose that there is a connection between the individual tragedies. So I don't think one can possibly learn any collective lesson from these tragedies at the moment. But obviously if there is any overall lesson in personnel management or in any other matter to learn, the police will want to take it to heart. But for the moment I’m sure particularly at this time of year, we all want to offer our thoughts and prayers to those who have lost loved ones.

Question: ... China is going to impose legislation on martial law and do you think this sort of legislation will undermine the confidence of Hong Kong people?

2

Governor: One country two systems. The SAR Government will I am sure be able to look after the stability as well as the prosperity of Hong Kong. And I am sure that Chinese officials will want the garrison in the future to behave with the same sense of the law as the garrison does at present.

Question: Many people are worried that this sort of legislation will be applicable to Hong Kong. So do you think there is a need for the Hong Kong Government to clarify the matter with the Chinese authorities?

Governor: I don't think there is any reason from what we've heard so far to suppose that this legislation is going to be applied to Hong Kong. I think that is just a supposition on your part. But this is a question you should perhaps put to Chinese officials.

Question: (on opening up of Government House)

Governor: Yes, indeed. That's what we've been doing. As you know, Government House has been more open in the last few years than ever before. We have over 20,000 people visiting Government House every year, and virtually every week Government House is used for an outside function. It is used regularly for concerts which are open to the public given by the Academy of Performing Arts and their brilliant young musicians. It is regularly open to charities to hold charitable functions, to raise money for good causes in Hong Kong. So there are, we've reckoned, about 20,000 people going through Government House every year. And what they arc able to do of course is to see paintings which used to be in the reserve of the Urban Council, that is paintings that were kept in the basement of the museum. These were paintings that were not on public display before. A lot of them are by modem Hong Kong artists whose work is being shown. And the impression I've had from some of those artists who've come and seen their paintings hanging on the walls of Government House - which isn't my house, it's Hong Kong's house - the impression that I've got is that they are delighted that their works are on view rather than kept in the reserve of the Urban Council. But it's a matter for the Urban Council.

Question: Do you feel it is necessary to pay for the rent?

3

Governor: I've said what the position is. If the Urban Council comes to a different view, so be it. But I hope that in any views they come to, they'll consult some of the artists whose work is being shown which wasn't previously the case. I can think of several of those artists who stood in front of their paintings, sometimes at public occasions, sometimes coming to see them privately and being delighted that so many people can now actually see their paintings. Indeed I think there are one or two cases where, thanks to their paintings being on display, they actually manage to sell more paintings. So it always seems to me that the more accessible art is the better. Just to say a little more about the numbers. There are at least 4,000 people coming to Government House for things like receptions, for dinners, for those sorts of occasions each year. I think it is probably impossible to put a number exactly on those who come to charitable functions in Government House, about once a week, or thereabouts. We do know the number who comes through Government House when we open up the garden and the house each year. The last figure was 17,000 and they are all able to see some of the paintings as well, paintings by local artists like Wang Hai and Rosamond Brown, one of our best painters. There are also able to see the Governor's paintings which aren't perhaps as good or expensive as the Urban Council's, but they are not bad.

Question: (on Governor's plan to spend Christmas)

Governor: How do I plan to pass Christmas? With my family. They'll all be here for Christmas. My two older daughters arrive this evening. And we'll have a family Christmas. We are inviting a number of friends and a number of young people who don't have family with them in Hong Kong to spend Christmas Day with us. We'll go for a walk. We'll eat a lot of turkey. I'll listen to some CDs. I won't listen to myself on the radio playing very good CDs, but the rest of you should do so. And go to church a couple of times. A traditional Christmas just like the Christmas that other families I hope, many other families, will be having in Hong Kong. So I wish all of you a happy Christmas. You're allowed to have Monday off as you've been working so hard and I hope we all have a happy and successful New Year. Thanks very much.

4

Question: (on the importance of the park)

Governor: I think it is very important. I was talking earlier about the fact that we haven’t perhaps preserved as much of our heritage as many of us would have liked. But I think that we do see some examples of protecting our heritage here in Hong Kong. Hong Kong has a remarkable history. It is a history which we can see in the stones and environment around us. I think we should try to preserve some of those older buildings which are still left. There aren't many of them. When even a building like the Hilton Hotel which has just been knocked down seems old, you realise that there isn't alas enough history in the buildings that we've preserved. But I hope we'll be able to preserve more and I think this will be a great inspiration to everyone. So Sing Dan Fai Lok (phonetic). If you are really energetic tomorrow, you can come to the Fanling show and buy some vegetables. Anyway I'm doing that public function tomorrow, and then putting my feet up for Christmas. Have a nice Christmas.

End

177 applications for Industrial Support Fund received

*****

One Hundred and seventy-seven applications for allocation from the Industrial Support Fund (ISF) for the 1996-97 financial year had been received at the closing date last Friday (December 15).

Subject to the approval of the Legislative Council, the provision for ISF in 1996-97 would be around $250 million. Of this amount, some $130 million has been committed to fund on-going projects approved in the 1994-95 and 1995-96 financial years. This leaves about $120 million for new projects commencing in 1996-97.

Most of the 177 projects will last for two to three years, and the total amount of funds requested is $688.4 million. The amount of funds requested in 1996-97 is $345 million.

As in last financial year, the bulk of applications came from the various tertiary institutions, with 142 applications. The others were from industry support bodies, professional bodies and research institutes, as well as trade and industry organisations. The applications fell into seven categories - general technology, information technology, biotechnology, electronics, metals, plastics as well as textiles and clothing.

5

The biotechnology category tops the list with 53 applications (requesting a total commitment of $199 million), followed by the general category (38 applications), information technology (27 applications), electronics(20 applications), plastics (15 applications), metals (13 applications), and textiles and clothing (11 applications).

Announcing this today (Friday), the Assistant Director-General of Industry, Mr Raymond Young, said he was satisfied with the large number of applications received. A series of meetings would be held by the sector specific committees under the Industry and Technology Development Council (1TDC) in January and February 1996 to vet the applications. The applications would then be examined by a special Projects Vetting Committee (PVC) before submission to the full ITDC for approval. The result of the vetting exercise would be announced in April.

"The authority to approve projects costing less than $15 million will rest with the Director-General of Industry," Mr Young said, adding that projects costing $15 million or above would need the endorsement of the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council.

On the funding criteria, he said: "The main criterion adopted by the ITDC is whether the application is 'market-driven', that is, whether there is a genuine need in the industry for the deliverables of the proposed project."

"Project applications will be considered on their own merits and no priorities would be given to any particular sector of industry or to any specific area of technology."

"Projects eligible for funding support should be able to contribute to the overall industrial or technological development of I long Kong and to the competitiveness of Hong Kong's manufacturing industries," Mr Young added.

Since ISF was introduced in 1994, over 130 projects have been approved. Of these, 26 have been successfully completed and the rest are progressing satisfactorily. All funded projects are monitored closely by the Industry Department, with advice from ITDC.

End

6

Residential mortgage survey results for November 1995 *****

Residential mortgage loans for the purchase of properties in Hong Kong grew at a faster pace in November, according to the results of the latest monthly survey conducted by the I long Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA).

The latest figures show that the total amount of outstanding mortgage lending by the 33 institutions covered in the survey grew by 1.2% in November (0.7% in October) to $269.6 billion. This corresponds with the average monthly growth rate of 1.2% over the last 12 months.

"Apart from the drawdown of loans associated with primary market sales in October, the increase in November may also reflect some revival in secondary market activity," the Deputy Chief Executive (Banking) of HKMA, Mr David Carse, said.

The annualised rate of growth in lending over the last three months rose to 14.4% from 13% in the three-month period to October. The 12-month average of outstanding loans showed an annualised growth rate of 14.2%, compared with 13.8% in October.

The amount of new loans approved but not yet drawn increased by $1.5 billion (26.4%) to $7.1 billion in November. "Judging from these figures, the growth of outstanding residential mortgage loans is expected to continue at a higher rate in December," said Mr Carse.

Lending for the purchase of properties in China increased by 1.2% to $5.3 billion in November. Gross loans made in November increased both in number (to 186 from 176) and in amount (to $138 million from $130 million). New loans approved in November increased in number (to 255 from 241) but fell in amount (to $145 million from $152 million).

7

Residential Mortgage Loans in Hong Kong

Results of Survey for November 1995

Nov

1995

HK$ Mn

Oct 1995 HK$ Mn

33 authorised institutions

1. Outstanding lending

a. Amount

b. Monthly change

c. Twelve-month change

d. Average change (annualized)

Latest three months

Latest twelve months

2. Gross loans made during month

a. Amount

b. Number

3. New loans approved during month

a. Amount

b. Number

4. New loans approved during month but not yet drawn

a. Amount

b. Number

269,589 266,271

1.2% 0.7%

14.1% 13.6%

14.4% 13.0%

14.2% 13.8%

7,835 6,430

5392 5207

10,095 7,815

7142 5664

7,061 5,588

4984 3774

8

Chart A

RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE LOANS IN HONG KONG

(33 institutions)

Outstanding balance at end of month

o

I

Remarks : The significant fall of outstanding balance in December 1994 was due to the effect of reclassification, securitization and sale of loans by some institutions

A1

Monthly growth rate

3-month and 12 - month moving average growth rate on annualised basis

O 3-month 4 12-month

9

Chart B

RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE LOANS IN HONG KONG (33 institutions)

GROSS LOANS MADE DURING THE MONTH

Thousand Billion

Amount

Number of accounts

10

Chart C

RESIDENTIAL

MORTGAGE LOANS IN HONG KONG (33 institutions)

NEW LOANS APPR^y^BUniQTYETDRAWN.

End

Amount

Thousand

01

02

11

A step further to combat pollution from ships • * ♦ * ♦ ♦

The Marine Department is taking another step to further safeguard the marine environment against pollution by garbage from ships.

A set of new measures is stipulated in the Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Pollution by Garbage) Regulation which was gazetted today (Friday). The regulation specifies the control and disposal of garbage from ships and requires the setting up of garbage reception facilities.

Based on the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, these measures apply to both Hong Kong registered ships wherever they may be and other ships while they are within the waters of Hong Kong.

"With more than 185,000 ships using the our port every year, the regulation will provide additional safeguards against dumping of garbage within the waters of Hong Kong," the Assistant Director of Marine (Port Services), Mr Tsang Man-ching, said.

"It gives us a proper legal framework to ensure adequate protection of Hong Kong waters against pollution by garbage from ships," he added.

"Through provision of reception facilities by the private sector, or through augmentation of existing garbage collection services from ships - the problem of floating refuse and hence pollution in Hong Kong waters, should be further alleviated."

"Adopting these international practices will also facilitate Hong Kong registered ship to trade freely with other ports whose administrations have implemented the same convention and demonstrate internationally Hong Kong's determination to preserve a cleaner marine environment," Mr Tsang continued.

The Marine Department will require an annual provision of $10 million for hiring of vessels to collect refuse from ships and for meeting other operational expenses following the implementation of the regulation.

End

12

Tunnels remain fully open during holiday periods * * ♦ * ♦

The Transport Department announced today (Friday) that the five government tunnels will remain fully open during the coming Christmas and New Year holiday periods.

The five government tunnels are Aberdeen Tunnel, Lion Rock Tunnel, Airport funnel, Shing Mun Tunnels and Tseung Kwan O Tunnel.

A spokesman for the department said from December 24 to 27, and on January 1 and 2, 1996, all tubes of these tunnels would not be closed for maintenance and the radio broadcast of safety messages would be stepped up.

He added that there would be additional control and safety measures on tunnel operations during the holidays.

The spokesman said operators of the three private tunnels - Cross Harbour Tunnel, Tate's Cairn Tunnel and Eastern Harbour Crossing - would implement similar measures as far as possible.

He said motorists also had a part to play in avoiding accidents inside tunnels by observing the following safety guidelines -

* Do not follow too close to the vehicle in front. Leave a two-second gap for safety;

* Observe the speed limit;

* Keep in lane;

* Observe traffic ahead;

* Use dipped headlights;

* Avoid wearing earphones or using mobile telephones when driving; and

* Do not drink any alcohol before and/or when driving.

Motorists are also urged to drive with care and patience no matter they are driving inside tunnels or on open roads.

1-lnd

13

Leap second adjustment on New Year's Day *****

At 8 am on January 1, 1996 (Monday), the usual six-pip time signals from the Royal Observatory will not be broadcast by Radio Television 1 long Kong (RTHK). It will resume at 8.30 am or 9 am depending on the radio channel.

This is to enable an adjustment to be made which will result in a delay of one second to the time scale now in use - Co-ordinated Universal Time (UTC). The Hong Kong standard time which is eight hours ahead of UTC will hence be retarded by one second as well.

The adjustment is needed to better match UTC with astronomical time. It has been internationally agreed that an adjustment of one second (a leap second) should be applied from time to time so that UTC will not differ from astronomical time by more than nine-tenths of a second. The last adjustment was made on July 1, 1994.

The Royal Observatory maintains the Hong Kong time standard and since 1980, operates a high precision atomic clock for this purpose.

Members of the public who wish to carry out time checks can either listen to the time signals broadcast by RTHK or call the Royal Observatory on 2926 8472.

End

A feast for the eyes of nature lovers *****

Nature lovers need not go into the wilderness to appreciate their favourite things when the Ninth North District Flower, Bird, Insect and Fish (FBIF) Show opens tomorrow (Saturday) at Fanling Recreation Playground.

Arguably the most ambitious display of natural exhibits in Hong Kong, the show is the successor to the annual flower show in New Territories (North) which dated back to 1977 and substantially expanded in 1987 to include exhibits of birds, insects and fishes.

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten; Mrs Patten; the Director of Agriculture and Fisheries Dr Lawrence Lee; the Director of Regional Services, Mr Adolf Hsu; the Chairman of the FBIF Show, Mr Liu Chun-kui; the Deputy Director of Home Affairs, Mr Lee Lap-sun; the Chairman of North District Board, Mr Tang Kwok-yung; the North District Officer, Mr Tommy Yuen; and other community leaders will jointly officiate at the ribbon-cutting ceremony to take place at 11 am.

14

The show, which will run until December 28, has drawn the active involvement of experts and enthusiasts in the fields of horticulture, ornithology, entomology and agriculture.

Apart from the overall champion trophy which will be presented by Mr Patten, prizes will also be awarded to winners of competitions in the categories of potted flowers, miniature potted plants, bonsai, Chinese cymbidium and exotic orchids.

Over 100 uniquely designed exhibition booths were built to display hundreds of exotic species of plants, flowers, birds, insects and fish.

The show was organised by the Ninth North District FBIF Show Committee with the assistance of the North District Office, the Agriculture and Fisheries Department and local organisations.

It was jointly sponsored by the North District Board, the Regional Council, the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation and Mass Transit Railway Corporation.

End

Law Amendment and Reform (Consolidation)(Amcndment) Bill *****

A bill seeking to amend the Law Amendment and Reform (Consolidation) Ordinance was published in the Government Gazette today (Friday).

The Law Amendment and Reform (Consolidation) (Amendment) Bill 1995 relates to the "forfeiture rule", which prohibits a person who has unlawfully killed . another from being a beneficiary of the deceased's estate or acquiring certain other beneficial interests in property as a result of the deceased's death.

Currently, the rule applies even if the person concerned is not morally blameworthy.

A spokesman for the Home Affairs Branch said the Bill empowered the court to relax or even waive the forfeiture rule where justice required this.

"It also provides that the forfeiture rule does not preclude applications for an order for financial provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Ordinance," he said.

15 -

The Bill however did preclude the modification of the forfeiture rule with respect to convicted murderers, the spokesman said.

He also pointed out that this Bill was the last remaining substantive change to Hong Kong’s law of inheritance in the package of reforms proposed by the Law Reform Commission.

It will be tabled before the Legislative Council on January 10 next year.

End

Ban on use of unlined galvanised steel water pipes *****

The Water Supplies Department today (Friday) reminded architects and plumbers that the use of unlined galvanised steel pipes would be banned from tomorrow (Saturday).

A spokesman for the department said the new requirement would be enforced in accordance with the Waterworks (Amendment) Regulation 1994 which was enacted late last year.

"Under the new requirement, all plumbing proposals for new buildings submitted to the Water Authority for approval will not be allowed to use unlined galvanised steel pipes as fresh water inside service.

"The consumers should also observe the new requirement if their plumbing systems in the existing buildings undergo refurbishment from tomorrow.

"However, the new requirement will not be applicable to fire service installations in new and existing buildings or minor repairs to existing fresh water plumbing systems," he said.

"With the implementation of the new requirement, we would expect to resolve, in the course of time, entirely the problem of discoloured tap water which has been experienced over the years by some consumers due to corrosion of pipes in their plumbing systems," the spokesman added.

End

16

Mandatory safety inspection of trailers advanced *****

The mandatory safety inspection of trailers will be advanced by three years as from April next year, the Transport Department announced today (Friday).

"To improve the safety of trailers in use on the road, all trailers manufactured in 1986 or earlier will need to pass a roadworthiness examination before relicensing on or after April 1, 1996," the department's Senior Engineer/Motor Vehicle, Mr John Blay said.

"This would mean trailers which have been used on the road for 10 years would have to go through the safety inspection instead of 13 years."

The law at present requires trailers manufactured in or before 1982 for examination before relicensing.

Notice of the new requirement was published in today's Government Gazette.

"All mechanical parts of a trailer including its braking system, tyres, lights and so on will be inspected thoroughly during the examination.

"The advancement of the inspection period will enhance the safety and maintenance conditions of trailers in Hong Kong," Mr Blay added.

The certificate of roadworthiness obtained will only be valid for relicensing within four months immediately after the date of issue.

The examination will be carried out at the Department's Kowloon Bay Vehicle Examination Centre, 2 Cheung Yip Street, Kowloon Bay, Kowloon. The examination fee is $530.

Appointments for inspection should be made to the Kowloon Bay Vehicle Examination Centre by telephoning 2759 7573 from now on.

End

17

Tenders for secondary school in Tsui Wan Estate invited *****

The Architectural Services Department is inviting tenders for the construction of a secondary school in Tsui Wan Estate in Chai Wan.

The works will involve the building of a classroom block and an assembly hall, together with the design and construction of piled foundations, drainage and external works.

On completion, the school will have 26 classrooms, 14 special rooms, three remedial teaching rooms, two basketball courts, a covered playground and carpark, an assembly hall and ancillary facilities.

In addition, there will be rooms for guidance activities or interviews, staff common rooms, a student activity centre, additional playground area as well as facilities for the disabled.

The school is one of the six secondary schools to be built before 1997. When these schools are completed, 156 classes will be provided to reduce the shortfall of secondary school classes and to help phase out floating classes.

Forms of tender and further particulars may be obtained from the Architectural Services Department, 34th floor, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong.

Tenders must be clearly marked and addressed to the Chairman of the Central Tender Board and be placed in the Government Secretariat Tender Box at the lift lobby, lower ground floor, Central Government Offices (East Wing), Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong before noon on f riday, January 19, 1996.

Late tenders will not be accepted.

End

A

18

New road proposed for North Point

* * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government has proposed to construct a new road between Shell Street and Jupiter Street in North Point to improve traffic flow and to provide an access for a proposed commercial development in the area.

The new road will be about 7.3 metres wide with a 2.5-metre wide footpath on its western side.

A section of Shell Street will have to be temporarily closed, while the footpath linking Shell Street and Jupiter Street will have be closed permanently to facilitate the works.

A Lands Department spokesman said today (Friday) that the Town Planning Board had recently approved amendments to the draft North Point Outline Zoning Plan.

Under the amended plan which was gazetted on December 1, a site at 152-154 Electric Road, which is occupied by the former Causeway Bay Police Station, was . ezoned from "Government/Institution/Community" to “Commercial”.

"The Government intends to dispose of the site by public auction in the middle of 1996.

"In view of the foreseeable traffic demand generated from the future commercial development on the site as well as in the vicinity, the Government will । quire the purchaser of the site under the Conditions of Sale to construct a new road linking Shell Street and Jupiter Street," he said.

A notice of the proposed road works was gazetted today.

The plan, of the proposed works can be seen at the Public Enquiry Service Centre of the Central and Western District Office, the Hong Kong East District Lands Office, and the Eastern District Office.

Any person objecting to the works should send his objection in writing to the Secretary for Transport, Central Government Offices, East Wing, second floor, Lower Albert Road, Central not later than February 20, 1996, describing his interest and the manner in which he will be affected.

End

19

Footbridge across Yen Chow Street ♦ * * * ♦

The Government proposes to construct a footbridge across Yen Chow Street at Ki Lung Street to connect to Dragon Centre in Sham Shui Po.

A notice for the proposed project is gazetted today (Friday).

The project comprises the construction of an approximately five-metre wide footbridge across Yen Chow Street at Ki Lung Street with a staircase and an escalator at the south-eastern end together with a connection to the existing landing at the first floor of Dragon Centre, as well as the ancillary ground level works and drainage works.

The work is programmed to start this month and will take about 12 months to complete.

Upon completion of the recent developments in the vicinity, it is expected that the pedestrian crossing demand across Yen Chow Street will increase significantly.

The existing pedestrian facilities will not be able to cope with the expected increase. Hence, it is proposed that grade-separated pedestrian crossings should be provided to suit future demand, to improve road junction capacities and to enhance road safety.

The plan and scheme of the works can be seen at:

* Public Enquiry Services Centre, Central and Western District Office, ground floor, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central, Hong Kong;

* District Lands Office, Kowloon West, Yau Ma Tei Car Park Building, 10th Floor, 250 Shanghai Street, Kowloon; and

* Public Enquiry Services Centre, Sham Shui Po District Office, sixth floor, 290 Un Chau Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon.

Any person who wishes to object to the proposal must send his objection in writing to the Secretary for Transport at the Central Government Offices, East Wing, second floor, Lower Albert Road, Central not later than February 20, 1996, describing his interest and the manner in which he alleges he will be affected by the works or the use.

End

20

Footbridge system in Argyle Street

*****

The Highways Department is inviting tenders for the construction of a footbridge system at the junction of Argyle Street, Tong Mi Road and Ferry Street.

The works include the construction of a covered footbridge system spanning over Argyle Street, Tong Mi Road and Ferry Street, as well as approach ramps and staircases; demolition of Tong Mi Road temporary market structures at the junction of Argyle Street and Tong Mi Road; and associated landscaping, road and drainage works.

The works are expected to commence in next March for completion in July

1997.

Kowloon Region of the Highways Department, which is responsible for the design of works, will supervise the construction.

A notice on the tender invitation is gazetted today (Friday).

Tender forms and particulars can be obtained from Regional Highway Engineer/Kowloon, Highways Department, Room 1321, 13th floor, Nan Fung Commercial Centre, 19 Lam Lok Street, Kowloon Bay, Kowloon. The contact telephone number is 2707 7421.

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, lower ground floor, Central Government Offices (East Wing), Lower Albert Road (at its junction with Garden Road), Hong Kong before noon on Friday, January 12, 1996.

Late tenders will not be accepted.

End

Road works for Tuen Mun proposed *****

The Territory Development Department has proposed to carry out road works in Area 18, Tuen Mun to serve the proposed housing development there.

The road works project is part of the continuing development programme for the Tuen Mun New Town.

21

The works include the construction of a footbridge across Lung Mun Road near and Shan Shek Wan Light Rail Transit Stop, a combined pedestrian and cycle bridge over Tuen Mun Nullah between Areas 16 and 18; a cycle track, a combined footway and emergency access, and associated drainage works.

A notice of the proposed works was gazetted today (Friday).

The plan and schedule showing the proposed works can be seen at the Public Enquiry Service Centre of the Central and Western District Office, the Tuen Mun District Lands Office and the Tuen Mun District Office.

Any one wishing to object to the proposal should write to the Secretary for Transport, Central Government Offices, East Wing, second floor. Lower Albert Road, Central no later than February 20, 1996, describing his interest and manner in which he will be affected.

End

Road works for Tung Chung New Town

*****

The Hong Kong Island and Islands Development Office of the Territory Development Department has proposed engineering works in Tung Chung to serve the proposed housing developments there.

The works will include the construction of roads of about two kilometres long, footpath and cycle tracks, pedestrian/cycle bridges, widening of a section of the existing Tung Chung Road, and construction of amenity areas, drainage system and other ancillary works.

The works are scheduled to begin in November 1996 for completion in 30 months.

A notice of the proposed works was gazetted today (Friday).

22

The plan and scheme of the proposed works can be seen at the Public Enquiry Service Centre of the Central and Western District Office, the Islands District Lands Office and the Islands District Office and its Mui Wo Sub-office.

Any person objecting to the works should send his objection in writing to the Secretary for Transport, Central Government Offices, East Wing, second floor, Lower Albert Road, Central not later than February 20, 1996, describing his interest and the manner in which he will be affected.

End

Prequalification tenders invited for slaughterhouse

*****

The Architectural Services Department is inviting prequalification tenders for the detail design and construction of a slaughterhouse in Sheung Shui.

The slaughterhouse, to be built on a site of about 58,000 square metres in Area 2B of Sheung Shui, will have a capacity of slaughtering 5,000 pigs and 400 heads of cattle per day.

It will be a low-rise facility comprising lairages with a holding capacity of 12,000 pigs and 2,200 heads of cattle; a slaughter hall where pigs and cattle are slaughtered, dressed and inspected; a liquid waste treatment plant to treat effluent discharged from the slaughterhouse; an administration and amenities block; a meat dispatch area with parking facilities; a railway platform; and holding pens.

Construction work is scheduled to start in August 1996 for completion in late

1998.

Prequalification applications should be submitted to the Project Director (1), Architectural Services Department, Room 3508, 35th floor, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong before noon on Friday, January 12, 1996.

End

23

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million Time (hours} Cumulative change CSmillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,491 0930 -187

Closing balance in the account 2,169 1000 -187

Change attributable to : 1100 -187

Money market activity -182 1200 -182

LAF today -140 1500 -182

1600 -182

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 122.6 *+0.1* 22.12.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.69 2 years 2711 5.60 100.06 5.64

1 month 5.65 3 years 3810 6.15 100.91 5.88

3 months 5.57 5 years 5012 6.38 100.20 6.43

6 months 5.55 7 years 7211 6.82 100.77 6.79

12 months 5.55 5 years M502 7.30 102.58 6.78

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $22,635 million

Closed December 22, 1995

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

Saturday, December 23,1995

Contents Page No.

Elderly urged to become volunteers........................................ 1

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations...................... 2

Sunday, December 24,1995

Contents Page No,

Welfare recipients urged to watch out for tricksters...................... 3

Monday, December 25, 1995

Contents Page No,

Hong Kong's port retains top position..................................... 4

Smoking hazardous to industrial safety.................................... 5

Contractor fined for unsafe demolition.................................... 6

Elderly home operators urged to apply licence early....................... 7

Fully treated water flows into Sham Tseng and nearby areas................ 8

More counters to receive CNP applications................................. 8

Statutory holiday reminder............................................ 10

Tuesday, December 26, 1995

Contents Page No.

Study on propensity for office decentralisation.......................... 11

Appeal to remove defective advertising signs................................. 12

Builders' lifts safety ordinance to take effect this weekend................. 13

Invisible effort behind-the-"screens"........................................ 14

New Year holiday clinic service.............................................. 17

1

Elderly urged to become volunteers *****

Elderly who are interested in serving the community are urged to join an older volunteers programme to help other senior citizens in need of assistance.

About $4 million has been allocated from the Lotteries Fund to finance the Older Volunteers Programme which was launched in October this year on an experimental basis for two years, a spokesman for the Social Welfare Department said today (Saturday).

"The programme was an initiative of the report of the Working Group on Care for the Elderly, published in August last year, which recognises the need to mobilise elderly people to be effective and contributory members of society, and to develop a system to enable them to take part in activities in society as an important source of volunteers.

"All older volunteers recruited will be provided with adequate training and supervision by the eight operating non-governmental organisations (NGO)," the spokesman said.

There are eight project teams operated by eight multi-service centres for the elderly.

Some examples of the work to be carried out by the volunteers include community networking and neighbourhood support projects, reaching-out to elderly at risk, organising recreational and social activities for the elderly, visits to elderly people, patients and disabled people in hospitals, institutions and centres.

"Starting January next year, the eight multi-service centres concerned will introduce a telephone service whereby older volunteers will give concern calls to elderly people in need, and answer enquiries from the general public regarding information on community resources related to elderly service," the spokesman added.

Elderly wishing to join the programme may approach the following NGOs -

* Caritas Hong Kong - Yuen Long Multi-service Centre for the Elderly, 11-20A Ying Shui House, Shui Pin Wai Estate, Yuen Long (Tel 2479 7383);

* Christian Family Service Centre - Kwun Tong Multi-service Centre for the Elderly, 3-8B Block 45, Sau Mau Ping Estate (Tel 2727 1234);

Diocesan Welfare Council - Lok Man Alice Kwok Integrated Services Centre, ground floor, Block H, Lok Man Sun Chuen, To Kwa Wan (Tel 2333 1854);

2

* St James Settlement - Central and Western Multi-service Centre for the Elderly, 11th floor, Urban Council Sheung Wan Complex, 345 Queen's Road Central (Tel 2805 1251);

* Hong Kong Society for the Aged - Eastern District Multi-service Centre for the Elderly, ground floor, Provident Centre, 53 Wharf Road, North Point (Tel 2563 0187);

* Tung Wah Group of Hospitals - Wilson T S Wang Multi-service Centre for the Elderly, ground floor, Green Heron House, Sha Kok Estate, Sha Tin (Tel 2647 2511);

* The Salvation Army - Tai Po Multi-service Centre for the Elderly, second floor, Tai Po Community Centre, Heung Sze Wui Street, Tai Po (Tel 2653 6811); and

t

The Salvation Army - Yau Ma Tei Multi-service Centre for the Elderly, 11 Wing Shing Lane, Yau Ma Tei (Tel 2332 0005).

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

***** Cumulative Change ($ Million)

$ Million Time (Hours)

Opening Balance in the account 2,169 09:30 +140

Closing Balance in the account 2,134 10:00 +140

Change Attributable to: 11:00 + 140

Money Market Activity +140 11:30 + 140

LafToday -175

Laf Rate 4.25% Bid/6.25% Offer TWI 122.6 *+0.0* 23.12.95

End

3

Welfare recipients urged to watch out for tricksters

*****

The Social Welfare Department (SWD) today (Sunday) urged recipients of welfare assistance, the elderly in particular, to watch out for tricksters.

A spokesman for the department said no money would be demanded from SWD staff in the process of applying for Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) and Social Security Allowance (SSA).

"It has been found that elderly people receiving CSSA or SSA could easily fall prey to impostors who claimed to be officers of the SWD or volunteers.

"These unruly elements usually gained access into the premises of the elderly; victims and then robbed them of their money.

"We urge members of the public, including CSSA and SSA recipients, to be on guard against tricksters. They should check for the departmental identity cards of visitors who claim to be SWD staff," the spokesman said.

He stressed that the services of processing CSSA and SSA applications were entirely free of charge and any demand for money should be brought to the attention of the SWD or the Police for follow-up investigations.

<

To arouse public awareness, posters advising welfare recipients to beware of tricksters have been put up at the SWD’s 32 social security field units throughout the territory.

"In case of doubt, members of the public can call the nearest social security field unit or the SWD hotline 2343 2255,” he added.

End

4

Hong Kong’s port retains top position *****

Container terminal throughput figures for November indicate that Hong Kong is likely to retain its title as the world's busiest container port in 1995.

In the first 11 months of the year, the eight terminals at Kwai Chung handled 7.5 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units). That is an increase of 14 per cent over the same period in 1994.

Official figures for the whole port, which include mid-stream handling and river trade, are available only up to the end of August, but these show that Hong Kong handled 8.1 million TEUs in the first eight months of 1995.

Using the latest figures as a base, the Port Development Board estimates that Hong Kong's throughput will total 12.6 million TEUs in 1995.

The terminals will handle 8.3 million TEUs, some three million TEUs will be handled mid-stream and river trade will account for 1.3 million TEUs.

Hong Kong's figures for the eight months to the end of August were 346,000 TEUs more than Singapore, the world's second busiest container port, handled in the same period.

In August alone, Hong Kong handled 1.12 million TEUs. Singapore handled 1.04 million, the first time that Singapore handled one million TEUs in a month. Hong Kong passed the one million a month mark in July 1994 and handled more than one million TEUs a month from April to August 1995.

The 14 per cent increase in throughput for 1995 shows that Hong Kong is not suffering from port congestion. Port operators say that there is currently spare capacity at the Kwai Chung terminals.

Port Development Board Secretary, Mr Tony Clark, said that as growth continued this capacity was vital. "We are likely to have spare capacity to see us through 1996 and perhaps into 1997, but we will definitely need the first berth of our next terminal during 1998," he added.

Hong Kong has so far been able to handle its huge growth in throughput thanks largely to greatly increased productivity at the container terminals.

5

Two years ago the estimated capacity at Kwai Chung was 7.3 million TEUs a year. Thanks to heavy investment in new equipment and new working methods, the terminal operators have increased this to 9.15 million TEUs and are confident that they can expand this to more than 10 million TEUs a year.

End

Smoking hazardous to industrial safety *****

Workers in factories and catering establishments should not smoke in nonsmoking areas in their workplaces as such act could cause fire easily, especially during the dry season.

"Smoking in non-smoking areas is not only dangerous but also a selfish act as it may endanger the safety of both the smoker and his fellow workers," the Chief Factory Inspector of the Labour Department, Mr Chan Tat-king, said today (Monday).

He reminded workers that they had the duty under the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance to co-operate with their employers by adopting safety precautions in workplaces.

Any worker who fails to comply with safety regulations is liable to a maximum fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for six months.

In 1994, eight workers were prosecuted for smoking in non-smoking areas of notifiable workplaces. In the first 10 months of 1995, 11 prosecutions were taken out for the same offence.

End

6

Contractor fined for unsafe demolition * * ♦ ♦ *

A registered contractor and one of its employees have recently been fined a total of $40,000 at the Western Magistracy for unsafe demolition work at a site in Bowen Road.

The charges included the failure to provide adequate safety precautions and causing danger to members of the public. Both defendants pleaded guilty.

The contractor, Willey Construction and Engineering Company, was fined $30,000, and the employee $10,000.

Commenting on the case, the Assistant Director (Legal and Management) of the Buildings Department, Mr Cheng Wei-dart, reminded registered contractors of their duties to ensure safety on building and demolition sites.

"Under the Buildings Ordinance, registered contractors have the responsibility to supervise and ensure that all building and demolition works are carried out in a safe manner and in compliance with the plans approved by the Building Authority," he said.

Mr Cheng pointed out that the Buildings Department had issued clear guidelines for demolition works. Failure to follow the advice could jeopardise public safety.

"Our Site Monitoring Section is visiting sites regularly to deter dangerous operations.

"The Buildings Department expects building professionals and contractors to observe safety rules. We will take legal action whenever these rules are violated." Mr Cheng said.

End

7

Elderly home operators urged to apply licence early *****

Operators of residential care homes for the elderly are urged to apply for a licence or a certificate of exemption from the Social Welfare Department's Licensing Office of Residential Care Homes for the Elderly (LORCHE) as early as possible.

The LORCHE, officially established on April 1 this year in conjunction with the implementation of the Residential Care Homes (Elderly Persons) Ordinance, has so far received about 400 applications from residential care homes for the elderly, a spokesman for the department said today (Monday).

Applications for either a licence or a certificate of exemption should be forwarded to the LORCHE at Room 2354. 23rd floor. Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai.

"With the implementation of the new legislation, residential care homes for the elderly will have to comply with the licensing requirements on location, space, design, structure, safety, fire precaution, staffing and quality of care to the residents before they are allowed to operate," the spokesman said.

"The ordinance aims to regulate homes established for the residential care of elderly persons who have attained the age of 60 so as to ensure that these homes provide services of a reasonable standard and that the well-being of the elderly residents is safeguarded.

"Section 6 of the ordinance, which is scheduled to come into force on April 1, 1996, stipulates that any person, who on any occasion operates, keeps, manages or otherwise has control of a residential care home in respect of which neither a licence nor a certificate of exemption has been issued, commits an offence and is liable to a fine of $100,000 and imprisonment of two years."

Enquiries concerning licensing requirements as well as application procedures can be made on either 2961 7211 or 2834 7414.

End

8

Fully treated water flows into Sham Tseng and nearby areas * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Fully treated drinking water will be gushing through the taps of hundreds of households in Sham Tseng, Tsing Lung Tau and Ma Wan Island on Thursday (December 28).

This has been made possible by the completion of the first phase of the Water Supplies Department’s water treatment works in Sham Tseng.

’’With the commissioning of this new treatment plant, consumers in these areas who are now receiving chlorinated water will for the first time be supplied with fully treated water," a spokesman for the department said today (Monday).

"The Sham Tseng Water Treatment Works is a two-stage programme using primary and secondary processes of clarification and filtration as a means of achieving optimum water quality.

’’The quality of water is systematically monitored by means of chemical and bacteriological testing of water samples taken to ensure that the final water supplied to the consumers complies fully with the Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality recommended by the World Health Organization." he said.

Stage I of the project, which has now been completed, costs $97 million and is able to provide 23,000 cubic metres of treated water per day. Stage II of the project, which is now being designed, will increase the treated water capacity to 36,500 cubic metres per day when completed to meet future demand.

End

More counters to receive CNP applications *****

The six Local Control Offices (LCOs) of the Environmental Protection Department will be accepting applications for Construction Noise Permits (CNPs) starting January 2, 1996.

"Instead of having to make all applications at the Quarry Bay Office, relevant trades from January 2 can hand in applications for CNPs at. the relevant LCO responsible for the district where the construction work is to be carried out,” a Principal Environmental Protection Officer. Mr Steven Ho, said.

9

To facilitate the processing of their applications, he reminded applicants to arrange payment of the application fees by cheque when handing in their applications. The current application fee is $ 150.

The districts covered by the LCOs and their respective enquiry numbers are as follows -

LCOs Districts covered Enquiry Tel

Territory East Kwun Tong , Sai Kung, Wong Tai Sin 2707 7552

Territory South Hong Kong Island and Islands 2516 1733

Territory West Tuen Mun, Yuen Long 2411 9635

Territory North Sha Tin, Tai Po, North 2634 3805

Urban East Sham Shui Po, Kowloon City, Yau Tsim Mong 2402 5252

Urban West Tsuen Wan, Kwai Tsing 2417 6110

Application forms and information pamphlets on CNPs are available at all the LCOs.

End

10

Statutory holiday reminder

*****

The Labour Department today (Monday) reminded employers that January 1, 1996 (Monday) is one of the 11 statutory holidays for employees.

Under the Employment Ordinance, all employees, irrespective of their wage levels, are entitled to statutory holidays and must be paid for the day off if they have worked continuously for the same employer for three months or longer before the statutory holiday.

Holiday pay should be equivalent to an employee's earnings on a full working day and should include basic wages as well as allowances that can be expressed in money terms such as meals and cost of living allowances.

Where the earnings vary from day to day, holiday pay should be the average daily earnings during every complete wage period, which could be between 28 and 31 days, preceding the holiday.

If an employee is required to work on a statutory holiday, he must be given an alternative day off within 60 days before or after the holiday.

Enquiries about statutory holidays may be made at the Labour Department's General Enquiry Telephone Service on 2717 1771.

End

11

Study on propensity for office decentralisation * * * * *

The Planning Department has signed an agreement commissioning a firm to undertake a study to investigate the propensity for office decentralisation and to formulate an office land development strategy.

"The objective of the study is to identify the trends and key factors in determining the locations of commercial and government offices," a spokesman for the Planning Department said today (Tuesday).

"Based on the findings of the study, an office planning strategy will be formulated to set out the spatial distribution pattern of commercial and government offices of the territory for the year 2011, with particular emphasis on locations in the non-central business district areas, and the policy and institutional mechanisms necessary to enable its implementation," he said.

The study, comprising two surveys, will identify the mover type of offices and the pull and push factors which affect the propensity for office decentralisation.

Selected property developers, business firms and business organisations will also be interviewed to solicit their views on office development in non-metropolitan areas.

It will also assess the need for additional government office floor space up to the year 2011 and the possibility of new government offices taking the lead in office decentralisation.

The study will take about 14 months to complete.

" The concentration of office development on both sides of Victoria Harbour is one of the main reasons for traffic congestion during peak hours.

"It is hoped that the study will identify the opportunities for decentralising office," the spokesman added.

End

12

Appeal to remove defective advertising signs

*****

The Buildings Department today (Tuesday) urged property and shop owners to take the initiative to remove poorly maintained or abandoned advertising signs for public safety.

The Senior Structural Engineer (Dangerous Buildings) of the department, Mr Robinson Chung, made the appeal in the light of a recent clearance operation carried out by the department to remove a number of abandoned advertising signs in Mong Kok.

Mr Chung said these signs were found to be potentially dangerous during a district-wide survey on advertising signs started in Mong Kok in September this year.

"So far we have inspected more than 1,600 signs in the area and 45 of them were found to be defective. They will be removed by the Buildings Department and the removal cost will be recovered from the owners.

"The survey on advertising signs will continue and similar clearance operations will be carried out in other districts,* he said.

Mr Chung added that the department was enlisting the support of District Boards in conducting large-scale district-based clearance operations.

"In each operation, the department carries out systematic inspections and searches out any overhanging signboards which pose a threat to public safety.

"So far, the response from the District Boards has been encouraging and the operations are successful," he said.

Noting that public safety was the Government's prime concern, Mr Chung pointed out that it was the property or shop owners' responsibility to ensure safe installation and maintenance of advertising signs.

"There are more than 180,000 advertising signs in the territory and the figure increases by about six per cent each year.

"Before putting up overhanging signboards, people should seek professional advice for safe design and maintenance. They must also ensure that the signs are properly maintained after installation," he said.

13

Members of the public could also make reports to the Buildings Department if they find any advertising signs which are posing danger to public safety, Mr Chung said.

The 24-hour Building Safety hotline is 2626 1234.

End

Builders’ lifts safety ordinance-to take effect this weekend . ♦ * * * *

The Builders' Lifts and Tower Working Platforms (Safety) Ordinance, which aims to strengthen the safety of such installations on construction sites, will become effective from Saturday (December 30).

The ordinance provides a comprehensive control over the design, construction,’ maintenance, testing, examination and operation of builders' lifts and tower working platforms.

Under the ordinance, owners of these installations would be required to retain the services of a registered contractor to carry out any erection, dismantling or maintenance of their equipment, a spokesman for the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) said today (Tuesday).

"The registered contractor is required by law to notify EMSD of any installations to be carried out or modified.

"He is also required to employ a registered examiner to carry out test and examination after completion of installation or after major alterations," the spokesman added.

Application for operation of the equipment should be submitted to EMSD for approval before the equipment is put into use or re-use.

The registered contractor should carry out weekly maintenance and keep a log book which may be examined by EMSD and arrange for testing and examination of the installation by a registered examiner every six months.

The contractors and examiners have to be registered with EMSD.

14

The spokesman pointed out that the ordinance had empowered the Director of Electrical and Mechanical Services to monitor the use and operation of builders’ lifts and tower working platforms, to stop the use of unsafe installations, to enter construction sites to inspect the installations and to investigate accidents in connection with the installations.

’’Anyone breaching the safety requirements specified in the ordinance is liable to a maximum fine of $200,000 and imprisonment for 12 months," he said.

Meanwhile, EMSD has produced a bilingual pamphlet entitled "Safe Use of A Builder's Lift and Tower Working Platform" to promote the safe use of these installations.

Copies of the pamphlet have been distributed to various trade associations and institutions. They are also available free of charge at all District Offices of the Home Affairs Department.

End

Invisible effort bchind-the-"scrcens"

*****

It is a really comfy and snugly thing to sit in front of your television and view your favourite television programme, especially after a hard day’s work.

But you may not be aware that the impeccably clear vision in front of you requires the hard work of others.

"It is our duty to regulate the use of radio communication equipment and to ensure that the reception of television programmes is free from unwanted interference," said a Senior Controller of Telecommunications, Mr Andrew Tang of the Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA).

It is not strange to us that OFTA is in charge of regulation and licensing of telecommunications services. But it also looks after the technical regulation of television and sound broadcasting services and prepares plans for the installation of new transposers in order to improve coverage.

15

Mr Tang continued: "We have a Radio Monitoring Unit to investigate complaints concerning poor reception of television and sound broadcasting services.

"Every day the unit receives calls concerning interference to telecommunication network and broadcasting reception from the public. Its six mobile monitoring teams act on interference complaints including TV reception interference."

In order to cater to those television viewers who will only be at home in the evening, one of the mobile teams works from 4 pm to 11 pm Monday to Friday except public holidays.

The interference complaint hotline, telephone 2389 8131, operates round-the-clock. From 8 am to 11 pm staff of the unit will answer enquiries and handle complaints. For calls received by the recording machine after 11 pm, they will be handled the following day.

Listening to complainants' grumble is a humdrum job, it may seem. But to the unit, it needs specialised consideration as the staff have to decide what steps to be taken when receiving complaints over the phone.

They have to try to get as much information as possible from the complainants to screen out those complaints which are caused by faulty audio-visual equipment rather than radio interference.

Experience has shown that around 80 per cent of the complaints reported are caused by deficiencies and fault in the television sets or by inadequate or badly set-up aerials.

"So, when a complainant lodges a complaint over the phone, we will ask him a few simple questions, usually on the ’symptoms' the television set has. Some problems can be solved just by giving the complainant advice over the phone.

"Among the complaints we receive, the most common symptoms are multiple pictures such as 'ghosting' or grainy picture, as often referred to as ’snow’," a Controller of Telecommunications of the unit, Mr fam Kwong-ming, said.

If your television set has the above symptoms, experienced Tam can give you some tips to remedy the situation.

"You may adjust the direction in which the aerial is pointing or tune the television receiver to obtain better vision. If the problem still exists, you'd better have to consult your radio dealer or aerial installer," he said.

16

Yet sometimes the problem you have may not be that simple.

For example, images of two channels appear on the screen at the same time, uneven bands of spots or "mesh fabric" pattern come into sight which you find disturbing.

"Don’t worry. All you have to do is to report the case to us and we will follow it up as soon as possible," said Mr Tam with a smile, "It's always our pleasure to help the public to solve problems."

Upon receipt of complaints of that nature, the unit will request the complainant to fill in a form on television reception interference in order to obtain more information on the case before carrying out on-site investigation.

The form will be sent to complainants either by fax or by mail.

"We usually will send the mobile monitoring team to investigate within three days after receiving the form," Mr Tam added.

"In case like that, only on-site investigation can locate the source of interference, specially with the help of the portable spectrum analyser."

With regard to the spectrum analyser, staff of the unit have a mixed bag of feelings with this 30-pound equipment.

"The analyser is really great and useful as it can locate the source of interference which cannot be detected by equipment in our radio monitoring station," Mr Tam said.

"However, it weighs a ton. We will be out of breath after taking it through several storeys of a building which does not have any lift!" a staff of the unit said.

"On-site investigation is no easy task. Difficulty mounts when the rooftop has hundreds of aerials standing to greet you.

"No doubt, investigation will be much easier if the building has stalled communal aerial."

It usually takes the mobile monitoring team a half day to complete the investigation of a complaint.

17

Despite the long time taken to complete a case, the unit can still provide a high standard of service and achieve its performance targets.

For 1994-95, over 90 per cent of the cases are investigated within 10 working days. To live up to the slogan "Serving the Community", higher targets are set out for 1995-96.

"We hope that 95 per cent of the cases would be investigated within 10 days," Mr Tang said.

End

New Year holiday clinic service

*****

Eight general out-patient clinics will remain open between 9 am and 1 pm on Sunday (December 31) and Monday (January 1), which are the New Year's Eve and the first week-day in January, the Department of Health announced today (Tuesday).

They are - the Violet Peel Health Centre and Shau Kei Wan Jockey Club Clinic on Hong Kong Island; the Kwun Tong Jockey Club Health Centre, Robert Black Health Centre and Yau Ma Tei Jockey Club Clinic in Kowloon; the Lady Trench Polyclinic, Shek Wu Hui Jockey Club Clinic and Yuen Long Jockey Club Health Centre in the New Territories.

All other general out-patient and evening clinics will be closed on these two

days.

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

Wednesday, December 27,1995

Contents Page No,

Three bills to address traffic congestion.................................... 1

Investigations into sinking of pleasure vessel continue...................... 3

Draft civic education guidelines issued for consultation..................... 4

Renminbi to be included as prescribed currency............................... 4

New regulation for insurance companies....................................... 5

Water storage figure......................................................... g

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

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

1

Three bills to address traffic congestion *****

The Governor-in-Council has given approval for three bills to be introduced into the Legislative Council to empower the administration to implement fiscal measures to address traffic congestion when the need arises.

The bills - the Road Traffic (Amendment)(No 3) Bill 1995, the Eastern Harbour Crossing Road Tunnel (Passage Tax) Bill and the Inland Revenue (Amendment)(No 4) Bill 1995 will be published in the Government Gazette on Friday (December 29).

A government spokesman said today (Wednesday) that the bills were part of a number of measures to address traffic congestion endorsed by the Govemor-in-Council at its meeting on July 25, 1995.

The Road Traffic Ordinance (Amendment)(No 3) Bill 1995 will empower the administration to raise the Annual Licence Fees (ALF) of vehicles for reasons other than cost recovery.

The spokesman said the administration did not intend to raise ALF or the First Registration Tax for the time being as there had been a significant decline in new car registrations recently.

’’However, we require the power to increase ALF as a measure to deter car ownership should this prove necessary in future," the spokesman said.

"Actual implementation would be subject to the approval of the Legislative Council by resolution," he added.

The Eastern Harbour Crossing Road Tunnel (Passage Tax) Bill will enable a tax to be imposed on vehicles using the Eastern Harbour Crossing Road Tunnel.

The spokesman said the cross harbour tunnels were operating at full capacity and there could be no relief until the Western Harbour Crossing opened in 1997.

"In recognition of this, the Govemor-in-Council has decided that enabling legislation should be drafted to permit the imposition of and increase in passage tax at cross harbour tunnels.

2

"Proposals on the timing of the introduction of such tax and the actual amounts involved will be submitted to the Executive Council for consideration, and actual implementation will also be subject to the approval of the Legislative Council by resolution," he added.

At present, the Cross Harbour Tunnel (Passage Tax) Ordinance already provides that the passage tax at the Cross Harbour Tunnel can be increased by means of a Legislative Council resolution.

The Inland Revenue (Amendment)(No 4) Bill 1995 seeks to amend the existing law to discontinue tax concessions given in relation to acquisitions and use of company-owned cars.

"The administration considered that these tax concessions provide a positive incentive for companies to purchase private cars which, given our congestion problem, is not acceptable," the spokesman said.

"Under the new provisions, no outgoings or expenses incurred in connection with the acquisition, financing, leasing, maintenance, operation or use of a private car shall be deducted in the calculation of a person’s assessable income as well as in the calculation of taxable profits.

"An exception will be made for car dealers, who will continue to be entitled to such deductions in respect of their trading stock.

"The exception will be made because such expenses arise directly as an integral part of the cost of stock-in-trade rather than through the ownership and use of private cars," he said.

The bill also excludes private cars from the ambit of machinery or plant so that depreciation allowance grantable under the ordinance will not be granted in respect of private cars.

The three bills will be introduced into the Legislative Council on January 10, 1996.

End

3

Investigations into sinking of pleasure vessel continue

*****

The Marine Department is continuing its investigations into the incident in which a pleasure vessel with four persons on board sank near Tung Chung, North Lantau around 12.30 am on December 25, a Marine Department spokesman said today (Wednesday).

It was reported that the pleasure vessel collided with an unknown object or a private mooring near the Brothers.

Marine Department records show that the pleasure vessel is an outboard motor cruiser of 7.3 metres long, fitted with a 255 horsepower outboard petrol engine capable of cruising at a maximum speed of about 35 knots.

The department this afternoon interviewed the owner of the vessel, who holds a valid master certificate for this type of vessels.

Investigations also revealed that the four persons on board the pleasure vessel at the material time were not holding master and engineer certificates for this type of vessels.

The spokesman pointed out that private moorings in the area were assigned to vessels engaged in various airport core programme projects.

"All private moorings in Hong Kong waters are not required to be fitted with lights as they are always away from all shipping lanes." he said.

"Nevertheless since the beginning of this month, the department has broadcast at hourly intervals a navigational warning concerning unlit buoys in the area."

The buoy in question together with other such buoys in the area have recently been repainted with highly visible paint.

In response to suggestions put forth by the Marine Police, the department has taken a series of action which included the removal of one illegal mooring buoy.

"Contractors have been instructed to make sure that the lights on marker buoys are properly displayed and owners of all unlit mooring buoys have been instructed to repaint the buoys w ith highly visible paint." the spokesman said.

End

4

Draft civic education guidelines issued for consultation

*****

A 10-week public consultation exercise started today (Wednesday) on the Draft Guidelines on Civic Education in Schools, which is intended for implementation from the 1996-97 school year.

Copies of the draft guidelines are being sent to schools, educational bodies and district boards.

The draft guidelines are the work of the Working Group on the Review of the Guidelines on Civic Education. The working group, with non-official members coming from schools, tertiary institutions and educational bodies, was appointed by the Director of Education.

The new guidelines are to replace the existing ones issued in 1985, and will be discussed by the Curriculum Development Council before implementation in schools in September 1996.

The Education Department will organise four seminars in February 1996 to brief school heads, teachers and educational bodies on the draft guidelines.

Comments and suggestions on the draft guidelines are welcome and should be sent to the Secretary, Working Group on the Review of the Guidelines on Civic Education, 13th Floor, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai not later than March 9, 1996.

End

Renminbi to be included as prescribed currency

*****

The currency of China, Renminbi, will be included as a prescribed currency in Hong Kong under the Money Changers Ordinance.

The Money Changers Ordinance (Amendment of Schedules) Notice 1995, which seeks to include Renminbi as a prescribed currency and to make some textual amendments to the Schedules to the Ordinance, will be gazetted on Friday (December 29).

A government spokesman said: "The ordinance provides for the disclosure by money changers of exchange rates on exchange transactions.

\

5

"At present, a total of 15 currencies are prescribed under Schedule 3 to the ordinance."

He noted: "Following the change in China's policy on exchange control, it was estimated that in 1993, spending by visitors from China after March 1993 constituted nearly 14 per cent of the total spending from all visitors during the year.

"The figure went up to 17 per cent in 1994 and reached 19 per cent in the first half of 1995.

"This share of spending, which exceeded those by visitors from Europe, the United States and even Japan, indicates the substantial volume of Renminbi being involved in money changing transactions in Hong Kong and warrants the need to include Renminbi as a prescribed currency under the Money Changers Ordinance, for the better protection of the visitors."

"Letters were sent to all money changers known to the Government earlier this month informing them of the need to comply with the provisions under the Ordinance," the spokesman added.

"They are required to display the net rates of exchange of Renminbi on their notice boards as soon as the amendment notice is gazetted."

End

New regulation for insurance companies *****

A new regulation to provide a standard and prudent basis for the valuation of assets and liabilities in respect of general business for the purposes of determining an insurer's solvency under the Insurance Companies Ordinance will be gazetted on Friday (December 29).

The new regulation prescribes different valuation requirements for different categories of assets and liabilities, which include land and buildings, shares and securities, and investments in subsidiary companies.

The regulation also stipulates the percentage limits permissible for different categories of assets in order to ensure a prudent spread of investments by an insurer.

6

A government spokesman said today (Wednesday) that in the past, there had been no standard valuation basis on which the assets and liabilities in respect of general business were to be valued.

"Although the existing ordinance provides some guidelines for valuation, they are non-specific and non-standard," the spokesman said.

"The absence of a standard valuation basis is undesirable as any overstatement of asset values or understatement of liability values would undermine the protection to policy holders intended by the solvency margin requirement under the ordinance.

"Following the introduction of this regulation, the protection of policy holders' interest, as well as the financial stability of the insurance industry, will be enhanced," the spokesman said.

A transitional period of 12 months is allowed for existing insurers to prepare for compliance with the regulation.

"The regulation will however apply immediately to an insurer which is authorised after its commencement," the spokesman added.

End

Water storage figure *****

Storage in Hong Kong's reservoirs at 9 am today (Wednesday) stood at 87 per cent of capacity or 509.822 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 435.188 million cubic metres of water, representing 74.3 per cent of capacity.

End

- 7 -

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results

*****

Tender date 27 Dec 95 27 Dec 95

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q552 Y597

Issue date 28 Dec 95 28 Dec 95

Maturity date 27 Mar 96 27 Dec 96

Coupon - -

Amount applied HK$5,430 MN HK$2,360 MN

Amount allotted HK$ 1,500 MN HK$500 MN

Average yield accepted 5.53 PCT 5.50 PCT

Highest yield accepted 5.54 PCT 5.52 PC I

Pro rata ratio About 50 PCT About 10 PCT

Average tender yield 5.56 PCT 5.54 PCT

8

I long Kong Monetary Authority

Tenders to be held in the week beginning January 2, 1996 -

Tender date 2 Jan 96 2 Jan 96

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q601 11655

Issue date 3 Jan 96 3 Jan 96

Maturity date 3 Apr 96 3 Jul 96

Tenor 91 days 182 days

Amount on offer HK$ 1,500+300 MN HK$800+160MN

End

I long Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million fimc (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,134 0930 + 169

Closing balance in the account 2,260 1000 + 169

Change attributable to : 1100 + 146

Money market activity + 146 1200 + 146

LAF today -20 1500 + 146

1600 + 146

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 122.6 *+0.0* 27.12.95

9

Hong Kong Monetary' Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.93 2 years 2711 5.60 100.13 5.60

1 month 5.66 3 years 3810 6.15 101.03 5.83

3 months 5.57 5 years 5012 6.38 100.43 6.38

6 months 5.55 7 years 7211 6.82 101.10 6.73

12 months 5.54 5 years M502 7.30 102.76 6.73

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $12,401 million

Closed December 27, 1995

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

Thursday, December 28,1995

Contents Page Nil

Statement on establishment of the Preparatory Committee................ 1

Transcript of CS’s media session....................................... 2

Governor to have week-long holiday with family......................... 2

Appointments to the Consumer Council................................... 3

Provisional statistics of retail sales for October..................... 4

Investigation into foundering of local pleasure craft.................. 7

OCs empowered to maintain effective building management................ 7

10 language projects receive funding................................... 8

Hand-written Chinese Input Systems donated to schools................. 12

Appointments to the Metrication Committee............................. 12

General Household Survey quarterly report published................... 13

Welfare payment arrangements for New Year holiday..................... 14

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations.................. 14

1

Statement on establishment of the Preparatory Committee

*****

Commenting on the establishment of the Preparatory Committee, a government spokesman today (Thursday) said: "We look forward to co-operating with the Preparatory Committee to work for a successful transition.

"The Preparatory Committee will play an important role in the establishment of the SAR Government. It is therefore in Hong Kong’s interest that we should cooperate with it.

"We have made it clear that the Hong Kong Government will offer assistance to the Preparatory Committee to enable it to carry out its work.

"The co-operation we provide will be guided by the basic principles set out in the Governor’s Policy Address to the Legislative Council last October, namely:

- The arrangements for co-operation are fully consistent with the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law and are in the interests of Hong Kong;

- The authority and credibility of the Hong Kong Government are not compromised; and

- The morale and confidence of the civil service are not affected and that civil servants are not subjected to conflicting loyalties."

The spokesman said: "A HK Government Liaison Office will be the focal point of contact for providing assistance to the Preparatory Committee. We look forward to regular contact between the PC Secretariat and our Liaison Office."

End

2

Transcript of CS’s media session *****

The following is the transcript of the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan's media session after attending the opening ceremony of the UK International Salon of Photography Exhibition at City Hall today (Thursday):

Question: What will the Government be prepared to offer to the Preparatory Committee?

Chief Secretary: We would hope to co-operate with the Preparatory Committee in every way that we can. Of course, the details how the Preparatory Committee will go about its work still needs discussions with the Chinese. But as you know, we are setting up a Liaison Office which will be a focal point of contact between the Secretariat of the Preparatory Committee and the Government. The Liaison Office will be staffed with a small team of officials. Most of the work, in fact, will be done by the individual Branches depending on the information that the Preparatory Committee requires. But details still need discussing with the Chinese.

Question: How should they operate in order to win their credibility ?

CS: How should they operate? I don’t think it is for me to suggest. I am sure that the Preparatory Committee and all members of the Preparatory Committee will wish to as fully as possible reflect the views of the Hong Kong people and that they, like us, would wish to work for a smooth transition and to ensure Hong Kong’s continuous prosperity and stability.

End

Governor to have week-long holiday with family

*****

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, will leave Hong Kong on Saturday (December 30) to spend a week-long holiday in the Philippines with his family. He will return to Hong Kong on January 6.

During his absence, the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, will be Deputy to the Governor.

End

3

Appointments to the Consumer Council ♦ ♦ * * *

A government spokesman announced today (Thursday) that the Financial Secretary has appointed 17 members to the Consumer Council for a period of one to two years with effect from January 1, 1996.

Five existing members have been re-appointed to the Consumer Council for a period of two years. They are Mr William Francis Archambaud Chao, Dr John Ho Dit-sang, Prof Joseph Lai Ki-leuk. Dr Albert Leung Wing-nang and Mr Tim Lui Tim-leung.

Another four members have been re-appointed for a period of one year. They are Mr Chan Yan-leung, Dr Sarah Liao Sau-tung, Mr Herman To Yung-sing and Mr Peter Wong Tung-shun.

Eight new members have been appointed to the Consumer Council for a period of one year. They are Mr Cheng Shu-ming, Mr Lester Kwok Chi-hang, Mrs Katherine Shum Ou Fai-kuen, Dr So Kai-ming, Dr Tsang Shu-ki, Mr Wong Kwok-kei, Mr William Wu Shu-cherk and Mr Benjamin Yu, QC.

Mr Cheng is the general manager of an insurance agency. He was a member of the Yuen Long District Board from 1991 to 1994 and has been the Chairman of the Yuen Long District Fight Crime Committee since 1991.

Mr Kwok is a managing director in a retailing business.

Mrs Shum is a housewife and is active in arts, culture and education.

Dr So is a medical practitioner and solicitor. He is the Vice-president of the Hong Kong Medical Association.

Mr Yu is a barrister and an Hon Lecturer in the University of Hong Kong.

Dr Tsang is an economist and an Associate Professor in Economics in the Hong Kong Baptist University.

Mr Wong is a social worker and also an elected member of the Yau Tsim Mong District Board.

Mr Wu is a marine engineer and the managing director of a company in international maritime.

4

Retiring from the Council are Ms Audrey Eu Yuet-mee, QC, Ms Sara Ho Suk-ching, Dr Law Cheung-kwok, Mr Lee Kam-hung, Mr Man Mo-leung, Dr Anthony Ng Sung-man, Mr Clement Tao Kwok-lau and Mrs Yuen Chan Po-hing.

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

End

Provisional statistics of retail sales for October *****

According to the provisional figures released today (Thursday) by the Census and Statistics Department, the value of total retail sales in October 1995, estimated at $17.7 billion, increased by 3% when compared with October 1994. After discounting the effect of price changes over the period, total retail sales dropped by 2% in volume.

Sales of motor vehicles continued to decline significantly, by 35% in value and 38% in volume. Sales of fuels and consumer durable goods (other than motor vehicles) also went down, by 3% and 2% in value respectively. In terms of volume, they decreased by 9% and 6% respectively.

Meanwhile, sales in supermarkets and department stores rose by 6% and 2% in value but went down by 2% and 7% in volume respectively. Concurrently, sales of food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco recorded virtually no change in value but a decrease of 7% in volume.

Nevertheless, there were still increases in sales of clothing and footwear (13% in value and 3% in volume); jewellery, watches and clocks and valuable gifts (12% in value and 11% in volume) and miscellaneous consumer goods (10% in value and 5% in volume).

5

Compared with September 1995 (but bearing in mind that this comparison may be affected by seasonal factors), total retail sales in October 1995 increased by 2% in value and 1% in volume.

Comparing the period from January to October 1995 with the same period in 1994, total retail sales rose by 5% in value, but dropped by 1% in volume.

The volume of retail sales is derived from the value of retail sales after adjusting for price changes. The relevant components of the Consumer Price Index are used as deflators.

Table 1 presents the revised total retail sales figure for September 1995 and the provisional figure for October 1995.

Table 2 shows the value and volume indices of retail sales in October 1994, September and October 1995 for all retail outlets and by type of retail outlet, with average retail sales from October 1989 to September 1990 taken as 100. Comparisons of the October 1995 results with those for September 1995 and those for October 1994, as well as comparisons of retail sales in the period from January to October 1995 with the same period in 1994 are also given.

The report containing the analysis of the October 1995 results is now on sale at S4 per copy at the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, ground floor, Low Block, 66 Queensway; and the Publications Unit of the Census and Statistics Department, 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai.

I

Enquiries about the survey results may be directed to the Wholesale and Retail Trade Statistics Section of the Census and Statistics Department on 2802 1258.

6

I

TABLE 1 : TOTAL RETAIL SALES

Total Retail Sales for October 1995 (Provisional Figure) = HKS17,686.1 million

J *> z'.

for September 1995 (Revised Figure) = HK$17,347.8 million

TABLE 2 : VALUE AND VOLUME INDICES OF RETAIL SALES FOR OCTOBER 1994. SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER 1995

(Monthly average o f Oct 89 - Sept 90 ■ 100)

Index Nunber X Change

Type of Outlet Type of Index October 1994 (Revised figures) September 1995 (Revised figures) October 1995 (Provisional figures) Oct 1995 compared with Sep 1995 Oct 1995 compared with Oct 1994 Jan Jan - Oct 1995 zompared with - Oct 1994

(A) FOR ALL RETAIL OUTLETS Value Volume (Point) 182.4 139.9 (Point) 184.7 136.0 (Point) 188.3 136.9 (X) ♦2.0 ♦0.7 (X) ♦3.2 -2.1 (X) ♦4.7 •1.5

(B) BY TYPE OF RETAIL OUTLETS

Food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco (other than supermarkets) Value Volume 140.4 106.3 148.1 100.4 140.8 98.7 -4.9 -1.7 ♦0.3 -7.1 +3.8 -3.2

Supermarkets 0 Value Volume 151.9 106.0 184.9 120.1 161.3 104.2 -12.8 -13.2 ♦6.2 -1.8 ♦8.0 ♦0.1

Fuels Value Volume 166.3 114.5 168.7 109.1 161.0 104.0 -4.6 -4.6 -3.2 -9.1 ♦5.6 -1.5

Clothing, footwear and allied products Value Volume 259.4 173.4 269.1 176.3 293.8 179.1 ♦9.2 ♦1.6 ♦13.3 ♦3.3 ♦13.4 ♦3.0

Consumer durable goods Value Volume 176.6 142.8 174.0 139.3 147.2 117.0 -15.4 -16.0 -16.6 -18.0 -11.5 -14.8

- Motor vehicles and parts Value Volume 181.8 125.7 134.2 88.9 117.3 77.5 -12.6 -12.9 -35.$ -38.4 -26.7 -33.0

- Consumer durable goods other than motor vehicles and parts Value Vo I une 172.8 155.1 202.7 175.8 168.8 145.7 •16.7 -17.2 -2.3 -6.1 # -3.9

Department stores Value Volune 143.1 101.5 138.5 94.7 145.6 94.6 ♦5.1 -0.1 ♦1.7 -6.7 ♦3.7 -4.8

Jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts Value Volune 169.6 158.5 164.7 151.9 190.3 175.6 ♦15.6 ♦15.6 ♦12.2 ♦10.8 ♦5.7 ♦3.8

Other consumer goods not elsewhere classified Value Volume 254.4 197.5 243.7 181.3 279.5 206.7 ♦14.7 ♦ 14.0 ♦9.9 ♦4.7 ♦ 13.9 ♦8.$

NOTE : 0 Not including supermarkets operating in department stores. # denotes a figure within ±0.05 The underlined figures were rounded up to 5.

End

7

Investigation into foundering of local pleasure craft

*****

The Director of Marine, Mr Ian Dale, in accordance with the powers granted under section 58 of the Shipping and Port Control Ordinance, today (Thursday) appointed Surveyor of Ships (Nautical), Captain Y K Li, to investigate the circumstances surrounding the foundering of the locally licensed pleasure (Licence No PV4477) which occurred in the area between the Brothers and Chek Lap Kok at about 12.50 am on December 25, 1995.

End

OCs empowered to maintain effective building management

*****

The Government encourages effective building management and the Building Management Ordinance has provided a legal framework for owners and property managers to work towards this goal, an Assistant Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Patrick Lin, said today (Thursday).

Mr Lin said at an Eastern District Board meeting that the ordinance was enacted in 1993 to facilitate the formation of owners' corporations (OCs) and to provide for the management of buildings.

"Sections 14 and 18(1) of the ordinance provide OCs with the power to make resolutions for the control, management and administration of buildings, and to maintain the common parts and the properly of the corporation in a stale of good and serviceable repair and clean condition," he said.

"When passing resolutions, OCs should have regard to these provisions and the terms of their Deeds of Mutual Covenant. Legal advice should be sought as appropriate."

Responding to some members' concerns over Ihe ramification of the Supreme Court judgement on the Bayview Mansion case, Mr Lin said the judgement was only a single case and had not affected the duties and powers of OCs under sections 14 and 18(1) of the ordinance.

8

’’Owners' corporations should continue to exercise these duties and powers as stipulated in the ordinance to maintain their buildings in a state of good and serviceable repair and clean condition," he stressed.

"The Attorney General's Chambers had studied the judgement and the Government is considering proposing amendments to the ordinance to clarify that renovation and decorative works arc covered by sections 14 and 18(1) of the ordinance."

End

. 10 language projects receive funding

*****

The acting Director of Education and Trustee of the Language Fund. Mr Kwan Ting-fai, today (Thursday) approved funds totalling $3,423 million to 10 language improvement projects recommended by the Language Fund Advisory Committee.

Of the 10 successful applications which arc aimed at improving language proficiency of students, teachers and members of the public, seven arc Chinese language (including Putonghua) projects, two English language projects and one concerning improving proficiency in both Chinese and English.

A spokesman for the Language Fund Secretarial said: "There is a good combination of research, teaching and learning materials, courses, reading award projects as well as day camps for secondary students.

"All the projects meet the stringent criteria set by the Language Fund Advisory Committee and should be a great help in raising language proficiency and improving motivation for language learning."

1 Ie noted that among the successful bidders two projects were on the production of a TV series on the correct usage of Chinese and video tapes on "Cantonese Programme" for primary and secondary schools.

There are also two research projects on the development of students' grammatical competence and language standards and assessment for student teachers.

"Endorsement of these projects shows the Language Fund's support for projects enhancing language proficiency al the communily/workforce level." the spokesman said.

9

The Language Fund was set up in May last year. It was a trust fund held under the Director of Education Incorporation Ordinance with an initial allocation of $300 million.

The main objective of the Fund is to support proposals and initiatives which will raise the standards in Chinese (including Putonghua) and English, enhance existing efforts and meet temporary shortfalls in language teaching resources. In addition, it also designs to encourage research into problem areas and initiation of new approaches.

10

Chinese Language (Including Putonghua! Projects

Project Organisation/ Co-ordinator Amount of Grant and Duration of Project

Organisation of Parent-Child Reading Programme for primary 1 and primary 2 students in 1996 YCHHoSikNam Primary School $0,017 million over 4 months

Production of “Cantonese Programme” in the form of VHS videos for primary and secondary schools in 1996 Radio Television Hong Kong $0.32 million over 6 months

Production of TV series on the correct usage of Chinese to be broadcast in 1996 Radio Television Hong Kong $1.5 million over 6 months

Organisation of Journals Writing and Reports Reading Programme in the school in 1995-96 Lee Chi Tat Memorial School $0.03 million over 1 academic year

Conducting a pilot project on the use of a computerized note-book as a communication aid for children with severe speech disorders starting in 1996 Hong Kong Red Cross John F. Kennedy Centre $0.1 million over 2 years

Running of Putonghua courses for parents and children to learn together in 1996-97 Christian Family Service Centre $0,016 million over I year

Production of Putonghua radio programmes in the form of cassette tapes for distribution to all secondary schools, youth centres and public libraries in 1996 Radio Television Hong Kong $0.2 million over 4 months

11

English Projects

Project Organisation/ Co-ordinator Amount of Grant.and Duration of Project

Conducting a research project on the development of junior secondary students' grammatical competence in English starting in 1996 Mr. David Coniam $0.27 million over 3 1/2 years

Organisation of English-speaking day camps for secondary school students in 1996-97 Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union $0.28 million over 15 months

Cross Language Project

Project Organisation/ Co-ordinator Amount of Grant and Duration of Project

Conducting a research project on development of language standards and assessment in Chinese, English and Putonghua for student teachers in 1996 Hong Kong Institute of Education $0.69 million over 1 year

Language Fund Secretariat December 1995

End

12

Hand-written Chinese Input Systems donated to schools

*****

The Education Department is providing a 1 land-written Chinese Input System. PenPower Version 4. to about 1,300 primary and secondary schools with computer systems from December 1995.

The project was enabled by a more than $2 million donation from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. About 1.000 primary and secondary schools will receive the systems within the next two to three months.

The Input System operates in conjunction with Chinese Windows and the School Administration and Management Systems (SAMS). It "recognises" the supplementary font library provided by the Education Department.

PenPower also allows users to alternate between using the mouse and manually inputting Chinese characters. Moreover, frequently used sentences can be assigned to a "vocabulary library" to simplify data entry.

In the past, inputting Chinese characters in computers required special training. As a result, school administrations often lacked personnel capable of doing the inputting. With the Hand-written Chinese Input System, virtually any staff can input Chinese characters easily and effectively.

The system enhances the efficiency in using SAMS.

End

Appointments to the Metrication Committee

* * * * *

The Government will announce in the Government Gazette tomorrow (Friday) appointments to the Metrication Committee.

Mr K Y Tongson has been re-appointed Chairman of the Metrication Committee for one year with effect from January I. 1996 and Mr Tommy I.i Ying-sang appointed Vice-Chairman for two years with effect from the same date.

13

The following non-official members have been re-appointed for a period of two years from January 1, 1996: Mrs Alice Chan, Mr Chan Wing-kai, Mr Peter Cheung Yiu-tak, Mr Kwan Kon-wah, Mr Li Li-rnan and Mr Anthony Wan Hing-yuen.

Mr Chen Yee-mau and Mr Lee Kwong-lam have newly been appointed to serve as members of the committee for the same period.

The committee also comprises representatives from the Trade and Industry Branch, Home Affairs Department, Information Services Department and Customs and Excise Department.

"The focus of our promotional efforts in the coming two years will continue to be put on the retail sector. We will actively seek opportunities for co-operation with the retail sector in the promotion of metrication," a government spokesman said.

End

General Household Survey quarterly report published ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The report on the General Household Survey for July to September 1995 is now available. It contains statistics on employment, unemployment and underemployment for the quarter.

The quarterly report also contains detailed analysis of the characteristics of members of the labour force, including their age, sex, educational attainment, activity status, occupation, industry, hours worked per week and monthly employment earnings.

Data on reasons for unemployment and duration of unemployment for the unemployed are also presented in the report.

Copies of the report, at $32 each, can be obtained from the Government Publications Centre, ground floor, Low Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong.

End

14

Welfare payment arrangements for New Year holiday ***** . !

Recipients of Comprehensive Social Security Assistance under the bank payment system may receive their payments on Saturday (December 30) if their payday falls on the coming New Year's Day (January 1).

A spokesman for the Social Welfare Department said today (Thursday) that special payment arrangements would also be made for recipients of Social Security Allowance whose pay-day fell on January 1.

Those who have bank accounts in Hong Kong Bank or Hang Seng Bank will receive their payments on Saturday whereas those with accounts in other banks will receive their payments next Tuesday (January 2).

In > case of doubt, recipients are advised to contact their respective social security field units.

End

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

Cumulative

Time change

$ million (hours) (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account Closing balance in the account 2,260 2,202 0930 1000 +42 +42

Change attributable to : ' •’ ■! 1100 +42

Money market activity +42 1200 +42

LAF today , 1 -100 1500 +42

1600 +42

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 122.5 *-0.1* 28.12.95

15

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.95 2 years 2711 5.60 100.17 5.58

1 month 5.67 3 years 3810 6.15 101.12 5.79

3 months 5.56 5 years 5012 6.38 100.60 6.33

6 months 5.54 7 years 7211 6.82 101.39 6.67

12 months 5.52 5 years M502 7.30 102.95 6.67

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $6,781 million

Closed December 28, 1995

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

Friday, December 29,1995

Contents Page No.

Adjustments to conditions for pre-sale of uncompleted flats...... 1

Statement by SEM on gazetting of Private Members' Bill........... 2

Independent Police Complaints Council appointments announced. 3

External Trade Figures for November 1995 ........................ 4

Works on second Tsing Yi South Bridge begin next week............ 7

Appointments to Education Commission announced................... 8

Appointment of District Court Judge.............................. 9

Deputy Commissioner for Administrative Complaints appointed.. 9

CSD community projects much appreciated......................... 10

Insider Dealing Tribunal appointment............................ 12

Monetary statistics for November 1995 .......................... 12

Regulations on seafarers' welfare published..................... 15

New rule to record drug purchaser's ID number................ 18

Restaurant receipts and purchases provisional statistics..... 18

More equipment

Contents PageJNo.

More equipment to recover and recycle CFC.......................... 21

Tenders invited for Hong Kong Museum of History.................... 21

River trade terminal in Tuen Mun................................... 22

General Household Survey continues................................. 23

Amendments to Sai Kung road works plan proposed.................... 24

Water supply to remote villages in North District.................. 25

Tenders invited for school alteration works........................ 26

Construction of access to Wan Chai Reclamation..................... 26

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

1

Adjustments to conditions for pre-sale of uncompleted flats *****

The Housing Branch has considered various proposals put forward by property developers and home buyers in the past few months in relation to the residential property market, and has decided to make three technical adjustments to the conditions of consent for pre-sale of uncompleted flats.

Announcing this today (Friday), the Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic Wong, said: “The technical adjustments will provide operational flexibility to both property developers and home buyers in property transactions, without giving rise to a revival of speculation. These adjustments are meant to benefit both developers and home buyers, and should not be regarded as signals of relaxation of our anti-speculation stance. Indeed we remain determined to curb speculation in the property market, and to increase land supply and housing provision to cope with increasing housing demand in the future."

The three adjustments, which will become effective immediately, are :

First, the pre-sale period will be extended from the existing nine months to 12 months before the estimated date of completion of the development.

"This should help to improve developers’ liquidity and to reduce related finance charges," Mr Wong said. "With improved finances, developers should be able to put up more flats for sale a little earlier and possibly at slightly lower prices. These in turn will provide more choices of flats and benefit home buyers."

Second, the preliminary deposit paid by home purchasers to developers will be approximately 10% of the average purchase price of all flats offered for sale at any one time, instead of at exactly 10% of the actual price of a particular flat. The purchaser will still be required to make up the full 20% of the purchase price of the flat actually selected within 14 days of the date of signing the Agreement for Sale and Purchase.

"This will mean that the home buyer does not have to bring along money orders of varying 10% values, as was the case previously, before he can choose from among several flats the specific flat he wishes to buy," Mr Wong said.

Third, after the first registration and ballot and after all registered applicants have had an opportunity to select flats, developers will be allowed to sell the remaining flats to the general public on a first-come-first-served basis.

2

"This arrangement retains the priority of prospective purchasers on the original list to choose flats, and removes the additional administrative costs for developers who no longer have to offer the unsold flats by further balloting," Mr Wong said.

"I believe that these three technical adjustments will give both property developers and home buyers some flexibility in handling property transactions. The Housing Branch will monitor the impact of these adjustments, together with all other anti-speculation measures," Mr Wong said.

The Legal Advisory and Conveyancing Office will issue a circular memorandum to all practising solicitors on the above adjustments.

End

Statement by SEM on gazetting of Private Members’ Bill ♦ ♦ * * ♦

• • . • . • 9' % 9

Commenting on the gazetting of Legislative Councillor Mr Michael Ho’s Private Members’ Bill on importation of labour, the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong, said today (Friday) that the introduction of the Bill was totally unwarranted.

"The immediate effect of the Bill, if passed, will put an end to all importation of labour, including those required for Airport Core Programme projects, except domestic helpers. This is not acceptable to the Government and there is absolutely no indication that the community supports such a drastic action," he said.

"The Government has proposed a Supplementary Labour Scheme and will take a decision on the details very shortly. We believe that our decision will strike a fair and reasonable balance between the interests of the employees and those of the employers, and that it will be accepted by the community at large.

"The proposed Supplementary Labour Scheme will be monitored by the Labour Advisory Board and regular reports will be submitted to the Manpower Panel of the Legislative Council. As adequate monitoring will be built into this scheme, it is totally unnecessary to introduce legislation for this purpose.

3

"It is vital that importation of labour remains an administrative measure of the Government so that we can respond speedily and effectively to the changing needs of the labour market and the economy.

"I urge the Democratic Party to reconsider their position before taking any further action on the Bill."

End

Independent Police Complaints Council appointments announced

*****

The Government today (Friday) announced a series of appointments to the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC).

Legislative Councillors Dr Leong Che-hung and Mr Eric Li Ka-chcung have been appointed by the Governor to be the Vice-Chairmen of the IPCC. while Dr Conrad Lam Kui-shing. Dr John Lo Siew-kiong and Mr Justein Wong Chun arc reappointed as members for another term.

Three new members. Miss Elsie Leung ()i-sie. Mr Cheng Kai-nam and Mr Erik Shum Sze-man. have been appointed to join the independent monitoring body.

The appointments will be for a term of two years, effective from Januarv I. 1996.

"By tradition, the Chairman of the IPCC is an Executive Council member while the Vice-Chairmen are Legislative Council members." a government spokesman said.

"Dr Leong and Mr Li will fill the vacancies of Mr Andrew Wong, who resigned in October after being elected as the President of the I .egislative Council, and Dr Conrad Lam., who is no longer a LegCo member.

"Dr Lam will, however, continue to serve as a member of the IPCC for another term."

ExCo member Mr Denis Chang. Chairman of the IPCC. was earlier reappointed by the Governor in November.

4

The spokesman added that the Attorney General, the only official member in the IPCC, would relinquish his membership of the IPCC with effect from January 1, 1996.

"This is in line with the Government's policy to enhance the independence of the IPCC," the spokesman said.

"The IPCC will have a lot to do in the coming year. We are confident (hat the Council will benefit from the contribution of the new team."

Apart from monitoring and reviewing complaint cases made by the public against the Police, the IPCC is discussing with the Government on the proposal to implement a trial Lay Observers Scheme.

A joint IPCC/Security Branch/Police comparative study of police complaints systems in other countries is also under way.

End

External Trade Figures for November 1995 *****

In November 1995, both re-exports and imports continued to increase over a year earlier, while domestic exports fell further. These are shown in the external trade figures for November released today (Friday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

Compared with the same month in 1994. the value of total exports (comprising re-exports and domestic exports) increased by $5.4 billion or 5.1% to $112.7 billion in November 1995. Within total exports, the value of re-exports, at $93.8 billion in November this year, was $7.0 billion or 8.1% higher. The value of domestic exports, at $18.8 billion, decreased by $1.6 billion or 7.9%. Meanwhile, the value of imports increased by $7.9 billion or 6.7% to $124.9 billion.

As the value of total exports in November 1995 was smaller than that of total imports, a visible trade deficit of $12.3 billion, equivalent to 9.8% of the value of imports, was recorded. Although this was larger than that in October, it was nevertheless still substantially smaller than the peak figures of $21.3 billion and 17.4% recorded in April this year.

5

In the first 11 months of 1995, the value of total exports grew by 15% over the same period last year. Amongst this, the value of re-exports rose by 17%. while that of domestic exports increased by 4.7%. The value of imports showed an increase of 20%. Over the same period, a visible trade deficit of $134.7 billion, equivalent to 9.9% of the value of imports, was recorded.

Commenting on the latest trade figures, a government spokesman said reexports continued to grow on a year-on-year basis, albeit at a slower pace (han in (he previous months. Domestic exports however declined, affected al least partly by a relatively high base of comparison in November last year, when domestic exports showed a significant pick-up in growth. Meanwhile, retained imports also showed a slower growth, by 4.5% in value terms in November over a year earlier.

The table annexed presents the external trade figures in November 1995.

A more detailed analysis of Hong Kong's external trade for November 1995. by commodity and country, will be released in mid-.lanuary 1996.

6

EXTERNAL TRADE FIGURES FOR NOVEMBER 1995

MERCHANDISE: Domestic Exports : $18,815 million

Re-exports $93,805 million

Total Exports : $112,650 million

Imports : $124,950 mill ion

Trade balance : -$12,300 million

COMPARATIVE FIGURES

Sep 95 to Sep 91 to Change

Latest 3 months Nov 95 Nov 9 1

HK$ Mn. HK$ Mn. HK$ Mn. %

Domestic Exports 60,738 61,686 -9 17 -1.5

(% of Total Exports) (16.8%) (13.8%)

Re-exports 301,411 266,215 +35,225 + 13.2

Total Exports 362,179 327,901 +31,278 +30.5

Imports 387,087 346,749 +40,338 + 11.6

Trade balance -24,908 -18,818 -6,060

November November Change

Same month last year 1995 199 1

IIK$ Nn. HK$ Nn. IIK$ Nn.

Domestic Exports 18,815 20, 150 -1,605 -7.9

(% of Total Exports) ( 16.7%) (19. 1%)

Re-exports 93,305 86,779 +7,026 +8.1

Total Exports 112,650 107,229 + 5, 121 + 5. 1

Imports 121,950 117,068 +7,832 +6.7

Trade balance -12,300 . -9,838 -2, 162

November October Change

Last month 1995 1995

IIK$ Mn. HK$ Mn. HK$ Nn. %

Domestic Exports 18,815 20,785 -1,9 10 -9.3

(% of Total Exports) ( 16.7%) (16.9%)

Re-exports 93,805 102, 135 -8,330 -8.2

Total Exports 1 12,650 122,920 -10,270 -8.4

Imports 12 1,950 131,257 -6,308 -1.8

Trade balance -12,300 -8,337 -3,963

Jan-Nov Jan-Nov Change

Calendar year to-date 1995 1991

IIK$ Nn. HK$ Nn. HK$ Nn. %

Domestic Exports 211,500 201,968 +9,531 +4.7

(% of Total Exports) (17.2%) (18.9%)

Re-exports 1,017,317 865,892 +151,425 + 17.5

Total Exports 1,228,816 1,067,860 +160,956 + 15.1

Imports 1,363,477 1,139,106 +224,371 + 19.7

Trade balance -134,661 -71,246 -63,415

Dec 94 to Dec 93 to Change

Last 12 months Nov 95 Nov 94

l!K$ Mn. IIK$ Mn. HK$ Mn.

Domestic Exports 231,623 222,550 +9,073 + 4.1

(% of Total Exports) (17.4%) (19.1%)

Re-exports 1,099,316 939.666 +159,680 + 17.0

Total Exports 1,330,970 1,162,216 +168,753 + 14.5

Imports 1,475,080 1,235,156 +239,924 + 19.4

Trade balance -144,110 -72,939 -71,171

2.9 December 1995

CENSUS AND STATISTICS DEPARTMENT

End

7

Works on second Tsing Yi South Bridge begin next week *****

The Territory Development Department will start works next week on the construction of the Duplicate Tsing Yi South Bridge.

A $1.34 billion contract for the works was signed today (Friday) by the department's Project Manager for the New Territories West Development Office, Mr Chui Wing-bun, and a representative of the contractor. Gammon Construction Limited.

Speaking at the contract-signing ceremony, Mr Chui said upon completion of the works in October 1998. the bridge would relieve traffic congestion experienced by the Tsing Yi residents.

"The Duplicate Tsing Yi South Bridge will provide four additional traffic lanes over the Rambler Channel. This will relieve the heavy traffic on the existing Tsing Yi South Bridge.

"The combined Tsing Yi South Bridges, which will have a total of six traffic lanes with access ramps connecting to the Route 3 Kwai Chung Viaduct Section, will have the capacity to meet the future traffic growth." Mr Chui added.

Works on the contract include the construction of two prestressed concrete bridges each of 500 metres long spanning the Rambler Channel, together with approach roads, bridges, vehicular underpass, submarine outfalls and roadside noise barriers.

The bridge will be completed in phases with the first two traffic lanes to be put in use by .lune 1998. and the entire bridge by October 1998.

End

Appointments to Education Commission announced >|c $ $ $ *

The Government today (Friday) announced the appointments to the Education Commission for its next term of office from January 1, 1996.

Prof Rosie Young has been re-appointed as the chairman for a further year. Mr Cheung Man-kwong, whose tenure expires on December 31, 1995 has been reappointed as a member for two years. Four new members have been appointed for a term of two years, giving a total of 19 members.

Prof Young is a professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Hong Kong. She has served as the chairman of the commission for the past three years, and is also the Chairman of the Language Fund Advisory Committee.

The four new members are: Mr Moses Cheng, Mr Irving Koo, Mr Mak Kwai-po and Mr Benjamin Wong.

Mr Moses Cheng is a solicitor and a former appointed Legislative Council Member. He is currently the Chairman of the Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education.

Mr Irving Koo is the Director of Jardine Pacific Ltd. He is a member of the Advisory Committee on Teacher Education and Qualifications (ACTEQ) and currently chairing an ACTEQ Working Group on Professional Development Qualifications. I le is also a member of the Board of Education.

Mr Mak Kwai-po is the Principal Education Secretary of Po Leung Kuk, one of the largest school sponsoring organisations in 1 long Kong.

Mr Benjamin Wong is the Executive Director of the Swire Group of companies.

Ex-officio members of the commission include: the Chairmen of the Advisory Committee on Teacher Education and Qualifications, the Board of Education, the University Grants Committee and the Vocational Training Council, and the Director of Education. The Secretary for Education and Manpower is the vice-chairman of the commission.

- 9 -

The Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong, thanked the outgoing member Mrs Angela Cheung for her support and enormous contributions to the commission during her past seven years of service with the commission. Mrs Cheung was also the Chairman of the Commission's Working Group on Language Proficiency.

End

Appointment of District Court Judge *****

The Judiciary announced today (Friday) the appointment of Mr Andrew Chung On-tak as Judge of the District Court with effect from January 2, 1996.

Mr Chung, aged 41, was born in Hong Kong in 1954. After graduating from the University of Hong Kong in 1977. he joined the Government as an Executive Officer. On completion of a law course at the University of Hong Kong, he was called to the Bar in 1984. In the same year, he assumed the post of Assistant Crown Counsel in the Legal Department. In 1985 he was promoted Crown Counsel. In 1987. he turned to private practice as a barrister. From May to June this year, he sat as Deputy District Judge in the Judiciary.

Mr Chung is single.

End

Deputy Commissioner for Administrative Complaints appointed

*****

The Office of the Commissioner for Administrative Complaints announced today (Friday) the appointment of Mrs Chow Chan Man-yuen as the Deputy Commissioner for Administrative Complaints effective from January 2. 1996.

Mrs Chow will head the Investigation Division and will be responsible for investigation of complaints and also for conducting direct investigations.

10

Mrs Chow had a long service with a local university student affairs office and was the Director of Student Affairs. She had undertaken extensive voluntary service in tertiary education institutions. As regards public service, she had served the chairmanship of the Review Sub-committee, Working Party on Tertiary Students' Expenditure Survey and Appeal Sub-committee of the Joint Committee on Student Finance and membership of the Joint Committee on Student Finance and the Guest Panel of the United Kingdom/Hong Kong Scholarships Committee.

End

CSD community projects much appreciated *****

Over the past three years, the Correctional Services Department's (CSD) programme of community projects has provided worthwhile assistance to a number of charitable establishments and private organisations.

The department provides the manpower to carry out work that generally require physical labour such as grass-cutting, cleansing, painting and various repairs to paths, furniture and fence.

A spokesman for the department said CSD staff supervised teams of prisoners from minimum security penal institutions to carry out outside work.

"The inmates are hand-picked to ensure that they not only carry out the job properly but that they are well-behaved when working outside of the institutions.

"Usually, these inmates are serving short term sentences therefore there is no incentive for them to try to escape or cause trouble." said the spokesman.

During the past three years. CSD staff and the work teams have spent more than 730 working days carrying out such performances, which is recognised as an invaluable service by those who have benefited from the work.

Recently a group of school children, aged between five and eight, from the I.antau International Learning Centre sent the department "thank you" drawings to express their appreciation to staff and inmates of Ma Po Ping Prison and Fong Fuk Centre for helping to renovate an old school building at Tong Fuk, and subsequently carrying out minor maintenance to ensure that it was well kept.

• j

11

This work included wall painting, general cleaning, grass cutting, furniture repair and renewal and fence repairing.

In addition to helping get the school off the ground, the staff and prisoners of the two institutions also helped carry out road and path improvement works at the Hong Kong Red Cross Shek Pik Youth Camp and a nursery at Cheung Sha.

In Tuen Mun area, staff and inmates of l ai Lam Correctional Institution (TI.CI) have helped to instil a sense of security for residents by carry out grass-cutting work in places where long grass provided cover for dubious characters. These included the areas along Tuen Mun Pier and various places along the Light Railway Transit line.

Another notable project undertaken by the TLCI work teams was the reconstruction of the campus of the Wai Chuen Kindergarten in Yuen Long as well as grass cutting at Kadoorie Agricultural Research Centre of the University of Hong Kong.

Staff and inmates of Ma Hang Prison have been providing grass cutting and cleansing services over the past few years, to a number of charitable organisations in Southern District such as Marycove Centre. Cheshire Home and Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers. They have also carried out maintenance work at Ocean Park and the MacLehose Medical Rehabilitation Centre.

Although much of the community service projects carried out by the department normally involve physical work, the assistance provided by the Fai Lam Centre for Women require a bit more skill and a steady hand.

Each month, staff of the centre supervise a group of inmates, who volunteer for the job, in rendering hair cut and manicure services to female residents of elderly homes in Tuen Mun area.

"In addition to helping the elderly who otherwise have difficulty in acquiring such services on a regular basis, the aim ol the service is to train inmates in interpersonal skills, instil a sense of achievement and to help them build up awareness and self esteem," said the spokesman.

End

12

Insider Dealing Tribunal appointment *****

The Government announced today (Friday) that the Financial Secretary has appointed Mr Lawrence Tse Kar-leung and Ms Connie Tsui Suet-mui as lay members of the Insider Dealing Tribunal to hear the China Natural Petroleum Corporation (Flong Kong) Ltd insider dealing case.

Mr Tse is a registered securities and commodities dealer. He has extensive experience in corporate finance, investment, manufacturing, retailing and China trade.

Ms Tsui is a solicitor and is experienced in finance and property conveyance. She is also active in community services.

The case involves certain dealings in relation to China Natural Petroleum Corporation (Hong Kong) Ltd (formerly Paragon Holding Ltd) during the period from March 3 to May 7. 1993. Mr Justice Yam who was appointed Chairman in November 1995 will lead the inquiry.

End

Monetary statistics for November 1995

* * * * *

According to statistics published today (Friday) by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, total deposits fell slightly in November 1995. while total loans and advances rose. Table 1 summarises figures for November 1995 and comparisons with earlier months.

Deposits

Total deposits fell by 0.1% in November, compared to the 0.5% rise in October. This was due to a 2.1% decrease in HK$ deposits, which marginally outweighed the 2.2% increase in foreign currency deposits.

The decline in HK$ deposits in November was broadly based, with demand deposits down by 0.8%, savings deposits by 1.3% and time deposits by 2.6%.

13

• ' ' <t< 1 f - ...

Foreign currency swap deposits fell by a further 7.1% in November. They have now halved since the peak a year ago.

The rise in foreign currency deposits was accounted for by a 1.7% increase in USS deposits and a 2.7% increase in non-USS deposits in the month.

Loans and Advances

Total outstanding loans and advances rose by 1% in November after a fall of 0.9% in October. The rise was attributable to a 0.9% increase in domestic loans and a 1.2% increase in loans for use outside Hong Kong. Analysed by currency, I IKS loans rose by 0.8% in the month and foreign currency loans rose by 1.1%. In line with the rise in HKS loans and the fall in I IKS deposits, I IKS loan-to-deposit ratio rebounded from 104.8% in October to 108% in November after falling for live consecutive months since June.

Money Supply

I-IKSM1 dropped by 0.6% in November, in line with the decrease in demand deposits. HKSM2 and HKSM3 fell by 2% and 1.9% respectively in the month, compared with their 1.6% increases in October.

14

TABLE 1 : MONETARY STATISTICS - NOVEMBER 1995

(HKSmn

Nov 1995 Earlier months (% change to Nov 1995)

Oct 1995 Aug 1995 Nov 1994

Money Supply

Ml - HKS 170.079 171.127 ( -0.6 ) 188.504 ( -9.8 ) 167.456 ( 1.6 )

ft reign currency 17.797 16.457 ( 8.1 ) 18.836 ( -5.5 ) 16.479 ( 80 )

Total 187376 187.584 ( 0.2 ) 207.340 ( -9.4 ) 183.935 ( 2-1 )

M2 - HKS@ 1,229.576 1254,130 ( -20 ) 1221.616 ( 0-7 ) 1.081.778 ( 13.7 )

Foresan currency* 1,005,377 985.165 ( 2-1 ) 983.361 ( 22 ) 896.491 ( 121 )

Total 2234.953 2239295 ( -0.2 ) 2204.977 ( M ) 1.978.269 ( 13.0 )

M3 - HKS© 1246.733 1271260 ( -1.9 ) 1.238359 ( 0.6 ) 1.098314 ( 13.5 )

Foreign currency* 1.070.617 1.048,409 ( 2-1 ) 1.047.651 ( 12 ) 958.354 ( 11.7 )

Total 2317J50 2,319.669 ( -0.1 ) 2236310 ( 1.3 ) 2056.867 ( 127 )

Notes and coins in circulation 77.321 78397 ( -1.6 ) 78.355 ( -1.3 ) 73.496 ( 5.2 )

of wnich held by public 68.934 69.176 ( -0.3 ) 69.360 ( -0.6 ) 65282 ( 5.6 )

Total Deposits

Total Demand deposits 118.942 118.408 ( 0.5 ) 137.980 ( -13.8 ) 118.653 ( 0.2 )

Total Savings deposits 424.656 422.555 ( 0.5 ) 411359 ( 3.2 ) 397.720 ( ’68 )

Total Time deposits with licensed banks 1373324 1379359 ( -0.4 ) 1339.344 ( 2-2 ) 1356.430 ( 16.0 )

Total Time deposits with restricted licence banks 37.497 36.186 ( 3.6 ) 38.468 ( -2.5 ) 35.986 ( 4.2 )

Total Time deposits with deposit-taking companies 18.419 18.636 ( -1.2 ) 18325 ( -22 ) 19.871 ( -7.3 )

HKS deposits© 1.142.655 1.167.617 ( -21 ) 1.136270 ( 0.6 ) 1.006.401 ( 13.5 )

Demand deposits 101.145 101.951 ( -0.8 ) 119.144 ( -15.1 ) 102.174 ( -1.0 )

Savings deposits 288.976 292.768 ( -1.3 ) 282.669 ( 2-2 ) 271.921 ( 6.3 )

Time deposits© 752334 772398 ( -26 ) 734.457 ( 2-5 ) 632306 ( 19.0 )

USS deposits* 516.870 508.147 ( 1.7 ) 511.735 ( 1.0 ) 497327 ( 3.9 )

Other foreign currency deposits* 513312 499381 ( 27) 498.173 ( 3.1 ) 424.932 ( 20.8 )

Foreign currency deposits* 1.030.382 1.008.027 ( 2.2 ) 1.009.908 ( 2.0 ) 922J 59 ( 11.7 )

All deposits 2173.037 2.175.644 ( -0.1 ) 2.146.178 ( 1.3 ) 1.928.660 ( 127 )

Foreign currency swap deposits 51313 55.772 ( -7.1 ) 57.716 ( -10.2 ) 104.023 ( -50.2 )

Total Loans and advances

To finance H.K's visible trade 154.389 154.687 ( -0.2 ) 157.179 ( -1.8 ) 128362 ( 20 1 )

To finance merchandising trade not touching H.K. 18.074 17330 ( 14 ) 18.889 ( -4.3 ) 12.967 ( 39 4 )

Other loans for use in H.K. 1.389.616 1.376.341 ( 10 ) 1.364.492 ( 18 ) 1248.481 ( 11.3 )

Other loans for use outside H.K. 2.131.604 2.107243 ( 1.2 ) 2.124.123 ( 0.4 ) 1311.102 ( 17.7 )

Other loans where the place of use is not known 37.984 37.387 ( 16 ) 39.090 ( -28 ) 43.198 ( -12.1 )

Loans in HKS 1234.294 1224 203 ( 0.8 ) 12!2.O$2 ( 1.8 ) 1.114359 ( 10.7 )

Loans in foreign currencies 2.497.373 2.469284 ( l.l ) 2.491.727 ( 0.2 ) 2.129.752 ( 17.3 )

Total loans and advances 3.731.667 3.693.487 ( 10 ) 3.703.779 ( 0.8 ) 3244.311 ( 150 )

• Adjusted to exclude foreign currency swap deposits. © Adjusted to include foreign currency swap deposits.

Note Data may not add up to total due to rounding.

End

15

Regulations on seafarers’ welfare published

*****

9

As part of an exercise to localise certain United Kingdom enactments relating to seafarers which apply to Hong Kong, the Government today (Friday) published in the Gazette another 10 sets of regulations made under the Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) Ordinance.

To provide a comprehensive body of laws relating to seafarers, 28 sets of regulations or rules relating to the health, safety and welfare of seafarers, and the mercantile marine industry, have been prepared under the principal ordinance.

For administrative convenience, the 28 regulations or rules, have been divided into three batches for tabling to the Legislative Council. The first batch of regulations was gazetted last Friday (December 22).

The 10 regulations or rules gazetted today are:

The Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) (Certification of Officers) Regulation provides details for the issue of certificates of competency/licences/exemptions and the related matters arising thereupon. Officers must be in possession of proper certificates/liccnces when serving on board Hong Kong ships while officers of those river-trade dynamically supported passenger ships are, in addition, required to hold valid Type Rating Certificates. Manning requirements of various categories of ships and relaxation in certain cases are also prescribed therein.

The Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) (Tankers-Officers and Ratings) Regulation provides that only officers and ratings who are qualified in accordance with the regulation, or are trained under supervision or whose certificates of competency or of service are endorsed with a dangerous cargo endorsement, may perform duties in connection with the cargo and cargo equipment of any tanker to which the Regulation applies. Necessary qualification in relation to training and service requirements are also provided.

It stipulates that it is an offence for the employer or the master to permit an unqualified officer to perform duties in connection with the cargo and cargo equipment of tankers.

16

The Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) (Crew Agreements, Lists of Crew and Discharge of Seafarers) Regulation applies to all Hong Kong ships and provides details of requirements in relation to the engagement and discharge of seafarers on board Hong Kong ships. Endorsement from a British Consul of a foreign port is no longer required.

Ship’s masters, owners and agents are required to notify the Superintendent of the Mercantile Marine Office before crew changes take place in Hong Kong.

fhe Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) (Code of Safe Working Practices) Regulation applies to all sea-going ships other than fishing vessels. It requires masters and other specified persons to keep on board and to make available, to any seafarer on the ship who requests it, a copy of the "Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seamen", published in 1991.

Copies of its Chinese version are available from the Hong Kong Marine Department.

Masters should ensure sufficient copies of the code and a copy of this regulation to be kept on board, and to display notices on the ship specifying the places where copies of the code are kept if the ship employs more than 15 seafarers.

The Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) (Disciplinary Offences on Board Ships) Regulation applies to every seafarer employed under a crew agreement on a Hong Kong ship. Its main provisions specify the types of misconduct which constitute disciplinary offences on board Hong Kong ships.

They also specify the procedures to be followed in dealing with disciplinary offences and the respective fines for infringement, and provide that complaints may be made to the Superintendent of the Mercantile Marine Office by any seafarer who is dissatisfied with a finding that he has committed a disciplinary offence, and the procedures to be followed by the Superintendent in dealing with the complaint.

The Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) (Medical Examination) Regulation prohibits the employment of seafarers who do not possess a valid medical fitness certificate within two years of the Regulation coming into operation.

It provides that an approved medical practitioner may in certain circumstances suspend the certificate and require a seafarer to undergo further medical examination or may cancel the certificate.

17

It provides that while a seafarer , is aggrieved by the refusal of a medical practitioner to issue him with a certificate, he may apply to the Superintendent to have his case reviewed by a medical review panel.

It is stipulated that a Hong Kong ship will be detained if, due to the failure of any seafarer to produce a valid medical fitness certificate, it cannot sail without serious risk to the safety or health of those on board, and the medical and visual standards to be met by a serving seafarer applying for a medical fitness certificate are set out in Schedule 1.

The Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) (Official Log Books) Regulation specifies the entries to be made in official log books kept on Hong Kong ships, the person or persons who are to make, sign and witness such entries, the time when such entries may be amended or cancelled, and provides that the master of a ship shall, on demand by certain persons, produce the ship's offipial log book.

* . I.- . I

The Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) (Repatriation) Regulation provides that the employer is obliged to make provision for the seafarer’s relief and maintenance, including reasonable legal costs for the defence of the seafarer in certain criminal proceedings.

It specifies how the wages of a seafarer left behind are to be dealt with, and how the property of a seafarer left behind or shipwrecked is to be dealt with.

The Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) (Safety Officials and Reporting of Accidents and Dangerous Occurrences) Regulation requires the employer to appoint a safety officer on a ship, and enables the officers and ratings of such a ship to elect safety representatives. If safety representatives are elected the employer is also required to appoint a safety committee.

It stipulates that safety officers are required to use their best endeavours to ensure that the provisions of the "Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seamen’ are complied with, to investigate accidents, to make recommendations to prevent a recurrence and to carry out inspections.

It prescribes the power of safety representatives and the duties of safety committees, and the duties in respect of access to information and other matters are placed on the employer and the master.

18

The Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) (Wages and Accounts) Regulation deals with the manner or payment of wages to seafarers and the form, the contents and accounts of wages. It also specifies the deductions which are authorised to be made from a seafarer's wages and, the conditions which are to be observed before deductions relating to breaches of crew agreements may be made.

End

New rule to record drug purchaser's ID number

*****

The Pharmacy and Poisons Board today (Friday) reminded the public that with effect from January 1, 1996, all dispensaries selling any poisons included in Part I Schedule I of the Pharmacy and Poisons Regulations arc required by law to record in the poisons book the identity card number of the purchaser.

A spokesman for the board said this was an addition to the present requirements which required the sellers to record the purchaser's full name and address. He urged the public to comply with the statutory requirements.

"Failure to comply with such requirements may render the seller liable on conviction to a maximum fine of $100,000 and two years' imprisonment," he added.

The spokesman pointed out that the new legislative control would serve as an additional deterrent against the improper sale and misuse of drugs.

End

Restaurant receipts and purchases provisional statisites

*****

The value of total receipts for the restaurant sector in the third quarter of 1995, estimated at $13.3 billion, increased by 6% when compared with the same quarter of 1994, according to the provisional statistics released today (Friday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

After discounting the effect of price changes over the period, total receipts decreased by 1 % in volume terms.

19

The value of total purchases of restaurants in the third quarter of 1995, estimated at $4.8 billion, was 8% higher than that in the same quarter of 1994.

Compared with a year ago, the total receipts of bars increased considerably by 16% in value and 12% in volume. The total receipts of fast food shops also went up, by 8% in value and 1% in volume.

Meanwhile, the total receipts of Chinese restaurants and non-Chinese restaurants both recorded increases of 6% in value, but decreases of 1% and 2% respectively in volume.

Comparing the first three quarters of 1995 with the same period of 1994, total restaurant receipts rose by 4% in value, but decreased by 3% in volume.

Comparing with the preceding quarter, and bearing in mind that the comparison may be affected by seasonal factors, total restaurant receipts increased by 5% in value and 4% in volume.

Restaurant receipts in volume terms are derived from receipts in value terms after adjusting for price changes. The relevant components of the Consumer Price Index are used as deflators.

Table 1 presents the revised figures for the total receipts and total purchases of the restaurant sector for the second quarter of 1995 and the provisional figures for the third quarter of 1995.

Table 2 shows the value and volume indices of total receipts by type of restaurant for the third quarter of 1994, the second quarter and third quarter of 1995, with the quarterly average from October 1989 to September 1990 taken as 100. Also tabulated are comparisons of the results of the third quarter of 1995 with those of the second quarter of 1995 and the third quarter of 1994; comparisons of total receipts for the first three quarters of 1995 with the same period in 1994 are also given.

The Report on the Quarterly Survey of Restaurant Receipts and Purchases for the third quarter of 1995 is now on sale at $4 per copy at the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor, 66 Queensway and the Publications Unit of the Census and Statistics Department, 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, Wan Chai.

Enquiries about the survey results may be directed to the Wholesale and Retail Trade Statistics Section of the Census and Statistics Department on 2802 1258.

20

TABLE 1 :T0TAL RESTAURANT RECEIPTS AND PURCHASES

2nd Qtr 1995 (Revised figures) 3rd Qtr 1995 (Provisional figures)

Total restaurant receipts (HKS million) 12 604.2 13 264.7

Total purchases by restaurants (HKS million) 4 566.3 4 818.7

TABLE 2 : VALUE AND VOLUME INDICES OF RESTAURANT RECEIPTS FOR 3RD QUARTER 1994. 2ND QUARTER ANO 3RD QUARTER 1995 (Quarterly average of Oct. 89 - Sept. 90 = 100)

Type of Restaurant Type of Index Index Nunber X Change

3rd Quarter 1994 (Revised figures) 2nd Quarter 1995 (Revised figures) 3rd Quarter 1995 (Provisional figures) 3rd Qtr 1995 compared with 2nd Qtr 1995 3rd Qtr 1995 compared with 3rd Qtr 1994 1st-3rd Qtr 1995 compared with 1st-3rd Qtr 1994

Chinese restaurants Non-Chinese restaurants Fast food shops Bars Other eating and drinking places Value Volume Value Volune Value Volume Value Volume Value Vo I une (Point) 125.0 80.5 161.4 106.2 235.2 164.6 218.3 133.7 232.6 151.5 (Point) 129.0 78.9 153.1 94.2 231.4 152.2 266.4 158.4 239.0 145.0 (Point) 132.2 79.9 170.2 103.8 254.7 165.6 253.8 149.9 244.6 146.3 (X) ♦2.5 ♦1.2 ♦11.2 ♦10.2 ♦10.1 ♦8.8 -4.7 -5.3 ♦2.3 ♦0.9 (X) ♦5.8 -0.8 ♦5.5 -2.2 ♦8.3 ♦0.6 ♦16.3 ♦12.2 ♦5.2 -3.4 (X) ♦1.5 -5.1 +6.4 -1.6 ♦ 11.4 ♦3.9 ♦13.9 ♦8.5 ♦23.5 ♦12.3

All restaurant types Value Volume 145.1 95.0 146.7 90.8 154.3 94.5 ♦5.2 ♦4.1 ♦6.4 -0.6 ♦4.4 -2.6

Note : The underlined figures were rounded up to 5.

End

21

More equipment to recover and recycle CFC *****

Six types of equipment have been approved for recovering and recycling chlorofluorocarbon(CFC)-bascd refrigerants. It was published in the Government Gazette today (Friday).

Together with the 75 types already approved under the Ozone Layer Protection (Controlled Refrigerants) Regulation, this brings to a total of 81 types of equipment available in the market for recovering and recycling CFCs.

"The law requires that owners of air conditioning and refrigeration plants with more than 50 kg of CFC and people who service motor vehicle air conditioners to recover the CFC with an approved equipment," said a Senior Environmental Protection Officer of the Environmental Protection Department (EPD), Mr Lai Ping-nam.

"CFC should not be released to the atmosphere when repairing or servicing these plants as it will damage the ozone layer. Releasing any CFC to the atmosphere can be liable to a fine of $100,000."

Copies of the list of approved equipment can be obtained at the Air Management Group of EPD, 33rd floor. Revenue Tower. 5 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai.

Any person who wants to include a CFC recycling or recovering equipment in the approved list may apply in writing, with detailed specifications of the equipment, to the same address.

Enquiries on approved equipment or the control of ozone depleting substances can be made by phone on 2594 6242 or 2594 6243.

End

fenders invited for Hong Kong Museum of History

*****

fhe Architectural Services Department is inviting tenders for the construction of the Hong Kong Museum of History in Tsim Sha Tsui East.

22

The works will involve the construction of a four-storey museum exhibition complex covering a gross floor area, of 18,000 square metres together with associated drainage and external works.

Construction will start in April 1996 and is scheduled for completion in mid-

1997.

Forms of tender and further particulars may be obtained from the Architectural Services Department, 34th floor, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong.

Tenders must be clearly marked and addressed to the Chairman of the Central Tender Board. They must be placed in the Government Secretariat fender Box on the lift lobby, lower ground floor, Central Government Offices (East Wing), Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong before noon on Friday, January 26, 1996.

Late tenders will not be accepted.

End

River trade terminal in Tuen Mun *****

The Lands Department is inviting tenders for the sale of a piece of Government land in Tuen Mun for the development of a river trade terminal.

The site, located in Area 38 of Tuen Mun, has an area of about 65 hectares.

A notice of the tender invitation was gazetted today (Friday).

On submission of tenders, tenderers are required to submit together with their bids a statement giving evidence of their financial ability to carry out the development and their experience in similar developments or business, a schedule of the vehicles and vessels they propose to use, an initial environmental impact assessment report, a traffic impact assessment report, concept layout plans and a preliminary works programme.

The tenderers are also required to provide details of their plans for vessels under typhoon conditions if they plan to develop the terminal without a breakwater.

23

The closing date for submission of tenders is noon on February 23, 1996.

Tender Form. Tender Notice and Conditions may be obtained from the Lands Department, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road and the District Lands Office, Kowloon, Yau Ma Tei Car Park Building, 10th floor, 250 Shanghai Street, Kowloon.

Tender documents will also be available at the District Lands Offices of Sha Tin, Tai Po, North, Yuen Long, Tsuen Wan, Kwai Tsing, Tuen Mun, Sai Kung and Islands.

End

General Household Survey continues *****

The Census and Statistics Department continues to conduct the General Household Survey during the quarter from January to March 1996.

The survey, conducted on a continuous basis, collects information on employment, unemployment and underemployment, and the general social characteristics of the population.

In addition, questions on domestic helpers, Hong Kong residents married in • China and their fertility, cigarette smoking pattern, public awareness of the Office of the Commissioner for Administrative Complaints, public awareness of the concept of energy efficiency, Hong Kong residents' expenditure abroad and household expenditure on rent will be included in this round of the survey.

Each quarter, about 20.300 living quarters from all districts, are selected using a scientifically designed sample for participation in the Survey. To measure more accurately changes in the socio-economic characteristics of the population, the survey adopts an overlapping sample design such that about half of the households enumerated in a given quarter arc the same as those enumerated in the preceding quarter.

An official letter, in both Chinese and English, has been sent to the sampled households to explain the purpose of the survey and to seek their voluntary cooperation.

24

Officers of the department will contact the households concerned to collect the required information. When visiting households, they carry with them a Government Identity Card and a certificate for conducting the survey. They will make such documents available for inspection by households to confirm their identities.

To make it more convenient for both the households and the department, the sampled households could telephone the department to make prior appointment for visit by the interviewers.

The General Household Survey is conducted under Part 1IIA of the Census and Statistics Ordinance as notified in General Notice No 212 in the Hong Kong Government Gazette of January 19, 1990.

In accordance with the provisions of the ordinance, data relating to individual persons or households collected will be kept confidential and will not be released to the public, any private organisations or other government departments.

End

Amendments to Sai Kung road works plan proposed

*****

The Government has proposed amendments to the original plan of the road improvement works for Ying Yip Road and Silverstrand Beach Road in Sai Kung.

The amendments are required in order to better serve the development of the Tseung Kwan O New Town and to improve the transport link to the Clear Water Bay peninsula and eastern Sai Kung district.

The original plan of the road improvement works was gazetted on October 7, 1994 under the Roads (Works, Use and Compensation) Ordinance.

Details of the proposed amendments were published in a notice in today's (Friday) Government Gazette.

The plan and the amendment scheme can be seen at the Public Enquiry Service Centre of the Central and Western District Office, ground floor, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central and the Sai Kung District Lands Office and Sai Kung District Office, Sai Kung Government Offices Building, 34 Chan Man Street, Sai Kung.

25

Any person who wishes to object to the proposed amendments should write to the Secretary for Transport. Central Government Offices. East Wing, second floor. Lower Albert Road. Hong Kong no later than February 27, 1996.

End

Water supply to remote villages in North District *****

The Water Supplies Department is inviting tenders lor the laying of 3.8 kilometres of fresh waler mains in the North District.

This is part of a project to supply treated water to the remote villages of Pak Fu Shan, Mor Lou Lau and Lin Ma Hang in the district.

Works will commence in April next year and are scheduled lor completion in 12 months.

Forms of lender and further particulars may be obtained from the Water Supplies Department, Immigration Tower, 44th floor, 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

Tenders must be clearly marked and addressed to the Chairman ol the Public Works Tender Board. They must be placed in the Public Works 1 ender Box al the lift lobby, 34th floor. Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong before noon on Friday, January 19, 1996.

Late tenders will not be accepted.

End

26

Tenders invited for school alteration works *****

The Architectural Sendees Department is inviting tenders for alteration works at six existing aided schools.

The contract will comprise the construction of new extensions which cover a total floor area of over 5,000 square metres. It also includes conversion work of about 400 square metres in total floor area as well as associated building services and drainage systems.

Forms of tender and further particulars may be obtained from the Architectural Services Department, 34th floor, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong.

Tenders must be clearly marked and addressed to the Chairman of the Central Tender Board. They must be placed in the Government Secretariat Tender Box at the lift lobby, lower ground floor, Central Government Offices (East Wing), Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong before noon on Friday, January 26, 1996.

Late tenders will not be accepted.

End

Construction of access to Wan Chai Reclamation

*****

The Highways Department is inviting tenders for the construction of the access to Wan Chai Reclamation - footbridge extensions at Percival Street and Fleming Road.

The works comprise extensions and improvements to the two existing footbridges across Gloucester Road at Percival Street and Fleming Road.

The works arc expected to commence in next March for completion in August

1997.

A notice on the tender invitation is gazetted today (Friday).

Late tenders will not be accepted.

27 Consultants (Far Last) I imbed 1-v the ’long Reg-* •’ oi i ligL v\ay Dqxirtpient.

Tender forms and particulars can be obtained from Acer Consultants (Far East) Ltd, third floor, Somerset House, Taikoo Place, 979 King's Road, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong. The contact telephone number is 2911 2233.

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, lower ground floor, Central Government Offices (East Wing), Lower Albert Road (at its junction with Garden Road), Hong Kong before noon on Friday, January 19, 1996. uu: <uve

Late tenders will not be accepted.

■ ■ 1

' I ime

• (hours)

change (^million)

The works have been designed and construction will be supervised by Acer Consultants (Far East) Limited for the Hong Kong Region of Highways Department. OpVHi ... :n Hl. .'ICC.

Closing balance in the account 1.855 1000 4105

C j End + 111 1 100 + 105

Money rnarxet activity t 1200 + 111

LAF today -458 1500 - +1J1

1600 -111

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

Cumulative

$ million Time (hours) change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,202 0930 +105

Closing balance in the account 1,855 1000 +105

Change attributable to : 1100 +105

Money market activity +111 1200 + 111

LAF today -458 1500 + 111

1600 +111

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 122.7 *+0.2* 29.12.95

28

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.96 2 years 2711 5.60 100.23 5.54

1 month 5.62 3 years 3810 6.15 101.20 5.76

3 months 5.55 5 years 5012 6.38 100.73 6.31

6 months 5.53 7 years 7211 6.82 101.63 6.63

12 months 5.51 5 years M502 7.30 103.16 6.63

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $16,498 million

Closed December 29, 1995

End

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

ISSUED BY GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SERVICES BEACONSFIELD HOUSE, HONG KONG. TEL: 2842 8777

Supplement

Friday, December 29,1995

Embargoed News Item:

Attention editors of newspapers, news agencies and broadcasting stations:

The following announcement on theQueen's New Year Honours List will be made in London at 0001 hour GMT on Saturday, December 30.

Publication is permitted in Hong Kong newspapers tomorrow (Saturday, December 30), but no news agency or overseas radio transmission of the announcement may carry the information without the embargo qualification.

The news may be broadcast from 6 am onwards tomorrow (Saturday, December 30) over the local radio and television stations.

On no account should any of the recipients of honours be contacted for interviews, or for information related to their careers, or be approached in any way in connection with their awards before these have been publicly announced.


- 2 -

New Year Honours 1996

CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) (4)

Mr John Malcolm GRAY, JP

Mr Leo Francis GOODSTADT, JP

Mr Michael SZE Cho-cheung, ISO, JP

Prof Rosie Margaret YOUNG Tse-tse, OBE, JP

OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) (8)

Mr Albert LAM Chi-chiu, JP

Mr LEONG Ka-chai

Mr Victor LO Chung-wing, JP

Prof Eric LYE Kum-chew

Mr NG Yee-yum, JP

Mr PANG Chun-hoi, MBE

Mr YEUNG Kim-choy, JP

Prof YEUNG Yue-man

/MBE

3

MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) (31)

Mr CHAM Yick-kai • ’ u " * e

Mr CHAN Pui-tin

Mr CHAN Shing-chung

Mr CHIU Chung-man

Mrs CHOI CHEN Po-sum 4 - . . 4 :<C

Mr Vincent CHOW Wing-shing 1 ?'

Mr FOO Kam-chan

Mr HSU Show-hoo

Mr LAM Yick-man

Mr LEE Chun-wan

Dr LEE Kin-hung f

Mr Stephen LEE Siu-hoe I.

Mr LEUNG Wah-fong

Mr LEUNG Wai-ming if" -

>•««

Mr LIM Yew-guan io;

Mrs Sally Ann Richeux LO

Mr LOH Wing-kwan

Mr LUI Yau-lok I /Mr Graeme...............................................................

4


Mr Graeme Macgregor MCINTOSH

Mr James Francis MORRIS, CPM

Mr Alexander NG Wai-tak

Dr PANG Hok-tuen, JP

Mr Anthony William SAMSON

Rev SIK. Chi-wai

Mrs Diana TANG WAT Yin-ping

Mr TIN Ka-ping

Mrs Persis TSUI CHEUNG Shui-ha

Mr WAN Yiu-sing

Mrs Ophelia WONG CHOW Kwun-wai

Mr YIU Yan-nang, JP

Mr YU Hon-ping

MBE (Military) (1)

Major (Retired) Charles Graeme LARGE, ED


■■ I.!,:/

■' -••-I ./

QPM (Queen's Police Medal for Distinguished Service) (4) --------------------------------------------------------------- ?

Mr Eric John LOCKE YE AR, CPM

Mr Matthew Vincent WALSH, CPM

/Mrs WONG

5

Mrs WONG LEUNG Kam-shan, CPM

Mr YIP Kwok-keung, CPM

QFSM (Queen’s Fire Service Medal for Distinguished Service)(l)

Mr TANG Siu, CPM

CPM (Colonial Police Medal for Meritorious Service) (23)

Mr Anthony AU Yiu-kwan

Mr James Hogg BRUCE, GM

Mr CHAN Siu-fat

Mr Stephen Gowan CHANDLER

Mr CHU Chung-ming

Mr CHU Kut-chuen

Mr CHU Yu-pang, BEM

Mr CHUNG Kin-hong

Mr HO Wing-huen

Mr Blaine Stewart HOGGARD

Mr David William HOLLOWAY

Mr KAN Wai-hung

/Mr Anthonv

6

Mr Anthony KU Kin-wa

Mr LAU King

Mr LAU Wai-ming

Mr LEE Kam-chung

Mr LEUNG Chun-keung

Mr LEUNG Kwok-keung

Mr LO Ping-chuen

Mr Hymayun Abdul RAZACK

Mr Richard Ian TYZZER

Mr James WONG Ka-sing

Mr YEUNG Ying-wai

Badge of Honour (19)

Miss BOW Sui-may

Ms CHAI Po-wa

Mr CHAN Joe-chak

Miss CHAN Tan-lui

Brother Joseph CHEUNG Koon-wing

Mrs LAI WEI Kit-lin

Miss Robyn Claire LAMSAM

/Mr LAW

♦ X

- 7 -

Mr LAW Kam-fai

Mr LEE Kam-chung

Mr LEE Po-kee

Miss LI Cho-wah

Mr LI Hak-bun, CPM

Miss LIU Sin-ling

Mrs LUK CHIU Kwan-hung

Mr LUK Wai-kong

Miss SIU Yuen-sheung

Miss SO Yan-lap

Mr Johnny WAN Yee-chong

Mr WONG Kam-chi

Other Hong Kong residents honoured on the New Year 1996 List

• i

CBE(l)

Mr Thomas BUCHANAN

/OBE

- 8 -

OBE (2)

Mr Daniel KOO Shing-cheong

Mr Otto POON Lok-to

MBE (2)

Mr HO Hau-shiu

Mr Edward Lyndon REES

Biographical notes on recipients

CBE

Mr John Malcolm GRAY, JP

Mr Gray is Chairman of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation and a former member of the Executive Council. He is also Chairman of the Port Development Board, Vice Chairman of the Pacific Basin Economic Council and a member of the Governor's Business Council.

Mr Leo Francis GOODSTADT, JP

Mr Goodstadt has been head of the Hong Kong Government's Central Policy Unit since April 1989 and he is also a member of a number of boards and committees. He was previously Deputy Editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review and a freelance consultant and commentator on current affairs.

/Mr Michael....

9

Mr Michael SZE Cho-cheung. ISO, .IP

Mr Sze has been Secretary lor the Civil Service. I long Kong Government since February 1994. He has been a member of the Executive Council for over four years and has held a number of important Government posts including that of Secretary for Constitutional Affairs.

Professor Rosie YOUNG. OBE. .IP

Professor Young is internationally known for her work in clinical endocrinology. She is Professor of Medicine at I long Kong University, she was Dean of the Faculty from 1983 to 1984. and from 1985 to 1993 she was Pro-ViceChancellor and Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the I Jnivcrsity.

OBE

Mr Albert LAM Chi-chiu. .IP

Mr Lam has been Director of Urban Services. Hong Kong Government, since November 1993. Prior to this appointment he was Regional Secretary. New Territories, and he has held a number of other senior posts.

Mr LEONG Ka-chai

Mr Leong was elected as a Director of the Hong Kong Futures Exchange in 1989 and in 1992 he became the first elected Chairman of the Exchange. I Ie is the founder of a group of companies.

/Mr Victor.....

10

Mr Victor LO Chung-wing, JP

In 1991 Mr Lo was appointed Chairman of Design Innovation (Hong Kong) Limited, which is now a subsidiary of the Hong Kong Productivity Council. He is also a member of a large number of Government advisory committees and statutory bodies.

Professor Eric LYE Kum-chew

Professor Lye is Professor of Architecture in the I Jniversity of I long Kong. I Ie is a member of a number of boards and committees concerned with town planning and architecture, and a Fellow of the Hong Kong Institute of Architects.

Mr NG Yee-yum, JP

Mr Ng joined the Hong Kong Government as an engineer in 1960 and he has held a number of posts at assistant director of project manager level. He was appointed Director of Drainage Services in May 1994.

Mr PANG Chun-hoi, MBE

Mr Pang was a member of the Legislative Council from 1985 to 1995. A lifelong trade unionist, he was also closely involved with labour affairs outside the LegCo and was a member of the Labour Advisory Board from 1965 to 1984.

Mr YEUNG Kim-chov, JP

Mr Yeung has recently retired after 35 years with Government as an engineer. His last two years’ service were as Project Director of the Lantau Fixed Crossing, an essential part of the New I long Kong Airport core programme.

/Professor YEUNG

Il

Professor YEUNG Yue-man

Professor Yeung is Professor of Geography at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and an internationally recognised expert on urban planning. Ue is a member of a number of boards and committees relating to town planning, housing and education.

MBE

Mr CHAM Yick-kai

Mr Cham is an active mountaineer, a sport which is difficult for a I long Kong resident to pursue. He is the first Hong Kong person to make a successful ascent ol Mount Everest.

Mr CHAN Pui-tin

Mr Chan has been a civil servant member of the Royal Hong Kong Police Force since 1961. He was a member of the Auxiliary Police Force from 1972 to 1994. retiring as a Superintendent, and he was also a member ol the Civ il Aid Sei vices.

Mr Cl IAN Shing-chung

Mr Chan is a successful disabled athlete. In the 1994 6th Far Fast and South Pacific Games he won three gold medals and one bronze medal, and he won a silver medal at the 1994 International Paralympics Committee World Athletics Championships.

Mr CHIU Chung-man

Mr Chiu was posted to Government I louse as a telephone operator in 1960. I Ie retires shortly as Communication Controller after serving six different (iovernors.

/Mrs CHOI.....

12

Mrs CHOI CHEN Po-sum

Mrs Choi is an experienced securities dealer and was an elected member ot the Council of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited from 1988 to 1994. She was First Vice-Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Stock Exchange from 1992 to 1994.

Mr Vincent CHOW Wing-shing

Mr Chow has been a member of the Council of the Academy for Performing Arts since 1993 and Chairman of the Chung Ying Theatre since 1989. He joined the Hong Kong Arts Development Council in 1994 and is also a member ol a number of other boards and committees.

Mr FOO Kam-chan

Mr Foo has been a volunteer in the Auxiliary Medical Services for almost 44 years. He is currently the Regional Commander for I long Kong and Islands.

Mr HSU Show-hoo

Mr Hsu is an Assistant Director of Education and has served in the Education Department for 33 years. He played a major role in the computerisation of the education system in I long Kong.

Mr LAM Yick-man

Mr Lam joined the Royal Navy as an apprentice engineer in 1993. 11c retired from naval service in 1948 to form his own engineering business and has been providing contract engineering support to Royal Navy ships in Hong Kong ever since.

13

Mr LEE Chun-wan

Mr Lee is the Deputy Commander of the Mountain Rescue Unit of the Civil Aid Services, which is the only qualified mountain rescue service in I long Kong. I Ie is a founder member of the unit in which he has served for over 27 years.

Dr LEE Kin-hung

Dr Lee has been associated with public medical education programmes for several years. He is the Hong Kong Medical Association spokesman and the "Doctor on Air". I Ie also presents the weekly television programme "Doctor and you".

Mr Stephen LEE Siu-hoe

Mr Lee has over 34 years' service with the Hong Kong Government and is currently a Senior Clerical Officer with the Hospital Services Department. He is an expert on personal administration and was closely involved in the work of setting up of the Hospital Authority.

Mr LEUNG Wah-fong

Mr Leung has been a volunteer member of the Civil Aid Services since 1968. He has worked almost continuously at Vietnamese detention or migrant centres since 1989 and his current post is Divisional Supervisor, East Division, New Territories.

Mr LEUNG Wai-ming

Mr Leung spent 43 years in towing and salvage work as a sailor on, and later master of, many tugs. He has taken part in numerous rescue operations and is estimated to have assisted at least 58,000 ships to and from their berths during his career.

/Mr L1M

14

Mr LIM Yew-guan

Mr Lim served in Government housing for nearly 35 years and his last appointment before retirement was as Deputy Director of Housing. 1 le was closely associated with the Home Ownership Scheme and similar projects involving private developers.

Mrs Sally Ann Richeux LO

Mrs Lo set up the Hong Kong Cancer Fund in 1987 and is closely associated with a number of related cancer support groups. She has also been active in other charitable and welfare activities.

Mr LOH Wing-kwan

Mr Loh joined the Civil Aid Services as a volunteer in 1953. I Ie was appointed Commandant of the CAS Cadet Corps in 1993 and retired from active service in mid-1995. He was also active in scouting and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme.

Mr LUI Yau-lok

Mr Lui has been Chief Supervisor of the Scientific Assistants in the Central Forecasting Office of the Royal Observatory since 1992. He has completed nearly 30 years’ service with the Observatory and is particularly experienced in training duties.

Mr Graeme Macgregor MCINTOSH

Mr McIntosh is the Chief Aircraft Engineer of the Government Flying Service, formerly the Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force. He has been responsible for the engineering aspects of introducing into service several new types of aircraft.

/Mr James....

15

Mr James Francis MORRIS, CPM

Mr Morris served for 22 years in the Royal Hong Kong Police force before transferring to the Security Branch in 1984. He retired in mid-1995 from his last posting as a Deputy Secretary for Security.

Mr Alexander NO Wai-tak

Mr Ng joined the Public l ibrary Service in 1965. Since 1983 he has been head of the library service in the New Territories Municipal Region, which now has 25 Regional Council Public libraries.

Dr PANG Hok-tuen. JP

Dr Pang has been involved in community work since the early 1970s and became a member of the Regional Council in 1986. He was elected Vice-Chairman ol the Council for the 1991 to 1995 session and has taken a close interest in environmental matters.

Mr Anthony William SAMSON

Mr Samson joined the Buildings Ordinance Office as a surveyor in 1965 and led on the conversion of the office to departmental status in 1993. He was involved in several major infrastructure projects until his retirement in November 1995.

The Reverend SIK Chi-wai

I he Reverend Sik is the Abbot of Po I .in Monastery and was closely involved in the construction of the statue oi the Buddha at Ngong Ping. He has led the Monastery in extensive community, education and welfare work.

/Mrs Diana....

16

Mrs Diana TANG WAT Yin-ping

Mrs Tang joined the Government as a typist in 1967. She served in a number of branches and departments before being posted in 1989 as Senior Personal Secretary, later Personal Assistant to the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands.

Mr TIN Ka-ping

Mr Tin is an industrialist and was the prime mover behind the establishment of the K P Tin Foundation. The Foundation finances a variety of charitable activities, principally in the field of education.

Mrs Persis TSUI CHEUNG Shui-ha

Mrs Tsui was the manageress of the Government's Hermitage Service Flats for 30 years until her retirement in July 1995. Iler departure marked the handing over of the building for demolition and redevelopment as the Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China.

Mr WAN Yiu-sing

Mr Wan joined Government in 1962 and was the Principal Executive Officer (Electoral Services) from 1986 to 1993. He played a major role in the landmark elections to the Legislative Council in 1991 and has recently retired.

Mrs Ophelia WONG CI IOW Kwun-wai

Mrs Wong has been in Government service since I960 and Senior Personal Secretary to four successive Directors of Electrical and Mechanical Services. She is currently Treasurer of the Personal Secretary Branch of the Chinese Civil Servants Association.

/Mr YIU

17

Mr YIU Yan-nang, JP

Mr Yiu joined the Civil Service in 1957 and was appointed Deputy Commissioner for Labour in 1990. Ue has also been active in the scout movement for over 40 years. He retired from the Government in early December.

Mr YU Hon-ping

Mr Yu became a member of Government in 1957 and was promoted to Assistant Director of Urban Services in 1993. For the last nine years he has been the hawker policy officer at the Urban Services Department Headquarters.

MBE (Military)

Major (Retired) Charles Graeme LARGE, ED

Major Large joined the Royal Hong Kong Regiment (The Volunteers) in 1962 and served continuously with the Regiment up to the time of its disbandment. He retired from active service in 1975 but was given special dispensation to continue his service.and played a full part in all the Unit's activities.

QPM

Mr Eric John LOCKEYEAR. CPM

Mr Lockeyear joined the Force in 1963 and was promoted Chief Superintendent in 1986. He was the first producer and presenter of the television series "Police Call" and was appointed officer in charge of public relations in 1992.

/Mr Matthew

18

Mr Matthew Vincent WALSH. CPM

Mr Walsh has been in the Force since 1968 and has considerable experience in the Marine Branch. He was District Commander. Yuen Long from 1990 to 1993 and is currently second-in-command of Security Wing.

Mrs WONG LEUNG Kam-shan. CPM

Mrs Wong has been in the RHKP for 33 years and is the most senior woman officer in the Force. Her postings have included District Commander Kowloon City and Eastern, and Deputy Regional Commander Kowloon West.

Mr YIP Kwok-keung. CPM

Mr Yip entered the Force in 1966 and was promoted Assistant Commissioner in 1994. Major appointments have included District Commander of Tai Po and of Shatin, and since 1994 he has been Regional Commander of New Territories South Region.

QFSM

Mr TANG Siu. CPM

Mr Tang joined the Fire Services Department in 1962 and was promoted Chief Fire Officer in 1993. He has served in the Operational. Headquarters and Fire Protection Commands and is particularly experienced in the operational field.

/CPM

19

CPM

Mr Anthony AU Yiu-kwan

Mr Au has been in the Force since 1968 and has served in the Uniform Branch and Crime Stream. He was promoted Senior Superintendent in 1989 and is currently posted in the Personnel Services Branch.

Mr James Hogg BRUCE, GM

Mr Bruce joined the Force in 1968 and has held a number ofcrime posts in the New Territor