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

 DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Monday, October 2,1995

Contents Page No.

New film censorship regulations soon to become effective................... 1

STI to attend APEC ministerial conference.............................

New task force to enhance construction sites safety........................ 3

Tsing Ma Bridge, a testimony of HK's achievement: Governor................. 4

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

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

6

1

New film censorship regulations soon to become effective ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Two amendment regulations which seek to implement a number of new sections in the Film Censorship Ordinance enacted in July will be gazetted on Friday (October 6) and tabled in the Legislative Council on October 11.

The Film Censorship (Amendment) (No 1) Regulation 1995 sets fees for the examination of film advertising materials and for viewing the repository managed by the Film Censorship Authority who is the Commissioner for Television and Entertainment Licensing.

It also provides for the conditions under which the Authority may remit these fees as well as the fee for the approval of Category III videotape/laserdisc packaging.

"The examination fee for film advertising materials is $130 per item," a spokesman for the Recreation and Culture Branch said today (Monday).

"In the case of film stills, per item means a set of no more than 10 stills. This arrangement is made in response to the film industry's request since the number of film stills for one film can be quite large."

For viewing videotapes, laserdiscs, packaging or advertising materials in the repository, the fee is $613 for two hours.

The spokesman said the new fees were set on a full-cost recovery basis.

Under the regulation, the examination/viewing fees may be remitted by the Film Censorship Authority if:

* the films concerned will be exhibited free of charge, only once for payment, or by a bona fide film club for a non-profit making purpose;

if the viewing or inspection of the items in the repository is for non-profit making academic research; and

if the videotape/laserdisc is to be published by a non-profit making organisation for a cultural or educational purpose.

The Film Censorship (Amendment) (No 3) Regulation 1995 amends the film submission form and the certificate of approval, prescribes the submission form and certificate of approval for film advertising materials, allows cinema operators or any person authorised by a cinema operator to view the repository, and prescribes the classification symbol for Categoiy IIA and Category IIB films.

2

The film submission form is amended to include the submission of videotape/laserdisc containing censored films which have been slightly altered, the spokesman said.

In addition to other authorised persons such as video shop operators and videotape/laserdisc distributors, the amendment regulation further allows cinema operators or any person authorised by a cinema operator to view the repository containing videotapes, laserdiscs, packaging and advertising materials.

The statutory description and warning to be displayed on advertising materials of the newly created Category IIA and Category IIB films are incorporated into both the film submission form and the certificate of approval for films.

The statutory warnings to be displayed on advertising materials of Category IIA and IIB films are "Not Suitable For Children" and "Not Suitable For Young Persons And Children" respectively.

The two amendment regulations, together with the Film Censorship (Amendment) Ordinance 1995, will come into effect on November 17.

End/Monday, October 2, 1995

STI to attend APEC ministerial conference ♦ * ♦ * ♦

The Secretary for Trade and Industry, Mr Chau Tak-hay, will head a Hong Kong delegation to Beijing to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) Ministerial Conference on Industrial Science and Technology hosted by China.

Mr Chau will leave tomorrow (Tuesday) and return on Saturday (October 7).

The meeting, to be opened by Chinese President Jiang Zemin, will be attended by ministers with responsibility for science and technology from APEC member economies.

Discussion will focus on the vision, goals and policy principles for APEC's cooperative efforts on science and technology. The aim is that APEC's efforts in these fields should contribute to the realisation of the APEC objective of free and open trade and investment in the region.

3

While in Beijing, Mr Chau will call on State Councillor and Minister of the State Science and Technology Commission, Dr Song Jian; Deputy Director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of the State Council, Mr Wang Fengchao; and Vice-Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation, Mr Gu Yongjiang.

Other members of the delegation include the Director-General of Industry, Mrs Regina Ip, and Assistant Director-General of Industry, Mr Raymond Young.

End/Monday, October 2, 1995

New task force to enhance construction sites safety ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Buildings Department has commissioned a new task force today (Monday) to monitor the performance of building constructors and professionals on construction and demolition sites throughout the territory in a bid to enhance public safety.

Speaking at a press conference announcing the setting up of the Site Monitoring Section (SMS), Chief Officer (Site Monitoring), Mr So Kin-shing, said the major task of the team was to protect the public by improving safety at work sites through a programme of systematic inspections.

Following the tragedy at the Hotel Fortuna demolition site in September last year, the Buildings Department was determined to strengthen measures for safety assurance on work sites and to ensure that those responsible for building and demolition works would comply with the government’s safety requirements.

Comprising more than 30 professional, technical and support staff, SMS will visit sites and inspect the works in progress. The target is that each of the 1,000 or so sites in the territory will be visited up to three times a year on average.

’’The frequency of visit will vary, depending on the nature and scale of the construction work and the degree of risk," Mr So explained, "Our prime concern is interface with public safety.

"For instance, we will pay more attention to the projects involving demolition, deep excavation, construction of high retaining walls, or the use of heavy powered mechanical plant."

4

Staff of the team will focus on any safety related aspects of a work site to ascertain that the provisions of the Buildings Ordinance are complied with.

The areas of concern also include any deviation from approved plans, the use of defective materials, the absence of adequate precautionary measures and the lack of supervision by qualified personnel.

Mr So pointed out that if safety-related irregularities were detected, his staff would immediately seek remedies and where appropriate, apply sanctions including prosecution and disciplinary actions.

"Our objective is to protect the public by encouraging all site personnel to adopt a responsible working attitude and to deter dangerous operations.

"It is the duty of all parties responsible for a project to ensure safety on site. We rely on teamwork. By this, I mean teamwork among building contractors, professionals, developers and Buildings Department," Mr So said.

Members of the public are welcome to report to the Buildings Department any construction or demolition work which may threaten public safety. The 24-hour Building Safety Hotline is 2848 2222.

End/Monday, October 2, 1995

Tsing Ma Bridge, a testimony of UK's achievement: Governor ♦ * ♦ * *

The construction of Tsing Ma Bridge stands as a testimony to what Hong Kong has achieved, the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, said today (Monday).

Speaking at the Opening Ceremony of the International Bridge Conference "Bridges into the 21st Century", the Governor said as the bridge, together with its sister spans over Kap Sui Mun, would provide Hong Kong with a concatenation of bridges, linking the city to the new airport and the new roads running up to China.

5

"It will serve to carry business, residents and visitors into the opportunities of the new century," he said.

Mr Patten said the world needed both physical bridges and bridges to understanding and co-operation among people.

"Hong Kong today is building both," he said.

He acknowledged that some cities in China and in the region were changing both economically and socially.

"But Hong Kong is firmly established as a bridge that has brought people and ideas together, people and ideas from across China and around the world," said the Governor.

End/Monday, October 2, 1995

Water storage figure

*****

Storage in Hong Kong’s reservoirs at 9 am today (Monday) stood at 95.6 per cent of capacity or 560.048 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 575.149 million cubic metres of water, representing 98.1 per cent of capacity.

End/Monday, October 2, 1995

6

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

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,194 0930 +913

Closing balance in the account 1,865 1000 +909

Change attributable to : 1100 +905

Money market activity +892 1200 +905

LAF today -1,221 1500 +906

1600 +892

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 122.1 *+0.1* 2.10.95

0

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

I week 5.61 2 years 2708 6.06 100.23 6.01

1 month 5.66 3 years 3807 6.16 99.84 6.32

3 months 5.68 5 years 5009 6.95 100.18 7.02

6 months 5.70 5 years M501 7.90 102.27 7.44

12 months 5.73

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $18,222 million

Closed October 2, 1995

End/Monday, October 2, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Tuesday, October 3,1995

Contents Page No,

Government's response to the Sino-British agreement...................... 1

Clean-up begins as typhoon moves away................................

JLG Expert Talks on HK's Intellectual Property System.................... 3

Consumer Council Chairman and Vice Chairman reappointed.................. 3

Job Bazaar rescheduled................................................... 4

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations..................... 4

1

Government's response to the Sino-British agreement

*****

Following is a statement issued by the Government in response to an agreement reached between the British and the Chinese foreign secretaries today (Tuesday) on a programme of contacts between Hong Kong senior civil servants and officials from China:

"We are pleased that an agreement has been reached to intensify the contacts between senior Hong Kong civil servants and Chinese officials. The Hong Kong Government will arrange a series of small get-together sessions in Hong Kong over the next few months.

S', y ' .

"Each get-together will be led by a policy secretary and involve heads of departments under his or her policy umbrella.

"These get-togethers will enable Chinese officials to learn more about the views of the participants and indeed those of colleagues they represent, both on their work and perspective of the future, in a relaxed and informal environment.

"It will also enable Hong Kong officials to get to know the senior Chinese officials who will be participating. The Chinese side will thus get to know a wide cross section of professionals, disciplined services officers and administrative officers of all backgrounds.

"We believe this is a useful and positive development, building on the many official and unofficial contacts with our Chinese counterparts.

"With the formation of the Preparatory Committee only a few months away and the appointment of the Chief Executive Designate not much later, we do need to have a better mechanism to get to know each other.

"And there is no better way to do this than in the place we live and work, informally and in a positive atmosphere."

End/Tuesday, October 3, 1995


2

Clean-up begins as typhoon moves away

*****

Hong Kong began cleaning up after Typhoon Sibyl moved away from the territory towards the western Guangdong coast late this (Tuesday) morning. The No 8 southeast gale signal, which had been hoisted at 5.10 am, was replaced by the No 3 strong wind signal at 11.30 am.

The typhoon caused numerous incidents.

Two men have been admitted to hospital for treatment of storm-related injuries and 10 other people have been treated and discharged.

There were several incidents of flooding, and 20 of fallen trees, some of which affected road traffic.

Eight incidents of flooding occurred in Kowloon, four in the New Territories, and one on Hong Kong Island.

In the most serious case, 25 villagers in Ying Kong Tsuen, Sheung Shui, were rescued by the Fire Services after being trapped by rising waters.

The strong winds, which gusted to 100 kilometres per hour at the airport, led to several reports of dangerous or fallen signboards and scaffoldings, and there were three reports of concrete falling from balconies.

Two roads were closed on Hong Kong Island - Fei Tsui Road because of a mudslip and Queen's Road West, between Centre Street and Eastern Street, because of a subsidence.

There were no major road closures in Kowloon, and in the New Territories a section of Route Twisk had to be re-routed one-way.

China Motor Bus, Kowloon Motor Bus and Citybus continued operations though service on some routes was either limited or suspended. The Mass Transit Railway and the Kowloon-Canton Railway remained opened but both tram and Peak Tram services were suspended. Star Ferry and Hong Kong Ferry services were also halted.

Kai Tak Airport remained open, but more than 25 incoming and outgoing flights were affected - being delayed, cancelled or diverted.

The Home Affairs Department opened 38 temporary shelters during the passage of the typhoon.

End/Tuesday, October 3, 1995

3

JLG Expert Talks on UK’s Intellectual Property System ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The second round of Expert Talks between the British and Chinese sides of the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group on Hong Kong’s Intellectual Property System will be held in Hong Kong on October 4 to 5.

The British side will be led by the Director of Intellectual Property of the Hong Kong Government, Mr Stephen Selby. The Chinese side will be led by Chinese representative, Mr Wang Weiyang. They will be assisted by experts from the two sides.

End/Tuesday, October 3, 1995

Consumer Council Chairman and Vice Chairman reappointed ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government today (Tuesday) announced that the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, has reappointed Professor Edward Chen Kwan-yiu as Chairman of the Consumer Council for a period of one year. Ms Anna Wu Hung-yuk has been reappointed as Vice Chairman of the Consumer Council for a period of two years.

Both appointments will start on October 7.

"I am very pleased that Professor Chen and Ms Wu have both agreed to continue their service on the Council,” the Governor said.

"I am particularly grateful to Professor Chen for giving so generously of his time despite his heavy commitments as the new President of the recently re-located Lingnan College.

"The Consumer Council has thrived under the leadership of Professor Chen and Ms Wu.

"Their reappointment will provide the continuity required for the Council u» complete the remaining sector-specific studies on competition, which will plax an important part in furthering the interests of consumers." the Governor added.

The appointment notice will be published in the Government Gazette on Friday (October 6).

End/Tuesday. October 3. 1995


Job Bazaar rescheduled ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

I he Job Bazaar cancelled earlier today (Tuesday) due to Typhoon signal No 8 has been rescheduled for October 25 (Wednesday).

The bazaar, organised by the Labour Department and sponsored by the Employees Retraining Board, will be held at Tsuen Wan Town Hall from 11 am to 5.30 pm.

End/Tuesday, October 3, 1995

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

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,865 0930

Closing balance in the account 3,206 1000

Change attributable to: 1100

Money market activity + 1,239 1200 +1,221

LAF today + 102 1500 + 1,241

1600 +1,239

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 122.0 *-0.1» 3.10.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

4 i EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.65 2 years 2708 6.06 100.30 5.97

1 month 5.67 3 years 3807 6.16 99.95 6.27

3 months 5.68 5 years 5009 6.95 100.29 7.00

6 months 5.69 5 years M501 7.90 102.34 7.43

12 months 5.71

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $6,741 million

Closed October 3, 1995

End/Tuesday, October 3, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Wednesday, October 4,1995

Contents Eage No.

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

Transcript of the CS's media session...................................... 5

Study on future land use of Tsing Yi...................................... 6

Proposed ways to improve industrial safety well received.................. 6

Contract to rebuild Tai Tam Road awarded.................................. 8

Hong Kong-Osaka yacht race to be held in 1997............................. 8

Penumbral eclipse of the moon on October 8 and 9.......................... 9

Two lots of land to let.................................................. 10

Kowloon City District Office to be moved................................. 10

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results........................... 11

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations..................... 12

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 Telecom World today (Wednesday):

Governor: I hope you enjoyed the Telecom World as much as I did. It's very good to see another example of Hong Kong being at the front of the race in Asia and arguably in the world. I'd like to congratulate Hongkong Telecom on everything they've done here. Can I say a word about yesterday. I'm delighted by the agreement reached yesterday in London between Vice Premier Qian Qichen and Secretary of State Malcolm Rifkind. Sometimes international meetings display cordiality and grand sounding communiques. But what's really important particularly when one's dealing with the future of a community as important as Hong Kong is to be able to point to real and solid achievements. That's what both sides were able to do yesterday. As you'll recall in my address to the Legislative Council last October, I said that we put particular emphasis on our relationship with the Preparatory Committee and the team designate and we wanted to structure those in as helpful a way as possible. And I said we also wanted to help the civil service prepare for the transition in a way which reinforced their morale rather than lower or undermine their morale. There've been one or two controversial suggestions made on both those subjects. You'll be aware of them as well as I am. But I'm delighted that we can now put all that behind us. We've put proposals to the Chinese side during the course of the summer and they've accepted those proposals. We can now go ahead in a way which I hope will be encouraging for the civil service and for the community as a whole and in a way which will enable us to deal effectively with the difficult tasks, difficult but not impossible, that we have in the next year of co-operating with the Preparatory Committee and with the team designate of the Special Administrative Region. So all of us in the administration, the Chief Secretary, the Financial Secretary and I, are particularly pleased at the way things went yesterday in London. We'd like to express our gratitude for the way the discussions were handled.

Question: The democrats called it an outrage British government didn't bring up the question of through train for LegCo with Qian Qichen. What's your response to that?

2

Governor: Everybody knows what the British government's position is. And it was put as recently as last Friday, extremely forcefully by the Minister of State at the Foreign Office, Jeremy Hanley in an interview with the World Service, a lengthy interview which I don't recall many of you reporting. He underlined the British government's position on the Legislative Council three times. But let me set out again for you the position held by the Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary, the Governor of Hong Kong, all of us. We've just had extremely successful elections to the Legislative Council. Obviously I'm pleased that despite what some of the skeptics have said over the years, within weeks of those very successful Legislative Council elections, we've also had these agreements reached on matters of substance in London. There was some people who would have denied that that was possible. But it's happened and I'm pleased about it. Now those elections have given Hong Kong what Hong Kong was promised - a broadly based, credible legislature, the most democratic legislature in Hong Kong's history. Again I repeat. As promised in the Joint Declaration, we see no reason whatsoever why that Legislative Council shouldn't complete its term in 1999, shouldn't go through the transition with appropriate measures taken to note the transfer of sovereignty in 1997. Any dismantling of the Legislative Council in 1997 would have to be explained to the people of Hong Kong. It doesn't seem to me to be very conducive to winning hearts and minds. And I think it would be disruptive. That's the position which we've taken. That's the position which the British government has taken. That's the position which the British Foreign Office Minister, Jeremy Hanley, set out in terms last Friday.

Question: We learned that civil servants will be allowed to have official meetings with Beijing leaders. How will that impact your message to the Legislature next week; your policy speech?

Governor: I'll be setting out what was agreed yesterday in my speech to the Legislative Council next week in rather more detail. And I think I'd like to leave the broader details about the proposals until then. We’ve been discussing the proposals with senior officials in the last day. The Chief Secretary and the Secretary for the Civil Service have been talking to their senior colleagues. In turn, their senior colleagues are talking to their departmental staff. I think I can say that there is a great deal of support for this approach in the civil service. I think people welcome the fact that we've put behind us some of the suggestions that were being made in the spring which I don't think people were very enthusiastic about and that we've agreed on the proposals which the Hong Kong government put forward in discussions with Chinese officials in the summer.

Question: How far should these discussions go? What is your fear of having civil servants meeting Beijing leaders?

3

Governor: I don’t have any fear about discussions which will be held here in Hong Kong between Hong Kong civil servants and those who will be their colleagues after 1997, officials who have an interest in Hong Kong in parts of the Chinese government. I don’t think anybody has any fear about that. We did have some anxieties about some of the proposals which you’ll recall were being put earlier in the year, but I’m glad that they’ve now been put on one side.

Question: Mr Patten, come back to LegCo, you say that the British Government has set out a position before. Also the Chinese Government has set out its position before, and indeed for ... should the two sides talk about it and why don't you think that... should have been brought up by the British ...

Governor: The British Government made plain yesterday its total support for the approach that we've taken right across the board in Hong Kong. I think that you'll recall that we, with great patience, tried during 160 hours of talks in 1993 to find a way in which we could reach accommodation with Chinese officials. Alas, that didn't prove possible. The proposals themselves were agreed by the Legislative Council here in Hong Kong. They were deliberately designed to be fair, open and acceptable to the people of Hong Kong and they are as we demonstrated two or three weeks ago. So I hope that Chinese officials will recognise that one of the best ways of giving reassurance to Hong Kong will be recognising and talking to those who represent the people of Hong Kong and represent the people of Hong Kong as I am sure they will very responsibly in the Legislative Council.

Question: Do you agree with what the democrats said, the more communication with the Chinese side with the senior officials of Hong Kong, the greater influence of the Chinese Government on Hong Kong Government's administration?

Governor: I think that any legislators who are concerned about the proposals on trying to get a smooth transition from the civil service, should themselves talk to civil servants. I think they will find that there is a very wide measure of support within the civil service for the approach that we’ve taken for discussions which will take place under our auspices, here in Hong Kong and will enable civil servants in the Hong Kong Government to get to know those that they will be working with in parts of the Government in Peking.

Question: Still no word on meeting between you and Mr Lu Ping. Will these agreements actually replace the need ...

4

Governor: I think it would always be quickest and easiest for Director Lu and myself to meet face to face. But I don't think that we must allow any Chinese reluctance on that score to stop us getting on with solving Hong Kong's problems. Nor do I think there is any doubt. You've been here the last few months. You know what the argument and the debate has been. Then there isn't any doubt about where the ' proposals that were agreed here came from. They were made in Hong Kong. They were made within the Hong Kong Administration and I am delighted that they've proved acceptable to the Chinese side.

Question: Mr Patten, Do you feel disappointed ... You said you are delighted to see this agreement yesterday. But do you feel a little bit disappointed about there's no touch about the LegCo matter during the meetings of the two foreign ministers?

Governor: I would have been delighted of course if there had, during the course of the discussions, been an acceptance on the part of Chinese officials of the democratic process in Hong Kong. Sooner or later they are going to have to face up to that because it's what people in Hong Kong have been promised in the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. It's not invented by the Government of Hong Kong. It's been promised to the people of Hong Kong by the future sovereign power as well as the present sovereign power. I would have been even more delighted therefore if that had been recognised there yesterday. But I hope that it will be recognised during the next J couple of years because what we are talking about isn't some abstract set of arrangements. What we are talking about is the aspirations, the opinions, the involvement of the people of Hong Kong in their own destiny. And that's not something that anybody can simply turn their back on.

Question: The role of Governor hasn't been mentioned in the talks yesterday. So what do you think the role of Governor will be in the transitional period?

Governor: To go on governing Hong Kong. I repeat what I said earlier. I don't think any of you who've been covering the stories that were resolved satisfactorily yesterday have any doubt where we've been making policy and where we will continue to make policy. I had a good discussion with the Prime Minister yesterday morning giving my thoughts about the agenda for the discussions during the day. I continue to be in regular touch with the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary. And I am delighted that we've both managed to put in place decent electoral arrangements for Hong Kong and that we've managed in the last few months to get agreements on the airport, on the Court of Final Appeal, on the civil service transition. I hope now that we've got a smooth transition for the civil service and for the Judiciary and it would be very good too if we could complete that and get a smooth transition for the legislature as well. It's not remotely threatening to anybody. As you know, Hong Kong is a moderate and mature community and the sooner that's generally recognised the better.

End/Wednesday, October 4, 1995

5

Transcript of the CS's media session ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the transcript of the media session by the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, at Central Government Offices lobby today (Wednesday):

CS: I very much welcome the agreement with the Chinese on how to resolve this issue of facilitatipg better communication and dialogue between civil servants and their Chinese counterparts. I believe that this agreement reflects the Chinese’ wish to take into account previous concerns expressed by the civil servants. I believe this way of proceeding, ie through informal get-togethers, would be the best possible avenue in terms of facilitating getting to know each other and facilitating better communication between civil servants and their Chinese counterparts. Of course, we will now discuss the detailed arrangements with the Chinese side and I very much hope that we’ll be possible to have the first of this sort of get-together in a few weeks’ time.

Question: Do you think that this kind of gatherings would undermine the sovereignty ..

CS: Not at all. I think not only does it not undermine the credibility of the government, on the contrary, it will facilitate, improve channels of communication between officials on both sides in a relaxed climate in Hong Kong. I think my civil service colleagues would feel that in that sort of atmosphere, they can be rather more relaxed about how they conduct this dialogue with their Chinese counterparts. I am sure all these improved channels of communication will assist each other to better understand their work. We would be hoping to discuss, as I said earlier, with the Chinese detailed arrangements with a view to starting the first of these get-togethers as quickly as possible.

Question: How frequent is the ....?

CS: I think it's difficult to say at this stage. It depends on how we can fit in the timings and there will be timings to take into account not only on the part of our own colleagues but also on the part of the Chinese officials who will be attending these get-togethers.

J Question: Will the sessions all be conducted in Hong Kong ....?

CS: Yes, we would hope to conduct most of these in Hong Kong, but of course this doesn’t replace the channel of communication that’s also available when policy secretaries or other senior officials go for visits to China. We would very much hope as we already do so now that they can also, when they visit, call on officials in the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office.

End/Wednesday, October 4, 1995

6

Study on future land use of Tsing Yi

*****

The Director of Planning, Dr Peter Pun, has recently signed a consultancy agreement with Mouchel Asia Limited to carry out a study on the future use of Tsing Yi Town Lot 46 Remaining Portion (RP) and possible foreshore reclamation.

"The objective of the study is to investigate the feasibility of possible reclamation along the waterfront of Tsing Yi Town Lot 46 RP,” a spokesman for the Planning Department said today (Wednesday).

"It will formulate two alternative land use schemes for the area in order to facilitate the future planning of the area," he said.

Tsing Yi Town Lot 46 RP, with an area of about 31.6 hectares, is at present occupied by an electricity generation plant and an oil depot, the lease of which will expire in June 1997.

"This area, with a marine frontage of about 900 metres, can offer a valuable site for mid-stream operations. The Metroplan Selected Strategy has also identified this area as having the potential for further reclamation to provide land for port-related uses," the spokesman added.

The study is expected to be completed in six months.

End/Wednesday, October 4, 1995

Proposed ways to improve industrial safety well received

*****

The Education and Manpower Branch has received more than 170 individual and joint submissions following a public consultation exercise on the review of industrial safety in Hong Kong.

The submissions were from employer/employee organisations, professional bodies, academic institutions, companies, government departments, district boards, and members of the public.

"I am pleased to note that there are widespread support for the key recommendations in the Consultation Paper on the Review of Industrial Safety in Hong Kong," the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong, said today (Wednesday).


7

• • • ■ 4- • /

"The submissions offered very useful comments on the consultation paper and many of them contained substantial and detailed proposals on ways to improve Hong Kong's industrial safety standards," he said.

Mr Wong noted that the submissions mainly commented on the need to enhance enforcement in parallel with implementing the self-regulatory safety management system and the future roles of the Occupational Safety and Health Council.

• • • ’ • •• J

• . . .

"The submissions also expressed concerns over occupational health in Hong Kong; extension of workplace safety legislation to the non-industrial sector; and safety training for the workers," he added.

"Our next step is to analyse in detail all the submissions.

"Wherever appropriate and in consultation with government policy branches and departments concerned, we will incorporate the relevant suggestions into the original recommendations in the consultation paper," Mr Wong said.

He pointed out that the Administration would finalise its new policies on industrial safety in about two months' time.

"We will then start drafting the necessary legislation. It is our plan to introduce the draft bills into the Legislative Council within the 1995-96 session," he said.

The Consultation Paper on the Review of Industrial Safety in Hong Kong was published in mid-July for public consultation which ended at the end of last month.

Key recommendations of the consultation paper include the adoption of a self-regulatory safety management system; enhancing the enforcement action and powers of the Labour Department and stepping up safety training and education in Hong Kong in order to improve the local industrial safety standards.

During the consultation period, officials from the Education and Manpower Branch and Labour Department had attended a series of meetings and seminars with trade unions, trade and industrial organisations, advisory committees and district boards to exchange views on the issue.

End/Wednesday, October 4, 1995

8

Contract to rebuild Tai Tam Road awarded

*****

The Highways Department today (Wednesday) awarded the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Tai Tam Road contract to Shui On Civil Contractors Limited.

A spokesman for the department said the $69 million contract comprised mainly pavement rehabilitation works and associated drainage improvement works along Tai Tam Road from Stanley Village Road to Chai Wan Road. It also includes watermain laying works between Stanley Village Road and Red Hill Road junctions.

Works will start soon for completion in mid-1997.

"On completion of the works, a durable road with good riding quality will be provided for the traffic," the spokesman said.

The works have been designed and construction will be supervised by Halcrow Asia Partnership Limited for Hong Kong Region of Highways Department.

End/Wednesday, October 4, 1995

Hong Kong-Osaka yacht race to be held in 1997

*****

Members of the race committee of the Sail Osaka 97 will be in Hong Kong tomorrow (Thursday) for a discussion with the Marine Department over the arrangements of the boat race.

The race, one of the major yachting events in Asia in recent years, will be held in March 1997.

So far more than 11 countries including Chile, Japan, Russia, Argentina, Portugal, Holland and Colombia will take part in the regatta which will start from Hong Kong and finish at Osaka in Japan.

The event is part of the activities organised by the Port of Osaka to celebrate its centenary.

End/Wednesday, October 4, 1995

f

- 9 -

Penumbral eclipse of the moon on October 8 and 9 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

There will be a penumbral eclipse of the moon from the evening of October 8 to the early morning of October 9.

Details of the penumbral eclipse are as follows:

Hong Kong Time Azimuth Direction Elevation (degrees)

moonrise 1749 (October 8) East 0

moon enters penumbra 2158 East-southeast 55

middle of eclipse 0004 (October 9) South • 75

moon leaves penumbra 0210 West-southwest 58

moonset 0635 West 0

Penumbral eclipse occurs when the moon passes through the penumbra (partial shadow) of the earth’s shadow without entering the umbra (total shadow). During the event, only the apparent brightness of the moon will become dimmer, but the limb of the moon will not be obscured by the earth’s shadow.

The next lunar eclipse observable in Hong Kong will not occur until April 4 next year.

End/Wednesday, October 4, 1995

10

Two lots of land to let ♦ * * ♦ ♦

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

The first lot, located in Area 27D, Choi Yuen Road, Sheung Shui, has an area of 6,070 square metres for use as a fee-paying public car park.

The tenancy is for two years, renewable quarterly.

The second lot is located at Hoi Wah Road, Area 16, Tuen Mun. It has an area of 7,450 square metres and is also for use as a fee-paying public car park. The tenancy is for one year, renewable monthly.

Closing date fot submission of both tenders is noon on October 20.

Tender form, tender notice and conditions may be obtained from the District Lands Office, North; District Lands Office, Tuen Mun; the Lands Department, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road; and the Kowloon District Lands Offices, 10th floor, Yau Ma Tei Car Park Building, 250 Shanghai Street, Kowloon.

■ •. ,*

Tender plans can also be inspected at these offices.

End/Wednesday, October 4, 1995

Kowloon City District Office to be moved ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Kowloon City District Office will be moved to a new location on the 17th floor of One Harbourfront at 18-22 Tak Fung Street, Hung Hom. next Monday (October 9). Its Public Enquiry Service Centre (PESC) and the District Board (DB) Secretariat will also be relocated to the same premises.

Telephone numbers of the District Office will also be changed. The new number for PESC is 2621 3401 and for the DB Secretariat is 2621 3407.

The District Office will continue to provide services for the public until noon this Saturday (October 7) at its present address at Kau Pui Lung Road, To Kwa Wan.

End/Wednesday, October 4, 1995

11

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Tender date 4 Oct 1995 4 Oct 1995

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q540 Y594

Amount applied HK$5,400 MN HK$2,020 MN

Amount allotted HK$ 1,500 MN HKS500 MN

Average yield accepted 5.67 PCT 5.70 PCT

Highest yield accepted 5.69 PCT 5.71 PCT

Pro rata ratio About 3 PCT About 65 PCT

Average tender yield 5.69 PCT

5.72 PCT

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

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

Tender date 10 Oct 1995 10 Oct 1995

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q541 H575

Issue date 11 Oct 1995 11 Oct 1995

Maturity date 10 Jan 1996 10 APR 1996

Tenor 91 days 182 days

Amount on offer HK$ 1,500+300 MN HK$800+160 MN

End/Wednesday, October 4, 1995

12

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

$ million Time (lionis) Cumulative change LSmilliuiil

Opening balance in the account 3,206 0930 -33

Closing balance in the account 2,637 1000 -33

Change attributable to: 1100 -33

Money market activity -33 1200 -33

LAF today -536 1500 -33

1600 -33

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 122.2 *+0.2* 4.10.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

I week 5.65 2 years 2708 6.06 100.37 5.93

1 month 5.68 3 years 3807 6.16 100.07 6.22

3 months 5.69 5 years 5009 6.95 100.41 6.97

6 months 5.70 5 years M501 7.90 102.35 7.42

12 months 5.71

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $16,648 million

Closed October 4, 1995

End/Wednesday, October 4, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Thursday, October 5,1995

Contents Page No,

Intellectual property laws to meet new trade standards..................... 1

APEC members need to strengthen collaboration: STI......................... 2

Temporary traffic arrangements for Tuen Mun Road........................... 4

Governor to meet public on Policy Address.................................. 6

Leaflet to explain law on data protection.................................. 7

Majority have confidence in HK's future: HAB survey........................ 8

Car testing centres fee to be revised...................................... 9

Exhibition on AIDS........................................................ 10

Art exhibition to show young talents................................... 11

Beauty Queen to open Gurkha Fair.......................................... 12

New post office for Siu Sai Wan Estate.................................... 12

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

1

Intellectual property laws to meet new trade standards

The Government would be introducing a bill to ensure that Hong Kong's intellectual property laws meet the standards set in the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS).

The Intellectual Property (World Trade Organisation Amendments) Bill, to be gazetted tomorrow (Friday), will be introduced into the Legislative Council on October 18.

A spokesman for the Trade and Industry Branch today (Thursday) said: "TRIPS is part of the results of the GATT Uruguay Round multilateral trade negotiations which culminated in the setting up of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on January 1, 1995. Hong Kong is a founding member.

"TRIPS sets out new standards of intellectual property protection and enforcement among WTO members, including protection of copyright, trade marks, patents, industrial designs and topographies of integrated circuits."

He continued: "Although Hong Kong's existing intellectual property laws are largely in line with the standards set down in TRIPS, Hong Kong must ensure that they are fully compatible with the TRIPS standards as an integral part of taking on our rights and binding responsibilities as a full WTO member.

"WTO is a trade organisation, and one of the main purposes of TRIPS is to minimise impediments to trade due to inadequate protection of intellectual property rights."

There will be four main areas for change:

All signs which are capable of distinguishing the goods and services of one undertaking from those of another - even including smells and sounds - will be capable of registration as trade marks, provided that they are capable of being represented in a graphical form.

* Owners of copyright in films and videos, and computer programs will be able to prevent such products from being rented out commercially without their permission.

2

* Performers will be able to prevent their live performances from being recorded and distributed commercially or broadcast without their permission.

* As a useful measure to combat the influx of infringing goods, copyright and trademark owners will be able to apply for court orders to detain suspected imports of infringing goods.

End/Thursday, October 5, 1995

APEC members need to strengthen collaboration: STI

*****

The Secretary for Trade and Industry, Mr Chau Tak-hay, today (Thursday) called on member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) to strengthen scientific and technological collaboration to meet challenges ahead.

Speaking at the APEC Ministerial Conference on Regional Science and Technology Co-operation hosted by China in Beijing, Mr Chau said such a need arose from the challenges faced by all member economies in meeting the aspirations of their people for better lives which had to be balanced against the need to find sustainable means of development and stem the damage to our environment.

He said: "The Asia-Pacific region is now better equipped than ever before to maximise the use of technology for the betterment of all our peoples.

"A new technologically literate generation is growing up, looking expectantly towards the products of science and technology to help solve the problems of everyday life.

"But the opportunities presented by science and technology could not be grasped unless the community possesses the means to exploit them."

Mr Chau said: "A key task we all face is to build and develop the technological infrastructure which will allow us to apply new technologies and scientific knowledge to the solution of the diverse problems we face.

"In Hong Kong, this has meant a sustained investment in human resource development, through a substantial increase in the number of places for tertiary education in science and technology subjects.

3

"In addition, we have given greater priority to supporting research and development and funding facilities, in order to assist technologically-based industries and businesses."

Noting that indigenous scientific resources were important, both as a means of developing new technologies and exploiting those transferred from outside, Mr Chau said: "However, external investment is an increasingly important source of technology for many APEC economies.

"APEC has signalled the importance it attaches to promoting investment through the agreement of a set of non-binding principles, which sets out clear objectives for the liberalisation of investment regimes.

"This practical step will do much to encourage the flows of investment and technology into the region and amongst APEC member economies."

Mr Chau said: "While it is natural for governments around the region to focus on building their internal technological infrastructures, we must not neglect the regional and international mechanisms, both formal and informal, which enable the scientific and technological community to share ideas and co-operate in the further advancement of human knowledge.

"The shared understanding reflected in APEC's common policy concept for scientific and technological co-operation is an important contribution to this area.

"The projects proposed by APEC members will help deepen understanding of the ways in which technology can be applied jointly to solve diverse problems."

While conceding that trade flows had helped stimulate world-wide economic growth in this century, Mr Chau believed technology flows would be seen to be equally significant over the next hundred years. "Trade in ideas may soon come to rival trade in goods as the main vehicle for exchanges between economies.

"But if this is to happen, we must continue to strengthen the protection accorded to ideas, or intellectual property as applied ideas are known," said Mr Chau.

End/1 hursday, October 5, 1995

4

Temporary traffic arrangements for Tuen Mun Road ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

The Transport Department announces today (Thursday) that in order to facilitate the erection of a conveyor bridge truss over Tuen Mun Road for the Route 3 (Country Park Section) Project, the following temporary traffic and transport arrangements will be implemented this Saturday and Sunday (October 7 and 8):

(I) Road Closures

MM Ml W MM MM M MM W * MM MM M

(a) A section of about 400 metres of the fast lane of Tuen Mun Road (NT-bound) between Ting Kau and Sham Tseng will be closed from 10.30 pm on October 7 until 5 am on October 8.

(b) The Tuen Mun Road (NT-bound) carriageway between Tsuen Wan Road and Sham Tseng Interchange will be closed from 1 am to 5 am on October 8. This closure including the closure of Tsuen Wan Road (NT-bound) between its exit slip road to Hoi Hing Road Roundabout and Tuen Mun Road, the slip road from Hoi Hing Road Roundabout to Tsuen Wan Road (NT-bound) and the slip road from Castle Peak Road to Tuen Mun Road (NT-bound).

(c) The Tuen Mun Road (Tsuen Wan-bound) carriageway between Sham Tseng and Tsuen Wan will be closed from 10.30 pm on October 7 to 6 am on October 8.

(II) General Traffic Diversion

As a result of the above closures, the following traffic diversions/arrangements will be effective:

(a) Between 1 am and 5 am on October 8, motorists on Castle Peak Road heading for Tuen Mun Road (NT-bound) should remain on Castle Peak Road until reaching Sham Tseng Interchange where they can switch to Tuen Mun Road (NT-bound).

5

(b) Between 1 am and 5 am on October 8, motorists on Tsuen Wan Road and Hoi Hing Road Roundabout heading for Tuen Mun Road (NT-bound) will be diverted onto Hoi Hing Road, Hoi On Road and Castle Peak Road until reaching Sham Tseng Interchange where they can switch to Tuen Mun Road (NT-bound).

(c) Between 10.30 pm on October 7 and 6 am on October 8, motorists on Tuen Mun Road (Tsuen Wan-bound) heading for Tsuen Wan will be diverted onto Castle Peak Road via the slip road at Sham Tseng Interchange.

(d) Between 10.30 pm on October 7 and 6 am on October 8, motorists on Castle Peak Road will not be allowed to use Sham Tseng Interchange to gain access to Tuen Mun Road heading for Tsuen Wan.

(Ill) Public Transport Diversion

(a) All public transport services on Tsuen Wan heading for Tuen Mun will be diverted to travel via Castle Peak Road, Chai Wan Kok Roundabout, Hoi Hing Road, Hoi On Road, Castle Peak Road, Sham Tseng Interchange and Tuen Mun Road (1 uen Mun bound) between 1 am and 5 am on October 8.

(b) All public transport services on Tuen Mun Road heading for Tsuen Wan will be diverted to travel via Sham Tseng Interchange, Castle Peak Road, Hoi On Road, Hoi Hing Road, Chai Wan Kok Roundabout and Castle Peak Road, between 10.30 pm on October 7 and 6 aip on October 8.

Drivers are advised to drive with utmost care and patience. Appropriate traffic signs will be erected and police officers will be on hand to guide motorists.

End/Thursday, October 5, 1995

6

Governor to meet public on Policy Address ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Members of the public are being invited to put questions to the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, on his 1995 Legislative Council Policy Address at a meeting, a government spokesman announced today (Thursday).

The meeting will be open to everyone. Free admission tickets will be distributed through the URBTIX system from 10 am tomorrow (Friday). Because seats are limited, each person can only obtain two tickets at the maximum.

This public meeting will be held from 6 pm to 7.15 pm on October 13 at the theatre of the City Hall, Edinburgh Place, Central, Hong Kong. Simultaneous interpretation facilities will be available.

URBTIX outlets where admission tickets can be obtained are:

Hong Kong Cultural Centre Auditoria Building

Hong Kong Coliseum

Ngau Chi Wan Civic Centre

* Queen Elizabeth Stadium

* City Hall

Sheung Wan Civic Centre

* Sai Wan Ho Civic Centre

Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts

Hong Kong Arts Centre

* Sha Tin Town Hall

* Tsucn Wan Town Hall

Tuen Mun Town Hall

North District Town Hall

* Tai Po Civic Centre

* Lut Sau Hall

* Tom Lee Music Company branches in:

- Cameron Lane, Tsim Sha Tsui,

- Kornhill Plaza. Quarry Bay,

- 521 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay,

- City Centre Building, 144-149 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai,

- Tsucn Wan Town Square,

- Citylink Plaza, 1 Shatin Station Circuit, Sha Tin, and

- Landmark North, Sheung Shui.

End/Thursday, October 5, 1995

7

Leaflet to explain law on data protection

*****

The Home Affairs Branch (HAB) has published a guide to help data users understand the main features of the newly enacted Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance.

The ordinance aims to protect the privacy interests of individuals in relation to personal data. It will also safeguard the free-flow of personal data to Hong Kong from restrictions by countries that already have data protection laws. An HAB spokesman said today (Thursday) the guide, in the form of a bilingual leaflet, sets out the objectives of the law, its scope of coverage and implications for data users and data subjects.

The leaflet outlines the main duties and powers of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, who is to head an independent statutory office to enforce and promote compliance with provisions of the ordinance.

"It introduces the six data protection principles based on international practice that are contained in Schedule 1 of the ordinance.

"It also gives general guidance on exemptions from the requirements of the ordinance and points to be noted for data users who hold employment-related personal data," the spokesman said.

In addition, the leaflet draws attention to the provisions for offences and compensation under the ordinance and informs data users of responsibilities with regard to personal data, he said.

The ordinance was enacted in August this year and is expected to come into force early next year.

Free copies of the leaflet are now available at the District Offices and the Marketing Office of the Government Information Services on the 17th floor, Siu On Centre, 176 - 192 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai.

Organisations or groups which require a large number of copies may contact Ms Lisa Chiu on 2835 1380 and public enquiry about the leaflet can be directed to Mr K M Cheung on 2835 1556.

End/Thursday, October 5, 1995

V

8

Majority have confidence in UK's future: HAB survey ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A public opinion survey conducted recently by the Home Affairs Branch has showed that 55 per cent of the respondents were confident of Hong Kong's continued prosperity and stability.

Releasing the findings of a bimonthly survey conducted in September, a HAB spokesman said the figure matched a similar survey conducted two months earlier.

The survey also revealed that of the three most-mentioned problems facing the territory, labour-related problems continued to top the list of concern, rising to 60 per cent of the respondents from 45 per cent as recorded in the July poll.

Among these respondents, 86 per cent worried about unemployment while the corresponding figure in the last survey was 76 per cent.

The percentage of respondents who were concerned about the importation of labour, meanwhile, dropped from 39 per cent to 30 per cent.

When asked about the Government's handling the labour issue, 45 per cent believed the Administration had exerted efforts in solving the problem, representing a drop of only one per cent.

Transport-related problems came second in the list at 36 per cent, up by five per cent.

The third was housing-related problems, referred to by 27 per cent of the respondents, down from 32 per cent.

The survey was the 60th 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, 1,509 persons aged between 15 and 64 were interviewed.

End/ Thursday, October 5, 1995

9

Car testing centres fee to be revised

*****

Fees charged by Car Testing Centres (CTCs) for the examination of private cars and light goods vehicles and the issue of a duplicate copy of certificate of roadworthiness will be revised from November 9.

A government spokesman said today (Thursday) the fee increase of about nine per cent was sought by operators of CTCs to cover cost increases since the last revision in November last year.

"The revised fees will remain on a par with the examination fees charged by Government Vehicle Examination Centres, which were last revised in June this year with a similar percentage of increase," he said.

CTCs are private garages designated by the Commissioner for Transport under the Road Traffic Ordinance for the inspection of private cars and light goods vehicles not exceeding 1.9 tonnes.

Meanwhile, government fee for the supply of a certificate of roadworthiness for private cars and light goods vehicles will also be increased by about nine per cent to reflect the increase in costs after the last revision in last November.

Item Existing Proposed

Fee Fee

A Fees to be charged in respect of an examination:

1 Initial examination

a Private car $485 $530

b Light goods vehicle $580 $630

2 Re-examination where made within

14 days of initial examination

a Private car $150 $165

b Light goods vehicle $190 $210

10

3 Issue of a duplicate copy of a certificate of roadworthiness

a Private car

b Light goods vehicle

$150

$190

$165

$210

B Fee payable for supply of each form of a certificate of roadworthiness

1 Private car

2 Light goods vehicle

$48.50 $58

$53

$63

End/Thursday, October 5, 1995/End

Exhibition on AIDS ♦ * * * ♦

People from all walks of life can obtain more information on AIDS by visiting an exhibition to be held at the concourse of Central Mass Transit Railway Station from tomorrow (Friday) to Sunday (October 8).

Jointly organised by the Department of Health and the Radio Television Hong Kong, the three-day exhibition aims to promote public awareness and knowledge on AIDS.

The exhibition will begin at 12 noon tomorrow and close at 3 pm on Sunday.

Boards with general information on the disease and drama pictures featuring a series of television programmes on sex education will be displayed.

Guests of honour, including the Department of Health's Consultant on Special Preventive Programme, Dr S S Lee, and the Convenor of Publicity Working Group of the Committee on Education and Publicity on AIDS, Mr Cheung Che-kwok, will be at the opening of the exhibition to be held tomorrow at noon.

End/Thursday, October 5, 1995

11

Art exhibition to show young talents ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A two-day exhibition of paintings, calligraphy and photography by local young people will take place at the Exhibition Hall, Lower Block, City Hall, this Saturday and Sunday (October 7 and 8).

On display are winning entries of the Hong Kong Youth Cultural and Arts Competitions held throughout this year by a host of organisations under the auspices of the Home Affairs Department.

■ • ' * * •- •

Video-tapes showing some of the outstanding performances by contestants in the finale of the inter-school quiz and speech contest will also be screened at the venue.

Thousands of students and youths have participated in the competitions which aim to explore their creativity and potentials in various forms of art and cultural activities.

At the opening of the exhibition, renowned local artists will demonstrate their talents and their work will be given to visitors.

The exhibition will be held from 2.30 pm to 6 pm on Saturday and from 11 am to 6 pm the following day. Admission is free.

Attention News Editors:

The opening ceremony of the exhibition will be held at 2.30 pm on Saturday at the Exhibition Hall, Lower Block, City Hall, Central.

Officiating guests will include the Chairman of the Hong Kong Youth Cultural • and Arts Competitions Executive Committee, Mr Sham Choi-sang; and the Assistant Director of Home Affairs, Mr Victor Ng.

Media representatives are invited to cover the event.

End/Thursday, October 5,1995

- 12 -

Beauty Queen to open Gurkha Fair ♦ * * * * ?• ' A 1

Miss Hong Kong 1995, Miss Winnie Yeung, will be guest of honour at Malaya Lines, Sek Kong, when she officially opens this year's Gurkha Fair on Saturday (October 7).

Organised by the 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles (1 RGR), the fair, which takes place on Saturday and Sunday (October 7 and 8), will include motor-cycle displays, a tug-of-war competition, trailer race, a lion dance and a free fall parachute display.

Musical highlights will be provided by the battalion's Pipes and Drums.

The fair will take place at Malaya Lines' Polo Field, near Kam Tin, and will be open from 11 am on both days. Members of the public are invited to attend.

Attention News Editors:

You are invited to send a representative to Malaya Lines' Polo Field on Saturday to cover the opening of the fair by Miss Hong Kong. Members of the press should arrive there no later than 10.45 am where they will be met by a member of JSPRS.

End/Thursday, October 5, 1995

New post office for Siu Sai Wan Estate

*****

The Siu Sai Wan Post Office, a branch post office located at Unit 1-2, ground floor, Sui Yick House, Siu Sai Wan Estate, Chai Wan, opened for business at noon today (Thursday).

This new office provides a normal range of counter services to the Siu Sai Wan Area. Business hours are:

13

Monday to Friday : 9.30 am to 1 pm

2.15 pm to 5 pm

Saturday : 9.30 am to 1 pm

The telephone number is 2897 0501.

t .■ ' • . ■

The Postmaster General, Mr Mike Pagliari, the Chairman of the Eastern District Board, Mr Chan Bing-woon, and the District Officer (Eastern), Mr Lui Hau-tuen, officiated at the opening ceremony this morning.

The new Siu Sai Wan office brings the total number of branch post offices in Hong Kong at present to 125.

End/Thursday, October 5, 1995

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

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,637 0930 +534

Closing balance in the account 1,941 1000 +534

Change attributable to: 1100 +534

Money market activity +534 1200 +534

LAF today -1230 1500 +534

1600 +534

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 122.0 *-0.2* 5.10.95

14

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.55 2 years 2708 6.06 100.43 5.89

1 month 5.59 3 years 3807 6.16 100.11 6.21

3 months 5.61 5 years 5009 6.95 100.53 6.94

6 months 5.64 5 years M501 7.90 102.53 7.37

12 months 5.68

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $18,224 million

Closed October 5, 1995

End/Thursday, October 5, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Friday, October 6,1995

Contents Page No.

Fund contributes to a cleaner and greener Hong Kong......................... 1

Open channel to be fenced off to stop illegal dumping....................... 3

Financial Secretary to visit US............................................. 4

Report on electric and magnetic field only a working draft.................. 4

Applications invited for funding health care projects..................

GEO receives 17 landslip reports............................................ 6

Law to protect gas pipes from careless excavation works..................... 8

Bank Notes Issue (A) Bill..............................................

Bill to tighten control over building works gazetted....................... 10

Tax Reserve Certificates (A) Bill.......................................... 10

Hotels to sell departure tax coupons................................... 11

Film censorship fees to be revised......................................... 12

Training ground offers to local law graduates.............................. 13

Volume and......

Contents

Eage No.

Volume and price movements of external trade in July..................... 15

Gambling licence fees to be revised...................................... 21

Licence granted to Chinese bank.......................................... 22

Head of Trade to lead HK delegation to Tokyo APEC meeting................ 22

Chairman for disciplined services committee re-appointed................. 23

Flood prevention work in Yuen Long....................................... 24

Tenders invited for slope upgrading works................................ 25

Application for HCFC quota allocation invited............................ 26

Stability improvement works at Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir..................... 27

Multiple visit permit for ex-China Macau residents....................... 27

Relief articles to flooding victims...................................... 28

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations..................... 28

1

Fund contributes to a cleaner and greener Hong Kong *****

The Environment and Conservation Fund (ECF) is making steady progress to encourage public interest in initiating and participating in projects leading to a cleaner and greener Hong Kong.

Since the launching of the Fund in August last year, ECF has approved grants totalling $16.9 million in support of 91 environmental and conservation projects, many of which are community projects receiving support for the first time.

The primary aim of ECF is to assist projects that will improve or sustain Hong Kong’s environment through practical public awareness and research projects.

Chairman of the ECF Committee set up to advise on the use of the fund, Mr Peter Woo, said: "I am delighted and encouraged by the broad spectrum of non-profit organisations that have applied for grants during this first phase of the funding programme.

"It is our aim to try to get as many people involved in caring for the environment as possible and provide them with financial support to benefit the public at large. It is the participation of people at the grassroots level that can and will make the change for the better."

The Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, said: "I am pleased to see that these projects will involve the active participation of more than 120,000 pepole.

"This is a useful indication that the ECF Committee has succeeded in its task to raise public interest in caring for our environment."

Mr Leung thanked the ECF Committee and its sub-committees for their excellent work in selecting worthwhile projects to be supported by the Fund.

"I am sure that committee members with their diverse professional backgrounds will continue to perform their tasks fabulously," he said.

Among the projects funded by ECF is the Environmental Resource Centre now being set up in Tsuen Wan. This will be the first environmental resource centre to be operated by community groups.

The centre will provide environmental information to the public with the ultimate goal of arousing public interest in taking positive action to improve the environment.

2

A substantial grant has also been made to a number of green groups to undertake 16 projects to encourage public participation in activities that will sustain the local environment. Other community groups received an allocation of about $0.7 million to undertake 46 environmental projects.

Grants have also been made in support of research by green groups and tertiary institutions to enhance the protection and conservation of biodiversity in Hong Kong.

Of the 91 projects approved by ECF, three were jointly funded with the Woo Wheelock Green Fund, a private fund established by Wheelock and Company Ltd.

Mr Leung said: "Mr Woo and Wheelock has set a precedent for people and organisations in the private sector to follow. I hope more people will show support to such a worthwhile cause that will benefit not only people in Hong Kong, but the future generations."

Mr Woo said: "Based on experience gained in the first year, the ECF Committee, in the next phase of work, will focus attention on projects that will help identify and solve pressing issues such as conservation of biodiversity, marine conservation and promotion of environmentally friendly personal or business practices.

• . . • .’!•

"It remains our aim to support local efforts that will promote changes in behaviour and lifestyle towards a better environment in Hong Kong.

"In line with the government’s policy, the Committee likes to see improvement in air and water quality, reduction in noise pollution, minimisation of waste, conservation of biodiversity and energy conservation, all of which aimed at improving our quality of life," Mr Woo said.

To encourage more groups to come forward to apply, ECF will streamline the application procedure.

• •.(. $;* x -, i.

The application form is being amended to include the strategic objectives of the Fund and guidelines on budget preparation, taking into account feedback from applicants in the past year. The revised form will be available later this year.

Meanwhile, the current application form will continue to be available from the Planning, Environment and Lands Branch, the Environmental Protection Department and District Offices.

End/Friday, October 6, 1995

3

Open channel to be fenced off to stop illegal dumping ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Kowloon Development Office of the Territory Development Department (TDD) will fence off a temporary open channel adjacent to Wong Tai Street in Tai Kok Tsui to prevent further illegal dumping in the channel.

Illegal dumping by the public has turned the open channel into a refuse dump, with stormwater being polluted and blocked by refuse, despite frequent clearance by the contractors working on the West Kowloon Reclamation.

"We are very concerned about the environmental problems this has caused to nearby residents and will be stepping up efforts to rectify the situation," said TDD’s Project Manager/Kowloon, Mr C H Yue, today (Friday).

"The fencing-off work will start shortly and is expected to be completed within three weeks," he added.

Apart from fencing off the channel, the development office will also ask the Urban Services Department (USD) and the police to step up action against illegal dumping.

At the same time, it will also ask USD to spray insecticide oil into the open channel regularly to prevent mosquito breeding.

Meanwhile, the development office has instructed its contractors to clear wastes at their sites more frequently - at least once a week. It will also step up site control to minimise further environmental nuisances to the residents. As a long-term solution, it will ask its contractor to look into the possibility of filling up the open channel at an earlier date.

These short and long term measures were discussed at a meeting among the development office, members of the Yau Tsim Mong District Board and representatives of the Tai Kok Tsui residents today.

The open channel receives stormwater from outfalls along an old seawall as an outlet to the sea. All these outfalls will have to be connected to a new drain at West Kowloon Reclamation before the channel can be filled up.

Construction of the new drain has been included in a roadwork contract which commenced in August this year for completion at the end of 1996.

End/Friday, October 6, 1995

4

Financial Secretary to visit US * * * ♦ ♦

The Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, will leave Hong Kong for Washington DC this (Friday) evening to attend the 1995 Annual Meetings of the World Bank/Intemational Monetary Fund (IMF) and to visit New York.

Over 10,000 participants from about 180 member countries will take part in the meetings to be held in the US capital between October 10 to 12. The delegations are headed by finance ministers or governors of central banks.

While in Washington, Mr Tsang will attend a series of official functions where he will meet finance ministers, leading bankers and heads of financial institutions in the world. He will also attend a number of banking and financial seminars. He will fly to New York after participating in the meetings.

On October 12, he will address the National Committee on US-China Relations on ’’Hong Kong: A City in Transition”.

A study team, headed by Executive Director (External), Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), Mr James H Lau, Jr, has also arrived in Washington to study the arrangements for the annual meetings. HKMA is responsible for organising the 1997 IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings in Hong Kong.

Mr Tsang will return to Hong Kong on October 15.

End/Friday, October 6, 1995

Report on electric and magnetic field only a working draft ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

In response to enquiries about Electric and Magnetic Field (EMF) reports in today’s (Friday) newspapers, a spokesman for the Working Group on EMF said the reported information was only a working draft material which had absolutely no standing at this time.

. ’ • > ■»

’’The Working Group on EMF was recently advised by the President of United States National Council of Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) that the draft material formulated in connection with the work of a committee of the NCRP has been disseminated outside the Committee membership and portions have been published and widely distributed without the authorisation of the NCRP.

5

"The NCRP President further advised that the draft in question is still undergoing revisions to prepare it for entry into the initial review phase of the five major stages of the extensive review process," the spokesman noted.

He said the Working Group on EMF had studied the working draft report and would continue to monitor the latest developments on the issue.

"However, the adoption of the International Radiation Protection Association guidelines, which have been adopted or recommended for use in similar form by many countries, is considered to be appropriate for Hong Kong," the spokesman stressed.

End/Friday, October 6, 1995

Applications invited for funding health care projects

*****

The Health Care and Promotion Fund (HCPF) is inviting applications for funding for promotion projects, research on health promotion interventions and treatment that is not locally available, particular in respect of rare diseases.

HCPF, established by the Government through an injection of $80 million to the Hospital Authority, aims at stepping up efforts in health promotion and disease prevention, as well as providing assistant to certain patients in need. It is available to provide financial support for:

Health promotion projects that help people change their lifestyle towards a state of optimal health through enhancing awareness, changing behaviour or creating an environment that supports good health practices.

* Research projects that will provide an information base for health promotion interventions which will enhance good health and prevention and early detection of disease and disability.

Hong Kong residents who need to receive treatment that is not locally available, particular in respect of rare disease.

Applications are not limited to health care organisations alone. Individuals and non-profit making organisations from all sectors are welcome to apply.

6

Successful applicants for any of the three components of the Fund may be awarded full or partial support on a one-off basis not exceeding $500,000.

The HCPF Committee, chaired by the Secretary for Health and Welfare and comprises health care professionals and government representatives, is responsible for the management of the Fund. Information leaflets and application forms will be available to interested organisations and individuals upon requests.

Enquiries or requests for application forms, stating clearly whether for promotion projects, research or treatment for rare diseases, should be mailed or faxed to:

HCPF Secretariat

19th floor, World Trade Centre 280 Gloucester Road

Causeway Bay

Hong Kong

(Fax: 2895 2167)

End/Friday, October 6, 1995

GEO receives 17 landslip reports *****

The Geotechnical Engineering Office (GEO) has received a total of 17 reports of landslip since last night.

Three of the landslips occurred on Hong Kong Island, three in Kowloon and 11 in the New Territories.

Of these, eight of them affected roads and seven affected buildings.

Shortly before 7.30 am today (Friday), two people were injured as a result of a landslip from a cut slope adjacent to Castle Peak Road.

The landslip hit the rear of a double decker bus and the injuries suffered by the two victims were caused by broken glass inside the vehicle.

7

Both lanes of the road were closed by the police after half of one lane was blocked by the landslip which was sited at the crest of a nine-metre-high cut slope. It had a volume of about one cubic metre.

GEO staff on site have made recommendations to the Highways Department on emergency works required and on completion of such works, one lane of the road should be able to re-open this evening.

The Landslip Warning was issued at 10 pm last night, and lowered at 10.15 am this morning.

Heavy rainfall associated with thunderstorms has been affecting the territory since early yesterday evening.

Many areas have experienced over 200 mm of rainfall, with the heaviest between 5 pm yesterday and 2 am today, and further heavy rainfall between 5 am and 8.30 am this morning. Peak rainfall intensities have been in the range of 50 to 75 mm per hour.

The worst affected areas were the northern and northwestern New Territories, Kowloon and northern Hong Kong Island.

GEO has mobilised its Emergency Control Centre to respond to any landslide incidents reported. More than 15 GEO staff have been deployed or are on standby to respond to landslide reported.

In the interests of public safety. Fei Tsui Road was closed last night as a precaution during the heavy rain as only emergency repair works to the August 13 landslip have been completed. The road was re-opened this morning.

"Heavy rain will take many hours to drain away through the hillsides and there is a possibility that further landslides will continue for some time even after the rains have ceased.

"The public should be aware of this and take extra care when approaching, walking or travelling past steep slopes," a GEO spokesman said.

End/Friday, October 6. 1995

8

Law to protect gas pipes from careless excavation works *****

The Gas Safety (Amendment) (No 2) Bill 1995, gazetted by the Government today (Friday), paves the way for the enactment of regulations to control, in the interests of safety, construction works in the vicinity of gas pipes.

Under the Bill, the maximum penalties that may be provided for in regulations made under the Gas Safety Ordinance are set to increase to a fine of $200,000 and imprisonment for 12 months. Currently, the maximum penalties are a fine of $25,000 and six months imprisonment.

The Bill will enable the Gas Authority to inspect works near gas pipes, require immediate improvement where works are endangering a gas pipe and to prosecute offenders.

If passed by the Legislative Council, the Bill will be followed by new regulations requiring that construction works should not be carried out near a gas pipe unless its position has been checked and steps taken to ensure that it will not be damaged by the works.

fi

Under the new regulations, a person not taking all reasonable measures to protect a gas pipe from damage arising out of his construction works that is likely to prejudice safety commits an offence and is liable on conviction to the new maximum penalty of a fine of $200,000 and to imprisonment for 12 months.

The proposals reflect the Government's concern at the frequent damage done to gas pipes through careless excavation work. There were 120 such incidents last year.

While the consequences of most of these incidents are relatively minor, damage to a gas pipe may lead to a major fire or explosion. The proposed legislation aims to minimise the potential for such hazards.

The Government intends to bring the bill into effect six months after enactment so as to allow time for the new regulations to be drafted, for a code of practice to be issued by the Gas Authority and for the gas supply companies and the construction industry to adjust to the new requirements.

The Bill will be introduced into the Legislative Council on October 18. It was originally introduced into LegCo on March 8 as the Gas Safety (Amendment) Bill but was subsequently deferred, along with several other bills, to the 1995-96 session at the request of the Council.

End/Friday, October 6, 1995

9

Bank Notes Issue (A) Bill *****

The Bank Notes Issue (Amendment) Bill 1995 was published in the Gazette today (Friday).

A government spokesman said the main purpose of the Bill was to modify the legal framework for the issue of legal tender eurrcncy notes so that it would be consistent with the provisions in the Sino-British Joint Declaration (JD) and the Basic Law (BL).

He said the Bill would provide for the statutory authority for the Government to issue currency notes.

"This is merely to make the Bank Notes Issue Ordinance consistent with the provisions in the JD and the BL. The Government has no intention of taking over the note-issuing function from the note-issuing banks," he said.

Consistent with this proposed amendment, the backing mechanism for the issue of bank notes would be extended to the currency notes, if any, issued by the Government.

The Bill would also provide an explicit power for the Financial Secretary, with the approval of the Govemor-in-Council, to authorise banks to issue bank notes, as required by the JD and the BL. Such power was not explicitly provided in the existing statutory provisions.

"The three existing note-issuing banks will deem to have been authorised when the Ordinance comes into effect," the spokesman said.

The spokesman said the Bill also sought to enable the Financial Secretary to stipulate the terms and conditions for authorising a note-issuing bank, which would cover those aspects relating to the design, denomination, means of production, distribution, quantity, safe-keeping and destruction of the legal tender bank notes.

End/Friday, October 6, 1995

10

Bill to tighten control over building works gazetted

*****

A bill which seeks to improve the registration system for building contractors and professionals and to tighten safety control over building works and sites is

gazetted today (Friday).

A government spokesman said the Buildings (Amendment) (No 3) Bill 1995, if enacted, would provide a reasonable, workable and pragmatic approach to enhance public safety in respect of building works.

"We have taken on board the concerns and legitimate interests of the industry and professions," the spokesman said.

The Amendment Bill was first introduced into the Legislative Council on May 31 and was refined after the Administration further consulted the building industry, the building professions and various advisory bodies including the Land and Building Advisory Committee on supplementary details during the past few months.

The Amendment Bill, with the refinements, will now be introduced into LegCo on October 18.

End/Friday, October 6, 1995

Tax Reserve Certificates (A) Bill

* * * * *

The Tax Reserve Certificates (Amendment) Bill 1995 was gazetted today (Friday).

The Bill seeks to enable the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) to launch the voluntary PAYE Scheme and to maintain accounts for Tax Reserve Certificates ( I RC) purchased by taxpayers without the issue of paper certificates.

"Under existing legislation, IRD must issue a paper certificate to a taxpayer who purchases a TRC directly from the department or through a bank. The taxpayer also has to surrender the certificates when he pays his tax bill," a government spokesman said.

11

"The PAYE Scheme will be introduced initially for civil servants on a trial basis.

"A civil servant may authorise the Treasury to deduct from his salary a specified sum each month for the purchase of TRC. IRD will credit the payments to a TRC account maintained in the applicant's name and automatically settle his tax bill on the due date. Any surplus amount will be carried forward in the account," the spokesman explained.

"The scheme will offer a convenient and automatic saving method for settling tax bills. We will review its operation after implementation to examine whether the scheme should be extended to other groups of people, for example, civil service pensioners in Hong Kong and overseas."

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

Any person who has further enquiries may call the Tax Reserve Certificate Section, IRD, on 2594 3217.

End/Friday, October 6, 1996

Hotels to sell departure tax coupons ♦ * * ♦ ♦

The Government has proposed to allow hotels to collect air passenger departure tax for the Administration by selling tax coupons to their guests.

At present, the departure tax, payable by all passengers at the age of 12 or above leaving Hong Kong by air, is collected by the airline operators for the Government at the time of check-in for flights.

A government spokesman said today (Friday) that the proposed arrangement was aimed at improving Hong Kong's services to air passengers.

"Overseas visitors staying at hotels will no longer need to worry about keeping Hong Kong dollars for payment of the departure tax at the airport. The amount may also be included in the hotel room bills," the spokesman said.

"The proposal is supported by the Hong Kong Tourist Association and the Hong Kong Hotels Association. Over 40 hotels have expressed interest to participate in the proposed scheme." the spokesman added.

12

Details of the proposal are contained in the Air Passenger Departure Tax (Amendment) Bill 1995 which was published in today's Gazette.

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

End/Friday, October 6, 1995

Film censorship fees to be revised ♦ ♦ ♦ * *

The Film Censorship (Amendment) (No 2) Regulation which seeks to revise the fees payable under the main regulations to achieve full cost recovery was published in the Gazette today (Friday).

"A review of the fees payable under the Film Censorship Regulations has been conducted recently,” said a spokesman from the Recreation and Culture Branch.

"The review concluded that while the fees for the censorship of a still film and the issue of a replacement certificate are still adequate to cover the full costs, the censorship fee for a film other than a still film needs to be increased by 5.9 per cent, and the fees for the exemption of films and the approval of Category III videotape/ laserdiscs packaging need to be increased by about nine per cent in order to recover the full costs of the services provided," the spokesman said.

The amendment regulation will be tabled in the Legislative Council on October 11 and come into effect on November 9.

Details of the existing and revised fees are as follows:

Existing fee Revised fee

Censorship fee for a still film $20 $20

Censorship fee for any film other than a still film (per minute of running time or part thereof) $68 $72

$157

$157

Fee for the issue of a replacement certificate

13

Exemption fee for a still film $28

Exemption fee for any film other $22

than a still film (per minute of running time or part thereof)

Fee for the approval of Category $368

III videotape/laserdisc packaging

$31

$24

$402

End/Friday, October 6, 1995

Training ground offers to local law graduates ♦ * * ♦ ♦

The Legal Department is inviting applicants ordinarily domiciled in Hong Kong to fill vacancies under the Legal Trainee Scheme from August 1 next year.

The scheme, introduced for the fourth year, is intended to provide practical training for local law graduates in accordance with the requirements of the Law Society of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Bar Association.

The scheme is also open to government officers serving in legal/judicial group of departments who hold qualifications recognised for training purposes by the two professional bodies.

A spokesman for the Legal Department said today (Friday) that to give more legal trainees the chance to acquire experience in various types of legal work undertaken by government lawyers, the quota for the scheme has increased from five places in 1993 to 15 places.

"Although no obligation is placed on legal trainees to join the Legal Department after completing the training, nor is the Legal Department obliged to offer appointment to them, the Legal Trainee Scheme provides a constant pool of high quality young local lawyers who are valuable for the implementation of the department's localisation programme," the spokesman said.

Under the scheme, trainees of both solicitor and barrister streams will work in the Civil and Prosecutions Divisions of the department for periods of three to six months. They will also spend several months in the private sector to gain experience there.

14

During the period of attachment to the Prosecutions Division, trainees may have the opportunity to attend a four week practical prosecuting course consisting of lectures, discussions and mock court sessions. On completion of the course, they will be assigned to various courts to prosecute, an experience which many previous trainees found invaluable.

In addition, trainee solicitors, who will join the scheme for a period of two years, will according to their preference work for a total of six months in the legal/judicial group of departments, such as the Legal Aid Department, the Intellectual Property Department or the Official Receiver's Office.

Assistant Crown Counsel (that is trainees under the barrister stream), on the other hand, will join the scheme for one year and undergo a 12-month pupillage programme. Apart from attachment to a practising barrister in the private sector, the programme also includes attachment to a judge's marshall to enable trainees to see the courts in action from the Bench.

Throughout the whole training period in the Legal Department, all trainees will be under the supervision of experienced counsel who will guide and advise to them while a more senior counsel will monitor the training and provide them with additional assistance if needed.

Trainees will also have opportunities to assist experienced counsel in dealing with major and complicated cases.

Legal trainees will receive a monthly honorarium of $29,005 in the first 12 months and $30,365 in the second 12 months.

Interested candidates should apply in writing with a completed application form (G F 340. obtainable from any District Office of Home Affairs Department or from the Local Employment Service, Labour Department) to the Senior 1 raining Officer, Legal Department, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong, before October 21.

An academic reference is required for those who are not serving officer and should be sent direct from the Department or Faculty of Law to the same address before November 10.

Information pamphlets are available at the Legal Department, ninth Floor, Queensway Government Offices. Enquiries can be made on 2867 2233.

End/Friday, October 6, 1995

15

Volume and price movements of external trade in July *****

In the first seven months of 1995, the volume of re-exports increased by 17% over the same period last year, while the volume of domestic exports increased by 6.5%, according to the statistics released today (Friday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

Taking re-exports and domestic exports together, the volume of total exports increased by 15%. Meanwhile, imports increased by 17% 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 3.8% and 2.5% respectively. Import prices increased by 6%. 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 2.3% in the first seven months of 1995 over the same period last year.

Comparing July 1995 with July 1994, the volume of re-exports increased by 16%, while that of domestic exports increased by 5.7%. Taken together, the volume of total exports increased by 14%. Meanwhile, the volume of imports grew by 15%. Over the same period of comparison, the prices of re-exports and domestic exports increased by 4.2% and 2.5% respectively. Import prices increased by 6%.

The changes in the value, unit value and volume of re-exports by end-use category are shown in Table 1.

Comparing July 1995 with July 1994, the volume of re-exports of all end-use categories recorded increases of various magnitudes: fuels (+106%), capital goods (+22%), raw materials and semi-manufactures (+21%), consumer goods (+9.6%), and foodstuffs (+8.3%).

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 (+9.7%), consumer goods (+2.2%), foodstuffs (+1.7%), and capital goods (+1.7%).

16

On the other hand, the re-export price of fuels decreased by 1.5%.

The changes in the value, unit value and volume of domestic exports by principal commodity group are shown in Table 2.

Comparing July 1995 with July 1994, commodity groups which recorded increases in volume of domestic exports included metal ores and scrap (+60%); and radios of all kinds (+34%).

On the other hand, the volume of domestic exports of footwear and textile yam and thread decreased by 67% and 18% respectively.

Commodity groups which recorded increases in domestic export prices included textile made-ups and related articles (+7.1%); and textile yam and thread (+6.4%).

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 6% in July 1995 compared with July 1994.

Significant increases in the import volume were noted of wheat and flour; and soya bean oil, peanut oil, vegetable oil and lard. However, decreases in the import volume were noted of animals of the bovine species, live; and vegetables. Over the same period of comparison, the import volume of consumer goods increased by 7.5%.

Significant increases in import volume were recorded in cameras, flashlight apparatus and supplies for photography; and miscellaneous made-up articles of textile materials. 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 18% in July 1995 compared with July 1994.

Significant increases in import volume were noted of base metal other than iron and steel; and cotton yarn and thread. However, the import volume of wool and other animal hair; and raw cotton declined. Imports of fuels increased by 7.1% in volume in July 1995 compared with July 1994.

17

As regards capital goods, the import volume increased by 33% in July 1995 over July 1994.

Notable increases were recorded in the import volume of construction machinery; and transport equipment. The import volume of industrial machinery, other than textile machinery and electrical machinery however declined. Comparing July 1995 with July 1994, the import prices of most of the end-use categories increased: raw materials and semi-manufactures (+9.7%), capital goods (+4.8%), foodstuffs (+4.5%), and consumer goods (+4%).

On the other hand, the import price of fuels decreased by 1%.

Details of the above statistics are published in the July 1995 issue of the "Hong Kong Trade Index Numbers".

The report will be on sale around October 10 at $14 per copy at either the Government Publications Centre, ground floor, Low Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway; or the Publications Section 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.

18

Table 1 : Changes in re-exports by end-use category

Comparing JUL 1995 Comparing JAN^JUL 1995 with JUL 1994 with JAN-JUL 1994

% changes % changes

End-use category Value Unit Unit Value Volume

Value Volume Value

Foodstuffs 8.1 1.7 8.3 21.4 2.4 20.6

Consumer goods 11.9 2.2 9.6 11.1 2.3 9.2

Raw materials and semi-manufactures 33.0 9.7 21.0 33.0 9.1 21.7

Fuels 105.6 -1.5 105.6 39.9 3.7 35.2

Capital goods 17.4 1.7 22.4 25.4 0.4 29.0

ALL COMMODITIES ' 19.1 4.2 15.7 20.1 3.8 16.7

19

Table 2 : Changes in domestic exports by principal commodity group

Comparing JUL 1995 with JUL 1994 Comparing JAN-JUL 1995 with JAN-JUL 1994 % changes

. • * »!■ • ' . " Commodity group % changes

Value Unit Value Volume Value Unit Value Volume

Clothing 6.1 1.4 5.2 7.5 1.6 6.0

Textile fabrics -0.9 3.4 -7.2 -1.9 4.7 -6.7

Textile yarn and thread -11.8 6.4 - -17.9 -5.3 2.6 -8.5.

Textile made-ups and related articles -0.9 7.1 -9.3 20.3 12.8 5.7

Radios of all kinds 37.9 2.1 33.8 3.3 0.9 9.0

Electronic components 11.3 4.1 8.6 25.2 4.1 22.6

Footwear -63.1 3.6 - -67.1 -56.2 3.9 - -58.9

Metal manufactures 3.1 2.5 -1.1 7.7 2.4 5.5

Metal ores and scrap 61.0 4.9 59.8 44.0 6.4 35.7

Watches and clocks 21.5 1.5 19.3 11.5 2.3 7.7

Travel goods, handbags and similar articles 0.9 0.6 2.1 -3.6 -2.4 *

Domestic electrical appliances 25.2 1.4 25.1 -8.7 0.9 -9.1

ALL COMMODITIES 8.4 2.5 5.7 9.2 2.5 6.5

less than 0.05%

20

Table 3 : Changes in imports by end-use category

Comparing JUL 1995 Comparing JAN-JUL 1995 with JUL 1994 with JAN-JUL 1994

% changes % changes

End-use category Value ’ - ■ -q Unit Unit Value Volume

Value Volume Value

Foodstuffs 11.3 4.5 6.0 20.0 4.9 14.5

Consumer goods 11.3 ' ? ' • ',V 4.0 7.5 13.1 4.3 9.2

Raw materials and semi-manufactures 29.0 9.7 17.8 32.0 9.1 20.8

Fuels - : 10.2 -1.0 7.1 -0.1 - 1.2 0.5

Capital goods 39.5 4.8 32.8 35.3 4.8 29.9

ALL COMMODITIES 22.4 6.0 15.3 23.8 6.0 16.9

End/Friday, October 6, 1995

21

Gambling licence fees to be revised *****

Licence fees covering lotteries, tombolas, amusements with prizes, trade promotion competitions and mahjong/tin kau will be revised from November 9.

Details of the increases are listed in the Gambling (Amendment) Regulation 1995 published in the Gazette today (Friday). e

A spokesman for the Home Affairs Branch said it was government policy that fees should in general be set at levels sufficient to recover the full costs of providing the services. He pointed out that the revision of licence fees for lotteries, tombolas, amusements with prizes and trade promotion competitions had been based on inflation only since 1989.

"A recent costing exercise showed that increases are necessary to bring these fees to their full cost,” the spokesman said.

As to the licence fee on mahjong/tin kau, the Administration had proposed to raise it to cover the cost increase since its last revision last year, he added.

The new licence fees are set as follows:

Lottery $2,690

Tombola $11,000

Amusement with prizes $2,610

Trade promotion competition $ 1,360

Mahjong /tin kau $985 per table

The spokesman believed that the revised fees would not substantially increase the operating costs of the licensees, adding that charitable organisations would continue to qualify for a waiver or reduction of the fees under section 6 of the Gambling Regulation.

End/Friday, October 6, 1995

22

Licence granted to Chinese bank ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A Government spokesman said today (Friday) that the People’s Construction Bank of China (PCBC) had been granted a banking licence to conduct business in Hong Kong.

PCBC, one of the four specialised banks in China, is the third largest bank in China after the Bank of China and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in terms of assets. It ranked 44th in the world in terms of assets and 70th in terms of capital ir> 1994.

It operates more than 4,850 branches and sub-branches throughout China and has over 310,000 employees.

PCBC has established a representative office in Hong Kong since July 1993. It wishes to upgrade its representative office to a branch and develop it into its regional centre for South East Asia. The spokesman said the licence of PCBC was the sixth banking licence granted this year.

He added that the establishment of major Chinese banks in Hong Kong and vice versa would help boost the economy of both sides and maintain Hong Kong’s status as an international financial centre.

Before the grant of the PCBC licence, there were 183 licensed banks in Hong Kong, of which 152 were incorporated outside the territory.

End/Friday, October 6, 1995

Head of Trade to lead HK delegation to Tokyo APEC meeting ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Director-General of Trade, Mr Tony Miller, will be leading a Hong Kong delegation to the Third Senior Officials Meeting for the seventh Ministerial Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) scheduled for October 9 to 13 in Tokyo, Japan.

According to a Trade Department spokesman, this meeting will be the last senior officials meeting this year before APEC economic leaders meet in Osaka in mid-November.

23

The spokesman said APEC senior officials will make their best endeavour to finalise an action agenda for implementing the goal of free and open trade and investment in the region by the year 2020 set down by APEC economic leaders at their last meeting in November 1994.

The October senior officials meeting will be preceded by a meeting of the Committee on Trade and Investment to be held on October 7 and 8, and a series of sub-committee and experts meetings.

An expert group on government procurement also met for a second time yesterday (Thursday). This meeting was chaired by Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong delegation comprises officials from the Trade and Industry Branch, Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Tokyo, Financial Services Branch, Industry Department, Customs and Excise Department, Government Supplies Department and Trade Department.

APEC membership includes Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, the People's Republic of China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand and the United States.

End/Friday, October 6, 1995

Chairman for disciplined services committee re-appointed

*****

The Government announced today (Friday) that Mrs Miriam Lau has been reappointed as the Chairman of the Standing Committee on Disciplined Services Salaries and Conditions of Service.

Also re-appointed are Chairman of the General Disciplined Services Subcommittee, Mr Ronald Arculli; Chairman of the Police Sub-Committee, Mr Martin Barrow; and members Mr Anthony Cheung; Mr Chow Chun-fai; Mr Poon Chin-hung; Mr Yeung Ka-sing; Mr Brian Renwick and Dr Wilfred Chan.

Mr Anthony Neoh and Mr Tang Kwai-nang have stepped down from the Committee after serving on it for six years. Mr Neoh is succeeded by Mr Renwick as the Chairman of the 1CAC Sub-Committee.

24

The re-appointments are for a period of two years, with effect from October 1.

The Standing Committee on Disciplined Services Salaries and Conditions of Service is a permanent body appointed by the Governor to advise and make recommendations on matters relating to the structure of the disciplined services, and the salaries and conditions of service of their staff.

End/Friday, October 6, 1995

Flood prevention work in Yuen Long *****

The Government intends to construct an earth bund, a pumping station, a flood storage pond and drainage channel within an area of about 0.89 hectares of foreshore and sea-bed at Chuk Yuen Tsuen and Ha San Wai in Yuen Long. The work, which aims at preventing flooding in the area, is scheduled to commence late next year for completion in mid-1999.

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 sea-bed involved may deliver to the Director of Lands a written claim for compensation within one year from today.

The submission should state the sum of money the claimant is willing to accept in full and final settlement of the claim with particulars to substantiate the claim.

The notice (in both English and Chinese) together with the related plans can be seen and copies can be purchased on order at the Lands Department’s Survey and Mapping Office, 14th floor, Murray Building. Garden Road, Hong Kong.

The plan can also be seen at the Yuen Long District Office, ground floor, Yuen Long District Branch Office Building, 269 Castle Peak Road. Yuen Long. New Territories.

End/Friday, October 6, 1995

25

Tenders invited for slope upgrading works *****

The Civil Engineering Department is inviting tenders for upgrading 15 slopes and retaining walls throughout the territory under its accelerated Landslip Preventive Measures (LPM) Programme.

The works are expected to commence in January 1996 for completion in 17 months.

The acting Chief Geotechnical Engineer of the department's Geotechnical Engineering Office, Mr Kandiah Sivaloganathan, said the contract, for the upgrading works was the fourth and last one to be offered under the accelerated LPM programme this year and the first contract to be managed by consultant.

He recalled the Secretary for Works had announced earlier this year that the government's programme to upgrade government-owned man-made slopes listed in the 1977 Slope Catalogue would be completed by the year 2000 at a cost of some $1.3 billion. Mr Sivaloganathan said at least four contracts per year were expected to be let over the five-year duration of the programme.

"Studies of private slopes and retaining walls have also been accelerated considerably and that over 200 slopes will be studied in the year 1995-96.

"A statutory notice will be served by the Buildings Department requiring owners to carry out upgrading works if the studies revealed that a slope or a retaining wall is not up to the required standards," he added.

Tender forms for the slope upgrading works contract and further particulars can be obtained from Mott Connell Limited, 12th floor Sun Hung Kai Centre, 30 Harbour Road. Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

Tender offer will close at noon on November 3, 1995.

End/I;riday, October 6, 1995

26

Application for HCFC quota allocation invited *****

The Gazette today (Friday) published a notice inviting applications for quota allocations for the retained imports of 34 types of hydrochorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) for the period between January 1 and December 31, 1996.

"This is in accordance with the Copenhagen Amendment of the Montreal Protocol adopted in November 1992, under which the retained imports of HCFCs will be subject to quota limitations from January 1, 1996," Principal Environmental Protection Officer of the Environmental Protection Department (EPD), Mr Raymond Leung, said.

Being less destructive to the stratospheric ozone than CFCs, HCFCs are currently used as a transitional replacement for CFCs, he said.

In 1996, Hong Kong's consumption level of the HCFCs will need to be limited to the ozone depleting potential equivalent of 2,706 tonnes of HCFC-22, which is the most commonly used HCFC.

"And further steps will be taken to phase out HCFCs in the year 2030," he said.

To meet this requirement, the EPD has devised a HCFC quota allocation system.

"Quota will be allocated to applicants with proven records of importing HCFCs into Hong Kong for local use during 1992 to 1994," Mr Leung said.

Applications for quotas must be submitted in person by 5 pm on November 3 to EPD's Air Management Group, 33rd floor, Revenue Tower, 5 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

Application forms and further details regarding the quota system can be obtained from the above address or by telephoning 2594 6242 or 2594 6243.

End/Friday, October 6, 1995

27

Stability improvement works at Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir

*****

The Water Supplies Department is inviting tenders for stability improvement works at Tai Tam Tuk Reservoir Dam.

Specialist contractor will be invited to tender for the work which involves installation of piezometers and drilling of drainage holes at the dam. The work will commence in December this year and will last five months.

On completion, the stability and safety of the dam and the Lion Rock Group of Service Reservoirs will be improved.

Tender offer will close at noon on November 3.

End/Friday, October 6, 1995

Multiple visit permit for ex-China Macau residents

*****

The Immigration Department announced today (Friday) to further relax the residential requirement for ex-China residents in Macau for the issue of multiple visit permits.

"With effect from October 9, 1995, ex-China residents of Macau who are holders of Macau identity card for three years or longer will be eligible to apply for the two year multiple permits.

"The permits will allow the holders to visit Hong Kong for up to seven days in any calendar month. The fee for the permit is $90," the spokesman said.

"The arrangement is part of a plan to eventually lower the residential requirement for ex-China residents of Macau for the issue of such permits to two years and further announcement will be made in due course."

"There is no easing of existing system of immigration control and that visitors must leave Hong Kong at the end of their permitted stay," the spokesman reiterated.

For enquiries, members of the public may telephone 2824 6111 or use faxline 2877 7711.

End/Friday, October 6, 1995

28

Relief articles to flooding victims *****

The Social Welfare Department today (Friday) distributed emergency relief articles and hot meals to a total of 167 victims affected by various flooding and landslip incidents occurred in the New Territories.

Among the victims, 81 came from Sheung Shui, 80 from Fanling and six from Sha Tin.

End/Friday, October 6, 1995

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,941 0930 + 1,235

Closing balance in the account 3,074 1000 + 1,235

Change attributable to : 1100 + 1,233

Money market activity + 1,233 1200 + 1,233

LAF today -100 1500 + 1,233

1600 +1,233

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 121.9 *-0.1* 6.10.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.45 2 years 2708 6.06 100.46 5.87

1 month 5.51 3 years 3807 6.16 100.15 6.19

3 months 5.57 5 years 5009 6.95 100.64 6.91

6 months 5.61 5 years M501 7.90 102.65 7.34

12 months 5.65

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $17,608 million

Closed October 6, 1995

End/Friday, October 6, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Saturday, October 7,1995

Contents Rage No.

Transcript of the Governor’s media session................................ 1

Government policy progress report ready on Monday......................... 1

Kowloon City District Office on the move.................................. 2

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

Sunday, October 8,1995

Contents Page No,

Schools reminded on homework and test policy.......................... 4

Training courses for health workers................................... 5

Flushing water cut in Sha Tin......................................... 6

Transcript of the Governor’s media session

*****

The following is the transcript of the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten’s questions-and-answers with the media after opening the Shaw Campus of the Hong Kong Baptist University this (Saturday) morning:

Governor: Wonderful campus. We all are very grateful to Sir Run Run for his huge generosity.

Question: Sir, some legislators said you have suggested using deficit budgets to create job opportunities. How true is it?

Governor: I don’t recall making those remarks. But you’ve only got to wait till next Wednesday to hear the Policy Address. 1'11 be talking in particular about three main themes, about competitiveness, about caring here in Hong Kong and about cooperation, co-operation with the Legislative Council and co-operation with the new sovereign, with the Preparatory Committee and the Team Designate. So, those will be the main themes of my speech. But you don't have to wait very long until you hear it.

Question: There was a newspaper report yesterday that China was asking you be replaced. Do you think you now impediment to Sino-British relations?

Governor: No. As we said at the time the story was completely untrue as I think you suspect it all along.

End/Saturday, October 7, 1995

Government policy progress report ready on Monday

*****

The Government will publish a Progress Report on Monday (October 9) detailing achievements of the undertakings made in the Governor's 1992-1994 Policy Addresses.

The 1992-1994 Policy Addresses set out a total of 471 policy commitments for improving the quality of life for the community and the efficiency and accountability of the Government.

- 2 -

Copies of the Progress Report in English and Chinese will be distributed to members of the public from 4 pm to 7 pm on Monday at seven Mass Transit Railway stations at Admiralty, Tai Koo, Tsim Sha Tsui, Mong Kok, Tsuen Wan, Wong Tai Sin and Kwun Tong.

They will also be available from noon on Monday from the Government Publications Centre, ground floor, Low Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, the Marketing Office of Government Information Services on the 17th Floor, Siu On Centre, 188 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, and at all District Offices from 4 pm.

Attention News Editors:

Copies of the Progress Report will be available for the media at the Government Information Services, Room 615, Sixth Floor, Beaconsfield House, Queen’s Road Central at noon on Monday.

End/Saturday, October 7, 1995

Kowloon City District Office on the move ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

The Kowloon City District Office will be moved to a new location on the 17th floor of One Harbourfront at 18-22 Tak Fung Street, Hung Hom, next Monday (October 9).

The District Office’s Public Enquiry Service Centre (PESC) and the District Board (DB) Secretariat will also be relocated to the same premises.

”We are confident that the move will allow us to upgrade our services to the public as the new office is more spacious and better equipped," the Kowloon City District Officer, Mr William Yap, said today (Saturday). The telephone numbers of the District Office have also been changed. The new number for PESC is 2621 3401 and for the DB Secretariat is 2621 3407.

End/Saturday, October 7, 1995

- 3 -

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

Time Cumulative change

$ million (hours) ($ million)

Opening balance in the account 3,074 09:30 +20

Closing balance in the account 1,724 10:00 +20

Change attributable to: 11:00 +20

Money market activity +20 11:30 +20

LAF today -1,370 15:00

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 121.9 *+0.0* 7.10.95

End/Saturday, October 7, 1995

$

- 4 -

Schools reminded on homework and test policy ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

The Education Department considers it very important that learning in school should be a pleasant and rewarding experience and that no student should receive undue pressure from excessive homework and tests, a department spokesman said today (Sunday).

The spokesman said the department has been issuing a series of circulars on the teaching of school subjects and on homework and tests in school to obtain teachers’ support and co-operation.

Updated guidelines and a circular issued this week by the department reiterated that homework should be properly designed and regulated and that assignments should be reasonably balanced in terms of quantity.

School heads are also reminded of their responsibility in supervising and regulating the type, frequency and amount of homework set for each class.

"In view of the wide variation in pupils’ learning needs, abilities and home environment, there are no hard-and-fast rules about the frequency, amount and type of homework which should be set at each class level," the guidelines stated.

"This is a matter on which teachers are expected to exercise professional judgement and common sense,.

"However, it is important that each school should have a written homework policy drawn up in consultation with teaching staff."

Education Department area staff will advise and assist schools in drawing up the homework and test policy.

During visits to schools, these officers will note the action taken. The written homework and test policy should be made available to these officers upon request.

The department’s subject inspectors during school visits will also offer professional help with the quality and frequency of homework.

Schools are advised that frequency of assignments will be best controlled by a homework time-table which will ensure an even spread of homework over the week or teaching cycle and a balanced coverage of subjects.

5

The guidelines strongly recommend that, particularly at the primary and junior secondary levels, teachers should be given clear instructions on the frequency, amount to be set and the subjects to be covered for each class each day, and that due recognition should be given at all times to the age and abilities of pupils.

dj. • ?'s

Assessments and tests can also cause anxiety and undue pressure, especially if they are administered too frequently or the learning material to be tested is too wide or too difficult, the guidelines said.

’ JI ■

The number of tests administered each week should be strictly controlled.

The spokesman urged parents to step up communication with schools in respect of the appropriateness of the amount of homework through such channels as parentteacher associations and School Management Initiatives.

The spokesman added that any complaints received from the public concerning homework and tests will be investigated by the department.

End/Sunday, October 8, 1995

Training courses for health workers

* * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Social Welfare Department, in conjunction with four professional health care training institutes, is organising a total of seven training courses early next year to meet the demand for health care staff in residential care homes for the elderly.

The training courses are organised with a view to improving the quality of service of personnel in residential care, homes for the elderly, a spokesman for the department said today (Sunday). .

The four institutes are the College of Nursing, Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Red Cross, the Hong Kong St John Ambulance Association and the Management Society for Healthcare Professionals. The first course will commence on January 2 next year.

"Under the Residential Care Homes (Elderly Persons) Regulation, all health workers are required, among other things, to complete training approved by the Director of Social Welfare before being qualified for registration.

- 6 -

"The course, covering a total of 140 training hours, is designed to equip trainees with the necessary knowledge and skills for a comprehensive understanding of health care for elderly persons.

"The content of the course includes basic skills in rendering health care to the elderly, with emphasis on the psychological and physical changes of the elderly," the spokesman said.

Hong Kong residents who have completed Form 3 or equivalent and are competent to complete the training course can apply. Priority will be given to those who have two or more years of working experience in services for the elderly.

Copies of invitation have already been sent to elderly home operators, inviting them to recommend suitable candidates for the course. Posters of the training courses will also be put up at all public housing estates and Group Work Units of SWD.

Individuals who are interested to take up a job in elderly homes may also forward their applications to the Licensing Office of Residential Care Homes for the Elderly at Room 2354, 23rd floor, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai.

For enquiries, please call the licensing office on 2961 7220 or 2961 7221. The deadline for application is October 27.

End/Sunday, October 8, 1995

Flushing water cut in Sha Tin ♦ * * ♦ ♦

Flushing water supply to some premises in Sha Tin (East) will be temporarily suspended from 6 pm on October 10 (Tuesday) to 6 pm on October 12 (Thursday) to allow for conversion to salt water flushing.

The suspension will affect Jat Ming Chuen, Sha Kok Estate, Pok Hong Estate, Yue Shing Court, Girl Guide Pok Hong Camp Site and Sha Tin Scout Centre.

End/Sunday, October 8, 1995

■ 1- ‘

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Monday, October 9,1995

Contents Page No.

Governor to present 1995 Policy Address..................................... 1

CS launches the 1995 Progress Report........................................ 2

Transcript of the CS's media session........................................ 3

Working hours of retirement schemes office extended......................... 6

Fourth quarter rates due on October 31...................................... 6

Highway structures properly maintained...................................... 8

Souvenir cover to mark stamp exhibition..................................... 9

ACP contract for police station approved................................... 10

Flushing water cut in Sha Tin and Tai Wai............................... 10

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

1

Governor to present 1995 Policy Address

*****

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, will present his 1995 Policy Address to the Legislative Council on Wednesday (October 11) when he opens the 1995-96 session of the council.

Mr Patten will begin his address at 2.30 pm. The proceedings will be broadcast live on five television channels, as well as Radio Television Hong Kong channels 1,3 and 5, Commercial Radio and Metro Plus.

The full text of his speech will be available on the Internet's World Wide Web at http://www.hongkong.org.

Copies of his speech in English and Chinese will be available to members of the public from 4 pm that day at all District Offices, the Government Publications Centre, Ground Floor, Low Block, Queensway (government Offices, 66 Queensway, and the Marketing Office of Government Information Services on the 17th floor, Siu On Centre, 188 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai.

A Policy Address leaflet will also be available between 4 pm and 7 pm at seven Mass Transit Railway Stations at Admiralty, Tai Koo, Tsim Sha Tsui, Prince Edward, Tsuen Wan, Wong Tai Sin and Kwun Tong, and Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation's Kowloon Terminus and Kowloon Tong Station.

Members of the public can also collect the leaflet from temporary counters at Star Ferry Concourse in Central, footbridge behind General Post Office and Tsim Sha Tsui Bus Terminus. In the evening, Mr Patten will give a broadcast on radio and television on the main areas of his Policy Address.

On Thursday (October 12), the Governor will take questions from callers phoning in Radio 1 and 5's "Talkabout" and Radio 3's "Hong Kong Today" programmes from 7.45 am to 9 am. Phone-in numbers are 1872311 for the Chinese language and 2338 8266 for the English.

2

Attention News Editors:

A special closed-door working session will be arranged on Wednesday (October 11) in the GIS press conference room on the fifth floor of Beaconsfield House to enable media members to work on advance copies of the Policy Address. The session will start at noon until the Governor finishes his speech.

Media representatives working on the advance copies will not be allowed to leave GIS press conference room during this period.

You are reminded that contents of the Policy Address are embargoed until after delivery in the Legislative Council.

Later in the afternoon, the Governor will hold a press conference at the Conference Hall, first floor, Central Government Offices New Annex, Lower Albert Road after he has finished his speech.

Your representatives are invited to attend the press conference. Media members should arrive by 4 pm. Representatives of television and radio stations should arrive even earlier to set up equipment.

End/Monday, October 9, 1995

CS launches the 1995 Progress Report ♦ * * * ♦

The Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, said today (Monday) that a 94 per cent success rate achieved by the Administration in implementing the policy commitments in the 1992-1994 Policy Addresses reflected an impressive performance on the part of the civil service.

"One of the highest priorities of the Hong Kong Government is to ensure that it is directly and genuinely accountable to the community.

’’Accountability means setting targets and reporting on whether we have been able to achieve them. The centrepiece to these arrangements is the annual Progress Report,” Mrs Chan said.

The Progress Report is a list of the policy commitments from earlier policy addresses together with a report on progress with each of these commitments.

3

The 1995 Progress Report covers 146 policy commitments from the 1992 and 1993 Policy Addresses and 325 policy commitments announced by the Governor in his 1994 Policy Address.

"I am pleased to be able to say that 442 - 94 per cent - of these 471 policy commitments are on target," Mrs Chan said.

"We have completed 166 commitments in full and are ahead of schedule on six of them. Fifty-five of them are on-going commitments. We are on schedule on 203 commitments, which we expect will be able to complete in full by their target dates," she said.

"Whilst we are at present behind schedule on 12 of the commitments, I am confident that we shall be able to make up the lost ground and complete the work on target."

She noted that the Administration was behind schedule on 29 items, representing six per cent of the total.

"We are taking all possible measures to speed up progress on these items," she said.

"The policy commitments were ambitious targets, and to have achieved a success rate of 94 per cent says a great deal about the professionalism and high morale of the civil service. We will strive to do even better next year," she said.

End/Monday, October 9, 1995

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

The following is the transcript of the media session by the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, at the launching of the Progress Report 95 today (Monday):

CS: I am very happy to be able today to present to you and to the Hong Kong community the 1995 Progress Report, both in English and Chinese.

4

As you know, one of our highest priorities is to ensure that the Hong Kong Administration is directly and genuinely accountable to the community. Accountability means setting out our targets and reporting on whether we have been able to achieve these targets. The Progress Report which I have just shown you is a list of the policy commitments from earlier policy addresses, together with a report on progress with each of these commitments. The 1995 report covers 146 policy commitments from the 1992 and 1993 Policy Addresses and 325 policy commitments announced by the Governor in his 1994 Address. So today, I am reporting on a total of 471 commitments. Of these, I am very happy to be able to say: 442 or 94 per cent of the total are on target. Let me explain. This total comprises, first of all, 166 commitments which have been completed in full; 55 commitments which are ongoing; 6 commitments on which we are ahead of schedule; 203 commitments which are on schedule and which we expect to be able to complete in full by their target dates; 12 commitments which are at present behind schedule, but we are confident that we shall be able to make up the lost ground and complete the work on target; and finally, 29 commitments or 6 per cent of the total, and I stress, it’s only 6 per cent of the total which are behind schedule. The Progress Report identifies these undertakings and explains the reasons for the slippage. I hope that you will all agree that this is a very impressive performance on the part of the civil service. The policy commitments were ambitious targets and I think that to have achieved a 94 per cent success rate says a great deal about the professionalism and the high morale of the civil service. Of course, we will strive to do even better next year.

Question: In terms of helping the transition, what level of assistance is the Government willing and able to give the future Chief Executive, for example, how much access will he or she has to confidential information of the Government ?

CS: Could we stick to the purpose of today’s presentation which is the Progress Report.

Question: Sorry, that is one of the aims of the Government, isn’t it, to give assistance to the future Chief Executive?

CS: I think the Governor has already said that we will co-operate fully with the Chief Executive Officer designate and his team when they are known. I am sure that the Governor will be saying a bit more on this front in his Policy Address this Wednesday.

Question: My question is really follow up on what is already in the Progress Report -how willing and able is the Government... to assist the Chief Executive ?

CS: We are able and willing to achieve to the fullest extent possible.

5

Question: In the light of this Progress Report, can you comment on what Sir Percy Cradock said this morning that it would have been much better for Hong Kong if Governor Patten had never come here and things are going to be worse than ...?

CS: Sir Percy is a retired official. He has been out of the scene for some time. I think Hong Kong people including within the Administration. Legislative Councillors and the community at large at in the best position to judge what is in their best interest. I should also point out we have had a record turnout of voters and people participating in the recent elections. Clearly, that demonstrates that Hong Kong people are ready and willing and wish to have a greater say in the way in which they are governed.

Question: One area that is behind schedule is the closure of Vietnamese camps. Given the Chinese insistence that there should be no boat people left in the territory when they take over and the UNHCR saying : that’s unlikely...

CS: It remains our aim to resolve the Vietnamese boat people question before 1997. We are of course disappointed that we have not achieved greater progress in repatriating the boat people back to Vietnam as we would have like. I have to say that part of the reasons was because hopes have been unnecessarily raised by recent initiatives on the part of the United States. But I repeat: it remains our objective to resolve the boat people question before 1997.

Question: I think it remains your objective but how likely is it going to happen?

CS: I think that I have just stated that it is our aim and clearly we will do everything possible, everything within our power to resolve this problem. I know that the community is concerned about this. The Government is equally concerned. We hope with the co-operation of everybody including of course very importantly the Vietnamese authorities that we will be able to resolve this question before 1997.

Question: Where the issue of permanent residency now stands, you anticipate ...

CS: We are continuing our discussions with the Chinese. I do know that the Chinese authorities and the Hong Kong Administration, the British Government are very concerned about this issue. It is an issue that the whole community is concerned about, including not only the people of Hong Kong and also members of the investing community. I do know that all parties wish to be able to seek an early resolution of the problem so that the position is made clear to everybody in Hong Kong.

End/Monday, October 9, 1995

Working hours of retirement schemes office extended

*****

The Registrar of Occupational Retirement Schemes, Mr Ros Lam, today (Monday) reminded employers who have set up private occupational retirement schemes to register their schemes on or before October 15.

"There are only a few days left before expiry of the deadline for registration of existing schemes and there will not be an extension," Mr Lam said.

"The main purpose of the Occupational Retirement Schemes Ordinance is to protect the interests of scheme members so that retirement benefits promised them will be paid when they fall due."

To assist and facilitate employers who have not yet registered their schemes, the Office of the Registrar of Occupational Retirement Schemes at the Queensway Government Offices will extend its normal working hours throughout the lunch hours and until 7 pm daily from today (Monday) to Saturday (October 14) to answer enquiries and to receive applications.

The Registrar's Office will also be opened from 9 am to 7 pm on October 15 (Sunday).

"Employers operating such schemes after October 15, 1995, may be prosecuted and shall be liable to a fine of up to $500,000 and imprisonment for two years," said Mr Lam.

End/Monday, October 9, 1995

Fourth quarter rates due on October 31 *****

Rates for the fourth quarter of this year are payable on or before October 31, a spokesman for the Rating and Valuation Department said today (Monday).

Payment can be made using the Payment by Phone Service or by post addressed to the Director of Accounting Services. P O Box 8000, GPO, Hong Kong, or in person at any of the following offices:

7

* The Treasury Headquarters Collection and Payment Office, Immigration Tower, first floor, 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong;

* The Central Sub-Treasury, Central Government Offices (West Wing), 11 Ice House Street, Hong Kong;

* The North Point Sub-Treasury, Max Share Centre, first floor, 373 King's Road, North Point, Hong Kong;

* The Sai Wan Ho Sub-Treasury, Eastern Law Courts Building, ground floor. 29 Tai On Street. Sai Wan Ho. Hong Kong;

* The Yau Ma Tei Sub-Treasury, Kowloon Government Offices, fourth Floor, 405 Nathan Road, Kowloon;

* The Kowloon City Sub-Treasury, Man Sang Commercial Building, first floor, 348-352 Prince Edward Road West, Kowloon;

* The District Office at Sai Kung, Sha Tin, Tai Po, North, Yuen Long, Tuen Mun, Tsuen Wan or Kwai Tsing.

The spokesman said ratepayers who had not received their demand notes should bring along those for any previous quarter to any of the Treasury collection offices.

Duplicate demand notes will be issued to them, he said.

If they cannot produce demand notes for any previous quarter, they should enquire at the Rates Accounts Section. Rating and Valuation Department, Hennessy Centre, 17th floor, 500 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay. Hong Kong, or call 2881 1033.

Non-receipt of the demand notes does not alter the requirement that the rates must be paid by October 31 and unless so paid, ratepayers may be subject to a surcharge of five per cent under Section 22 of the Rating Ordinance.

A further surcharge of 10 per cent may be levied on the outstanding amount (including the five per cent surcharge) which remains unpaid six months after the due date.

8

Ratepayers who have submitted a valid direct debit authorisation should note that if the wording "Payment To Be Made By Autopay" is shown, payment will be made by direct debit to their bank accounts on October 31.

They should then ensure that their bank accounts contain the necessary funds on that date.

If the above wording is not shown, they should pay according to the instructions as set out in the demand notes.

To save queuing time, the spokesman urged ratepayers to use the Payment by Phone Service, or pay by post using cheques or cashier orders, or by early personal attendance at any of the collection offices.

"However, the most convenient payment method is autopay," said the spokesman.

Application forms for autopay are obtainable from Treasury collection offices, District Offices and all major banks in Hong Kong or by telephoning 2881 1033.

For additional information regarding the Payment by Phone Service, please call 170 222 329.

End/Monday, October 9, 1995

Highway structures properly maintained ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

In response to press reports on highway structures of Hong Kong . a spokesman for the Highways Department today (Monday) said:

"The highway structures of Hong Kong are being regularly inspected by the Highways Department and maintenance works are carried out from time to time if found necessary.

9

"The structures of Island Eastern Corridor are currently being inspected by the Consultant, with a view to identifying any defects and implementing the repair works if required.

"These structures are structurally sound in carrying the traffic load and the exercise is to ensure that they are in good serviceable conditions at all times.

"All the highway structures in service in Hong Kong have been properly maintained and they arc in good conditions."

End/Monday, October 9 ,1995

Souvenir cover to mark stamp exhibition

*****

The Postmaster General, Mr Mike Pagliari. announces today (Monday) that a souvenir cover will be issued on October 20 to commemorate the 1 long Kong Post Office's participation in the PH1LATEL1A '95 Stamp Exhibition to be held in Cologne, Germany, between October 20 and 22.

It will be placed on sale at all post offices at $2 each as from October 13.

On October 20, hand-back service will be provided at all post offices to official and privately-made covers bearing an indication of the events.

A special postmark and a cachet for general cancellation purposes will also be introduced on the same day.

End/Monday, October 9, 1995

10

ACP contract for police station approved *****

The Secretary for the Treasury, on the advice of the Central Tender Board, has approved the award of an Airport Core Programme (ACP) contract for the construction of a District Police Station in Tung Chung.

The contract, valued at $77 million, will be awarded tp Woon Lee Construction Co Ltd by the Architectural Services Department.

The contract comprises the construction of a seven-storey police station with single storey ancillary buildings for plant rooms, car washing bay and dog kennels.

Work will start later this month for completion in mid-1997.

End/Monday, October 9, 1995

Flushing water cut in Sha Tin and Tai Wai

*****

Flushing water supply to some premises in Sha Tin (East), Sha Tin (South) and Tai Wai will be suspended from 6 pm on Wednesday (October 11) to 6 pm the following day to allow for conversion to salt water flushing.

The suspension will affect Mei Lam Estate, May Shing Court. Park View Garden. Mui Lee Temporary Housing Area (THA), Glamour Garden. Grandway Garden, Grandeur Garden, Holford Garden, Tai Wai New Village, Fu Shan Crematorium, Tai Wai Industrial Area, Pristine Villa, Tai Wai, Hin Keng Estate, Ka Tin Court, Hin Tin Playground, Hin Tin Public Swimming Pool, Hong Kong School of Motoring, Lung Hang Estate, King Tin Court, Sun Chui Estate, Chun Shek Estate, San Tin Wai Estate, Fung Shing Court, Carado Garden, Golden Lion Garden Phase I and Phase II, Green View Garden, Julimont Garden, Union Hospital, Hin Tai Street, Tin Sum Village, Kak Tin Village, San Tin Village. Lei Uk Village, Yi Shing Square, Kong Pui Street, Yuen Chau Kok Road, Regal Riverside Hotel, Belair Garden, City One, Yue Tin Court, Prince of Wales Hospital, Yuen Chau Kok Clinic, School Child Dental Clinic, SAGE Kwan Fong Nim Chee Home for the Elderly, Chap Wai Kon Street, Yuen Shun Circuit area, Kwong Yuen Estate, Kwong Lam Court, Hong Lam Court, Boat Restaurant, On King Street, On Muk Street, On Lai Street, On Yiu Street, On Ping Street, On Sum Street, On Kwan Street, On Ming Street and Tate’s Cairn Tunnel Administration Building.

End/Monday, October 9. 1995

11

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

Time Cumulative change

$ million (hours) (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,724 0930 + 1,454

Closing balance in the account 2,677 1000 +1,454

Change attributable to: 1100 +1,454

Money market activity +1,406 1200 +1,444

LAF today -453 1500 +1,444

1600 +1,406

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 121.8 *-0.1* 9.10.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.42 2 years 2708 6.06 100.44 5.88

1 month 5.48 3 years 3807 6.16 100.15 6.19

3 months 5.56 5 years 5009 6.95 100.58 6.92

6 months 5.60 5 years M501 7.90 102.57 7.36

12 months 5.66

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $10,133 million

Closed October 9, 1995

End/Monday, October 9,1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Tuesday, October 10,1995

Contents PageNo.

New funding arrangements for ESF schools.................................. 1

Review on international school places..................................... 3

Secretaries to explain policy commitments........................... 6

Governor to explain Policy Address on TV and radio.................. 8

Stage two study on Hong Kong science park completed................. 9

GEO publishes layman's guide to slope maintenance................... 10

Mental Health Month to launch this Sunday........................... 11

Public invited to join education liaison sub-committee.............. 11

Chinese version of environmental report released.................... 12

Applications invited for home mortgage assistance................... 13

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results......................... 14

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

1

New funding arrangements for ESF schools

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

>

The Govemor-in-Council has approved a government working group's (WG) recommendations that subsidies to the English School Foundation (ESF) schools should be brought into near complete parity with local schools, Deputy Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Kevin Mak, announced today (Tuesday).

Under the new arrangement, recurrent subsidy for ESF schools will be calculated according to the number of classes instead of cost per capita, with adjustment to be made to take account of the difference in class size between ESF and local aided schools.

In line with the practice of the aided sector, the capital subsidy for ESF schools will be based on 100 per cent of the construction cost of a standard local aided school, adjusted downwards to take account of the smaller enrolment in ESF schools plus a professional fee and related cost.

Mr Mak said the review was conducted to address concerns that the Government provided higher per capita subsidy for ESF students and better capital subsidy arrangements for ESF schools.

"The WG examined in detail the existing arrangements which were based on the recommendations made by a committee appointed in 1980 to review the application of the parity of subsidy principle.

"It found that the rationale behind some of them has become out-dated and changes are needed to achieve a closer parity of subsidy," Mr Mak said.

At present, the unit subsidy for ESF schools is in general higher than that for aided schools mainly due to the grossing-up factor, a bigger salary grant and the hardship grant.

Based on the recommendation of the WG, the Government has decided to remove the current grossing-up factor but retain the hardship grant in calculating the new recurrent subsidy. There will not be any changes to the salary grant.

Mr Mak said the existing grossing-up factor of 17.6 per cent was intended to provide for a much greater fluctuation in the number and distribution of pupils > attending English speaking schools compared to other public sector schools.

2

"The Administration has decided to remove the grossing-up factor in line with the current arrangement for local aided schools because in present circumstances, the demand for ESF places is consistently high and fluctuations in enrolment have been greatly reduced,” he said.

The Government also considered it inappropriate to align the ESF hardship grant with that of the local sector.

"In the local school sector, needy students in S 4 and S 5 are eligible to apply for financial assistance based on a general means test.

"On the other hand, in ESF schools, hardship grant is made available to families of students suffering from sudden and unexpected difficulties irrespective of the level of class they are attending,” Mr Mak explained.

At present, the ESF salary grant is based on the 'actual' salaries as calculated on the aided school salary structure.

However, ESF schools, like some local aided schools, employ a higher proportion of experienced teachers who qualify for higher points on the Master Pay Scale than teachers in the average aided school.

The Administration did not recommend any change to this grant because the calculation of the ESF salary grant is consistent with the parity of subsidy principle, as it is on exactly the same basis as the calculation of salary grant for aided schools.

"The fact that ESF schools employ a higher proportion of experienced teachers than average aided schools is not in itself an argument for departing from the principle. The Administration therefore has decided against any change to this grant," Mr Mak said.

On capital subsidy, he pointed out that at present, a grant of 80 per cent of the standard cost of a primary school and 65 per cent in the case of a secondary school was provided by the Government with the remaining cost contributed by ESF.

"The WG recommended that the funding of ESF capital projects should be aligned to that for the local aided sector.

"The Government therefore has decided that a capital grant for an ESF building project should be based on 100 per cent of the building cost to Government of a standard aided school, adjusted downwards to take into account the smaller enrolment in an ESF school.-

3

"In addition, a professional fee of 16 per cent should be payable in line with the practice in the aided sector. The 55 per cent interest free loan (IFL) for above standard provision should be removed to make the basis of ESF capital funding the same as that for aided schools," Mr Mak said.

To minimise any impact on ESF and considering the need of ESF for more upfront cash to fund their above-standard requirements, the Government has decided to allow ESF to convert up to 50 per cent of the capital grant into a loan from the Government.

This option will enable ESF to increase its cash flow at no additional cost to the Government.

Mr Mak pointed out that after the implementation of the new subsidy arrangement, total subsidies to ESF schools would be reduced by $12.6 million a year.

ESF school fees to be paid by parents will increase by 3.43 per cent or $1,066 a year for primary and $1,756 a year for secondary schools at 1993-94 prices.

"In order to reduce the impact of the fee increase on parents, it has been decided to phase in the changes in recurrent subsidy over a period of two years starting in September 1996, that is from the next school year.

"As to the capital subsidy, the changes will apply to new ESF school projects," Mr Mak said.

End/Tuesday, October 10, 1995

Review on international school places

*****

The Government fully recognises the importance of international schools to the continued development of Hong Kong’s economy and will continue its policy of support to non-profit making international schools to ensure an adequate supply of these school places to meet increasing demands.

This was stated today (Tuesday) by the Deputy Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Kevin Mak, following approval by the Govemor-in-Council of the recommendations by a government working group (WG) set up last year to conduct an in-depth review on the provision of international school places and the Government’s financial assistance to them.

4

Mr Mak pointed out that the WG had commissioned a consultant to conduct three independent surveys covering international schools, families and employers.

’’Based on the findings of the consultant, the Government estimated that an additional 7,400 international school places will be required by year 2000. About 70 per cent of them, that is, around 5,180 places or roughly equivalent to five average size international school of 1,000 places each, are expected to be provided by non-profit making international schools, similar to the present situation," Mr Mak said.

He pointed out that the additional requirement would be partly offset by projects in the pipeline, such as the French, Canadian and Japanese international schools which would provide approximately 3,000 additional places between 1997 and 2000.

"The demand and supply situation will be reviewed by the Education Department annually," Mr Mak said.

He pointed out that the Government would continue to provide land grants at nominal premium to non-profit making international schools under an improved procedure.

"The Planning Department will conduct a systematic search for suitable sites, appropriate sponsoring bodies will be invited to apply for land grants and the applications will be considered by a newly-formed standing committee to be led by the Education Department," he said.

Under the new package, international schools will be provided with an interest-free capital loan up to 100 per cent of the cost of building a standard design public sector school. The Ioan can be used for building new primary or secondary schools, or for extension projects to meet an identified demand.

"This represents a significant improvement over the existing arrangement whereby capital assistance is available only for secondary school expansion projects in the context of the Direct Subsidy Scheme (DSS), and not to primary schools at all," Mr Mak explained.

Given the new arrangement for capital subsidy, the Government has decided that with immediate effect, no international schools will be admitted into the DSS. As for the four schools already admitted into the DSS, they will be phased out from the scheme gradually.

5

On admission policy, the Government considers it important that international schools should continue to serve mainly the target group(s) of students that they have publicly stated, for example, providing special educational needs for particular national, linguistic or cultural groups whose requirements cannot be adequately met within the existing school system.

"For those international schools whose student mix falls below a certain level, and which are clearly not achieving their objectives, the Director of Education is empowered to require them to rectify the situation. It is intended that this level should be set at 50 per cent," Mr Mak said.

Based on the forecast by the WG, the Government estimated that five school sites, each ranging from 6,000 to 9,000 square metres depending on efficiency of usage, will need to be granted at nominal premium to international school operators in the next five years.

Depending on the levels of primary/secondary classes, the interest-free loan that may be required for each school may range from $50 million to $69 million at current prices.

As at September 1994, there were 40 international schools in Hong Kong, with a total enrolment of 22,049.

End/Tuesday, October 10, 1995

6

Secretaries to explain policy commitments *****

The Attorney General, all policy secretaries, and the Commissioner, ICAC, will be briefing the Legislative Council and the media in the coming two weeks to explain in greater detail their policy commitments to be announced by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, in his Policy Address tomorrow (Wednesday).

Following is a tentative programme setting out the publicity activities relating to the Policy Commitments. Details for each of the individual press sessions will be announced prior to the event.

Date/Time art ,.rf; ..., K Policy Secretary

October 12 am Mr Joseph Wong, Secretary for Education and Manpower Press briefing after LegCo briefing

October 13 am Mrs Katherine Fok, Secretary for Health and Welfare LegCo briefing, visit to Wong Chuk Hang Complex for the elderly and media session

October 13 am Mr Bertrand de Speville, Commissioner, ICAC Media session after LegCo briefing

October 14 am Mr Michael Suen, Secretary for Home Affairs Media session after LegCo briefing

October 14 am Mr Peter Lai, Secretary for Security Stand-up session after LegCo briefing

October 16 am Mr Kwong Hon-sang, Secretary for Works LegCo briefing, visit to a landslip preventive programme site at Kwai Chung and media session

October 16 am Mr Haider Barma, Secretary for Transport Media session after LegCo briefing

October 16 pm Mr Gordon Siu, Secretary for Economic Services Stand-up session after LegCo briefing

7

October 16 pm Mr Bowen Leung, Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands Media session after LegCo briefing

October 17 am Mr Rafael Hui, Secretary for Financial Services Media session after LegCo briefing

October 17 pm Mr Dominic Wong, Secretary for Housing LegCo briefing, visit to a Home Ownership Scheme estate and media session

October 17 pm Mr Michael Sze, Secretary for the Civil Service Press briefing after LegCo briefing

October 18 am Mr Nicholas Ng, Secretary for Constitutional Affairs Stand-up session after LegCo briefing

October 18 am Mr Jeremy Mathews, Attorney General Stand-up session after LegCo briefing

October 18 am .1 Mr K C Kwong, Secretary for the Treasury Media session after LegCo briefing

October 19 am Mrs Rachel Cartland, Acting Secretary for Recreation and Culture LegCo briefing

October 19 am Mr T H Chau, Secretary for Trade and Industry Stand-up session after LegCo briefing

October 19 pm Mrs Rachel Cartland, Acting Secretary for Recreation and Culture Visit to the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and media session

End/Tuesday, October 10, 1995

8

Governor to explain Policy Address on TV and radio ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, will give a five-minute broadcast on the main areas of his fourth Policy Address tomorrow (Wednesday).

The broadcast schedule is as follows: > ■■■ ' ' ■ ,

Television station Time

TVB (Jade) ATV (Home) TVB (Pearl) ATV (World) Wharf Cable (News) 5.45 pm 5.55 pm 6.20 pm 6.50 pm 6.30 pm

Radio station Time

RTHK 1 RTHK3 Metro Plus CR2 CR Quote 864 5.05 pm 5.05 pm 6.30 pm 5.03 pm After Policy Address

End/Tuesday, October 10, 1995

9

Stage two study on Hong Kong science park completed ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A consultancy study commissioned by Industry Department suggests Hong Kong will gain substantial and wide ranging benefits from the development of a science park.

The 100-page final report by Segal Quince Wicksteed (Asia) Ltd reaffirms the case for a science park in Hong Kong which it identified in the stage one study undertaken in 1992.

The consultants make detailed proposals for a science park in Hong Kong, including its role, market orientation, location and physical characteristics, organisation and management, linkages with other related organisations and the likely costs and benefits.

A key conclusion of the study is that by facilitating investment in high-technology industries and technology transfer a science park can play a crucial catalytic role in contributing to Hong Kong’s prosperity.

Specifically, the science park will complement existing technology support in Hong Kong by encouraging inward investment in hi-tech sectors in Hong Kong, provide appropriate premises and technology services to promote the technology upgrading of the territory’s existing knowledge-based industries, stimulate the development of value-added technology transfer services between Hong Kong, China and the rest of the world and improve links between the universities in Hong Kong and the industrial and business communities.

The consultants recommend a three-phrase development programme extending over 15 years.

'fhe Government is studying the findings and recommendations of the consultants and before it decides on the proposal, it would like to seek the views of the community, in particular the industry and higher education sectors.

"We will consider carefully the consultancy report and take into account the views expressed during the consultation before deciding on the best way forward", said a spokesman for the Industry Department, which has been overseeing the conduct of the consultancy study.

The consultation will last until the end of December 1995 and views and suggestions can be sent to the Industry Department.

10

Copies of the Science Park Stage Two Study Report and its Executive summary can be obtained from the Industry Department. Copies of the Executive Summary are also available at District Offices of the Home Affairs Department from October 16, 1995.

End/Tuesday, October 10, 1995

GEO publishes layman's guide to slope maintenance

*****

The Geotechnical Engineering Office (GEO) of the Civil Engineering Department has published a booklet to enhance public awareness on the importance of slope maintenance.

The guide, entitled Layman's Guide to Slope Maintenance, provides simplified guidance on how to maintain man-made slopes and retaining walls.

"It will be particularly useful to property owners, owners' corporations and property managers," a spokesman for GEO said today (Tuesday).

"The Layman's Guide to Slope Maintenance is an abridged version of the Geoguide 5 which was published last month. Members of the public may refer to the Geoguide 5 for detailed guidance to slope maintenance," he said.

Copies of the guide is now available free of charge at the District Offices or on request to the GEO slope maintenance hotline 2762 5165.

Meanwhile, Geoguide 5 is also on sale at $30 per copy from the Government Publications Centre, Low Block, ground floor, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong.

End/Tuesday, October 10, 1995

11

Mental Health Month to launch this Sunday ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A month-long campaign to promote mental health will be kicked off this Sunday (October 15) afternoon at the Times Square in Causeway Bay.

The Mental Health Month aims to arouse public awareness of mental health and to promote the integration of the ex-mentally ill into the community. Emphasis will also be placed on work-related stress this year.

The event is jointly organised by the Health and Welfare Branch, the Hospital Authority, the Department of Health, the Social Welfare Department, the Baptist Oi Kwan Social Service, the New Life Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association and the Mental Health Association of Hong Kong.

More than 70 activities will be organised throughout the month, including seminars, exhibitions, workshops, visits, carnivals, competitions and athletic meets.

At the opening ceremony on Sunday, Professor Felice Lieh Mak, Executive Councillor, will read out the Proclamation for World Mental Health Day which falls on October 10 every year. This will be followed by band performances, a drama, a forum on the relationship between work and mental health and other activities.

Members of the public are invited to take part in these events. Information leaflets on the programmes are now available at all District Offices.

End/Tuesday, October 10, 1995

Public invited to join education liaison sub-committee ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Members of the public are invited to join the Educational Services Liaison Subcommittee which is set up for the public to express views on educational services.

Mr Hu Shao-ming has been re-appointed chairman of the sub-committee.

He paid tribute to members of the last term of the sub-committee who had made valuable contributions in the past two years.

12

A spokesman for the Education Department said today (Tuesday): ’’The subcommittee was set up in November 1993 under the Board of Education as a channel for the public to exchange views with the Education Department on educational services and to make suggestions to improve the services.

’’In order to gather views from different users of educational services, the membership of the sub-committee comprises three appointed members from the Board of Education, three parents, two students, two teachers, two school administrators, two members of the public and two representatives from the Education Department.”

The spokesman said the sub-committee would meet four times a year and the meetings would be conducted in Chinese.

He added that regular visits to schools and the Education Department would be organised for members to have a better understanding of their operations.

Members of the public wishing to join the sub-committee can contact the Education Department’s Serving Community Unit on telephone number 2961 7435 or fax number 2893 0718 to obtain application forms. Completed application forms should be sent to the Unit at Room 2328, 23rd floor, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, on or before November 2, 1995.

Members will serve a two-year term from November 1995 to October 1997.

End/Tuesday, October 10, 1995

Chinese version of environmental report released ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Environmental Protection Department today (Tuesday) released the Chinese version of’’Environment Hong Kong 1995”.

"Reporting on various aspects of environmental work carried out by the Government, the publication contains a series of feature articles providing easily readable material for the general public as well as reference material for those who are more interested in technical data,” a spokesman for the department said.

13

The topics feature in the report include environmental impact assessment for the Shenzhen River Regulation Project, planning against air pollution, noise legislation, old and new landfills, clean technology and work of the local control offices.

"Members of the public may also be interested to know the existence of an environmental resource centre and a visitors centre where they can quickly pick up information on a wide range of environmental issues," the spokesman said.

At $74 a copy, the Chinese version of "Environment Hong Kong 1995" is now available at the Government Publications Centre on the ground floor. Low Block. Queensway Government Offices, 66, Queensway, Hong Kong. Ihe English version of the report has been on sale since July.

End/Tuesday, October 10, 1995

Applications invited for home mortgage assistance ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Education Department is inviting eligible full-time employees holding subvented posts in aided and per caput grant schools to apply for assistance under the 1995-96 Mortgage Interest Subsidy Scheme (MISS).

A spokesman for the Education Department said today (Tuesday) that eligible staff are:

* those receiving a monthly basic salary equivalent to Master Pay Scale point 22 or above ($23,080 or more) and having a minimum of 10 years' continuous recognised services as at October 31, 1995; or

♦ those receiving a monthly basic salary below Master Pay Scale point 22, who have a minimum of 20 years' continuous recognised service as at October 31,1995.

The closing date for submitting applications is November 22.

14

"Circulars, application forms and relevant information leaflets will be sent to heads of schools tomorrow. Under the scheme, successful applicants will receive a monthly subsidy for payment of interest on their home mortgage loan," the spokesman said.

Enquiries about the scheme should be directed to the Mortgage Interest Subsidy Scheme Section on 2961 7406 or 2961 7409.

End/Tuesday, October 10, 1995

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results

*****

Tender date 10 Oct 1995 10 Oct 1995

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q541 H575

Amount applied HK$5,610MN HK$4,350 MN

Amount allotted HK$ 1,500 MN HK$800 MN

Average yield accepted 5.57 PCT 5.61 PCT

Highest yield accepted 5.58 PCT 5.62 PCT

Pro rata ratio About 78 PCT About 20 PCT

Average tender yield 5.59 PCT 5.63 PCT

15

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

Tenders to be held in the week beginning 16 Oct, 1995

Tender date 17 Oct 1995

Paper on offer EF bills

Issue number Q542

Issue date 18 Oct 1995

Maturity date 17 Jan 1996

Tenor 91 days

Amount on offer HK$ 1,500+300 MN

End/Tuesday, October 10, 1995

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 : 2,677 1,004 0930 1000 1100 +500 +500 +498

Money market activity +494 1200 +498

LAF today -2,167 1500 1600 +498 +494

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 122.0 *+0.2* 10.10.95

16

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.47 2 years 2708 6.06 100.40 5.91

1 month 5.53 3 years 3807 6.16 100.07 6.22

3 months 5.59 5 years 5009 6.95 100.50 6.94

6 months 12 months 5.62 5.67 5 years M501 7.90 102.50 7.38

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $8,818 million

Closed October 10, 1995

End/Tuesday. October 10, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Wednesday, October 11,1995

Contents

Stamp duty for residential property sale.............................. 1

Securities (Offence and Penalty) (A) Regulations...................... 2

Marriage service in three registries to be extended................... 2

Kowloon lot to let.................................................... 3

Fresh water cut in Western District................................... 4

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations.................. 4

1

Stamp duty for residential property sale ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

The Secretary for the Treasury will move a resolution in the Legislative Council on November 2 to extend for two years beyond December 31 the requirement under the Stamp Duty Ordinance to pay stamp duty on all agreements for sale of residential property.

A government spokesman today (Wednesday) explained the requirement was first introduced in 1992 and was extended for two years in December 1993 as one of a series of measures to curb speculation on residential property. The measure would lapse at midnight on December 31 unless it was further extended by the Legislative Council, he said.

"Genuine home-buyers are not affected except insofar as they have to pay stamp duty slightly earlier. By contrast, the cost of speculation through sale prior to assignment is significantly increased," he said.

Commenting on the need to extend the measure, the spokesman pointed out that the residential property market had softened in the past year but demand remained high.

"There is a significant risk that speculation may be rekindled if the measure is not extended.

"The resolution therefore seeks the continuation of the measure which has served as a useful tool to help curb speculation whilst not affecting genuine homebuyers," he said.

"The measure has been in place for nearly four years. It is well established and accepted by the public. It is therefore our plan to seek the views of the Legislative Council later on 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 spokesman added.

End/Wednesday, October 11, 1995

2

Securities (Offence and Penalty)(A) Regulations ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Contravention of the prescribed position limits and reporting requirements under the trading rules for stock options may be subject to a fine of $2,000 and imprisonment for three months, a spokesman for the Financial Services Branch announced today (Wednesday).

"The Securities (Offence and Penalty) (Amendment) Regulation 1995 was made at the Executive Council meeting yesterday (Tuesday). The Regulation will be gazetted this Friday (October 13)," the spokesman said. The Stock Exchange of Hong. Kong commenced trading of stock options contracts on September 8.

The applicable trading rules lay down, among other things, position limits and reporting requirements in relation to any person's activity in the stock options market.

The rules facilitate the surveillance of the stock options market particularly in relation to risk management and market malpractice.

The Regulation provides for sanctions for breach of the trading rules.

.... ...»

End/Wednesday, October 11, 1995

Marriage service in three registries to be extended

*****

The Immigration Department announced today (Wednesday) that in order to further enhance the service to the public, the Cotton Tree Drive Marriage Registry, Tsim Sha Tsui Marriage Registry and Sha Tin Marriage Registry will extend their marriage ceremony service to the afternoon (from 2 pm to 4.45 pm) on the following Saturdays in 1996:

January 13

March 23

March 30

May 18

May 25

November 23

November 30

December 7

3

"When two people wish to get married, it is essential for them to give a written Notice of Marriage on the prescribed form in advance at a Marriage Registry, whether the marriage is to take place at a Marriage Registry or in a licensed place of public worship.

j " it - \

"The notice will be exhibited1 at the Marriage Registry where it is given and also at the Marriage Registration and Records Office for at least 15 clear days.

"If no objection is received after that period, the marriage may take place within a period of three months, otherwise the notice becomes void and fresh notice must be given.

"In order to ensure that every member of the public Will have a fair chance to choose a desired day for marriage, appointments for marriage ceremonies arc given on a first-come-first-served basis," a spokesman for the Immigration-Department said.

For enquiry, members of the public may telephone 2824 6111 or use the faxline 2877 7711.

End/Wednesday, October 11, 1995

Kowloon lot to let ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Lands Department is inviting tenders for the short-term tenancy of a piece of Government land in Kowloon.

Located at Tung Chau Street, Cheung Sha Wan, the lot has an area of 9,440 square metres for use as a fee-paying public car park excluding container vehicles and dangerous goods vehicles. The tenancy is for two years, renewable quarterly.

Closing date for submission of tender is noon on October 27.

Tender form, tender notice and conditions may be obtained from the District Lands Office, Kowloon West, 10th floor, Yau Ma Tei Car Park Building, 250 Shanghai Street, Kowloon and the Lands Department, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road.

Tender plan can also be inspected at these offices.

End/Wednesday, October 11, 1995

4

' V_ • 4 ’ 4

Fresh water cut in Western District ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Fresh water supply to some premises in Shek Tong Tsui and Sai Ying Pun will be temporarily suspended from 11 pm on Friday (October 13) to 6 am the following day to facilitate water mains alteration work.

The affected areas will include 271-470 Des Voeux Road West, 158-194 Connaught Road West (Tramway Depot, Western Wholesale Market), 357-606 Queen’s Road West, 1-99 Hill Road, 65-71 Bonham Road, 3-69 Pokfiilam Road, 10-24 Pokfield Road, 127-222 Third Street, 121-140 Second Street, South Lane, Woo Hop Street, Yat Fu Lane, Whitty Street, Po Tak Street, Clarence Terrace, Hing Lung Lane East, Hing Lung Lane West, Ka On Street, Sai On Lane, Yuk Ming Street, Yau Yee lane, Kwong Fung Lane, Rose Lane, Water Street, On Ning Lane, Sam To Lane, Chiu Kwong Street, Western Park Road and Siu Cheong Fong.

5 J >

End/Wednesday, October 11, 1995

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

Time Cumulative change

$ million (hours) ($mill ion)

Opening balance in the account 1,004 0930 +2,127

Closing balance in the account 1,408 1000 +2,167

Change attributable to : 1100 +2.172

Money market activity +2,130 1200 +2,172

LAF today -1,726 1500 +2,132

1600 +2,130

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TW1 122.0 *+0.0* 11.10.95


- 5 -

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.42 2 years 2708 6.06 100.36 5.93

1 month 5.55 3 years 3807 6.16 100.02 6.24

3 months 5.61 5 years 5009 6.95 100.44 6.96

6 months 12 months 5.64 5.68 5 years M501 7.90 102.44 7.40

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $16,068 million

Closed October 11, 1995

End/Wednesday, October 11, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Supplement

The Governor's 1995-96 Policy Address

Wednesday, October 11,1995

Contents Page.No.

Transcript of the Governor's press conference....................... 1

The Governor's RTHK broadcast........................................... 12

Look at the record, says Governor....................................... 16

Foreign worker quotas lowered....................................... 18

Governor sets goals for growth.......................................... 19

Audit produces 'quiet revolution': Governor......................... 23

Culture of Civil Service................................................ 24

A better benefit package for CSSA recipients........................ 25

Total programme of services for the elderly......................... 26

Government determined to provide modem education.................... 28

A Safety Charter to improve safety at work.......................... 29

Government determined to meet health aspirations.................... 30

Decent, affordable...

' I

Contents Page No.

Decent, affordable houses for the community........................... 31

A clean and green Hong Kong.............................................. 34

Users will pay to help unclog streets: Governor.......................... 35

Government determined to overcome slope hazards.......................... 36

Positive steps to curb drug abuse........................................ 37

Special priority in fight against corruption............................. 39

Helping new immigrants from China to settle.............................. 40

CS to look into handling of government business in LegCo.............. 41

Two former LegCo members appointed to ExCo............................... 43

Governor calls for constructive co-operation in LegCo.................... 44

Liaison Office to be set up: Governor.................................... 46

Significant progress on transition to China: Governor.................... 47

Unique session begins, says Governor..................................... 49

Governor's Policy Address on Internet.................................... 50

1

Transcript of the Governor's press conference ♦ * ♦ ♦ *

Following is the transcript of the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten's press conference held after his Policy Address to the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question: Governor Patten, you say in your speech you are committed to co-operation with the Chief Executive designate but in that end how much access to confidential information are you willing to provide?

Governor: Those are the sort of matters which I will want to talk to the Chief Executive (Designate) about but it is perfectly clear that the Chief Executive (Designate) will need access to a great deal of confidential information and will want to be able to look at files and get information on matters which are pretty confidential. So, since it will only be a matter of months until the Chief Executive (Designate) takes over as Chief Executive, it seems to me perfectly clear that one will want to have a very open relationship with the Chief Executive (Designate) and make sure that she or he knows everything that is going on.

Question: (Metro Plus News) Governor Patten, you say we have the first fully elected LegCo as a result of your reforms but you told Members that you will have no hesitation in using your veto if you decide that it is in Hong Kong's interest, i.e. going against the democratic will if you want. It sounds a bit as if you want your cake and to eat it, or perhaps as if there is a bit of hypocrisy in your democratic reforms.

Governor: No, it's a description of the Hong Kong Constitution.

Question: (SCMP) I just want to clarify that when you talk about vetoing members' bills - and you have said that you would have no hesitation in doing so, if necessary -you are not just talking about bills that might affect Sino-British agreements, you are talking about bills on any subject, is that correct?

Governor: That is indeed correct but I'm just trying to find a way of reaffirming what I actually said in my speech, that I'm sure that we will be able to find ways of cooperating with the Legislative Council. And I don't intend to spend my next weeks and months having sleepless nights that we're going to be operating on the furthest margins of Hong Kong's Constitution, I'm sure we will be able to operate within the mainstream of co-operation with the Legislative Council.

2

Question: Given what you've said in your speech about the difficulties private members' bills pose to the Administration, weren't you tempted by the suggestion that's been floated ... that the Letters Patent should be changed so that private members' bills can't be introduced without your consent?

Governor: No, if I'd been tempted by it, I guess I'd have done it.

Question:... the Administration would have done that?

■' ’ ’ ; ■■■'<' '< ■ ■

Governor: No, I think that it would have produced a constitutional argument where I don't think a constitutional argument is necessary or desirable.

Question: Governor Patten, you've ... to more or less scrap the Labour Importation Scheme as it stands at the moment, do you think you have averted the threat of a threatened private members' Bill on completely revamping that system?

Governor: We've put forward a sensible policy and I'm sure it will -1 hope it will -carry a broad measure of consent in the Legislative Council and the community. Joseph Wong is going to brief the Legislative Council on it tomorrow, go into all the details - we've got a written document that we'll be discussing with them - and I'm sure that he will be as convincing with the Legislative Council as he was with me when he first set out his conclusions at the end of our review.

Question: (Hong Kong Economic Times) You will put an end to the general Labour Importation Scheme but you didn't mention the imported labour for the ACP projects. Will you keep the quotas for the imported labour on these Airport projects?

Governor: Yes, though we have to keep the quotas under review the whole time.

Question: So they won't be changed?

Governor: I can certainly say, hand on heart, that when people came to see me over the recent weeks about the importation of labour, the question of quotas for the ACP wasn't raised with me on one occasion.

Question: (RTHK) Governor, in your speech you said that legislators should be allowed to go through their full four-year term. You immediately then said: of course you will carry heavy responsibilities. Is the sub-text there what you are trying to say to the legislature: if you have any hope of serving your full four years, you had better act in a particularly responsible manner?

3

Governor: No. I do think that the more effectively we govern Hong Kong and the more effectively the legislature contributes to that process the more difficult it would be for anybody to carry conviction in arguing that the legislature should be thrown out on its ear in 1997. Even though I say it myself, I suspect that’s a statement of the blindingly obvious but there is no, as it were, conditional clause in all that. I just note - one can’t help doing so - the extraordinarily moderate way in which the debate was conducted during the Legislative Council campaign, the remarkably magnanimous ways in which people dealt with both victory and defeat after the polls had closed, and what people have been saying since then about their determination to try to build cooperation, to try to build broad consensus. And all that seems to me to be very healthy and good for Hong Kong; much healthier and much better for Hong Kong than threatening to tear the Legislative Council down.

Question: (Follow up) Are you in effect saying then, Governor, you have done all that you can do to this point and now it is up to the legislators themselves to try to work out how they can carry through ’97, if indeed they can?

Governor: No, because I will continue to assert, just as the British Government continues to assert, just as, to be frank, though they are only interested by-standers, governments around the world continue to assert, that it would be in Hong Kong’s best interests and everybody’s best interests for the Legislative Council to go through to the end of its term. I certainly don’t intend to do anything which makes that more difficult and I will do everything I can to make it easier to achieve what should be an objective which everybody shares.

Question: (SCMP) Governor, you said you want a modem education but you didn’t mention much about higher education in your speech. Why?

Governor: Well, I did. I did - with great respect -1 mentioned both the huge increase that we have made in research spending in our universities, and the number of graduate students we are supporting, but the full account of our tertiary policy is set out in the policy commitments from the Secretary for Education and Manpower. If I had gone through everything in the policy commitments my speech would have been even longer than it was and that would have been unfair to everyone, including the Governor.

Question: You propose to set up an AG office, are you expecting a deluge of flooding of private members’ Bills in the LegCo?

Governor: I’m proposing to set up a what?

Question: You propose to set up an AG office.

Governor: An Attorney General’s Office?

J -.4; ~ i ...

.. ‘ '' ■>' ' ' u • »»

Question: Yes. But are you expecting a deluge of flooding of private members' Bills in the LegCo and that's why you are setting up the office itself?

Governor: No. - You want to follow up, yes. Sorry.

•< <1.

no.

Question: What is your first policy to create a modem education system in Hong Kong? I mean in particular for Hong Kong higher education levels. And how do you achieve your goal? .. . . _

Governor: What is my policy to? M

Question: Your first priority.

Governor: In education? w • • • f

Question: Correct.

Governor: In education as a whole?

' .« ... ■■ ■ *.f

Question: Yes.

Governor: I think my first priority is much the same as that of most teachers and parents. We have inevitably concentrated in the last couple of decades on quantity: increasing provision at the primary and secondary level and then in the last decade the huge increase in provision at the tertiary level, from a position ten years ago when 1):. only about 3% of the age group went on into tertiary education to a position today when about 24% go on to tertiary education, about 18% to do university degrees. Now, that huge expansion has been entirely right, it's been costly, it's put quite a lot of demands on the system, and I think what teachers and parents are now looking for is a greater accent on quality. And in particular they are looking for us to put more emphasis on teacher training, on increasing the number of graduate teachers in the (i profession, on reducing class sizes, on increasing the number of teachers in our primary and secondary schools, and improving the conditions in which they have to teach.

I think there are equal concerns about quality in the tertiary sector and I think there, one of the obvious focuses for that concern is on the use of language and the importance of some remedial English language teaching in universities, which as you know, universities are doing now, though I hope that there can be rather greater takeup among students. ' ;;

5

When I had my first meeting with, as it was then, University and Polytechnics Grant Committee in 1992, in September, they emphasised to me very strongly that they thought we weren't spending, in Hong Kong, enough on research. They thought it was going to make it more difficult, for example, for us to provide our own university teachers in the future if we didn't have enough research programmes now. And, of course, they were also concerned to see departments strengthened in universities by the development of a research capacity, as well as the economic impact, the economic knock-on for Hong Kong. So we began at that stage, when Andrew Li was still Chairman of the UPGC and it has gone on under Anthony Leung, we began the huge expansion of research spending which has now gone up to, I think, about $272 million a year - that's an increase of about 130% - and I think that has been welcomed and justified. People have occasionally asked whether there were enough decent research projects coming forward but I think there are. I think that previously, very often people with a good research idea weren't bothering to apply because they didn't think there was much chance of the funds being available. But that's been one of our priorities in the tertiary sector to date.

If I may say so, I think in the longer term, long after Chris Patten has departed on 30 June 1997 - just to confirm I remember the date -1 think one of the big debates in Hong Kong will be about unit costs in the tertiary sector and the fee structure for students. But that, I think, will come probably a good deal after I have departed.

Question: Governor, you said in your address that the intention of the Civil Service get-togethers was for Chinese officials to get a better appreciation of the work done by our heads of branches and departments. Do you think these get-togethers will be best served by China's decision to field officials from the Ministry of State Security to interview these officials?

Governor: We don't know who the Chinese side are going to include among those officials that they introduce to our own. The arrangements that we put forward, which have by and large been accepted by the Chinese side, are a considerable improvement - I won't say any more than that - on those that were originally advanced and I think are a mark of the greater understanding of the position in Hong Kong and of the more co-operative atmosphere which has developed here in Hong Kong. But it is not for me to choose the members of the Chinese side. I'm sure that the Chinese side will take account of the fact that one of the principal purposes of these meetings is to raise the morale of Hong Kong civil servants and to give them comfort about the future, rather than to make them nervous about the future.

6

Question: (Daily Telegraph) Governor, you say that you will extend the hand of cooperation to the Chief Executive (Designate) and to the Preparatory Committee. Will the hand also be outstretched to members of the provisional legislature who will presumably be nominated before 1997?

HI

Governor: There is no requirement for a provisional legislature because there is an extremely good one which I have been addressing this afternoon. And just in case anybody hadn't got the point in the previous 150 times I've answered the question, there will be nothing done by this Administration or by the British Government which will in any way undermine the authority and credibility of the Legislative Council which is the best possible reflection of the aspirations and ambitions of the people of Hong Kong.

Question: (The Times) This is a two-part question. Is there any particular message in your speech for Sir Percy Cradock? And in that regard, sorry, if you remember who he is. And in that regard you may remember that he said that one of the things that you could do with your dwindling powers was to veto the work, as he said, of Martin Lee and his men. Now it's been at least 40, if not 50 years, since a Governor in fact exercised a veto here and I was wondering what the veto was doing in your speech?

Governor: Well, first of all, I'm glad that Sir Percy has noticed that I've been trying to lose weight. He's about the only person of whom I've heard who seems to think that that is happening but perhaps that is a reflection of the fact that he's been off the scene in Hong Kong for so many years.

Life's too short and full of too many agreeable and important things for me to spend my entire time reflecting on the obiter dictum of a very retired diplomat. I'm sure that, this shows how I believe in the benign nature of everybody's motivation, I'm sure that he was trying to be helpful as ever but frankly I don't think that his advice on handling the democratic process is one based on much experience, either in the United Kingdom or here.

..... ' ’ O-

Question: (follow-up) In that case, it’s the second part that I’m interested in. Because practically nobody in this room except maybe me can remember so far back that a Governor ever used the veto, why did you decide to put it into your speech? It’s practically, it’s really a kind of dodo with this Government.

7

Governor: I put it in my speech because I wanted to make it absolutely clear that every buck stops with me and that I have to make the decision at the end of every day or every week whether what we're doing is in the interests of the people of Hong Kong. I have powers as Governor, not, it has to be said, powers as extensive as those which customarily reside in colonial mansions. If you look back on the history of British colonial administration, I've got rather fewer powers than most and some of those that I had, I've made sure, like the one you've just alluded to, no longer exist. But the political and constitutional situation has evolved in Hong Kong and that means that it's conceivable that I may have to use such powers as I have in a way which I wouldn't choose to use in the future. But you've heard legislators talking, you've heard leaders of political parties, you've heard my senior officials and now you've heard, at considerable length, the Governor of Hong Kong and what all of us are saying is that we want to have as co-operative, consensual relationship as we can possibly manage. But it would have been totally wrong for me not to have mentioned what the constitutional parameters in Hong Kong remain, trying to make, in an accountable and competent way, executive-led government work with a wholly elected legislature when you have an appointed Chief Executive. I mean I'm even more aware of the constitutional curiosities in Hong Kong than anybody else.

Question: (Eastern Express) It's about this constitutional curiosity that I feel that quite a few of my colleagues would like to pin you down on and that is, and I think the second questioner introduced this, that a lot of people will see it as a constitutional curiosity and even a contradiction that a Governor who having widened the enfranchise seems to be sounding a warning to the beneficiaries of that widened enfranchise, the elected members of LegCo, that they shouldn't overstep the mark in what they plan to do during the coming sessions. It sounded very much like a warning. Would you agree that it was?

Governor: Well, what I'm reluctant to do is to be drawn in questions after a speech, the wording of which I thought about very carefully, into saying things that I didn't spend the afternoon saying. And I don't think I've got anything to add to what I've said in response to a number of previous questions.

In Hong Kong people don't yet elect an executive. They elect a legislature, the whole of a legislature. They're not electing a government, they're electing a legislature to which the government is accountable and it's a legislature with clear and specific powers. Just as the executive has those powers. I don't seek to change that in any way. I made it perfectly plain this afternoon that while the mandate of the legislature hasn't changed, while it's role hasn't changed, it's credibility, it's legitimacy if you like, has been broadened by the fact that all its members are elected and fairly elected so that obliges all of us to try to work constructively with the legislature. But we rapidly, in Hong Kong, fall into our favourite habit of imagining the difficulties at the furthest ends of constitutional hypotheses. Other people may think the job of governing Hong Kong's a pushover. I find it difficult enough without thinking about life surrounded by the constitutional barbed wire.

8

Question: (Express News') Would you discuss your next policy address with the Chinese side or the Preparatory Committee etc.? And would you continue to publish the policy commitments next year? Or would it be just a nine month policy address?

Governor: No, we'll publish our policy commitments and progress reports next year. I think they're important steps along the road to more open government. I'm sure that I would want next year to discuss my policy address, though not necessarily go further than that, with the Chief Executive (Designate) if he or she is in place by then. As you know, I've once again this year done Director Lu Ping the courtesy of letting him have a copy in advance. I hope very much, incidentally, that he's recovering well from his illness.

Shall we let somebody who hasn’t had a chance of a question.

Question(?): Governor, can you tell us your considerations in the choice of the two new extra members, especially, I mean on the one hand we have made a considerably speedy progress in the localisation of the Hong Kong Government but on the other hand you have chosen Mr McGregor in the process of decolonisation?

Governor: Well, I think Mr McGregor is one of the most widely respected public servants in Hong Kong and the reasons for choosing him, like the reasons for choosing Vincent Cheng, speak for themselves. You’ve only got to look at their record. There was an admirable account of their contribution to Hong Kong’s well being in an article in the South China Morning Post about three months ago by, I think, Kevin Sinclair, which put the point admirably and summarised the sort of considerations which any sensible Governor would bear in mind in inviting them. And as for the question of non-ethnic Chinese on the Executive Council, John Gray, as you know, is leaving the Executive Council, so the number of non-ethnic Chinese will not be increased by Mr McGregor's appointment and when the Attorney's post is localised as well there will be then only two non-ethnic Chinese on the Executive Council of whom the Governor will be one. >

Question: (follow-up) How about, I mean, the official mandarins in the Executive Council? Will there be more senior civil servants included in the ExCo later?

Governor: Well, I won’t consider that until a little later. I think it’s been a very helpful development to have the contributions that we’ve had from a number of senior civil servants but I will be looking at any future appointments when I need to do so.

9

Question: (RTHK) You just responded in the beginning that the Legislative Council should go through 1997, but why don't you mention it in your policy address? Do you mean by this way to show your friendly gesture to the Chinese side for your cooperation?

Governor: Well I did actually mention it and I mentioned it, perhaps the bus was late and you didn't get into the Legislative Council until a little late, but I actually mentioned it in several sentences of pellucid clarity and political vigour in paragraph 2.

Question: (Oriental Daily News) I'd like to follow-up on your speech.... You said that your speech today is the last of it's kind and you say that your coming one may be different....

Governor: By me.

Question: By you and do you envisage in the coming policy address you will have less freehand?

Governor: No, but I just think that it wouldn't be very sensible for me next year when I make my policy address to overlook the fact that before the year is out I shall be off to pastures new. I think that next year people would expect me to be a lot briefer and to concentrate, to focus on some of the central themes of the departing sovereign's responsibilities to Hong Kong and what we've tried to do. So that's what I'll be doing and if it disappoints those who would like another Fidel Castro type speech, I can tell you one person who won't be disappointed and that's the Governor.

Question: (follow-up) Then what is your role in making the next coming policy address?

. .< .’i.

Governor: What’s the what?

Question: The role, your role of making the next policy address?

Governor: My role is that I’ll write it.

Question: (ATV) Mr Governor, it seems that you don’t have much chapters or coverage on the unemployment situation. Many people are concerned about that. Why can’t you stop the importation of labour right away and put more measures on how to tackle the unemployment situation?

10

Governor: I think the proposals that we've put forward on unemployment are extremely sensible and the proposals in particular that we've put forward on the importation of labour make considerable sense. Joseph Wong will be saying more about them tomorrow and giving an account of the findings of the review that we did into the importation of labour scheme.

But perhaps I can just put it in a slightly broader context which I hope you won't find too academic. In the last three years the size of the work force in Hong Kong has increased by 11%. It's increased by just over 300,000. That's a result of returning former emigrants from Hong Kong, it's a result of the increase in the number of immigrants coming into Hong Kong from China as well, of course, as a result of the, in comparison with those figures, relatively small number of people coming in via the importation of labour scheme. At the same time as there's been an 11 % increase in the number of people in our work force, and there are demographic reasons for that as well, there's been about a 10% increase in the number of jobs that we've created. Hong Kong is still creating jobs. It's created 270,000 jobs in the last three years but the difference between a 10% increase in jobs and an 11% increase in the work force is the most substantial reason for the increase that we've seen in unemployment in Hong Kong. Plainly there is some relationship between the importation of labour and unemployment. Particularly because, as Joseph will be making clear tomorrow, in a number of sectors where people are bringing in labour, there are local would-be employees in Hong Kong who'd be happy to take up jobs in those sectors. But the most important thing we have to do in Hong Kong is to go on being competitive and to go on creating jobs as we have in the last three years and were we simply to ban all labour from anywhere coming into Hong Kong we'd become less competitive. I mean, you shouldn't be, whether in the Catholic Church or elsewhere, holier than the Pope. I've had a number of delegations come to see me to talk about unemployment or to talk about unemployment and labour importation. I don't think anyone when challenged actually proposes that there should be no importation of labour into Hong Kong at all. But the question is how much and how it should be controlled and I hope that we'll be able to convince a majority of the community that we've got the answer about right. But don't expect those proposals on their own to answer all the problems about job creation in Hong Kong because there are a lot of other things, which I was mentioning this afternoon, which are arguably more important.

Question: (Asian Wall Street Journal) Can you tell us what specific examples of administrative and practical support your Government is willing to offer the future Chief Executive (Designate) and the team designate?

11

Governor: I think that it's flying unnecessarily high for me to go into details about the sort of support we would offer a Chief Executive (Designate) so many months before there is one. I would want to talk about this, both to Chinese officials in the next few months and above all, since we're talking about the person who will succeed me as the Head of the Administration here in Hong Kong, above all I'd like to talk to the Chief Executive her or himself about it. But some of the options are obvious. They're all the things that you would expect us to talk about, we'll have to talk about, like staff, like cars, like office facilities but I don't want to do that prematurely and I don't want to do it in detail in public. I'd like to do it with the Chief Executive (Designate) when she or he is appointed.

Last question.

Question: (Cable News) You have said that you suggest to use the supplementary labour importation scheme to replace the old general labour importation scheme but because the last batch of labour imported in '94, they Still have a two year contract in Hong Kong and also you have said that there would be no change to the ACP labour importation system and do you think that the new importation system can make the unemployment situation in Hong Kong better or is it just a play with figures?

Governor: No, we wouldn't have put it forward if we didn't think it would improve the situation and as for people who've signed contracts under the existing scheme, we can't simply rip up their contracts, that would be illegal and I don't think anybody expects us to do it. What we're talking about is no more contracts, no more people coming in under the scheme and the scheme withering on the vine, the scheme dying off over the next year or so. But, I mean I think the approach we've put forward is a sensible and balanced one. It would be, I think, crazy to have a sort of slash and bum approach to labour market issues in Hong Kong. 1 think that what we've done is sensible and responsible and I very much hope it will get the support of the community.

Thank you all very much indeed.

End/Wednesday, October 11, 1995

12

The Governor's RTHK broadcast ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The following is the full script of the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten's RTHK broadcast on the 1995 Policy Address today (Wednesday):

Earlier this afternoon I delivered my fourth annual Policy Address to the Legislative Council. It was the first time in Hong Kong's history that a Governor has addressed an entirely elected legislature, a legislature elected by more voters than ever before in a further step towards the greater democracy Hong Kong was promised in the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law.

In partnership with the Government, this legislature will carry heavy responsibilities, and I believe that all of us in the Council Chamber today were conscious that the community will be watching us - and depending on us - to work together to make a success of the remaining months of the transition to Chinese sovereignty.

Nor must any of us forget that as we move closer to 1997, the eyes of the world will focus on Hong Kong to see whether it can survive and prosper. Provided we continue to combine economic opportunity with human dignity and freedom, then I believe it can.

And if past success is a pointer to the future, I am confident that we arc in pretty good shape to meet whatever challenges lie ahead. Just think of the economic achievements of the last 3 years:

* We've had real economic growth of 18%.

* Our fiscal reserves have grown by 57%. They now total a massive $151 billion.

* Tax rates have been cut to the benefit of nearly everyone who pays salaries tax.

So our economy is fundamentally strong. That's the message that comes out loud and clear from all those international experts who think we're one of the best places, one of the most competitive places, to do business.

One of the reasons for our success is that Hong Kong has always lived within its means. In other words, we do not - will not - allow government spending to increase faster than that of the long term growth rate of the economy.

13

I believe there is a solid consensus, both in the community and the new Legislative Council, on this issue. But to remove any doubts which may persist on this point, I have suggested that the new Legislative Council should restate its support for this cardinal principle of our economic policy. I know this would send a comforting and confident signal to the community at home and to investors and trading partners abroad.

Despite our successes, many people today are worried about problems like inflation and unemployment. I announced today a series of measures to make us more competitive, particularly in the fields of research and development. They will strengthen our armoury in the fight against inflation, which we have pulled back from its peak of 13.9% in April 1991 to 8.3% last August. Still too high, but several steps in the right direction.

Rising unemployment in recent months has been a source of understandable concern in the community. I announced in my speech today that the General Importation of Labour Scheme will be phased out. With our economy growing more slowly and with more people coming into our labour force we no longer need this Scheme. But we'll still require some workers from overseas from time to time., so we'll be replacing the present scheme with a much smaller and more targeted one. The maximum number allowed in will be slashed from 25,000 to just 5,000. and the new scheme will carry much more stringent conditions for importing foreign workers.

It is important that these new proposals enjoy the support of the community. So I will be hosting a summit on employment next month to consult legislators and representatives of both employers and employees. I want to forge a consensus on how we should tackle this issue. The Scheme will be monitored by the Labour Advisory Board to ensure that the interests of all sides are represented and protected.

Our present rate of unemployment of 3.5% is low by international standards, but not in Hong Kong where the community regards full employment as the Government's single most important welfare objective. We share that view. That is why we readily accept the responsibility to do everything in our power to ensure that the men and women of this community have the opportunities to earn a decent living to support their families.

1 believe that the measures we introduced earlier this year on retraining and job matching; the crackdown on illegal employment; the freezing of the General Labour Importation Scheme in the summer; together with our new proposals today to scrap the scheme underline our continuing commitment to that responsibility.

14

We have an equally strong commitment to the provision of the whole range of social services expected of a community as well off as ours. We have a duty to provide care and support for the vulnerable and the less fortunate in our society; to provide decent and affordable housing; and to ensure greater protection for everyone at work. We have done much in these and indeed every other area of public service over the last 3 years. We are proud of our record. Let me highlight some of the measures from my Policy Address today which we hope will have a significant impact on the quality of life of many of our fellow citizens.

’♦ We intend, on the basis of the preliminary findings of a review of our benefits system, to increase help for those most in need by between 12% and 54% from 1 April 1996. Some 52,000 people will benefit. It will cost $300 million. The whole review is due to be completed early next year. If it recommends additional benefits, we will wish to support that too.

* We intend to launch the final phase of the Castle Peak Hospital redevelopment programme at a cost of $850 million.

* We’ve announced more help for the chronically ill.

We’ll spend 9 billion dollars this year on the elderly - that's a 50 per cent increase over and above inflation compared with three years ago.

On housing, one of the community's most important priorities:

* We will cut waiting times for public housing rental flats from seven years to under five years by 2001.

* All elderly people currently living in bedspace apartments will be provided with decent accommodation by 1997.

* A $1 billion Special Repair Programme will be launched for about 230 older public housing blocks.

And, at work:

* We are determined to improve I long Kong's safety record at the workplace, which is extremely bad. A "Charter for Safety in the Workplace" will be launched next year. We simply must do more to stop the senseless loss of life and the awful accidents and injuries in our factories and, most of all, on our building sites.

15

Law and Order is always a matter of concern to people. We are a law abiding community, a model for others in the region and elsewhere. Over the past three years, the level of violent crime has declined by 11 per cent and the number of armed robberies has fallen by 61 per cent. That is the good news. But the overall level of crime has risen by just under 6 per cent. That is a cause for concern and we will have to watch it very closely in the months ahead.

To keep up the fight against crime,

we have put an additional 400 police officers on the beat this year and we plan to put 200 more on the beat in the year ahead; and

a $350 million Beat Drugs Fund will be launched to help turn the tide of drug abuse, where we’ve started to make some progress.

These are some of the new things we're doing on top of our existing programmes which are building a more efficient, better educated and trained, cleaner, brighter and more caring community. Anson Chan gave a progress report on how all this work is going earlier this week. We have already met, or are on target to meet, 94% of all our pledges to you for better services since 1992. Where we’ve fallen behind on targets, we have acknowledged that and are determined to catch up. There aren't many governments in the world which make such a thorough and frank report every year on how they are doing: what they're doing well, what they're doing less well.

Telling you what's happening helps us to work together with you in the interests of Hong Kong.

We need to work with China as well. The meeting between the Foreign Secretary and Vice-Premier Qian Qichen in London last week produced solid and welcome progress in some of the key areas that I referred to when I gave my LegCo Address last year. A smooth through train for the civil service. Co-operation with the Preparatory Committee, including the setting up of a Liaison Office to manage the process on the Hong Kong Government side. The planning of a decent and dignified handover ceremony in 1997. And the talks also committed both sides to further progress on the development of our container port.

16

But with just over 600 days to go to the bands, the speeches, the fireworks, to the lowering of one flag, and the raising of another, every day now counts. We will need to notch up more successes such as those announced in London last week. On nationality and right of abode - so important to a proper sense of individual security and freedom of movement. On the process of adapting our law’s to underline the continuity of the Rule of Law. And on many other issues which are familiar to you.

The Preparatory Committee will begin its work in less than 3 months' time, on 1 January 1996. I am delighted that in response to the offer I made in my Address last year, we can now work out practical and sensible arrangements which will enable the Hong Kong Government to work with the men and women who will serve on this group. Later next year, the Chief Executive (Designate) will be in place, and the final stages of this historic transition will take on a distinct new shape, both in reality and in people's minds, here and elsewhere. I have today reaffirmed my pledge of full cooperation with the Chief Executive (Designate). Indeed, we shall be talking to the Chinese side about providing administrative support for the holder of this crucial post.

We should dedicate ourselves - Britain, China and Hong Kong - to using each of the 629 days remaining to us before the transfer of sovereignty to help secure your future. That is what you expect of us. My Government, for its part, is determined to do all it can to meet those expectations. We intend to succeed.

End/Wednesday, October 11, 1995

Look at the record, says Governor

*****

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, today (Wednesday) invited a study of his Government's achievements since his first Policy Address to the Legislative Council in October 1992.

"I set out a five-year programme of work." Mr Patten said as he opened the Council's 1995-96 session.

"That programme spelled out what we hoped to achieve in the final five years of British administration.

17

’’This new Council starts its work more than half way through that agenda of improvements in every area of Hong Kong life.

”A government should be judged on its record not on its rhetoric. Good intentions are not enough. It is our performance which counts. Although much remains to be done, I hope Members will agree, after hearing my report today, that we have made solid progress in keeping the promises of 1992.”

Mr Patten said the 1992 programme was built on two bedrock principles so ingrained in Hong Kong's systems that they were usually taken as self-evident and universal truths.

The first was that Hong Kong people knew better than m*st communities that wealth must be created before it can be spent on improving public services.

The second bedrock principle concerned rights and freedoms under the law. Mr Patten said there was a consensus that civil institutions must develop in step with economic development.

This was why his 1992 programme included making governing institutions more open and accountable; ensuring that Hong Kong's laws complied with the Bill of Rights; guaranteeing that Hong Kong's freedoms and values were secured; and dealing as promptly and effectively as possible with the key issues of the transition to Chinese sovereignty in 1997.

Noting the international community's admiration of Hong Kong, Mr Patten said the Washington-based Heritage Foundation had concluded that Hong Kong was the freest economy in the world.

Last month, the World Economic Forum rated Hong Kong as the third-most-competitive economy in the world.

The Governor pinpointed some of the results of the past three years:

* GDP was up 18 per cent in real terms to US$23,800 per head.

* New investment had grown by 31 per cent in real terms.

Total visible exports had risen by 43 per cent in real terms, and total exports of services were up 31 per cent.

* Fiscal reserves had grown by 57 per cent, to total $ 151 billion.

18

* Tax rates had been cut to provide reductions for almost every salaried employee.

* The share of public spending had remained firmly below 20 per cent of GDP.

End/Wednesday, October 11,1995

Foreign worker quotas lowered *****

Hong Kong employers will be able to import up to 5,000 foreign workers under a new supplementary labour scheme to start on January 1 next year.

Announcing this today (Wednesday) in his Policy Address to the Legislative Council, the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, said this was a reduction from the 25,000 foreign workers permitted under the existing General Labour Importation Scheme.

The General Scheme was introduced in 1989 to relieve an acute labour shortage, he said.

A review of the General Scheme which ended last month had concluded that:

* Imported labour had made a valuable contribution to Hong Kong's economy, in overcoming bottlenecks in key, high-growth sectors or shortages of specific skills.

* The territory needed to retain policy options which allowed Hong Kong to respond rapidly to sudden rises in the demand for particular types of worker in its highly-flexible economy.

* The existing General Scheme should be changed in its operation and its quota sizes.

Mr Patten said the existing scheme would run down naturally over the next year or so and be replaced with radically revised arrangements for the importation of labour.

19

The Government would maintain its vigorous campaign against foreign workers taking up jobs illegally, he said.

Under the new Supplementary Labour Scheme, employers would have to prove that local workers were not available before their applications to import labour were processed.

Employers would have to advertise their vacancies for a specific period of time, Mr Patten said.

They would also have to register their vacancies with the Labour Department and participate in a job-matching scheme, which would involve the Employees Retraining Board where necessary for at least two months.

The Governor said Hong Kong’s current unemployment rate of 3.5 per cent was very low by normal international standards and most communities would regard it as virtually full employment.

However, the Government would seek to meet the community’s feeling that full employment should, in effect, be the Government’s single most important welfare objective.

End/Wednesday, October 11, 1995

Governor sets goals for growth ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Hong Kong must go beyond the physical framework to produce the ’’software” of success, the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, said today (Wednesday).

Opening the 1995-96 session of the Legislative Council, Mr Patten said $70 billion had been spent on the physical infrastructure since 1992.

’’I do not think that any one will doubt the importance of these investments to our competitiveness,” Mr Patten said.

20

"But in a service economy, the physical infrastructure is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for success. We have to go beyond these investments in what might be called the ’hardware’ of our drive for greater competitiveness. We must also invest in the ’software' of success.

’’Only a commitment to higher productivity, competitive markets and rapid economic growth can achieve what I know the community wants: a job for every man and woman who needs one and more stable prices.”

The Government’s role must be to promote the efficiency, flexibility and competitiveness of Hong Kong’s economy, he said, adding that this the only way to find the remedies for unemployment and inflation.

Mr Patten said three things were involved in the ’software of success':

An infrastructure of skills appropriate to Hong Kong's technology-based economy.

* The regulatory balance had to be sorted out to remove red tape which deterred initiative and enterprise.

The fiscal and budgetary policies which had given Hong Kong the best business environment in the region must be reinforced.

Hong Kong's most important resource was its outstanding labour force, Mr Patten said.

It was disciplined, efficient and flexible, which had let the workforce raise its productivity by an annual average of 4.5 per cent since 1985 and to reduce the average number of days lost through industrial disputes by 75 per cent.

In the same period. 460,000 factory jobs had been shed and replaced by 800,000 brand-new jobs in service industries.

"This readiness to change careers, to switch employment in response to shifts in overseas demand for our goods and services, is at the heart of our economic efficiency," Mr Patten said.

"It is also crucial for our continued ability both to compete on world markets and to serve the needs of China’s rapid modernisation."

Hong Kong had offered decent wages and professional education, he said. The average worker’s earnings had risen by more than four per cent in real terms each year for a decade.

21

Annual expenditure on ’ training schemes, part-time courses and distance learning has risen by 76 per cent in real terms. About 155,000 adults would benefit from some form of part-time education this year.

However, neither Government nor industry had funded scientific and technological research on a scale commensurate with Hong Kong's economic progress, he said.

The Government had started to remedy this deficiency over the past three years. This year, the University Grants Committee would allocate $272 million in research grants, a 133 per cent increase since 1992.

"Since 1993, we have provided $372 million for research projects in manufacturing technology," Mr Patten said.

A science park might be established and Hong Kong was already working in partnership with the new scientific generation in China.

"Last year, I announced the creation of the Applied Research Centre, whose special task would be to support projects which involved researchers from China as well as Hong Kong," he said.

"Already, $11 million has been allocated to fund two applied biotechnology projects which have been identified as offering exciting potential."

Mr Patten said red tape and over-regulation were the surest ways for Hong Kong to drive business elsewhere, especially in such a dynamic region.

This did not mean the territory should abandon its high standards, he said, adding that to retain the trust and respect of Hong Hong's trade and investment partners, these must meet the criteria which set international benchmarks.

"In my first Address to this Council, 1 pledged that the Government would do everything in its power to maintain a dynamic business environment, free from unnecessary government burdens and interference," Mr Patten said, "I believe we have fully lived up to that promise.

"We could not have achieved this without the support of this Council in the past. Unfortunately, however, there is a concern in some circles, particularly among businessmen, that the territory's first, wholly-elected legislature may somehow force Hong Kong to change course, that it will insist on radical economic experiments and imprudent programmes of public expenditure.

22

"I do not share this pessimism. ... Similarly,-I do not see how anyone who has read the party manifestos and listened to the political debates in last month’s elections could possibly reach such a conclusion.

’’Nevertheless, it is only fair to say that there is a perception in some circles that you might introduce radical changes which would lead inexorably in later years to higher taxes and would expand the Government’s role in the economy.

’’Let me repeat. I do not believe that there is any inclination in this Council to do so. Nevertheless, I believe this Council could make its own positive contribution to business confidence and provide a significant incentive to new investment by removing all uncertainty about your own convictions that economic success must remain our first priority.

’’You could provide both Hong Kong and our trade and investment partners around the world with a clear guarantee that this Council will do nothing to undermine our financial stability or our commitment to an open economy.

’’The most convincing way to do so would be for this Council to endorse the economic policies which have been the foundation of Hong Kong’s success over the last four decades.

"These policies can be summed up in a simple rule. Government expenditure should increase over time only in line with the trend rate of economic growth, what I have called the 'living within your means' principle of public expenditure.

"As a result of this rule, public expenditure has not exceeded 20 per cent of GDP, and the Government has confined its role to supporting, not to dominating, the economy.

"Such an endorsement would, of course, be purely a matter for this Council. But a statement of this sort would demonstrate to the doubters that our first fully-elected Legislative Council intends to operate on the same broad consensus as its predecessors."

End/Wednesday, October 11, 1995

23

Audit produces 'quiet revolution': Governor

*****

The public sector had achieved a "quiet revolution" since 1992 in the way it approached its relationship with the community, the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten said today (Wednesday).

Opening the Legislative Council's 1995-96 session, Mr Patten said this relationship was now based on service, accountability and performance.

He said this was one result of his determination that his policy addresses to the Council should form part of an annual audit of the Government's performance.

Every area of the administration's activities was covered by publishing very detailed policy commitments and progress reports, he said.

"Now that they have become established, I do not mind admitting to you that, before I first introduced them, some people warned me that these documents would amount to the only two-volume political suicide note in history," he added.

Commenting on the third annual Progress Report, which the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, had presented to LegCo on Monday (October 9), Mr Patten said it explained the position on the 471 outstanding specific initiatives announced during the past three years.

"The fair-minded will have noted with satisfaction that the Government has already completed or is on target with 94 per cent of these initiatives," he said.

"The perfectionists will have noted that we are behind our targets with six per cent of our undertakings. The Report explains how we intend to get back on track with the six per cent."

Mr Patten acknowledged that the Civil Service never expected press headlines reading "Government does a great job".

However, it drew considerable encouragement from the knowledge that the community valued its record of success and its determination to go on improving its performance.

The Governor pointed out that this year's policy commitments contained 343 new initiatives. Of these, 27 per cent were designed to upgrade social services and housing programmes; 21 per cent would help to strengthen the Government's support for the economy; and another 16 per cent aimed to make the best possible use of limited land resources and to meet the growing demands on our infrastructure.

End/Wednesday, October 11, 1995

24

Culture of Civil Service

* ♦ *

Hong Kong’s Civil Service had built a deep reservoir of respect and goodwill among the people it served, the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, told the Legislative Council today (Wednesday).

’’This is not a statement which could be made about most other governments,” he said, opening the Council’s 1995-96 session,” he said.

”In many communities, civil servants are not held in high esteem. But our community knows the value of an honest, committed and efficient public service.

"The civil service culture must be intolerant of complacency. There has to be an unwillingness to settle for the quiet life.

"For Hong Kong, the Civil Service, along with the Judiciary and this Council, is one of the key institutions in making a success of the concept of ’one country, two systems’."

This required a culture of service to its clients in every sector of the Government, said the Governor.

Mr Patten praised the Hospital Authority, in particular, for its pioneering work in developing a "Patient's Charter".

This set out the ways in which the community and the hospitals work as partners, explaining clearly patients' rights and obligations and had gone hand-in-hand with major improvements in hospital care.

The Governor said this proved that a commitment to serving the client was not a gimmick or an additional and unwelcome burden on hard-pressed managers.

End/Wednesday, October 11, 1995

25

A better benefit package for CSSA recipients

*****

The Government must act promptly to provide help where it is needed and justified under the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) Scheme, the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, said today (Wednesday).

Delivering his fourth Policy Address at the Legislative Council, Mr Patten said although the Review on CSSA would only be completed early next year, it was already known that some rates were too low, that some members of the community were suffering today from genuine financial hardship.

"These are the groups whose current levels of social security benefits are inadequate," he said.

"Their standard rates of CSSA benefits were significantly below the spending levels of equivalent categories of people in the lowest five per cent income group.

"On the other hand, the standard rates for vulnerable groups like the single elderly, children, and people with a disability were generally above the spending levels in the lowest five per cent income group."

He proposed the following improvements in benefit levels from April 1 next year:

Single parents and family carers will receive a 54 per cent increase in their standard rates, which will increase from $1,045 to $1,605 per month.

* Elderly persons living in a family unit will receive a 12 per cent increase in their standard rate, which will increase from $1,505 to $1,685 per month.

Adults whose ill-health prevents them from working will receive increases of between 46 and 54 per cent in their standard rates. This will raise their monthly standard rates from $1,210 to $1,770 (for a single adult) and from $1,045 to $1,605 (for an adult living in a family).

Adults who are unemployed but actively seeking work will receive an increase in their standard rate payments of between 23 and 27 per cent. This will raise their monthly standard rates from $1,210 to $1,490 (for a single adult) and from $1,045 to $1,325 (for an adult living in a family). This rate of increase has been adopted specifically to ensure the Government does do not provide support at a level which could provide a disincentive to find a job.

26

"It is worth recalling that the standard rate forms only one part of the total CSSA benefits," the Governor added.

"In addition, over 95 per cent of CSSA recipients also receive supplements and special grant payments to cover such items as rent and school expenses."

The Governor expected the new rates to benefit up to 52,000 people in need and the higher rates of benefit would cost about $300 million to implement.

He added that these improvements were first stage of the Review. He anticipated that it would recommend other important changes as it considers all aspects of the system including:

* the rules under which CSSA payments can be received by people who choose to receive benefits outside Hong Kong;

the level and scope of the special grants for which all CSSA recipients are eligible;

* the level and administration of the long-term supplement paid to everyone who has been receiving CSSA for over twelve months;

the level of permitted disregarded earnings which recipients may retain in addition to CSSA payments; and

* the level of the assets limit which is one of the eligibility tests for CSSA.

End/Wednesday, October 11, 1995

Total programme of services for the elderly ♦ * * * *

Adequate financial support for the elderly must remain a high priority but equally important with advancing age is the total programme of services for the elderly, the special provisions for the frailties and disabilities that come with old age, the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, said today (Wednesday).

In his Policy Address to the Legislative Council, the Governor said some of the results of an analysis of the Household Expenditure Survey data ran counter to conventional wisdom.

27

He said before the survey, many people would have assumed that elderly men and women living alone would be the worst off in our community.

"In fact, the average benefits received by a single elderly Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) Scheme client, including the standard rate, special grants and supplements, currently come to a total of $2,710 a month," he said.

While saying that he had outlined ambitious programmes in his previous policy addresses, Mr Patten said the recommendations of last year's Working Group on Care for the Elderly had helped the Government refine its targets of meeting the needs of the increasing numbers of elderly people.

He said: "Since 1992, we have made considerable progress with our programmes.

"We have provided nearly 5,000 special flats for the elderly in convenient urban locations since 1994. We have rehoused over 23,000 elderly people living in bedspaces and other unsuitable accommodation since 1992.

"A new priority scheme for the elderly has reduced their average waiting time for public housing by three years.

"We are already providing an extra 4,000 places in care-and-attention and old people's homes. We will provide a further 1,600 places this year.

"About 25,000 old people are already being served each year by our geriatric health teams, and the four new teams to be set up this year will serve an additional 9,000 clients a year.

"We have expanded facilities to treat the diseases of old age. For example, we have reduced the waiting time for cataract operations from 15 months to nine months."

This year the Government would spend a total of $9 billion on financial assistance and on our increasingly comprehensive health and welfare services for the elderly, an increase of 50 per cent in real terms over 1992, Mr Patten said.

"We are well on our way to creating a proper framework to meet the health, welfare and housing needs of old age," he added.

End/Wednesday, October 11, 1995

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Government determined to provide modem education ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government will continue with its efforts to create a modem educational system to serve the entire community, the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, said today (Wednesday).

In his annual Policy Address to the Legislative Council, Mr Patten said the Government would spend $140 million to ensure that children were not denied access to kindergartens because their parents could not afford the fees.

At present, 85 per cent of all children between the ages of three and five attend kindergartens.

"I believed that good pre-schooling facilities make a substantial contribution to a child's ability to do well later on," Mr Patten said.

He said while more than half of all kindergarten teachers had already been trained to meet prescribed standard of qualifications, another 1,130 serving teachers would be trained this year.

Mr Patten also said the Government had this year provided $642 million for training courses for teachers to ensure that teachers were fully equipped with the professional skills they needed to help students get the most out of school.

On under-achieving children. Mr Patten said: "We are spending $340 million to build ten new schools by 1999 specially designed to cater for the needs of poorly motivated students and those with severe learning problems."

To offer an environment in which both teachers and students could perform at their best, the Governor said the Government was building additional facilities in a total of 240 schools.

"This programme costs $2.4 billion and will be completed by 1997. We have already air-conditioned 413 schools to reduce the disruption caused by excessive noise pollution," he said.

End/Wednesday, October 11, 1995

29

A Safety Charter to improve safety at work ***♦*•

The Government is proposing a three-part-strategy to achieve a substantial improvement in industrial safety standards.

This was revealed by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, today (Wednesday) in his Policy Address to the Legislative Council.

Mr Patten said safety at work could only succeed if everyone in the workplace could be convinced of two essential facts:

♦ Most deaths and injuries are avoidable. Almost all could be prevented if employers promoted safe work practices and if workers co-operated.

* Both employers and employees must accept a joint responsibility for improving safety. We need a zero tolerance of unsafe working practices.

First, the Governor said, the Government was preparing a "Charter for Safety in the Workplace" and LegCo members' views would be fully taken into account before publishing the document next year.

"It will make clear the rights of the worker to enjoy a safe working environment and the obligation on the employer to prevent deaths and injuries," Mr Patten said.

"It will also emphasise the responsibility of the employee to co-operate in following safe working practices and reporting workplace hazards."

Secondly, the Government was already at work encouraging the new "partnership for safety" between employers and the work force.

"A consultation document published in July announced 45 specific recommendations to slash accident rates and improve safety standards through proper safety training for the entire workforce and an obligation, especially on industries with the worst records, to develop formal safety programmes and establish safety committees," Mr Patten said.

"These measures target the construction industry in particular."

On the third part of the strategy, Mr Patten said the Government would continue to deter bad safety practices by using all its legal powers to pursue relentlessly anyone responsible for avoidable deaths and injuries in the workplace.

30

He added that if the Government found existing powers were insufficient, it would ask LegCo to reinforce the ’’partnership for safety" with new legal measures.

End/Wednesday, October 11, 1995

Government determined to meet health aspirations ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government is determined to meet the community's aspirations for a modem, comprehensive health system, the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, said today (Wednesday).

In his annual Policy Address to the Legislative Council (LegCo), Mr Patten said the size of the health programmes was no longer the only benchmark because much more important was the ability to deliver health care to groups with special needs or who were particularly vulnerable.

"This goal is playing a major role in shaping our current programmes," he said.

For instance, Mr Patten said, the new Student Health Service introduced last month providing regular screening, physical examinations and health education to 450,000 primary school children would be extended to cover 443,000 secondary students next September.

"We are expanding our capacity to meet the special needs of adolescents," he added.

"Next year, we will be setting up a pilot centre to provide medical and psychiatric care for adolescents."

Mr Patten said the Government would keep up the momentum to improve the standard of medical care and the quality of life for the mentally ill.

It would be coming to LegCo with a request for some $850 million to replace obsolete and inadequate facilities with modem and more spacious accommodation for 750 beds at Castle Peak Hospital.

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On the promotion of the concept of self-help and mutual support among the chronically ill, Mr Patten said eight new Patient and Carers Resources Centres would be set up and an extra two rehabilitation co-ordination teams would be provided next year.

Mr Patten noted that public hospitals would treat 846,000 in-patients and add an extra 800 beds this year.

General clinics were expected to treat 4.5 million out-patients while specialist clinics expected to treat a further 6.3 million out-patients.

End/Wednesday, October 11, 1995

Decent, affordable houses for the community *****

The Government is determined to improve the conditions under which 40,000 people live in Temporary Housing Areas (THAs), the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, said today (Wednesday).

In his annual Policy Address to the Legislative Council (LegCo), Mr Patten noted that in 1992 there were 55 THAs.

"By 1997, we will have cleared 42 of these. We will have met our earlier pledges in full," he said.

"But it is simply not possible to make a pledge to clear all the remaining THAs."

Mr Patten said the flow of new arrivals from China and our success in clearing the squatter areas meant that the only alternatives to the retention of some THAs were:

- either to allow people to sleep on the streets, which would be totally unacceptable; or

- to allow families affected by clearances to jump the queue for rehousing which would be grossly unfair.

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1 have personally visited 10 of these THAs, both officially and unofficially, and I am very conscious of their inadequacies, in terms of space and facilities, and the constant struggle to maintain standards of cleanliness and security,” he said.

"Plainly, rehousing of existing THA residents is the only real solution. In the meantime, however, we have to improve the living conditions for those who still have to live in THAs."

He said the Secretary for Housing had already made a start with a programme to renovate the THAs which would be retained and to improve their management to achieve a secure and better living environment for all THA residents.

"In parallel, some older rental blocks in the urban fringe areas will be used to house families affected by clearance programmes.

"The Housing Authority is also developing new designs of temporary accommodation, which will provide more space and better-quality living and which will gradually replace the existing type of temporary housing."

On the pledge to reduce the average waiting time to under five years by 2001, Mr Patten warned that this would be no easy task.

"We still have an enormous backlog to make up for, as we clear the temporary housing and squatter areas, for example, and press on with schemes to upgrade the earlier generations of public housing units to meet today's standards," he said.

"We also have new and growing sources of demand for public housing, as we respond to the special needs of vulnerable groups such as the elderly and the new arrivals from China."

Mr Patten said another issue that might have something to do with the problem of waiting lists was the better-off tenants.

"It is plainly wrong that public housing should continue to accommodate tenants who have the financial resources to meet their own housing requirements at the expense of those with a genuine case for rehousing," he said.

"I know that this issue has been the subject of detailed examination by the Housing Authority, and I look forward to receiving their proposals for a comprehensive solution by the end of this year."

33

Mr Patten also pointed that the Housing Authority had gone a long way to meeting public housing tenants' expectations of safe and pleasant homes, with responsive and efficient management and high standards of security, cleanliness and amenity in each housing estate and would be doing even more in the immediate future.

"Over the next three years, we will rehouse at least 24,000 families whose living space per person is less than 5.5 square metres.

"We will also begin to privatise estate management on a trial basis next year. By 1997, all housing estates should have their own Estate Management Advisory Committees to give tenants direct access to management."

On planning for the future, Mr Patten said the ultimate aim must be to encourage families to become owner-occupiers.

"Over the next six years, the Government plans to provide subsidised programmes to help 190,000 families become owner-occupiers," he said.

"That is an impressive goal, and it is one that we can achieve without reducing our commitment to build public rental housing for 141,000 families over the same period.

"At the same time, we will use the Housing Project Action Team to fast-track residential developments in the private sector, where necessary, so that our targets for home ownership can be met."

Mr Patten added that it was time to take a hard look at the long-term housing strategy.

"The Secretary for Housing will shortly start work on a comprehensive reappraisal of our future housing objectives and every aspect of the way in which we manage the enormous resources committed to providing decent, affordable houses for this community," he said.

LegCo and Housing Authority members and the wider community would be consulted after he received the recommendations by the middle of next year, Mr Patten said.

End/Wednesday, October 11, 1995

34

A clean and green Hong Kong ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Poisoned air and water were too high a price to pay for economic progress, the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, told the Legislative Council today (Wednesday).

Outlining the Government's actions on environmental pollution since his initial zi| Policy Address in 1992, Mr Patten said a good start had been made on improving air quality. • !■ . • • •

•J.

"The principal remaining source of pollution is the high density of vehicles which use our roads," he said.

"In 1994, we set ourselves the goal of reducing the level of vehicle pollution by 20 per cent within two years.

"We have two new measures to help us reach this target. Last month, we c published f<?r public consultation our proposals for encouraging taxi and public light bus operators to shift from diesel to petrol vehicles which cause less pollution.

"We plan to cease to register any new diesel vehicle under four tonnes. We intend to bring these measures into effect next year."

Diesel vehicles larger than four tonnes would have to undergo an annual smoke inspection and penalties for smoky vehicles would be raised.

Urgent measures were being taken to tackle pollution of Hong Kong's harbour and coastal waters, he said.

These aimed to dispose of sewage safely, to prevent the uncontrolled dumping of waste and to make the polluter pay.

"For the urban areas, the High Priority Programme of the Sewage Strategy will reduce the flow of pollution into the harbour by 70 per cent," Mr Patten said.

"This project will be completed by early 1997 at a capital cost of some $9.4 billion, on schedule and within budget.

"In the New Territories, the first phase of the livestock waste control scheme has reduced pollution of the worst rivers and streams by 70 per cent. Our goal is to reduce pollution from this source by 90 per cent over the next four years at a cost of $1.35 billion."

Charges under the Sewage Services Ordinance implemented the principle of "the polluter pays", he said.

35

Mr Patten said Hong Kong had already designated more than 40,000 hectares of land as country parks and special areas.

This was 40 per cent of the total land area and an exceptionally high proportion by international standards. The government planned to expand these areas and improve their management.

"The beauty of our country parks is in marked contrast to the squalor of over 700 hectares of environmental black spots in the New Territories," Mr Patten said.

A special Task Force had made a good start last year in tackling the most serious cases. Illegally occupied government land was being cleared and landscaped in Pat Heung and unauthorised developments were being prosecuted vigorously.

Maximum fines for offenders had been increased and more responsible attitudes towards land use encouraged.

A similar strategy would be applied to clean up a further 180 hectares of land in the Northeast New Territories in 1996.

"I should like to appeal to the towns and villages of the New Territories to support our efforts to end the black spots which blight so much of the landscape around them," said Mr Patten.

End/Wednesday, October 11, 1995

Users will pay to help unclog streets: Governor ♦ * * ♦ *

Electronic road pricing and railway extensions were the Government's favoured solutions to streets increasingly clogged by traffic, the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, told the Legislative Council today (Wednesday).

Mr Patten said electronic road pricing applied the "user-pays" principle to road traffic and allowed especially the private car driver to decide how much use to make of a vehicle.

The alternative was the risk of traffic gridlock and the sort of paralysis seen in other Asian cities at peak hour, he said.

The private car figures indicated where the problem lay and offered a blunt warning of worse to come, Mr Patten said.

36

Hong Kong today had only 44 cars per 1,000 residents, compared with 106 per 1,000 in Singapore. 291 in Japan and 565 in the United States, yet its roads were already among the busiest in the world.

Hong Kong had 163 private cars per kilometre of road compared with 102 in Singapore, 32 in Japan and 23 in the United States.

The growth rate had to be held to three per cent or less a year, or Hong Kong's road system would start sliding into paralysis, said the Governor.

Mr Patten said three high-priority projects were expected to help the situation. They were:

* the Western Corridor Railway linking West Kowloon with the border;

* the extension of the Metropolitan Transit Railway to Tseung Kwan O; and

* a new rail link between Ma On Shan and Tai Wai, with a Kowloon-Canton Railway extension to Tsim Sha Tsui.

This would take some of the port's container traffic off the roads, as well as serving the commuters in the Northwest New Territories.

Specific proposals were expected from the KCRC by the end of the year and from the MTRC in early 1996, said Mr Patten.

End/Wednesday, October 11, 1995

Government determined to overcome slope hazards ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government is determined to use the most modem technical resources available to overcome the potential hazards of Hong Kong's unique urban environment, the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, said today (Wednesday).

"Hong Kong lives and works in some of the most densely-occupied high-rise buildings in the world erected on slopes which present some of the world's most challenging geotechnical problems.

"This year’s typhoon season brought us a further reminder that we cannot take our physical safety for granted.

37

"Since the 1970s, we have done a great deal to improve the stability of slopes adjacent to buildings throughout our city.

"But this has not been enough, as the tragic landslips in August brought home to us," the Governor said.

"We are determined to give slope safety an even higher priority in the coming year. We will be providing $1.3 billion to accelerate the review of potentially hazardous slopes and to upgrade their stability. We expect this programme to be completed by 2000.

"We have recruited three outstanding international experts to provide the best technical advice on our slope safety. This new Technical Review Board has already begun its work.

"We have adopted a comprehensive package of practical measures to redress the risk of landslides. These include greater priority for slopes close to busy roads and footpaths, identification of all those responsible for the safety of man-made slopes and closer monitoring of our drainage systems," Mr Patten said.

End/Wednesday, October 11, 1995

Positive steps to curb drug abuse ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government would continue to be vigilant against crime and to take positive steps to combat drug abuse, especially among the young, the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, said today (Wednesday).

Mr Patten said drugs had been an area of concern in the past year.

"I chaired a conference on this vital issue in March this year, and I was encouraged by the determination of all of those involved to ensure that drug abuse is not allowed to spread to the mainstream of Hong Kong society, that its spread be halted or reversed.

"To assist in the battle against drugs, we will be asking this Council to provide $350 million to establish a Beat Drugs Fund. The Fund will finance projects relating to drug abuse, preventive education, publicity, research, training, law enforcement and treatment and rehabilitation.

"These are the tools we must use to roll back drug abuse and to roll up the gangs of drug peddlers.

38

"We shall also provide additional resources aimed at reducing the demand for drugs. We shall be increasing the subventions to non-govemment organisations to help them meet the growing demand for their counselling, treatment and rehabilitation services.

"We shall also be establishing two additional residential treatment centres for young people who have fallen victim to opiate abuse. And there will be a new counselling centre to help people break free of their addiction to psychotropic drugs.

"The education of these young people must not be forgotten. Like other youngsters, they need the skills and training to help them make their way in life.

"This is now being addressed through a new package of assistance which includes the offer of a monthly grant to every drug treatment and rehabilitation agency to help them provide education for their young clients. This should be of particular value to those religious agencies offering therapeutic services to drug abusers.

"We have also taken action to help young abusers to continue their education after leaving a residential treatment programme, for example by making it easier for them to re-enter the school system."

The Governor said by almost any standard of comparison, be it North America, Europe or our neighbours in Asia, Hong Kong was a law-abiding community.

"Our crime rates are strikingly low by the standards of the developed world, and there is a profound respect in the community for our Police Force and for the other disciplined services.

• r

"Over the past three years, I am pleased to be able to report that we have made considerable progress in tackling the two areas of crime which have been of greatest public concern."

He said the rate of violent crime had declined by 11 per cent and the number of armed robberies had declined by a remarkable 61 per cent.

"Our streets and our other public places are now safer. But the picture is not entirely rosy.

"Despite our success in reducing the level of violent crime and the number of armed robberies, and despite the fact that there are now 800 more police officers on our streets than there were in 1992, the overall crime rate has actually increased by just under six per cent.

39

"It might be a statistical blip, and we shall have to follow the figures very closely in the months ahead. But this is a statistic which has already rung alarm bells throughout the Government.

"We are deploying an extra 400 police officers on the streets this year, and we plan to deploy at least another 200 in the year ahead. We will take vigorous measures to counter any upsurge in criminal activity and to ensure our streets are safe," the Governor said.

End/Wednesday, October 11, 1995

Special priority in fight against corruption ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, said today (Wednesday) the fight against corruption will be a special priority during the remaining months of the transition.

He said corruption was of acute concern.

"How could it be otherwise, with reports of corruption to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) up 45 per cent since 1992. Part of this rise is likely to reflect the success of our campaign to encourage people to report corruption.

"But we cannot afford to fall back on such comfortable explanations. We have to go on battling corruption at every level and in every section of our society. We must make sure that comiption remains a high-risk activity for the offender."

Mr Patten said that in the coming year, the ICAC would step up its efforts to eliminate corruption.

"It will extend its Business Ethics campaign from the management to the working level. The aim is to provide staff at every level of business with an ethical framework in which corruption has no place.

"In a related initiative, the Hong Kong Ethics Development Centre will provide corruption prevention services to its clients and will launch detailed prevention programmes in co-operation with the leading chambers of commerce and professional bodies.

- 40 -

’’The ICAC will also increase its efforts to curb cross-border corruption by improving its liaison and intelligence sharing with its counterparts in China. The Commissioner has just attended a major conference on corruption in Peking.

’’This was an important opportunity for us to develop our links with China in the fight against corruption.

’’Hong Kong has a distinguished record for fighting corruption. In the past 21 years, corrupt practices have been driven to the margins of our public and commercial life. That is where they must remain,” said the Governor.

End/Wednesday, October 11, 1995

Helping new immigrants from China to settle ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Much is being done, and will continue to be done to help new immigrants from China to integrate into Hong Kong society.

In his annual Policy Address to the Legislative Council today (Wednesday), the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, said: ”As 1997 approaches, we have to make practical arrangements to absorb the 64,000 children who now live in Guangdong and other parts of China but who will have a right of abode in Hong Kong under the Basic Law.

”We also have the long-standing problem of spouses resident in China but married to Hong Kong residents. We have taken steps to avoid a sudden influx of these children after 1997 which would put our housing, schools and other social services under serious strain.

”We arranged with the Chinese authorities for the daily quota of one way permit holders to increase from July this year from 105 to 150. This increase is to be used exclusively to reunite Hong Kong permanent residents with children and spouses," said the Governor.

"On the whole, the newcomers do adjust, supported by the powerful network of family which remains such a valuable feature of Hong Kong society. Nevertheless, adjustment to Hong Kong can be a challenge, especially in the difficult first few weeks.

41

"We intend to expand our orientation and information services which offer new arrivals advice on how to obtain the assistance of the social services if they need it.

"The children must be our first priority. In April, we launched a special programme to introduce newly-arrived children to Hong Kong life. We help them find school places, and we provide courses to assist some 6,000 of them to catch up with their Hong Kong classmates in key subjects.

"While most new arrivals seem to settle in quickly, our concern remains that some may face special difficulties in integrating fully into our society," Mr Patten said.

The Governor said the Home Affairs Department had been given direct responsibility for monitoring and assessing the services provided to ease the process of integration and to identify groups who are especially at risk.

"Through the District Officers' liaison network, we should be able to make sure our programmes reach those who need help and identify the most suitable approach for responding to the practical problems as they emerge at the district level," he added.

End/Wednesday, October 11, 1995

CS to look into handling of government business in LegCo ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Chief Secretary has been asked to look into the best way of handling government business in the Legislative Council (LegCo), the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, told the Legislative Council today (Wednesday).

The Governor said some people had suggested that there should be a more formal channel of communication between the executive and the legislature.

He said for various reasons LegCo members did not think his suggestion, three years ago, of establishing a Govemment-LegCo Committee was the right answer.

"I have an open mind on this subject. But I believe that all of us recognise that there are issues relating to the handling of government business in this Council which the administration needs to discuss with Members," he added.

The Governor said Hong Kong's peculiar constitution defines quite separate and distinct roles for the executive and the legislature.

42

"Policy formulation is clearly the responsibility of the executive. The Government is expected to give a lead. It will, I hope, be obvious from all I have said so far this afternoon that we will be providing that leadership.

"But this leadership must continue to be constrained by accountability, through this Council, to the community.

"The role of the Legislative Council is different.

"The community expects Members to scrutinise the Government's proposals carefully, to criticise where necessary and, at times, to protest against them. The Council has, of course, been doing this in the recent past, and in this sense, the role of the Council has not changed.

"But while the recent election has not given the Council a mandate to operate as an alternative administration, it is the first Council in Hong Kong's history to be entirely elected. Your mandate in performing your important oversight role has, therefore, clearly been enhanced." said Mr Patten.

"This Hong Kong system, with an executive-led administration accountable to an increasingly-elected legislature, has worked very well in the last four years.

"Despite all the gloomy forebodings in 1991, there has been no constitutional gridlock. On the contrary, the Government's legislative and financial programmes have been dealt with by the Council fairly and expeditiously.

"Over the last two years, the Government has presented some of the most complex and. frequently, controversial bills ever introduced into the Legislative Council. They have had far-reaching consequences for Hong Kong."

The Governor said these included constitutional development, setting up the fair and open system of elections which went off so successfully last month; establishing Hong Kong's Court of Final Appeal and ending uncertainty about our judicial system after 1997; creating legal remedies against discrimination on grounds of sex or disability; providing the funding and the corporate structure which will enable us to complete construction of the airport in just two years from now; and extending the right to membership of a properly-run provident fund to every member of the workforce.

"We will have just as much to do in this new session, and I am convinced that, given frank dialogue and goodwill, we can complete our agenda.

43

"The people of Hong Kong have high hopes, both of the Government and of this new Council. We must not fail them," said Mr Patten.

"The progress we have made in implementing the ambitious programme I announced in October 1992 would not have been possible without the support and encouragement of the Legislative Council.

"Almost all of these proposals had financial implications and. in some cases, needed legislation to give them effect. The same will be true of many of the proposals I have described this afternoon, and the many more new initiatives set out in the 1995 Policy Commitments.

"I think it is clear that unless we work together - the Legislative Council and the Government - any plans to improve services for the community will amount to nothing more than good intentions," the Governor said.

End/Wednesday, October 11, 1995

Two former LegCo members appointed to ExCo

* * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, has appointed Mr Vincent Cheng and Mr Jimmy McGregor, both former Legislative Councillors, to the Executive Council.

They will replace Baroness Dunn and Mr John Gray, who have resigned from the Executive Council this summer.

Mr Patten thanked Baroness Dunn, one of the community's most distinguished public servants, and Mr John Gray, who will be retiring from the chairmanship of the Hongkong Bank next year, for all their work.

"In my first Policy Address, I announced the separation of the Executive and Legislative Councils. It seemed to me that overlapping membership had impeded rather than facilitated the development of both Councils.

"I felt then, and still do, that members of the Executive Council would find it difficult to offer me frank and impartial advice if they also had loyalties to a political party.

44

"Equally, it would be difficult for members of the Legislative Council to perform their role of scrutinising frankly and critically the proposals put forward by the Government if they had already approved those proposals as Members of the Executive Council," he said.

Mr Patten said in the past, some LegCo members had called for seats in the ExCo, for an Executive Council which was representative of the Legislative Council.

"But to be frank, I have not detected much of a head of steam behind the idea this year.

"What is more, it is clear from what some members have said recently in public that if they were appointed to the Executive Council, they would find it impossible to accept the requirements of confidentiality and collective responsibility that have, with good reason, always been a principle of Executive Council membership.

"For these reasons, I believe it best to continue the separation of the two Councils' membership.

I

"I rely on the Executive Council for the wise counsel which can best be obtained from independent members of the community who have distinguished themselves in their own professional and business careers." said the Governor.

End/Wednesday, October 11, 1995

Governor calls for constructive co-operation in LegCo ♦ * * * *

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, has called for constructive cooperation in supporting some 50 pieces of legislation which the Government attached priority and planned to introduce into the Legislative Council this session.

’’These will have a direct impact on the well-being of every family in Hong Kong," he said.

"My hope, my aim, is that we should be able to move forward by consensus wherever possible.

45

’’This will involve members of this Council being ready to give their broad support to the Government’s programme, and the Government, for its part, taking as much account as it can of Members' views while ensuring that the wider interests of the people of Hong Kong are safeguarded.

’’Co-operation of this kind would not be fostered by unilateral action on either side,” Mr Patten said.

"Some members of this Council have said that they intend to introduce Private Members' Bills on important issues of public policy early in the new session. That is, of course, within their right to decide, provided that their proposals do not have the object or effect of disposing of or charging any part of the public revenue.

"But I do wonder whether the public interest would be best served by this Council and the Government operating on parallel tracks rather than moving forward on an agreed basis.

"I would like to see greater co-operation in this area between the Government and this Council. Give and take will be needed on both sides.

"The Government is very ready to play its part. I hope that members of this Council will be ready to join the Government in this process, in the interests of the people of Hong Kong," said the Governor.

"For me, those interests must be paramount. If at any point 1 judge them to be in jeopardy, I may need to fall back on those constitutional powers which are in place for that purpose.

"Refusing assent to legislation would be a difficult decision for me to make. However, I would not shrink from doing so in a particular case if it were my honest view that this course of action would be in the best interests of Hong Kong," he explained.

"That said, and I want to stress this point, our collective aim must be to work not at the limits of our constitution but in the mainstream of constructive co-operation. 1 hope we can achieve a new level of effective dialogue to meet the expectations which the community has of both the Government and this Council," Mr Patten said.

End/Wednesday, October 11. 1995

46

Liaison Office to be set up: Governor ♦ * * * ♦

The Hong Kong Government is to establish a Liaison Office to provide an efficient central point of contact for the Preparatory Committee.

Addressing the Legislative Council today, the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, said the Liaison Office would be a part of the Hong Kong Government, headed by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, staffed by civil servants, and would report directly to the Chief Secretary and to him.

Mr Patten said this proposal was one of several important agreements on matters affecting Hong Kong that were endorsed at a meeting last week between the Chinese Foreign Minister, Vice Premier Qian Qichen, and the Foreign Secretary, Mr Malcolm Rifkind.

"Much of the preparatory work for these agreements was carried out in Hong Kong in advance of the visit, and it is particularly encouraging to note the positive spirit in which they are being taken forward," Mr Patten said.

"This bodes well for improved co-operation over Hong Kong issues in the last two years of the transition."

As for the Chief Executive (Designate), Mr Patten said preliminary consideration had been given to the forms of assistance which the Government could render, and that this would be taken forward in discussions with the Chinese side.

Co-operation and understanding with the Chinese side would also be enhanced through the informal get-together sessions in Hong Kong between Hong Kong civil servants and Chinese officials, said the Governor.

"We hope that the first session will take place a few weeks from now," he said, "The intention is to enable Chinese officials to gain a better appreciation of the work done by our Heads of Branches and Departments and their perspectives of the future.

"It will also enable our senior colleagues to get to know the Chinese officials better. These occasions will enhance mutual understanding and will make it easier for the Civil Service to cope with the change of sovereignty and all its implications."

End/Wednesday, October 11, 1995

47

Significant progress on transition to China: Governor

* * * * ♦

Significant progress has been made on major transitional issues in preparation for Hong Kong's return to Chinese sovereignty, according to the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten.

Opening the 1995-96 session of the Legislative Council today (Wednesday), Mr Patten said this was a great improvement from the formidable agenda of unfinished business which lay before him when he presented his first Policy Address to the Council in 1992.

These issues, on which little progress had been made in the Joint Liaison Group, involved business which was vital to Hong Kong's success, he said.

"After seven years of complex discussions on defence lands, we reached a comprehensive agreement in June 1994," Mr Patten said.

"This released nearly 140 hectares of land worth up to $65 billion to provide more new homes, offices, hotels, open space and other community facilities.

"In June this year, we brought to a conclusion five years of arduous negotiations on the financing of our new airport. This means that the construction of the airport can proceed rapidly, and we shall be able to finish construction of the airport just two years from now.

"After almost four years of uncertainty since 1991, we reached agreement with the Chinese Government in June this year on the establishment of the Court of Final Appeal on 1 July 1997.

"While I know that this issue was the subject of heated debate in this Council, I believe the passage of the Bill has provided certainty about the continuity of our judicial system where previously there had been doubt and uncertainty."

Outstanding issues included the right of abode issue, the Governor said.

"People need certainty about their residence rights, their travel documents and visa-free access to foreign countries," he said.

"We shall go on raising these concerns in the JLG, as well as with the United Kingdom. Both the sovereign powers have an important contribution to make in reassuring Hong Kong people on these matters.

48

"We are almost halfway through our programme to replace United Kingdom statutes that at present apply to Hong Kong with appropriate Hong Kong legislation. We still have to enact a further 17 ordinances to complete the current programme.

"We also have a programme, largely technical, to adapt Hong Kong's laws to meet the requirements of our future status as a Special Administrative Region. We have examined all the Hong Kong Ordinances, numbering nearly 600, to see whether they need amendment to conform to the Basic Law."

So far, he said, detailed proposals had been presented for amending about 300 ordinances and the government aimed to complete proposals on the rest by the beginning of next year.

"It is imperative to ensure that there is no uncertainty about the status of any laws after the change of sovereignty," Mr Patten said.

On other matters, the Hong Kong Government would seek to build on last week's agreement in London between the British and Chinese Foreign Ministers to intensify efforts to develop Hong Kong's container port.

Air links provided a further example, said Mr Patten.

"We have been negotiating a distinct set of air services agreements with our aviation partners," he said.

"This involves separating air services agreements from those signed by the United Kingdom which also cover Hong Kong, and concluding agreements with new aviation partners."

Mr Patten said 11 such agreements had been signed, one had been initialled and awaited formal signature, and six more were waiting for the Chinese side's approval. A further four remained to be dealt with under the separation programme.

"We have also embarked on a new agenda of consultation and co-operation with China no less vital to our future prosperity," Mr Patten said.

"We have started a comprehensive series of briefings on our budgetary process. These are creating a solid foundation for the consultations with the Chinese Government which will be necessary for the special case of the 1997-98 Budget.

"We have set up a joint Infrastructure Co-ordinating Committee. This body has strengthened our cross-border co-operation, in particular on infrastructure and related matters.

49

"As we look ahead, we can draw encouragement from the fact that we have succeeded in making as much progress over the last three years as, arguably, in any other three-year period since the signing of the Joint Declaration. But I should add, so we should have done, for time is getting short."

End/Wednesday, October 11, 1995

Unique session begins, says Governor

*****

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, believes that Hong Kong will be clearer and more confident about the future by this time next year.

Concluding his policy address to the Legislative Council today(Wednesday), he said: "By the time I address this Council next year, Hong Kong will be a very different place."

He is confident that Hong Kong economy will go on growing and the Civil Service will continue to raise both its sights and its standards in fulfilling this year’s policy commitments.

"With the appointment of the Preparatory Committee, and the Chief Executive (Designate), a great deal of the speculation about the future should end," he said.

"This time next year, therefore, I will have a different task in my policy address. I will have to focus on how we are handing over Hong Kong in good order, with its stability intact and its prosperity secure. So today’s speech is the last of its kind that I will make."

"I am confident that, whatever the difficulties, we will achieve as much progress in the final 21 months to July 1997 as we have achieved since 1992. This confidence is founded on the way that this community responds to all the challenges that it encounters," he added.

"It has been my hope that the men and women of this community would feel that they have a personal contribution to make to Hong Kong and its well-being.

"All our efforts to make the Government more open and accountable, to develop our civic institutions in line with our economic and social progress, have been based on the firm belief that individuals can make a difference."

50

The eyes of the world would be on Hong Kong as 1997 approached, he said.

Mr Patten said the twin tasks of developing a democratic administration while co-operating in the transition with the future government of the territory led the people of Hong Kong and the rest of the world to ask one simple question: "Is it all going to work?"

"My own answer is clear," he said. "Yes, Hong Kong will grow and succeed in freedom, stability and decency, provided its people want to do so strongly enough and have the self-confidence to recognise that the values that have made Hong Kong great are the values of the future, in Asia and the world as a whole.

"The future lies with those who can combine economic opportunity with human dignity and freedom."

Mr Patten added that one other pre-condition of success was to trust Hong Kong.

He hoped China would show that it did so by starting to talk to Members of the Legislative Council who are better placed than most to help others understand the key to Hong Kong's success.

’ J' <

"It is not long now, and everyday will count," he said.

"We should dedicate ourselves - Britain, China and Hong Kong - to using each of those days to help make this community's future secure," he said.

"That is what we owe the people of Hong Kong. That is what they expect of us. We must not fail them. My government, for its part, is determined to succeed."

End/Wednesday, October 11, 1995

Governor's Policy Address on Internet

*****

The full text of the 1995 Policy Address of the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, is also available on the Internet's World Wide Web at http://www.hku.hk/hkgcsb/

End/Wednesday, October 11, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Thursday, October 12,1995

Contents Page No.

Governor's question-and-answer session in LegCo.......................... 1

Governor in RTHK's phone-in programme................................... 18

Supplementary Labour Scheme a good decision: acting FS.................. 47

Major policy initiatives on education outlined.......................... 49

Social welfare committee briefed on welfare issues...................... 52

Voter complaints investigation results announced........................ 53

HK team and attend UN meeting on civil and political rights............. 56

Operation to transfer 163 VMs completed................................. 57

Transfer of VMs from High Island Detention Centre....................... 58

Three CSD officers injured in High Island incident...................... 58

June Employment and Vacancies Statistics released....................... 59

External trade statistics by country and commodity...................... 64

Grading of Beach Water Quality.......................................... 74

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations.................... 78

1

Governor's question-and-answer session in LegCo ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten's question-and-answer session in the Legislative Council today (Thursday):

Mrs Selina Chow: Mr Governor, recently, we've had protests from Vietnamese migrants. This is a rather common phenomenon in recent days and yet your Policy Address is silent on this, and on the TV programme last evening you didn't say anything much on it either. And in the Progress Report it is admitted that you have not achieved your target, and yet in your Policy Address you haven't told us what exactly you plan to do. So, what sort of contingency plans do you have in the pipeline? In other words, if by 1997 we fail to repatriate all VBPs, what is going to happen, and will the UK take the remaining ones? I think that is more practical than trying to get passports for the three-odd million people in Hong Kong.

Governor: First of all, on the television programme which the Honourable lady stayed up to watch last night, I did have one question on the issue which the Honourable lady raises and I gave what I thought, and everybody else seemed to think, was an honest answer. Our policy on Vietnamese migrants is exactly the same as it was when the Honourable lady was a member of the Executive Council and we are attempting to implement that policy as effectively as possible. The Honourable lady may recall that we were having some success in repatriating Vietnamese migrants voluntarily; we've managed to move about 45,000 since 1989. In 1992 and 1993 Vietnamese migrants were returning voluntarily - and of course there was the Orderly Repatriation Programme - but they were returning voluntarily at about 1,000 a month. Unfortunately, a number of circumstances, including a vote in the US Congress, have dried up the flow of voluntary repatriation, so we are trying to move forward with the Orderly Repatriation Programme but we undoubtedly need to encourage voluntary repatriation as well. We will continue to do everything we can to get the Vietnamese migrants back to Vietnam, and as for what happens if we don't succeed, I'd prefer to concentrate on succeeding.

The Honourable lady knows, I think, perfectly well, that it is hardly helpful to hold out wholly unrealistic prospects of what might happen to Vietnamese migrants if they haven't gone back by 1997. They're not going to find a home in the United Kingdom, they're not going to find a home in Australia, they're not going to find a home in the United States, and nobody should give them that impression. It isn't helpful to give them that impression because it encourages them not to volunteer.

2

. ./■ > jf.;. .

Mrs Selina Chow: Mr Governor, first you refer to the previous Executive Council and Hong Kong Government policy, now all along we've been talking about sending them all back before 1995. That was the policy and it is obvious that that won't be achieved. Now, Mr Governor, you seem to be circumventing the question every time. Now you are saying that if in 1997 there are Vietnamese Boat People here and we give them the wrong impression that they might be able to go to the UK and other countries - Why is this misleading? Why can't you take it up with the UK Government and ask the UK Government to agree to taking these Vietnamese Boat People?

Governor: For the same reasons that applied when the Executive Council, which had a number of distinguished members, discussed the issue in 1988: the United Kingdom Government, after 1997, wouldn't have legally or any other grounds, any responsibility for taking them. That's why I want to get them back before 1997 and we will continue in the Administration to work as hard as we can on the issue.

I don't think the Honourable lady should be disingenuous in pursuing this argument. The parameters of the problem haven't changed since she was a distinguished member of the Executive Council. We are working extremely hard, not least our Correctional Services Department, and our Police Officers from time to time, to deal with the problem, and we will continue to do so. We will do everything we can to deal with the problem as quickly as possible and I hope that we get more support rather than less support internationally. As I've said before and as I explained to Representative Smith, a US Congressman who has been much involved in this issue, I don't think that recent decisions by the US Congress have helped but I'm glad that the United States Administration has been trying to be of assistance on this matter.

Dr C H Leong: Governor, in your policy address yesterday you made some words of praise to the Hospital Authority and its performance pledges and for that we have to be thankful. In the same address you also mentioned that there will be an increase in public medical services, like increasing some 800 hospital beds which is obviously laudable, but you also feel that there will be more people patronising the public medical services. In other words, it appears that there will be an unlimited public medical service itself. Now could I ask whether it is the commitment of your Government to unlimitedly fund these unlimited services? If not, what are your plans either to curb the service or are there any means in your mind that you will fund the 1 service itself and what plans do you have to balance the provision of health care services between the private and the public?

Thank you.

3

Governor: These are problems which we started to debate, thanks to the Honourable Lady, a couple of years ago, but I’m not sure how much appetite for or enthusiasm for the debate there was in the Council or in the community on the issue at that time.

The matter which the Honourable Member touches on isn't one which is unique to Hong Kong. It's a problem in every developed community. I think that here in Hong Kong we provide better services at less cost and with less worry for patients or potential patients than in many other communities. But the basic problem, the Honourable Gentleman knows better than I do. The costs of medical care continue to increase, both for demographic reasons and because of the advances of science and technology. Everybody, understandably, wants the best service they can get and expects for instance any new treatment to be available to them. We also face the additional costs of an ageing population. As the health service keeps people alive for longer, so the costs of their health care increase and it's always the case that a very large proportion of a health budget is devoted to the health care of the elderly. So we will find ourselves in the same position as other communities, trying to balance unlimited demand against an inevitably limited supply of resources, and I hope that we can resume the debate which had begun a couple of years ago so the community can try to focus on what we believe the priorities should be. The Honourable Member has very sensibly underlined the importance of community health care and taking a more holistic approach to these issues and I think that has to be something that we all do.

I can just add one point. We do at present have a vigorous private sector and we have sensible bridges between the private and the public sector in health care. I hope that we don't inadvertently bum those bridges down because I think that would lead inexorably to more costly health care for everyone and it would lead inexorably to even more concern about different standards of health care according to the personal means of the patient and I think we want to avoid that if at all humanly possible. But I welcome the Honourable Member's suggestion that this is a subject which this Council will need to debate and to focus on.

Dr David Li: Governor, would you inform this Council which sector or industry have the majority of illegal employment and what are the causes?

Governor: I would need more notice of that question but I think it will be apparent to the whole Council that there have been some sectors in the past, like the construction industry, like the restaurant business, where there have been particular problems with the number of illegal workers. Between about June and August there were, I think, over 600 actions carried out against illegal employment and well over 900 arrests were made. That's, 1 hope, an indication of our determination to stamp out illegal employment wherever we can. It's unfair to the whole community but it's also, we must remember, unfair to those who are being employed illegally. Invariably they're being employed on worse terms. Invariably they're being employed in deplorable conditions in which things like safety and health have even less priority than they do in other parts of the work force. So it's in the interests of the illegal employees, as well as everybody else, that we take action on these matters.

- 4 -

IC.’ ?

Dr David Li: Sir, has there been any improvement since, since that action that you have taken? '■ "m -

Governor: I think that we're all aware of the scale of the problem. To have made over 900 arrests in a period of three months is, in one sense, an indication of success but perhaps should give us all concern about the scale and dimensions of the overall problem which argues for continuing efforts on our part and we will have to look at the penalties that are imposed in due course to see whether we think they're discouraging people from what is an entirely damaging activity.

Mr Albert Chan: Mr President, I haven't pressed my button or raised my hand.

President: Either Mr Szeto Wah or Mr Albert Chan raised his hand. Mrs Miriam Lau.

Governor: Perhaps I could make-up a question!

Mrs Miriam Lau (in Chinese): Thank you Mr President. Mr Governor, with regard to your Policy Address, you say that you want to improve upon the quality of air on our roads, and last month you published some measures to encourage mini-buses and buses to switch from diesel to petrol and you said that you have consulted the public. Now I have a question for the Governor. Will you be consulting those in the affected trades? And also, concerning those measures, will they be implemented only if you can get widespread support from the trades concerned and from the public? And now you are still at the consultation stage, why is it that for diesel vehicles under four tons, why is it that this measure has been included in the 1995/96 Legislative timetable; is it that the Government will press ahead with this measure regardless of public opinion? Is this a document to inform the public instead of to consult the public?

Governor: Well, we do want to proceed with as broad a measure of support as we possibly can and I think we would be acting curiously were that not so. But it does seem to me that we start from a position in which the overall view of the community isn't that we're doing too much to improve air quality but that perhaps we should have acted even more vigorously even sooner. That's certainly the pressure of my correspondence and it's the sort of pressure that I get when I'm questioned going around the community. We must improve air quality in Hong Kong. I don't think that anybody really believes that we'll have a chance of doing that unless we reduce diesel numbers in urban areas. As the Honourable lady knows, we want, within five years, to halve the total diesel numbers and switch most intensive road users to unleaded petrol. If we do that - when we do that - we'll be moving in the same sort of direction as other developed communities, and there is clearly a cost to us in terms of health care, as well as overall environmental quality, if we don't manage that.

5

Now, we've started this process of consultation, not least regarding the financial incentives, to encourage a switch. I hope during the course of the consultation we will manage to encourage the trades involved, as well as passengers, as well as pedestrians and the general public, of the good sense of what we are proposing, but there isn't an easy way of achieving the objective that we want. I think that it's in everyone's interest, and not least the transport industry, to have cleaner transport in Hong Kong and I hope we can manage that.

Even if the Honourable lady may take exception to some of the things that we are attempting to do in switching from diesel to petrol, I hope that she'll totally agree with us that where there's no petrol alternative, it is important with larger diesel vehicles to have annual smoke inspections, to have tighter emission controls and to increase penalties. I think that should be an issue on which everybody could agree.

Mrs Miriam Lau (in Chinese): May I follow up. Mr Governor, I share your desire to protect our environment but my point is, is this proposal both fair and just in achieving those goals? Now, I did pose a question a moment ago, i.e. this particular plan, will it be implemented only if it's got the support of the community and the trade? I want a very clear answer. In other words, will you go ahead merely because the community is behind you, without any regard for the trade?

Governor: Of course we have to take account of the trade, but we have to weigh in the balance the overall community view and the overall community interest. And I don't think anyone - not even somebody representing a particular functional constituency -would argue that the whole of the community interest should be put on one side if that particular functional constituency isn't totally in support of the measure. I actually think that a number of sensible and public spirited transport undertakers would actually accept the arguments for cleaner transport and I'm sure their point of view will be eloquently put forward by the Honourable lady. At the end of the day, or at the end of the debate, representing the community as it does, if we bring forward legislation, this Council will take a view and I hope that when it does so the Honourable lady's eloquence will be one of the decisive factors in securing improved air quality for us in Hong Kong without sacrificing the legitimate needs of our transport industry. .

President: Dr Cheung Bing-leung.

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Dr Cheung Bing-leung (in Chinese): Mr Governor, in your Policy Address you reiterated the point that you will help in the preparation work of the SAR and this SAR PC. Could I know exactly what you are talking about? Now, we have the SAR PC and we have got PWC people saying that one of the most important jobs of the Preparatory Committee is to set up the provisional legislature, so will your assistance go to that extent as well?

Governor: Let me deal with the second point first. I have been asked questions about it from time to time in the past and just in case I haven't made myself as clear as I would like to have done, let me say, once again, that there can be no question under any conceivable circumstances of the Hong Kong Government, or for that matter the Government of the present sovereign, doing anything to undermine the authority of this legitimately constituted Legislative Council. There can, therefore, be no question of us assisting in the - (pause) - production -- I'm not quite sure what word to use - of some alternative whose genesis in relation to the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law is, to me, decidedly unclear. So as far as I am concerned, there is one Legislative Council and it is meeting here, and there is every reason why it should go on meeting here until 1999, and I think that is the overwhelming view of the international community - as well as the community here in Hong Kong, even more to the point.

As to the co-operation elsewhere with the Preparatory Committee, we have made clear that the Preparatory Committee emerges from the sacred texts, emerges from the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. The Preparatory Committee has an important job to do in paving the way for the Chief Executive designate and his or her team. We've suggested the establishment of a Liaison Office to work with the Preparatory Committee to provide it with information, and the exact way in which we operate, the exact mode of working, we will obviously want to discuss with the Secretariat of the Preparatory Committee when it is established, and with the Preparatory Committee itself. But I think that this Council and the whole community would expect us to be as helpful and co-operative as possible.

Let me just add one other thing. I don't wish to pre-empt the decision that others make but I imagine it is conceivable that there may well be members of this Council on the Preparatory Committee and members of this Council will therefore be receiving information that we give to the Preparatory Committee and will, I'm sure, not expect us to give information to the Preparatory Committee which this Council doesn't know about.

Dr Cheung Bing-leung (in Chinese): Mr Governor, you said that you will be assisting the Preparatory Committee, you will be giving them information. Does that mean that you will give them information only, and not assist in any other way?

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Governor: Well, there may well be other ways in which they want to be assisted. They may want - some of them who don't know Hong Kong as well as one would like - to learn more about Hong Kong, to be shown parts of Hong Kong's life which they may not be familiar with. There are all sorts of practical ways in which they may need help and I think the community would expect us to provide that help. But I know perfectly well that this Legislative Council will press us on exactly what help we're giving and since, as I said, there are likely to be members of this Council on the Preparatory Committee, it would be foolish of us to contemplate - even if we wished to do so which we don't - to hide from the Council what in general we were doing to help the Preparatory Committee.

President: Miss Chan Yuen-han.

Miss Chan Yuen-han (in Chinese): Mr Governor, I have a question. In relation to your Policy Address it's silent on the application of CEDAW in Hong Kong. Does that mean that you have no intention of doing so?

Governor: No. It's still our intention to work for the application of CEDAW to Hong Kong and though I don’t have all the policy commitments to hand, I think were I to do so I would be able to find a specific reference to that in the policy commitments of my distinguished colleague the Secretary for Home Affairs.

President: Do you have a follow-up Miss Chan?

Miss Chan Yuen-han (in Chinese): Yes. In the policy commitment we haven't got any specific timetable. It's said that there is such an intention. This question in fact has been discussed at the Legislative Council for quite some time and I would like a specific timetable.

Governor: I think that perhaps the lack of specificity about the timetable is because we're discussing the issue both with the present and the future sovereign, the exact timing. But I can assure the Honourable Member that we have no intention to do other than apply CEDAW, with those appropriate reservations which have been discussed in the Council, as rapidly as possible. It would be strange were it otherwise because both the present and the future sovereign, both as I recall apply CEDAW.

President: Miss Emily Lau.

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Miss Emily Lau: Thank you Mr President. I want to follow-up on the question of the provisional legislature raised by Mr Cheung Bing-leung. The Governor referred to the unclear genesis in the Basic Law and the Joint Declaration of the provisional legislature which I agree of course, but I wonder whether he would go even further to say that the setting-up of the provisional legislature would be a breach of the Sino-British Joint Declaration? And also Mr President, I want to ask the Governor whether in co-operating with the preparatory committee next year and in '97, is he also prepared to co-operate in a sense of allowing the Chinese Government to second cadres to work in the Hong Kong Government, just like right now the British Government is seconding people to work in the Hong Kong Government and would that be also seen as a breach of the Joint Declaration?

Thank you Mr President.

Governor: Well, I'm always reluctant, in life before anybody breaks my windows, to rush around blaming them for having done so and before anything is done which maybe in contravention of the Joint Declaration I'm reluctant to point an accusatory finger. But speaking as an interested observer of these things, I do find it difficult to imagine how the establishment of a provisional legislative council, which of course is unnecessary, undesirable and unwelcome, could be within the terms of the Joint Declaration. But, I repeat that I don't want to wag my finger in a minatory way about something that may never happen.

As for the secondment of PRC civil servants to the Hong Kong Government, that hasn't, I don't think, been yet suggested, either for the period before 1997 or the period after 1997. I'm not sure whether, were it to be suggested, it would actually be in breach of the Joint Declaration, but I'm prepared to take counsel on that point. I do think, if I may say so, that one of the, that there are two important considerations which none of us should lose sight of. The first is that civil servants in Hong Kong are going to want to work in an understanding and co-operative way with civil servants in the PRC and that may well mean that just as civil servants in Hong Kong want to know more about the way PRC ministries and bureaucracies work, so the reverse could reasonably be regarded as true as well. Secondly, I would have thought that one of the contributions which Hong Kong, without an excess of institutional vanity, could offer after 1997, was its expertise in running public administration from emergency services to budget planning, right across the board and that too might argue the case for secondments from time to time. I don't see how that process would necessarily infringe the guarantees and the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, about Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy or about the continuity of the civil service in Hong Kong. So I'm less certain about that issue than I am about the other, not that I think the other should ever need to occur.

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Miss Emily Lau: Just a short follow-up. I think being the British Government’s representative in Hong Kong, it is important for the Governor to know himself what is, or what is not, in breach of the Joint Declaration and for you to say so, especially as the Chinese Government has repeatedly said that they are going to dismantle this Council and replace it with a provisional legislature. So I just don't think it’s good enough for you to sit here today and say you’ re not going to anticipate that. If you clearly think that it is in breach of the JD, you should say so. Say so in no uncertain terms to the British Government, to the Chinese Government and to the Hong Kong people. And also, can you confirm for us whether the Chinese have said that they intend to second cadres to work in the Hong Kong Government, both before and after 1997?

Governor: On the second point, we’ve had no indication that the, as far as I’m aware, of posting of cadres to the Hong Kong Administration, though if I’m not correct about that I’ll certainly let the Honourable lady know.

On the first point, I was attempting diplomatically to avoid accusing anyone of breaching the law before any breach of the law, not the law, before any breach of an agreement had either been committed or conceivably contemplated, but were the situation to occur the Honourable Lady should rest content that I will make my views abundantly plain. What I have said and will continue to say, is that I think there is no reason whatsoever why this Council shouldn’t continue from 1995 to 1999, every reason why it should continue and every reason for supposing and arguing vehemently that to disrupt the life of this Council in 1997 would be bad for Hong Kong and would be bad for a smooth transition.

President: Dr Law Cheung-kwok.

Dr Law Cheung-kwok (in Chinese): Mr Governor, I share your view that we must improve the economy and we can do so by increasing productivity but in paragraph 35 of the policy address we are told that since 1985 the productivity has increased by an average of 4.5% per annum. I believe most economists would share my view and that is with regard to the figures you have put forward, those figures cannot truly reflect the changes in the productivity of our labour force. If you use these figures as the basis for formulating your economic policies and if you are always complacent about the economic development of Hong Kong, then I would feel very worried indeed.

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I have two suggestions for you Mr Governor. With regard to the changes in the productivity of our labour force and the causes for the changes, the Government should start immediately to study these aspects. And secondly, can the Government come up with specific proposals to increase productivity in different sectors? I think the Government should work hard in these respects.

Governor: Thank you. I’m not sure on what basis the Honourable member tells me that our official statistics on productivity are wrong. I have to say that until it’s proved otherwise I'll continue to believe the figures that are given me by our official statisticians and by the Government economist. Where I accept the Honourable gentleman’s argument is that there's no reason for being complacent about our economic performance, no reason for being complacent about our continuing ability to compete successfully by continuing to raise our productivity levels. Now the most effective way we can raise our productivity is by ensuring that we have an increasingly skilled and highly trained work-force and that we continue to invest in the machinery that work-force uses and invest substantially in the production of wealth. In the last three years, net capital investment has, I think, increased by 31 per cent which suggests that we are still investing pretty substantially and there are, I think, this year, 155,000 men and women in Hong Kong who were in some sort of part-time education trying to increase their vocational skills or their professional qualifications. So I don't think anybody in Hong Kong, least of all the Governor, is complacent about this issue. Increasing productivity will continue to be the way in which Hong Kong earns its living in the world.

President: Dr Law.

Dr Law Cheung-kwok (in Chinese): Now if you do not know how to assess productivity accurately, while always emphasising that productivity is very important, then you are being irresponsible. Now, I can tell you very certainly that you won't be able to get five economists in the private sector who will agree with these figures.

President: Governor, take it to be a question.

Governor: Well, on the contrary, looking at the figures on our economy produced by private sector economists and comparing them with the figures produced by Government economists, I think we normally find that we’re about in the middle of the pack. But if the Honourable member has a real substantial intellectual case to make against our measurement of productivity, then we'll be delighted to take delivery of it. Unlike the Honourable member, I think I'm right in saying this, I don't have the great advantage of belonging to what I think is called "The Gloomy Profession". I'm not an economist. I also accept what I think was implicit in the Honourable gentleman’s view that if you have ten economists in a room you have ten different views, but I'll be interested in the outcome of the Honourable member's dialogue with my economist colleagues in the Administration.

11

President: Mr Cheng Yiu-tong.

Mr Cheng Yiu-tong (in Chinese): Thank you Mr President. Mr Governor, you say that you will continue to invite Mr Lu Ping to come to Hong Kong as your guest. My question is, should he come, does that mean that on the question of Hong Kong the Chinese Government and the British Government are re-establishing all links? And if he doesn't come, does that mean that there are still obstacles?

Governor: First of all, can I say that I hope Director Lu Ping is wholly fit to travel and to take up his full responsibilities as soon as possible. He hasn't been well recently; we all understand that he is making a good recovery and in all sincerity, I wish him the best possible recovery as soon as possible.

Let me not, necessarily, personalise the issue, though I repeat again that I would be delighted to meet Director Lu anywhere - pretty well anywhere - anytime, and I think that that would be widely welcomed here in Hong Kong. Why? Well, for a simple reason: people in Hong Kong look at what is happening around the world and they see officials from every community, from every country whatever the disagreements there may have been, talking to one another, and they scratch their heads and they puzzle about why it is that certain senior Chinese cadres find it so difficult to do what officials everywhere else in the world do. It is, I think, a matter of some confusion to the public, not only in Hong Kong but well beyond. I don't think that anybody should be worried about losing face by meeting the Governor of Hong Kong. Those Chinese officials know perfectly well where decisions are still generated about Hong Kong's Administration and Hong Kong's Government, so I really think that we should behave rather more sensibly. I think to go on behaving as some people have been behaving is, frankly, rather demeaning.

President: Mr Cheng.

Mr Cheng Yiu-tong (in Chinese): Could you, Mr Governor, use your charisma to charm him here?

Governor: The Honourable member is much too flattering. I sometimes think that it would be, perhaps, easier and more convenient for many of us in politics if we had, at an earlier stage in our careers, a charisma bypass. I'd use any wiles or eloquence to persuade Director Lu and other senior Chinese officials to come to Hong Kong. I think that it's a matter of some concern that some senior Chinese officials who are involved in policy making about Hong Kong don't actually know this community very well, haven't been to this community at all in some cases, and I think that's something that we should all want to correct.

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I had two days of vigorous debate and discussions with Director Lu. I belong to a tradition where because you have a vigorous discussion with somebody doesn't mean that you lose respect for that person, and I certainly haven't lost my respect for Director Lu's commitment to a successful transition here in Hong Kong. He is a professional, he is a distinguished public servant, and I look forward to future discussions with him, lively though they may be, and I trust they are not too charismatic.

Mr Lau Chin-shek (in Chinese): Well, the work-force, the labourers, if they heard you are scrapping the Labour Importation Scheme, I am sure they will say that you are most charismatic. And yet, we have this scheme which is making life extremely difficult for them. And then you mentioned the stopping of the scheme; I was about to rejoice, and yet, immediately, we learnt of the Supplementary Labour Importation Scheme and if you look at that, then by 1996, if we have an additional 6,000, then the number would be even greater than in September. And then the General Labour Importation Scheme in fact is not a standing arrangement, but the Supplementary Scheme will be a permanent one.

Now, I asked the Secretary this morning and he said that it is merely a proposal and not a decision. And I asked if I could therefore object to it, and he said that Legislative Councillors will know what to do. So, does that mean that this scheme will come to the Legislative Council, or is it that we will have to resort to a private member's bill to object to it, to overrule it? And yet, Mr Governor, you say that if we have any private member's bill and it is against the general interest of Hong Kong, then you will exercise your right and not give your assent. So, what is going to happen? So, if we object to that and you refuse to give assent to our bill, then how are we going to do things here, and how are we going to assess the situation?

Governor: Well, I hope that we will be able to proceed on a basis of consensus on an issue about which the community feels so strongly. Perhaps I can say, before I hope giving a reasonably comprehensive answer to the Honourable member's question, that I don't think anybody seriously believes that the decisions we take on the importation of labour are going to be the most fundamental and important decisions that we take on job creation and dealing with unemployment in Hong Kong. I don't think that is the Honourable member's view. I don't think the Honourable member thinks that if we did whatever he wants on labour importation, we would suddenly find ourselves, hey presto, creating more jobs than the increase in the number of people coming into the work-force. There are all sorts of other things that we need to do to keep Hong Kong creative in jobs, to ensure that, as has happened over the last three years, we create 10 per cent more jobs perhaps in the next three.

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The second thing I'd say is that something which seems to me to be important if we're going to have the sort of co-operation which the Honourable member referred to and which I certainly hope for, it is important for people not to rush into the headlines or not to denounce things before they know exactly what they are. And what we’re very much hoping is that Honourable members will now find themselves in a dialogue with the Administration, in particular with our excellent Secretary for Education and Manpower. We are hoping that we can focus that debate and that dialogue on the summit that 1'11 be calling next month, and we very much hope that at the end of the discussion we will have proposals which command the consent of employers, employees and the Legislative Council in as large a measure as possible.

Just let me say a couple of other things about the proposal. The first, again, is about the background of the proposal. What is the background? Is anybody seriously arguing that the whole of the reason for the increase in unemployment that we've seen in Hong Kong is the General Importation of Labour Scheme? In the last three years, in Hong Kong, we've increased the number of jobs by 10 per cent - by 270,000. The work-force has increased by 11 per cent - by just over 300,000 - for a variety of reasons: because some people who previously emigrated to Canada and Australia and elsewhere have come back; because the number of immigrants coming in from China has been high; the daily quota of 150 a day now means over 50,000 people coming in from China. Understandably, we are trying to avoid a big problem in 1997. But that is the fact.

Now, against those sort of figures, plus demographic factors, with more people coming into the work-force than there are retiring, against those figures the actual numbers represented by the importation of labour are relatively slight. I'm not saying they are completely unimportant or completely irrelevant - if I thought that, I wouldn't have sanctioned the proposals that we put to the Legislative Council yesterday - but they are only part of the issue, part of the problem. And what we mustn't do is to take any decision which makes Hong Kong less competitive and which encourages employers to move their capacity, move their manufacturing plant or whatever, elsewhere.

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The second thing: the important aspect of the proposals that we've put forward, which 1 hope the Honourable member will discuss in as open minded a way as possible, the important feature of those is not only that the ceiling is so much lower than under the present scheme but that the way the scheme is to be administered is completely different. You're talking about each job rather than sectors of industry. You're requiring an employer, in effect, to demonstrate that he can't fill the job in Hong Kong either through job-matching or by contacting our Employees Retraining Scheme, or in other ways. So, I hope that the Honourable member will look both at the details of the scheme as well as at the total numbers, though the total numbers are much smaller than are allowed in under the present scheme.

It is important that we get this right, and it is important, 1 think, that if we possibly can, we avoid having a great argument about something which matters of course, but isn't ultimately, in the long term, going to be the central factor in determining whether we go on producing jobs that are well-paid and decent for the people of this community.

President: Mr Lau.

Mr Lau Chin-shek (in Chinese): Thank you Mr President. Now, the figures are very simple and self-explanatory. You've got 5,000 under the Supplementary Scheme and so in 1996 we'll have a larger number of imported workers than we do have now. 1 think we must look at the effects on the workers and the work-force. And also, it seems that you are saying that this is only a suggestion and a decision will only be reached at the summit. But if a decision can't be reached at the summit, will you give LegCo the say? Or, will you leave it to members to put forward a private member's bill to veto our support for the project?

Governor: It is our obligation to give a lead and to try to carry this Council and the community with us, and that is what we will be trying to do. That is what executive led government is all about. But this Council has a mandate and a broader mandate than it has ever had before, to hold us to account, so I very much hope that we can convince this Council.

15

Can I just say something about the figure - and the Honourable member is not an unfair man, so I want to put this point very directly to him. It isn't reasonable to take the limit for the new scheme that we're proposing, to add it to those who've come under the present scheme, and then to claim that next year there must therefore be more people brought into Hong Kong to work than there are at present. First of all, the number brought in under the present scheme will be gradually running down over the next year or so. Secondly, the figure of 5,000 is a top limit. We're not saying that there must be 5,000 people brought into Hong Kong next year. Indeed, we're saying that every job that is brought in will have to be justified, and justified, ultimately, to the LAB. But we will have to be able to demonstrate to this Legislative Council every three months that the scheme is being run in a sensible way and isn't threatening to undermine people's jobs.

But I hope that we can straighten out all these issues over the next few weeks in a way which satisfies people like the Honourable gentleman, who I hope will recognise that what we are trying to do is to respond to the legitimate anxieties which people like the Honourable gentleman have raised for the last couple of years, without, on the other hand, going so far as to hurt Hong Kong's competitiveness and prevent us being able to introduce people with particular skills that we don't have, into our workforce. I think we've pitched the balance about right but we will be happy to talk about whether we've got things right with Honourable members and others over the coming weeks.

President: Mr Ip Kwok-him.

Mr Ip Kwok-him (in Chinese): Mr Governor, in the policy address you mentioned that the Labour Importation Scheme should be halted and Mr Lau in fact mentioned this point just now. With regard to the figure 5,000, apart from this figure, do you know that at present there are many people holding British passports, they are working in Hong Kong and they do not have to be issued with working visas? And so, for these people coming to Hong Kong to work, will there be a review conducted within the Government, so as to give priority to local people in terms of employment?

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Governor: The Honourable gentleman, I'm sure would understand, that those people are in a wide variety of occupations. One of them is the Governor. It's a post only available to one person at a time and some may say alas, I'm not keeping a local out of the position, though in due course a local will take over the job and I'll have to look for employment elsewhere. Most, overwhelmingly, most of the rest are working in administrative and professional areas which aren't covered by the Labour Importation Scheme. Now the other day I heard somebody talking about large numbers being employed on the airport. There are a matter of a few dozen employed on the airport and so, I keep on looking at the representative of the Legal Functional Constituency and find myself about to say 'with respect', but with respect as barristers say, I really don't think that you could say that there is very much relationship between that issue, which is a result of history and Britain's responsibilities for Hong Kong and the levels of unemployment in Hong Kong.

Mr Ip Kwok-him (in Chinese): Now for jobs that Hong Kong people can take up, I think priority should be given to Hong Kong people, especially in the light of the economic conditions in Hong Kong at the moment. And so if Hong Kong people are capable and qualified, why shouldn't Hong Kong people be given priority? Now I think the same should apply to the Governorship or to administrative posts.

Governor: Well, in due course, and it's, 1 won't say it's something I'm looking forward to because people will misunderstand me, but in due course, Hong Kong people running Hong Kong will exclude the Governor, who may not even have the opportunity of running Britain!

To be serious, I totally understand the proposition that we should try to ensure that our own people get preference in the market place, provided of course they have got the skills which our economy needs. If, in some cases, they don't have the skills then it hurts all of us and hurts our economy if we don't bring in people with those skills. I'm sure, given the fact that so many people from Hong Kong have found employment in other communities, we wouldn't want to start sounding as though we advocated not allowing people from other communities to work here in Hong Kong. Because were we to do that people in other communities might start to think that the same should apply to us.

We have taken a very open minded view about employment, about the requirement to move around to get jobs, to move around internationally. When unemployment is increasing in Hong Kong, plainly we want to give preference locally but we don't want to behave as though we think that every worker who comes to Hong Kong from anywhere else is somehow a pariah. That's quite opposite to the contribution which many people from other communities make in what is an open, international city.

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President: Mr Ambrose Lau Hon-chuen.

Mr Ambrose Lau Hon-chuen (in Chinese): Thank you. Mr Governor, in paragraph 33 of your policy address, when you talk about the economy and you say that the role of the Government must be to promote the efficiency, flexibility and competitiveness of our economy and you say that we must compete our way back to full employment and stable prices. Now in order to increase our competitiveness, will you consider this, that is; will you set up a statutory organisation, let’s say an Economic Development Council, similar to the TDC, and it’s main function is to advise the Government on important economic issues and also to have overseas offices in order to attract overseas investments to Hong Kong and also to work in order to promote our economy and if that’s successful then I don’t feel that you will have to explain the labour importation situation with Mr Ip and Mr Lau?

Governor: I have to say that I'm not attracted to that, which sounds to me a bit like central planning. Hong Kong has managed its economy astonishingly well, by any international standards, over the last decades and its done so by and large by standing back from business and from industry, letting entrepreneurs get on with the things they do best, providing a framework, an infrastructure, providing decent investment in education and training, providing decent investment in roads and tunnels and bridges and providing as open a market as possible. I am not attracted by the idea of sitting down and trying, even with the assistance of other businessmen and trade unionists, sitting down and trying to plan the economy or run the economy. I don't think that's been the Hong Kong way. I don't think it offers any improvement over our position today, which is one in which there are reputable international bodies which think we're one of the most competitive economies in the world, one of the most business friendly and certainly the most free and I don't think they would take that view if we were to go in for old fashioned central planning or indicative planning.

So I quite understand that the proposal made by the Honourable Member is extremely well intentioned but 1 don't think it would be helpful. We shouldn't forget the fact that we're an economy which is growing at 5% a year. I read somewhere in the paper today, someone suggesting that we should be trying to 'kick-start the economy'. Kick-start an economy which is growing at 5% a year. Anybody in Europe or North America would think we'd taken leave of our senses. Try to kick-start an engine when it’s going and you get into terrible trouble. We've grown at 18% over the last three years, we’ve seen a 43% increase in our exports in manufactured goods, a 31% increase in our services. We've cut taxes, we've increased the reserves by 57%. Do 1 want now to completely change our economic policies? No, I don't.

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Mr Ambrose Lau Hon-chuen: Governor, it seems to me that it has been the Hong Kong way for the Trade Development Council to assist promotion of trade in Hong Kong.

Governor: Yes, I agree with that. The Trade Development Council does an outstanding job. It's helped to promote our exports in manufacture and it may well be appropriate for it to help the development of our exports in services as well. I think that is rather different to what I took to be the Honourable Member's proposal. Maybe I misunderstood him, but 1 have seen one or two reflections of that elsewhere. Of course we have some economic problems. On the whole they are problems associated with success rather than failure and I don't want to do anything which inhibits that success.

If you keep on winning at Happy Valley, if you keep on coming away on a Wednesday evening with money in your pocket, which is not something that's ever happened to me I should add, you don't, I think, conclude that you should stop taking advice from the person who's been giving you tips. We've done very well in Hong Kong, no thanks to this Governor particularly, you've done very well in Hong Kong following classical market economics for the last 40 years and I would be amazed if anybody seriously thought we should overthrow that now.

President: In accordance with Standing Orders I now adjourn the Council until Wednesday October 18, 1995, at 2.30pm.

End/Thursday, October 12, 1995

Governor in RTHK's phone-in programme

*****

The following is the transcript of RTHK's phone-in programme in which the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, took part this (Thursday) morning:

Nick Beacroft: Governor, Good Morning thank you for joining us on this special phone in programme. Can I perhaps get some immediate reaction from yourself to Democratic Party members and some trade unionists who have said that they will table private member's bills to halt the influx of foreign labour. Do you feel that you are already on the road to confrontation with the Legislators.

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The Governor: No, I think it is a bit premature for people to say that I'm going to go ahead on a pre-determined course before they have actually heard the details of our proposals. Joseph Wong, the new Secretary for Education and Manpower, is going to be going down to the Legislative Council today to explain in detail what we have got in mind. We have got a document that we will be sharing with LegCo Members and later with the community and we start off, as I said yesterday in a genuine spirit of give and take. I think you can see from quality reactions this morning that there are some people who think we have gone too far and there are some people who don't think we have gone far enough. I think we have pitched it about right and I hope that we will be able to persuade a majority of Legislators of that in the coming weeks, but as far as we're concerned we very much want to carry the community with us, explaining some of the impossible difficulties of simply stopping anybody from outside coming to work in Hong Kong. At the same time recognising in the present state of the labour market we have got to tighten up a bit.

Question: Mr Governor, I should like to ask you a question regarding your Policy Address which you say is going to be the last speech of its kind. After hearing some initial reaction to your Policy Address, what are your views?

Governor: Well my main view is that if this is the sidelines I quite looking forward to being behind the grandstand at some stage. I mean I still feel very much in the centre of argument and debate which I enjoy, but it doesn't make for a quiet life. Hong Kong is such an open constructively argumentative place, it is part of Hong Kong's charm and I guess that one day but not for another twenty-one months I'll look forward to reflecting on it all. There is still a lot to do in the next twenty-one months and I'm looking forward to working with the Legislative Council as constructively as possible during that period.

Question: I would like the Governor to give me a positive answer to the following Question. My Question is in the policy address yesterday the Governor said that Legislative Councillors would be putting forward private member's Bills and the Governor did make it quite clear that he might use his prerogative to veto these bills that may be passed by LegCo. Mr Governor, before you use this power would you first of all have a referendum, so you could refer to the result of the referendum before you actually use this power to see whether there is a need to veto private member's Bills that have been passed by LegCo.

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Governor: Thank you very much indeed, well there isn't actually any power in Hong Kong for me to call a referendum and in order to do that we would have to have Legislation and I dare say that that would be pretty controversial. But can I just say a word about the private member’s Bills point which I dealt with I thought extremely delicately yesterday, rather more delicately than some of the newspaper headlines this morning. We have got a strange constitutional position in Hong Kong in which we have an executive led Government which I must maintain and a legislature with a mandate which is increasingly credible because now it is totally elected. I've got to try to make that situation work and I want to do so with the most co-operation with the Legislative Council, the only point I was making yesterday is that at the end of the day I've obviously got to stand up for executive led Government. I hope that I can do so in co-operation with the Legislative Council, but the buck stops with me. Now when President Clinton who is in a slightly different position because he is elected, but he is nevertheless dealing with a similar legislature, when he uses his veto which he has to do rather frequently, people don't jump up and down and say that shows that President Clinton isn't a democrat. I very much hope that we won't get into those sort of confrontational situations. Yesterday wasn't a threat, yesterday was just a statement of my determination to stand up for executive led government while at the same time recognising the broader mandate, though not the different mandate which the Legislative Council has.

Question: Good Morning Governor Patten, I spoke to you last year and in fact the year before on the radio at the same time. My call is with regard to the plight of the ethnic minorities in Hong Kong. I proposed to you last year that the government and the ethnic minorities worked together in trying to deal with our very worrying situation with 1997 fast approaching. Regrettably, the government responded to me that such co-operation was probably not necessary. There are many, especially a number of people like myself who are younger, western educated minorities in Hong Kong who really feel our situation is quite desperate with 1997 coming along. It's quite apparent from the Basic Law and the way things are working in Hong Kong today we are going to be treated differently from ethnic Chinese people in Hong Kong after 1997, we are being treated differently today. However, we don't seem to be getting the support we need in order to deal with this problem. My Questions are really twofold, first of all, why doesn't the government feel it is necessary for it to work closely hand in hand with our community to deal with these problems and secondly, given that, what concrete steps are the government really taking in order to help us to secure full British passports, because ultimately the whole of the Hong Kong community, these are Legislative Councils, Executive Council, which you are obviously a part of have acknowledged that we need to be treated differently, but in the last three years we have made very little progress.

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Governor: Not just the last three years. Can I just say absolutely clearly that I don't just sympathise with your position, I agree with your position, 1 agree with your position in moral terms and 1 agree with your position in practical terms. I think the ethnic minorities in Hong Kong even though there are some sort of long stop guarantees that have been given, not quite as far as the Foreign Affairs Select Committee in Westminster would have liked, but a little further than the British Government has gone in the past, even though there are those long stop guarantees they don't amount to anything like the British passport, the full British passport which I think the ethnic minorities should have received. I'm not quite sure what you mean by partnership, we have continued to lobby and lobby vigorously the British Government and any visiting British Member of Parliament as I think you have as well, so we're working I hope in parallel, I will continue to put the case to the British Government as will my colleagues, as will the Executive Council, as will I know the majority of the Legislative Council and I very much hope that we'll do better in the future than we've done in the past. It is not, or shouldn't be regarded by Westminster politicians who, whether Conservative or Labour have united over the proposition that BDTC passport holders should have a full passport, they have been solidly against it as we all know regrettably, it's not however in that category, because you're not talking about the same numbers, you're talking about a small group who have I think, very legitimate concerns about their own future, so I hope we can persuade politicians on both sides of the political divide in Westminster to be rather more sympathetic. I think you'll be aware from recent arguments and noises off, that I haven't made myself entirely popular back in Britain by raising these issues.

Question Can I follow up on that. You have mentioned what type of co-operation, on this programme last year. 1 mentioned I felt it would be mutual if as you said the minorities, the Legislative Council and the government are working parallel with each other, but they are not actually working in concert. So it seems to me to be somewhat logical that if there are three groups or four bodies of people who are working towards one goal, that those three or four groups of people should join in their efforts to try and achieve the most success that we can possibly get and it was to the suggestion that I received a fairly negative response last year and I was quite surprised at that

The Governor: Well, if you've got any further practical suggestions you want to make other than the general proposition that we should all be arguing on the same side which I agree about we'll certainly be happy to look at them, because it's in our interests to put across our case as vigorously and effectively as possible. We've obviously got to concentrate on trying to convince as many members of parliament at Westminster as we can of the complete legitimacy of your argument.

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Question: Good morning Mr Governor, I have three questions, the first one is why is it that the Government does not use a tax system to control imported labour. You can give tax concessions for employing local workers. You shouldn't have a broad brush of course. Just to give a quota of five thousand. Would it be better? The second question is the government is going to implement a new regulation so that for caretakers aged above sixty-five they will not be able to look after shopping arcades and so on. Won't that lead to unemployment. Now I am also an assistant of a LegCo member I receive a lot of complaints, in fact a lot of caretakers reaching the age of sixty-one have already been fired. What can they do with themselves, even if you boost the CSSA it may not help this group of elderly people.

Governor: I will try to answer your questions quickly before eight o'clock because they raise extensive issues. First of all I am not actually in favour of juggling with our tax system to produce a particular set of results. The great thing about our tax system is that it is extremely simple and that is the result of decisions we have taken over the years, and it is extremely low and I wouldn't want to use it to try to do other things. If we want to do something about imported labour then we can act on that directly I think, rather than shifting about our tax system. Secondly, we have been concerned in the past to ensure that caretakers are capable of doing their job adequately, of course it doesn't mean that just because you get to a certain age that you can't, but we want to check that people are up to the responsibilities of the job, I think everybody that lives in a block of flats with a caretaker knows how valuable it is when you've got a good one and how difficult life is when the reverse is the case. So really it's a respect for the job that I think we've quite properly shown and if there are people who were caretakers, who aren't now able to work and don't have enough resources, then of course ther'll be CSSA for them to turn to though I agree with what everybody feels instinctively in their bones that it is much better if you can have a job, than if you're receiving CSSA payments.

Question: My third question I suggest that Government do this. The Ocean Park, can you turn it into something like Disneyworld so that you can bring in more tourists and boost our economy.

Governor: Judging by the bus queues in Central on the last Sunday there are quite a few people heading out to Ocean Park. I'm afraid I've been there only a couple of times, but my family, my daughters have been there pretty regularly, I know how popular it is, I think it is well run, 1 think they are developing lots and lots of additional attractions, I've done sufficient advertising for them for this morning and they do a terrific job for Hong Kong's tourism.

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Question: Good morning your Excellency, What I am concerned about is that with the papers, the legislators, and the District Board members, everybody seems to be shouting for stopping the import of labour. A few facts: there are a few projects outside the Airport related contracts which are also very very large contracts and are vital to the future of Hong Kong. One is the Route Three Country Park which will take all the heavy container traffic once it’s completed off the Tuen Mun Highway. The other one is the strategic drainage which is the new sewer running from Chai Wan to Tsing Yi. These contracts have started earlier on this year and the contractors have applied through the Labour Department six or seven months ago for local labour for the positions of miners and tunnel equipment operators. We've also advertised in the Chinese press for the same and the English press over the past seven months. They’ve also approached the trade unions over the last two months to see if they could come up with some job matching if you like. The Labour Department in all fairness have tried their best to find somebody for these positions and probably just over a handful have been found with the experience required. But, for one to say stop the import of labour it’s true to say your Excellency, that there are no such positions for miners or tunnel equipment operators in Hong Kong and that if something is not done to grant an import quota, these contracts are going to be well behind programme.

Governor: You are making a powerful argument for a case with which I sympathise, but in approaching this problem we have got to be balanced. There is a different quota, and as you know for the ACP projects, some people say that we shouldn’t let anybody in at all for the ACP projects, which isn’t just the Airport platform, it’s the related projects as well. If we were to do that we would fetch up by delaying by a very long time the completion of the Airport which itself is going to produce jobs. It would lead to greater unemployment in Hong Kong, rather than the reverse. We do need people as you were saying, to come in with special skills to help us here in Hong Kong and that’s why we haven’t just said no importation of labour, but we’ve proposed a much smaller scheme and one which is more targeted on special skills. In the particular cases you mentioned and the sewage strategy, the 9.3 billion scheme is, if sewage can be in this category, near to my own heart because I think it is very important to our environment. If there are particular problems in these areas when I get back to the office I’ll get my colleagues in the Labour Department to look at your case but I do hope that people who are listening will have heard what you have said because you have made a very powerful argument for allowing some importation of skilled labour into Hong Kong rather than just thinking that we can just completely slam the door. That would be no way to improve the competitiveness of Hong Kong.

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Question: That is all I have to say, your Excellency, and 1 hope the District Board Members, and the Legislative Council keep an open mind on this. There are certain skills which we definitely cannot obtain in Hong Kong. Of course, I agree with the trade unions one hundred per cent, we must give our local workforce priority, but in this particular case we haven't got the skills available in Hong Kong.

Governor: Can I add a point about, because people are concerned about unemployment and understandably. We have very high standards in Hong Kong. Elsewhere 3.5% unemployed wouldn't be regarded with great concern and indeed if you look back to the early 1980's, financial secretaries opening their budgets, used to describe 3.5% unemployment as full employment, but we set very high standards here in Hong Kong . We've got to try to meet them, but it would be crazy in trying to do so to start doing things which had long-term very serious effects on our economic competitiveness. Nobody would thank me and nobody would thank the trade unions if that resulted.

Question: Good morning, I am glad to read from the newspaper today that there will be a boost to the CSSA. Mr Governor 1 hope you will use your high level wisdom and perhaps impress it upon the British and Chinese leaders on the issue of retirement benefits for junior civil servants, of course, on the one hand I am fighting for myself, but then for the other junior civil servants who earn low salaries, 1 am also fighting for their cause because some of them just get five to seven hundred dollars. I don't get more than a thousand dollars myself, so when the economy becomes better perhaps there could be some consideration about this matter.

Governor: If you've got a particular problem, Mr Chu, related to your own circumstances, if you would like to drop me a letter at Government House and mark it personal to me, I'll see if we can sort things out for you, because obviously it is not easy to go into personal problems over the radio. Can 1 just make a couple of points, first of all we have recognised that many civil servants have concerns not necessarily about the level of their pension payment, but about whether their pension will as promised go on being paid after 1997 and that is why we have put aside about seven billion so that we can provide as it were some financial security as well which I hope will put people's minds at rest. Secondly, you mentioned CSSA review, it maybe that it is not the right moment to go into details about it but we have acted very promptly on our initial findings in that review. The review isn't completed, but I was absolutely determined that we should take some early decisions to deal with those people who were in the most vulnerable conditions.

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Question: Good morning, my question is about the LegCo elections. As you know two thirds of the people in the recent elections did not vote, well that represents 1.8 million out of 2.7 million. My question, how can you say that LegCo represents the whole of Hong Kong when two thirds of registered voters did not vote?

Governor: Well, how can you say on that argument that a President of the United States doesn't represent the United States when half the electorate of America doesn't vote, or when he is only elected by a minority of the electorate. I think what’s remarkable in Hong Kong and The Economist business magazine the other day had a chart on this is to see how there has been such a rapid build-up in the number of people taking part in our elections and voting in our elections from about six thousand, literally six thousand in the early 1980's to well, how many votes were cast in the recent LegCo elections, it was 1.4 million I think, 920,000 in the geographical constituencies. What has actually happened over the last year or so, is that we have seen that each of our elections has produced records. The District Board elections had a record turnout , the Municipal Council elections record turnout, the Legislative Council elections as well. I think we are moving steadily in the right direction, we are giving people in Hong Kong that democracy which they were promised by China and Britain in the mid 1980's and they are responding to it with considerable moderation and maturity.

Question: Mr Patten, those two thirds of people who did not vote then, do you suggest that they are actually represented in LegCo or not, because they did not actually express their opinion. In fact the opinion polls before the election showed that 50% of people were actually undecided, so that really there is only one third of Hong Kong that's represented in LegCo.

Governor: Well, what are you saying? Are you saying that the 40% plus or whatever who don't vote in a Presidential election in the United States aren't represented because they don't vote? Let me put it another way, in the District Board elections last year which were the first ones we have had in Hong Kong which have been wholly democratic, the turnout was higher than in the last local elections when I was Chairman of the Conservative Party back in Britain and nobody said about those elections, well it just shows we shouldn’t have had local democracy in Britain for the last century. It just shows that we should go back to appointing people to run things rather than electing people to run things. The fact of the matter is that Hong Kong has come a very long way in a very short time. As it was promised, it's handled those political developments I think with great skill and maturity and I am delighted that election after election more and more people turn out to vote. If people don't choose to register or having registered don't choose to vote, I think that is sad because I'd like to see them discharging their civic responsibilities, but I'm delighted that there are so many more people in the other category.

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Question: Mr Patten talked about labour importation. I think his proposals are good because that would help our economy and help with trade and industry development. If there are jobs that we can’t find locals for, I support the idea of importing labour. But there is another point on civil service, how are you going to pass information on civil servants to Chinese side. On this issue Mr Governor, could you perhaps propose to the Chinese side that there could be certain points set up in Hong Kong, so that civil servants could put their names down and say that they want to stay beyond 1997. I think that would be a better idea, because it seems that at the moment there are ideas or talks about arranging transition for the civil service, but if there could be a certain department that we could report to like the NCNA or some trade unions to register our wish to stay beyond 1997, that would save some administrative costs and also manpower. Would that be better?

Governor: Madam, I don't think you have to take that sort of initiative, because the assumption is, it's the assumption of the Hong Kong Government and I think it is the assumption of Chinese officials as well that everybody possible, particularly leaving aside those who are mentioned in the Basic Law, the very senior people who have to be appointed formally from Peking, that everybody possible will stay through 1997 and I think that to do them credit, Chinese officials like Vice Premier Qian

Qichen have gone out of their way to praise the quality of the Hong Kong civil servants and to say how they hope that the civil service will stay through the transition which is what I very much hope as well. What we have been discussing with the Chinese side is the arrangements for enabling some of our senior officials to get to know those they'll be working with in the PRC bureaucracy and to let their opposite numbers get to know them and assess them as future colleagues within one country, albeit one in which Hong Kong has a high degree of autonomy. There were some proposals put to us, and I don't think it is any secret which we weren’t too keen on earlier in the year, but the ones that we have now agreed to move forward on, are I think sensible. They are ones that we put forward and I hope that they will lead to a greater understanding and to giving comfort to civil servants like you that your future is secure, and that the sort of way you work, the things you believe in, the meritocratic way of running our civil service that all those things are going to continue. Just briefly on labour importation, we shouldn’t forget that we go on creating jobs extremely successfully in Hong Kong. Over the last three years we have actually created about two hundred and seventy thousand additional jobs. The problem we’ve got is that there have been over three hundred thousand people added to the workforce. Some of those are returned emigrants from elsewhere. Some of those are recent immigrants from China, some are the result of demographic factors, more young people coming on to the job market and a few of those, but very much a minority are imported labour.

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Presenter (in Chinese): Mr Patten, now we are in the latter half of the transitional period and the economy of Hong Kong has suffered some problems, for example the high unemployment rate. While 3.5% unemployment rate is quite acceptable on the international scale, well, it is quite unfortunate that over the past two years we seem to have a downturn in our economy.

Governor: I think we want to keep these things in proportion. We are still looking to growth this year of about 5%. That is on top of growth over the last three years of 18%. And the small increase in unemployment, while small overall, very worrying for anybody who has actually lost their job - let's be clear about that - that increase in unemployment is, I think, partly a result of the downturn in consumer spending, the fact that that has gone very slack. I hope that our job-matching scheme, that the work we are doing on retraining, and the fact that our economy is fundamentally strong with very good export performance this year with a strong overall fiscal position, I hope that those things will enable us to pick up again over the next year or two. But a lot will obviously depend on the amount of confidence that people have in the future.

I just repeat the point I was making a bit earlier that what we have got is a workforce which has, for a number of reasons, increased very rapidly. We've been increasing our number of jobs but the two haven't quite matched. Over the last year, we have had, I think, the biggest increase in the size of our workforce for about a decade; it went up by just over 4%. And if you are still only creating extra jobs at between 2% - 3%, the difference between those things is unemployment, unfortunately.

Question: I was just wondering - it wasn't particularly recent but I saw some information in the papers a while back that the Government has been studying some ways to reduce the amount of garbage and packaging produced in Hong Kong. And the reports indicated that, as you might expect, some of the things they were trying to do would require manufacturers for instance to reduce the amount of materials they used in a particular package or something like that. And I'm just wondering, given sort of the historical laissez faire kind of a place Hong Kong is, is the Government really going to be able to do this or have enough sort of gumption to do this?

Governor: Well, no proposals along those lines have yet come into the Governor's in-tray. I have seen proposals from some parts of the Government but perhaps we shouldn't all send one another so many Christmas cards this year, on the grounds that that isn't quite as green and environmentally friendly as some would like. But I certainly haven't seen, yet, any proposals on packaging.

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Of course, there are some communities which take a very tough attitude to this. You go into a shop or a store in Germany and if goods are too comprehensively packaged, if there is too much round them, people will very often tear the pieces off and give them back to the sales assistant because they don't think it's environmentally friendly but we haven't yet got to that in Hong Kong. I hope we can depend on the good sense of manufacturers and the good sense of retailers, who, I think, recognise like everybody else, that Hong Kong is becoming more environmentally conscious. And quite right too. A lot of green groups with a lot of lobbying clout and representing a real, I think, change of mood in the community.

Question (in Chinese): I have two questions and two ideas. Firstly, I would like to ask you this, Mr Governor, about industrial development in Hong Kong. Where is the direction - about the competitiveness, where does it lie?

Presenter: I think the Governor is pondering how to answer your question.

Governor: No, I was actually wondering whether Mr Wong had finished, because he said he had two questions and two ideas and I was wondering whether that was the whole lot in one.

I'll be very brief. I certainly don't think that the Government should try to steer industrial development. It never has in the past and if it started to try to do that, I guess it would make the same sort of mistakes that governments make elsewhere. What we have got to do is to ensure that our industry, whether manufacturing or service, works within the right infrastructure of low taxes, that they've got good infrastructure, that they've got lots of people with skills to come into their workforce. That is what we have got to go on doing. But I certainly don't think that I should go around trying to run industry because, frankly, I couldn't, and people don't go into the civil service or into public administration to run firms.

On competitiveness, we're still doing pretty well. We've gone up the league table, according to the World Economic Forum, but it stands to reason that you can't rest on your laurels, you've got to go on working harder to remain competitive. And I guess the most serious threat to competitiveness in Hong Kong is costs; we've got to make sure our costs stay down.

Presenter (in Chinese): Mr Wong, are you satisfied with the reply?

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Question (in Chinese): Just now, the Governor made some comments - oh, we are not at such a high level, we won't be able to see all the figures, but I think if we look at the industries and see how they could compete with other areas. Now, I have an idea now. A lot of people say that there is economic transformation in Hong Kong, or restructuring in Hong Kong, but in fact in Hong Kong the industries are not being transformed, they are dwindling because there is nothing to replace these industries.

So do we need to create more jobs in the industry? That means we need to develop our industries, so how do we do that? We need to have hi-tech development. Now, if we want to bring our industry back on track, do we need legislative support and other support? Now the labour sector has some broad-brush idea about stopping imported labour altogether but I don't think that will help our industry; that will not help create jobs. Because if that happens, it will only lead to a scenario where the already feeble industrial basis would be destroyed. I would also like to add another point.

Presenter (in Chinese): Try to be brief because we have a lot of calls waiting.

Question (in Chinese): So, my thinking is, we should allow certain groups of workers to be imported, the right groups, so that our dwindling industry could again develop. In fact that would also create jobs for local workers and then we could have higher level job.

Presenter (in Chinese): Mr Wong, you have made your point.

Governor: I sympathise with the last point you were making, Mr Wong, but can I just add this. We shouldn't do ourselves down. Since 1985, over the last decade, we've lost 460,000 factory jobs. We've actually replaced them with 800,000 brand new jobs in service industries. Now, I don't want to suggest that we can do without manufacturing industry. Manufacturing industry plays a very important part in our economy and I want to see it able to strengthen and go on playing that role. We've also got to recognise the role of service industries and that's why our new Financial Secretary, Donald Tsang, has set up a task force to help him give all the support they need to our service industries.

Question (in Chinese): Good morning, Mr Governor. I am again talking to you. Now, you have worked very hard to fight for more democracy for Hong Kong but unfortunately, the Chinese side has not agreed to that and that is why the Chinese side has accused you of being a man of a thousand year's guilt and that you would never be redeemed. Now today, I read a newspaper article, it says that it is now time to replace the Governor. Now, I think you should ask someone to translate that article for you.

Presenter (in Chinese): As to your question, Mr Lai, do you have a question?

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Question (in Chinese): Now, what you are doing is very popular among Hong Kong people. You have won over our hearts. But then, you need to do something about people's livelihoods. I think people's livelihoods are more important than democracy.

Governor: I think they are both important. And I think that they are actually related. I think, on balance, open societies - societies where people are free in every sense - are more likely to be successful economically. There are exceptions to that but I think by and large if you look around the world that tends to be the situation. I don't think I really fought for more democracy for Hong Kong, if I may just correct that. What 1 fought for was what Hong Kong had been promised by both China and Britain in the Joint Declaration, the Basic Law and elsewhere, and I wasn't prepared to see anybody try to walk away from those promises that had been made to people in Hong Kong. I very much hope that over the next 21 months until I have to leave Hong Kong, we can go on bedding-down our institutions of Government - the Legislative Council, our administration itself - so that they are as successful as possible in delivering here policies in Hong Kong which go on ensuring that Hong Kong is a terrific success, which go on ensuring that we show the rest of the world how to run a responsible, caring, market economy.

Question: I'm just curious at what seems to be the Government's response to an ever increasing rise - just looking at the papers recently - with corruption within the police and civil service, and what the Government plans to do over that in the next couple of years?

Governor: There has been an increase in corruption right across the board, in the private sector as well as in the public sector. It was particularly marked in 1993/4 but I think it is fair to say that the figures have plateaued over the last month. There have been some recent cases of corruption in the police. It's nothing like the problems, thank God, that we experienced in the sixties and seventies, but as the Commissioner would say, any corruption is thoroughly bad and has to be dealt with very firmly. I don't think we should be alarmed about the scale of it but we should certainly be vigilant and the Commissioner of Police is working very hard with the Commissioner Against Corruption to deal with corruption wherever it rears its head. It really does pose - everybody knows it - it really does pose a threat to Hong Kong's livelihood, a threat to Hong Kong's well-being, and a threat to Hong Kong's decency, so we must crack down on it hard.

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Question (in Chinese): All along, I've felt that there are two ways the Government could use to immediately deal with livelihood issues and economic issues but I think it would be difficult for the Government to deal with that. One is the high land premium policy, the other is interest rate policy. Now, the high land premium policy has an impact on every aspect of our lives. I hope that on this issue the Governor would do something to cool-off the property prices. And secondly, on interest rate, that would be an immediate weapon to regulate our economy but because of our linked exchangerate, so the Government is still rigidly refusing to make any change to that policy. But for any country, when there are economic problems, interest rates could always be a means to revive the economy. So, Mr Governor, I hope that you will be able to solve the bread and butter issues and the economic issues. One is the high land premium policy, the other is the interest rate policy.

Governor: Well, Mr Lau, you obviously study the business pages of the newspapers very carefully. Can I just say, on the interest rate policy, you are of course theoretically right that the link to the US dollar means that we can't use monetary policy, interest rate policy, in an orthodox way. On the other hand, we're not in an orthodox situation and I think the link to the dollar is an essential part of our financial stability and as far as I'm concerned there is no question it will stay until 1997, and I think the Chinese authorities have made it clear that it will stay afterwards. Because even more important than our ability to use monetary policy flexibly is our ability to see off anybody who is stupid enough to try to speculate against the Hong Kong dollar at any sign of political difficulty. So the link with the dollar stays, even though you are quite right to say that it slightly constrains our use of orthodox economic weapons.

On the question of property prices, we have to be very careful. I think we actually did pretty well, though you never get applauded for it, our excellent team in Planning, Environment and Lands, and in Housing. I think you have to be pretty careful about what you do in the property sector because if you push things too far, you fetch up with a real slump in property prices and nobody thanks you for that when people start discovering that they are living with what the economists call negative equity, when their mortgage is worth more than the value of their property. I think we managed successfully last year to dampen down the property market. We got prices back to where they were before the big surge in 1994, we got them back to the sort of 1993 level. That's where they are at the moment. The market is a bit soft but I think we did manage to take some of the heat out of things last year by taking pretty tough measures against speculators and by increasing the amount of supply.

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Question (in Chinese): First of all, I would like to congratulate the Government for making progress and advancement in technology policy. That is definitely some improvement over the past ten years. But still, we are far behind many other places and we could be phased out eventually; there is such a danger. Information technology is one of the biggest markets in the world and Hong Kong has always taken the lead in this area. In the sixties and seventies we relied on our medium and small enterprises for our success. Now, I hope the Government could learn from other successful places. For example, there could be some tax incentives to help our small and medium sized enterprises, especially in the area of information technology development.

Now, it's like there is a three-pronged approach. One is the short term approach and with this assistance we could help to resolve the unemployment problem and in the long run it could help Hong Kong's long term development. I also heard you mention the Science Park. In fact I was one of the members consulted but unfortunately, many of our concerns are not spelt out. For the Science Park idea, it could be a flame that could help us, but at the same time it could bum us, so I hope the Government will be able to do more in this regard. Thank you.

Governor: On the Science Park, we have, as you suggest, been undertaking a feasibility study. There are, frankly, two sides to the argument. There are some people who say, yes, we should go ahead with one, there are others who say we would be better using the land for another factory development and that that's the more sensible way for using the resources available here in Hong Kong. But we are going to discuss the outcome of that study with the community, with experts like you and with the Legislative Council, and I hope we will come to the right conclusions.

On technology policy and tax incentives, I think the most important tax incentive that we have here in Hong Kong is to keep taxes low. People very often say to me: why don't you have tax holidays like some other people have? And I reply to that: because when they stop having their tax holidays elsewhere they fetch up paying tax rates which are two or three times the size of those in Hong Kong. I think the important thing for us to do is to keep taxes down for everybody. Now, I see, for example, when presenting the Hong Kong Awards for Industry, lots of examples of small hi-tech firms, or firms which were often small three or four years ago and are now getting medium-sized or even quite big, here in Hong Kong, and they are invariably the result of the creative genius, the entrepreneurial skill, of some of our own technology scientific graduates. That's why I am delighted that we are now putting a lot more money into research in our universities and that is why I am pleased we have been able to spend the best part of 400 millions in the last couple of years for research projects in manufacturing technology. Those are the sort of things that should actually help us to keep a good, high value added manufacturing base here in Hong Kong, relating entrepreneurial activity to our excellent tertiary education sector.

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Question: The secondary property market is virtually at a standstill. Wouldn't a simple way be to revive the economy rather than dealing with quotas of imported labour and that sort of thing, to remove or at least substantially reduce the mortgage ceiling? It's supposed to be a property orientated economy and if property prices are going up everybody feels better off: the stock market goes up, people feel they've got a cushion of financial value behind them, and confidence begins to return.

Governor: I recognise that the property market is an important part of Hong Kong's wealth, but I'd certainly take issue with the proposition that we're a property related economy. If you were just based on property, if you weren't actually creating, as Hong Kong is, real wealth, real extra resources, then property would be pretty worthless. That's why we've got to go on concentrating on things like exports of manufactured goods and exports of services where we are doing pretty well.

I just want to make one substantive point about what you said and that is, we are not only concerned about avoiding a bubble in the property sector, we've also, I'm sure, got to be concerned about the exposure of our banks. We don't want to see our banks getting into the same sort of difficulties that banks got into in Tokyo where they were excessively exposed to the property sector at a time when the property sector came tumbling down. So, I think there are questions of real financial prudence and banking prudence that one has to take account of.

Perhaps I can add, in brackets at the end, yesterday, 1 was making a Policy Address not a Budget Speech. Some people have said, well, why haven't you done this or that about taxes? Donald Tsang would have been extremely surprised to have woken-up this morning in Washington to have discovered that I'd spent yesterday cutting taxes. I think he'd have had something to say about it. So, there will be a Budget Speech in due course and I'm sure that Donald's first budget will be as excellent as Sir Hamish Macleod's budgets used to be.

Question (in Chinese): I would like to ask the Governor this. About marriage and people keeping a second wife or mistress, what is your view on that?

Governor: Well, speaking as somebody who is happily married and monogamously married as well - I think I've got that right; 1 hope that translates okay - obviously I think it is difficult for a family when there are extra-marital relationships, whether in Hong Kong or outside Hong Kong. 1 don't think it's right for me to spend my time giving other people moral advice but, alas, you have to face up to the fact that in government you very often have to cope with the consequences of other people’s amoral or immoral behaviour, and that is what we have to do from time to time. But one of the things which has made Hong Kong strong is its family structure and I would very much dislike to see that being undermined.

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Question (follow-up in Chinese): Now, if it is illegal in Hong Kong and then they just hide in China without coming back to Hong Kong for years, then what is your view on that, and how are we going to deal with these cases?

Governor: Well, it is very difficult for us to deal with things that happen in China. I think what you're saying is that sometimes people who work a great deal in China have a wife here and a wife in China, and that creates huge problems. It creates problems for both wives, and it creates in the end, problems for the children as well. And there are obviously financial problems when the husband involved has to meet the financial consequences of two lots of kids. I think that that is extremely sad and we shouldn't do anything here in Hong Kong which makes it more likely. But it is quite difficult for us to legislate for people's immoral or amoral behaviour when they are away from home.

Question (in Chinese): I and my family are troubled by some problems. I've been in Hong Kong for more than 50 years and for known reasons I have to emigrate elsewhere, but then 1 would like to keep my permanent resident status in Hong Kong. But I've heard there are some saying that if you have emigrated elsewhere and if you come back to Hong Kong after the 1st July 1997, then you lose your Hong Kong permanent residency status. And I understand, after the publication of the Joint Declaration in the eighties, there was already an exercise to change our ID Cards and on the ID Card there is proof that people have a permanent right of abode in Hong Kong. If that is the case, if we adopt the proposals put forward by the Preliminary Working Committee that means we returnees will lose our residency status. But when the Government issued us with new ID Cards we were given the right of abode in Hong Kong. So, I would like to ask you, Mr Governor, to help us resolve this problem because the Joint Declaration ...

Governor: ... with China over the next just under two years, the most important for people's peace of mind is probably right of abode and related issues about travel, about visas and so on. We've been negotiating very hard with Chinese officials on the question of right of abode. The 1997 cut-off is one of the proposals which is on the table. There are lots of objections to it, many of which have been put by those who are customarily regarded as being in the united front camp here in Hong Kong, who have gone up to Peking and set out some of their objections to the proposal. I can assure you that we will go on arguing the case for Hong Kong, for people like you, and I hope at the end of the day we can come off with a decent and sensible agreement because it is very important for, I should think, the overwhelming majority of families here in Hong Kong.

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Question: Mr Governor, I'm a local and I've lived here all my life, so 1 guess I speak for many of the silent majority, so to speak, when I say what I'm going to say. First of all, I would like to pay you a compliment. I confess I am always an admirer of your wit, humour, intellect and energy in doing good for Hong Kong. However, this is apparently not appreciated, unfortunately, not appreciated by the PRC. So. when you came out here three years ago you had the ideal or the plan, or maybe it is the British Government's plan, to then democratise Hong Kong and apparently, given the recent LegCo Election, you have already achieved what you have set out to achieve. Now, with the remaining 600 or 500-plus days, I guess your relations with the PRC continue to be very important, if not more important. Now, I know of course that you want to improve the relations with China, but how are you going to do it. I mean are you confident in improving your relationship with China given the fact that they don't even want to talk to you rightly or wrongly. Also if I could put it in a clinical if not brutal fashion, would you seriously consider, or are you prepared to consider stepping down like a statesman and making way for somebody who can really, or at least who China can accept. That way I think it will be really in the greater interests of Hong Kong. I am sorry to put it in this fashion, but this is I guess what many local people who really care about Hong Kong want to ask, bearing the interests of Hong Kong in mind.

Governor: Well. I was very grateful for the compliments in the first part of the question and I had a feeling when I was listening to them there was going to be a but, and there was. Just a couple of things. First of all, the policy that I've been pursuing is of course the policy entirely endorsed not just by the British Government but by the House of Commons at Westminster, as well as having the backing of all parties at Westminster. What it amounts to is believing that we should discharge all those promises that were made to people in Hong Kong in the Joint Declaration. Not forcing the pace on democracy but giving people the fair elections which they were promised. So what we are talking about is whether or not the Governor of Hong Kong and the Government of Hong Kong, and the British Government, should try to live up to the promises that were made to people at the time of the Joint Declaration. I'm going to continue to do that for the next 600 days. This isn’t going to be, certainly, an easy job now we've got the Legislative Council Elections over. There are going to be continuing problems from time to time and I'm going to be staying here to try to sort those problems out.

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What is quite interesting is, over the last few months, as some of us predicted, we have seen more co-operation with China: the Airport, the Court of Final Appeal, the agreements reached with Mr Qian Qichen in London the other day. We’ve seen more agreement and we've seen Hong Kong standing up for itself in the Legislative Council Elections. The message from that should be for us to have some selfconfidence that we can actually stand up for our own interests and do business with China, and that's' what I hope we've proved. If, for reasons of Chinese face or whatever, part of the cost that we have to pay for co-operation is that Chinese officials continue to want to try to snub the Governor of Hong Kong, well, that's I suppose a bit demeaning - for them; it's not going to break my heart, though I think everybody in Hong Kong would prefer it if we could have the sort of sensible relationship which every other country in the world has. Can you actually imagine anywhere else in the world where one would have this silly game of snubs and so on? Nowhere else it happens. It doesn't happen in America. It doesn't happen in Europe. It doesn't happen in the Middle East. It doesn't happen elsewhere in Asia. So, I don't think that Chinese officials do themselves any great good by it, because presumably they are concerned about winning hearts and minds in Hong Kong and not just taking over the real estate in 1997.

Question (in Chinese): I would like to ask the Governor this. In fact it is on education. Now, he mentioned that there would be special care for Band 5 students. I am a school social worker, I work in a Band 5 school this year. Fortunately, we have become one of the 62 schools - in other words, we have one social worker per school. Now, from my past months or so experience I see that it is important that we have one social worker in every school because we will be able to understand the students' problems immediately and give them assistance. But then, in my actual work I see that there could be mood swings among the students and then there could be a diversification of problems. So, Governor, you mentioned support and assistance. I think that is not forthcoming fast enough. Now, I don’t think it would take a lot of resources to have one social worker per school. If that’s really the case, I hope you would really consider speeding up that progress.

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Governor: I think, to be fair, we have been speeding up the number of social workers in our school and particularly helping at Band 5 schools which do need a bit more assistance, as you have suggested. I would like to thank you and others like you who are working in our schools, particularly those which have some of the bigger problems. I think there is a general view in the community that we have to concentrate more on the quality of education. We have necessarily put the emphasis on quantity both in primary, secondary and tertiary education over the last decade or so. I think now people want us to put more money into better training for teachers, into more graduate teachers, into better schools with air-conditioning and so on, better equipment in schools. And of course, more support for those who can help to motivate children, who can help to ensure that children don't drift off into criminality or drugs. And that's why you do such an important job working with teachers. Teaching is, I think, one of the most honourable and important professions and I think we should recognise that in Hong Kong.

Question (in Chinese): Can I have a follow-up question please, I have heard news that the office accommodation for social workers in schools or in the office, there is not permanently establishment of allocation from the Education Department, in other words they are not designated offices for these school social workers, so schools have to find their own resources to accommodate these social workers. I wonder if the Education Department or you Mr Governor could do something by boosting support here.

Governor: I haven't had that point raised with me before, it's one of the few points I haven't had raised with me, but I will certainly look into it for you and if we can have your name and address later on I will get in touch with you about it.

Question (in Chinese): Good morning Mr Governor, I am in my thirties and I'm someone bom and brought up in Hong Kong, but I have received British education. Now we are close to 1997 and we are going to be headed back to the communists. I think Britain is taking us up a cliff and then it will for the communists to push us down the cliff. If you look at Man Kam To border crossing there are full cars and full lorries of illegal immigrants and pregnant women in their eighth or ninth month of pregnancy they risk to come to Hong Kong. We see corruption in China and that is really scary and you can see from the latest LegCo Election. Now if everyone is like Mr Zhang Jusheng who is so well presentable, like Mr Zhang, then there will be saving grace for the communist party otherwise how can you hand us back to the communists. At the beginning you said that you would allow us to live in the UK. I think that this is really a good suggestion, because then we may be able to breathe some life in the UK economy.

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Governor: Nobody in their right mind would want to push Hong Kong down a cliff and certainly not China which is the future sovereign power and that was determined by history a long time ago. Hong Kong is a terrifically successful community. What happens here in 1997 is going to be frankly one of the most important events of our time. That's not exaggeration. It's literally true. It is something which will have very considerable implications, not just for everyone in Hong Kong, not just for China and the region but for the world, so it's very very important for everyone that Hong Kong continues to succeed. It's above all important for China. Hong Kong is a huge and successful place. It represents about a quarter of China's national wealth, just six million people achieving that. It provides all sorts of other possibilities for China as well as giving China its almost ideal bridge to the rest of the world, so I very much hope that Chinese officials like Mr Zhang, and I agree with you about his, that he always dresses extremely well. I am sure that they will all want to make certain that Hong Kong is as successful as possible. They certainly should be.

Presenter (in Chinese): A follow-up question, Mr Patten, next week when you visit Britain again would you try to fight for the right of abode in UK for British Passport holders in Hong Kong?

Governor: Well, that is an argument which I have pressed again and again and will continue to do so. The only surprise appears to be that while we in Hong Kong are very much aware of what is the policy of the British government and the Opposition in Britain that unfortunately in Britain not enough people seem to understand what we have been saying since 1989. If the Governor of Hong Kong does not put the practical and moral case for that then I don't know who's supposed to. But there are other issues perhaps in global terms less substantial but also very important like the one that I was discussing absolutely at the beginning of this programme, if anyone was listening at that stage, on the ethnic minorities. So all these questions of nationality, the obligations which Britain should in my judgement feel to Hong Kong, are questions that I'll continue to put and it doesn't always make me very popular in Britain, but it's my job as Governor of Hong Kong to stand up for Hong Kong whether I'm standing up for Hong Kong in my relationship with China or whether I'm standing up for Hong Kong in relationship with the United Kingdom.

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Question: Good morning Governor Patten, I think when you came here you were hailed as an environmental you were going to be the green Governor and doing things about the environment in Hong Kong. As someone who has lived here for eight years and has very much enjoyed being here I think my time here is going to be severely limited because I now suffer from quite severe respiratory problems due to the air pollution in Hong Kong, which I feel gets worse all the time. I read very much in the newspaper. I think the Government's statistics on clean air are deeply misleading and actually quite dishonest and I'd like to know if you really intend to do anything. If Singapore can have clean air, if the taxis we have here are not allowed to run in Japan because they pollute the air too badly, I mean what actual measures are you going to take. If people can afford to run cars in Hong Kong, surely they can afford to run them on unleaded petrol and not on diesel.

Governor: You probably know that we put forward proposals the other day to move as many vehicles as possible from diesel to petrol and we also put forward proposals for dealing with those diesel vehicles that will still be on our roads, some of the bigger ones with tougher emission controls, with regular inspections for smokier vehicles. So, we are trying over the next year or two to make that step forward in dealing with air pollution that we are making in dealing with water pollution through the very big sewage strategy scheme that we have put in place. I hope that by the time I leave in 1997 we'll have not only cleaner water and a fragrant harbour again or something close to a fragrant harbour, but that we'll also have much cleaner air.

I was quite surprised when we put forward our proposals on a move from diesel to petrol that there were one or two newspapers which normally criticise us for not doing enough on the environment which then seemed to take the point - oh well maybe diesel wasn't so bad after all and maybe we were being unfair to diesel users, and maybe the fiscal incentives that we were offering were not large enough. I think that we have put forward a very sensible package of proposals and I hope that they can be implemented as soon as possible, because you're not the only person who has respiratory problems.

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Question (in Chinese): Good morning, just now I heard from the Governor that he would ensure that we have a buoyant economy. But I think, how are you going to guarantee that. I'll take the example of the Container Terminal No.9. We have known long ago that for CT9 cannot go beyond 1997 if you don't change you policies. Now even Jardines have indicated their willingness to withdraw from the project so that we could go ahead with the project as soon as possible, so that there won't be any more arguments. CT9 would create a lot of jobs for Hong Kong. Without CT9 then Hong Kong may not be able to be the world No 1 port in the world for the third or forth consecutive years. Now once we lose our clients they won't come back. We have an economic downturn, a lot of people without jobs, so why do you still want to be so stubborn on the political arguments. If Jardines is willing to withdraw and all willing to have another tender, why do you still insist on your own ideas and political system would you not be criticised by all of Hong Kong people?

Governor: It has nothing to do with my ideas on the political system and what you say about the consortium is not actually true. So the basis of your question is I think, not correct. I agree with you that we need to go on developing our port. It is extremely important. It's the biggest and most successful container port in the world and we need to develop it by ensuring that it is more competitive and that was behind our original decision on CT9 that it is as efficient as possible: I have to say that our public procurement policy are clean and above board, aren't infused with politics. We remain committed to those objectives. I hope that in the light of what was said at the Foreign Ministers' meeting last week that we'll be able to move ahead on the Container Terminal 9, because a successful port is a very important artery for our economy.

Question (in Chinese): Good morning in the Policy address there is mention of taking care of our elderly people, but you haven't actually delivered your promise, because before 1997 you are unable to put in place seventy centres for the elderly and also CSSA for elderly is only increased by 12%, why? ■

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Governor: No, perhaps I can just say a little more about the elderly. We have actually increased our spending on programmes for the elderly by about 50%, that’s after prices, that's 50% in real terms over the last three years, and so we should have done because the elderly built this community and they deserve well of this community now it's successful. Right across the board, whether you're talking about care and attention homes, whether you're talking about more housing provision, whether you’re talking about better health facilities say for example people have to wait less long for a cataract operation. Right across the board we have been trying to develop our programmes, our policies for the elderly including of course support for the elderly financially. We have considerably increased CSSA payments for older people, I think 1 am right in saying that in the last three years we have actually increased payments for a single elderly person by 26% in real terms. We are prepared to look at more in relation to the review that we've been carrying out of the household expenditure survey, so we do recognise our responsibilities for the elderly. My colleagues in the Social Welfare Department are determined to carry through our extraordinary substantial programme of additional provision, health centres, clinics and so on and they are absolutely committed to that and I sure that we will be able to hit all our targets.

Question (in Chinese) Good morning, Mr Patten, I see that in your policy address that there is mention of reducing the waiting time for public housing from seven to five years. I really have doubts about that. Can you really deliver your promise or is it just going to be a bounced cheque, because I have lived in THAs for six years, 1 am not eligible for public housing yet. Now you say that you will reduce the waiting time from seven to five years but there are actually people who have waited for more than ten years, still they are not re-housed and now you are saying that you are going to reduce it from seven to five years. How is it going to be done?

Governor Well, we have reduced it so far from nine to seven and we are committed to reducing it from seven to five. It is actually less than that in the New Territories. It is a bigger problem in the urban areas. We are reducing it from seven to five by 2001 and the Housing Authority, Rosanna Wong the Chairman and officials and I are determined to do that. We have got a programme of about one hundred and forty thousand new flats that we're putting in place, and of course we’ve got our programmes to encourage home ownership as well. As for your own position, I wonder whether you actually had any offers of re-housing, because quite often I’ve been round I think ten temporary housing areas now and sometimes one finds that people have been made several offers, but they are not getting the ideal one that they sometimes want a new flat in an urban area which is a bit difficult, because there are other people ahead of them in the queue. But if you have got a particular problem which you would like to raise with me, if you write to me I'll see if I can deal with it.

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Question (in Chinese): I support the Governor. Yesterday he talked about labour importation. I support him fully. I hope he will set up a committee to deal with giving priority to local workers. Mr Lau Chin-shek, Lee Cheuk-yan, Madam Chan Yuen-han, Mr Cheng Yiu-tong, Mr Allen Lee, Mr Ngai Shiu-kit, Mr James Tien, they should all get together to form this committee so that could do a registration list for manufacturers and contractors. Now if Hong Kong people do not like that, they could always import labour. Like our richest man in Hong Kong Mr Li Ka-shing, he has built a home for the elderly in Tuen Mun ...

Presenter (in Chinese): Mr Ng your question seems to be that you want to have a piece of legislation in Hong Kong to give priority to local workers in terms of employment.

Governor: I think Mr Ng was making a point which I think is more fundamental, that is the importance of us all working together in trying to tackle this problem, recognising I think that labour importation, if we get it right, isn't going to be the total answer of our problems of job creation, there are all sorts of other things we have to do and we shouldn’t kid ourselves that one decision on labour importation is suddenly going to trigger tens of thousands of jobs, because it's not. Life is not that simple, but we have got to get it right and I want to work with all the sort of people that Mr Ng was mentioning in order to do that. That is why we are going to hold a summit next month bringing everybody together and I hope that we will be able to get some agreement on the way forward.

Presenter (in Chinese): I just want to put a very simple question. In the whole Policy Address what do you think is the spirit of the Policy Address this year.

Governor: I think the spirit of the Policy Address is the importance of us working together, working together Government and the Legislative Council, working together the Government and the Preparatory Committee next year, working together Britain, China and Hong Kong. I said just a moment or two ago that what happens in 1997 is going to one of the most important events of our time and I very much hope in the interests of six million extraordinary energetic and successful people here in Hong Kong, the people of this great city. I hope that we can get it right because the whole world will be watching us very carefully.

End/Thursday, October 12, 1995

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Supplementary Labour Scheme addresses workers' concerns * ♦ » * ♦

The proposed Supplementary Labour Scheme (SLS) announced by the Governor in his Policy Address yesterday should address the concerns of employees' representatives that local workers should be given every opportunity to fill any job vacancies, the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong, said today (Thursday).

Speaking to members of the new Legislative Council and the press to explain the Government's new initiatives on the employment front as outlined in the Policy Address, Mr Wong reiterated that the Government was fully aware of the community's concerns over the recent employment situation.

He pointed out that the objective of the SLS to be introduced on January 1, 1996 with a quota ceiling of 5,000, was to allow the entry of a limited number of foreign workers to take up jobs which could not be filled locally.

"We have decided to limit the quota size to 5,000 after considering the labour market, the job vacancies and the operation of the General Labour Importation Scheme which has a quota of 25,000. We consider the figure to be suitable in the current market conditions," Mr Wong said.

He said the just completed review of the General Scheme was based on the results of the enhanced surveys on job vacancies and the profile of the unemployed, and it had taken careful account of the views expressed by Legislative Councillors, trade unions and employers' associations.

"The enhanced surveys on the profile of the job vacancies and the unemployed suggest that there was a surplus of local workers in those broad occupations which cover jobs of a similar nature to many of the posts now occupied by imported labour under the General Scheme.

"This is the basis for terminating the General Scheme. But at the same time it must be recognised that no survey can ascertain whether there is a surplus or shortfall of vacancies at the individual job level.

"In practice, it depends on a variety of factors, including the particular requirements of the specific job and the availability and willingness of a qualified local worker to take it up," he said.

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Mr Wong underlined the importance of retaining the policy option of employing foreign workers to supplement Hong Kong's labour force where necessary in order to maintain the competitiveness of the territory as an open and highly flexible economy.

Commenting on the Government's decision to put an end to the General Scheme and allowed it to run down naturally in the next year or so, Mr Wong said the labour market situation had changed considerably since 1989 when the General Scheme was introduced and fundamental changes were necessary to meet the current requirements of the labour market.

On the differences between the General Scheme and the SLS, Mr Wong said: "First, the quota allocation will be application specific and no industry sub-quota will be allocated. Second, the employers must advertise the vacancies and participate in the Job Matching Programme of the Labour Department for two months. (See annex for details.)

"We will also involve the Employees Retraining Board to provide tailor-made training or on-the-job training for local workers when necessary. We would only process the applications if the employers can prove and the Government is satisfied that the vacancies cannot be filled locally," he explained.

Mr Wong said the Government would discuss detailed arrangements for the implementation of the SLS at the Governor's Summit on Employment to be held on November 9.

"We will discuss the proposals arising from the review with the Legislative Council, the Labour Advisory Board and employees and employers representatives," he said.

"I believe these proposals strike a reasonable balance between the interests of employees and those of employers. The proposed SLS will be monitored by the Labour Advisory Board-a tripartite body comprising the Government, employees and employers representatives. We will also submit quarterly reports to the relevant panel of the Legislative Council," Mr Wong said.

On the Job Matching Programme (JMP) operated by the Labour Department, Mr Wong noted that so far out of some 3,000 registrants, about 1,800 of them had been helped to find jobs, representing a success rate of over 50 per cent.

"We aim to expand the JMP and will continue our efforts in seeking the support of employers and employees in the matching programme," he said.

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To reinforce law enforcement action, Mr Wong said additional resources had been earmarked for the Labour Department. Eighteen additional posts would be created in the Labour Department in 1996-97 to combat the illegal employment problems and five additional posts to guard against abuses of foreign workers.

An interactive voice phone service in four different languages (Cantonese, Putonghua, English and Thai) will be set up next month for imported workers to inform them of their rights and benefits.

Turning to the Government's stated objective to improve labour rights and benefits, Mr Wong said legislation would be introduced in 1996 to improve the regulation of labour relations by improving the mediation procedures and by protecting members of trade unions from unfair dismissal.

"Besides, new legislation will be drafted to further improve maternity benefits and protection," he added.

To help workers who suffered from pneumoconiosis, Mr Wong said a loan of $80 million would be available in 1996-97 to the Pneumoconiosis Compensation Fund Board to effect improvements to the compensation scheme including a monthly payment of $2,100 for pain, suffering and loss of amenities to qualified pneumoconiotics irrespective of the degree of their incapacity.

"We will continue to improve labour rights and benefits on the basis of full consultation with employees' and employers' representatives and the Legislative Council," he said.

On the issue of age discrimination in the labour market, Mr Wong said a study would be conducted in early 1996 to find out the extent of the problem in employment and consult the community on how best to tackle it.

Mr Wong said while the Government was examining overseas legislation and practices on the issue, he had personally asked employers' representatives to prepare guidelines to remove restrictive practices, including age requirement in recruitment.

"We have been monitoring the situation closely and are now conducting a second freezing survey on job advertisements to determine whether there has been any improvement in removing age as a job requirement," he said.

Turning to industrial safety, Mr Wong said following the consultation exercise which ended last month, the Government had received positive responses to the recommendations proposed in the Consultation Paper on the Review of Industrial Safety In Hong Kong.

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"We will take the recommendations forward and introduce during this Legislative Council session amendments to the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance. We will also encourage the co-operation of employers and workers to improve safety at the workplace and promote a safety management system at industrial undertakings and construction sites in Hong Kong."

Sixty-six new posts have been planned for 1996 and another 29 posts in subsequent years to enable the Labour Department to step up its inspections and enforcement actions against breaches of safety legislation and to assist and promote the adoption of the safety management system.

"Next year, the Government will publish a Charter for Safety in the workplace, highlighting employers’ obligations to reduce the risk of accidents, as well as setting out the rights of workers to enjoy a safe working environment," he added.

Mr Wong cautioned that Hong Kong should not allow immediate concerns to cloud the long-term vision.

"In the face of continuing economic restructuring, we must help our students and workers acquire new skills; and we must assist those workers who have been displaced in the restructuring process to re-join the labour force. This will take time but this must be done.

"We are therefore reviewing the Employees Retraining Scheme to sharpen its focus and to improve its effectiveness. We will also commission a consultancy to undertake a review of the role, structure, programmes and activities of the Vocational Training Council to see how it can better meet the demands of our changing economy.

"It is the Government's determination to provide a well-educated and well-trained workforce to carry Hong Kong's success into the next century," Mr Wong said.

End/Thursday, October 12, 1995

47

Supplementary Labour Scheme a good decision: acting FS ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Supplementary Labour Scheme proposed by the Governor in his policy address is a good decision which provided a point of balance between the interests of Hong Kong's workforce and the future possible needs of the economy, the acting Financial Secretary, Mr T II Chau, said today (Thursday).

He hoped that workers, labour unions and the business community would find the proposal acceptable after they had studied the details of the scheme.

Mr Chau was speaking to reporters after officiating at the opening ceremony of the Quick Response Centre, a new facility of the Clothing Technology Demonstration Company Limited and a subsidiary of the Hong Kong Productivity Council. Mr Chau said the Hong Kong Government was determined to maintain and improve Hong Kong's competitiveness so that it can compete with other trading partners in the world.

"One of the ways in which we hope to increase competitiveness is to improve the productivity of workers, manufacturers and other commercial enterprises.

"The setting up of the Quick Response Centre, funded by the Hong Kong Government through the Industrial Support Fund, is a perfect example of the Government's determination to support Hong Kong's industrial development," he said.

Mr Chau said: "Industrial development is still very important because we cannot have a community in which there is no more manufacturing and only services.

"We do need to retain a certain amount of manufacturing and our industry should head towards higher technology and higher value-added products.

"As a consequence, the development of an infrastructure of skills is of vital importance."

He noted that this year, the Government would allocated $272 million to the universities in Hong Kong on academic research and development, a 133 per cent increase compared with 1992.

"In the area of industrial research and development." he said: "since 1993. we have provided $372 million for research projects in manufacturing technology.

48

"This substantial increase underlines our determination to help and encourage industry to go upmarket."

On the establishment of a science park to enhance scientific and technological research in Hong Kong, Mr Chau said the Government had spent two years to conduct a feasibility study on the project.

The Government would be consulting widely on its findings in the coming months and would submit detailed proposals to the Legislative Council.

Mr Chau said the Financial Secretary had established a Task Force to chart a course for the further expansion of Hong Kong's service industries.

"The Task Force will be reviewing what we can do to provide a regulatory and administrative environment conducive to the future development of our service industry," he said.

On his informal meeting with Chinese State Councillor and Minister of the State Science and Technology Commission. Dr Song Jian, during his visit to Beijing last week to attend the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation's Ministerial Meeting on Science and Technology, Mr Chau said they had reached a preliminary consensus that China and Hong Kong should co-operate more in developing Hong Kong's applied research and technology capabilities.

He said: "The objective is to enable Hong Kong manufacturers to go towards higher technology and higher value-added products by using the vast reservoir of scientific personnel available in China."

"Both sides would work out the details of how to proceed with a study to establish the applied research and development needs of Hong Kong, with a view to enabling both sides to determine the mode and scope of co-operation in this area," said Mr Chau.

End/Thursday, October 12, 1995

49

Major policy initiatives on education outlined *****

The two immediate issues the Government is tackling on the education front are to provide more support services to low achievers and newly-arrived children from China, the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph W P Wong, said today (Thursday).

Speaking at the briefing sessions to the new Legislative Council and the press after the Governor's Policy Address, Mr Wong said these programmes were among the 12 new initiatives in the education programmes, in addition of Government's substantial on-going programmes to improve education quality.

"In 1996-97, the Government will introduce more improvement measures such as the establishment of a new Student Discipline Team to provide expert support and guidance to all schools with serious discipline problems.

"Last year, we developed and implemented school-based curricula specially tailored to the needs of low achievers in ten secondary schools. We expanded this scheme to cover some 60 schools this September," Mr Wong said.

For children newly arrived from China, Mr Wong said the Government would continue to provide them with special support in the form of an enhanced induction programme (including simple English starting from this month), placement assistance, remedial teaching and counselling services.

A review on the various support services and the longer term requirement of these children will be conducted next year.

As a special effort to improve and expand the learning of Putonghua in schools, the Government aims to introduce new Putonghua curriculum from Primary One to Secondary Five in September 1998 and to have Putonghua as an independent subject in the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examinations in the year 2000.

On civic education, Mr Wong said the Government was developing new guidelines and a framework to enable schools to develop their programmes either as an independent subject or a cross-curricular programme.

"They will be available by September 1996. These will give students among other things, a better knowledge of the Basic Law and China's social and political system." he said.

50

Turning to kindergarten education, Mr Wong said the Government would conduct a review on the Kindergarten Subsidy Scheme introduced this September and expect to complete the review by mid-1996.

"We will continue to upgrade teacher quality by requiring at least 40 per cent of the teachers in each kindergarten to have completed the advanced course by September 1997," he said.

On Government's policy to encourage schools to use mother-tongue as the medium of instruction, Mr Wong stressed Government's existing policy of encouraging schools to adopt Chinese as the medium of instruction through the provision of additional support, including additional teachers.

"At the same time, we are going to prove that the results of students using Chinese as the medium of instruction are in fact better than comparable children using English as the medium of instruction," he said.

In 1994-95, the Education Department started a three- year research project to find out the effects of using different medium of instruction on students' results.

Based on the findings from this project, the Education Department will issue in 1997-98 firm guidance to schools on which language they should adopt as the medium of instruction.

For disabled children and other school children who might need to be provided with special education, Mr Wong said the Government had been actively implementing a series of support measures, including the strengthening of the various counselling services in schools, building 10 practical and skills opportunity schools, developing gifted children.

Noting that the Board of Education had set up a working group to conduct a comprehensive review on the needs of disabled children, Mr Wong said the recommendations from the Board would form an important basis for considering improvements to special education.

Other new initiatives in the education programme include:

* To introduce the Target Oriented Curriculum- which has been adopted by over 70 schools in their Primary One classes- to all primary school classes by September 2000.

51

* To provide 300 additional primary graduate teacher posts in 1996-97 as part of the on-going efforts to upgrade the quality of primary education.

To plan additional provisions for five international schools in the next five years to meet the anticipated demands and provide continued support to non-profit making international schools by introducing an improved package of assistance towards building such schools.

* The University Grants Committee to introduce next year the Teaching and Learning Quality Process Review to examine the effectiveness of the various systems used to maintain and improve the quality of learning and teaching in its tertiary institutions.

* To start the construction of a new campus in Tai Po for the Hong Kong Institute of Education, due to open in September 1997, at a capital cost of $2.1 billion.

* To introduce legislation next month to regulate the marketing of overseas courses of higher learning in Hong Kong to protect students against false or misleading claims.

* To introduce an Extended Loan Scheme this month to an estimated 6,000 students who previously would have received little or no financial assistance under the Local Student Finance Scheme.

* To grant $50 million to the Open Learning Institute to offer loans to the needy students as from this October.

* To complete a comprehensive review on the Local Student Finance Scheme by early next year.

End/Thursday, October 12, 1995

52

Social welfare committee briefed on welfare issues *****

The Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, briefed the Social Welfare Advisory Committee (SWAC) today (Thursday) on welfare issues in the 1995 Policy Address and the progress of implementing the undertakings in the previous policy commitments.

Members also exchanged views on the further development in the welfare sector in the years ahead.

At the meeting held today, members were briefed on the methodology being adopted in reviewing the adequacy of the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) standard rates and were presented the preliminary findings of the review based, inter alia, on an analysis of the first six-month data from the Household Expenditure Survey (HES).

The Chairman SWAC, Mr Eric Li, said the meeting generally endorsed the review methodology and the proposed enhancements to CSSA standard rates with effect from April 1 next year as announced by the Governor in his Policy Address yesterday. "SWAC will continue to look into other aspects of the comprehensive review of the CSSA scheme and looks forward to receiving the full results of HES and its analysis in early 1996," he said.

Mr Li also said the meeting had favoured the proposal of the Government to continue to expand the outreaching social work service at the pace of two teams per year from 1996-97 to 1998-99.

Members were also briefed that bids for the necessary resources for the two teams in the coming year had been made and that there would be another review on the service upon the smooth implementation of the expansion.

"Members shared the view that services for adolescents at risk should be of high priority," Mr Li added.

Members were briefed on the focus of the outreaching social work service which would provide counselling, guidance and other forms of service to help young people overcome their problems, develop their potential and become socially reintegrated.

As at December last year, a total of 30 outreaching social work service teams have been established.

End/Thursday, October 12, 1995

53

Voter complaints investigation results announced ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Chairman of the Boundary and Election Commission (BEC), Mr Justice Woo Kwok-hing, today (Thursday) announced the results of investigations into complaints about persons being turned away from polling stations in New Territories Northwest (NTNW) and New Territories North (NTN) constituencies on the polling day on September 17.

A total of 2,521 persons in the NTNW constituency and 1,280 persons in the NTN constituency were turned away.

There were 34 cases of complaint in respect of the NTNW constituency involving 1,039 out of the 2,521 persons and 25 cases of complaint in the NTN constituency involving some 150 out of the 1,280 persons. The remainders made no complaint.

Mr Justice Woo said 804 persons in the NTNW constituency and 516 persons in the NTN constituency were turned away because their names were no longer on the 1995 Final Register (FR). J

"Their names were deleted because they neither responded to the inquiries sent by the Registration and Electoral Office (REO) from mid-February to the end of April nor lodged any claim to the Revising Officer during the statutory appeal period between June 21 and July 5 when the 1995 Provisional Register (PR) was open for public inspection," he said.

He added that the entire vetting process was conducted strictly in accordance with the law and no human error was involved.

Mr Justice Woo also said 1,449 persons in the NTNW constituency and 565 persons in the NTN constituency had attended the wrong polling stations.

"This was mainly because the REO had learnt from other sources, for example, tenancy records of the Housing Department, that these electors had changed their addresses and had therefore reallocated them to the appropriate constituencies and polling stations."

Some had been reallocated as a result of the additional or replacement polling stations set up in the constituency.

54

"The REO had notified these electors of the reallocation. These persons had not lost their voting right. They were entitled to vote at the polling stations to which they were assigned," he said. Mr Justice Woo said the position was also explained to these electors by the presiding officers on the spot after obtaining information from the REO's Enquiry Unit.

As regards the others (268 persons in the NTNW constituency and 199 persons in the NTN constituency), there are no records of their registration as electors.

"They were not entitled to vote," he said.

Mr Justice Woo said the REO would write to individual complainants to explain to them the reasons why they were turned away from the polling stations on the polling day.

"The vetting exercise covered all 18 districts in Hong Kong," he said.

He explained that to prevent vote planting and other possible abuses, it was imperative that the register of electors was accurate.

It was therefore necessary to vet and update the entries in the register.

Mr Justice Woo dispelled rumours that the names of the electors of only certain districts in the New Territories were deleted from the FR and that the inquiry letters had only been sent recently as absolutely untrue.

He also rebutted criticism that the vetting exercise was conducted too casually.

"The vetting process was conducted in accordance with the procedure laid down in the law, which provides for safeguards to protect the interests of the electors,” he said.

On criticisms that some electors who voted in the March Municipal Council (MC) elections were debarred from voting in the September Legislative Council (LegCo) elections, Mr Justice Woo explained that every election was conducted on the basis of the register of electors currently in force.

' • *■*

The register of electors comes into force from its publication in August every year until the publication of next year’s register.

55

"The March 1995 MC elections were based on the 1994 register then prevailing, whereas the September elections were based on the 1995 register in force," he said. About 110,000 names in the 1994 register had not been rolled over to the 1995 register as a result of the major vetting exercise conducted earlier in the year. He said to become an elector in Hong Kong is a right, not a duty. Those eligible have to go through an application procedure before they are registered.

"This right has to be acquired with a little effort.

"If an elector has changed his address or has received an inquiry from the REO, he should also make a little effort to notify or respond to us to preserve his right as an elector," he said. The BEC will review the electoral arrangements in the light of the experience in the September LegCo elections, including the vetting procedure to update electors' particulars.

"We shall consider how the arrangements can be further improved," Mr Justice Woo said.

He said that a number of possible improvements would be considered:

- To further strengthen publicity and civic education efforts to impress upon electors the importance to update their records on the register of electors.

- To send inquiry letters by registered post so as to alert electors of the importance of the inquiry.

- To explore the feasibility of finding the telephone numbers of those electors under inquiry in the telephone directories with the aid of computer programmes, so that they could be contacted by phone and the position could be better explained to them.

- To maintain a closer liaison with the Post Office and the Home Affairs Department to have a better understanding on the subjects of inquiries.

End/Thursday, October 12, 1995

56

HK team to attend UN meeting on civil and political rights *****

The Solicitor General, Mr Daniel R Fung, QC, will lead a five-member Hong Kong Government team, as part of the British delegation, to attend a hearing before the United Nations Human Rights Committee on the fourth periodic report on Hong Kong under Article 40 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to be held in Geneva, Switzerland, on October 19 and 20.

During the hearing, the UN committee will examine the United Kingdom's fourth periodic report on Hong Kong under the ICCPR submitted to the UN on July 21.

The report covers the developments in Hong Kong on human rights issues since the third report was examined by the UN Human Rights Committee in 1991.

The Hong Kong team will assist the British delegation in answering any questions on the implementation of the provisions under the ICCPR in Hong Kong.

Apart from Mr Fung, the Hong Kong Team comprises the Principal Assistant Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Jeremy Croft; the Principal Assistant Secretary for Security, Mr Gordon Leung; a Principal Crown Counsel, Mr Stephen Wong; and a Deputy Principal Crown Counsel, Mr Ian Deane.

.,1

Both Mr Wong and Mr Deane are specialists in human rights law. Mr Wong has worked with the UN Human Rights Committee from 1993 to 1994 on secondment. Mr Deane is the head of the Human Rights Unit in the Attorney General’s Chambers and formerly a legal adviser to the Australian Government on human rights and constitutional law.

End/Thursday, October 12, 1995

57

Operation to transfer 163 VMs completed ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The operation this (Thursday) morning to transfer 163 Vietnamese migrants (VMs) from the North Camp of High Island Detention Centre to Victoria Prison was completed at Mid-day. This group of VMs has been selected for return to Vietnam on two Orderly Repatriation Programme (ORP) flights on October 17 and 24.

There were incidents in the High Island Detention Centre overnight during which VMs engaged in stone-throwing and blocked the main entrance to the North Section with containers. The situation was contained but not before three Correctional Services Department (CSD) officers were slightly injured.

At 7 am today, an announcement was made in the Camp asking the 163 VMs selected for repatriation to present themselves for transfer.

Some came forward but they were unable to exit from the Camp because of the blocked gates. The VMs burnt two containers, one of which was used by Medecins Sans Frontieres as a baby clinic. At about 10 am, when police and CSD officers broke into the North Section of the Camp, they faced resistance and 13 rounds of tearsmoke were used. Order was quickly restored.

By about noon, all 163 VMs selected for repatriation had been identified and they left the Camp at 1 pm.

After their departure, further sporadic incidents broke out. The VMs sought to set fire to a water tank and threw stones at CSD staff.

A further nine CSD officers and two policemen sustained injuries during the operation.

The Refugee Co-ordinator, Mr Brian Bresnihan, said the operation had been relatively smooth.

"We did not witness the strong resistance encounter during similar operation earlier this year. Perhaps this group realised that their only option is to return to Vietnam," he said.

He reiterated that the Hong Kong Government remained committed to the repatriation of all the VMs in the territory as soon as possible.

End/Thursday, October 12, 1995

58

Transfer of VMs from High Island Detention Centre * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government announced that a group of about 160 Vietnamese migrants will be transferred from the High Island Detention Centre today (Thursday) in preparation for their return under the Orderly Repatriation Programme.

They will be transferred to Victoria Prison for pre-flight documentation and medical checks prior to leaving Hong Kong. They will be returned in two groups on two flights on October 17 and 24.

■ f

The transfer will be observed by independent monitors.

• T- * - c

End/Thursday, October 12,1995.

Three CSD officers injured in High Island incident

*****

Three Correctional Services officers were slightly injured by stones thrown by a group of VMs at the High Island Detention Centre last (Wednesday) evening.

A series of incidents occurred at High Island during the night which cumulated in sporadic stone throwing by the VMs at about 8pm. Between 50 to 60 VMs were seen making home-made weapons behind one of the dormitories at the north section of the camp.

A group of about 200 VMs gathered in the vicinity after Correctional Services • : Department's officers warned the men to stop, but there were no incidents. Shorthy after 9 pm, about 30 VMs began moving some containers and eventually blocked the entrance to that section of the camp.

This was followed by small groups of VMs smashing the concrete slats at the washing area which they used as missiles to throw at CSD officers.

The first throwing incident occurred at about 10.20pm when a sentry at an outpost reported that VMs were stoning him.

i .. . .. ,

’• V\ , A..

59

For several hours, the sporadic stone throwing occurred at various points of the camp and at one time a home-made spear was thrown in the direction of the main gate.

A total of 143 CSD officers and 168 police of the Police Tactical Unit have the situation under control.

End/Thursday, October 12, 1995

June Employment and Vacancies Statistics released

***** ,

According to the figures released today (Thursday) by the Census and Statistics Department, there was continued growth in employment in most of the major service sectors between June 1994 and June 1995. Meanwhile, employment in the manufacturing sector declined further. But employment at construction sites registered a further large increase.

Vacancies in the manufacturing sector remained on a downtrend in June 1995 over a year earlier, while those at construction sites registered a substantial increase.

Over the same period, vacancies in the various service sectors recorded decreases of different magnitudes. Nevertheless, there were still around 52,000 vacancies for all major sectors taken together.

In terms of the number of persons engaged, the wholesale, retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels sector was the largest, employing 1,024,600 persons in June 1995.

This was followed by the manufacturing sector, with an employment of 397,800; the financing, insurance, real estate and business services sector, 373,900; the community, social and personal services sector, 295,600; the transport, storage and communication sector, 166,300; and the construction sites (for manual workers only), 64,000.

In terms of growth rate, employment at construction sites (for manual workers only) recorded the fastest increase, by 11.5% in June 1995 over June 1994; followed by the financing, insurance, real estate and business services sector, by 6.5%; the community, social and personal services sector, by 5.1%; the transport, storage and communication sector, by 5%.

60

On the other hand, employment in the wholesale, retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels sector showed a marginal decrease of 0.9%, while that in the manufacturing sector fell by 10.3%.

The respective employment figures are shown in greater detail in Table 1.

' X.

Vacancies at construction sites recorded a five-fold increase in June 1995 over a year earlier. The marked increases in both employment and vacancies at construction sites reflected the heavy demand for construction workers by the new airport and related projects.

However, vacancies recorded significant decreases both in manufacturing and in the major service sectors. The decline was particularly notable in the wholesale, retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels sector, but this was due in part to a high base of comparison in June 1994, when vacancies situation was particularly acute. r

.• t’1

Job vacancies figures are shown in greater detail in Table 2.

Of the 52,000 vacancies (other than those in the Civil Service) in June 1995, the majority fell into three major occupation groups, viz clerks, service workers and shop sales workers, and associate professionals. As vacancies figures analysed by major occupation group are compiled starting from June 1995, the corresponding figures for the earlier quarters are not available for comparison.

The respective vacancies figures broken down by major occupation group are shown in Table 3.

The above statistics for June 1995 were derived from the Quarterly Survey of Employment and Vacancies, Supplementary Survey of Job Vacancies and the Quarterly Employment Survey of Construction Sites conducted by the department.

In the former two surveys, some economic activities (that is those where selfemployment are predominant, such as taxi operators, hawkers and freelance authors) are not covered and hence the respective employment and vacancies figures relate only to those selected industries included in the surveys. In the latter survey on the construction sites, employment and vacancies figures relate to manual workers only.

Detailed breakdowns of the above statistics are available from the Quarterly Report of Employment, Vacancies and Payroll Statistics, June 1995, and the Quarterly Report of Employment and Vacancies at Construction Sites, June 1995.

61

They will be available at $44 per copy and $20 per copy (both exclusive of postage) respectively at the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong, and at the Publications Unit of the Census and Statistics Department on the 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

- 62 -

Taele I; employment figures

Selected major St^tyr Persons engaged (employment)

Jun, 94 Mau.2S Jun. 9? pygr Jun, 94 over Mar. 95

Manufacturing 443 500 395 400 397 800 -10.3 +0.6

Construction sites (manual workers only) 57 400 64 100 64 000 + 11.5 -0.1

Wholesale, retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels I 034 000 1 015 100 1 024 600 -0.9 +0.9

Transport, storage and communication 158 400 164 600 166 300 +5.0 + 1.0

Financing, insurance, real estate and business services 351 200 361 300 373 900 + 6.5 + 3.5

Community, social and 281 300 297 200 295 600 +5.1 -0.5

personal services

Table2: Job vacancies figures

Number of vacancies Percentage change

Selected major Mar. 95 Jun- 95 Jun. 95 over Jun. 94 Jun. 95 over Mar. 95

sector Jun. 94

Manufacturing 11 240 9 100 7 640 -32.1 -16.1

Construction sites (manual workers only) 530 1 860 3 460 + 551.4 + 86.2

Wholesale,retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels 35 440 27 810 20 060 -43.4 -27.9

Transport, storage and communication 3 770 3 780 3 220 -14.6 -14.8

Financing, insurance, real estate and business services 11 890 10 600 9 160 -23.0 -13.6

Community, social and personal services 10 310 9 120 8 030 -22.1 -11.9

63

vacancies figures broken down by major occupation group .

Table3t

Major occupation group. Number of vacancies in June 1995 Percentage distribution (%)

Managers and administrators 880 1.7

Professionals 2 790 5.4

Associate professionals 8 480 16.4

Clerks 11 950 23.1

Service workers and shop sales workers 10 120 19.6

Craft and related workers 5 190 10.0

Plant and machine operators and assemblers 4 690 9.1

Elementary occupations 7 590 14.7

End/Thursday, October 12, 1995

64

External trade statistics by country and commodity *****

The Census and Statistics Department today (Thursday) released detailed statistics on external trade with breakdown by country/tcrritory and commodity for August 1995.

The value of re-exports continued to increase notably, by 15% over a year earlier to $100.6 billion in August 1995.

Comparing August 1995 with August 1994, the value of re-exports to all of the main destinations showed increases of various magnitudes: Singapore (+36%), Taiwan (+34%), Japan (+32%), South Korea (+28%), the United Kingdom (+23%), France (+23%), the Netherlands (+19%), China (+15%), Germany (+12%) and the United States (+5.6%).

Changes in the value of Hong Kong’s re-exports to ten main destinations are shown in Table 1.

The value of re-exports in the first eight months of 1995 was $715.9 billion, 19% higher than that in the same period in 1994.

Comparing the first eight months of 1995 with the same period in 1994, the value of re-exports to all main destinations showed increases of various magnitudes: Singapore (+35%), Japan (+29%), Taiwan (+26%), France (+25%), the Netherlands (+23%), China (+21%), South Korea (+16%), the United Kingdom (+15%), the United States (+13%) and Germany (+8.3%).

Table 2 shows changes in the value of re-exports of ten principal commodity divisions.

Comparing the first eight months of 1995 with the same period in 1994, increases of various magnitudes were recorded in the value of re-exports of most principal commodity divisions.

More notable increases were registered for electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $21.9 billion or 43%); telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $16.2 billion or 27%); miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of baby carriages, toys, games and sporting goods (by $13.8 billion or 18%); office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $13.6 billion or 61%); textiles (by $9.3 billion or 18%); and plastics in primary forms (by $7 billion or 54%).

Over the same period, re-exports of clothing fell by $2 billion, representing a decrease of 3.3% over a year earlier.

The value of domestic exports in August 1995, at $20.5 billion, decreased slightly, by 2.6% over a year earlier.

Comparing August 1995 with August 1994, increases were recorded in the value of domestic exports to Taiwan (+46%), Japan (+15%), France (+9.7%), the Netherlands (+4.5%) and the United Kingdom (+3.2%). However, the value of domestic exports to Germany, Canada, the United States, Singapore and China decreased by 15%, 13%, 10%, 4.7% and 1.2% respectively.

Changes in the value of domestic exports to ten main destinations are shown in Table 3.

Comparing the first eight months of 1995 with the same period in 1994, the value of domestic exports to most main destinations showed increases of various magnitudes: Taiwan (+35%), Japan (+23%), France (+23%), the Netherlands (+13%), the United Kingdom (+6.2%), China (+6.1%), Canada (+6%), Singapore (+4.9%) and the United States (+2.7%).

However, the value of domestic exports to Germany decreased by 2.9%.

Taking all destinations together, the value of domestic exports in the first eight months of 1995, at $150.8 billion, increased by 7.5% over the same period in 1994.

Table 4 shows changes in the value of domestic exports of ten principal commodity divisions.

Comparing the first eight 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 $4.2 billion or 26%); clothing (by $2 billion or 4.4%); office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $1.3 billion or 12%); photographic apparatus, equipment and supplies, optical goods, watches and clocks (by $1.2 billion or 12%); and miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of jewellery, goldsmiths’ and silversmiths’ wares (by $672 million or 5.4%).

Over the same period, decreases in the value of domestic exports were recorded for telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $565 million or 7.4%); and textiles (by $369 million or 3.8%).

66

The value of imports continued to increase substantially, by 20% over a year earlier to $131.2 billion in August 1995.

Changes in the value of imports from ten main suppliers are shown in Table 5.

Comparing August 1995 with August 1994, the value of imports from all main suppliers showed increases of various magnitudes: France (+79%), Singapore (+64%), South Korea (+43%), Malaysia (+42%), the United Kingdom (+30%), the United States (+27%), Taiwan (+21%), Germany (+17%), Japan (+16%) and China (+9.8%).

Comparing the first eight months of 1995 with the same period in 1994, the value of imports from all main suppliers showed increases of various magnitudes: France (+91%), Malaysia (+45%), Singapore (+33%), South Korea (+32%), the United States (+31%), Taiwan (+25%), the United Kingdom (+24%), Germany (+21%), Japan (+19%) and China (+18%).

The value of imports in the first eight months of 1995, at $976.4 billion, increased markedly, by 23% over the same period in 1994.

■. I

Table 6 shows changes in the value of imports of ten principal commodity divisions.

Comparing the first eight 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 $34.3 billion or 40%); telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $19.5 billion or 26%); office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $14.6 billion or 50%); textiles (by $10.6 billion or 14%); miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of baby carriages, toys, games and sporting goods (by $10.5 billion or 19%); and photographic apparatus, equipment and supplies, optical goods, watches and clocks (by $7.1 billion or 21%).

Over the same period, a small decrease in the value of imports was recorded for road vehicles (by $966 million or 2.9%).

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 August 1995 will be released in early November 1995.

67

...r'. '.yr

Detailed trade statistics analysed by commodity and by country/territory are published in trade statistics reports.

The August 1995 issue of the "Hong Kong External Trade" with detailed analyses on the performance of Hong Kong's external trade in August 1995 will be on sale at $122 per copy around October 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.

< -v >

Enquiries regarding regular subscription to this report may be directed to the Publications (Sales) Office, 28th Floor, Siu On Centre, 188 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, Tel 2598 8194; and enquiries on trade statistics to the Census and Statistics Department on 2582 4915.

68

TABLE 1 : RE-EXPORTS TO TEN MAIN DESTINATIONS

DESTINATION AUG 1995 (HKD Mn.) AUG 95 OVER AUG 94 (% CHANGE) JAN-AUG 1995 (HKD Mn.) JAN-AUG 95 OVER JAN-AUG 94 (% CHANGE)

CHINA 32,042 + 15.3 249,674 + 20.6

UNITED STATES 23,044 + 5.6 150,681 + 13.5

JAPAN 6,502 + 31.6 42,307 + 28.6

GERMANY 4,207 + 12.2 28,967 + 8.3

UNITED KINGDOM 3,265 + 23.2 19,782 + 15.1

TAIWAN 2,317 + 33.8 18,028 + 26.5

SINGAPORE 2,358 + 35.7 16,797 + 34.8

SOUTH KOREA 1,635 + 27.9 12,609 + 15.6

FRANCE 1,608 + 22.6 11,034 + 25.0

NETHERLANDS 1,493 + 18.9 10,783 + 23.4

69

TABLE 2 : RE-EXPORTS OF TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

COMMODITY DIVISION AUG 1995 (HKD Mn.) AUG 95 OVER AUG 94 (* CHANGE) JAN-AUG 1995 (HKD Mn.) JAN-AUG 95 OVER JAN-AUG 94 (% CHANGE)

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY BABY CARRIAGES, TOYS, GAMES AND SPORTING GOODS) 15,433 * 12.1 89,218 + 18.4

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 11,116 + 36.4 75,978 * 27.2

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 10,624 + 44.8 72,495 + 43.4

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 7,591 + 0.6 62,009 + 17.6

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING

ACCESSORIES 9,192 - 8.1 57,927 - 3.3

FOOTWEAR 5,280 + 2.4 40,168 + 11.6

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA

PROCESSING .MACHINES 4,885 + 66.1 35,750 + bl.2

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 4,415 + 19.0 31,775 + 24.1

TRAVEL GOODS, HANDBAGS AND SIMILAR

CONTAINERS 3,130 + 7.6 23,453 + 16.1

PLASTICS IN PRIMARY FORMS 2,377 + 18.0 19,841 + 54.1

70

TABLE 3 : DOMESTIC EXPORTS TO TEN MAIN DESTINATIONS

DESTINATION AUG 1995 (HKD Mn.) AUG 95 OVER AUG 94 (% CHANGE) JAN-AUG 1995 (HKD Mn.) JAN-AUG 95 OVER JAN-AUG 94 (% CHANGE)

CHINA 5,557 - 1.2 41,922 + 6.1

UNITED STATES 5,541 - 10.5 38,412 + 2.7

SINGAPORE 1,043 - 4.7 8,222 + 4.9

GERMANY 1,074 - 14.9 8,045 - 2.9

JAPAN 1,052 * 15.4 7,957 + 23.0

UNITED KINGDOM 1,088 <• 3.2 6,942 + 6.2

TAIWAN 727 + 45.9 5,051 + 35.1

NETHERLANDS 468 + 4.5 • 3,505 + 12.7

CANADA 374 - 13.2 2,866 + 6.0

FRANCE 310 + 9.7 2,109 + 22.6

71

TABLE 4 : DOMESTIC EXPORTS OF TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

COMMODITY DIVISION AUG 1995 (HKD Mn.) AUG 95 OVER AUG 94 (% CHANGE) JAN-AUG 1995 (HKD Mn.) JAN-AUG 95 OVER JAN-AUG 94 (% CHANGE)

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 7,017 - 10.0 46,765 + 4.4

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 3,011 + 31.5 20,184 + 26.3

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY JEWELLERY, GOLDSMITHS' AND SILVERSMITHS' WARES) 1,752 + 4.2 13,044 + 5.4

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 1,353 - 11.7 12,162 + 11.7

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT ANT SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 1,400 + 6.6 10,915 + 12.1

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 1,164 - 16.5 9,399 - 3.8

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 951 - 7.8 7,083 - 7.4

MANUFACTURES OF METALS 411 - 3.1 3,117 + 2.9

PLASTICS IN PRIMARY FORMS 359 ■ - 11.1 2,954 + 17.7

PAPER, PAPERBOARD, AND ARTICLES OF PAPER PULP, OF PAPER OR OF PAPERBOARD 280 - 6.2 1,986 + 5.5

72

TABLE 5 : IMPORTS FROM TEN MAIN SUPPLIERS

SUPPLIER AUG 1995 (HKD Mn.) AUG 95 OVER AUG 94 (% CHANGE) JAN-AUG 1995 (HKD Mn.) JAN-AUG 95 OVER JAN-AUG 94 (% CHANGE)

CHINA 49,546 + 9.8 348,120 ♦ 17-6

JAPAN 18,496 + 15.8 147,710 + 18.7

TAIWAN 10,942 + 21.0 84,631 + 24.6 • r: u

UNITED STATES 9,872 + 27.2 75,171 + 31.2

SINGAPORE 8,057 + 63.7 51,434 + 32.8

SOUTH KOREA 6,111 + 42.6 49,175 ।' 1 ’’ ' + 32.3

GERMANY 3,035 + 17.1 21,951 + 21.3

UNITED KINGDOM 2,874 + 30.4 19,631 + 24.4

FRANCE 2,271 + 78.7 19,551 + 91.3

MALAYSIA v 2,304 + 42.1 18,536 .Ur. ’ * • • • .‘hr + 45.2

73

TABLE 6 : IMPORTS OF TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

COMMODITY DIVISION AUG 1995 (HKD Mn.) AUG 95 OVER AUG 94 (% CHANGE) JAN-AUG 1995 (HKD Mn.) JAN-AUG 95 OVER JAN-AUG 94 (% CHANGE)

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 17,458 * 50.5 119,406 * 40.3

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 13,163 + 34.9 93,357 - 26.4

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 9,580 - 4.9 88,058 + 13.7

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY BABY CARRIAGES, TOYS, GAMES AND SPORTING GOODS) 10,246 + 7.9 67,028 + 18.7

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES i 9,448 - 5.8 62,107 + 1.2

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 6,111 + 50.3 43,624 + 50.1

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 5,225 + 17.3 41,200 + 21.0

FOOTWEAR 4,564 + 4.6 34,990 + 11.6

ROAD VEHICLES 4,278 - 3.5 31,815 - 2.9

GENERAL INDUSTRIAL MACHINERY AND EQUIPMENT, AND MACHINE PARTS 3,135 + 8.6 29,682 + 15.1

End/Thursday, October 12, 1995

74

Grading of Beach Water Quality

* ♦ ♦ ♦ * ------------------

The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) today (Thursday) announced the latest gradings of Hong Kong's beaches, based on the bacteriological water quality.

The purpose of the grading system is to inform swimmers and the general public about the state of bacteriological pollution at various beaches.

Acting Principal Environmental Protection Officer, Mr Edmond K M Ho, said the grading will be announced biweekly during the bathing season to coincide with the < frequency at which beach waters are usually sampled.

The grading is based on the most recent data obtained by EPD in its routine monitoring programme.

As with last year, the grading also includes an estimate of the risk of suffering some minior skin or gastrointestinal complaints as a result of swimming at a beach which has some degree of pollution.

•’ '< . r • r

The estimate is based on a very large body of statistical information gathered in Hong Kong in recent bathing seasons.

The grading of some beaches may vary during the summer. This represents a natural fluctation in the bateriological quality of bathing waters in most cases, as rain and tides bring more or less pollution to the beaches.

However, the grades gives a good general picture of the water quality at bathing beaches at the time of reporting and form the best available forecast for the immediate future.

Beaches with highly developed hinterlands are likely to be more polluted than the grades suggested during and after heavy rain.

"Bathers should avoid such beaches for two or three days after a storm, longer if the weather remians overcast or less if there is strong sunshine", Mr Ho said.

The system for grading beach water quality is as follows:

- 75 -

* Grade "1" indicates that the water quality is good. The E coli count is no more than 24 per 100 millilitres at each beach so graded, and the expected risk of minor illness to swimmers is undetectable.

* Grade "2" indicates that the water quality is fair. The E coli count is no more than 180 per 100 millilitres at each beach so graded, and the expected health risk is no more than 10 cases of minor illness per 1,000 swimmers.

* Grade "3" indicates that the water quality is poor. The E coli count is no more than 610 per 100 millilitres at each beach so graded, and the expected health risk is no more than 15 cases of minor illness per 1,000 swimmers.

* Grade "4" indicates that the water quality is very poor. The E coli count is more than 610 per 100 millilitres at each beach so graded, and the expected health risk is more than 15 cases of minor illness per 1,000 swimmers.

The decision whether or not to close a beach to swimmers is based on a judgement of what degree of pollution is acceptable.

Normally, the closure of a beach would only be considered by the Urban or Regional Council if a grade "4" occurred repeatedly, so that the average health risk over the bathing season exceeded 15 cases per 1,000 swimmers.

At present four gazetted beaches, namely Anglers', Castle Peak, Old Cafeteria, and Rocky Bay, are closed to swimmers.

The decision to close the beaches has been made by the Regional and Urban Councils on the basis of beach water quality monitoring data for 1994. The public are advised not to swim at these beaches. They are identified by an "X" in the following list.

The grades of the bacteriological water quality of various beaches in Hong Kong today are listed below:

76

Beach Hong Kong South Previous Grading (as at 28.9.95) Present Grading (as at 12.10.95)

Big Wave Bay 3 2

Chung Hom Kok 2 1

Deep Water Bay 3 2

Hairpin 2 2

Middle Bay 2 2

Repulse Bay 2 2

ShekO 3 2

South Bay 1 1

St Stephen's 2 1

Turtle Cove 2 1

Stanley Main 3 3

Rocky Bay X X

To Tei Wan* 2 1

Tuen Mun District

Golden Beach 4 3

Old Cafeteria X X

New Cafeteria 3 3

Castle Peak X X

Kadoorie 3 3

Butterfly 3 3

Sai Kung District

Campers 1 1

Clear Water Bay 1st Beach 2 2

Clear Water Bay 2nd Beach 2 2

Hap Mun Bay 1 1

Kiu Tsui 1 1

Pak Sha Chau 1 1

Silverstrand 3 3

Trio (Hebe Haven) 1 1

77

Beach Islands District Previous Grading (as at 28.9.95) • Present Grading (as at 12.10.95)

Cheung Sha Upper 1 1

Cheung Sha Lower 3 2

Discovery Bay* 2 2

Hung Shing Yeh 1 1

Kwun Yam Wan 1 1

Tong Fuk 2 I

Lo So Shing 1 1

PuiO 1 1

Silvermine Bay 4 4

Tung Wan, Cheung Chau 1 1

Tung O* 1 1

Tsuen Wan District

Anglers' X X

Approach 4 4

Casam 3 3

Gemini 3 3

Hoi Mei Wan 3 3

Lido 3 3

Ting Kau 4 4

Tung Wan, Ma Wan 2 2

Note: "X" The beach has been closed for swimming purposes.

* Ungazetted beaches.

The following beaches have changed grading on this occasion:

Chung Hom Kok, St Stephen’s, Turtle Cove, To Tei Wan and Tong Fuk from "2" to "1"; Big Wave Bay, Deep Water Bay, Shek O and Cheung Sha Lower from "3" to "2"; and Golden Beach from "4" to "3".

78

The changes are within the normal range of fluctuation of the bacteriological water quality of these beaches.

Attention News Editors:

For further enquiries, please contact Mr Edmond Ho on 2755 2230.

End/Thursday, October 12, 1995

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

Time Cumulative change

$ million (hours) (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,408 0930 +1,770

Closing balance in the account 2,298 1000 + 1,770

Change attributable to : 1100 + 1,770

Money market activity + 1,760 1200 + 1,765

LAF today -870 1500 + 1,760

1600 +1,760

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 122.0 *+0.0* 12.10.95

79

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.42 2 years 2708 6.06 100.42 5.90

1 month 5.50 3 years 3807 6.16 100.08 6.22

3 months 5.58 5 years 5009 6.95 100.52 6.94

6 months 5.62 5 years M501 7.90 102.52 7.38

12 months 5.67

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $8,054 million

Closed October 12, 1995

End/Thursday, October 12, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Friday, October 13,1995

Contents Fage-No*

Governor's public meeting................................................. 1

Transcript of CS's question-and-answer session........................... 20

Transcript of CS's media session..................................... 24

Paradoxes make Hong Kong tick: Chief Secretary........................... 25

Basket of new initiatives to improve quality of life...................   27

Call for response to challenge of meeting needs of elderly............ 31

Shenzhen/HK to hold joint fire exercise................................   32

Hong Kong - A City in Transition: FS..................................... 33

Land survey regulation gazetted.......................................... 35

Monitors' Report submitted to CS......................................... 36

Quarterly business receipts indices for service industries............... 36

Employers and outstanding disabled employees commended................... 40

Seminars for employers..................................................... 4 1

Senior staff movement................................................

Proposed reclamation.....

Contents

Page No.

Proposed reclamation at Sulphur Channel............................... 42

Proposed submarine cable from Sha Chau to Lung Kwu Chau............... 43

Dredging work proposed at Tai O Creek................................. 44

Roadworks for Tai O................................................... 45

Beach buildings at Hung Shing Ye Beach................................ 46

Tenders invited for sewerage improvement works........................ 46

Air Quality Report for September...................................... 47

Action against cooling towers by Buildings Department................. 48

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations.................. 49

1

Governor's public meeting

*****

The following is the transcript of the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten's public meeting held at the City Hall today (Friday):

Governor: This is the fourth time that I've given my Governor's address to the Legislative Council here in Hong Kong and after each of those speeches I've had a public meeting or a number of public meetings, at which you, the people of Hong Kong, have had the opportunity of coming along and asking me questions, either about the Legislative Council speech that I've given or about any other matters that may concern you. For me it's an important part of the openness and accountability of your Government in Hong Kong.

I don't want to make a long speech this evening because this is very much an occasion for you. I want to give as many as possible of you, the chance of asking questions and all I want to do at the outset is to remind you all of the established ground rules. What I'll do in a moment is to ask for a show of hands and then I'll choose three or four people from the audience near the microphones which are round about. I'll give you the order in which I'd like you to ask your question and then I very much hope that when you ask your question you can do so as briefly as possible. Now I say that every year, but sometimes people are a bit long-winded but if you take a long time to ask a question or if you make a speech rather than ask a question, it's just being unfair to everybody else because fewer people can actually get their question asked. I'll try to be brief in giving my answers, if you're brief in asking your questions.

So, can we have agreement at the outset that everybody will be as brief as possible in asking their questions. Thank you very much indeed. All right, that's a promise.

Now the most questions we've ever got in was I think in Sha Tin a couple of years ago, when we got through about 12 or 13 questions in just over an hour, about an hour and ten minutes and I'd like to see if we can get at least that many today.

The one other thing I'd ask is, if somebody has already asked a question about your subject, there isn't very much point in asking a question on the same subject. I mean, I don't mind giving you the same answer but we should try to cover as many subjects as possible, O K.

2

Right. Now it's over to you. Let's start with a show of hands. We'll first of all start down here and then there is a gentleman over here, in a blazer and a red tie. Do you want to come down to No. 2. Yes, yes. And the gentleman in the striped shirt there, near No.4. Yes, you, you, you, yes. If you come down to No. 4. And then there's a gentleman in a white short-sleeved shirt, near 3. If you go up to No. 3. Yes, you, you, you, yes. OK But first of all here.

Question (in Chinese): Mr Patten, I'd like to thank you for showing your concern for the disabled over the past few years. You have helped us to solve our transportation problems, employment and tax problems. I think now is the time for you to help us to help ourselves. For the physically disabled for example, if we had to help ourselves, education is of paramount importance. I don't know if you're aware of this, a lot of the primary and secondary schools in Hong Kong are not adapted to wheelchair disabled or other disabled. There's only, probably, one such district school that accommodates to us. The rest of us have to go to special schools. This is not ideal in any way. A lot of the times they don't have any choice, they have to go to a particular school which might be in a band four or a band five. I hope you can help them in this respect.

Secondly, for adult physically disabled people, I wonder if you are aware of -this as well. There are hundreds of us who are actually mobile but because of accidents at work or otherwise, they are wheelchair bound. Is there any way, Mr Patten, for you to create a resource centre for all these people to come together to encourage each other to solve each other's problems? Governor Patten, I know last year the Government has allocated funds for five ex-mentally ill patients or their parents to establish a resource centre. This year you have committed eight resource centres for the chronically ill. I wonder if you could allocate a certain amount of funds for organisations dealing with the physically disabled to set up similar resource centres, so that they are able to help themselves. I think you've already given a lot of fish to the disabled, so to speak. Can't you give us some cod liver oil so that they can go and fish those fish themselves? " ' •o!-

■j/wq

Thank you.

3

Governor: I think as we try in Hong Kong to establish welfare programmes which are commensurate with our prosperity as a community, one of our most important priorities is to ensure that those with disabilities are properly integrated into the whole community. That's the civilised and decent way of behaving, to ensure that everybody can make the absolute maximum of their considerable abilities. The key to integration, in my view, is employment and the key to employment is education and training. Now we have made some progress, as you know, in improving training. But I hear what you say about the importance of adequate school facilities for those with a disability. You will know better than me, that with older buildings there are quite often very considerable expenses involved in modifying a building to make it available easily for those in a wheelchair or with some other mechanical device that they need to move around. But I can assure you that I will speak to the Education Department and see what programme we have and what progress we've made in providing for students with a disability.

I also agree with you about the importance of resource centres. Let's be clear about one of their considerable benefits. One of their benefits is reminding people, or showing people, that they're not on their own. That they're not islands, that there are other people with the same problems and challenges as them who can share the way they rise to those challenges and who can provide one another with more initiative and frankly, even more courage to face the problems of daily living. We're having some success in providing centres for the chronically ill and I will certainly look at whether we should, and could, provide the sort of centre that you are talking about, for people with disabilities, people who are wheelchair bound and people who cope spectacularly well with problems of transport, with problems getting to work. There's a very good coffee shop which some of you may have been to, near Pacific Place, which is entirely run by mostly young people with disabilities. One of the most interesting things is to hear them individually tell you how they get to work, what a challenge it is, the difficulties that they have to go through. So, I hope that we can perhaps follow up your advice and maybe if I can have another meeting like this next year 1'11 be able to report progress on that.

Gentleman No. 2.

4

Question: His Excellency, Sir, Chris Patten, under your able guidance and administration, everything has gone so well. I will say a few words on the British Empire. Hong Kong's so tiny. A fisherman's island to have progressed so well .... British administration, but what chance do we have now, after 1997. I .... will be leaving us but the one thing I should appeal to LegCo Members to give full cooperation, 100%. Nobody's perfect on this earth. We are all, all fallible (inaudible). So in order to get the good relationship with China, my humble opinion is that something should be done, one should sacrifice. Nobody is perfect. The Chinese may demand something but I think if we think that something can be done should be done now and I personally feel very strongly that we can change our mind, you can be a little flexible, we should not be rigid and I personally appeal to LegCo Members (inaudible) here I am, devoted my whole life in Hong Kong, more than 45 years. I link with the Lions Association, 1 have done service programme and blind, this and that, Hong Kong Eye Bank. I feel that I'm more comfortable with Hong Kong people. Some people say "are you leaving Hong Kong?" I say, "No, no, I am identified with Hong Kong, I am (inaudible) with Hong Kong, I am linked with Hong Kong, so why should I leave Hong Kong?".

Governor: The first thing I want to say is that Hong Kong is a 97%/98% Chinese community, so the main credit for the success of Hong Kong goes to the men and women and young people who have worked so hard, who have shown so much entrepreneurial skill, who have shown so much energy over the years, in creating a community which others regard as a marvellous example, not just of how to run an economy but of how to run a free society. I think the main contribution which governments have made over the years is to provide a framework within which people can excel and prosper and live their own lives in decency. And that framework, we usually call the rule of law. I believe that if the people of Hong Kong wish that framework to continue, if they are sufficiently committed to the rule of law continuing, it will, and that Hong Kong will continue to show the world how to live a decent, free and prosperous life.

I agree with you that we do need to co-operate, all of us. The Hong Kong Government needs to co-operate with the future Government of Hong Kong and we have put forward proposals for doing that. The Government and the Legislative Council need to co-operate, as I'm sure we will be able to do. What none of us should forget is that what is happening in 1997 is one of the most important events in the world, not just for this decade but for this generation. That's why people will be watching here so closely, because of the implications for everyone of success in Hong Kong. And I believe that we will be successful if we're sufficiently determined to stand up for the values that we’ve cherished over the years.

5

Question: (in Chinese) Thank you Mr Patten. I've read your Policy Report and I think there are two questions which 1 must raise. In the two years to come, there are two things you should do, Mr Patten. First of all, you must solve problems dealing with the economic and livelihood of Hong Kong. Do something practical; don't talk so much. That will be beneficial to prosperity and stability. Don't try and steal the limelight.

The second issue - a transitional issue. You must co-operate and discuss matters with the Chinese Government. You must also implement the consensual opinions and agreements reached by the British and Chinese Governments, and don't put further obstacles in our way. So, I have two recommendations for you. That's all. Mr Patten. Thank you.

Governor: Thank you very much indeed. Well. 1 think we know where your sympathies lie. 1 won't try to steal the limelight, so 1'11 be extremely brief. First of all, I very much agree with you about the importance of getting the economic and livelihood issues right. That's why I'm very pleased that our economy has grown by 18% in the last three years, which is a very considerable record. That's why I'm so pleased that we've been able in each of those years to cut taxes and increase the amount of money in Hong Kong's own Reserves. And that's why I'm pleased, as well, that we've been able to increase social welfare spending by 47% in real terms over that three year period. I think that's a real success for the people of Hong Kong and I'm delighted that I've been able to be Governor while that's been happening.

Secondly, I’m very much in favour of co-operation - and co-operation is a two-way street. I'm delighted that the Chinese Government, when they met Mr Rifkin, the new British Foreign Secretary, ten days ago, accepted our proposals for co-operation on matters like a through-train for the Civil Service, on matters like co-operation with the Preparatory Committee. But if you look back over the last three years - or thirteen years - I don't think you could reasonably argue that when it came to co-operation it was the Hong Kong Government that had been at fault.

Question: (in Chinese) Thank you Mr Patten, a few questions. I would also like to give you a few recommendations; and I hope you can answer my questions, of course. First of all. on housing, there are over 300.000 on the general waiting list. Originally, you were going to build 60,000 public housing units but from '90-'92 only a few thousand were finished; and in '93 you said there were to be 38 hectares which would be ready by 1996; from there, you can only get 25,000 units. How are you going to deal with all those people on the general waiting list. They currently are also trying to promote the HOS scheme, first of all to increase property prices.

6

Well, the second issue: unemployment is really very high. When a lot of people are out of work, how are they supposed to pay for the houses they’re buying? 1 think banks would be involved in this. I hope you can build more public housing in order to help the poorer strata of our society.

Next issue: education and law and order, both are related. We have nine years education at the moment and every year when students finish Form 3, a lot of them are left behind. These are generally the 14 to 15 year olds, they are therefore unable to find work - and nobody would employ them either. All these students can do is to loiter on our streets and would thus pose a threat to law and order in our society. I hope the Hong Kong Government can allocate one-tenth of the Reserves, as Dr Law Cheung-kwok said. Could you set aside the fund, not for adults but for vocational training type schools in order to train all these young people who have left Form 3?

In addition, could you also allocate funds - Right, I’ll make it short then. Could you allocate funds to build factories to create careers for those who are unemployed now?

Right, the third issue: medical - student health. Now you’ve cancelled the previous Student Health Service Scheme, I think this has put a lot of pressure on parents. I hope, Mr Patten, you could actually amalgamate the two schemes, i.e. the existing one and the new one. The new one, there will be a general medical check-up for schools. Could you not include this into the existing scheme? Thank you Mr Patten.

Governor: Can I just say that it is a problem if you ask a lot of questions because, I mean there are about four or five questions in that, but I'll try to answer them all. First of all on housing, and I just correct you: I only arrived in Hong Kong in 1992. It may seem like longer but from 1990-92 I was involved elsewhere.

7

When I came to Hong Kong, in my first Policy Address I committed us to completing 100 flats a day, where we've actually been completing about 117, so there are 18,000 more families with their public rental units than would have been the case had we not exceeded our original target. We're committed to building 140,000 units by 2001, which should enable us to make a further reduction in the waiting list. The waiting list stands at present at about 150,000. We reduced the waiting list in the last two or three years from nine years to seven years. We now want to get it down from seven years to five years in urban areas. It's about, I think, four years in the New Territories. But I agree with you completely that we need to continue with a vigorous public housing building programme. We've got to make sure the infrastructure is available to that and we've committed about $8 billion to the infrastructure. But we mustn't forget other housing needs as well, including all those who do want to own their own home, which is why we've put more resources into sandwich-class housing schemes, into the cheaper loans for people who want to buy their own housing and so on. But you're quite right in the emphasis you place on housing, which is, I think, the most important issue still on our social agenda.

Secondly, unemployment. There may be some people in the audience who aren't from Hong Kong who may be surprised that unemployment is such a lively issue in Hong Kong, because the rate in Hong Kong at 3.5% is a lot lower than people from other prosperous communities are used to. But I think there's so much concern about unemployment in Hong Kong because we do believe very strongly that the basis of any decent social policy is that everybody should have the opportunity of earning their own living, of bringing up their family with the living they've made at work, and we've had a strong commitment over the years to absolutely full employment, and we've still got that commitment. We've announced a number of proposals which I hope will enhance the competitiveness of our industries and which I hope will help those who are unemployed and those who are looking for work.

You mentioned education and the relationship between education and law and order. At present, over 40% of those who get Form 5, stay on in education, and well over 80% of those who get to Form 7, go on to either university or technical training. So the figures are pretty good, though I'd like to see them further improved. You're absolutely right to talk about the importance of vocational training. There are at present in Hong Kong about 155,000 a year involved in some sort of adult education, very often vocational training at colleges like the one at Tsing Yi, or elsewhere, and I hope that we can further increase vocational training over the next few years.

8

I quite take your point about the importance of making sure there are enough factories in Hong Kong. We've got factory estates and we're committed to developing another one. But what's important is to have employers moving into the factories with the ideas to produce goods and the markets to sell them to. We shouldn't think that we just have to depend on manufacturing; we used to in Hong Kong. But now, about 85%/86% of our employment is in service industries which are just as important in creating jobs and creating resources in the community. And we've set up a committee under the new Financial Secretary, a task force under the new Financial Secretary, Donald Tsang, to try to give the maximum support to service industries - as well as, of course, the manufacturing industry - the maximum support to service industries so they'll produce new jobs as well.

One final point on employment. In the last three years we've created 270,000 new jobs. That's a net figure. There's been a 10% increase in the number of jobs in Hong Kong but there's been an 11% increase in the number of people in the workforce. That's not because of people all coming in through job programmes. That's because of returning emigrants, it's because of immigrants from China, it's because of demographic changes with more young people coming into the work-force and not as many retiring from it, though there has been a small addition, as well, of people who've been part of the Labour Importation Scheme, but that's a very small part of the figure. So the main problem we've had is that even though we've been increasing the number of jobs, the number of people in the work-force has increased by slightly more.

Question (in Chinese): You're constantly saying that you want to improve issues of livelihood but the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen, has not paid attention to us. A lot of people have been trying to help social workers related to the Neighbourhood Level Community Development Project. Could you just answer me whether you support or you don't support that particular community project?

9

Governor: Well for those who don't know about it, let me tell you one or two things about the Neighbourhood Level Community Development Project. There are 54 teams in the NLCDP and they started work about 20 years ago, working in some of our most deprived areas, working very often extremely effectively to deal with community problems in run down housing areas, in temporary housing areas, and elsewhere where there was social deprivation and need. The argument at the moment is whether or not, even when housing is cleared, even when for example temporary housing areas are removed, whether we should continue with the teams doing that work or whether they should be re-deployed to other sorts of social work. To social work with young people, to social work with elderly people, to social work with families. The argument isn't about cutting the number of social workers, let's be absolutely clear about that. The argument is about how we can best use the number of social workers that there are in the community. We're discussing that later this month in the Executive Council and I'll tell you what my views are after we've discussed it in the Executive Council. But I want to underline once again that it would be dishonest to suggest that anybody is trying to cut the amount of social work or social provision in Hong Kong. The question is whether we're best focusing social workers, continuing to focus as many social workers on Neighbourhood Development or whether there are other priorities and I think it is a perfectly reasonable argument for the community to be having. A number of views have been expressed. The Council for Social Services, LegCo and LegCo Panels and other community groups and we have to listen to what everybody says before making up our minds.

Question (in Chinese): Thank you Mr Patten. Imported Labour is the issue. You stated in your policy address that a supplementary scheme will be replacing the present scheme. I do believe that we have to import a certain quota of imported labour because we do have a labour shortage problem. The Thai workers have had to protest because a lot of the money has not been given to them. I'm sure a lot of companies would prefer to employ local people but they brought in imported labour so that the money can be kept behind, but I do believe that local employers are very willing to hire local employees. We must be able to monitor and control the situation. I don't know which government department, perhaps the Police, must enforce monitoring of this situation.

I really think it's very good of you to come down to our level to visit us and to have a cup of tea every now and then at our level.

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A lot of people got terribly excited with your visit to the temporary housing area last week. There were so excited because they really want public housing. Can the Government really not do something for them? For people who have property who are living in public housing, I don't know, maybe you can try asking them for double rent or even triple rent, but something must be done Mr Patten.

Question (in Chinese): Mr Patten, able leader, we do not agree with what Mr Suen Ming-yueng says about voting down the NLCDP and cutting social workers. I hope Mr Patten you will really try and fight for our rights and welfare. We are absolutely against the cutting of the NLCDP.

Governor: I was waiting for that. Well you've got a few supporters here today. Let me answer that last question and I think, if I may say so, you're more likely to get and retain support if you let other people have the meeting that they came for rather than trying to dominate it.

So the issue is, the issue which the Executive Council has to decide is whether or not social workers should continue to work in neighbourhood projects, even when the neighbourhoods have changed, or whether they should be concentrated on other forms of social care, working with the elderly, working with children and so on.

The gentleman who asked a question, imported labour. I don't think anybody argues seriously that there should be no workers from elsewhere at all, allowed to come into Hong Kong. I think everybody knows that there are particular skills that we need in our very sophisticated economy and that those skills can't always be found here. At the same time, people do argue that when there are fewer vacancies, and when unemployment is going up, you shouldn't allow so many people to come in to do jobs in Hong Kong, particularly for example when those jobs are unskilled or where there are clearly people in Hong Kong who could do them if they had the chance. And the survey which we carried out and which was shared with the Legislative Council yesterday, made it absolutely clear that there are a number of areas, there are a number of areas of commercial activity where we're bringing in people, even when there are local people available to do the work. And I don't think anybody seriously supposes that that makes very great sense.

So we've proposed scrapping the present labour importation Scheme and introducing a new scheme which would allow in far fewer people and would be better targeted so that employers would have to demonstrate that there really wasn't a local to do the job.

Under the existing schemes, there may, from time to time, be abuses. I don't want to comment on any particular cases which may be being investigated at the moment, but you're entirely correct in saying that we should police those schemes very thoroughly to make sure that people aren't abusing them. It's the job of the Labour Department. It's a job which the Labour Department is taking particularly seriously, not least because of recent accusations and I think all of us have got to recognise that the credibility of any, of any importation scheme, will be damaged if it looks as though employers are abusing it.

You mentioned temporary housing areas. You may have visited quite a few. I've been to ten now and I must confess that once or twice those have been more boisterous occasions than normal and I should also say that on the whole I've learnt most when I've gone on my own. When I've gone unofficially, without a great official entourage and, saving their presence, without about 40 members of the press. It's easier for me to go into people's homes, very inadequate homes, which they're making the best of. It's easier for me to see the very bad conditions in which they sometimes live and it's easier for me to have a sensible discussion with them.

We're committed to a programme under which we reduce the number of temporary housing areas from 55, when I arrived in Hong Kong, to 13 by 1997. We're committed to, and are achieving, three specific pledges:

1) That at least three-quarters of those who are in temporary housing areas in 1992, should have been re-housed by 1997.

2) We're committed to giving everybody who was in a temporary housing area in 1993, at least one offer of re- housing by 1997.

3) We're committed to getting rid of all the 14 oldest temporary housing areas, which are the worst, by 1996.

We've got rid of eight of those so far and there are six still to go.

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I would like to be able to get rid of all of them. The reason why we can't do so is we still need some emergency accommodation to deal, for example, with new immigrants coming in from China and we're now in a situation where there are about 50,000 coming in every year. We need to be able to deal with those who are being cleared from squatter developments, we need them for those sort of emergencies. What we're determined to do is to try to ensure that the standard of provision in those temporary housing areas which we'll still need, and we'll still need because the alternative is people sleeping on the streets or people jumping some of the 150,000 in the existing waiting list. What we're determined to do is to improve the actual standards in those temporary housing areas. First of all by introducing a new sort of housing unit, a new sort of prefabricated unit and secondly by moving some of those who will have to be in temporary housing areas, into older housing blocks which we'll do a bit of refurbishment to, which should be better than the conditions in the temporary housing areas.

I do find that going to them, as I said to you, unofficially and informally, enables me to see things as they are day to day, rather than as they are when Governors go and look at them. I can remember a couple that I went to a few months ago where the lavatories were blocked and were in a very bad condition. It's conceivable that if people had known I'd been going they would have sorted the problem out before I actually got there. As it was, I saw what the conditions were like and got somebody to do something about them. It's not the only place in the world where when Governor or Prime Minister or others visit a place, people try to clean it up a bit beforehand, but that's an argument for me going unofficially as well as officially.

Question (in Chinese): Mr Patten I would like to raise three questions very quickly. First of all. corruption. The community at large, I don't know if the community at large is clear about the ICAC and how it handles Civil Service corruption. I found that if there are very major cases then it's all over the streets. But what about small cases, minor cases of corruption? Would the ICAC let the civil service individual departments handle these small corruption's? I think I've heard of one case which was done that way. That department would actually issue a warning in letter that they should not go on being corrupt but after three years that person in question was actually promoted. If he commits a corruption offence again, do we have to tolerate this? I do hope ICAC could give us some data on how many cases are given back to the civil service to deal with, those cases which are not dealt with by the courts. That's the first question.

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Second question, on the British Government’s dealing with right of abode, I don't think the British Government has done as well as the Portuguese Government. For Civil Servants who have served many years, they don't have the right to live in Britain either. When you visit Britain next week, could you give them this message? Could you ask them to give the right of abode to Hong Kong civil servants who have worked for you for more than ten years?

Third issue. Traffic problem in Tuen Mun. Well the traffic situation there is really like traffic in the outlying islands. In fact, it's even worse. I understand that the railway will be extended to the Tuen Mun centre. 1 do think that improvement should be made on Castle Peak Road as well, in addition.

Thank you Mr Patten.

Governor: First of all, corruption. And you're quite right to say that low level corruption can be just as damaging as some of the bigger corruption scandals. Because, of course, low level corruption can very easily build up, and low level corruption, or what looks like low level corruption, can destroy the morale, the integrity, the effectiveness, of a part of our Public Service all too easily.

I think it's extremely important that people should go on reporting corruption at whatever level, and that's why 1 hope people will continue to drop into the Community Offices of the ICAC and report anything which they are suspicious about or worried about. And if you leave your name we'll get in touch with you. I'll certainly enquire about the points that you raised about some low level corruption being reported to the civil service and dealt with through departments rather than the ICAC. I haven't, to be honest, heard of any examples of that, but if it is happening I will find out and let you know. 1 think that the most important defence against corruption, the most important defence we have about corruption coming in from the margins of commercial and public life into the centre of our life - where, alas, it was in the sixties and seventies -is the community's own determination not to let that happen. If we don't want to lose our reputation for integrity in Hong Kong for doing things in a decent and clean way, then we've got to stand up for those standards, both now and in the future. I'm sure that under the new Commissioner Against Corruption as under the present one, we'll be able to give a clear message to the whole community that corrupt practices in business or the public sector, will impoverish Hong Kong and mean that we live in a much less civilised or decent place.

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Secondly, 1 will continue to argue the case, which has been the position of the Hong Kong Government for the last six years, that more people from Hong Kong should have the right of abode in the United Kingdom. I repeated, recently, on a radio programme what had been the Hong Kong Government’s position for six years. It’s something I'd certainly said before. 1 don’t think anybody in Hong Kong is under any illusions about what has been the position of the British Government and the British Official Opposition, but it appeared that there wasn't as great a knowledge as I think there should be about Hong Kong's position, back in the United Kingdom. As you know, under the British Nationality Scheme quite a lot of civil servants and those working in sensitive categories and entrepreneurial jobs have gained passports to the United Kingdom. There have been 50,000 allocated to heads of household which will of course mean many more people than that having the right of abode in the United Kingdom. But there are some particular groups that I feel particularly strongly about, one of which is the ethnic minority here in Hong Kong, whose position, once again, I'll continue to urge on the British Government when I return.

On traffic and the problems of Tuen Mun. I think it goes more broadly than Tuen Mun. I think we've developed the northwest New Territories rather ahead, to put it mildly, of the development of an infrastructure to enable the people who live in those communities to travel as freely and easily as they would like. Now, we've been trying to deal with the problems of Tuen Mun as vigorously as possible. We've increased the ferry services by about 15 per cent and we've got further increases in mind; we're widening the Tuen Mun Road and Castle Peak Road; we've got the Country Park Section of Route Three which should be completed by 1998. But above all, above all, there is the Railway Development Strategy with, we hope, not only another line going north-south up to the border, but with a loop running round through the northwest New Territories down to Tuen Mun.

The Kowloon-Canton Railway are undertaking a feasibility study of that at the moment; they should have completed that by the early New Year. And as a result of an unofficial visit I made to Tuen Mun, in April I think it was, they are also looking at the possibility of extending that railway-line from Tuen Mun North to Tuen Mun Central, about which there is a lot of strong feeling in Tuen Mun. It would involve bridging-over the nullah, but that could well be possible if you were able to, I think, gain some commercial facilities as part of that development.

So, I totally accept that the most important way of dealing with the transport needs of the northwest New Territories is by improving railway facilities, though that will take a bit of time. It will be, I imagine, one of the biggest infrastructure projects for the SAR Government after 1997.

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Question: Mr Governor, the time is 1998 and the new Mayor of Hong Kong is about to serve his 10 year term and he is drawing up his long range 10 year plan, and this time he comes to (you for) your advice. What would you advise him in terms of the most critical issues that he should deal with? And what do you think is a realistic target that he should set for himself in 10 years' time that he can claim a successful term?

Governor: Wow! Now look, if 1 answer your question as honestly as possible, I hope that I won't have any statement from a distinguished member of the NCNA tomorrow saying that I've overstepped the mark and that I've infringed on Chinese sovereignty and that I've behaved like a serpent again.

I'll obviously have opportunities of talking to my successor, the Chief Executive designate of the SAR, and sharing my own perceptions, for what they are worth, about Hong Kong's problems, with the Chief Executive designate. I think we've touched on some of the main problems for my successor during the course of this discussion.

First of all, I think in the next few years Hong Kong is going to have to take some fairly radical decisions about housing. We have over the years, quite properly, committed very substantial resources to housing. I think the Government, the Housing Authority, the community, is going to have to think quite hard about whether those resources are being allocated in the way most likely to help those in the greatest need. And I think we're also going to have to consider whether we're being imaginative enough in the way that we help those who want to become home owners themselves. We've got a very good Chairman of the Housing Authority who I'm sure is even more aware than I am of the substantial nature of the housing tasks ahead. But I think housing is inevitably going to be one of the priorities of my successor.

Secondly, given the importance of Hong Kong in relation to the opening up of the whole of southern China, I'm sure that a second economic priority is going to be the continuing development of infrastructure links with the rest of China, as it will be then. And I think the importance of the railway, not least in getting freight off the road on to railways from our port, is going to be vital as well. We’ve got a port which is still increasing in capacity at about the same rate as the total of Seattle or Oakland or Felixstowe, every year. It’s an astonishing figure. And as China continues to grow and expand, that isn’t going to become any less of an issue. So the real problems of improving North-South infrastructure and infrastructure both to the North-West and North-East is going to be a heavy priority as well.

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Thirdly - and I could go on but 1'11 just mention one other. Increasingly, in the next few years, the competitiveness of communities is going to be determined by their investment in knowledge and skills. In Hong Kong, over the last few years, we’ve, understandably, concentrated in our education spending on increasing quantity, providing more elementary and secondary schooling for everyone, increasing tertiary education at a spectacular rate. Ten years ago only 3 per cent of 18-21 year-olds going into tertiary education. Today, 24 per cent. The task for us in the next few years, if we're to stay competitive, will be to concentrate more on quality and make sure that we're getting the quality education we want as well as the quantity that we required.

If all those things can be tackled, I very much hope that my successor will be able to add 10 years of continuing economic growth to the 38 of uninterrupted growth which Hong Kong will, by then, have enjoyed. It's been an astonishing record, and given half a chance. I’m sure the people of Hong Kong can add to it and do even better in the 10 years beyond the transition.

Question: Thank you. Governor. I'm a visitor from the United States with a delegation of private citizens and policy makers who've come here to look at the prospects for the continuation of civil liberties in Hong Kong as the transition goes on. We're in touch with many people in the Congress of the United States who have the same concerns we do, and we have met while we're here with several members of Legco and with several leading journalists on the Island. Our concerns about the future of civil liberties in Hong Kong have deepened, and as private citizens and as policy makers in the United States we want to watch and we want to help in any way we can. With that in mind, 1 wonder what you would say to people in the United States they might be able to do to give what help they can: what should they watch for and what should they do?

Governor: Chinese officials are always very' sensitive about something they call internationalisation. - I'll invite the gentleman at number 5 who has been very patient to -- In a moment, just let me finish answering this one, okay? In a moment, yes, but just wait a couple of minutes. Just wait until I've answered this one, okay?

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I said there is sensitivity about what Chinese officials often call internationalisation. But the fact of the matter is that this is a city which becomes part of China in 1997 but it is also an international city, full of people from other parts of the world, one of the great cities of the globe. A great trading city, like New York or Venice or Amsterdam or London at their peaks of prosperity, and it could be, analysts say, -1 was reading one of those futurologists the other day who said that by the year 2010, 2020, something in that decade - Hong Kong, on present trends, would become the richest city in the world. Now it's not surprising, under those circumstances, that the world takes an interest in what happens here.

I think Chinese officials, in their hearts, know that. I think that's why one very distinguished Chinese leader recently made his famous teapot speech, saying that the world would be looking at how China handled this precious teapot, how China managed to go on pouring very good tea out of this precious teapot.

I think that Chinese officials know, in their hearts, that the rest of the world is going to regard the way one country two systems works after 1997, the way China, Peking, relates to Hong Kong, as a sort of litmus test for how China is going to behave in the region and in the world as its greatness as a nation is manifested in the role that it plays on the international stage.

So, speaking for myself without in any way wishing to construct conspiracies or surround China in any unfair way, I very much hope that our friends around the world will continue to take an interest, will continue to visit, will continue to write, will continue to make programmes, will continue to report, will continue to make their views felt. Just as I'm sure Chinese people going to other places make their thoughts about them manifest as well.

One last thought. There are many guarantees for Hong Kong's civil liberties. There's the Basic Law, there's the International Covenants, there's the Joint Declaration. But the most important guarantee is people's commitment to those civil liberties. Example: reporting what's going on. Self-censorship, which journalists very often worry about, can only be dealt with by not allowing oneself to be censored. It's easier for me to say it, I concede straightaway, because I won't be here after 1997. But who knows, there may even be a little self-censorship today.

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I say this, finally. Nobody thinks that between now and 1997 the Governor of Hong Kong is going to roar around the territory trampling on people’s civil liberties. The reassurances that people look for have to be given by China and Chinese officials in words as well as deeds. And I very much hope that they will give those reassurances in the next couple of years. It’s in all our interests that we should do so. This is a unique place. It’s a very, very precious place. And all of us should want it to stay that way.

Question (in Chinese): Thank you Mr Patten. Questions and recommendations. First of all, on the transfer of sovereignty - Oh sorry! The police power is too much, too great, they can stop-and-search us at any time at the moment, and I don't think they serve our rights in that way. We have no privacy. I don't think that's terribly reasonable.

Secondly, the IPCC should really be independent of the Police Force. Those who are investigating should not be police officials. Only in this way can the IPCC maintain its integrity and credibility. Vice establishments in West Kowloon.

I hope you will pay more attention to issues of livelihood as well. Could you not just focus on democracy issues? What do I mean by livelihood issues? Controlling inflation, for example; controlling public companies, utilities, control the way they increase their prices. I also am against the charging for sewage discharges.

In addition, could you also halt the importation of labour scheme immediately? I think those who are unskilled should not be allowed to come in any more because the unemployment rate is very high at the moment, 3.5 per cent. And the semiunemployment rate is 2.5 per cent. If I had to choose, I would rather you halted the importation scheme immediately. And I wouldn't go and get CSSA assistance. I also object for you charging for sewage discharges. Lastly, Mr Patten, I will give you my address so you can contact me.

Governor: I'd be delighted to have your address and I can then send you a Christmas card! But I'll try briefly to answer your questions straightaway.

First of all, your suggestion that I shouldn't always talk about democracy and should talk about livelihood issues. I'm just looking at what I've been doing this evening which is pretty well typical of my working day, and that is dealing with all the sort of issues which, somebody talked about the Mayor of Hong Kong, which the Mayor of Hong Kong would be dealing with in other circumstances. I don't think that the position of the Legislative Council is irrelevant to all that, but I do spend most of my time talking about other things.

19

One of my regular experiences in life is to go to a hospital or a clinic or a housing estate, looking forward to talking to all my friends from the press afterwards on the health service, or housing, or transport, and after I've made a few remarks' on that subject, while their pencils have stayed about 18 inches away from the notebook, they then say to me, what about the airport Mr Patten, or what about the Legislative Council elections Mr Patten. So, I think sometimes it's the media which can be one issue rather, with respect, than the Governor.

Let me deal with your questions in reverse order. You mentioned controlling inflation. Yes, we do need to control inflation. Inflation has come down from 13.9% at its peak the year before I arrived in Hong Kong, to about 8.5% on the latest count. Still too high but we've been moving it in the right direction. I don't agree with you that simply putting a freeze, putting a ceiling on utility charges is at all the same thing as dealing with inflation. All that happens in those circumstances is somebody has to pick up the bill for that and the costs bubble up somewhere else in the system. They don't actually bring inflation down in the long-term. Sewage charges are a good case in point. The average monthly cost of our sewage disposal scheme for people in the community, the average monthly cost is HK$8.00. That's not, with great respect as barristers say, that's not a huge household contribution to having a decent drainage and sewage system, particularly when you compare that sort of cost with what people in other communities pay. But that's helping to give us a HK$9 billion modem sewage treatment system which will clean up about 70% of the pollution in our surrounding waters.

I think I dealt with importation of labour earlier and don't want to add to what I said. I notice that you referred to not importing unskilled workers, so maybe there isn't as much difference between us as your question initially suggested because I don't think that you would argue that we should never allow any worker, even one with skills that we needed, into the community.

On the IPCC, we'll be legislating in the coming session, I hope, to put the IPCC on a statutory basis under its very distinguished chairman who's a member of my Executive Council. They have actually been developing new techniques like the videoing and recording of interviews which I think have been a help in building up the confidence which people have in the whole process.

And finally, we did in the last Legislative Council look in a comprehensive way at police powers, to make sure that our police powers are in line with the Bill of Rights and I think that the general view was that we got the balance about right. Of course we want to protect peoples' civil liberties but we also want to make sure that our police can do their job as well as possible.

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Question: Thank you. I would like to know about beliefs and religions.

7 »** <<..■ J r-

‘ > J , ' 't , , y 1 i , ‘ .

. r Governor: Mine, or .. ?

Question: After 1997.

Governor: It's an extremely important question and one which, I know, causes worry to some people in Hong Kong. The guarantees of continuing freedom of worship are absolutely explicit in the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law and I say to you as myself a practising Christian that I'm sure that religious belief is safe and secure in Hong Kong. I don't say that lightly. I've thought about the issue very carefully and I believe very strongly that religious belief and the ability to practise your own faith, whatever it may be, will be secure after 1997.

One of the interesting things is how many people in public life, in the civil service, in politics and so on, are themselves strong and committed religious believers and that I am sure is an additional guarantee for religious belief in the future.

Thank you very much indeed and I hope you'll come again next year.--

< b End/Friday, October 13, 1995

.. i>. -j

Transcript of OS’s question-and-answer session * • • • ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The following is the transcript of the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan’s question-and-answer session with members of the Harvard Business School j’ Association of Hong Kong after delivering a speech at a luncheon meeting of the association today (Friday):

• • • 9

Question: Mrs Chan, I have a hard question and a soft question.

1 ■ ‘ * J • . :»

Chief Secretary: Let’s have the hard one first.

- 21 -

Question: The hard question is regarding the new labour importation scheme. I think a lot of people believe that the current scheme has a pitfall in that it is not really needbased and that the new one will be very much need-based. If that is the case, is there really a need to set a upper limit. If businesses can prove that it cannot find labour to ,r the tune of may be 20, 30 thousand for specific positions, should we not let that happen naturally?

Chief Secretary: Yes, I think it is quite right that there is a question whether there is a need for a quota at all. But I notice from a survey conducted immediately after the “■

Governor's Wednesday address that about 50 per cent of the community believed that we have got the number about right. But of course it remains to be seen. I think the important point to make here is as you have pointed out that the new scheme is a completely new scheme, it will be based on needs because we will be looking at each and every application and if the need is established then of course the employer will be allowed to bring in the workers. Whether the 5,000 will in the event prove to be too many or too few remains to be seen. And certainly if there is a demonstrable need for more workers to be imported, based strictly on needs, then of course we are prepared to review the quota. But I think at this stage, it is premature and I repeat, according to the community, they seem to think that is about right and to the extent that we have 7 complaints both on the employers' side and on the employees' side. I have to concluded that maybe we have got it about right. Your soft question?

Question: There is a consensus among all Hong Kong that you are one of the most brilliant administrators in the civil service today. If the situation allows you to serve in the future, do you feel you prefer to continue serving Hong Kong by being its chief executive or... the Chief Secretary, consider that the former would have to deal with a lot in the external relations.

• nt

Chief Secretary:. First of all, thank you for your compliment. I was just speaking with one of the guests at the head table and I said that the favourite guessing game in town is who is going to be the chief executive officer. I for one am not going to take part in this favourite guessing game. I think there are plenty of people who want to take part in this. So one less will certainly not make any difference. I have made it quite plain on many occasions in the past that I would hope to be able to serve out the remaining years of my term which means staying after 1997 and I am quite happy to continue to serve the people of Hong Kong in whatever capacity is deemed to be most appropriate after 1997.1 think that is all that I would say by way of comment.

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Question: Mrs Chan, every thing that you have said is highly commendable and what the government is doing and what it is achieving. But I think there was one omission from what you said and that is the area of co-operation with China. Could you comment on that and say in what ways is the government and the secretariat going to co-operate in a greater extent with China over the next 18 months in particular?

Chief Secretary: I think we are all very happy to note particularly following the meeting between the two foreign ministers in London that co-operation with China does seem to have improved a great deal since we had the row over constitutional reforms. All that of course is behind us. We were particularly happy to note that at the meeting between the two foreign ministers, we reached agreement with the Chinese in four very important areas not the least of which is the question concerning better communication and better contact between senior officials here in Hong Kong and their counterparts in China. That's crucially important because I am sure you will all agree that the civil service plays a key role in Hong Kong's prosperity and stability and we all want to see improved communication between the two. I myself was very happy to be able to meet with Mr Qian Qichen and Mr Lu Ping in July of this year and we had very good discussions addressing a number of concerns and I am hopeful myself that in the remaining days of transition there will be greater co-operation between the two on resolving the remaining transitional issues. I think both China and Britain and of course Hong Kong realise that if we are going to have a smooth transition all three parties need to co-operate. That is not to say of course that we will always reach absolute agreement on all issues. But I am personally convinced that there is a strong commitment on the part of all three parties to implement the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, that it is a fervent wish of all three parties to see a smooth transition and I am sure that with those objectives in mind, I do not see that any issue is incapable of resolution given good-will and co-operation on the part of all parities concerned.

Question: What is your opinion in these statements of China about the dissolution of LegCo in 1997. Would you request them to retain certain people in the LegCo not from the government but...

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Chief Secretary: The government's position and for that matter, the UK government's position on the legislature had been made abundantly clear. But in case it is not let me repeat it here. We have always felt that the constitutional reforms which were passed by way of legislation by our legislature are fully in accordance with the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. They were what the people of Hong Kong wanted and this has been reflected very strongly in the actual conduct of the election in the record number of people who actually voted and the number of people who actually stood for election. We now have a credible legislature elected in an open and fair manner reflecting the views of the community of Hong Kong. We have a broad cross section of community opinion reflected in the legislature and in my view if we want to see a smooth transition and we all want to see that, clearly an experienced legislature with continuity in the legislature will do a great deal to ensure a smooth transition. We see no reason why this current legislature and the people elected into the legislature cannot be expected to serve their full four-year term which will of course take them to 1999.1 refer just now to the Chinese' wish to see a smooth transition and bearing that in mind I'm sure they will have regard to the opinions expressed by the people of Hong Kong. Of course to a large extent it also depends on how the new Legislative Council will function. We have held preliminary discussions with the all the political parties. I think all political parties are very conscious of the responsibilities that they have on their shoulders. They are all determined to work in co-operation with the Hong Kong government. On my part, speaking on behalf of all my colleagues in the civil service, we certainly wish to start a constructive dialogue with the legislature. There is a great deal of work to be gone through and I am sure that with the co-operation of civil servant and the legislature we will get through this programme. So I repeat again we see no reason why the legislature should be dismantled and we very much hope that all the members elected will be able to serve out their full four-year term.

Question: Mrs Chan, there is a recent report on "60 Minutes" that described the voter turnout rate in Taiwan being 75 per cent and that compared of course to about 35 per cent here in Hong Kong despite the fact the government has spent a lot of money publicising the LegCo election last September. I was wondering if you care to comment on the difference in voter turnout rate in ...

Chief Secretary: I am not sure that it is particularly meaningful to compare one voter turnout rate with that of another. The circumstances are totally different. I think that by world standards, the percentage of turnout rate that we had for our last election was pretty good and if you consider it with the voter turnout rate and particularly more importantly I think the actual numbers who voted, we had a record 920,000 people turning up to vote which was about 170,000 more than in the 1991 election. So I would say that that fully reflects that there is enthusiasm on the part of the community to participate in the elections.

End/Friday, October 13, 1995

24

Transcript of CS's media session ♦ * * * ♦

The following is the transcript of the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan's media session after giving a luncheon speech to the Harward Business School Association of Hong Kong today (Friday):

Question: Will the visit of the Deputy Director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office ... sparks off the first round of.... between the officials on both sides.

Chief Secretary: The details of the get-together, the informal get-togethers between Hong Kong officials and Chinese officials still have to be discussed with the Chinese side. We are following up on this. We do not, I think as yet, have confirmation that Mr Chen Ziying is coming but of course if he is coming I will be delighted to meet with him and to have the opportunity to reciprocate his hospitality which he extended to me when I saw him in July.

Question: (inaudible)

Chief Secretary: We haven't yet decided. Clearly we want to get the get-together going as soon as possible. As soon as we've sorted out the details, we would then draw up a programme of which policy secretaries. It might for example be quite a good idea to start off with a policy secretary not having too many heads of departments under him because we want to keep the group reasonably small so that everybody can speak reasonably freely and in a relaxed atmosphere.

Question: Have you ... officials that's been invited to attend the ceremony?

Chief Secretary: Yes, senior officials at the appropriate level will be invited to attend. You are referring to the MAFF foundation stone laying ceremony?

Question: (on remarks by the US Ambassador to China designate on China's right to dissolve LegCo)

Chief Secretary: I have not seen a full record of his statement but I did notice listening to the radio this morning that he said that he hoped very much China would reconsider its position and that he would do his very best to influence Chinese thinking to accept the legislature and to maintain its credibility.

End/Friday, October 13, 1995

25

Paradoxes make Hong Kong tick: Chief Secretary *****

There are three uniquely Hong Kong paradoxes which need to be grasped if people are to understand what makes the territory tick so successfully, the Chief secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, said today (Friday).

Addressing a luncehon of the Harvard Business School Association, Mrs Chan said: "The first is that Hong Kong promotes a free enterprise culture, but also places a very high priority on the quality of its public services.

"Second, Hong Kong is totally committed to a free-market economy, but also provides a sophisticated regulatory regime for it to go on prospering.

"Third, Hong Kong is administrated by an executive-led government which does not have its own party, or even a single vote, in the Legislature."

Mrs Chan said that the Governor in his Policy Address delivered on Wednesday (October 11) had reminded Legislative Councillors that despite concerns about unemployment and inflation. Hong Kong's economy was in fact in very good shape.

"Over the past three years, our GDP has increased by 18 per cent in real terms and is on track for a steady and substantial five per cent growth this year," she said.

"Hong Kong has gone on prospering and the Government has gone on working to improve the public services which the community values so highly."

Citing statistics, Mrs Chan said during the past three years, the housing programme had delivered 80,000 new homes, the education sector had employed 2,000 more teachers and cut class sizes in secondary schools to 20 and to 24 in primary schools and an additional 2,700 beds had been provided in public hospitals.

"In Hong Kong, we believe that there should be no contradiction between a commitment to enterprise and to markets on the one hand and a commitment to improving public services on the other," she said.

"The key to understanding this essential fact of Hong Kong political and economic life is what the Governor has called the 'living within our means' rule of public expenditure control."

The Government would also continue to make sure that as it amended or modernised business legislation, it did not erect new barriers to business.

26

She said to maintain Hong Kong's competitive edge, it had to retain the policy option of importing labour to meet Hong Kong's economic needs.

Explaining the Government's intention to terminate the General Scheme for Importation of Labour introduced since 1989 which now had a quota ceiling of 25,000 and to replace it with a Supplementary Labour Scheme with a quota ceiling of 5,000 from next January, she said: "Employers will have to satisfy us that their jobs cannot be filled locally."

They would have to register with the Labour Department and join the Job Matching Programme and the Employees Retraining Board would be involved to provide tailor made training or on the job training for local workers where appropriate.

She said the scheme struck a reasonable balance between the interests of employers and those of the workforce and was in the overall interest of the economy.

"A total ban on imported labour is not the panacea to unemployment which is caused largely by the continuous transformation of our economy," she added.

"The solution lies in maintaining a favourable business environment including the flexibility for employers to recruit suitable staff; in providing quality education to meet our needs into the 21st century; and in providing retraining and job matching to help the unemployed to return to the workforce."

On the political system, Mrs Chan said she was confident that the Government's legislative and financial programmes would be handled fairly and expeditiously in the same way as in the past in the new LegCo.

She said the Governor had reminded us that he had the duty to withhold assent to any Bill passed by LegCo which, in his view, would be contrary to the best interests of the people of Hong Kong.

"But the Government is committed to cooperating with Legislative Council, and I want to discuss with Legislative Council members a number of issues relating to the handling of Government business in the Council," she said.

"But the essential point remains that we have to work closely together to discharge our responsibilities in the interests of the whole community."

End/Friday, October 13, 1995

27

Basket of new initiatives to improve quality of life *****

The proposed enhancements to the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) Scheme announced by the Governor in his Policy Address on Wednesday (October 11) are only one part of the CSSA Review currently underway.

Any further recommendations arising from the Review will be implemented in 1996-97 following consultation with the Social Welfare Advisory Committee and Members of the Legislative Council.

This was stated by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, during a briefing session for the newly-elected Legislative Councillors this (Friday) morning on the new policy initiatives the Government will be taking next year in health and welfare.

The Review started in November last year and is scheduled for completion in early 1996. A central element of the Review is to assess the adequacy of the CSSA standard rates based on, among other things, an analysis of data from the year-long Household Expenditure Survey which has just been completed.

According to the survey, the first six months' data on the spending pattern of CSSA clients and of the lowest five per cent income group (that is those whose income and assets are just above the level which would make them otherwise eligible for CSSA) show that the standard rates for the majority of clients are higher than both their own expenditure and the spending levels of the lowest five per cent income group.

But the standard rates for adults and elderly clients living in a family, are lower than the level of spending of their equivalents in the lowest five per cent income group.

"Based on this analysis, we believe we must act promptly to give help where it is needed and justified," said Mrs Fok.

She said subject to LegCo's approval, it was proposed to increase the following monthly standard rates from April next year:

* by 54% to $1,605 for single parents and adults caring for dependants at home;

28

* by 46-54% to $1,770 for single adults whose ill-health prevents .them from working and to $1,605 if they are living in a family;

* by 23-27% to $1,490 for single adults and $1,325 if they are living in a family; and

* by 12% to $1,685 for elderly people if they are living in a family.

Mrs Fok said the increases would enable a three-member single parent family to receive an average monthly payment of $7,090 and that for a family of four will be $9,180. These compare with $6,570 and $8,610 the two groups are now receiving respectively.

The proposed enhancements will benefit up to 52,000 people at an annual cost of about $300 million.

Other aspects of the CSSA scheme to be covered in the Review include the level and scope of special grants for which CSSA clients are eligible; simplifying reimbursement procedures for special grants; the level of the asset eligibility test; the level of permitted disregarded earnings to enable CSSA clients to attain a measure of financial independence through work; the level and administration of long term supplements paid to clients receiving CSSA for over 12 months; the arrangements for clients to receive CSSA outside Hong Kong; and making it easier to apply for and obtain CSSA support.

On services for the elderly, Mrs Fok said the Government would implement the 71 recommendations of the Working Group on Care for the Elderly in full by 1998-99 at a total capital cost of $331 million. In recurrent terms, this will cost $80 million in 1996-97 rising to $112 million in 1998-99.

So far, the Government has set up a $200 million Elderly Services Development Fund to give grants to non-governmental organisations to help them run non-profit making, self-financing welfare projects for the elderly; improved services provided by day care centres and social centres; expanded home help services; implemented pilot volunteer and elderly volunteer programme; and established four additional geriatric health teams.

29

Looking ahead to 1996-97, it will conduct a study of the residential care and community support needs of elderly people with a view to formulating new planning ratios for these services; subject to the result of a feasibility study, establish a computerised integrated waiting list for applicants for residential care services; upgrade the services provided by private residential homes through implementation of the Residential Care Homes (Elderly Persons) Ordinance and the training of an additional 600 health workers to help private home operators meet new statutory requirements; and establish four additional geriatric teams to provide outreach medical services to elderly people.

"Implementing the recommendations of the Working Group on Care for the Elderly is not all that we will do in expanding our services for the elderly," Mrs Fok said.

"We are, of course, continuing our programme of meeting the various targets which have been set for increasing the number of places in care and attention homes and homes for the aged, places under the Bought Place Scheme in private residential homes, and facilities such as social centres, multi-service centres and day care centres for the elderly."

Turning to rehabilitation services, Mrs Fok said the most important long term challenge was to find jobs for people with a disability.

As recommended by the Working Party on Training and Employment for People with Disabilities in its report in July, the Government will in 1996-7:

* expand vocational assessment and training services for about 900 sheltered workers, traffic accident victims and injured workers per year;

* increase the number of supported employment places in sheltered workshops from the existing 360 to 950, an increase of 164 per cent;

* strengthen the Rehabus service by adding eight extra scheduled routes and two additional vehicles for the "dial-a-ride" service, thus increasing the number of passenger trips by 67,000, or 21 per cent, a year; and

* continue to encourage, through public education programmes, the integration of those with disabilities fully into the society.

30

Mrs Fok also announced that the Government would extend its student health service to cover over 400,000 secondary school children, in addition to its service for 450,000 primary school children which was started last month.

In addition, the number of school social workers will be increased to enable around 100 schools to have one school social worker to 1,000 students.

Turning to medical and health services, Mrs Fok expected that public hospitals would treat some 846,000 in-patients while the general clinics and specialist clinics would provide consultation for some 4.5 million and 6.3 million out-patients respectively in 1995-96.

To alleviate the overcrowded conditions at Castle Peak Hospital, the Government will embark on the final phase of its redevelopment project at a capital cost of about $850 million upon completion of the first phase in 1996-97.

The Government also proposes to inject $20 million into the Samaritan Fund which provides a source of financial assistance to patients who cannot afford to pay for their medical treatment. This helps to ensure that no one in Hong Kong is denied adequate medical treatment through lack of means.

Earlier in her opening remarks, Mrs Fok stressed that new policy initiatives and targets involving major construction would take some time to achieve.

She said she fully understood the natural eagerness of all to see announcements of these initiatives and targets being translated into tangible improvements in service as quickly as possible.

"But the need for consultation with local residents, planning, design and construction inevitably means a long lead time, a time-lag, before targets can be met," she explained.

"There cannot be a smooth annual increase in places to meet targets which may have been set two or three years ago. Many of our targets are for achievement by 1997. Because of lead times, the bulk of these new places will indeed only be able to come on stream in 1997.

"We would all wish them to be earlier but the fact that they may have not yet come on stream should not be interpreted as a cause for concern or as a failure," she stressed.

End/Friday, October 13, 1995

31

Call for response to challenge of meeting needs of elderly ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

There is an urgent need for the welfare sector to respond to the challenge of meeting the special needs of the elderly and help them to continue to live in the community and lead decent and dignified lives.

This was stated by Administrator, Hospital Services Department, Mrs Rose Goodstadt today (Friday) when she opened the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals’ Anita Mui Day Care Centre.

Mrs Goodstadt said the Governor in his Policy Address on Wednesday said the Government would spend $9 billion this year on services for the elderly, an increase of 20 per cent in real terms over the previous year.

She said there was, however, another important message in the Policy Address that was the need to ensure that social services adjust to meet the changing needs of the most vulnerable groups in the community.

“Among the very vulnerable are the growing numbers of the ’old-old’, the over-80-year-olds, who suffer from increasingly frail physical health and serious threats to their mental well-being,” she said.

"In Hong Kong 20 years ago, there were only about 30,000 persons aged over 80. Today there are about 100,000. At the same time, the proportion of the ’old-old' has increased to over 17 per cent of the elderly population as a whole."

Mrs Goodstadt said this meant that the problems of the elderly had changed and that the services for them must respond to this changing demand.

"Our mental facilities are expanding to meet this growing need. Our mental hospitals are already heavily utilised by elderly patients: occupying about 600 out of the total of 3,800 beds," she said.

She added that there were also about two hundred psychogeriatric beds in our major general hospitals and six psychogeriatric teams had also been set up in the last two years providing psychiatric support for elderly patients in general hospitals, care-and-attention homes, as well as day treatment and community care.

"However, this positive response by our hospitals and health services is not enough," Mrs Goodstadt said.

"The community's attitudes must also change.

32

"In fact, the majority of the elderly with mental health problems, including the ’old-old’, can be cared for by families in their own homes when they have access to adequate support service. "In particular, social centres, multi-service centres and day care centres can help to ease distress of the elderly and relieve the strain on their families."

"To organise new services to meet the special needs of the ’old-old’ has required a redeployment of our resources, both financial and manpower, a situation to which the Government has responded in the past two Policy Addresses," she said.

"More important still, it requires a new initiative , an innovative and imaginative approach by the team work of different professionals."

End/Friday, October 13, 1995

Shenzhen/HK to hold joint fire exercise ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ »

Shenzhen and Hong Kong Fire Services will hold a joint fire exercise at 10.30 am next Wednesday (October 18) in the Fook Tin District, Shenzhen.

This is the first time the two neighbouring fire brigades to take part in such kind of exercise to exchange skills, to enhance cross-border emergency co-ordination link and to test the co-operation in fire-fighting operation between the two sides.

The exercise will take place in a 26-storey Fook Kin building, a composite building comprising two blocks with an area of about 32,000 square metres and is used as offices, hotels, staff quarters, restaurants and apartments. It is located at the junction of Choi Tin Road and Fook Wah Road.

The Shenzhen Fire Brigade will respond to the fire call initially and later will request the assistance of the Hong Kong Fire Services.

More than 150 firemen and ambulancemen in 24 fire engines and ambulances from both brigades will take part in the exercise which is expected to last about an hour. They will be supported by Police, Traffic Police and medical staff of Fook Tin District.

33

Leading the 41-strong Hong Kong fire contingent, comprising seven fire engines and an ambulance, will be the Chief Fire Officer (New Territories), Mr Clement Wong Man-chiu.

The Director of Fire Services, Mr Peter Cheung, will attend as an observer.

End/Friday, October 13, 1995

Hong Kong - A City in Transition: FS

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, said on Thursday (October 12) in New York that Hong Kong would continue to be successful and an excellent place in which to do business both before and after 1997.

In his address entitled "Hong Kong: A City in Transition” to the National Committee on US-China Relations, Mr Tsang said Hong Kong was well-placed to contribute to phenomenal economic growth envisaged for the Asia-Pacific region in the next century, particularly to China's quest for modernisation.

He said the development of a partnership between Hong Kong and China was one of the key factors in ensuring a prosperous future for Hong Kong.

"As China navigates the tide of economic change, Hong Kong serves as the pilot boat in front. Our businessmen understand the China market far better than most,” he said.

Mr Tsang said in 1994, realised direct investment by Hong Kong companies in China amounted to some US$20 billion, more than 20 times the level of a decade ago. On a cumulative basis, Hong Kong's realised direct investment in China was now estimated at US$60 billion, accounting for 60 per cent of China's total.

Apart from direct investment, Hong Kong companies also helped to do deals, raise finance, and direct interested investors to the right projects.

34

"In addition, I see tremendous opportunities for further development in Hong Kong as a funding centre for both the Chinese equity and debt markets," he said. Mr Tsang said China also had a very substantial financial stake in Hong Kong, predominantly in the service sectors and in major infrastructural projects. Direct investment in Hong Kong by China had doubled from an estimated US$10 billion at the end of 1990 to over US$20 billion at the end of 1994.

"There is simply no reason for China to upset the apple-cart after 1997. Indeed, there is very good reason for China to ensure that Hong Kong continues to thrive," he said.

Mr Tsang said the international business community should have every reason to feel confident about Hong Kong's future and that confidence was well-founded for the following reasons:

* There is a strong and continuing demand for Hong Kong dollar assets.

Hong Kong's linked exchange rate has been exceedingly stable since its establishment in 1983.

* Total assets of Hong Kong's Exchange Fund stood at US$58 billion at the end of June 1995. Hong Kong's foreign exchange reserves amount to US$54 billion. It is ranked seventh in the world in terms of overall foreign exchange reserves and second in reserves per capita. And Hong Kong has zero public debt.

* Economic and business activities exhibit steady growth. Hong Kong's gross domestic product will continue to grow at about five per cent per annum in real terms over the next four years.

* There has been a strong pick-up in private sector expenditure on plant and machinery.

* Exports and re-exports continue to surge ahead.

Mr Tsang told the Committee that the continued ebullience of Hong Kong and the promotion of free trade in the region, and indeed the world, were of vital importance to US interests.

35

"Future growth in the Chinese economy taken together with future stability and continued success in Hong Kong will inevitably be to the advantage of your (US) economy," he said.

Mr Tsang said he was confident that Hong Kong had the armoury to face the future: security in (he institutional safeguards, a population full of energy and spirit of enterprise and, most of all, the goodwill and support from its friends in China and abroad.

He emphasised that Hong Kong would not stand still in social development. He outlined the whole series of initiatives across the whole spectrum of public services for Hong Kong which Governor Patten announced on October 11. These initiatives included improvement to public transport, equal opportunities, social security assistance, as well as health and welfare for the elderly.

"Hong Kong is eager to show the world that it is facing the challenges of 1997 with customary strength, determination and foresight," said Mr Tsang. Note to Editors:

Mr Tsang’s speech will be faxed.

End/Friday, October 13, 1995

Land survey regulation gazetted * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A regulation which seeks to impose fees for services under the Land Survey Ordinance is gazetted today (Friday).

The Land Survey (Fees) Regulation provides that fees be charged for the inspection of land boundary records, supply of copies of plans, deposit of land boundary plans and survey record plans with the Land Survey Authority, and registration and renewal of registration as an authorised land surveyor.

A government spokesman said the proposed fees, which were set at levels sufficient to recover the full costs incurred for the services, were in line with the "user pays" principle.

The Regulation is expected to come into operation on November 18.

End/Friday, October 13, 1995

36

Monitors’ Report submitted to CS

*****

The monitors appointed to observe the transfer yesterday (Thursday) of 163 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, Mr Tommy Cheung Yu-yan and Mr Robert Kwan Chiu-yin. The other two are representatives from two non-govemment organisations - Miss Emily Liu from Christian Action and Mr Ian Anderson from Oxfam.

End/Friday, October 13, 1995

Quarterly business receipts indices for service industries ♦ * * * *

According to statistics released today (Friday) by the Census and Statistics Department, business receipts in many service industries showed notable increases in value terms in the second quarter of 1995 over a year earlier.

The transport industry registered the fastest growth, by 28% in value terms. This was mainly attributable to increase in business of companies providing cargo forwarding services.

Business receipts in the banking and the import/export industries also rose considerably over the same period, both by 20% in value terms. The growth in business receipts in the former was mainly attributable to increase in net interest income, while the growth in the latter was related to increase in trading business on miscellaneous durable goods.

Meanwhile, notable increases in business receipts were also registered in the following service industries: storage (+16%); hotels (+16%); communication (+15%) and insurance (+14%).

37

On the other hand, business receipts in the financing (except banking) industry continued to decrease, by 6% in value terms. There was however an improvement over the first quarter this year, when a decline of 30% was recorded. Compared with the first quarter of 1995, business receipts in the storage and the transport industries registered significant increases in value terms, by 17% and 10% respectively.

The business receipts in the banking, the import/export and the communication industries registered a moderate growth, by 7%, 6% and 5% respectively in value terms.

However, business receipts in some other industries recorded decreases of various magnitudes. These included the business services, financing (except banking), retail, wholesale, insurance and restaurants industries.

i

Table 1 presents the provisional business receipts indices for service industries for the second quarter of 1995. Revised indices for the first quarter of 1995 are also included. The quarterly average of business receipts in 1992 was taken as 100.

Table 2 shows the time series of quarterly business receipts indices. Annual indices are also included.

Statistics on banking are obtained from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority; and those on retail and restaurants businesses are obtained from two existing surveys regularly conducted by the Census and Statistics Department.

The report "Quarterly Business Receipts Indices for Service Industries, Second Quarter 1995" is now on sale at $7 per copy at the Government Publications Centre of the Information Services Department, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong.

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

Enquiries about the survey results may be directed to the Business Services Statistics Section of the Census and Statistics Department on 2802 1244.


38

Table 1 Business Receipts Indices for Service Industries for 1st Quarter and 2nd Quarter 1995

(Quarterly average of 1992 - 100)

(-AA-^SH^j^^ = joO)

Type of Service Industry 1 st Quarter 1995 -AA5^ 2nd Quarter 1995 -AA5# 2nd Quarter 1995 compared with 1 st Quarter 1995 -AAS#$r^ -AAE^M-^JW 't n... . •> 2nd Quarter 1995 compared with 2nd Quarter 1994 -AAS^“^

(Revised (Provisional Points % Points %

figures) figures) («) (S»$) («)

oawim

Wholesale 123.9 117.0 - 6.8 - 5.5 + 5.4 + 4.9

Import / Export 128.7 135.9 + 7.3 + 5.6 + 22.4 + 19.7

Retail O 131.8 124.0 # - 7.8 - 5.9 + 5.0 + 4.2

Hotels jg£ 142.8 143.3 + 0.5 + 0.3 + 19.2 + J 5.5

Restaurants W 116.1 111.1 - 5.0 - 4.3 + 6.0 + 5.7

Transport 128.6 141.9 + 13.3 + 10.3 + 30.8 + 27.8

Storage 105.8 123.2 + 17.5 + 16.5 + 17.2 + 16.2

Communication 141.9 149.4 + 7.5 + 5.3 + 20.0 + 15.5

Banking 129.3 . 138.8 + 9.6 + 7.4 + 23.5 + 20.4

Financing (except banking) (4) 154.7 136.7 - 18.0 - 11.6 - 9.0 - 6.2

Insurance {£5# 169.4 161.6 - 7.8 - 4.6 + 19.7 + 13.9

Business services 146.5 126.6 - 19.9 - 13.6 + 3.6 + 2.9

Notes gflf:

(1) Based on the survey results of the Monthly Survey of Retail Sales

(2) Based on the survey results of the Quarterly Survey of Restaurant Receipts and Purchases

(3) Business receipts data are obtained from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority

(4) Excluding investment and holding companies

# Revised figure we#

End/Priday, October 13, 1995

Tabic 2 ; Time Series of Quarterly Business Receipts Indices for Service Industries

(Quarterly Average of 1992 13100)

= 100)

Year <f Quarter * Wholesale Import/Export Retail tff'J Hotels Restaurants Transport

Indices ffi® Compared with preceding year/same quarter a year ago W±<f-/±<F4Wtttt Indice ffl® Compared with preceding year/samc s quarter a year ago Indices Compared with preceding year/same quarter a year ago Indices W Compared with preceding year/same quarter a year ago Indices ffi® Compared with preceding year/same quarter a year ago Indices ffi® Compared with preceding year/same quarter a year ago

% % % % % %

1993 106.3 ♦ 6.3 108.8 ♦ 8.8 112.7 4 12.7 112.5 4 12.5 106.1 4 6.1 II 1.8 4 11.8

1994 121.0 ♦ 13.8 123.7 ♦ 13.6 126.1 4 11.9 131.1 4 16.5 IIO.I 4 3.7 123.1 4 10.1

1993 2 102.8 NA. 105.4 NA. 107.5 N.A. 105.1 na: 98.3 N.A. 109.6 N.A.

3 109.5 N.A. 1183 NA. 118.1 NA. 106.8 N.A. 111.5 N.A. 121.2 N.A.

4 114.5 N.A. 115.1 NA. 120.5 N.A. 137.0 N.A. 115.5 N.A. 114.7 N.A.

1994 1 108.4 ♦ 102 108.0 4 12.0 123.4 4 17.9 1213 4 19.9 114.3 4 152 112.2 4 10.4

2 111.6 ♦ 8.5 113.5 ♦ 7.8 119.1 •4 10.7 124.1 4 18:0 105.1 4 7.0 111.0 4 1.3

3 1292 ♦ 17.9 130.4 ♦ 102 128.8 4 9.0 120.2 4 12.5 109.6 - 1.7 1342 4 10.7

4 134.8 ♦ 17.7 142.7 ♦ 24.0 1332 4 10.6 158.8 4 15.9 111.2 - 3.7 134.9 4 17.6

1995 1 123.9 ♦ 14.2 128.7 4 19.1 131.8 4 6.8 142.8 4 17.7 116.1 4 1.6 128.6 4 14.6

2* 117.0 ♦ 4.9 135.9 4 19.7 124.0 H 4 4.2 143.3 4 15.5 1J 1.1 4 5.7 141 9 4 27.8


Year Quarter Storage 1W Communication Banking Financing (except banking) Insurance Business services

Indices met Compared with preceding year/same quarter a year ago Indices in® Compared with preceding year/same quarter a year ago Indices ffi® Compared with preceding year/same quarter a year ago Indices ffi® Compared with preceding year/same quarter a year ago Indices in® Compared with preceding year/same quarter a year ago «U:<l7.k<FIWtt« Indices in® Compared with preceding year/samc quarter a year ago

% % % % % %

1993 98.5 - 1.5 118.8 4 18.8 116.6 4 16.6 148.7 4 48.7 119.3 4 193 117.3 4 17.3

1994 106.6 4 8.2 136.1 4 14.5 122.5 4 5.1 169.4 4 13.9 146.9 4 23.1 127.4 4 8.7

1993 2 92.4 NA. 115.6 N.A. II 1.5 NA. 117.0 NA. 118.0 N.A. 111.9 N.A.

3 101.0 N.A. 121.4 N.A. 121.9 N.A. 146.8 N.A. 121.7 NA. 1212 N.A.

4 95.6 NA. 130.9 NA. 123.5 NA. 221.5 N.A. 122.5 N.A. 142.1 N.A

1994 1 95.1 - 9.5 129.5 4 20.6 116.9 4 6.9 219.6 4 101.0 150.2 4 30.7 125.6 4 33.8

2 106.1 4 14.8 129.4 4 11.9 115.4 4 3.5 145.7 4 24.5 141.9 4 20.3 123.0 4 9.9

3 114.8 4 13.6 135.7 4 11.8 120.6 - 1.1 157.9 4 7.6 146.4 4 20.3 130.8 4 7.9

4 1103 4 153 149.7 4 14.4 137.0 4 10.9 154.3 - 30.3 149.1 4 21.7 130.3 - 83

1995 1 105.8 4 11.2 141.9 4 9.6 129.3 4 10.6 154.7 - 29.6 169.4 4 12.8 146.5 4 16.6

2 • 1232 KJ A 4 162 149.4 4 15.5 138.8 4 20.4 136.7 - >62 161.6 4 13.9 126.6 4 29


40

Employers and outstanding disabled employees commended

*****

The Labour Department's Selective Placement Division (SPD) had successfully placed more than 14,000 disabled job-seekers in the past 15 years, the Commissioner for Labour, Mr Stephen Ip, said today (Friday).

Speaking at the 1995 Presentation of Souvenirs Ceremony organised by SPD to commend open-minded employers and outstanding disabled employees, Mr Ip said the ceremony had special significance as it marked SPD's 15th anniversary. Twelve disabled employees from different careers were awarded for their outstanding working ability.

"Despite the limitations brought about by their disability, they manage to overcome hindrances successfully. We see in them the true meaning of perseverance and positive attitudes towards life," Mr Ip said.

The award-winning employers were selected from over 600 employers They have all adopted an open and enlightened attitude towards employing the disabled and offered disabled employees ample opportunities to realise their potentials. Mr Ip said SPD would continue to strengthen its publicity and promotion work and together with the employers, identify more suitable jobs for the disabled.

"We believe by doing so we can follow through the objective of'Fifteen years we care, brighter life for all to share'," he said.

The presentation of the Employment Aid Open Competition' 95 Award of the Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation was also held on the same occasion. Awards were presented by the Chairman of Employment Sub-Committee of Rehabilitation Advisory Committee, Mr Vincent Cheng.

There was also a video show and an exhibition on employment opportunities of the disabled and winning designs of the Employment Aid Open Competition' 95. Mr Ip also said the Seminar on Open Employment for People with a Disability' 95 would be held on November 23 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

•; I C •

’■i .1

End/Friday, October 13, 1995

41

Seminars for employers

*****

More than 110 employers who have been granted quotas under the Importation of Labour Scheme for the New Airport and Related Projects took part in two seminars held in Tsuen Wan Town Hall this (Friday) afternoon.

Jointly organised by the Labour Department and the Hong Kong Construction Association (HKCA), the first seminar was conducted in Cantonese and the second in English.

Officers from the Labour Department's Importation of Workers Division and representatives from HKCA briefed participants on the conditions of the importation of labour scheme, employment terms, employers' legal liabilities under the standard employment contract and relevant labour laws.

In addition, speakers also advised employers on salient points to maintain harmonious labour relations.

Publications containing information on the importation of labour scheme and employment benefits for workers were distributed to the employers at the two seminars.

End/Friday, October 13, 1995

Senior staff movement ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government announced today (Friday) that the Deputy Director of Education, Miss Elaine Chung, will be made Secretary General of the Standing Commission on Civil Service Salaries and Conditions ot Service with effect from October 16.

Her vacancy will be filled by a Senior Assistant Director of Education, Mr T F

Kwan.

Following are biographic notes of the two officers:

Miss Elaine Chung Lai-kwok, JP

Aged 50. Miss Chung joined the administrative service in 1969. She was appointed Deputy Secretary for Health and Welfare in 1986 and was Deputy Secretary for Administrative Services and Information from 1987 to 1989, after which she became Deputy Secretary for Works.

She was made Deputy Director of Education in September 1994.

Mr T F Kwan

Aged 54. Mr Kwan joined the Government in September 1963 and became an Assistant Education Officer in September 1965.

He was promoted to Principal Education Officer in April 1988 and to Assistant Director of Education in August 1989. His promotion to Senior Assistant Director of Education was in May 1995.

End/Friday, October 13, 1995

Proposed reclamation at Sulphur Channel ♦ ♦ ♦ * *

The Government intends to construct seawalls and to reclaim about 370,000 square metres of land by public dumping at the Sulphur Channel between Kennedy Town and Green Island. This will provide a site mainly for the disposal of surplus construction material that is suitable for reclamation.

Work is scheduled to commence in the middle of next year for completion in eight years.

The extent of the area of foreshore and sea-bed affected is described in a notice published in the Government Gazette today (Friday).

43

Any person who considers that he has an interest, right or easement in or over the foreshore and sea-bed involved may submit a written objection to the Director of Lands within two months from today, that is, on or before December 13. The 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 the notice boards posted near the site.

f The plan can also be seen at the Lands Department, Survey and Mapping

Office, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road and at the Central and Western District Office, ground floor, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central, Hong Kong. Copies of the plan are also on sale at the Lands Department’s office.

End/Friday, October 13, 1995

Proposed submarine cable from Sha Chau to Lung Kwu Chau *****

A submarine cable is being proposed to be laid between Sha Chau and Lung Kwu Chau to provide permanent electricity supply to the Civil Aviation Department’s radar station on Lung Kwu Chau for the new airport.

Work will commence in March next year and will be completed in three months’ time.

"Dredging will only take place on both sides of the landing points and the estimated total dredging volume of the marine deposits will not be more than 1,000 cubic metres," said a government spokesman today (Friday).

The extent of the area of foreshore and sea-bed to be affected is described in a Lands Department notice published in the Government Gazette today.

Any person who considers that he has an interest, right or easement in or over the foreshore and sea-bed involved may submit a written objection to the Director of Lands within two months from today.

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

44

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

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

The plans can also be seen at the Tuen Mun District Office, 2nd floor, Tuen Mun Government Offices, 1 Tuen Hi Road, Tuen Mun, New Territories, and at the New Airport Section (New Territories Office) of the Lands Department, 22nd floor, Tsuen Wan Government Offices, 38 Sai Lau Kok Road, Tsuen Wan, New Territories.

End/Friday, October 13, 1995.

Dredging work proposed at Tai O Creek *****

The Government intends to carry out dredging work within an area of about two hectares of foreshore and sea-bed at Tai O Creek.

The work will improve the creek for navigation purpose and enhance its drainage and flushing capability, thus improving the sanitary and living condition of Tai O. The dredged creek will also serve as a sampan anchorage area. Work is scheduled to commence in June 1997 for completion in June 1999.

The extent of the area affected is described in a notice published in the Government Gazette today (October 13).

Any person who considers that he has an interest, right or easement in or over the foreshore and sea-bed involved may submit a written objection to the Director of Lands within two months from today.

The 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 the notice boards posted near the site.

a

45

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, and at its Mui Wo Sub-office, ground floor, Mui Wo Government Offices, 2 Ngan Kwong Wan Road, Mui Wo, Lantau Island.

End/Friday, October 13, 1995

Roadworks for Tai O ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Territory Development Department has proposed to construct three roads in Tai O, Lantau Island.

The new roads will be built at the northeast of Lung Tin Estate Phase I.

The project also include the construction of footpaths, drainage systems, public car parking spaces and amenity areas.

Meanwhile, a riverwall will be built along the bank of Tai O Creek while the existing low-lying area behind the proposed riverwall will be filled up. A notice of the proposed roadworks was gazetted today (Friday).

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; 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 December 12, describing his interest and the manner in which he will be affected.

End/Friday, October 13,1995

46

Beach buildings at Hung Shing Ye Beach V. ; * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

• ■"> • *' • I :

The Architectural Services Department is inviting tenders for the construction of beach buildings at Hung Shing Ye Beach on Lamma Island. ■

Details of the tender are contained in the Government Gazette published today (Friday).

The works will include the construction of a two-storey beach building complex with changing rooms, toilets and a command post together with drainage, sewage treatment plant and external works. Only contractors on the Approved Contractors for Public Works List I in Groups B and C for Building Works will be permitted to tender.

Tender forms and further particulars can 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 lower ground floor lift lobby of Central Government Offices (East Wing), Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong, before noon on November 3. Late tenders will not be accepted.

End/Friday, October 13, 1995

Tenders invited for sewerage improvement works ♦ * * ♦ ♦

10 ■ .’i; i.

The Drainage Services Department is inviting tenders for sewerage improvement works in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon City and Wong Tai Sin.

The works include the construction of about 8.5 kilometers of sewers with diameters ranging from 300 mm to 1,800 mm, two sewage pumping stations and seven dry weather flow interceptors. Works are scheduled to begin in December this year for completion in 17 months.

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

I

47

Tender forms and further particulars may be obtained from the office of Consulting Engineers Rust-Atkins Haswell, 11th floor, West Wing, Hennessy Centre, 500 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay. The tender closing date is noon on November 3.

End/Friday, October 13, 1995

Air Quality Report for September ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Environmental Protection Department today (Friday) released air quality information for September.

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/Westem and Kwai Chung, which represent three important land use types in the territory:

locations close to road traffic in built-up urban areas;

* combined commercial and residential districts; and;

* districts close to industrial areas.

The 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 September, there were no exceedances of the 24-hour Air Quality Objective (AQO) values at any of the three sites. Mong Kok station recorded the highest concentration of air pollutants, with the 24-hour average NO2 approaching 90% of the corresponding AQO on September 22.

48

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.

Diesel-engined vehicles such as taxis, public light buses, passenger coaches, franchised buses and light and heavy goods vehicles are the greatest contributor of particulate matter. Other sources include industry, furnaces and boilers, construction activities, the sea and the soil.

It is worth noting that while the weather and climate always affect the concentrations of pollutants in the air, the only sure way of reducing the levels is to reduce emissions from the man-made sources.

-■ -t '

End/Friday, October 13, 1995

Action against cooling towers by Buildings Department *****

'■ ■

A total of 450 removal orders will be served by the Buildings Department in the coming few months on factory owners in San Po Kong and Chai Wan districts, asking them to remove cooling towers and supporting frames which have been abandoned or are poorly maintained.

The first batch of 12 orders were served today (Friday) to owners of factories in an industrial building in Choi Hung Road.

Chief Building Surveyor (Control and Enforcement), Mr Leung Siu-hong, said that the operation was an on-going effort by the Buildings Department to safeguard public safety and property from poorly maintained and dangerous cooling towers. In January this year, the Buildings Department published the results of a survey on coolers in industrial areas San Po Kong and Chai Wan. The survey covered 77 and 68 buildings in the two districts respectively.

49

A total of 1,043 advisory letters were subsequently issued to the owners of cooling towers found to be in a poor state of repair. The letters called on the owners to demolish them voluntarily.

”We are pleased to see that over half of the owners have removed their towers and frames. But the others will be served with statutory removal orders.

"We urge owners to take heed and comply with this removal order. If they fail to comply, we will consider taking legal action according to the Buildings Ordinance.

"Government contractors will also be employed to carry out the removal work, and all the costs incurred will be recovered from the owners," he warned.

Mr Leung also advised factory owners to obtain prior approval from the Building Authority before putting up new cooling towers on the external wall of buildings.

"It is the owners’ duty not only to design and construct such towers and supporting frames properly. They must also maintain them in a safe and sound condition," he said.

End/Friday, October 13, 1995

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

Time Cumulative change

$ million (hours) (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,298 0930 +870

Closing balance in the account 3.466 1000 +870

Change attributable to : 1100 +870

Money market activity +868 1200 +870

LAF today +300 1500 +870

1600 +868

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 121.9 *-0.1* 13.10.95

50

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.43 2 years 2708 6.06 100.44 5.88

1 month 5.49 3 years 3807 6.16 100.14 6.19

3 months 5.57 5 years 5009 6.95 100.66 6.90

6 months 5.61 5 years M501 7.90 102.73 7.32

12 months 5.66

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $7,316 million

Closed October 13, 1995

End/Friday, October 13, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Saturday, October 14,1995

Contents Page No,

Complex nationality and immigration issues discussed..................... 1

Increased police presence to combat crime................................ 2

Fire fighting and rescue services improvements sought.................... 4

Measures to enhance human rights protection.............................. 6

Drawing competition on historical monuments.......................... 11

HK's police force, one of the finest in Asia: CS........................ 12

The weather of September................................................ 13

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

Sunday, October 15, 1995

Contents Page No.

West Kowloon Expressway reaches another milestone.................... 18

Safety in renovation works must be ensured.............................. 19

Airport staff honoured for dedicated service............................ 20

Drama Festival to be launched........................................... 21

Sale of substandard plugs and adaptors warned........................... 22

Drug Wise Training Camp for Wan Chai students........................... 22

1

Complex nationality and immigration issues discussed

*****

The Government is working very hard to resolve the complex series of nationality and immigration issues with the Chinese before 1997 so that Hong Kong residents can be certain about their residence rights, their travel documents and visa-free access to foreign countries, the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, said today (Saturday).

Mr Lai was briefing Legislative Council members on the 1995 Policy Address.

He said discussions with the Chinese side were focused on three areas: the precise arrangements for non-Chinese nationals regarding the question of their right of abode; the technical arrangements for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport; and how best to co-operate to secure the maximum degree of travel convenience for Hong Kong residents post 1997.

Turning to immigration control matters, Mr Lai said one priority area was the strengthening of enforcement actions against illegal employment, targeting both at employers and illegal workers.

He pointed out that the Immigration Task Force, which was established last year with 46 officers, had carried out 1,518 raids against illegal employees and their employers in the first nine months of this year, 86 per cent more than the same period last year.

"As a result, 3,363 illegal workers and 731 employers were prosecuted.

"These figures were 50 per cent and six per cent over comparable figures for last year," said Mr Lai.

"The Force has now doubled in strength to 92 officers and we will be able to launch more operations to target illegal workers as well as their employers," he added. Mr Lai said new measures would be introduced in the coming weeks to enable the authorities to deal with the problem of illegal employment more effectively.

These measures include introducing "W" prefix to identity cards to be issued to newly arrived foreign domestic helpers; legislative changes to require employers to inspect contract workers' travel documents to make sure that they may be legally employed before offering employment; and proposals to raise the level of fines for employers employing illegal workers.

2

On efforts that have been made to facilitate travel in and out of the territory, Mr Lai said new computer systems installed at the control points would reduce processing time for machine-readable passports by 20 seconds per transaction.

"Customers of the various services such as identity card, registration of births, deaths and marriage, passports issue will also benefit from the improved computer system," he said.

End/Saturday, October 14, 1995

Increased police presence to combat crime ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Increased Police presence on Hong Kong’s streets has yielded encouraging results in lowering the rate of violent crimes, the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, said today (Saturday).

Speaking at a briefing session for Legislative Councillors on the 1995 Policy Address, Mr Lai said compared to the same period three years ago, the first eight months of this year had seen a significant 61 per cent fall in armed robberies.

"There was also a decrease by 18 per cent in the number of bank robberies, a remarkable 83 per cent decrease in the number of luxury car reported missing, and a drop of six per cent in the number of triad related crimes," he said.

Although the overall crime rate in the past three years had gone up by about six per cent, the recent increase was mainly due to a rise in petty crimes such as shopthefts, minor thefts and narcotics offences, he said.

"However, during the same period, the violent crime rate, unlike that in other metropolitan cities, has actually fallen by some 11 per cent and the number of armed robberies has dropped by a remarkable 61 per cent," said Mr Lai.

He said compared with 1992, there was now an extra 800 police officers patrolling the streets and the Government was on course to meet the current year’s commitment to deploy a further 400 policemen on the streets.

3

He said forty-five additional police posts had just been created in the Organised Crime and Triad Bureau and the Crime Intelligence Bureau, and 38 in the Narcotics Bureau. In the coming year, at least 200 more police officers would join front-line patrol duties.

"This will enhance the Police capability in the fight against crime, particularly in dealing with the triads and the drug problem at the division, district and regional levels," he said.

On the anti-drug front, Mr Lai said to add impetus to the current programmes, the Government aimed to establish a $350 million Beat Drugs Fund as a major new initiative to finance projects relating to drug abuse, preventive education, publicity, research, training, law enforcement, and treatment and rehabilitation.

"The Fund will provide substantial new resources to advance the aims of our 'Beat Drugs' campaign, and will enable many worthwhile projects to go ahead earlier without queuing up for funding in the normal annual resource allocation exercise," he said.

"We will in addition increase the subventions to non-govemment organisations to help them meet the growing demand for their counselling, treatment and rehabilitation services.

"Funds will also be made available to establish two new residential treatment centres for young opiate abusers, and a new counselling centre in the New Territories for young psychotropic substance abusers."

To meet the educational needs of young drug abusers while undergoing treatment and rehabilitation, Mr Lai said the Government was providing to each residential drug treatment and rehabilitation agency a new package of assistance, including a monthly grant to help them provide education for their young clients.

"We will also make it easier for those who leave a residential treatment programme to re-enter the school system," he said.

In response to the increase of female drug abusers, Mr Lai said the Government planned to carry out a research into the unique characteristics of female abusers, and the factors leading to their drug abuse, so as to help it to better focus its drug preventive and treatment programmes.

4

To tackle the problem of prison over-crowding, Mr Lai said the Government had been working to increase the supply of penal places through redevelopment of existing penal institutions and converting vacated Vietnamese migrants (VM) detention centres into penal institutions.

’’Improvement works have been carried out in existing penal institutions. We will be redeveloping the Stanley Prison area to provide an additional 700 prison places by 1998.

’’Last year, we converted two vacated VM centres at Hei Ling Chau and Nei Kwu Chau into penal institutions, adding over 700 places to our penal accommodation.

”We are actively pursuing the conversion of the Chi Ma Wan (Lower) Detention Centre into a female drug detention treatment centre to provide an extra 250 places next year to relieve the particularly over-crowded female institutions,” he said.

Mr Lai said the Government was also examining the feasibility of converting the ex-military camp at Lo Wu into a penal institution, which could provide up to 300 places.

’’All these measures should provide an additional 1,250 places over the next three years," he said, adding that the Government was also actively looking for new sites to construct penal institutions elsewhere in the territory.

End/Saturday, October 14, 1995

Fire fighting and rescue services improvements sought ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Fire Services Department will secure improvements in the standard of services in the coming year through new resources and redeployment of existing resources within the department, the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, said today (Saturday).

Speaking at a briefing session for Legislative Councillors on the Policy Commitments, Mr Lai said in the coming year, the department would focus on strengthening its fire fighting capability, especially in the New Territories, with an additional 66 posts to reinforce the staff at existing status and the additional of two new fire stations and 161 posts in 1996-97.

5

He pointed out that in the first half of 1995, the department had been able to respond to 90 per cent of all fire calls in buildings within the graded response time of six minutes in built-up areas.

"During the same period, our emergency ambulance services has been able to respond to 90 per cent of all emergency calls within a travel time of 10 minutes or less," Mr Lai said.

He noted that there had been an 8.6 per cent increase in the total number of emergency ambulance calls in the first nine months of 1995 as compared with the same period last year.

He explained that there were a number of factors which constrained the performance of emergency ambulance services.

"There has been a gradual increase in workload as the total number of emergency ambulance calls continue to rise, especially in the New Territories.

"The increasing geographical spread of population in the New Territories has made it difficult for the existing ambulance depots to provide full geographical coverage to all demands for emergency ambulance services in the New Territories.

"Moreover, traffic congestion and inclement weather often affect our performance significantly," he said.

To improve the performance of ambulance services, Mr Lai said, the Government was now studying the recommendations by the consultant commissioned by the department to study the provision of ambulance services.

"In the short term, we will be looking at possible means to redeploy our existing resources to strengthen areas where coverage is inadequate.

"We will also be reviewing the operational procedures on ambulance deployment to achieve a more effective mobilisation," he said.

Mr Lai said he believed that with the implementation of the short-term measures, the performance of ambulance services will be improved by two per cent.

"As for the longer term, we will need to look for additional resources to provide for more ambulances and crew, as well as to construct more depots to extend the emergency ambulance coverage," he added.

End/Saturday, October 14, 1995

6

Measures to enhance human rights protection

* ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

In keeping with the Government's firm commitment to promote equal opportunities for all, the Home Affairs Branch has embarked on extensive studies in discrimination on the grounds of family status and sexuality.

The studies included an assessment of the problems and a thorough public consultation on the measures to tackle the problems identified, the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen, said at briefing sessions for the Legislative Council and the media today (Saturday) on the Home Affairs Branch's policy commitments.

"Research encompasses examination of experience overseas and discussions with various organisations and groups in the community including homosexual/bisexual groups, employers associations, labour unions, social service groups and academics.

"This will provide information for the preparation of the consultation documents to be published before the end of this year," Mr Suen said.

He said the public consultation would be for a period of two months and the need for legislation would feature among the options to address the problems identified.

On the legislative option to be set out in the consultation documents, Mr Suen said it would be modelled closely on work that had already been done and the Legislative Council would be kept informed of the findings of the studies.

"If the studies conclude that legislation is the best approach, we will try our very best to have the relevant bills tabled within the 1995-96 legislative session," he added.

He said in respect of the study on sexuality, an opinion survey had also been commissioned to gauge public attitude on the subject and the issues which might arise from measures proposed to tackle the problem.

"We will continue to promote equality and the rights of the individual, both through encouraging changes in public attitude and through legislation when this is necessary," he said.

7

Meanwhile, the Government is pressing ahead with the setting up of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) to oversee the implementation of the Sex Discrimination Ordinance and Disability Discrimination Ordinance and to mediate in disputes involving discrimination.

A preparatory team was in place to expedite the necessary arrangements to establish the EOC. he said.

"It is our intention that the Commission should start operation in early 1996. We will seek funding from the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council in late November or early December. "The annual recurrent budget of the EOC is estimated to be $65 million at 1995-96 prices and the Commission is expected to have more than 60 staff," he said.

One of the tasks for the EOC will be the preparation of a code of practice on employment matters which will provide practical guidance to employers and employees to comply with the law.

"This code will be prepared in consultation with the relevant associations and concerned groups. The Commission will try its best to have the code ready as soon as possible after its establishment," Mr Suen added.

These two pieces of legislation prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sex, marital status, pregnancy and disability. Sexual harassment has also been outlawed.

Turning to another important measure aimed at enhancing protection for the rights of the individual, Mr Suen said work was in hand to establish the Privacy Commissioner's Office which would have an initial staff of around 30 at an annual recurrent cost of $28 million.

"This will also require approval by the Finance Committee which we plan to seek in late November or early December. We hope to complete the establishment of the office in early 1996, and bring the legislation into force," he said.

The Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance, enacted in August this year, provides for comprehensive protection of the individual's privacy with respect to personal data. It also safeguards the free-flow of personal data to Hong Kong from interference by countries which already have data protection laws.

8

The ordinance establishes an independent regulatory authority, the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data to enforce and promote compliance with its provisions.

Reiterating the Government's commitment to press freedom which was vital to a free society, Mr Suen said the commitment was backed up by a solid programme of legislative reform to ensure that existing laws met the requirements for protecting freedom of expression laid down in the Bill of Rights (BOR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as applied to Hong Kong.

"Substantial progress has been made on our reform programme. Since 1992, the Government has examined 53 separate provisions in 27 ordinances.

"Of these, 31 provisions have been amended or repealed, and 12 have been left unaltered as they are compatible with the BOR and serve to protect individuals' right to privacy, the public interest or the right to a fair trial.

"Altogether we have dealt with 43 provisions, representing more than 80 per cent of the laws.

"In addition, we have recently put proposals to the Chinese side of the Joint Liaison Group on the remaining security-related laws covered by our review, including the Official Secrets Act as well as provisions on sedition and treason in the Crimes and Post Office Ordinances," said Mr Suen.

On the commitment to the principle of an open and accountable Government, Mr Suen said a Code on Access to Information to enhance the Government's transparency had been tested and its effectiveness demonstrated by a six-month pilot scheme from March to August this year.

"Up to the end of September, a total of 285 requests for information had been received. Only eight of these were refused. Most of the requests were dealt with in less than 21 days.

"A total of 36 departments and branches are now subject to the Code. By the end of 1995, the Code will be applied to about 55 departments and branches. We are well within our target of extending the Code to the entire Administration by the end of 1996," he said.

9

Dwelling on other human rights guarantees, Mr Suen said Hong Kong placed great importance on the implementation of international conventions.

Hong Kong abides by a number of international conventions including the International Covenant for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) as well as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The Bill of Rights Ordinance gives effect in local law to the relevant provisions of the ICCPR, as applied to Hong Kong.

"The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child has been extended to Hong Kong, and we are seeking the extension of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) to Hong Kong.

"The fourth report under the ICCPR has been submitted. The United Nations Human Rights Committee will examine the report on October 19 and 20. Representatives from the Hong Kong Government will be part of the United Kingdom delegation attending the hearing," he added.

He also mentioned the initial report under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment has been submitted.

"We will attend before the Committee Against Torture in November 1995," said Mr Suen.

The third report on ICESCR will be submitted later this year and Hong Kong representatives expect to attend before the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in 1996.

Turning to efforts to foster a sense of community responsibility at the local level, Mr Suen highlighted the provision of $100 million in 1995-96 to fund District Board activities and the introduction of an accountable office rental allowance of $4,500, on top of the existing monthly honorarium, to assist members to set up ward offices in their constituencies.

Another new initiative undertaken by the Home Affairs Department is the employment of private contractors to design and construct minor works under the Rural Planning and Improvement Strategy (RPIS) to ensure that projects are completed on time.

10

Since taking over the responsibility for RPIS Minor Works from the Territory Development Department in November last year, the Home Affairs Department has drawn up a targeted expenditure programme to ensure the original programme time frame is adhered to.

The department has closely involved the rural community in the RPIS Minor Works Programme through a central steering committee and district working groups in each New Territories district as well as liaising with local residents on all aspects of projects and encouraging them to propose new schemes for inclusion in the programme.

"In 1995-96, we will spend $150 million on improvement works to alleviate problems of flooding, pollution and unplanned development in rural areas under RPIS," said Mr Suen.

On the new task of the Home Affairs Department to assess the provision of services for the new arrivals from China, Mr Suen said it was important that these new immigrants be given help to integrate with the community and overcome any problems.

"The Department will, through its district liaison network, assess and monitor the services which are available to, and needed by, recent immigrants."

Regarding the commitment to improve the safety of bedspace apartment lodgers, Mr Suen said all bedspace apartments will be required to comply with the new safety standards spelt out in the licensing scheme under the Bedspace Apartments Ordinance in 1997.

"To enable us to provide for any lodgers whose bedspace apartments close down or reduce in capacity, we plan to construct a multi-storey hostel in Sham Shui Po with Land Development Corporation funds.

"This hostel will accommodate around 600 persons and will be in addition to the some 300 places we have in other smaller scale hostels.

"We will ensure that no lodger is made homeless as a result of operators' compliance with the new safety standards and will provide assistance in finding alternative accommodation for all those who are displaced," Mr Suen said.

End/Saturday, October 14, 1995

- 11 -

Drawing competition on historical monuments ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

: ,'ll. - V '

The Antiquities and Monuments Office of the Recreation and Culture Branch and the Education Department are jointly organising a drawing competition for primary and secondary school students on Hong Kong's historical monuments.

The event forms part of the School Heritage Festival programmes to be held in March next year.

The competition is divided into three groups: primary students (Pl - P6), junior secondary students (SI - S3) and senior secondary students (S4 - S7).

Each entrant should submit only one entry, which must be his or her original work. Entries can be produced in any medium, with no restrictions on the techniques and styles employed.

• IV *

The size of each entry should be A3 for the primary school group and A2 for the secondary school groups.

All entries must be accompanied by entry forms which are available at the Antiquities and Monuments Office, 136 Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. They should be submitted to the Office on or before November 16.

A panel of judges comprising four renowned artists and a representative of the Lord Wilson Heritage Trust will be formed to select the winning entries. The results will be announced in January next year.

The winner, first runner-up and second runner-up in each group will receive $3,000, $2,000 and $1,000 respectively. There will also be 10 merit prices of $300 each in each group.

Enquiries can be made at the Antiquities and Monuments Office on 2721 2326.

End/Saturday, October 14,1995

12

HK's police force, one of the finest in Asia: CS

* ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Hong Kong has one of Asia's finest police forces which maintains Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability, the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, said.

Officiating at the passing-out parade at the Police Training School today (Saturday), Mrs Chan said Hong Kong had a much lower crime rate than other major cities like Tokyo, London, Toronto or San Francisco.

"The Royal Hong Kong Police Force was the first disciplined service established in the territory and has a long and proud tradition of distinguished service," she said.

The Chief Secretary said she was always impressed by the professionalism, commitment and high standards of the police force during her visits to different police formations.

"The community owes the Police Force a great debt of gratitude," she added.

Accompanied by the acting Commissioner of Police, Mr Wong Tsan-kwong, and the Commandant of the Police Training School, Mr Foo Tsun-kong, Mrs Chan inspected seven male inspectors, three female inspectors and 118 police constables.

At present, all police inspectors have to undergo a 36-week course which covers both academic and practical subjects and focuses on the development of leadership skills.

Police constables are required to undergo a 27-week training which includes a wide range of topics in law and order.

End/Saturday, October 14, 1995

13

The weather of September ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

September 1995 was the tenth driest September since records began in 1884. The total monthly rainfall of 81.4 millimetres was 73 per cent below the normal value.

However, the previous August was extremely wet and the total rainfall for the first nine months this year accumulated to 2,267.8 millimetres, 13 per cent above an average of 2,007.1 millimetres for the same period.

With generally fine weather prevailing on most days, the mean monthly pressure of 1,010.4 hectopascal in September was the seventh highest on record.

Typhoon Kent, which affected Hong Kong on the last days of August, weakened rapidly into an area of low pressure over Guangxi on September 1.

The outer rainbands of Kent brought scattered showers to the territory on September 1. But showers became less frequent the next day and there were sunny periods as a ridge of high pressure established along the coast of southeast China.

The ridge persisted and maintained fine and hot weather for the next couple of days. The month’s highest temperature of 33.4 degrees was attained on the afternoon of September 5. Five police constables were overcome by the very hot weather during training near Lok Ma Chau.

On the same day, Tropical Storm Nina over the South China Sea moved northwestwards steadily towards Leizhou Peninsula. There was abundant sunshine on September 6 but squally showers associated with Nina also affected the territory.

Isolated heavy showers occurred the next day and over 30 millimetres of rainfall were recorded on Lantau Island. It became fine and hot again from September 8 to 11.

A strong easterly airstream reached the south China coast on September 12 bringing cloudy weather to Hong Kong overnight. However, winds subsided rapidly soon after daybreak and there were sunny periods.

It remained fine apart from a few brief but heavy showers in the next four days with isolated thunderstorms on the morning of September 16.

A surge of the northeast monsoon brought cloudy weather to the territory and temperatures were generally on the fall from September 17 to 20.

14

As Typhoon Ryan developed over the South China Sea on September 20, local winds became generally fresh and gusty. Temperatures decreased to the month's minimum of 22.8 degrees on the early morning of the following day.

The weather turned fine on September 22 as Ryan moved away from Hong Kong. A sunny spell with no measurable rain lasted until September 27.

With the arrival of a fresh easterly airstream, rain patches developed over the territory on the morning of September 28.

For the last two days of the month, the weather was mainly cloudy with occasional light rain in the early morning.

There were eight tropical cyclones over the western North Pacific and the South China Sea in the month of September.

Details of the issuance/hoisting and cancellation/lowering of various wamings/signals in the month are summarised in Table 1.1.

Monthly meteorological figures and departures from normal of September are tabulated in Table 1.2.

15

Table 1.1 Warnings and signals in September 1995

Effective date and time

Warnings I Signals

•BOB*** W ••• * V «B •» ••• •

Tropical Cyclone Warning Signals

Name of T C Signal No

KENT 1

3

30 Aug 1200- 31 Aug 0400

31 Aug 0400 - 31 Aug 1300

8NW 31 Aug 1300- 31 Aug 1645

8 SW 31 Aug 1645 - 31 Aug 2100

NINA 1

RYAN 1

31 Aug 2100- 1 Sep

6 Sep 0945 - 7 Sep 1015

19 Sep 2215 - 21 Sep 1130

Strong Monsoon Signal 12 Sep 0515 - 12 Sep 1045

Landslip Warning 31 Aug 1800- 1 Sep 1630

Flood Warning 31 Aug 1630 - 1 Sep 0200

Thunderstorm Warnings 31 Aug 2200 - 1 Sep 0800

14 Sep 1755 - 14 Sep 2055 16 Sep 0600 - 16 Sep 0800

16

Table 1.2 Figures and Departures from NormakSeptember 1995

Total Bright Sunshine 198.6 hours ; 16.9 hours above normal

Mean Daily Global Solar 15.52 MJ/SQM ; 0.97 MJ/SQM below normal

Radiation Total Rainfall 81.4 mm ; 218.3 mm below normal

Mean Cloud Amount 61 %; 2 % below normal

Mean Relative Humidity 77 % ; 1 % below normal

Mean Daily Maximum Temperature 30.1 Degree Celsius; 0.2 Degree Celsius below normal

Mean Air Temperature 27.6 Degree Celsius;normal

Mean Daily Temperature 25.7 Degree Celsius; 0.2 Degree Celsius above normal

Mean Dew Point 23.2 Degree Celsius; 0.1 Degree Celsius below normal

Total Evaporation 118.9 mm ; 31.4 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/Saturday, October 14, 1995

17

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

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

Opening balance in the account 3,466 09:30 -300

Closing balance in the account 1,641 10:00 -300

Change attributable to: 11:00 -300

Money market activity -300 11:30 -300

LAF today -1,525 15:00

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 122.1 *+0.2* 14.10.95

End/Saturday, October 14, 1995

18

West Kowloon Expressway reaches another milestone ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Construction of the West Kowloon Expressway, an Airport Core Programme (ACP) project, has reached another important stage when the last of the 2,258 precast segments for the highway’s elevated northern section was put in place.

The final section has been erected in Tai Kok Tsui, marking completion of placement of all the precast segments in 15 months, four weeks ahead of schedule.

The Project Manager/Airport and Port Access of the Highways Department, Mr Bob Lloyd, said the completion of the viaduct segments was the culmination of a considerable amount of expertise, energy and commitment by the contractor and the department’s project team.

He is now looking forward to completion of the rest of the works by the end of 1996.

With the last segment in place, the expressway's 2.7-kilometre elevated northern section has taken shape. This section of the expressway is elevated so that the Airport Railway can run underneath it.

Meanwhile, other works on the 4-kilometre dual three-lane highway are proceeding well. These include construction of the expressway’s ground-level southern section, distributor road bridges, footbridges and retaining walls.

The expressway will run from the Western Harbour Crossing Toll Plaza to the south of Mei Foo Sun Chuen. It is being built on the West Kowloon Reclamation as part of the road network which will connect the new airport at Chek Lap Kok and Tung Chung new town to the urban areas.

The expressway is scheduled for completion at the end of 1996. When opened, it will give much needed relief to traffic congestion in West Kowloon. Note to Editors:

Copies of a photograph of the last precast segment are now available for collection at GIS News Room.

End/Sunday, October 15, 1995

19

Safety in renovation works must be ensured ♦ * * * ♦

Contractors of renovation works, like other building contractors, are required by law to adopt a safe system of work.

The Chief Factory Inspector of the Labour Department, Mr Chan Tat-king, said today (Sunday) that all necessary safety precautions had to be taken when workers were engaged in internal alteration or repair works.

Such precautions include supervision of the safe work methods and the use of proper tools and personal protective equipment.

"Containers of dangerous substances should be properly labelled. Moreover, contractors should provide information and training for the workers on the handling of dangerous substances," he said.

With the advent of the dry season, Mr Chan also urged contractors to reduce the use of flammable substances to the minimum and handle them with care.

"Unwanted residual flammable solvents should never be poured into the water closet as this could create a fire hazard on the spot or even to the rest of the building." he added.

Contractors should train workers how to use portable fire-fighting appliances and any standard fire service installations in the building.

Failure to take necessary precautions to protect the safety of workers is an offence under the Factories and Industrial Undertakings (Dangerous Substances) Regulations, Construction Sites (Safety) Regulations and the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance.

The offender is liable to a maximum fine of $200,000 and 12 months' imprisonment.

End/Sunday, October 15, 1995

20

Airport staff honoured for dedicated service ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

A recently retired staff member of the Civil Aviation Department was awarded the Imperial Service Medal for his 38 years of dedicated and diligent service at the Kai Tak Airport.

Mr Fu Sang, who retired from the post of a senior foreman in September at the age of 59, was one of the award recipients named in the Queen's Birthday Honour list published in the Government Gazette on Friday (October 13).

He joined the department in 1957 and through the years worked his way up to senior foreman in 1977. On several occasions, he had acted as assistant airport manager.

Recommending him for the award, the Director of Civil Aviation, Mr Peter Lok, said Mr Fu always performed his duties exceptionally well, and was a role model for his peers and juniors.

"The success of Kai Tak is due, in no small measure, to the diligent, dedication and resourcefulness of numerous junior staff exemplified by him.

"His conduct has, over the last 38 years, been exemplary and he is well respected by his colleagues.

"He is very positive in his approach towards work and has contributed much towards the efficiency of the operation of the passenger terminal at Kai Tak," said Mr Lok.

During the past few decades, Mr Fu said, he has witnessed many changes at the airport which was now the fourth busiest in the world in terms of international passengers, and second in terms of air cargo.

"When I joined the department, the annual passenger throughput was only 0.24 million. Today, the figure is well over 24 million," Mr Fu said.

End/Sunday, October 15, 1995

Drama Festival to be launched ♦ ♦ ♦ » ♦

i.

The Hong Kong School Drama Festival 1995-96 Launching Ceremony will be held at the Theatre, Sai Wan Ho Civic Centre, on Wednesday (October 18).

The Director of Education, Mr W K Lam, and the Chairman of Lok Sin Tong Benevolent Society, Kowloon, Dr Leung Wing-chiu, will officiate at the launching ceremony.

• This annual event is organised by the Education Department and presented by the Hong Kong School Drama Council, Urban Council and Regional Council and sponsored by the Lok Sin Tong Benevolent Society, Kowloon.

A total of 181 primary and secondary schools will participate in the festival.

A spokesman for the Education Department said: "The Festival aims at inculcating in students interests in drama activities and the associated knowledge and techniques.

"It also aims at broadening students’ scope and exposure as part of their development in the informal curriculum.

"In order to provide the participating students and teachers with updated knowledge and techniques on drama activities, the Education Department has organised training sessions on different aspects of drama and rendered on site advice in producing the play for the participating schools."

In addition to this support, all participating secondary schools are given a cash grant of $1,300 each and primary schools $1,000 each in the School Performance Phase, where $1,900 is given to schools in the Public Performance Phase and the Gala Evenings.

The Drama Festival will be conducted in four phases. The School Performance Phase will be held between January and February next year, Public Performance Phase and Prize Presentation Ceremony in April and Gala Evenings in May.

End/Sunday, October 15,1995

22

Sale of substandard plugs and adaptors warned ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ »

A spokesman for the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) today (Sunday) reminded shop owners not to sell substandard electrical plugs, adaptors and electrical products.

The reminder follows 10 successful prosecutions last month and so far this month for violation of the Plugs and Adaptors (Safety) Regulations (PASR).

"All the defendants pleaded guilty and the fines imposed on them by the courts ranged from $1,200 to $5,000," the spokesman said.

PASR which came into effect on March 23, ban the sale of plugs, adaptors and electrical products not meeting the safety standards prescribed in the regulations.

Any person who contravenes PASR is liable to a maximum fine of $50,000 and six months imprisonment on first conviction and a maximum fine of $100,000 and six months imprisonment on the second and subsequent conviction.

Meanwhile, the spokesman noted that since the implementation of PASR, EMSD had carried out 1,077 inspections to various locations throughout the territory.

"There are 15 prosecutions currently in hand, while 13 violation cases are under investigations.

"Inspections and prosecutions will continue," he stressed.

End/Sunday, October 15,1995

Drug Wise Training Camp for Wan Chai students

*****

About 120 teenagers attended a two-day "Drug Wise Training Camp" at the Po Leung Kuk Pak Tam Chung Holiday Camp in Sai Kung starting yesterday (Saturday).

Adopting the theme of "Together We Can Beat Drugs", camp was organised by the Wan Chai District Fight Crime Committee and the Society for the Aid and Rehabilitation of Drug Abusers (SARDA) with sponsorship from the Wan Chai District Board.

The event was co-organised by the Wan Chai District Office and the Wan Chai District Youth Office of the Social Welfare Department.

Educational programmes including seminars, lectures, card games, role-playing and video shows have been held to bring home the messages of the dangers of drugs and the dreadful consequences of drug addiction.

The participating students, aged from 14 to 16, and the volunteers in the camp, aged from 18 to 20, all came from Wan Chai District.

End/Sunday, October 15,1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Monday, October 16,1995

Contents Page No,

Premature broadcast of exit poll results censured......................... 1

Unemployment and underemployment statistics............................... 3

S for T speaks on transport matters....................................... 4

Applications for cross-border coach services invited...................... 6

Landslip preventive measures information notes............................ 7

School education indicators discussed..................................... 9

Index of industrial production........................................ 11

Water storage figure..................................................... 14

Marine Department investigating catamaran accident....................... 14

Fresh water cut in Sheung Wan and Sai Ying Pun........................ 15

Tender for 3-Year Exchange Fund Notes to be held...................... 15

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

1

Premature broadcast of exit poll results censured

*****

The Boundary and Election Commission (BEC) today (Monday) publicly censured three electronic media stations for broadcasting exit poll results of the geographical constituency (GC) and functional constituency (FC) elections before all polls of the Legislative Council (LegCo) elections closed at midnight on September 17, 1995.

The three media organisations are the Asia Television Limited, Radio Television Hong Kong and Wharf Cable Limited.

BEC chairman, Mr Justice Woo Kwok-hing, said the move of the three stations had breached chapter 12 of the BEC guidelines which prohibited the publication of exit poll results until after the close of poll in order to avoid any effect that it might have on voter behaviour or on election results.

"They blatantly flouted the BEC guidelines and slighted the importance of maintaining a fair election.

"The commission deplores the irresponsible and unreasonable behaviour of the three television and radio stations," Mr Justice Woo said.

On the other hand, he noted with pleasure that other members of the electronic media had exercised admirable self-restraint and acted most sensibly and responsibly in not adopting the same stance as that of the organisations under censure.

BEC had extended the polling hours for the Election Committee constituency (ECC) election to midnight, one and a half hours longer than those for the GCs and FCs, as some ECC voters, who were all District Board members, were either candidates or canvassers who would be heavily involved in electioneering during the day from 7.30 am to 10.30 pm.

Since making arrangement for more polling stations for them was not possible, polling hours were therefore extended to facilitate these voters to cast their votes at the single polling station provided to them.

BEC met representatives of the electronic media on August 29 to discuss the implications of the extension of the polling hours for the ECC election. Having taken into account of the representatives' comments, BEC then consulted all ECC voters and candidates who would be most affected by way of a questionnaire.

2

Out of the 153 returns received, 76 (64 electors and 12 candidates) considered that such announcement of the results should not be made until after midnight, 58 (57 electors and one candidate) considered that announcement could be made after 10.30 pm while 19(18 electors and one candidate) had no opinion.

After considering carefully the responses and the media's representations, BEC decided that the exit poll results for GC and FC elections should not be announced until after all polls of the LegCo elections had closed at midnight. r.

3 : '

"Voter behaviour might be affected by any early release of the exit poll results.

"The ECC was to return 10 seats out of 60 in LegCo. Therefore, any possible external influence on any one of 283 ECC electors might have a significant effect.

"Any doubt in the credibility of the election results must be avoided," Mr Justice Woo said. ‘„

While the public might be interested in the exit poll results, BEC did not see any compelling need for the public to be apprised of them one and a half hours before all the polls closed, to justify an arrangement which might cast doubt on the election results, he said.

The electronic media were duly informed of the decision on September 13. BEC also appealed to them for co-operation and support of a fair election, urging them to observe the BEC guidelines.

A warning was also given that any breach would be viewed very seriously by the BEC and might very well result in a public censure.

"The commission is most disappointed to note that despite all the advice given, the three electronic media stations announced the exit poll results shortly after 10.30 pm on September 17, 1995," Mr Justice Woo said.

... •••' ................................... .... ■ . ;

End/Monday, October 16, 1995

3

Unemployment and underemployment statistics ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the period June to August 1995 was 3.5%, and the underemployment rate was 2.5%, according to the latest labour force statistics released today (Monday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate and the underemployment rate for the period July to September 1995 remained unchanged at 3.5% and 2.5% respectively (provisional figures).

Commenting on these figures, a government spokesman said the labour market situation seemed to have become somewhat more stable in overall terms in recent months. The unemployment rate remained at 3.5%.

"The unemployment rates in import/export trades, restaurants and hotels, and transport declined, offsetting the rise in unemployment rates in manufacturing and in foundation and superstructure construction.

"The underemployment rates in most of the major sectors remained broadly stable," the spokesman said.

"Total employment continued to increase steadily, but this was outstripped by an even stronger labour supply. In the three months ending August 1995, total labour supply rose markedly, by 4.3% over a year earlier, while total employment was 2.6% higher," the spokesman added.

During the period June to August 1995, the number of unemployed persons with previous jobs was estimated at 95,700. Another 15,200 unemployed persons were first-time job-seekers. The number of underemployed persons was estimated at 77,300.

The unemployment and underemployment statistics were obtained from a continuous General Household Survey.

The survey for June to August 1995 covered a quarterly sample of some 14,500 households or 49,700 persons, selected scientifically to represent the land-based civilian non-institutional population in Hong Kong.

Data were obtained from the survey by interviewing each member aged 15 or over in the households sampled.

4

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 1995.

End/Monday, October 16, 1995

Secretary for Transports speaks on transport matters ♦ * * * *

A total of $9 billion will be spent in 1995-96 on building new roads and improving the road network, the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma, said this (Monday) morning.

Speaking at a media session to elaborate on transport matters covered in the Governor's Policy Address, Mr Barma said investment in the infrastructure would continue to be substantial with $30 billion earmarked up to the year 2000.

"It is important to recognise that the planning and implementation of new projects require a long lead time," he said.

Mr Barma explained that congestion during peak hours in major thoroughfares was inevitable.

"Notwithstanding this, it is no mean achievement that our traffic speeds are better than those in most major cities although we have more vehicles per kilometre of road than most other places in the world," he said.

Mr Barma also said the Government had ambitious plans for expanding the railway system, as set out in the Railway Development Strategy.

5

Three priority projects for construction by 2001 have been identified:

* The Western Corridor Railway from the border to the West Kowloon and a spur line to Tuen Mun, with the possibility of an extension to Tuen Mun New town;

An extension of the Mass Transit Railway to Tseung Kwan O, and

A new rail link from Ma On Shan to Tai Wai Town Centre, coupled with an extension of the Kowloon Canton Railway from Hung Hom to Tsim Sha Tsui.

KCRC and MTRC have been invited to submit proposals for the first two projects while consultants will be engaged on the third project.

Mr Barma said following a recent public consultation exercise on ways of tackling traffic congestion, it had become clear that there was a strong public support for the introduction of the "user pays principle” to the use of the roads and the implementation of electronic road pricing (ERP).

"We are now planning an ERP feasibility study, to be followed by trial schemes and, if successful, the full implementation of an ERP system," he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Barma said, the Government was considering the enactment of legislation to enable the Administration to raise annual licence fees on private cars on transport grounds, to introduce a passage tax at the Eastern Harbour Crossing and to remove the tax benefits currently enjoyed by company cars.

"We will consider implementing the first two measures if the growth of private cars significantly exceeds the acceptable level of two to three per cent a year.

"The latter measure will be implemented in the near future since it is no longer appropriate to offer any incentives that actually encourage the purchase of private cars," he said.

Mr Barma said the Government was doing all it could to address the traffic and transport problems faced by residents of the North West New Territories.

"In addition to the Western Corridor Railway, we are building the Route 3 (Country Park Section), which will relieve Tuen Mun Road, for completion by end 1998.

"We are also widening sections of Tuen Mun Road and Castle Peak Road.

6

’’Traffic surveillance systems and bus only lanes are being provided in Tuen Mun Road to speed the flow of traffic, and public transport services to the area are being enhanced, for example, through the introduction of larger and faster ferries.

”We plan to increase the peak-hour capacity of ferry services between Tuen Mun and Central by 10 per cent in 1996 through the provision of one more high speed catamaran and introduce an extra Green Minibus route to the Tuen Mun ferry pier later this year," said Mr Barma.

End/Monday, October 16, 1995

Applications for cross-border coach services invited *****

The Transport Department is inviting applications from suitable operators to provide cross-border coach and/or hire car services between Hong Kong and China through the Sha Tau Kok and/or Lok Ma Chau Border Control Points.

To facilitate the processing of applications, applications should be submitted simultaneously to the Public Vehicles Section of the Transport Department, Hong Kong at third floor, United Centre, 95 Queensway, Hong Kong, and the Country Port of People's Government of Shenzhen Port Office, a spokesman for the department said today (Monday).

Applications are free of charge and will be valid for one year with effect from the closing date of applications.

Applications should be made in writing giving the following information:

* Applicants' personal particulars, including name, identity document, address and contact telephone number. In the case of a company, the name of the person(s) to be contacted and information on company registration;

* The name of the Border Control Point to be used. Applicants are required to submit separate applications for the use of each Border Control Point:

* Description of the nature of the service, the number and type of vehicles used and seating capacity:

7

In respect of the cross-border coach service, the proposed daily number of crossings between Hong Kong and China and crossing time at the Control Point (new applications for using the Lok Ma Chau Control Point will not be permitted to cross the Border Control Point earlier than 10 am), detailed routeing and terminal) facilities on Hong Kong side;

Relevant experience in operating similar transport services;

Details of partnership arrangements such as names and addresses of Hong Kong and partners in China; and

Approval-in-principle documents issued by relevant Chinese authorities for providing cross-border coach or hire car services.

The closing date of applications on the Hong Kong side is October 30, 1995.

Applications may be lodged in person or by post.

Applications are subject to approval at the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Joint SubWorking Group Meeting on Cross Border Transport Services. Further enquiries can be made to Ms Rhoda Wong on 2804 2578.

End/Monday, October 16, 1995

Landslip preventive measures information notes ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The following are the main points given by the Secretary for Works, Mr Kwong Hon-sang, during a visit to a Landslip Preventive Measures site in Kwai Chung and a media session this (Monday) morning:

Work on the Landslip Preventive Measures (LPM) programme is being speeded up. The aim is to complete the programme for the 1977-78 Catalogue of Slopes in five years, 10 years ahead of the original target.

8

The scope of the LPM is being enlarged to include slopes affecting busy roads and footpaths. The Government will include 220 public slopes in the 1996-97 and subsequent years’ programme for upgrading works. Of these, 69 slopes (30%) are near busy roads and footpaths, accounting for 45% of the cost for this programme.

Total expenditure will amount to $1.3 billion, increasing rapidly from $70 million a year (in previous years) to the peak of $300 million over the next five years.

To cope with the additional work, the Geotechnical Engineering Office (GEO) will create 133 posts, of which 48 (36%) will be at the Geotechnical Engineer Grade.

GEO will increase the use of consultants to undertake slope investigation and upgrading work. Four consultancies have been commissioned so far to undertake investigation on 400 private slopes and to upgrade 95 public slopes. Two more consultancies will be commissioned soon to investigate 200 private slopes and upgrade 80 public slopes.

The Buildings Department will step up enforcement action on private slope owners who fail to comply with statutory orders for repair of their slopes. The department will create 27 posts to cope with additional work related to the issue of dangerous slope notices and follow-up action.

Of the 10,840 slopes registered in the 1977-78 Catalogue of Slopes, preliminary studies have been made on 7,383 slopes and upgrading work carried out on 656 public slopes and 374 private slopes.

* GEO is carrying out a slope recataloguing exercise to identify and register slopes not included in the 1977-78 Catalogue.

* GEO is developing a new priority classification system to select slopes for inclusion in the LPM Programme. The system will include information about slope geometry, topography, evidence of past instability, if there is any, and potential for water ingress.

The works departments will step up inspection and repair of public drains and supply pipes which may affect stability of slopes. Owners of private lots will be encouraged to do the same for their buried drains and water pipes.

End/Monday, October 16, 1995

9

School education indicators discussed

♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

The Board of Education today (Monday) welcomed the compilation of 57 education indicators by the Education Department to systematically monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of Hong Kong's school education system.

The Chairman of the board, Dr Tam Man-kwan, said after today's board meeting that the indicators are useful quantitative statistics that measure performance over time, pinpoint strengths and weaknesses of the education system, and may help policy-makers to identify future direction and needs.

The 57 identified indicators are classified into three groups.

The first is a group of 31 "provision" indicators which give information on the provision of school places, adult education services, teachers and teacher training, and education expenditure.

Examples of this group are the pupil-teacher ratio in primary and secondary schools and the Government's education expenditure as a percentage of the gross domestic product.

Another 11 "process" indicators cover curriculum aspects, guidance and support services, school improvement measures and parental participation.

An example is the percentage of Pl to P3 classes in public sector schools which adopt the activity approach to teaching.

In addition, there are 15 "performance" indicators, such as illiteracy rate, which cover academic aspects, sports/cultural/aesthetic aspects and affective/behavioural aspects.

Some of the highlights from the 57 indicators include:

The illiterate population aged 15 and above has dropped from about 39 per cent in 1961 to 13 per cent in 1991.

* The provision of subsidised S4 places to the 15-year-old population increased steadily from 79 per cent in 1990-91 to 84.6 per cent in 1994-95, which is very close to the target provision of 85 per cent.

10

* Some 37 per cent of pupils holding subsidised S4 places in 1992-93 were offered subsidised S6 places two years later in 1994-95. This figure already exceeded the target provision of one public sector S6 place for every three public sector S4 places two years ago.

* In 1993-94, some 51 per cent of serving kindergarten teachers were trained, compared with only 22 per cent 10 years ago in 1984-85.

* Also in 1993-94, some 75 per cent of serving teachers in secondary schools were trained, compared with 58 per cent in 1984-85.

* The proportion of graduate teachers in secondary schools increased from 64 per cent in 1984-85 to nearly 73 per cent in 1993-94. Among these serving graduate teachers, some 69 per cent in 1993-94 were trained, compared with 53 percent in 1984-85.

* The pupil-teacher ratio in secondary schools dropped from 25:1 in 1984-85 to 21:1 in 1993-94. For primary schools this ratio decreased from 27:1 in 1984-85 to 25:1 in 1993-94.

* On average, only 22 per cent of the teaching periods in junior secondary classes (apart from periods in subjects such as English, Chinese, Chinese History, Religious Education, practical and technical subjects) are conducted in the Chinese medium in 1994-95 and 1995-96.

* Each year there are more than 2,000 reported cases of drop-out pupils leaving school without completing S3.

* In 1993, nearly 900 youngsters under 16 years for every 100,000 population under 16 were arrested for various crimes, compared with 524 youngsters in 1982.

* In 1993, among all the newly reported drug abusers, some 11.6 per cent were youngsters under 16 years of age. In 1985. this percentage was only 3.8 per cent.

The Education Department will update the set of indicators annually. New indicators will be developed whenever feasible and an abridged version of a report on the indicators will be prepared annually for public consumption.

11

The board suggested that the Education Department should consider analysing the indicators to find out the causes for certain concerns, such as the number of school dropouts, and see how the problem should be tackled.

It was also proposed at the meeting that in analysing the indicators, attention should be given to any trends shown by the statistics, the existence of any relevant benchmarks and comparisons with the policy goal.

On another agenda item, the Board of Education noted the Government's acceptance of the recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Teacher Education and Qualifications that teachers with non-local degrees and a local Postgraduate Certificate in Education should be eligible to compete with other candidates for appointment as Graduate Teachers in secondary schools.

It is intended that this alternative qualification should not only be implemented in aided secondary schools, caput schools and schools in the Bought Place Scheme, but also to Government schools as well. The relevant staff unions are being consulted on the recommendation.

The board planned to make an overseas visit during the 1995-96 financial year.

End/Monday, October 16, 1995

Index of industrial production

♦ * ♦ * *

*

The index of industrial production for the second quarter of this year continued to increase by 2.5% over the same quarter last year, according to the results of a survey released today (Monday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

An appreciable increase of 7.2% was recorded in the industry group of electrical and electronic products, machinery, professional equipment and optical goods.

Within this group, the production of machinery, equipment, apparatus, parts and components increased markedly by 9.7% but the production ol consumer electrical and electronic products decreased by 4.1%.

12

Increases were also recorded in the wearing apparel (except footwear) industry (+4.1%); the food, beverages and tobacco industry (+3.0%); the textiles (including knitting) industry (+2.8%); and the paper products and printing industry (+2.5%).

On the other hand, output of the chemical, rubber, plastic and non-metallic mineral products industry decreased by 7.5%. This was largely attributable to a decrease of 17.4% in the production of plastic products.

The basic metals and fabricated metal products industry also registered a decrease of 4.1%.

Compared with the first quarter of 1995, the index of industrial production showed a notable increase of 10.5%. This is consistent with the usual pick-up in manufacturing activities in the second quarter.

The index of industrial production reflects changes of local manufacturing output in real terms. In other words, it measures the volume of local production after discounting the effect of price changes.

More detailed information can be obtained from the "Quarterly Index of Industrial Production, 2nd Quarter 1995" report, which is on sale at $11 a copy at the Government Publications Sales Centre, Low Block, ground floor. Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong, or at the Census and Statistics Department Publications Unit, 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai. Regular subscription may also be arranged.

Enquiries about the survey result may be directed to the General Economic Surveys Section of the Census and Statistics Department on 2805 6643.

Percentage changes in the indices of industrial production are shown in the table. As from the first quarter of 1992, the Hong Kong Standard Industrial Classification (HSIC) is used to form the industry groups and component industries.

13

Indices of industrial production by industry group and selected component industry (1986 = 100)

Industry group / Selected component industry Index for 2nd Qtr. 1995 % change over

2nd Qtr. 1994 1st Qtr. 1995

1. Food, beverages and tobacco 158 +3.0 +5.8

2. Wearing apparel (except footwear) 107 +4.1 +10.8

3. Textiles (including knitting) 109 +2.8 +22.8

4. Paper products and printing 288 +2.5 +21.6

5. Chemical, rubber, plastic and non-metallic mineral products 64 -7.5 +9.1

within which : Plastic products (38) (-17.4) (+7.0)

6. Basic metals and fabricated metal products 92 -4.1 +0.8

within which : Fabricated metal products (except machinery and equipment) (90) (-5.1) (+6.7)

7. Electrical and electronic products, machinery, professional equipment and optical goods 168 +7.2 +5.2

within which : Consumer electrical and electronic products (117) (-4.1) (+2.1)

: Machinery, equipment, apparatus, parts and components (245) (+9.7) (+3.2)

8. Miscellaneous manufacturing industries 79 -3.1 +6.0

ALL MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES 123 +2.5 +10.5

Notes : 1. Four selected component industries, which carry relatively large weights and are major components of their relevant industry groups, are also included in the above table. For easy reading, the figures of these selected component industries are shown in brackets.

2. As from the first quarter of 1992, the Hong Kong Standard Industrial Classification (HSIC) is used to form the industry groups and selected component industries presented in the above table. For the exact coverage of the industry groups and component industries in terms of HSIC codes, please refer to the publication 'Quarterly Index of Industrial Production, 2nd Quarter 1995'.

End/Monday, October 16, 1995

14

Water storage figure

*****

Storage in Hong Kong’s reservoirs at 9 am today (Monday) stood at 98.9 per cent of capacity or 579.699 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 573.074 million cubic metres of water, representing 97.8 per cent of capacity.

End/Monday, October 16, 1995

Marine Department investigating catamaran accident

*****

In response to press enquiries, a spokesman for the Marine Department said today (Monday):

"The Marine Department is investigating an accident in which a Hong Kong bound catamaran hit the waterfront west of the Macau Ferry Terminal around noon today.

"The catamaran, carrying 69 passengers and eight crew members, was berthing at the terminal when she lost control and rammed into the seawall. Two of the passengers were slightly injured and later discharged from hospital. Some areas in the front part of the ship were buckled and fractured."

End/Monday, October 16, 1995

15

Fresh water cut in Sheung Wan and Sai Ying Pun

*****

Fresh water supply to some premises in Sheung Wan and Sai Ying Pun will be temporarily suspended from 11 pm on Thursday (October 19) to 6 am the following day to facilitate water mains alteration work.

The suspension will affect premises in 322-323 Des Voeux Road Central, Chung Kong Road, Water Front Police Station, Western Fire Services Street, Hong Kong Electric Sub-Station, Sewage Works Primary Sub-Station of the Drainage Services Department, Sheung Wan Fire Station, Mass Transit Railway Site Office, Water Supplies Department's Water Selling Kiosk, 3-158 Connaught Road West, 1-278 Des Voeux Road West, 1-356 Queen's Road West, 335-379 Queen's Road Central, 135-149 Bonham Strand, 1-87 Bonham Strand West, On Tai Street, New Market Street, Tung Loi Lane, Tung Hing Lane, 114-247 Wing Lok Street, Heung Hing Lane, Queen Street, Fat Hing Street, Sutherland Street, Ko Shing Street, Tsung Sau Lane East, Tsung Sau Lane West, Wo Fung Street, Korn U Street, Li Shing Street, Wilmer Street, Tsz Mi Alley, 1-42 Eastern Street, Mui Fong Street, Kwai Heung Street, Sung Hing Lane, Sai Yuen Lane, Ki Ling Lane, Chung Ching Street, 1-51 Centre Street, 1-45 Western Street, First Street, 1-121 Second Street, 1-127 Third Street, 3-126 High Street, 63-83 Bonham Road, 60-68 Pokfulam Road and 71-77 Pokfulam Road.

•if ’

End/Monday, October 16, 1995

Tender for 3-Year Exchange Fund Notes to be held ♦ * * * ♦

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority announced today (Monday) that the tender for the ninth issue of three-year Exchange Fund Notes would be held on Monday, October 23, 1995 for settlement on Tuesday, October 24, 1995.

Similar to the previous issue, an amount of HKS500 million three-year Notes will be on offer. In addition to that, another HKS100 million will be held as reserve by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority for supply to Market Makers in the secondary market. The Notes will mature on October 26, 1998 and will carry interest at the rate of 6.15% per annum payable semi-annually in arrears.

16

Members of the public who wish to tender for the Notes may do so through any of the Market Makers or Recognised Dealers on the published list which can be obtained from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority 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.

Tender information for the ninth issue of three-year Exchange Fund Notes is as follows:

Issue Number : 3810

Tender Date and Time : Monday, October 23, 1995, 9.30 am to 10.30 am

Issue and Settlement Date : Tuesday, October 24, 1995

Amount on Offer : HKS500 million plus an additional HK$100 million as reserve stock for the Monetary Authority

Maturity : Three years

Maturity Date : October 26, 1998

Interest Rate : 6.15% per annum payable semi-annually in arrears

Interest Payment Dates : April 24, 1996; October 24, 1996; April 24, 1997; October 24, 1997; April 24, 1998; October 26, 1998

Tender Amount : Each tender must be for an amount of HK$50,000 or integral multiples thereof. Members of the public who wish to tender for the Notes may approach Market Makers or Recognised Dealers on the published list

Other details : See Information Memorandum published or approach Market Makers or Recognised Dealers

End/Monday, October 16, 1995

17

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million

Time (hours)

Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,641 0930 +1,534

Closing balance in the account 1,564 1000 +1,534

Change attributable to : 1100 +1,535

Money market activity +1,536 1200 +1,536

LAF today -1,613 1500 +1,536

1600 +1,536

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 122.0 *-0.P 16.10.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.29 2 years 2708 6.06 100.53 5.83

1 month 5.44 3 years 3807 6.16 100.31 6.12

3 months 5.52 5 years 5009 6.95 101.13 6.79

6 months 5.58 5 years M501 7.90 103.13 7.21

12 months 5.61

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $24,304 million

Closed October 16, 1995

End/Monday, October 16, 1995

i

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Tuesday, October 17,1995

Contents Page No.

Planning Department to study leisure habits.............................. 1

Over 6,500 agreements lodged with Land Registry in September......... 1

85 VMs depart on orderly repatriation flight............................. 2

Monitors' report submitted to the Chief Secretary........................ 3

A total of 48 convictions for pollution in September..................... 3

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results.............................. 4

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

- 1 -

Planning Department to study leisure habits ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

4 J 1

The Planning Department today (Tuesday) signed an agreement to commission a firm to conduct a "Study of Leisure Habits/Recreation Preferences and Review of Chapter 4 of the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines”.

”The objective of the study is to review the present planning standards and guidelines on recreational facilities and open space to meet the changing needs of the community," a spokesman for the department said.

"The study will identify the broad pattern and the usage of existing and planned recreational facilities and open space."

Sample surveys will be carried out to examine recreational preferences of households and commercial/industrial workers and derive the likely future trends on leisure habits.

"Interviews with developers and recreation authorities and organisations will also be conducted to collect their views on the provision of recreational facilities in the territory.

"The findings of these tasks will provide input for reviewing and revising the present planning standards and guidelines," the spokesman added.

Starting today, the study will be completed in nine months.

’ » ;•

End/Tuesday, October 17, 1995

•' • « .*••*’/ • i •

Over 6,500 agreements lodged with Land Registry in September ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A total of 6,506 sale and purchase agreements for building units, which include both residential and non-residential properties, were lodged with the Land Registry last month (September 1995).

The figure represents a decrease of 3.8 per cent from that of August 1995 and a 15 per cent decrease compared with September last year.

2

The total consideration of these agreements is $17.36 billion, down 6.3 per cent and 25.2 per cent as compared with the amounts for August 1995 and September 1994 respectively.

The figures are contained in the monthly statistics released today (Tuesday) 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 August 1995 and September 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/Tuesday, October 17, 1995 • ’

85 VMs depart on orderly repatriation flight *****

A group of 85 Vietnamese migrants (VMs) returned to Vietnam today (Tuesday) on the 25th flight under the Orderly Repatriation Programme (ORP).

The returnees, comprising 35 men, 20 women, 16 boys and 14 girls, were mainly from High Island Detention Centre. The oldest is 49 years old and the youngest six months. Most of them arrived in Hong Kong in 1988 and 1989, with six in 1991 and one this year.

The group brought the total number repatriated on ORP flights since November 1991 to 1,541.

The returnees were transported to the airport early this morning for predeparture security checks before boarding their flight for Hanoi.

The Refugee Co-ordinator, Mr Brian Bresnihan, stressed that the Government was determined to repatriate all screened-out VMs to Vietnam.

3

"There is no future for them in Hong Kong and the best option for them is to volunteer to go back to Vietnam," he said.

End/Tuesday, October 17, 1995

Monitors’ report submitted to the Chief Secretary ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

• 1 . X ‘ % .. .

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

The monitors were Mr William Wan Hon-cheung, a Justice of the Peace; and Mr Chow Wing-hang from Oxfam.

End/Tuesday, October 17, 1995

A total of 48 convictions for pollution in September ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

A total of 48 convictions were made in the courts last month (September) for breaching anti-pollution legislation enforced by the Environmental Protection Department.

Among them, 18 were made under the Water Pollution Control Ordinance (WPCO), 18 under the Noise Pollution Control Ordinance (NCO), 10 under the Air Pollution Control Ordinance (APCO) and two under the Waste Disposal Ordinance (WDO).

The fines ranged from $1,000 to $40,000. Kent Yick Recreation Club Limited was fined $40,000 for failing to comply with the requirement of a Noise Abatement Notice.

The list of convicted cases and the associated fines imposed by the courts during September will be faxed.

Enquiries on specific cases can be directed to the following officers:

4

Case Officer Tel.

Cases 18, 29-32, 45 Mr Eddie Tse 2707 7501

Cases 16, 17, 36, 46, 48 Mr Murray Luo 2411 9601

Cases 1-8, 35, 47 Mr Patrick Lei 2685 1133

Cases 9-12, 33-34, 37-40 Mr Franklin Chung 2417 6074

Cases 25-28, 41-44 Ms Betty Cheung 2402 5201

Cases 13-15, 19-24 Mr Steven Ho 2516 1800

Enquiries on general issues should be directed to the department's Media Relations Unit.

End/Tuesday, October 17, 1995

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Tender date 17 OCT 95

Paper on offer EF bills

Issue number Q542

Amount applied HK$8,510MN

Amount allotted HK$ 1,500 MN

Average yield accepted 5.48 PCT

Highest yield accepted 5.49 PCT

Pro rata ratio About 21 PCT

Average tender yield 5.51 PCT

5

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

• ‘ . •. ■ 21. .*• . . n ..

Tenders to be held in the week beginning 23 OCT, 1995

Tender date 23 OCT 95 24 OCT 95 24 OCT 95

Paper on offer EF Notes .. Ki J EF bills - • V i i. •.{ i’1 EF bills

Issue number 3810 Q543 H576

Issue date 24 OCT 95 25 OCT 95 • . •. /. j* : > 25 OCT 95

Maturity date 26 OCT 98 .c * 24 JAN 96 24 APR 96

Tenor 3 Years 91 days 182 days

Amount on offer HKS500+100MN HK$ 1,500+300 MN HKS800+160MN

Coupon 6.15 PCT

End/Tuesday, October 17, 1995

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

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,564 0930 + 1,608

Closing balance in the account 2,174 1000 +1,608

Change attributable to: 1100 +1,608

Money market activity +1,610 1200 +1,615

LAF today -1,000 1500 +1,610

1600 +1,610

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 122.0 *+0.0* 17.10.95

6

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.34 2 years 2708 6.06 100.61 5.78

1 month 5.41 3 years 3807 6.16 100.45 6.07

3 months 5.51 5 years 5009 6.95 101.35 6.73

6 months 12 months 5.56 5.58 5 years M501 7.90 103.32 7.16

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $11,632 million

Closed October 17, 1995

End/Tuesday, October 17, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Wednesday, October 18,1995

Contents Page No,

Government fees and charges.............................................. 1

LegCo briefed on Legal Department Plans.................................. 2

Funding support under research and development schemes................... 5

Lands Tribunal Bill to be gazetted....................................... 6

Fees under the Buildings Ordinance revised............................... 6

Bill to expand Medical Council representation endorsed................... 8

Better regulation on non-local education qualifications.................. 9

Payroll statistics for second quarter 1995 .......................... 11

Special postmark to mark Dental Congress................................ 13

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

Government fees and charges ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government would lose more than $2 billion a year in revenue if all fees and charges were frozen at their present levels, the acting Secretary for the Treasury, Mr Alan Lai, said today (Wednesday).

To put this figure in perspective, all the salaries tax concessions announced in the 1995 Budget had cost $1.2 billion in 1995-96, he added.

"The only way the Government could respond to a freeze would be either to reduce the level of service to match the frozen fees, or for the general taxpayer to subsidise the cost of services," he explained. <

• * • V I. Vi J ±

• . 1 4. -

"Moreover, a one-year freeze would only store tip problems for the future - in a year's time fees would have to be increased to cover two years inflation. The amount of increase then would not be acceptable to the community." ■

Mr Lai said rigorous application of the user pays/full cost recovery principles was an integral part of Hong Kong’s low tax regime. Finance Branch was committed to fiscal prudence, and strict adherence to these principles was very important.

"Of course there are some exceptions. For well understood reasons, the central Government heavily subsidises some services such as hospital charges and education fees. But these are special cases where there is overwhelming social justification."

Mr Lai also pointed out that a freeze on government charges would have only a minimal impact on inflation - less than 0.1 per cent.

End/Wednesday, October 18,1995

2

LegCo briefed on Legal Department Plans

*****

The Attorney General, Mr Jeremy Mathews, today (Wednesday) briefed Legislative Council members on the new initiatives outlined in his policy commitments published in association with the Governor's Policy Address.

In respect of the provision of legal services, he proposed strengthening the Legal Department's Legal Policy Division and the Law Reform Commission Secretariat, creation of an Attorney General's office, and continued support for implementation of the legislation relating to vulnerable witnesses, and support for handling extra duties, such as asset recovery, arising under the Organised and Serious Crimes Ordinance, as well as increased workload in respect of commercial crime and corruption.

Mr Mathews explained that the work of the Legal Policy Division had increased tremendously in the past few years.

"The division has a wide variety of responsibilities, ranging from advice on human rights, constitutional and electoral law, and China Law, to the handling of petitions to the Governor and the preparation and promotion of legislation for which I have responsibility.

"Work in respect of each of these areas has grown very significantly. In the past, it was possible for officers in the division to undertake or supervise the work I have just referred to, and also to provide direct support to the Attorney General

in dealing with important government legal issues and policy making. This has now become too great a task," he said.

He proposed, firstly, to create an Attorney General's office which will have its own legal officers, as well as administrative and secretarial support.

Secondly, he proposed to increase the staffing of the Legal Policy Division so that assistance in respect of constitutional and legal policy issues could be handled more efficiently.

A further initiative was the proposed creation of a central Mutual Legal Assistance Unit within the division which would handle all requests by other jurisdictions for assistance on criminal or civil matters. On the Law Reform Commission, Mr Mathews said it continued to play an important role in keeping the laws of Hong Kong up-to-date and in tune with changes in community attitudes.

3

"In view of the increasing demand for the prompt production of high-quality law reform reports, I intend to increase the size of its secretariat," he said.

In common with the rest of the Administration, the Legal Department helps with preparing for the transition. Mr Mathews proposed five new initiatives:

improving research facilities and expertise to cope with the increasing demand for advice on China Law, and to keep abreast of the rapid development of the legal system and laws in China;

enhancing public access to the judicial system by providing bilingual court documents;

providing additional resources for the giving of legal advice in respect of the Basic Law and constitutional law;

* exploring ways to promote the greater use of both written and spoken Chinese (including Putonghua) throughout the department; and

strengthening the Law Drafting Division to enable it to deal with the additional drafting work required in the next three years.

On the two issues of immediate concern that he outlined in his Policy Commitments, namely legal services reform and briefing out of legal department cases, Mr Mathews noted that response to the Consultation Paper on Legal Services was good - 87 written submissions were received and a public opinion survey of 1,000 households was commissioned.

The department was now evaluating the results of these exercises with a view to formulating a clear policy on the way forward and he hoped to be able to brief Members further early next year, he said.

He added that the working party chaired by the Director of Public Prosecutions and including representatives of the Bar and Law Society was carrying out a review of the briefing out of criminal and civil cases and was expected to submit its report to him at the end of December.

He would be happy to brief members of the panel on the Administration of Justice and Legal Services on the report when he received it, he said, adding that in the meantime, he had put in place a number of new procedures designed to make the monitoring of briefed out cases more efficient.

4

As to the 10 undertakings made last year and the three outstanding since 1992. Mr Mathews reported that the department had completed six. was on schedule on six, and was taking active measures to speed up the progress on the one item which was behind schedule.

The six targets achieved are:

* to provide additional staff to conduct prosecutions in the Magistrates Courts to reduce the need to brief out work to private counsel;

* to publish the consultation paper on legal services in early 1995;

* to advance the publication of the legal glossary and to publish the first issue in March of this year;

* to introduce a new Succession Posts Scheme to accelerate the promotion of local counsel to the senior directorate;

* to resume reciprocal legal study visits, subject to the Chinese Government's agreement; and

to make special arrangements to ensure that three of the five Law Officer posts are filled by local officers by the end of 1995.

The one project where progress is behind schedule is the proposed provision of training in the common law for government lawyers from China, which is subject to a positive response from the Chinese authorities.

" I and my colleagues are continuing to pursue this idea and we are taking every opportunity to emphasise to the Chinese authorities the benefits to both sides of the proposed scheme," Mr Mathews said.

End/Wednesday, October 18, 1995

5

Funding support under research and development schemes

*****

Since the implementation of the Co-operative Applied Research and Development Scheme (CARDS) in June this year, four applications have been received and of these, three projects have been granted funding support of $16 million.

This was stated by the Assistant Director-General of Industry, Mr Raymond Young, at a briefing organised by the Applied Research Council (ARC) today (Wednesday).

"In addition to the Applied Research and Development (Applied R & D) Scheme, CARDS was introduced to enable local companies to leverage on the research expertise in Hong Kong and China in undertaking applied research projects. Under both schemes, the maximum level of funding is set at 75 per cent of fundable expenses," said Mr Young, who is also the Secretary of ARC.

The briefing was organised by the Applied Research Council Co Ltd in view of the keen interest expressed by the public on the Applied R & D Scheme and CARDS.

It was attended by some 350 participants from the manufacturing sector, tertiary institutions and research institutes as well as industry-support bodies.

Participants have shown great interest in the two funding schemes which aim to provide funding support to worthwhile applied research and product development projects undertaken by the local manufacturing sector.

Mr Young said the funding criteria of CARDS were comparable to those of the Applied R & D Scheme, but under CARDS, applicants needed to assemble a research team with researchers from both Hong Kong and China.

He hoped that through the implementation of CARDS, local manufacturers would be more proactive in tapping the vast pool of research expertise in tertiary institutions and research bodies in China of Hong Kong.

"Through this process, technological collaboration between Hong Kong and China would be enhanced to the benefit of the industrial and technological development of Hong Kong in the long run," he added.

End/Wednesday, October 18, 1995

6

Lands Tribunal Bill to be gazetted *****

A bill which seeks to amend the Lands Tribunal Ordinance will be gazetted on October 20 (Friday).

The Lands Tribunal (Amendment) Bill 1995 seeks to provide the Lands Tribunal with express jurisdiction under section 8(7) of the Lands Tribunal Ordinance to make orders for vacant possession, founded on the termination of tenancies, by notices of termination served pursuant to Parts IV or V of the Landlord and Tenant (Consolidation) Ordinance.

Under the bill, the Lands Tribunal is to be regarded as always having had this jurisdiction.

The bill, which will be introduced to the Legislative Council on November 2, also makes appropriate amendments to reflect the current position on the appointment of members of the Tribunal.

End/Wednesday, October 18, 1995

Fees under the Buildings Ordinance revised ♦ * * ♦ ♦

The Government is to increase the fees specified in the Building (Administration) Regulation 42 for the inclusion, retention or restoration of names to the registers of authorised persons, registered structural engineers, registered building contractors and registered ventilation contractors.

A government spokesman said the proposed increase of about nine per cent would bring the fees up to current price levels, following the last revision in November last year.

The new fees, to be published in the Government Gazette on October 20 (Friday), will come into effect on November 23.

Details of the fee increases are as follows:

7

Particular Current Fee ($) Proposed Fee ($)

Inclusion of name in the authorised persons' (AP) register or the registered structural engineers' (RSE) register 6,110 6,670

Retention of name in the AP/RSE's register for: 1 year 3 year 840 2,520 915 2,745

Restoration of name to the AP/RSE's register 2,500 2,730

Inclusion of name in the registered building contractors' (RBC) register 3,990 4,360

Retention of name in the RBC’s register for: 1 year 3 years 480 1,440 520 1,560

Restoration of name to the RBC's register 1,820 1,990

Inclusion of name in the registered ventilation contractors' (RVC) 8,560 9,350

Retention of name in the RVC's register for: 1 year 3 years 440 1,320 480 1,440

Restoration of name to the RVC’s register 1,635 1,790

End/Wednesday, October 18, 1995

8

Bill to expand Medical Council representation endorsed

*****

The Govemor-in-Council today (Wednesday) endorsed the introduction of the Medical Registration (Amendment) (No 2) Bill 1995 which seeks to expand the membership of the Medical Council to cope with its increased workload.

Under the proposed bill, the number of members of the Medical Council will be increased from the existing 14 to 24.

There would be additional representation from the University of Hong Kong, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Medical Association (HKMA) and the lay sector.

In addition, the new Medical Council would include directly elected members.

"We propose that six members be elected from all registered medical practitioners on the General Register and another six be elected from ail members of the HKMA," a spokesman for the Health and Welfare Branch said.

"The introduction of elected members into the Medical Council is in line with our policy of encouraging greater involvement of the profession in its own affairs."

The bill also proposes to establish a specialist register containing a list of medical practitioners entitled to be known as medical specialists in their respective specialities.

In addition to the existing Licentiate Committee and the Preliminary Investigation Committee, the new Council will set up three more committees, namely the Education and Accreditation Committee, the Ethics Committee and the Health Committee.

The bill will be published in the Gazette on October 27 and introduced into the Legislative Council on November 8.

End/Wednesday, October 18, 1995

9

Better regulation on non-local education qualifications ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government will soon introduce new legislation to protect the interest of local consumers by regulating the marketing of locally-conducted courses which will lead to the award of non-local higher academic or professional qualifications.

Under the Non-local Higher and Professional Education (Regulation) Bill to be gazetted on Friday (October 20), any course conducted in Hong Kong which will lead to the award of any non-local higher academic qualification, including sub-degree, degree, postgraduate or other post-secondary qualification, or professional qualification must apply for registration.

The registration of such regulated course will only be approved by the Registrar of Non-local Higher and Professional Education Courses, who will be the Director of Education, if it meets the required criteria.

In the case of a course leading to the award of a non-local higher academic qualification, the institution must be a recognised non-local institution of higher education. In addition, the standard of the course it offers must be maintained at a level comparable to a similar one conducted by the institution in its home country, and recognised by the institution, the academic communities and the relevant accreditation authorities of that country.

For a course that leads to the award of a non-local professional qualification, the professional body offering the course must be generally recognised in its home country as an authoritative and representative professional body in the relevant profession, and must itself recognise the course for the purpose of awarding the qualification.

A government spokesman today (Wednesday) explained that at present there are about 120 non-local institutions of higher education and professional bodies conducting more than 370 courses in Hong Kong. Seventy-four of these courses are conducted in collaboration with local tertiary institutions (LTIs) and approved post secondary colleges (APSC), while the rest are delivered independently.

10

’’The Government has so far not received any substantiated complaints about the quality of such courses or misleading advertisements on them. However, in view of the prevalence of non-local courses being marketed locally, the Government recognises the need to protect consumers' interests and to uphold Hong Kong’s international reputation as a place which attaches great importance to the quality of all higher academic and professional qualifications,” the spokesman said.

Any regulated course conducted in collaboration with a LTI or APSC will be exempt from registration if the executive head of the LTI or APSC certifies that the course is a collaborative venture meeting the standard required of a registered course.

”In the case of LTIs which receive government funding, the heads will also have to certify that the course is not financed by any fund allocated to it by the Government out of the general revenue," he said.

After the enactment of the proposed legislation, the Education (Overseas Tertiary Institutions) (Exemption) Order made in 1993 under the Education Ordinance to provide similar exemption from registration will be repealed.

The new legislation will also regulate the advertisements of regulated courses. No person will be allowed to advertise any regulated course that has not been registered or exempted to recruit students for the course. Neither will any person be allowed to issue any false or misleading advertisements on any regulated course.

In order to achieve wider consumer protection, the control over false or misleading advertisement will also apply to purely distance learning courses.

However, the new legislation will not require registration of those purely distance learning courses which are conducted solely through mail, telecommunication (for example, TV, radio, or computer network), or sale of materials in commercial outlets, but without the institutions, professional bodies or their agents being physically present in Hong Kong.

This is to balance the interests of consumer protection against any unnecessarily broad restriction on freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, which is guaranteed under the Bill of Rights.

’’Operators of purely distance learning courses are welcome to apply for registration on a voluntary basis," he said.

11

With the establishment of the new registration system, the public will have better access to information about non-local courses conducted in Hong Kong. They will be able to inspect free of charge the register of registered and exempted courses and the annual reports of registered courses.

The Non-local Higher and Professional Education (Regulation ) Bill is scheduled to be introduced into the Legislative Council on November 8, 1995.

End/Wednesday, October 18, 1995

Payroll statistics for second quarter 1995 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

According to statistics released today (Wednesday) by the Census and Statistics Department, average labour earnings in all major sectors of the economy, as measured by payroll per person engaged, recorded an increase of 13.1% in nominal terms in the second quarter of 1995 over a year earlier. After discounting changes in consumer prices, the increase was 3.6% in real terms.

Analysed by sector, average payroll per person engaged in the manufacturing sector increased by 10.5% in nominal terms, or 1.2% in real terms, in the second quarter of 1995 compared with a year ago.

For the wholesale, retail and import/export trades, restaurants and hotels sector, average payroll per person engaged increased by 12.5% in nominal terms or 3.0% in real terms. The increase in labour earnings was concentrated mainly in distributive trades. Labour earnings in restaurants and hotels showed a less rapid increase.

Average payroll per person engaged in the transport, storage and communication sector showed an increase of 14.0% in nominal terms or 4.4% in real terms. The significant increase was to some extent caused by the issue of seasonal bonuses by some transport companies in the second quarter of 1995.

Average payroll per person engaged in the financing, insurance, real estate and business services sector recorded an increase of 14.8% in nominal terms or 5.1% in real terms. The relatively larger increase was mainly due to the increase in the proportion of high-paid staff in the business services and insurance industries, and also the issue of more commission and bonus payment in the insurance industry.

12

As for the community, social and personal services sector, average payroll per person engaged recorded a moderate increase of 7.8% in nominal terms, equivalent to a decline of 1.3% in real terms. However, the decline was attributable in part to a high base of comparison in June 1994 when a substantial amount of retirement/contract gratuities were paid out by some establishments engaged in education services.

'■ -1'. , L . : -

Changes in the indices of payroll per person engaged between the second quarter of 1994 and the second quarter of 1995 for selected major sectors, in both nominal and real terms, are shown in the table as follows:

Year-on-Year Change in Indices of Payroll Per Person Engaged by Selected Major Industry Sector

% Change for second quarter 1995 over second quarter 1994

Selected Major Industry in nominal terms in real terms Sector

. 1 ■ . . . Manufacturing • +10.5 ’.I.. . . , +1.2

Wholesale, Retail and +12.5 +3.0

Import/Export Trades, ■S'- • ••• • • •' ,

Restaurants and Hotels .4., .

Transport, Storage and Communication +14.0 +4.4

. Financing, Insurance, Real Estate and Business Services +14.8 +5.1

Community, Social and Personal +7.8 -1.3

Services '** '• * ’ •4 • * J-

All Industry Sectors +13.1 +3.6

• >

13

Statistics on average payroll per person engaged are compiled at quarterly intervals based on the results of the Labour Earnings Survey conducted by the Census and Statistics Department. Wage indices are also compiled from the same survey at half-yearly intervals for March and September of the year.

Average payroll includes wages as well as all other irregular receipts such as bonuses and overtime allowances. Statistics on average payroll tend to show relatively larger quarter-to-quarter changes, affected by the number of hours actually worked and the timing of payment of bonuses and back-pay.

Detailed breakdowns of the above statistics are published in the "Quarterly Report of Employment, Vacancies and Payroll Statistics, June 1995". The report will be available shortly at $44 per copy (exclusive of postage) at the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong and at the Publications Unit of Census and Statistics Department, 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

For enquiries about the indices of payroll per person engaged, please contact the Census and Statistics Department at telephone number 2582 5076.

End/Wednesday, October 18, 1995

Special postmark to mark Dental Congress

*****

The acting Postmaster General, Miss Nancy Law, announced today (Wednesday) that to commemorate the 83rd FDI Annual World Dental Congress to be held in Hong Kong from October 23 to 27, a special postmark will be introduced.

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 October 23 at the following seven philatelic offices for any privately-made covers bearing an indication of the event:

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/Wednesday, October 18, 1995

14

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

t •‘‘•r . . Time Cumulative change • .<

* ’1 • $ million (hours) (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account Closing balance in the account 2,174 3,063 0930 1000 +997 +997 i

Change attributable to: 1100 +997

Money market activity +985 1200 +997 A

LAF today -96 1500 +999

1600 +985

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 121.9 *-0.1* 18.10.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.32 2 years 2708 6.06 100.64 5.76

1 month 5.40 3 years 3807 6.16 100.50 6.05 1

3 months 5.49 5 years 5009 6.95 101.40 6.72

6 months 5.53 5 years M501 7.90 103.31 7.17

12 months 5.56 • . A’ • •


Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $15,421 million

Closed October 18, 1995

End/Wednesday, October 18, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Supptemsiii

Wednesday, October 18,1995

Contents Page No,

Debate on Private Member’s Bills..................................... 1

Government Minute.................................................... 4

HK Sport Development Board Annual Report............................  6

COMAC’s Seventh Annual Report........................................ 9

Two human rights reports tabled in LegCo............................. 9

Companies Registry’s Annual Report tabled in LegCo.................. 10

Land Registry Trading Fund achieved $24.2M profit................ 11

Legal Aid Services Council Bill..................................... 13

Bill to amend anti-corruption laws introduced.................... 15

Prevention of Bribery Bill....................................... 18

Gas Safety (Amendment) Bill......................................... 21

Bank Notes Issue (Amendment) Bill 1995 ............................. 23

Buildings (Amendment) Bill.......................................... 25

Air Passenger Departure Tax Bill.................................... 28

Tax Reserve Certificates (Amendment) Bill........................... 29

Closure of....

Contents

Page No.

Closure of Tuen Mun Highway............................................... 30

No change in housing welfare for junior civil servants.................... 32

Public housing for lower-paid civil servants.............................. 34

Conduct of medical practitioners.......................................... 36

Container vehicles theft.................................................. 37

Measures to prevent elderly from committing suicide....................... 38

Reporter Xi Yang's case................................................... 40

Rat accounts.............................................................. 41

Reclamation and redevelopment............................................. 43

Illegal use of slopes on Crown land....................................... 46

Reclamation projects in Victoria Harbour.................................. 47

Public funded dental services............................................. 49

Governor's districts visits............................................... 53

Provision of shelters by bus companies.................................... 55

Safety at residential care homes for the elderly.......................... 56

Hostel for University of Hong Kong students............................... 59

Incidents in September LegCo elections.................................... 60

Traffic congestion at Cross Harbour Tunnel entrance....................... 63

Container port industry study............................................. 64

Protection of freedom of the press........................................ 65

1

Debate on Private Member's Bills

*****

Following is the speech by the Chief Secretary, the Hon Anson Chan, in the motion debate on Private Member's Bills in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

The motion that Members are debating today needs to be seen in the context of this Council's overall responsibility for the passing of legislation. Our system of government in Hong Kong provides for the executive - the Administration - to take the lead in formulating policies, and the legislature, that is, this Council, to scrutinize the legislative and financial proposals that we put forward. It has always been the case that the vast majority of Bills considered by this Council are introduced by the Administration.

The Administration's programme of legislation does not come about by accident. It is carefully thought out. Many Bills reflect the wishes of Members of this Council, expressed through motion debates, through discussion in LegCo panels or through other means. Many others are the result of public consultation exercises, or of recommendations made by our many advisory Boards and Committees. Still others are initiatives by the Administration, perhaps to give effect to an international obligation that the sovereign power has entered into on our behalf, to update legislation that is now obsolete or to correct some anomaly or loophole in previous legislation.

Every year, Branch Secretaries put forward proposals for legislation in their policy areas arising from all these sources. The Financial Secretary, the Attorney General and I meet several times with the Law Draftsman to consider these proposals very carefully. We have to balance the pressures for change against the resources available, both in terms of the capacity of the Law Draftsman's Division to draft the legislation and of this Council to scrutinize it. Inevitably, we conclude that we cannot include in our programme all the proposals that have been put forward. So we have to set priorities. And we do this, of course, in terms of what we honestly believe to be the public interest. Our aim is to end up with a balanced programme of legislation that meets, as far as possible, the interests of the various sectors of our society.

2

So a lot of work goes into the preparation of our legislative programme. And we give it a high priority which I hope is shared by members of this Council.

Let me state at the outset that the Administration fully respects Members' constitutional right to introduce PMBs, subject to the limitation imposed by Royal Instructions regarding PMBs which have the objective effect of disposing of or charging any part of the public revenue. But, as the Governor said in his Policy Address, we doubt whether the public interest is best served by this Council and the Government operating on parallel tracks rather than moving forward on an agreed basis.

Continuing cooperation between the Government and LegCo in the coming session will surely be the best way to promote the interests of the people of Hong Kong.

-■’ .. I

It is in this spirit of cooperation that the Governor offered in his Policy Address to review with Members our proposed programme of legislation for 1995/96. I have suggested to the Chairman of the House Committee that among the issues we need to discuss are whether this programme needs to be adjusted to take account of Members' own priorities, how the Government's legislative programme can be processed most efficiently and effectively, and how PMBs can be handled in a way that will not upset the processing of public bills or put a strain on resources in the Administration.

I would like to echo the Governor's call for the Government and LegCo to move forward by consensus wherever possible. Clearly the more we can cooperate on the Government's legislative programme, the less need there will be for Members to put forward their own bills.

I now turn to the more specific issue of PMBs which aim to amend or repeal laws enacted to implement JLG agreements. Since 1985, the JLG has reached many agreements on a variety of subjects, from the construction of a new airport to the establishment of the Court of Final Appeal, from Hong Kong's membership in GATT to the future use of defence lands. These agreements have one important point in common: they are the results of joint efforts, by Britain as the current sovereign and China as the future sovereign, to identify solutions for issues which are essential for a successful transition. Together, they provide a framework within which we can work for a secure and prosperous future.

These agreements are not reached lightly. They are invariably the product of careful negotiations. Before the British side signifies its agreement to a particular issue, it will always ensure that:

3

(a) the agreement is fully consistent with the Joint Declaration; and that

(b) the agreement safeguards the best long-term interests of Hong Kong.

At all stages of the negotiations, the Hong Kong Government is fully involved, as it is in all aspects of the work of the JLG. And in the process, we take full account of views expressed by this Council and the community.

Where the implementation of an JLG agreement requires legislation, draft legislation will of course be put before this Council. And this Council has a well established track record of performing its scrutinising role responsibly and with vigour.

But to repeal or make fundamental amendments to laws enacted to implement JLG agreements would have serious consequences. In effect, it would mean negating the work of the JLG, and unstitching the way forward that had been painstakingly agreed on important transitional issues. Progress in the implementation of the Joint Declaration would be severely affected. Indeed, the whole basis for a successful transition would be called into question. All this would be extremely damaging to Hong Kong, and to confidence in Hong Kong, particularly as we enter into the final 20 months of the transition. 1 am sure that Members of this Council recognize the dangers of proceeding down this road.

At the end of the day, any legislature or executive is credible only if it performs responsibly, and is seen to be acting in the overall interests of the community it serves. As the Governor pointed out in his Policy Address, the interests of the people of Hong Kong must be paramount. He made it clear that he would not shrink from refusing assent to legislation if it were his honest view that this course of action would be in the best interests of Hong Kong. I very much hope, of course, that we will not get v ourselves into a situation where the Governor has to consider making use of his constitutional powers

Finally, I would like to turn to the amendment proposed by the Hon Lee Cheuk-yan. The first part of this amendment seems to me to do no more than state what is generally recognised to be the current constitutional position, subject of course to the limitation imposed by the Royal Instructions. The second part relates to the amendment to the Basic Law by the National People’s Congress. This of course is a matter for the Special Administrative Region Government and Central People’s Government, not the Hong Kong Government. I therefore do not propose to comment on it.

End/Wednesday, October 18, 1995

4

Government Minute

*****

Following is the speech by the Chief Secretary, the Hon Anson Chan, in introducing the Government Minute in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

-j.'t

Mr President,

Laid on the table today is the Government Minute responding to Report No. 24 of the Public Accounts Committee. The Minute sets out the measures the Government has taken, or is planning to take, on the conclusions and recommendations contained in the Report.

. •' * ' ■■ ,

Mr Peter Wong, the then Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, spoke in this Council on 26 July 1995 when tabling the Report. I would like to respond to some „ .of the points he made.

Mr Wong highlighted the problems relating to the licensing of food establishments, particularly the aspects of co-ordination, both within and amongst government departments, and the time required to process applications. As we have advised the Committee at the public hearing, the licensing authorities^ i.e. the two Municipal Councils, are conscious of the problems and have been making efforts to rectify the situation. The Director of Regional Services and the Director of Urban Services have been seeking the co-operation of concerned departments to streamline the licensing procedures and co-ordinating improvement measures to achieve this. Both have introduced measures to ensure that the processing time is kept within 60 days. They are also working actively on the "Provisional Licence System" for restaurants whereby premises will be allowed to operate when they have complied with certain basic requirements, pending the issue of a "full" licence. They hope to introduce this system by end 1995. In the meantime, control for food business premises will be strengthened and enforcement action on unlicensed premises stepped : up to safeguard public safety.

5

The second issue addressed by Mr Wong in his speech is road opening. The Administration fully recognises the problems associated with repeated and multiple road excavations and the inconveniences these may cause to the public. We have devoted serious efforts to co-ordinate, plan, and control utility openings to keep disruptions to road users to the minimum. Members will see from the Government Minute what we have done and are planning to do in this respect. We aim to bring to this Council soon the necessary amendments to the Crown Land Ordinance for the implementation of the excavation permits fee scheme, a measure which we have been asked at various fora of this Council to pursue.

Turning to briefing out of prosecution work to private counsel, I note that the PAC concurs with the Attorney General that there are good public interest reasons for the Legal Department to maintain the briefing out system, mainly to meet operational needs if the resources or the expertise required do not permit the Legal Department to handle the cases in-house. It is our intention to handle cases by counsel in the Department as far as possible.

As the PAC rightly points out, it is important for the Legal Department to have clearer policies and guidelines on the briefing out arrangements. The existing system is being reviewed by a Working Party chaired by the Director of Public Prosecutions and comprising representatives from relevant government departments, the Bar Association and the Law Society. The Working Party will report to the Attorney General by the end of this year. We shall continue to improve the existing arrangements taking into account the recommendations of the Working Group. On the question of briefing out fees, since April this year, both the Legal Department and the Legal Aid Department pay maximum standard rates fees only for long and complex cases.

Mr Wong also mentioned the Committee’s deliberations on the subject of accountability of public organisations, in particular the role of the Director of Audit in conducting value for money audits of such organisations. On this, we note the range of views that Members of the Public Accounts Committee have expressed. We have given these careful consideration. Whilst such audits might increase the transparency and public accountability of statutory bodies, we need to consider whether they are appropriate having regard to the operating framework of individual organisations.

c

6

Like some Members of the Committee, our main reservations on the proposal relate to public corporations like the MTRC, the KCRC and the Airport Authority who are established by law to run on prudent commercial principles. For this category of public organisations, we remain of the view that it would be inconsistent with the concept of establishing statutory bodies with a legal requirement to operate along commercial principles if their day to day management were to be placed under the scrutiny of the Director of Audit, and eventually to be made public.

We prefer instead to continue to place reliance on the tried and tested statutory and regulatory framework under which such bodies are required to operate. This includes internal and external professional audits and reporting of accounts to this Council. We have no wish to be complacent in this respect, however. We will therefore continue to examine further areas for increasing transparency and accountability, as suggested by Members, where these are also consistent with the principles of sound commercial management.

Mr President, I wish to conclude by saying that it is the aim of the Administration to serve the community by delivering quality services that are efficient and effective. The Director of Audit and the Public Accounts Committee have played a significant role in ensuring that we are on the mark. We will continue to work closely with them in our quest for greater efficiency.

End/Wednesday, October 18, 1995

HK Sport Development Board Annual Report *****

Following is the speech by the acting Secretary for Recreation and Culture, Mrs Rachel Cartland, on the Annual Report of the Hong Kong Sports Development Board at the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

I am pleased to be able to present the Annual Report of the Hong Kong Sports Development Board for the year 1994-95. This Report incorporates the statement of the Hong Kong Sports Institute, and is the first consolidated report of the two organisations since they were integrated under the Hong Kong Sports Development Board Ordinance, with effect from 1 April 1994.

7

The year 1994-95 is the fourth and final year of the Board's fi^st Strategic Plan. During that four year cycle, annual updates of progress have been produced for public information and a consolidated progress report covering 1991-95 has recently been issued.

A good deal of time has been spent in the past twelve months on the preparation of a second Strategic Plan which will cover the next four years, and will thus determine the direction of sports development up to the year 2000. Considerably more consultation with the various agencies has been undertaken in this process than was felt necessary in 1990. The draft Plan was also put out for public consultation from 1 June - 31 July, and comments were received up to 30 September. This exercise has brought the sports community together and its members have responded positively and contributed most helpfully.

Another milestone in sports development was achieved when in May 1994, the Board moved into its new office premises at Sports House, together with thirty-four National Sports Associations. Sports House was built as part of the Hong Kong Stadium redevelopment, through funding from the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club. The Government, as landlord of Sports House, has entrusted the Board with the responsibility of managing the building at a nominal rental. The building has provided an invaluable focal point for sports development, both locally and internationally and its lecture theatre and conference rooms have been extensively used by the business and sporting communities.

Funds made available to the Board have continued to increase significantly since the Board's inception five years ago. The Government subvention for 1994-95 was $73.26 million and an additional $12.49 million was raised through sponsorship and donations. A total of $24.05 million was dedicated to the programmes of the NSAs, an increase of 25% on the previous year. In addition, the Hong Kong Sports Development Board currently controls two trust funds donated from the Jockey Club for the Board and the Sports Institute respectively, and a $100 million allocation from the Government for the Sports Institute, from which a total of $71.18 million has so far been used for the Board's and the Institute's operations. ».

Since the introduction of the Board's Block Grant Scheme in 1991, NSAs have been enjoying the benefits of funding of their staffing, office expenses and training programmes. In 1994/95, a total of $41.38 million was allocated under the Scheme to the ASF&OC and NSAs. A comprehensive NSA Career Development Plan has been implemented which includes an in-service training programme, an incremental salary scale, a Provident Fund Scheme and a diploma course in Sports Management at the University of Hong Kong.

8

One of the Board's most significant community programmes has been the Hongkong Telecom Go! Sports Programme which was launched in 1993. With the full support of the Education Department, major sponsors and two School Sports Associations, it has already reached 40% of Hong Kong schools and promises to be one of the most comprehensive and exciting junior sports programmes yet introduced in the territory.

The Hong Kong Sports Institute is predominantly involved, in accordance with its mandate, in providing an environment in which athletic talent can be identified, nurtured and developed. This aim implies the pursuit of excellence by athletes and coaches. In 1994, Hong Kong's teams won a total of 19 gold, 25 silver and 28 bronze medals at the year's Asian, Commonwealth and FESPIC Games. The Institute played a significant role in helping to produce these results through its coaching effort, and support from its sports medicine and sports science staff.

The Coach Education Programmes administered by the Institute, working with the National Sports Associations have continued to develop with 35 Associations participating. More than 3,900 coaches attended sports theory courses and over 450 coaches attended 7 seminars.

A good deal has been done in forging technical links between the Institute and China. A total of 23 coaches were given financial support to attend coach education programmes there and in other countries. Strong working links have also been developed at a technical level with various institutes and organisations in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and China.

An important new initiative was launched in athlete education, appreciating the need for the Institute to do more to keep athletes in the programme. Increased resources were made available to prepare athletes for a life after their sporting careers are over. More assistance has been given in providing educational training and in creating career opportunities for athletes. These important support services will be expanded upon in the next financial year.

All in all, it has been a successful first year for the new integrated body which must continue to provide the leadership to take sports development forward. The second Strategic Plan provides the vehicle for this and I look forward to consulting Members of this Council on that Plan in the near future.

End/Wednesday, October 18, 1995

9

COMAC's Seventh Annual Report

*****

Following is the speech by the Chief Secretary, the Hon Anson Chan, in tabling the Government Minute in response to COMAC's Seventh Annual Report at the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

When COMAC's Seventh Annual Report was presented to the Council on 19 July, the Administration indicated that a Government Minute would be prepared in three months' time. This Government Minute is tabled today.

The Government Minute covers all the complaint cases which COMAC investigated and listed in his Annual Report. In the majority of these cases, the branches and departments involved have accepted and followed up all of COMAC's recommendations. There are a few cases in which some of the COMAC's recommended measures have had to be modified because of operational constraints. The reasons for these modifications are set out in the Minute.

Should any Member of this Council wish to have further clarification on any point in the Government Minute, the Administration would be happy to provide it.

End/Wednesday, October 18, 1995

Two human rights reports tabled in LegCo ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Two UK Government reports on human rights in Hong Kong has been formally tabled in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday).

They are the fourth report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the thirteenth report under the International Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD). The ICCPR report which has already been made public in July, will be in bound, bilingual format. The report under the ICERD is still being translated and the edition released today will be in English only.

10

"We hope to publish the bilingual version by early-December", a government spokesman said.

"The UN Human Rights Committee will examine the ICCPR report on October 19 and 20. A Hong Kong team, led by Solicitor General Daniel Fung, will attend as part of the UK delegation.

"We expect that the ICERD report will be examined by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination at its 48th session in March 1996," the spokesman added.

Free copies of the ICCPR reports (bilingual) and ICERD report (English) are now available at the Marketing Office of the Information Services Department on the 17th floor, Siu On Centre, 176-192, Lockhart Road, Wan Chai.

End/Wednesday, October 18, 1995

Companies Registry's Annual Report tabled in LegCo ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

The Companies Registry's Annual Report for 1994-95 was tabled in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday) by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui.

The report shows the Companies Registry produced a surplus of $16.5 million for the period from April 1, 1994, to March 31, 1995. The Registry had budgeted for a surplus of $5.4 million.

"There will be a retained earnings of $11.5 million after a dividend payment of $5 million to the Government. These would be used to upgrade the facilities and computerise the services of the Registry in the next few years," said the Registrar of Companies, Mr Gordon Jones, who is also the General Manager of the Companies Registry Trading Fund.

"In terms of service delivery, most of the performance targets set for the year have been achieved. Incorporation of new companies is achieved in seven working days as targeted, and the registration of overseas companies takes 35 working days, being seven working days shorter than the 42 working days target.”

11

The renovation of the Registry premises in the past year has also brought about noticeable improvements to the facilities for the public to search or lodge documents.

’’The next year will see the start of major initiatives to enable customers to conduct business with the Registry more conveniently from their own offices," said Mr Jones.

The Companies Registry plans to make available the Names and Document Indices combined with a facility to allow customers to order searches by fax and thereafter, to introduce an on-line service by phases leading to a search ordering facility by terminal.

Arrangements are also being made to allow the use of either English or Chinese in the filing of documents with the Registry, following the enactment of the Companies (Amendment) Ordinance in July this year.

The report is the Companies Registry's second one since it became a trading fund in August 1993. It covers the first full financial year of its operations.

The Companies Registry’s main functions are to incorporate and strike-off companies, receive and maintain information required to be submitted by companies and other organisations in Hong Kong and to make that information available to the public.

It also plays an enforcement role to ensure compliance with the relevant parts of the various ordinances that it administers.

End/Wednesday, October 18, 1995

Land Registry Trading Fund achieved S24.2M profit ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Land Registry Trading Fund has recorded another very successful year of operation achieving a net profit of $24.2 million for the year ended March 31.

This represented an annual rate of return of 10.3 per cent on average net fixed assets, as compared with the target of 10 per cent.

12

These figures were released in the second Annual Report of the Land Registry Trading Fund tabled by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, in the Legislative Council this (Wednesday) afternoon. According to the report, the registry had met all the performance targets and financial objectives during its second year of operation.

"The key to our success in running our operations is that we focus on satisfying customer needs and expectations, managing financial and human resources flexibly and effectively and securing staff commitment to deliver customer-based services," the Land Registrar and General Manager of the Land Registry Trading Fund, Mr Kenneth Pang, said in the report.

In delivering new and improved services to meet the needs of its customers, Mr Pang said an extremely fast and convenient land search facility called "Direct Access Services" had been launched.

"This new service enables customers to make on-line searches of the computerised land registers and place orders for copies of land records through their own office computer terminals without having to call at the Land Registry offices.

"The scope of such services is being progressively expanded as more and more registers in the New Territories are computerised," he said.

The report also pointed out that the Registry was in the process of setting up a Document Imaging System to convert paper land documents into electric images to be stored on optical disks. The system would provide very fast and efficient record retrieval and delivery services to the users.

Looking ahead, Mr Pang said the Land Registry would continue to press on with its efficiency improvement projects and to further upgrade its service.

"When all the major development projects are completed in about two years," Mr Pang said, "the Land Registry will have a fully computerised and unified Land Register for the whole territory.

"All users will then be able to lodge deeds for registration in respect of properties in any district with a central registration office.

"They can also make land searches and obtain copies of land documents in respect of any properties in the territory at any one of the Registry's office or direct from computer terminals at their own offices," he said.

13

Mr Pang was confident that the Land Registry, as one of the forerunners in the Government in developing and practising a customer-based and service-oriented culture, will continue to deliver value-for-money quality service to its customers.

The Land Registry is one of the first trading fund government departments established on August 1, 1993, to operate on a self-financing and quasi-commercial basis, aimed at improving its quality of service to customers.

End/Wednesday, October 18, 1995

Legal Aid Services Council Bill ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Chief Secretary, the Hon Anson Chan, in moving the second reading of the Legal Aid Services Council (No 2) Bill in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

I move that the Legal Aid Services Council (No 2) Bill be read the second time. The Bill provides for the establishment of an independent Legal Aid Services Council to oversee the publicly-funded legal aid services operated by the Legal Aid Department and the Duty Lawyer Service. Members will recall that this Bill was introduced into this Council on 22 February, but the Council was unable to accord priority to it, as there were other more pressing commitments at that time. So that it lapsed at the end of the 1994/95 session.

The establishment of a Legal Aid Services Council was one of 25 recommendations made by a Working Group whose report was approved by the Executive Council and published in July last year, and which took into account the comments received on proposals set out in a public consultation paper released in April 1993. The other areas covered by the report involved improvements to the scope and operation of the legal aid scheme. These improvements were implemented via the Legal Aid (Amendment) Ordinance 1995, which was passed by this Council on 15 June and commenced operation on 28 July.

14

Let me make it clear at the outset that the Administration does not at present interfere with decisions made by the Legal Aid Department or the Duty Lawyer Service on the granting of legal aid. The Director of Legal Aid has a statutory obligation under the Legal Aid Ordinance to consider applications before her independently; and the Duty Lawyer Service is administered jointly by the Bar Association and the Law Society. However, the Administration recognises that the status of the Legal Aid Department as a Government Department may create a perception problem in some quarters. We have therefore accepted the recommendation of the Working Group that an independent statutory Legal Aid Services Council should be set up.

To safeguard the independence of the Legal Aid Services Council, Clause 3 of this Bill establishes it as a body corporate which can take action to enforce its legal rights or can be sued for breach of its legal duties. It will not be an agent of the Crown and will therefore not enjoy any status as such. Clause 15 also adds the Council onto the Schedule of public bodies under the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance.

Clause 4 of the Bill sets out the functions of the Council clearly. Its main function will be to oversee the Legal Aid Department and the Duty Lawyer Service, although it will not interfere with their handling of individual cases. The Council will also act as the Government's advisory body on the formulation of policies relating to legal aid and on the funding requirements of its executive agents.

Clause 5 of the Bill states that the Legal Aid Services Council will be chaired by a non-official who is independent of both the Government and the legal profession . Its members will include four lawyers and four lay persons, in addition to the Director of Legal Aid and the Administrator of the Duty Lawyer Service who are directly responsible for the provision of legal aid services. Members of the Legal Aid Services Council are required by Clause 8 to disclose any interests that they may have in matters being considered by the Council. On the other hand, Clause 7 protects individual members who act in good faith from civil liabilities for any act or omission of the Council.

Clauses 9 to 13 of the Bill deal with the modus operandi of the Council. To enhance its accountability, the Council will be required to submit an annual report to the Governor, and to table its report before this Council. The accounts of the Legal Aid Services Council will be subject to examination and inquiry by the Director of Audit.

15

The establishment of a Legal Aid Services Council will be far from a cosmetic change, as some critics have suggested. On the contrary, it will represent a significant policy change. It will provide a greater and more direct opportunity for public participation in legal aid administration and policy formulation and will thereby enhance the independence of legal aid administration. Some people have argued that we should go further and dis-establish the Legal Aid Department. The Administration is not convinced that this is the best way forward, but we are not ruling it out. Once the Legal Aid Services Council is established, we will ask the Council to examine the feasibility and desirability of this option.

End/Wednesday, October 18, 1995

Bill to amend anti-corruption laws introduced ♦ * * ♦ ♦

A Bill seeking to make legislative amendments needed in order to implement the recommendations in the report of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) Review Committee published in December last year was introduced into the Legislative Council today (Wednesday).

The Bill is similar to the Prevention of Bribery (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 1995 which lapsed at the end of the last legislative session. However, there is a difference in the Chinese text, reflecting the fact that an authentic Chinese text of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance has since been gazetted.

Moving the second reading of the Prevention of Bribery (Miscellaneous Provisions) (No. 2) Bill 1995 today, the Attorney General, the Hon Jeremy Mathews, said the Bill was an essential step in reaffirming the ICAC’s mandate in the light of present day circumstances and the changing expectations of the people of Hong Kong 20 years after the establishment of the ICAC.

Mr Mathews said in promoting the Bill, the Government’s objectives were to strike a balance between two potentially conflicting views held in the community: that the ICAC needs to have sufficient powers to be effective in the continuing battle against corruption; and that it should be more accountable and transparent in the use of those powers.

16

The Bill proposes amendments to the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance, the Independent Commission Against Corruption Ordinance and the Magistrates Ordinance. The amendments can be grouped into three categories.

The first category relates to certain powers at present vested in the Commissioner, ICAC, which are to be transferred to the courts.

"In particular, court approval will be needed in order for the ICAC to require a person to supply information under section 14 of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance, to search premises (save in exceptional cases), or to prevent a suspect from disposing of property," Mr Mathews said.

The second category of amendments are to ensure that the legislation relating to the ICAC is consistent with the Bill of Rights Ordinance. The amendments will provide -

* that the Commissioner’s special powers of investigation arise only if he has reasonable cause to believe that an offence under the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance may have been committed;

* that the Commissioner's power to apply to a magistrate for a notice requiring a person to surrender his travel documents arises only if he reasonably suspects that person to have committed such an offence;

* that a person who has surrendered a travel document has the option of applying to the Commissioner of the ICAC, or a magistrate, or both, for its return; and

* that a statutory declaration or written statement made in compliance with a requirement under the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance will be admissible in evidence against the person who made it only if he gives evidence that is inconsistent with it.

Additionally, provisions in the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance that creates a presumption of corruption and allow a court to comment on the failure of an accused to give evidence are to be repealed, Mr Mathews said.

He said the opportunity presented by the Bill was taken to amend section 10(2) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance in order to ensure that it was safe from challenge under the Bill of Rights Ordinance.

17

Section 10(1) makes it an offence for a Crown servant to maintain a standard of living above that which is commensurate with his official emoluments, or to be in control of pecuniary resources or property disproportionate to those emoluments.

At present section 10(2) creates a presumption, in a prosecution under section 10(l)(b), that certain assets were in the control of the accused, until the contrary is proved.

"It is now proposed to amend section 10(2) by replacing the legal presumption with an evidentiary presumption. The effect of this will be that the accused is not required to prove that the assets were not in his control, there merely has to be some evidence to that effect in order to displace the presumption," he said.

Mr Mathews noted that the importance of section 10 was recognised in a recent case decided by the Court of Appeal, which said in its decision:

"And in case after case over the years, section 10 has proved its effectiveness in the fight against corruption. Although less visible, its deterrent effect must have been even greater. Chapter 201 of the Laws of Hong Kong is rightly named the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance. Section 10's worth is well-established."

The third category of amendments relates to miscellaneous provisions These include amendments -

* to give the 1CAC the same access to tax records as exists under the Drug Trafficking (Recovery of Proceeds) Ordinance and the Organised and Serious Crimes Ordinance;

* to modify the power of the Commissioner of the ICAC to dismiss an officer under section 8(2) of the ICAC Ordinance;

* to make it possible for the ICAC to keep a suspect on bail no longer than is necessary; and

* to enable the Commissioner of the ICAC, in discharging specified corruption prevention duties, to gain access to all records, books and documents held by public bodies.

End/Wednesday, October 18. 1995

18

Prevention of Bribery Bill

♦ * * ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Attorney General, the Hon Jeremy Mathews, in moving the second reading of the Prevention of Bribery (Miscellaneous Provisions) (No 2) Bill 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

1 move that the Prevention of Bribery (Miscellaneous Provisions) (No.2) Bill 1995 be read a second time. This Bill is similar to the Prevention of Bribery (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 1995 that I introduced into this Council in May of this year, but which lapsed on the dissolution of the Council in the summer. However, the Chinese text of the current Bill differs from that of the earlier Bill, reflecting the fact that an authentic Chinese text of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance has since been Gazetted.

The purpose of this Bill is to make the legislative amendments needed in order to implement the recommendations in the report of the ICAC Review Committee. That committee was established at the beginning of 1994 to review the powers of the ICAC and its accountability in the exercise of its powers. It was chaired by Mr Helmet Sohmen and included members of this Council, community leaders and members of the Administration.

The report of the Review Committee was published in December 1994 and contained 76 conclusions and recommendations. Those recommendations may broadly be described as evolutionary rather than revolutionary. Members of this Council were given copies of the report, and the Security Panel of the Council discussed the report in January of this year, where it expressed strong support for several of the recommendations.

The Administration has announced that, in principle, it accepts the recommendations in the report, although some minor procedural refinements may be required in some cases. Certain of the recommendations can only be implemented by legislation, and that is the purpose of the Bill I am now introducing. In promoting this Bill, the Government's objectives are to strike a balance between two potentially conflicting views held in the community: that the ICAC needs to have sufficient powers to be effective in the continuing battle against corruption; and that it should be more accountable and transparent in the use of those powers.

19

The Bill proposes amendments to the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance, the Independent Commission Against Corruption Ordinance and the Magistrates Ordinance. The amendments can be grouped into three categories.

Control by the courts

The first category relates to certain of the powers at present vested in the Commissioner, ICAC, which are to be transferred to the courts. In particular, court approval will be needed in order for the ICAC to require a person to supply information under section 14 of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance, to search premises (save in exceptional cases), or to prevent a suspect from disposing of property.

Bill of Rights Ordinance

The second category of amendments are to ensure that the legislation relating to the ICAC is consistent with the Bill of Rights Ordinance. The amendments will provide:

* Firstly, that the Commissioner's special powers of investigation arise only if he has reasonable cause to believe that an offence under the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance may have been committed;

* Second, that the Commissioner's power to apply to a magistrate for a notice requiring a person to surrender his travel documents arises only if he reasonably suspects that person to have committed such an offence;

* Third, that a person who has surrendered a travel document has the option of applying to the Commissioner of the ICAC, or a magistrate, or both, for its return; and

* Fourth, that a statutory declaration or written statement made in compliance with a requirement under the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance will be admissible in evidence against the person who made it only if he gives evidence that is inconsistent with it.

Provisions in the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance that create a presumption of corruption and allow a court to comment on the failure of an accused to give evidence are to be repealed.

20

The opportunity presented by the Bill is taken to amend section 10(2) of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance in order to ensure that it is safe from challenge under the Bill of Rights Ordinance. Section 10(1) makes it an offence for a Crown servant to maintain a standard of living above that which is commensurate with his official emoluments, or to be in control of pecuniary resources or property disproportionate to those emoluments. The importance of section 10 was recognised in a recent case decided by the Court of Appeal. I quote from the decision:

"And in case after case over the years, section 10 has proved its effectiveness in the fight against corruption. Although less visible, its deterrent effect must have been even greater. Chapter 201 of the Laws of Hong Kong is rightly named the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance. Section 10's worth is well-established."

At present section 10(2) creates a presumption, in a prosecution under section 10(l)(b), that certain assets were in the control of the accused, until the contrary is proved. It is now proposed to amend section 10(2) by replacing the legal presumption with an evidentiary presumption. The effect of this will be that the accused is not required to prove that the assets were not in his control, there merely has to be some evidence to that effect in order to displace the presumption.

Miscellaneous amendments

The third category relates to miscellaneous amendments. These include amendments -

(a) to give the ICAC the same access to tax records as exists under the Drug Trafficking (Recover)' of Proceeds) Ordinance and the Organised and Serious Crimes Ordinance;

(b) to modify the power of the Commissioner of the ICAC to dismiss an officer under section 8(2) of the ICAC Ordinance;

(c) to make it possible for the ICAC to keep a suspect on bail no longer than is necessary; and

(d) to enable the Commissioner of the ICAC, in discharging specified corniption prevention duties, to gain access to all records, books and documents held by public bodies.

21

Comment

Mr President, this Bill is an essential step in reaffirming the ICAC's mandate in the light of present day circumstances and the changing expectations of the people of Hong Kong 20 years after the establishment of the ICAC.

End/Wednesday, October 18, 1995

Gas Safety (Amendment) Bill *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Economic Services. Mr Gordon Siu, in moving the second reading of the Gas Safety (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

1 move that the Gas Safety (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 1995 be read a second

time.

The purpose of the Bill is to provide for control, in the interests of safety, over the carrying out of construction works in the vicinity of gas pipes. The Bill was first introduced into this Council on 8 March 1995 but was subsequently deferred to the current session due to pressure of business.

The Bill has four main provisions. First, it empowers the Governor in Council to make regulations to control the carrying out of works in the vicinity of gas pipes.

Secondly, it increases the maximum penalty that may be provided for in regulations made under the Gas Safety Ordinance. This will increase from the existing level of a fine of $25,000 and imprisonment of 6 months and, in the case of a continuing offence, a daily penalty not exceeding $5,000, to a fine of $200,000 and imprisonment for 12 months and, in the case of a continuing offence, a daily penalty of$10,000.

Thirdly, it enables the Gas Authority, who is the Director of Electrical and Mechanical Services, to inspect works in the vicinity of a gas pipe and to require, through the issue of an improvement notice, the person concerned to take such measures as the Gas Authority considers necessary in the interests of gas safety.

22

Fourthly, it enables the Gas Authority himself to act in the interests of safety when there is a failure to comply with an improvement notice and provides for recovery of the cost of any precautionary or remedial measures taken by the Authority from the person who has failed to comply with the improvement notice.

If the Bill is enacted by this Council, the Government will introduce a new regulation requiring that construction works should not be carried out near a gas pipe unless its position has been checked and measures have been taken by the person concerned to ensure that it will not be damaged by the works.

Specifically, the new regulation will require that the person concerned should take all reasonable steps to ascertain the location or position of a gas pipe before works are started in the vicinity of a gas pipe. To assist those involved in such works, the Gas Authority will publish, well before the regulation comes into effect, a code of practice detailing the steps that he considers to be reasonable for such persons to take in ascertaining the location and position of a gas pipe.

The new regulation will also require that the person concerned should take reasonable measures to protect the pipe from damage that would be likely to prejudice public safety. A person who fails to such measures will be liable on conviction to the new maximum penalty proposed in the Bill. The new regulation will, however, provide the person concerned with a defence to a charge of not taking all reasonable measures to protect a gas pipe by showing that he has taken all reasonable steps to ascertain the location and position of the gas pipe before starting the works.

The Bill will be brought into effect 6 months after enactment to allow time for the new regulation to be made, for a code of practice to be issued by the Gas Authority and for the gas supply companies and the construction industry to adjust to the new requirements.

Mr President, these proposals reflect the Government's concern at the frequent damage to gas pipes through careless construction and excavation works. There were 120 such incidents in 1994 and a further 71 incidents so far this year up to the end of September. Though the consequences of most of these incidents were - thankfully -relatively minor, damage to a gas pipe may cause a fire or an explosion, posing risks to workers, the general public and property in the vicinity. The proposals that I have outlined aim to minimise the potential for such hazards. 1 therefore commend the Bill to this Council. I hope this Council would consider it as soon as possible.

End/Wednesday. October 18, 1995

23

Bank Notes Issue (Amendment) Bill 1995 * * * * *

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, in moving the second reading of the Bank Notes Issue (Amendment) Bill 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move that the Bank Notes Issue (Amendment) Bill 1995 be read a second time.

The purpose of the Bill is to modify the legal framework for the issue of legal tender currency notes so that it will consistent with the provisions in the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law.

The Joint Declaration and the Basic Law explicitly state that the authority to issue Hong Kong currency shall be vested in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government and that the Special Administrative Region Government may authorise designed banks to issue or continue to issue Hong Kong currency under statutory authority.

The current Bank Notes Issue Ordinance does not provide the statutory power for Government to issue currency notes. Nor does the Ordinance provide a specific power for the Government to authorise designated banks to issue currency notes.

To be consistent with the provisions in the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, we consider that the Ordinance should be amended to provide for the following:

a) the statutory authority for the Government to issue currency;

b) the statutory authority for the Government to authorise banks to issue or continue to issue currency;

c) a mechanism for backing the currency notes issued by the Government, if any:and

d) the statutory authority for the Government to control the arrangements in relation to currency issue.

24

We propose that the Financial Secretary should be empowered, with the approval of the Governor in Council, to issue currency notes. Consistent with this amendment, the backing mechanism for the issue of bank notes will be extended to the currency notes, if any, issued by the Government.

Notwithstanding the enabling provision, the Government has no intention of taking over the note-issuing function from the note-issuing banks. This is merely to make the Bank Notes Issue Ordinance consistent with the provisions in the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law.

The Bill also provides an explicit statutory power for the Financial Secretary, with the approval of the Governor in Council, to authorise banks to issue or continue to issue currency. The three existing note-issuing banks will deem to have been authorised when the Ordinance comes into effect.

The core features of the present note-issuing regime (1 ,e. the issue of legal tender notes by the three note-issuing banks with the certificate of indebtedness as backing)will remain intact after the enactment of the Bill. There are just two proposed changes worth noting:

* the Financial Secretary may, with the approval of the Govemor-in-Council, impose terms and conditions on the note issuing banks relating to bank note design, denomination and other arrangements for bank note issue. The Government does not presently have the statutory power to approve the design of bank notes and control other arrangements relating to currency issue, although the note-issuing banks do consult the Monetary Authority on new bank note design as a matter of practice;

* the fiduciary note issue of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited and Standard Chartered Bank will discontinue. For historical reasons, a very small amount of bank notes issued by The 1 longkong and Shanghai Banking corporation Limited ($60 million) and Standard Chartered Bank ($35 million) is backed by securities held with the Exchange fund and not by the non-interest bearing certificate of indebtedness. To be consistent with the Basic Law which stipulates that ’’the issue of Hong Kong currency must be backed by a 100 per cent reserve fund", both banks have agreed to terminated the fiduciary note issue when the Bank Notes Issue (Amendment) Bill comes into effect. The provisions governing such issue in the Hongkong and Shanghai banking Corporation Limited Ordinance will be repealed.

25

Mr President, the Bill contains a number of necessary amendments to make the Ordinance consistent with the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. This should contribute a smooth transition through 1997.

End/Wednesday, October 18, 1998

Buildings (Amendment) Bill *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, in moving the second reading of the Buildings (Amendment) (No 3) Bill 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move the Second Reading of the Buildings (Amendment) (No 3) Bill 1995.

The Amendment Bill was first introduced into this Council on 31 May this year as the Buildings (Amendment) (No 2) Bill 1995. It was not processed for enactment before the expiry of the last session, owing to the heavy workload of the Council at that time.

During the past few months, the Administration has further consulted concerned bodies on supplementary details. The Bill has been refined in a few areas, in particular as regards the supervision duties of different parties in a building project.

The Bill consists of two parts. One aims at improving the system of registration of building professionals. The other aims at tightening safety control over building works and sites with works in progress.

As regards the registration of authorised persons and registered structural engineers, we propose to bring the existing system in line with the provisions of the Architects, Engineers and Surveyors Registration Ordinances.

26

Under the Bill, only a building professional who is registered under the relevant registration ordinance will be allowed to apply to be an authorised person or registered structural engineer. Two registration committees will be formed to help the Building Authority examine the suitability of an applicant. Most of the committee members will be nominated by the statutory Registration Boards of the respective professions.

The proposed change will ensure the competence of and help encourage selfregulation by building professionals.

As regards the registration of building contractors, we propose that two types of contractors, general building contractors and specialist contractors, should be registered. A contractor's qualifications, experience and competence will have to be assessed by the proposed Contractors Registration Committee, consisting mainly of representatives of the concerned industry and professional bodies, before registration.

Taking into account the views of the industry, we have refined the original proposal such that companies and partnerships will continue to be allowed to register. If the contractor is a company or partnership, the directors, partners or senior staff nominated to act for it for the purposes of the Buildings Ordinance, such as in certifying prescribed documents, will also have to be assessed by the proposed Contractors Registration Committee. To remove the existing grey area in terms of statutory responsibility, such nominated directors, partners or senior staff will be subject to discipline on a personal basis. To illustrate this point, if the director of a contractor is convicted of misconduct, he or she will not be allowed to continue to act for another contractor.

Since the collapse of a part of a wall of a building under demolition at Nathan Road in September last year, the issue of construction site safety has raised increased and considerable public concern. Such concern is shared by the Administration. We therefore announced a comprehensive action plan outlining immediate, medium term and long term measures to tighten safety control over building and demolition works. The plan included a legislative review. The second Part of the Bill is the result of this review.

The Bill proposes to enable the Building Authority, for public safety reasons, to:

* refuse to approve building or demolition plans or issue consent for the commencement or continuation of building works;

27

* require proper supervision and safety measures to be provided at work sites; and

* require the submission of relevant information so that the Building Authority can determine whether adequate safety measures have been implemented. To ensure safety, the following will be made criminal offences under the Bill -

failure to provide proper supervision of building works in a prescribed manner; and

* non-compliance with the conditions attached to the Building Authority's approval of the building plan or consent to the commencement of building works

This will cover 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 professionals and approved by the Building Authority, which reflects their actual roles on a work site.

The Administration has thoroughly consulted all concerned bodies before finalising the Bill. I am pleased that all parties share a common objective of improving safety at construction and demolition sites. The concerned industry bodies and the various advisory committees including the Land and Building Advisory Committee have given in-principle support for virtually all of the Administration's proposals.

I have to report that some disagreement from some professional institutes regarding the Administration's proposal to make failure to provide proper supervision by authorised persons and registered structural engineers a criminal offence. But our consensus in other areas far outweighs this difference. As I mentioned earlier, the proposed criminal liability is required to ensure safety. It is in line with sanctions for breaches of other provisions of the Buildings Ordinance and subsidiary Regulations, such as deviation from approved building plans.

The Bill is a reasonable, workable and effective approach in improving building and site safety. I recommend the Bill to Members.

Thank you, Mr President.

End/Wednesday, October 18, 1995

28

Air Passenger Departure Tax Bill ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the acting Secretary for Treasury, Mr Alan Lai, in moving the second reading of the Air Passenger Departure Tax (Amendment) Bill 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move that the Air Passenger Departure Tax (Amendment) Bill 1995 be read a second time.

Every airline passenger aged 12 or above leaving Hong Kong by air from the airport has to pay the air passenger departure tax. The airline operators are responsible for collecting the tax. At present, air passengers can only pay the tax at the airline check-in counters before their departure.

To improve services to passengers, many of whom are tourists, we have examined alternative methods of collecting the departure tax and we now propose to allow hotels to collect the tax by selling tax coupons to their guests. The Bill before Members seeks to enable the Director of Civil Aviation to appoint the hotels for such purpose. This will provide more flexibility in collecting the tax. Overseas visitors staying at hotels will no longer need to worry about keeping local currency for paying the tax at the airport. The amount may also be included in hotel room bills but the hotels will not levy an additional charge for providing the service. This proposal has the support of the Hong Kong Tourist Association and the Hong Kong Hotels Association.

The Bill also seeks to enable the Director of Civil Aviation to delegate his powers and functions for departure tax collection under the Ordinance and to specify the manner in which the powers and functions delegated shall be exercised and performed. This will allow more flexibility in administering the tax collection work.

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

End/Wednesday, October 18, 1995

29

Tax Reserve Certificates (Amendment) Bill ♦ ♦ ♦ * *

Following is the speech by the acting secretary for Treasury, Mr Alan Lai, in moving the second reading of the Tax Reserve Certificates (Amendment) Bill 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move that the Tax Reserve Certificates (Amendment) Bill 1995 be read a second time.

Under our salaries tax system, tax is not deducted from income when it is earned and a taxpayer will not have to pay salaries tax, which is assessed on a provisional basis, until at least nine months after the start of the tax year in which the income is earned. The advantage of this system is that taxpayers have the use of their money during the intervening period but the disadvantage is that some taxpayers may not have set aside sufficient funds to pay their tax and therefore face financial difficulties when the tax bill is due. We therefore see merit in encouraging and facilitating taxpayers to save for their tax bills.

The Bill now before Members seeks to introduce a voluntary Pay-As-You-Eam scheme ( or PAYE scheme in short). It will initially be open only to civil servants on a trial basis. The scheme will provide a more convenient and automatic saving alternative for the payment of tax bills.

Under the scheme, a civil servant may elect to authorise the Treasury to deduct from his salary a specified amount each month for the purchase of 1 ax Reserve Certificates. The Inland Revenue Department will credit each payment received for the purchase to an account held in the applicant's name. To make it more convenient to prospective users and to minimise the cost involved, the scheme will operate in a paperless way whereby no Tax Reserve Certificate will need to be issued for the purchase. Interest will be earned in the normal way as for the purchase of ordinary Tax Reserve Certificates. The accumulated amount in the account will be used to settle the applicant's tax liability on its due date and any surplus will be carried forward.

30

Subject to the enactment of the Bill, we plan to introduce the scheme immediately. We will review its operation in the light of experience and demand from other sectors, and we will consider whether and when the scheme should be extended on a phased basis to other taxpayers e.g. civil service pensioners both in Hong Kong and overseas.

The Bill also seeks to transfer the power to make rules under the Ordinance from the Governor to the Secretary for the Treasury. This is not an important power and should more appropriately be exercised by the Secretary.

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

End/Wednesday, October 18, 1995

Closure of Tuen Mun Highway

*****

The following is a question by the Hon Zachary Wong Wai-yin and a reply by the Secretary for Works, Mr Kwong Hon-sang, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In regard to the closure of Tuen Mun Highway to traffic on three occasions after boulders had fallen on 18th August, 1995, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the causes leading to the falling of the boulders:

(b) whether any human error was involved and whether there was any dereliction of duty on the part of the officials concerned;

(c) whether an independent inquiry will be held; if not, why not; and

(d) what measures will be taken to ensure that similar accidents will not occur

in future?

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Reply:

Mr President,

(a) Investigations have indicated that the probable cause may be attributed to fracturing of a part of the rock mass along a hidden plane of weakness during hand splitting of rock adjacent to the portion which subsequently fell off. The rock joints may also have been further weakened by water infiltration arising from heavy rains prior to the incident, including that associated with Typhoon Helen on 11 August.

(b) The case is still being investigated by the Police. Upon completion of their investigation, the Police may recommend to the Coroner that he conducts an inquest. The Coroner’s Inquest or any further legal proceedings in this matter will determine if any human error or dereliction of duty on the part of any official was involved.

(c) A Coroner's Inquest will essentially constitute an independent inquiry into the matter.

(d) For the work relating to Tuen Mun Highway widening, very intensive inspection and monitoring of the slopes are being carried out. The construction methods are under review and will be modified, if required. An alternative alignment is under investigation which will, if adopted, enable the works to proceed at the Tai Lam Section without further cutting of the relevant slopes. For future projects which require rock removal from slopes adjacent to roads, we will require that a more rigorous hazard assessment be included in the construction method proposals. This would ensure that all possibilities of risks and ways of avoiding them are examined in detail.

End/Wednesday, October 18, 1995

32

No Change in housing welfare for junior civil servants *****

The Secretary for the Civil Service, Mr Michael Sze, today (Wednesday) reassured that there is no change to the long-standing arrangement under which junior civil servants may apply for a public housing unit through a quota allocation system agreed with the Housing Department.

In reply to a question in the Legislative Council by the Hon Mrs Elizabeth Wong, Mr Sze pointed out that the changes in housing quota this year for junior civil servants had been caused by developments in the public housing programme.

"I am fully aware of the situation faced by the Housing Authority and accept that civil servants will understand that this will have an effect on the Quota. At the same time, I feel it is important to ensure that civil servants have a reasonable share of the available units," he said.

Noting that the Civil Service Housing Quota was set by the Housing Authority on the advice of the Housing Department, Mr Sze said as a result of negotiation this year, the Civil Service Branch for the first time in the past ten years, was able to secure an increase in the quota, although it had to accept a reduction in the number of rental units.

Since 1985, the quota has remained at 1,700 places comprising 1 300 rental units and 400 units of the increasingly popular Home Ownership Scheme. For 1995-96, the quota will be 1,950, comprising 750 rental units, 700 Home Ownership Scheme units and 500 Home Purchase Loan Scheme places. The amount of the Home Purchase Loan has been increased from $300,000 to $600,000 recently.

"The reduction in rental units has been more than offset by the increase in the Home Ownership Scheme units and the introduction of the Home Purchase Loan Scheme places," he said.

Mr Sze pointed out that the Civil Service Housing Quota though not an entitlement, was an important form of staff welfare for junior staff. "There is therefore no question of compensation being paid for the changes in the Quota," he stressed, adding that the Government had not and would not change this policy.

33

The public housing scheme for junior civil servants was first introduced in 1963 under which they can apply for a housing unit outside the general public housing waiting list. A total of 37,666 officers and their families have benefited from the scheme since its inception.

The quota of the scheme varied over the years depending on the production of flats by the Housing Authority and the level of demand.

Quota allocation is divided into two categories. The General Quota is for the Master Pay Scale (MPS) and the Model Scale 1 (MOD 1) staff while the Special Quota is for Junior Police Officers (JPO) and rank and file officers in the disciplined services, who occupy departmental quarters and are within ten years of their minimum retirement age.

’’Distribution of the quota between the various categories is subject to discussion with the Staff Sides,” Mr Sze said.

The distribution since 1991-92 has been 660 for MPS; 440 for MOD 1; 400 for JPO and 200 for other rank and file.

The eligibility criteria for application are: officers on or below point 21 on the MPS (monthly salary at $22,035); and on or below point 28 on the Police Pay Scale (monthly salary' at $28,015); all rank and file officers in the disciplined services (maximum point $23,180) and all Model Scale 1 staff (maximum point $9 225).

"Length of service determines priority in allocation. This scheme does not in any way affect the eligibility of those officers who wish to apply through the general public housing waiting list. Indeed for those eligible this is an additional option," he said.

The circular inviting eligible civil servants to apply for places in the Civil Service Public Housing Quota is expected to be issued shortly, with the allocation of units to start as soon as possible thereafter.

End/Wednesday. October 18, 1995

34

Public housing for lower-paid civil servants *****

The following is a question by the Hon Elizabeth Wong and a reply by the Secretary for the Civil Service, Mr Michael Sze. in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council of the details regarding the Government's policy on the allocation of public housing to its lower-paid staff and whether there is any intention to change its policy; and if so, whether compensation is payable to cover the retrenchment of such time-honoured staff welfare?

Answer:

Mr President,

As a part of our efforts to improve the welfare of junior staff, there has been a long standing scheme under which such staff may apply - separately from the general public housing waiting list - for a public housing unit. The allocation of units is done through a quota.

This scheme was first introduced in 1963, with the number of units included in the Quota varying over the years, depending on the production of flats by the Housing Authority and the level of demand for the units which are produced. In 1963, 117 units were available under the Quota. The number of units gradually increased. In 1972, there were 2001 available. However, in 1974 there was no Quota due to an acute shortfall in the number of flats produced that year. From 1975 to 1978 the Quota varied between 500 and 1,500 places. In 1979 the Quota was set at 1,100 places and subsequently increased to 1,700 places in 1985. Since 1985 the Quota has remained at 1.700 places comprising 1,300 rental units and 400 Home Ownership Scheme units. The latter has become increasingly popular. A total of 37.666 officers and their families have benefited from the quota system since its inception.

35

As regards the composition of the quota, a major revision was made in 1979. The allocation was divided into a General Quota, through which the Master Pay Scale and the Model Scale 1 staff are allocated units, and a Special Quota for junior Police officers and rank and file officers in the disciplined services, who occupy government departmental quarters and are within ten years of their minimum retirement age. The distribution of the quota between the various categories is subject to discussion with the Staff Sides. The distribution since 1991/92 has been MPS 660; MOD 1 440; JPO 400; other rank and file 200. The rental element of the sub-quota for JPO and rank and file officers in the disciplined services has been undersubscribed for the last five years. In last year's quota 92 units were returned to the general quota pool.

The eligibility criteria are : officers on or below point 21 on the Master Pay Scale (currently $22,035) and on or below point 28 on the police Pay Scale (currently $28,015), all rank and file officers in the Disciplines Services (maximum point $23,180) and all Model Scale 1 staff (maximum point $9,225) are within these parameters. Length of service determines priority in allocation. This scheme does not in any way affect the eligibility of those officers who wish to apply through the general waiting list. Indeed for those eligible this is an additional option.

The quota is set by the Housing Authority on the advice of the Housing Department. Civil Service Branch negotiates annually with the Housing Department on the size of the quota and the distribution of the units in the various public housing estates and Home Ownership estates. As a result of the negotiations this year. Civil Service Branch was able to secure the first increase in the size of the Quota for ten years. But we have also had to accept a reduction in the number of rental units. The Quota for 1995/1996 will be 1,950, compared with 1,700 previously. It comprises 750 rental units. 700 Home Ownership Scheme units and 500 Home Purchase Loan Scheme places. Recently, the amount of the Home Purchase Loan has been increased from $300,000 to $600,000. The loan is interest-free.

We have not and do not intend to change the policy. The Civil Service Housing Quota though not an entitlement is an important form of staff welfare for junior staff. There is therefore no question of compensation being paid for the changes in the Quota. The changes in the Quota this year have been caused by developments in the public housing programme. I am fully aware of the situation faced by the Housing Authority and believe that civil servants will understand that this will have an effect on the Quota. At the same time, however. 1 feel it is important to ensure that civil servants can be reasonably allocated residential units. The reduction in rental units has been more than offset by the increase in the Home Ownership Scheme units and the introduction of the I lome Purchase Loan Scheme places.

36

The call circular inviting eligible civil servants to apply for places under these schemes is expected to be issued shortly, with the allocation of units to start as soon as possible thereafter.

End/Wednesday, October 18, 1995

Conduct of medical practitioners * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Ip Kwok-him and a reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In view of the fact that the court can reverse the Medical Council's ruling on cases involving breaches of code of the professional conduct by medical practitioners, will the Government inform this Council whether it will review as soon as possible the current channels for appeal and examine the effects on the community arising from conflicting rulings between the court and the Medical Council on such cases, so that appropriate measures could be taken to restore public confidence in the existing mechanism for regulating the conduct of medical practitioners?

Reply:

Section 26 of the Medical Registration Ordinance (MRO) provides that a registered medical practitioner who is aggrieved by any disciplinary order of the Medical Council of Hong Kong may appeal to the Court of Appeal, which may affirm, reverse or vary the order appealed against.

One of the proposed amendments to the MRO, which are soon to be reintroduced into this Council, is for the Court of Appeal to be empowered to, inter alias, remit a case back to the Medical Council for a re-hearing. The composition of the Medical Council is also proposed to be expanded to include more lay members.

37

To further enhance the transparency of its operation, the Medical Council now announces the reasons for its decisions at the conclusion of an inquiry'. It is hoped that by so doing, all parties concerned will be better informed of the Medical Council's decision. I hope these measures will be able to meet the Hon. Member's concern. We will, of course, continue to keep this issue in view.

End/Wednesday. October 18, 1995

Container vehicles theft

*****

The following is a question by the Hon Cheng Yiu-tong and a reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday): Question:

In view of the fact that the problems of theft of tractors of container vehicles which has become rather serious at present, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether the administration is aware of the problem and what measures does it have to tackle it; and

(b) of the number of cases involving the theft of tractors of container vehicles over the past two years?

Reply:

Mr President,

Separate statistics on stolen container tractors is available only since October 1994; before that, it was grouped under the category of goods vehicle. As such, 1 can only provide the figures for the past twelve months. During that period, a total of 441 container tractors were stolen, of which 112 (or 24.5%) have been recovered. I hese 441 stolen container tractors represent 9.3% of the total ol 4.725 vehicles stolen during the same period.

38

The theft of container tractors is the latest trend in vehicle theft. Indeed, the number of cases of theft of container tractors has increased from 92 in the 4th quarter of 1994 to 162 in the 3rd quarter of 1995. We are, of course, concerned at the upsurge of this type of crime. We have reason to believe that the criminals involved are the same groups of people involved previously in the theft of luxury cars. The Organised Crime and Triad Bureau has been tasked with the investigation of these syndicates and at least ten key figures of these syndicates have been arrested and prosecuted since July this year. The Bureau also maintains close liaison with the Chinese Authorities to identify the major figures in these syndicates and the recipients of the stolen vehicles in China.

Very often, the tractors are driven across the border immediately after being stolen. Certain black spots where theft of container tractors occurs have been identified by the Police, and frequent spot-checks by road blocks are conducted at strategic times and locations to interdict the delivery of the stolen tractors.

The Crime Prevention Bureau is also in close contact with insurance companies and relevant haulage and drivers associations to heighten their awareness of the crime so that proper precaution measures, such as the installation of anti-theft devices, can be taken to reduce the number of cases of container tractors being stolen.

End/Wednesday, October 18, 1995

Measures to prevent elderly from committing suicide

*****

The following is a question by Dr the Hon John Tse and a reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

As the problem of old people committing suicide has become more serious in recent years, will the Government inform this Council whether there are any services provided to prevent the old people from committing suicide, and what long-term policy and measures will.be adopted by the Government to solve the problem?

39

Reply:

Suicide is a complex problem. It can be prompted by a wide range of causes -emotional depression, declining health, terminal illness or a feeling of loneliness, of being abandoned. Given timely assistance and counselling, suicide can be avoided in most cases.

To reduce the risk of elderly people attempting suicide, it is necessary to provide a range of services designed to help them feel that they are continuing to participate in and contribute to the community. We are doing this through an ongoing major expansion of social centres and multi-service centres for the elderly.

In addition, in a bid to strengthen the functions of multi-service centres and to widen their contacts, the older volunteer and the volunteer workers programmes have been launched in ten multi-service centres for the elderly since October this year. These programmes are designed to foster links between elderly people and the community in which they live. The older volunteers programme, in particular, provides for elderly people who are still active to reach out to other elderly persons to provide help.

In addition to these preventive measures, outreaching and crisis intervention services are provided. Community based geriatric and psychogeriatric teams as well as the family services centres and psychiatric social workers under SWD all provide professional guidance and counselling. Elderly people and the public can also call the Social Welfare Department for information and assistance when necessary.

As a long term strategy, the Government will continue to strengthen the existing and newly provided services, and promotional and educational activities will be organised at district level. The Government, family members and the public, play an important role in tackling the problem. Family members and neighbours should show greater concern for the old people around them and pay more attention to their daily lives. If there are elderly persons in need of help, the Social Welfare Department or relevant non-governmental organisations can be contacted. The services are there -the major challenge is to ensure that those who most need them are brought into contact with them. The active participation of the public can help us in doing this task.

End/Wednesday. October 18. 1995

40

Reporter Xi Yang's case

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Emily Lau and a written reply by the Secretary for Home Affairs. Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the imprisonment of Mr Xi Yang - the Ming Pao Daily News reporter - in China, will the Government inform this Council of the measures taken by the Hong Kong Government in the past year to seek his early release and whether it has any information on whether the British Government has taken similar or other measures to obtain the release of Mr Xi Yang?

Reply:

Mr President.

The British and 1 long Kong Governments remain concerned about the case of Mr Xi Yang. Both Governments have raised this case on many occasions with the Chinese Government, and at very high level. We have conveyed our concern, and that of Hong Kong people and his family, about Mr Xi, and urged that clear guidelines be produced for journalists working in China. In April 1995, Mr Xi's case was raised by the then Secretary of State during his meeting with Vice-Premier Qian Qichen in New York, In June, at the request of the family, the Hong Kong Government made representation to the Chinese authorities concerning the welfare of Mr Xi. Earlier this month, the Secretary of State, during his meeting with Vice-Premier Qian Qichen in London, also expressed the concern of the British and Hong Kong Governments, Hong Kong people and Mr Xi's family about his circumstances including his health. The Hong Kong Government will continue to keep in close touch with the family and render whatever assistance is appropriate.

End/Wednesday, October 18, 1995

41

Rat accounts

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Chim Pui-chung and a written reply by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Rafael Hui, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Most members of the Stock Exchange and the Futures Exchange are very dissatisfied and displeased with the term ”rat accounts”, and they consider that the term severely degrades the status of their industries. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the Government’s interpretation of the term "rat accounts" as well as its analysis of such a practice; and

(b) whether it is aware that stock and futures brokers as well as their staff are forbidden to match orders with their clients; if so, whether such restriction is in violation of the policy of free trade?

Answer:

(a) ’Rat trading’ is a term which has been used for many years in the Hong Kong securities and futures markets. It is a generic term covering a wide range of malpractices by brokers or their staff (staff) trading dishonestly, to the disadvantage of clients. This trading invariably results in material benefits to brokers or their staff at the expense of unsuspecting clients, by not giving clients the best execution of their orders. This is usually achieved by delaying notification of trade executions so as to take advantage of short term swings in the purchase and sale price of the transaction and by interposing an additional transaction by themselves between the client and the market. As a result, the clients will almost inevitably receive an inferior price in the execution of their orders. In an effort to mask delays and identities of trading activities, the staff will often open an account (i.e. a ’rat account’) either with the broker with whom the staff work or, more commonly, with another broker.

42 -

To the extent that brokers or their staff engaging in 'rat trading' will not be acting in the best interests of their clients as required by the Rules of the Exchange, neither the Government nor the Securities and Futures Commission would condone such practices.

(b) The Securities and Futures Commission and the two exchanges have established rules and codes of conduct which a broker should follow when dealing in transactions either for his own account or for his clients. The objective is to protect the interests of investors and to ensure that the broker conducts his business in a manner which contributes towards the maintenance of a fair and orderly market.

These rules and codes of conduct do not forbid brokers and their staff to match orders with their clients as such. Rather, they spell out clearly the principles and practices which a broker shall follow when carrying on cross trading between clients and between the client and the broker (or staff). Among other things, client orders should receive the best available execution and be given precedence over house orders. Moreover, before entering into such transactions, the broker must disclose to his client the fact that he has a material interest in the transactions and receive the client's consent either orally or in writing. The broker also must take all reasonable steps to ensure fair treatment of the client.

We are aware also that as part of their internal control measures, the better managed brokers have rules requiring orders to be time- stamped so as to provide an audit trail. Indeed, some brokers go to the extent of prohibiting their staff from matching their own orders with those of clients or dealing through other brokers.

; * J

End/Wednesday, October 18, 1995

.0

43

Reclamation and redevelopment ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ * r

The following is a question by the Hon Christine Loh and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In regard to major consultancy studies relating to reclamation and redevelopment, will the Government inform this Council of:

the terms of reference, cost and completion date in respect of each of the studies undertaken since 1993; and

whether consideration is being given to undertaking similar studies in the near future; if so, what are the objectives and cost estimates of such studies?

Answer:

Mr President,

Consultancy studies relating to reclamation and redevelopment include strategic planning studies, preliminary project feasibility studies and detailed project engineering studies.

Details of major consultancy studies undertaken by Government since 1993 are at Table 1.

Details of other major consultancy studies which are tentatively planned to start before 1997 are at Table 2.

44

Table 1 ; Major consultancy studies conducted since .1993

Study Start/ Completion Dates Terms of Reference Costs ($/M)

Hong Kong Island West Development Statement * . >• Jan 1993 to late 1995 Formulate overall planning framework, urban renewal framework and land use sectoral action plan and, examine the institutional arrangements and resource implications for implementation of the proposal in various sections of Hong Kong Island 4.9

Wanchai Reclamation Phase I Jun 1993 to Nov 1993 Study the viability of, and determine the extent and amount of infrastructure and associated cost for the reclamation 3.5

Green Island Public Dump Aug 1993 to Sep 1995 Assess the environmental and traffic impacts 5.5

Pak Shek Kok Reclamation Sep 1993 to Apr 1994 Assess the environmental impact and road access 2.3

Lantau Port Development Stage I - Design of Reclamation for Container Terminals 10 & 11 & Back-up Areas Jan 1995 to Dec 1995 Study the detailed engineering design of the reclamation and edge structures for the container terminals ’»•’ .a 22.0 ■ . t . n

45

Study Start/ Completion Dates Terms of Reference Costs ($/M)

Central Reclamation Phase III Feb 1995 to Mar 1997 Study the detailed design and site investigation 65.0

Tsuen Wan Bay Further Reclamation Jun 1995 to Mar 1996 Conduct engineering, planning and environmental investigations 10.0

Kowloon Point Development Feasibility Study Aug 1995 to Nov 1996 Study the feasibility of the development 32.0

South East Kowloon Development Feasibility Study Sep 1995 to May 1997 Study the feasibility of transforming the South East Kowloon Development Statement into action plans for implementation 85.0

Table 2: Major consultancy studies planned between now and.1996

Study Tentative Start/ Completion Dates Terms of Reference Estimated Costs ($/M)

Green Island Stage I Apr 1996 to Jul 1998 Conduct review studies, and study the detailed design and site investigation 64.0

Wanchai Reclamation Phase 11 Apr 1996 to Sep 1997 Detailed design and site investigation 140.0

Tsuen Wan Bay Further Reclamation Jun 1996 to Jan 1999 Study the detailed design 13.0

Tseung Kwan O Area 131 Aug 1996 to Dec 1997 Analyse and select a layout for the development of the area for mid-stream cargo handling facilities, a concrete batching plant and a barging point 13.0

End/Wednesday, October 18, 1995

46

i

Illegal use of slopes on Crown land ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

<

Following is a question by the Hon Fred Li and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Recently, many slopes located on Crown land have been opened up illegally, mostly for farming purposes, and the situation is getting increasingly serious. In Kwun Tong District alone, such activities are known to have taken place on a number of slopes. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of slopes located on Crown land in the territory which have been illegally opened up for farming;

(b) whether the illegal opening up of slopes for farming will increase the risk of landslips; and

(c) what interim and long-term measures does the Government have to prevent Crown land from being occupied and used illegally? Reply:

*

Mr President,

(a) we regret that we have not kept specific statistics on the number of sites situated on hillsides located on Government land which has been illegally opened up for farming. Undertaking such a survey is very resource intensive and not possible in the time given to reply to the Question. The Lands Department’s practice is to act on complaints received on illegal occupation or use of Government land. We shall be very happy to act on the cases mentioned by the Hon Fred Li if he can provide some information to us.

(b) the opening up of hillside for farming may under certain circumstances increase the risk of landslips. It is not possible to generalise the situation as many determining factors are involved, such as the scale, size and nature of the farming activities, the original condition and margin of stability of the hillside in question, and the impact of the former on the latter.

47

(c) the Government has power under the Crown Land Ordinance (Cap 28) to take action against unauthorised occupation of Government land. We will continue to respond to reported cases of illegal occupation of Government land as well as cases detected during patrols made by district land staff.

End/Wednesday, October 18, 1995

Reclamation projects in Victoria Harbour ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Leung Yiu-chung and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In view of the worsening pollution problem in the Victoria Harbour, will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the number of large-scale reclamation projects which have been approved along the harbour front; and

(b) the measures taken to prevent these projects from causing pollution to the

harbour?

Answer:

Mr President.

Seven reclamation projects have been approved in the Victoria Harbour. They are Central Reclamation Phase 1, Central Reclamation Phase II, Wanchai Reclamation Phase I, Aldrich Bay Reclamation, Belcher Bay Reclamation, West Kowloon Reclamation, and Stonecutters Island Naval Base.

Reclamation projects by themselves are not the cause of pollution. However, they could affect the hydrology in the harbour which might have an impact on water quality. Measures have therefore been taken at both the planning and implementation stages to ensure that any impact is kept within acceptable levels.

48

At the strategic planning level, the cumulative hydrological and water quality impacts resulting from reclamation projects have been assessed in the context of the Territorial Development Strategy, Metroplan and Port and Airport Development Strategy. Engineering hydraulics studies have been undertaken to study the effects of reclamation projects and other harbour engineering works on tidal flows, wave propagation and sediment deposit. A large scale physical tidal model has been built to facilitate in-depth investigation of the hydraulic effects of such coastal developments.

At the project design level, detailed engineering studies and environmental impact assessments are conducted before the projects are implemented to ensure that the water quality impacts during and after construction do not exceed acceptable limits.

Careful construction programming and monitoring also ensure that any water quality problems caused by the reclamation works is kept to the minimum. Wherever necessary a seawall is first constructed at the perimeter of the reclamation. A carefully planned, controlled, and supervised dredging and in-filling operation then takes place behind the seawall to prevent floating refuse from reaching the harbour and minimise turbidity problems caused by siltation. Furthermore, a comprehensive monitoring programme for each reclamation is established with well defined action levels for key water quality indicators such as suspended solids, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, and temperature. If monitoring results should indicate action levels are in danger of being breached, the site staff would alert the contractor and require him to tighten the environmental mitigation measures in accordance with the contract specifications.

The main source of pollution in the Victoria Harbour is sewage discharges. This problem is being tackled by actions to declare the Harbour as a Water Control Zone and by the construction of Phase I of the Strategic Sewage Disposal Scheme which when completed in 1997 will improve the water quality of the Harbour by 70%.

End/Wednesday, October 18, 1995

49

Public funded dental services

*****

The following is a speech by Dr the Hon Leong Che-hung and a reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

With regard to dental services financed by public funds, will the Administration provide this Council with the annual breakdwon in respect of the following areas in the past five years :

(a) overall expenditure;

(b) expenditure on direct services;

(c) expenditure on staff training;

(d) expenditure on public education; and

(e) the staff establishment and strength by major ranks for providing such services.

Reply:

The annual breakdown of dental services financed by public funds in the past four years is as follows :

Approve d

Estimate

1992-93 1993-94 1994-95 s

$M $M $M (Note 1)

1995-96

$M

(a) overall expenditure

258.2

298.9

334.6

361.8

50

1992-93 $M 1993-94 1994-95 $M Approve d Estimate s (Note 1) 1225,-96 $M

(b) expenditure on direct services, i.e. services provided to Government Servants/dependants of Government Servants, primary school children participating in the School Dental Service Scheme, special needs group as well as emergengy treatment and in-patient dental treatment as an essential part of medical treatment 236.3 273.0 307.9 333.4

(c) expenditure on staff training, i.e. expenditure on the Dental Therapists Training School and expenses under departmental training vote for dental and paradental staff 16.1 16.8 17.2 18.3

(d) expenditure on public education 5.8 9.1 9.5 10.1

51

The required information for the year 1991-92 has not been provided. It is because with a change in the programme management structure in 1992-93, the two sets of figures cannot be directly and meaningfully compared.

Note (1) : 1995 salary revision has not yet been taken into account under this column

End/Wednesday, October 18, 1995

(e) The staff establishment and strength providing dental services by major ranks as at 1 September in the past

five years are as follows :

1.9,91 1.9,92 1,9,93 1,9,94 1,9.95

E S E S E S E S E s

Consultants 8 8 8 8 9 8 10 8 II 10>

Principal Dental Officers 1 I 1 1 1 I 1 2 I 1

Senior Dental Officers 38 33 38 36 38 35 41 33’ 43 33

Dental Officers 134 130 134 135 140 138 151 159 158 167

Tutor Dental Therapists 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4

Senior Dental Therapists 19 19 19 17 19 19 19 19 19 17

Dental Therapists/ Student DTS 270 253 270 258 270 260 270 255 270 263

Dental Hygienists 8 3 8 4 8 6 8 6 9 8

Senior Dental Surgery Asst. 34 27 34 32 34 30 40 39 42 37

Dental Surgery Assistants . 166 158 167 163 167 169 179 170 186 175

53

Governor's districts visits

*****

The following is a question by the Hon Cheung Man-kwong and a written reply by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the Governor's visits to various districts of the territory since his assumption of office, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the districts which the Governor had visited and the respective dates of those visits;

(b) of the districts in which special "whitewashing" works, such as repainting, extension or reconstruction and extra cleansing, were carried out by the Government departments concerned before the Governor's visit, as well as the districts in which he was requested to visit only those units that had been varnished over in advance; and the expenses involved in each of those special "whitewashing" works;

(c) whether the Governor knew and approved of these "whitewashing" works carried out by the departments concerned beforehand; and whether, whilst visiting the districts, he has heard of complaints from the public about their dissatisfaction with Government departments putting up facades and hiding the truth; and

(d) whether the Government considers that the extra "whitewashing" works carried out before the Governor's visit would conceal the actual situation of those districts, resulting in the Governor not being able to understand precisely the living standard and actual situation of the people; and whether it will review the existing practice of carrying out "whitewashing" works before the Governor's visit, so that he can truly understand the livelihood, feelings and grievances of the residents?

54

Answer:

Mr President,

My reply to the question is as follows:

(a) Since arriving in Hong Kong in July 1992, the Governor has made 40 district visits as part of a continuing programme to familiarise and update himself with district issues and personalities. A detailed list of the districts visited is at Annex. The Governor has also made other theme visits and unannounced visits for specific purposes, such as seeing for himself living conditions in Temporary Housing Areas (THA).

(b)&(c) One of the main aims of the Governor's visits is to enable him to see for himself what places are like in the normal course of events. It is not usual practice for Government departments to undertake redecoration or improvement work specifically for visits by the Governor. All Government departments are aware that they should not go beyond normal cleansing or maintenance of public facilities or venues which the Governor would be visiting and that they should resist any temptation to provide an unnaturally favourable impression. Indeed, the Governor has asked specifically that this should not be done. The only exception should be where it is relevant to demonstrate a revised standard. This was the case with the recent visit by the Governor to a THA where one of the several units seen by the Governor had been refurbished. This was done, with the knowledge of the Governor, to demonstrate the improved refurbishment standard which will be applied by the Housing Department.

The costs of routine cleansing and maintenance are absorbed as part of normal departmental expenses.

(d) The Governor makes a point of talking to as many people as possible during his visits to help give him a better understanding of the feelings and aspirations of the residents. Very often the Governor achieves this by detouring from the suggested routing and visiting facilities not on the suggested programme. For the same reason, the Governor undertakes unannounced visits to see first-hand the situation on the ground and to talk directly to residents and members of the public.

End/Wednesday, October 18. 1995

55

Provision of shelters by bus companies ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Chan Wing-chan and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the open-air bus stops of the three franchised bus companies, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of open-air bus stops that are provided with shelter and the respective number of such bus stops owned by each of the three bus companies;

(b) whether any Government department is responsible for regulating and overseeing the provision of bus stop facilities; and

(c) whether consideration will be given to requiring bus companies to provide shelters for all their bus stops in future, so as to make it more comfortable for passengers to wait for buses?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) There are 5,214 bus stops. 1,570 of these have shelters. Details are

annexed.

(b) The bus companies have an on-going programme to provide new shelters. These programmes are monitored and approved by the Transport Department in consultation with interested parties including District Offices with regard to priority, site suitability and local acceptance. The design and construction of bus shelters have to be approved by the Highways Department.

56

(c) Our policy is to encourage franchised bus companies to provide bus shelters where possible. However, there are locations where shelters cannot be constructed because of the narrow width of pavement, engineering problems or local objections.

Annex

Company No. of bus stops provided No. of bus stops with shelters

Kowloon Motor Bus 3,714 1,322

China Motor Bus 788 123

Citybus 587 50

New Lantao Bus 125 75

Total 5,214 1,570

End/Wednesday, October 18, 1995

Safety at residential care homes for the elderly

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Elizabeth Wong and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

57

(a) of the progress regarding the implementation of legislation governing residential homes for elderly people in the territories; whether any problems have been encountered, and if so, what are these problems; and

(b) whether, arising from the case of an outbreak of fire in a private home for elderly people in North Point, there is any intention on the part of the Government to amend the safety aspects of the relevant legislation to protect the interests of elderly people residing in the.se privately run homes?

Reply:

The reply is as follows:

(a) The Residential Care Homes (Elderly Persons) Ordinance and Regulation came into effect on 1 April 1995 (except for Section 6 of the Ordinance). Relevant application forms and other documentation were then distributed to the operators of all residential care homes for the elderly. As at 17 October 1995, a total of 259 applications (from 44% of the total number of known residential homes) had been received of which, 185 came from private homes, 62 from subvented homes and 12 from self-financing non-profit-making homes.

Four teams of inspectors covering social work, building safety, fire safety and health, have started inspection visits to residential care homes to vet their applications for licences or certificates of exemption. We expect the first batch of licences and certificates to be issued at the end of this month.

We have encountered some problems at this early stage of implementing the legislation. For example, some residential care homes have been found to be operating out of non-domestic premises. This is not strictly in accordance with planning and building requirements, but Social Welfare and Buildings Departments have agreed that a flexible approach should be adopted in such cases provided that fire precaution measures are up to standard and the homes do not have any unauthorised building works. Private homes which were found to have serious safety problems have, on the advice of our inspectors, either already been reprovisioned elsewhere or have had the necessary remedial changes carried out to make them acceptable.

58

The shortage of nursing staff in all residential care homes and health care staff in private homes has been another major problem. Additional funding has been secured to expand the training of health workers from 400 places to I 200 places by March 1997.

(b) Even before the introduction of this new legislation, it was standard practice of the Fire Protection Bureau of the Fire Services Department to pay visits to newly established residential care homes for the elderly to explain the fire prevention measures needed. Staff of the Social Welfare Department have also regularly reminded home operators to follow the advice of the Fire Services Department in this respect and have issued letters regularly advising of the need to pay attention to fire safety measures.

With the introduction of the Residential Care Homes (Elderly Persons) Ordinance, all residential care homes for the elderly are now under a statutory obligation to comply with fire services requirements. Senior Station Officers of the Licensing Office of Residential Care Homes for the Elderly give in-depth guidance and advice on fire precaution measures to operators of residential care homes for the elderly when processing their applications for licences or certificates of exemption.

The fire which occurred recently in a private residential care home for the elderly in North Point was a minor incident caused by an electrical malfunction in a wall-mounted fan. Although this home had not yet submitted its application for a licence or certificate of exemption, the home was equipped with the basic fire services equipment and the operator possessed adequate knowledge about fire fighting. As a result, the fire was put out immediately.

This fire was a relatively minor and isolated incident which does not point to any inadequacy in the safety aspects of our legislation. Indeed, the fire was dealt with effectively and the electrical fault which caused it would have been difficult to detect whatever statutory requirements had been in effect at that time.

End/Wednesday, October 18, 1995

59

Hostel for University of Hong Kong students

*****

The following is a question by the Hon Zachary Wong Wai-yin and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Joseph Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It is learnt that some students of the University of Hong Kong residing in Yuen Long, Tuen Mun and the Northern District have not been allocated hostel accommodation in the current academic year, resulting in those students having to travel long distances. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether the Government, in allocating funds to the universities for providing student hostel places, has imposed conditions requiring the universities concerned to accord priority to students living in remote areas in the allocation of hostel accommodation; and

(b) what assistance the Government will render to students living in remote areas who have not been allocated hostel places; and whether consideration will be given to providing them with a rent or travelling allowance ?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) Under the existing policy, the tertiary institutions funded by the University Grants Committee (UGC) are provided with capital subvention to cover at most 75% of the total construction costs of the approved hostel places. They are required to meet at least 25% of the total construction costs from private donations and also the recurrent costs of the hostels. In allocating the capital grants to the institutions, the Government and the UGC do not stipulate the conditions for the allocation of the hostel places. It is up to the institutions to allocate the hostel places to their students. Nevertheless, it is understood that the student's travelling time between home and campus is one of the main criteria used by the institutions for allocating hostel places to students.

60

(b) Students living in remote areas who have financial difficulties may apply for financial assistance under the Local Student Finance Scheme (LSFS). Under the LSFS, grants are provided to eligible students to cover their academic expenses i.e. tuition fees, student union fees and other academic expenses whereas loans are provided to cover their living expenses which include expenses on accommodation and transportation. Recognising that students residing in hostels and rented accommodation have a greater financial burden, student accommodation expenses are allowed to be deducted as necessary household expenses in the calculation of annual disposable income (ADI) for determining the level of grant and loan starting from the 1993-94 academic year. In addition, the expenses of the applicants' siblings on hostel fees or rented accommodation are also included as necessary household expenses in the calculation of the ADI in the 1995-96 academic year. These improvements have increased the amount of financial assistance available to tertiary students living in hostels or rented accommodation near their place of study.

Apart from the grant and loan under the LSFS, students living in remote areas may also apply for the Student Travel Assistance Scheme. Under the Scheme, full-time students aged between 12 and 25 who have not completed their first degree courses and who have passed the means test are provided a travel subsidy to cover part of their travel expenses for education related trips. In general, students residing farther away from their institutions will be entitled to higher rates of subsidy. The level of subsidy will be updated annually to take into account the latest revision of public transport fares. The subsidy for each university student in 1994-95 varied between $570 and $5,500 per annum.

End/Wednesday, October 18, 1995

Incidents in September LegCo elections

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Emily Lau and a written reply by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Nicholas Ng, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

61

Question:

In the Legislative Council elections held on 17 September 1995, some members of the public complained that their names had been removed from the register of electors without prior notification. Discrepancies between the voter turnout figure and the number of votes cast as well as miscalculation in the votes cast also occurred in the process of votes counting. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the causes of the above mentioned incidents; and

(b) how it can ensure that the results of the elections have not been affected by such incidents? Reply:

Mr President,

The Legislative Council elections held on 17 September 1995 were a great success all round. The electoral arrangements were open and fair, and a record number of electors took part in the elections. Overall, the elections were conducted smoothly and in an orderly manner.

The incidents mentioned in the question relate to:

(a) some people having been unable to vote because their names were not found in the register of electors;

(b) discrepancies which had been identified during the process of vote counting, i.e. those between the summary ballot paper accounts and the actual number of ballot papers found inside the ballot boxes; and (c) a miscalculation in the number of votes counted in the process of votes counting.

Regarding (a), immediately following the elections, the independent Boundary and Election Commission conducted a thorough investigation into these incidents. The investigation in respect of the New Territories North-west and New Territories North constituencies, where two candidates involved also voiced criticism, has been completed. According to the Commission's findings announced on 12 October 1995, out of the reported cases in the two constituencies, about 30 - 40% are former electors whose names had been deleted from the register of electors as a result of the annual vetting exercise. The rest are either electors who are still on the register but had gone to the wrong polling stations, or persons who have never been registered as electors.

62

On the vetting exercise, it is conducted by the Registration and Electoral Office every year to ensure the accuracy of the register, which is essential in maintaining the credibility and integrity of our electoral system. The vetting procedures are elaborate and are designed to ensure that no electors would be deleted from the register lightly. There is also an appeal mechanism already built into the existing arrangements to guard against wrongful deletion. The Commission's findings confirm that the vetting arrangements had been carried out in accordance with the law.

Regarding (b), a summary ballot paper account was prepared in respect of each polling station at the close of poll. The discrepancies which occurred between the accounts and the actual number of ballot papers found inside the ballot boxes could be caused by miscalculations by polling staff in compiling the accounts. In all cases, the discrepancies had been verified and rectified by the relevant returning officers in the presence of the candidates and agents present at the count.

Regarding (cj, there was a miscalculation of the number of votes counted in the Kowloon South-east Constituency. The Commission found that this was due to a clerical error in that extra votes had been inadvertently added to the total number of votes received by the losing candidate of that constituency. However, the election result for this constituency had not been affected.

Following the discovery of the above error, the Registration and Electoral Office conducted a thorough check of the available counting records in respect of all the other constituencies and all relevant calculations have been found arithmetically accurate. The Commission is therefore satisfied that the discrepancy found in the Kowloon South-east constituency was only an isolated incident.

Results of the Commission's investigations into these incidents have been made known to the public. They have not altered the fact that the arrangements for the September Legislative Council elections were open and fair. However, if any candidate or electors (ten or more) feel aggrieved by the election results, the avenue is open to them to consider presenting an election petition to the High Court within two months of the publication of the result of the elections in accordance with the provisions laid down in legislation.

End/Wednesday, October 18, 1995

63

Traffic congestion at Cross Harbour Tunnel entrance ♦ ♦ ♦ » ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Chim Pui-chung and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday): '•

Question:

In view of the frequent traffic congestion at the Hong Kong entrance to the Cross Harbour Tunnel, will the Government inform this Council of the following:

(a) whether there is any requirement stipulating that buses and heavy vehicles must use the left carriageway at the entrance on Hong Kong Island; if so, what the reasons are;

(b) if the answer to (a) is in the affirmative, whether the Government has reviewed such a requirement to ensure that it will not cause confusion to the motorists; and

.!■

(c) whether it will study the feasibility of changing such a requirement?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) It is stipulated in By-law 13 of the Cross Harbour Tunnel By-laws that buses and other heavy vehicles must use only the left hand lanes in the tunnel, except when otherwise directed by uniformed tunnel staff. The purpose is to keep slower moving vehicles in the inside lane for traffic management reasons and for safety reasons. For example, this would facilitate bus passengers alighting on the kerb side in case of emergencies.

(b) The requirement for heavy vehicles to use the left hand lane is sign posted at the tunnel entrances. This practice is well-known and has not caused any confusion to motorists. The main cause of traffic congestion at the Hong Kong entrance to the Cross Harbour Tunnel is not the movement of heavy vehicles to the left hand lane, but the fact that the tunnel itself is operating far beyond its design capacity.

64

(c) Transport Department and the tunnel operators regularly review the traffic flow system in the tunnel and its approaches, and they are satisfied that the current arrangements are the most practical and are justified on traffic management grounds and for safety reasons.

End/Wednesday, October 18, 1995

Container port industry study

* * * * ♦

The following is a question by the Hon Christine Loh and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Bowen Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

The Government has indicated that it will soon invite tenders for a multimillion dollar consultancy study on the container port industry and its effects on the long-term sustainability of economic activity in the territory. This study will propose an economic development plan for the territory’s port and port related service sector industries for the next decade and beyond. Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the detailed objectives and cost estimate of the upcoming study; and

(b) whether this study will incorporate the rapid development of manufacturing and port services in the Pearl River Delta Region? Reply:

Mr President,

The government has no plan for a specific study as described in the Question but is exploring ideas for a study of sustainability and development for Hong Kong in the 21st century, including issues relating to the port, developments in the wider region, and other development issues. We have not yet finalised the scope and costs of the study.

We expect to be able to include information about the study in the 3rd Review of the White Paper on the environment, to be published in the next few months.

End/Wednesday, October 18, 1995

65

Protection of freedom of the press ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The following is a question by the Hon Leung Yiu-chung and a written reply by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In view of the imprisonment of Mr XI Yang, a Hong Kong newspaper reporter, by the Chinese Government and the recent cases in which a number of Hong Kong journalists met with obstruction while making coverage in China (notably the incidents resulting in the detention of the reporters of Television Broadcasts Limited and the Next Magazine), will the Government inform this Council:

(a) what follow-up action has been taken by the Hong Kong Government, and whether it is aware of any action taken by the British Government in connection with these incidents; and (b) what measures are in place to effect and protect freedom of the press and to prevent the occurrence of the above incidents in the territory?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) We have conveyed to the Chinese authorities the widespread concern in Hong Kong, both in media circles and more widely, about the case of Mr Xi Yang and the need for clearer guidelines for journalists working in China. In Mr Xi's case, we have raised the case on many occasions with the Chinese authorities and our efforts were reinforced by the British Government. Mr Xi's case was raised by Mr Hurd during his meeting with Vice-Premier Qian Qichen in April 1995 and also by Mr Rifkind during his recent meeting with Mr Qian in London. The Hong Kong reporters involved in the two recent incidents were detained only briefly. Neither their families nor their employers asked us to intervene. Nonetheless, we monitored the developments closely and were pleased to note that the matters were resolved rapidly in each case.

66

(b) Freedom of the press is a vital part of Hong Kong's way of life. It is protected and guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. The Government is fully committed to the principle of press freedom. This commitment is backed up by a comprehensive review of legislation with the aim of identifying provisions which might infringe press freedom or conflict with the Bill of Rights. Our review has covered 53 provisions in 27 Ordinances. To date, we have dealt with 43 provisions, including 31 provisions which have been amended or repealed. We have, for example, swept away old and excessive regulations to deal with emergencies while preserving the means to act swiftly to protect public safety in an emergency in ways which are consistent with the Bill of Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In other areas we have scrapped powers to pre-censor TV and radio broadcasts, relaxed Police powers regulating public meetings and processions, restricted the powers of law enforcement agencies to enter premises to search for and seize journalistic materials, and given the Press more freedom to report and comment upon court proceedings. Action is in hand to complete work on the remaining laws.

End/Wednesday, October 18, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Thursday, October 19,1995

Contents Page No*

Governor’s Question-and-answer session........................ 1

Transcript of the Governor’s media session........................ 6

Transcript of CS’s media session.............................. 8

Government shares concerns about unemployment................. 9

Governor’s speech............................................. 11

Governor to visit UK............................................. 19

JLG Expert Talks on Air Service Agreements....................... 19

Responsible and balanced course in human rights protection....... 20

Bill to tidy-up broadcasting law in the pipeline.............. 21

Flood relief projects underway: Director of Home Affairs......... 23

Unconscionable Contracts Ordinance to become effective........... 25

Consumer Goods Safety Appeal Board panel appointed............... 26

More low power devices to be exempted from licensing............. 28

CS looks at work of EMSD......................................... 29

Physical tidal model upgraded.................................... 30

Sunday pedestrian precincts in Mong Kok on trial.............. 31

Partial solar eclipse on October 24.............................. 32

Hong Kong Beauty to open Gurkha Fair............................. 33

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations............. 34

1

Governor's Question-and-answer session

*****

Following is the transcript of the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten's question-and-answer session after his speech at the joint luncheon of Hong Kong chambers of commerce today (Thursday):

Question: Governor, I didn't want to be the first, and I hope I'm not the last, but I take the opportunity once a year to continue our conversation that we started years and years ago. In the past few years I've had a transcript of our dialogue for the last year. You addressed me as your favourite musician. Thank you very much, sir.

Governor: It hasn't changed, yet.

Question: Thank you.

Governor: The jury is still out for the next minute.

Question: But I'd like to be a bit more serious, sir, this year. Since here you say - a piece of paper - to address your speech, I hope that you allow me to do the same. Earlier this year I chaired a Chamber SME task group. For people who don't know what the SME is - I'm sure you know, sir, - SMEs are small and medium enterprises. I chaired a task group which issued a detailed report about the rising operation costs for SMEs in Hong Kong. A copy of this report is in your hands, sir. If you don't have one, I have a spare copy in my pocket. The operating costs in Hong Kong for small and medium enterprises are very high. I give you a few examples.

Our office rental is the third highest in the world. Our wages are among the highest in the region. The laws governing business operations are getting increasingly detailed and costly to comply with. We operate in a high inflation area whereas we are exporting to low inflation markets - with the exception of the PRC. The SMEs are finding it difficult to survive in many cases, let alone to expand in Hong Kong. We don't hear much about the Business Council advising you but its members, surely, must have drawn your attention to this worrying situation. How do you, sir, and the Hong Kong Government propose to take the lead to ease the concern of the SMEs which form the backbone, not only of the General Chamber of Commerce but, surely, of all the other Chambers represented today in Hong Kong?

Now, before, Mr Patten, receiving your eloquent answer, could I ask you one more question after you have given the answer. I ask it now so that nobody else is taking the floor after you have spoken. Thank you very much.

- 2 -

Governor: We all know that at the heart of any enterprise economy like ours are small and medium enterprises, and that in order to become a large enterprise you've got to first of all get through the small and medium stage. So the well-being and the health of small and medium enterprises should be of the greatest concern to all of us.

Now, you mentioned all the issues which touch on competitiveness. Touch on competitiveness in a way that concerns people in Hong Kong, and understandably concerns them. Not, perhaps, concerns as much the international audience which still regards Hong Kong, according to the World Economic Forum, as the third most competitive economy in the world. We've gone ahead of Japan over the last year, according to them. It is important that wherever we are directly in control of events, we should do everything we possibly can to bear down on costs. One thing that we can continue to do is to ensure that business and individuals enjoy pretty well the lowest tax regime anywhere in the world. People sometimes say to me, but look at this or that economy which offers tax holidays. We don't need to offer tax holidays in Hong Kong. You only offer tax holidays if at the end of the holiday, people are going to be paying pretty high tax.

You mentioned office rentals and prices. I notice that we're now being criticised for the measures that we took last year for deflating property prices without bringing the whole property sector tumbling down around our ears. I think we actually managed that operation remarkably successfully. Getting property prices back to the 1993 level before that big boom later in the year and into 1994. You mention wages. Well, above all, an issue for employers themselves. I don't make this point out of any spirit of fiscal envy. You can't do that for a number of reasons if you are Governor of Hong Kong. But the last time - the last time people came to talk to me about wages being too high was the day after the South China Morning Post had produced an article on what had happened to directors' remuneration over the previous year in relation to profits. There is something called leadership when we look at issues like that.

You mention the regulation of business. Donald is quite deliberately going to ask every business organisation in Hong Kong to tell us where you think we could genuinely get rid of red tape and excessive regulation. But in a more sophisticated economy like Hong Kong's, is it unreasonable that we find ourselves in the financial sector, in quality control, in health and safety, pushing for higher standards?

AA

3

I sympathise with you. There is a tendency, when governments are presented with problems, everywhere in the world, for them to think that the answer has got to be more regulation and higher spending. And we should, whenever we feel obliged to regulate more, see where we can remove regulations or red tape. But if the world out there starts to think that 'made in Hong Kong' doesn't mean quality, if the world out there continues to see us with health and safety at work statistics which are the sort you would normally see in a third world country, if the world out there thinks that our financial markets aren't squeaky clean, then we won't be as prosperous, whether we're small and medium enterprises or large ones.

Inflation has been an intractable problem in Hong Kong. Well, intractable up to a point. Inflation, at its peak in 1991 was at 13.9%, and we've got it down to about 8.5%. Still much higher than I, as an old fashioned Tory, think should be acceptable and we must go on working on it. I don't have a pat answer to you. What I can promise you is that we will continue to try to ensure that the costs of government are as reasonable and low as possible and that we will continue to try to ensure that Hong Kong enjoys low taxes, that we will continue to give a lead in bearing down on costs. And we hope that the rest of the business community will join us in that.

Next question? Now that somebody has broken the ice.

Question (Christopher Mak, Canadian Chamber): The unemployment rate, interest rate or the office rent, they are all cyclical and contemporary. Can I ask a question about the fundamentals or something eternal. Of all the achievements and miracles achieved by Hong Kong in the past years, as you mentioned, they are all built up on rule of law, as exemplified by the Bill of Rights by which the government in power and the man in the street are treated less unequally. And over the Northern side of the Shenzhen River, or maybe timely after 1997, the Government in power, they believe in the role of law instead of rule of law. The function of law is instrumental rather than eternal. They serve the purpose of the contemporary government. So, do you think there is any grey zone between the role of law and rule of law? If yes, where? If no, are you going to fight another losing battle?

4

Governor: Well, do you want me to finish by the end of the afternoon or? Let me be very brief. A great political philosopher, a century ago, wrote about what it was that made another refugee community remarkably successful. He referred to people's hard work and thrift and energy and entrepreneurial skills, just like here in Hong Kong. But writing about the United States, De Toqueville(phonetic) thought that what had been so fundamental to the success of that great nation had been the rule of law. The fact that people were working within clear parameters which encouraged them to excel but which also gave them security and fairness in their commercial dealings and in their personal lives. And I think exactly the same is true about Hong Kong. And I just hope - I'll argue for it as passionately as I can -1 just hope that everybody who agrees with that, everybody who believes that what has helped to make Hong Kong special, as well as the staggering energy and commitment and dedication of its Chinese citizens, I hope that everybody who believes in that fundamental importance of the rule of law will stand up for it.

« -i’o*.

I read a couple of interesting editorials in newspapers yesterday about the rule of law, and one which was very elegantly written ended up on a sort of note of elegiac despair. If there are those who are going to erode the rule of law here in Hong Kong, to dismantle it, then, the editorial writer opined, there's not very much we can do about it and there's not very much that anybody around the world will care about it. Well, I put that on one side. But I'm sure there's plenty people can do about it. People can make their views on the subject clear. And I hope that in between the decisions announced by advisers a couple of days ago and the 1st July 1997,1 hope that rather more account will be taken of the interests and the ambitions and the concerns of the people of Hong Kong. And I hope that minds will be changed. It matters very much that they are.

Earlier this year we achieved an agreement on the judicial through-train, on a through-train for the administration of justice, which I think was a decent agreement. And I think one reason why we reached it was because so many of you made your views on the subject plain. I think that from time to time you may need to do so again.

5

Question: Governor, my question deals with an area of the economy where the Government does have direct control. Although the Government's pay trend survey of private sector wage increases may be accurate, the pay formula by which the Civil Service salaries are set seems to be flawed. Since you've been Governor, Civil Service non-directorate grade salaries have increased by one-third, which is five or six per cent faster than CPIA inflation and slightly faster than CPI Hang Seng inflation. Moreover, that one-third increase does not include increases due to annual increments or promotions. The private sector obviously comes under pressure to match these awards which lifts the entire cost base and fuels inflation which affects the profitability of many businesses. When is the Government going to tackle this problem? It will always be difficult, politically, to do so but it's one problem which the Government can directly solve.

Governor: I think that you said in your introduction, or implied in your introduction which was indeed the case, that each year the Government has followed the survey findings. We've been involved in a dialogue with, I think, some business organisations about whether those survey findings are based on the right methodology but I don't think that anybody has convinced us, so far, that they are not. In at least the first two years, we were criticised by the unions for not going further than the survey findings. For not, for example, making up the shortfall which they claimed was a hangover from previous years. But I think the community, by and large, and the Legislative Council, have thought it right for us in these years to stick firmly to the survey findings. And speaking for myself, I think that it's exceptionally important that we have the maximum goodwill in our Civil Service before and after 1997, because I think not to have that would hardly be conducive to the smooth transition that everybody wants to see.

There are quite a lot of anxieties from time to time in the Civil Service about the transition and I wouldn't want to exacerbate any of those. So we are prepared to look at the methodology behind the survey, but so long as nobody convinces us that it is right to junk that methodology, I think we're absolutely right to follow the outcome of the survey every year. And I merely refer back, not in any provocative spirit, to what I said about it the last time I was asked this question.

Thank you all very much indeed.

End/Thursday, October 19, 1995

6

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

Following is the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten's question-and-answer session with the media after the joint luncheon of Hong Kong chmabers of commerce today (Thursday):

Question: Mr Patten, what is your reaction to China giving its endorsement to the PWC's suggestion to repeal the Bill of Rights?

Governor: To whose endorsement?

Question: The endorsement of the ....

Governor: Well, we've all heard the views of the PWC on the Bill of Rights, and I think the community's reaction speaks for itself. I think it's particularly unfortunate that in the week in which we're giving evidence in Geneva on our compliance with the International Covenants, these proposals have been put forward. I think it's particularly unfortunate in the wake of the very successful meetings that Mr Qian Qichen had in London that these proposals have been put forward. As I think people right across the community have made clear, they are proposals which call in question commitment to the rule of law or indeed, any understanding of the rule of law. They also call into question, I think, a commitment to the basic principle of Hong Kong people running Hong Kong. So, they are a real worry. And I very much hope that much wiser counsels will prevail, that these proposals won't get the chop, won't get the endorsement of Chinese officials, and that we can start to reassure people rather than make them concern and anxious about the future.

You probably heard the question I was asked inside, by a businessman, which I think reflected worries that go deep and wide across the community.

Question: Do you think it's necessary for the Government to .... of whether the PWC's proposals indeed represent the Chinese Government's position?

Governor: We'll certainly be taking this issue up very vigorously in the Joint Liaison Group, and I hope that in that context, Chinese officials will make it clear that this isn't an official proposal.

Question: Governor, for the benefit of the cameras, could you just repeat which monumental street you think will bear your inscription after 1997?

Governor: Oh, I've said that on the radio already, in jocular vein. I don't think what matters is whether you have your name attached to a building, a street or any other physical object. What matters is whether the values to which you're attached survive and prosper, and that's what I'd like to see.

7

Question: Mr Patten, you’re going to Britain. Some PWC members and even ExCo members .... the British Government to take the lead to grant visa free arrangements to our passports....

Governor: Perhaps I could say something, briefly, about my visit to Britain, to save you having to come out to the airport this evening. We always have your welfare in mind.

I'm going, this evening, to the United Kingdom for meetings, principally, with the Prime Minister and other senior ministers. I'm also speaking at a conference on business opportunities in Hong Kong, and I'm speaking at the Annual Dinner of the TDC, and I'll be making three other public lectures on Hong Kong and Asia. Obviously, during my talks I’ll be wanting to review a number of issues following Mr Qian Qichen’s visit to London, including the unwelcome development this week in relation to the threat to dismantle Hong Kong’s protection against lawlessness, the threat to the rule of law here in Hong Kong. I'll also be raising a number of nationality issues and related matters, including visa free access to the United Kingdom for SAR passport holders. And the Hong Kong Government's position on that is extremely well known and we will be articulating it as eloquently as possible.

Question: Are you going to map out some further strategy on co-operation with the future SAR Government?

Governor: Not a future strategy. We've already discussed with London our proposals for co-operation with the team designate, and before that with the Preparatory Committee, and I won't have any new proposals to add to the ones which we've already discussed with London.

Question: Do you intend to ask the Prime Minister to tell or ask or whatever the word, the British Ambassador in Peking to say to the Chinese Government at the highest level, that these remarks .... Do you expect .... from the highest level of the British Government?

Governor: I think that just as there have been expressions from the highest levels of the British Government over the threat to dismantle a fairly elected Legislative Council, so there will be expressions of concern at the highest levels in the British Government about the threat to the Bill of Rights and the rule of law in Hong Kong. But those are matters that I'll want to discuss with the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary over the next few days. But I'm sure that they will be as concerned about those matters as the people of Hong Kong are.

8

Question: Can you describe .... Hong Kong you envisage without a Bill of Rights?

Governor: Well, unfortunately, what the proposals seem to be based on wasn’t the law, but was a view of politics, and I wondered what those proposals told us about what sort of a place the advisers think Hong Kong is. We have a Bill of Rights. We comply with the International Covenant. And does that compliance make Hong Kong socially unstable? Does that bring disorder to our streets? Of course it doesn’t. It’s part of the order and decency and civilised values and openness of living in Hong Kong. So, I think that once you embark on a very slippery slope like this one, you fetch up in a situation in which you don't have the rule of law protecting individuals, protecting businesses, and that would be a desperately sad thing for Hong Kong and a very, very bad thing for our prospects, not least our commercial prospects, in the years ahead.

Question: (inaudible)

Governor: We’ve got no proposal to lean on the banks to get them to change that policy, which I think has been a sensible one in Hong Kong.

Question: There is a report by the Chinese media that somebody is planning for assessing the senior officials of the Hong Kong Government. Do you personally worry about....

Governor: I wouldn’t want to comment on a matter with security implications. The sensible thing for us to do is to make sure that we continue with security in public and private life in Hong Kong and we take all the measures necessary to ensure that that can happen. Thank you very much indeed.

End/Thursday, October 19, 1995

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

Following is the transcript of the Chief Secretary. Mrs Anson Chan's media session after visiting the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department today (Thursday):

Question: How seriously are you taking the threat against you?

9

Chief Secretary: I’ll repeat for your benefit. I’m not going to comment on security arrangements. You can pose your question in any other different way, the answer will still be the same.

Question: How many security men do you have attached to your..

’■ ■ ■ ■■ Z •-S'' ' • ■ ■

Chief Secretary: I'm going to comment.

Question: Mrs Chan, how are you going to comment on the Bill of Rights...

Chief Secretary: I think you will see from the community comments from any quarters there is a great deal of concern at any suggestion that the Bill of Rights will be scrapped. I will reiterate that we are satisfied that all our existing legislation, including all the amendments to existing legislation that we've made the past few years, were to ensure that the legislation are fully in conformity with the Bill of Rights and with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. As you know, the Basic Law actually entrench and say that this international convention will continue to apply to the SAR Government after 1997. So, we have duty which we have fulfilled and we will continue to fulfil to make sure that all our laws fully comply with the international covenant.

Question: Do you mean that Government...

Chief Secretary: We will be expressing our concerns to the Chinese side at the next JLG.

End/Thursday, October 19, 1995

Government shares concerns about unemployment * * * * *

The Government shares concerns about jobs and will do every thing in its power to reduce unemployment, the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, said today (Thursday).

Addressing a joint luncheon of Hong Kong chambers of commerce, Mr Patten said he was surprised by remarks attributable to the business community that the Government should attempt to "kick start" the economy and spend its way to faster economic growth and to full employment.

10

Mr Patten stressed that the Government would not take short-term measures which would damage the long-term competitiveness and flexibility of the economy.

"I have two difficulties with calls for kick starting the economy. The first is that this approach seems to ignore the facts. The economy has not stalled. We are not drifting towards recession," he said.

'J'.-'

Citing statistics, the Governor said no matter what time frame one took, the economic facts of life in Hong Kong were compelling testimony to the resilience and success of the economy.

J ■

He pointed out that over the long term, Hong Kong had enjoyed economic growth in the past 35 years and its GDP had on average doubled every decade for the past 40 years.

Over the medium term, since 1984, when the Joint Declaration was signed, Hong Kong’s GDP had increased by 84 per cent, investment by over 100 per cent, merchandise exports up over 350 per cent and service exports up by 130 per cent.

"Attempting to stimulate an economy which is already growing at 5 per cent in real terms each year would create the very real dangers of giving a kick start to inflation, eroding our competitiveness, and, ultimately, leading to higher unemployment," he said.

On the second difficulty with the kick start school of economic policy, Mr Patten said the impressive statistics of Hong Kong’s economic success had not been achieved by government management of the economy.

He said the Government was spending each year over $30 billion on Hong Kong’s physical infrastructure; $34 billion on skills infrastructure through the educational system, vocational training and research; and hundreds of millions of taxpayers' dollars supporting business through various organisations and encouraging investments.

"But the Government cannot - and should not - attempt to cushion business from the hard realities of the market place. It is these hard realities that ensures that Hong Kong's business remain competitive and successful," he said.

"If we ever attempt to create a sort of welfare state for inefficient business, we shall be putting in jeopardy the enterprise and the flexibility which are the very essence of our economic success."

11

Turning to the General Labour Importation Scheme, the Governor said since the Scheme was introduced in 1989, the labour market had changed significantly.

"This year, the labour force has been expanding at a rale of 4.3 per cent or by about 120,000 workers. The net rate of creation of new jobs has been 2.6 per cent or about 78,000 new job opportunities for the year. The consequence has been a rise in unemployment to 3.5 per cent of the labour force,” he said.

He said government policies must change to meet changing circumstances and that was why he announced in his Policy Address to the Legislative Council that the Government would be phasing out the General Scheme and introduce a smaller scale and more targeted Supplementary Labour Importation Scheme.

The Governor said he believed the new scheme would meet the practical needs of the business community and the economy.

"I think in this instance the best interests of the whole community lie in: getting our unemployed workers back into jobs; and retaining the ability to import workers to meet particular requirements which cannot be met locally." he said.

End/Thursday, October 19, 1995

Governor's speech *****

Following is the speech given by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, to a joint luncheon of Hong Kong chambers of commerce today (Thursday):

William, ladies and gentlemen.

Thank you very much indeed for the introduction, and thank you very much indeed for another free lunch.

12

It’s an irresistible temptation when one has a Financial Secretary who gives his speeches the titles of movies - ’Silence of the Lambs’, ’Basic Instinct' and so on - it's an irresistible temptation to do the same, and I've struggled to find the right title for today. I thought at first that maybe I should choose 'The Empire Strikes Back'. But at the end of the day, I've opted for 'Frankenstein meets the Wolfmen'.

Anyway, thank you for your hospitality today, and thank you for the chance you’ve given me to make a few remarks and answer your questions.

Hong Kong always fascinates and sometimes surprises. I must say that I was a bit surprised by some of the comments on my speech to the Legislative Council last week. I had assumed it to be a truth universally acknowledged in the Hong Kong business community that the Government should not attempt to manage the economy.

That entrepreneurs make better business decisions than civil servants.

* That public expenditure rates should be low, taxes lower still and government kept small.

That the very essence of our economic way of life is to trust the markets and to let competition take command.

* That Adam Smith's "invisible hand" of the market is much to be preferred to the dead hand of government interference and over regulation.

I took these precepts to be common ground between the business community and the Government. I took them to be a fundamental part of the consensus which has helped to make Hong Kong, to quote one recent international assessment, the freest economy in the world.

Imagine my surprise, then, last Thursday morning. The previous day, I had delivered my fourth annual Policy Address and, as I am sure you will all recall, it received the usual chorus of joyous acclaim. What surprised me were the widely-quoted remarks, attributed to members of our business community, to the effect that the Government should attempt to "kick start" the economy, that the Government should attempt to spend its way to faster economic growth and to full employment.

13

1 know that these calls for the Government to take a more active role in economic management are well intentioned. They are a reaction to the recent revision of our GDP growth forecast for the current year from 5.5 % to 5% - or, as I heard one critic, who would have baffled Kenneth Clark, say the other day 'only 5 per cent'. These calls also stem from anxiety about the recent rise in the level of unemployment. The unemployment rate seems to have stabilised at about 3.5 per cent for the moment (what Financial Secretaries 10 years ago used to define as full employment). Nonetheless, we in the Government share these concerns about jobs and, as I said in my Policy Address, we shall do every thing in our power to reduce unemployment.

What we will not do, however, is to take short-term measures which would damage the long term competitiveness and flexibility of our economy. I have two difficulties with calls for kick starting the economy. The first is that this approach seems to ignore the facts. The economy has not stalled. We are not drifting towards recession. On the contrary, no matter what time frame you take, the economic facts of life in Hong Kong are compelling testimony to the resilience and success of the economy.

* Over the long term, Hong Kong has enjoyed economic growth in every one of the past 35 years. Our GDP has on average doubled every decade for the past 40 years.

* Over the medium term, the figures are equally impressive. In real terms since 1984 - the year when, after the Joint Declaration, many predicted that disaster lay ahead - since then our GDP has increased by 84%, investment has increased by over 100 per cent, and, of course, foreign trade has boomed, with merchandise exports up over 350% and service exports up by almost 130%.

* Over the short term, our economic performance has been equally reassuring. Since 1990. GDP has increased by almost 30% in real terms, and we have settled into a pattern of steady, sustainable annual real growth of around 5%.

14

It is essential, essential that we keep a firm grip on these facts when we confront our economic problems. The plain truth is that the economy has not faltered. It is not in need of a kick start, and the last thing it needs is a deliberate dose of reflation. Attempting to stimulate an economy which is already growing at 5% in real terms each year would create the very real dangers of giving a kick start to inflation, eroding our competitiveness, and, ultimately, leading to higher unemployment. We spent the last three decades avoiding some of the problems partly created by bad macro-economic management in Europe and North America. Why throw all that wisdom away now?

This brings me to my second difficulty with the kick start school of economic policy. These impressive statistics of Hong Kong’s economic success have not been achieved by government management of the economy. We have of course played our part.

We are now spending over $30 billion each year on Hong Kong’s physical infrastructure.

We are now spending $34 billion each year on our skills infrastructure through the educational system, vocational training and research.

We spend hundreds of millions of taxpayers' dollars each year supporting business through organisations such as the Productivity Centre and the Industrial Estates Corporation, and encouraging new investments and ideas through research grants and investment promotion.

This, I believe, is the right role for Government, providing practical long-term support for business but recognising that this help must stop well short of attempting to direct or manage the economy at a macro level or attempting to second guess markets and entrepreneurs at the micro level.

To go beyond this restricted role would be to enter very dangerous territory indeed. Long-term support for business, yes certainly, and we already provide it. But the Government cannot - and should not - attempt to cushion businesses from the hard realities of the market place. It is this hard reality that ensures that Hong Kong's businesses remain competitive and successful. If we ever attempt to create a sort of welfare state for inefficient businesses, we shall be putting in jeopardy the enterprise and the flexibility which are the very essence of our economic success.

15

I sometimes hear it said that the Hong Kong Government has much to learn from certain other governments on economic matters. That, for example, the Government of Singapore plays a more active and more extensive role in the economy then we do in Hong Kong and that this in some way gives Singaporean businesses a competitive advantage. I do not want to belittle in any way the rapid progress made by our friends in Singapore and the successes which they have achieved. But Hong Kong performance compares very favourably with Singapore's record. Let me quote just two comparisons.

* During the 1980s, Singapore's investment rate was about twice that of Hong Kong's. But, remarkably, our productivity growth was about twice that of Singapore's.

* Hong Kong's citizens have benefited more from economic growth than have Singaporeans. In Hong Kong, growth in consumption has kept pace with growth in output, whereas in Singapore, consumption has in recent years been growing at about half the rate of output.

There is nothing in these simple comparisons which should lead us to question the fundamentals of our economic policy. What these figures demonstrate is that Hong Kong's experience of putting our faith in markets and enterprise pays off for the whole community. That business men and women have a better record of picking the winning investments than governments. But I would be astonished if there was anyone here today who is surprised by this conclusion.

Having got all that off my chest, I now want to talk about an issue which 1 know is of great concern to the business community: the availability of labour. The General Labour Importation Scheme dates from 1989 when there were serious bottlenecks in the labour market.

There were then more than 100,000 job vacancies.

* At the same time, the unemployment rate stood at an all-time low of 1%.

Since then, the labour market has changed significantly. This year, the labour force has been expanding at a rate of 4.3% or by about 120,000 workers. The net rate of creation of new jobs has been 2.6% or about 78,000 new job opportunities for the year. The consequence has been a rise in unemployment to 3.5% of the labour force. This is low by the standard of other mature economies but it is, nonetheless, a major concern to us in Hong Kong.

16

Government policies are not, should not be immutable. They must change to meet changing circumstances. To put it very simply, the case for the General Labour Importation Scheme has been eroded in recent years by changes in the labour market. The labour market has changed, and government policy must change with it.

That is why 1 announced in my Policy Address to the Legislative Council that we will be phasing out this Scheme as the contracts of imported workers lapse between now and the end of the year. But this does not mean that there is no longer a case for any imported workers. To get the best out of our economy, we need to be able to import workers to meet particular requirements, to overcome specific shortages. I therefore announced at the same time that we will be introducing a smaller scale and more targeted Supplementary Labour Importation Scheme which I believe will meet the practical needs of the business community and the economy.

I know there are employers who are very concerned about finding the workers they need to carry on their businesses successfully. There are also many workers and their trade union representatives who believe that there should be no importation of labour at all while there are any local people without jobs. The Government has to devise and revise its policies with the simple objective of securing the best interests of the whole community. And 1 think in this instance the best interests of the whole community lie in:

* getting our unemployed workers back into jobs; and

* retaining the ability to import workers to meet particular requirements which cannot be met locally.

I believe that with the new Supplementary Labour Scheme, we have got the balance about right. Having said this, I was not at all surprised that most of the questions I got last week in my Legislative Council Question Time were on this issue. And I guess the same may be true today.

Let me remind you. We’ve put these proposals forward for discussion. They are not plucked out of the air. They are the outcome of a serious and comprehensive review. We want if we possibly can to achieve a consensus between employers, employees and legislators. We’ll work for a broadly agreed policy and hope that we can meet that goal.

17

The.Hong Kong Government is unashamedly pro-business. You don't have to take it from me. Look at the business magazines. We are pro-business because we believe that economic success is the basis for the good life in Hong Kong. The quality of life for the entire community would collapse without thriving industries and firms. And I believe personally that the best economic policy is to get yourself a good business community and then make sure the government stays out of their way.

I noticed that Donald Tsang, whom I mentioned earlier, in speaking to the General Chamber of Commerce a week or two ago, invoked on that occasion not a film title, but invoked that great thinker Mae West in explaining his economic philosophy. His economic philosophy and mine are one and the same, so I too feel able to call on Ms West for support. She offered us a philosophy for policy making and indeed, for life in general when she advised a friend "Keep cool and collect". Can't think what she had in mind. We should keep cool and we'll go on collecting the rewards of sustained and sustainable growth in the freest economy in the world.

Hong Kong has had more than its share of excitements over the years. We’ve lived on the threshold of turbulent events. We’ve seen panics and euphoria, markets falling like stones, and markets soaring like rockets. Fortunately, most people including the Government - have kept cool, have kept their nerve. And the results you all see around you. To borrow the old phrase, ”No one has made any money betting against Hong Kong”.

I guess we can expect one or two more excitements in the years ahead. I mentioned Singapore earlier. Let's be honest among friends, since we can talk so discretely today. What's the main difference between us and them? It’s not policy. It’s not the Senior Minister or the Governor. It's not the proportion of GDP spent on this or that. What's the main difference between us and Singapore? You know perfectly well. It's 1997.

What we need is the assurance that 1997 isn't going to change anything fundamentally.

Am I going to change anything fundamentally before 1997? Of course not. Do people think about leaving Hong Kong, do they think about even domiciling in Singapore, because of their pre-1997 worries? You know the answer to that.

18

I can and will - with the 101% backing of the British Government, the support of all political parties at Westminster, and the understanding of our friends in the region and beyond - I will continue to do all I can to ensure that Hong Kong, our economic well-being, our rule of law and our way of life survive 1997 - survive and prosper. But that reassurance only goes so far. It's for others - China's officials and China's advisers - to give the reassurances that Hong Kong and the world want beyond that.

Don't underestimate the damage done here and abroad every time, for example, that those who advise China give the impression that come 1997 the protection of Hong Kong's freedom and way of life is going to be dismantled. That sort of statement hits every agency tape around the world. You can buy advertising space by the yard to say how wonderful Hong Kong is and how wonderful Hong Kong is going to be, but that sort of story undoes all the good work and all the good words; it does immeasurable damage to confidence and, therefore, immeasurable damage to Hong Kong's prospects.

I, too, think that Hong Kong will stay special and stay successful, if - if - it's given a chance, if it's trusted to get on with its own life, if all of you care sufficiently passionately that things should and must stay the same. IF.

President Bush used to talk about the vision thing. Well, I'll tell you my vision of Hong Kong.

Hong Kong will in 1997 be the richest city in China. Within less than a generation, within perhaps half the average working life, Hong Kong could, on all the present statistics, become the richest city in the world. The richest and one of the most decent. Safe. Stable. Successful. An Asian role model. A world role model. That's what could happen. That's what should happen. And if you want it enough it will happen. Don't allow that vision to be thrown away.

End/Thursday, October 19, 1995

19

Governor to visit UK

*****

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, will depart for London tonight (Thursday) on a regular visit to brief the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary and other ministers on the latest developments in Hong Kong.,

The visit follows the delivery of his fourth Policy Address to the Legislative Council on October 11.

' '■ ' ' - ’ ' ' . J,

Apart from discussing the Hong Kong situation with ministers and officials, Mr Patten will also have separate meetings with members of the Foreign Affairs Committee and the British-Hong Kong Parliamentary Group.

In London, the Governor will attend the opening of the Hong Kong Business Conference, the Trade Development Council's annual dinner, and a lunch meeting with the Hong Kong Association. He also has speaking engagements in London, Buckingham and Oxford.

Mr Patten will return to Hong Kong on October 29.

End/Thursday, October 19, 1995

JLG Expert Talks on Air Service Agreements ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Talks between experts of the British and Chinese sides of the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group on Air Service Agreements will take place in Hong Kong on October 20.

The British side will be led by British Representative, Mr Alan Paul. The Chinese side will be led by Chinese Representative, Mr Wang Weiyang. They will be assisted by experts from the two sides.

: . i. •

i u’.

End/Thursday, October 19, 1995

20

Responsible and balanced course in human rights protection ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Hong Kong Government has conscientiously nurtured, as a matter of deliberate policy, a high level of domestic awareness of human rights, the Solicitor General, Mr Daniel R Fung, QC, told the United Nations Committee on Human Rights (UNHRC) in Geneva today (Thursday, Geneva time).

Speaking at a hearing of the Committee on the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in Hong Kong, Mr Fung said the Government had carefully charted a course between the demands of those who wanted far-reaching and immediate changes and the more conservative elements of the community who would prefer to see as little change as possible.

’’The balanced position adopted by the Government is a responsible one, fully consistent with the aspirations enshrined in the ICCPR and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR),” he added.

Mr Fung noted that the Hong Kong Government was and had been for some years deeply committed to a legal policy and social programme of promotion, enhancement and protection of human rights by law.

Ever since Britain acceded to the ICCPR in right of Hong Kong in 1976, the Hong Kong Government had taken steps progressively to ensure that the domestic legal regime for human rights protection met the minimum standards laid down in the Covenant.

He said in 1984 the United Kingdom and the People's Republic of China signed the Sino-British Joint Declaration on the Future of Hong Kong, and among the most significant provisions in the Joint Declaration were that the Provisions of the ICCPR and the ICESCR as applied to Hong Kong should remain in force after 1997.

In 1990, Mr Fung added, the Hong Kong Government took the initiative of introducing to the legislature a Bill of Rights which reproduced almost verbatim in a domestic statute the provisions of the ICCPR. This passed into law on June 6, 1991.

Mr Fung said under the terms of the Bill of Rights the Judiciary was constrained to give, wherever possible, all previous legislation an interpretation consistent with the Bill of Rights and, where no such interpretation was possible, declared any statutory provision which was inconsistent with the Bill of Rights repealed.

21

Since Hong Kong enjoyed a common law system with a doctrine of binding precedent, the Judiciary over the last four years had built up a solid body of jurisprudence based on case decisions interpreting the provisions of the Bill of Rights, • he said.

Mr Fung added that at its own initiative, the Hong Kong Government had also established a dedicated, specialist Human Rights Unit in the Attorney General's Chambers.

One of its objectives was to assist in the promotion of human rights and the inculcation of human rights values in Hong Kong society and assisting in the carrying out of public educational programmes, he said.

Mr Fung also said the Government was pleased to see so many nongovernmental agencies from Hong Kong taking the opportunity to assist the Committee in understanding the situation in Hong Kong.

He said their submissions demonstrated the seriousness with which the people of Hong Kong regarded their human rights as well as the importance they attached to the hearing.

"The Government's attendance here, together with that of NGOs, is testimony to the healthy state of awareness of human rights in Hong Kong," Mr Fung said.

End/Thursday, October 19, 1995

Bill to tidy-up broadcasting law in the pipeline ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Hong Kong expects to see the number of television channels increased from the existing 28 to more then 50 over the next few years as the subscription television licensee's fibre optic system comes fully into operation. The number stood at just four in 1990.

The Government is. of course, pleased by this drastic improvement yet aims to add even more to the range of options open to local viewers.

This was stated by the acting Secretary for Recreation and Culture, Mrs Rachel Cartland, during a post-Policy Address briefing to Legislative Council members this (Thursday) morning.

22

Mrs Cartland told the Councillors that as the exclusivity period of Wharf Cable, the subscription TV licensee, was due to end in mid-1996, the views of the Legislative Council would be sought on the deregulation framework the Government expected to put in place thereafter.

"The deregulation framework must, of course, not only offer more choice to the Hong Kong viewer but must also treat fairly our existing licensed broadcasters," she stressed.

"A broadcasting regulatory regime is rather like a complicated model or a game of chess - if you move one piece you affect all the others and planning must allow for this.

"This sort of complexity is a relatively recently phenomenon and is mainly due to the impact of new technologies and hence to the development of new means of bringing television to the viewer," she added.

In order to deal effectively with these new developments, Mrs Cartland said a complete overhaul of the broadcasting legislation would be necessary with a view to introduce a new Broadcasting Ordinance to replace the existing Television and Telecommunication Ordinances.

"I am pleased to say that we do expect that in this session we will be able finally to introduce the Broadcasting Bill into the Legislative Council. The essence of this bill will be legislative tidying-up on a very large scale," she said.

She undertook to brief LegCo Members on progress, on concepts for the overall structure of the bill and on the single major new issue of substance to be incorporated into the bill, that is regulation of Video on Demand, before the bill was introduced into the Council.

On the arts side, Mrs Cartland noted that it was not too fanciful to say the Government’s encouragement of the creative arts helped sustain the entrepreneurial spirit that had allowed Hong Kong to make so much progress over the recent past.

At the same time, she continued, the creative arts’ willingness to question and probe kept society on its toes to ensure that other important priorities were not overlooked in a headlong drive for material success.

Sport is another area in which a community’s pride and identity can be reinforced through the achievements of its sporting heroes and heroines.

23

Exercise and recreation were also essential building blocks of society since they were an important component of good health and fitness thus significantly contributing to productivity and providing decent alternatives to various less desirable activities, she said.

In respect of arts and sport, Mrs Cartland said the Sports Development Board and the Arts Development Council had been working on strategic plans to set the course for the next five years.

"Each of these plans has been the subject of a period of public consultation to allow them to be refined and prioritised.

"To implement each of these plans, we will be hoping to identify diverse sources of funding but insofar as sums from General Revenue are required, we are likely also in due course to be putting proposals to the Finance Committee of this Council," said Mrs Cartland.

End/Thursday, October 19, 1995

Flood relief projects underway: Director of Home Affairs ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

The Administration is taking active and practical steps to alleviate the problems of flooding which are particularly acute in Yuen Long and North Districts, the Director of Home Affairs, Mrs Shelley Lau, said today (Thursday).

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Tak Yuet Lau flood shelter in Ta Kwu Ling, Mrs Lau said there were both short and long-term solutions to the flooding problems in the northern New Territories.

She said: "In the short term, under the Rural Planning and Improvement Strategy's (RPIS) Minor Works programme, the Home Affairs Department (HAD) and other works agency departments are implementing projects to provide some alleviation of the worst spots or, as in this case, provide temporary measures to help those worst affected.

24

"In the longer term, the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands has a comprehensive programme of river training projects at a cost of some $5 billion, some of which are already underway."

Mrs Lau said HAD, in consultation with rural leaders and the local population, would continue to prioritize RPIS Minor Works projects to meet urgent local needs as far as possible. Flood relief measures will be accorded high priority within the RPIS programme.

However, she stressed that ultimately, only the major infrastructural projects to fully train these rivers would bring long-term, lasting relief.

Endorsed by the Executive Council in March 1989, the RPIS is divided into two segments, one covering major works projects and the other minor ones.

Mrs Lau pointed out that the Administration has earmarked $1.6 billion for a 10-year Minor Works programme of infrastructural development and environmental improvement in rural areas in the New Territories.

To better manage the Strategy, HAD assumed overall responsibility for the Minor Works programme in November 1994 and introduced a two-tier administrative structure: the RPIS Minor Works Steering Committee and nine District Working Groups. Such an arrangement has enhanced the formulation of the programme and facilitated consultation with rural residents, New Territories District Boards, Heung Yee Kuk and Rural Committees.

Mrs Lau said that the Tak Yuet Lau minor works project is a typical example of co-operation between the authorities and the local community. Constructed at a cost of about $3 million, the flood shelter will provide temporary accommodation for 130 villagerS-

Under HAD's RPIS Minor Works programme, $50 million worth of projects were constructed in 1994-95, in line with our projections. For 1995-96, the aim is to construct $150 million worth of projects. Good progress is being made in constructing these projects.

End/Thursday, October 19, 1995

25

Unconscionable Contracts Ordinance to become effective ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦ i.,

The Secretary for Trade and Industry, Mr T H Chau, has appointed tomorrow (Friday) as the commencement date for the Unconscionable Contracts Ordinance.

The Ordinance was enacted on October 20, 1994. A 12-month grace period has been given for the business community to consider their use of contracts in the sale of goods and supply of services and to make any necessary adjustments before the Ordinance is brought into effect.

"Under the Ordinance, the court is empowered to exercise control over unconscionable terms in consumer contracts for the sale of goods and supply of services. It also seeks to provide judicial guidelines in applying the test of conscionableness," a government spokesman said today (Thursday).

If the court finds a contract or any part of a contract to have been unconscionable at the time it was made, the court may:

a) refuse to enforce the contract;

b) enforce the remainder of the contract without the unconscionable part; and

c) limit the application of, or revise or alter any unconscionable part so as to avoid any unconscionable result.

’’With this Ordinance, we hope to offer the greatest protection to consumers against unconscionable contracts without undue interference in the freedom of contract,” the spokesman said.

End/Thursday, October 19, 1995

26

Consumer Goods Safety Appeal Board panel appointed

♦ * * ♦ ♦

An Appeal Board panel has been appointed by the Secretary for Trade and Industry under the Consumer Goods Safety Ordinance which will come into effect tomorrow (Friday).

A government spokesman said today (Thursday): "The panel will hear appeals against an enforcement decision or action of the Commissioner of Customs and Excise under Part III of the Ordinance.

. .• ' t • r ...

"Such action includes notices issued by the Commissioner to require consumer goods suppliers to improve the safety of their products, to stop supplying unsafe products or to recall unsafe products from the market.

"The Appeal Board panel comprises a chairman and a deputy chairman, both of whom are legal practitioners; and not more than 15 members from the general public, consumer goods industry, and the product testing profession."

Members of the Appeal Board panel appointed for a period of two years are:

Chairman:

Mr Andrew Liao Cheung-sing, QC. Member of Law Reform Commission of Hong Kong and Criminal and Law Enforcement Injuries Compensation Board. Chairman of the Appeal Board panel (Toys and Children's Products Safety).

Deputy Chairman:

Mr Larry Kwok Lam-kwong, Solicitor. Member of Board of Review (Inland Revenue) and Appeal Board panel of Hong Kong Housing Authority.

Members:

Dr George Greene, Senior Lecturer of Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Hong Kong. Member of Appeal Board panel (Gas Safety).

Prof Joseph Lai Ki-leuk, Professor of Department of Physics and Materials Science, City University of Hong Kong. Member of Consumer Council.

Dr Keung Wing-ching, Principal Consultant of Hong Kong Productivity Council. Member of the Metals Committee of the Industry and Technology Development Council.

27

Dr Chris Wong Ho-ching, Director of Industrial Centre of Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Member of Safety Officer Advisory Committee.

Dr David Lloyd Crone, Senior Racing Chemist of the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club. Member of Appeal Board panel (Toys and Children’s Products Safety) and member of Laboratory Accreditation Board.

Mr Cliff Sun Kai-lit, Executive Director of Kin Hip Metal & Plastic Factory Ltd. Co-opted member of Federation of Hong Kong Industries General Committee. Vice-chairman of Hong Kong Plastic Manufacturers Association.

Mr Jose Yu Sun-say, Chairman of HK International Group of Companies and president of Hong Kong International Knitwear Manufacturing Co Ltd.

Dr Chan Wai-kwan, Assistant Director of HK General Chamber of Commerce and secretary general of HK Coalition of Service Industries.

Mr Geoffrey A. Stammers, Chief Executive Officer of Mannings Retail Ltd. Member of Appeal Board panel (Toys and Children’s Products Safety).

Mrs Alice Chan Lai-hing, Executive Director of Retail Management Association. Member of Metrication Committee and Vocational Training Council.

Mrs So Cheung Yee-hing, Headmistress of Cho Yiu Catholic Primary School. Former member of Consumer Council (1989-94).

Mr Norman Lo Kam-wah, Executive Secretary of the Methodist Centre. Member of Telecommunications Users and Consumers Advisory Committee. Former appointed member of District Board (Wan Chai) (1985-94).

Ms Rita Tsui Pei-kum, Assistant General Manager of Hop Hing Oil Factory Ltd. Former member of Working Group on General Products Safety (dissolved) in 1992.

Dr David Lee Ka-yan, doctor. Member of Appeal Board panel (Toys and Children's Safety) and member of Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health.

Mr Aaron Wan Chi-keung, Managing Director of Associated Surveyors & Auctioneers, Associated Property Consultant & Agent and Associated Fine Arts Auctioneers Ltd. Member of Social Security Appeal Board.

Ends/Thursday, October 19, 1995

28

More low power devices to be exempted from licensing *****

The Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA) announces today (Thursday) that the Telecommunication (Low Power Devices) (Exemption from Licensing) (Amendment) Order 1995, which has been approved by the Govemor-in-Council, will be gazetted tomorrow (Friday).

The Exemption Order provides for the technical specifications for additional types of low power devices which are exempted from licensing under the Telecommunication Ordinance.

An OFTA spokesman explained: "Since 1989, an Exemption Order under the Telecommunication Ordinance has been in place to exempt from licensing certain radiocommunication devices which operate with very low transmission power and pose little risk of causing radio interference to other telecommunication devices.

"With the advent of radio and electronic technology, many new radiocommunication devices have come into the market and become increasingly popular among local users.

"After careful studies, OFTA has therefore recommended to change the technical specifications in the Order so as to allow many of these new devices to be exempted from licensing.

"The devices added include wireless office communication systems, wireless local area networks and studio quality wireless microphones."

Radio dealers and potential manufacturers will be informed of the technical specifications of the new categories of low power devices included in the Exemption Order.

End/Thursday, October 19, 1995

29

CS looks at work of EMSD ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, visited the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) headquarters this (Thursday) afternoon to update herself on the work of the department.

I )

Mrs Chan was met by the department's director, Mr Hugh Phillipson; the Development Manager, Mr Brian Dagnail; and the Departmental Secretary, Miss Elizabeth Lee.

Following a briefing given by, and discussions with, directorate staff on the work and activities of the department, the Chief Secretary visited the adjacent vehicle workshop where She saw staff checking a vehicle under repair by means of an engine analyzer.

Mrs Chan also toured the works area, including the car body repair area and the paint shop.

The workshop, together with another in Kowloon, provides a maintenance and repair service for a fleet of 7,000 government vehicles of various models.

After visiting the workshop, Mrs Chan proceeded to the Apprentice Training Centre where she saw apprentices practising on various kinds of machines, and on the electrical work benches. During the tour of the workshop and the Centre, Mrs Chan made enquiries and chatted with staff on their work and problems.

More than 300 craft apprentices are currently being trained under a structured apprentice training scheme organised by EMSD to provide well-tained craftsmen for government services, as well as for the community.

Since the scheme was launched in 1969, more than 28,000 skilled personnel have passed the training programme.

The visit ended with a tea reception attended by EMSD staff.

End/Thursday, October 19, 1995

30

Physical tidal model upgraded *****

The Civil Engineering Department (CED) today (Thursday) signed a $2.2. million consultancy agreement to upgrade its physical tidal model of the Victoria Harbour at the Harbour Hydraulics Laboratory in Tuen Mun.

The consultancy agreement was signed by the Principal Government Civil Engineer, Dr Choi Yu-leuk, Professor Ko Jan-ming of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and a representative of Delft Hydraulics, Mr Rashed Thabet.

The consultancy will primarily comprise the installation of the latest instruments, implementation of new technology and permanent modifications to the model. Managed by the Civil Engineering Office of CED, it will be completed by August next year.

Speaking after the signing ceremony, Dr Choi said it was essential to increase the effectiveness of the hydraulic modelling studies in view of the increasing importance of harbour engineering projects to the territory.

"By adopting an advanced technology called 'Particle Image Velocimetry', the float track images will be automatically analysed to provide information on cunent speed and direction over the entire water surface of the tidal model," he said.

"This will greatly reduce the time and manpower required for flow measurements and analysis.

"More powerful microcomputers and electromagnetic current meters will be installed for control, data analysis and acquisition.

"At the same time, the physical tidal model will be modified to reflect the latest developments of Hong Kong including the harbour engineering projects completed since 1989."

The physical tidal model of the Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour is housed inside the Harbour Hydraulics Laboratory which was built in 1989 to investigate and assess the effects on the tidal regime of the harbour of various coastal development proposals, such as reclamations, piers and breakwaters.

Dr Choi pointed out that detailed hydraulic studies had been conducted to ensure that the hydraulic conditions, both during and after the construction of major port developments and large-scale reclamations would suit waterborne activities.

31

"Results of hydraulic studies have concluded that reclamation works being carried out in the Victoria Harbour pose negligible effect on vessel navigation and other waterborne activities," he said.

He noted that over 30 hydraulic studies had been conducted since 1989 for major port developments including the West Kowloon Reclamation, the Central and Wan Chai Reclamation, and the Lantau Port Development.

End/Thursday, October 19, 1995

Sunday pedestrian precincts in Mong Kok on trial ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

A scheme will be put on trial from this Sunday (October 22) to improve the heavy pedestrian flow in Mong Kok on Sundays, a Transport Department spokesman said today (Thursday).

The scheme is to close traffic on the sections of roads listed below and turn them into pedestrian precincts from noon to 9 pm on Sundays:

* Tung Choi Street from Argyle Street to Shantung Street;

* Tung Choi Street from Shantung Street to Dundas Street;

Nelson Street from Fa Yuen Street to Sai Yeung Choi Street South; and

Soy Street from Sai Yeung Choi Street South to Fa Yuen Street.

Aimed to enhance pedestrian safety and improve the smooth flow of pedestrians and environment in general, the scheme will be put on trial initially for about three months pending further review.

During the road closure period, motorists should use Argyle Street for to access Sai Yeung Choi Street South between Argyle Street and Dundas Street, while those on the above section of Sai Yeung Choi Street South can make use of Shantung Street for Fa Yuen Street and Sai Yee Street. ■ t

32

Vehicles on Nathan Road southbound heading for Fa Yuen Street southbound are advised to route via Shantung Street and Fa Yuen Street.

However, traffic will resume normal on Nelson Street and Soy Street on other days including public holidays.

It is expected that local shop business might be benefited from the scheme as pedestrians could shop at leisure.

Nevertheless, illegal hawking activities may be attracted by the scheme. Stringent enforcement actions will be carried out by the Urban Services Department and the Police on site.

End/Thursday, October 19, 1995

Partial solar eclipse on October 24 ♦ ♦ ♦ * *

There will be a total solar eclipse on October 24. Weather permitting, the event will be visible as a partial eclipse of the sun in Hong Kong.

Details of the eclipse are as follows:

Hong Kong Time Azimuth Direction Elevation (Degrees)

Sunrise 0623 East-Southeast -1

Eclipse begins 1048 South-Southeast 51

Maximum eclipse 1218 South 56

Eclipse ends 1349 Southwest 48

Sunset 1752 West-Southwest -1

The magnitude of the eclipse will be about 0.64. This means that 64 per cent of the sun's diameter will be obscured by the moon at the maximum eclipse.

33

The best place to observe the eclipse in Hong Kong will be on high grounds with no obstruction of sight to the south.

Special precautions must be taken to observe solar eclipses because of the blinding intensity of the sun's rays.

Under no circumstances should the sun be looked at directly without any protective measures. A safe and better method is to project the sun's image onto a screen and view the reflection.

The next solar eclipse observable in Hong Kong will not occur until March 9, 1997.

End/Thursday, October 19, 1995

Hong Kong Beauty to open Gurkha Fair ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

•r

Miss Hong Kong 1995, Miss Winnie Yeung, will be officiating at the opening of this year's Gurkha Fair at Malaya Lines, Sek Kong on Saturday (October 21).

7. P1J'

Organised by the 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles (1 RGR), the two-day fair, which takes place on Saturday and Sunday (October 22), includes motorcycles displays, a tug-of-war competition, a trailer race, a lion dance and a free-fall parachute display. Musical highlights will be provided by the battalion’s Pipes and Drums.

The fair will be held at Malaya Lines’ Polo Field, near Kam Tin. It will be open from 11 am to 11 pm on Saturday and Sunday. All members of the public are welcome to share the fun.

End/Thursday, October 19, 1995

34

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

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 3,063 2,728 0930 1000 +109 +109

Closing balance in the account 1100 +109

Change attributable to: 4_i nc 1200 +114

Money market activity ■r IUD -440 1500 +114

LAF today 1600 +105

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 122.0 *+0.1* 19.10.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 1 month 3 months 6 months 5.51 5.53 5.58 5.60 2 years 3 years 5 years 5 years 2708 3807 5009 M501 6.06 6.16 6.95 7.90 100.56 100.32 101.12 103.10 5.81 6.12 6.79 7.22

12 months 5.61

Total turnover of EF bills and notes - $19,517 million

Closed October 19, 1995

End/Thursday, October 19, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Friday, October 20,1995

Omients EageJ^h

Transcript of the Governor’s doorstep interview................... 1

CS hosts dinner for HKMAO Deputy Director......................... 2

Legal system to remain unchanged after 1997: Solicitor General.... 2

Pleasant surprises in APEC Action Agenda hinted................... 4

HK's trade and economic relations with the US after 1997 ......... 6

Civil Service public housing quota................................

Film Censorship (Amendment) Ordinance effective next month........ 8

Joint operation to flush out illegal immigrants................... 9

Higher maximum fines for employment offences proposed............. 10

Improvements sought for law on award of costs..................... 12

New package of drug education talks for secondary schools......... 14

Review on implementation of Charter for Youth..................... 16

Consultancy study on software industry completed.................. 17

New fee proposed for marine fish culture licence.................. 19

HIV/AIDS......

Contents

Page No,

HIV/AIDS situation in third quarter........................................ 20

Value of manufacturers' orders-on-hand in August........................... 20

Construction output statistics............................................. 22

New licensing examination of Medical Council............................... 25

Tenders invited for drainage works......................................... 26

Tenders invited for works at Stanley Prison................................ 27

Tenders invited for port works maintenance................................. 27

Prequalification of chemical suppliers..................................... 28

Fresh water cut in Central................................................. 29

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations....................... 29

1

Transcript of the Governor's doorstep interview

*****

Following is the transcript of the doorstep interview by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, following meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Michael Heseltine, in London today (Friday):

Governor: Good morning, I had a very interesting meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Heseltine, who is an old friend and colleague. We had about an hour and 20 minutes together. It is the first of a number of meetings I am having with senior Ministers and officials during my visit to London.

Next week I will be seeing the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary, other Foreign Office officials and one or two other Ministers, and of course I have a couple of important speeches about Hong Kong business beginning on Monday morning -1 am sure you will be there! - the Trade Development Council dinner on Thursday and three public lectures in between. Quite a busy programme!

Question: Did you discuss the PWC's (Preliminary Working Committee) recent proposals regarding the Bill of Rights?

Governor: I mentioned those to Mr Heseltine. He had obviously read about them himself. I will be raising them of course principally with the Foreign Secretary and officials who are very concerned, but I will be talking to the Prime Minister about them as well.

Question: Did you discuss right of abode issues?

Governor: We talked about the whole range of JLG issues, so that included the right of abode and visa-free access and so on. Again, that is the sort of agenda I will be having with other Ministers during the week.

Question: And did Mr Heseltine generally agree with the statement you have put forward on these issues?

Governor: I always think it is dangerous when one comes out of meetings to put words into other people's mouths, but, as ever, we had a good meeting. He knows Hong Kong very well. He is very concerned, as we all are, to ensure that Hong Kong is as successful in the future as it has been up to date and so is concerned to ensure that the Joint Declaration is fully implemented.

Thank you very much.

End/Friday, October 20, 1995

2

CS hosts dinner for HKMAO Deputy Director

In response to press enquiries, a government spokesman confirmed that the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, had invited Mr Chen Ziying, Deputy Director, Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, for a dinner at Victoria House this (Friday) evening.

It was an informal social occasion for a small gathering of friends including the Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang.

Mr Chen invited Mr and Mrs Chan for a dinner while they were in Beijing in July.

"It was only natural to reciprocate the hospitality," the spokesman said.

End/Friday, October 20, 1995

J. f't

Legal system to remain unchanged after 1997: Solicitor General ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The present legal system will remain unchanged after July 1997, as guaranteed in the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, the Solicitor General, Mr Daniel R Fung, QC, affirmed the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) in Geneva today (Friday, Geneva Time).

Speaking at the second day hearing of the Committee on the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Mr Fung said it was not anticipated that members of the Judiciary could not continue to remain in office after 1997.

Mr Fung also informed the Committee that English would remain in use in the executive legislature and judiciary in Hong Kong after 1997 and Chinese would progressively be used in courts in the run-up to 1997 and beyond.

He gave an outline of the use of Chinese in court programme, including the use of bilingual charge sheets in magistrate courts and district courts.

3

He also assured the committee that all new legislation was drafted in both English and Chinese now and that the translation of all existing legislation would be completed before 1997.

In response to a question raised by a member of the Committee, Mr Fung said Police are liable to prosecution for the unlawful use of weapons causing death or injury.

He added that it was a disciplinary offence for a police officers to exercise unlawful or unnecessary authority resulting in loss or injury to any other persons rendering him liable to punishments ranging from reprimand to dismissal.

In response to a question raised by a member of the UNHRC on whether the Government had plans to criminalise marital rape, Mr Fung said the House of Lords decision in a case in 1991 applied to Hong Kong.

That case decided that there was no longer a rule of law that a wife was deemed to have consented irrevocably to sexual intercourse with her husband.

A husband could therefore be prosecuted and convicted of rape of his wife, Mr Fung said, adding that there were no need to reform this area of the law.

On a question on how the Government dealt with domestic violence, Mr Fung said the Government provided a range of services to victims of domestic violence including counselling, psychological assessment/treatment, child care, financial assistance, as well as housing and other assistance.

When a case of domestic violence was reported, he said the Police would liaise with the Social Welfare Department to provide counselling for victims and would immediately arrange for the victim to undergo medical examination.

Moreover, the police force also maintained close liaison with other relevant Government departments, non-governmental organisations and women's groups to strengthen the training for front-line officers on crisis intervention and understanding the trauma and psychology of victims, Mr Fung said.

End/Friday, October 20, 1995

4

Pleasant surprises in APEC Action Agenda hinted

The Director-General of Trade, Mr Tony Miller, today (Friday) hinted at "pleasant surprises" in the Action Agenda which would be unveiled next month at the Economic Leaders' meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) in Osaka, Japan.

"Be prepared to be pleasantly surprised both by its scope and its openness," he told a luncheon meeting of the Belgium-Hong Kong Society in Brussels in his speech entitled "APEC: A New Force for Free Trade".

The Action Agenda will be the road map for achieving the goal of free trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific region by the years 2010 or 2020 for industrialised and developing economies respectively as set down by APEC Economic Leaders at their last meeting in November last year.

Referring to its scope, Mr Miller said APEC Senior Officials could have just focused their attention on the obvious traditional areas of bringing down tariffs, breaking down non-tariff barriers and opening up the markets for goods and services.

"Instead, under the guidance of the Japanese Chair, we have gone about the task of setting specific targets and guidelines for both individual and collective action across the whole range of trade and economic activity and the associated rules, procedures and policies," he said.

"Thus the Agenda will say what we plan to do in such areas as investment, competition policy, rules of origin, customs procedures, standards and conformance, intellectual property rights and so on.

"Some have said that this is unrealistic. Our response has been to say that the Leaders have set us a clear and unequivocal target, that the twin target dates of 2010 and 2020 are sufficiently far ahead for all of us to address 'political realities', and that it is not for bureaucrats to be less ambitious than their masters.

"Nevertheless, the short, medium and long-term targets which we propose represent a realistic estimate of the time needed to move things forward and to firm up proposals in those areas where more time is required."

As regards openness, Mr Miller said the Leaders had committed APEC to a policy of open regionalism.

5

"We have not set about bringing down internal barriers only to maintain barriers to the outside world. We are committed to non-discrimination. We are committed to consistency with GATT/WTO rules. We are intent on leading the process of liberalisation by example not by establishing another trade bloc or free trade area," he said.

On the question of "free-riding", Mr Miller pointed out that Hong Kong's position had always been the trade barriers hurt those behind them more than those beyond.

"We are confident that bringing down the barriers in Asia will stimulate growth and will encourage trade with those outside the Asia-Pacific. We hope that you will respond in kind," he told the meeting.

Mr Miller said the Action Agenda was nine-tenths complete and he was confident that it could be finished off by the time Ministers gathered in Osaka.

Setting out how he thought the timetable for its implementation would unfold, he said first, APEC Senior Officials would present an ambitious and comprehensive Action Agenda to Ministers and Leaders for their endorsement in Osaka next month.

"Second, by the subsequent Leaders' meeting in Manila in November next year, member economies will present equally comprehensive and ambitious plans for liberalisation and deregulation of their economies for implementation commencing January 1997," he said.

"Third, collective action already in hand to cut through the red-tape and bureaucratic hassle of different customs procedures, standards and the like will be pushed ahead in parallel and extended to embrace all those areas of trade and investment facilitation and deregulation which require common agreement and collective action.

"Fourth, the plans will be subject to a continuous process of review and revision right through to achievement of the goals set at Bogor in Indonesia last year."

On the search for a new approach to liberalisation and facilitation in the drawing up of the Action Agenda, he said: "The approach which has emerged from our deliberations is a hybrid, comprising both individual and collective action.

6

"The first part of this hybrid reflects the fact that many members of APEC have achieved more liberalisation and deregulation over the last five years or so by their own unilateral initiatives than has been squeezed from them through negotiation.

"Our approach builds on this in a freely competitive spirit and envisages individual member economies setting out what they propose to liberalise and when in their own extended action plans. These individual plans will then be 'concerted' wherever possible through a process of consultation and review."

Mr Miller, however, pointed out that whilst the "concerted unilateral approach" should work well for eliminating tariffs, it would not work for all areas of liberalisation, deregulation and facilitation.

He said clearly there were areas where, to have any impact at all, collective agreement would be needed before effective action could be taken.

"This is particularly necessary in trade facilitation, or cutting red-tape," he added.

End/Friday, October 20, 1995

HK's trade and economic relations with the US after 1997 *****

In response to press reports that the US Department of Commerce is considering the possibility of incorporating Hong Kong's trade with the US after 1997 as a part of China's trade with the US for statistical purposes, a government spokesman said today (Friday) the Hong Kong Government is not aware of such a move.

"We do not believe that the press reports can be accurate, because such a move would be contrary to the provisions of the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992. Section 103 of that Act stipulates that the United States should seek to maintain and expand economic and trade relations with Hong Kong and should continue to treat Hong Kong as a separate territory in economic and trade matters", the spokesman said.

The spokesman stressed that under both the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall after 1997 continue to be a separate customs territory and a separate economic entity.

7

"After 1997, Hong Kong will continue to be a separate member of the World Trade Organisation, with its own separate rights and obligations vis-a-vis both the US and China," he added.

"It is therefore inconceivable that the US Government would not be maintaining a separate set of trade statistics in respect of Hong Kong after 1997."

Commenting on the reported discrepancies between the trade statistics of China and the US in respect of China's exports to the US, the spokesman said: "Hong Kong's trade statistics are compiled on the basis of internationally accepted rules of origin for manufactured products. There is, therefore, no possibility of any confusion, as far as the Hong Kong Government is concerned, between goods of Chinese origin and those of Hong Kong origin."

End/Friday, October 20, 1995

Civil Service public housing quota

*****

The Management fully understands the staff side's disappointment over the reduction in the rental element of the public housing quota for junior civil servants, but we believe that the quota for 1995-1996 represents the best possible under the circumstances, a spokesman for the Civil Service Branch (CSB) said today (Friday).

The spokesman was responding to press enquires about the decision of the staff side of the four consultative councils not to attend a meeting with CSB officials to finalise the call circular to be issued next week to invite applications for places in the Civil Service Public Housing Quota 1995-1996.

He stressed that CSB would continue to press the Housing Department and Housing Authority to increase the rental element of the quota in future back to at least 1,300 units and with an additional element to cover the "shortfall" in 1995-96.

Noting that the overall size of the quota for 1995-96 has been increased for the first time in 10 years, from 1,700 to 1,950 places, the spokesman reiterated that the Government had absolutely no intention of changing this long-standing policy which aimed to improve the welfare of junior staff.

8

He added that the size of the quota was subject to negotiation each year and had varied dramatically in the past; in at least one year (1974) the quota was reduced to zero because of enormous pressure on the public housing programme that year.

"The Government is very well aware of its obligations to the staff as a good employer while we are also conscious of our obligations to the community at large. The quota for next year has taken into account this consideration and other relevant

factors," he said.

The meeting was originally scheduled this afternoon between CSB and representatives of the Junior Police Officers Association, the Disciplined Services Consultative Council, Model Scale 1 Staff Consultative Council and the Senior Civil

Service Council.

End/Friday, October 20, 1995

Film Censorship (Amendment) Ordinance effective next month

*****

The Film Censorship (Amendment) Ordinance 1995 enacted in July this year will become effective on November 17, 1995. A notice to this effect was published in the Government Gazette today (Friday).

Under the Film Censorship (Amendment) Ordinance, Category II films are divided into Category IIA and Category IIB sub-categories. Compulsory censorship is also imposed on advertising materials of Category III films.

A spokesman for the Recreation and Culture Branch said dividing Category II into two sub-categories would give more information to movie-goers, particularly parents, in the selection of films for themselves or their children.

"Category IIA films are Not Suitable for Children' and Category IIB films are 'Not Suitable for Young Persons and Children'," the spokesman explained, adding that these two sub-categories were still advisory in nature with no compulsory age restriction on such films.

wfi c

9

"As regards the imposition of compulsory censorship on advertising materials of Category III films, we believe this will address the community's concern regarding the public display of offensive film advertising materials," he added.

..........■. ...

The Film Censorship (Amendment) Ordinance has also introduced other changes which include replacing the three official members of the Board of Review (Film Censorship) with non-officials to enhance public participation in the work of the Board.

End/Friday, October 20, 1995

Joint operation to flush out illegal immigrants ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 1.

A territory-wide operation against illegal immigration jointly mounted by the Police, Immigration Department and Labour Department has resulted in the arrests of 99 people.

The operation is part of the Government's continuous effort to flush out illegal immigrants.

The 58 suspected illegal immigrants arrested by the Police have been referred to the Immigration Department. Those found to be illegal immigrants will be repatriated.

A Government spokesman reiterated today (Friday) that there was no question of any amnesty for illegal immigrants.

"Our latest operation should drive home the point that there will be no change to this policy. Anyone foolish enough to believe otherwise is only cheating oneself," he said.

The spokesman stressed that apart from continuous checks throughout the territory, there was no let-up in anti-illegal immigration efforts at the border.

"A high state of vigilance will continue to be maintained by the Police and the security forces both at the land and sea borders," he said.

During the joint operation, which began at 5 am yesterday (Thursday) and ended at 5 am today, the Police stepped up their identification spot checks in public places and carried out checks at suspicious locations throughout the territory.

i 10

As a result, a total of 15,198 persons, 1,467 vehicles and 742 vessels were stopped for identification checks.

During the operation, Immigration investigators visited a total of 21 residential addresses and business establishments and arrested 41 suspected immigration offenders.

Of the 41 people arrested, 24 were women and 17 men. Eleven of them were Two-way Permit holders, one was an illegal immigrant, nine were foreign domestic helpers, and eight were travellers. The remaining 12 were Hong Kong residents who were suspected of aiding and abetting breach of condition of stay or employing a person not lawfully employable.

On the labour front, inspectors of the Labour Department visited 2,395 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 6,930 employees had their proof of identity checked.

i: _ J- ».»•? Wb ’lii'. 4

Twelve establishments were found not able to provide a record of employees for inspection.

^ii.... .

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/Friday, October 20, 1995

Higher maximum fines for employment offences proposed ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government has proposed to raise the levels of maximum fines under the Employment Ordinance and its subsidiary regulations to bring about tougher sanctions and to align the amounts of fines to the levels specified under the Criminal Procedure (Amendment) (No. 2) Ordinance 1994.

The proposals have been endorsed by the Govemor-in-Council and details outlining the proposed new maximum fines are contained in the Employment (Amendment) (No. 4) Bill 1995 gazetted today (Friday).

11

Noting that the levels of maximum fines under the Employment Ordinance and its subsidiary legislation, the Employment Agency Regulations, the Employment of Children Regulations and the Women and Young Persons (Industry) Regulations were last revised in 1988, a government spokesman said the question of inflation had also been taken into account when drawing up the proposals.

"It is proposed in the Bill to classify the various offences into three categories -minor, serious and very serious types - for the purpose of determining the maximum fines," the spokesman said.

The proposed maximum fine for minor offences would be $10,000 while the existing maximum fine ranges from $5,000 to $10,000. An example of a minor offence is the failure to keep records or to produce documentary proof as required under the Employment Ordinance.</