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

 DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Tuesday, February 7,1995

Contents p4ge No-

CMB's proposed development of Wong Chuk Hang bus depot................... 1

Use fewer plastic bags in markets..................•..................... 2

DHA urges people to vote in Municipal Councils elections................. 3

Reception for TV advisers hosted......................................... 3

Factory owner fined $ 160,000 for failing to pay wages................... 4

Trade and industry directory published................................... 5

Flushing water cut in Kowloon East....................................... 5

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results.............................. 6

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

1

CMB’s proposed development of Wong Chuk Hang bus depot ♦ ♦ * * *

A Government spokesman noted that the China Motor Bus Company, Limited’s (CMB) shareholders approved at an extraordinary meeting today (Tuesday) the disposal of CMB’s depot site at Wong Chuk Hang Road, Aberdeen and a joint venture with Swire Properties for its redevelopment after August 31 this year.

The spokesman said CMB’s bus depot site at Wong Chuk Hang Road cannot be disposed of under the company’s current franchise conditions without the approval of the Commissioner for Transport.

However, legal advice is that the proposal to pre-sell the Wong Chuk Hang site does not infringe the terms of CMB’s current franchise or the terms of the Public Bus Services Ordinance as long as the bus depot is maintained during the tenure of the current franchise, that is until August 31 this year.

CMB’s franchise will expire on August 31 this year and the Government is considering offering a new franchise to the company commencing September this year subject to new terms and conditions.

Discussion on the new franchise terms is still in progress, and it is not appropriate at this stage for CMB to assume that the Wong Chuk Hang depot will not be required to support CMB’s bus operations in future.

In the meantime, there is no question of the Government providing CMB with a replacement depot site to enable the company to dispose of its Wong Chuk Hang site.

It is Government’s intention to amend the Public Bus Services Ordinance to strengthen Government’s power to acquire the assets used or kept by franchised bus companies in order to maintain bus services to the public.

In the event that CMB’s franchise is not renewed, the proposed new legislation will enable the Administration to use CMB’s depots, including the Wong Chuk Hang site for a period of up to four years for the purposes of operating a public bus service.

End/Tuesday, February 7, 1995

2

Use fewer plastic bags in markets *****

An eight-week campaign to encourage the public to reduce the use of plastic bags will be launched in nine markets starting February 10 (Friday).

The markets are: Shek Tong Tsui Market, Kowloon City Market, Yeung Uk Road Market, North Kwai Chung Market, Yiu Tung Estate Market, Yiu On Estate Market, Jat Min Chuen Market, Lai Tak Chuen Market and Cho Yiu Chuen Market.

The campaign is organised by the Working Group on Plastic Bags (Wet Market), with representatives from the Environmental Protection Department, the two municipal councils, Housing Authority, Hong Kong Housing Society and the Consumer Council.

A spokesman for the working group said: "During the campaign period, reusable shopping bags will be distributed to market-goers while wrapping papers will be given to stall-operators to pack goods wherever possible.

"We aim to assess the practicality of and public's receptiveness to the use of such alternatives to plastic bags in markets. And in this way, we hope the public will be helped to drop habits of using plastic bags indiscriminately."

"To drive home the campaign message, posters bearing the slogan 'Protect the Environment, Use Fewer Plastic Bags' will be put up at prominent places. Stickers bearing the same message will be displayed at participating stalls to signify their support to the campaign," the spokesman said.

Over 1,000 market stalls, including vegetable and fruit stalls, grocery stores, seafood stalls as well as meat stalls, will take part in the campaign.

With technical guidance and advice provided by the Environmental Protection Department, the management staff of the markets will draw up their own plastic bag reduction plans and activities, such as exhibitions, competitions and lucky draws, to encourage stall-operators and market-goers to support the campaign.

To mark the opening of the "Plastic Bag Reduction in Markets" campaign and to help spread the "use fewer plastic bags" message, a television show will be broadcast on Friday (February 10) at 10.30 pm on TVB Jade.

To assess the effectiveness of the campaign, the Consumer Council will conduct a survey of the nine participating markets to measure the attitudinal and behavioural change of consumers and stall-operators towards the use of plastic bags in markets before and after the campaign. Survey results will be available later this year.

End/Tuesday, February 7, 1995

3

DHA urges people to vote in Municipal Councils elections * * * * *

This year will mark an important milestone in Hong Kong's political development, the Director of Home Affairs, Mr Joseph Wong, said this (Tuesday) afternoon.

Speaking at two spring receptions hosted by the Tuen Mun and Tsuen Wan District Offices, Mr Wong pointed out that the Municipal Councils elections and the Legislative Council elections will be held on March 5 and September 17 respectively.

He appealed to members of the public to elect their representatives so as to ensure a better future for the territory.

Turning to the work of the Home Affairs Department and its District Offices, Mr Wong pledged that he would further enhance communication with district bodies and local personalities.

"I believe we can solve district problems through the sincere co-operation between the Administration and the public," he said.

End/Tuesday, February 7, 1995

Reception for TV advisers hosted

*****

The Broadcasting Authority (BA) and the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority today (Tuesday) hosted a reception in the honour of the BA's Television Viewing Groups and Advisory Panels.

The Television Viewing Advisory Scheme was introduced in 1982, and keeps the BA in touch with the community's perception of television programme standards and other broadcasting matters.

A total of 19 district viewing groups and five advisory panels have been set up with membership of about 650 people from all walks of life.

At the reception, the BA Chairman, Sir Roger Lobo, presented Outstanding Representative Awards to those district group representatives who have played an active role in the advisory scheme and have attained the highest attendance rate of meetings and activities.

4

Members of the Broadcasting Authority, Dr Stan Cheung, Mr Clement Tao and Mr Stephen Lau and the Commissioner for Television and Entertainment Licensing, Mrs Rita Lau, presented Long Service Awards to members who have served in the scheme for fivcland 10 years.

Representatives from ATV, TVB, STAR TV, Wharf Cable, Commercial Radio, Metro Broadcast, Radio Television Hong Kong and members of the Legislative Council Panel on Recreation and Culture were also present at the reception held at Omni the Hong Kong Hotel in Kowloon.

End/Tuesday, February'7, 1995

Factory owner fined $160,000 for failing to pay wages * * * * *

The Labour Department today (Tuesday) reminded employers to pay wages to their employees within the time limit allowed by law or they will face a maximum fine of $200,000 and imprisonment for 12 months.

A Labour Officer (Prosecutions), Mrs Grace Shek, gave the advice after the owner of the Righlway Knitters Limited in San Po Kong was recently fined by a Kwun Tong magistrate a total of $160,000 for failing to pay wages within seven days to four workers after the completion of four consecutive wage periods.

Mrs Shek pointed out that under Section 23 of the Employment Ordinance, wages were due at the end of the wage period and must be paid as soon as practicable but in any case not later than seven days.

.« I

She also reminded employers that Section 25 of the ordinance stipulated that where a contract of employment was terminated, wages and any other sums due to the employee must be paid as soon as practicable but in any case not later than seven days after the day of termination.

An employer who fails to comply with his statutory obligations will commit an offence and liable to heavy penalties.

End/Tuesday, February 7, 1995

5

Trade and industry directory published ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Industry Department today (Tuesday) announced the publication of the latest edition of its annual directory ’’Hong Kong Trade and Industrial Organisations”.

A spokesman for the department said: "The publication, covering some 250 trade and industrial bodies in Hong Kong, aims to provide a quick source of reference for manufacturers, traders and members of the public who wish to get in touch with these bodies.

"They include government-funded industrial support bodies such as the Hong Kong Productivity Council, the Hong Kong Industrial Technology Centre Corporation and the Hong Kong Industrial Estates Corporation, chambers of commerce, district trade and industrial organisations and representative bodies of various industries and trades.

"Key information on each organisation including the address, telephone and fax numbers, names of principal office-bearers, size of membership and annual election dates, have been included," he said.

Enquiries or requests for free copies of the directory can be addressed to the Data and Services Division, Industry Department. 14th floor, Ocean Centre, 5 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui or on telephone 2736 2306.

End/Tuesday, February 7, 1995

Flushing water cut in Kowloon East *****

Flushing water supply to most premises in Kowloon East will be suspended from 10 pm on Thursday (February 9) to 9 am the next day to facilitate maintenance work.

The affected areas will include San Po Kong, Ngau Chi Wan. Choi Hung Estate, Choi Wan Estate, Ping Shek Estate, United Christian Hospital, Shun Lee Estate, Shun Tin Estate, Shun On Estate. Shun Chi Court. Shun Lee Tsuen Temporary Housing Area, Ngau Tau Kok, Lok Wah Estate, Jordan Valley, Kowloon Bay, Kwun Tong, Lam Tin, Sau Mau Ping and Cha Kwo Ling.

End/Tuesday, February 7, 1995

6

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results

*****

Tender date 7 Feb 95

Paper on offer EF bills

Issue number Amount applied Amount allotted Average yield accepted Highest yield accepted Pro rata ratio Average tender yield Tenders to be held in the Tender date Q506 HK$5,320 million HK$l,500 million 6.21 PCT 6.21 PCT About 100 PCT 6.27 PCT Hong Kong Monetary Authority week beginning February 13, 1995 14 Feb 95 14 Feb 95

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q507 H558

Issue date 15 Feb 95 15 Feb 95

Maturity date 17 May 95 16 Aug 95

Tenor 91 days 182 days

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

End/Tuesday, February 7, 1995

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,803 0930 -186

Closing balance in the account 2,292 1000 +634

Change attributable to: 1100 +546

Money market activity +509 1200 +510

LAF today -20 1500 +510

1600 +509

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 121.3 *-0.1* 7.2.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.85 16 months 2605 6.35 99.39 6.96

1 month 5.91 22 months 2611 6.90 99.55 7.29

3 months 6.21 30 months 3707 6.95 98.92 7.57

6 months 6.49 36 months 3801 8.00 101.11 7.72

12 months 6.79 59 months 5912 8.15 100.62 8.15

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $38,632 million

Closed February 7, 1995

End/Tuesday, February 7, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Wednesday, February 8,1995

Contents Page No.

Funds sought for West Kowloon Reclamation works......................... 1

Proposed sale of CMB bus depot site in Wong Chuk Hang................... 2

$27,014m grant to UGC-funded institutions for 1995-98 .................. 3

Volume and price movements of external trade in November 1994 .......... 4

Kwai Tsing District Board by-election scheduled........................ 10

Government and community to develop closer ties........................ 10

Dedicated education service recognised.............................. 11

Fourth CSD half-way house for released inmates opens................... 12

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

1

Funds sought for West Kowloon Reclamation works ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

The Finance Committee will be asked to approve $1,112 million (in money of the day) for the construction of roads and drains for the West Kowloon Reclamation.

A Government spokesman said today (Wednesday) that work on the reclamation project, one of the 10 projects under the Airport Core Programme (ACP), had progressed very considerably with 90 per cent of the land already formed.

Apart from providing land for buildings, the reclamation will also provide the landfall and toll plaza area for the Western Harbour Crossing (WHC) as well as the transport corridor for the West Kowloon Expressway (WKE) and the Airport Railway.

The spokesman said: "Work has to start in April this year on the construction of roads and drains to serve the building developments proposed for the reclamation, and to enable the complementary road network and supporting utilities for the WHC and the WKE to be completed by 1997 as scheduled.

* < 4 ; ■... >< ’ .* . •

"The road works with associated drainage, landscaping, footbridge and subway, and sewerage systems, for which funds are now being sought, are considered to be the minimum necessary for these projects."

A paper outlining details of the proposed funding was issued today to members of the Public Works Sub-committee of the Legislative Council Finance Committee.

The government's funding request will be discussed at a meeting of the Public Works Sub-committee on February 15, prior to consideration by the Finance Committee.

Of the $1,112 million being sought, $580 million will be used for works connected with the ACP and $532 million will be for non-ACP works. These will include:

the construction of 14,200 metres of roads and associated drainage systems, landscaping and noise mitigation measures;

the construction of a new subway, the extension of an existing subway and the construction of a footbridge to provide for pedestrian access to the Airport Railway Kowloon Station as well as future developments and public open space in the vicinity;

2

* the construction of a sewerage system; and

* landscaping required for reprovisioning of public open space.

End/Wednesday, February 8, 1995

Proposed sale of CMB bus depot site in Wong Chuk Hang

*****

In response to press enquiries with regard to the sale of a China Motor Bus (CMB) depot site, a Government spokesman clarified the purpose of Government’s proposed amendments to the Public Bus Services Ordinance is to enable the Government to maintain public bus services in exceptional circumstances (for example, if a bus franchise is terminated) by taking temporary possession of the property used or kept by a franchised bus operator.

Under the existing legislation, the Government may take temporary possession of any property of a franchised bus company in the case of an emergency or revocation of a franchise, and the franchisee shall be entitled to compensation.

The Government’s proposals, which have been endorsed by the Transport Advisory Committee, provide that:

(a) In the event that a franchise is revoked, the provision in the existing legislation will apply except that the period of temporary possession may be extended up to four years;

(b) In the event a franchise is not renewed, the Government may lease land and buildings used or kept by a franchised bus company for a maximum of four years at a fair market rent. In addition the Government may purchase other bus-related assets such as buses and spare parts at a fair and reasonable price.

’’The proposed amendments, if enacted, would apply to all franchised bus operators in exceptional circumstances specified and should not be taken as implying an intention by the Government to take over CMB’s operations. In fact the Government is considering offering a new franchise to the company subject to new terms and conditions.”

"There is no intention to change the present policy of encouraging private operators to provide franchised bus services. This policy has served Hong Kong well," the spokesman said.

End/Wednesday, February 8, 1995

3

$27,014m grant to UGC-funded institutions for 1995-98 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

■ ’ r. •

The Govemor-in-Council has approved the distribution and level of student numbers at the seven institutions funded by the University Grants Committee (UGC) for 1995-98, and approval of a recurrent funding of $27,014 million recommended by the UGC for them for the triennium will be sought from the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council soon.

The seven institutions are the University of Hong Kong, Chinese University of Hong Kong, University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Baptist University and Lingnan College.

A Government spokesman said today (Wednesday) that in assessing the recurrent funding requirements, the UGC had adjusted the distribution of student numbers as set out in its Interim Report on the Development of Higher Education for the period 1991-2001 to make provision for a "central pool" of research post-graduate student numbers.

"These places will be allocated to the institutions by the Research Grants Council on a competitive basis, having regard to such factors as the institutions' research training capacity, research performance, quality of research post- graduate education programmes," the spokesman said.

"Apart from the research post-graduate student numbers, the sub-degree student numbers have also been revised to accommodate 146 full-time equivalent sub-degree students who were enrolled by the Lingnan College in 1993-94 and who will not graduate until the end of the 1995-96 academic year," he added.

The spokesman said the Government supported the revised distribution of student numbers proposed by the UGC and reaffirmed the objective of providing 18 per cent of the relevant age group of the population with first-year, first-degree places, which will be maintained at the 1994-95 level, that is 14,500 places throughout the triennium.

He also said there would be a modest growth in the numbers of taught postgraduate and research post-graduate places to meet demand for highly qualified manpower and home-grown academic staff in Hong Kong.

The UGC has adopted a new methodology to assess more rigorously and precisely each institution's requirements for resources in the 1995-98 triennium to meet its teaching and research targets.

4

For the first time, funding is specifically related to the recent performance of an institution in research although a greater part of its recurrent grants is still associated with its teaching function.

’’The Government supports the adoption of the new funding methodology as it is more related to an institution’s performance and output,” the spokesman said.

’’We will closely monitor the operation of the methodology and encourage the UGC to develop it during the 1995-98 triennium," he said.

End/Wednesday, February 8, 1995

Volume and price movements of external trade in November 1994 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The volume of re-exports in the first 11 months of 1994 increased by 14% over the same period the year before, while the volume of domestic exports decreased by 2.0%, according to statistics released today (Wednesday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

Taking re-exports and domestic exports together, the volume of total exports increased by 11%. Meanwhile, imports increased by 14% in volume.

The growth in the volume of trade is derived from the growth in trade values with the effect of price changes being discounted.

As regards price changes over the same period of comparison, the prices of reexports and domestic exports increased by 1.3% and 1.5% respectively. Import prices increased by 2.5%. Price changes are reflected by changes in unit value indices, which are compiled based on average unit values or, for certain commodities, based on specific price data.

The terms of trade index, defined as the ratio of total export price index to import price index, decreased by 1.2% in the first 11 months of 1994 over the same period the year before.

Comparing November 1994 with November 1993, the volume of re-exports continued to increase markedly, by 17%, while that of domestic exports also recorded a moderate increase of 4.3%. Taken together, the volume of total exports increased by 14%. Meanwhile, the volume of imports grew by 21%.

- 5 -

Over the same period of comparison, the prices of re-exports and domestic exports increased by 2.9% and 2.1% respectively. Import prices increased by 4.6%.

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

Comparing November 1994 with November 1993, the volume of re-exports of all end-use categories recorded increases of various magnitudes: foodstuffs (+39%), raw materials and semi-manufactures (+28%), capital goods (+19%), fuels (+12%) and consumer goods (+9.7%).

Over the same period of comparison, increases in the prices of re-exports were noted of raw materials and semi-manufactures (+4.6%), foodstuffs (+2.8%), consumer goods (+2.6%) and capital goods (+2.1%). The prices of re-exports of fuels however decreased by 3.4%.

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

Comparing November 1994 with November 1993, commodity groups which recorded increases in volume of domestic exports included textile made-ups and related articles (+34%); electronic components (+21%); and watches and clocks (+20%). On the other hand, the volume of domestic exports of radios of all kinds and footwear decreased by 68% and 44% respectively.

Commodity groups which recorded increases in domestic export prices included textile made-ups and related articles (+15%); and textile yam and thread (+8.1%).

On the other hand, the domestic export price of footwear decreased by 5.2%.

The changes in the value, unit value and volume of imports by end-use category are shown in Table 3.

The import volume of foodstuffs increased by 27% in November 1994 compared with November 1993.

Significant increases were recorded in the import volume of soya bean oil, peanut oil, vegetable oil and lard; and sugar. However, there was a decrease in the import volume of animals of the bovine species.

Over the same period of comparison, the import volume of consumer goods increased by 12%.

6

Commodity items with considerable increases in import volume included passenger motor car and watches. On the other hand, decreases in the import volume were noted of tobacco manufactures and clothing.

The import volume of raw materials and semi-manufactures increased by 27% in November 1994 compared with November 1993.

Significant increases in import volume were noted of man-made fibres and raw cotton. However, there was a decrease in import volume of woven cotton fabrics.

Imports of fuels increased markedly by 50% in volume in November 1994 compared with November 1993.

As regards capital goods, the import volume increased by 27% in November 1994 over November 1993.

Notable increases were recorded in the import volume of transport equipment; office machines; and scientific, medical, optical, measuring and controlling instruments and apparatus. The import volume of textile machinery however declined.

Comparing November 1994 with November 1993, the import prices of most end-use categories increased; raw materials and semi-manufactures (+6.0%), consumer goods (+4.8%), foodstuffs (+4.1%) and capital goods (+3.2%). The import prices of fuels however decreased by 7.9%.

Details of the above statistics are published in the November 1994 issue of the "Hong Kong Trade Index Numbers".

The report will be available on sale around February 10 at $9 a copy at the Government Publications Centre on the ground floor, Low Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway; or at the Publications Section of the Census and Statistics Department on the 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai.

Enquiries about regular subscription to the report may be directed to the Information Services Department at French Mission Building, 1 Battery Path, Hong Kong (telephone 2842 8802) and enquiries on trade indices to the Census and Statistics Department (telephone: 2582 4918).

1

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

Comparing NOV 1994 Comparing JAN-NOV 1994 with NOV 1993 with JAN-NOV 1993

End-use category % changes % changes

Value Unit Value Volume Value Unit Value Volume

Foodstuffs 40.6 2.8 38.6 22.0 2.1 20.1

Consumer goods 12.7 2.6 9.7 11.9 1.4 10.3

Raw materials and semi-manufactures 33.6 4.6 27.7 23.1 0.7 22.1

Fuels 10.1 -3.4 12.1 5.1 -9.7 13.9

Capital goods 19.2 2.1 18.7 15.2 2.0 14.0

ALL COMMODITIES 19.9 2.9 16.9 15.5 1.3 14.4

8

Table 2 : Changes in domestic exports by principal commodity group

Comparing NOV 1994 Comparing JAN-NOV 1994 with NOV 1993 with JAN-NOV 1993

% changes % changes

Commodity group Value Unit Value Volume Value Unit Value Volume

Clothing 3.5 3.3 -0.4 1.8 2.1 A

Textile fabrics -3.4 2.9 -5.8 -8.3 -1.4 -7.0

Textile yarn and thread 5.9 8.1 -2.0 -0.1 1.4 -0.7

Textile made-ups and related articles 61.4 15.4 33.6 17.8 5.9 9.2

Radios of all kinds -70.9 0.8 -68.1 -58.6 0.8 -57.4

Electronic components 22.7 0.7 21.1 7.4 3.1 3.7

Footwear -46.9 -5.2 -44.2 -22.4 -4.2 -22.4

Metal manufactures -4.0 * 2.5 -4.0 -0.7 2.2 -0.6

Metal ores and scrap 22.5 4.1 15.4 1.3 0.8 -1.8

Watches and clocks 24.8 2.3 20.3 -1.8 1.9 -3.0

Travel goods, handbags and similar articles -0.5 1.5 -1.0 -3.9 3.1 -6.3

Domestic electrical appliances -7.4 1.2 -8.0 -12.5 1.7 -16.3

ALL COMMODITIES 6.8 2.1 4.3 -0.3 1.5 -2.0

less than 0.05%

9

Table 3 : Changes in imports by end-use category

Comparing NOV 1994 Comparing JAN-NOV 1994 with NOV 1993 with JAN-NOV 1993

End-use category % changes % changes

Value Unit Value Volume Value Unit Value Volume

Foodstuffs 31.9 4.1 26.9 18.4 1.4 17.1

Consumer goods 17.2 4.8 12.5 13.2 2.8 11.3

Raw materials and semi-manufactures 35.2 6.0 27.1 21.2 3.2 16.9

Fuels 38.7 -7.9 50.0 24.8 -13.6 42.6

Capital goods 30.3 3.2 27.0 15.1 2.1 12.8

ALL COMMODITIES 26.6 4.6 21.4 16.6 2.5 14.4

End/Wednesday, Februaty 8, 1995

10

Kwai Tsing District Board by-election scheduled ♦ ♦ * * ♦

A by-election of a district board member for the Lai Wah constituency in Kwai Tsing District will be held on April 2 (Sunday).

Nomination of candidates will start tomorrow (Thursday) and last until February 22.

A gazette notice of the by-election will be issued by the Chief Electoral Officer tomorrow.

A vacancy was declared on January 27 by the Chairman of Kwai Tsing District Board following the successful election petition by Mr Lau San-ching.

End/Wednesday, February 8,1995

Government and community to develop closer ties ♦ * ♦ ♦ *

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, expressed the hope for continued co-operation between the Government and the community in the Year of the Pig, which symbolised productivity and prosperity.

Joining in a spring reception held by the Secretary for Home Affairs Mr Michael Suen today (Wednesday), Mr Patten said Hong Kong was made prosperous through productivity and hard work as well as good neighbourliness.

"Friendship between families, co-operation between Government and the community have helped to promote and preserve prosperity," he said.

"This year we will see important new developments in the maturing relationship between the community and Government with the first full direct elections to the Municipal Councils on March 5 and the elections to the Legislative Council in September. •

"The large turnout of candidates for the Municipal Councils elections is good evidence of the community's interest in and commitment to the quality of life of this city,” he said.

11

This interest and commitment deserve to be matched with a high turnout in the elections themselves, he added.

More than 1,000 District Board members and community leaders attended the spring reception at the Regent Hotel.

End/Wednesday, February 8, 1995

Dedicated education service recognised * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Director of Education, Mr W K Lam, today (Wednesday) presented Long and Meritorious Service Certificates and retirement souvenirs to 31 members of the Technical Education and Industrial Training Department in recognition of their long service.

The recipients — in ranks from workman II to principal of technical institute — had contributed a total of 675 years of service.

Fourteen of them received Long and Meritorious Service Certificates and 17 retirement souvenirs.

Among those who received the certificates, two had been in government service for 30 years and 12 for 20 years.

Speaking at the presentation ceremony, Mr Lam paid tribute to the recipients for their work and enthusiasm contributed to the Government.

End/Wednesday, February 8, 1995

12

Fourth CSD half-way house for released inmates opens *****

The fourth half-way house of the Correctional Services Department (CSD), the Pelican House, which provides residential and aftercare services to released adult prisoners, was officially opened today (Wednesday) by the Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Eric McCosh.

Located on the 19th floor in block F of the Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital Senior Staff Quarters, Chai Wan, the house occupies an area of 226 square metres with self-contained facilities, including three bedrooms, two toilets, a sitting room, a laundry and a kitchen.

The Pelican House can accommodate a maximum of 24 male adult prisoners who have been released under the Pre-release Employment Scheme.

These residents are subject to statutory supervision and to work outside during daytime and return to the half-way house at night.

A spokesman for CSD said the programme in the house was in fact an extension of rehabilitation efforts carried out within prisons. The aim is to facilitate the residents to make transitional adjustments on their return to the community after a period of imprisonment.

"These residents will be helped to cultivate a sense of self-discipline and positive work habit within a loosely structured but supportive way," he said.

Today's opening ceremony also marked the operation of the department's Care and Supervision Unit and the removal of the Bauhinia House from Central District to its present premises on the 16th floor of the same building. "The Care and Supervision Unit provides the aftercare services to discharged inmates and young prisoners who are subjected to statutory supervision.

"The unit facilitates those supervisees and their family members who are in a crisis situation and who are in need of urgent help to seek timely assistance and guidance from the aftercare officers," the spokesman added.

Together with the Pelican House, there are four half-way houses under CSD's management. They include the Bauhinia House, for female ex-inmates; the Phoenix House, for male ex-inmates of detention and training centres; and the New Life House, for male inmates discharged from drug addiction treatment centres.

End/Wednesday, February 8, 1995

13

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,292 0930 -369

Closing balance in the account 2,296 1000 -139

Change attributable to: 1100 +41

Money market activity +34 1200 +41

LAF today -30 1500 +41

1600 +34

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 121.4 *+0.1* 8.2.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.94 16 months 2605 6.35 99.30 7.04

1 month 6.00 22 months 2611 6.90 99.51 7.32

3 months 6.24 30 months 3707 6.95 98.85 7.61

6 months 6.51 36 months 3801 8.00 101.01 7.76

12 months 6.90 59 months 5912 8.15 100.45 8.19

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $18,189 million

Closed February 8, 1995

End/Wednesday. February 8, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Thursday, February 9,1995

Contents PagfeNfi.

Broad estimate of Special 301 Action's potential impact on HK's economy completed................................................................. 1

Gross Domestic Product for third quarter of 1994..................... 2

Nominations Advisory Committee to be set up.......................... 6

Home Affairs Department to provide better services in 1995 .......... 7

Secondary school exhibition on Airport Core Programme................ 10

Cross Border Permit Office moves to Harbour Building................. 11

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

1

Broad estimate of Special 301 Action's potential impact on HK's economy completed ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

The Government has completed a broad estimate of the potential impact on Hong Kong's economy, if the US impose punitive tariffs on Chinese products on the retaliation list which the US Government published on February 4 under its Special 301 provisions.

The US list of Chinese products includes such articles as plastic articles, answering machines and cellular phones, sporting goods, wooden articles and bicycles, with a total value of about US$1.08 billion.

"If the US list was to be implemented, because of the 100 per cent punitive tariff, it is possible that up to 2.3 per cent or HK$4.5 billion (US$0.58 billion) of Hong Kong's re-exports from China to the US would be affected," a Trade Department spokesman said.

"Taking into account the likely spill-over effects on other trading and economic activities, this could affect up to 4,700 jobs in Hong Kong and up to 0.14 of a percentage point of the GDP growth in the year of incidence." "The actual impact on specific sectors would vary, depending on the circumstances of the individual industries or companies in Hong Kong," the spokesman said.

On Government's further action, the spokesman reiterated that the matter was a bilateral trade issue between China and the US, and should be resolved by the two sides through bilateral negotiations.

"We are pleased to note that the two sides will continue talks on February 14. It remains our hope that there the talks will lead to a mutually satisfactory solution, thus averting any retaliation," the spokesman said.

"At the same time we have been providing the trade with information and analyses. We are also aware, through contacts with the relevant trade associations, that some industries would like to have specific, technical advice on how they might be affected, if the list was implemented.

i' .

"We have approached these trade organisations to offer such advice. Where possible we will consider providing similar specific information and advice to traders who are concerned about the matter,” he said.

"The Government will continue to take vigorous enforcement action within Hong Kong to stamp out violations of intellectual property rights," the spokesman added.

2

"We will bring forward legislative amendments to increase the penalties for infringement of copyright, and provide additional resources to the Customs and Excise Department to combat infringement activity."

Note to editors:

Further enquiries can be directed to Mr Stanley Ying, Assistant Director-General of Trade, on telephone 2398 5308.

End/Thursday, February 9, 1995

Gross Domestic Product for third quarter of 1994 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Hong Kong’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the third quarter of 1994 grew by 5.5% in real terms over the same quarter in 1993, according to the preliminary estimates released by the Census and Statistics Department today (Thursday). Among the main components of the GDP estimates, Private Consumption Expenditure grew by 5.7% in real terms in the third quarter of 1994 over the same quarter in 1993.

Over the same period, Government Consumption Expenditure (defined in national accounts terms) increased by 3.5% in real terms.

Gross Domestic Fixed Capital Formation continued to grow significantly by 11.8% in real terms in the third quarter of 1994 over the same quarter in 1993.

Within this component, expenditure on construction showed a significant increase of 17.0%, while expenditure on machinery and equipment also recorded a substantial growth of 14.7%.

Regarding external trade in goods, total exports grew by 10.8% in real terms in the third quarter of 1994 over a year earlier.

Within these, re-exports continued to provide the main impetus to growth, and registered a year-on-year growth rate of 13.8% in real terms.

Domestic exports recorded a marginal decrease of 0.3% in real terms, showing clear signs of bottoming out from the earlier declines.

3

Imports rose by 14.7% in real terms in the third quarter of 1994 over a year earlier.

On exports of services, the growth rate in real terms rose to 7.7% in the third quarter of 1994 over the same quarter in 1993.

Underlying this growth was a significant increase in the various services closely related to visible trade. The corresponding growth rate for imports of services was 7.4%.

The implicit price deflator of GDP, as a broad measure of overall inflation in the economy, rose by 6.4% in the third quarter of 1994 over the same quarter in 1993.

According to the revised (February 95) estimates, the year-on-year growth rates in real terms of GDP for the first and second quarters of 1994 are revised slightly, to 5.6% and 5.3% respectively.

Based on the latest estimates, GDP grew by 5.4% in real terms in the first three quarters of 1994 over the same period in 1993.

The latest GDP figures for the period from the first quarter of 1992 to the third quarter of 1994 arc presented in Tables 1 and 2.

The latest quarterly estimates of GDP for the same period are published in a report entitled "Quarterly Estimates of Gross Domestic Product. 3rd Quarter 1994".

This bilingual report is now on sale at $6.5 a copy at the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor. 66 Queensway. Hong Kong; and at the Publications Section of the Census and Statistics Department. 19th floor. Wanchai Tower. 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

Telephone enquiries may be directed to the National Income Branch (1) of the Census and Statistics Department on telephone 2582 5077.

4

Expenditure-based GDP Estimates first quarter of 1992 to third quarter of 1994

Table 1

Year/quarter GDP at Current Market Prices GDP at Constant (1990) Market Prices

HK$ Mn % change over same period of the preceding year HK$ Mn % change over same period of the preceding year

1992 779,335 16.6 650,347 6.3

1993 897,595 15.2 688,344 5.8

1992 QI 174,086 18.4 149,908 6.0

Q2 186,268 17.3 155,430 6.4

Q3 206,923 16.0 171,883 6.8

Q4 212,058 15.1 173,126 5.8

1993 QI 204,052 17.2 159,284 6.3

Q2 214,086 14.9 163,817 5.4

Q3 237,245 14.7 181,960 5.9

Q4 242,212 14.2 183,283 5.9

1994 Q1 233,754 14.6 168,128 5.6

Q2 245,193 14.5 172,444 5.3

Q3 266,481 12.3 191,997 5.5

5

Table 2 Expenditure-based GDP Estimates

Year-on-year Growth Rates, first quarter of 1993 to third quarter of 1994

Expenditure Components of GDP % change over same period of the preceding year constant (1990) market prices

At current market prices At

1993 1994 1993 1994

21 Q2 Q3 04 Annual 21 Q2 21 21 21 21 24 Annual 21 22 23

Private consumption expenditure 13.7 14.8 12.0 15.8 14.1 19.3 15.8 14.6 7.7 9.0 6.3 7.7 7.7 12.2 7.2 5.7

Government consumption expenditure 11.5 14.5 12.7 12.9 12.9 15.4 15.4 15.2 0.8 3.6 1.8 1.9 • 2.0 4.4 4.1 3.5

Gross domestic fixed capital formation 18.0 16.9 15.4 11.5 15.3 28.3 20.5 15.6 6.3 5.0 3.9 -0.3 3.6 16.3 10.8 11.8

of which : Construction 9.7 14.2 17.9 10.4 12.9 29.3 14.5 18.9 8.0 13.3 12.7 4.2 9.3 22.6 8.0 17.0

Machinery and equipment 21.6 17.4 8.8 3.5 11.9 15.3 16.5 15.9 16.8 8.8 1.4 -2.4 5.2 8.4 13.9 14.7

Total exports of goods 18.4 12.4 14.3 8.8 13.1 8.6 11.3 12.6 19.1 11.8 14.6 9.8 13.5 7.7 11.3 10.8

Imports of goods 17.7 11.8 14.7 6.3 12.2 9.8 15.8 17.4 19.1 11.4 15.1 7.0 12.7 8.3 15.1 14.7

Exports of services 15.4 15.5 15.3 13.2 14.8 14.1 12.8 13.8 9.2 8.6 8.8 7.9 8.6 8.5 7.0 7.7

Imports of services 8.3 15.4 10.2 9.4 10.8 13.3 12.2 14.9 7.5 12.9 9.2 6.9 9.1 9.0 6.9 7.4

Gross Domestic Product 17.2 14.9 14.7 14.2 15.2 14.6 14.5 12.3 6.3 5.4 5.9 5.9 5.8 5.6 5.3 5.5

End/Thursday, February 9, 1995

6

Nominations Advisory Committee to be set up *****

The Boundary and Election Commission (BEC) is to set up a Nominations Advisory Committee to provide advice to intended candidates for ascertaining their status well before an election.

The committee will also provide returning officers with timely and impartial advice, thus ensuring consistency in their decisions on the validity of any nominations in which they have doubts.

To provide for the setting up of the committee, the BEC has made the Boundary and Election Commission (Nominations Advisory Committee) Regulation to be gazetted tomorrow (Friday).

A BEC spokesman said the regulation was made in response to the public views and comments received in the last District Boards elections in September.

The proposal to set up the committee is contained in the BEC Report on the 1994 District Board Ordinary Elections submitted to the Governor on December 16 last year, which was made public on January 27.

The spokesman said there were complaints in the September elections that a prospective candidate could not obtain definitive advice on his qualification for candidature until the returning officer ruled on the validity of his nomination paper.

The candidate could have incurred a lot of time, effort and expenses well before the start of the nomination and these might be wasted if the returning officer eventually ruled his candidature invalid.

The regulation provides for the appointment by the BEC of one or more such committees. Each committee will consist of one member. He will be someone with professional or academic qualifications in law.

The functions of the committee are to provide free advice to:

♦ any prospective candidate on whether he is qualified to be, or disqualified from being, nominated as a candidate in respect of a geographical, functional or election committee constituency election; and

* any returning officer on whether a candidate for an election or byelection is qualified to be, or disqualified from being, so nominated in respect of that election or by-election.

7

The spokesman said the committee was to give advice to prospective candidates by a specified date, to be stipulated by the BEC in a gazette notice.

Normally, the process will start five to six months before an election and end on the day before the start of the relevant nomination period.

■ -.1 /

He said the committee would advise the returning officers from the start of a nomination period until seven days after its expiry.

: I

The spokesman added that a returning officer would be required, in making a decision on the validity of a candidate, to have regard to any advice given by the committee on that candidate.

He said any advice given by the committee or refusal to give advice by the committee did not preclude a person from seeking nomination as a candidate, proceeding with a nomination or the presentation of an election petition.

He said the BEC aimed to set up the committee in late March for prospective candidates for the Legislative Council elections on September 17.

End/Thursday, February 9, 1995

Home Affairs Department to provide better services in 1995 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Home Affairs Department (HAD) will continue to improve its services to the public, the Director of Home Affairs, Mr Joseph W P Wong, said today (Thursday).

Speaking at a meet-the-media session, Mr Wong said the formation of the HAD since December 1 last year through the amalgamation of the two former Regional Headquarters had resulted in more efficient deployment of staff resources .

To enable members of the public to have a ready grasp of the wide range of services provided by the new department, a handbook has been compiled for public distribution.

The handbook explains the role of the department, the services it provides, and also gives the names, addresses and telephone/fax numbers of principal officers of the headquarters, District Offices and Public Enquiry Service Centres (PESC).

8

"It also features the HAD logo, which symbolises the essence of the department’s work - serving as the interface between the Government and the community through the process of liaison, consultations and feedback," Mr Wong said.

"As it is the first edition of the handbook, we welcome any comments and suggestions so that we can make further improvements in the next issue."

The handbook is now available at all PESCs.

"One of the main tasks for HAD in 1995 is to build on the new departmental structure and to achieve greater efficiency through the application of modem management technology," Mr Wong said.

A proposal for a local area computer network to connect the headquarters with the 18 District Offices is currently under consideration.

"This network will enable timely collection and collation of information and community feedback on government policies and proposals at the district level.

"The estimated cost for the network is $1.5 million, and the intention is that it will eventually link up with the Government Secretariat Branch network which is currently being extended to the senior directorate of the HAD.

"Another project being considered is the computerisation of our public enquiry services. This will include the setting up of a network to connect the 19 PESCs at District Offices with a central database in the headquarters. When implemented, this would result in quicker and better service to our enquirers."

"One of HAD’s achievements in 1994 is the setting up of the first activity centre for overseas domestic helpers (ODH) at the Clementi Secondary School in December," Mr Wong recalled.

No problem has arisen so far and the centre has already been booked through until June by various ODH associations.

"This proves that with proper management, a centre for ODHs can operate in an orderly manner with no nuisance caused to nearby residents," Mr Wong maintained.

Initial assessment showed that the centre was not only welcomed by overseas domestic helpers but also supported by the community at large.

9

In view of the encouraging response, Mr Wong announced that two more centres - the Ho Tung Technical School in Causeway Bay and Jockey Club Government Technical School in Kowloon Tong - would be in operation this Sunday (February 12).

These two centres can accommodate about 250 and 300 ODHs respectively.

Meanwhile, two other centres at the Kowloon Technical School in Sham Shui Po and Yu Lee Mo Fan Memorial School in North Point are likely to be opened in March or April while those at the Chung Sing Benevolent Society School in Kennedy Town and the Yiu Dak Chi Memorial School in Mong Kok are expected to commence operation in mid-1995.

"As part of our many services to the public, HAD's works teams continue to make a very positive contribution to improving the living environment in both the New Territories and the urban areas," Mr Wong said.

The great majority of the projects are in the less developed areas of the New Territories, including footpaths, van tracks, sitting-out areas, walking trails . treeplanting and improvements to drainage systems.

It is anticipated that over 1.330 minor environmental improvement projects will be completed in 1994/95 at a cost of some $90 million. The estimated expenditure in 1995/96 is about $100 million.

In addition. HAD has taken over the responsibility for the Rural Planning and Improvement Strategy (RP1S) Minor Works from the Territory Development Department since late 1994.

A RPIS minor works team has been established within the department and expects to meet its initial target expenditure of $50 million projects in 1994/95.

To ensure that the works are carried out efficiently and speedily, a two-tier management system has been implemented.

This includes a Steering Committee chaired by the Director of Home Affairs and District Working Groups chaired by the respective New Territories District Officers.

Members of the Steering Committee include representatives from the I leung Yee Kuk and District Boards, and prominent non-officials in the districts sit on the District Working Groups.

10

"We aim to implement some $150 million worth of projects in 1995/96," Mr Wong said.

"Apart from serving the District Boards, keeping close liaison with over 8,000 Mutual Aid Committees and owners' corporations continues to be an important part of the work of the HAD," Mr Wong said.

"HAD has been playing an active role in promoting effective private building management in the territory."

Publicity and education activities such as training courses, seminars, exhibitions, videos and publications are organised for owners and residents. More than $500,000 will be used for these activities in the coming financial year.

"I am confident that all HAD staff are committed to providing a better service to our regular clients and the general public in a whole range of areas in 1995," Mr Wong concluded.

End/Thursday. February 9, 1995

Secondary school exhibition on Airport Core Programme * * * * *

The first joint school exhibition on the Airport Core Programme (ACP) will be opened tomorrow (Friday) afternoon.

The ACP Joint School Exhibition cum Competition, organised by the New Airport Projects Co-ordination Office (NAPCO), is part of the department's ongoing efforts to promote the 10 ACP projects among young people.

So far. NAPCO has successfully introduced two teaching kits - one for primary schools in February 1994 and the other for secondary schools in October last year. A series of seminars and boat tours of ACP projects areas have also been arranged for school principals and teachers.

"The exhibition cum competition aims at providing an opportunity for secondary school students to explore the social, economic and environmental impact of the ACP, as well as to develop their creativity and spirit of co-operation." said the Director of NAPCO. Mr Billy Lam.

- 11 -

Students from a total of 16 secondary schools are taking part in the exhibition to compete for eight awards. Each school has mounted its own booth to cover different aspects of the ACP. These include displays on the impact of the ACP on Hong Kong, the changing face of North Lantau, the new airport at Chek Lap Kok and its transport links.

The exhibition will be opened by Mr Lam; the Director of Education, Mr Lam Woon-kwong, and the Chairman of the Legislative Council Panel of Education, Mr Tik Chi-yuen tomorrow afternoon. It will be followed by a prize- presentation ceremony.

The exhibition will be open to the public from February 11 (Saturday) to 13 (Monday) daily between 10 am and 6 pm. Admission is free.

Attention News Editors:

* 1V

You are invited to cover the opening and prize-presentation ceremony of the ACP Joint School Exhibition cum Competition which will be held at 2.30 pm tomorrow (Friday) in Room 601, sixth floor, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Harbour Road, Wan Chai.

End/Thursday, February 9, 1995

Cross Border Permit Office moves to Harbour Building ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Cross Border Permit Office of the Immigration Department will operate at new premises on the 10th floor of Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central, on Monday (February 13).

The office hours are from 8.45 am to 4.30 pm from Mondays to Fridays, and from 9 am to 11.30 am on Saturdays.

The present office on the seventh floor, Immigration Tower, 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, will be closed on completion of its service in the afternoon of Saturday (February 11).

For enquiries, members of the public may telephone 2824 6111.

End/Thursday, February 9, 1995

12

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

$ million 1 t Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account J.'. . 2,296 0930 nil

Closing balance in the account 1,715 1000 +70

Change attributable to: Money market activity +479 1100 1200 +478 +479

LAF today -1,060 1500 1600 +479 +479

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI121.2 *-0.2* 9.2.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term ■ r> Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 6.07 16 months 2605 6.35 99.25 7.09

1 month 6.11 22 months 2611 6.90 99.52 7.31

3 months 6.38 30 months 3707 6.95 98.74 7.66

6 months 6.62 36 months 3801 8.00 100.84 7.82

12 months 6.95 59 months 5912 8.15 100.05 8.30

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $19,762 million . .Ji. . •

Closed February 9,1995

End/Thursday, February 9, 1995


DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Friday, February 10,1995

Contents Page No,

Legal Aid Services Council Bill gazetted............................ 1

Banking (Amendment) Bill 1995 gazetted.............................. 2

Dale appointed Director of Marine................................... 5

$204-million Wanchai Reclamation contract signed.................... 6

One candidate nominated for Kwai Tsing DB by-election............... 6

Trade Director to lead HK delegation to APEC meeting................ 7

Foreign direct investment in HK estimated at US$50b................. 8

Statistics on ocean vessel and cargo for third quarter of 1994..... 10

Secondary school exhibition on Airport Core Programme.............. 18

Film censorship reflects community standards....................... 20

Electronics industry report........................................ 21

Public hearings on radio licence set for May....................... 23

/British Garrison....

Contents

Page No.

British Garrison helps drug rehabilitation centre.................. 24

Students benefit from seized endangered species.................... 25

Approach lighting for new airport planned.......................... 27

Stormwater drainage works for Northwest Kowloon.................... 28

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations........... 29

1

Legal Aid Services Council Bill gazetted *****

A bill that seeks to provide for a legislative framework for the establishment of an independent Legal Aid Services Council (LASC) was published in the Gazette today (Friday).

Under the Legal Aid Services Council Bill, the proposed council will oversee the Legal Aid Department (LAD) and the Duty Lawyer Service (DLS) and will advise the Government on legal aid policy and funding requirements.

It will be made a corporate body and operate independently from the Government.

"The council will be chaired by a non- official who is independent of both the Government and the legal profession," a Government spokesman said.

"Its members will include lawyers and lay members, in addition to the Director of Legal Aid and the Administrator of the DLS who are directly responsible for the provision of legal aid services," he said.

At present, the Administration does not interfere with decisions made by the LAD or the DLS on the granting of legal aid. The Director of Legal Aid is required under the Legal Aid Ordinance to consider applications before her independently while the DLS is administered jointly by the Bar Association and the Law Society.

The spokesman noted that the establishment of the LASC was a significant policy change that would provide a greater opportunity for public participation in legal aid administration and policy formulation, and hence would enhance the independence of legal aid administration.

"We are aware of the views expressed by the legal profession and other concerned groups that legal aid services should be made even more independent by separating the LAD from the Government," he said.

2

"We are not ruling out this option, and will ask the independent LASC to examine it in detail once it has been set up. This approach will enable an independent LASC to be established quickly."

If the Government decides at a later stage to dis-establish the LAD, the spokesman added, it will be necessary to consult the staff of the LAD, work out conditions of service for the staff of the new organisation and draw up bridging-over terms.

The proposal to establish an independent LASC was one of the recommendations in the Report of the Reconvened Working Group on Legal Aid Policy Review which was published in July last year.

The implementation of other recommendations in the report was the subject of the Legal Aid (Amendment) Bill 1995, which was introduced into the Legislative Council on January 25.

The Legal Aid Services Council Bill will be introduced into the Legislative Council for first and second readings on February 22, 1995.

End/Friday, February 10, 1995

Banking (Amendment) Bill 1995 gazetted s|c jjc *

The government's proposed amendments to the Banking Ordinance to make the Monetary Authority (MA) the licensing authority for all types of authorised institutions was published in the gazette today (Friday).

The Banking (Amendment ) Bill 1995 also seeks to clarify the scope, objectives, duties and powers of a manager appointed under the ordinance to take control of an authorised institution, and to effect a number of other operational changes.

3

Introducing the background to the bill, a government spokesman said the three-tier structure of authorised institutions consisted of licensed banks, restricted licence banks and the deposit-taking companies.

"At present, each of them was licensed or registered by a different designated authority; that is the Govemor-in-council, the Financial Secretary and the MA respectively.

"Powers to revoke and suspend also rested with respective designated authorities, except that the current legislation did not provide for suspension of a licensed bank," he said.

The spokesman explained that after a review of the licensing, suspension and revocation provisions, it was proposed to amend the ordinance to establish the MA as the authority responsible for the authorisation, suspension and revocation of all three types of authorised institutions; including new powers to suspend a licensed bank.

"The amendment would also improve the checks and balances in the authorisation arrangements by more clearly distinguishing the administrative and appellate functions and to improve the transparency in the authorisation arrangements by setting out more clearly the criteria which would be used for the authorisation and revocation of all three types of authorised institutions.

"The proposal for vesting full responsibilities for authorisation matters in the MA would be consistent with the practice of central banks in other leading financial centres and the MA's central banking role of maintaining the general stability of the banking system," he added.

On the transfer of powers from the Executive Council and the Financial Secretary to the MA, the spokesman said the proposed amendment would improve the checks and balances of the authorisation provisions in the ordinance.

4

"Under the new structure, the MA would be responsible for administering all authorisation matters; the Financial Secretary would provide a check as MA would be required to consult him on important authorisation decisions such as suspension and revocation; and ExCo would act as the appellate body for hearing appeals against decisions made by the MA.

The spokesman emphasised that "this represents a significant improvement over the existing system. Under the present structure, there is no appeal against a decision of ExCo to refuse to grant, to revoke or to attach conditions to a banking licence. These decisions would be subject to appeal under the proposed structure."

The amendment also sets out new and additional criteria to be applied by the MA for authorisation, suspension and revocation. Thus, in circumstances where the MA's power to revoke becomes exercisable, the MA should have the power to suspend the authorisation of the institution concerned.

"This power, which already exists in respect of restricted licence banks and deposit-taking companies, would be extended to apply also to licensed banks, enhancing the tools available to the MA in dealing with banking crises," he said.

The spokesman pointed out that another major provision of the bill dealt with the powers of the MA to take control of an institution.

He explained that main objectives of the powers of control were to allow the MA, through a manager, to control the affairs, business and property of a troubled institution so that it can be nursed back to health, perhaps as a prelude to sale and to enable the MA to take quick action to safeguard the assets and maintain the fabric of the business until a liquidator can be appointed.

It was proposed that when the MA gave direction to appoint a manager to take control of an authorised institution, he should specify in the direction the objectives with which the manager was required to comply. This was intended to clarify the broad purpose of the manager's appointment, for example, safeguarding the interest of the depositors.

5

"Subject to the objectives specified by the MA in his direction, it was proposed that the manager should be given the necessary powers to do all such things as may be necessary to manage the affairs, business and property of the institution." he said

"There are also a number of miscellaneous provisions in the bill that mostly dealt with operational aspects of the ordinance, covering areas such as publication of audited balance sheet, submission of returns and information to the MA, limitation on advances and restriction on the use of the name "Bank", he added.

The bill will be introduced to the Legislative Council on February 22, 1995. in) ri./- ... . ;

: ■. <>! i’i ’ • ' ■' • •

* v • >

End/Friday, February 10, 1995

111.

Dale appointed Director of Marine *****

The Government announced today (Friday) that Mr Ian Dale will succeed Mr Allan Pyrke who will retire from the civil service as Director of Marine on March 1 (Wednesday).

. . .

Mr Dale, aged 53, joined the civil service as a Marine Officer in 1972. He rose through the ranks to become Assistant Director of Marine in 1990 and Deputy Director of Marine in 1993. He has acted as Director of Marine on a number of occasions.

The Government also announced that Mr Tsui Shung-yiu, Assistant Director of Marine, will assume the post of Deputy Director of Marine.

Mr Tsui is aged 47 and joined the civil service as a Surveyor of Ship in 1978.

End/Friday, February 10, 1995

6

$204-million Wanchai Reclamation contract signed *****

The Phase I development of the Wan Chai Reclamation entered the final stage today (Friday) with the signing of a contract for infrastructure works, a ferry pier and a second road bridge.

The $204-million contract was signed by the Project Manager of the Hong Kong Island and Islands Development Office, Mr Pang Ho-che, and a representative of the contractor, China Harbour Engineering Company.

Speaking at the contract-signing ceremony, Mr Pang said Phase I of the Wanchai Reclamation formed an important part of the Central and Wanchai Reclamation Project, providing additional land for the expansion of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC).

The Phase I works were being carried out under three contracts. The dredging contract was completed in May 1994 as scheduled; the second contract, which covered reclamation of an island, construction of a bridge and foundation work for the HKCEC Extension Building, is making good progress.

The third contract, which was signed today, will start soon for completion by January 1997, Mr Pang added.

End/Friday, February 10, 1995

One candidate nominated for Kwai Tsing DB by-election *****

One nomination was received today (Friday) for Kwai Tsing District Board by-election scheduled on April 2 in respect of Lai Wah constituency.

The nomination was submitted by Mr Lau San-ching, aged 42, a welfare worker.

7

i;

So far, one nomination has been received since the nomination period started yesterday. The nomination period will end on February 22.

End/Friday, February 10, 1995

Trade Director to lead HK delegation to APEC meeting *****

The Director-General of Trade, Mr Tony Miller, will lead a Hong Kong delegation to the first Senior Officials Meeting for the 7th Ministerial Meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) to be held in Fukuoka, Japan, from February 13 to 15.

The first Senior Officials Meeting chaired by the Japanese host this year, it will discuss a number of co-operation issues and will initiate work on how to achieve the goal of free trade by the year 2020 as agreed at the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting held in Bogor, Indonesia, last November.

The meeting is preceded by a series of meetings of the newly established Sub-Committees on Standards and Conformance, and Customs Procedures, the Task Forces on Tariff Database and the Review of the APEC Secretariat, as well as meetings of the Committee on Trade and Investment and the Economic Committee.

Following the Senior Officials Meeting, a special session for senior officials is scheduled on February 16 to discuss the action programme on liberalisation and facilitation of trade and investment towards 2020.

Members of the Hong Kong delegation comprise officials from the Trade and Industry Branch, Financial Services Branch, Finance Branch, Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Tokyo, Industry Department, Customs and Excise Department and Trade Department.

8

Member economies of APEC are 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, February 10, 1995

Foreign direct investment in HK estimated at US$50b *****

The total value of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Hong Kong was estimated at over US$50 billion as at mid-1994, the Director-General of Industry, Miss Denise Yue, said today (Friday).

Speaking at a forum on "Foreign and Regional Investment in Asia" organised by the City University of Hong Kong, Miss Yue said a major proportion of such investment in Hong Kong came from the Asia- Pacific region, more specifically from China, Japan and the United States.

"One recent estimate puts the size of China's investment in Hong Kong at around US$25 billion," Miss Yue said.

According to Japan's Ministry of Finance, the value of Japanese FDI in Hong Kong amounted to US$12.7 billion at the end of March 1994, or about three and a half times the position as at the end of March 1985.

"The US Department of Commerce estimated the amount of FDI from the US in Hong Kong at US$10.5 billion at the end of 1993, or more than twice of the position as at the end of 1985," she said.

These investments cover a wide range of sectors including manufacturing, wholesale, banking, finance, construction, retailing, transportation, infrastructural projects and tourism.

9

The total value of FDI in the manufacturing sector is estimated to be in the region of US$5.2 billion at the end of 1993, or almost three times the amount 10 years ago.

Japan, USA and China provide the lion share of the FDI in Hong Kong's manufacturing sector.

"Despite the widely reported high land and property prices, Hong Kong is one of the world's most cost-effective locations for knowledge-intensive and higher value-added manufacturing and services activities," Miss Yue said.

"Hong Kong's labour productivity in the manufacturing sector grew by an average of 10.5 per cent per annum.

"Our profits tax, at 16.5 per cent, is probably the lowest in the world. Also, we do not have any export quota, or performance requirements or material sourcing restrictions on foreign investors," she added.

As for the level of Hong Kong's investment in other places, Miss Yue said the available information showed an equally substantial direct investment from Hong Kong in Asia.

According to China's Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation, Hong Kong is the largest external investor in China, accounting for about two- thirds of its total FDI.

"At the end of 1993, the total realised value of Hong Kong's direct investment in China amounted to about US$40 billion," she said.

"Apart from China, Hong Kong businessmen have also invested substantially in East Asian economies like Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan and more recently, Vietnam," she added.

End/Friday, February 10,1995

10

Statistics on ocean vessel and cargo for third quarter of 1994 *****

In the third quarter of 1994, 9,584 ocean vessels with a total capacity of 42.1 million net registered tons arrived at Hong Kong.

This information is contained in the report entitled "Hong Kong Shipping Statistics, July - September 1994" published today (Friday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

The figures reflect an increase of 13% in number of vessels and 7% in capacity over the third quarter of 1993.

During the same period, there were 9,667 outgoing ocean vessels with a total capacity of 42.5 million net registered tons, representing an increase of 12% in number and 7% in capacity over the third quarter of 1993.

In the third quarter of 1994, the total tonnage of cargo discharged in Hong Kong from incoming ocean vessels, including seaborne imports and seaborne inward transhipment, was estimated to be 20.0 million tonnes, representing an increase of 14% over the same quarter in 1993.

During the same period, the total tonnage of cargo loaded onto outgoing ocean vessels, including seaborne exports (domestic exports plus re-exports) and seaborne outward transhipment, was estimated to be 9.3 million tonnes, representing an increase of 24%.

Of the cargoes discharged from incoming ocean vessels, 82% in terms of tonnage were seaborne imports and 18% were seaborne inward transhipment; 52% of these cargoes were containerised.

Of those loaded onto outgoing ocean vessels, 63% in terms of tonnage were seaborne exports (domestic exports plus re-exports) and 37% were seaborne outward transhipment; 87% of them were containerised cargo.

The above statistics are summarised in Table 1.

- 11

In the third quarter of 1994, the top five countries of loading for cargo discharged from incoming ocean vessels (including seaborne imports and seaborne inward transhipment) were Singapore (which accounted for 18% in tonnage terms), China (13%), Japan (12%), Taiwan (10%) and the U.S.A. (8%).

The top five countries of discharge for cargo loaded onto outgoing ocean vessels (including seaborne exports and seaborne outward transhipment) were the U.S.A. (22%), China (21%), Taiwan (7%), Japan (5%) and the Federal Republic of Germany (4%).

The top five principal commodities discharged from incoming ocean vessels in tonnage terms include petroleum, petroleum products and related materials (18%); coal, coke and briquettes (13%); artificial resins and plastic materials (8%); iron and steel (7%); and paper and paper products (6%).

The top five principal commodities loaded onto outgoing ocean vessels in tonnage terms include machinery (11%); other manufactured goods classified chiefly by material (10%); other manufactured articles (8%); toys (8%); and articles of apparel and clothing accessories (6%).

The distribution of the top 10 countries of loading and discharge and their changes in the tonnage of cargo discharged and loaded between the third quarter of 1994 and the third quarter of 1993 are shown in Table 2 and Table 3.

Similar statistics for cargo discharged and loaded analysed by the top 10 principal commodities are shown in Table 4 and Table 5.

Ocean vessel statistics are compiled primarily from general declarations submitted to the Marine Department by ship masters or authorised shipping agents and cover all ocean vessels entering and leaving Hong Kong, excluding yachts and pleasure craft.

Cargo statistics are compiled from a sample of consignments listed in the ocean cargo manifests supplied by shipping companies or agents to the Census and Statistics Department. The sampling method is described in the explanatory notes of the report.

12

More details of ocean vessel and cargo statistics for the third quarter of 1994 are contained in the report entitled "Hong Kong Shipping Statistics, July -September 1994". This report is published in bilingual form starting from the third quarter 1994 issue.

The report is now on sale at the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong, and the Publications Section of the Census and Statistics Department on 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai at $52 a copy.

Enquiries on statistics contained in the report may be directed to the Shipping and Cargo Statistics Section of the Census and Statistics Department on telephone 2582 4887.

Note: a net registered ton is a unit of measure in volume terms of the space of a vessel available for carrying passengers or goods; one net registered ton equals 100 cubic feet.

13

Table 1: Summary of ocean vesseLand cargo statistics % change over

3rd quarter 3rd quarter

________1994 ________1993

Incoming ocean vessel

Number 9 584 +13

Capacity (Mn. net registered tons) 42.1 +7

Cargo discharged (Mn. tonnes) 20.0 (52) +14

Seaborne imports (Mn. tonnes) 16.5 (43) +9

Seaborne inward transhipment (Mn. tonnes) 3.5 (93) +44

Outgoing ocean vessel

Number 9 667 +12

Capacity (Mn. net registered tons) 42.5 +7

Cargo loaded (Mn. tonnes) 9.3 (87) +24

Seaborne exports (Mn. tonnes) 5.9 (81) +14

(including domestic exports and re-exports)

Seaborne outward transhipment (Mn. tonnes) 3.4 (98) +44

Note:

Figures in brackets denote the extent of containerization in percentage.

14

Table 2: Cargo discharged*13 from incoming ocean vessels

by the top ten countries of loading--------------

3rd quarter % change over

Country of loading 1994 % share*^3 3rd quarter 1993

(*000 tonnes)

Singapore 3 683 18 +33

China 2 547 13 +27

Japan 2 339 12 +4

Taiwan 1 975 10 +4

U.S.A. 1 580 8 +34

Republic of Korea 1 244 6 +4

Australia 1 165 6 +26

Republic of South Africa 722 4 -59

Indonesia 689 3 +78

Thailand 482 2 +23

Notes: (1) Cargo discharged includes seaborne imports and seaborne

inward transhipment.

(2) % share is the share in tonnage terms with respect to the

total tonnage of cargo discharged from incoming ocean vessels.

15

Table 3: Cargo loaded^1 J onto outgoing ocean vessels brtte top.ten countries of discharge • -r

Country of discharge 3rd quarter 1994 (*000 tonnes) % share1 (2) % change over 3rd quarter 1993

U.S.A. 2 079 22 +24

China 1 943 21 +40

Taiwan 682 7 -3

Japan 421 5 +38

Federal Republic of Germany 406 4 +32

Netherlands 389 4 +32

Singapore 348 4 + 10

Philippines 280 3 +39

United Kingdom 261 3 +16

Thailand 253 3 +98

(1) Cargo loaded includes seaborne exports and seaborne outward transhipment.

(2) % share is the share in tonnage terms with respect to the total tonnage of cargo loaded onto outgoing ocean vessels.

16

Table 4: Cargo discharged*15 from incoming ocean vessels by the top ten principal commodities________________________

q?nynodity group 3rd quarter 1994 ('000 tonnes) • % ahare(2) % change over jrd.quarter ,3,99.3.

Petroleum, petroleum products 3 585 18 +9

and related materials

Coal, coke and briquettes 2 541 13 -16

Artificial resins and plastic 1 700 8 +33

materials

Iron and steel 1 488 7 -6

Paper and paper products 1 265 6 +45

Machinery 1 034 5 +22

Other manufactured goods classified 880 4 +5

chiefly by material

Cement and cement clinker 757 4 +9

Textile yarn, fabrics, made-up 637 3 +40

articles and related products

Other chemicals and related 434 2 +7

products

Notes: (1) Cargo discharged includes seaborne imports and seaborne

inward transhipment.

(2) % share is the share in tonnage terms with respect to the

total tonnage of cargo discharged from incoming ocean vessels.

17

Table 5: Cargo loaded*1* onto outgoing ocean vessels by. the top ten .principal.comqigd^Aes________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

3rd quarter % change over

ggntnod^y group ('000 1994 tonnes) * ehar$<2> 3rd quarter 1993

Machinery 984 11 +25

Other manufactured goods classified 907 10 +23

chiefly by material

Other manufactured articles 721 8 + 16

Toys 708 8 +18

Articles of apparel and clothing 545 6 +7

accessories

Petroleum, petroleum products 469 5 +14

and related materials

Other chemicals and related 379 4 +67

products

Footwear 332 4 +15

Textile yarn, fabrics, made-up 315 3 -21

articles and related products Artificial resins and plastic 298 3 +40

materials

Notes: (1) Cargo loaded includes seaborne exports and seaborne outward

transhipment.

(2) % share is the share in tonnage terms with respect to the

total tonnage of cargo loaded onto outgoing ocean vessels.

End/Friday, February 10, 1995

18

Secondary school exhibition on Airport Core Programme

*****

Students from the Shun Tak Fraternal Association Seaward Woo College took three prizes today (Friday) in the first Airport Core Programme (ACP) Joint School Exhibition cum Competition which opened today (Friday).

The school won the top prize of Championship for the Best Booth Award, as well as the Award for the Most Popular Booth and the Award for Originality for their exhibition booth entitled "Explosion of Noise".

A 15-year-old student, Miss Hung Kam-yuk, said their team, comprising 18 students and headed by their teacher Miss Chan, had spent one and a half months on the project.

"We do not expect to win three prizes, so it is a wonderful surprise to all of us. This is a most interesting project and we have learnt a lot more about the ACP," said Miss Hung after the prize-giving ceremony.

Students from a total of 16 secondary schools are taking part in the exhibition, organised by the New Airport Projects Co-ordination Office (NAPCO), as part of the department's continuing effort to promote better understanding of the 10 ACP projects among young people.

Each of the participating schools mounted its own booth to cover different aspects of the ACP. These include displays on the impact of the ACP on Hong Kong, the changing face of North Lantau, the new airport at Chek Lap Kok and its transport links.

Professor Alex Fung of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University's School of Design and a member of the panel of judges said the displays were very impressive, using a lot of computer graphic designs and multi-media techniques.

"The students were well organised in their work, representing a high spirit of co-operation," he said.

19

The exhibition was opened this afternoon by the Director of Education, Mr Lam Woon-kwong; the Chairman of the Legislative Council Panel of Education, Mr Tik Chi-yuen; and the Director of NAPCO, Mr Billy Lam.

Eight awards were presented to the participating schools:

Championship for the Best Booth Award - won by the Shun Tak Fraternal Association Seaward Woo College

* First runner-up for the Best Booth Award - won by TWGHs Chang Ming Thien College

Second runner-up for the Best Booth Award - won by St Catharine's School for Girls

* Award for Originality - won by the Shun Tak Fraternal Association Seaward Woo College

* Award for the Best Content Booth - won by Ho Lap College

* Award for the Most Attractive Booth - won by Pui Shing Catholic Secondary School

* Award for the Best Team Work - won by Diocesan Girls' School

* Award for the Most Popular Booth - won by the Shun Tak Fraternal Association Seaward Woo College

The exhibition will be open to the public for three days from tomorrow (Saturday) to next Monday (February 13) daily between 10 am and 6 pm. Admission is free.

End/Friday, February 10, 1995

20

Film censorship reflects community standards *****

The views of the public advisers are instrumental in ensuring that the film censorship standards do reflect the community standards, the Commissioner for Television and Entertainment Licensing, Mrs Rita Lau, said.

There are now about 300 public advisers. Six or seven of them view each film and advise the censors of the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority (TELA) on whether a film should be classified as Category I, II or III, with or without excision.

At a spring reception hosted by TELA this (Friday) evening, Mrs Lau said: "For 93 per cent of the 615 films approved during the period from September to December last year, the censors adopted the majority views of the public advisers as the decisions.

"As regards the remainder, the censors' decisions were more strict than the majority views of the public advisers in five per cent of the cases and more lenient in only two per cent of the cases."

"In view of the need to maintain consistency in standards, it is inevitable that the censors' decisions are sometimes different from the public advisers'. The earlier statistics show, however, the importance we attach to their views," she said.

Mrs Lau also pointed out that according to the findings of a public opinion survey completed by an independent research firm in April last year, the current film censorship standards do closely resemble those held by the majority of the respondents.

"This is proof that our standards do reflect the community's and the credit goes to the panel of public advisers."

The present advisers include persons from different occupations, different age groups and different educational levels. The female gender, however, appears to be under-represented as on(y one-third of the advisers are female.

21

Mrs Lau made an appeal for more women to apply as public advisers and said they would be given priority in appointment.

"Indeed, the appointment is open to any non-civil servant who is aged 18 or above provided that the appointment would not give rise to any conflict of interest. Applicants should write to our office on 39th floor, Revenue Tower, 5 Gloucester Road, Hong Kong or give our Executive Officer (Films) a call on 2594 5788," she added.

About 250 persons attended the spring reception. In addition to the public advisers, the guests included members of the Board of Review on Film Censorship, members of the film and video industries, film critics and reporters.

End/Friday, February 10, 1995

Electronics industry report

*****

The Industry Department will publish a techno- economic and market research study report on Hong Kong's electronics industry tomorrow (Saturday).

The report, in three volumes, covers findings of a study by government-commissioned consultants on the current state of development of Hong Kong's electronics industry and recommendations on how to remove constraints on its growth and enhance its competitiveness.

A spokesman for the department said the study, conducted in 1993-1994, was the second of its kind since the first was undertaken in 1988-1989.

"The study comprised two phases: a phase I study which was undertaken by the Boston Consulting Group International Inc and a phase II study by Dataquest Inc," he said.

22

The phase I study analysed Hong Kong's electronics industry and compared it with its major competitors, such as Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and China.

The phase II study examined the global and regional market and technology trends affecting the electronics industry. It also identified 18 product opportunities for the industry in both emerging high- growth markets as well as low-growth but high-volume markets.

The consultants made recommendations on a wide range of issues, including research and development, technology transfer, supporting industries/infrastructure, education and training, marketing and promotion, and industrial support services.

"These recommendations have been considered thoroughly by the Electronics Committee of the Industry and Technology Development Council," the spokesman said.

"The recommendations will be further examined by the Government having regard to the advice from the Industry and Technology Development Council, relevant policy consideration and the availability of resources before follow-up actions are finalised," he added.

Copies of the techno-economic and market research study report will be available from the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor, 66 Queensway, at $66 for Volume 1, $190 for Volume 2 and $165 for Volume 3.

End/Friday, February 10, 1995

23

Public hearings on radio licence set for May * * * * *

The following is issued on behalf of the Broadcasting Authority:

The Broadcasting Authority (BA) decided at a meeting yesterday (Thursday) to hold two public hearings in May this year as part of its mid-term review of the radio licence held by Commercial Radio. Ihc public hearings will be held in the evenings of May 9 and 18 in the Lecture Hall of the Science Museum in Tsim Sha Tsui.

A spokesman for BA said the venue had proved popular last year when it held public hearings as part of the mid-term review of A TV and TVB.

The spokesman explained that the format of the hearings would be similar to that of last year, which had been well received by the public.

He added that the BA was liaising with Commercial Radio to explore the possibility of broadcasting the event to enable it to reach a wider audience.

The BA also considered a number of public complaints about television and radio broadcasters.

It advised ATV and TVB to observe more closely the television programme standards in respect of the programmes "Hong Kong Today" and "Focus on Focus" broadcast on their Chinese language channels. The programmes had attracted public complaints over their treatment of the story of a woman alleged to have offered sexual favours to taxi drivers.

The BA found that, although the subject matter was not outright unacceptable, the treatment had been ol bad taste and doubtful propriety and had bordered on indecency.

24

Considering however that this was the first time that the two stations had committed such a breach, the BA decided that a written advice was appropriate and should help to remind the stations of the programme standards laid down in the codes.

At the meeting, it also considered a number of reports and analyses.

End/Friday, February 10, 1995

British Garrison helps drug rehabilitation centre *****

The following is issued on behalf of Joint Service Public Relations Staff:

The Army and the Royal Air Force in Hong Kong are co-operating to assist a drug rehabilitation centre. Operation Dawn, an international organisation funded by the Christian church, runs a unit on Town Island, near High Island in Sai Kung Country Park.

In what is probably the biggest community relations project to be undertaken by the British Garrison this year, 67 Gurkha Independent Field Squadron, the Queen's Gurkha Engineers are constructing three accommodation blocks to provide the unit with places for an additional 60 long-term and 30 short-term residents.

C Troop 67 Gurkha Independent Field Squadron started work on the block on February 6 and are due to finish on February 24. Support has been provided by No. 28 (AC) Squadron Royal Air Force who are flying in building materials, equipment and supplies as underslung loads beneath their Wessex helicopters.

The Chief of Staff at Headquarters British Forces, Captain Peter Melson, will visit the project on Tuesday (February 14), accompanied by the Officer Commanding 67 Gurkha Independent Field Squadron, Major Alistair Sheppard, and the Gurkha Captain, Captain (QGO) Mohan Kumar Gurung.

25

Attention news editors:

You are invited to send representatives to cover Captain Melson's visit and to see the work being carried out by C Troop 67 Gurkha Independent Field Squadron and No. 28 (AC) Squadron RAF. Photo opportunities will be < provided to see heavy equipment being flown in by helicopter.

A coach will be arranged to carry the media from Prince of Wales Barracks, Central, to High Island from where a helicopter will fly them out to Town Island. The coach will depart from Prince of Wales Barracks at 8.30 am. Media representatives should arrive at the main gate no later than 8.15 am.

The media will be flown, back to High Island and return by coach to Prince of Wales Barracks at 12.30 pm.

Those wishing to attend should contact Joint Service Public Relations Staff on 2588 3313.

End/Friday, February 10, 1995

4

I

Students benefit from seized endangered species

*****

Students from 55 schools are set to benefit from specimens of endangered species donated by the Agriculture and Fisheries Department (AFD) for educational purposes.

A total of 144 pieces of endangered species, including stuffed sea turtle, stuffed crocodile, cobra skin, elephant tusk and coral skeleton, were given to the schools and the Education Department's Field Studies Centre.

The specimens came into AFD's possession as a result of enforcement of endangered species protection legislation.

26

Commenting on the exercise, an AFD conservation officer, Dr So Pingman, pointed out that response from schools to the offer, which was announced in a teacher seminar last year, had been encouraging.

"We hope that the specimens can be used to more effectively put across the message of endangered species protection to students through display at schools.

Dr So stressed that while law enforcement could be a tool in protecting endangered species, more fundamental to the issue was to educate the public about its importance.

"With regard to public education, we consider our students a good starting point.

"If we could make our students realise the importance of protecting endangered species and the way they can be of assistance, we would have more conservation-minded citizens in the future," he added.

Dr So also reminded the public to strictly abide by the Animals and Plants (Protection of Endangered Species) Ordinance.

Following the recent legislative amendment, any person convicted of importing, exporting or possessing a highly endangered species could face a maximum fine of $5 million plus two years' imprisonment.

Species under this category include rhinos, tigers, most bears, sea turtles, some wild orchids and medicine containing or claiming to contain rhino or tiger ingredients.

End/Friday, February 10, 1995

Approach lighting for new airport planned *****

The Provisional Airport Authority plans to construct approach lighting for the southern runway of the new airport at Chek Lap Kok at about 4.32 hectares of foreshore and seabed to the west of the airport.

The works will begin in December this year for completion in about one year.

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

The notice and its related plans can be seen on notice boards near the site.

The plans can also be seen at the Lands Department's Survey and Mapping Office, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, and at the Islands District Office, 20th floor, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central. The plan can also be purchased at the Survey and Mapping Office.

Any person who considers that his interest, right or easement in or over the foreshore and seabed involved will be affected, may submit a written objection to the Director of Lands before April 10.

End/Friday, February 10, 1995

28

Stormwater drainage works for Northwest Kowloon * * * * *

The Drainage Services Department is inviting tenders for the construction of sewerage and stormwater drainage works for stages II and III of the North West Kowloon Sewerage project.

The proposed works form part of the implementation of the North West Kowloon Sewerage Master Plan and West Kowloon Reclamation - Hinterland Drainage Improvement Scheme, which are to upgrade and improve existing sewers and stormwater drains in Lai Chi Kok, Sham Shui Po, Mong Kok and Yau Ma Tei.

About 9,200 metres of sewers, 4,000 metres of stormwater drains and box culverts will be built under the contract.

Completion of the works will bring about significant reductions in frequency and seriousness of overflowing of sewage and flooding in the areas. The works are scheduled to start in May this year and will take about 22 months to complete.

A notice inviting tenders was gazetted today (Friday).

Tender Forms and further particulars may be obtained from the office of the Consulting Engineers, Montgomery Watson Hong Kong Limited, at 311 Gloucester Road, 1911 Windsor House, Causeway Bay.

The tender closing date is noon on March 3.

End/Friday, February 10, 1995

29

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

Time Cumulative change

$ million (hours) ($million)

Opening balance in the account 1,715 0930 + 1,266

Closing balance in the account 1,548 1000 +1,276

Change attributable to : 1100 +1,286

Money market activity +1,193 1200 + 1,288

LAF today -1,360 1500 +1,193

1600 +1,193

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 121.2 *+0.0* 10.2.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.86 16 months 2605 6.35 99.09 7.23

1 month 6.16 22 months 2611 6.90 99.24 7.49

3 months 6.46 30 months 3707 6.95 98.43 7.81

6 months 6.72 36 months 3801 8.00 100.39 8.00

12 months 7.05 59 months 5912 8.15 99.38 8.48

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $26,246 million

Closed February 10, 1995

End/Friday, February 10, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Saturday, February 11,1995

Contents Page No.

New driving test centre for medium goods vehicles....................... 1

Paper bouquet for the civic-minded...................................... 1

Winners of careers quiz announced....................................... 2

7,000 years’ dedicated service to education recognised.................. 3

Cloudy and warm January................................................. 4

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations.................... 7

Sunday, February 12,1995

Contents Page No,

Two more activity centres for overseas domestic helpers................. 8

Free postage of election ads must not be abused......................... 9

Unregistered electricians liable to prosecution......................... 9

Government House gardens open to public................................ 10

1

New driving test centre for medium goods vehicles * * * * ♦

The medium goods vehicle driving test centre at Tai Po Road has been relocated to a new site at Chak On Road with an area of 1,500 square metres.

A spokesman for the Transport Department said its facilities included a compound designed for the testing of basic manoeuvring skills such as reverse parking, three-point-tum on a narrow road, and stop and start on a slope.

It is the second off-street driving test centre set up by the department, the first is at Hawthorn Road in Happy Valley.

The spokesman said an off-street driving test centre not only provided a safer and better testing environment for the candidates but also reduced traffic congestion on public roads.

"Transport Department will continue to look for suitable sites for the setting up of such centres in the interest of the public," he added.

End/Saturday, February 11, 1995

Paper bouquet for the civic-minded *****

The Government has produced paper bouquets to promote the coming Municipal Councils elections which will fall on March 5.

The bouquet is made of good quality paper printed with the logos of the Urban Council and the Regional Council. It can be easily folded into a beautiful shape following the simple instructions given.

The bouquets are being distributed as souvenirs to members of the public participating in district events and activities organised by the Home Affairs Department.

They will make a special gift on the coming St Valentine's Day.

End/Saturday, February 11, 1995

4

2

Winners of careers quiz announced *****

The Labour Department today (Saturday) announced the winners of the 13th Careers Quiz participated by a record number of 140,512 students from 276 secondary schools.

Senior Labour Officer Mrs Ada Leung said the number of participants was very encouraging, showing that students were attaching more importance to career planning.

Kowloon True Light Middle School is the winner in both Secondary 3 and 4 sections. The winning school in Secondary 5 section is Yu Chun Keung Memorial College.

Trophies will be awarded to these winners and the two runners-up of each section at a prize-presentation ceremony on March 10.

The highest scoring students in the three sections are Ho Wing-ki of Kowloon True Light Middle School in the Secondary 3 Section, Wong Wai-ngan of Ho Dao College in the Secondary 4 Section, and Lai Siu-ho of Caritas Chan Chun Ha Prevocational School - Fanling in the Secondary 5 Section.

"Together with the three runners-up of each section, they will each be awarded a Pentax camera," Mrs Leung said.

She added that outstanding students in each section would also be presented with prizes and souvenirs sponsored by Pentax Camera.

The quiz, organised by the Careers Advisory Service of the Labour Department, is aimed at arousing students' awareness of the importance of choosing a suitable career and encouraging them to look for up-to-date information on careers and further training opportunities.

"It is a highlight of the 5th Education and Careers Expo which will be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from February 23 to 26," Mrs Leung said.

Jointly organised by the Labour Department and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, the expo will feature some 180 exhibitors from a wide range of trades, industries, government departments, professional bodies as well as local and overseas educational and training institutes.

3

"During the expo, the Careers Advisory Service will arrange a comprehensive programme of supporting activities including careers seminars by professionals, video shows and student group visits.

"Answers to all the questions of the quiz will also be displayed at the expo," Mrs Leung said.

End/Saturday, February 11, 1995

7,000 years' dedicated service to education recognised

* * * * *

The Director of Education, Mr W K Lam, today (Saturday) presented Long and Meritorious Service Certificates and retirement souvenirs to 555 members of the Education Department, whose combined service totalled more than 7,000 years.

Among them, 272 received Long and Meritorious Service Certificates for 30 and 20 years of service while 283 who retired in the past two years received souvenirs.

Of those receiving long service certificates, 162 had been in the Government for 30 years and 110 for 20 years.

Their posts range from workman II to acting Senior Assistant Director.

The majority are teaching staff at government schools, some of whom began their career as early as in 1954.

Two acting Senior Assistant Directors - Mr Kwan Ting-fai and Mr Tsui Seeming - were awarded the 30-year Long and Meritorious Service Certificates.

Both Mr Kwan and Mr Tsui said they were very happy to receive the certificates as it was a recognition of their long service and contribution to the department.

Mr Kwan said: "I feel honoured by the award which is a token of my service.

"I have always enjoyed my work and hope that my service in the last three decades has been helpful to improving the quality of education in Hong Kong," he said.

Mr Tsui, who also received the 30-year certificate, said he was very pleased to receive the award and to become one of the longest-serving officers in the department.

4

"School administration anci education services have been on my mind for the last 30 years and I will continue to do my best to upgrade them," he said.

Speaking at the presentation ceremony, Mr Lam paid tribute to the recipients for their dedication to the department and the Government.

End/Saturday, February 11, 1995

Cloudy and warm January *****

January 1995 was cloudier and slightly warmer than normal, a monthly weather report released today (Saturday) by the Royal Observatory said. The total duration of bright sunshine in the month was 117.9 hours which was 34.5 hours below normal.

The mean temperature was 16.1 degrees, 0.3 of a degree above normal. There were only two days with minimum temperatures below 10 degrees. The monthly rainfall amounted to 21.1 millimetres, 10 per cent below the normal of 23.4 millimetres.

The first two days of the month were mild and windy offshore. A cool northerly airstream brought disturbed weather with rain to the territory on January 3. The first thunderstorm of the year was reported that afternoon.

Rain eased off and clouds started to break early on January 4 as a dry winter monsoon reached Hong Kong. Under the continual influence of this monsoon, the weather was fine, dry and cold for the next three days.

Temperatures rose rapidly on January 8 as the monsoon subsided. It was fine and hazy the next day. As winds turned to the east on January 10, the weather became cloudy with mist reported inside Victoria Harbour that evening.

A cold front over Guangdong advanced southwards on January 11 and reached the south China coast early on January 12 with the local daily minimum temperatures falling by about three degrees. It remained cool and generally fine from January 13 to 17.

Milder weather prevailed in the next five days. The month's highest temperature of 23.0 degrees was reached on the sunny afternoon of January 22. However, a cold front traversed the coast of Guangdong on January 23 bringing cloudy and cool conditions to the territory from January 24 to 26.

5

With strengthening winter monsoon, the weather turned cold and rainy until the end of the month. The month's lowest temperature of 9.2 degrees was recorded on the early morning of January 31.

There was only one tropical cyclone over the western North Pacific and the South China Sea in January.

Details of the issuance/hoisting and cancellation/lowcring of various wamings/signals in the month are summarised in Table 1.1. Monthly meteorological figures and departures from normal of January are tabulated in Table 1.2.

Table 1.1 Warnings and signals in January 1995

Wamings/Signals Effective date and time

Thunderstorm Warning 3 Jan 1230 - 3 Jan 1430

Strong Monsoon Signals 31 Dec 2315- 1 Jan 0800 1 Jan 2345 - 2 Jan 0730 4 Jan 2130 - 5 Jan 0810 25 Jan 2300 - 26 Jan 0500

Fire Danger Warnings

Yellow Red Yellow Yellow Yellow Yellow 1 Jan 0615 - 2 Jan 2300 4 Jan 1800 - 8 Jan 0600 8 Jan 0600 - 8 Jan 2300 13 Jan 0600 - 15 Jan 2330 24 Jan 0600 - 24 Jan 1130 29 Jan 0630 - 29 Jan 1800

Gas Heater Alerts 4 Jan 1630 - 7 Jan 1645 12 Jan 1630 - 13 Jan 1630 27 Jan 1630 - 7 Feb 1630

6

Table 1.2 Figures and departures from normal - January 1995

Total Bright Sunshine 117.9 hours ; 34.5 hours below normal

Mean Daily Global Solar Radiation 9.14 MJ/SQ M; 2.49 MJ/SQ M below normal

Total Rainfall 21.1 mm ; 2.3 mm below normal

Mean Cloud Amount 67% ; 9% above normal

Mean Relative Humidity 75% ; 4% above normal

Mean Daily Maximum Temperature 18.1 degrees Celsius; 0.5 degree Celsius below normal

Mean Air Temperature 16.1 degrees Celsius; 0.3 degree Celsius above normal

Mean Daily Minimum Temperature 14.3 degrees Celsius; 0.7 degree Celsius above normal

Mean Dew Point 11.5 degrees Celsius; 1.3 degrees Celsius above normal

Total Evaporation 59.5 mm; 38.0 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, February 11, 1995

7

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

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

Opening balance in the account 1,548 09:30 +1,300

Closing balance in the account 1,540 10:00 + 1,300

Change attributable to: 11:00 + 1,300

Money market activity +1,300 11:30 +1,300

LAF today -1,308 15:00

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 121.2 *+0.0* 11.2.95

End/Saturday, February 11, 1995

8

Two more activity centres for overseas domestic helpers *****

Two more activity centres for overseas domestic helpers to spend their rest day were opened today (Sunday).

Located at the Ho Tung Technical School for Girls in Causeway Bay and Jockey Club Government Secondary Technical School in Kowloon Tong, they can accommodate about 200 and 300 people respectively.

A spokesman for the Home Affairs Department said there are now three overseas domestic helper centres (ODHC) in operation.

The spokesman said the department would continue to look for additional venues for such centres to meet the demand of this target group.

The Hong Kong Bayanihan Trust, which is responsible for the financing of the entire GDI IC scheme and the management of all the centres, has raised a total of $8 million, including a donation of $1 million from the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club.

The spokesman reiterated that all centres would be closely monitored by a Steering Committee comprising, among others, relevant District Board members and representatives from the Government departments concerned, including the Urban Services Department, the Police, the Transport Department and the Education Department.

As to the first activity centre at the Clementi Secondary School, he said so far no problem had arisen since its opening last December.

"This has demonstrated that with proper management, a centre for overseas domestic helpers can operate in an orderly manner with no nuisance caused to residents in the neighbourhood," he said.

Initial assessment showed that the scheme was well received by the helpers and the centre has already been booked through until June by various overseas domestics helper associations, he added.

End/Sunday, February 12, 1995

9

Free postage of election ads must not be abused ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Chairman of the Boundary and Election Commission, Mr Justice Woo Kwok-hing, has issued a letter to all the candidates of the Municipal Council elections, the Legislative Council by-election and district board by-elections, reminding them that the free postage of election advertisements cannot be used for other purposes.

’’The free postage, which is the candidate’s own privilege, cannot and should not be used for any other purpose or in respect of any other person or any other election,” the chairman said in the letter.

He added that the Government reserved the right to charge a candidate postage if the free postage arrangements were abused in any way.

A candidate may post free of postage one letter to each elector in the constituency for which he is nominated. The purpose of the free postage is to enable the candidate to mail to electors in the constituency election advertisements in relation to himself and to that election.

End/Sunday, February 12, 1995

Unregistered electricians liable to prosecution ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Any person who undertakes electrical work without prior registration with the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department as an electrical worker is liable to prosecution, a spokesman for the department reiterated today (Sunday).

• \ J

’’The registration is required under the Electricity Ordinance to ensure that the fixed electrical installations are properly designed, installed and maintained, and are in compliance with safety requirements so as to avoid accidents," he noted.

The advice followed the conviction at the Kwun Tong Magistracy last month of a 28-year-old man for carrying out electrical work without registering as an electrical worker under the ordinance.

10

The defendant pleaded guilty to breaching the Electricity Ordinance and was fined $10,000 and sentenced to two months' imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.

The offence carries a maximum fine of $50,000 on first conviction, and $100,000 on a subsequent conviction for the same offence, in addition to imprisonment for six months, the spokesman added.

End/Sunday, February 12, 1995

Government House gardens open to public * ♦ ♦ ♦ *

Residents will have the opportunity to enjoy the azaleas in full bloom in the gardens of Government House from 10 am to 5 pm on February 19 (Sunday).

The open day has been an annual event since 1968.

Those wishing to visit Government House during the opening hours should enter by the east gate, which is located on Upper Albert Road facing the American Consulate.

They can leave by the main gate on Upper Albert Road or the west gate on Albert Path.

As a large number of people are expected to turn up, visitors are advised not to travel by private car or taxi.

If they do come by car or taxi, they are advised not to alight on Upper Albert Road.

End/Sunday, February 12, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Monday, February 13,1995

Contents Page No,

New clearance package for Tiu Keng Leng residents............................. 1

External trade figures classified by country and commodity for Dec and 1994 2

South East New Territories Landfill opens.................................... 12

Efforts to tackle cancer outlined........................................ 13

Tender for 8th issue of two-year Exchange Fund Notes......................... 14

Trade Department customer group looks for new ideas to improve services ... 15

Seminar on adoption of children with special needs........................... 16

More workers prosecuted for not observing safety law......................... 17

Water storage figure..................................................... 18

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations......................... 18

1

New clearance package for Tiu Keng Leng residents *****

The Government has offered a special ex- gratia allowance of $7,000 per square metre to permit-holders of structures in the Tiu Keng Leng Cottage Area in addition to the offer of public housing in order to clear the area to make way for public and private housing development.

On average, a domestic household will receive about $288,000 as special ex-gratia allowance and a shop owner about $727,000.

"The new rate represents an increase of 39 per cent over the previous offer made in July last year," said the Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic S W Wong. "This is decided after a thorough review, having regard to the unique background of the Tiu Keng Leng Cottage Area."

Mr Wong indicated that "a sufficient number of public housing units have been reserved in the newly completed Hau Tak Estate nearby for eligible residents in the cottage area. Subject to the availability of flats, the Housing Department may consider residents' requests for other public rental housing units. Residents who do not take up the rehousing offer may buy flats under the Home Ownership Scheme with priority."

Eligible shop and workshop operators will be given restricted tender to bid for shops and market stalls in Housing Authority estates, or alternatively they may receive an additional allowance of $73,000 on top of the special ex-gratia allowance and the normal ex-gratia allowance applicable to shops and workshops.

The offer also includes an increase in domestic removal allowance to a new rate ranging from $3,410 to $8,780 per household, depending on family size.

"The revised package is exceptional, reasonable and much improved, taking into account the special background of the cottage area and the fact that the occupants had put up at their own costs the structures which are freely assignable with the approval of the Director of Housing," said Mr Wong.

"The revised package will be the final offer, and will be subject to the Legislative Council Finance Committee's approval of the necessary funds estimated at about $972 million."

"The revised package will not set a precedent for other clearances. If funds are not available, the Government would have no choice but to hold back the clearance indefinitely."

- 2 - .

If this should happen, the overall planning and progress of Phase III development of Tseung Kwan O New Town, including the provision of 12,000 public housing units there, will suffer a setback. Moreover, the living conditions in the cottage area would be adversely affected owing to reclamation works in the vicinity.

”We plan to give residents of the cottage area at least nine months notice prior to the commencement of the clearance. Essential community and public services will be maintained in the area until the clearance is completed,” said Mr Wong.

Representatives of the Tiu Keng Leng Cottage Area were briefed on the revised clearance package today (Monday). The Sai Kung District Board will be briefed on February 14 and the Planning, Lands and Works Panel of the Legislative Council as soon as possible.

• v. -V

End/Monday, February 13, 1995

I 7 .• . . -.T ;•••>- • •;

External trade figures classified by country and commodity for Dec and 1994 *****

The Census and Statistics Department today (Monday) released detailed statistics on external trade with breakdown by country/territory and commodity for December and the whole year of 1994.

The value of re-exports continued to increase, by 11% over a year earlier to $82.0 billion in December 1994. , >■

Comparing December 1994 with December 1993, increases were recorded in the value of re-exports to Australia (+40%), Canada (+25%), Japan (+24%), Singapore (+20%), the United States (+11%), Taiwan (+10%) and China (+8.1%). However, the value of re-exports to South Korea, Germany and the United Kingdom decreased by 7.1%, 6.6% and 0.1% respectively.

The changes in the value of Hong Kong's re-exports to the 10 main destinations are shown in Table 1.

The value of re-exports for the whole year of 1994 was $947.9 billion, 15% higher than that in the year 1993. ... j

3

Comparing 1994 with 1993, the value of re-exports to all of the main destinations showed increases of various magnitudes: Japan (+24%), Australia (+21%), Singapore (+19%), China (+18%), the United States (+16%), Canada (+12%), the United Kingdom (+11%), South Korea (+6.1%), Taiwan (+2.3%) and Germany (+2.0%).

Table 2 shows the changes in the value of re-exports of the 10 principal commodity divisions.

Comparing the year 1994 with the year 1993, increases of various magnitudes were recorded in the value of re-exports of most principal commodity divisions.

More notable increases were registered for telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $25.5 billion or 34%); miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of baby carriages, toys, games and sporting goods (by $15.2 billion or 14%); electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $14.6 billion or 21%); textiles (by $11.6 billion or 16%); office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $8.3 billion or 29%); and footwear (by $6.0 billion or 13%).

Over the same period, a decrease in the value of re-exports was recorded for road vehicles (by $3.1 billion or 9.6%).

The value of domestic exports in December 1994, at $20.1 billion, fell by 2.2% over a year earlier.

Comparing December 1994 with December 1993, decreases were recorded in the value of domestic exports to Taiwan (-14%), China (-11%), the United States (-7.6%), Germany (-2.5%) and Singapore (-0.5%). However, the value of domestic exports to the Philippines, Japan, the Netherlands, Canada and the United Kingdom increased by 36%, 33%, 14%, 1.0% and 0.5% respectively.

The changes in the value of domestic exports to the 10 main destinations are shown in Table 3.

Comparing the year 1994 with the year 1993, decreases were recorded in the value of domestic exports to Canada (-12%), Germany (-8.3%), the United Kingdom (-4.4%), China (-3.7%) and Taiwan (-3.0%).

However, the value of domestic exports to the Philippines increased significantly by 29%. That to Japan, Singapore, the Netherlands and the United States increased by 8.0%, 7.8%, 5.6% and 1.9% respectively.

fi \ . i. ,

- 4 -' t i •' \

Taking all destinations together, the value of domestic exports in 1994, at 'u $222.1 billion, decreased marginally by 0.4% over 1993. This represented an improvement from the corresponding decline of 5% in 1993.

Table 4 shows the changes in the value of domestic exports of the 10 principal commodity divisions;

Comparing the year 1994 with the year 1993, decreases in the value of domestic exports were registered for telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $1.7 billion or 12%); miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of jewellery, goldsmiths' and silversmiths' wares (by $1.3 billion or 6.3%); textiles (by $1.1 billion or 7.1%); and machinery specialised for particular industries (by $435 million or 12%).

Over the same period, increases in the value of domestic exports were recorded for electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $2.1 billion or 9.5%); and clothing (by $1.2 billion or 1.7%). \-

The value of imports continued to increase significantly to $111.6 billion in December 1994, by 16% over a year earlier.

’ , iiS.-.- f. . ,

The changes in the value of imports from the 10 main suppliers are shown in Table 5.

Comparing December 1994 with December 1993, the value of imports from most of the main suppliers showed increases of various magnitudes: Singapore (+23%), Malaysia (+23%), Taiwan (+21%), Germany (+20%), China (+16%), South Korea (+16%), Italy (+16%), Japan (+14%) and the United Kingdom (+10%).

. - • .......

.l ' . A-^

However, the value of imports from the United States decreased marginally by 0.7%.

Comparing the year 1994 with the year 1993, the value of imports from all of the main suppliers showed increases of various magnitudes: Singapore (+30%), Italy (+27%), Malaysia (+27%), South Korea (+19%), the United Kingdom (+19%), China (+17%), Germany (+15%), Taiwan (+14%), the United States (+12%) and Japan (+9.6%).

The value of imports in the year 1994, at $1,250.7 billion, increased markedly by 17% over the year 1993.

• - • • • ’ i • • »

Table 6 shows the changes in the value of imports of the 10 principal commodity divisions.

5

Comparing the year 1994 with the year 1993, increases were recorded in the value of imports of all principal commodity divisions.

More notable increases were registered for telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $27.3 billion or 29%); electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $22.5 billion or 19%); textiles (by $19.3 billion or 20%); office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $11.6 billion or 31%); miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of baby carriages, toys, games and sporting goods (by $11.5 billion or 14%); and non-metallic mineral manufactures (by $6.4 billion or 19%).

All the trade statistics described here are measured at current prices and no account has been taken of the changes in prices between the periods of comparison.

A separate analysis of the volume and price movements of external trade for December 1994 will be released in early March.

Detailed trade statistics analysed by commodity and by country/territory are published in trade statistics reports.

The December 1994 issue of the "Hong Kong External Trade" with detailed analyses of the performance of Hong Kong's external trade in December and the whole year 1994 will be available for sale at $86 a copy around February 28.

The report can be purchased at the Government Publications Centre on the ground floor, Low Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong, and the Publications Section of the Census and Statistics Department on the 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai.

Enquiries regarding regular subscription to the report may be directed to the Information Services Department at French Mission Building, 1 Battery Path, Hong Kong (telephone 2842 8802) and enquiries on trade statistics to the Census and Statistics Department (telephone 2582 4915).

6

TABLE 1 : RE-EXPORTS TO THE TEN MAIN DESTINATIONS

DESTINATION DEC 1994 (HKD Mn.) DEC 94 OVER DEC 93 (X CHANGE) JAN-DEC 1994 (HKD Mn.) JAN-DEC 94 OVER JAN-DEC 93 (X CHANGE)

CHINA 28,441 + 8.1 322,835 + 17.6

UNITED STATES 16,166 + 11.4 210,077 + 16.5

JAPAN ' 4,677 + 23.7 54,745 + 24.0

GERMANY 3,883 - 6.6 41,617 + 2.0

UNITED KINGDOM 2,363 - 0.1 27,318 + 11.3

TAIWAN 2,022 + 10.1 22,416 + 2.3

SINGAPORE 1,885 + 20.3 20,346 + 18.7

SOUTH KOREA 1,365 - 7.1 16,483 + 6.1

CANADA 1,201 + 24.5 14,199 + 12.2

AUSTRALIA 1,223 + 39.8 13,877 + 21.5

7

TABLE 2 : RE-EXPORTS OF THE TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

COMMODITY DIVISION DEC 1994 (HKD Mn.) DEC 94 OVER DEC 93 (X CHANGE) JAN-DEC 1994 (HKD Mn.) JAN-DEC 94 OVER JAN-DEC 93 (X CHANGE)

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY BABY CARRIAGES, TOYS, GAMES AND SPORTING GOODS) 9,522 + 23.0 123,250 + 14.1

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 9,641 + 26.1 99,552 + 34.4

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING

ACCESSORIES 7,466 - 10.6 92,335 + 1.9

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 7,811 + 15.5 83,767 + 21.2

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 7,180 + 14.0 82,145 + 16.4

FOOTWEAR 4,493 + 11.8 53,269 + 12.8

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 3,884 + 24.3 41,865 + 14.7

OFFICE MACHINES .AND AUTOMATIC DATA

PROCESSING MACHINES 4,133 + 28.8 37,050 + 28.8

TRAVEL GOODS, HANDBAGS AND SIMILAR

CONTAINERS 2,482 + 6.4 30,689 + 14.7

ROAD VEHICLES 1,296 - 59.1 29,597 - 9.6

8

TABLE 3 : DOMESTIC EXPORTS TO THE TEN MAIN DESTINATIONS

DESTINATION DEC 1994 (HKD Mn.) DEC 94 OVER DEC 93 (X CHANGE) JAN-DEC 1994 (HKD Mn.) JAN-DEC 94 OVER JAN-DEC 93 (X CHANGE)

UNITED STATES 5,568 - 7.6 61,419 + 1.9

CHINA 4,866 - 10.7 61,009 - 3.7

GERMANY 1,386 - 2.5 12,811 - 8.3

SINGAPORE 1,041 - 0.5 12,225 + 7.8

JAPAN 1,001 + 33.3 10,455 + 8.0

UNITED KINGDOM 1,103 + 0.5 10,292 - 4.4

TAIWAN 490 - 14.2 6,076 - 3.0

NETHERLANDS 595 + 13.6 4,775 + 5.6

CANADA 457 + 1.0 4,173 - 11.9

PHILIPPINES 258 + 36.2 2,912 + 28.6

9

TABLE 4 : DOMESTIC EXPORTS OF THE TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

COMMODITY DIVISION DEC 1994 (HKD Mn.) DEC 94 OVER DEC 93 (% CHANGE) JAN-DEC 1994 (HKD Mn.) JAN-DEC 94 OVER JAN-DEC 93 (% CHANGE)

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 7,639 73,086 + 1.7

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL P.ARTS THEREOF 2,120 - 7.3 24,815 + 9.5

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY JEWELLERY, GOLDSMITHS’ AND SILVERSMITHS’ WARES) 1,440 - 16.0 19,272 ic - 6.3

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 1,595 - 1.1 17,623 + 2.2

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 1,545 + 23.6 16,207 T + 1.0

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 1,215 - 5.7 15,038 - 7.1

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 881 - 17.2 11,622 - 12.5 ’

MANUFACTURES OF METALS 342 - 15.2 4,594 - 1.0

PLASTICS IN PRIMARY FORMS 325 f 17.1 3,948 + 14.7

MACHINERY SPECIALIZED FOR PARTICULAR INDUSTRIES 232 - 21.8 3,153 - 12.1

* DENOTES LESS THAN 0.05%

10

TABLE 5 : IMPORTS FROM THE TEN MAIN SUPPLIERS

SUPPLIER DEC 1994 (HKD Mn.) DEC 94 OVER DEC 93 (X CHANGE) JAN-DEC 1994 (HKD Mn.) JAN-DEC 94 OVER JAN-DEC 93 (X CHANGE)

CHINA 42,054 + 16.5 470,876 + 17.1

JAPAN 17,122 + 13.9 195,036 + 9.6

TAIWAN 9,852 + 21.4 107,310 + 14.2

UNITED STATES 7,722 - 0.7 89,343 + 12.5

SINGAPORE 5,742 + 23.5 61,968 + 29.5

SOUTH KOREA 4,987 + 16.0 57,551 + 19.4

GERMANY 2,579 + 20.4 28,660 + 15.0

UNITED KINGDOM 2,314 + 10.1 25,405 + 18.5

ITALY 1,902 + 15.7 22,778 + 27.4

MALAYSIA 2,010 + 23.4 20,147 + 27.1

11

TABLE 6 : IMPORTS OF THE TEN PRINCIPAL COMMODITY DIVISIONS

COMMODITY DIVISION DEC 1994 (HKD Mn.) DEC 94 OVER DEC 93 (X CHANGE) JAN-DEC 1994 (HKD Mn.) JAN-DEC 94 OVER JAN-DEC 93 (X CHANGE)

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 13,511 + 18.7 138,881 + 19.4

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 10,825 + 15.1 120,621 + 29.2

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP .ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 10,367 + 24.6 118,205 + 19.5

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 8,251 - 2.0 96,277 + 5.4

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY BABY CARRIAGES, TOYS, GAMES AND SPORTING GOODS) 7,656 f 25.5 90,951 + 14.5

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 5,028 + 12.6 54,314 + 11.6

ROAD VEHICLES 3,866 ■ + 37.9 51,419 + 1.9

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 5,093 + 28.1 48,468 + 31.3

FOOTWEAR 4,215 4- 16.6 47,128 13.1

NON-METALLIC MINERAL MANUFACTURES 3,192 4- 11.0 39,790 + 19.0

End/Monday, February 13, 1995

12

South East New Territories Landfill opens *****

The opening of the South East New Territories (SENT) Landfill marks another important milestone in the implementation of Hong Kong's comprehensive waste disposal strategy, the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Tony Eason, said today (Monday).

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr Eason said Hong Kong's Waste Disposal Plan, which was devised and published in 1989, included the development of three large strategic landfills and a network of refuse transfer stations to handle and dispose of the large amount of waste produced by the community in a satisfactory manner.

He noted that two of the strategic landfills, including the SENT Landfill, had been commissioned whilst three of the eight refuse transfer stations proposed were now in operation.

"With our new facilities, we have already been able to phase out older outdated facilities, such as the Lai Chi Kok and Kennedy Town Incinerators and landfills, which could not meet today's environmental standards.

In addition to building new waste handling and disposal infrastructure, Mr Eason said: "We must also remember the motto, 'prevention is better than cure'.

"In other words, our objective must also be to minimise the amount of waste we produce; to encourage the reuse of as much waste produced as possible; and lastly to dispose of waste, the production of which cannot be avoided, in an environmentally satisfactory manner," he said.

Mr Eason noted that the Environmental Protection Department had commissioned a waste reduction study to review the existing waste generation and collection patterns and to identify measures that would reduce waste production and increase reuse and recycling.

"Whatever measures we take to reduce waste, a key factor will be the level of awareness displayed by individual waste producers, in the course of either consumption or production, towards their contribution to both the problem and solution.

"Minor efforts, such as saying 'no' to the offer of a plastic bag or deciding not to wrap an already nicely packed box of chocolates in a piece of gift paper, will all count.

13

"Similarly for both industry and commerce, choosing a production process that generates less waste and paying more attention to methods that help conserve resources also count," he said.

The SENT Landfill which opened today is situated in a remote area of Tseung Kwan O. It has a capacity of 39 million cubic metres and is expected to last the next 13 years.

The $3.46 billion landfill, which will replace the Tseung Kwan O Landfill when it closes at the end of the month, provides a cost-effective and environmental-friendly facility for the disposal of waste arising from the urban areas and the Southeast New Territories.

Also present at today's opening ceremony were the Director of Environmental Protection, Dr Stuart Reed, and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of WMX Technologies Inc, Mr Dean Buntrock.

End/Monday, February 13, 1995

Efforts to tackle cancer outlined

*****

Cancer is the leading cause of mortality in Hong Kong, as in many parts of the world.

It accounts for nearly 30 per cent of all death cases, taking the lives of some 9,000 people each year.

This was stated by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, at the opening of the 2nd EORTC International Symposium on current trends of cancer care at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre today (Monday).

Mrs Fok noted that many forms of cancer were lifestyle related.

"Given a positive correlation between smoking and lung cancer, the Government is committed to pursuing a vigorous anti-smoking policy through a combination of legislative measures and publicity campaigns," she said.

"Early screening and detection is also crucial to the recovery of patient suffering from cervical and breast cancer. Since May last year, the Department of Health has embarked on a long-term plan to establish woman health centres, providing health and education to women aged 45 and above.

14

"The outcome so far has been encouraging: of the 1,592 cases handled by the first centre in its first eight months of operation, 14 confirmed cases and 21 suspected cases of breast or cervical cancer have been identified. Two additional centres will be opened by 1997," she added.

In line with this philosophy, Mrs Fok said two health centres would be established this year to provide similar services for the elderly and five additional centres were expected to come on stream by 1997.

On curative treatment, the secretary told the gathering that the Hospital Authority had designated cancer as one of its priority for strategic improvement.

"The opening of a new cancer centre at Prince of Wales Hospital and the redevelopment of the Jockey Club Institute of Radiology and Oncology at Queen Elizabeth Hospital will bring together state-of-the-art technology, modem medical equipment and specialised professional staff to enhance the quality of diagnosis, treatment and research activities related to cancer," she said.

As regards after-care services, Mrs Fok said the Government was actively promoting a rehabilitation programme for chronic patients and the expansion of outreach medical care to maximise the functional capability of patients both before and after their discharge from hospitals.

She also paid tribute to the Hong Kong Cancer Fund for playing a prominent role in spearheading the development of infrastructure facilities such as patient resource centres as well as the formation of self-help groups to promote mutual assistance and sharing of experience between patients.

End/Monday, February 13, 1995

Tender for 8th issue of two-year Exchange Fund Notes

*****

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority announces that the tender for the eighth issue of two-year Exchange Fund Notes will be held on Monday (February 20) for settlement on Tuesday (February 21). Similar to the previous issue, an amount of HKS500 million two-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 on the secondary market.

15

The notes will mature on February 21, 1997 and will carry interest at the rate of 7.50 per cent per annum payable semi-annually in arrears.

Members of the public who wish to tender for the notes may do so through any of the market makers or recognised dealers on the published list which can be obtained from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority on 30th floor, 3 Garden Road, Hong Kong (or telephone 2878 8150).

Each tender must be for an amount of HK$50,000 or integral multiples thereof.

End/Monday, February 13, 1995

Trade Department customer group looks for new ideas to improve services * * * * ♦

The Trade Department's Customer Liaison Group is mounting an exercise to recruit new blood in its continuing quest for new ideas to further improve the department's services for traders.

The Director-General of Trade, Mr Tony Miller, has written to the department's clients encouraging their staff to join as members of the group for the year 1995-96.

"It is our belief that customer feedback is essential for service improvements," Mr Miller tells his clients in his letter.

"The members we have in mind are employees of companies registered with the department who are directly responsible for or involved in the processing of licence and certificate applications." First set up last year, the customer liaison group serves as an additional channel of communication between the department and its customers.

Chaired by Mr Victor Cha Mou-zing, a non-official member of the Textiles Advisory Board, the group aims at soliciting members' ideas on improvements of the department's services to facilitate planning and implementation. It also serves to build up a cordial customer relationship and enhance customer's understanding of the department's operations and services.

Apart from meeting quarterly, the group organises various activities, such as workshops on origin certification, small group discussions on customer services, factory visits and tours of the department's licensing offices. Service users aged 18 and above may, with the endorsement of their employer where applicable, apply by completing a reply form and returning it to the department on or before March 25.

16

Completed forms may be returned either by hand at the Enquiry Counter, ground floor, Trade Department Tower, 700 Nathan Road, Kowloon, or by post to Room M08, M/F, at the same address.

Another alternative is to fax them on no. 2380 8504. Forms may be obtained from the Enquiry Counter at the Trade Department Tower.

End/Monday, February 13, 1995

Seminar on adoption of children with special needs * * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Social Welfare Department is to hold a seminar to enhance the public awareness and support of children with special needs awaiting adoption.

The one-day seminar, organised by the department's adoption unit, will be held at Marina Rooms, Excelsior Hotel, at 9 am on Friday (February 17), a spokesman for the department said today (Monday).

Some 130 participants, including adoptive parents and front-line workers in child welfare service, will attend the seminar entitled "How can we serve them?"

"The seminar will provide a valuable opportunity for experts in the adoption field to share their views and experiences," the spokesman said.

Officiating at the opening ceremony of the seminar will be the Director of Social Welfare, Mr Ian Strachan.

Other speakers, including local and overseas professionals, will address the seminar on various topics including an overview of service provision for children with special needs, medical help for such children, taking care of and finding homes for them, preparation of foster and adoptive families for the care of such children and experience in adopting a child with special needs.

End/Monday, February 13, 1995

More workers prosecuted for not observing safety law *****

More industrial workers were prosecuted by the Labour Department last year for failing to observe safety regulations.

Deputy Chief Factory Inspector, Mr Kan Hon-sang, said today (Monday) that the department prosecuted 13 factory workers and 13 construction workers last year.

• •

"Compared with the prosecution of three factory workers and two construction workers in 1993, the 1994 figures have increased more than four-fold and six-fold respectively," he said.

Mr Kan emphasised that industrial safety was the responsibility of both employers and workers.

According to the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance, every proprietor of an industrial undertaking has the duty to ensure the safety and health of workers employed by providing a safe system of work, safety training and instructions and suitable personal protective equipment.

"On the other hand, a worker is required to secure the safety and health of himself and of others by co-operating with his employer in the adoption of safety measures and in the proper use of personal protective equipment," he explained.

Mr Kan quoted a recent case in which a worker was fined $750 by the court for failing to wear a safety helmet on a construction site.

"Where there is sufficient evidence to indicate that the employer has done his part in meeting the safety requirements but the worker has failed to co-operate or respond, our factory inspectors will not hesitate to prosecute the worker," he said.

He called for full co-operation between employers and workers in observing safety regulations so that industrial accidents could be avoided.

End/Monday, February 13, 1995

18

Water storage figure *****

Storage in Hong Kong's reservoirs at 9 am today (Monday) stood at 69.7 per cent of capacity or 408.208 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 393.637 million cubic metres of water, representing 67.2 per cent of capacity.

End/Monday, February 13, 1995

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,540 0930 + 1,456

Closing balance in the account 1,847 1000 + 1,436

Change attributable to : 1100 + 1,243

Money market activity +1,266 1200 + 1,276

LAF today -959 1500 +1,276

1600 + 1,266

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TW1 121.1 *-0.1* 13.2.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.99 16 months 2605 6.35 99.08 7.24

1 month 6.20 22 months 2611 6.90 99.23 7.50

3 months 6.47 ’ 30 months 3707 6.95 98.43 7.81

6 months 6.73 36 months 3801 8.00 100.38 8.00

12 months 7.09 59 months 5912 8.15 99.42 8.47

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $12,414 million

Closed February 13, 1995

End/Monday, February 13, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Tuesday, February 14,1995

Contents Page No-

Social auditing key to healthy development of social services.............. 1

Transcript of Governor’s question and answer session....................... 4

Route 3 franchise award................................................... 14

New MTRC chairman appointed........................................... 15

Access to child abuser files strictly controlled.......................... 16

New human rights video available........................................   17

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results........................... 18

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations...................... 19

1

Social auditing key to healthy development of social services ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, today (Tuesday) underlined the need to make social auditing a key component in the planning and delivering of services if Hong Kong was to maintain its healthy development of social services.

’’Such auditing is a duty for the Government, so as to give account for its use of public funds. It is a necessity for Government if we are to keep our focus on the areas of real need.

"It is no less a duty and a necessity for the subvented organisations that receive so much from the public purse and which do so much to deliver services,” he said.

Social auditing means the rigorous and regular review of objectives, priorities and the programmes for achieving them, to give assurance that resources are being deployed and redeployed to best effect.

Speaking at the spring reception of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service, Mr Patten said it was the mark of a sensible community that it reflected on how it was changing, and adapted its systems to suit the changes.

It is sensible for a community to think prudently about its expenses and its liabilities before serious problems emerge, he added.

Pointing out that social auditing was not a new idea, Mr Patten said a start had already been made in the areas of social welfare, education, housing and medical and health services.

On social welfare, he said a thorough review of the Comprehensive Social Security Allowance system had begun.

e .• 5 • 'L •

The Household Expenditure Survey begun last October, covering households on Comprehensive Social Security Assistance, will by the end of September this year give data on which to base an informed review of needs and rates of allowance.

The Social Welfare Advisory Committee is being consulted on these issues as the review progresses.

"I expect to start receiving recommendations by the end of this year,” he said.

2

In the interim, the regular adjustment of rates in line with inflation continues and the special increases for children and single parent families promised last October will be made on April 1 this year.

On subvention arrangements, Mr Patten said consultants would be appointed in early March to decide how to simplify the system; measure the performance of the subvented sector; provide incentives to maintain and improve the service quality, and encourage non-governmental organisations to set priorities and redeploy resources to meet them.

"The consultants will be required to meet the Hong Kong Council of Social Service and a cross section of non-governmental organisations to collect your views." The aim is to complete the consultancy within 18 months.

On the education front, the Education Department introduced a schools management initiative in 1991 to encourage schools to set out their aims, progress towards which can be monitored by the schools and parents.

In December last year, an Education Commission Working Group issued a report for public consultation on "Quality in School Education".

It sets out ideas for improving the quality of the education system, for enhancing its social accountability, and for setting up an independent Quality Assurance Unit.

This unit would provide an external check or audit upon the performance targets that schools have set.

In the tertiary education field, by 1996 the University Grants Committee will have introduced academic audits to review the institutions' own programmes and academic targets.

Turning to housing, the Housing Authority has already begun to address the complex issue of better-off public housing tenants, especially those owning private property.

They are promoting Home Ownership Schemes and requiring better-off tenants to pay extra rent.

"But more is needed. Less than seven per cent of tenants actually pay extra rent. Our priority must be to reduce the waiting time for public rental housing.

3

"We must consider the interests of the 150,000 households waiting without adequate housing."

As to medical and health services, Mr Patten said the Hospital Authority had done a great deal since 1991 to re-examine and refocus medical services and resources.

. ■ •I

"Much can be achieved by spending less on those with the ability to pay and redeploying resources to those without."

Outlining social programmes in the near future, Mr Patten said the Government was going full steam ahead on implementing the recommendations in last year's Report of the Working Group on Care for the Elderly.

For people with disabilities, a target of providing 7,700 extra residential and day care places by 1997 has been set. A White Paper on Rehabilitation is about to be published and in a couple of months tough new disability discrimination legislation will be introduced.

To help young people and families, in the next financial year additional staff will be provided to handle child abuse cases and help young drug abusers, and more family social workers will be provided.

For those on social security assistance, since 1990/91, payments have increased by 97 per cent, over double the overall inflation over the period. Next year apart from increases to cover inflation for all, the Government will provide specific extra payments of $200 a month for single parent families, $205 a month for children and make increases for students aged between 19 and 21.

Mr Patten attributed the growth of social programmes to market economics and prudent government management of public funds.

"A socially responsible market economy is more efficient as well as more decent," he said.

End/Tuesday, February 14,1995

XI so

4

Transcript of Governor’s question and answer session *****

Following is the transcript of the question and answer session of the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, at the Hong Kong Council of Social Service meeting today (Tuesday):

Question 1: I raise the question that Mr Chris Patten, has promised in 1992, of your Policy Address that you would settle the problem of the hostels of the mentally handicapped----but actually in fact the speed of the setting up the day activity centre

and hostel is so slow that I would like to quote an example of-. In 1994 the Social

Welfare Department began to subvent projects but the primary base is not complete. In 1994, February and — this department has promised to give the project to us in this last year but in fact after a series of follow-up actions and the project only — of September, 1994. So there are six months slippage here and —.

So are you confident that you will complete, you will practice your promise before 1997 to settle the case of the mentally handicapped? So I would like you to answer this question. Thanks.

Governor: The problem goes wider than the mentally handicapped. Let me be as candid as possible. When we announced what amounted to a five year agenda for dealing with a number of Hong Kong’s remaining areas of social need in 1992, we said that we would report each year on the progress that we made and we’ve been faithfully doing that. So we provide you with the bullets to shoot at us. I think it is extremely important that we demonstrate where we're making progress and where we're not because unless we do that I don’t think we'll have the encouragement and the incentive to make up for failures in some areas.

If we look right across the board at that agenda that we set out in 1992, the area where we have had most difficulty is in the provision of facilities, particularly facilities for people with handicap. Now there are one or two reasons for that which don't redound greatly to the credit of the community. We know what they are and we know that we have to tackle them with public education but firmness and determination. But there are other problems as well, problems that we've had in finding, particularly for rental, the facilities that are required for day centres, for hostels and so on. We're going to propose what I hope will be some ways of tackling those problems in our White Paper on Rehabilitation in a few weeks' time. It still remains our determination to meet the targets which we set in 1992. I realise that we're going to be judged by that but we're obviously going to have to look at new ways, at different ways of getting the premises that we need in order to meet those objectives.

5

Question 2: I have one concern to raise. It's about the unification of pre-primary centres. In your opening address on the 1994 Legislative Council meeting you shared about the Government plan on the improvement of training and - of kindergarten teachers. It is applauding that Government has a commitment to improve the service, however I think it's important to include child care services as well. Although child care service, they basically provide care for children, yet while children are in the centres, they are helped develop and prepared for schooling. Now, the present qualification requirement is lower for child care workers. It is unfair for the workers to have lower education in order to fulfil the responsibility of child care workers. The qualification has some implications on the salary. In turn, it would affect the switching over of child care workers with.... This is just a mention of some implications and of course the wastage of training facilities. In the Education Commission of 1996, unification was opposed and we do not observe so much workers have done.

Our concern is on the unification of primary education and services and how can it be ensured that staff from... training, salary and other requirements such as space, children/teacher ratio can be achieved. I hope you can understand the concern. I'd like you to make a comment.

Governor: Absolutely, I can understand the concern and I'm not sure whether you'd like me to speak as the Governor who's responsible for the work of the Director of Social Welfare or as the Governor who's responsible for the work of the Director of Education. I can manage an answer under both hats, but perhaps I could try to answer right down the middle. You're entirely right that we do need to look, as a matter of some urgency, at the relationship between childcare centres and childcare workers and kindergartens and trained kindergarten teachers, because clearly among other things those who work in those two sectors see the relationships themselves and are certainly going to see the relationships if salaries in one level get very far out of line with salaries in another sector.

I think I'm right in saying that at the moment each year we have a requirement for about 700 new kindergarten teachers, to take account of wastage and to take account of expansion and inevitably some of those who work in childcare centres, 60% of whom have the same educational qualifications as people being trained as kindergarten teachers, inevitably there's going to be some drifting across.

6

We’ve established, I hope this doesn’t fill you with dread, they’re quite often sort of ’Yes Minister’ words, but we’ve established a committee which is going to, as you may know, look at the issues that are raised by the whole question of unification and I hope that it can report as soon as possible because candidly 1 think it's going to be extremely difficult to plan provision for pre-school children without looking at the relationships between kindergartens and childcare centres. I think to look at them separately would be wrong and would create a lot of real difficulties in social policy and in the provision of training for childcare workers and for kindergarten teachers. We’ve put a lot of emphasis on encouraging more trained kindergarten teachers in kindergartens and that has implications that we have to face up to.

Question 3: My name is Joyce Chan (phonetic). I'm going to ask a question on behalf of the Social Welfare Manpower Training Committee. The existing social welfare manpower planning prompts to be very uncoordinated. In the past few years, when there was a short fall in welfare manpower service provision, blister programmes were created... and this was introduced to increase the required manpower. In coming years, the use of blister programmes will continue to be a means to alleviate the existing manpower short fall. There seems to be a lack of long term forward looking planning, direction in relevance of social welfare manpower policy.

Another sore point which troubles our., is the manpower wastage among our professionals. The Council has the opinion that one of the contributing 3 factors is the poor fringe benefit package. Compared to our counterparts in the government, or other government funded institutes such as training institute. Hospital Authority, fringe benefits of practising workers in... are ... low. The Council would like to know the government's position and plan for increasing the parity of benefit between employees of Social Welfare Department or Hospital Authority and the., staff.

Governor: Two slightly separate questions there. First of all there is certainly a shortfall, a projected shortfall of social work diploma graduates. I think the calculations, though they're inevitably a bit rule of thumb arc that they'll be a shortfall of over 400 by the end of the decade and we are looking at a number of options to deal with that, including and you mentioned it yourself, the possibility of setting up a blister programme to produce, not only enough social work diploma graduates to meet the shortfall but to cover the wastage that you mentioned as well, with wc hope a bit of room to spare. We’re also, which I imagine will have some effect on the recruitment and retention, improving salaries for social workers at diploma level from April this year and 1 hope, to repeat myself, that that has some effect on shortage.

7

On the relationship between fringe benefits for those working for the subvented sector and those by and large working for Government departments, we did as you know make some effort to bridge the gap, for example in help with mortgage payments. I have to say that there is, I suspect always going to remain a difference between the subvented sector and Government and I'm a little leery about the idea of, in effect, nationalising the subvented sector. I think we do have to leave the subvented sector, the non-governmental sector with a bit of elbow room which both gives opportunities and in some cases may mean that career development and career benefits aren't quite the same but obviously we must be mindful of the importance of not allowing career opportunities to fall so far short of what is available in the Government sector that people aren't prepared to work in the subvented sector.

Question 4: My name is ... Chan. I am the Chairman of the Council ... Child Abuse. Everybody knows that Hong Kong government has over the years confiscated a large amount of asset from convicted drug traffickers. In many other countries, such as the UK, Australia, Malaysia and some parts of the United States, there are lots of examples that the respective governments earmark certain seized assets will be invested into drug education, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. Now we have already had a trust fund for AIDS presention and education. My question is : would the government consider using such ...money to set up a trust fund.

Governor: Thank you very much indeed. I'm sure you will know that we've organised for the beginning of March, a summit of all those who were involved in the campaign against drug abuse, particularly drug abuse by the young, to try to ensure that we develop even more comprehensive and effective campaigns in Hong Kong than already exist. If you look at all the social statistics in Hong Kong and certainly if you look at the crime statistics, almost the area, in my judgement, for greatest concern is the increasing trend of drug abuse by youngsters, particularly by youngsters, which we've seen in the last few years. In some other communities there are often excuses paraded or reasons paraded for the increase in drug abuse by the young which don't exist in Hong Kong. People will point, for example, to high levels of unemployment, in North America and Europe, which isn't a problem in Hong Kong and yet we've got albeit at a much lower level the same indications of growing drug abuse by young people. So we do need to tackle it more imaginatively and more effectively and I'm sure your idea is one that we should examine when we have our summit in early March and give proper attention to.

They're always produced by bureaucracies, I'm sure in good faith, there are always arguments against the hypothecation of revenues. Those arguments aren't always very good ones and for instance in our recent consultation document on transport and traffic management we've proposed one hypothecation of resources which I offer to you as an argument to use at the seminar at the beginning of March.

8

Question 5: Mr Patten I think you said that you were going to tell us the story about the Valentine card that your wife ..... however we all very much aware of your

appreciation of family life. At the end of the introduction of the Year of the Family the administration rejected the call by legislators for a family policy. However in 1991 in the social welfare white paper it is promised that the policy branches would be asked to look at the implication of their policy on the family. I wonder if you would give guidance to the various areas so that in the formulation of policy it would consider the impact on families--------

Governor: Both in previous incarnations as well as in this one, I have always found it difficult to describe a family policy without describing most of the sensible things that any decent government tries to do, and giving a sharp enough focus to family policy is I think always a difficulty.

You and I know that you’re not just talking about things that have the word family in them, you are talking about some aspects of economic policy, for example, the economic policy that provides people with jobs rather than provides them with unemployment. You’re talking about an education systems that gives youngsters the opportunity to develop their full potential, you are talking about a system of benefits which is more likely to hold the family together than splinter it, you are talking about welfare payments to enable people to live in independence and with dignity. You’re also talking about advice services which help families to stay together and which help to care for those who are the victims of the breakdown of family life, whether you’re talking about those who suffer from abuse, from violence in the home, whether you are talking about those who suffer and it is something which is much in the papers these days from the fact that the old man has another family somewhere else.

There is a whole range of issues which need to be brought together. But I’m certainly prepared to look again at the suggestion that you have made. But I repeat that I have always myself seen family policy as infusing the whole of government in a sensible public administration from, if you like, tax policy to benefit policy and I think that I would be loathe to try to ring fence family policy into a small number of areas.

Question 6: Sir, I am Peter Chan of the Rehabilitation Alliance, In view of the large population of disabled persons, and their rising aspiration is self evident, the 1992 Green Paper on rehabilitation has recognised the importance of participation of the disabled persons in concerned Government advisory body. However no concerted progress has been noted, so far only the Rehabilitation Development Co-ordinating Committee has had participation of disabled persons and their parents. Sir, would you inform us what measure the government has taken or will take to ensure direct participation of disabled persons and their parents in concerned policy making mechanism, for example, the Social Welfare Advisory Committee, Transport Advisory Committee, Education Admission and Hospital Authority. Thank you.

9

Governor: I believe very strongly, as I think you know that one of the areas in which Hong Kong was falling behind the levels of provision which one would expect in a community as wealthy as Hong Kong , was in provision for those with disability of every sort and I just perhaps should dwell on that thought for a moment.

We have a first world economy, and we have in many respects first world social provision. We've certainly got in most areas first world social indicators, better health indicators than most OECD countries, but there are some areas of second world provision and occasionally we even have, for example in the area of industrial safety, third world statistics and what I want to try to do is to concentrate on those areas where we're not doing as well as we should be and try to bring them up to the level we all want to see: one of those, is in the provision for the disabled and in providing opportunities for the disabled.

Now we have gone about that in a variety of ways. We have gone about that, I was answering a question earlier, we have gone about that by trying to provide more extensive services with some difficulties, we are attempting to address those. We have gone about that by trying to isolate particular areas where there are real problems for those with physical disability, and you have attempted and taken a leading part in three seminars that we have held on transport for the disabled and employment for the disabled, both of which I think have managed to bring this attention on important areas and begin to make progress.

I think that I would much prefer to involve the disabled in that sort of way on their own terms and on their own merits, rather than say look at every public committee, look at every area of social administration and say that there has to be in this or that area a person with a disability on the committee. I'd like people to be on committees involved in the dialogue because of what they can contribute, whether they are disabled or not. I'm happy to look at specific examples if you have them of areas where you don’t think there is enough policy input from the disabled, from those representing disability organisations, but your contribution is, as good as it is because you are creative and intelligent and know what you're talking about, and you also have a disability, but yourcontribution is because of who you are and I think that is the best way of way of tapping into knowledge and expertise of people.

Question 7 (In Chinese): I think, as a colonial government, you may not be welcome, But, Governor, on the contrary, you are welcomed by the people, because many people think that you are a person of political ideals. That's why we expect a lot from you. You have submitted three policy statements since your arrival in Hong Kong. Some of them were good and some were not. But to us, there were some inadequacies in these reports.

10

One of the reasons is that in the UK, proper housing rights had already been introduced in the 80’s. Governor, you have done very well in the UK to improve peoples' living conditions and the environment. That’s why you’re highly regarded by us all. However, in you past policy statements, you widely publicised your efforts to fight with China over things which you well knew could not be achieved, while not showing much interest in things which could be done such as the introduction of housing rights. According to the resolution made in a United Nations document on December 12, 1991, Britain was one of the signatories. But, unfortunately, the Hong Kong Government had not sent any representatives to sign this covenant on housing rights. This results in the absence of any reasonable protection of Hong Kong peoples’ living conditions. Therefore, I would like to see that you, the Governor, introduce the above International Covenant into Hong Kong in your fourth policy statement to protect the housing rights of the Hong Kong people, so that they can really live happily.

Governor:-I think as you probably know, the International Covenant on Social and Economic rights does ensure that the Hong Kong Government is properly examined and properly questioned about its social policies including housing, just as reporting to the UN on the International Covenant on Human and Political rights, ensures that we are questioned about issues like progress of democratisation, rule of law and so on. I don't think that there is any lack of International interest in and scrutiny about our welfare policies and our social policies, and in that respect we are in exactly the same position as Canada, or Australia, or Japan or other well off communities. But let me without getting involved in a discussion on the responsibilities of the last Colonial Governor and you're in luck because I am the last one, without getting involved in that can I just say a word about public housing, the campaigns to ensure that people have a decent roof over their head and egalatarianism.

I've got very little doubt that the main social ambition of any family is to be decently housed and I have very little doubt for our improvement in health statistics for example in Hong Kong is the improvement in public housing. People very often say that Hong Kong is a great example of free market economics, well up to a point, but it is also a great tribute to social intervention by government in improving peoples' housing conditions, great social revolution in the sixties and seventies and eighties . I do think that in pressing for better housing for everyone it is important to remember a number of factors, some of which I mentioned in my speech.

11

First a community is unlikely to be as well housed and as appropriately housed as all of us would like, if people only pay a tiny fraction of their incomes for having a decent roof over their head that is likely to distort housing provision, it is likely to be that there is perhaps less money for good housing than one would like. Secondly I'm always surprise when an argument about housing concentrates on have's rather than have-nots. I'm not saying that one area where I want to achieve as much as possible before I leave Hong Kong is in the elimination of temporary housing areas, but when I go to temporary housing areas, I went without the attentions of friends from the press the other day to three in the eastern district. When I go to temporary areas and see the pretty bad conditions in which people live. When there others living in worse housing and paying more for it, and paying more out of a lower income, so I don't think that lobbying on public housing should avoid those rather difficult questions, 1 also think that, something I feel very strongly about, the increasing involvement of people who live in public housing estates in the management of their estates, and the decision that are taken about their estates doesn't mean that those decisions can always avoid taking any account of financial implications or implications for our social programmes, so I commend all those who argue for and fight for better public housing, I commend those who argue and fought for better public housing in the past, and I very much hope that in arguing for better public housing in the future we won't avoid noting that Hong Kong now has a per capita GDP higher than most OECD countries and that the profile of its housing needs has changed over the years and that the last Colonial Government speech without hat. One more.

Question 8 (In Chinese): I would like to ask the Governor, we, the Hong Kong elderly had fought for the public assistance money for three years. In 1993, according to Mr MacPherson's study, old people should get HK$2,300 monthly allowances. The Legislative Council had already approved it, but you, the Hong Kong Governor had retrieved the proposal. Everyone knows that the elderly have been working industriously in Hong Kong for years. Now the inflation is so high, housing and everything are very expensive, even vegetables are sold at $HK10 per catty. Several hundred thousand Hong Kong people are now living miserably. The elderly in Hong Kong are not better dealt with as compared with the two dogs living in Government House. I believe the Governor's two dogs are better treated and fed. The elderly have been either directly or indirectly taxed for years. Now the Government should pay back to them. But the Government only allows one thousand and a few hundred dollars for the elderly. It is just insufficient. That's all I want to say.

Governor: I'll leave my dogs out of it because they always get me in trouble.

12

I talked earlier about areas of social policy where we needed to do better and I think that most of you are aware that one such area about which I feel strongly is in the provision of services and financial support for the elderly. You described, very eloquently, the responsibilities which the community should discharge towards its elderly who have helped to create today's piosperity in Hong Kong. The matter is both one of services and one of financial support.

Services, we established under Libby Wong when she was Secretary for Health and Welfare a working party on services for the elderly. It made a large number of recommendations, it reported last August, and we've undertaken to implement all its recommendations in health and welfare fields so that Ure provision for the elderly is improved.

But there is also the question of financial care. A question which the community has been debating in one way or another for about thirty years. We debated it a good deal in Government and we came to the conclusion that the right way, the best way forward was to introduce an old age pension scheme for Hong Kong, paid for by direct though limited contributions from employers and employees. We put that idea in a consultation document, it was debated in the Legislative Council and it was debated in the wider community. 1 wish some of those who have been out and about in the last week or so with petitions and making encouraging and supportive remarks about the pension scheme had been around during the months when it was being slagged off by virtually every newspaper in Hong Kong by most of the Legislative Council and by all the chambers of commerce, plus one or two officials from China as well.

I don't need any convincing about the merits of the pension scheme but there are a lot of other people in Hong Kong who apparently do. We've been discussing the way forward, the best way forward with legislators, with chambers of commerce and with others over the last couple of weeks because I do still want to find a consensus for a way of providing better for the elderly in their old age.

Now you may well be right that CSSA's should make a contribution to that. I'll only make this point about CSSA's. As I said earlier, since I came to Hong Kong, since the Summer of 1992, we've increased benefits for single people by 70% in cash terms and by 38% in real terms. Some people accuse me of being a socialist for having done that. It means for the elderly that the average payment of benefit under CSSA's is $2,490 . You may be interested in this, it's above the level of $2,300, the average payment is $2,490. So if we were only to take $2,300 as the guide, then I'm not sure it would actually meet the needs of a lot of people who are getting more among the retired in the community. That figure of $2,490 will be increased by about a couple of hundred dollars after April.

How do we act now? What do we do about CSA's? How do we best take it forward? I find it difficult to believe that the right approach isn’t to look at the household expenditure survey, at what it tells us about the real needs of people like you, about the real needs of families and individuals who arc in need who may be facing up to hardship and then deal with the consequences of that review towards the end of this year. But I hope that we won't focus on one single figure, particularly if that figure is less than the average payments that people arc getting. And 1 hope that when agencies give their examples of social need and there are examples of social need, to newspapers, I hope that when newspapers write up those examples of those in need, they won't just look at the basic welfare payments or look at the aggregate amounts that people are getting, their special grants as well as their basic level payments, because we very often find that when we read harrowing stories about people who very often are in need, reported in the newspapers, the actual figures given for what they are getting, don't take account of the grants and other help that they're supporting as well. None of that is to suggest that there aren't real pockets of need and poverty in Hong Kong that we need to address. But 1 hope we can address those issues in a way which takes account of the facts and doesn't simply bury them.

I'm afraid that's all I've got time for this afternoon but I hope that I'll be able to come back again.

Question (by media after the meeting): There are some people criticising that 8.5 increase on the public assistance money is too low and say Government should not give up on the elderly plan. Your reaction.

Governor: Since the Summer of 1992, since I became Governor of Hong Kong, benefit levels under the CSA have increased for a family of four by about 70%, that's 38% in real terms. They've increased for a single person by 58% since I became Governor of Hong Kong, that's 29% in real terms. So we have been increasing and increasing substantially ahead of the rate of inflation the benefits for those who are in need. This April we're giving special extra assistance to single parents and to children. We're also undertaking a comprehensive review of CSSA rates, basing that review on the household expenditure survey so that the community as a whole, not just the Government, because it's the community that will pay through it's taxes. So the community as a whole can take some rational decisions about whether we need to make further substantial increases in CSSA rates. But I do think in addressing the issue people should take account of what's been done in the last couple of years. We have responsibilities as we get better off as a community to look after more comprehensively those who are in need. I want to see us do that in a prudent and sensible and rational way.

14

We agreed one question and I'm going to add to what I said. Not a follow-up. I've been asnwering questions for 40 minutes up there. If you want to get my views on social policy you should have been up there listening to my answers with great respect.

Just let me add one other thing about pensions. We are at the moment consulting all those interest groups. We're consulting Legislative Councillors, we're consulting businesses and we're consulting others about the best way forward for pensions. I'm only sorry that some of those who are now saying they're in favour of our pension scheme weren't out shouting in favour of it during the discussion period and I'm sorry that they weren't arguing for it in the Legislative Council. When it was debated in the Legislative Council there was only one speech by Jimmy McGregor which was wholly in favour of our scheme. We want, I repeat, to come forward at the end of the day with the best scheme which can get the widest degree of support. That's what we're intent on doing because we owe it to the elderly to give them not only better services but a decent level of financial provision in their old age.

Thank you very much.

End/Tuesday, February 14, 1995

Route 3 franchise award *****

Commenting on the proposed franchise to build and operate the Tai Lam Tunnel and Yuen Long Approach Road sections of the Route 3 - Country Park Section, a Government spokesman said today (Tuesday):

"A common view has been reached in the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group on the proposed award of the franchise to the Route 3 (CPS) Company Limited (led by Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd). The Government welcomes this agreement.

"The Tai Lam Tunnel and Yuen Long Approach Road sections of the Route 3 -Country Park Section will form an integral part of the territory's strategic road network.

"Early completion of the new road will greatly alleviate traffic congestion in Tuen Mun Road and the Container Terminal area, facilitate cross-border traffic, and enhance further development of the north-western part of the New Territories. "The next step will be to put the draft bill to the Executive Council and then to the Legislative Council for the award of the franchise. Government’s aim is that the new road should open to traffic by mid-1998."

End/Tuesday, February 14, 1995

15

New MTRC chairman appointed *****

The Governor has appointed Mr Jack So Chak-kwong the next Chairman and Chief Executive of the Mass Transit Railway Corporation (MTRC) with effect from April 1 this year.

Mr So is well known to both Government and the private sector. He served as Executive Director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council from 1986 to 1992. Since then he has been Managing Director of Sun Hung Kai Development (China) Ltd. He has extensive experience in business and corporate affairs.

An executive search agency was engaged last year to conduct a recruitment exercise. Advertisements were also placed in a number of major local and overseas publications.

A selection panel chaired by the Financial Secretary unanimously recommended that Mr So should be appointed. The Governor has approved the appointment under section 4 of the Mass Transit Railway Corporation Ordinance.

Mr So's appointment will be for two years. Under section 4 of the ordinance, the Chairman of the Corporation may be reappointed upon the expiry of his present term of appointment.

Mr Hamish Mathers, the incumbent Chairman and Chief Executive of the MTRC, announced last year that he would retire at the expiry of his contract on March 31,1995. Mr Mathers is 61.

End/Tuesday, February 14, 1995

16

Access to child abuser files strictly controlled *****

In response to press enquiries regarding the running of its new computerised Child Protection Registry (CPR), a Social Welfare Department spokesman today (Tuesday) refuted allegations that files on child abusers would be open to abuse.

The spokesman said only authorised officers of the department who were involved in the running of the CPR would have access to this independent computer system. Access is strictly controlled.

"No personal data of any individuals would be disclosed to others, including 'registered users'," he added.

The registered users are social workers providing family casework service and senior medical practitioners who are handling child abuse cases. The only information obtainable from the CPR is whether a particular case they come across is registered and if so, which social worker is handling the case, so that timely intervention and follow-up service can be rendered.

The spokesman also said all data input forms would be kept in safe custody before they were properly destroyed after use.

The department opined that the operating procedures of the CPR complied with the Bill of Rights and legal advice had confirmed this earlier on, the spokesman said.

The objective of the computerised programme of the CPR is to facilitate better communication among government departments and non-governmental organisations which handle child abuse cases and which are registered users of the registry.

It also aims to collect and compile statistical information on the abused children and their abusers in all known or suspected cases of child abuse for the purpose of ascertaining the magnitude of the problem and thus to facilitate the planning and development of services which prevent child abuse.

The Social Welfare Department has introduced a computer filing system to its Child Protection Registry since last July to achieve such objectives, the spokesman said.

End/Tuesday, February 14, 1995

17

New human rights video available *****

A new video tape covering several areas of human rights is now being distributed to schools and community groups in order to enhance the public’s understanding of the rights of the individual.

The 25-minute tape is produced by the Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education as part of the committee's ongoing human rights education efforts.

The areas covered include privacy; right of protection against discrimination; freedom of expression and presumed innocence; personal liberty, as well as human rights in schools.

To stimulate interest and discussion in these basic human rights concepts, dramatic portrayal of real life situations is interlaced with recent news clips and introductory comments by academics.

More than 400 secondary schools will be receiving the tapes with a question-and-answer guide for teachers.

The videos will also be sent to tertiary institutions, public libraries, voluntary agencies and community groups in the territory.

Members of the public who wish to watch or borrow the tape are also welcome to contact the Civic Education Resource Centre on the second floor of Tung Sun Commercial Centre, 194-200 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai (tel: 2802 0131).

The tape is a continuation of the "Human Rights Education Teaching Kit" first produced by the committee's Human Rights Education Sub-committee in 1993.

End/Tuesday, February 14, 1995

18

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results *****

Tender date 14 Feb 95 14 Feb 95

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q507 H558

Amount applied HK$2,260 mn HK$ 1,720 mn

Amount allotted HK$ 1,500 mn HKS800 mn

Average yield accepted 6.51 PCT 6.79 PCT

Highest yield accepted 6.57 PCT 6.84 PCT

Pro rata ratio About 40 PCT About 70 PCT

Average tender yield 6.55 PCT 6.85 PCT

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

Tenders to be held in the week beginning February 20, 1995

Tender date 20 Feb 95 21 Feb 95 21 Feb 95

Paper on offer EF notes EF bills EF bills

Issue number 2702 Q508 Y586

Issue date 21 Feb 95 22 Feb 95 22 Feb 95

Maturity date 21 Feb 97 24 May 95 22 Feb 96

Tenor 2 years 91 days 365 days

Amount on offer HK$500+100mn HK$l,5OO+3OOmn HK$500+150mn

Coupon 7.50 PCf

End/Tuesday, February 14, 1995

19

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

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,847 0930 +648

Closing balance in the account 1,404 1000 +638

Change attributable to: 1100 +669

Money market activity +668 1200 +668

LAF today -1,111 1500 +668

1600 +668

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 121.1 *+0.0* 14.2.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 6.03 15 months 2605 6.35 99.07 7.25

1 month 6.20 21 months 2611 6.90 99.21 7.52

3 months 6.47 29 months 3707 6.95 98.46 7.79

6 months 6.75 35 months 3801 8.00 100.28 8.04

12 months 7.10 58 months 5912 8.15 99.37 8.48

Total turnover of bills and bonds - SI 3.890 million

Closed February 14, 1995

End/Tuesday, February 14, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Wednesday, February 15,1995

Contents Page No.

Shared interest in legal framework....................................... 1

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

Stricter restrictions on selling, distribution of indecent articles...... 6

HK delegation to attend Border Liaison Review Meeting.................... 8

Fees revised for inspecting registers of insurers and retirement schemes. 8

Contract awarded for new airport......................................... 10

AG decides against seeking review of sentences imposed on convict in HK Bank fire................................................................ W

Governor tours Kowloon City.............................................. 11

Speed urged for container terminal development.......................... 12

Two of the world's largest container ships call at HK................... 13

Study of shopping habits................................................. 15

Revised fees for AFD services............................................ 15

Three lots of land in Kwai Chung and Chai Wan to let.................... 16

Subvention for adult education courses.................................. 17

Flushing water cut in Sha Tin............................................ 18

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations.................... 19

1

Shared interest in legal framework

*****

Hong Kong and China have a shared interest in trying to get the territory's legal framework in as good shape as possible by 1997, so there are not any doubts and any gaps, the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, said today (Wednesday).

In reply to questions by reporters on the Preliminary Working Committee's (PWC) proposal to co-operate on the adaptation of laws after visiting Kowloon City District this afternoon, the Governor said: "I imagine that the Chinese side, if they have new ideas, will want to suggest those through the JLG (Joint Liaison Group)."

"But any proposal that is put forward to help us deal with the problem of adaptation of laws successfully before 1997 is one that we would welcome," he added.

Noting that pretty good progress had been made with the localisation of laws through the JLG, Mr Patten said the adaptation of laws hadn't been going as rapidly.

"I think you all know that we have briefed members of the PWC legal group informally in the past on adaptation of laws, as well as localisation of laws and other matters."

He also expressed hope in seeing more co-operation with the PWC right across the board.

"We've seen helpful developments in a number of areas," he said.

"We shouldn't under-estimate them, and I think that what officials are managing to do on infrastructure issues, on cross-border infrastructure matters, is important and very welcome.

"And we want to see that sort of co-operative approach in as many areas as possible."

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

2

Transcript of Governor's media session *****

The following is the transcript of the media session by the Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, after visiting Kowloon City District today (Wednesday).

Governor: I've enjoyed another official visit to Kowloon. The District Board here have a number of difficult problems to deal with, not least in relation to the environment, and of course in relation to the airport. The sooner we can get the new airport built, the better for the residents of Kowloon. As all of us know very well, I'm delighted to have finished my visit today with the AMS who do such a splendid job for Hong Kong. I'd like to commend all the voluntary effort that goes into this most professional organisation.

Question: Mr Patten, what's your reaction to the PWC legal sub-group's various proposals to co-operate with the Government on the adaptation of law?

Governor: I'd like to study any proposals that come forward from the Chinese side properly. Obviously, I imagine that the Chinese side who want, if they have new ideas, will want to suggest those through the JLG. But any proposal that is put forward to help us deal with the problem of adaptation of law successfully before 1997 is one that we would welcome. I think you all know that we've been making pretty good progress with the localisation of laws through the JLG. But the adaptation of laws which is a little trickier hasn't been going as rapidly. But I think that we have a shared interest in trying to get Hong Kong's legal framework in as good shape as possible by 1997, so there aren't any doubts, so there aren't any gaps. And if the PWC wanted to help with that process, we would much welcome it. I think you also know that we have briefed members of the PWC legal group informally in the past on adaptation of laws, as well as localisation of laws and other matters. There is one other issue on which I hope will see some movement soon from the Chinese side and that is over the Court of Final Appeal. We let them have our draft bill last May. We gave them some not very major technical amendments that have been agreed by the Executive Council in response to representations we received from the legal profession, just before the Chinese New Year. And obviously the sooner we can get on and put the Court of Final Appeal in place, the better for everyone. I hope we'll get a fairly rapid response from Chinese officials. I certainly hope they should have time to consider the entirely faithful way in which we put into legislation the agreement that was reached in the JLG in 1991.

Question: Is it just a flexible way as you suggested in your policy address to let the PWC membeis sit as experts in the JLG?

I

I

3

Governor: I don't think that that is entirely what they're proposing . But as I've said to you before, we are very happy to consider whether that could be a way of speeding up the work that in Hong Kong's interest needs to be done. But I do hope that we can see more co-operation right across the board. We've seen helpful developments in a number of areas. We shouldn't under-estimate them, and I think that what officials are managing to do on infrastructure issues, on cross border infrastructure matters, is important and very welcome. And we want to see that sort of co- operative approach in as many areas as possible. I think everybody in Hong Kong wants to see that, too.

Question: When Deng Xiaoping dies, one would expect quite a strong reaction from this community. What is the Hong Kong Government's contingency?

Governor: I don't think that it would be helpful to speculate about what the Government will do in the event of anyone's death. We all die eventually. I imagine that your newspapers have obituaries on file about the 28th Governor of Hong Kong. But you wouldn't actually debate it in public, at least I hope you wouldn't. So I don't think it's helpful to comment on that. All I would say is that Mr Deng Xiaoping's career is being one of historic significance. And I am sure that the community would wish that at some future moment to be marked in a dignified way.

Question: Don't you hope he had taken a different stance on in Hong Kong?

Governor: I don't want to comment on Mr Deng Xiaoping. I would very much like all Chinese officials to take a positive approach to Hong Kong and the challenge it faces. And I would very much hope that they would all be confident about Hong Kong, and at the same time help to boost Hong Kong's confidence by doing things that're reassuring and not just saying things.

Question: Do you think that the legal sub-group suggestion can help in the progress of adaptation of law?

Governor: Any help that the legal sub-group offers us, we'll be very happy to look at. But I don't say this in a critical way. I think we all know that there have been times in the past when things would emerge from PWC meetings which have then been contradicted or have turned out not to be the official Chinese position. So I don't think it's very helpful of me other than express a general concern for as much good cooperation as possible. I think it's very helpful of me to react... official suggestion has been put forward because that may not prove to be the case.

Question: Now that the Director of the Planning Department has gone up to Beijing to join the PWC........is there a change in Government stance to the PWC's integrity, to

recognise them?

4

Governor: Well, it's not for me to recognise them or not recognise them, anymore than it's for me to recognise the door or other things. They exist. They are an advisory body to the NPC, but they have nothing to do with the agreed institutions which have been established between Britain, China and Hong Kong. Our position on the PWC hasn't changed. We are well known for being as helpful and open- handed as we could be. We have always been prepared to provide information and briefing to PWC members, but as you know, we haven't thought it appropriate to, as it were through our actions, appear to be substituting the PWC for the JLG. So we remain of the view that we should be as helpful as we can be and the Director of Planning has agreed to go and speak at a seminar which is being organised by the PWC to consider the impact of land reclamation on the harbour and our coastal waters as a subject which has been, of course, debated very extensively in Hong Kong for ten years or more, not least, when the community was discussing metric...

Question: Mr Patten, there was a public opinion poll promulgated yesterday and the result showing that the public confidence towards the ICAC anti- corruption work has been deteriorating, and I just want to know whether you really think that the ICAC has been doing its job worse than before, and also how do you restore the public confidence towards the ICAC?

Governor: I think the ICAC has been doing its job as competently as ever. I don't think that a recent case was particular helpful, but I think that overall the community recognises that the ICAC has a very important job to do, that it does it with competence and integrity and that it needs the community's support. The whole community knows that clean government, a vigorous attack on corruption and the rule of law are very important to our well-being, our prosperity and our stability. I'm particularly pleased that the ICAC have taken their campaign to the private sector and that so many private sector organisations and companies are now setting out their own code of conducts in relation to clean commercial practices. That is important for Hong Kong and it is a vital lead which the ICAC have given. The ICAC have recently cooperated very readily with the committee which has been reviewing the way they work and their terms of reference, will be implementing the recommendations of that committee which I hope will ensure that the ICAC are able to go on doing their job in a way which the community regards as appropriate for the 1990s and conceivably beyond though that won't be a matter for me. One more question, and then I can see you are looking at your watches.

Question: During the last two years, you have used more than 4 million dollars for your trip over Hong Kong. Some Legco members said that it's waste of Government money. What's your comment?

5

Governor: The Chief Secretary gave some very good replies this afternoon in the Legislative Council.

Question: Exco has rejected to set up the bus fare stabilisation fund. Why?

Governor: I think you'll have to wait and see the proposals that the Secretary for Transport, Haider Banna brings forward to the Legislative Council fairly soon.

Question: There's a lot of support now for the OOPS. What's the reason for not going back to OOPS with so much support, for example in the parties?

Governor: Well, 1 answered that quit extensively yesterday in reply to a question from your distinguish colleague, Jenny Lam. I think that the opinion polls suggest that there is still a lot of support for the OPS, but the truth of the matter is that when it was debated in the Legislative Council, there was only, I think, one Legislative Councillor who was wholly in support of it. Many of the representatives of business opposed it. I haven't had the impression that Chinese officials have been going out of their way to give their thumbs up. I'd like to know which newspapers have supported it. So since we are looking for a consensus in the community, we are now examining other proposals which would be fair and reasonable and which would give the elderly the financial support that they need. There are two aspects in our approach to the needs of the elderly. There are two aspects, first of all, there is the question of services for the elderly and we are implementing all the recommendations of the working party that reported under Libby Wong in August last year, and that is important in improving the health care and the other services which are provided for old people. Secondly, there is the question of financial support which is why we brought forward the Old Age Pension Scheme. If it now turns out to be the case that suddenly there is a majority support, I dare say that would manifest itself over the coming days and weeks. But I don't get that impression at the moment. There are some legislators who say : we really like it all along. I am delighted. I like it all along. I still think it's the best approach, but unfortunately my view doesn't seem to be shared by as many people in the community as I would like. And I want to be realistic. I want to get something done for the elderly. All your newspapers keep on telling us that we should get on with it and we should put in place the best possible scheme if that's in my view the second best, then so be it. But the elderly need our help and that what we are determined to provide for them on which...

Question: But why the Government miscalculated the opinions of..

6

Governor: I don’t think we miscalculated with respect the opinions of the public. There was an opinion poll even this week in one of your newspapers which showed that nearly 70 per cent of the public favour the Old Age Pension Scheme. But that's not been the case as I said earlier with the Legislative Council and we have to get any proposals through the Legislative Council, nor with the Chambers of Commerce, nor with your newspapers, nor as far as I know, with Chinese officials, so you know, we are in the business of trying to get things done with the maximum community support, on which note I am going to depart and I'm going to let you meet your news deadline. Thank you very much.

Question: (on unemployment of disabled)

Governor: I told her that had hold a summit with representatives of the disabled and employers last year....come forward with a number of practical proposals that the government can give a lead. We will be holding...a summit this year to examine the progress that has been made. I also told her that Hong Kong needs the talents and abilities of all its people whether they're suffering from disability or not and that we couldn't afford to discard the talents of people like, she has to offer.

End/ Wednesday, February 15, 1995

Stricter restrictions on selling, distribution of indecent articles *****

The Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles (Amendment) Bill which seeks to tighten the control over the selling and distribution of indecent articles to minors and to facilitate enforcement actions will be introduced into the Legislative Council next Wednesday (February 22).

Under the proposed bill, all indecent articles must display a warning notice occupying at least 20 per cent of the cover on both sides and be sealed in completely opaque wrapper. The wrapper should be in black, dark blue or dark grey colour.

Nothing shall be printed on it except the warning notice; the name, address and telephone number of the publisher; the date of publication; its serial number; and the price.

"We consider it justifiable that the fulfilment of this requirement should fall primarily on the shoulder of publishers," a spokesman for the Recreation and Culture Branch said today (Wednesday).

7

’’With the opaque wrapper and easily noticeable warning notice, news vendors should find it much easier to exercise due care of not selling indecent articles to young people.

"It should also help parents and teachers more effectively play their respective roles in keeping their children or students away from indecent articles,” he added.

To enhance enforcement actions, the bill provides a new provision under which it will be an offence to possess indecent articles for the purpose of publication.

At present, no offence is committed even if such indecent articles are found in public places or stored in warehouses.

The new provision also empowers the Police to seize indecent articles in public places if these articles can be used as evidence for prosecution.

"Police officers will no longer need to wait for the actual ’publication' of an indecent article which violates legal requirements such as the lack of opaque wrapper and warning notice.

"Actions can be initiated at once as long as more than two copies of an indecent article in breach of any legal requirements are found in the circumstances which should give rise to reasonable suspicion that they are for the purpose of publication.

"The new power of seizure will further enable Police officers to seize the indecent article on the spot as evidence for prosecution," the spokesman said.

The bill also proposes to increase the maximum fine for violating any legal requirements imposed on the publication of indecent articles from $200,000 to $400,000 on first conviction, and $800,000 on subsequent convictions, and an imprisonment of 12 months.

The spokesman believed that raising the maximum fine should act as a more effective deterrent.

"The Government is mindful that these restrictive measures must be the minimum necessary to be consistent with the Bill of Rights Ordinance," he said.

"We are confident that all these measures are in line with the Bill of Rights Ordinance. We are also confident that these well-balanced proposals will effectively contain the problem of indecent articles, especially the nuisance caused by their public display and young people's accessibility to them," the spokesman added.

End/Wcdnesday, February 15, 1995

8

HK delegation to attend Border Liaison Review Meeting *****

At the invitation of the Director of the Foreign Affairs Office of the Guangdong Provincial Government, Mr Chao Zhenwei, a Hong Kong Government delegation will visit Guangdong from February 16 to 18 (Thursday to Saturday) for the 15th Annual Border Liaison Review Meeting.

Led by the Political Adviser, Mr Robert Peirce, members of the delegation will include Mr Laurence Leung, Director of Immigration; Mr John Telford, Deputy Secretary for Transport; Mr Stephen Lam, Deputy Secretary for Constitutional Affairs; Mr Stanley Wong, Acting Deputy Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands; and Mr Dick Lee, Assistant Commissioner of Police (Operations).

Other members are Mr Vincent Poon, Mr Henry Siu and Mr Ronald Fok, Border Liaison Officers respectively for the Customs, Immigration and the Police; Miss Jenny Yip, Assistant Secretary for Security; Miss Shirley Yung, Assistant Political Adviser; and Mr Sung Chi-cheung, interpreter.

The meeting will be held tomorrow in Guangzhou to review border liaison arrangements over the past year and discuss matters of mutual concern. It will be followed by a visit to Jiangmen.

The delegation will return to Hong Kong on Saturday.

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

Fees revised for inspecting registers of insurers and retirement schemes *****

Certain fees and charges payable under the Insurance Companies Ordinance and the Occupational Retirement Schemes Ordinance will be revised from March 23 this year.

The new fees and charges are specified in the Insurance Companies (Authorisation and Annual Fees) (Amendment) Regulation 1995, the Insurance Companies (Register of Insurers) (Prescribed Fees) (Amendment) Regulation 1995 and the Occupational Retirement Schemes (Fees) (Amendment) Rules 1995 which will be gazetted on Friday (February 17).

9

They prescribe the fees payable by authorised insurers upon authorisation and annually thereafter and fees payable by the public for inspection of the registers of authorised insurers and occupational retirement schemes, and for the issue of a copy or certified copy of any entry in the registers.

A Government spokesman said today (Wednesday) that on commencement of the Insurance Companies (Authorisation and Annual Fees) (Amendment) Regulation 1995, the authorisation or annual fee payable by an insurer carrying on either longterm insurance business or general insurance business is $135,000.

The authorisation or annual fee payable by an insurer carrying on both longterm insurance business and general insurance business is $270,000.

The spokesman explained that the increase was in line with Government policy to revise the level of fees to recover the costs of supervision carried out by the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance.

The Insurance Companies (Register of Insurers) (Prescribed Fees) (Amendment) Regulation 1995 and the Occupational Retirement Schemes (Fees) (Amendment) Rules 1995 revise the fees for inspection of the registers of authorised insurers and occupational retirement schemes, and for the issue of a copy or certified copy of any entry in the registers payable by the public.

The spokesman said the fees for inspection of the register of authorised insurers were last reviewed in 1988-and an increase was necessary to reflect the increase in cost since the last review.

"The fees for inspection of the register of occupational retirement schemes are similarly revised to bring them on par with those for inspection of the register of authorised insurers," he added.

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

10

Contract awarded for new airport ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

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 supply and installation of an Aeronautical Information Database System for the new airport at Chek Lap Kok.

The contract, valued at $36.1 million, has been awarded by the Civil Aviation Department to SYSECA S. A. of France.

The company will be responsible for the. supply and installation of a database system for the new airport to automate the processing, storage and presentation of aeronautical information.

Works will start later this month for completion in July 1996.

The award of this contract brings the total number of ACP major contracts awarded so far to 108, with a total value of $79 billion.

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

AG decides against seeking review of sentences imposed on convict in UK Bank fire *****

The Attorney General, Mr Jeremy Mathews, after the most anxious and thorough consideration of all relevant factors, has decided not to seek a review of the sentences imposed upon Chu Po-kwong, who was sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment for 12 counts of manslaughter in the fire at the Shek Kip Mei Branch of Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.

A spokesman for the Legal Department said Mr Mathews, after studying all the case papers, considered that the sentences were neither manifestly inadequate nor wrong in principle.

In a letter to the families of the fire victims, who had written to the Attorney General seeking a heavier sentence, Mr Mathews said he had carefully considered whether it was appropriate for him to invoke his powers to seek a review of the sentences.

11

He said it had been necessary for him to keep in mind that the defendant was acquitted by the jury of the 12 counts of murder he faced, and was found guilty instead of offences of manslaughter.

"After an examination of all relevant factors, I have reached the conclusion that this is not a case in which I should invite the Court of Appeal to review the sentences passed," Mr Mathews said.

In the meantime, Chu Po-kwong, the defendant, had lodged an appeal against his sentence of 20 years.

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

Governor tours Kowloon City

*****

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, toured Kowloon City this (Wednesday) afternoon to get a better understanding of the conditions in the district.

Mr Patten first visited the Mary Rose School in Kowloon Tong where he was briefed on the services provided for mentally handicapped children.

This was followed by a visit to a high-tech garment factory in To Kwa Wan and a walkabout in the Oi Man Commercial Complex.

The Governor then went to the Auxiliary Medical Services Headquarters to see its new facilities as well as demonstrations by the volunteers before meeting district board members and community leaders at a reception at the officers’ mess.

The Governor was accompanied by Mrs Patten, the Acting Director of Home Affairs, Mr Philip Chok; the Kowloon City District Officer, Mr William Yap and the District Board chairman, Mr Tang Po-hong.

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

12

Speed urged for container terminal development ♦ * * * ♦

The Port Development Board warned today (Wednesday) that failure to develop the Lantau Port Container terminal facilities as soon as practical would have serious adverse effects, both socially and economically on Hong Kong.

Speaking after a routine meeting of the board's Container Handling Committee, Mr Gerry Forsgate, chairman of the committee, said the port and its related industries already provided employment for one in eight of the workforce.

As manufacturing jobs continue to relocate to China, the service industry sector, of which the port is probably the most significant generator, needs to expand to provide replacement job opportunities.

Additional port facilities must be provided both in Hong Kong and nearby to cater for the increasing flow of goods into and out of the Pearl River Delta area.

If no new facilities are built in Hong Kong, cargoes would be diverted to alternative ports. Once that happens it would not be long before the service industries also moved out.

"We are talking about real people here - up to a million people directly dependent on the port and its industries. They all stand to lose if government does not get on with Lantau Port as quickly as possible," he said.

"In more esoteric terms, in 1994, container handling added some $214 billion to the local economy. Forecasts show that this will rise to $384 billion in 2001 and $633 billion in 2011," he added.

Mr Forsgate said these benefits to the economy would come about only if the port expanded to meet the demand.

He pointed out that though China was developing container ports, they alone would not be able to handle the huge growth in throughput forecast for the next few years.

"We are not talking about unlimited port growth in Hong Kong," he added. "We should concentrate on providing facilities to handle the demand for the next decade. Perhaps by then China's ports will be sufficiently developed to cope with some of the ever-expanding demand."

13

Answering critics who advocate shelving port expansion and developing other service industries, he said: "Most of the service industries are here purely because of the success of the port. If the port business goes elsewhere then, so will the service industries."

"I know that there are environmental concerns over port expansion, but these have already been addressed by the Environmental Impact Assessment Committee of the Advisory Council on the Environment. The committee has endorsed the building of Terminals 10 and 11."

"People are also worried that expanding the port will mean more container lorries on the road. It is true that the Government is planning new road networks to serve Lantau Port, but, there are also plans for rail links and there is a growing trend to ship containers by river.

"This is why a River Trade Terminal is being planned close to Tuen Mun and facilities to accommodate feeder vessels and barges at the new terminals are incorporated in the design."

Mr Forsgate explained that the established practice in container shipping is for large, deep-sea vessels, which are becoming increasingly larger, to call at hub ports from where containers are distributed to smaller ports by feeder vessels. "We see Hong Kong’s role as the hub port for this region," he said.

"People must realise that Hong Kong has been, and remains, a port-based economy. That will continue to be true well into the next century. The simple fact is, if the port does not expand then neither will the economy," he said.

End/Wednesday. February 15, 1995

Two of the world's largest container ships call at HK *****

Two of the world's largest container ships made their maiden voyages to Hong Kong on the same day, completed their cargo work and set sail in less than 20 hours.

At a ceremony to welcome the arrival of one of the vessels this (Wednesday) morning, the Deputy Director of Marine, Mr lan Dale, presented a memento to Captain Masakazu Ichikawa on board the MA/ NYK Altair before she left at 11 am today.

14

At a separate ceremony on board the M/V Maas, the Assistant Director of Marine (Planning and Local Services), Mr S Y Tsui, welcomed the ship and her master, Mr Katsuzo Yamano.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Dale said having two of the world's largest container ships arriving at the Hong Kong port on the same day and leaving on the same day might well be a record.

The M/V NYK Altair, with a capacity of 4,730 TEUs (20-foot equivalent units), arrived at Modern Terminals Limited new container terminal 8 in Kwai Chung ■around 8 pm yesterday.

The M/V Maas, capable of carrying 4,743 TEUs docked at berth 2 of Modem Terminals in Kwai Chung, around 5 pm yesterday.

The M/V NYK Altair, owned by NYK and with a gross tonnage at 60,117, will call at Taiwan and Japan before starting her journey to Europe.

Operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, the 60,133-gross registered ton M/V Maas left at 1 pm for Singapore before going on to Europe.

Mr Dale noted that in the third quarter of 1994, 9,584 ocean-going vessels with a total capacity of 42.1 million net registered tons arrived at Hong Kong, representing an increase of 13 per cent in number of vessels and seven per cent in capacity over the same quarter of 1993.

"The increases reflect the port's efficiency and underline its hub port status." Mr Dale said, adding that these were two of the elements that made Hong Kong the busiest port in the world.

End/Wednesday. February 15, 1995

15

Study of shopping habits *****

The Director of Planning, Dr Peter Pun, has signed a consultancy contract commissioning a firm to carry out a "Study of Shopping Habits and Revision of Chapter 6 of the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines".

"The main objective of the study is to formulate planning standards and guidelines to facilitate the development of retail facilities to meet the economic and social needs of the community," a spokesman for the Planning Department said.

"Based upon the findings of the study, Chapter 6 of the Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines on 'Retail Facilities' will be reviewed and revised," he said.

The study will identify the trends and distribution of retail facilities in the territory. A survey will be carried out to examine the shopping habits and aspirations of households, tourists, office and industrial workers.

"The findings of these tasks will provide inputs for the development of a retail model to assess the demand for retail facilities," the spokesman said.

The study began on February 13 and will be completed by December this year.

End/Wednesday. February 15. 1995

Revised fees for AFD services *****

Fees for a number of the Agriculture and Fisheries Department services, including the issue of permits and licences, under six pieces of legislation will be revised from March 30 this year.

The first legislation affected by the revision is the Pesticides Ordinance. Under the ordinance, fees are payable for the application, issue, renewal or extension of licences or permits in respect of pesticides and in relation to the application for the registration of a pesticide.

Fees payable under the Country Parks Ordinance are for permits for the use of country parks or special areas or in connection with the use of amenities or facilities there.

16

For the Animals and Plants (Protection of Endangered Species) Ordinance, fees are chargeable for licences to import, export or possess scheduled endangered species or controlled medicine.

Another AFD-administered legislation, the Pounds Ordinance, requires owners of stray animals to pay fees to claim back their impounded animals.

Under the Plant (Importation and Pest Control) Ordinance, fees are payable for the issue of phytosanitary certificates, and for the maintenance and treatment of plants and soil under quarantine.

The last legislation affected by the revision is the Public Health (Animals and Birds) Ordinance. Under this ordinance, permits or licences to operate as animal traders and run pets-boarding or horse-riding establishments are required.

A spokesman for the department said it was Government policy, in general, to set fees at levels sufficient to recover full or nominal costs of providing the services.

Fees for the services were last reviewed ranging from more than one year to several years back.

The amendments to the ordinances and regulations, related to details of the new fees, will be published in the Government Gazette on Friday (February 17).

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

Three lots of land in Kwai Chung and Chai Wan to let *****

The Lands Department is inviting tenders for short-term tenancies of three lots of Government land on Hong Kong Island and in the New Territories.

The first lot in Kwai Chung has an area of 8.050 square metres for use as a feepaying public car park for container tractors and trailers only.

The tenancy is for one year, renewable quarterly.

Covering an area of 2,760 square metres, the second lot at Lo Shue Pai, Chai Wan. is to be used for open storage of the tenant's goods, excluding containers, container vehicles and container tractors and trailers.

17

The tenancy is for 18 months, renewable quarterly.

With an area of 3,130 square metres, the third lot at Siu Sai Wan reclamation, Chai Wan, is designated for use as a fee-paying car park for lorries and coaches only.

The tenancy is also for 18 months, renewable quarterly.

Closing date for submission of tenders for the three lots is noon on March 3.

. S .•

Tender forms, tender notice and conditions may be obtained from District Lands Office, Hong Kong East, 19th floor, Southom Centre, 130 Hennessy Road; the District Lands Office, Kwai Tsing, 10th and 11th floors, Tsuen Wan Station Multistorey Carpark Building, 174-208 Castle Peak Road, Tsuen Wan; the District. Lands Offices Kowloon, 10th floor, Yau Ma Tei Car Park Building, 250 Shanghai Street, Kowloon and the Lands Department, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road.

Tender plan can also be inspected at the offices.

■ V «.• End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

Subvention for adult education courses *****

The Education Department is inviting registered non-profit-making voluntary organisations to apply for government subvention to run courses for the 1995-96 school year.

A spokesman for the department said today the courses could complement and supplement the Government activities in the field of adult education.

’’Areas eligible for subvention include prevocational training, pre-retirement or retirement education, job-oriented courses, labour education, special education for the physically or mentally handicapped adults, social and moral education, careers education, courses designed to improve basic literacy in Chinese.

’’Other eligible courses for subvention are re-orientation and Cantonese language courses for newcomers to Hong Kong from other parts of Asia, adult education courses conducted on an experimental basis, courses in geographical areas not covered by the Education Department's services, and general education for particular groups such as factory workers and fisherfolk," he said.

18

The subvention will cover mainly cost of staffing, basic teaching and office equipment, utilities charges and rent.

Application forms are now obtainable at the Education Department’s Adult Education Section , Room 1106, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai.

Completed application forms should be returned to the Adult Education Section on or before April 29.

Applicants will be informed of the results in writing in August.

For further information, please contact the Adult Education Section on 2892 6671 or 2892 6674.

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

Flushing water cut in Sha Tin *****

Flushing water supply to some premises in Sha Tin will be suspended from 8 am to 8 pm on Friday (February 17) to facilitate checking of the supply system.

The affected areas will include Lucky Plaza, Sha Tin Centre, Sha Tin Plaza, New Town Plaza, Sha Tin Town Hall, Sha Tin Magistracy, Royal Park Hotel, Wai Wah Centre, Hilton Plaza, Sha Tin Central Park, Man Lam Road, Man Lai Road and Man Lai Court.

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

19

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

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,404 0930 +911

Closing balance in the account 1,270 1000 +918

Change attributable to: 1100 +996

Money market activity +1,046 1200 +996

LAF today -1,180 1500 +1,046

1600 +1,046

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 121.0 *-0.1* 15.2.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 6.02 15 months 2605 6.35 99.11 7.22

1 month 6.22 21 months 2611 6.90 99.31 7.45

3 months 6.50 29 months 3707 6.95 98.61 7.72

6 months 6.78 35 months 3801 8.00 100.54 7.94

12 months 7.10 58 months 5912 8.15 99.69 8.39

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $14,864 million

Closed February 15, 1995

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

SUPPLEMENT

Wednesday, February 15,1995

Contents Page No.

Legislative Council meeting:

Motion debate on bus franchise and fare increase....................... 1

Motion debate on traffic congestion.................................... 6

Builders' Lifts and Tower Working Platforms (Safety) Bill............. 14

Insurance Companies (Amendment) Bill 1995 ............................ 15

Two bills introduced into LegCo.................................... 19

Bill making solicitors eligible for appointment to Supreme Court introduced 20

Supreme Court (Amendment) Bill introduced to LegCo................. 21

c

Code of practice on organised crime law............................... 23

Mutual Aid Committee subsidy under review...........................   24

Illegal rooftop structures............................................ 25

PRC traveller transit arrangement works well.......................... 27

/Tuen Mun.....

Contents Page No.

Tuen Mun Road traffic........................................................ 29

Overseas visits made by Governor......................................... 31

Hong Kong is not over-regulated.............................................. 33

Measures in place to control hawker activities............................... 34

Methadone clinics accessible to drug abusers................................. 35

Drug abusers told to properly dispose of used syringes....................... 36

Tertiary student enrolment figures........................................... 38

Vehicle speed detectors...................................................... 43

Government supports participation in international AIDS conferences...... 44

Exemption from business registration fee..................................... 46

1,052 Viet migrants given jail term in 93 and 94...........................   48

Government to set green example.............................................. 49

Alleged bigamy cases......................................................... 50

Free trade means complete absence of barriers................................ 52

Supply of student hostels..................................................   53

Standing Committee on Pressure Groups disbanded in 1982 ..................... 57

Home ownership blocks will be built to satisfactory standard................. 58

Motions on traffic congestion and bus services passed........................ 59

1

Motion debate on bus franchise and fare increase ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Transport Mr Haider Banna in the motion debate on KMB fare increase and CMB franchise in the Legislative Council tonight (Wednesday):

Mr President,

One of the pillars of our well established transport policy is to provide an efficient transport system in Hong Kong which meets the economic, social and recreational needs of our community. We achieve this goal by continuing to improve the availability and quality of public transport. In this respect, franchised buses play a vital role - they now carry 3.5 million passengers a day or account for 34% of commuter trips.

Our public transport system in Hong Kong ranks amongst the best in the world. We should not be shy to acknowledge this but, at the same time, we cannot afford to be complacent. I am sure Honourable Members will agree that our franchised operators should be encouraged to do their best to provide yet a better service. They have a public responsibility and, on the Administration’s part, we must vigilantly exercise our monitoring and regulatory role.

Another basic tenet of our transport policy is that transport services are not subsidised. This policy has served us well. Our bus services are run by private companies, under franchise. They have, over the years, made sizeable investments and, as business ventures, they expect to be allowed to make a fair and reasonable return on their investments.

Inflation inevitably means that operating costs increase and, as a result, bus companies do submit applications for a fare increase. It is much better and less painful to have smaller adjustments annually than to have to face hefty increases over longer periods of time.

R _ / / f<r.

Because bus companies provide a public service, it is essential that they are accountable and indeed procedures are regularly reviewed and, when necessary, legislation amended to provide for the necessary checks, balances and safeguards.

2

In the motion debate in this Council in January last year, on the subject of fare increases, I explained the criteria that the Administration adopts in considering and processing such applications. Let me briefly reiterate what these criteria are. We take into account -

(a) the increase in operating costs since last year’s adjustment;

(b) efforts made to reduce costs and increase revenue;

(c) the quantity and quality of service provided having regard to passenger demand and feedback;

(d) future development plans and service improvement programmes;

(e) forecast of future costs, revenue and return; and

(f) public affordability and acceptability including the impact on livelihood.

Honourable Members will recall that last year KMB submitted an application for a fare increase of 19.6%. The Administration scrutinised this application very carefully taking into account the factors I have just described. As a result the percentage increase sought was slashed and we found we could only recommend an increase of 12.9% which was ultimately approved.

. •, •» -

KMB has been far more modest in its submissions this year. We have yet to process this application and I am not able to say to date what percentage increase the administration will recommend. We have well established procedures to deal with applications for fare increases. The Transport Panel of this Council is briefed by the company concerned - (and indeed KMB has already done this regarding its application this year); the Administration vets the application meticulously and decides on the rate of increase to be recommended. The Transport Advisory Committee is then consulted; and thereafter the recommendations are put to the Executive Council for approval.

To look at bus fare increases in percentage terms often results in an exaggeration of the real impact. The additional expenditure which passengers actually have to pay in monetary terms, and in perspective what KMB has now sought, works out at an average increase of only 30 cents per trip. And in this respect it should not be forgotten that almost all wage earners get annual adjustments in their pay.

3

The impact of public transport fare increases on inflation also needs to be seen in proper perspective The 8.3% now sought by KMB is expected to result in only a 0.1% increase in the Consumer Price Index. Some members have argued that because KMB shareholders pocketed $1.7 billion from last year's land sale, the company should not ask for a fare increase this year. It must be emphasised that the sites sold were bought years ago with their shareholders' funds in the open market. The sites sold became obsolete and were no longer required for bus operations. The proceeds from land sales is therefore not part of bus operating receipts and under existing law, such proceeds cannot be taken into account in the determination of bus fares. Therefore it would be improper for the Administration to regard land sale proceeds obtained by bus companies as one of the factors to be considered in the determination of a fare increase application.

Mr President, at this point I would like to inform this Council of the outcome of the Administration’s study into the feasibility of setting up a "fare stabilisation fund". Following KMB’s sale of their depot sites last year, and in connection with their application for a fare increase in 1994, the Governor in Council directed that, in processing future applications for bus fare increases the Administration should consider taking into account land sale proceeds of franchised bus companies. Indeed this is what I announced and of course this is what the Administration has done. Obviously the setting up of any fund must be subject to their being no insurmountable problems. At the very outset we recognised that there were complex legal and technical aspects that had to be addressed. Moreover wider philosophical and policy considerations have also had to be taken into account. We have now completed this exercise. The Governor in Council has advised that this proposal to set up a fund by pumping in proceeds from the sale of sites owned by bus companies should not be pursued. The reasons for this decision are as follows :

(a) The proposal is tantamount to expropriation of private property without compensation. This would be against the rule of law.

(b) A site bought in the open market using shareholders' funds can only be disposed of during a franchise period if the Commissioner for Transport agrees and accepts that the site is no longer required for bus operations. Once such agreement is given, the site then falls outside the ambit of franchise and as such, if it is sold, the proceeds have nothing to do with bus operations.

(c) Past permitted returns on land and buildings are legitimate profits for bus companies under the terms of their franchise and the existing legislation.

4

(d) Other bus companies without any land would not be able to compete on a level-playing field with those from subsidies from land sales.

(e) The proposal would be discriminatory against bus companies as other utility companies will not be subject to the same requirement.

(f) And the whole concept of ploughing back land sale profits is a major departure from Hong Kong's free market principles.

The only way that this particular proposal could have been implemented would have been if the bus companies concerned had signified their agreement. Over the past three months the Administration has consulted the franchised bus operators. They have vehemently opposed such a move. In short therefore, given the legal, philosophical and policy considerations this proposal must be a non-starter. Mr President, I realise that this decision will disappoint some members of this council but I am sure that all members will agree that on such an important issue, any decision must be beyond reproach. To arbitrarily require bus companies to set aside part of the proceeds from land sales would be fundamentally wrong and difficult to justify either on legal or moral grounds. To do so forcibly would not only destroy the Administration's credibility but also have other far-reaching consequences. So to sum up, given the legal implications and the wider policy implications it is not in the overall interest of Hong Kong to pursue such a proposal. To do so will seriously undermine investors' confidence and question the Government's commitment to the rule of law.

Mr President, the Administration's fundamental concern is to ensure that public transport services are maintained. Insofar as operations of bus companies are concerned depot sites are essential and there is no question of the Administration agreeing to the release of any such site unless it is fully satisfied that the depot in question is no longer required for bus services. Certainly the Administration has no intention whatsoever of providing bus companies with alternative sites to facilitate the disposal of other depot sites which that particular bus companies may own. In the KMB case, a short-term tenancy site in Tseung Kwan O was granted because of the need to cater for an expanded fleet to serve the new town. In any case the cost of keeping these sites is much lower than having a company continuing to use depots which are no longer required and are obsolete. The Honourable Steven Poon criticised the Administration's proposal to take temporary possession of bus companies' assets. Under existing legislation, the Government already has a power to take temporary possession of bus companies' assets in the event of an emergency or revocation of a franchise. Such powers can also be exercised by the Government in the event that the franchise is not renewed. These provisions are necessary to enable the Government to protect the public interest in a situation where a bus company ceases to operate and severe disruption of bus services is likely to occur. We need a realistic period of time so that we can find a replacement operator and thus avoid unnecessary disruption.

- 5 -

Let me now turn to the other aspect of this motion debate, namely, the renewal of CMB's franchise. CMB's current franchise will expire on 31 August 1995. CMB is a major bus operator on Hong Kong Island which operates some 130 Island and crossharbour routes. It carries 540,000 passengers a day. It employs over 2,500 staff and has some 15,000 square metres of depot space. Admittedly there have been many complaints about CMB and their service. However, we have seen some improvement since the cutting of some 26 routes from its network in 1993. For example in Southern District, CMB has provided extra buses to compete with the new Citybus Company.

In his motion the Honourable Zachary Wong has asked that the Administration should not grant CMB a new franchise on the expiry of the current one. This would be a very drastic move which could result in severe disruption of bus services especially on Hong Kong Island. If one is to look at the service provided by CMB in a dispassionate manner the conclusion must be that whilst there are shortcomings and there is great scope for improvement, CMB at least obtains an overall pass mark. That is why we are considering the offer of a new franchise to CMB and in the current negotiation with the company, the Administration will do its best to ensure that the network of routes offered to CMB is one which they can effectively fulfil and which will enable them to provide a better service.

As regards CMB's proposal to dispose of its Wong Chuk Hang site the Administration's position has been spelt out. Notwithstanding the pre-sale deal they have entered into, the Commissioner for Transport has made it crystal-clear that he is not prepared to release this site since it is required for bus operations during the current franchise. The Commissioner has also stressed that it is not appropriate for CMB to assume that the Wong Chuk Hang depot will not be required after the expiry of the current franchise. We will certainly not provide CMB with a replacement depot site to enable the company to dispose of its Wong Chuk Hang site.

Mr President, the Administration cannot support the motion proposed by the Honourable Zachary Wong. It would be totally wrong to impose a freeze on KMB's application for a fare increase without first evaluating its submission. As I have explained, this is in hand. As regards CMB, we are now in the midst of negotiations on the renewal of their franchise. Their current standard of performance does not justify not renewing the franchise. That apart, the logistics of commissioning new operators require a long lead time.

The amendment to the motion proposed by the Honourable Miriam Lau reflects how she thinks KMB's application should be processed. She is absolutely right, KMB's application for a fare increase needs to be considered very carefully and indeed the procedures now adopted by the Administration covered the factors mentioned.

6

As regards CMB's franchise, the approach advocated by the Honourable Miriam Lau is in fact also what the Administration is now pursuing. An example of this is when 26 of CMB's routes were curtailed in September 1993. These were then put to tender. Mr President, the Administration supports the motion proposed by the Hon Miriam Lau and the Official Members will vote in favour of this amendment.

Thank you, Mr President.

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

Motion debate on traffic congestion

*****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Transport Mr Haider Barma in the motion debate on traffic congestion in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I welcome this motion debate. Traffic congestion affects everyone. Traffic speeds are declining. There are signs of gridlock at several major black spots and in other busy districts delays are becoming more frequent. The Administration is convinced that action needs to be taken now if we are to prevent total traffic chaos in the years ahead. It is therefore imperative that we debate the problem and identify solutions. We have chosen to consult. That is why we released the Report of the Working Party on Measures to Address Traffic Congestion.

I have been very encouraged by the reaction from Honourable Members; the views expressed by the political parties and district boards; the submissions by many organisations, including the Motor Traders' Association and the Hong Kong Automobile Association; the many letters from individuals and last, but not least, the extensive coverage given by the media. I am grateful. Indeed, the response has been overwhelming and vocal.

7

On a subject such as this, where there are widely different sectoral interests, it would be totally unrealistic to expect a complete unanimity of views on the measures to be taken. But a consensus has emerged on several key points: that the congestion problem is real, that it will get much worse if nothing is done and that we must therefore take action now if we are to avoid slipping into traffic gridlock. This has been illustrated by what the Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Transport in Hong Kong has said and I quote: ’’congestion, which is rapidly becoming part of our daily lives, is wasting physical, human and financial resources, as well as putting the future prosperity and well-being of Hong Kong at risk”. And even the Motor Traders Association, in their publicity blitz, commend the Government for raising this issue and acknowledge that "in a busy, lively city like Hong Kong traffic must move freely”.

The package of proposals put forward by the Administration in the Working Party's Report focuses on the more immediate aspects of traffic congestion- Quite consciously, we have concentrated on the micro aspects of how to tackle this. The Liberal Party, The Honourable Christine Loh, Edward Chen, Samuel Wong, the Chartered Institute of Transport and other commentators have, not unexpectedly, touched on macro policy and planning issues. And quite rightly so. Let me assure this Council that the Administration has not lost sight of this. The Territorial Development Study is reviewing broad planning parameters to ensure that infrastructural development is properly co-ordinated. In addition, we will soon be commissioning the Third Comprehensive Transport Study to deal with broader strategic issues which will include long-term projected traffic growth, environmental concerns and other global aspects. Some members have said that the Government wrongly estimated the projected growth in private vehicle numbers. This is not the case. The CTS2 update gave a target for vehicle growth levels that would allow a free flow of traffic. The fact that this figure has been exceeded is why we are now proposing restrictions on growth. Obviously I cannot respond to all the points raised by members this afternoon, but I wish to assure Honourable Members that I would study and consider the many valid points that have been raised. We are not at the stage of evaluating the outcome of the public consultation and we would take careful note of all the contributions received, including the views expressed in this debate before deciding on the way forward.

8

Electronic Road Pricing

Let me now turn to some of the specific proposals and highlight the administration's thinking. Our ultimate aim is to manage the use of road space, rather than deny people the opportunity to own a car, hence the proposal to implement electronic road pricing or ERP. The Administration welcomes the widespread public support for the scheme. Initially, such a scheme need not apply to private cars only but, if necessary, other types of vehicles can be covered, for example as a means of encouraging goods vehicles to make deliveries in off peak hours. Contrary to what some respondents have suggested, it is not a prerequisite for ERP to have alternative routes available to motorists. However we will need to continue to improve public transport services to provide a transport mode for those who choose not to drive their cars following the introduction of ERP.

It is clear from the results of the consultation exercise that earlier public fears that ERP might intrude into their privacy have now been overcome as a result of the advanced technology now available. There is a broad measure of community support for technical studies for ERP and the introduction of pilot schemes. ERP has not so far been introduced anywhere else in the world and there is no reason why Hong Kong should not take the lead. But it will take 2 or 3 years to develop and implement a full system. This will be given the highest priority. We propose to initiate a technical consultancy on ERP in the next few months at a cost of $15 million. This will result in the introduction of pilot schemes prior to a full ERP system. The Democratic and Liberal Parties, as well as others, have pointed out that operational aspects of any ERP scheme have to be carefully drawn up. This will certainly be examined in the consultancy study. But to do nothing in the interim while we await ERP would be wholly irresponsible and would affect every member of the community, especially the 90% of the public who rely on public transport for daily travel. If we simply wait for ERP, we can all expect more delays and slower journeys.

Tunnel Tolls

Tunnel tolls are a form of road pricing and I therefore find it difficult to understand why, with such widespread support for the user-pays principle, there is disagreement over the proposal to increase tunnel tolls. I know what the Honourable Miriam Lau has said that this may be because there is no alternative choice. But I do not necessarily agree with this. Others have argued that a $10 increase in tunnel tolls would be ineffective. And indeed there has been support from some quarters that even stiffer increases should be levied. An increase in tunnel tolls may well encourage car pooling or a switch to public transport. We must therefore evaluate this option very carefully. In this respect one view expressed is that the additional revenue from tunnel tolls should also go into the proposed transport fund. The Administration is prepared to consider this.

9

Annual Licence Fees and First Registration Taxes

Tax increases are never popular, and they may be considered a particularly foolhardy proposal in an election year! I am grateful and thankful that at least the ■ Honourable Jimmy Mcgregor has noted this point. And certainly I am not surprised at all that all the political parties have strong reservations and have objected to these proposals. But increases in ALF and FRT are necessary, not to boost the Government coffers as some have said, but simply to slow down the growth rate in private car numbers that is leading us relentlessly and inevitably towards traffic gridlock. Let me make one thing clear. The Government is not mounting an attack on the private motorist. We are not attempting to drive cars off the road. Our aim is to contain the rate of growth in the private car fleet at about 2 or 3% a year, a level that our ever expanding road system can accommodate. The extra funds arising from the increase in the First Registration Tax will be used to finance further improvements in the public transport system. The Government is as I have said prepared to set up a special fund for this purpose. 1 hope that this reassures those members who still remain concern that FRT increases but seek to raise revenue.

The Motor Traders' Association, as is to be expected, have come out very strongly against increases in taxes. This is not surprising. After all, their main interest is in selling cars. Although we may have to agree to disagree on solutions, I nonetheless welcome their campaign since they have highlighted the congestion problem.

The Administration remains fully convinced that fiscal measures would have an immediate impact. As for increases in the First Registration Tax there has been some criticism that the proposed increases for smaller cars is more than that for luxury cars. In percentage terms 'yes' but not so in dollar terms since the rise in new car prices would be about $25,000 at the lower end of the market and about $55,000 at the upper end. But I am prepared to balance this by maintaining the existing differential in the sliding scale, if that is deemed to be more acceptable, by proposing to raise the tax from 60% to 90% for luxury cars. Annual Licence Fees have not been increased for 4 years and all we are attempting to do is to update these fees to 1995 prices. As for increases in the First Registration Tax, our firm intention remains that extra revenue would be channelled into a special transport fund. And of course the concept of such a fund has been generally welcomed.

As regards motorcycles I shall carefully consider whether the tax on them need be increased so substantially, if at all.

10

At this juncture, may I acknowledge the ’’action plans" which have been suggested not only by the MTA but also by other organisations. But I hasten to add that many of the ideas put forward in fact reflect and endorse the action which the Administration has already begun to take or intends to take. It will be totally misleading to think that the Administration has not had the common sense or the initiative to pursue such measures as more effective road management schemes, the introduction of bus lanes and other priority schemes for public transport or, as the Honourable Emily Lau worries, recognised the need to tackle road openings more effectively. We will be stepping up our efforts in these directions.

Other ideas such as week end licensing, car pooling, park and ride, increasing down-payments for new cars, have been put forward by Members as alternatives to tax increases and these will certainly be considered. In particular, I shall follow up the Honourable Simon Ip’s comments that on tackling dangerous driving and accidents which indeed do result in traffic delays. However I have to emphasise to Members that this community must bite the bullet eventually. The reality is that increasing wealth means more cars and we cannot possibly accommodate unrestrained growth in car numbers in such a small place as Hong Kong. This conclusion is inescapable. If we close our eyes to this, then all we can expect is traffic gridlock and worsening air pollution. No road building programme, no matter how ambitious, and no traffic management initiative can alter this conclusion.

Vehicle Quota System

One alternative to using tax increases as a means of constraining private vehicle numbers would be to introduce a vehicle quota system to limit the number of new . vehicles registered. The recent submission to the LegCo Transport Panel was in response to a request by Members for more details on how such a quota system might be implemented. However, as the Transport Panel has noted, such a system would not be without its problems since it would inevitably lead to speculation and, like tax increases, would almost certainly raise considerably the cost of owning a private car. To put this particular proposal on the quota system in perspective, I can perhaps best describe this as being on the backburner.

11

Road Building

Many people have said that we should continue to build more roads. The Liberal Party has argued that the Administration has been far too conservative in its investment in new transport infrastructure. We do have plans for major highways in the New Territories, for example, Route 3 (Country Park Section) is a key project, and of course I am delighted that we now have the go ahead for this in principle. But the opportunities for new roads in the urban areas is strictly limited. There is simply no space for flyovers - where would we put the approach roads? And what is more the environmental impact would be totally unacceptable. A recent editorial in the Sunday Morning Post was I think spot on in warning against socially unacceptable solutions put forward by the motoring lobby which could result in Hong Kong being turned into a network of flyovers and underpasses with parking underneath.

On this point may 1 acknowledge the input from Friends of the Earth, the Conservancy Association and the Community Action on Air Quality and Health group for pinpointing, particularly, the need to recognise the impact on the environment and take this into account. I have noted with interest the Honourable Peter Wong's suggestions.

Traffic Management

As regards traffic management, our proposals are to implement many new bus priority schemes. We have plans for 30 in the coming year and this is to give precedence to public transport in the use of road. This is one measure that has attracted widespread support from Members and indeed also the public during the consultation period, and we will certainly try our best to implement many more such schemes. In this respect 1 take note of the Honourable Lee Wing-tat's suggestions which I fully agree with. For example a trial bus only lane will be introduced along Tuen Mun Road early next month. But the public must not be misled into believing that bus priority schemes arc a wholly painless solution to the problem. They will mean less road space for other essential commercial traffic and will also impose severe physical constraints on private motorists. Those lanes which remain open to private and commercial vehicles will become more congested than they are today. But again we do need to give priority to public transport.

And indeed there has also been widespread public support for tougher enforcement action against those who cause traffic congestion for example by parking illegally or loading and unloading goods vehicles in non designated places. This has the administration's wholehearted support. The Police are stepping up their efforts to tackle such problems and we will be reviewing penalties for these offences. We recognise the need for better traffic management, just as we agree that much more must be done to reduce the number of road openings and their duration.

12

Some critics have argued that people buy cars because of the inadequacies of our public transport system. This is not the case. No public transport system can be perfect, but ours does extend to virtually all parts of the territory and it is used by 90% of our population. One of the principal problems faced by public transport is road congestion. Unless we address the congestion problem, our efforts to improve bus services will be ineffective. The fact is that many people in Hong Kong, as elsewhere in the world, aspire to private car ownership not because of a lack of alternatives, but because of the greater comfort and convenience of private motoring. Some have said that not enough is being done to upgrade and expand our transport services. Again this is not so. Perhaps we do not give sufficient publicity to the remarkable improvements now taking place in our public transport system. The franchised bus companies will spend $500 million on new buses in the next 12 months, the railway corporations are making huge investments in improving their stations and in substantially raising the capacities of their systems by upgrading signalling equipment. And there will be major new investments in ferry services shortly. And as I have announced recently the Railway Development Strategy will provide a tremendous expansion of the territory's rail systems.

With specific reference to the New Territories, while the population of that area has increased by some 63% over the last 10 years, the carrying capacity of the KCR has increased by 129% and that of the KMB by 104% in the same period. The number of KMB bus routes has grown by 92%. This does not mean we should be complacent, and indeed we will not be so. But I think we should be well pleased with the way in which our public transport system is expanding and continuing to adapt to meet new demands.

Many of the ideas put forward by Honourable Members today deserve and will be given full consideration. For example, we are re-examining the 'park and ride' concept, by which more car parks would be provided in the vicinity of railway stations. A major study on car parking provision is also nearing completion. And we will consider the idea of different categories of licensing as well as cheaper weekend car licences, although this could result in enforcement problems. But it should be recognised that such licensing schemes will not reduce the number of cars on roads during peak hours. Requiring cars to carry a minimum number of passengers when using the cross harbour tunnels will also be looked at, although the difficulties are obvious, especially since an increasing proportion of cross harbour traffic now uses the autotoll lanes. We have tried in the past to encourage the introduction of staggered working hours,but with only modest success despite, for example the concessionary off peak fares offered by the MTRC.

13

Mr President, as I said earlier we are now considering the outcome of the public consultation exercise before we decide on the way forward, but one thing is clear. We cannot tackle the traffic congestion problems without the full support of this Council. Any measures we propose will need either legislation or funding. From what has been said today, 1 sense that Members will be willing to support ERP as well as various traffic management initiatives, but that is not sufficient. If we do nothing to constrain the growth in the vehicle fleet while awaiting the introduction of ERP traffic conditions will deteriorate. The longer hard choices are deferred, the worse the situation will become. The obvious fact is that sooner or later we must control the growth in vehicle numbers. We must face the facts. The one third increase in numbers of private cars experienced in the last 3 years simply cannot be sustained without very serious consequences. That must be apparent to all of us. Inaction now will affect the economy, raise air pollution to levels where public health is placed in even greater jeopardy, and slow public buses to a crawl at a time when most Members of this Council are seeking improved public transport services. We must not allow this to happen. But the choice ultimately rests with the Members of this Council. Should you decide not to support the measures to constrain growth in private car fleet in the short term, then the consequences must be accepted by the community.

Mr President, may I conclude by thanking the Liberal Party for their report, the Democratic party for their views, the DAB for their survey, as well as the District Boards, the Motor Traders Association, and all other organisations and individuals who have taken the trouble either to discuss their proposals with Government or to make written submissions. From our analysis so far, it appears that we have sufficient public support to embark on a technical studies on ERP, to reduce or eliminate tax benefits for company cars and to improve traffic management, including the introduction of more bus priority schemes and better management of road openings. We also have support for continuing to upgrade and improve public transport and for investment in the transport infrastructure. In addition, I note the acceptance of the need for stricter enforcement of the law on traffic offences and higher penalties. The three major political parties and indeed the public however seem to have tremendous difficulty with our proposals for raising the levels of first registration tax and annual licence fees, and passage tax at cross harbour tunnels. Here I cannot resist commenting that as the Honourable Emily Lau has also done so, that what the Honourable Miriam Lau has said that the choice is between cyanide or other types of poisons is rather a matter dramatic. While it is hardly surprising that these measures are not popular, they are essential in the interim if we are to keep our traffic moving. The Honourable Miriam Lau has urged the administration to fully consider the views expressed by the public. As I said at the outset, that is precisely our intention and why the administration has published its package for comment.

14

The motion placed before this council will of course be supported by the Government Members. But I urge Members to face the challenge and provide the support the Administration needs to introduce measures which although they might not be popular, are ultimately necessary’ if we are to keep Hong Kong traffic moving.

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

Builders' Lifts and Tower Working Platforms (Safety) Bill *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Works, Mr James Blake, in moving the second reading of the Builders' Lifts and Tower Working Platforms (Safety) Bill in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move the Second Reading of the Builders' Lifts and Tower Working Platforms (Safety) Bill and Builders' Lifts and Tower Working Platforms (Safety)(Fees) Regulations. The Bill provides for the introduction of the statutory regulation of the design, construction, installation, examination, operation and maintenance of builders' lifts and tower working platforms.

The tragic deaths of 12 workers in June 1993 made it clear that existing legislation does not adequately control the use of these installations. Subsequent inspections of builders' lifts revealed a disturbingly low level of maintenance and that there was an urgent need for vigorous action to control all aspects of their use.

The operation, maintenance and examination of builders' lifts (passenger hoists) are now subject to the control of the Construction Sites (Safety) Regulations made under the Factories and Industries Undertakings Ordinance (Cap 59) and are under the jurisdiction of the Commissioner for Labour. The current legislation requires the building contractor to employ a competent examiner to examine the builders' lift after erection and at regular intervals of 6 months. The contractor is also required to employ a competent person to regularly inspect the builders' lift.

To adequately control the use of these installations it was decided to introduce a completely new ordinance. This Bill makes provision not only for approval of the design of builders' lifts and tower working platforms but includes for the registration of contractors who supply, install, maintain and remove them and for the registration of those who examine and certify fitness for use.

15

The Bill also sets out the safety requirements to be followed by the owner of the equipment and that of the registered contractor and registered examiner.

The requirements of the Bill will be controlled by the Director of Electrical and Mechanical Services who will examine certificates, test reports and maintenance log books and be in a position to stop the use of any unsafe installation.

The Bill requires the setting up of a disciplinary tribunal to regulate registered contractors and registered examiners, with an appeal procedure against any decision given by the Director of Electrical and Mechanical Services or the tribunal. The Builders’ Lifts and Tower Working Platforms (Safety)(Fees) Regulation will be produced in due course and made by the Financial Secretary upon enactment of the Bill.

Mr President, this Bill aims to provide a regulatory framework for the control of Builders' Lifts and Tower Working Platforms and is supported in principle by the construction industry. I commend it to Members for favourable consideration.

Thank you. Mr President.

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

Insurance Companies (Amendment) Bill 1995 ♦ * * * ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Michael Cartland, in moving the second reading of the Insurance Companies (Amendment) Bill 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

*

Mr President,

I move the second reading of the Insurance Companies (Amendment) Bill 1995. This Bill seeks to amend the principal ordinance in a number of areas with a view to promoting efficiency in the Insurance Authority's administration of the insurance industry and the proposed changes also aim to enhance protection of policy holders' interests.

16

One of the main purposes of the Bill is to define clearly the functions of the Insurance Authority. The main function of the Insurance Authority is to regulate and supervise the insurance industry for the promotion of its general stability and for the protection of existing and potential policy holders. He is responsible for, amongst other things, supervising an insurer's compliance with the provisions of the Ordinance; promoting prudent business practices amongst insurers; encouraging proper standards of conduct among insurance intermediaries; reviewing the regulatory system and issuing guidelines to assist in better compliance with the Ordinance. However, the Ordinance does not contain a general description of the Authority's functions. This is unsatisfactory as insurers have occasionally challenged the nature and extent of the Authority's express statutory duties. The proposed amendments describing the Authority's functions and duties, which are no different from those presently exercised by the Authority, will lead insurers to a better understanding of his regulatory role.

The second major proposal in the Bill seeks to allow the beneficial exchange of information between the Insurance Authority and other financial regulators. In view of the international nature of insurance business and the development of financial conglomerates which offer a variety of financial services, financial regulators should be permitted to exchange information, within prescribed limits, so as to foster cooperation and enhance the effectiveness of their supervision of the relevant markets. The Bill therefore proposes that the Insurance Authority be allowed to disclose information to other financial regulators, local or overseas, provided that such disclosure will assist the recipient to exercise his statutory functions and is not contrary to the interests of policy holders or the public interest. Similar disclosure is already permissible under the Banking Ordinance and the Securities and Futures Commission Ordinance.

Thirdly the Bill seeks to allow the Insurance Authority to approve a transfer of general business. Transfer of general business from one insurer to another becomes necessary when an insurer is about to cease business, for example, by reason of its insolvency or intended withdrawal from Hong Kong. Under common law, such a transfer requires the consent of each and every policy holder and is -therefore extremely time-consuming and costly, particularly if a large number of policies is involved. It is therefore proposed that the Ordinance be amended to introduce a statutory mechanism for transfer of general business with the approval of the Insurance Authority. This amendment will not only save time and costs for insurers but also ensure that policy holders are properly protected under policies issued by another authorized insurer who continues to carry on business in Hong Kong.

17

In addition, the Bill proposes to make a number of other amendments to the Ordinance to enable the Insurance Authority to perform certain functions for the effective supervision of insurers and to reflect clearly the intention of certain provisions in the Ordinance. The amendments comprise -

Firstly, clarifying section 5(1 )(b) of the Ordinance, which requires the Authority to enter in the register of authorised insurers authorisation conditions relating to restrictions only on the classes of business. Although it was never the intention that precautionary authorisation conditions such as conditions on premium limit be included in the register, the wording of the section is such that any authorisation conditions would have to be included. As inclusion of such conditions may be misinterpreted as signifying that the insurer is in trouble, it is necessary to amend the section to reflect clearly the original intention.

Secondly, enabling the Authority to relax requirements of the Valuation Regulation that is being drafted pursuant to section 59(a) of the Ordinance. This section empowers the Governor in Council to make regulations to determine the value of an insurer's general business assets and liabilities. Under certain circumstances it will prove necessary to modify some requirements of the Regulation, for example, in relation to authorised insurers incorporated outside Hong Kong who are already subject to satisfactory valuation regulations in their home countries. Such modification will however only be approved on a case by case basis and provided that it is not contrary to the interests of policy holders.

Thirdly, limiting to businesses carried on in or from Hong Kong the requirement under section 22(1 )(a) for separation of the assets and liabilities attributable to class G or H of long term business, that is retirement schemes business with or without a guarantee. The intention of such separation is to safeguard retirement schemes business carried on in Hong Kong and not elsewhere. However, the section applies inadvertently to overseas insurers, some of whom are not required to separate assets and liabilities attributable to such classes of business in their home countries. The proposed amendment would relieve them of these difficulties.

18

Fourthly, empowering the Authority to authors an insurer to combine his Hong Kong long term business other than classes G and H with his other overseas long term business including any additional business not defined in the Ordinance. This amendment is necessary as long term business in overseas jurisdictions may be classified differently from the classifications set forth in the Ordinance. An overseas insurer may have difficulty in fully complying with the separation requirement under section 22(1) of the Ordinance and be required to establish a separate fund purely for his Hong Kong business. As such business may be much smaller, he would not be able to take advantage of broader, risk limiting, investment opportunities, which in turn would not be in the best interests of Hong Kong policy holders.

Fifthly, a proposal to give retrospective effect to the Regulation made by the Governor in Council in July 1994 to exclude trustee operated retirement schemes, which were unintentionally brought within the ambit of the Insurance Companies (Amendment) Ordinance 1993, which introduced classes G and H retirement schemes business. To avoid rendering retirement schemes operated by trustees illegal during the period between commencement of the Amendment Ordinance and the making of the Regulation, the Regulation shall, I propose, be deemed to take effect from commencement of the Amendment Ordinance.

Lastly, a proposal to exempt immediate annuity contracts which provide benefits to retirement scheme beneficiaries from the prohibition to combine a class G or I I retirement scheme business with any other long term business and to give retrospective effect to the exemption from the date of commencement of the prohibition. This would prevent such contracts from being rendered illegal between that date and the enactment of this Bill.

Mr President, I commend the Insurance Companies (Amendment) Bill 1995 to this Council.

Mr President, as I said at the outset these proposals are put forward to promote efficiency in the Insurance Authority’s administration of the insurance industry and to enhance protection of policy holders’ interest. As such I commend them to members.

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

19

Two bills introduced into LegCo ♦ * * * ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Gordon Siu, in moving the second reading of the Merchant Shipping (Liner Conferences) Bill and Nuclear Material (Liability for Carriage) Bill in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

With your permission I shall move the second reading of both the Merchant Shipping (Liner Conferences) Bill and the Nuclear Material (Liability for Carriage) Bill.

First the Merchant Shipping (Liner Conferences) Bill. The purpose of the Bill is to implement in Hong Kong legislation the Convention on the Code of Conduct for Liner Conferences which was drawn up in Geneva in 1974 under the auspices of the United Nations. A liner conference is a group of carriers providing international services for the carriage of cargo on particular routes with an agreement whereby its members operate under uniform or common freight rates and any other agreed conditions. The Code of Conduct establishes rules designed to ensure a balance of interests between suppliers and users of liner shipping services; to avoid discrimination against shipowners and shippers of the foreign trade of any country; and to ensure transparency of information to interested parties.

This Code already applies to Hong Kong, and is implemented here by the United Kingdom legislation extended to Hong Kong. It is necessary to enact local legislation, namely, the Merchant Shipping (Liner Conferences) Bill, to replace the United Kingdom enactments so that their legal effect will continue after 30 June 1997. This systematic localisation of United Kingdom merchant shipping legislation has been underway for some years and has involved the enactment of primary and subsidiary legislation addressing such issues as marine pollution, shipping safety and the establishment of the Hong Kong shipping register.

The continued application to Hong Kong of the Convention will ensure that liner conferences which are based in Hong Kong are governed by uniform rules in accordance with international practices. As merchant shipping activities make a significant contribution to Hong Kong's economy, it is important that we continue to apply internationally recognised rules to our shipping industry and international trade. The Merchant Shipping (Liner Conferences) Bill will help to achieve this aim.

20

I now move the second reading of the Nuclear Material (Liability for Carriage) Bill.

The purpose of the Bill is to replace, through the enactment of local legislation, the relevant provisions of the United Kingdom Nuclear Installation Act 1965, as applied to Hong Kong by three Orders in Council made between 1972 and 1986. The three Orders in Council would cease to have effect in Hong Kong after 30 June 1997.

The Bill provides that operators of certain nuclear installations and other persons responsible for the carriage of nuclear material in Hong Kong have a duty to ensure that no occurrence involving the nuclear material causes injury to any person or damage to any property arising out of the hazardous properties of the material.

The Bill also makes provision in regard to compensation payable for such injury or damage and provides for a ten year limit on the time for bringing claims.

Mr President, 1 do not expect any consignment of nuclear material to pass through Hong Kong on its way to or from a nuclear installation in the foreseeable future. I consider however that it would be prudent to retain provision in the laws of Hong Kong concerning liability for the safe carriage of any such consignment. I therefore commend the Bill to this Council.

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

Bill making solicitors eligible for appointment to Supreme Court introduced *****

A bill seeking to expand the current eligibility criteria for direct appointment to the Supreme Court to include solicitors who have practised in Hong Kong for at least 10 years was introduced into the Legislative Council today (Wednesday).

Moving the second reading of the Supreme Court (Amendment) Bill 1995, the Attorney General, the Hon Jeremy Mathews, said the bill would provide a simple and objective test of eligibility, and ensure that no experienced legal practitioner in Hong Kong would be automatically excluded from applying for appointment to the Supreme Court.

This would substantially enlarge the pool of eligible candidates, he added.

21

Mr Mathews said although some people had expressed concern that it might be difficult to assess the suitability of a solicitor who had not appeared as an advocate or did not have the right of audience before the Supreme Court, this should not pose any insurmountable problem.

He said: "Apart from Mauritius, Hong Kong appears to be the only commonlaw jurisdiction which no longer provides any avenue by which a solicitor may be directly appointed to the High Court.

"Other jurisdictions which have introduced these avenues have been able to devise means of assessing the suitability of solicitors for appointment to the Bench. I am sure that Hong Kong can do so too," he added. Mr Mathews said the proposed amendment was concluded after the Administration had a series of discussions with the Bar Association and the Law Society.

Debate on the bill was adjourned.

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

Supreme Court (Amendment) Bill introduced to LegCo *****

Following is the speech by the Attorney General, the Hon Jeremy Mathews, in moving the second reading of the Supreme Court (Amendment) Bill 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move that the Supreme Court (Amendment) Bill 1995 be read the second time. The Bill puts forward an amendment to the Supreme Court Ordinance to expand the current eligibility criteria for direct appointment to the Supreme Court to include solicitors who have practised as such in Hong Kong for at least 10 years.

Members will recall that this Council passed, on 6 July last year, the Supreme Court (Amendment) Ordinance 1994 which established a formal system of appointing experienced barristers as recorders of the High Court, who would sit as temporary judges for specific periods. The qualifications for appointment as a recorder are the same as those in respect of permanent appointment to the Supreme Court, as set out in section 9(1) of the Supreme Court Ordinance. A legal practitioner in private practice is eligible for either appointment if he or she is a qualified barrister and has practised for at least 10 years as a barrister or solicitor.

22

Mr President, before that Ordinance was passed, the question of making solicitors also eligible for appointment as recorders of the High Court was raised by the Bills Committee. Following discussions with the Administration, the Bar Association and the Law Society, the Bills Committee agreed that the qualifications for appointment as recorders should be dealt with separately. It asked the Administration to discuss this issue with the Bar Association and the Law Society in the succeeding few months and then report its conclusion to the Panel on Administration of Justice and Legal Services.

After holding a series of discussions with the Bar Association and the Law Society, the Administration reaffirmed its view that the qualifications for appointment as recorders of the High Court should be the same as those for permanent appointments to the Supreme Court. The Administration also reached a preliminary conclusion that solicitors, who have practised as such in Hong Kong for 10 years or more, should be eligible for appointment as both recorders of the High Court and as permanent judges of the Supreme Court. The views of the Bar Association and the Law Society on this preliminary conclusion were sought last November. At the same time, the Administration briefed the Panel on the Administration of Justice and Legal Services. We also took part in the Panel’s subsequent discussions with the Bar Association and the Law Society in December.

Mr President, after carefully considering the different views expressed by the Bar Association and the Law Society, the Executive Council agreed on 17 January that solicitors who have practised in Hong Kong for 10 years or more should be made eligible for direct appointment to the Supreme Court and that this Bill should be introduced into this Council to make an appropriate amendment to the current eligibility criteria in section 9(1) of the Supreme Court Ordinance.

The amendment proposed in this Bill will provide a simple and objective test of eligibility, and will ensure that no experienced legal practitioner in Hong Kong will be automatically excluded from applying for appointment to the Supreme Court. This will substantially enlarge the pool of eligible candidates.

Some people, including some Members of this Council, expressed concern that it may be difficult to assess the suitability of a solicitor who has not appeared as an advocate or does not have the right of audience before the Supreme Court. I do not think that this should pose any insurmountable problem. Apart from Mauritius, Hong Kong appears to be the only common-law jurisdiction which no longer provides any avenue by which a solicitor may be directly appointed to the High Court. Other jurisdictions which have introduced these avenues have been able to devise means of assessing the suitability of solicitors for appointment to the Bench. 1 am sure that Hong Kong can do so too.

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

23

Code of practice on organised crime law

*****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, in moving a motion on Organised and Serious Crimes Ordinance in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

1 move the motion standing in my name on the Order Paper.

Under section 3(19) of the Organised and Serious Crimes Ordinance, I am required to prepare for approval by this Council a Code of Practice in connection with the exercise of powers and discharge of duties under section 3 of the Ordinance.

The main provisions of the Code of Practice are to set out:

(a) ‘ First of all, the questioning procedures for the interviews of persons subject to an order under section 3 of the Ordinance;

(b) secondly, the guidelines for the production of material under section 3 of the Ordinance; and

(c) thirdly, the complaint procedures for persons subject to an order under section 3 of the Ordinance.

Mr President, the draft Code of Practice has been examined carefully by the Legislative Council Ad Hoc Group studying the Organised and Serious Crimes Bill and has its support, for which 1 am grateful.

The motion seeks this Council's approval of the Code of Practice. This is an essential step in enabling the Administration to implement the special investigative powers under section 3 of the Ordinance.

Mr President, I beg to move.

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

24

Mutual Aid Committee subsidy under review

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Szeto Wah and a reply by the Acting Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Joseph Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In regard to the financial assistance granted to Mutual Aid Committees (MACs), will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the amount of financial assistance currently granted to MACs each month;

(b) when the amount was last revised; and

(c) whether there are any plans to increase the amount; if so, when it will be increased?

Reply:

Mr President,

Financial assistance is given by Government to MACs to help meet the costs of running the MAC offices. It covers such expenditure items as telephone rental, electricity charges, office furniture and equipment and stationery. I he current level of subsidy, up to a maximum of $700 per quarter, was set in 1988. It has been kept under regular review.

We have recently initiated a review on the level of subsidy and aim to complete the exercise as soon as possible.

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

25

Illegal rooftop structures ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the I Ion Yeung Sum and a reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Tony Eason, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

With regard to rooftop structures, will the Government inform this council of:

(a) the number of such structures in the territory at present; of these, how many are legal;

(b) the number of illegal rooftop structures assigned through solicitors and registered with the Land Registry in the past five years; and what is the legal justification for the Government permitting such transactions and registration of the assignments;

(c) the number of illegal rooftop structures on which rates are levied; what is the legal justification for levying rates on such structures: and

(d) the rehousing policy for residents of illegal rooftop structures; and whether such policy will be reviewed: if not, why not?

Answer

Mr President,

The answers to the nine or ten parts of this question are as follows:

(a) The Administration has neither counted the numbers of rooftop structures in the territory, nor determined how many are legal or illegal.

(b) Again, the numbers of rooftop structures, whether legal or illegal, assigned through solicitors and registered with the Land Registry in the past five years have not been counted.

26

The Land Registration Ordinance obliges the Land Registry to register any document which affect or appears to affect land. Where a transaction affects a piece of land or an undivided share in the land therefore, this is registered, whether or not a structure, legal or illegal, is involved. Registration of a land transaction does not make an illegal structure legal.

(c) Similarly, the Commissioner of Rating & Valuation docs not count the number of illegal rooftop structures which have been assessed to rates. Rates are a tax on the occupation of tenements. Under the Rating Ordinance, a property which can be separately occupied is liable for assessment to rates and its occupants are required to contribute their share of the rates. Whether a structure is legal under the Buildings Ordinance is not relevant; and payment of rates does not bestow legality on it.

(d) Rehousing assistance is offered to the occupants prior to the demolition of unauthorised rooftop structures. The policy is that no one will be rendered homeless as a result of such action. To qualify for public rental housing or for the Home Ownership Scheme, the occupants are required to prove that:

(i) they were living in the rooftop structures on or before 1 June 1982;

(ii) the majority of their family members have been living in Hong Kong for seven years or more: and

(iii) they have not owned any domestic property, not including the concerned rooftop structures, in the last 24 months.

Rooftop occupants who do not meet these criteria are offered rehousing in temporary housing areas. Those who do not satisfy the length of residence requirement but arc otherwise eligible may be rehoused in refurbished flats in older estates.

27

Subject to a recommendation being made by the Social Welfare Department, compassionate rehousing in either public housing or local temporary housing may also be offered on the basis of need.

The existing policy is fair and reasonable and the Government does not see any need for a review. Any change in policy in respect of one group, such as those affected by the demolition of rooftop structures, would be unfair and to the disadvantage of others, such as those in the queue for public housing units. Even the suggestion of a possibility of a policy change would encourage more illegal structures to be built and thereby increase the number of people living in risky conditions. We need to avoid giving encouragement to any action which would make the situation worse.

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

PRC traveller transit arrangement works well *****

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

Question:

Regarding the policy of permitting residents of mainland China to stay in the territory visa-free for a period not exceeding seven days on their way to and from a third country, will the Administration inform this Council:

(a) how many residents of mainland China on transit stay in the territory have been found overstaying since the introduction of this policy:

(b) whether the Administration has reviewed this policy: if so, what is the outcome of the review: and

(c) whether, in the light of operational experience, the Administration will consider ways of relaxing the policy, such as increasing the number of days for transit visits?

28

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) Since the introduction of the visa-free seven-day transit arrangement for PRC passport holders on 1 August 1993, the average number of PRC travellers overstaying the seven-day transit period has been 69 per month, or about 1,240 in total.

(b) We have regularly reviewed the policy since its introduction. The most recent reviews were conducted in June and in December 1994. We concluded that the arrangement was generally working well, but there had also been problems. In addition to the issue of overstaying, to which the Honourable Member refers, a fair number of PRC transitees have abused the system by, for example, failing to proceed to onward destinations, or engaging in unauthorised work, or using forged travel documents. Consequently the Immigration Department has stepped up screening efforts at the control points, and will continue to liaise closely with the Chinese side, through the Border Liaison Channel, to clamp down on such abuses.

(c) The introduction of this visa-free arrangement has improved convenience for PRC passport-holders travelling through Hong Kong. It has also reduced the workload on the Immigration Department. But in view of the existence of such abuses. I do not believe that the time is right to relax our policy any further at this stage. Nevertheless, we will keep the matter under review from time to time.

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

29

Tuen Mun Road traffic

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

/.•

Following is a question by the Hon Alfred Tso Shiu-wai and a reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

The findings of a survey indicate that during rush hours along the Tuen Mun Highway, buses account for 11% of the total traffic volume while private cars make up 47%. Also, according to my own on-site observation, over 70% of the private cars carry only one to two passengers, which is not in accordance with the principle of efficient use of roads. Under the bus-only lane pilot scheme which the Transport Department plans to implement during rush hours along the Tuen Mun Highway from 11th March this year, one-third of the road space will be reserved for the exclusive use of buses and the remaining two-thirds for other vehicles. This is also likely to result in serious traffic congestion. In the light of this, will the Government inform this council whether:

(a) it has any specific plan to encourage private car owners living in New Territories West to use their cars more efficiently when they drive to urban districts, such as mounting a publicity campaign to encourage private car owners to 'give a lift' to their friends and neighbours;

(b) it will take positive steps to develop 'point-to-point' express air-conditioned bus and green minibus services running from various housing/HOS estates in Tuen Mun and Yuen Long to MTR stations in urban districts, as well as to revise existing policies so as to allow public light buses (PLBs) to use the Tuen Mun Highway and bus-only lanes in order to encourage private car owners to travel by PLBs; and

(c) it will provide more funds for the establishment of a permanent traffic management team responsible for the day-to-day management of traffic along the Tuen Mun Highway?

30

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) The introduction of more bus priority schemes has been widely supported by the community and the Members of this Council in the context of the Administration's proposals for addressing the traffic congestion problem. In this respect, a trial scheme to provide a bus only lane along Tuen Mun Road is scheduled for implementation on 11 March this year. Details of the scheme are now being finalised and will be publicised. As part of this exercise, the Administration will mount a campaign to persuade commuters to use public transport services rather than to drive cars. I am grateful to the Hon Alfred Tso for his suggestion that those who continue to drive, should be encouraged to give lifts to their friends and neighbours so as to make better use of road space. We will follow this up. But, of course, we must ensure that no private car driver solicits paying passengers as this would be illegal.

(b) Sixteen air conditioned KMB bus routes have already been introduced with services from housing estates and major transport interchanges in the Yuen Long/Tuen Mun area to Tsim Sha Tsui as well as to various MTR stations. On the introduction of the bus only lane, KMB will provide 2 additional bus services from Sham Tseng and Siu Lam to the Tsuen Wan MTR Station. Also 11 existing services from Tuen Mun and Yuen Long will be strengthened by the provision of 11 extra buses. In addition, there are 39 resident coach services connecting particular housing developments with the urban area. The Transport Department will continue to encourage the provision of such services.

Our objective must remain to maximize the use of available road space by encouraging more people to use mass carriers, that is franchised buses and residential coaches which will have access to the dedicated bus only lane. At present, green minibuses can only use the Tuen Mun Road between midnight and 6 a.m. There are no plans to relax this restriction or allow red public light buses to use Tuen Mun Road.

31

(c) Over the last year, the Police have doubled the deployment of officers to patrol strategic roads in the New Territories, including Tuen Mun Highway. Additionally, extra Transport Department staff have also been provided to implement a Traffic Surveillance and Information System for Tuen Mun Road, the first phase of which will be completed in May this year. This will comprise closed circuit television cameras and variable display signboards so as to advise motorists of road conditions ahead, all of which will help to improve the management of traffic along Tuen Mun Road.

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

Overseas visits made by Governor ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Tam Yiu-chung and a reply by the Chief Secretary, the Hon Mrs Anson Chan, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the number of overseas visits (including duty trips to the UK) made by the Governor since he assumed office in 1992 and the total amount of public funds involved;

(b) the number of such visits scheduled for 1995 and the anticipated amount of public funds involved; and

(c) the criteria adopted by the Governor in determining whether to accept invitations for overseas visits; and how the Governor evaluates the effectiveness of his previous visits abroad so as to assess whether these visits are cost-effective?

32

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) The Governor has made 19 overseas visits - including 12 to the United Kingdom - since he assumed office in 1992. This was one fewer visit than Lord Wilson in his last two and a half years as Governor. The total cost of public funds of these visits was $4,660,328.

(b) As currently planned, in remainder of 1995, the Governor has accepted an invitation to visit Singapore in March, the costs of which will be borne by his hosts. He will also visit London in October. The cost of that visit is estimated at about $180,000. The Governor has also received invitations to visit other countries, including Vietnam, in this and future years and he is considering these invitations.

(c) The Governor has one criterion for deciding whether to accept invitations for overseas visits; and that is, will the visit help Hong Kong? Different visits have different purposes. Some aim to promote our trade relations with important trading partners. Other visits have a narrower focus, such as the Governor's visit to Washington in May 1993 to lobby President Clinton and senior US officials for MFN renewal. All his visits serve to focus attention on Hong Kong abroad and to increase understanding of our affairs amongst our international friends in the crucial run-up to 1997.

Visits to London have a particular purpose. The Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary and other senior Ministers expect to be kept closely in touch with the events in Hong Kong, increasingly so as 1997 approaches. When the Cabinet Committee on Hong Kong meets, the Governor is invited to attend. The Governor also uses his visits in London to keep the opposition parties at Westminster briefed on Hong Kong affairs, and to promote Hong Kong amongst the business community in Britain.

Visits made by the Governor are assessed against the specific purpose they were aimed to achieve, whether it be MFN renewal, promotion of our trade relations or promotion of greater understanding of our affairs. But the obvious yardsticks include the calls made by the Governor, the effectiveness with which the target audience was reached and specific Hong Kong concerns conveyed.

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

33

Hong Kong is not over-regulated

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Martin Barrow and a reply by the Secretary for Financial Services, Mr Michael Cartland, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

It has recently been estimated that in the United Kingdom the direct cost of compliance with various forms of regulation to the private sector amounts to 43b pounds sterling (HK$520 billion), or twice the size of its defence budget. Will the Government inform this Council whether -

(a) it has attempted to calculate the equivalent figure for the territory; if not,

why not;

(b) it is concerned that the cost of such compliance to the private sector in the territory may now be at an excessive level; if not, why not;

(c) it will undertake a review of the cost and benefits of the amount and extent of regulation; if not, why not; and

(d) it will take steps to reduce the cost of such compliance and, through deregulation, return the territory to the traditions of positive noninterventionism, which brought so much benefit to the economy of the territory and its people?

• . s . • . ’ • • • •

Answer:

Mr President,

The Administration has no reason to believe that Hong Kong is over-regulated or that the cost to the private sector of compliance with regulation is excessive. It has not, therefore, attempted to calculate the cost of compliance to the private sector. Nor does it plan to conduct an overall review of the cost and benefits of the amount and extent of regulation. Indeed such an exercise would itself be likely to prove costly, complex and hard to justify.

34

It is noted that the estimate relating to the United Kingdom was produced, not by the Government, but by the Institute of Directors. It is also relevant to note that the level and extent of regulation in Hong Kong is much lower and more limited than that in the United Kingdom. Indeed, Hong Kong has been recently ranked by Fortune Magazine as the world's best city in which to do business and by the Heritage Foundation as the freest economy in the world.

It is also relevant to point out that before any new piece of legislation is introduced, the Administration will have to assess its economic impact and that inevitably will involve a general assessment of the cost and benefits involved.

The Administration firmly believes in the philosophy of positive noninterventionism and its policies and regulatory schemes are a reflection of that philosophy. However, it must be accepted that regulation is sometimes necessary and indeed it can sometimes bring net economic and social benefits. Hong Kong, as a prosperous community and a world class financial and trade centre, cannot ignore the need for protecting the public and safeguarding its reputation and standing as an international financial and trade centre. The important point is that the Administration is fully aware of the need to ensure that overall, the impact of any regulation is beneficial to Hong Kong.

p>. .> . . ... f

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

Measures in place to control hawker activities

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Roger Luk Koon-hoo and a written reply by the Acting Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Joseph Wong, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday): •:

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council whether it is aware that the substantial increase in the number of hawkers in urban districts (including Central and Tsim Sha Tsui) has caused serious obstruction and nuisance to pedestrians; if so, whether any positive measures have been taken to address the problem?

35

Reply :

Records of the Urban Services Department indicate that there has been a decline in both the licensed and unlicensed hawker population in the urban area over the past few years. The number of licensed hawkers has reduced from 12,300 in 1992 to less than 11,000 at the end of 1994, primarily as a result of Urban Council policies designed to reduce the licensed hawker population in the urban area. Informal headcounts of unlicensed hawkers in the urban area also indicate a reduction of approximately 1,000 over the same period

In order to control hawker activity more effectively, the Urban Council and the Urban Services Department have recently put- in hand a number of measures. These include the phasing out of the whole category of itinerant hawker licence by 1 April 1996 which will further reduce the licensed hawking population. In addition, a new grade of Hawker Control Officer in the Urban Services Department has been introduced in the middle of 1994 to better manage the urban hawking population. Regional Task Forces of Hawker Control Officers have also been established recently to enhance the capacity of the Department to conduct surprise raids on hawker black spots and to reinforce district-based hawker control teams. Plans are in hand to expand the two Task Forces later this year.

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

Methadone clinics accessible to drug abusers

*****

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

Question :

As methadone treatment centres are located in residential areas, they not only pose threats to the environment but also have become crime black spots. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council whether :

(a) crime rates are on an upward trend over the past two years in areas where methadone treatment centres are located; and

36

(b) the Government has considered relocating such centres into neighbouring medical institutions so that they are away from residential areas; if so, what the progress is, if not, what the reasons are?

Reply :

Mr President,

(a) There is no evidence to suggest that there has been an upward trend in the crime rates in the areas surrounding methadone clinics. Overall the crime rates in such areas have remained stable; occasionally slight increases have been detected at individual clinics at different times. Generally there are slight increases in the crime rates when there is a shortage of supply of heroin on the street.

(b) The prime objective of the methadone treatment programme is to provide a readily accessible, legal, medically safe and effective alternative to illicit administration of opiate drugs by drug abusers. The success of the programme depends to a large extent on its accessibility to drug abusers. Methadone clinics are thus located in areas which are convenient of access to facilitate attendance by patients. Requests for relocation of methadone clinics are considered having regard to the availability of a suitable site which should be accessible and acceptable to the District Board concerned. The main difficulty in relocating methadone clinics lies in the identification of a suitable relocation site.

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

Drug abusers told to properly dispose of used syringes *****

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

Question:

As used syringes discarded by drug addicts have posed a serious health problem to residents in public housing estates, will the Government inform this council of the immediate strategy and long- term practical measures it will take to improve the situation?

37

Reply:

Mr President,

The government is concerned about the potential health hazard posed by improperly disposed used syringes to residents in public housing estates. Measures are being taken by various departments to tackle the problem.

>*

The Housing Department requires its cleansing contractors to remove immediately any discarded syringes found in the estates and to report to the estate office. Patrol guards and estate staff are instructed to keep a vigilant watch on the situation during their patrols. Estate staff also maintain close liaison with the Police to combat the problem and intensify patrol of black spots. On the other hand, notices are put up in estates to draw tenants' attention to the problem. They are encouraged, through regular estate newsletters, to report to the Police or estate office any discarded syringes found in the estate.

For the long term, education and training on the proper disposal and collection of used syringes will continue to be the main strategy in tackling the problem. The proper disposal of used syringes is incorporated as part of the health education messages targeted towards drug abusers. The message is disseminated to drug abusers through various channels - leaflets and handouts are distributed, reminders are posted in methadone clinics, workshops for recovering drug abusers and counselling services provided for methadone patients also emphasize drug abusers’ social responsibility in proper disposal of used syringes.

The Working Group on Drug Abuse and AIDS under the Committee on Education and Publicity on AIDS, in collaboration with the Pui Hong Self-Help Association, conducted a "Cleaning-up of Abandoned Syringes Pilot Project" in 1994. One of the objectives is to promote the proper disposal of used syringes. To this end, efforts are made to remove abandoned syringes from "black spots”, and to distribute education leaflets to drug abusers in the vicinity.

I

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

38

Tertiary student enrolment figures *****

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Samuel Wong Ping-wai and a written reply by the Acting Secretary for Education and Manpower, Miss Jacqueline Willis, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

Regarding the intake of students by tertiary institutions funded by the University Grants Committee in 1994-95, will the Government inform this Council :

(a) how does the actual intake of students by various tertiary institutions compare with the planned enrolment capacity; and

(b) what are the minimum matriculation grades required for enrolment by each department of these institutions; and whether the entry requirements have been lowered in order to enrol a sufficient number of students?

Reply :

Mr President,

(a) The Administration's student number target for the enrolment of first-year first-degree (FYFD) students in the seven institutions funded by the University Grants Committee (UGC) in the academic year 1994-95 is 14,500 students in full-time equivalent terms (fte). As at 31 December 1994, the provisional enrolment figures for FYFD students at the seven UGC-funded institutions were 14,146 students, meaning an overall under-enrolment of 2.4%. The under-enrolments in some of the institutions such as the City University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Baptist University were deliberate following advice from the UGC to redress the balance after over-enrolments at FYFD level in previous years so that the total undergraduate student numbers of these institutions would adhere to Government's approved overall student number targets at this level. A breakdown of the approved student targets and the provisional enrolment figures in the seven institutions is at Annex A. The final enrolment figures will not be available until midMarch 1995.

39

(b) Each institution has its own institution-wide minimum admission requirements, as summarised at Annex B. Some institutions have also maintained slightly different minimum admission requirements for their different departments or faculties, mainly in the results attained in the Use of English of the Hong Kong Advanced Supplementary (AS) Level Examination. The institutions have not lowered their entry requirements in order to enrol adequate numbers of students although some institutions have allowed their departments flexibility in considering whether applicants have met the specified language requirements for admission to some courses. For example, the Chinese University of Hong Kong has accepted a few students who have obtained Grade F in AS-Level Use of English but managed to pass the Supplementary English Examination as having fulfilled the English requirement for admission to some of the University's courses. The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has lowered the admission requirement of Grade D in the AS-Level Use of English to Grade E for some students. These students are nevertheless required to take and pass a non- credit-bearing language enhancement course, failing which they will not be allowed to continue their studies. Furthermore, the City University of Hong Kong has waived the Chinese Language requirement for applicants to its four full-time bachelor's degree courses offered by the Faculty of Science and Technology.

40


Enrolment of First-vear First-dearee fFYFD)Students

(as at 31 December 1994) Excess(+)/ Shortfall. (-) (fte)

Target (fte) (fte)

CityU 2,359 2,163 -196

HKBU 1,345 • 1,294 -31

LC 690 705 +15

CUHK 2,9X3 2,797* -116

PolyU 2,496 2,511 *15

HKUST 1,920 1,896 -24

HKU 2,777 2,790* +13

Total 14,500 14,156 -344

Nktsttuaoss! ■«nci

Note: # These are provisional enrolment figures as the institutions’ databases of FYFD numbers have not all yet closed for 31 December 1994. Final enrolment figures will only be available by mid March 1995.

* The figures exclude the 140 fte students enrolled on BEd (Primary) programmes offered by the two Universities which are funded separately, and not counted within the Government’s approved student number targets.

41

Axmex B

Mi.njfium Entry, RfrgKlXg&ftQtS for AamlS&i-QlL-t.o ucc-funded institutions

CityU - 1. Grade E in 2 A-level subjects or Grade E in 1 A-Level subject and 2 AS-level subjects; and if?

2. Grade E in Use of English at AS-level (except for the Faculty of Law which requires Grade D in Use of English at AS-level); and

3. Grade E in Chinese Language & Culture at AS level or Grade E in Chinese Literature or Chinese Language & Literature at A-level.

HKBU - 1. Grade E in 1 A-level subject; and

2, Grade E in two of the following three AS-level subjects :

(i) Use of English;

(ii) Chinese Language & Culture; and

(iii) Liberal Studies, aaa

3. Grade E in one additional AS-level or A-level

subject.

LC - 1, Grade E in 2 A-level subjects or Grade E in 1 A-level subject plus 1 AS-level subject (other than Use of English and Chinese Language & Culture); and

2. Grade E in AS-level Use of English; and

3. Grade E in AS-level Chinese Language & Culture.

CUHK - X. Grade E in 3 A-level or AS-level subjects (other than use of English and Chinese language & Culture), at least one of which is at A-level for the Faculty of Arts, Business Administration, Education, Medicine, and Anthropology and Journalism & Communication programmes of the Faculty of Social Science, and 2 of which are at A-level for the Faculty of Engineering, other programme of the Social Science Faculty; and

42

2. Grade E in AS-level Use of English; and

3. Grade E in AS-level Chinese Language & Culture.

PolyU - 1. Grade E in 2 A-level subjects or 1 A-level and 2 AS-level subjects other than Use of English and Chinese Language & Culture (except for the Faculty of Communication which requires Grade D in 1 A-level subject); and

2. Grade E in AS-level Use of English; and

3. AS-level in Chinese Language & Culture or A-level in Chinese Literature.

HKUST - !♦ Grade E in either 1 A-level subject and either AS-level Chinese Language & Culture or AS-level Liberal Studies, and two AS-level subjects; o£

2. Grade E in 2 A-Level subjects plus either AS-Level Chinese Language and- Culture, or AS-level Liberal Studies; and

3. Grade D in AS-level Use of English.

HKU - 1. Grade E in 2 A-level subjects or Grade E in 1 A-level subject plus 2 AS-Level subjects (other than Use of English and Chinese Language and Culture); and

2. Grade D in AS-level Use of English; and

3« Grade E in AS-level Chinese Language & culture.

[Note: 1.

2.

A-level means

Examination

AS-level means

Examination ]

Hong Kong Advanced Level

Advanced Supplementary Level

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

43

Vehicle speed detectors ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

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

Question:

Regarding the effectiveness of using speed detectors in improving traffic safety, will the Administration inform this Council of:

(a) the number of traffic accident "black spots" in the territory; and

(b) the number of locations regularly used for speed detection; and how many of these locations are traffic accident black spots?

Reply:

Mr President,

Sites are designated as traffic accident black spots if, within a 12 month period, these have been the locations of several accidents involving injury to passengers or pedestrians.

There are 174 traffic accident black spots designated in the territory: 26 on Hong Kong Island, 122 in Kowloon and 26 in the New Territories.

Speed checks on vehicles are carried out for road safety purposes. Speed detectors are mounted at different spots and different times. In all there are 248 locations used for this purpose including 165 of the traffic black spots. Speed checks are not mounted at the remaining 9 black spot sites because of difficulty in setting up the detection equipment at those locations.

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

44

Government supports participation in international AIDS conferences

*****

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Conrad Lam Kui-shing and a written reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

With regard to Hong Kong’s participation in international conferences on AIDS, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of participants from the territory at the international Conference on AIDS organised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Japan in August 1994, together with the total amount of expenditure incurred by the Government on this occasion and the benefits gained from the conference;

(b) whether delegates from the territory were sent to attend the first AIDS Summit held on 1 December 1994 in Paris; if not, why not; and

(c) of the Government’s policy on participation in international conferences/work on AIDS?

Reply :

(a) As far as we know, a total of 37 persons from Hong Kong participated in the International Conference on AIDS organised by the World Health Organisation in Japan in August 1994. Of these, eight were representatives of the government (from Health and Welfare Branch, the Department of Health and the Social Welfare Department). The total expenditure incurred by the Government on this occasion was HK$341,800.00, which includes the cost of setting up an exhibition booth at the conference.

The strong contingent attending the Yokohama Conference was a clear demonstration of Hong Kong’s commitment to the fight against AIDS. In addition to the exhibition booth, which was very favourably received, Hong Kong participants made a total of 15 abstract presentations. The Secretary for Health and Welfare addressed a well-attended session of the conference.

45

The conference also provided an excellent opportunity for participants to make official contacts with international organisations (including the World Health Organisation, the World Bank and the United Nations Development Program) and delegates from other countries, thus facilitating networking and co-ordination of efforts in confronting the AIDS problem. It enabled Hong Kong to keep abreast with current developments in AIDS programmes on the international scene.

The Conference also enabled us to share experience with other countries. Reference has been made to the information collected during the conference in the design of AIDS education and care programmes in Hong Kong.

(b) The AIDS Summit was conceived by the French Government and held on 1 December 1994 in Paris. Its goal was to heighten political commitment in HIV affected countries with the expectation that this would lead to greater efforts to curb the spread of HIV and assist those affected. Heads of Government from about 42 countries were invited ; Hong Kong was not invited to participate in the event.

(c) The government in general supports participation in international AIDS conferences as it is important to keep Hong Kong in the forefront of advances in this fast-moving field. The choice of conference and the selection of participants, however, are made after careful consideration of the benefits that could be derived from such an attendance.

Effective AIDS control calls for co-ordinated international efforts and Hong Kong actively participates in such work. Over the past few years, Hong Kong has taken part in meetings that have brought together officials and representatives from different countries to discuss and exchange views on matters of common concern. The type of collaborative work generated has included scientific research, public health programmes and policy development. In fact, Hong Kong has just participated in the International Consultation for Policy-makers on Women & AIDS in Geneva in preparation for the Beijing Conference later this year.

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

46

Exemption from business registration fee ♦ ♦ * * ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Albert Chan and a written reply by the Secretary for the Treasury, Mr Donald Tsang, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

In his Budget Speech for the current financial year presented in March 1994, the Financial Secretary proposed to increase substantially the exemption levels for the business registration fee paid by businesses with a small turnover, so that a business with average monthly sales not exceeding $15,000 or a business rendering services with average monthly receipts not exceeding $4,000, would be exempt from the fee. The Business Registration Ordinance was amended on April 1 in the same year to implement this policy. However, it is learnt that some eligible businesses are unaware of this exemption policy and have paid the business registration fee. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) what steps the Government has taken to publicise the new policy among small businesses;

(b) whether there are any channels for those small businesses eligible for exemption, who are unaware of the new policy and have paid the business registration fee, to apply for refund of the fee paid; and

(c) whether the staff of the Business Registration Office have a responsibility for advising small businesses of the new policy?

Answer:

In reply to the three questions raised by the Honourable Member -

(a) details of the increase in exemption levels (proposed in the 1994 Budget) have been included in publications issued by the Inland Revenue Department, namely:

* How to Apply for Business Registration

47

♦ Synopsis of Taxes Administered by the Inland Revenue Department.

These publications are available in both English and Chinese at all offices of the Inland Revenue Department and at District Offices. In addition, copies of the publication, "How to Apply for Business Registration" and a specimen application form (Form 3), "Claim for exemption from payment of fee and levy under section 9 of the Business Registration Ordinance" are displayed on notice boards in the public hall of the Business Registration Office, which is situated at the Department’s main offices in Revenue Tower.

The department operates an Enquiry Service Centre for general enquiries and the Business Registration enquiry counter for specific enquiries. Members of the public can obtain information on the current exemption levels from staff stationed at either'of these enquiry counters Ideated in the department's main offices in Revenue Tower. The department also operates a 24-hour public telephone enquiry system and this service includes details of the current exemption levels.

(b) an unincorporated business may apply for exemption and where granted after payment of the prescribed business registration fee, the fee paid will be refunded. Applications for exemption (using Form 3) must be .submitted no later than one month before the date of expiry of a current business registration certificate, or in the case of a new business, one month after application for the registration of the business. However, the Commissioner of Inland Revenue will normally accept late applications if reasonable grounds are shown.

(c) staff of the Business Registration Office and the General Enquiry Service Centre bring to the attention of members of the public, where necessary, details of the current exemption levels for business registration.

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

48

1,052 Viet migrants given jail term in 93 and 94 ♦ ♦ ♦ * *

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Tang Siu-tong and a written reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

>:

Question :

With regard to the Vietnamese Boat People (VBP) who have been convicted of criminal offences and given prison sentences, will the Government inform this Council: ,,

(a) of the total number of VBP convicted and given prison sentences in the past two years, together with the longest and average prison terms;

i:

(b) whether any VBP are serving prison terms that straddle 30 June 1997; if so. the total number of such VBP and whether they will be repatriated as soon as they have served out their prison terms; and

(c) whether, in regard to those VBP whose prison terms stretch beyond 30 June 1997, the Government has conducted any negotiations with the Vietnamese Government for such VBP to be repatriated after that date so that they can continue to serve the remainder of their prison terms in their own country?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) In 1993 and 1994, 1,052 Vietnamese migrants were convicted and sentenced to imprisonment. The longest prison term was life imprisonment, and the average was eight months.

(b) Vietnamese migrants are now serving sentences which will straddle 30 June 1997. The intention is that they should be deported to Vietnam after they have served their sentences.

(c) The Administration has not conducted any negotiations with the Vietnamese Government on the possibility of Vietnamese migrants who are serving prison sentences in Hong Kong being repatriated to serve the remainder of their sentences in Vietnam.

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

49

Government to set green example

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Man Sai-cheong and a written reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Tony Eason, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In his 1993 policy address, the Governor stated that the Government would invite the private sector to appoint a ’’Green Manager” in each of their companies to arouse environmental awareness and conduct environmental audits. < In a recent study on this issue prepared by a green group, it is reported that only a fraction of companies have appointed green managers for environmental matters. This indicates that the response from the private sector to the Government’s appeal has not been keen. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the present situation regarding the carrying out of environmental audits in the private sector; and '

1-1 *' “j’1 " 1>S'

(b) whether the target set by the Govemirient has been achieved; if not, what further action will be taken to improve the present situation, so as to help local industry to carry out environmental audits and adopt measures to reduce the consumption of energy, paper and other resources?

Reply:

Mr President, ■ '•' ...e r f .•

•” : ‘UI .. i.

(a) Although precise figures are not available, we understand that some 40 commercial and industrial companies have carried out environmental audits or are jn the process of doing so. Some companies have also produced or sponsored the production of environmental audit manuals which are available to other organisations.

(b) We have not set a specific target for environmental audits to be carried out by companies in the private sector. The approach we have adopted is to set a good green example for the private sector to follow and to work in partnership with the private sector to promote a reduction in resource consumption.

‘........... .. ,

- 50 -

To set a good green example, all government departments and branches have appointed Green Managers since January 1994. Two government departments also completed pilot environmental audits in December 1994 and we are now working towards extending the concept of environmental audit and management to other departments and branches. f., __ • .

To provide guidance and advice, the Environmental Protection Department provides technical advice to local companies on the approach to environmental audits and will establish by April 1995 a directory of consultants with appropriate expertise in the field of environmental audit and management. Specifically on reduction of energy consumption, the Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee has produced advisory notes for the commercial sector and building management companies of residential buildings. It will also make available a guide on energy audit for distribution to companies in the commercial and industrial sector in mid-1995. Furthermore, the Industry Department is co-ordinating a number of initiatives on increasing manufacturers' awareness of the benefits of good environmental practice. Members may wish to refer to the reply provided by the Secretary for Trade and Industry on 25 January 1995.

> - A,

To work in partnership with the private sector, we liaise with nongovernment organisations, such as the Hong Kong Productivity Council and the Centre of Environmental Technology, as well as major industrial and commercial associations. We will continue to work closely with these organisations to promote environmental audit and to encourage companies to identify opportunities for reducing resource consumption.

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

Alleged bigamy cases *****

Following is a question by the Hon Eric Li Ka-cheung and a written reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council :

51

(a) whether, in handling alleged bigamy cases, there are insurmountable difficulties in law enforcement and evidence adduction if the ceremony of the second marriage was conducted outside the territory; if so, what the difficulties are; and

(b) what was the number of alleged bigamy cases in each of the past three years and how many of such cases resulted in conviction; of the convicted cases, how many involved the penalty of imprisonment and how many involved the penalty of fines; and how many of the alleged bigamy cases involved marriages which took place outside the territory?

Reply :

Mr President,

(a) Under Section 45 of the Offences Against the Persons Ordinance (Cap. 212), any individual who, being married, marries another person during the life of the former husband or wife, is liable to imprisonment for a maximum period of 7 years. Evidence of the second marriage is essential to prove the offence of bigamy. In order to prosecute for this offence, there must be proof that the individual has been married before he/she registered for marriage in Hong Kong. There is, however, no jurisdiction for the Hong Kong Courts to prosecute an individual, who being married here, registers himself or herself again for marriage outside the territory.

Collection of evidence could be complex where the first marriage is registered outside the territory; the Hong Kong Courts have to rely on the foreign jurisdiction to provide the original records or duly certified copies of such records as evidence. An authorised official from that jurisdiction must testify in the Hong Kong courts in the event that the records of marriage are contested. Despite these difficulties, it is possible to adduce evidence for the prosecution of bigamy in Hong Kong courts provided that documentary evidence of registration is available.

(b) The number of alleged bigamy cases in each of the past three years is as follows

52

1222. 1222 1224

total number of cases 51(48) 36(34) 41(36)

total number of convictions 23 15 10

Footnote:

number in brackets represent the number of cases involving marriages which took place outside Hong Kong

Details of the types of sentences are provided as follows:-

Type of sentence 1992 1993 1224

imprisonment - 1 -

suspended sentence - 2 2

fine 21 9 6

fine and suspended sentence 2 3 2

——— — ——

23 15 10

» • > •. • • ’ ... 1

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

Free trade means complete absence of barriers * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by Dr the Hon David Li Kwok-po and a written reply by the Secretary for Trade and Industry, Mr T H Chau, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

At the last meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) on November 15, 1994, all members agreed to implement an official timetable to remove all trade and non-trade barriers and to promote "free trade" within the Asian region. However, the definition of "free trade" differs among the APEC members, with some considering that trade liberalisation should be on non-discriminatory grounds. Will the Government inform this Council of its own definition of ’’free trade”?

53

Reply:

The APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting held on November 15, 1994 in Bogor, Indonesia, issued a Declaration of Common Resolve which, among other things, set a goal of free trade in the Asia-Pacific region, to be achieved by 2010 for industrialised economies and by 2020 for developing economies. Detailed proposals to implement this goal, including the definition of free trade, will be considered by officials of APEC member economies this year and then submitted to the APEC Economic Leaders for their decision at their next meeting, to be held in Osaka, Japan, in November 1995.

The Hong Kong Government believes that "free trade", as reflected in the free trade policy practised by Hong Kong, means the complete absence of barriers, whether in the form of customs tariff, quotas or other restrictions, to the free flow of goods and services across borders.

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

Supply of student hostels

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Timothy Ha Wing-ho and a written reply by the Acting Secretary for Education and Manpower, Miss Jacqueline Willis, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

Owing to a sharp increase in university places in recent years, the supply of student hostels has fallen short of the demand. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council

(a) of the respective expected numbers of hostel places to be provided by each of the University Grants Committee funded tertiary institutions for its students on bachelor's, master’s and doctoral degrees and other courses in the current academic year, together with a breakdown of the actual provision of hostel places in each of these institutions;

54

(b) whether there is any difference in the proportion of actual provision to expected provision of hostel places among these institutions; if so, what the reasons are; and

(c) whether the Government has formulated any plan to ease the shortage of student hostels; if so, what the details are; if not, why not ?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) The levels of provision of student hostels at the institutions funded by the University Grants Committee (UGC) are different largely because of historical and locational reasons. The Government does not specify the percentage of hostel places to be provided for students studying at different levels. It is up to the institutions to allocate the hostel places.

Publicly-funded student hostels are not provided for three of the UGC-funded institutions i.e. the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU), the City University of Hong Kong (CityU) and the Baptist University (HKBU). The existing planning standards for the provision of publicly-funded hostels places at the other four institutions, the University of Hong Kong (HKU), the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) and the Lingnan College (LC) are -

HKU - up to 25% of the hill-time student population

CUHK - up to 50% of the full-time student population

HKUST - up to 30% of the full-time student population

LC - up to 50% of the full-time student population.

The current practice is that these institutions are required to meet at least 25% of the total construction costs of the ’’approved hostel places” from private donations. At Annex A is a breakdown of the actual number of hostel places provided at the relevant institutions in the current academic year i.e. 1994-95.

55

(b) As shown in Annex A, the proportion of actual provision to expected provision of hostel places among the institutions varies. In the case of HKU and CUHK, the numbers of publicly-funded hostel places are lower than the planned maximum levels. However, the two institutions have secured private funds to provide hostel places so that the total numbers of hostel places are about 24% and 37% of their students respectively. As regards HKUST, it has currently hostel places for about 42% of its existing students, which is beyond the level stipulated by the Government. However, when the University’s student population reaches the designed capacity, the publicly funded hostel places will accommodate about 30% of the student population. And for Lingnan College, since it has been successful in securing private donations for additional hostel accommodation, 72% of its student population will be provided with hostel places upon its moving to the new campus in Tuen Mun in September 1995.

(c) The Government will continue to encourage the UGC-fimded institutions to seek private funds to provide more hostel places. Subject to the availability of suitable sites, the Government is prepared to consider granting land at nominal premium to facilitate the construction of student hostels by these institutions. Also, the UGC is now conducting a review of the space and accommodation provided to UGC-funded institutions. The requirement for student hostels is an important element of the review which is expected to be completed by late 1995/early 1996. The Government will consider whether the existing policy on the provision of student hostels needs to be adjusted in the light of the results of the review.

56

Annex A

Number of Student Hostel Places provided in the UGC-Funded Institutions in 1994-95

Government funded hostel places

Privately funded hostel places

Total

Planning Standards#

HKU 2,066(19%) 516 (5%) 2,582(24%) 25%

CUHK. 2,183 (20%) 1,799 (17%) 3,982 (37%) 50%

HKUST 2,078 (42%) - 2,078 (42%) 30%

Note

( ) denotes the number of hostel places as a percentage to the student number (fte) population *

The actual enrolment figures of full-time students for 1994-95 will not be available until mid-March 1995 and therefore the approved student number targets are used in calculating the number of hostel places as a percentage of the student number population

# Number of publicly-funded hostel places as a percentage to the student number (fte) population

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

57

Standing Committee on Pressure Groups disbanded in 1982 * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Anna Wu Hung-yuk and a written reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the establishment and subsequent activities of the Standing Committee on Pressure Groups (SCOPG) during the 1970's and early 1980's, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the date when the SCOPG was established, what its terms of reference

were, how many times it was convened, an what its membership was;

(b) which parties SCOPG had singled out for monitoring, and how these parties were selected for surveillance; and

(c) whether there were any reports on the activities of the parties under surveillance by the SCOPG; if so, where such reports were kept; and whether the parties concerned will be granted access to such reports?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) The Standing Committee on Pressure Groups (SCOPG) was established in 1977 under the chairmanship of the then Home Affairs and Information Services Branch to report to and advise the Government on social and political trends and developments in Hong Kong. It was disbanded in 1982. During its establishment the committee met twice yearly. Its membership comprised representatives from Home Affairs and Information Services Branch, Home Affairs Department, Government Information Services and the Police.

(b) The committee had no executive or operational functions; its role was advisory. It would have made assessments on groups which had a bearing on social and political trends and developments in Hong Kong. I am not aware that it 'singled out' any particular group for surveillance.

(c) All SCOPG files containing assessments and reports have been destroyed.

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995


- 58 -

Home ownership blocks will be built to satisfactory standard

♦ ♦ * * *

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

Question:

There have been complaints recently from residents of home ownership scheme flats that the standards of quality of their flats were not in conformity with the descriptions in the sales brochures. For example, in the sales brochure of Phase 15A flats at Tsz On Court and Ko Chun Court, it was stated that mosaic tiles and acrylic paint would be used for the external walls of the buildings. However, acrylic paint was used for most of the external walls of Ko Chun Court while mosaic tiles were used for Tsz On Court. It was unfair to the residents that the authority concerned neither informed them nor made any public announcement about the change. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether the Housing Department has switched to the use of acrylic paint on the external walls of Ko Chun Court; and what appropriate remedial measures will be taken?

Answer

Mr President,

Owing to the shortage of skilled labour for laying mosaic tiles and technological improvements in the quality of acrylic paint, the Housing Department's current practice is to use fewer mosaic tiles and more acrylic paint on the external walls of domestic blocks.

Both Ko Chun Court and Tsz On Court have a combination of acrylic paint and mosaic tiles on the external walls of their domestic blocks. There is no contradiction with the descriptions in the sales brochures of these blocks.

The Housing Department places emphasis on the quality of its construction work. Members of this Council may rest assured that the domestic blocks in Ko Chun Court, which will be completed later this year, will be built to a satisfactory standard before the flats are handed over to the purchasers.

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

59

Motions on traffic congestion and bus services passed ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Legislative Council today (Wednesday) passed a motion put forward by the Hon Mrs Miriam Lau urging the Government to fully consider the public views expressed on the "Report of the Working Party on Measures to Address Traffic Congestion" and to adopt such measures that are both fair and effective to solve the traffic congestion problem in Hong Kong.

The Council also debated a motion tabled by the Hon Wong Wai-yin urging the Government to freeze the bus fares of the Kowloon Motor Bus Company at the present level; and to revoke the China Motor Bus Company’s franchise upon its expiry in August this year and open all bus routes on Hong Kong Island for open tender.

The motion was passed with amendments by Mrs Miriam Lau to the effect that the Government was being urged to keep the KMB fare increase at a reasonable level and to open some of the CMB routes for open tender.

The Council passed a motion moved by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, to approve the Code of Practice for the questioning of persons and the production of material under the Organised and Serious Crimes Ordinance.

Five bills were introduced into the Council for first and second readings. They were the Supreme Court (Amendment) Bill 1995, Builders’ Lifts and Tower Working Platforms (Safety) Bill, the Merchant Shipping (Liner Conferences) Bill, the Nuclear Material (Liability for Carriage) Bill and Insurance Companies (Amendment) Bill 1995. Debates on them were adjourned.

Debates were resumed on the Exchange Fund (Amendment) Bill 1994, the Administration of Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 1994, the Waste Disposal (Amendment) Bill 1994 and the Shipping and Port Control (Amendment) Bill 1994. All four bills passed the Committee Stage and were given a third reading. Among them, the Administration of Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 1994 was passed with amendments.

The Acting Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Joseph Wong, presented to the Council the Regional Council estimates of revenue and expenditure for the year ending March 31, 1996.

The Hon Peter Wong addressed the Council on the report of the Public Accounts Committee on the report of the Director of Audit on the accounts of the Hong Kong Government for the year ended March 31, 1994 and the results of value for money audits (January 1995 - PAC report No.23).

Members asked 20 questions, six of which called for oral answers from the Administration.

End/Wednesday, February 15, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Thursday, February 16,1995

Contents Page No,

Pilot scheme for Code on Access to Information................ 1

6,730 agreements lodged with Land Registry in January..... 3

Revision of car parking fees at airport....................... 4

Outward processing trade in China for third quarter 1994...... 5

Business Prospects for 1995 ................................. 10

Air quality report for January............................... 12

Electronics brings lively new dimension to Arts Festival.. 14

Conductive learning centre for mentally handicapped people . 15

Tribute to Dr Sinclair.................................... 16

Inter-school contest encourages acceptance of disabled.... 16

Students compete in Chinese calligraphy contest.............. 17

Education programme on sexually transmitted diseases and HIV.......................................................... 18

Integration of patient service and research in fight against cancer....................................................... 19

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations ....

20

1

Pilot scheme for Code on Access to Information

*****

The Government announced today (Thursday) the introduction of an administrative Code on Access to Information, initially in nine departments and policy branches on a pilot scheme basis, for six months, starting from March 1 this year.

The departments and branches selected for the pilot scheme are the Architectural Services Department, Customs and Excise Department, Government Supplies Department, Highways Department, Home Affairs Department, Social Welfare Department, Home Affairs Branch, Recreation and Culture Branch, and Works Branch.

The Code will subsequently be extended throughout the Government, by the end of 1996 at the latest, subject to whatever modifications may be necessary on the basis of experience gained in the pilot scheme.

Announcing details at a press conference today, the head of the Efficiency Unit project team which developed the Code, Mr David Weeks, said the scheme represented a step forward in the Government's commitment to greater openness and transparency.

"The Code, supplemented by comprehensive guidelines on its interpretation and application, was developed by a special project team in the Efficiency Unit, assisted by a consultant with wide experience of access to information systems elsewhere in the world," Mr Weeks said.

"In developing the Code we have drawn on legislative regimes overseas and also on the UK Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

"During various stages of development, all Government departments and branches were consulted. Also, valuable advice was received from the LegCo Panel on Information Policy, the Hong Kong Bar Association, the Hong Kong Journalists Association and the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce."

2

Mr Weeks noted that it was Government's intention to pursue through the Code the policy that information held by the Government would be made available,, either routinely or on request unless there were valid reasons related to public, private or commercial interests to withhold the information.

"To this end the Code fairly balances openness with the need to protect public and private rights essential to effective government, and personal and commercial privacy," he added.

The Code is divided into two parts. Part 1 describes the scope of the Code and the procedures of application, the system of charges and the availability of internal review process as well as the avenue of complaint to the Office of the Commissioner for Administrative Complaints (COMAC) if an applicant is not satisfied with the way the Code has been applied.

The existing machinery of COMAC provides an independent redress mechanism to deal with any differences of interpretation that may arise in the application of the Code.

Part 2 of the Code sets out the 16 categories of information to which public access may be refused.

"With a few exceptions, the withholding of information is subject to a harm test whereby a department must consider whether any harm or prejudice that may result from disclosure outweighs the public interest in disclosure," Mr Weeks explained.

Charges for access to information will simply be the standard charge for making copies of the records to which access is granted.

Requests for access to information held by the nine pilot scheme departments/branches may be made on application forms or in writing to their respective Access to Information Officer.

3

If members of the public are not sure which department holds the information they seek, they may obtain advice at any Public Enquiry Service Centre.

Copies of the Code and application forms are available at the Public Enquiry Service Centres of all District Offices and at the headquarters and branch offices of the participating departments and branches.

A j|' -'1

End/Thursday, February 16, 1995

6,730 agreements lodged with Land Registry in January *****

A total of 6,730 sale and purchase agreements for building units, which include both residential and non-residential properties, were lodged with the Land Registry last month.

The figure represents a decrease of 7.3 per cent from that of December 1994, and a 37.4 per cent drop compared with January 1994.

The total consideration of these agreements is $17.08 billion, down 29.5 per cent and 57.9 per cent compared with the amounts for December 1994 and January 1994 respectively.

The figures are contained in the monthly statistics released today (Thursday) 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 December 1994 and January 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.

4

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/Thursday, February 16, 1995

Revision of car parking fees at airport *****

The fees charged for vehicle parking at the Hong Kong International Airport at Kai Tak will be increased from April 1 this year, a government spokesman announced today (Thursday).

"The last fee revision exercise was conducted in 1992. Since then, car parking rates in prime parking locations and the vicinity of the airport have risen considerably. The increase in fees is to discourage casual parking by non-airport users and long stay parking at the airport," the spokesman said.

"This will also help to ensure that the airport car parks are used efficiently so as to provide enough spaces for members of the public using the airport."

Details of the fee revision are:

5

Present Fee

New Fee

Public Car Park

At Multi-Storey Car Park and Cargo Circuit Car Park

(a) First and second hours or part thereof

$13 per hour

$16 per hour

(b) Every subsequent hour or part thereof

$26 per hour

$32 per hour

At Concorde Road Car Park

$12 per hour

$14 per hour

Special Car Park

Private car

$1,250 per month

$1,680 per month

Commercial Vehicle

$1,650 per month

$2,250 per month

End/Thursday, February 16, 1995

Outward processing trade in China for third quarter 1994

* ♦ * * *

In the third quarter of last year, 51% of Hong Kong's total exports to China were for outward processing; the figure was 74% for domestic exports, and 47% for re-exports.

6

On the other hand, 80% of Hong Kong's imports from China were related to outward processing, according to statistics released today (Thursday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

Over the same period, 82% of Hong Kong's re- exports of China origin to all countries other than China were produced through outward processing in China.

The corresponding proportions in the third quarter of 1993 were 47% for total exports to China, 73% for domestic exports to China, 41% for re-exports to China, 73% for imports from China and 81% for reexports of China origin to all countries other than China.

In January-September 1994, 47% of Hong Kong's total exports to China were for outward processing; the figure was 73% for domestic exports, and 43% for re-exports.

On the other hand, 78% of Hong Kong's imports from China were related to outward processing.

Over the same period, 81% of Hong Kong's re- exports of China origin to all countries other than China were produced through outward processing in China.

The corresponding proportions in January- September 1993 were 48% for total exports to China, 73% for domestic exports to China, 42% for re-exports to China, 73% for imports from China and 81% for reexports of China origin to all countries other than China.

To provide a better understanding of the nature and importance of outward processing in China initiated by Hong Kong firms, the Census and Statistics Department has been conducting a sample survey as from the third quarter of 1988 to distinguish Hong Kong's exports to China into those which are for outward processing and those which are not.

The scope of the survey has been extended from the first quarter of 1989 to segregate Hong Kong's imports from China into those that are related to outward processing and those that are not.

Starting from the first quarter of 1991, the scope of the survey has further been extended to cover Hong Kong's re-exports of China origin to all countries other than China.

The results for the third quarter and January-September 1994 are now available.

In value terms, $51,153 million of Hong Kong's total exports to China in the third quarter of 1994 were for outward processing, representing an increase of 24% over the third quarter of 1993.

The value of domestic exports to China for outward processing decreased by 1% to $11,593 million whilst the value of re-exports to China for outward processing grew by 34% to $39,560 million.

Over the same period of comparison, the value of imports from China related to outward processing increased by 29% to $104,452 million, r . -

On the other hand, $122,209 million of Hong Kong's re-exports of China origin to all countries other than China were produced through outward processing in China, representing an increase of 17%.

In January-September 1994, $131,784 million of Hong Kong's total exports to China were for outward processing, representing an increase of 13% over January-September 1993.

j ’ Ii •

The value of domestic exports to China for outward processing dropped by 6% to $31,365 million while the value of re-exports to China for outward processing grew by 20% to $100,419 million.

Over the same period of comparison, the value of imports from China related to outward processing increased by 24% to $262,609 million.

On the other hand, $305,232 million of Hong Kong's re-exports of China origin to all countries other than China were produced through outward processing in China, representing an increase of 15%.

The estimates for the third quarter and January-September 1994 and the corresponding changes over the same period in 1993 are summarised in the following table :-

ESTIMATED VALUE AND PROPORTION OF TRADE INVOLVING OUTWARD PROCESSING IN

CHINA, 3RD QUARTER AND JANUARY-SEPTEMBER .1994---------------------------

3rd qtr. 1994 (HKD Mn.) Percentage change over 3rd qtr. 1993 (%) Jan- Sep 19g4_ (HKD Mn.) Percentage change over Jan-Seo 1.993* (%)

Total trade value * :

Total exports to China 100,063 +14.7 278,180 +13.4

Domestic exports to China 15,721 - 2.3 43,197 - 5.1

Re-exports to China 84,342 +18.6 234,983 +17.6

Imports from China 130,943 +17.5 338,428 + 16.3

Re-exports of China origin to all countries other 148,274 +15.1 375,003 +14.4

than China

Estimated value involving outward processing in China 131,784 + 13.0

Total exports to China Domestic experts to China 51,153 +24.4

11,593 - 0.7 31,365 - 5.6

Re-exports to China 39,560 +34.4 100,419 +20.5

Imports from China 104,452 +28.9 262,609 +24:0

Re-exports of China origin to all countries other than China 122,209 +17.3 305,232 + 15.1

Estimated proportion involving outward

3rd qtr.

1994 (%)

Total exports to China 51.1

Domestic exports to China 73.7

Re-exports to China 46.9

Imports from China 79.8

Re-exports of China origin 82.4

to all countries other than China

* The value excludes commodities according to kind.

processinq ip China :

3rd Jan- Jan-

qtr. Sep Sep

.19.9.3. 19.94. 1993

(%) (%) (%)

47.2 47.4 47.5

72.6 72.6 73.0

41.4 42.7 41.7

72.8 77.6 72.8

80.9 81.4 80.9

and transactions not classified

9

For the purpose of the survey, exports (domestic exports and reexports) to China for outward processing refer to the exportation of raw materials or semi-manufactures from or through Hong Kong to China for processing with a contractual arrangement for subsequent re- importation of the processed goods into Hong Kong.

Imports from China related to outward processing refer to the importation of processed goods from China of which all or part of their raw materials or semi-manufactures have been under contractual arrangement exported from or through Hong Kong to China for processing. „

Re-exports of China origin to all countries other than China produced through outward processing in China refer to those re-exports of which all or part of their raw materials or semi- manufactures have been exported from or through Hong Kong to China for processing with a contractual arrangement for subsequent re- importation of the processed goods into Hong Kong.

In interpreting the statistics, it should be noted that the value and proportion of imports from China and re-exports of China origin to all countries other than China involving outward processing in China refer to those of the entire goods instead of just the value added contributed by outward processing in China.

A sample of trade declarations in respect of Hong Kong's trade with China (domestic exports and re-exports to China, and imports from China) as well as Hong Kong's re-exports of China origin to all countries other than China is selected for enumeration to obtain the required information from the establishments concerned.

- i • -i-.' I

A spokesman for the Census and Statistics Department explained that under the internationally accepted system of recording trade flows, all movements of goods (except transhipments and goods-in-transit) across the border, whether for outward processing or not, are recorded as external trade.

10

Thus the movements of goods associated with outward processing are correctly included in the regular trade statistics.

The findings of the survey, however, facilitate a more informed analysis of the nature of Hong Kong-China trade. In this respect, the survey results are a useful supplement to the regular trade statistics.

The survey results will be included in the December 1994 issue of the "Hong Kong External Trade". The report will be on sale by the end of February at the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor, 66 Queensway, and at the Publications Section of the Census and Statistics Department, 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, at $86 a copy.

Enquiries on the survey results may be directed to the Trade Surveys and Research Section of the Census and Statistics Department on telephone 2582 5037.

End/Thursday, February 16, 1995

Business Prospects for 1995 *****

Manufacturers generally expect a mild increase in volume of orders in 1995 over 1994, according to the results of a recent Half-yearly Business Prospects Survey released today (Thursday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

For individual manufacturing industries, manufacturers in the electronic and electrical products and electrical machinery industries expect a significant increase in volume of orders, while manufacturers in the printing industry expect a mild increase in 1995 over 1994.

11

Manufacturers in the wearing apparel industry; textiles industry and fabricated metal products industry anticipate volume of orders in the first half of 1995 only to stabilise. However, some improvements in the orders position of these industries are expected in the second half of 1995. ' —-V i- ■ •

i.z.u.. J to ,

In general, manufacturers expect capacity utilisation to remain stable in 1995 compared with 1994.

Profit margins, however, are generally anticipated to shrink in 1995 compared with a year ago.

An exception is the electronic and electrical products and electrical machinery industries where the majority of manufacturers expect an increase in the profit margins in 1995.

Exporters expect a moderate increase in both the values of domestic exports and re- exports in 1995 compared with last year.

Bankers are a bit more optimistic: as a greater proportion of them look forward to a significant growth in exports in 1995.

Looking ahead, construction firms expect a significant increase in the volume of construction output in 1995 compared with 1994.

. » ‘ flip. •

The Half-yearly Business Prospects Survey covered about 320 firms from major manufacturing industries, the import/export trades, the banking industry and the construction sector.

It collects views of firms on the short-term prospects of the various major business sectors covered and aims at providing a quick reference, with a minimum time lag, for assessing the short- term future economic performance of Hong Kong.

A spokesman for the department pointed out that in a survey of this nature, the results should be interpreted with caution as it was difficult to establish precisely the extent to which respondents' perception of the future accorded with the underlying trends.

12

The survey results are published in greater detail in the "Report on Half-yearly Business Prospects Survey, January 1995".

The report is now available for sale at $12 a copy at the Government Publications Centre, Low Block, ground floor, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong, or at the Census and Statistics Department Publications Section, 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai. Regular subscription may also be arranged.

Enquiries about the survey results may be made of the General Economic Surveys Section of the Census and Statistics Department on telephone 2805 6641.

End/Thursday, February 16, 1995

Air quality report for January * * * *•*

The Environmental Protection Department today (Thursday) released air quality information for last month.

A spokesman for the department said the purpose of the announcement was to keep the public informed of the air quality levels in the territory and to explain the measurements.

The announcement contains monitoring results from Mong Kok, Central/Westem and Kwai Chung, which represent three important land use types in the territory :

* locations close to road traffic in built-up urban areas,

* combined commercial and residential districts, and

* districts close to industrial areas.

13

The department currently monitors air quality continuously at eight stations, including the three mentioned. Short-term measurement exercises are also undertaken as and where the need arises.

The reported air pollutants include sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), total suspended particulates (TSP) which comprise all sizes of dust particles, and the respirable fraction of the dust (RSP). All these pollutants can affect respiratory health in sufficient concentration.

Low wind speeds and limited vertical mixing on January 9 caused locally emitted pollutants to accumulate. High ambient concentrations of SO2 and NO2 were recorded at all three sites. At Mong Kok, the NO2 concentrations exceeded the 24-hour Air Quality Objective of 150 microgrammes per cubic metre.

The highest level of dust in the month was recorded on January 12. At Mong Kok, RSP levels exceeded the 24- hour Air Quality Objective value of 180 microgrammes per cubic metre.

The generally high dust levels were likely to be caused by the combined effects of local sources and northerly winds bringing in dust to the territory.

The gases and particles described originated from various sources. SO2 is mostly produced when fuels that contain sulphur are burned. NO2 is formed during combustion by the combination of nitrogen and oxygen, and by the atmospheric oxidation of nitric oxide (NO), also a productof combustion.

J’ '

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.

14

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.

« J ------- . )

' ' ■ * • < * • • i . . ■ i *. > i ! <■.'? i . ■; .. < ■ .

For further information on this air quality report, please contact Mr Raymond Leung on telephone 2594 6401.

End/Thursday, February 16, 1995 - ...

Electronics brings lively new dimension to Arts Festival . *****

The Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, tonight (Thursday) appreciated a special exhibition, with sculptures, drawings and photographs, not cast in bronze or stone or in static images, but in ,

electronics.

More than 50 exhibits are on display covering computer installations, audio-visual installations, visual arts, networking and interaction installations, and video sculptures.

Officiating at the opening ceremony of the "Art and Electronics" exhibition held at the Hong Kong Arts Centre, Mrs Chan said local artists and even perhaps engineers in electronics would be greatly inspired by the work.

The exhibition, the first of its kind in Hong Kong, is being presented as part of the Arts Festival 1995.

"Few people are aware of the potential of the electronic media as a means of artistic expression. Significant advances in technology in the past few decades has made this possible.

15

"The creative arts have, as a result, become more pluralistic and lively," she said.

The exhibition is co-organised by the European Working Group for Culture and the Hong Kong Arts Centre.

"This is yet another excellent example of how our local arts associations can work together with their overseas counterparts to promote the development of arts in Hong Kong," Mrs Chan added.

End/Thursday, February 16, 1995

Conductive learning centre for mentally handicapped people *****

The Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, today (Thursday) officiates at the opening ceremony of the Jockey Club Conductive Learning Centre of the Spastics Association of Hong Kong.

Having served Hong Kong for more than 30 years, the Spastics Association of Hong Kong provides rehabilitation services for mentally handicapped children and adults.

Conductive education was introduced by the association into Hong Kong in August last year. It is a kind of rehabilitation programme emphasising on training in everyday life activities, such as physical and mental training and social life skills.

The Jockey Club Conductive Learning Centre is the first of its kind in Southeast Asia. It is made up of two units: teaching unit and pre-school unit.

During the first four months of its operation, the pre-school unit has provided rehabilitation services to 30 children and more than 80 rehabilitation staff members have received training in the teaching unit.

16

Mrs Chan said: "The Social Welfare Department will subsidise the pre-school unit from October this year. After the demand is established, the Government hopes that in 1997-98, the centre will be fully subsidised."

End/Thursday, February 16, 1995

Tribute to Dr Sinclair

* * * * *

The Council for the AIDS Trust Fund at its meeting today (Thursday) noted with sadness the death of Dr Michael Sinclair on February 14.

Members expressed their admiration for his important and courageous work as an AIDS educator and spokesman.

They also spoke of their appreciation for his valuable contribution as a member of the council's Publicity and Public Education Subcommittee.

End/Thursday, February 16, 1995

Inter-school contest encourages acceptance of disabled

* * * * *

The 1994-95 Inter-School Painting/Bookmark Design and Essay Competitions prize-giving ceremony will be held at Lok Sin Tong Wong Chung Ming Secondary School at 11 am on Saturday (February 18).

The Assistant Director of Education (Services), Mr Tse Kum-shing, will officiate at the presentation ceremony.

17

The competitions on "Equal Opportunities and Full Participation a Better Tomorrow of All" had attracted 3,708 entries from 218 primary and secondary schools.

*

Organised by the Education Department in collaboration with the Committee on Public Education on Rehabilitation and funded by the Health and Welfare Branch, the contests are aimed at cultivating understanding and acceptance of disabled persons.

Attention news editors:

You are invited to send representatives to cover the 1994-95 Interschool Painting/Bookmark Design and Essay Competitions prize-giving ceremony to be held at Lok Sin Tong Wong Chung Ming Secondary School, 161 Lok Sin Road, Wong Tai Sin, at 11 am on Saturday (February 18).

End/Thursday, February 16, 1995

Students compete in Chinese calligraphy contest ***** * ••

The following is issued on behalf of the Committee on Home-School Co-operation:

The final round of the home-school co-operation Chinese calligraphy competition will be held at Queen's College on Saturday (February 18).

Forty winners — 20 each from the primary and secondary sections — will demonstrate their Chinese calligraphy skills in the event.

18

It is part of a series of promotion activities organised by the Home-School Co- operation Committee's Working Group on Publicity and Promotion.

The competition is aimed at cultivating artistic talent of the young, enhancing home-school co-operation and encouraging schools to set up parent-teacher associations.

Attention News Editors:

You are invited to send representatives to cover the final round of the home-school co-operation Chinese calligraphy competition to be held at 10.30 am on Saturday (February 18) at Queen's College, 120 Causeway Road, Causeway Bay.

End/Thursday, February 16, 1995

Education programme on sexually transmitted diseases and HIV *****

The Department of Health is launching a new series of education programme on sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and AIDS.

A spokesman for the department today (Thursday) said both STD and HIV infection would be transmitted through the same route and that the presence of STD would actually act as a cofactor in HIV infection.

He said the new education package was a joint effort of the department's Social Hygiene Service and AIDS Unit.

19

Members of the public can call the computerised AIDS hotline -2780 2211 - and listen to seven pre-recorded messages on different types of STD and obtain addresses and registration hours of Social Hygiene Clinics, he said.

The caller can also obtain a fax copy of the messages, or choose to talk to a counsellor of the AIDS Unit if he is worried about contracting the HIV, the spokesman added.

On print materials, a new comic book aimed at arousing awareness of STD and AIDS will be distributed at the Social Hygiene Clinics.

To promote safer sex, condoms, together with a new condom flyer, are available free at all Social Hygiene and Methadone Clinics.

Two new videos on STD prevention and needle- sharing and HIV will also be shown at the Social Hygiene and Methadone Clinics in the second quarter this year, the spokesman said.

End/Thursday, February 16, 1995

Integration of patient service and research in fight against cancer

*****

Mrs Patten stressed today (Thursday) the importance of integrating preventive education, curative treatment and research activities to fight cancer, the number one cause of death in Hong Kong.

Addressing the inauguration ceremony of the Sir Y K Pao Centre for Cancer and the Lady Pao Children's Cancer Centre, Mrs Patten said cancer took away 9,000 lives each year.

"Much progress has been made over the past two decades in alleviating the pain and suffering caused by cancer. Complete cures can now be expected in many cases.

20

"But, the rising incidence of cancer among those aged over 40 and a rapidly growing elderly population means that we must not be complacent," she said.

The opening of the two new medical centres in the Prince of Wales Hospital marks a major step in the combat against cancer.

The Hong Kong Cancer Institute of the Chinese University long had the aim of developing two centres for adults and children in which patient services and research activities could be housed.

"The Sir Y K Pao Centre for Cancer serving adult patients and the Lady Pao Children's Cancer Centre will turn this concept of service integration into reality," Mrs Patten added.

End/Thursday, February 16, 1995

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

Cumulative

Time change

$ million (hours) ($million)

Opening balance in the account 1,270 0930 + 1,124

Closing balance in the account 2,148 1000 +2,124

Change attributable to : * 1100 +2,254

Money market activity +2,258 1200 +2,258

LAF today -1,380 1500 +2,258

1600 +2,258

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 120.9 *-0.1 * 16.2.95

21

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.93 15 months 2605 6.35 99.17 7.17

1 month 6.14 21 months 2611 6.90 99.41 7.39

3 months 6.45 29 months 3707 6.95 98.77 7.65

6 months 6.73 35 months 3801 8.00 100.71 7.87

12 months 7.02 58 months 5912 8.15 99.89 8.34

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $18,633 million

Closed February 16, 1995

End/Thursday, February 16, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Friday, February 17,1995

Contents EageJSo.

Franchise for Tai Lam Tunnel & Yuen Long Approach Road sections of Route ..................................................................... 1

Boundary and Election Commission issues censure.......................... 3

Works Group to visit China................................................. 5

Government to tighten vehicle emission standards........................... 5

1994 domestic export figures classified by industrial origin.......... 6

Registration of a 'safety officer1 cancelled.......................... 9

Hong Kong handles more than one million TEUs a month.................. 10

Joint operation to flush out illegal immigrants....................... 13

Craftsmen needed for infrastructural projects......................... 14

BNO passport application deadline..................................... 15

Celebrities to kick off civic education day on Sunday................. 17

Correctional commissioner takes his farewell salute................... 18

Fire prevention exhibition............................................ 19

/Public Records....

t

Contents Page No,

Public Records Office Library on move................................... 20

Poll cards sent to electors............................................. 20

Airport Consultative Committee meets on Monday.......................... 21

Improvement of Lung Mun Road in Tuen Mun................................ 22

Tenders for New Kowloon Bay Vehicle Examination Centre invited....... 22

Tenders for footbridge in Kwun Tong invited............................. 23

Landscape works at Yuen Long Southern Bypass............................ 24

Seminar to promote adoption of children with special needs.............. 24

Tenders invited for school and playground projects...................... 26

Home-school co-operation slogan competition results announced........ 26

Sewerage improvement works for Tuen Mun................................. 28

Sewer and road works proposed for Tai O................................. 28

Marine radar station at Kau Yi Chau...................................   29

Stonecutters Island naval base project.................................. 30

Three lots of land up for auction....................................... 30

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations.................... 32

1

Franchise for Tai Lam Tunnel & Yuen Long Approach Road sections of Route 3 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government will grant a "Build, Operate and Transfer" (BOT) franchise for the Tai Lam Tunnel and Yuen Long Approach Road sections of Route 3 to the Route 3 (CPS) Company Limited subject to the necessary legislation by the Legislative Council.

The Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma, today (Friday) said the road was a significant infrastructure project which will involve the building of a more than 10 kilometres dual-three expressway connecting Au Tau with the Ting Kau Bridge.

"The project will provide a much improved road access from the border to the container port and the urban area; and enhance further development of North West New Territories."

"It will greatly relieve traffic congestion on Tuen Mun Road and the vicinity:-

"It is estimated that travelling time from Ting Kau to Yuen Long will take less than 10 minutes via the new expressway," he noted.

Mr Barma said under the proposed BOT franchise, the Route 3 (CPS) Company will be required to design, construct and operate the 3.8 kilometres Tai Lam Tunnel and 6.3 kilometres Yuen Long Approach Road, and ancillary works such as road interchanges and the toll plaza.

"The franchise to be granted to the company will last 30 years and at the end of the franchise period, the tunnel and the approach road will be transferred to the Government at no cost," he said.

He said the package was a good deal for the public since road-users could benefit from the project at the earliest possible time and at the lowest cost.

Mr Barma pointed out that the budgeted project cost of $7,254 million submitted by Route 3 (CPS) Company was the lowest amongst the three tenderers.

"The company also offered the shortest construction period of 38 months while the technical and financial aspects of the company's proposal also met the Government's requirements.

"We hope the franchise can be awarded as soon as possible for the construction works to proceed and to be completed by mid-June 1998," he said.

t

- 2 -

On the toll structure, the Secretary for Transport said in the negotiations with the tenderer, one of the objectives of the Government was to secure a low and stable toll regime.

"To achieve this, a toll adjustment mechanism was negotiated to allow the franchisee to raise the necessary funds to finance the project and at the same time earn a reasonable but not excessive return.

"For instance, the opening tolls will be competitive - $15 for private cars. And there are only three anticipated toll increases in the 30-year life of the franchise.

"In case the franchisee's net revenue exceeds the maximum permissible level, the excess will be channelled into a Toll Stability Fund which can be used for deferring future toll increases.

"The Fund will be deposited with and managed solely by the Government," he added.

Mr Barma said under the proposed franchise terms, the franchisee will make public financial and operational information as reasonably requested by the Government.

He explained that privatisation under a BOT arrangement had proved to be an effective way of involving the private sector in transport infrastructure investment and operation.

"It makes use of the private sector's experience and enables the Government to deploy resources otherwise needed for this essential infrastructure to other important projects not suitable for privatisation," he said.

He said the Executive Council would be consulted shortly on the draft bill on the Tai Lam Tunnel and Yuen Long Approach Road. The bill will then be introduced into the Legislative Council.

The Route 3 (CPS) Company comprises Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited, Bank of China Group Investment Limited, China Resources (Holdings) Company Limited and the China Travel Service (Holdings) HK Limited.

• • . . i ' • ■ •

End/Friday, February 17, 1995

Boundary and Election Commission issues censure

*****

The Boundary and Election Commission (BEC) today (Friday) issued a public censure against the Rev Fung Chi-wood for conducting unauthorised electioneering activities in respect of Regional Council election.

The BEC Chairman, Mr Justice Woo Kwok-hing, said the Rev Fung had violated the BEC guidelines and obtained an unfair advantage over the other candidate in Tai Po West Constituency.

"The conduct of his electioneering activities in Kwong Fuk Estate in breach of the BEC Guidelines and without approval from the Housing Department has created an unfair advantage for himself and a corresponding disadvantage to his election opponent who has followed the BEC Guidelines relating to his intended electioneering activities in Kwong Fuk Estate," the chairman said.

BEC received complaints that the Rev Fung had conducted electioneering activities in the estate on January 24, 25, 26 and 29 without the requisite approval of the Housing Department.

. >> " op, .. ..: . ■ ■

It is stipulated in the BEC Guidelines that candidates must obtain prior approval from the Housing Manager before conducting any electioneering activities inside such: a housing estate, and that an application for approval should be made at least two working days before the time of any intended activity.

The Rev Fung made two applications in the late afternoon of January 24, one for conducting home visits in the estate in the evenings of January 24 and 25, and the other for doing the same on January 26. The applications were refused on the same day by the Housing Manager on grounds of insufficient notice being given.

On January 26, he made an application for distributing leaflets and conducting a signatory campaign on January 29 at the podium and ground floor of the estate’s commercial complex. This application was also refused on the same day by the Housing Manager on grounds of insufficient notice being given.

Despite the fact that his applications had not been approved, local residents saw the Rev Fung and his supporters conducting home visits in Kwong Wai House of Kwong Fuk Estate in the evening of January 24, and in Kwong Lai House in the evening of January 25.

They were also found conducting a signatory campaign at the entrance to the estate's market at 12.50 pm on January 29.

4

On January 26 and 27, the Rev Fung lodged a number of complaints with the BEC against the Housing Department for setting rules that had caused him difficulties in organising home visits, for being unfair to him and for rejecting his application for conducting home visits and other electioneering activities.

•'4 ’• -

He argued that he followed the arrangements relating to the September District Board elections which did not require applications to be made to the Housing Department.

•.. *

"The BEC finds that the Rev Fung’s allegation that he did not know that prior approval of the department is required is no excuse for him to carry out such activities at the estate," the chairman said.

Mr Justice Woo said the requirements were clearly shown in paragraph 28 of Chapter 7 of the BEC Guidelines as revised and published on December 15. Four copies of the guidelines had been given to the Rev Fung on January 9 when he submitted his nomination paper.

Even if the Rev Fung only learned of such requirements on January 24, he should have complied with the requirements by adjusting his home visit schedules or he should have at least cancelled his electioneering activities which could not be covered by a valid approval, he added.

"Forging on with carrying out the scheduled activities shows a total disregard of the BEC Guidelines.

"The Rev Fung’s disagreement with the requirements or the BEC Guidelines cannot provide him with any justifiable excuse or pretext to flout them," the chairman said.

He said the Rev Fung had not been able to give any reason to show that the requirements were unfair to him as a candidate vis-a-vis the other candidates of the Tai Po district.

Nor has he been able to pinpoint any incident of the requirements being applied to the other candidates of his constituency in any manner unfair to him.

End/Friday, February 17, 1995

5

d -

Works Group to visit China 1 ' ♦ * * » *

The Secretary for Works, Mr James Blake, will lead a Works Group delegation for a visit to Beijing and Shanghai from February 19 to March 2 to exchange views with Chinese officials on matters of mutual interest.

Members of the delegation will include Director of Water Supplies Mr Hu Man-shiu, Director of Territory Development Mr Lee Shing-see, Project Manager of New Airport Projects Co- ordination Office Mr Lam Moon-tim, Deputy Director of Drainage Services Mr Tse Hon-sum, Project Manager of Airport and Port Access Office of Highways Department Mr Leung Kwong-sun, and Assistant Director of Civil Engineering Mr Lo Yiu-ching.

The programme will include courtesy calls on the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, the Ministry of Construction, the Ministry of Finance, the State Science and Technology Commission and the Shanghai Municipal Government.

There will also be meetings with the State Planning Commission, the Beijing Planning Commission and the Shanghai Construction Commission.

The team will make presentations on the Public Works Programme, new towns development, water supply and drainage services and port and highway development, and visit major project sites in Beijing and Shanghai.

End/Friday, February 17, 1995

Government to tighten vehicle emission standards *****

An amendment to the Air Pollution Control (Vehicle Design Standards) (Emission) Regulations was gazetted today (Friday) to introduce more stringent emission standards for newly-registered vehicles from April 1 this year.

A spokesman for the Environmental Protection Department said: "Under the amendment, European emission standards will be introduced for vehicles below 2.5 tonnes while the existing Japanese emission standards for these vehicles will be tightened.

"For diesel vehicles above 2.5 tonnes, US and European standards will be introduced.

6

’’Japanese standard for diesel vehicles above 2.5 tonnes is not included in the amendment because it is considerably less stringent than the US and European standards,’”’ he added.

The spokesman said: ’’Diesel vehicles are the primary targets of control under the amendment regulation as they contribute to high levels of particulate matter and nitrogen oxides in the air of Hong Kong.

”To tie in with the introduction of new vehicles into Hong Kong to meet such standards, a cleaner diesel fuel with sulphur content not exceeding 0.2 per cent will also be introduced on April 1.”

He said: "All these are part of the measures planned by the Government to deal with air pollution problems resulting from vehicle emissions."

• ■ ' 4 4

End/Friday, February 17, 1995

1994 domestic export figures classified by industrial origin ♦ * ♦ ♦ *

The four major industries of textiles; wearing apparel; consumer electrical and electronic products; and machinery, equipment, apparatus, parts and components together accounted for 69% of Hong Kong’s total domestic exports of manufactured goods last year, according to statistics released today (Friday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

Domestic exports of textiles increased by 1% to $47.1 billion, and of machinery, equipment, apparatus, parts and components, by 8% to $32.1 billion, in 1994 compared with a year earlier.

On the other hand, domestic exports of wearing apparel decreased slightly by 1% to $41.1 billion, and of consumer electrical and electronic products, by 6% to $32.5 billion.

As for other industries, significant absolute increases in the value of domestic exports were also recorded for chemicals and chemical products (+$788 million or +12%); and food (+$391 million or 19%).

On the other hand, notable absolute decrease in the value of domestic exports was recorded for plastic products (-$738 million or -13%). For the transport equipment, although the change in absolute value was not as large, a marked percentage decline of 62% was recorded.

1

The statistics of domestic exports analysed by industrial origin are derived by re-grouping the merchandise export items originally grouped under the external trade classification system according to the industries in which these merchandise items are normally produced. Transactions in gold and specie are excluded.

The industrial classification used is the Hong Kong Standard Industrial Classification (HSIC). The HSIC is to be distinguished from the United Nations Standard International Trade Classification (SITC) used in the regular trade statistics reports. In comparison, the HSIC is more related to production processes whereas the SITC is more geared to end uses of products.

I: .

Caution should be taken when referring to these domestic export statistics classified by industrial origin. There may be several intermediate processing stages in the production of certain merchandise export items.

In compiling the statistics, the total value of such an item has however been wholly related to the industry in which the item is finally produced.

The domestic export statistics of a particular industry may include products that are secondary products by establishments of other industries.

t *

Further details of merchandise domestic export statistics classified by industrial origin may be found in a table obtainable from the General Economic Surveys Section of the Census and Statistics Department (telephone 2805 6642).

A table showing more detailed breakdowns of similar statistics for major manufacturing industries is also included in the report ’’Hong Kong External Trade, December 1994”.

8

Domestic exports of manufactured goods classified by industrial origin for 1924

(Value in HK$ million)

Industrial origin of the commodities exported Merchandise domestic exports

1994 1993 Value change % change

Food 2,508 2,117 + 391 + 18.5

Beverages 641 529 + 113 +21.3

Tobacco manufactures 2,394 2,423 -30 -1.2

Textiles (including knitting) 47,131 46,625 + 506 + 1.1

Wearing apparel, except footwear 41,144 41,535 -391 -0.9

Leather and leather products, except 1,493 1,675 -182 -10.9

footwear and wearing apparel Footwear, except rubber, plastic and 183 241 -58 -24.2

wooden footwear Wood and cork products, furniture and 377 434 -57 -13.1

fixtures

Paper and paper products, printing and 7,806 7,723 +83 + 1.1

publishing Chemicals and chemical products 7,536 6,748 +788 + 11.7

Products of petroleum and coal 17 14 +3 +20.5

Rubber products 111 98 + 13 + 12.9

Plastic products 4,922 5,660 -738 -13.0

Non-metallic mineral products, except 715 714 + 1 +0.1

products of petroleum and coal

Basic metals and fabricated metal 9,084 9,315 -230 -2.5

products Machinery, equipment, apparatus, parts 32,099 29,682 +2,416 +8.1

and components Consumer electrical and electronic products 32,519 34,487 -1,967 -5.7

Transport equipment 84 217 -134 -61.5

Professional and optical equipment 16,006 15,739 +267 + 1.7

Other manufacturing industries 13,882 14,478 -597 -4.1

Total 220,651 220,454 + 197 +0.1

Notes : 1. Individual entries of a column may not add up exactly to the corresponding total due to rounding. All percentage changes are calculated from unrounded figures.

2. The above statistics are derived by re-grouping the merchandise export items under the external trade classification system according to the industries in which these items are normally produced. As from 1992, the Third Revision of the Standard International Trade Classification (SITC R3) nas been adopted in place of the Second Revision (SITC R2) for the classification of trade statistics. The above statistics may not be strictly comparable with those published for earlier years due to the change in trade classification.

General Economic Surveys Section, Census & Statistics Department, Hong Kong.

Tel. : 2805 6642

February 1995

End/Friday, February 17, 1995

9

Registration of a ’safety officer’ cancelled ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Chief Factory Inspector of the Labour Department, Mr Chan Tat-king, revealed today (Friday) that the Commissioner for Labour Mr Stephen Ip has exercised the power conferred to him under regulation 9 of the Factories and Industrial Undertakings (Safety Officers and Safety Supervisors) Regulations in cancelling the registration of Chan Ka-leung as a safety officer with effect from January 6 this year.

The cancellation of registration was published in today’s Government Gazette.

The Chief Factory Inspector said Chan Ka-leung applied for registration as a safety officer with the Labour Department in June 1994 using a certificate allegedly issued by a university in Canada.

His registration was accepted on the ground that the certificate was verified by the university in question. In November last year, the university subsequently confirmed that the certificate presented by Chan was a false document. The case was then referred to the Police.

Chan Ka-leung was charged by the Police early last month with one count of using a false instrument under Section 73 of the Crime (Amendment) Ordinance. He pleaded guilty in Western Magistracy on January 9 and was fined $3,000.

The Chief Factory Inspector appealed to people wishing to register as a safety officer to provide true information to the Labour Department as every application would be subject to very careful and close vetting by the department.

He also reminded building contractors and shipyard owners that the Factories and Industrial Undertakings (Safety Officers and Safety Supervisors) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations would come into effective on June 8, 1995 after its passage in the Legislative Council on June 8. 1994.

Main amendments to the regulations are:

a) a proprietor will be required to employ a safety officer if he employs 100 or more employees on one or more of his construction sites;

b) the application of the principal regulations will be extended to shipyards so that a proprietor has to employ a safety officer if he employs 100 or more employees in one or more of his shipyards, and to employ a safety supervisor in any of his shipyards where 20 or more employees are employed; and

10

c) a proprietor will be required to display a notice showing the proprietor's name and the particulars of the responsible safety officer or safety supervisor.

"Contractors or shipyard owners who fail to fulfil their legal obligations under the amended regulations will face a maximum fine of $50,000," Mr Chan said.

End/Friday, February 17, 1995

Hong Kong handles more than one million TEUs a month ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

Hong Kong, the world's busiest container port, handled more than one million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) a month for three consecutive months from last July, according to the latest container throughput statistics released by the Marine Department.

The territory handled a total of 1.007 million TEUs last September; 1.031 million TEUs and 1.008 million TEUs in August 1994 and July 1994 respectively.

In the first nine months of 1994, Hong Kong's container throughput was at 8,166,281 TEUs, a 21.1 per cent increase over the corresponding period in 1993.

Commenting on the figures, the Deputy Director of Marine, Mr Ian Dale, said with these figures Hong Kong would probably be the first port in the world to handle more than 11 million TEUs in a year.

"The figures indicate sustained growth in demand and the port's ability to service that demand," he said.

"More importantly, they continue to underline the need for the development of further container terminals to stay on schedule to meet forecast demand," Mr Dale added.

The container terminals at Kwai Chung including terminal 8 on Stonecutters Island handled 5,373,558 TEUs in the first nine months of 1994, representing an increase of 27.3 per cent over the same period in 1993.

During the same period container throughput in the river trade sector rose by 57 per cent to 672,788 TEUs and mid-stream operators handled 2,120.757 TEUs, an increase of 1.1 per cent over the same period in 1993.

11

The comparative container statistics in TEUs are:

First nine months of 1994 First nine months of 1993 Percentage Increase

Kwai Chung Container Terminals 5,373,558 4.222,751 27.3%

Stream & Elsewhere 2,120,757 2.098.642 1.1%

River Trade 672,788 428,599 57.0%

Total 8,166,281 6,741,273 21.1%

Note: To avoid double counting, figures are adjusted downwards by 8,719 TEUs in 1993 and 822 TEUs in 1994 respectively handled by terminals vessels contracted to work in the stream.

12

Comparative Container Statl«tfos for January - $6Pfomt>.tL1994

KWAI CHUNS / STONECUTTERS ISLAND First 9-month 1993 First 9-month 1994 Change frrcent

Loaded Pull (T.E.U.) 2 112608 2 642 707 25.1%

Discharged Full (T.E.U.) 1 440 045 2 006 487 39.3%

Loaded Empty (T.E.U.) 126 236 216 428 71.4%

Dlacharged Empty (T.E.U.) 543 863 508 936 -6.4%

Throughput

a) T.E.U. 4 222 751 5 373 568 27.3%

b) Actual 2 670 797 3 428 953 28.4%

o) Ratio 1.58 1.57

% of T.E.U. throughput being empty 15.87% 13.50%

% of T.E.U. throughput being transhipment 14.53% 21.54%

Container Tonnage (Tonnes)

a) Loaded 13 135 224. 17457614 32.9%

b) Discharged 13214634 19 301 227 46.1%

c) Total 26 349 858 36 758 841 39.5%

Average Weight per full T.E.U. (Tonnes)

a) T.E.U. Loaded 6.22 6.61

b) T.E.U. Discharged 9.18 9.62

c) T.E.U. Total 7.42 7.91

* STREAM AND ELSEWHERE

Loaded Full (T.E.U.) 835 034 817 034 -2.2%

Discharged Full (T.E.U.) 1 013 157 1 074 151 6.0%

Loaded Empty (T.E.U.) 128 856 128 449 -0.3%

Discharged Empty (T.E.U.) 121 595 101 123 -16.8%

Throughput (T.E.U.) 2 098 642 2 120 757 1.1%

RIVER TRADE (Other than those handled at Kwai Chunq Terminals )

Loaded Full (T.E.U.) 148 387 234 193 57.8%

Discharged Full (T.E.U.) 130 949 212139 62.0%

Loaded Empty (T.E.U.) 64 926 94 062 44.9%

Discharged Emoty (T.E.U.) 84 337 132 394 57.0%

Throughput (T.E.U.) 428 599 672 788 57.0%

# THROUGHPUT (Kwai Chung Terminals + Stream & Elsewhere 4- River Trade)

Loaded Full (T.E.U.) Discharged Full (T.E.U.) Loaded Empty (T.E.U.) Discharged Empty (T.E.U.) Throughput (T.E.U.)

3 094 708 3 693 754 19.4%

2 580 400 3 291 145 27.5%

319 880 438 929 37.2%

746 285 742 453 -0.5%

6 741 273 8 166 281 21.1%

* F:gures include a total of 8 719 T.E.U. in 1993 and 822 T E.U. in ’ 994 respectively handled by terminal vessels contracteo to work in the stream.

# To avoid double counting figures are adjusted downwards by 8 719 T.E.U. in 1993 and 822 T.E.U in 1994 respectively handled by terminal vessels contracted to work in the stream

End/Friday, February 17, 1995

13

Joint operation to flush out illegal immigrants

* * * ♦ *

A territory-wide operation against illegal immigration jointly mounted by the Police and the Labour Department has resulted in the arrests of 114 people.

The operation is part of the Government's continuous effort to flush out illegal immigrants.

The 114 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.

As a result, a total of 18,278 persons, 2,578 vehicles and 496 vessels were stopped for identification checks.

On the labour front, inspectors of the Labour Department visited 2,308 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 7,284 employees had their proof of identity checked.

14

Thirty-four establishments were found not able to provide a record of employees for inspection.

The spokesman reminded employers that they could be fined up to $250,000 and jailed for up to three years if they were found to be employing illegal immigrants.

End/Friday, February 17, 1995

Craftsmen needed for infrastructural projects *****

Hong Kong's current major infrastructural projects and many other smaller engineering works are in great need of the contribution of craftsmen.

This was stated by the Director of Electrical and Mechanical Services, Mr Hugh Phillipson, while officiating at a graduation ceremony for Government craft apprentices today (Friday).

He noted that the major projects included the new airport, sea terminals. Mass Transit Railway extension and housing estates.

Graduating today are 37 craft apprentices who have acquired a particular skill and are proficient in their own trade.

Mr Phillipson pointed out that the successful completion of the craft apprenticeship training did not mean that the graduates had reached their destination.

"What it signifies is the beginning of a new stage in your life which is full of challenge, hope and promise," he said.

Observing that the training had given them a "solid foundation", Mr Phillipson encouraged the graduates to continue to broaden their view and absorb new knowledge and techniques.

"This will enable you to meet new challenges and to create a better future for yourselves and for Hong Kong." he said.

Noting that Hong Kong's best resource was its manpower, in particular people who have technical skills, Mr Phillipson said in September 1969 the Government took the lead and organised a structured apprentice training scheme to supply well-trained craftsmen for Government service, as well as for the community.

15

The scheme, which is run by the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, is now jointly sponsored by the Water Supplies and Fire Services Departments.

Under the scheme, selected candidates undergo a four-year training programme which comprises both theoretical learning and practical work.

The theoretical knowledge is obtained by studying at technical institutes while the practical skills are acquired through attachments to the various workshops of participating departments.

The present annual recruitment figure for craft apprentices is 100, with two intakes per year.

Three hundred and one craft apprentices are currently being trained, and since 1969, more than 2,100 skilled personnel have passed.

End/F riday, February 17, 1995

BNO passport application deadline ♦ ♦ * * *

Hong Kong British Dependent Territories citizens (BDTCs) born between 1947 and 1956 will have until the end of the month (February 28) to apply for British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) passports, a Government spokesman reminded the public today (Friday).

Hong Kong BDTCs, such as persons born, naturalised or registered in Hong Kong, must obtain a BN(O) passport if they wish to continue to travel on British passports beyond 1997.

As specified in the Second Schedule to the Hong Kong (British Nationality) Order 1986, applications for BN(O) passports must be submitted on or before the final dates relevant to their age groups.

Further publicity will be made in respect of BDTCs bom in other years so that they may submit their applications by phases according to their age groups.

They are of course free to submit their applications now.

16

"In view of the very large number of applications we are receiving each day, priority will have to be given to applicants for first passport or replacement of passport with validity of less than 12 months," he said.

Persons who do not comply with the relevant cut-off dates will not be able to travel on British passports beyond 1997.

An application made after the final date will only be accepted if the applicant can show that there are special circumstances that justify his late application.

A BN(O) Late Registration Appeals Advisory Committee has been established to advise the Governor on those late applications that have been rejected by the Immigration Department.

The spokesman emphasised that those who already had a BN(O) passport, either the conventional hard-cover type or the burgundy red machine-readable type, needed not apply again.

Applications for BN(O) passports may be submitted to the Immigration Department either by post or in person.

Applicants may also deposit their applications into the drop-in boxes installed at the Immigration Headquarters or at any Immigration Branch Offices throughout the territory.

Application forms are available at all Immigration Offices and District Offices.

Hong Kong BDTCs living, working or studying abroad, are also required to observe the cut-off dates if they want to apply for a BN(O) passport.

However, they are not required to return to Hong Kong for their applications. They should submit their applications to the nearest British passport issuing office either by post or in person.

The required overseas application forms can be obtained at those offices or the Hong Kong Immigration Department.

For more information, members of the public may telephone 2824 1177 (English) or 2824 1717 (Chinese).

End/Friday, February 17, 1995

17

Celebrities to kick off civic education day on Sunday *****

Legislators, celebrities and television stars will kick off the Civic Education Day 95’ on Sunday (February 19) at the open piazza of Times Square in Causeway Bay.

The highlight of the day will be an "all-rounder” contest to drive home the message of sex equality by having both genders reversing roles in performing everyday chores - men cook and do flower arrangements while their female counterparts will demonstrate their expertise in replacing a car tyre and carpentry work. And more.

What follows promises to be full of clever and witty humour when the two genders engage in a debate and take part in a quiz on sex equality and equal opportunities in employment.

They will also talk about their division of labour in the family and their share of responsibility for raising their children.

Two game stalls and an exhibition will also be on the programme.

A spokesman for the organiser - the Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education - invites the public to join the fun from 11 am to 5 pm outside the shopping centre.

A mascot going by the name of "Elite Owl" will also be distributing gifts and souvenirs.

Attention news editors:

The Civic Education Day 95’ organised by the Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education will be held on Sunday (February 19) at the open piazza of Times Square in Causeway Bay.

The officiating guests will be the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen and the chairman of the committee. Dr Daniel Tse.

18

Other guests will include Ms Christine Loh, Mr and Mrs Fung Kin-kee, Mr Albert Cheng, Mr and Mrs Fred Li Wah-ming and Mr Cheng Kai-nam.

Your representatives are invited to cover the event which will take place from 11 am to 5 pm. They are requested to arrive at the venue by 1.15 pm to cover the opening ceremony which will start at 1.30 pm.

End/Friday, February 17, 1995

Correctional commissioner takes his farewell salute ♦ ♦ ♦ * ♦

The outgoing Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Eric McCosh, said the Correctional Services Department (CSD) had been providing the community with a standard of service that was second to none.

’’Hong Kong is indeed fortunate to have a service of such high calibre,” he said.

Speaking at a farewell parade in his honour this (Friday) afternoon, Mr McCosh said CSD was a very dedicated and highly professional service, whose standards compared more than favourably with similar services around the world.

’’You will discover professional pride, motivation, esprit de corps and, also a commodity which is most useful: a sense of good humour.

"Most important of all you will find teamwork and support at all times and at all levels, both on and off duty," he pointed out.

Mr McCosh noted that CSD staff had to face pressures and at times their duties were extremely onerous and stressful.

"Sometimes, those pressures will affect not only you, but your families.

"You will also have detractors, fortunately relatively few, but some will be quick to criticise, often unfairly and often before they are in full possession of all the relevant facts," he said.

Despite the difficulties, he said the hard work and commitment of CSD staff were worth the effort.

Mr McCosh will be retiring on Monday (February 20) after more than 36 years of service with the Government, the last four as head of CSD.

19

"I leave Correctional Services with regrets. 1 have had four very happy years and I have been made extremely welcome.

"It has been a great privilege and have been proud to have been a part of the department," he added.

Mr McCosh joined the Hong Kong civil service as Probationary Police SubInspector in 1958 and rose to the rank of Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police in 1988. He was appointed Commissioner of Correctional Services in 1990.

On parade today were 221 CSD staff members. The event also marked the passing-out of 67 Assistant Officers who had just completed a 23-week basic training at the department's Staff Training Institute.

End/Friday, February 17,1995

Fire prevention exhibition ♦ * * * *

The Fire Services Department will hold an exhibition on fire prevention at Po Lam Estate Commercial Complex, Tseung Kwan O, from noon to 4 pm on Sunday (February 19) for local residents.

The exhibition is one in a series of publicity activities to promote this year's fire prevention campaign.

Information pamphlets will be available at a booth set up there.

Another exhibition will be held at Hin Keng Estate in Sha Fin on March 26.

End/Friday, February 17, 1995

20

Public Records Office Library on move

*****

The reference library of the Public Records Office now situated on the mezzanine floor of the Murray Road Multi-storey Carpark Building will be moved to a new Town Reading Centre on March 13.

The centre is located on the sixth floor of the Central Government Offices, West Wing, Lower Albert Road.

To facilitate the packing of the library collection, the bulk of which are valuable original historical records requiring careful handling, the existing library will be closed to the public from tomorrow (Saturday).

A spokesman for the Government Records Service said today (Friday) the move was part of a programme to reprovision the Public Records Office.

"The opening of the Town Reading Centre will continue to cater for the needs of the public patronising the library," he added.

The Public Records Office will be moved to the Tuen Mun Government Storage Centre at 1 San Yick Lane, Tuen Mun, in April this year.

End/Friday, February 17, 1995

Poll cards sent to electors * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Registration and Electoral Office is issuing poll cards to electors informing them the Municipal Council elections will be held on Sunday, March 5.

Information contained on the poll card includes the polling day, the polling hours and the polling station where an elector is to cast his vote.

A spokesman for the office said today (Friday) that an elector did not have to bring along the poll card to the polling station.

"But it will facilitate checking and avoid delay if they do so,” the spokesman

said.

An elector must bring along his Hong Kong identity card to establish his identity at the poll.

21

He said those electors who did not receive a poll card by February 21 may enquire of the office on tel 2827 1122.

Electors of the seven uncontested constituencies will not need to vote and they will not receive poll cards.

End/Friday, February 17, 1995

Airport Consultative Committee meets on Monday ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

The Consultative Committee on the New Airport and Related Projects (ACC) will hold its plenary meeting at 9.30 am on Monday (February 20) to discuss various proposals to enhance the monitoring role of the ACC.

The meeting will take place at the Conference Hall, first floor, Central Government Offices, Main Wing (New Annexe), Lower Albert Road, Central.

Members of the public who wish to observe the proceedings are requested to reserve a seat by telephoning the Committee Division of New Airport Projects Coordination Office on 2829 6745 during office hours.

As seats are limited, bookings will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Attention News Editors:

You are invited to cover the meeting.

End/Friday, February 17. 1995

22

Improvement of Lung Mun Road in Tuen Mun *****

The Civil Engineering Department proposes constructing a carriageway and footpaths in Tuen Mun Area 38 to cope with the traffic load generated by the proposed development of a Special Industries Area and a River Trade Terminal in the area.

Works include the construction of about 2.6 kilometres of carriageway and footpaths; reconstruction of parts of Lung Mun Road and the associated roads; closure of parts of the existing carriageway and footpaths within the works area; and carrying out the associated street furniture, drainage, sewerage and geotechnical works.

Works are expected to start in December for completion by March 1998.

The relevant plans and scheme can be inspected during office hours at the Central and Western District Office, Public Enquiry Service Centre, ground floor, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central; the Tuen Mun District Lands Office, sixth and seventh floors, Tuen Mun Government Offices, 1 Tuen Hi Road, Tuen Mun, and the Tuen Mun District Office, second floor, Tuen Mun Government Offices.

Any person who wishes to object to the works is required to write to the Secretary for Transport, Central Government Offices, second floor, East Wing, Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong before April 18, describing his interest and the manner in which he will be affected by the works.

End/Friday, February 17, 1995

Tenders for New Kowloon Bay Vehicle Examination Centre invited *****

The Transport Department is inviting tenders for a contract to manage, operate and maintain the New Kowloon Bay Vehicle Examination Centre in Kowloon.

The invitation to tender was published in the Gazette today (Friday).

The contract, for a period of four years with provisions for extension at the option of the Government, will commence on June 1 this year, or such later date as specified by the Government.

23

The successful tenderer will be responsible for certifying the roadworthiness of two-axled goods vehicles with a permitted gross vehicle weight exceeding 1.9 tonnes but not exceeding 16 tonnes, and for the maintenance of the interior of the centre and all equipment and building service installations at the centre.

Prospective tenderers are required to provide evidence of experience and competence in the management, operation and maintenance of vehicle examination centres to enable the Government to make assessments.

Tender documents are obtainable from the Transport Department , 41st floor. Immigration Tower , 7 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, by producing a company letter indicating interest in tendering for the contract.

A receipt for the deposit made must be attached to each tender.

Tenders must be addressed to the Chairman, Central Tender Board and placed in the Government Secretariat Tender Box at the lift lobby on the lower ground floor of the Central Government Offices (East Wing), Lower Albert Road before noon on March 17.

Late tenders will not be accepted.

End/Friday, February 17, 1995

Tenders for footbridge in Kwun Tong invited *****

The Flighways Department is inviting tenders for the construction of a footbridge across Lei Yue Mun Road at I sui Ping Road, Kwun 1 ong.

The works include the associated road and drainage works. The works are expected to start in April this year and be completed in January 1997.

A notice inviting tenders was published in the Gazette today (Friday).

Tender forms and further details are obtainable from the Regional Highway Engineer/Kowloon, Highways Department, 13th floor, room 1321, Nan Fung Commercial Centre, 19 Lam Lok Street, Kowloon Bay. The contact telephone number is 2707 7436.

Tenders must be placed in the Government Secretariat tender box situated in the lift lobby on the lower ground floor of Central Government Offices, East Wing. Lower Albert Road, Hong Kong, before noon on March 10.

End/Friday. February 17. 1995

24

Landscape works at Yuen Long Southern Bypass * * * * *

The Highways Department is inviting tenders for the soft landscape works associated with the Yuen Long Southern Bypass.

The bypass was open to traffic in November 1994. Landscaping works will be carried out over the entire length of the road in keeping with its rural setting.

The works are expected to start in May this year and will take about seven months to complete.

There will be a one year establishment period to ensure the proper growth of the tree and shrubs.

A notice inviting tenders was published in today's (Friday) gazette.

Tender forms and other particulars are obtainable from Binnie Consultants Limited, 11th floor, New Town Plaza, Pak Hok Ting Street, Sha Tin. Their contact telephone no. is 2601 1000.

Tenders must be placed in the Public Works Tender Box on 34th floor, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong, before noon on March 10.

End/Friday, February 17, 1995

Seminar to promote adoption of children with special needs

*****

The Director of Social Welfare, Mr Ian Strachan, today (Friday) appealed to members of the public and those who may be thinking about child adoption to consider giving children with special needs an opportunity to become a member of their family.

He urged them to share their love and to have the joy of seeing love reciprocated.

Mr Strachan made the appeal when he officiated at the opening ceremony of the second seminar on children with special needs at Excelsior Hotel.

25

He noted that the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children was extended to Hong Kong last October.

This convention upholds the belief that the family, as the fundamental group of society and natural environment for growth and well-being of all its members particularly children, should be afforded the necessary protection and assistance so that it can fully assume its responsibilities within the community.

It also recognises that for the full and harmonious development of a child's personality, they should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding.

Embracing the same principles, Mr Strachan said the Adoption Unit of the Social Welfare Department had always been making vigorous efforts to find suitable adoptive families for children in need of a permanent home.

"As a result of the efforts made, we are happy to see a steady increase in the number of adoption applications in respect of my wards and a relatively short length of time to place these children with their adoptive families.

"Take 1994 as example, we received a total of 151 new adoption applications in respect of children under our care and a total of 125 children were successfully placed into adoptive families.

"Also, among the children successfully placed locally last year, over 93 per cent of them joined their adoptive families within three months after they were confirmed eligible for adoption," he said.

Noting that the Adoption Unit was not without its difficulties in placing all children awaiting adoption, Mr Strachan said while there was virtually no problem to find a suitable adoptive home quickly for young and healthy children, the department had to make additional efforts to locate a suitable home for children with special needs.

"In order to improve the chance of adoption of children with special needs, the Adoption Unit has explored not only the local but also the overseas channels in finding adoptive families for them.

"Through the co-operation of the International Social Service, Holt International and Mother's Choice, we have been able to locate more suitable adoptive families for some of our children with special needs," he added.

End/Friday, February 17, 1995

26

Tenders invited for school and playground projects *****

The Architectural Services Department is inviting tenders for the construction of the Caritas St. Godfrey Prevocational School in Wah Fu Estate, Pok Fu Lam.

Works include the construction of a seven-storey L-shaped building block housing 18 classrooms, a library, an education television room, a medical inspection room and 16 special rooms.

The special rooms include a metal workshop, an electrical workshop, an accommodation or catering workshop and science laboratories.

The school will also have staff rooms, administration offices, an assembly hall, a covered playground, a basketball court, a car park, a planting area, menial staff quarters and other ancillary facilities. Meanwhile, tenders are also being called for the upgrading of a playground at Lung Cheung Road, Wong Tai Sin.

Works consist of the provision of toilet facilities, children's play areas, sitting benches with shade, a rain shelter, a store room, and the improvement of the existing basketball courts, sitting benches and footpaths. The two projects are expected to start in May for completion in August and January next year respectively.

Tender forms and further particulars can be obtained from the department, 34th floor, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway.

Tender offers for the school and the playground will close at noon on March 17 and 10 respectively.

End/Friday, February 17, 1995

Home-school co-operation slogan competition results announced

*****

The Committee on Home-school Co-operation today (Friday) announced the results of the Home-School Co-operation Slogan Competition.

The 26 winners - 13 each from the primary and secondary sections - were chosen from 1,143 entries, of which 877 were from primary section and 266 from secondary section.

The contest is part of the promotion activities organised by the working group on publicity and promotion under the Committee on Home-School Co-operation.

27

It is aimed at cultivating artistic talent of the youth, enhancing home-school cooperation and promoting the formation of parent-teacher associations.

The champion and the first and second runners-up will be awarded trophies and book coupons of $1,000, $700 and $500 respectively. Ten outstanding winners will also receive book coupons of $200 each.

All the winning works will be on display at Cityplaza II exhibition area. Level 2, Taikoo Shing, on Saturday, March 18.

The winners are:

Primary Schools

Kwok Ho-yan (First Prize)

Ng Ting-ting (Second Prize)

Sung Sze-chun (Third Prize)

(Outstanding)

Kwok Ka-yin

Ho Hing-lun

Choi Yiu -ling

Lau Yuen-chi

Kwok Nga-yin

Wai Tak-shun

Tse Kai-ming

Yip Wing-sum

So Cheuk-hang

Leung Hoi-ting

Secondary Schools

Leung Siu-wing (First Prize)

Cheung Man-chung (Second Prize)

Lee Ka-man (Third Prize)

(Outstanding)

Poon Wing-king

Lai Wan-chi

Mak Man-fai

Kwok Wing-chung

Chiu Yan-chi

Kwok Wing-man

Kwok Tsz-ki

Chan Ka-yi

Cheng Chun-pong

Lam Siu-yin

End/Friday. February 17, 1995

28

Sewerage improvement works for Tuen Mun * * * * *

The Government will construct a sewage pumping station and the associated sewerage network within an area of about 3,240 square metres of foreshore and seabed in Tuen Mun to improve the efficiency of conveying sewage across the Tuen Mun nullah.

The work will begin in July this year and will be completed by about June

1997.

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

The notice and its related plans are available at the Lands Department's Survey and Mapping Office. 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road; and at the Tuen Mun District Office, second floor. Tuen Mun Government Offices. 1 Tuen Hi Road, Tuen Mun. New Territories.

The plan can also be purchased at the Survey and Mapping Office.

Any person who considers that his interest, right or easement in or over the foreshore and seabed involved will be affected may submit a written claim for compensation to the Director of Lands on or before February 17, 1996.

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

End/Friday, February 17, 1995

Sewer and road works proposed for Tai O *****

The Territory Development Department's Hong Kong Island and Islands Development Office is planning to lay sewers and build two pumping stations in Tai O, Lantau Island.

The works also involve construction of a new road, reconstruction of sections of Shek Tsai Po Street, Tai O Market Street, Kat Hing Back Street and Kat Hing Street, reclamation of foreshore and seabed and construction of drainage and other ancillary works.

- 29 -

A notice of the proposed works is notified in the Gazette 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 and Islands District Office, on the ground floor and 20th floor respectively in Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central; the Mui Wo Sub-office, ground and second floors, Mui Wo Government Offices, 2 Ngan Kwong Wan Road, Mui Wo, Lantau Island and the District Lands Office, Islands, on 19th floor of Harbour Building.

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 April 18, describing his interest and the manner in which he will be affected.

End/Friday, February 17, 1995

Marine radar station at Kau Yi Chau

*****

The Government will construct a remote marine radar station at Kau Yi Chau for development of Container Terminals 8 and 9.

In association with this project, a submarine cable for supplying electricity to Kau Yi Chau from Peng Chau will be laid by the China Light & Power Company Limited. The works will start in July for completion by October this year.

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

The notice and its related plans are available at the Lands Department's Survey and Mapping Office. 14th floor, Murray Building. Garden Road and at the Islands District Office. 20th floor. Harbour Building. 38 Pier Road, Central. The plan can also be purchased at the Survey and Mapping Office.

Any person who considers that his interest, right or easement in or over the foreshore and seabed involved will be affected may submit a written claim for compensation to the Director of lands on or before February 17, 1996.

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

End/Friday, February 17, 1995

Stonecutters Island naval base project * * * * ♦

The Architectural Services Department is inviting approved contractors to participate in a prequalification exercise for the construction of a naval base at the south shore of Stonecutters Island.

The project comprises the construction of 11 main buildings of different sizes, complexity and structural types, 15 ancillary buildings, and other land facilities such as access roads, drainage services and related landscaping works on a 12-hectare site being reclaimed at the south shore.

Works are scheduled to start in October for completion in January 1997.

Only contractors on the Approved Contractors for Public Works List I in Group C for Building Works or on the List II for Building Works can apply for prequalification.

Interested parties may apply for prequalification documents from Mr Kwan Pak-lam, Assistant Director (A) 1, Architectural Services Department, room 3508, 35th floor, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway. The deadline for submission of applications is noon on March 10, and tenders will be invited from the prequalified contractors in July.

End/Friday, February 17, 1995

Three lots of land up for auction

*****

Three lots of Government land in Kowloon and the New Territories will be offered for sale at a public auction on March 14, it was notified in the Gazette today (Friday).

The auction will start at 2.30 pm in the Concert Hall of Hong Kong Cultural Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui.

The first lot, located at the junction of Sheung Yee Road and Wang Chiu Road, Kowloon Bay, has an area of 12,590 square metres. It is intended for (i) industrial or godown or both, or (ii) offices ancillary and directly related to an industrial operation, or (iii) any combination of (i) and (ii), excluding offensive trade.

31

The developer has to complete a gross floor area of not less than 90,648 square metres before March 31, 2000.

Located in Cha Kwo Ling Road, Kwun Tong, the second lot has an area of 4,104 square metres for non-industrial use, excluding godown, hotel and residential.

The developer has to complete a gross floor area of not less than 29.600 square metres before March 31, 1999.

Covering an area of 4,991 square metres in Tuen Mun, the third lot is designated for non-industrial use, excluding godown, residential, hotel, service apartment and a petrol-filling station.

The developer has to complete a gross floor area of not less than 28,450 square metres before March 31, 1999.

Full particulars and conditions of sale may be obtained from the Lands Department, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road, and the District Lands Offices Kowloon, Yau Ma Tei Car Park Building. 10th floor. 250 Shanghai Street, Kowloon.

Conditions of sale yvill also be available at the District Lands Offices of Sha Tin, Tuen Mun, Yuen Long. Tsuen Wan. Kwai Tsing. Tai Po, North, Sai Kung and Islands.

End/Friday. February 17. 1995

32

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change □million)

Opening balance in the account 2,148 0930 + 1,412

Closing balance in the account 2.884 1000 +1,412

Change attributable to : 1100 +1,235

Money market activity + 1.236 1200 + 1,236

LAF today -500 1500 + 1,236

1600 + 1,236

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 120.7 *-0.2* 17.2.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.66 15 months 2605 6.35 99.14 7.20

1 month 6.05 21 months 2611 6.90 99.34 7.43

3 months 6.41 29 months 3707 6.95 98.70 7.68

6 months 6.73 35 months 3801 8.00 100.67 7.89

12 months 7.03 58 months 5912 8.15 99.71 8.39

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $13,871 million

Closed February 17, 1995

End/Friday, February 17, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Saturday, February 18,1995

Contents Page No.

Secretary for Recreation and Culture visits London........................ 1

Smithfield Extension - the link contract awarded.......................... 1

Prosecution stepped up against labour law offenders last year............. 2

Revised topographic maps published........................................ 3

Youngsters exchange experience in volunteer work.......................... 5

Mail delivery to Kansai returns to normal................................. 6

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations...................... 6

Sunday, February 19,1995

Contents Page No.

SHA stresses importance of equal opportunities............................ 7

Discharges urged to make licence applications early....................... 8

Applications to sponsor fireworks display invited......................... 9

Residents urged to vote in district board by-election.................... 10

5th Education and Careers Expo....................................... 11

Chinese stamp album and folder........................................... 12

1

Secretary for Recreation and Culture visits London ♦ * * * ♦

The Secretary for Recreation and Culture, Mr James So, will depart for London this (Saturday) evening on a 10-day visit sponsored by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

During his stay there, Mr So will call on the Home Office (Broadcasting), the Radio Authority and the Broadcasting Standards Council to discuss regulatory matters on radio broadcasting as well as matters relating to the setting and monitoring of standards for broadcasting.

He will also visit the BBC World Service TV to familiarise himself with its plans for development especially in Asia; tour the Arts Council of England and meet with the cultural sectors.

Mr So will be returning to Hong Kong on March 1.

End/Saturday, February 18, 1995

Smithfield Extension - the link contract awarded

*****

The contract for the construction of the Smithfield Extension has been awarded by the Highways Department to Paul. Y Construction Co Ltd, a spokesman for the Highways Department said today (Saturday).

The $284-million contract is for the construction of a 760-metre long district distributor road to carry two-way traffic from the existing Smithfield to Pok Fu Lam Road, the spokesman said.

The existing Pok Fu Lam Road Playground will be occupied in two stages to facilitate the works, and it will be reprovisioned by the Government at no cost to Urban Council, he said.

Works will start soon and are expected to complete in mid-1997.

*

- 2 -

"On completion of the works, in conjunction with the Belcher Bay Link and Rock Hill Street Extension, an additional road corridor will be provided for traffic from Central and Western District to the Southern District," the spokesman said.

fhy

The works have been designed and construction will be supervised by Pypun Engineering Consultants Ltd for Hong Kong Region of the Highways Department.

End/Saturday, February 18, 1995

Prosecution stepped up against labour law offenders last year ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Labour Department achieved 7,745 convicted cases against labour law offenders last year, resulting in a total fine of more than $30 million.

While the number of convictions in 1994 remained stable when compared with that in 1993, total fines imposed by the court last year increased by 33 per cent over the previous year.

Senior Labour Officer (Prosecutions) Mr John Sung said today (Saturday) that the department would continue to protect the interests of workers by prosecuting labour law offenders.

"Employers who do not abide by labour law will have to pay for their malpractices. They will have to take the safety and welfare of workers more seriously, otherwise they will be prosecuted," he added.

Mr Sung said about 34.5 per cent of the convicted cases last year were related to industrial safety.

Of these, 2,518 involved the breaching of the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance and its subsidiary regulations. Fines totalling $22.4 million represented a 32 per cent increase over the previous year.

As regards the nature of these offences, Mr Sung said 517 out of the 2,518 cases were against employers who failed to guard dangerous parts of machinery effectively.

Cases related to failure to maintain exit doorways free from obstruction totalled 320. Another 253 were about failure to provide guard rails or coverings to dangerous places to prevent the fall of persons.

3

Apart from industrial safety offences, there were 5,043 convictions involving the violation of the Women and Young Persons (Industry) and Employment of Children Regulations, as well as the Employment, Labour Relations and Employees’ Compensation Ordinances. Fines imposed totalled $7.3 million.

Of the 5,043 convictions, 1,074 were related to the employment of women and young persons to work overtime or on rest days and 1,974 involved the failure of employers to take out insurance policies for employees or give them statutory holiday pay.

Another 68 cases were related to the failure of employers to pay their employees wages on the due date or upon termination of their service.

There were also 28 cases relating to the failure of employers to keep or produce employees' records for inspection by labour inspectors as required by the Immigration Ordinance.

Of the remaining conviction cases last year, 156 involved the breaching of the Boilers and Pressure Vessels Ordinance.

End/Saturday, February 18, 1995

Revised topographic maps published *****

The Survey and Mapping Office (SMO) of the Lands Department has revised and published the series of 1:50.000 topographic maps.

The series comprises two sheets to cover the whole territory of Hong Kong. The first edition was produced in March 1975 based on the bilingual imperial series HK1. Since then, it has been updated biennially and is now in its 10th edition.

The map is printed in eight colours with hill shading and layer tinting to enhance the visual impact in the relief presentation, in addition to the 50-metre interval contour lines. The map also shows submarine contours in metres.

Major developments now in progress, such as the new airport reclamation, proposed Route 3, North Lantau Expressway and West Kowloon Reclamation, are also shown on the map.

4

Details across the border in Shenzhen are depicted in a generalised form in light brown colour.

The map series has been very popular among map users since its first publication and is very suitable for use as a wall map.

In line with the practice of most mapping agencies around the world, the SMO intends to produce all new mapping on the World Geodetic System (WGS 84) datum and use the WGS 84 Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) Grid.

The WGS 84 datum used in this map series regards the earth as a spheroid with the centre of mass of the earth as the origin. This datum replaces the previous Local Geodetic Datum and gives slight differences of -5.5 seconds in latitude and +8.9 seconds in longitude in the geographical co-ordinates of Hong Kong.

This change of geographical co-ordinates, when projected onto the UTM Grid, results in a change of grid lines of about -170 metres in northing and +250 metres easting on ground. It does not mean that Hong Kong moves by that much but only the grid values change as the result of the use ot WGS 84 datum.

The adoption of the new geodetic datum facilitates map users to identify their positions on the map by using Global Positioning System (GPS) equipment.

With the GPS equipment becoming more affordable, it has become more popular for use in navigation, surveying, engineering projects and general position fixing.

SMO also provides many other map products and publications, including digital maps and aerial photographs.

Detailed information is contained in the Hong Kong Map Catalogue, which is obtainable free of charge from Map Publication Centres of Hong Kong or Kowloon or at District Survey Offices in New Territories.

The revised maps are now on sale at the centres and offices at $40 per sheet.

End/Saturday, February 18. 1995

5

Youngsters exchange experience in volunteer work

*****

Some 400 civic-minded youngsters will attend a two-day youth camp at the Po Leung Kuk Pak Tam Chung Holiday Camp in Sai Kung today (Saturday) to exchange their experience in volunteer work.

The youngsters are the winners selected among 2,700 contestants from 127 youth groups who have participated in the 1994/95 Opportunities for Youth Scheme.

"The scheme, launched by the Social Welfare Department since 1974, aims at offering funding support to youth groups to plan and implement community service projects which contribute to their personal and social development," a spokesman for the department said.

In 1994/95, funds amounting to $800,000 have been allocated to the youth groups to help launch their service projects, providing services for 76,000 needy persons in the community.

The Chairman of the Commission on Youth Mr Eric Li and member Mr Cheung Yin-tung will hold a panel discussion at 4 pm this (Saturday) afternoon to share their views with the young people on how to better serve the community.

The Secretary for Health and Welfare. Mrs Katherine Fok. will officiate at a ceremony at 11 am tomorrow (Sunday) to present prizes to the best projects.

Attention news editors:

You are invited to cover the prize-giving ceremony of the 1994/95 Opportunities for Youth Scheme to be held at 11 am tomorrow (Sunday) at the Po Leung Kuk Pak Tam Chung Holiday Camp in Sai Kung.

Transport will be provided. Those interested are requested to assemble at the Wong Tai Sin Community Centre, 104 Ching Tak Street (near the Wong Tai Sin MTR Station), at 9.30 am.

Information officers of the department will be on hand to assist.

End/Saturday. February 18, 1995

6

Mail delivery to Kansai returns to normal

*****

Delivery of mail, including Speedpost items, destined to Kansai, Japan, which was hit by earthquake, has now returned to normal, except where houses and buildings have been destroyed by the earthquake, the Postmaster General Mr Mike Pagliari announced.

Delivery of mail to Kansai has been subject to delay since the earthquake.

End/Saturday, February 18, 1995

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

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

Opening balance in the account 2,884 09:30 +400

Closing balance in the account 1,264 10:00 <400

Change attributable to: 11:00 +400

Money market activity +400 11:30 +400

LAF today -2.020 15:00

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 120.6 *-0.1* 18.2.95

End/Saturday. February 18, 1995

7

SHA stresses importance of equal opportunities *****

Mutual respect and equality between women and men in the political, social, economic and cultural aspects of life will enable the two sexes to realise their potential to the fullest extent, the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen, said this (Sunday) afternoon.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Civic Education Day organised by the Committee on the Promotion of Civic Education (CPCE), Mr Suen stressed that it was absolutely wrong and outdated to think that advocating equal rights would in any way deprive men of their rights.

He also asserted that to uphold equal opportunities, women should be given the same job opportunities. And, he added, to achieve this, gender stereotyping should be eliminated.

Acknowledging the achievements of the CPCE since its inception. Mr Suen strongly believed that on that basis and with the extra $20 million over the next three years, the concept of human rights could reach "every comer of the community".

Sharing Mr Suen's view, CPCE Chairman Dr Daniel Tse said equal opportunities for women and men was important to everyone.

"Their promotion, therefore, is an essential part of the human rights education."

He said: "Today's Civic Education Day, which is aimed at arousing public awareness of gender equality, is a good beginning for this year's human rights promotional activities."

Noting that the promotion of representative government was also one of the work themes of the CPCE. Dr Tse took the opportunity to urge all eligible voters to cast their ballots in the forthcoming municipal council elections next month and the LegCo elections in September.

He appealed to the public to participate in the monitoring of the operation of the Government by exercising their voting rights to choose representatives of their choice.

*

- 8 -

Turning to the work of the committee in the year, Dr Tse said with the extra funding for human rights education, the CPCE would increase the sponsorship to be granted to voluntary agencies and community bodies under the Community Participation Scheme.

It will also enhance its media publicity programmes and increase the funding for research projects and the production of teaching kits, comic books, competitions and touring exhibitions.

End/Sunday, February 19, 1995

Dischargers urged to make licence applications early ♦ ♦ ♦ * *

Existing dischargers of waste water from industrial, commercial and institutional activities in Phase I of the Victoria Harbour Water Control Zone (VHWCZ) are reminded to obtain a licence for their discharges before July 1 this year.

A spokesman for the Environmental Protection Department said: "The said water control zone, which became effective on November 1 last year, covers Kwun Tong, Kwai Chung and the eastern part of Tsuen Wan.

"Any discharger in these areas who does not have a licence or whose discharge does not meet the required standards after July 1 is liable to prosecution.

"The maximum fine for discharging polluting matter into the water control zone is $200,000 for the first offence and $400,000 for any subsequent offence. Offenders may also be liable to six months' imprisonment."

Among the 9,600 existing dischargers identified in Phase I of VHWCZ, only 1,200 of them have made licence applications, the spokesman said.

He called on remaining dischargers to make licence applications early so that they would have sufficient time to provide for or improve treatment of their discharges to meet the required standards.

"To help dischargers understand the requirements of the legislation, we have sent them letters and information booklets.

9

"Four seminars informing the public about the legislation have also been held in the past months," the spokesman said.

Dischargers can contact the department's Local Control Offices on 2755 3241 (for Kwun Tong area) and 2417 6150 (for Tsuen Wan and Kwai Chung areas) for enquiries on licensing and controls.

End/Sunday, February 19. 1995

Applications to sponsor fireworks display invited * * * * *

The Recreation and Culture Branch today (Sunday) invited organisations wishing to sponsor the 1996 Lunar New Year fireworks display to submit expressions of interest to the Government before April 30 this year.

Since 1982. fireworks displays have been held over Victoria Harbour in the evening of the second day of the Lunar New Year to celebrate the spring festival.

"Over 500.000 spectators turned out to watch the 1995 display," a spokesman for the Recreation and Culture Branch said.

The spokesman said applications should be sent at least nine months before the date proposed for the display.

Applications should be addressed to the Secretary for Recreation and Culture, 41st floor. Revenue Tower, 5 Gloucester Road. Wan Chai.

Further enquiries can be made on telephone 2594 5657 during office hours.

End/Sunday. February 19, 1995

10

Residents urged to vote in district board by-election * * * * *

The Kwun Tong District Officer, Mr Wong Hon-ho, has appealed to residents in Lower Ngau Tau Kok to actively vote in the forthcoming District Board by-election on March 5.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Kwun Tong District Festival '95 this (Sunday) evening, Mr Wong believed that electors would want the seat to be filled by someone of their own choice - someone who would look after the interests of their community.

Mr Wong also took the opportunity to urge those living in the district to cast their ballots in the Urban Council elections.

"Your vote is crucial," he said.

The district festival, which features a host of activities, will last until next Sunday (February 26).

These will include an area committee fun night, a joint performance by artistic groups as well as a carnival finale.

A festooned double-decker also toured the district this morning to publicise the event.

The district festival is organised by the Kwun long District Board with assistance of the District Office.

End/Sunday. February 19, 1995

Il

5th Education and Careers Expo

* * * ♦ *

Students and working adults in Hong Kong will have access to the most comprehensive and up-to-date information on education and careers opportunities at the 5th Education and Careers Expo.

The Expo, featuring some 180 exhibitors from various trades, government departments, professional bodies as well as local and overseas educational institutes, will be held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from February 23 to’ 26 (Thursday to Sunday).

It will consist of an education section organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council and a careers section staged by the Labour Department.

Senior Labour Officer Mrs Ada Leung said today (Sunday) that the Labour Department had been trying to provide young people with the latest information on careers through various activities.

"The Expo is the highlight of such activities this year. We hope to help youngsters identify their long-term career goals as choosing a career best suited to one's interests, talents and abilities is of great importance to life," she added.

In the career aspect, visitors will be able to get first-hand information on a variety of jobs including their nature, entry requirements, application procedures, terms of employment, training opportunities and promotion prospects.

"A better understanding of the requirements and prospects of different careers certainly helps young people identify the right career for themselves. This in turn helps optimise our human resources for the continued growth of our economy," Mrs Leung said.

The department will present 15 seminars to be conducted by experienced personnel from various fields and a series of video shows during the Expo.

Mrs Leung said response to the seminars was overwhelming and more than 2,700 students had registered for participation. Nevertheless, there are still places for walk-in visitors.

To encourage secondary students to actively collect career information, the department has also made arrangements for some 10,300 students from 92 schools to visit the Expo in groups.

- 12 -

nip >

The Expo will open from 10.30 am to 7 pm on February 23, from 10 am to 7 pm on February 24 and 25, and from 10 am to 6 pm on February 26.

. a ' -A

Admission is free.

i ■

End/Sunday, February 19, 1995

Chinese stamp album and folder *****

The Postmaster General, Mr Mike Pagliari, announced today (Sunday) that the 1994 Annual Stamp Pack, the 1994 Prestige Annual Album and the Ding Hu Mountains Stamp Folder issued by the Chinese Post Office will be put on sale at seven philatelic offices from February 22.

The offices are at Beaconsfield House Post Office, General Post Office, Granville Road Post Office, Peak Post Office, Sha Tin Central Post Office, Tsim Sha Tsui Post Office and Tsuen Wan Post Office. The stamp pack and the prestige album contain one set each of the special stamps issued in 1994.

The Ding Hu Mountains Stamp Folder contains a set of four stamps on Ding Hu Mountains issued on February 18 this year.

The selling prices are:

1994 Annual Stamp Pack - $100

1994 Prestige Annual Album - $250 l.

Ding Flu Mountains Stamp Folder - $60

Each customer queuing on February 22 is entitled to a maximum of two items per product.

End/Sunday, February 19, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Monday, February 20,1995

Contents £ag£_NtL

Majority confident of HK's continued prosperity: poll............... 1

Consultancy agreement signed for Central Reclamation Phase III...... 2

Unemployment and Underemployment Statistics for Oct - Dec 1994...... 2

Value of manufacturers' orders-on-hand in December 1994 ............ 3

One more nomination for Kwai Tsing DB by-election...................

Temporary closure of East Kowloon Way and Aiiport Tunnel............ 6

Anti-drug quiz in Kowloon City...................................... 6

Women encouraged to take part in community work.....................

Fresh water cuts in Central, Hung Hom, Sai Kung and Yuen Long....... 8

LES Mong Kok Office to close on Saturday............................ 8

"Modem mercantilism" misguided...................................... 9

Guide to pollution control law available............................ 12

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

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

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

1

Majority confident of HK's continued prosperity: poll

*****

A recent poll conducted by the Home Affairs Branch has indicated that 57 per cent of the respondents were confident that Hong Kong would continue to be prosperous and stable, compared with 56 per cent in the last survey.

Releasing the findings of a bimonthly survey conducted in January this year, a spokesman for the Home Affairs Branch also pointed out that 40 per cent of the respondents said they were satisfied with the overall performance of the Government, compared with 33 per cent who thought otherwise.

The corresponding figures in November last year were 39 per cent and 36 per cent respectively.

<. ‘if. •> .j . *

As to the three most-mentioned problems facing the territory, 45 per cent mentioned housing-related problems, which was slightly higher than that recorded in November last year (42 per cent).

The percentage for transport-related problems dropped from 47 to 36 and came second.

This was followed by Hong Kong future which stood at 26 per cent, about the same as that recorded previously (27 per cent).

The survey was the 56th in the series to gauge the trend of public opinion in respect of perceived problems in Hong Kong and the community’s expectation of the general situation.

A total of 1,493 persons were successfully interviewed in this poll which was conducted between January 16 and 20 using a random sample of residential telephone numbers.

Within the household of a selected telephone number, a respondent aged between 15 and 64 was randomly chosen for interview.

'• ' • -i .,

End/Monday, February 20, 1995

2

Consultancy agreement signed for Central Reclamation Phase III ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Territory Development Department (TDD) has appointed consultants to undertake the studies, site investigation, design and construction services for Phase III of the Central Reclamation project.

The consultancy agreement was signed today (Monday) by the Project Manager of Hong Kong Island and Islands Development Office, Mr Pang Ho-che, and representatives of the consultants, Atkins Haswell.

The fee for the consultancy assignment is $41.93 million, and the assignment will start from next Monday (February 27).

. .4

The Central Reclamation Phase III project, consisting of about 29 hectares of new reclamation joining the Central Reclamation Phase I and the Tamar Reclamation together, ends at the seafront off Lung King Street.

This reclamation is required for accommodating the Central-Wan Chai Bypass as well as providing new land for the expansion of Central business district.

According to the present programme, the works will commence in early 1997 for completion in mid-2000.

End/Monday, February 20, 1995

Unemployment and Underemployment Statistics for Oct - Dec 1994 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October - December 1994 was 2.0%, and the underemployment rate was 1.5%, according to the latest labour force statistics released today (Monday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

The provisional seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for the period of November 1994 - January 1995 was 2.2%, while the provisional underemployment rate was 1.6%.

The latest figures suggest that the labour market remained generally tight in recent months.

3

During the period of October - December 1994, the number of unemployed persons, adjusted for variations in the number of first-time job-seekers, was estimated at 60,100, while the number of underemployed persons was estimated at 46,900. The unemployment and underemployment statistics were obtained from a continuous General Household Survey conducted by the Census and Statistics Department.

The survey for October - December 1994 covered a quarterly sample of some 12,500 households or 42,700 persons, selected scientifically to represent the land-based civilian non-institutional population in Hong Kong.

Relevant data were obtained from the survey by interviewing each individual member aged 15 and above in the households sampled.

In the survey, the definitions used in measuring unemployment and underemployment follow closely those recommended by the International Labour Organisation.

Detailed analysis of labour force characteristics is given in the report on the General Household Survey which is published four times a year.

The next report covering the quarter ending December 1994 will be available at the Government Publications Centre by the end of March at $24 a copy.

End/Monday, February 20, 1995

Value of manufacturers’ orders-on-hand in December 1994 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The value of manufacturers' orders-on-hand for local production in December 1994 increased by 9% over a year earlier, according to the provisional results of a monthly survey released today (Monday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

Comparing December 1994 with December 1993, significant increases in the value of outstanding orders were recorded in the electronic products industry (+33%), plastic products industry (+21%) and electrical products industry (+16%). A small increase in orders was recorded in the textiles industry (+4%).

A significant decrease in orders was registered in the fabricated metal products industry (-21%). Orders in the printing and publishing industry and wearing apparel industry also dropped, by 12% and 7% respectively.

4

Compared with November 1994, and bearing in mind that this comparison may be affected by seasonal factors, the value of manufacturers' orders-on-hand in December 1994 showed little change.

The Monthly Survey of Orders-on-hand covers a sample of some 300 manufacturing firms engaging 50 or more workers.

Manufacturers' orders-on-hand refer to orders and parts of orders received earlier by manufacturers for local production which remain unfilled as at the end of the reference month.

Orders received by traders not engaged in production are included if such orders are further placed to manufacturers for production locally.

? • z 1 * • • •

However, orders placed to manufacturing firms for production in China and other places outside Hong Kong are not included in this series of orders-on-hand statistics.

I

Beginning from January last year, a new series of statistics on manufacturers’ orders-on-hand in value terms compiled in the form of an index is produced, to replace the old series which was expressed in terms of number of months to complete the outstanding orders.

The new statistical series provides a more direct measure of the overall value of orders in the local manufacturing sector that lead to the generation of local manufacturing output.

• f 1 ■ " •'..u, .

A spokesman for the department pointed out that caution should be exercised in interpreting the manufacturers' orders-on-hand figures in a single month. Instead, the trend movement of the series as displayed over a wider span of time points should be looked at.

The survey report for December 1994, at $4.5 a copy, is now available for sale at the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, Ground Floor, Queensway, and at the Census and Statistics Department Publications Section, 19th Floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai.

Enquiries about the survey results may be made to the Industrial Production Statistics Section of the Census and Statistics Department on 2805 6441.

5

The following table shows the year-on-year percentage changes in the value of orders-on-hand in different manufacturing industries.

Percentage changes in the value

of orders-on-hand in

November 1994 over November 19.23 (Revised) December 1994 over December 1993 (Provisional)

All industries covered in the survey +13 +9

♦ Wearing apparel -9 -7

♦ Textiles +43 +4

♦ Electronic products +25 +33

* Electrical products -3 + 16

* Fabricated metal products + 17 -21

* Plastic products +26 +21

* Printing and publishing -21 -12

End/Monday, February 20, 1995

One more nomination for Kwai Tsing DB by-election

*****

One more nomination was received today (Monday) for Kwai fsing District Board by-election scheduled on April 2 in respect of Lai Wah constituency.

The nomination was submitted by Mr Wong Yiu-chung. a 36-year-old executive officer.

So far, two nominations were received since the nomination period started on February 9. The nomination period will end this Wednesday.

End/Monday, February 20, 1995

6

Temporary closure of East Kowloon Way and Airport Tunnel

*****

The Transport Department announces that to facilitate repair and maintenance work, the eastbound carriageway of East Kowloon Way and the eastbound tunnel tube of Airport Tunnel will be closed to traffic between 1 am and 6 am on February 22, 23 and 24.

During this period, the eastbound traffic to the airport and Kowloon Bay will be diverted to Chatham Road North. Appropriate traffic aids will be displayed at the entrance of East Kowloon Way to alert motorists.

End/Monday, February 20, 1995

Anti-drug quiz in Kowloon City

*****

The Kowloon City district will launch an inter-school quiz competition in March to enhance youngsters' knowledge of drug abuse.

Form 1 to Form 3 students of 10 participating secondary schools will answer questions on topics such as the types of soft drugs.

Semi-finals will take place on March 8 and 10 while the final contest will be held on March 19.

The competition is organised by the Kowloon City District Office, the District Board, the District Fight Crime Committee together with the Lions Club International District 303, the Society for the Aid and Rehabilitation of Drug Abusers (SARDA), and the Police.

Attention News Editors:

A kicking off ceremony of the Inter-school Quiz Competition will begin at 4.30 pm at the promotional stage of the Kowloon City Plaza, 128 Carpenter Road tomorrow (Tuesday).

7

Highlight of the ceremony includes the appointment of a group of pop song singers as the "Anti-soft drug stars" for the event.

The officiating guests will be Assistant District Officer Mr Howard Lee; Kowloon City District Board member Mr Mak King-lun; District Governor of Lions Club Internation District 303 Mr William Leung; SARDA Executive member Dr James Chien; and chairman of the Kowloon City District Fight Crime Committee Dr Tam Wing-kun.

Your representatives are invited to cover the event.

End/Monday, February 20, 1995

Women encouraged to take part in community work ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

Women develop their potential and broaden their horizons through active participation in community programmes, Mrs Patten said.

Speaking at the Kowloon, Western and Eastern District Women's Welfare Clubs spring union lunch today (Monday), Mrs Patten said services of the three clubs "has enriched the lives of many in the districts".

"Your dedicated efforts have set an excellent example for others and encouraged women in the districts to participate in community building programmes," she said.

The three clubs run kindergartens, primary schools and day nurseries to cater to the needs of the young.

They also provide care and attention centres, hostels and recreation centres for the elderly.

This year's event also marked the 40th anniversary of the Western District Women's Welfare Club.

"With your excellent record of community services, I am sure your members will continue to work to develop your services so that the community may ftirther benefit from your generosity and dedication," she said.

End/Monday, February 20, 1995

8

Fresh water cuts in Central, Hung Hom, Sai Kung and Yuen Long

*****

Fresh water supply to some premises in Central, Hung Hom, Sai Kung and Yuen Long will be temporarily suspended from 11 pm on Wednesday (February 22) to facilitate water mains leakage detection.

Normal supply to Central, Hung Hom and Sai Kung will resume after 6 am the following day, while that to Yuen Long after 7 am.

The affected areas in the four districts are:

Central - 84-168 Des Voeux Road Central, 97-171 Queen's Road Central, Central Market, 1-13 Jubilee Street, Hing Lung Street, Tung Mun Street, Wing On Street, 1-23 Gilman Street, Gilman's Bazaar, Wing Kut Street, 13-33 Wing Wo Street, Tit Hong Lane and Wai San Lane.

Hung Hom - Hung Hom Wan Street, Fuk Chi Street, Bulkeley Street, Ming On Street, Baker Street, Hung Hom Road and Po Loi Street.

Sai Kung - the section of Clear Water Bay Road from Pik Uk Village to Pine Villas, including Tai Po Tsai Sheung Tsuen, Tai Po Tsai San Tsuen and Ta Kwu Ling San Tsuen.

Yuen Long - Long Ping Road and Long Tin Road, including Fung Chi Tsuen, Wing Ning Tsuen and Ha Mei San Tsuen.

End/Monday. February 20, 1995

LES Mong Kok Office to close on Saturday

* ♦ ♦ ♦ *

The branch office of the Labour Department's Local Employment Service (LES) in Mong Kok will be closed on Saturday (February 25) to facilitate renovation work.

Situated on the ground floor of the Mong Kok Government Offices (MKGO), the office will be renovated from Saturday to late March this year.

9

During the renovation period, the office will be temporarily moved to room 203, second floor, MKGO while the public enquiry telephone numbers (2399 2547 and 2399 2231-6) and fax number (2396 8140) will remain unchanged.

Normal service of the office will resume on February 27 (Monday).

End/Monday, February 20, 1995

"Modem mercantilism" misguided * ♦ ♦ * *

The Director-General of Trade, Mr Tony Miller, today (Monday) hit out at what he called "modem mercantilism".

"Mercantilism and protectionism go hand in hand. Both try to tilt the playing field of international commerce. Both bring government muscle to bear in what should be purely business battles. Both cheat the consumer. Both ultimately undermine the competitiveness of the firms they aim to assist," he said.

In a talk to the British Chamber of Commerce, entitled "Going bananas", Mr Miller used the example of a current trade dispute between Europe and the US to illustrate the lengths some governments were prepared to go to protect what were perceived to be national interest.

In this dispute, he said, the US has threatened retaliation under Section 301 of its 1988 Trade Act against the European Union (EU) banana import regime which it claims is adversely affecting US economic interests.

"I raise this case because it seems to me to be a useful illustration of 'modem mercantilism'," Mr Miller said.

"There are two sides to this coin. The first is a renewed willingness on the part of some governments to grant certain companies a national identity. The second is a perverse persistence that it is necessary to determine a single national origin for an imported product."

In the banana dispute, he noted that the US had taken up the cudgels on behalf of a US multinational firm which had invested in the distribution and marketing of bananas produced in various countries in Latin America.

10

It is claiming injury because of the EU's "Framework Agreement" with various Caribbean and South American countries, which effectively give their producers preference in the European market.

While not defending what he called "a cosy little arrangement", Mr Miller noted: "However, the bananas in question do not grow on American soil. They are not irrigated by American rain. They are not picked by American hands nor are they packed by American labour.

"In fact, at no point between tropical herb and European oesophagus do these bananas touch the United States of America," he added.

"The US' argument seems to be that they are the fruits of American investment overseas, but let us explore the logic of this a little further.

"If an American firm invests in a textile or clothing factory in Thailand, for example, could that firm not claim that it is similarly disadvantaged by EU restraints on the importation of such products? After all, an identical economic interest is at stake.

"By extension, just to take this to a not totally absurd conclusion, could not the same firm ask the US government to take Section 301 action against itself for similar restraints on textiles and clothing imports into the US?"

Mr Miller said the EU was not entirely without blemish and he did not approve of such arrangements as they created unfair competition and therefore distorted both market shares and investment flows.

"This arrangement is no different in substance from any number of other preferential schemes run by the US in support of its proteges. If such cosy little arrangements are to be challenged, it is because they distort markets period, not because of some spurious claim of national interest," he said.

"We in Hong Kong will watch the outcome of this dispute with some interest and are delighted that the EU has responded to the US threat by suggesting that any attempt by the US to take unilateral action would be met by a dispute settlement action under the World Trade Organisation."

Mr Miller went on to criticise proposed changes to the US rules of origin for textiles and clothing.

11

"Changing customs rules and procedures are the guerrilla tactics of undeclared trade wars," he said.

"Recently, and not for the first time, the United States has resorted to changing the rules of origin for textiles and clothing.

"It has done so despite international undertakings to the contrary and despite agreement within the World Trade Organisation and the World Customs Organisation to work towards standardisation internationally.

"On this, as on the previous occasion, the US administration is reacting to pressure from its 'infant' textiles and clothing industries for just a little bit more protection."

Mr Miller queried the need for rules of origin in a globalised economy and said: "Manufacturers are now virtually free to source materials wherever they are most readily available, to manufacture wherever makes most sense, often in more than one place, and to market internationally.

"Given this, how does one go about establishing where a product was made' and is it really worth the effort?" he asked.

Using the example of a recent EU directive on bananas, Mr Miller went on to highlight the dangers of too much rule making and standardisation.

"Setting standards can be a more effective way of blocking trade than tariffs and it has the added PR advantage that it sounds good. Standards are good for us. They are there to protect us against things which are harmful in some way, or shoddy, or whatever," he said.

"Where I part company with the standardisers and harmonisers is at the point at which they seek to deny the existence of comparative advantage, where wittingly or unwittingly they begin to use standardisation in ways which reduce the benefits of diversity.

"At one extreme this is represented by bureaucrats telling consumers that they can only eat bananas or Brussels sprouts if they comply with quite arbitrary specifications. At the other, it is represented by attempts to go beyond agreement on international codes to insist that governments seek to achieve such standards in a particular way."

12

Mr Miller said given its free trade open market approach Hong Kong could be expected to resist such tendencies.

"Competing approaches to solving common problems is ultimately more likely to produce good results, just as competition between firms produces stronger firms and greater innovation," he said.

End/Monday, February 20, 1995

Guide to pollution control law available * * * * *

The Industry Department today (Monday) published the 1995 edition of its environmental booklet entitled "A Guide to Pollution Control Legislation Affecting Manufacturing Industries."

The Guide, first published in 1992, aims to assist manufacturers by providing basic information on environmental measures which may affect them, and where technical advice may be obtained.

A spokesman for the department said: "With the gazettal of the Victoria Harbour (Phase One) Water Control Zone, many more manufacturers in Hong Kong now need information on environmental controls and how to comply with them. The guide will be a handy reference for manufacturers wishing to know more about environmental controls."

The Guide provides a summary of Hong Kong’s environmental legislation. It also includes reference to major international environmental measures which may affect Hong Kong manufacturers. Information on environmental management systems and effective measures to control and prevent pollution is also included.

"To assist manufacturers in complying with environmental legislation, the 1995 edition has been expanded to include information on Government support services available to manufacturers on environmental matters," the spokesman added.

"Apart from useful addresses and telephone numbers for more detailed enquiries on different environmental legislation, the Guide also contains a list of organisations which provide technical advice and training on environmental matters." the spokesman said.

The Guide will be distributed to major industrial and trade associations and those manufacturers most likely to be affected by environmental measures.

End/Monday, February 20, 1995

13

Water storage figure

*****

Storage in Hong Kong's reservoirs at 9 am today (Monday) stood at 69.3 per cent of capacity or 406.093 million cubic metres.

This time last year the reservoirs contained 398.608 million cubic metres of water, representing 68.0 per cent of capacity.

End/Monday, February 20, 1995

I long Kong Monetary Authority tender results * * * * *

Tender date

20 Feb 95

Paper on offer

EF notes

Issue number

2702

Amount applied

HK$3,265 MN

Amount allotted

HK$500 MN

Average price (yield) accepted

100.13 (7.57 PCT)

Lowest price (yield) accepted

100.11 (7.58 PCT)

Pro rata ratio

About 100 PCT

Average tender price (yield)

100.04 (7.62 PCT)

End/Monday, February 20, 1995

14

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

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,264 0930 +1723

Closing balance in the account 1,592 1000 +1723

Change attributable to : 1100 +1673

Money market activity +1,673 1200 + 1673

LAF today -1,345 1500 + 1673

1600 + 1673

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 120.4 *-0.2* 20.2.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.66 15 months 2605 6.35 99.12 7.22

1 month 6.00 21 months 2611 6.90 99.34 7.44

3 months 6.39 29 months 3707 6.95 98.64 7.71

6 months 6.70 35 months 3801 8.00 100.66 7.89

12 months 7.01 58 months 5912 8.15 99.75 8.38

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $9,783 MN

Closed February 20, 1995

End/Monday, February 20, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Tuesday, February 21,1995

Contents Page iNq,

Motion on retirement protection proposed................................. 1

Preliminary findings of property review 1995 released.................... 2

Anti-speculation measures to remain in force............................ 14

Revision of hospital and clinic fees and charges........................ 15

Consumer Price Indices for January 1995 ................................ 17

Transcript of Chief Secretary's media session........................... 23

ACE port plan approval welcomed......................................... 24

Government wins appeal over Shun Fung compensation...................... 25

Woman Health Centre instrumental in cancer detection.................... 26

Senior citizens have much to give to community.......................... 27

Human element is vital in safe operation of fast ferries................ 28

207 Vietnamese migrants return home voluntarily......................... 29

Five lots of land for sale.............................................. 30

Population in Dec at 6,149,100.......................................... 31

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results............................. 31

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations.................... 32

1

Motion on retirement protection proposed

♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

The Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Michael Leung, will move a motion in the Legislative Council on March 8 (Wednesday) on retirement protection, a Government spokesman said today (Tuesday).

The motion will read: "This Council urges Government to introduce as expeditiously as possible a mandatory, privately managed occupational retirement protection system with provision for the preservation and portability of benefits."

"If we are to propose an alternative to the Old Age Pension Scheme, then it must have the clear support of the Legislative Council. Clear support from LegCo would mean that we could proceed with detailed preparations for the proposed system.

"This would also enable us to consult the Chinese side of the Joint Liaison Group on the proposal," said the spokesman.

The proposed system could include the following main features:

it would be mandatory for every employer to establish a retirement scheme for his employees under the age of 65;

it would be a joint contribution scheme by employees and employers;

there would be a statutory minimum contribution, of which the employer should pay half;

there would be a minimum salary level, below which an employee might elect not to participate in a scheme;

there would be a maximum salary level above which statutory contributions would not be required;

,l.v

there will be a requirement for preservation and portability of benefits until an employee reaches retirement age, except in specified circumstances such as death, total disability or permanent departure from Hong Kong;

. . x '.n

I

- 2 -

* there will be enhancement of regulatory controls over the operation of registered occupational retirement schemes, and the prudential supervision of scheme administrators and pooled retirement schemes, and

* a system would be developed to deal with benefit losses due to fraud or misfeasance of scheme administrators

End/Tuesday, February 21, 1995

Preliminary findings of property review 1995 released ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Rating and Valuation Department today (Tuesday) released the preliminary findings of the property review 1995.

The exercise to review production and activity in the property market last year and to forecast supply for 1995 and 1996 is nearing completion.

The preliminary findings on supply, forecast, take-up and vacancy for private domestic units, offices, commercial, flatted factories, and industrial-office category

are:

Private domestic

Small/mcdium units (Saleable area below 100 square metres)

The number of units completed in 1994, that is, with occupation permits issued in 1994, amounted to just over 32,100, a figure close to that forecast a year ago. This level of supply represents an increase of 20% over 1993.

The New Territories accounted for around 70% of the year's supply, with the largest concentration (7,100 units) in Sha Tin.

Take-up in 1994, at 22,430 units, was well below the year's supply, leading to an increase in vacancy at the year end to 4.7% of stock. However, it is important to note that 8,900 units, almost 28% of the year's supply, only received occupation permits in December. These accounted for 24% of units vacant at the year end.

The number of units forecast for completion in 1995 is around 24,100, and 1996 should see this rising a little to 26,100.

3

Large units (Saleable area 100,stmare metres and over!

The supply of large units in 1994 amounted to 2,000, 38% up on the forecast at the beginning of the year. This supply figure represents a more than doubling of the 1993 supply.

The "traditional" locations, Mid-levels and Island South on Hong Kong Island, accounted for around 880 units, with the remainder completed in the New Territories, largely in the districts of Yuen Long, Sha Tin and Discovery Bay.

Take-up in 1994 was just over 1,000 units, a figure equivalent to only 50% of the year's supply. The year-end vacancy figure rose as a result, to 4.8% of stock. As in the case of the small/medium category, almost 28% of the year's supply was completed in December.

Supply in 1995 should amount to 2,060 units, but in 1996 it is likely to drop to below 1,200. A significant proportion of the 1995 supply, around 79%, will be in the New Territories. In 1996, supply will be more evenly split between Hong Kong Island and the New Territories.

Overall

The analysis of transactions in the selected established residential developments, listed at Appendix A, shows that prices in January 1995 have continued to fall, and by the middle of the month, were, on average. 14% down from the April 1994 peak.

The regular quarterly price and rental indices show overall increases at the end of 1994 of 18% and 21% respectively over a year earlier.

Offices

Overall supply in 1994 was around 502,000 square metres. 22% more than supply in 1993.

Take-up of offices overall was 226,000 square metres, a figure representing less than half of the year's supply. Vacancy rose as a result, to 9.8% of stock, a similar level to 1992.

Supply in 1995 is forecast to fall to 394,000 square metres with 1996 expected to see supply increasing again, to 478,000 square metres. Present indications are that supply in 1997 will significantly exceed that of 1996, and most of this will be Grade A.

4

The year-end overall price and rental indices show increases of 25% and 23% respectively over the end of 1993 levels.

Grade A

The supply of Grade A space in 1994, at 330,000 square metres, was up on 1993 levels by around 74%. Almost half of the year's supply was in Tsim Sha Tsui.

Take-up of Grade A space in 1994 was 102,000 square metres, a figure well below supply for the year, resulting in a rise in vacancy to 10.2% of stock. The fact that around 50% of the supply in the year was completed in the last quarter contributed to the higher vacancy.

Supply in 1995 is expected to be around 236,000 square metres with Hung Hom accounting for more than 40% of the space. Forecasts for 1996 point to 217,000 square metres of completions and most of this will be in Central and North Point.

Grade B

Grade B supply in 1994, at 114,000 square metres, was 25% down on 1993

levels.

Take-up of Grade B space was 91.000 square metres, a level 20% below the year's supply. Vacancy at the year-end. at 10.2% of stock, remained very much the same as in 1992 and 1993.

Supply will fall again in 1995, to 94.000 square metres but 1996 is expected to see 144,000 square metres of completions, spread fairly well throughout the various Hong Kong and Kowloon districts.

Grade C

Grade C accommodation now tends to be that built on small cramped sites giving limited floorplate sizes.

At 58,000 square metres, supply in 1994 was 19% down on 1993.

Grade C take-up amounted to 33,000 square metres. 43% less than supply, and year-end vacancy stood at 8% of stock.

Supply in 1995 is expected to be 64.000 square metres, and in 1996, it is expected to rise significantly to 117,000 square metres, more than half in Sheung Wan and North Point districts.

5

Commercial

V ' ......

Supply of commercial space in 1994 was 240,000 square metres, around 12% less than in 1993.

Take-up represented a little over half of the year’s supply, and year-end vacancy was 6.8% of stock.

Forecasts for 1995 point to an increase in supply levels, to 264,000 square metres but in 1996, it is expected to drop to around 174,000 square metres. The retail indices show that prices and rents at the end of 1994 were up by 4% and 16% respectively on a year earlier.

. ... z-.i-r Flatted factories

Please note that the flatted factory category includes floorspace with planning permission for industrial-office use, but for which no lease modification has yet been instituted.

It should also be noted that much of the flatted factory space provided recently has been built to a good standard with good finishes. Most such space is occupied for a mix of office and light industrial uses. This is also likely to apply to that currently under construction.

At 266,000 square metres, supply in 1994 was almost 14% down on supply in 1993.

Take-up in 1994 was effectively a negative 73,000 square metres. Vacancy at the year-end rose only marginally however, to 6.3% of stock. This phenomenon was largely due to a relatively high demolition rate in the year. Forecasts in 1995 point to a supply of 268,000 square metres, of which about 7,000 square metres is potentially industrial-office space, that is, with planning permission.

In 1996, completions are expected to rise again to 395,000 square metres, 23,000 square metres of which is potentially industrial-office. Early indications are that supply in 1997 will be slightly down on 1996 levels. The price and rental indices for the end of 1994 show little change from a year earlier.

Industrial-office

This new category comprises floorspace which has both planning permission for industrial-office use and a lease modification completed or in progress.

6

Stock in this sector, at the end of 1993, was a low 15,000 square metres. However, excluded from this figure is strata-title floorspace with temporary planning permission for industrial-office use and short-term waivers of Crown Lease restrictions. This space remains classified as flatted factory.

Supply in 1994 was 24,000 square metres, all in one development, and looks set to rise in 1995 and 1996 to 82,000 square metres and 239,000 square metres respectively.

The 1995 floorspace encompasses six separate developments and the 1996 floorspace, 11 separate developments. The outcome depends of course on whether all modifications are successfully concluded. Early indications are that supply in 1997 will significantly exceed 1996 levels.

Take-up in 1994 was 16,000 square metres and the vacancy figure at the yearend was 21.9% of stock. Vacancy was largely attributable to the single development completed in 1994.

Attention News Editors:

The Commissioner of Rating and Valuation, Mr Barry Woodroffe, and an assistant commissioner, Mr Mok Kam-kwan, will be available to meet the media at 4.30 pm today in the conference room on the 26th floor of Hennessy Centre, 500 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay.

Please note that the figures are provisional pending further data and analysis work and may be amended when the property review is published.

The domestic price indices at Appendix A are those derived from monthly analysis of Sale and Purchase Agreements in selected developments. The domestic indices at Appendices B, C and D are the department’s quarterly indices derived from sales and rents for properties of virtually all ages and in all locations. Sales of new properties from developers are not included in any of these indices.

For enquiries, please call Assistant Commissioner Mr K K Mok on telephone 2805 7603, Technical Secretary Mrs M Bird on 2805 7614 and Assistant Technical Secretary Mr C H Chan on 2805 7633.

7


Supply No. of waits lakfcMll Vacancy

AU_Utuls

1992 26 220 22 680 34 070 4.2

1993 27 670 27 320 32 240 3.9

1994 34 170 23 440 40 510 4.7

1995 [26 160]

1996 [27 270]

1992 25 140 21 300 31 330 4.2

1993 26 690 26 360 29 850 3.9

1994 32 170 22 430 37 490 4.7

1995 [24 100]

1996 [26 100]

LargeJMts-fSfli^abie Am IWm3 ■Md ov£El

1992 1 080 1 380 2 740 4.5

1993 980 960 2 390 3.9

1994 2 000 1 010 3 020 4.8

1995 [2 060]

1996 [1 170]

"Private domestic" excludes flats built under the Home Ownership, Private Sector Participation, Urban Improvement & Flat-For-Sale Schemes.

* Take-up figures represent the net increase in the number of units occupied in the year under review and are arrived at by adding to the vacancy figures at the beginning of the year, the supply in that year, then subtracting the year’s demolitions and the year-end vacancy figures.

* * Vacancy at the end of the year as a percentage of stock.

[forecast figures]

8


Siuuzly (Internal Floor Area latezupl ’OOOm1) Vacancy

AU Units

1992 565 474 589 9.7

1993 413 537 429 6.7

1994 502 226 673 9.8

1995 [394]

1996 [478]

1992 340 272 347 10.2

1993 190 367 170 4.8

1994 330 102 397 10.2

1995 [236]

1996 [217]

GraikJl

1992 142 137 153 10.1

1993 151 109 170 icr.3

1994 114 91 174 10.2

1995 [94]

1996 [144]

Grade C -

1992 83 65 89 7.4

1993 72 61 89 7.2

1994 58 33 102 8.0

1995 [64] — •••■• -

1996 _ [117] 11* *• ■

* Take-up figures represent the net increase in the occupied floor space in the year under review and are arrived at by adding to the vacancy figures at the beginning of the year, the supply in that year, then subtracting the year’s demolitions and the year-end vacancy figures.

*• Vacancy at the end of the year as a percentage of stock.

[forecast figures]

N.B. Office grades are determined in accordance with criteria which principally reflect the qualities of construction, finishes, facilities and management. Location is not a criterion.

9

QQiiuncrcial

(Internal Floor Area ’000m2)

Supply Take-up* Yasaiipy

1992 165 124 336 4.4

1993 273 71 481 6.1

1994 240 125 546 6.8

1995 [264]

1996 [174]

ringed Factories

?UPPlY (Internal Floor Area ’OOOin’)

Take-up* Vacancy . %*«

1992 546 417 1 134 6.4

1993 311 226 1 070 6.0

1994 266 -73 1 108 6.3

1995 [268]

1996 [395]

fadjJstriaJ-Office

(Internal Floor Area ’OOOm2) s uppiy TaKfriUP* Vacancy Sall

1994 24 16 9 21.9

1995 [82] .

1996 [239]

Take-up figures represent the net increase In the occupied floor space in the year under review and are arrived at by adding to die vacancy figures at the beginning of the year, die supply in that year, dien subtracting die year’s demolitions and the year-end vacancy figures.

Vacancy at die end of die year as a percentage of stock.

[forecast figures]

10

Appendix A

ACTUAL PRICE INDICES FOR SELECTED RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENTS (7/92 to (2/92 - 100)

Year Month Small & riediwu Large Overall

Utl»n N.I All Utbau N.T. All Urban N.T. All

1993 Jan 93.6 93.5 93,6 98.3 93.9 96.9 94.0 93.5 93.8

Feb 95.4 93.5 94.5 99.9 95.2 98.4 95.8 93.6 94.8

Mar 96.3 94.2 95.4 (03.2 97.0 101.2 96.9 94.3 95.7

Apr 99.1 95.0 97.2 (04.5 98.6 102.6 99.5 95.2 97.6

May 101.0 98.3 99.8 105.1 101.0 103.8 101.3 98.4 100.0

Jun 107.1 101.0 104.3 113.4 107.3 111.5 107.6 101.3 104.8

Jul 114.7 105.9 110.7 (20.1 110.4 in.o 115.1 106.1 lll.l

Aug I IS J 107.9 113.5 125.4 1(2.0 121.1 118.8 108.1 114.1

Sep 117.2 106.8 112.5 127.2 111.9 122.3 118.0 107.0 113.1

Oct 115.4 105.5 110.9 129.4 110.2 123.3 H6.6 105.7 111.8

Nov 116.9 106.1 112.0 134.0 117.9 128.9 118.3 106.7 113.2

Dec 120.6 106.6 114.3 137.9 121.9 132.8 122.0 107.3 115.5

1994 Jan 1293 113.1 122.0 146.8 134.2 142.8 130.7 114.1 (23.4

Feb 140.8 118.2 130.6 159.5 139.5 153.1 142.3 1)9.2 132.1

Mar 151.8 127.7 140.9 174.6 154.2 168.1 153.7 129.0 142.8

Apr 158.4 135.5 (48.1 183.7 157.8 175.5 (60.5 136.6 149.9

May 150.9 131.9 142.3 174.8 161.2 170.5 152.9 133.3 144.2

Jud 149.6 132.7 142.0 179.2 158.9 172.7 152.0 134.0 144.0

Jul 142.7 128.9 136.5 166.8 153.5 162.6 144.7 130.1 138.2

Aug 142.4 127.8 135.8 (69.7 151.9 164.0 144.7 129.0 137.7

Sep 142.4 128.0 135.9 163.6 146.3 158.1 144.2 128.9 137.4

Oct* 143.0 128.9 136.6 168.9 146.0 161.6 145.1 129.7 138.3

Nov* 143.3 128.1 136.4 168.1 157.9 164.9 (45,4 129.3 138.4

Dec* 138.5 123.7 131.8 158.7 (50.7 156.2 (40.2 125.0 133.5

1995 Jan* (31.6 120.4 (26.5 157.0 146.2 153.6 133.7 121.7 128.4

Selected Developments are ;

Small/MfrUum. Units

Baguio Villa. Chi Fu Fa Yuen. City Garden. Heng Fa Chueo. KornbUI, South Horizon?. Taikoo Shing. Amoy Gardens. Laguna City. Mei FouSun ChucD. Sceoeway Garden. Telford Gardens. Whampoa Garden. Riviera Gardens. Wonderland Villas. Belvedere Garden, Luk Yeung Sun Groen, Chy One. Serenity Park. Uptown Plaza. Fading Centre. Marina Garden. Miami Beach Towers. Sun Tuen Mun Centre. Fairview Park. Kinsswood Villas and Discovery Bay.

Baguio Villa, Beverly Hill, Bracmar Hill Mansions. Cavendish Heights. Greenville Gardens. Ning Yeung Terrace. Parkway Court, Recent on the Park. Teikoo Shing. Villa Lotto. Villa Roclta, Beverly Villa, Beacon Heights. Mel Foo Sun Chuen, Village Gardens. Discovery Bay. Fairview Park, Hong Lok Yuen and Wonderland Villas.

Technical Notes

(i) Hie indices are based on an analysis of prices paid for COMPLETED flats » recorded in Sale and Purchase agreements. Date of sale is the date on which an Agreement for Sale and Purchase is signed. Provisional agreement is generally reached 2-3 weeks earlier.

(ii) Tlie component index for each property group in a sample development is calculated by dividing the average unit price for the concerned month by (lie average unit price of the base period. The composite index for a property group Is compiled by calculating a weighted average of the component indices. The weights are based oo die number of transactions effected during the base period.

* Provisional - liable tn change as funlicr data becomes available for analysis.

Prepared on 14.2,95

11

Appendix B

PRICE ANP RENTAL MOVEMENTS IN 19£4 (based on indices compiled by RVD)

Private Property Category Average Increase % _4Q.94_ 4Q93

Price Rent

Domestic Premises : Small & Medium Flats (Saleable Area less than 100m2) 17 15

Large Flats (Saleable Area 100m2 and over) 26 40

Overall 18 21

Offices : Grade A 25 28

Grade B 36 20

Grade C 16 17

Overall 25 23

Retail Premises : 4 16

Flatted Factories : -1  4

12

Appendixj;

EBLCE-INPI.CES

(1989 = 100)

Private Property Category 1993 1994

4Q 1Q 2Q* 3Q* 4Q*

Domestic Premises :

Class A (Up to 39.9m2) 231 254 269 269 268

Class B (40.0 to 69.9m2) 259 305 315 311 305

Class C (70.0 to 99.9m2) 282 330 363 359 349

Classes D & E (over 99.9m2) 282 337 365 363 356

Overall 251 288 302 299 295 fl

Offices : Grade A 169 208 238 224 (211)

Grade B 176 214 248 241 (240)

Grade C 173 195 210 206 201

Overall 171 207 234 223 214

Retail Premises : 252 278 294 283 262

Flatted Factories : 186 192 194 189 185

Provisional - liable to change as further data becomes available for analysis.

() Indicates fewer than 20 transactions.

Tgab.hj.cal Nq&s :

The indices are based on an analysis of prices for completed properties. Premises of all ages and in all locations are included. Where appropriate, the date of sale is taken as the date of agreement.

13

Appendix D

RENTAL INDICES

(1989 = 100)

Private Property Category 1993 1994

4Q IQ 2Q 3Q* 4Q*

Domestic Premises :

Class A (Up to 39.9m1) 146 151 162 165 165

Class B (40.0 to 69.9m1) 149 153 169 169 173

Class C (70.0 to 99.9m1) 154 159 185 184 194

Class D (100.0 to 159.9m1) 148 154 182 192 201

Class E (Over 159.9m2) 140 150 175 189 201

Overall 147 153 171 174 178

Offices : Grade A 114 123 134 141 146

Grade B 113 120 128 134 136

Grade C 121 128 134 136 141 1

Overall 115 123 132 138 142 1

Retail Premises : 173 183 191 194 201

Flatted Factories : 129 130 132 134 134 |

Provisional - liable to change as further data becomes available for analysis.

Technical Notes :

The indices arc based on an analysis of rentals paid for completed properties, and include premises of all ages and in all locations. The effective date is taken as the commencement date of a tenancy agreement. However, rents are normally agreed earlier (2-4 weeks earlier for fresh lettings, and 1-3 months for lease renewals).

End/Tuesday, February 21, 1995

14

Anti-speculation measures to remain in force *****

Commenting on the preliminary findings of the Hong Kong Property Review 1995 published by the Rating and Valuation Department (RVD), the Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic Wong, said today (Tuesday) that the Government was satisfied that the anti-speculation measures were achieving the desired result and that they should remain in force.

The analysis of the provisional findings collated by RVD indicated that the average transaction prices of private residential developments in Hong Kong had continued to fall in January 1995.

By mid-January, prices of residential developments, excluding prices of presale units asked by developers, were on average 14% down from peak prices in April 1994.

"Domestic property prices have in general moderated, but they are still high despite recent price adjustments. Prices in January 1995 were still about 37% higher than those of January 1993," Mr Wong said.

He said asking prices of new flats offered by developers had fallen by about 10 per cent - 30 per cent from the peak in April last year, depending on locations.

"It shows that speculative activities in the property market have significantly subsided since the introduction of the anti-speculation measures in June last year. We are satisfied that these measures are achieving the desired results," Mr Wong said.

"Our aim remains to make home ownership available to as many people as possible. The package of measures introduced last year proved to be effective in reducing speculation," he added.

Commenting on the suggestions that the anti-speculation measures should be relaxed, Mr Wong said any such attempt was likely to encourage speculative activities again and push up property prices.

"The Government considers that the measures should remain in force as property prices are still out of reach of many prospective home buyers. That said, we have no intention of introducing new measures to influence the market." he said.

15

Mr Wong said the Government would continue to monitor developments in the property market closely.

A total of 34.170 residential units were completed in 1994, representing a 23 per cent increase over the supply in 1993. The Government estimated that about 26,200 flats would be completed in 1995.

End/Tuesday, February 21, 1995

Revision of hospital and clinic fees and charges

*****

Hospital and clinic fees and charges will be revised with effect from May 1 this year. The last revision was made on February 1 last year.

The new charge for attendance at general out-patient clinics will be adjusted from $29 to $34 while the maintenance charge for a general ward bed will be increased from $54 to $60.

Other fees and charges are revised in accordance With the respective increases in costs.

A spokesman for the Health and Welfare Branch said today (Tuesday) that this was a routine exercise to reflect rising costs. He stressed that the Government would continue to uphold its policy that no one should be denied adequate medical treatment through lack of means.

"The Government will continue to heavily subsidise general wards and outpatient clinic services," he said, adding that fee remissions or waivers would be available to those patients who were in genuine hardship and could not afford to pay.

The new rates will apply only to "entitled persons", that is those who hold a Hong Kong Identity Card or a British passport. "Non-entitled persons" will continue to pay the full cost of medical services which has also been adjusted in line with inflation.

The new fees and charges for entitled persons are:

16

Department of Health

New Fee Present Fee

($) ($)

In-patient

Clinic with maternity ward 60 54

Out-patient

General Outpatient Department 34 29

Specialist Out-patient Department 40 36

Dressing and Injection 14 12

Hospital Authority

New Fee Present Fee

($) ($)

In-patient (per bed day)

- Public Ward 60 54

- Private Ward

- General Hospital

1st Class 2,780 2,590

2nd Class 1,860 1,730

- Private Psychiatric Ward

1st Class 755 620

2nd Class 505 415

Out-patient (per attendance)

- General Out-patient 34 29

- Specialist Out-patient 40 36

- Dressing and Injection 14 12

- Geriatric Day Hospital 48 44

- Psychiatric Day Hospital 48 44

Community Nursine (per visit)

- General 48 44

- Psychiatric 48 44

End/Tuesday, February 21, 1995

17

Consumer Price Indices for January 1995 ♦ * * * *

The Consumer Price Index (A) in January 1995 was 10.1% higher than in January 1994, according to figures released today (Tuesday) by the Census and Statistics Department. The corresponding increase in December 1994 was 8.9%. Commenting on the figures, a Government spokesman pointed out that the faster increase in the CPI(A) in January was largely a seasonal phenomenon.

In particular, the prices of some essential food items as well as charges Tor hairdressing and package tours rose as the Lunar New Year was approaching, he said.

Comparing January 1995 with January 1994, the prices of vegetables and saltwater fish showed increases of 30% and 14% respectively.

The seasonal price surge was compounded by a difference in the timing of the Lunar New Year, which fell at end-January this year but near mid-February last year, thereby giving a low base of comparison for the January 1995 CPI figures. In January 1994, the increase in the CPI(A) was only 6.2%.

The rate of increase in the Consumer Price Index (B) also rose, from 9.5% in December 1994 to 10.4% in January 1995.

As regards the Hang Seng CPI, which has a comparatively smaller weighting for fresh food items, a moderation in the charges of meals bought away from home and in the prices of outerclothing offset the effect of faster increase in food prices.

The rate of increase in the Hang Seng CPI thus remained at 10.3% in January.

The Composite CPI, which is compiled based on the combined expenditure pattern of households covered by the three CPIs, showed an increase of 10.3% in January 1995 over the same month in 1994. This was also higher than the corresponding increase of 9.5% in December last year.

Comparing January 1995 with January 1994, relatively faster price increases than the overall average were recorded for housing (12.5% in the CPI(A) and 14.2% in the CPI(B)); miscellaneous services (13.6% and 13.1%); food (excluding meals bought away from home) (11.5% and 10.6%); and clothing and footwear (10.2% and 10.9%).

18

On the other hand, relatively slower price increases than the overall average were recorded for durable goods (3.8% in the CPI(A) and 4.0% in the CPI(B)); alcoholic drinks and tobacco (4.5% and 4.6%); fuel and light (5.3% and 5.5%); meals bought away from home (8.0% and 7.8%); miscellaneous goods (8.1% and 7.0%); and transport (8.5% and 8.1%).

Comparing January 1995 with December 1994, both the CP1(A) and CPI(B) increased by 0.7%. The corresponding increase for the Composite CPI was 0.5%.

For the three months ended in Januaiy 1995, the CPI(A) and CPI(B) were, on average, higher by 9.2% and 9.8% respectively over a year earlier. The corresponding increase for the Composite CPI was 9.7%.

For the 12 months ended in January 1995, the CPI(A) and CPI(B) were, on average, higher by 8.4% and 8.9% respectively than in the preceding 12-month period. The corresponding increase for the Composite CPI was 9.0%.

Seasonally adjusted series are also available for the CPIs. Both the deseasonalised CPI(A) and CPI(B) increased at an average rate of 0.7% per month during the three months ended January 1995. The corresponding increase for the Composite CPI was also 0.7%.

More details are given in the "Consumer Price Index Report" for January 1995, which is available at $23 a copy from the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong; or from the Publications Section of the Census and Statistics Department, 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.

For local and overseas mailings, contact should be made with the Information Services Department, French Mission Building, 1 Battery Path, Hong Kong.

For enquiries about the indices, please telephone the Consumer Price Index Section of the Census and Statistics Department on 2805 6403. Details regarding the Hang Seng CPI are contained in the Hang Seng CPI Report issued by the Economic Research Department of Hang Seng Bank Ltd.

19

Table 1 Consumer Price Indices and Rates of Increase for January 1995 (Oct. 89 - Sep. 90 100)

CPI (A) CPICB) Hang Seng CPI Canposite CPI

Index for % change over Index for % change over Index for % change over Index for % change over

Ccmpcnent Jan 95 Jan 94 Jan 95 Jan 94 Jan 95 Jan 94 Jan 95 Jan 94

Food 147.4 +9.6 148.9 +8.9 151.7 +8.6 148.8 +9.2

•teals bought away fran hare 156.6 +8.0 156.3 +7.8 158.5 +7.8 156.9 +7.9

Food, excluding meals bought away fran hare 138.3 +11.5 138.7 +10.6 140.0 +10.1 138.7 +11.0

Housing 175.9 +12.5 180.3 +14.2 183.8 +13.7 180.1 +13.5

Fuel and light 128.6 +5.3 128.3 +5.5 128.4 +5.2 128.5 +5.4

.Alcoholic drinks and tobacco 189.2 +4.5 178.2 +4.6 172.1 +4.2 182.9 +4.5

Clothing and footwear 140.9 +10.2 142.1 +10.9 151.9 +10.9 145.1 +10.7

Durable goods 114.1 +3.8 113.5 +4.0 118.7 +4.0 115.2 +3.9

Miscellaneous goods 138.8 +8.1 134.2 +7.0 132.0 +6.9 135.3 +7.4

Transport 152.6 +8.5 152.2 +8.1 151.5 +7.8 152.1 +8.2

Miscellaneous services 171.8 +13.6 165.8 +13.1 154.0 +10.9 164.1 +12.6

All items 154.1 +10.1 155.3 +10.4 158.2 +10.3 155.6 +10.3

Monthly consumer price indices are compiled on the basis of (a) expenditure patterns of relevant households and (b) prices collected currently in the month. The expenditure patterns underlying the 1989/90-based consumer price indices are based on those patterns derived fran the 1989/90 Household Expenditure Survey. The CPI (A) is based on the expenditure pattern of about 50% of households in Hong Kong, which had an average rrcnthly expenditure of $2,500-59,999 in 1989/90(broadly equivalent to S3,600-514,600 at 1994 prices). The CPI(B) is based on the expenditure pattern of the next 30% of households, which bad an average monthly expenditure of $10,000-817,499 in 1989/90(broadly equivalent to $14,600-526,000 at 1994 prices). The Hang Seng CPI is based on the expenditure pattern of the next 10% of households, which had an average monthly expenditure of $17,500-537,499 in 1989/90(broadlv equivalent to 526,000-556,000 at 1994 prices).

Whereas the CPI (A), CPI CB) and Hang Seng CPI are based on the expenditure patterns of groups of households with different magnitudes of household expenditure, the Composite CPI is compiled based on the expenditure pattern of all these households taken together. Thus, while the CPI (A), CPICB) and Hang Seng CPI show the inpact of consuner price changes on different groups of households, the Ccnposite CPI shows the impact of consumer price changes cn the household sector generally.

Table 2 9 * I • ® - 20 - Consumer Price Indices tor January 1992 - January 1995

(Oct. 89 - Sep. 90 = 100) |

Year/ month CPI(A) CPI(B) Hang Seng CPI Composite CPI

1992 January 119.7 119.3 119.4 119.5

February 121.8 121.2 121.0 121.4

March 122.5 121.9 121.8 122.1

April May 124.0 124.0 123.4 123.8 122.9 124.2 123.5 124.0

June 125.3 125.1 125.2 125.2

July 125.5 125.4 125.4 125.4

August September 125.6 128.3 125.9 127.9 125.8 127.5 125.8 128.0

October 128.4 128.4 128.6 128.5

November 128.5 129.0 129.9 129.0

December 129.3 129.8 130.0 129.7

1993 January 131.8 131.6 131.5 131.7

February 132.4 132.2 132.0 132.2

March 132.0 132.2 133.1 132.4

April 133.5 133.9 134.5 133.9 r ' • I

May 134.5 134.8 136.3 135.1

June 136.0 135.9 137.1 136.3

July 135.8 136.1 136.9 136.2

August 136.3 136.6 137.4 136.7

September 138.4 138.3 139.2 138.6

October 140.0 139.6 140.7 140.0

November 139.4 139.9 142.2 140.3

December 140.4 140.9 143.3 141.3

1994 January February 140.0 142.7 140.7 142.9 143.4 144.9 141.1 143.3

March 142.5 143.0 145.3 143.4

April 143.8 144.8 147.9 145.2

May 145.0 146.1 150.0 146.7

June 146.2 146.9 151.0 147.7

July 147.3 147.9 150.5 148.3

August 149.6 149.6 151.7 150.1

September 150.3 150.8 153.4 151.3

October 151.1 152.2 155.3 . 152.6

November 151.4 153.1 157.3 153.5

December 153.0 154.3 158.1 154.8

1995 January 154.1 155.3 158.2 155.6

»

21

Chart 1 Year-on-year Rates of Increase in CPI(A)

Chart 2 Year-on-year Rates of Increase in CPI(B)

22

Chart 3 Year-on-year Rates of Increase in Hang Seng CPI

Rate of increase (%)

Chart 4 Year-on-year Rates of Increase in Composite CPI

End/Tuesday, February 21, 1995

23

Transcript of Chief Secretary’s media session . ,, ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the transcript of the media session by the Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, after opening the Lam Tin Woman Health Centre today (Tuesday).

CS : Good afternoon everyone. I'll like to say something about retirement schemes. As you all know, we concluded a public consultation exercise on an earlier proposal to establish an old persons' pension fund. After extensive consultation, unfortunately, we did not get majority support for the Government's proposal. This is of course a great disappointment to those of us within the Administration who still believed that in terms of meeting the long-term financial needs of the elderly, the original OPS scheme was in fact the best way forward. However, since we did not receive majority support, the Government has a choice of either not proceeding with any retirement schemes at all, or to think of an alternative to the OPS that might receive majority support both from legislative councillors and from the community at large. And the Government believed that as there is a real need to address the financial security of those reaching retirement, the option of not doing anything is really not the right way forward. So we have in recent weeks been consulting legislative councillors on an alternative to the OPS which is what we call a mandatory privately-operated provident fund, MPF for short. At the Legislative Council meeting on March 8, we will be moving a motion to debate the proposal of establishing an MPF. The purpose of this debate would be to ascertain whether we have majority support in the Legislative Council for such a scheme to be set up. If there is majority support, then it is the Government's intention to establish such an MPF scheme as soon as possible. Of course, we will need to give further consideration to the details of such a scheme, and there are a number of aspects that require detailed consideration with the help of a consultant. It will also be necessary for us as soon as possible to consult with the Chinese on the establishment of such a scheme. But a great deal will depend on the outcome of this motion debate on March 8, and I do urge all legislative councillors to give careful consideration to this motion and to indicate in clear terms whether they support it or don't support it. But I want to make one thing abundantly clear and that is that the Government will not proceed with such a scheme unless we get a clear mandate from the legislative councillors.

24

Question : Are you confident that legislative councillors will support this new fund?

CS : The purpose of this motion debate is precisely to ascertain whether there is majority support. I would simply urge legislative councillors to give this debate their serious consideration because we do need a clear indication from members. If they feel there is a need to address the financial needs of old people on retirement, then this is one alternative. We earlier proposed an OPS which, unfortunately and very disappointingly for those of us within the Administration, who have given this a lot of thought, did not receive majority support. In the absence of that support, we have to consider whether there are other alternative schemes that members might feel more able to support. So I hope they will give this debate their very serious consideration and indicate in unequivocal terms whether they wish the Government to proceed or don't wish the Government to proceed. But I don’t think sitting on the fence is an option.

End/Tuesday, February 21, 1995

ACE port plan approval welcomed ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ / • • ■ > •

The Port Development Board has welcomed environmental approval of the first stage of Lantau Port.

The Advisory Council on the Environment (ACE), on Monday, endorsed plans for Container Terminals 10 and 11 after studying the environmental impact assessment (EIA) on the project.

The chairman of the board, Mr John Gray, said ACE’s endorsement of the EIA was good news for Hong Kong’s economy.

He said great importance had been placed on possible effects on the environment when Container Terminals 10 and 11 were being planned.

’’The EIA just endorsed by ACE shows that these effects are all well within accepted government planning guidelines."

He added: "I hope that we can now get on with bringing these two terminals into operation as soon as possible. They are urgently needed to cope with the continuing demand for increased container throughput.

25

"Figures just released by the Marine Department show that September was the third month running that Hong Kong handled more than one million 20-foot-equivalent units (TEUs) in one month. We are still the only port in the world to exceed the one-million-TEUs-a-month total," he said.

"The port remains the life-blood of Hong Kong, both for our workforce and for our economy as a whole."

He pointed out that in 1994, container handling alone added some $214 billion to the local economy. Forecasts produced by the Port Development Board, which take into account the development of China's own container ports, show that this will rise to $384 billion in 2001 and $633 billion in 2011.

Mr Gray said these benefits to the economy would come about only if the port continued to expand to meet the demand.

"China is developing its own container ports," he said, "but they alone will not be able to handle the huge growth in throughput forecast for the next few years.

"If we can continue to cope with demand then the chances are that we shall be able to continue to anchor our service industries here. If we fail, then they will surely follow the cargo."

End/Tuesday, February 21, 1995

Government wins appeal over Shun Fung compensation ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The acting Director of Lands, Mr Mo Chan-ming, today (Tuesday) said he had received an advance copy of the judgment from the Privy Council in London, issued yesterday concerning compensation payable on resumption of the land of the Shun Fung Ironworks in Tseung Kwan O.

Agreement on compensation for Shun Fung, resumed in 1986, could not be reached, and the case was referred to the Hong Kong Lands Tribunal which awarded Shun Fung, in June 1992, $131 million.

26

The claimants appealed against this award to the Hong Kong Court of Appeal, which, in December 1993, increased the award to $519 million. Both parties then appealed to the Privy Council in London, and the appeals were heard in November 1994. In the advance copy of the judgment, the Privy Council had restored, in most respects, the original award of the Lands Tribunal, Mr Mo said.

Shun Fung was also ordered to pay the Hong Kong Government four-fifth’s of the costs of the proceedings in the Court of Appeal and Privy Council.

The final judgment and an order from the Council are expected within two weeks.

End/Tuesday, February 21, 1995

Woman Health Centre instrumental in cancer detection ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, said today (Tuesday) that the Woman Health Centre run by the Department of Health was instrumental in the early detection of cancers of breast and cervix, health problems that are woman-specific.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the Lam Tin Woman Health Centre, Mrs Chan said the Government strove to help women aged 45 or above either to avoid some of these diseases or to better cope with them.

She noted that the Centre also improved the health and well-being of women.

"The Centre not only provides appropriate counselling and support to help women better understand and cope with menopausal problems, such as physical ailments and emotional stress, it also teaches women how to keep themselves healthy and happy," she said.

Mrs Chan said: "Healthy lifestyles benefit not only women themselves, but their families and society at large."

Also speaking at the ceremony, the Director of Health, Dr Margaret Chan, said: "The importance of preventive medicine is gaining acceptance the world over and we are seeing a global shift in emphasis from curative to preventive care.

27

"The setting up of woman health centres for the prevention of cancers of breast and cervix, and the promotion of healthy lifestyle, is a move in step with this development," she said.

Noting that the first woman health centre had already detected several cases of cancer for early intervention, Dr Chan was confident that more women would make use of the woman health services to their benefit.

The Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club has donated $5.7 million for the fitting out of the centre in Lam Tin.

The second woman health centre of the department will come on stream in 1995/96 and a third is being planned for 1996/97.

The woman health centre offers a health promotion and screening programme for all women aged 45 and above.

Early detection and treatment of cancers of the breast and cervix will increase a patient's chance of cure, and a lot of complications can also be avoided.

Those who wish to make use of the services will have to pay an annual fee of $285, which includes the charge for a physical examination by the doctor, screening tests, health education sessions and any other visits during the year.

Participants requiring mammography will be charged a separate fee of $205 for the x-ray examination.

End/Tuesday, February 21. 1995

Senior citizens have much to give to community *****

Mrs Patten today (Tuesday) commended a group of elderly citizens for devoting their time and effort as volunteer helpers in a charity campaign.

Joining in the "Cookie Campaign Thank You Tea" organised by the Helping Hand, Mrs Patten said senior citizens had much to contribute and others had much to learn from them.

28

"We all wish to see our senior citizens continue to play a full and active role in our community for as long as they possibly can," she added.

Helping Hand succeeded in mobilising volunteers from all sectors of the community -- senior citizens, celebrities, women's groups and students.

"I am proud to say that the people of Hong Kong have once again shown just how generous they can be in devoting their time and effort to supporting a worthy cause," she said.

This is the 12th year in which Helping Hand has organised the cookie campaign.

A record-breaking 165,000 cookies were sold in a week. More than $5 million has been raised for the elderly.

End/Tuesday, February 21, 1995

Human element is vital in safe operation of fast ferries *****

The Director of Marine, Mr Allan Pyrke, called on operators of fast ferries to place more emphasis on human element in the whole operation of these craft.

Speaking at the opening of the 11th Fast Ferry International Conference and Exhibition this (Tuesday) afternoon, Mr Pyrke said human element be it in shore management, navigation, propulsion, maintenance, or whatever, was important in the safe operation of these craft.

He pointed out that from the administration viewpoint, the safety philosophy of regulating high-speed ferries had to be based on the management and reduction of risk.

Human error accounted for 80 per cent of all casualties in the shipping industry, Mr Pyrke said.

He noted that while there were no similar statistics for fast ferries but based on his own experience over many years of conducting inquiries into fast ferry accidents in Hong Kong, a similar statistic was probable.

29

Mr Pyrke, who will retire on February 28 after serving the Hong Kong Government for 27 years, pointed out that nearly all the casualties within his experience showed that one single factor never caused an accident.

"There are usually a sequence of events, any one of which, if absent, would probably have prevented the casualty happening," Mr Pyrke noted.

"This means that the company and operating crew must maintain a vigilance for daily voyages.

"This lack of mental alertness is, in my opinion, a safety risk that has not duly addressed as yet, although it may well fall under the general title of fatigue which is covered in the new International Code of Safety for High Speed Craft adopted by the International Maritime Organisation," he said.

He expected that such human facets were equally, if not more important, to safety operation than the design and manufacture of the craft and its equipment.

End/Tuesday, February 21, 1995

207 Vietnamese migrants return home voluntarily ♦ ♦ * * ♦

A group of 207 Vietnamese migrants today (Tuesday) returned to Vietnam under the Voluntary Repatriation Programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Comprising 79 men. 59 women, 44 boys and 25 girls, they were the 225th batch to go back under the programme.

The group brought to 360 the total number of Vietnamese migrants who had returned voluntarily this year, and to 44,554 the total number of returnees since the programme started in March 1989.

End/Tuesday, February 21, 1995

30

Five lots of land for sale *****

The Lands Department will auction five lots of land on Hong Kong Island and in Kowloon and the New Territories tomorrow (Wednesday).

The public auction will start at 2.30 pm in the Jade Ballroom of Hotel Furama-Kempinski, Connaught Road Central.

The first lot, adjoining 7 Stanley Main Street, Stanley, has an area of 210.8 square metres. The ground floor of the building to be constructed at the lot should be used for non-industrial use, excluding godown, while the other floors should be used for residential use.

The second lot, at the junction of 9 Cox's Road and 1-6 Cox's Path, has an area of 4,126 square metres for residential use.

The third lot, at the junction of Lam Lok Street and Sheung Yuet Road, Kowloon Bay, has an area of 1,889 square metres. It is intended for industrial or godown or both, or offices ancillary and directly related to an industrial operation or any combination of the specified uses, excluding any offensive trade.

Covering an area of 6,500 square metres, the fourth lot at the junction of On Lai Street and On Ping Street, Sha Tin, is for non-industrial use, excluding godown, residential, hotel, service apartment and petrol-filling station.

With an area of 5,900 square metres, the remaining lot at the junction of On Lai Street. On Kwan Street and On Muk Street, Sha Tin, is for industrial or godown or both or offices ancillary and directly related to an industrial operation or any combination of the specified uses, excluding any offensive trade and dangerous goods godown.

Attention News Editors:

Your representatives are invited to cover the auction.

A press area will be designated. Photographers are advised to bring along telephoto lenses.

End/Tuesday, February 21, 1995

31

Population in Dec at 6,149,100 ♦ * * ♦ ♦

The estimated population of Hong Kong at the end of December last year was 6,149,100, according to figures released by the Census and Statistics Department today (Tuesday).

This represents an increase of 129,200 persons or 2.1 per cent as compared with the estimated population of 6,019,900 at end-1993.

During 1994, there were 72,500 births and 29,600 deaths in Hong Kong. The balance of births and deaths thus amounted to 42,900 and accounted for 33 per cent of the population growth. During the same period, the balance of total arrivals and departures showed a net inflow of some 86,300 persons.

End/Tuesday, February 21, 1995

Hong Kong Monetary Authority tender results ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ *

Tender date 21 Feb 95 21 Feb 95

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q508 Y586

Amount applied HK$4,600 MN HK$2,310MN

Amount allotted HK$ 1,500 MN HKS500 MN

Average yield accepted 6.49 PCT 7.19 PCT

Highest yield accepted 6.50 PCT 7.20 PCT

Pro rata ratio About 95 PCT About 64 PCT

Average tender yield 6.53 PCT 7.26 PCT

32

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

Tenders to be held in the week beginning February 27, 1995

Tender date 28 Feb 95 28 Feb 95

Paper on offer EF bills EF bills

Issue number Q509 H559

Issue date 1 Mar 95 1 Mar 95

Maturity date 31 May 95 30 Aug 95

Tenor 91 days 182 days

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

End/Tuesday, February 21, 1995

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

Cumulative

Time change

$ million (hours) (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,592 0930 +1,360

Closing balance in the account Change attributable to : 1,337 1000 1100 + 1,450 + 1,435

Money market activity + 1.440 1200 +1,440

LAF today -1,695 1500 1600 + 1,440 + 1,440

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 120.6 *+0.2* 21.2.95

- 33 -

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.56 15 months 2605 6.35 99.06 7.27

1 month 5.87 24 months 2702 7.50 99.96 7.66

3 months 6.40 29 months 3707 6.95 98.49 7.78

6 months 6.75 35 months 3801 8.00 100.54 7.94

12 months 7.17 58 months 5912 8.15 99.53 8.44

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $21,583 million

Closed February 21, 1995

End/Tuesday, February 21, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Wednesday, February 22,1995

Contents Page No,

Statement on land sale results.......................................... 1

Two lots of land sold for $1,073.5 million.............................. 1

Sewage charges to be introduced soon.................................... 2

Two candidates contest Kwai Tsing District Board by-election............ 3

January sees another big rise in container throughput................... 4

Deadline for proposals on Cordless Access Services extended............. 4

Fees for dangerous goods services revised............................... 6

New company for delivery of speedpost items in Canada................... 7

74 pollution cases in January........................................... 7

Kwai Chung lot to let................................................... 8

Flushing water cut in Fo Tan............................................ 9

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

1

Statement on land sale results ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

Commenting on the land sale results this (Wednesday) afternoon, the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Tony Eason, said: "There was very enthusiastic bidding for the two residential sites which were sold at prices well above the opening prices.

"This is a very positive signal from the market that there is strong demand for prime residential sites."

With regard to the three non-residential sites, Mr Eason said, these sites were not sold probably because developers prefer sites where they consider there might be better prospects. This is particularly so when they are well aware that some good sites will be available for sale soon.

"I will discuss the matter further with the Director of Lands to find out whether there is anything we could do regarding the withdrawal of these sites.

"Developers are rightly cautious and selective in the light of the uncertainty of the market and Government cannot sell sites which the market does not want," Mr Eason said.

End/Wednesday, February 22, 1995

Two lots of land sold for $1,073.5 million * * * ♦ ♦

Two lots of Government land were sold for a total of $1,073.5 million at a public land auction held by the Lands Department this (Wednesday) afternoon.

The first lot, at the junction of 9 Cox's Road and 1-6 Cox's Path, was sold to Way Charm Investment Limited at $1,020 million, with bidding opening at $750 million.

It has an area of 4,126 square metres for residential use.

The developer has to complete a gross floor area of not less than 12,300 square metres before September 30, 1998.

The second lot, adjoining 7 Stanley Main Street, was bought by Senman International Limited at $53.5 million with bidding opening at $28 million.

2

With an area of 210.8 square metres, the ground floor of the building to be constructed at the lot should be used for non-industrial use, excluding godown, while the other floors for residential use.

The developer has to complete a gross floor area of not less than 480 square metres before March 31, 1998.

Another lot at the junction of Lam Lok Street and Sheung Yuet Road, Kowloon Bay, a lot at the junction of On Lai Street, On Kwan Street and On Muk Street, and a lot at the junction of On Lai Street and On Ping Street, were withdrawn because no biddings were made for the opening price of $280 million for each of the first two lots and $325 million for the other.

Held in the Jade Ballroom of Hotel Furama-Kempinski, Connaught Road Central, the auction was conducted by Government Land Agent, Mr John Corrigall.

End/Wednesday, February 22, 1995

Sewage charges to be introduced soon ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Govemor-in-Council has approved that regulations should be made to introduce the sewage charging scheme with effect from April 1, 1995 following the passage of the main legislation in the Legislative Council last December.

The charges will be based on a simple calculation method related to water consumption rate. It will be incorporated in the water charge demand notes for the billing period after April 1.

All households will enjoy the sewage service free of charge in the first 12 units (12 cubic metres) of water consumed in a four-month billing period. Thereafter, charges will be levied at $1.2 per unit of water supplied. Water supplied specifically for flushing will not be counted for charging purposes.

It is expected that about 50 per cent of households will pay less than $8 a month and 85 per cent less than $18 a month. Domestic households are expected to receive their first water charge bill with sewage charges incorporated in August this year.

The proposed regulation will enable the Drainage Authority to reduce the sewage charges for specified industries and trades, such as beverage manufacturers, textile bleaching and dyeing industry, ice-making industry and restaurants, which discharge substantially less water than they consume as a result of production process. Charges for these industries and trades will be based on 80 per cent of the volume of water supplied.

- 3 -

Industries and trades that produce effluent above the average strength of domestic sewage will have to pay a Trade Effluent Surcharge (TES) based on the volume of discharge and strength of pollution load in it.

In case a consumer has any query on the TES charged, he may apply to the Drainage Authority for a review of the pollution load. He may also apply for a reduction of TES if he can prove that his discharge is less than 85 per cent of the volume of water consumed.

The charging scheme has been worked out after extensive consultation with the public including the Legislative Council, environmental groups and interested parties.

The Sewage Services Regulations which set out the charging scheme in detail will be gazetted on Friday (February 24).

End/Wednesday, February 22, 1995

Two candidates contest Kwai Tsing District Board by-election

*****

Two nominations were received for the Kwai Tsing District Board by-election in respect of Lai Wah constituency after the two-week nomination period closed today (Wednesday).

The nominations were received from Mr Lau San-ching and Mr Wong Yiu-chung. Their personal particulars are:

Name

Lau San-ching

Wong Yiu-chung

Occupation

welfare worker

executive officer

The by-election will be held on April 2.

End/Wednesday, February 22, 1995

- 4 -

January sees another big rise in container throughput

*****

The phenomenal growth in Hong Kong’s container throughput continues. January figures for the eight container terminals at Kwai Chung and Stonecutters Island show an 18.43 per cent growth over the same month last year.

The terminals handled a total of 665,703 twenty-foot-equivalent units (TEUs) in the first month of 1995, compared with 562,126 in January 1994.

The 18 per cent growth for January comes after a year when Hong Kong's overall container throughput rose by just over 20 per cent to 11.1 million TEUs.

Of this total 7.2 million TEUs passed over the quayfacc at the eight terminals.

Difficulty in collating figures for mid- stream and river trade container traffic has delayed the release of official figures for total port throughput in Hong Kong.

The latest figures show that September was the third successive month that Hong Kong handled more one million TEUs in a month. In July, it became the world's first port to exceed the one-million-TEU-a-month figure.

Although the January figures show that demand on Hong Kong's container facilities continues to increase, they are not an accurate indicator of annual growth for 1995. Hong Kong’s throughput tends to build up to a peak in the summer months.

Nevertheless, the January growth does highlight the urgent need for more container facilities in Hong Kong.

End/Wednesday, February 22, 1995

Deadline for proposals on Cordless Access Services extended * * * * *

The Telecommunications Authority (TA) has decided to allow the deadline for submission of proposals for Cordless Access Services (CAS) be extended to 5 pm on June 30.

This decision is reached having considered:

* the overwhelming support for a delay in submission of proposals by registered interested parties who have made known their views;

■ I

- 5 -

* difficulties expressed by interested parties on the sourcing of commercially available CAS equipment at this point in time;

the need for consumers to have early access to new CAS technologies.

The TA agrees to an extension to allow more time for interested parties to source equipment but he does not support a lengthy delay.

Separately, the TA, having considered the arguments for and against an extension, has come to the decision that he does not agree to an extension for the submission of proposals for Personal Communications Services (PCS). The factors that he has considered include:

* the extensive public consultation conducted throughout calendar year 1994, which canvassed, among other things, spectrum issues and the principle of technology-neutrality;

the Guidance Notes issued in November 1994 have clearly indicated all the basic parameters for proposals to be submitted and there has been no change to these basic parameters;

* the period of over three months for proposals to be submitted has already allowed for sufficient time for proposers to clarify points of detail in the bidding process;

there is a significant number of interested parties objecting to a delay;

* the significant costs likely to be borne by many parties who have worked

in good faith to meet the deadline;

* the imminent exhaustion of the capacities of the existing cellular systems leading to a need for early introduction of PCS.

The deadline for submission of proposals for the operation of PCS therefore remains to be 5 pm on March 24. Late submissions will not be considered.

End/Wednesday. February 22, 1995

1

- 6 -

Fees for dangerous goods services revised *****

Fees for services set out in four regulations related to mining and the manufacture, storage, conveyance and usage of explosives have been revised with effect from Thursday, March 30.

The four regulations are the Dangerous Goods (General) (Amendment) Regulation 1995, Mining (General) (Amendment) Regulation 1995, Mines (Safety) (Amendment) Regulation 1995, and Dangerous Goods (Government Explosives Depots) (Amendment) Regulation 1995.

A Government spokesman said the fees were revised to recover the administrative and operating costs involved.

He expected that the new fees would have minimal effect on the industries involved as the costs of explosives formed only a very small portion of their total operating costs. The old and new fees for some of the services set out in the four regulations are:

Old New

Permit for discharge of explosives $25,025 $31,200

Licence to store explosives $23,111 $23,800

Duplicate licence $ 209 $ 330

Certificate of mine blasting $ 857 $ 1,430

Delivery of explosives not exceeding 50 kilograms (including removal permit) $ 2,240 $ 2,690

The spokesman said the Dangerous Goods Standing Committee, which had representatives from the private sector, including those from the chemical, shipping, petroleum and godown industries, had been consulted on the revision.

Details of the new fees will be published in the Government gazette on Friday (February 24).

End/Wednesday, February 22, 1995

7

New company for delivery of speedpost items in Canada • ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Postmaster General, Mr Mike Pagliari, announced today (Wednesday) that the Post Office has appointed Purolator Courier Ltd to undertake customs clearance and delivery of speedpost items in Canada with effect from March 6, 1995.

Mr Pagliari said the appointment was necessary following a decision by the postal administration of Canada to withdraw from the international postal EMS network (known as speedpost in Hong Kong) and to terminate its existing obligations to other postal administrations to deliver EMS items within its territories at a later date. ' r

The company was recommended by the Universal Postal Union after a rigorous ,v selection process.

Its service has been carefully tested by the Hong Kong Post Office and found to be satisfactory and reliable.

v//

The Post Office is confident that this company will be able to maintain the high standard of service currently provided to speedpost items destined for Canada.

End/Wednesday, February 22, 1995

74 pollution cases in January ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

A total of 74 convictions were made in the courts last month for breaching antipollution legislation enforced by the Environmental Protection Department.

Among them, 42 were convictions made under the Water Pollution Control Ordinance (WPCO), 17 under the Air Pollution Control Ordinance (APCO), 14 under the Noise Control Ordinance (NCO) and one under the Waste Disposal Ordinance (WDO).

The fines ranged from $2,000 to $100,000. Owner of the Luen Hing Bean Product Factory and the Sino Estate Management Ltd were fined $100,000 each for discharging polluting matter in Eastern Buffer and North Western Water Control Zones respectively. , 6

8

Note to editors:

Enquiries on specific cases can be directed to the following Principal Environmental Protection Officers:

Cases Officers

APCO : 1-3 4-8 9-10 11 12-17 Mr Patrick LEI Mr CW TSE Mr Steven HO Mr Murray LUO Mr RC ROOTHAM 2685 1133 2417 6074 2516 1800 2411 9601 2755 2200

NCO : 18 Mr Patrick LEI 2685 1133

19-21 MrC WTSE 2417 6074

22-28 Mr Steven HO 2516 1800

29-31 Mr R C ROOTHAM 2755 2200

WPCO: 32-47 Mr Patrick LEI 2685 1133

48-53 MrC WTSE 2417 6074

54-58 Mr Steven HO 2516 1800

59-73 Mr Murray LUO 2411 9601

WDO : 74 Mr Murray LUO 2411 9601

However, enquiries on general issues should be directed to the department's Media Relations Unit.

End/Wednesday, February 22, 1995

Kwai Chung lot to let

***** • k • ■ ' ■ ‘ .S-> • ' .. ., i .• J

The Lands Department is inviting tenders for the short-term tenancy of a piece of Government land in Kwai Chung.

Covering an area of 3,500 square metres, the lot is for use as a godown, excluding the storage of dangerous goods and scrap metal. The tenancy is for two years, renewable quarterly.

Closing date for submission of tenders is noon on March 10.

- 9 -

Tender forms, tender notice and conditions may be obtained from the District Lands Office, Kwai Tsing, 10th and 11th floors, Tsuen Wan Station Multi-storey Carpark Building, 174-208 Castle Peak Road, Tsuen Wan; the District Lands Offices Kowloon, 10th floor, Yau Ma Tei Car Park Building, 250 Shanghai Street, Kowloon and the Lands Department, 14th floor, Murray Building, Garden Road.

Tender plan can also be inspected at these offices.

End/Wednesday, February 22, 1995

Flushing water cut in Fo Tan

*****

Flushing water supply to some premises in Fo Tan will be temporarily suspended from 8 am to 8 pm on Friday (February 24) to facilitate checking of the supply system.

The affected areas will include Fo Tan Kowloon-Canton Railway Station, Au Pui Wan Street, Wo Heung Street, Wo Shing Street, Wo Liu Hang Road, Min Fong Street, Shek Lau Tung Street, Tsung Tau Ha Road, Kwei Tei Street, Tat Yip Lane, Fo Tan Road, Fo Tan Village, Cheung Lek Mei Street, Shan Mei Street, Ho Lek Pui Street, Sui Fung Lane, the section of Sui Wo Road to the east of Wong Chuk Yeung Street, Ngau Wu Tok Street, Wong Chuk Yeung Street, Yuen Kong Au Street and Man Hang Street.

End/Wednesday, February 22, 1995

- 10 -

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

* ♦ * ♦ *

$ million Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 1,337 0930 +1,633

Closing balance in the account 1,813 1000 +1,633

Change attributable to: 1100 +1,654

Money market activity +1,636 1200 +1,655

LAF today -1,160 1500 +1,656

1600 +1,636

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 120.4 *-0.2* 22.2.95

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.34 15 months 2605 6.35 99.05 7.29

1 month 5.53 24 months 2702 7.50 99.97 7.66

3 months 6.36 29 months 3707 6.95 98.50 7.78

6 months 6.70 35 months 3801 8.00 100.56 7.93

12 months 7.18 58 months 5912 8.15 99.51 8.44

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $27,166 million

Closed February 22, 1995

End/Wednesday, February 22, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

SUPPLEMENT

Wednesday, February 22,1995

Contents Page Nq.

Legislative Council meeting:

Labour import schemes must remain flexible........................... 1

Governor to chair summit meeting on drugs in March................... 2

Comments welcomed on LegCo elections expense proposals............... 3

S for S on importation of labour..................................... 7

SEM on Immigration (Amendment) Bill 1993 ............................ 9

Motion debate on immigration policy................................. 13

Motion debate on land supply for public rental housing.............. 15

Human Organ Transplant Bill...................................... 18

Legal Aid Services Council Bill..................................... 19

Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles (Amendment) Bill 1995 ..... 21

Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill 1995 ................................. 24

Banking (Amendment) Bill 1995 ...................................... 25

/Occupancy rate....

Contents

Page No,

Occupancy rate of singleton hostels..................................... 27

Review of LegCo election expense limits under way....................... 29

Human rights reports to UN.......................................... 31

Criteria in formulating social service policies......................... 33

Compatibility of Stage I and II projects of SSDS........................ 35

Community participation necessary to tackle drugs problem............... 38

Rank of HK Commissioner in London under review.......................... 40

Veterinary service bill ready in 1995/96 legislative session............ 41

Sale of Chinese medicines............................................... 41

Student hostel places at HKJED.......................................... 42

Passenger safety in public light buses.................................. 44

Pilot programme to help unemployed local workers aged over 30........... 45

Profits tax paid by property business sector............................ 49

Plans to widen Castle Peak Road......................................... 50

Plastic envelopes bring environmental problems.......................... 52

Anti-drugs effort needs to be redoubled................................. 53

Companies apply to carry on insurance business.......................... 55

Children ofHK residents in China........................................ 56

Contact between deaf electors and candidates............................ 58

Motion on immigration policy passed..................................... 59

- 1 -

Labour import schemes must remain flexible ♦ * ♦ ♦ *

The labour importation schemes must remain flexible to react swiftly to market needs, the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Michael Leung, told the Legislative Council today (Wednesday).

Speaking at the resumed debate on the second reading of the Hon Michael Ho's Immigration (Amendment) Bill, Mr Leung said it was of vital importance for the schemes to be maintained as administrative schemes because "only in this way can we ensure flexibility."

He pointed out that the Bill, which sought to codify the arrangements for foreign workers to enter Hong Kong, would effectively constrain the Government's ability to respond quickly to support the economy's need for manpower to sustain growth.

"Furthermore, the Bill does not spell out clearly what exactly will be included in the subsidiary legislation," he added.

"This will give rise to a lot of confusion and controversies in the drafting of the subsidiary legislation," Mr Leung said.

"If the Bill were passed, renewal of the quotas under our on-going labour importation schemes will have to come to an abrupt stop until subsidiary legislation acceptable to LegCo has been drawn up and become effective.

He said the Hong Kong economy as a whole would thus be seriously affected, in particular industries and companies which needed to use the schemes to maintain their operation.

"This would not benefit the interests of those whom the supporters of this Bill are trying to safeguard," Mr Leung stressed.

The Secretary noted that both the General Labour Importation Scheme and the Special Labour Importation Scheme for the airport core projects had been carefully devised to take fully into consideration both the labour shortage problem and the need to protect the interests of the local workforce.

"We do undertake regular reviews over the years to ensure that these policies are working to the best interests of our economy and the various sectors affected," he said.

J

2

"These administrative schemes have been running smoothly and given a very high degree of transparency," he said.

"We have kept LegCo informed regularly through the Manpower Panel and consulted Members whenever we intended to make any changes to the arrangements under the schemes," Mr Leung said, citing the calculation criteria of the quota allocation as an example.

"I must stress that we have fully taken into account the views expressed by LegCo Members, employers and employees and practical proposals have been subsequently incorporated to meet concerns and changing circumstances," he said.

"The Government's labour policy has thus been closely monitored by LegCo throughout the past few years and there have been no major problems which warrant a drastic change to the existing system," Mr Leung said.

End/Wednesday, February 22, 1995

Governor to chair summit meeting on drugs in March

*****

The Governor, the Rt Hon Christopher Patten, will chair a summit meeting on drugs on March 6 to highlight the need for a concerted effort to fight the drug problem and to draw on ideas from the community.

The plan was announced by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, at the Legislative Council meeting today (Wednesday).

In response to members' questions on drug abuse and trafficking, Mr Lai said the Government recognised that the seriousness of the problems, particularly as they affected the young, was such that anti-drugs effort had to be redoubled.

"The Government will, of course, play its part, but we need the support and participation of non-Govemment organisations, teachers, parents and indeed the community as a whole."

He said the Administration's long-term policy to combat these problems took a multifaceted approach, which is co-ordinated by the Action Committee Against Narcotics and supported by the Narcotics Division of the Security Branch.

On legislation and enforcement, the policy is to enact the necessary legislation and keep them up to date.

3

Meanwhile, the enforcement agencies, including the Police, Customs and the Department of Health, take vigorous action to detect and prosecute offenders, and to clamp down on the illegal supply of drugs in Hong Kong.

On treatment and rehabilitation, Mr Lai noted, a wide range of both mandatory and voluntary programmes for the treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts and substance abusers are provided.

He said: "These programmes are operated by the Correctional Services Department, the Department of Health, the Hospital Authority, the Society for the Aid and Rehabilitation of Drug Abusers, the Hong Kong Christian Service and a variety of voluntary groups."

As to preventive education and publicity, Mr Lai said the aim was to inculcate in the youngsters a healthy and positive attitude to life and to encourage them to resist the temptation to take drugs.

"This is done through a variety of education and publicity programmes and material.

"The Education Department, the Social Welfare Department, the Information Services Department, district-based organisations, voluntary agencies, schools and the media all contribute towards our joint effort," he added.

End/Wednesday, February 22, 1995

Comments welcomed on LegCo elections expense proposals

♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

The Government has arrived at certain preliminary proposals on the appropriate expense ceilings for the September 1995 Legislative Council elections in a review which is currently under way, the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Nicholas Ng, said today (Wednesday).

In a reply to a question raised by the Hon Henry Tang in the Legislative Council, Mr Ng said these proposals should form a sensible basis for discussion and that comments and alternative proposals, both from the Council and from the community at large, were welcome.

4

"Firm recommendations will be put to the Govemor-in-Council for approval in early May in the light of comments received. Our aim is to complete the necessary legislative process in June so that candidates will know for certain where they stand in good time before the elections," he said.

Mr Ng said the Government proposed that the current ceiling of $200,000 should remain for the geographical elections.

"This proposal recognises the fact that whilst constituency sizes for the 1995 Legislative Council will only be about half that of the existing ones, inflation has gone up by about 50 per cent in the past four years or so.

"A margin should also be built in to allow for more sophisticated, and therefore more expensive, electioneering activities which have become more common in recent years," he said.

For all existing functional constituencies except the Urban Council, the Regional Council, and the Rural constituencies, the Government proposes a ceiling of $80,000.

"This proposal is principally an adjustment of the current ceiling of $50,000 to off-set inflation," Mr Ng said.

For the Urban Council, Regional Council and the Rural functional constituencies, the Government again proposed status quo, that is, a ceiling of $50,000, he said.

Mr Ng explained that having regard to the small franchises of these three constituencies and past pattern on election expenses, the Government believed that this figure should be sufficient to meet candidates' campaigning requirements.

For the nine new functional constituencies, he said the Government proposed a ceiling of $180,000.

"This figure reflects the relatively large electorate sizes of these constituencies, averaging about 300,000, and the fact that electors are scattered in different parts of Hong Kong," he said.

Lastly, for the Election Committee, Mr Ng said the Government proposed a ceiling of $50,000 on account of the size of its franchise.

Mr Ng said election expense limits for Legislative Council, Municipal Council and District Board elections set the maximum which candidates for these elections might spend on their campaigns.

5

"The limits merely prescribe the overall ceilings. Within the limits, candidates are entirely free to spend their resources in whatever ways they deem fit. They are also entirely free to spend as much or as little as they like, provided they stay within the prescribed limits," he said.

The election expense limits for the three tiers of elections are reviewed from time to time. When carrying out such reviews over the years, Mr Ng said the Government had been following the basic principle that the limits must not be so high as to deter aspiring candidates with only limited financial means, nor so low as to make it difficult for candidates to mount an effective campaign.

"In other words, the election expense limits are to provide, in the spirit of open and fair elections, a level playing field for all candidates," he said.

In the review on the election expense limits for the coming Legislative Council elections, the Government had applied the same basic principle while having taken into account a number of practical considerations, he added.

"These include constituency sizes; types and scales of electioneering activities likely to be commonly carried out by candidates; and estimated cost of the common expenditure items, bearing in mind inflation in the past four years," he said.

6

Election Expense Limits for the District Board, Municipal Council and Legislative Council Elections

Election Expense Limits

Types of Elections District Board Municipal Council Legislative Council

1991 1994 1991 1995 1991 , 1995 (proposed)

GCs $30,000 $45,000 $70,000 $100,000 $200,000 $200,000

FCs (except UC, RC, Rural) —- $50,000 $80,000

FCs (UC, RC, Rural) A— $50,000 $50,000

New FCs $180,000

EC • ** $50,000

Notes:

GCs : Geographical Constituencies

FCs : Functional Constituencies

EC : Election Committee

End/Wednesday, February 22, 1995

7

S for S on importation of labour *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, at the second reading debate on the Hon Michael Ho's Immigration (Amendment) Bill 1993 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President, »

I will speak on the more general aspects of the Honourable Michael Ho's private member's bill. My colleague, the Secretary for Education and Manpower, will speak on the more specific issues of the importation of labour scheme, which this bill is specifically aimed at.

The bill introduced by the Honourable Member addresses a matter of public policy. Although it may not be evident on the face of this bill, it appears that the Honourable Michael Ho is, in effect, seeking to replace by legislative means, the present Importation of Labour Scheme by some different arrangements. In that case, surely, it is incumbent upon him to spell out precisely what arrangements he is seeking to put in place in replacement of the present scheme. But he has not done so.

In today's debate, some Honourable Members, in support of the bill, said that the present scheme should be revised. Other Honourable Members equally expressing support for the bill seem to want the scheme to be stopped although that is not what the bill says on the face of it. So what really is the bill's intended effect ?

The bill, as it stands, has the effect of completely stopping the importation of labour scheme, for no rules have been drawn up by the Honourable Member as to how the scheme might continue to operate after the bill is enacted. My colleague, the Secretary for Education and Manpower, will explain why this is highly undesirable. The Honourable Member has said previously that he is prepared to move a Committee Stage Amendment to postpone the coming into effect of the bill for several months so as to allow time for the rules to be drawn up. But there is no certainty that the intended Committee Stage Amendment will materialise. Quite frankly, there must be considerable doubt that the matter has not been thought through, and it is extremely risky to support the bill which is only half-baked.

What, therefore, does the bill in front of us amount to? I should just use a metaphor to illustrate. It is like saying, I don't like your window and I am now going to break it. You will have to sweep up the broken glass to make sure that others are not hurt. I might, although I cannot promise you, give you a few months to suggest another window to replace the one I have broken. But you will have to figure out the shape and the colour of the replacement. I might not like what you put forward later, and you can't install it unless I allow you to. In the meanwhile, you will just have to live with the wind and the rain that comes in through the broken window. And if everybody else catch a cold, that's their business.

8

What the bill will do, therefore, is to leave in its wake huge uncertainty. Uncertainty as to its effects; uncertainty as to how long that uncertainty itself is going to last; and uncertainty as to what will happen at the end. That is surely not the proper way to go about making public policy!

Let us also be clear about the responsibilities of those who seek to legislate on public policies. They have a responsibility, to this Council and to the community, to make it clear what precisely is the policy that they seek to make. It is npt good enough simply to seek to destroy the present arrangement, without proposing at the same time, precisely what the replacement is, so that this Council and the community can make an informed choice. That is a responsibility owed to the public. That is a responsibility which, under our executive-led system has been fully discharged by the executive. As the well-known adage goes: "The Executive proposes, the Legislature disposes". It is a well tried, and effective system for Hong Kong. Underlying that system is the concept of public responsibility that I have just referred to. In the present case, that public responsibility has not been discharged by the Honourable Member moving this bill. Instead, he puts the owners back to the executive in the person of the Director of Immigration.

Mr President, I should like to make one further point. Our system of immigration control, as enshrined in the Immigration Ordinance, is based on the discretion of the Director of Immigration. That system enables the Director to deal effectively, and with flexibility, with the differing circumstances of each individual case, but working under a general policy. That system has worked well in the past, and it would be dangerous to tamper with it likely. Legislative rules on immigration would introduce rigidity into the system. The bill before us is also likely to have unintended side-effects, for example, the bill before us provides for exemptions from the requirement of legislative rules in respect of foreign domestic helpers, and those in possession of special skills, knowledge or experience not readily available in Hong Kong. It makes no specific exemptions in respect of persons seeking to enter Hong Kong in an employment capacity but bringing with him substantial investments to Hong Kong in the business he is to be engaged in nor does it make specific exemptions in respect of persons entering Hong Kong for employment in international or diplomatic bodies. Apparently, none of these grey areas have been examined carefully nor has any necessary remedy being discussed and agreed. It, that is to say the bill, is to all intents and purposes, a flawed bill and I urge Honourable Members not to support its passage.

For these reasons, and for the reasons which my colleague the Secretary for Education and Manpower will explain later the Administration strongly opposes the second reading of the Honourable Member's private bill.

End/Wednesday. February 22, 1995

9

SEM on Immigration (Amendment) Bill 1993

*****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Michael Leung, at the resumption of second reading debate on the Hon Michael Ho's Immigration (Amendment) Bill 1993 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

The Private Member's Bill to amend the powers exercised by the Director of Immigration under the Immigration Ordinance strikes at the very heart of our importation of labour schemes, two schemes which are of vital importance to HK. Let me explain.

But first, contrary to what one member has just alleged, the Government has a sound labour policy which has stood the test of time. This is to ensure that, on the one hand, there is a stable and well-motivated workforce to support economic growth, and on the other hand, Hong Kong can maintain a level of labour standards broadly comparable with those of its neighbouring territories at a similar level of economic development and with a similar socio-cultural background.

Underpinned by sustained economic growth, ever-increasing economic links with China and rapid expansion in our service sectors, we have the good fortune of having near full employment for our workforce in recent years. The latest unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted, was 2.0% for the quarter ending December 1994. This compares with 2.3% for the previous quarter ending September 1994 and 2.0% for the same quarter in 1993. The unemployment rate has been at this low level since 1987. These statistics indicate that the overall labour market situation continues to remain tight.

To ease the constraints that a tight labour market has on our economic growth, the Government allows, as a matter of policy, foreign nationals to enter Hong Kong for employment subject to various conditions. Apart from overseas professionals and Foreign Domestic Helpers, we have in place a General Importation of Labour Scheme which permits the orderly importation of workers at technician, supervisor, craftsman and experienced operative levels up to a total of 25,000 to work in Hong Kong at any one time. Under a separate scheme for importation of workers for the new airport and related projects, we also allow up to a total of 17,000 workers to enter for employment in Hong Kong. At the peak of the various construction projects next year, up to 27,000 workers will be allowed to be imported.

10

These two labour importation schemes have been carefully devised taking fully into consideration both the labour shortage problem in our economy, and the need to protect the interests of our local labour force. There are a number of basic principles under the present schemes which we seek to enforce. First, the principle of demand. Employers must prove they cannot recruit locally before importing. Second, the principle of parity. Imported workers must be paid at least the medium wage of local workers and subject to similar conditions of service. Third, the principle of relevance. The imported workers must have relevant experience and skill for the jobs they fill. Apart from these fundamental policies devised carefully, we do undertake regular reviews over the years to ensure that these policies are working to the best interests of our economy and the various sectors affected. These administrative schemes have been running smoothly and given a very high degree of transparency. We have kept this Council informed regularly through the Manpower Panel and consulted Members whenever we intended to make any changes to the arrangements under the schemes. Examples of this are the calculation criteria of the quota allocation system. I must stress that we have fully taken into account the views expressed by LegCo Members, employers and employees and practicable proposals have been subsequently incorporated to meet concerns and changing circumstances. The Government’s labour importation policy has thus been closely monitored by this Council throughout the past years. There have been no major problems which warrant such a drastic change to the existing system. The Government must be allowed the necessary flexibility to meet changing needs while ensuring that LegCo is kept fully informed and consulted, and remain open always to suggestions for views from LegCo.

These importation schemes are vital to the sustained growth in our economy. They help to relieve the temporary bottlenecks in our labour market and assist in our efforts to contain inflation. It is of vital importance that these be maintained as administrative schemes. Only in this way can we ensure flexibility exists. Mr Ho’s Bill which codifies the arrangements under which foreign workers are allowed to enter HK for employment purposes, will effectively constrain our ability to respond rapidly to support our economy’s need for manpower to sustain growth. Furthermore, the Bill does not spell out clearly what exactly will be included in the subsidiary legislation. This will give rise to a lot of confusion and controversies in the drafting of the subsidiary legislation. If the Bill were passed, renewal of the quotas under our ongoing labour importation schemes will have to come to an abrupt stop until subsidiary’ legislation acceptable to LegCo has been drawn up and become effective. In the meanwhile, the Hong Kong economy as a whole would thus be seriously affected. In particular those particular industries and companies which need to use the schemes to maintain the operation of their business will be seriously affected. This would not benefit the interest of those whom the supporters of this Bill are trying to safeguard.

Under the General Scheme, which aims to relieve the limiting effects of labour shortage on sustained growth in certain sectors, the lack of imported workers will actually result in unemployment for local workers.

11

For example, in the manufacturing sector, imported workers constitute only about 2% of the workforce. However, without these workers who are technicians, supervisors, craftsmen and experienced operatives, manufacturing production would be seriously affected. In severe cases, production lines would have to be shut down. Not only would the productivity and the competitiveness of the local manufacturing sector be hampered but the employment opportunities of local workers would also be affected. This will be more severe for linkage industries such as dyeing and bleaching and the industries they support i.e. textile and clothing. Without the imported.workers, these industries will not be able to operate to their full capacities or to plan for expansion.

The hotel sector, as a matter of example, and to a lesser degree, the tourist industry, have long maintained Hong Kong’s hospitality industry is suffering from a significant labour shortage. We anticipate that the hotel industry would face real operational problems at the rank and file levels, if the scheme were halted.

In infrastructural development, we are, as members are fully aware, building a new airport which is of paramount importance to our future economy. It is unthinkable to delay the completion of this important project. For the Special Scheme under the ACP, non-availability of any imported labour supply would obviously have a severe impact on the ACP itself. For example:-

in the peak year 1996, which is next year, the ACP will add some 50% to the demand for on-site construction work labour in Hong Kong which can only be met by importing labour.

Again, next year, it is estimated that only 10% of the ACP demand for labour can be met by the local labour force. If we cannot import workers, unacceptable delays to the airport projects will result.

delays in the ACP projects will cause significant increases in cost as a result of inflation affecting expenditure over a longer period of time.

And finally, the PAA have just awarded $12 billion worth of contracts for the Air Passenger Terminal Building. We need to ensure that an adequate supply of labour is available now to support the works programme for these very important contracts.

Apart from the constrains on growth, we estimate that the removal of the existing supply of 25,000 imported workers under the General Scheme (amounting to only around 0.8% of the total workforce) would push up inflation, as measured by the CPI(A), by around 0.2 of a percentage point. Moreover, construction wages arc likely to rise rapidly, by around 3 percentage points in this year, 7 percentage points in 1996 if the ACP quota were not adjusted upwards.

12

It has been remarked that the importation of labour schemes have affected the employment opportunities of local workers. This is simply a gross simplification. All the imported workers under our labour importation schemes are confined to those possessing special skills and experience of value to, but not readily available in sufficient numbers in Hong Kong. The impact on employment opportunities of our local workers should be minimal. We are fully aware that as a result of our structural change of our economy, there is bound to be a group of displaced workers, though not of a large number, who are faced with employment difficulties. That is why the Employees Retraining Board (ERB) was set up in October 1992 to assist those workers to re-enter the active workforce by equipping them with new and marketable skills. We believe that the best way to help those workers displaced by the structural changes in our economy is to offer job placement assistance and retraining. We have already informed the Manpower Panel of this Council at the meeting on seventh of February that a pilot scheme to integrate the Local Employment Service with the Employees Retraining Scheme will soon be launched. In short, we intend to arrange direct job referrals and retraining to workers to meet labour requirements of employers faced with labour shortage problems.

The importation of workers have had the beneficial effect on our economy. Surveys conducted by the Industry Department revealed that labour shortage and related problems are the major concerns to local and overseas manufacturing companies in their consideration to invest in HK. Without imported workers, these industries will decline fast since local manufacturers will relocate their operations and overseas manufacturers will not be set up in HK. More local workers will then be displaced who will require job placement assistance and retraining. Let us not forget that retraining is, after all, funded by a levy paid by employers employing imported workers. This surely is a vicious cycle that we should avoid.

Mr Ho's Bill impinges upon a number of public policies. As 1 have explained, it would be serious consequences if the Bill were passed. To preserve our existing flexibility in dealing with our tight labour market, the Government opposes this Bill. We must uphold our basic labour policy. A later commencement date would not reduce the effects of this Bill but simply defer the serious consequences mentioned which I have just mentioned. The importation of labour schemes must remain flexible to react swiftly to changing market needs. A set of statutory rules will seriously hamper effectiveness of the schemes, and affect the employment opportunities of local workers. This surely will not serve the best interests of Hong Kong. I urge Members to vote against the Bill.

Thank you.

EndAVednesday, February 22, 1995

13

Motion debate on immigration policy * * * * *

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, in the motion debate on reviewing the immigration policy on the entry of spouses and children of Hong Kong residents from China in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

Let me make it quite clear at the outset that the Government shares the same family value as Honourable Members, and indeed the community. We believe that it is right that families should be together, and that split families should have the opportunity to be reunited. Nor do we dispute that split families often create social problems. I trust that these values and beliefs are virtually universal.

These values and beliefs are, of course, reflected in the effect of the current arrangements on legal immigration from China which, as Honourable Members know, is based on the "One Way Permit" system. Indeed, about 90% of one-way permit holders enter Hong Kong for reunion with their nuclear family members, that is to say, parents, spouses and children. Of the remainder, most entered Hong Kong for reunion with non-nuclear family members. An average of 105 persons per day, or about 38,000 per year enter Hong Kong from China under the current one way permit system. This is one of the highest immigration for settlement rates per capita in the world. I suggest that 15 places within the daily quota of 105 one way permit holders are specifically earmarked for wives to join husbands in Hong Kong. Another 15 are specifically earmarked for children who will have the right of abode in Hong Kong after 1997 to join parents here.

But we do face a constraint. We cannot admit people from China for settlement in a totally uncontrolled manner. To do so would result in over-straining our community and social services, our housing, education and medical facilities, and of course our ability to pay for them. Let me give just one example. The cost of providing a primary school place is about $12,000 per annum, and the cost of providing a secondary school place is about $18,600 per annum. These figures are exclusive of the capital cost of building schools and classrooms. We simply cannot let in more children than we can provide education for; more schools may then have to be built. Our capacity to absorb new immigrants from China is therefore not unlimited, nor I believe would be the community's tolerance to the reduction in standards of the many services which they have come to expect.

14

The reality we face is that there are probably hundreds of thousands of persons in China waiting to join family members in Hong Kong. We estimate, for example, that there are up to 300,000 legitimate, I stress, legitimate children in China in that position. Not all of these children will have automatic right of abode in Hong Kong after 1997. That is not a situation created by our immigration policy; that is a situation created by the close historical, economic, social and cultural linkage between Hong Kong and China. While it is probably unrealistic in most cases to expect their family members to return to China permanently to join them, it is even more unrealistic to expect that they should all be let into Hong Kong for settlement in an uncontrolled manner. Sheer numbers rule that out.

Clearly, therefore, in determining an immigration policy from China, a balance has to be struck. We have to strike a balance between our humanitarian instincts, based on those shared values of family unity, and our ability to absorb new immigrants, new additions to the community without eroding our quality of life. Where in individual cases there are exceptional humanitarian or passionate grounds, the Director of Immigration do take this into account in exercising his discretion.

Some Honourable Members have referred to the abuse of the Two Way Permit system by women at an advanced stage of pregnancy, coming here for short visits in order to give birth to their children in Hong Kong. It is international practice that if a child is born in a place where one parent is resident, the child will be allowed to have the same resident status of the parent if the parents so choose. We have followed this practice not only in respect of children from China but also in respect of children from other parts of the world. The solution to the problem of abuse lies, in the first instance, in stopping this at source, not in returning Hong Kong-born children with a parent settled in Hong Kong. We are discussing this difficult problem with the Chinese side, most recently at the annual Border Liaison Review meeting in Guangdong.

Mr President, our immigration policy on the entry of spouses and children from China is a matter of striking the right balance. On the whole, I believe we have got that balance just about right, and there is no cause for a ’’root and branch” revamp. But we are not complacent, we will obviously have to keep it under review in the light of changing circumstances. Clearly, one issue which we are addressing is the admission of the estimated 64,000 children who will have the right of abode in Hong Kong on 1 July 1997, in accordance with the terms of the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. That is something which will have to be discussed with the Chinese side. The position of the illegitimate children will also have to be addressed in that context.

Mr President, Ex-officio Members will abstain from voting on the Honourable Elsie Tu’s motion.

End/Wednesday. February 22, 1995

15

Motion debate on land supply for public rental housing ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic S W Wong, in the motion debate on land supply for public rental housing in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I am grateful to the Honourable Andrew Wong for proposing this debate, and have listened with interest to what Members have said. The debate gives me the opportunity to clear up a few misconceptions and to inform this Council what the Government has done and will do to match the supply and demand of land for public rental housing.

Rectifying misconceptions

The suggestions that an additional 90 or 38 hectares of land should be granted to the Housing Authority before July 1997 for the construction of public rental housing flats are misleading. Some of the reports on which Members based their comments only broadly indicate the amount of new land which may be made available for rental housing and other types of development. They do not necessarily reflect the actual amount of land which the Government has already allocated to the Housing Authority and the Housing Society.

Apart from new and redevelopment sites, there is also another source of supply which also makes a substantial contribution to meeting the demand for public rental housing. Sitting tenants who are successful in their applications under the Home Ownership Scheme and the Private Sector Participation Scheme are required to surrender their rental units upon acquiring the new flats. Since the inception of these schemes in 1978, we have recovered over 70,000 rental flats from this source, for reallocation to others in need. Over the next five years, we estimate that about 60.000 rental flats will be recovered from tenants in this manner, to be subsequently refurbished and allocated to eligible families.

Policy on land supply for public housing

Let me assure Members that the Government's policy is to provide enough land to meet housing demand in the public and private sectors. The demand for public housing fluctuates owing to factors such as population growth, the timing of redevelopment and clearance programmes, and the market price of private housing. It is a constantly moving target. However, our aim has always been to make available sufficient land to meet the additional requirements arising from regular reviews of public housing demand.

16

Meeting the policy commitment

In the policy commitments which formed part of the Governor's Address last year, the Government announced that an additional 141,000 public rental flats would be built before April 2001. These flats represent total new production from both redevelopment and new sites, and are not intended to be additional to the targets contained in the Public Housing Development Programme. These flats are an integral part of that Programme. They also take into account the rental units which will be demolished over the same period under the comprehensive redevelopment programme, this method has always been used in the preparation of the Public Housing Development Programme. The policy commitment target for rental housing is also base on this very same method of calculation.

We are making every effort to meet our objective of producing 141,000 rental flats in the six years between April 1995 and April 2001. Some 223 hectares of land have already been allocated to the Housing Authority and the Housing Society, and this more than meets the full land requirement for the production of these rental flats. We will continue to work closely with these two organisations to ensure that the flats will come on stream as scheduled. 1 can assure Members that the recently established Housing Project Action Team, which I lead, will actively monitor progress, coordinate action and resolve problems relating to the public housing sites. We are working closely with the Housing Authority and have already identified some potential new housing sites.

Waiting list for public rental housing

Some Members have referred to the backlog of 150,000 applications on the Housing Authority's general waiting list. According to past experience, not all these applications constitute a real demand for public rental housing because a significant proportion are existing tenants wanting to change flats. Others may be rehoused through other quotas or may be found ineligible. For example, the majority of Temporary Housing Area residents and urban squatters who are on the waiting list will be rehoused through the clearance allocation rather than the general waiting list. As already announced, we expect that by 1997/98, about 70% of the backlog on the general waiting list as at August 1993 will be cleared. After 1997/98, when Temporary Housing Areas and urban squatters on Government land have been cleared and given the increase in public housing production thereafter, we should be able to handle waiting list applicants much faster.

17

Balance between rental and homeownership flats production

Home ownership has long been regarded as a desirable objective in terms of its contribution to social stability and fostering a sense of belonging. Members will wish to know that while attempting to meet the demand for public rental housing, the Government will also maintain a sensible balance between an adequate supply of public rental housing and aspirations for affordable home ownership. We will continue to provide various subsidised home ownership schemes for those public rental housing tenants and others eligible, who can afford them. Indeed the Government has already pledged to provide 168,000 flats for sale in the public sector before April 2001. This will have the effect of releasing a substantial quantity of rental flats to meet the demand of those in genuine need.

Review of housing demand

Members have raised the question of housing demand. I would like to inform this Council that we have started a systematic and comprehensive assessment of the scale and composition of housing demand in both the public and private sectors. It aims to reflect more accurately the amount of land which should be allocated for the various categories of housing in both sectors. We hope to complete this assessment in the middle of this year. Subject to the findings and a review of the Long Term Housing Strategy beyond 2001, which review will commence later this year, the Government will be prepared to identify and allocate extra sites to enable the Housing Authority and the Housing Society to produce more subsidised rental flats and flats for sale to meet confirmed demand. Similarly, we will make sufficient land available for private housing, subject to the agreement of the Sino-British Land Commission.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I would like to reassure this Council that the Government's commitment to supply enough land to meet the housing needs of the community is as strong as ever. We are on course to meet the Governor's policy commitment last year of building 141,000 public rental flats over the next six years, and have already allocated sufficient sites for this purpose. We are also taking progressive steps to clear the backlog of applicants on the general waiting list. Subject to the findings of the comprehensive assessment of housing demand being undertaken at present and a review of the Long Term Housing Strategy, we will take positive action to identify and allocate more sites to meet the confirmed and realistic demand agreed by the Government.

18

I know that the Housing Authority's latest assessment of housing demand shows a 38 hectare shortfall in land specifically for the production of subsidised flats for sale. I confirm that it is also the Government's policy to promote home ownership schemes. While more land for this purpose may well be required, as seem to have been implied in Mr Lau Wah-sum's amended motion, we do not wish to pre-empt the findings of the comprehensive review of housing demand which is being undertaken. Therefore, we consider it inappropriate at this stage to commit the Government to any new figure of land allocation, whether it be for public rental housing or flats for sale, before we can have the benefit of all these findings. The motion under debate today presents a technical difficulty. For these reasons, Mr President, the Administration does not support the motion or the proposed amendments urging the Government to allocate extra land to the Housing Authority for the construction of public rental housing before we have the findings of the comprehensive review.

Thank you.

End/Wednesday, February 22, 1995

Human Organ Transplant Bill *****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, at the resumed debate on second reading of the Human Organ Transplant Bill in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr Chairman,

I move that the clauses specified be amended as set out in the paper circulated to Members under my name.

I would like to thank the Hon. Ronald Arculli, Convenor of the Ad Hoc Group studying the Bill, and Members of the Group for their most thorough examination of the provisions therein. As a result, several amendments are now proposed which will increase the scope of the Bill and make its provisions easier to understand.

The amended Clause 4(1 )(a) makes it clear that it is an offence for any person in Hong Kong to make or receive payment for supplying or offering to supply an organ, or to act as an intermediary in such arrangement. This, regardless of whether the organ is removed from a living or dead person and whether the removal and transplant take place in Hong Kong or elsewhere. Clause 4(2)(a) is similarly amended to make it an offence to advertise to buy an organ removed from a dead or living person in Hong Kong or elsewhere for transplant in Hong Kong or elsewhere.

19

New Clauses 4(3A) and 4(3C) respectively make it an offence for a person to transplant in Hong Kong or remove from a dead or living person in Hong Kong an organ that he knew or should have known was a commercially-traded organ, regardless of where payment was to be made for it. A new Clause 4(3B) makes it an offence for a person to import such an organ.

The purpose of amended Clauses 4(4), 5(7), 6(3) and new Clause 7(4) is to provide harsher deterrent penalties.

Amendments to Clause 5 (4) and (5) prescribe arrangements for ensuring that both living organ donors and organ recipients give informed and unpressured consent to the transplant procedure.

A new Clause 7 introduces requirements for information to be supplied to accompany imported organs. The purpose of this is to ensure that organs are healthy and that they have not been obtained commercially. A new Clause 8 provides an extended time limit of three years for commencing criminal proceedings.

To complement the provisions in the Bill when enacted, we shall solicit cooperation from the medical profession to take the lead by reporting any violations to the Administration. Suitable publicity materials will also be produced and made available for the information and guidance of doctors and patients in hospitals.

End/Wednesday, February 22, 1995

Legal Aid Services Council Bill ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the speech by the Chief Secretary, the Hon Mrs Anson Chan, in moving the second reading of the Legal Aid Services Council Bill in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move that the Legal Aid Services Council Bill be read the second time. The Bill provides a legislative framework 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.

20

The establishment of this Council was one of 25 recommendations in nine subject areas 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 eight subject areas covered by the report involved improvements to the scope and operation of the legal aid scheme, and were the subject of the Legal Aid (Amendment) Bill 1995 that I introduced into this Council on 25 January.

Let me make it clear at the outset that the Administration does not interfere with the 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' •••s

an independent Legal Aid Services Council be set up by statute.

To safeguard the independence of the Legal Aid Services Council, Clause 3 of the Legal Aid Services Council 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 the 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 members, 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.

21

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.

We aim to establish the Legal Aid Services Council as soon as possible after the Bill is enacted. This is far from a cosmetic change, as some critics have suggested. On the contrary, it represents a significant policy change that will provide a greater opportunity for public participation in legal aid administration and policy formulation and will enhance the independence of legal aid administration. Some people, both from this Council and the legal profession, 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 is not ruling it out. Indeed, once the Legal Aid Services Council is established, we will ask the Council to examine the feasibility and desirability of this option.

End/Wednesday, February 22, 1995

Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles (Amendment) Bill 1995 ***** h

Following is the speech by the Acting Secretary for Recreation and Culture, Mrs Rachel Cartland, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday) in moving the second reading of the Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles (Amendment) Bill 1995:

Mr President,

I move the Second Reading of the Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles (Amendment) Bill 1995.

The primary objectives of the Bill are to tighten control over the selling and distribution of indecent articles, to facilitate enforcement actions and to increase the deterrent effect of the penalties under the Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance. In designing specific provisions in pursuit of these objectives, we are mindful that all proposals must be the minimum necessary to ensure that freedom of expression is not unjustifiably sacrificed.

22

I would like to thank Members of this Council, Members of the District Boards, and members of various political groups and concern groups for their valuable suggestions and views on how obscene and indecent articles could best be regulated. We have very carefully and thoroughly studied their suggestions and revised some of the proposals contained in the Bill in the light of their views.

Owing to the far-reaching consequences and Bill of Rights implications, some of the more restrictive suggestions and views have not been taken on board in this Bill. However, an inter-departmental working group comprising representatives from the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority, the Police Force, the Attorney General's Chambers, the Urban Services Department, the Regional Services Department and my Branch is studying the implications and feasibility of these suggestions.

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

Clause 5 of the Bill proposes stricter restrictions on the external appearance of indecent articles to minimise nuisance to the public and to make them more easily distinguishable, thus facilitating control and regulation. Indecent articles will be required to be sealed in completely opaque wrappers. It is also proposed that nothing shall be printed on the wrappers except the warning notice, particulars of the publishers, and the name, date, serial number and selling price of the publication.

Although the existing Ordinance already requires a clear and conspicuous warning notice to be printed on indecent articles, we suggest specifying the minimum size under the law. It is proposed that the warning notice must occupy at least 20% of the size of an indecent article. Furthermore, the warning notice is to be printed on the front and back cover of the indecent article as well as on both sides of the opaque wrapper enclosing it. One of the advantages of such a requirement is that, no matter under what circumstances, there is always an easily noticeable warning notice attached to the indecent article reminding people not to sell or lend the article to persons below the age of 18.

Under the existing Ordinance, it is not mandatory for publishers to print their particulars on the indecent articles. Although enforcement action can still be taken against irresponsible publishers who have committed an offence, extra manpower and time are often needed to track down these publishers. To facilitate identification of publishers of indecent articles, clause 5 requires them to print their correct name, address and telephone number on the front and back cover of the indecent article and on both sides of the opaque wrapper enclosing it. Contravention of this requirement is liable to a maximum fine of $400,000 and imprisonment for one year. The fulfilment of this requirement is the primary responsibility of publishers.

23

To prevent the selling and distribution of indecent articles which have contravened the legal requirements, clause 7 will make it an offence to possess such articles for the purpose of publication. The presumption clause in the Ordinance will apply to this new offence. If a person possesses more than two copies of such indecent article and the circumstances give rise to such suspicion, he will be deemed to possess it for the purpose of publication.

Clause 10 proposes to grant Police officers the power to seize, in public places, any indecent article which commits or constitutes evidence of an offence. Mr President, I wish to illustrate with an example how the new offence and the new seizing power will aid enforcement action. At present, as long as an indecent article is not published, no offence is committed even if the article in question does not carry a warning notice or contravene any other legal requirement. The new offence will help to eliminate this undesirable situation. No matter whether the indecent article is published or not, an offence is committed so long as two copies of the indecent article are found and the circumstances give rise to reasonable suspicion that these copies are possessed for the purpose of publication. The new power of seizure will further enable Police officers to seize the articles as evidence for prosecution.

There is a strongly-held and widely expressed desire in the community for heavier penalties to be imposed on persons publishing indecent articles in breach of legal requirements. In response to this, we recommend that the maximum fine for offences related to indecent articles be increased from $200,000 to $400,000 on first conviction and $800,000 on second or subsequent convictions. A higher maximum fine for subsequent convictions is proposed in order to increase the deterrent effect.

Mr President, in drawing up these new restrictions on the publication of indecent articles, we have tried our best to introduce measures that are the minimum necessary for the protection of our young people while allowing adults to exercise freedom of choice. We are confident that these legislative proposals are consistent with Article 16 of the Bill of Rights Ordinance and Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. I very much hope that these well-balanced proposals will gain Members' support.

Mr President, I beg to move.

End/Wednesday, February 22, 1995

24

Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill 1995

*****

Following is the speech by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma, in moving the second reading of the Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

I move the second reading of the Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill 1995. The main purpose of this bill is to strengthen legislation aimed at tackling drunken driving.

The present legislation on drunken driving is extremely difficult to enforce, sincS it does not specify a blood alcohol limit and suspected offenders are not required by law to provide samples of their breath, blood or urine for testing. As a result, prosecution for the offence is possible only in the most extreme cases.

The Road Safety Council has been deliberating this problem for some time. The amending bill now before Council seeks to incorporate the recommendations put forward. The Transport Advisory Committee has strongly endorsed the proposals and, indeed, there has been support from the general public and the media. The LegCo Transport Panel has also been briefed.

Mr President, the Police now have firm evidence, based on autopsy reports on drivers killed in traffic accidents, to show that excessive drinking is a significant cause of serious traffic accidents. We propose to prescribe limits for the concentration of alcohol in a driver’s blood, urine and breath, and to require drivers to provide samples for testing in certain specified circumstances. We recommend that the limit should be 80 milligrams of alcohol in one hundred millilitres of blood. This is the standard adopted in most European Union countries and also in Singapore.

Clause 7 of the bill makes it an offence to drive with an alcohol concentration above the prescribed limit. Whilst we do not propose to introduce random breath testing for drivers, Police officers will nonetheless empowered so that they may require a driver to take a screening breath test if he is involved in a traffic accident, has committed a traffic offence, or if a Police officer has reasonable cause to suspect that he has been drinking.

If the screening breath test reveals that the alcohol level exceeds the prescribed limit, or if the driver fails to provide a sample, then the suspect may be arrested and required to provide samples of blood, urine or breath for further analysis. The bill sets out the conditions under which the various types of specimen should be required, and where and when they should be provided.

25 -

Mr President, the opportunity is < also taken to make a number of minor amendments to the Road Traffic Ordinance relating to vehicle registration marks, the powers of traffic wardens, and the authority to vary the fees charged by vehicle testing centres and vehicle emission testing centres.

Thank you, Mr President.

End/Wednesday, February 22, 1995

Banking (Amendment) Bill 1995 ♦ ♦ * * ♦

Following is the speech by the Acting Secretary for Financial Services, Mrs Lessie Wei, in moving the second reading of the Banking (Amendment) Bill 1995 in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Mr President,

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

The two main objectives of the Bill are -

(a) to establish the Monetary Authority as the licensing authority of all three types of authorised institutions under the Banking Ordinance; and

(b) to clarify the scope, objectives, duties and powers of a Manager appointed under the Ordinance to take control of an authorised institution. There are also other amendments to effect a number of changes designed to improve the working of the Ordinance.

Presently banks, restricted licence banks and deposit-taking companies are authorised by the Governor in Council, the Financial Secretary and the Monetary Authority respectively. Powers to revoke and suspend also rests with the respective designated authorities, except that the Ordinance does not provide for the suspension of a licensed bank.

After a review of the provisions, we conclude that the Ordinance should be amended -

26

(a) to establish the Monetary Authority as the authority responsible for the authorisation, suspension revocation of all three types of authorised institutions, including new powers to suspend a licensed bank;

(b) to improve the checks and balances in the authorisation arrangements by distinguishing more clearly the administrative and appellate functions; and

(c) to improve the transparency in the authorisation arrangements by setting out more clearly the criteria which would be used for the authorisation and revocation of all three types of authorised institutions.

. * •' • • ,

The proposal for vesting full responsibility for authorisation matters in the Monetary Authority would be in line with the objective of enabling the Governor in Council to focus on important policy issues. It would also be consistent with the Monetary Authority’s central banking role of maintaining the general stability of the banking system and with the practice in other leading financial centres.

The proposed transfer of powers from the Governor in Council and the Financial Secretary to the Monetary Authority would also improve the checks and balances of the authorisation provisions in the Ordinance. The three authorities would play distinctive roles under the new structure: the Monetary Authority would be responsible for administering all authorisation matters; the Financial Secretary would provide a check as the Monetary Authority would be required to consult him on important authorisation decisions; and the Governor in Council would act as the appellate body for hearing appeals against the decision made by the Monetary Authority.

This represents a significant improvement over the existing system where there is no appeal against a decision of the Governor in Council to refuse to grant, to revoke or to attach conditions to a banking licence. These decisions would be subject to appeal under the proposed structure.

Under the revised regime, it is important that the Monetary Authority should be seen to operate within clearly defined statutory criteria for authorisation, suspension and revocation. This would be achieved by introducing the new Seventh and Eighth Schedules to the Ordinance clearly setting out the specific criteria to be applied by the Monetary Authority.

The Bill also deals with the powers of the Monetary Authority to take control of an institution. The powers are based on similar powers introduced into the Insurance Companies Ordinance in 1992. The main objectives of the powers are -

27

(a) to allow the Monetary Authority, through a Manager, to control the affairs, business and property of a troubled institution so that it can be nursed back to health, perhaps as a prelude to sale; and

(b) to enable the Monetary Authority to take quick action to safeguard the assets and maintain the fabric of the business until a liquidator can be appointed.

» ■ .1 . jr -,

It is proposed that subject to certain limits which may be imposed by the Monetary Authority, the Manager be given all powers necessary to manage properly the affairs, business and property of the institution. The new Ninth Schedule sets out the specific powers of the Manager which include, amongst others, the power to enter into contract on behalf of the institution, and to dispose of the business or property of the institution. Experience in 1991 in the control of the Bank of Credit and Commerce Hong Kong Limited revealed ambiguities about the powers of the Manager appointed under Part X of the Ordinance. It is considered both necessary and desirable to spell out more clearly the scope, objectives, duties and powers of the Manager to ensure that he could carry out his duty effectively when an institution runs into problem.

There are a number of miscellaneous amendments made by the Bill, covering areas such as publication of audited annual accounts, submission of returns and information to the Monetary Authority, limitation on advances, restriction on the use of the name "bank" and others. These are considered necessary either to clarify various existing provisions in the Ordinance or cater for new developments in the banking sector.

Thank you, Mr President.

-j- ' < \

End/Wednesday, February 22, 1995 ■ k .. -. :>■

.'..r ■ ■ u

Occupancy rate of singleton hostels ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Peggy Lam and a reply by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

As the overall vacancy rate of the 17 singleton hostels provided by the Home Affairs Department for lodgers in ’’caged homes" is as high as 60%, will the Government inform this Council of the following:

28

(a) what measures it will take to enhance the occupancy rate of the hostels;

(b) whether it will consider relaxing the eligibility criteria for admission into the hostels, such as accepting applications from street sleepers and public assistance recipients; and

(c) whether it will review the effectiveness of singleton hostels in solving the housing problem of single persons since their inception in 1991, and whether it will review the future development of the singleton hostel service?

Reply:

Mr President,

Honourable Members will recall that at the resumption of debate on Second Reading of the Bedspace Apartments Bill in April last year, the Chairman of the Committee mentioned the need to rehouse lodgers who might have to be displaced from those apartments which may require improvement works to be carried out to enhance their fire and building safety. In response, I gave an undertaking that efforts would be made to rehouse about 1600 of the then existing 3200 lodgers through the Home Affairs Department’s own means and those of the Housing Department and the Social Welfare Department.

It was envisaged that the Social Welfare Department would take care of those who are eligible for compassionate rehousing through the Housing Department Compassionate Rehousing Scheme or through admission into welfare institutions. Those needy lodgers who fall outside these categories would be eligible to apply for admission into singleton hostels provided by the Home Affairs Department.

For the above reason, one of the eligibility criteria for admission into singleton hostels provided by the Home Affairs Department is that an applicant has to be an existing lodger of a bedspace apartment.

The licensing scheme under the Bedspace Apartment Ordinance is being implemented in phases. The demand for singleton hostel accommodation will rise steadily as the scheme gets under way and will reach its peak by the end of 1996 upon full implementation. The occupancy rate is relatively low at present because the peak has not yet been reached.

29

As singleton hosteL are established to fulfil Governments commitment to rehouse half of the bedspace apartment lodgers, it is not considered opportune to relax the eligibility criteria at this juncture to include non-bedspace apartment lodgers, such as street sleepers and public assistance recipients Vo do so will reduce our ability to rehouse needy bedspace apartment lodgers into singleton hostels at the appropriate time.

• Government will keep under review the effectiveness and the development of hostels run by the Home Affairs Department in rehousing bedspace apartment lodgers.

End/Wednesday. Februan 22. 1995

Review ol LegCo election expense limits under way *****

Following is a question by the Hon Henry fang Ying-yen and a reply by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs. Mr Nicholas Ng. in the I egislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

The 1995 Legislative Council Election will involve several modes of election and there will be a wide difference in the number of voters among the different constituencies, especially in the case of the newly created 9th functional constituency which will have a particularly large number of voters In view of this, will the Government inform this < ouncil what criteria it will adopt •< determine the maximum scale of election expenses ’or different constituencies so thai lair competition can be achieved?

Reply:

Mr President.

Election expense limits for Legislative (ouncil Municipal Council, and District Board elections set the maximum which candidates lor these elections may spend on their campaigns As the name of the term implies, the limits merely prescribe the overall ceilings. Within the limits, candidates arc entirely free to spend their resources in whatever ways they deem fit Needless to sav they are also entirely free to spend as much or as little as they like, provided thev stav within the prescribed limits.

30

The election expense limits for the three tiers of elections are reviewed from time to time. When carrying out such reviews over the years, we have been following the basic principle that the limits must not be so high as to deter aspiring candidates with only limited financial means, nor so low as to make it difficult for candidates to mount an effective campaign. In other words, the election expense limits are to provide, in the spirit of open and fair elections, a level playing field for all candidates.

We have applied the same basic principle in a review which is currently under way on the election expense limits for the September 1995 Legislative Council elections. In addition, we have also taken into account a number of practical considerations. These include:

(i) constituency sizes;

(ii) types and scales of electioneering activities likely to be commonly carried out by candidates; and

(iii) estimated cost of the common expenditure items, bearing in mind inflation in the past four years.

On the above basis, we have arrived at certain preliminary proposals on the appropriate ceilings for the coming Legislative Council elections. These are as follows:

First, for geographical elections, the current ceiling of $200,000 should remain. This proposal recognises the fact that whilst constituency sizes for the 1995 Legislative Council will only be about half that of the existing ones, inflation has gone up by about 50% in the past four years or so. A margin should also be built in to allow for more sophisticated, and therefore more expensive, electioneering activities which have become more common in recent years.

Secondly, for all existing functional constituencies except the Urban Council, the Regional Council, and the Rural constituencies, we propose a ceiling of $80,000. This proposal is principally an adjustment of the current ceiling of $50,000 to off-set inflation.

Thirdly, for the Urban Council, Regional Council, and Rural Council functional constituencies, we again propose status quo, i.e. a ceiling of $50,000. Having regard to the small franchises of these three constituencies and past pattern on election expenses, we believe that this figure should be sufficient to meet candidates' campaigning requirements.

31

Fourthly, for the 9 new functional constituencies, we propose a ceiling of $180,000. This figure reflects the relatively large electorate sizes of these constituencies, averaging about 300,000, and the fact that electors are scattered in different parts of Hong Kong.

Fifthly, for the Election Committee, we propose a ceiling of $50,000 on account of the size of its franchise.

Mr President, let me emphasise once again that the above figures are only preliminary proposals. We make no claim that we have got the figures exactly right. But, in our judgment, our preliminary proposals should form a sensible basis for discussion. We welcome comments and alternative proposals, both from this Council and from the community at large. Firm recommendations will be put to the Govemor-in-Council for approval in early May in the light of comments received. Our aim is to complete the necessary legislative process in June so that candidates will know for certain where they stand in good time before the elections.

End/Wednesday, February 22, 1995

Human rights reports to UN * * * ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Christine Loh Kung-wai and a reply by the Secretary for Home Affairs. Mr Michael Suen. in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

The United Nations Human Rights Committee announced in April 1991 that the fourth periodic report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights was due on 18 August 1994, but the British Government has now postponed the submission until mid-1995. In this connection, will the Administration inform this Council :

(a) whether it is aware of the reasons for such a delay; and

(b) whether a separate report on Hong Kong will be produced, as suggested

by several members of the Human Rights Committee?

32

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) The United Kingdom Government, as a State Party to the various treaties that apply to Hong Kong, is responsible for submitting periodic reports to the UN treaty monitoring bodies. The Hong Kong Government contributes to the preparation of the relevant reports by preparing and submitting to the UK Government draft reports in respect of Hong Kong.

The British Government faced an unusual situation last year in that four written human rights reports to the UN were due in the same year. These are reports under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This situation was exceptional.

The process for the United Kingdom Government to compile each report is complicated and time-consuming, involving several home Departments, as well as 11 Dependent Territories, and three Crown Dependencies. Some delay in meeting the deadlines has become inevitable. The UK Government has therefore decided to postpone the submission of the sections of the 1CCPR report in respect of its Dependent Territories and Crown Dependencies to this year.

(b) There will be a separate section on Hong Kong in the Fourth Periodic Report as there was in the Third Report. The British Government intends to submit the report under ICCPR in respect of Hong Kong this summer, and will express the hope that the Human Rights Committee will examine it at its 55th Session in the autumn. The timing of the examination is up to the Committee.

End/Wcdnesday, February 22, 1995

33

Criteria in formulating social service policies ♦ * * ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Fred Li Wah-ming and a reply by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Katherine Fok, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Two private survey reports indicate that about one sixth of the population in the territory are living below the ’poverty line'. As there is no official definition for either 'poverty' or 'poverty line', will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether it classifies those eligible for comprehensive social security assistance payment as 'the poor';

(b) of the criteria adopted by the Government in formulating social service policies for the lower-income group; and

(c) whether the Government will conduct surveys for the purpose of formulating an official definition for 'poverty line'?

Reply :

Mr President,

There appears to be a general consensus amongst experts that 'poverty' as such defies definition - whether in absolute or relative terms or by any other more subjective method. To seek to define it or a 'poverty line' for Hong Kong would serve no useful purpose. We would, as has been the experience elsewhere, no doubt fail to reach a consensus since any definition would involve the exercise of subjective value judgements.

My response, therefore, to the last part of this question is 'no' - the Government will not attempt to formulate an official definition of the 'poverty line'.

What is important, however, is how we go about identifying those in our society who are in need, those who are so disadvantaged that Government support should be provided to them.

For those who lack the means permanently or temporarily to provide for themselves we have a comprehensive safety net. The Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) Scheme is an important part of that net. The CSSA is means tested and the level of payment comprises standard rates supplemented by specific grants to meet the individual needs of our clients. Since we have no agreed definition of poverty or who is poor, the Government does not 'classify' those eligible for CSSA as poor.

34

In formulating our social service policies, the criteria adopted for assisting those who have low incomes necessarily vary from sector to sector depending on the public service concerned. Most of our social welfare services are made available to all and are not targetted exclusively at a lower income group, although those with lower incomes are accorded priority for some services such as child care centres, home help services and care and attention homes for the elderly. If a person cannot afford the fees charged for a service there are provisions for them to be waived or for support to be given through CSSA payments or other charitable funds. In the case of child care services, for example, there is a Fee Assistance Scheme.

In the case of medical services, these are provided on the principle that no person should be denied treatment through lack of means. Again waiver systems operate for those who cannot afford to pay. CSSA recipients are granted full exemption from fees.

In the case of public housing, in<?ome criteria for assessing eligibility are calculated by reference to the cost of renting housing in the private sector and the nonhousing expenditure required to maintain a reasonable standard of living for households of different sizes. In view of the costs of housing in Hong Kong it is not surprising to see that income eligibility criteria in this field are very different from those applicable to social security assistance. For those in need, the main principle of our housing policy is that no one should be made homeless. Use of transit centres and temporary housing areas ensure that this policy objective is met.

In the case of education, nobody is deprived of a place in the education system due to lack of means. In addition to nine years of free and compulsory education, Fee Remission Schemes ensure that students from low income families can also take part in kindergarten education and senior secondary schooling including sixth forms. At tertiary levels, needy students are eligible for a range of loans and grants. The households benefitting from these schemes range from the low-income to lower-middle-income families. Income eligibility criteria for these forms of support are, again, understandably different from those for social security assistance.

In answer to the second part of the question, I would therefore conclude that rather than formulating policies for a lower income group, we generally formulate our social service policies to address the social needs we see and then, having provided services to address those needs, we ensure that everyone, regardless of income, is given access to them, with priority given to those most in need.

End/Wednesday, February 22, 1995

35

Compatibility of Stage I and II projects of SSDS ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by Rev the Hon Fung Chi-wood and a reply by the Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands, Mr Tony Eason, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In its submission to the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council requesting an injection of $6.8 billion into the Sewage Services Trading Fund, the Government has given assurance that Stage I of the Strategic Sewage Disposal Scheme (SSDS) will be compatible with the Scheme’s Stage II projects of any design. However, the preliminary report on the SSDS submitted to the LegCo Panel on Environmental Affairs by the three independent experts commissioned by the Government indicates that the proposed Stage II oceanic outfall plan for the SSDS, which has all along been advocated by the Government, is not feasible. In view of this, will the government inform this Council:

(a) Why the Government has recommended the SSDS to this Council and the public before the Government has examined fully the feasibility of the primary treatment and oceanic outfall plan proposed by the consultants commissioned by the Government;

(b) whether the query by the three experts on the proposed primary treatment and oceanic outfall is an indication that there are problems with the consultants’ recommendations; why the Government has accepted the consultants’ recommendations without first examining their feasibility; and why the Government has not reviewed the consultants' recommendations earlier and has delayed it until recently to commission other experts to conduct the review;

(c) which part of the Stage I projects will be incompatible with the nine options for Stage II; what remedial measures will the Government take; and

(d) why the Government has assured the Finance Committee that the Stage I projects will be compatible with the Stage II projects of any design; and whether the Government has given incorrect information to this Council?

36

Reply :

Mr President,

(a) The Strategic Sewage Disposal Scheme - or the SSDS for short - is a 10-year capital programme for the collection, treatment and disposal of sewage in Hong Kong. As we have frequently made clear, this scheme is an essential, even critical component of our proposals to abate very serious water pollution and to protect public health. The present form of the SSDS is the result of a 2-year intensive study, completed in 1989, of over 1,000 possible disposal arrangements. An independent group of consultants confirmed, in 1993, that the scheme would be cost-effective and environmentally robust. Members of this Council have been kept informed of the progress of the scheme and the related engineering studies on a regular basis.

The Finance Committee on 4 February 1994 was asked to approve the injection of $6.8 billion to the Sewage Services Trading Fund to finance Stage I of the SSDS. We usually refer to Stage I as the High Priority Programme (HPP) as it will curtail up to 70% of harbour pollution when completed in 1997. We have assured Members that Stage I of the SSDS will form the fundamental building block for any system of higher level treatment that may be required. This still holds good. We have also made clear to Members our intention to review the oceanic outfall proposal - or Stage II of the SSDS - together with other alternatives, including secondary treatment processes, in parallel with the construction of the Stage I projects; and in doing so to take account of new technologies in sewage treatment and disposal that may have emerged since the first SSDS study in 1989.

We have also undertaken to report to the Environmental Affairs (EA) Panel of this Council the findings and recommendations of the Review of Stage II options within a few weeks of the formulation of its initial findings. This has already been done. The consultants' preliminary draft report became available to us in December 1994 and members of the EA Panel were briefed on the shortlisted options for Stage II by the consultants and the International Panel of Three Experts on 18 January 1995. This Review, may I point out, has not said that the original outfall proposal is not feasible, but that a shorter outfall could be considered if a higher level of treatment was provided for. The consultants recommended nine options for consideration as alternatives to the original Stage II outfall option and the Government is now examining these in detail. Neither the Government nor the Experts have taken a final view on the options identified in the Review or how this might affect the oceanic outfall proposal. Upon completion of the Report, it is our intention that the public should be consulted on the Stage II options.

37

While a final decision on the later stages of the SSDS can be taken after the public consultation, something must be done now to deal with our water pollution problem. Water quality in the harbour is poor and deteriorating. As a project of the type and scale of the full SSDS is best taken forward in stages in any case, the Government is getting on with Stage I of the SSDS, the High Priority Programme, which offers a speedy and cost effective first step remedy to our problem, as quickly as possible. Our first task therefore is to complete the High Priority Programme by 1997 to curtail harbour pollution by 70%. Our immediate aim is to prevent further deterioration in the water quality of the harbour and to protect public health. As I have said, the Stage I works will not pre-empt any workable Stage II option.

(b) As I have explained before, the present form of the SSDS is the result of a 2-year intensive study of over 1,000 possible disposal arrangements, the feasibility and effectiveness of which was confirmed by an independent group of consultants in 1993. To be confirmed as part of the long term solution the original Stage II option must be environmentally viable and Environmental Impact Assessment studies to examine this aspect have been started. We made it clear, from the beginning, that it would not be possible to proceed with the Stage II option without the satisfactory completion of a thorough EIA. This needs to be done with the cooperation and assistance of the Chinese authorities; and, eventually, their formal agreement would be required for any oceanic outfall option. There has never been any doubt about this requirement.

However, in the light of more recent developments in sewage treatment technology, the latest Review began in mid 1994 to determine whether more environmentally acceptable and cost-effective alternatives to the original outfall proposal could be identified. The independent examination conducted by the International Panel of Experts has basically endorsed the collection system and centralised treatment at Stonecutters and suggested some adjustments to the treatment level by proposing chemically enhanced primary treatment. Such adjustments are only to be expected during the implementation of long term technical and engineering projects on such a vast scale. This is why the Administration accepts the need to review Stages II to IV of the SSDS and to consult the public, the Advisory Council on the Environment, the Environmental Affairs Panel of this Council and the Chinese side in the process. I must emphasise, however, once again that the present Stage I works will not pre-empt any Stage II options and are basic and essential components of any system involving higher levels of treatment that may be introduced.

38

(c) No part of Stage I of the SSDS will be incompatible with possible Stage II options. As I have already said, the International Panel of Experts have made some suggestions as regards the treatment of sewage flows on Stonecutters Island and these are being examined as a matter of priority. They will not affect or delay the High Priority Programme. A commercial proposal to incorporate secondary treatment on the Stonecutters site was examined by the Review consultants but was found not to be feasible for reasons of operational complexity and cost.

(d) We assured the Finance Committee in February 1994 that Stage I of the SSDS formed the fundamental building block for any higher level of treatment that might be required. This was correct then and is correct now. Current Stage I works will be fully compatible with the possible options for Stage II. Indeed, the preference of the International Panel of Experts for connecting Hong Kong Island flows to the Stage I treatment works at Stonecutters only reinforces the need to get on with the High Priority Programme urgently.

End/Wednesday, February 22, 1995

Community participation necessary to tackle drugs problem

*****

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Tang Siu-tdng and a reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

As it is reported that drug traffickers are very active at Kam Tin in the Yuen Long district, will the Government inform this Council whether:

(a) drug traffickers in the district have become active as a result of insufficient police manpower:

(b) there is any plan to prevent drug trafficking in the district;

(c) any other drug trafficking black spots are known to exist in the district;

and

39

(d) there is any evidence to show that triads are involved in drug trafficking in the district?

Reply:

Mr President,

(a) Drug trafficking activities in the Yuen Long District bear no direct relationship to police manpower in the district. The present manning scale of the Yuen Long Police District is considered to be adequate; police manning scales are of course kept under review from time to time. It should be noted that Police enforcement action against drug traffickers is not confined to Yuen Long District police manpower; action is also taken by Police Regional and Police Headquarters units.

(b) The Police have taken, and will continue to take enforcement action, which has resulted in more arrests and improvements to the situation on the ground. In addition, assistance has been sought from the public, through the District Fight Crime Committee and community organisations in supplying information to the Police. But enforcement action alone does not provide a long-term solution to the drugs problem, which is not of course particular to Yuen Long District. Treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts, and preventive education and publicity are necessary to help reduce the demand for drugs. Thus, the Governor will chair a Summit Meeting on Drugs on 6 March to encourage community participation, and to draw on ideas from a wide sector of the community.

(c) Although street-level drug traffickers may concentrate in particular areas at particular times, they are highly mobile and they do change their locations and methods of operation quickly. Thus, while black spots can occasionally be identified, Police enforcement action tends to make them short-lived.

(d) It is believed that many street level traffickers have some sort of triad affiliations. However, there is little evidence to indicate that drug trafficking is directly related to triad activities.

End/Wednesday, February 22, 1995

40

Rank of HK Commissioner in London under review * * * * *

Following is a question by the Hon Emily Lau Wai-hing and a written reply by the Secretary for Trade and Industry, Mr T H Chau, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council whether -

(a) there is any plan to downgrade the post of Hong Kong Commissioner, London (D8 on the Directorate Pay Scale) by several ranks when the incumbent retires next year; if so, to what level it will be downgraded and what is the justification for doing so; and

(b) the post of Hong Kong Commissioner for Economic and Trade Affairs, USA will similarly be regraded downward upon the retirement of the present incumbent; if not, what the reasons are?

Reply :

The Government is progressively restructuring the London Office with a view to turning it into an economic and trade office by 1997. We see no justification for retaining the post of Hong Kong Commissioner, London, at the current D8 rank on the completion of the re-structuring in late 1996 or early 1997, at which time the London Office will have relinquished those of its traditional functions which are not directly related to trade and economic matters. The future rank of the post is under review and, while no decision has yet been taken, it will certainly be lower than D8.

The considerations which are relevant to the case of the London Office are clearly not applicable in respect of the United States. No change in the role of our economic and trade offices in the USA is envisaged and we do not have any plans to re-grade the post of Hong Kong Commissioner for Economic and Trade Affairs in the USA.

End/Wednesday, February 22, 1995

41

Veterinary service bill ready in 1995/96 legislative session

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Tam Yiu-chung and a written reply by the Secretary for Economic Services. Mr Gordon Siu, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the Agriculture and Fisheries Department's proposals for the enactment of the Veterinary Surgeons Registration Bill and the setting up of a Veterinary Committee, will the Government inform this Council of the progress to date and whether any long-term targets and programmes have been formulated?

Reply:

The demand for veterinary services has increased considerably in recent years. There has been a corresponding increase in the number of veterinary surgeons practising locally and in reports of unqualified persons providing veterinary services. In the interests both of the profession and animal welfare, consideration is therefore being given to the statutory registration of veterinary surgeons who wish to practise in Hong Kong and to related matters including qualifications, standards of practice, conduct and discipline. Our aim is to have a Bill ready for introduction into this Council during the 1995/96 legislative session.

End/Wednesday, February 22, 1995

Sale of Chinese medicine *****

Following is a question by the Hon Tam Yiu-chung and a written reply by the Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Gordon Siu, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

Regarding the sale of Chinese medicine containing controlled ingredients, will the Government inform this Council of:

42

(a) the types of controlled ingredients found by the Agriculture and Fisheries Department during the searches of traditional medicine shops conducted in 1994; and

(b) the criteria on which such searches are based?

Reply:

The types of controlled ingredients found by the Agriculture and Fisheries Department during searches of traditional medicine shops in 1994 were those originating from animals subject to licensing control under the Animals and Plants (Protection of Endangered Species) Ordinance. Some parts and derivatives of endangered species of animals used in traditional medicine, including rhinoceros horn and hide, elephant hide, bear gall bladders and bile, musk pods and grains, sea turtle shells and articles claimed to be tiger parts or crocodile meat were found, in addition to medicines claiming to contain ingredients from rhinoceroses or tigers.

Searches of traditional medicine shops arc conducted when the Department has reason to believe that endangered species scheduled under the Ordinance may be found on the premises. Such searches must be authorised by a magistrate.

End/Wcdnesday. February 22, 1995

Student hostel places at HK.IED *****

Following is a question by the Hon Timothy Ha Wing-ho, and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower. Mr Michael Leung, at the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Regarding the Hong Kong Institute of Education's new campus which will be built in Tai Po. will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the respective numbers of student hostel places planned for various courses; whether they will be adequate to meet the demand in the next five years; if not, what the reasons are; and

43

(b) the ratio between hostel places and the overall number of enrolments; how does this ratio compare with those adopted by institutions under the University Grants Committee ?

Reply :

Mr President,

U (a) A total of 1,500 student hostel places are planned for the full-time students on pre-service courses at the Hong Kong Institute of Education (HKIEd) whereas none are planned for the students on in-service courses. The Government does not specify how these hostel places should be allocated amongst the students.

In planning for the provision of student hostels at the HKIEd, the Government's policy is that Government contribution will be limited to 75% of the capital cost to enable up to 50% of the full-time students to be provided with hostels. This is in line with the policy on the provision of publicly-funded hostels for students in the tertiary sector as a whole as institutions funded by the University Grants Committee (UGC) are at present required to cover at least 25% of the total cost of a hostel project. Nevertheless, because of historical and locational reasons, the levels of provision of student hostels in the UGC-funded institutions vary.

1 laving regard to its unique academic mission in teacher education, the Institute considers there is a need to enable students to participate more fully in student activities and hence develop their social and organisational abilities and to provide easy access to the Institute's facilities for students to carry out their practical work. In view of the location of the campus, the Institute intends to seek private donations to provide maximum student accommodation in order to better fulfill the unique objectives of teacher education.

(b) The planned 1,500 student hostel places represent 37.5% of the projected full-time student population of the HKIEd when it moves into its new campus in September 1997. As mentioned in (a), the levels of provision of publicly-funded student hostels for the UGC-funded institutions vary, largely because of historical and locational reasons, and are as follows -

up to 25% of the full-time student population for the University of Hong Kong

44

up to 50% of the full-time student population for the Chinese University of Hong Kong

up to 30% of the full-time student population for the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

up to 50% of the full-time student population for the Lingnan College

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the City University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Baptist University are not provided with publicly-funded student hostels.

The UGC's review of the space and accommodation requirements of the UGC-funded institutions will be available by late 1995/early 1996 and the Government will consider whether the existing policy on the provision of student hostels at tertiary institutions needs to be adjusted.

End/Wednesday, February 22. 1995

Passenger safety in public light buses

*****

Following is a question by the Hon Chan Wai-yip and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Recently, there have been complaints by the public that in some sixteen-seat public light buses, no handrail is installed for the passenger seat immediately behind the driver's seat, which can easily cause danger to children and elderly passengers occupying this seat. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether:

(a) it will look into the design of seats of public light buses with particular regard to passengers' safety; and

(b) it will consider requiring public light bus operators to install a handrail behind the driver's seat?

45

Answer:

Mr President,

It. has always been Government’s concern that the seating and other arrangements inside public light buses (PLBs) should be designed to enhance the safety of passengers. For example, one of the requirements is that all 16-seat light buses must be fitted with a handrail between the door and the single passenger seat immediately behind the door.

The installation of a handrail behind the driver’s seat is not a prescribed requirement at present. In practice, however, many red and green minibuses already have these fitted and, indeed, this has been a standard feature in all new minibuses registered over the past 4 years.

Transport Department, in consultation with the PLB operators, will consider making the provision of such handrails a mandatory requirement.

End/Wednesday, February 22, 1995

Pilot programme to help unemployed local workers aged over 30 ♦ * * * ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Frederick Fung Kin-kee and a written reply by the Secretary for Education and Manpower. Mr Michael Leung, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

With regard to the Employees Retraining Scheme, will the Government inform this Council :

(a) of the annual breakdown of the number of participants in each of the courses under the scheme since its implementation;

(b) of the number of retrainees who have been able to find course-related jobs upon completion of their retraining programmes, and the annual breakdown of retrained workers in each course who have been able to find course-related jobs within six months after retraining: and

46

(c) whether the Government will consider formulating policies requiring employers to give priority to employing retrained workers before taking on imported labour to fill job vacancies; if so, whether there is a timetable for the formulation of such policies; if not, what are the reasons for not considering the resolution of the employment problems of local workers first?

Reply :

Mr President,

(a) The statistics on the number of participants in each of the courses provided by the Employees’ Retraining Board from 1992/93 to 1994/95 are at Annex.

(b) We do not have statistics on retrainees who have been able to find course-related jobs after completion of their retraining programmes. However, according to the results of an independent study commissioned by the Employees Retraining Board on the success rate of retrainees in finding jobs, 70.6% of the active job-seekers who completed the full-time Job Search Skills Course have been able to find employment while the corresponding success rate of those who completed other vocational skill courses is 59.7%. The full report is being finalised and will be published when it is completed.

(c) It is already an integral part of our policy on importation of labour that employers are required to give priority to recruiting local workers, including retrained workers to fill any job vacancies first before they are allowed to apply for imported workers to fill such places. It is in accordance with this policy that under both the General Importation of Labour Scheme and the special labour importation scheme for Airport Core Programme projects, we require employers who wish to import labour to first register their vacancies with the Local Employment Service (LES) of the Labour Department, and then furnish evidence of such efforts to the Immigration Department when applying for quota allocation.

To assist retrainees to re-join the local workforce, the LES of the Labour Department has been providing special counselling and job placement services to retrainecs in all of its nine local employment centres. In the past two years, a total of eight 'job bazaars' to promote the employment opportunities for retrainees have been organised. Profiles of retrainces have also been sent regularly to employers on request.

47

To achieve a better integration of the Employees Retraining Scheme and the LES, we will soon be launching a Pilot Employment Matching Programme to assist unemployed local workers over 30 years of age to rejoin the workforce. This involves the establishment of a Special Register at the LES to provide active placement service for job-seekers over 30 years of age on the basis of actual job vacancies registered by employers, either through direct job referrals, or referrals after arranging for job-seekers to attend job-related retraining courses organised by the Employees Retraining Board.

48

Annex

Number of participants in retraining courses offered by Employees Retraining Board 1992/93 - 1994/95

No. of Retrainees enrolled

1992/93 (4th quarter only) 1993/94 (1st to 4th quarter) 1994/95 (1st to 3rd quarter ie up to 31.12.94)

I General Retraining Programme

a) Courses on Job Search Skills - 6.907 9,906

b) Job-Specific Skills 535 3,650 2,237

Courses

c) General Skills Course 10 2,808 16,361

d) Skills Upgrading Course - 266 331

II Programmes for the Elderly 132 1,887

III Programmes for the Disabled & Accident Victims 55 764

Total 545 13,818 31,486

End/Wednesday, February 22, 1995

49

Profits tax paid by property business sector * ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Eric Li and a written reply by the Secretary for the Treasury, Mr Donald Tsang, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday);

Question :

Regarding the profits tax levied on the property business sector, will the Government inform this Council :

(a) whether the property business sector has been sub-categorised as a separate type of economic activity among the sources of profits tax levied by the Government, so that the precise amount of the profits tax paid and its share of the profits tax can be identified; if so, what the figure and its share in the 1993-94 fiscal year were;

(b) if the answer to (a) is in the negative, what was the proportion of the profits tax paid by the listed property companies to the total profits tax collected in the 1993-94 fiscal year; and

(c) how long will the tax assessment and collection process take to reflect the situation of the property companies' sharp decrease in profits due to the fall in property prices in late 1994 and 1995, having regard to the fact that property companies usually enter their profits from the sale of property into their accounts at the end of the fiscal year, and that it takes time to go through the procedures of preparing the accounts, auditing, filing declaration and assessment of tax; and whether the decrease in profits tax can only be fully reflected in the 1997-98 fiscal year?

Answer:

In reply to the Honourable Member's questions -

(a) for statistical purposes, the Inland Revenue Department operates a system of trade classifications which enables the profits tax contribution made by various business sectors to be identified. These statistics are published annually in Schedule 3 of the Annual Review of the Commissioner of Inland Revenue. However, it is not practicable to maintain records which would permit the precise amount of tax paid by every business sector to be ascertained.

50

For some years now, the profits tax contribution by the property business sector has been included under the heading "Estate Development, Investment and Finance (other than Banking)". This category takes in not only property businesses (both development and rental) but also share/bullion/commodity brokers and dealers, investment companies and merchant banks and finance houses which are not authorised institutions. Based on a sample of files, the Commissioner estimates that of the total profits tax contributed by companies coming within this category, some 80% was paid by property businesses. On this basis, he estimates that about $8 billion, or 20% of all profits tax contributions in 1993-94, came from the property sector.

(b) see (a) above.

(c) we cannot say yet whether the decline in property prices in late 1994 and 1995 has caused a sharp decrease in the profits of property companies, because the profits for that period have not yet been reported. However, if profits have decreased, the effect on the profits tax yield is likely to be reflected before the 1997-98 fiscal year. For example, companies which close their accounts on 31 March 1995 will have to file their tax returns by October 1995 with tax due for payment before 31 March 1996, i.e. within the 1995-96 fiscal year. Companies which close their accounts on 30 June 1995 will have to file their tax returns by May 1996 with tax due for payment by November 1996, i.e. within the 1996-97 fiscal year.

End/Wednesday, February 22, 1995

Plans to widen Castle Peak Road ♦ * * ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Zachary Wong Wai-yin and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport, Mr Haider Barma. in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

In regard to the traffic congestion along Castle Peak Road during peak hours in the morning (particularly the section between Sam Shing and Siu Lam), will the Government inform this Council:

51

(a) of the reasons for the congestion;

(b) what measures are in place to improve the situation; and

(c) whether there are any plans to implement a full-scale widening of Castle Peak Road; if so, what the specific plans are; if not, what the reasons are?

Reply:

Mr President,

Castle Peak Road can cope with traffic volumes experienced at normal times. Congestion does, however, occur occasionally during peak hours at signal junctions between Sam Shing and Siu Lam, in particular at Sam Shing, Tsing Yung Street and Gordon Hard. To address the problem, Transport Department made adjustments to the traffic signal timings in January this year. The indications are that this has resulted in an improved traffic flow. Transport Department will continue to monitor the situation closely.

To cope with the additional traffic generated by the new developments along Castle Peak Road near Tsuen Wan, a new dual two-lane bypass, Hoi On Road, was opened to traffic in early January 1995. Since then, the traffic flow in this location has improved considerably.

There are plans to widen Castle Peak Road between Tsuen Wan and Sam Shing. The programme is as follows :

(i) Tsuen Wan Area 2 to Ka Loon Tsuen

Highways Department is now carrying out an engineering feasibility study to widen this section of the road. The intention is to upgrade it to dual two-lane. The study will be completed by the end of this year.

(ii) Ka Loon Tsuen to Siu Lam

This section has already been widened to 10.3 metres to provide three lanes : two Tuen Mun-bound and one Kowloon-bound.

52

(iii) Siu_Lani-t.Q_S.Q-Kw.uii. W at

Highways Department is preparing a detailed design for widening this section to a dual two-lane carriageway. The construction work will commence in late 1995 for completion in mid-1998.

(iv) So Kwun Wat to Sam Shing

This section has already been widened to 10.3 metres, and there is now a dual two-lane carriageway adjacent to the Gold Coast development.

End/Wednesday, February 22, 1995

Plastic envelopes bring environmental problems *****

Following is a question by the Hon Mrs Peggy Lam and a written reply by the Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Gordon Siu, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Is the Government aware that the environmental problems caused by the extensive use of plastic bags have been exacerbated by the increasingly common use of large quantities of plastic envelopes? If so, will the Government inform this Council :

(a) of the volume of plastic envelopes currently handled each day by the territory's Post Offices; and

(b) what measures it intends to take to dispose of this type of plastic waste in order to prevent it from becoming another major environmental problem?

53

Reply:

Mr President,

The Government is aware that the environmental problems caused by the extensive use of plastic bags have been exacerbated by the increasingly common use of plastic envelopes in large quantities. Similar to other forms of consumer plastic waste, used plastic envelopes are disposed of mainly in landfills. A small proportion are incinerated. There is virtually no recovery of such waste because of its minimal recycling value.

On the average, the Post Office handles 200,000 plastic envelopes each day. Apart from adding to the volume of plastic waste to be disposed of, these plastic envelopes are also creating a serious operational problem to the Post Office because they cannot be processed by the Post Office’s Mechanised Letter Sorting System and have to be sorted manually. To discourage their use, especially by large mailers, the Post Office is now considering removing the printed paper discount from items mailed in plastic envelopes.

End/Wednesday, February 22, 1995

Anti-drugs effort needs to be redoubled ♦ ♦ * ♦ ♦

Following is a question by the Hon Timothy Ha Wing-ho and a written reply by the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday);

Question:

Juvenile involvement in drug offences and drug abuse has recently become a serious problem. According to some survey findings, there was a 35% increase in the number of young people who were involved in drug abuse in the 3rd quarter of 1994 as compared with that in the corresponding period in 1993, and the number of youngsters under 21 who were arrested for alleged involvement in drug offences had also risen by more than 30% over the past two years. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council whether it has formulated any long-term policy to tackle the worsening problem of juvenile involvement in drug offences and drug abuse; if so, what the details are; if not, why not?

54

Reply:

Mr President:

<’ - i. :i .* r 11U<

The Government is indeed very concerned at the rising trend of young people involved in drug abuse and drug offences. An important factor contributing to the recent increase in drug offences is the increased supply from drugs- producing areas. Vigorous enforcement and interdiction action is being undertaken. But enforcement action alone is not enough.

The Government's long-term policy to combat the problems of drug addiction and drug offences takes a multifaceted approach:

(a) Legislation and Enforcement

Our policy is to have in place the necessary legislation to combat drug offences, and to keep them up to date. Our enforcement agencies, including the Police, Customs and Excise Department and the Department of Health, take vigorous action to detect and prosecute offenders, and to clamp down on the illegal supply of drugs in Hong Kong.

(b) Treatment and Rehabilitation

A wide range of both mandatory and voluntary programmes for the treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts and substance abusers is provided in Hong Kong. These programmes are operated by the Correctional Services Department, the Department of Health, the Hospital Authority, the Society for the Aid and Rehabilitation of Drug Abusers, the Hong Kong Christian Service and a variety of voluntary groups.

(c) Preventive Education and Publicity

Our aim is to inculcate in our young people a healthy and positive attitude to life, and to encourage them to resist the temptation to take drugs. This is done through a variety of education and publicity programmes and material. The Education Department , the Social Welfare Department, the Information Services Department, districtbased organisations, voluntary agencies, schools and the media all contribute towards our joint effort.

55

Research is also carried out to better guide these various approaches and programmes. Playing an important co-ordinating role in this multifaceted approach is the Action Committee Against Narcotics, supported by the Narcotics Division Of the Security Branch.

We recognise that the seriousness of the drug problem, particularly as it affects the young, is such that we need to redouble our anti-drugs effort. The Government will, of course, play its part, but we need the support and participation of non-Govemment organisations, teachers, parents and indeed the community as a whole. In order to highlight the need for a concerted effort, and to tap the ideas of all concerned, the Governor will chair a Summit Meeting on Drugs on March 6, 1995. We hope that this will produce worthwhile ideas, which will be followed through.

End/Wednesday, February 22, 1995

Companies apply to carry on insurance business ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is a question by Dr the Hon Huang Chen-ya and a written reply by the acting Secretary for Financial Services, Mrs Lessie Wei, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question :

' ■ < I ((

(a) How many companies have applied for authorisation to carry on insurance business in the past three years?

(b) How many applications have been approved; how many have been rejected and what are the reasons for rejection?

Reply :

(a) Ten companies have applied for authorisation to carry on insurance business in the years 1992, 1993 and 1994. The number of applications in each of the three years was three, four and three respectively.

56

(b) Of the ten applications, three have been approved, two have been granted approval in principle, subject to their setting up a Hong Kong office in accordance with their business plan, and three are being processed. Further information is still awaited from the three applicants concerned to substantiate their financial position and their proposals for establishment of a Hong Kong office. No application has been rejected. However, two applications were withdrawn after the applicants realized that they were unable to meet the authorisation criteria for a strong financial position or the establishment of an office in Hong Kong.

End/Wednesday, February 22, 1995

Children of HK residents in China ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

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

_ . - . v >- • z • 9 .

Question :

According to the Government’s recent estimation, about 300,000 children of Hong Kong residents are living in China. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the basis on which the above figure is arrived at and the distribution by age groups in intervals of five years;

(b) the estimated number of such children who will become permanent residents of Hong Kong in 1997; and what variations of this figure are expected in the next two years;

(c) the estimated number of such children bom to unmarried couples and the

basis of the estimation; whether children of this category will be eligible to become permanent residents of Hong Kong; and whether the government has discussed the issue with the Chinese Government and reached any agreement; if so, what is the outcome of the discussion; and

57

(d) the number of children below the age of 15 who came to Hong Kong with one-way exit permits issued by China, together with the proportion of this group of children to the children of the same age group in the territory in percentage terms, in each of the past three years?

Reply :

Mr President, . Cr

(a) The figure of 300,000 is estimated on available data, including record of applications for Certificates of Absence of Marriage, legal immigration statistics, demographic statistics and assumptions about family size, and a survey conducted in 1991 of the number of Hong Kong men married to women in China. We do not have a breakdown of this figure by age groups of five years.

(b) We estimate that among these 300,000 mainland children, about 64,000 (as at the beginning of 1995) will have the right of abode in Hong Kong as from July 1, 1997 in accordance with the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. If the present rate of the entry of these children into Hong Kong for settlement remains unchanged, there will be about 55,000 such children in China by July 1997. That figure may of course be affected by any change to the current one-way permit quota, or by any change to demographic trends.

(c) Both sets of estimated numbers refer to legitimate children only. We do not have any estimate of the number of illegitimate children bom in China to Hong Kong residents. Whether illegitimate children bom to Hong Kong permanent residents will have automatic right of abode in Hong Kong under the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law is under discussion with the Chinese Government.

j . j

(d) The numbers of children under 15 who came to settle in Hong Kong under one-way exit permits in 1992, 1993 and 1994 are 7,853, 8,396 and 11,156 respectively. They constituted 0.66%, 0.71% and 0.95% of the under 15 population in Hong Kong in these three years.

T' ’ ' . ,lI-.‘?. .

End/Wednesday, February 22, 1995

.£> up

58

Contact between deaf electors and candidates

*****

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

Question:

Regarding the elections of the two Municipal Councils and the Legislative Council to be held this year, will the Government inform this Council of the following:

(a) whether the Government will consider arranging sign-language interpretation when open fora are held for candidates, so that deaf electors can understand the platforms of the candidates and raise questions thereon; if so, what the estimated manpower and expenses are; and

(b) if the answer to (a) is in the negative, what the reasons are; and what measures will be taken by the Government to facilitate the contact between deaf electors and the candidates?

Reply:

Open fora organised by the Administration for candidates during last September's District Board elections drew mixed response, with some fora having only one candidate appearing and audience size was very small at others. In view of this, no open fora are being organised for the forthcoming Municipal Council elections.

For the Legislative Council elections in September, the Administration has yet to decide whether open electoral fora will be organised for candidates. The Administration will certainly consider including sign-language interpretation if and when such fora are to be held, subject to the availability of sign-language interpreters.

Contacts between deaf electors and the candidates are not confined to participation at open electoral fora. Candidates often meet their constituents during home visits and other canvassing activities. They also make known their platform through the distribution of printed literature, either through the free mailing service provided by the Administration or other distributary channels.

End/Wednesday, February 22, 1995

59

Motion on immigration policy passed ♦ * ♦ ♦ ♦

A motion calling on the Government to review the immigration policy on the entry of spouses and children of Hong Kong residents from China, so as to reduce the social problems arising from split families, was passed at the Legislative Council sitting this (Wednesday) afternoon.

After members debated on the motion proposed by Hon Elsie Tu, the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, replied for the Government.

Another motion on public rental housing was also passed with amendments. The motion was moved by Hon Andrew Wong with amendments proposed by Hon Frederick Fung and Hon Lau Wah-sum.

The Secretary for Housing, Mr Dominic Wong, replied for the Government after members spoke on the motion.

During the sitting, the Human Organ Transplant Bill was passed with amendments.

Second reading debate was resumed on a private member's bill proposed by the Hon Michael Ho - the Immigration (Amendment) Bill 1993. After members spoke on the bill, the Secretary for Security, Mr Peter Lai, and the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Michael Leung, replied on behalf of the Government. The bill was finally vetoed by a vote of 28 to 21.

In addition, four bills were introduced for first and second readings. Debates on them were adjourned. They were the Legal Aid Services Council Bill, the Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles (Amendment) Bill 1995, the Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill 1995 and the Banking (Amendment) Bill 1995.

End/Wednesday, February 22, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Thursday, February 23,1995

Contents Page No.

Governor’s question and answer session in LegCo............................. 1

New arrangement for entry of PRC fisherman deckhands....................... 16

No decision yet on Government broadcast channels....................... 18

Residential mortgage survey results for January 1995 ...................... 19

Transcript of FS........................................................... 25

HK’s way of handling business attracts international fund managers..... 27

Incorporated owners support clearance of illegal rooftop structures.... 28

New school building for Ju Ching Chu English College....................... 28

Fire station open day...................................................... 29

Volunteers wanted to help offenders........................................ 30

BOE members visit Princess Alexandra Red Cross Residential School...... 31

Analysis of Hong Kong’s re-export trade statistics in 1994 ................ 32

Salesman fined for making incorrect tax returns............................ 35

Latest education and careers information for expo visitors................. 35

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations....................... 37

1

Governor's question and answer session in LegCo ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Following is the transcript of the Governor the Rt Hon Christopher Patten's question and answer session in the Legislative Council today (Thursday):

The President: The Governor will answer questions on the four topics which have been indicated to Members. A Member who has asked a question may for the purpose of seeking elucidation only ask a short follow-up question. Show of hands please. Dr David Li.

Dr David Li: Sir, Government officials have openly admitted that it’s not possible to return all Vietnamese boat people by the original target date of the end of 1995, and more than 100 boat people will be released into the open camp. Will you please inform this Council whether there will be a clear solution to the problem before 1997, in order to clear the refugee camps before the handover to China?

Governor: That is of course what we're working very hard to achieve and we'll keep on doing so. I think it's important to put our efforts into context. We've seen probably a more successfill programme of repatriation from Hong Kong than anywhere else in the Region. We've seen the return of I think it's now over 44,000 migrants from Vietnam back to their own country and the difficulties that we had last year were partly associated with the fact that understandably we had to interrupt the mandatory programme after the unfortunate events at Whitehead. 1 think that that had an effect on the flow of those who were voluntary returning to Vietnam. The figures for voluntary returnees had been running at about 1,000 a month, about 12,000 a year for the previous two years and I think that represented extremely satisfactory progress. I hope that we'll be able to see the programme picking up again and it remains, as we've been arguing very strongly in Kuala Lumpur in the last couple of days, it remains our objective to see the return of those migrants as rapidly as possible.

I'd just add a couple of points. Vietnam is turning itself into one of the more successful economies in the Region and I think that people in the Region and outside regard it as astonishing that migrants should be declining to return to an economy which is picking up speed so rapidly, not least thanks to substantial investment from Hong Kong.

Secondly, the Regional Programme has I hope received a boost, a stimulus with the Kuala Lumpur meeting, that was preparing the way for another meeting of the participants in the Programme, probably early next month in Geneva, when I hope that we'll be able to see substantive progress which will enable us to get on top of this problem once and for all. But I do want to add, as I’ve said to the Council before, that those who actually implement the Programme and make it work, not least members of our Correctional Services Department, deserve the understanding and thanks of this Council and of the whole community.

2

Mr Hui Yin-fat: Government plans to move a motion debate in LegCo on March 8th, on a mandatory Provident Fund Scheme and if the Scheme won the obvious support in LegCo then our Government will consult the Chinese Government and appoint a consultant to work out details of the Scheme. I think the working procedure is absolutely correct but at the same time Government had said that she will not guarantee for any investment risk nor can she be specific about implementation date. Governor, how can we as LegCo Members recommend to the general public a retirement scheme which cannot immediately provide for their retirement benefits and which cannot guarantee any investment risk? And if the Government scheme cannot get obvious support from LegCo, does it mean that the retirement scheme will be shelved for ever? Thank you Sir.

Governor: I hope we'll have a chance of a few exchanges on this issue because it's an extremely important one. I'll answer the points which the Honourable gentleman has made but I hope we have some other questions on this important matter as well.

First of all, I don't think that it would be remotely right, remotely sensible for the Government to offer taxpayer guarantees against investment risk. I think that would be an astonishing way of behaving. It would encourage fund managers to behave recklessly with the money that was in their care. I'm sure it's right for us in devising a scheme to guard against fraud and related problems and to ensure that in its financing the scheme does that and provides us with some protection, some insurance. But I don't think that any responsible or prudent Government would seek to place on the taxpayer the liability for mistakes made by fund managers or by financial advisers in the private sector.

On timing, I guess, we've been talking about this for 30 years I understand, I guess that if the debate continues much as it has for the last three years or 30 years we could go on talking about it for 300 years. That's perhaps a conservative estimate. I just remind the Council what the position is. In 1992, we put forward for discussion proposals for an RPS which were strongly criticised, partly criticised on the grounds that they didn't deal with immediate need, that they didn't deal with the problems of the lower paid, that they didn't deal with the problems of housewives. So we went back to the drawing board and we tried to come forward with a scheme which met all those problems while remaining financially prudent and we put forward our Old Age Pension Scheme. I've looked at all the editorials and media coverage of the Pension Scheme and in case Honourable Members forget, it didn't receive an enthusiastic thumbs up from the media. It didn't actually receive an enthusiastic thumbs up from Chinese officials, from the business community or from this Council.

3

I had a very engaging afternoon earlier this week reading the debate once again that took place in this Council in November. There was only one Member of the Council, as perceptive and wise as ever, who gave us completely unqualified support for the introduction of the Pension Scheme, one, one Councillor out of this whole great august institution. So I’m slightly surprised now when people tell me that there was overwhelming support for the Scheme. I think the opinion polls show that there was a great deal of support for the Scheme and show that there’s still a great deal of support for the Scheme, but the Legislative Council hasn’t, perhaps in its wisdom, but certainly hasn’t reflected that support.

So we're intent on proceeding this time, first of all by taking the view of the Legislative Council and 1 hope that that will demonstrate that we're nearer this time to establishing a consensual position on this issue. But if we don't, if we can't find a consensus on this issue, 1 don't think that the Legislative Council or anybody else should expect us to go away and think up a new scheme so that we can make this into a sort of annual ritual. We would very much like, having put in hand with the help of this Council, measures to greatly improve services for the elderly, we’d very much like as well to deal with the issue which many Honourable Members have talked about over the years, the issue of financial protection for the elderly. I think it would be very good for Hong Kong if we were able to resolve that issue before other very important issues come along in 1997, but if, if we can't do that, I beg the Council to understand that we can't indefinitely search our desk for new schemes.

So I hope that we can proceed on the basis that we're now suggesting, that seems to us to represent the best chance of finding an acceptable way forward, acceptable to the whole community, but it will be for the Council to make its views known on the 8th March.

Mr Lee Cheuk-yan: Mr Governor, I would now like to ask a question on the OPS as well. In your reply to Mr Hui Yin-fat you said that this Council has got only one Councillor giving unequivocal support to the scheme but 1 would say many Members here would support a tripartite pension scheme for the elderly; they don't want that only the employer and the employee would have to contribute, they want the Government to join in as well. But you are now raising the expectations of the elderly and then dashing their hopes. Do you still think that the OPS is the best option?

And secondly, how can you remedy the situation? You have raised their expectations and now they have got nothing. How are you going to make an account to the elderly people? What kind of measures will you take so that they can live a dignified life after retirement, because you know very' well that a mandatory retirement scheme as spelt out in your Policy Address will take 20 to 30 years to be effective. So, I hope I can get from you a very clear answer so that we can give an account to the elderly people. We should give an account to those who are already retired. What can you do to protect their lives after retirement?

4

Governor: I think, first of all, I must welcome the Honourable Member to the Council. We have met in all sorts of places in the past - street comers, trade union meetings -but this is the first time we have met in the Council and I welcome him to this body where I am sure he will make an important contribution.

I think, if I may say so, - and one must of course be extremely polite to people in any legislature when one addresses them the first time, and I hope, subsequently -1 think, with respect to the Honourable Member, he is pointing up some of the problems that I mentioned earlier. He was prepared to endorse our pension scheme provided we did things that we thought would be wholly imprudent and wholly wrong. We were actually proposing a pension scheme under which the Government would make a substantial contribution. In the early years, if you rounded all the figures up, we were, I think, contributing over 30 per cent. But whatever the Government proposed in that scheme, Honourable Members said, was not enough. We kept on being pressed to do more, to put in more, to add more to that scheme in a way which I think would have been wholly unreasonable and would have actually produced some of the difficulties and some of the problems which people anyway were accusing us - of doing things which made no financial sense in order to try to help elderly people.

Dashing hopes; well, I think that fewer hopes would have been dashed if some of those who now tell us that they were in favour of the pension scheme had argued for it and worked for it, without any of those massive nuclear qualifications, when we actually introduced it. If I was to be able to say, looking back on the Legislative Council's Debate in November: 'It was wonderful, there was only one person who spoke against it', I would be in a rather better position, because I do think that that scheme represented a prudent and generous and immediate way of dealing with the problem which we all recognise exists.

Unless we bring forward a scheme which has community support - and I mean by that which has the, at least, implicit endorsement of business, of the future sovereign - and the explicit endorsement of this Council, which enjoys support outside the Council too - unless we can do that, we are not going to be able to work for the elderly in a way which will last. I hope that we can get a scheme in place, because I think the elderly deserve it.

5

But what of those elderly who are in need today? I am obviously, principally aware of the figures of support for the elderly over the last three years, since the summer of 1992. I look at CSSA rates over that period and they have gone up considerably. It's not playing with figures. I'm not saying that it necessarily represents all that should or could be done but the figures are astonishingly impressive. For any single person on CSSA, the figures have increased by 58 per cent in cash terms since the summer of 1992, or 29 per cent in real terms, after allowing for inflation. The figures for a family of four or larger are even more impressive. So, we have increased the support that we provide for the elderly in need and for others in need. And when the Council or others say, 'But you haven't yet done enough', they do have to remember that we not only have to be as generous as we can be, but as prudent as Hong Kong must be over the next few years. So, 1 hope that in meeting our obligations to the elderly and to others under CSSA and in other ways, we will also remember our obligations to run the economy as smoothly as possible.

Mr James Tien: Thank you Mr President. Governor, the Liberal Party and the business community welcome the decision to shelve the OPS and we are very much in support of the Government's new proposal for a mandatory privately managed retirement scheme. We will support the motion as outlined by the Government yesterday. However, yesterday there was a press statement that was released which outlined several of the main features. However, one main feature that was not included is the point that we were worried that of the 2.8 million people that are working, when we have any mandatory retirement scheme we want to cover all of them. The point 1 want to raise is that, would Government consider either running or setting up a statutory body to manage those self-employed and the employees of the small employers, let's say with five workers or less. They will certainly not be the majority of the 2.8 million workforce; they possibly might total several hundred thousands. Otherwise, this group of people will be left out without any scheme and we certainly would not like to see that happen.

Governor, the second point is that, a Government spokesman who released the press statement yesterday - I assume it is not Mr Michael Leung, Secretary for Education and Manpower - the first statement he made was: If we are to propose an alternative to the OPS then we must have the clear support of the LegCo, clear support from LegCo will mean that we will proceed - and so on and so forth. We would like to understand a bit more on your wording of "clear support". 1 hope it doesn't mean 58-1. I hope it means something like 29-28 would still mean clear support and that you will go ahead and not defer this with further consultation into the SAR Government. Thank you, Governor.

6

Governor: I am comfortable with any sort of vote as long as it is a majority. As somebody once said: a majority is the best repartee. What we need to be able to do is to be reasonably confident that we can carry the Legislative Council with the overall thrust of our policy and put the main legislation and the subsidiary legislation in place thereafter. We are not hung up on any particular figure, though I have to concede to ■ the Honourable gentleman that 58-1 sounds like a pretty good figure to me. I'm not sure who the one - No, the one I think will be on the Honourable gentleman's left.

So, as far as we are concerned we want to take the Council's mind, we want to explore with the Council and with others in the community, whether there is a way, at last, that we can nail this issue down for once and for all. People have accused us of doing a U-turn on our policy. That is, strictly speaking, untrue; we have done two U-tums. We brought forward proposals in 1992 with good intentions - it is not part of some cynical exercise to put off reaching a decision, we are actually trying to crack a problem; that is what government should be about. We were told that that approach was no good, so we brought forward another set of proposals which we thought met the criticisms of the first set of proposals and then we were told that was no good. Now we have brought forward yet a third set and some of the people, even some of the media organisations which were denouncing us for what we said over the second set of . proposals are denouncing the third set of proposals on the grounds that they don't meet the sort of objectives which the second set of proposals were trying to meet. When you lead, you do have to be able to look over your shoulder from time to time and see people behind you, and that is what I hope that we can do this time.

We are accused as well, and this is what 1 want to come to, the Honourable Member's first point - we are accused as well, of not having met every problem, having worked out every detail. We haven't. We wanted to get a broad steer from this Council and then go away with our consultants and try to hammer out all the detail afterwards, including the sort of points which the Honourable Member made in his first question. We have seen the clear necessity to get involved in helping to establish a scheme to deal with the problems of some of the smaller employers, some of the smaller groups of employees, who I think will need some sort of reserve scheme which the Government helps to establish. Whether we need to go beyond that is a matter that we will be very happy to discuss with the Honourable Member and other Honourable Members. I repeat, we can't make this work unless we can get support right across the community. And to follow what the other Honourable Member was saying a moment or two ago. there are expectations, there are hopes which we don't want to dash but which we want to meet in as sensible and generous and prudent a way as possible.

4

7

Mr Tam Yiu-chung (through interpreter): Thank you Mr President. I’d like to talk about retirement protection with the Governor. The Governor said that with regard to the OPS public opinion does not support it and therefore it has been shelved. Now the Government received submission on OPS and I would like to point out that recently a TV station commissioned a polling company to conduct a public survey for the OPS. It was found that 70 per cent of the respondents supported the OPS and the Governor stated that in this Council there was only one Councillor who supported the OPS unconditionally.

Now I would like to make the following points: with regard to the OPS, now in the consultation paper very often when it was debated in this Council, Councillors of course put forward suggested improvements. When we propose improvements that does not mean that we do not support the scheme and if the Government wants to proceed with a certain thing, I think the Government would have the support of the Council. Last time you pushed the reform package, that was a case in point and last > night Government officials in the afternoon lobbied hard against Mr Ho’s Private Member’s Bill. So you yourself Mr Governor, and your subordinates are very skilful in lobbying and very often you are successful. So, on this point you need not be overworried and very often you say that you put forward proposals and many people criticise the proposals and there are counter proposals. That is quite o.k. With regard to retirement issues, if you want to find an absolute consensus, well you need not go further because you will not succeed. You will never get 100 per cent consensus.

.h

Lastly, you said that for this mandatory private provident fund you would like to know the thinking of the Council. That is unfair to LegCo because you've just outlined the Scheme. You do not give us the details of the Scheme so that we can . make a choice. That being so, if you ask us for support that is what is unfair because on these sketchy details we may not give you ready support and then if we do not give h you ready support you will drop it. So on the 8th March, if you force Councillors to indicate their stand, that is rather unfair, that is unreasonable too. Thank you.

Governor: I'd like to say straightaway that while I read the Honourable gentleman's, speech in the debate on the 9th November, and did find his conditions or qualifications . j fairly extensive, nevertheless it's true that the Honourable Member supported the r thrust of the Government's proposals and did so, I think, from time to time extremely bravely. Both he and I, I guess, would have found ourselves lumped strange bedfellows in the same category as Euro-socialists which for some is, which is itself ideologically curious, apparently a term of abuse.


8

Let me correct something that the Honourable Member said. I don't think that I've ever said that public opinion didn't support our Old Age Pension Scheme. I think public opinion by every yardstick that's been applied, actually did support and probably still does support our Old Age Pension Scheme. Most of the polls, and there have been several in newspapers as well as the television poll that the Honourable Member referred to, most of the polls suggested support of between 60 and 70 per cent and I dare say that in other communities and in other constitutional situations that would have manifested itself more clearly in the debate on the 9th November, but it can't be said that we can point to as extensive support as we require elsewhere and I won't go through the litany of our critics once again.

;i ‘ .ft: ' ■

I can assure the Honourable Member that I would not be backward in coming forward with examples of great support if they existed because I would prefer to get on with a Scheme that we were advocating in good conscience last year and not spin from U-turn to U-turn. But the sort of support that we need hasn't actually manifested itself, or maybe it will suddenly remanifest itself in the debate on the 8th March, we shall watch out for that with great interest.

Secondly, the Honourable Member was very complementary about the skills of the Government in securing majorities in this Chamber. We have, from time to time, been able to secure majorities for important parts of our strategy. Indeed we've normally managed to secure majorities, but I don't think that we had the impression after the 9th November, that we were going to be able to get even a majority of one on this. But conceivably the 8th March will prove us wrong. I shall see.

Thirdly, the Honourable Member said that it was unfair for us to expect the Council to reach a view on the 8th March, without having all the details in place, but if we put forward proposals with all the details carefully worked out and in place the Honourable Member and others would probably accuse us of not properly consulting the Legislative Council and not being prepared to listen to views and to listen to advice. So we'd be hanged whichever course we followed.

I don’t know a better course than the one that we are now proposing. We’re not, and perhaps the success of our recent whipping would confirm this in the Honourable gentleman’s estimation, we’re not complete political innocents. We do actually understand some of the hazards of the course of action in which we're involved but as ever in life and politics there are hazards whichever options one follows and I do want and I think that a majority of this Council wants, and I’m sure that the majority of the community wants to try to sort this issue out one way or another before 1997. It's not going to be any easier in 1997,1 didn't make a political point. The Government of the SAR is going to have lots of problems to deal with on its plate, as we do today, and if we can get this one sorted out before then I think that will be helpful to the future SAR Government and certainly helpful to the whole community.

jb

9

Mr Tam Yiu-chung (through interpreter): Thank you for allowing me to ask a supplementary question. First of all I thank the Governor for paying so much attention to my speech on the 9th November, I hope I can share the same view with you on many occasions but many a time I'm disappointed. 1 think if you give us the details of the plan Members here will not object to it because of the details attached. With details it will facilitate our expression of opinion on the Scheme and it is not the case that all the views expressed by the Administration will be accepted. Difference in opinion, in my view, is all right because difference in views will enable the Administration to take a more global view on the issue.

If the Governor attaches a great amount of importance to consensus then you should pay attention to this consensus, I don't think anyone in this Council will object to this idea. We would like to implement a plan to increase CSSA payment to $2,500 per month. I hope the Governor will implement this as soon as possible.

Governor: On the first question, of course I will pay a great deal of attention to what the Honourable gentleman says during the next debate on retirement protection, just as I always pay attention to what he says. I hope I'm not blighting his career by these complements but of course I always take what he says very seriously and of course some of our detailed proposals will come out in the speeches from the Administration during the debate, but we won't have every issue, every detail hammered down by that debate. We hope that we can get consultants to work after that debate if the Council points us in the right direction and 1 hope that there will be enough detail in what we say to secure a good majority in the Council for dealing with this question for once and for all and not having to put it on the shelf for a later date.

The Honourable Member referred, and 1 think it's a point that we'll hear about frequently over the coming weeks and months, the Honourable Member referred to CSSA rates and to the desirability of establishing a rate for the elderly of $2,500. I assume that $2,500 is arrived at by taking the figure that was proposed in our pension scheme of $2,300 and making an adjustment for inflation. It would be wrong of me to get too much involved in detail about this before the Budget and before the debate on the 8th March, and that's not meant as anything other than a statement of the obvious. But perhaps I can just make one or two cautionary remarks without once again repeating what I said earlier about the increase in CSSA rates over the last three years.

First of all, I am a little surprised that those who used to criticise us for mixing up, in their words, welfare and pensions and retirement protection, arc doing precisely the same by applying the figure that we proposed for our pension scheme to the correct, in their view, benefit level for CSSA.

10

Second, we are, again in good faith, undertaking at the moment a review of CSSA, not only for the elderly but for everyone. We're looking at issues like eligibility criteria, we're looking at service to customers, we're looking at the payment of special grants and we're looking, with the help of the household expenditure survey, on how much in our view and the communities view, those who are in need, those who have financial needs which they can't meet through their own efforts, how much they actually require in Government help, in taxpayers support every week.

I think that it's important to deal with this issue rationally as well as generously and I hope that we won't think it correct to proceed by snatching figures out of the air without taking account of the broader picture. If one compares the needs of children, of single parents and the elderly, which priority does the community and does the Legislative Council want us to follow? I think it makes more sense to be able to consider these issues rationally rather than consider them in the way that some people are at present suggesting.

And there's one other point that I want to make. We have seen a very large increase in social welfare spending in the last three years. Some people think it's been too large. I think it's represented a proper response by an increasingly prosperous community to social need, but it's also been a generous response which we could afford and we've never, at any time, broken the iron rule which we've set ourselves of not allowing recurrent expenditure to increase faster than the trend rate of growth in the economy. I think it would be very very unwise for us to break that rule. Hong Kong isn't going to have as easy a time as one might like over the next two and a half years or 1 would suspect the two and a half years after that because a lot of the world is going to be watching us very carefully and assuming that we won't do as well as I'm sure we will do. Something we have to hold on to is our reputation for being financially responsible in conducting our affairs. I think that is absolutely imperative and 1 hope that we'll always remember that and I hope that we won't get into a sort of Dutch auction in welfare spending or other sorts of spending which would do irreparable damage to our reputation for running this community and running this economy exceptionally soundly.

Mr Peter Wong: Governor, those who are lucky enough to earn more than they need after paying their daily living expenses, taxes, and the contributions to the proposed mandatory contributory scheme, should be encouraged to save for their old age to attain a comfortable standard of living. Will the Government follow the World Bank Report to adopt measures to make voluntary schemes over and above the basic minimum, i.e. the third pillar in that Report, make it widespread?

Now, also. I must not forget the first pillar of the Report, that the welfare pillar has also got to be strengthened so that we can help all those who cannot really help themselves.

11

Governor: I think the World Bank Report which the Honourable gentleman referred to was extremely important and it did remind us all of the part which, what the economists call 'social equity investment', plays in successful and efficient economies. I don't happen to think, as some cruder critics appear to, that spending more money on education, on welfare, on health, somehow damages the economy. Actually, if you are sensible and prudent about it, it helps the economy and helps, I think, to add legitimacy as well as credibility to the system of market economics. I feel that extremely strongly.

The World Bank, of course, also counselled against the sort of extravagant welfarism which has had such dangerous consequences in some OECD countries, not just in Western Europe but in North America as well. And I think it would be curious if on the one hand we were to commend the World Bank's approach and allegedly counsel against that same famous Euro socialism, while on the other hand we were allowing public expenditure to rise faster than the economy was growing. 1 don't think one can have it both ways.

The Honourable Member is also right to say that we should encourage more saving than that implied in any given retirement protection scheme and that in particular, those who want to save over and above what is proposed in the basic scheme should be encouraged. I accept that, though 1 have some reservations myself about hanging on our tax structure lots of encouragements and incentives and inducements to this or that sort of economic or social behaviour. I think the best way you encourage people and the best way you incentivise people is by concentrating on basic rates of tax, whether profits tax or salaries tax, rather than opening up all sorts of new inducements and incentives.

Mr Peter Wong: I am not talking about incentives. I think one should really remove the disincentives. I. myself, being a professional practitioner, there is nothing that I can do tax-wise in order to save for my old age. whereas someone working for a company has all the tax incentives in the world.

Governor: I know the Honourable Member is an experienced professional in these matters, which I am not. In my personal life it is a pleasure to employ people like the Honourable gentleman and I will certainly follow what he said and discuss it with the Financial Secretary.

Dr Tang Siu-tong: Mr Governor, I would like to follow up on the point made by Mr David Li on Vietnamese migrants. The Government is saying that the Vietnamese economy is becoming better and the migrants may wish to return to Vietnam. Now, Mr Governor, is it true that by 1997 all the migrants will be returned to Vietnam? And for the thousand odd Vietnamese migrants who have criminal records, they will not be easily resettled; if they cannot be returned to Vietnam will they stay in Hong Kong after 1997?

12

Governor: It is our objective to see all Vietnamese migrants returned before 30 June 1997. We want to see them all return home and I don't want anybody to have the impression that if they hang around long enough they will be allowed to stay in Hong Kong or they will get an easy berth to some other community. I just add, that one of the reasons why Vietnam is doing as well as it is, is because of the huge Hong Kong investment in Vietnam. Our entrepreneurs, certainly I think in terms of cash but maybe also in terms of the number of actual investment opportunities, are top of the league in Vietnam.

Miss Emily Lau: Thank you Mr President. 1 want to ask the Governor a question on law and order. I think in these final days of colonial rule there is a lot of concern about possible deterioration in law and order amongst the entire community and also amongst the international investors and this concern stems from the fact that because of the rapid growing ties with China, the fact that in China there is scant regard for law and order and also there is rampant corruption and we're afraid that that sort of practice would be imported into Hong Kong. There is also concern because of law reforms to do away with some of the outdated and sweeping powers but people are afraid that the law enforcement agencies feel that some of their effective weapons have been taken away and so the question of finding the right balance and finally concern because of the declining authority of the Administration.

So Mr President, I want to ask the Governor whether he feels that these concerns are justified and why we all feel that Hong Kong is right now still a fairly safe city, does he already see signs that people should be concerned about and most importantly what is the Administration doing to address these concerns? Thank you.

Governor: The Honourable lady always manages to pack a great deal into a question and usually asks the most important questions and 1 don't think there is a more important question than this one for us all to address and concern ourselves with over the next two and a half years. Why? Because the rule of law is part of the magic that's produced Hong Kong. Apart from a harbour, Hong Kong has no natural resources to speak of. but it does have the entrepreneurial ism of the people of Hong Kong and it does have a body of rules and laws which mean that people can go about their lives as they wish. That they can conduct business in a clean way. That they can know that their own rights and freedoms won’t be abused by anybody, by anybody. They have those protections and they have that certainty which produces two things. First of all it helps to produce the ideal conditions for prosperity and secondly it produces a decent, generous, caring, ordered society.

13

One should never ever be complacent about things like crime statistics because for somebody who's just been mugged or for somebody who's been sexually assaulted or for somebody whose shop has been broken into or whose flat has been robbed, for somebody in those sort of situations the only statistic that matters is the terrible personal tragedy which they've just suffered. But putting that on one side, the statistics in Hong Kong, given what is happening in the rest of the world, are astonishing. And they say a good deal about this community and its values. 1 doubt there can be more than a handful of other places in the world which can actually point to violent crime figures falling. I doubt that there are many places which can point to detection rates rising. People often say when they're talking about Asia, one of the great things about Singapore is that crime is so low in Singapore. Crime is lower in Hong Kong than it is in Singapore. That's what the latest Interpol statistics tell us. We have far more policemen per number of population than most other comparable communities and we intend to keep things that way. All those things help to ensure that Hong Kong remains a place where people want to live and want to do business.

I think there are three things dealing with the specific issues that the Honourable lady made. Three things that we have to try to ensure between now and 1997.

First, that we don't do anything ourselves which undermines the rule of law. Honourable Members will know, and I won't go over the arguments again, the connections which I've always drawn and I think which the Honourable lady would draw, between the role of a Legislature cleanly elected and the rule of law, but that is just one aspect of the issue. I think we have to be absolutely determined that we don't do anything which allows the way we do business in Government to be less clean, that we do nothing which allows corruption to ooze into our way of life as though it was some natural and acceptable phenomenon, it's not. Start to think that a little bit of corruption is all right, that it's somehow culturally the regional way of doing things, allow any of that to start to happen and Hong Kong and other communities will very very rapidly become a great deal less successful than they have been. So first of all we have to stand foursquare behind the rule of law.

Secondly, we do have, and the Honourable lady is entirely right to hound the Administration on this issue, we do have to clear up the statute book and to make sure that some antiquated laws which we would never dream of using today, that some antiquated laws which aren't in line with the Bill of Rights, arc dealt with before 1997. I'm sure that others would want to deal with them otherwise after 1997, as unfortunate relics of colonialism. I don't want things that aren't in agreement with the Bill of Rights to still be hanging around for longer than they should. That affects a number of issues, it affects freedom of speech which the Honourable lady was questioning Administration officials about the other day, it affects other matters too. The Public Order Ordinance which the Council is at present considering is a good example of an area where one needs to make sure that legislation is brought into line with contemporary practice in a way which enhances rather than reduces the real authority and responsibility and powers of the Police Force.

14

And thirdly, I don't intend that the Administration should allow its authority to seep away, to decline between now and 1997. This is a point that I've made before. I think it is in the interest of the SAR Government that its predecessor should have the maximum authority, should have the maximum effectiveness, right up until midnight on the 30th June, 1997. The authority of Government, whether it's before or after 1997, matters to Hong Kong and I don't intend to do anything which relinquishes the Government's control of the agenda over the next two and half years. Yes, of course we want to talk and co-operate with representatives of the future sovereign power but we're not going to put difficult problems on hold. We're not going to put any difficulties in the freezer. We're not going to say, this or that problem is too difficult for us now we'll leave it to 1997. That would be bad for Hong Kong. It would be bad for the morale of the Civil Service and we're not going to do it.

Miss Emily Lau: Mr President, just a short follow-up to a very long answer. It's all very well for the Governor to say that you don't want authority to seep away, and I'm sure your officials would share that view, but how do you actually do it? I mean power is slipping away. You are a declining Administration. Your days are numbered and your ability to make decisions is getting smaller and smaller. So how can you convince us, the community and your officials, that this is not going to happen?

Governor: Well, I hate to sound too gloomy in responding to the Honourable lady but there's a real sense in which all our days are numbered and I suppose we should be aware of that from the first moment we get up in the morning.

Let me respond to the Honourable lady's rhetorical flourish like this. A good deal of the time I find myself being criticised and my colleagues are criticised for being too aggressive in taking things forward. For being too sharp in our interpretations of the agenda that we wish to pursue. It's not easy to criticise us on the one hand for being sharp-taloned eagles and on the other hand to criticise us as lame ducks. I think that we're and will remain an effective Administration. People have been talking about declining or waning authority since about 1982 or '83 but here we are still in business and still actually I believe running Hong Kong exceptionally effectively. Look at the statistics which tell their own story.

But, the closer we get to 1997, the more we will need to prepare the community for the change of sovereignty in 1997 and I am not unaware of the implications of that. I hope that those who will be responsible for Hong Kong after 1997. Hong Kong people running Hong Kong, will themselves recognise that the authority of Government matters before the 30th June, as well as afterwards.

15

Mr James To: Mr President, the Governor said he would not do anything to undermine the rule of law in Hong Kong. But I want to tell you one thing in passing here: recently a magistrate ruled in a case, against Ming Pao, he ruled that Article 30 of the POBO was against the Bill of Rights Ordinance, and before the Government even digested the ruling, the ICAC said this is just a ruling by a magistrate and it is not binding and therefore the rule will still be enforced, that is to say, Section 30 of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance. Although he is just a magistrate, but the ruling was made in a judicial process. 1 wonder whether you arc aware of this? And I think this is an important matter; the rule of law is at stake.

I hope the Governor will convene a summit meeting on drug abuse among youngsters. 1 am glad to learn this because if you personally take up the role to convene a meeting like this and then if you agree to the views and if the community supports the policy related to the issues, there will be implementation. How much time would you need to prepare yourself for this issue? Would you say that this summit meeting which will last for a short time will enable you to have a full grasp of the issue? And before you convene this meeting, what are the points that you consider to be crucial? What can be done before the meeting? And in planning for the summit, are you prepared to take in views from the community?

Governor: On the first question, we are considering, as the Honourable gentleman knows, the implication of the magistrate's decision in the Ming Pao case. The whole community has debated Section 30 on a number of occasions, most recently in relation to the Sohmen Committee's Report, and we will bear that in mind as well when we consider exactly what best to do about the judgment in that Ming Pao case. But as I said earlier, what the rule of law means is that everybody is subject to it, including the Governor and the Government, though that does not mean that the Governor and the Government can't, if they don't like or disagree with a decision in a particular case, appeal it to a higher court. But we are considering the implications at the moment of that decision.

16

Secondly, on drug abuse. The sort of summit which we arc holding at the beginning of the week after next, is not the first such summit that we have held. We have held three in relation to the disabled - two on the Disabled and Public Transport and one on the Disabled Unemployment - and I think that they have helped both in a public expenditure role, and I think they have also helped to shape policy usefully, not least the certainty that they were going to be followed up. The Drug Abuse Meeting is in a slightly different category, not least since there will be more participants. One reason why I have called it is to try to focus more community attention on this issue. And why? Because one of the few areas where there is real concern for worry when one looks at our crime and other statistics, is the growth of drug offenders, the growth of abuse, not least among the young. The figures there are deeply disturbing. I have prepared myself for this summit in a number of ways. I have had a number of meetings; I visited the other day the Police Narcotics Bureau to have a full briefing for them. And I hope that out of the discussions at the beginning of March, with head teachers, with social workers, with the Police and with others who are expert in this field, we will be able to come forward with an agenda which means literally what it says, in other words, things to be acted on not just things to gab about, to talk about. The meeting isn't merely a public education exercise, it is to try to get a focus and try to get an agreed campaign going right across the community, so that we can stop in Hong Kong the same dreadful social problems that have ravaged other communities.

End/Thursday, February 23, 1995

New arrangement for entry of PRC fisherman deckhands *****

The Government announced today (Thursday) a new arrangement allowing a limited number of fisherman deckhands from China (PRC) working on dually-licensed, Hong Kong-based fishing vessels to enter Hong Kong for a short stay.

"This arrangement aims to enable the smooth operation of Hong Kong's distant-water fishing fleet as well as to tighten immigration control over the entry of PRC deckhands," a Government spokesman said.

"The fishing industry in Hong Kong has been facing acute labour shortage as fewer and fewer local people join the industry.

"Previously, the employment of PRC fisherman deckhands had been included in the General Importation of Labour Scheme, but the scheme's conditions were incompatible with the industry's mode of operation.

17

"Furthermore, PRC deckhands cannot be regarded as imported labour since their employment contracts are entered into, and the great majority of their work conducted, outside Hong Kong," he said.

Under the new arrangement, a maximum of 3,500 PRC fisherman deckhands would be allowed to enter Hong Kong for a short stay for operational reason, mainly for helping to unload the catch at the wholesale fish markets.

Vessel operators who are interested should submit a preliminary application for permission to bring in PRC deckhands to the Agriculture and Fisheries Department via the Immigration Department.

Deckhands recruited in connection with this arrangement should hold valid PRC travel documents.

A multiple journey visa valid for one year and good for a stay of up to seven days on each landing would be issued to the successful recruit stipulating that the holder should be engaged solely in the operation of a specified vessel at all times and may travel only between that vessel and not more than two wholesale fish markets named by the vessel operator.

The visa application should be submitted to the Immigration Department.

"The master will be required to report his vessel's arrival and the number of PRC deckhands on board to the Harbour Control Section of the Immigration Department within three hours of arrival and present his deckhand list and their travel documents within 24 hours for immigration clearance," the spokesman said.

"This arrangement will allow Hong Kong-based fishing vessels to proceed directly to the wholesale fish markets with their employed PRC deckhands without going through clearance procedures at the immigration anchorages.

"Similar documentary procedures will be followed on departure," he said.

The spokesman pointed out that Hong Kong- based fishing vessels played an important role in the supply of fresh fish to Hong Kong, accounting for over 60 per cent of the fresh marine fish consumed.

18

Preliminary application forms are now obtainable from the Agriculture and Fisheries Department and the Immigration Department. Completed forms should be submitted between March 1 and 31. Late applications will not be entertained.

Enquiries about the new arrangement may be directed to the Agriculture and Fisheries Department on telephone 2733 2201 or to the Immigration Department on 2852 3421.

End/Thursday, February 23, 1995

No decision yet on Government broadcast channels ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The inter-departmental Working Group set up to examine how to make the best use of the Government channels on Wharf Cable's network has completed its report, which is now being considered within the Administration.

According to the Group's detailed study, there are two main ways in which the channels can be used, namely, as a public broadcasting service and as a public access service.

However, the Group has identified a number of substantive and complex issues, particularly in regard to a public access channel.

"For instance, abuse of the facility is a very real danger," a spokesman for the Recreation and Culture Branch said today (Thursday).

"Experience overseas shows that there is a possibility that due to the lack of interest by users amongst the general public, the facility could end up being dominated by and be a mouthpiece for, commercial or undesirable fringe elements seeking selfpublicity," he added.

Another major difficulty is how to balance the need to ensure programmes do not offend public sensitivities to the same standards as are applied to broadcast TV, while at the same time safeguarding freedom of expression and avoiding precensorship.

"Therefore a decision to proceed with such a public access facility has to be taken with great care, and cannot be rushed," the spokesman stressed.

19

On a public broadcast service a major difficulty was its expense. Such a service would be likely to cost well over $100 million to establish, while a single channel on Cable's multi-channel system has a comparatively limited audience reach.

The spokesman emphasised that it was unlikely for Wharf Cable to make available any channel for Government use until the latter half of 1996 at the earliest as there is no spare capacity in its existing microwave multipoint distribution service spectrum.

"Thus, it is important that the Administration gives thorough and careful consideration to this matter before arriving at a view," the spokesman said.

End/Wednesday, February 23, 1995

Residential mortgage survey results for January 1995

*****

The growth in residential mortgage loans for the purchase of properties in Hong Kong remained modest in January, according to a latest monthly survey conducted by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA).

The latest figures show that the total amount of outstanding mortgage lending by the 33 institutions in the survey grew slightly by 0.4% or $1.0 billion in January (0.6% in December) to $238.1 billion. The growth rate is below the monthly average of 0.96% over the last 12 months.

"While the January figures may have been affected by seasonal factors, they reflect the current subdued condition of the property market," the Deputy Chief Executive (Banking) of HKMA, Mr David Carse, said.

The annualised rate of growth in lending over the last three months was 7.6%, compared with 6.8% in the three-month period to December. The 12-month average of outstanding loans dropped to an annualised growth rate of 11.5% from 12.4% in December.

The amount of new loans approved but not yet drawn decreased by 10.9% or $0.3 billion to $2.7 billion in January.

"These figures suggest that the growth of outstanding loans will continue to slow in February," Mr Carse said.

20

Lending for the purchase of properties in China grew by 2.6% in January to $4.61 billion, compared with the 0.6% growth in December. A significant part of the increase was accounted for by loans for purchase of residential properties.

Gross loans made in January increased both in number (to 368 from 282) and in amount (to $168 million from $121 million).

New loans approved in January also rose both in number (to 242 from 213) and in amount (to $186 million from $179 million).

21

Residential Mortgage Loans in Hong Kong Results of Survey for January 1995 33 authorised institutions Jan 1995 HK$ Mn Dec 1994 HK$ Mn

1. Outstanding lending a. Amount 238,087 237,061

b. Monthly change 0.4% 0.6% **

c. Twelve-month change 11.6% 12.5% **

d. Average change (annualized) Latest three months 7.6% 6.8% ** '

Latest twelve months 11.5% 12.4% **

2. Gross loans made during month a. Amount 4,846 6,583

b. Number 3337 4502

3. New loans approved during month a. Amount 4,559 5,017

b. Number 3010 3371

4. New loans approved during month but not yet drawn a. Amount 2,694 3,024

b. Number 1798 1985

Note :** Adjusted for the effect of re-classification of loans, securitization and sale of residential mortgage loans by some institutions amounting to HK$8.6 billion.

22.

Chart A

RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE LOANS IN HONG KONG (33 institutions)

Billion

Outstanding balance at end of month

Remarks : The significant fall of outstanding balance in December 1994 was due to the effect of reclassification, securitization and sale of loans by some institutions.

Monthly growth rate

<

3-month and 12-month moving average growth rate on annualised basis

0 3-month + 12-month

A3

23

Chart B

RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE LOANS IN HONG KONG (33 institutions)

GROSS LOANS MADE DURING THE MONTH

■ j-

Amount

Thousand Billion

B1

Number of accounts

B2

24

Chart C

RESIDENTIAL MORTGAGE LOANS IN HONG KONG

(33 institutions)

NEW LOANS APPROVED BUT NOT YET DRAWN

Thousand Billion

Amount

C1

Number of accounts

C2

End/Thursday, February 23, 1995

25

Transcript of FS ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The following is the remarks by the Financial Secretary, Sir Hamish Macleod, at the Sunday Money Fund Manager of the Year Awards Ceremony at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel today (Thursday).

Tonight was perhaps a useful reminder that we have a thriving fund management industry here, still growing. I noticed that one of them in the papers today said it was becoming too competitive but I take that as a compliment. It is good for the industry and it is good for the consumers, the customers that we have a very competitive and very successful fund management business. So I hope that will continue to be the case.

Any questions? But could I just say -1 know you will try - the Budget is next week, not this week.

Question: Can you tell us what colour the paper will be ...?

FS: The colour will be revealed, as usual, the day before the budget, plus one or two other little small snippets, but I’m afraid the Budget must remain for March 1st.

Question: Is it a deficit budget?

FS: That must also remain for March 1st.

Question: (on mortgage lending) I

FS: I am entirely at ease on the luxury apartments, that was an extra measure which was taken by some banks on the more expensive flats but I think the basic 70 per cent guideline which the banks actually introduced, still seems to me to make sense. The auction -1 must say I have never read such a wide range of different headlines on the auction but from my perspective the auction, so far as the residential properties were concerned, was fine. You may remember that one of the criticisms, looking back to last year, of our property market, was that it was dominated by the very large players, the very large companies, so those who were worried about that should take encouragement from the fact that this time, apparently, a smaller or medium size player is emerging. I feel quite encouraged by that.

Question: How about the industrial land...?

I

26

FS: Industrial land -1 don’t know enough about whether the sites were good ones or bad ones. I know that there are a number of auctions coming up in the next few weeks and they include some industrial land, so it may simply be that the sites coming up in the very near future are better. But I think the main focus has not been, after all, on industrial land, that is not the problem. The problem has been residential and office, and particularly residential. So the market is stilt alive and kicking.

Question: (on withdrawal of sites from land auction)

FS: I don’t know. I mean that is really for the Director of Lands and Tony Eason to sort out. As I say, the residential is actually what everybody has been focusing on. The residential market, as I say, is alive and kicking, so from that point of view I am encouraged.

Question: (on Government policy to curb speculation)

FS: Yes, remember that the aim which we announced last year was basically twofold. First of all, to reduce speculation - and we have done that, I think, rather successfully. Secondly, it was, in the medium to long term, to increase the supply. That, of course, will happen over the next year, two years, three years. So both those will happen. Prices, of course, of residential property have gone down somewhat - somewhat; not a huge amount, I would say, but anyway they have gone down around 14 per cent as at sometime in January, from the peak. So they are still well above 1992/1993 levels.

Question: How are you going to further increase the supply of residential land?

FS: When we announced the package last year we announced a considerable number of sites and since then we have filled in some more details of sites which are being added to the Land Sales Programme. I don't have the list, obviously, in my head but we did announce the details at the time.

Question: Since the market prices of property have been going down, so do you think that Government will relax your policy on property market?

FS: I think we should let the market find its equilibrium. I am not going to judge whether it is the right level at the moment or not, I think it is for the market to find its equilibrium. One more question.

Question: Sir Hamish, do you expect that inflation may be going up further this year?

FS: I'm afraid that will be in the Budget. Thank you very much.

End/Thursday, February 23, 1995

27

HK's way of handling business attracts international fund managers *****

Hong Kong's simple way of handling business will continue to attract international fund managers to base their regional operations here, the Financial Secretary, Sir Hamish Macleod, said today (Thursday).

Speaking at the Sunday Money Fund Manager of the Year Awards Ceremony, Sir Hamish said the new measures on cash rebates announced by the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) which would take effect on July 1 this year, would help increase the transparency of the market.

SFC's decision was to prohibit retention of cash rebates received by fund managers from stockbrokers in respect of mutual fund accounts and to tighten up regulation on soft dollar practices.

"This is a development that will benefit both investors and the industry," he said.

Sir Hamish noted that Hong Kong was the regional centre of portfolio management activity.

"Broadly speaking, I believe we have achieved a reasonable balance, in the sense that there is adequate regulation to ensure sound business standards and confidence in the institutional framework."

"But we have avoided over-regulation," he said.

Sir Hamish said he was glad to see that there was continued growth in the fund management industry. The number of unit trusts and mutual funds had increased to 978 at the end of 1994 from 895 a year earlier.

"This is due mainly to the continued efforts of fund managers to develop new products to meet the requirements of the investing public," he said.

End/Thursday. February 23, 1995

28

Incorporated owners support clearance of illegal rooftop structures

*****

Members of Incorporated Owners of the Mirador Mansion in Tsim Sha Tsui today (Thursday) pledged support for the Buildings Department's actions in dealing with unauthorised structures on the rooftop of their building. .

They called on the Assistant Director of Buildings, Mr Edward Lok, urging the department to see to it that the removal orders issued by the department are complied with by the owners of the unauthorised structures.

At the meeting, the visitors also informed Mr Lok of the problems caused by the unauthorised structures to tenants and flat owners of the Mirador Mansion.

Referring to a number of electronic transmission devices found on the rooftop, Mr Lok urged the public, including private companies, to submit proper plans for approval prior to construction.

"This procedure is to ensure that the building in question can withstand the loading of the structure to be erected and that the structure will not pose any hazard to residents of the building. This is primarily to protect public interest and safety," Mr Lok added.

End/Thursday, February 23, 1995

New school building for Ju Ching Chu English College

*****

In response to press enquiries on the new school building for the Ju Ching Chu English College in Tuen Mun, a spokesman for the Education Department said today (Thursday):

"Ju Ching Chu (JCC) English College in Tuen Mun is an aided secondary school which requires reprovisioning. The target date for completion of works for the new school in Area 31 A, Tuen Mun was February 1995.

"The project is undertaken by a private architect employed by the school. The Education Department had secured the Buildings Department's agreement to give priority in processing JCC's application for an Occupation Permit.

"The school intended to resume operation in the new premises after the Chinese New Year holidays. However, up to now, no Occupation Permit has been issued owing to some outstanding works.

29

"The school is now extending the holiday to Monday, February 27, 1995, on the understanding that the architect could make good the outstanding works and get the Occupation Permit in time.

"The Education Department has repeatedly instructed the school to rectify the situation as soon as possible and to approach the Buildings Department for final approval.

"The Buildings Department has also been requested to treat the matter with top priority. Advice has been given to the school to draw up a contingency plan if the Occupation Permit is not available for the school to commence operation in the new premises on Monday.

"In case outstanding works take time to complete, the school will be advised to resume schooling in its previous borrowed premises at Castle Peak Buddhist School as soon as possible.

"Up until today, the school has missed four school days. To make up for the loss of teaching time, the school will, after consulting parents, arrange for additional lessons per day; cut short holidays, for example, Easter; and shorten the summer holidays.

"The Education Department will continue to monitor the situation closely and liaise with all parties concerned."

End/Thursday, February 23, 1995

Fire station open day

*****

Kwong Wan Fire Station in Wan Chai will be open to the public from 10 am to 6 pm on Sunday (February 26) as part of this year’s Fire Prevention Campaign programme.

Visitors will be able to see various types of modern appliances, and firefighting and rescue equipment, including survivor detection system, chemical protection suit, breathing apparatus and defibrillators.

Fire officers will also be on hand to give fire safety advice.

The fire station is at 14. Harbour Road, opposite to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

End/Thursday, February 23, 1995

30

Volunteers wanted to help offenders * ♦ * ♦ *

The Social Welfare Department is looking for volunteers to help with the rehabilitation of offenders.

People who are aged over 21, preferably of secondary education standard and are interested in the rehabilitation of offenders, are invited to join the Volunteer Scheme for Probationers (VSP).

"Some 500 volunteers have taken part in the scheme which was introduced in 1976," a spokesman for the department said today (Thursday).

"The range of services include helping probationers with school work, providing care, guiding them in proper use of leisure time and developing meaningful habits and interest," he said.

Successful applicants will be arranged to attend an orientation course before they start serving the probationers.

Application forms are now obtainable at all probation offices and the Centre of VSP on the seventh floor, Wu Chung House, 197-221 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai. Enquiries can be made on tel 2892 5117.

A certificate-presentation ceremony will be held on Saturday (February 25) to pay tribute to 59 volunteers who have taken part in the VSP.

Mr Justice Patrick Chan and the Assistant Director (Youth and Rehabilitation) of the department, Mr Anthony Chan, will officiate at the ceremony.

Attention News Editors:

Your representatives are invited to cover the VSP certificate presentation ceremony to be held at 2.30 pm on Saturday (February 25) at the Assembly Hall, fourth floor. North Tower, The Salisbury - YMCA of Hong Kong. Tsim Sha Tsui.

Information officers of the department will be on hand to assist.

End/Thursday. February 23, 1995

31

BOE members visit Princess Alexandra Red Cross Residential School * ♦ ♦ * ♦

The Director of Education. Mr W K Lam: Chairman of the Board of Education, Dr Tam Man-kwan; and four other board members, today (Thursday) visited Princess Alexandra Red Cross Residential School which operated its first class for handicapped children in 1969.

The Kwun Tong school started its first secondary class in 1983.

The other Board members visiting the school were Miss Bow Sui-may, Mr Michael Hong Man-hoi, Mrs Grace Hui Wong King-man and Mrs Minnie Lai Wei Kit-lin. The party was accompanied by the Principal Education Officer (Services), Mr Clement C K Wong.

On arrival, the group was welcomed and briefed by the school supervisor, Mrs Sydney S W Leong, and the school principal, Mr Chiu Wai-ming.

They were told that Princess Alexandra Red Cross Residential School was registered under the Education Ordinance in March 1963 and started to receive subvention from the Education Department in September 1964.

The School offers two preparatory, 11 primary and five secondary classes up to Secondary Five level. It also operates three special classes in the primary section for physically handicapped children with moderate grade mental retardation.

It is a whole-day co-educational special school equipped with air-conditioned dormitories providing a maximum boarding facilities for 86 physically handicapped children.

At present it accommodates 79 boarders, including six from the Spastics Association of Hong Kong Kwai Shing School.

End/Thursday. February 23. 1995

32

} Analysis of Hong Kong's re-export trade statistics in 1994

*****

Re-exports accounted for 81% of the value of total exports and 39% of the total value of external trade of Hong Kong in 1994. In 1993, the corresponding shares were 79% and 39% respectively.

These figures, affirming the growing importance of re-export trade, are amongst the detailed re-export statistics released by the Census and Statistics Department today (Thursday).,

China remained the largest partner for Hong Kong's re-export trade. Of the total $947.9 billion of re-exports going through Hong Kong in 1994, 89% or $841.6 billion involved China in either direction. As a source, re-exports originating in China accounted for 58% of Hong Kong's re-export value in 1994. As a destination, China's share was 34%.

It is noted that much of the re-export trade involving China is related to outward processing, as raw materials and semi-manufactured goods are exported to China for processing, with the final products subsequently returned to Hong Kong, and re-exported to the major overseas markets.

Other main origins of Hong Kong's re-exports in 1994 included Japan (accounting for 13%), Taiwan (7.6%), the United States (4.6%) and South Korea (2.9%).

The main destinations in 1994, besides China, included the United States (accounting for 22%), Japan (5.8%), Germany (4.4%) and the United Kingdom (2.9%).

Table 1 shows the changes in the value of re-exports from the 10 main origins in 1994 compared with 1993.

Comparing 1994 with 1993, increases were recorded in the value of re-exports from all main origins: Malaysia (+42%), Singapore (+27%), South Korea (+27%), France (+18%), the United States (+17%), China (+15%), Taiwan (+11%), Japan (+11%), the United Kingdom (+6.6%) and Germany (+2.3%).

Of the value of re-exports originating in China in 1994, 36% went to the United States, 8.3% to Japan and 7.2% to Germany.

For goods of Japan origin, 74% of the value of re-exports through Hong Kong in 1994 went to China, 4.2% to the United States and 2.8% to South Korea. For reexports originating in Taiwan, an overwhelming proportion (92% of the value in 1994) went to China.

33

As regards re-exports originating in the United States, 66% of the value in 1994 were shipped to China, 4.4% to Taiwan and 4.2% to Singapore.

Table 2 shows the changes in the value of re-exports to the 10 main destinations.

Comparing 1994 with 1993, increases were recorded in the value of re-exports to all main destinations: Japan (+24°/o), Australia (+21%), Singapore (+19%), China (+18%), the United States (+16%), Canada (+12%). the United Kingdom (+11%), South Korea (+6.1%), Taiwan (+2.3%) and Germany (+2.0%).

Analysed by commodity, significant increases in the value of re-exports to China were recorded for textiles (by 10.9 billion or 24%); telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $7.8 billi'on or 42%); and plastics in primary forms (by $5.6 billion or 40%).

However, decreases in the value of re-exports to China were recorded for machinery specialised for particular industries (by $4.0 billion or 25%); and road vehicles (by $2.5 billion or 9.4%).

As regards re-exports to the United States, significant increases in value were recorded for miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of baby carriages, toys, games and sporting goods (by $8.4 billion or 18%); telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $6.9 billion or 42%); and footwear (by $3.7 billion or 13%).

However, decreases in the value of re-exports to the United States were recorded for clothing (by $1.3 billion or 4.8%); and vegetables and fruit (by $79 million or 16%).

Detailed statistics on Hdng Kong's re-export trade are published in the December 1994 issue of the "Hong Kong External Trade" report which will be available for sale at $86 a copy around the end of this month.

The report can be purchased at the Government Publications Centre on the ground floor. Low Block, Queensway Government Offices. 66 Queensway, Hong Kong; or at the Publications Section of the Census and Statistics Department on the 19th floor. Wanchai l ower. 12 Harbour Road. Wan Chai.

Enquiries about subscription to the report may be directed to the Information Services Department at French Mission Building. 1 Battery Path. Hong Kong (telephone 2842 8802) and enquiries on trade statistics to the Census and Statistics Department (telephone 2582 4915).

34

TABLE 1 : RE-EXPORTS FROM THE TEN MAIN ORIGINS

ORIGIN JAN-DEC 1994 (HKD Mn.) JAN-DEC 1993 (HKD Mn.) YEAR-ON-YEAR CHANGE

(HKD Mn.) (% CHANGE)

CHINA 545,831 474,007 + 71,824 + 15.2

JAPAN 121,936 109,949 + 11,987 + 10.9

TAIWAN 72,060 64,649 + 7,411 + 11.5

UNITED STATES 43,678 37,424 + 6,254 + 16.7

SOUTH KOREA 27,444 21,685 4- 5,759 + 26.6

SINGAPORE 15,069 11,836 + 3,234 + 27.3

GERMANY 14,588 14,256 + 332 + 2.3

MALAYSIA 9,461 6,681 + 2,779 + 41.6

UNITED KINGDOM 8,983 8,426 + 557 + 6.6

FRANCE 8,732 7,419 + 1,313 + 17.7

TABLE 2 : RE-EXPORTS TO THE TEN MAIN DESTINATIONS

DESTINATION JAN-DEC 1994 (HKD Mn.) JAN-DEC 1993 (HKD Mn.) YEAR-ON-YEAR CHANGE

(HKD Mn.) (% CHANGE)

CHINA 322,835 274,561 + 48,274 + 17.6

UNITED STATES 210,077 180,349 + 29,728 + 16.5

JAPAN 54,745 • 44,156 + 10,589 + 24.0

GERMANY 41,617 40,798 + 818 + 2.0

UNITED KINGDOM 27,318 24,536 + 2,783 + 11.3

TAIWAN 22,416 21,910 + 506 + 2.3

SINGAPORE 20,346 17,143 + 3,203 + 18.7

SOUTH KOREA 16,483 15,538 + 945 + 6.1

CANADA 14,199 12,656 + 1,543 + 12.2

AUSTRALIA 13,877 11,425 + 2,452 + 21.5

End/Thursday, February 23, 1995

35

Salesman fined for making incorrect tax returns

*****

A salesman pleaded guilty in the North Kowloon Magistracy to making incorrect statements in his Salaries Tax Returns without reasonable excuse.

The defendant, Cho Hing-cheung, was charged with making incorrect claims for dependent parent allowance in his tax returns for the years of assessment 1991/92 and 1992/93.

Despite the death of his father on August 15, 1990, the defendant still put down his father's name in his tax returns and claimed for the dependent parent allowance.

He was fined $24,625.

A spokesman for the Inland Revenue Department today (Thursday) reminded taxpayers that they must file correct tax returns.

Under the Inland Revenue Ordinance, a tax evader is liable to a maximum sentence of three years' imprisonment and a fine of $25,000 on each charge, in addition to a further fine equivalent to three times the amount of tax undercharged.

End/Thursday. February 23. 1995

Latest education and careers information for expo visitors

*****

Tens of thousands of students, young people and working adults visited the 5th Education and Careers Expo today (Thursday) to see for themselves the latest information on opportunities for further study and career choices.

It is estimated that the four-day exhibition would attract about 180,000 visitors.

During the visit, they are able to obtain details of training courses and jobs from more than 200 education and careers booths.

The expo, organised jointly by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC) and the Labour Department, was officially opened this morning by the President of the Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong, Mr Herbert Liang.

36

Other officiating guests included TDC’s Executive Director, Mr Francis Lo and the Commissioner for Labour, Mr Stephen Ip.

After the opening ceremony, Mr Liang, accompanied by Mr Lo and Mr Ip, visited some of the exhibition booths and chatted to exhibitors.

A series of video shows, introducing a wide range of careers and the work of professional bodies and public utilities, will be presented throughout the exhibition to further enhance visitors’ understanding of the world of work.

To encourage secondary school students to visit the exposition and collect careers information actively, the Labour Department’s Careers Advisory Service has arranged a series of group visits for more than 10,000 students from some 100 schools.

More than 60 seminars to be conducted by experts in various fields have received overwhelming response.

The expo, featuring some 180 exhibitors from a wide range of trades, government departments, professional associations, local and overseas educational and training institutes, is open to the public until Sunday (February 26) on Level 7 of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai. Admission is free.

The opening hours are:

February 23 (Thursday)

February 24 (Friday)

February 25 (Saturday)

February 26 (Sunday)

10.30 am - 7 pm

10.00 am - 7 pm

10.00 am - 7 pm

10.00 am - 6 pm

End/Thursday, February 23. 1995

37

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

ILmillion Time (hours) Cumulative change (Smiliion)

Opening balance in the account 1,813 0930 + 1181

Closing balance in the account 2,396 1000 +1181

Change attributable to : 1100 + 1131

Money market activity + 1,138 1200 +1138

LAF today -555 1500 +1138

1600 +1138

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 120.4 *+0.0* 23.2.95

I long Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 5.11 15 months 2605 6.35 99.40 6.97

1 month 5.40 24 months 2702 7.50 100.52 7.35

3 months 5.96 29 months 3707 6.95 99.21 7.44

6 months 6.19 35 months 3801 8.00 101.33 7.62

12 months 6.83 58 months 5912 8.15 100.72 8.12

Total turnover of bills and bonds - $32,414 MN

Closed February' 23, 1995

End/Thursday, February 23, 1995

DAILY INFORMATION BULLETIN

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

Friday, February 24,1995

Contents Page No,

More money to boost key services..................................... 1

CS: further elaboration of the MPF scheme..........................   3

Expenditure on education and manpower up 15%......................... 6

Ag S for Works visits site immediately after accident............... 12

Law to protect gas pipes from careless damage....................... 12

Credit union procedures simplified.................................. 14

Second planning application for LegCo Annex Building rejected.... 14

Contract awarded for the new airport................................ 16

Tuen Mun school to use new premises on Monday....................... 16

Analysis of external trade statistics by mode of transport in 1994 .... 17

Retail sales provisional figures for December and 1994 released.. 27

Monetary Authority.....

Contents

Page No.

Monetary Authority publishes quarterly bulletin.................... 30

Works to enhance traffic safety at Hiram's Highway............. 31

Tenders invited for Sai Kung sewers................................ 32

Civic centre auditorium and stage facilities....................... 33

Tseung Kwan O platform contract signed............................. 34

Part-time teachers sought for 1995/96 school year.................. 34

District Board by-election forums.................................. 35

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations........... 36

1

More money to boost key services *****

The Draft Estimates of Expenditure for 1995-96, which are published today (Friday) together with the gazetting of the Appropriation Bill, propose major increases in spending to expand services in areas where they are most needed.

At the same time, the Government has adhered firmly to its principal budgetary guideline of keeping the growth in expenditure, over time, in line with the trend growth rate of the economy.

The Estimates represent a further step towards achieving the ambitious improvement targets for the future set by the Governor in his policy addresses since 1992 and provide the funds to meet the commitments published by branch secretaries in October 1994.

Total Government expenditure, including expenditure by the funds, for the new financial year will rise to $169.7 billion.

Announcing this, the Secretary for the Treasury, Mr Donald Tsang, explained that of the total of $169.7 billion, $123.5 billion is for recurrent expenses on existing and new services, and $46.2 billion on capital projects.

"Our spending priorities have been decided after consultations held by the Financial Secretary with members of the Legislative Council and community groups during the past year."

Mr Tsang emphasised that the Draft Estimates had been drawn up in accordance with the long established budgetary principle that over a period, the growth in Government expenditure should not exceed the trend growth rate of the economy.

With a forecast trend economic growth rate of 5 per cent a year in real terms, we are able once again to make significant improvements to services in the areas where they are most needed," he said.

Some examples are:

2

Recurrent spending on social welfare will grow by 13.2 per cent in real terms to $13.0 billion.

"Special benefits include for the elderly an extra 1,489 residential places, 23 social centres, four day care centres and three multi-service centres; 1,287 extra residential places for the handicapped and discharged mental patients, a further 988 day places for the handicapped, 20 more day places for discharged mental patients and 471 more pre-school day places for disabled children.

"For children generally, there will be an extra 1,400 day nursery places, 250 day creche places and 12 small group homes.

"And in addition to the normal inflation adjustment there will be an extra $205 per month for children and $200 extra per month for single parent families under the comprehensive social security assistance scheme," Mr Tsang said.

On health, recurrent spending will grow by 7.7 per cent in real terms to $19.8 billion.

"New facilities will include 807 additional hospital beds, 70 geriatric hospital day places, four new health centres, four diabetic care centres, a new general outpatients clinic.

"In addition, we will introduce a new student health service to provide preventive and promotive health care for all primary students, hospice care for an additional 400 patients a year, an expansion of the renal dialysis programme, significantly reduced waiting times for cataract surgery and improved treatment for patients with ischaemic heart disease," he said.

On education, recurrent spending will grow in real terms by 4.9 per cent to $30.3 billion.

"This increased level of spending should be viewed in the light of a declining school age population (the number of children in the 6-16 age group will drop from 877.900 in 1994-95 to 866,900 in 1995-96). As a result, we will be able to achieve further improvements in pupil-teacher ratios in both primary and secondary schools and to reduce primary school class sizes.

3

"In addition, we will be providing enhanced training for kindergarten teachers and we will be offering improvements in the local student finance scheme for students in our tertiary institutions," he said.

For a better environment, recurrent spending will go up by 16.2 per cent in real terms to $2.2 billion.

"This will provide additional resources for the proper disposal of waste through the chemical waste treatment centre, the refuse transfer stations and landfills."

"For the fight against crime, we will be providing nearly 600 extra posts for the police force. We will also be providing additional staff for the Independent Commission Against Corruption to enhance its anti-corruption activities and for the Customs and Excise Department to combat the trade in counterfeit goods," Mr fsang added.

"All these increases represent expenditure growth in real terms, that is to say they reflect growth over and above inflation," he said.

End/Friday, February 24, 1995

CS: further elaboration of the MPF scheme

*****

The Chief Secretary, Mrs Anson Chan, said today (Friday) that having spent the last 30 years debating how the Government should provide for a retirement protection scheme, "we cannot go on talking indefinitely".

"Now is the time for action."

Speaking at the British Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Mrs Chan said: "The Government has made three serious attempts in good faith, to forge a consensus on the way forward.

"As the Governor has said, we cannot go on devising new schemes.

4

"I believe that there is sufficient will in the community at large and in the Legislative Council, for action to be taken now, not two or three years down the road, to implement a retirement protection scheme for our old people."

The Chief Secretary noted that public submissions in the past, together with reactions from the business community and trade union leaders in the last few weeks, indicated that the Government might be able to gain wide support for a mandatory, privately managed provident fund (MPF) system as a "practical way forward".

"We will probably never achieve unanimity of view on the ideal package and it has to be acknowledged that a mandatory privately operated provident fund scheme will not provide the comprehensive coverage that the OPS (Old Age Pension Scheme) was designed to.

"But we must not make perfect the enemy of the good."

She said a motion would be moved in the Legislative Council on March 8. She urged legislators to give clear support to the scheme and the Government would spare no efforts to draw up the details of a viable and practical scheme in consultation with the industry and to prepare the necessary legislation.

"It would also pave the way for consultation with the Chinese side of the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group," she said.

After setting out the main features of the scheme, Mrs Chan said the purpose of a mandatory retirement protection scheme was to cover all those in the workforce.

At the same time, there will be a minimum salary level, below which an employee might choose not to participate in a scheme.

"The minimum salary level recognises that the mandatory contribution may be difficult for those with a very low income, so it enables them to contribute on a voluntary basis. If they decide to contribute, though, then the employer must pay the employers' share.

"This is an important point. The choice rest with employee."

5

It is hoped that some Government means, such as the Employees Retraining Fund, would help to improve the income of the low income group.

For those who have retired or who are in need of assistance there is the safety net provided by the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme.

On whether there would be a minimum benefit level or a pension, Mrs Chan said the MPF would operate on the principle of beneficiaries receiving what they had contributed over their working lives, plus the employers' contributions, and any investment returns or interests.

"There is no minimum benefit level as such. But there will always be the safety net by way of the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance payments for needy elderly people," she said.

She said it would not be right to provide a Government guarantee against benefit losses due to fraud or misfeasance because it could encourage aggressive or unscrupulous fund management, and would produce an unacceptable level of contingent liability for the taxpayer.

Mrs Chan said the Government's participation would be in the form of assisting the setting up of a residual pool scheme.

"This scheme recognises the fact that there will be some employers who, for one reason or another, are unable to find a private retirement protection scheme to accept them.

"To make sure they can comply with the law, they will be able to utilise the residual pool scheme."

Another advantage of the system, Mrs Chan said, was its portability of benefits from one scheme to another upon change of job which meant that the employee would always be able to tell how much he had accrued in his retirement protection account.

On worries about bankruptcy of a system in the MPF, Mrs Chan said it should not happen.

6

"We already have a very good track record in regulating retirement protection scheme under the Occupational Retirement Schemes Ordinance (ORSO).

"The Ordinance requires all retirement scheme to be funded properly; the assets of a retirement scheme to be maintained separately from those of the employers, and to be used only for the purposes of the scheme; the financial position of a retirement scheme to be subject to the annual scrutiny of an independent auditor; and employees to have the right to seek information about their scheme.

"In addition, we shall be looking at tightening up control over fund managers."

Mrs Chan added that the concept of a Central Provident Fund would not be an option in Hong Kong.

She said it offered no freedom of choice, tended to produce low returns on investment, and would be very difficult to operate with the 20,000 existing occupation retirement schemes in Hong Kong.

End/Friday, February 24, 1995

Expenditure on education and manpower up 15% *****

The Government will spend $31,250 million in recurrent expenditure on education and manpower policies in 1995-96, an increase of 15.6% over the current financial year.

This represents 22% of the Government's total recurrent expenditure in 1995-96.

7

Of the total recurrent expenditure, 97%, or $30,330 million, will be on education, the largest single expenditure item in the 1995-96 Estimates.

"This reflects the Government's continued determination to invest in the improvement of the quality of our human resources, the time-honoured key to Hong Kong's success," the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mr Michael Leung, said today (Friday).

"Education remains very close to the heart of the Government as Hong Kong will need an adequate supply of quality manpower to maintain its status as the world's leading commercial and financial centre right into the next century," Mr Leung said.

Speaking at a media session on the 1995-96 Draft Estimates, Mr Leung said within the Education Vote, the relative shares to be spent on schools and the tertiary sector were important as they were aimed at ensuring a balanced growth in the development of education as a whole.

He noted that nearly 62% of the vote would be for schools and this apportionment ensured that the growth in student numbers and the quest for improved quality in each sector of the education system would not be at the expense of each other.

The major expenditure items relating to schools are:

* construction works to improve the teaching and learning environment in 110 schools with a total project cost of over $600 million;

* planning work for improving 130 schools with a total project cost of over $700 million;

* $37 million for introducing target-oriented curriculum in Primary 1 in 70 schools to make learning a more pleasurable and effective process;

- 8 -

I

I

I

I

* $30 million for organising additional training courses for 1,130 kindergarten teachers to enhance the quality of kindergarten education, including a Qualified Kindergarten Teachers course, a top-up course for Qualified Assistant Kindergarten Teachers and a new in-service Certificate Course in Kindergarten Education;

* $19 million for completing in 1995-96 two new Skills Opportunity Schools to help students with learning difficulties; and

* $4 million for providing induction and orientation courses for 6,000 immigrant students to help integrate them into the local educational system.

"This means that all the new initiatives announced in the Governor's Policy Address in October 1994 will be implemented in the next financial year," Mr Leung said.

The Government will reinforce the various ongoing improvement programmes by:

* spending an additional $255 million to upgrade teacher education;

* an additional 114 non-graduate teachers to be provided in secondary schools;

* an extra graduate teacher for each of a further 60 schools with a high proportion of low achievers;

* reducing the class size from 40 to 35 to Primary 3 in all primary schools in September 1995; and

* 17 more primary schools will operate on a whole day basis in September 1995

"As a result of many of these improvement measures, the teachenpupil ratio will be further improved to 1:23.8 for our primary schools and 1:19.5 for our secondary schools," he said.

9

In addition, $5 million has been included to upgrade another 180 teacher posts in primary schools to graduate level. \

Turning to tertiary education, the secretary said: "We will spend $8,724 million next fiscal year, which is an increase of 9% over the current year, on recurrent grants to the seven University Grants Committee-funded institutions."

"This level of funding will be sufficient to increase by 10% and 8% of the total number of under- graduates and post-graduates respectively," he said.

The University Grants Committee provision includes $257 million on academic research funded by the Research Grants Council, up 10% on 1994-95.

Mr Leung noted a large increase, of 35.4% over 1994-95, in the total '* expenditure by the Student Financial Assistance Agency in 1995-96. %

"We will spend $813 million on grants to students under the Local Student Finance Scheme to ensure that no qualified student is denied access to tertiary education owing to lack of means," he said.

"This is a 55% increase over the current year's estimates and will cover a number of improvements to the grants approved earlier this year," he added.

A further $897 million, an increase of nearly 40% over the current year, will be spent on an improved student loans scheme and the establishment of the Extend Loan Scheme to meet the needs of those who marginally fail to qualify for the existing schemes.

Mr Leung pointed out that the average grants to students was estimated to rise by nearly 26% to $23,940, and the average loan by 9.5% to $23,600 in 1995-96. ,

On the employment front, the Secretary said the Government remained committed to providing a well-trained workforce, to improving their health, welfare and safety, to promoting harmonious labour relations, and to safeguarding the rights and benefits of employees.

10

"We will strengthen our placement services, improve the vetting of applications for employing imported workers for Airport Core Programme projects, and enhance the promotion of placement services for the young and the disabled, through a provision of $61.4 million in 1995-96. This represents an increase of 15.2% over 1994-95.

"We will also launch a Pilot Employment Matching Programme for unemployed persons over 30 years of age to provide active placement services for job-seekers.

"This will be based on actual vacancies on a Special Register of the Local Employment Service of the Labour Department," he said.

In addition, $1,400 million will be spent on the retraining and apprenticeship programmes run by the Vocational Training Council for 13,092 full-time and 50,589 part-time students at its two Technical Colleges and seven Technical Institutes plus 28,936 full-time and 17,130 part-time students in the Training Centres.

Mr Leung stressed that the Government was committed to helping those workers displaced by the structural changes in the economy by offering job placement assistance and retraining.

"Since its establishment in October 1992, the Employees Retraining Board has provided over 40,000 retraining places in 119 types of course. The placement rates of the students who actively sought jobs after graduation have been high.

"At the same time, we also need to provide adequate manpower to industries with labour shortage problems.

"In 1995-96, the Employees Retraining Board will further liaise with employers and organise tailor-made courses to retrain suitable registrants in the Pilot Employment Match Programme so that they can meet the labour requirements of employers.

"We will review the success of this matching approach regularly," he

said.

11

On labour relations, Mr Leung pointed out the various labour relations services now in operation would require $64 million in 1995-96.

"The increase of 11.3% over last year will also enable us, for example, to strengthen our inspection efforts relating to workers imported for Airport Core Programme projects.

The Government will spend $140.9 million, an increase of 9.5% over last year, on various new and improved services to safeguard the rights and benefits of employees under the labour laws in Hong Kong.

"These include the inspection of workplaces and the processing of employees' compensation claims, the introduction of a compensation scheme for local workers suffering from hearing loss owing to prolonged exposure to excessive noise at work and an improvement in the amount of ex-gratia payment under the Protection of Wages on Insolvency Ordinance.

Mr Leung said the question of safety and health at work was also a priority area for the Government.

"We will conduct a comprehensive review of industrial safety, covering all aspects relating to enforcement, training and education, to be completed in mid-1995," he said.

In terms of fiscal expenditure, he said the Government would spend $144.5 million, up 7.2% over the current year, on various services to promote the safety and health of local workers.

These include stepping up inspections at the workplaces of the Airport Core Programme projects and publishing a series of statutory codes of safety practice.

"We will improve legislation on asbestos work, bamboo scaffolding and work in confined spaces and will introduce legislation requiring the establishment of safety committees in designated industries," Mr Leung said.

End/Friday, February 24, 1995

12

Ag S for Works visits site immediately after accident * I * * *

The Acting Secretary for Works, Mr Hugh Phillipson, expressed his condolences to the relatives of the deceased workers, and hoped that the injured men would make a speedy recovery.

The workers were injured at an accident happened at the Route 3 Kwai Chung Viaduct site this (Friday ) afternoon. Route 3 is one of the 10 projects on the Airport Core Programme.

"I am very sorry to learn about the accident. This illustrates the need for us to do more to ensure that everyone takes maximum safety precautions on site."

Mr Phillipson this evening visited the scene of the accident at the Kwai Chung viaduct works. He told reporters afterwards it was too early to say what had caused the accident.

"Clearly, we must move as quickly as possible to find out what the cause was, and to see what can be done to improve safety on this and other sites."

He said all resources would be deployed to determine the cause of the accident.

End/Friday, February 24, 1995

Law to protect gas pipes from careless damage

*****

The Gas Safety (Amendment) Bill 1995, gazetted by the Government today (Friday), paves the way for enactment of regulations to control, in the interests of safety, construction works in the vicinity of gas pipes.

13

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 a six-month imprisonment term.

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

If enacted 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.

The new regulations will provide that 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 a fine of $200,000 and to imprisonment for 12 months - the new maximum penalty brought in by the bill.

The proposals reflect the Government's concern at the frequent damage 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 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.

End/Friday, February 24, 1995

14

Credit union procedures simplified * * * * *

The Credit Unions (Amendment) Bill 1995, gazetted by the Government today (Friday), will simplify the procedures for winding up a credit union.

The procedures for winding up a credit union under the Credit Unions Ordinance currently follow the complex provisions for winding up a company under the Companies Ordinance.

The Registrar of Credit Unions has proposed, and the Government has accepted, that winding up procedures should be simplified in the interests of efficiency.

The Bill brings the procedures for winding up a credit union broadly into line with the simpler procedures for winding up a co-operative society under the Co-operative Societies Ordinance, which have worked well over the years. If a credit union needs to be wound up, it is usually because the original common bond of association between the members has dissipated over time and the union is no longer carrying on business.

(Note : The Director of Agriculture and Fisheries is the Registrar of Credit Unions and the Registrar of Co-operative Societies)

End/Friday, February 24, 1995

Second planning application for LegCo Annex Building rejected *****

The Town Planning Board today (Friday) rejected a second application to locate the proposed Legislative Council Annex Building at the eastern part of the Chater Garden in Central, a spokesman for the Board said.

15

The proposal for the project involves the construction of a three-storey building with one storey above the ground level and two levels of basement. The building will occupy about 3,150 square metres or 23 per cent of the Chater Garden area.

The proposed design will allow the Annex Building rooftop to be turned into a garden and linked up with the elevated pedestrian walkway near the Murray Road car park by a footbridge.

The Board noted that comparing to the previous LegCo Annex Building scheme in Chater Garden which was rejected upon review by the Board in December 1994, the current proposal has a lower building height above ground and a smaller site coverage.

However, the Board still considered this proposal not acceptable as it would alter the existing character and affect the quality of Chater Garden, which is a unique and prominent amenity area in the Central district.

Members could not find sufficient information demonstrating that there are insurmountable problems to locate the Annex Building to the hard paved part of the Garden.

They also considered that the proposed layout and design with a five-metre above ground structure would still cause visual intrusion.

It would also cause fragmentation to the public open space, transplanting of more than half of the existing mature trees and inconvenience to the users of the open space.

The Board recognised the need to accommodate the LegCo facilities, but was equally eager to avoid unnecessary transplanting of mature trees on a larger scale.

If it was absolutely necessary to locate the Annex Building within Chater Garden, it should preferably be confined to the northern part where minimum adverse effect would be caused to the luxuriant vegetation that has taken more than 10 years to establish.

Members also considered that a wholly underground building will preserve the present character of Chater Garden as a unique piece of public open space.

End/Friday, February 24, 1995

16

Contract awarded for the new airport

*****

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 provision of High Frequency Communications Equipment for the new airport at Chek Lap Kok.

The contract, valued at $27.5 million, has been awarded by the Civil Aviation Department to Harris Corporation of the United States.

The company will be responsible for the provision of the communication equipment to enable long-range air-ground communications between aircrafts and the Air Traffic Control Centre at the new airport.

Works will start early next month for completion in May next year.

The award of this contract brings the total number of ACP major contracts awarded so far to 109, with a total value of $79 billion.

* J ..

End/Friday, February 24, 1995

Tuen Mun school to use new premises on Monday

*****

Students of Ju Ching Chu Secondary School (Tuen Mun) will resume classes on Monday (February 27) following the Government's issue of an Occupation Permit for its new premises in Area 31 A, Tuen Mun, and registration by the Education Department today (Friday).

The Director of Education, Mr W K Lam, was glad to see that students would be able to use the new premises on Monday.

17

"I am confident that the school will be able to make up for the lost teaching time through measures such as adjustment to the holiday schedule and additional lessons for Secondary 5 students," Mr Lam said.

"We have taken all possible steps to help the school as soon as the problem was made known to the department.

"We will continue to monitor the situation closely and help the school where we can. Education Department officers will visit the school on Monday morning."

End/Friday, February 24, 1995

Analysis of external trade statistics by mode of transport in 1994 *****

The value of Hong Kong's external trade by ocean accounted for 50% of Hong Kong's external trade in 1994, according to the statistics released by the Census and Statistics Department today (Friday).

Another 26% was transported by land and another 18% by air. The remaining 5.0% included shipment by river, postal parcels, and accompanied goods of passengers travelling on various means of transport.

Shipment by ocean amounted to $1,212.4 billion in 1994, with an increase of 13% over that in 1993. Hong Kong's external trade by land went up by 15% to $640.4 billion while that by air also went up by 15% to $447.6 billion in 1994. Table 1 shows changes in value of Hong Kong's external trade analysed by mode of transport in 1994 compared with 1993.

The United States remained the largest destination for Hong Kong's total exports (including domestic exports and re-exports) by ocean, accounting for a share of 33% in value terms in 1994. The value of total exports by ocean to the United States went up by 15% in 1994.

i

18

The value of total exports by ocean to Japan increased by 22% in 1994 over 1993. Increases were also recorded in seaborne total exports to the other main destinations: the United Kingdom (+5.5%) and China (+4.5%). However, the value of seaborne total exports to Germany decreased marginally by 0.2%.

Japan was the largest supplier of Hong Kong's imports by ocean, accounting for a share of 25% in value in 1994. The value of imports by ocean from Japan went up by 7.1% in 1994 over 1993. Increases were also recorded in seaborne imports from South Korea (+19%), China (+15%), the United States (+14%) and Taiwan (+12%).

Table 2 shows changes in value of external trade by ocean with main trading partners in 1994 compared with 1993.

In 1994, the value of total exports by air to the United States accounted for 30% of the value of Hong Kong's total exports by air and increased by 5.6% over 1993.

The value of total exports by air to Japan and Singapore increased by 20% and 18% respectively in 1994 over 1993. However, the value of airborne total exports to Germany and Taiwan decreased by 1.9% and 0.6% respectively. Airborne imports from all main suppliers increased considerably in 1994. The percentage increases in value in 1994 over 1993 were: Taiwan (+26%), Singapore (+25%), Switzerland (+22%), Japan (+18%) and the United States (+11%). Table 3 shows changes in value of external trade by air with main trading partners in 1994 compared with 1993.

More detailed figures on changes in value of external trade by ocean between 1994 and 1993 analysed by principal commodity division are shown in Table 4.

Significant increases were recorded in value of re-exports by ocean for telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $17.2 billion or 32%); miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of baby carriages, toys, games and sporting goods (by $13.4 billion or 14%); and footwear (by $6.0 billion or 13%).

19

Large increases were also recorded in value of imports by ocean for textiles (by $14.8 billion or 23%); and telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $12.6 billion or 32%).

However, decreases were recorded in the value of domestic exports by ocean for textiles (by $846 million or 9.8%); and miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of printed matter (by $845 million or 9.8%).

Changes in value of external trade by air between 1994 and 1993 analysed by principal commodity division are shown in Table 5.

Comparing 1994 with 1993, significant increases were recorded in the value of imports by air for electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $13.4 billion or 22%); office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $4.8 billion or 29%); and non-metallic mineral manufactures (by $4.8 billion or 22%).

As regards exports by air, increases were recorded for re-exports of electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $6.1 billion or 26%); office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $2.0 billion or 19%); photographic apparatus, equipment and supplies, optical goods, watches and clocks (by $1.9 billion or 11%); and for domestic exports of electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (by $2.8 billion or 20%).

However, considerable decreases were recorded in value of domestic exports by air for clothing (by $1.1 billion or 5.5%); and office machines and automatic data processing machines (by $793 Million or 6.6%).

Changes in value of external trade by land between 1994 and 1993 analysed by principal commodity division are shown in Table 6.

20

Comparing 1994 with 1993, significant increases were recorded in the value of imports by land for telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $10.4 billion or 29%); miscellaneous manufactured articles consisting mainly of baby carriages, toys, games and sporting goods (by $9.2 billion or 19%); footwear (by $5.7 billion or 18%); and clothing (by $3.3 billion or 4.6%).

As regards exports by land, increases were recorded for re-exports of textiles (by $10.5 billion or 26%); plastics in primary forms (by $4.9 billion or 41%); and telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (by $4.2 billion or 42%); and for domestic exports of clothing (by $975 million or 27%).

Detailed statistics on Hong Kong's external trade analysed by mode of transport are published in the December 1994 issue of the "Hong Kong External Trade" report which is on sale at $86 a copy.

The report can be purchased at the Government Publications Centre on the ground floor, Low Block, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong, or at the Publications Section of the Census and Statistics Department on the 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, 12 Harbour Road, Wan Chai.

Enquiries about regular subscription to the report may be directed to the Information Services Department at French Mission Building, 1 Battery Path, Hong Kong (telephone 2842 8802) and enquiries on trade statistics to the Census and Statistics Department (telephone 2582 4915).

21


TABLE 1 : EXTERNAL TRADE BY MODE OF TRANSPORT

MODE OF TRANSPORT/ TYPE OF TRADE JAN-DEC JAN-DEC YEAR-ON-YEAR CHANGE 1994 1993 HKD Mn. HKD Mn. HKD Mn. %

OCEAN

DOMESTIC EXPORTS 93,062 93,178 - 116 0.1

RE-EXPORTS 541,675 481,143 4 60,533 4 12.6

TOTAL EXPORTS 634,737 574,321 4 60,416 4 10.5

IMPORTS 577,636 499,762 4 77,874 4 15.6

TOTAL BY OCEAN 1,212,374 1,074,083 4 138,291 4 12.9

AIR

DOMESTIC EXPORTS 70,128 67,944 + 2,184 4 3.2

RE-EXPORTS 130,078 113,466 + 16,612 4 14.6

TOTAL EXPORTS 200,206 181,410 4 18,796 4 10.4

IMPORTS 247,421 208,686 + 38,734 4 18.6

TOTAL BY AIR 447,626 390,096 4 57,530 4 14.7

LAND

DOMESTIC EXPORTS 52,200 53,605 - 1,405 - 2.6

RE-EXPORTS 208,375 175,777 4 32,598 4 18.5

TOTAL EXPORTS 260,575 229,381 4 31,193 4 13.6

IMPORTS 379,868 327,209 52,660 4 16.1

TOTAL BY LAND 640,443 556,590 4 83,853 4 15.1

OTHERS

DOMESTIC EXPORTS 6,702 8,300 - 1,598 - 19.3

RE-EXPORTS 67,793 52,838 4 14,955 4 28.3

TOTAL EXPORTS 74,495 61,138 + 13,357 4 21.8

IMPORTS 45,783 36,941 4 8,843 4 23.9

TOTAL BY OTHERS 120,279 98,079 4 22,200 4 22.6

ALL MODES OF TRANSPORT

DOMESTIC EXPORTS 222,092 223,027 - 935 - 0.4

RE-EXPORTS 947,921 823,224 4 124,698 4 15.1

TOTAL EXPORTS 1,170,013 1,046,250 4 123,763 4 11.8

IMPORTS 1,250,709 1,072,597 4 178,111 4 16.6

TOTAL TRADE 2,420,722 2,118,848 4 301,874 4 14.2

22

TABLE 2 : EXTERNAL TRADE BY OCEAN BY MAIN TRADING PARTNER

MAIN TRADING PARTNER

JAN-DEC 1994

HKD Mn.

JAN-DEC 1993

HKD Mn.

YEAR-ON-YEAR CHANGE

HKD Mn. %

DOMESTIC EXPORTS (DESTINATION)

UNITED STATES GERMANY UNITED KINGDOM JAPAN CHINA ALL COUNTRIES 35,834 8,104 7,333 4,009 3,591 93,062 34,322 8,831 7,772 3,868 3,243 93,178 + + + 1,511 727 439 141 348 116 + + + 4.4 8.2 5.7 3.7 10.7 0.1

RE-EXPORTS (DESTINATION)

UNITED STATES 176,232 150,055 + 26,178 + 17.4

CHINA 50,150 48,197 + 1,953 + 4.1

JAPAN 38,944 31,372 + 7,572 + 24.1

GERMANY 33,965 33,323 + 642 + 1.9

UNITED KINGDOM 22,724 20,708 + 2,016 + 9.7

ALL COUNTRIES 541,675 481,143 + 60,533 + 12.6

TOTAL EXPORTS (DESTINATION)

UNITED STATES 212,066 184,377 + 27,689 + 15.0

CHINA 53,742 51,440 + 2,301 + 4.5

JAPAN 42,953 35,240 + 7,714 + 21.9

GERMANY 42,069 42,154 - 85 - 0.2

UNITED KINGDOM 30,056 28,480 + 1,577 + 5.5

ALL COUNTRIES 634,737 574,321 + 60,416 + 10.5

IMPORTS (SUPPLIER)

JAPAN 146,573 136,829 + 9,744 + 7.1

TAIWAN 90,553 80,635 + 9,918 + 12.3

UNITED STATES 47,977 42,255 + 5,722 + 13.5

SOUTH KOREA 47,793 40,190 + 7,604 + 18.9

CHINA 42,514 36,988 + 5,526 + 14.9

ALL COUNTRIES 577,636 499,762 + 77,874 + 15.6

23

TABLE 3 : EXTERNAL TRADE BY AIR BY MAIN TRADING PARTNER

MAIN TRADING PARTNER

JAN-DEC 1994 HKD Mn.

JAN-DEC 1993 HKD Mn.

YEAR-ON-YEAR CHANGE

HKD Mn. *

DOMESTIC EXPORTS (DESTINATION)

UNITED STATES SINGAPORE JAPAN GERMANY TAIWAN ALL COUNTRIES 25,563 9,418 6,384 4,688 3,023 70,128 25,945 8,446 5,751 5,103 3,608 67,944 + + + 383 972 633 415 585 2,184 + + + 1.5 11.5 11.0 8.1 16.2 3.2

RE-EXPORTS (DESTINATION)

UNITED STATES 33,784 30,256 + 3,528 + 11.7

JAPAN TAIWAN SOUTH KOREA GERMANY 15,675 10,342 8,247 7,620 12,646 9,832 7,185 7,448 + + + + 3,029 509 1,062 172 + + + 24.0 5.2 14.8 2.3

ALL COUNTRIES 130,078 113,466 +■ 16,612 14.6

TOTAL EXPORTS (DESTINATION)

UNITED STATES 59,347 56,201 + 3,146 + 5.6

JAPAN 22,059 18,397 + 3,662 + 19.9

SINGAPORE 16,091 13,691 + 2,400 + 17.5

TAIWAN 13,365 13,440 75 0. o

GERMANY 12,308 12,551 243 1.9

ALL COUNTRIES 200,206 181,410 + 18,796 + 10.4

IMPORTS (SUPPLIER)

JAPAN 48,151 40,872 + 7,279 + 17.8

UNITED STATES 41,267 37,048 + 4,219 + 11.4 Of* o

SINGAPORE 21,779 17,398 + 4,382 + 25.2

TAIWAN 16,714 13,296 + 3,418 + 25.7

SWITZERLAND 12,805 10,493 + 2,313 + 22.0

ALL COUNTRIES 247,421 208,686 + 38,734 + 18.6

24

TABLE 4 : EXTERNAL TRADE BY OCEAN BY MAIN COMMODITY DIVISION

MAIN COMMODITY DIVISION JAN-DEC 1994 HKD Mn. JAN-DEC 1993 HKD Mn. YEAR-ON-YEAR CHANGE

HKD Mn. %

DOMESTIC EXPORTS ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 49,897 48,551 + 1,347 + 2.8

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 7,824 8,670 - 846 - 9.8

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY PRINTED MATTER) 7,809 8,654 - 845 - 9.8

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 4,184 3,273 + 911 + 27.8

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 3,491 3,970 - 480 - 12.1

RE-EXPORTS MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY BABY CARRIAGES, TOYS, GAMES AND SPORTING GOODS) 108,222 94,867 + 13,355 + 14.1

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 70,634 53,432 + 17,202 + 32.2

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 69,715 66,765 + 2,950 + 4.4

FOOTWEAR 50,278 44,319 + 5,959 + 13.4

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 34,812 29,746 + 5,067 + 17.0

IMPORTS TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 78,817 64,006 + 14,811 + 23.1

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 51,664 39,081 + 12,583 + 32.2

ROAD VEHICLES 46,272 46,280 - 9 *

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 36,016 30,389 + 5,627 4- 18.5

GENERAL INDUSTRIAL MACHINERY AND EQUIPMENT, AND MACHINE PARTS 28,498 24,761 + 3,737 4- 15.1

* denotes less than 0.05%

25

TABLE 5 : EXTERNAL TRADE BY AIR BY MAIN COMMODITY DIVISION

MAIN COMMODITY DIVISION JAN-DEC 1994 HKD Mn. JAN-DEC 1993 HKD Mn. YEAR-ON-YEAR CHANGE

HKD Mn. %

DOMESTIC EXPORTS ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 18,537 19,606 1,070 5.5

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 16,629 13,871 + 2,758 + 19.9

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 11,213 12,007 793 6.6

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 10,791 10,293 + 498 + 4.8

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY JEWELLERY, GOLDSMITHS' AND SILVERSMITHS’ WARES) 6,463 6,284 + 178 + 2.8

RE-EXPORTS ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 29,365 23,258 + 6,107 + 26.3

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 20,543 21,779 1,235 5.7

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 19,035 17,115 * 1,921 + 11.2

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 12,245 10,256 + 1,989 + 19.4

NON-METALLIC MINERAL MANUFACTURES 9,916 8,447 + 1,469 ♦ 17.4

IMPORTS ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 75,233 61,809 + 13,424 + 21.7

NON-METALLIC MINERAL MANUFACTURES 26,556 21,722 + 4,835 + 22.3

PHOTOGRAPHIC APPARATUS, EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES, OPTICAL GOODS, WATCHES AND CLOCKS 24,949 22,692 + 2,257 + 9.9

OFFICE MACHINES AND AUTOMATIC DATA PROCESSING MACHINES 21,680 16,835 4,845 + 28.8

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 21,383 17,395 + 3,988 + 22.9

26

TABLE 6 : EXTERNAL TRADE BY LAND BY MAIN COMMODITY DIVISION

MAIN COMMODITY DIVISION JAN-DEC 1994 HKD Mn. JAN-DEC 1993 HKD Mn. YEAR-ON-YEAR CHANGE

HKD Mn. %

DOMESTIC EXPORTS

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 8,005 9,081 - 1,076 - 11.8

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 6,031 6,306 - 275 - 4.4

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 4,564 3,589 + 975 + 27.2

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY BABY CARRIAGES, TOYS, GAMES AND SPORTING GOODS) 4,425 4,957 - 531 - 10.7

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 4,363 4,468 - 105 - 2.4

RE-EXPORTS

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 51,497 41,031 + 10,466 + 25.5

PLASTICS IN PRIMARY FORMS 16,952 12,063 + 4,889 4- 40.5

ELECTRICAL MACHINERY, APPARATUS AND APPLIANCES, AND ELECTRICAL PARTS THEREOF 15,097 12,156 + 2,941 + 24.2

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 14,231 10,007 + 4,224 + 42.2

ROAD VEHICLES 8,040 11,108 - 3,068 - 27.6

IMPORTS

ARTICLES OF APPAREL AND CLOTHING ACCESSORIES 75,022 71,729 + 3,293 + 4.6

MISCELLANEOUS MANUFACTURED ARTICLES (MAINLY BABY CARRIAGES, TOYS, GAMES AND SPORTING GOODS) 58,266 49,067 + 9,200 + 18.7

TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SOUND RECORDING AND REPRODUCING APPARATUS AND EQUIPMENT 46,486 36,106 + 10,380 + 28.7

FOOTWEAR 37,314 31,582 + 5,732 + 18.2

TEXTILE YARN, FABRICS, MADE-UP ARTICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS 28,866 25,769 + 3,097 + 12.0

End/Friday, February 24, 1995

27

Retail sales provisional figures for December and 1994 released *****

The value of total retail sales in December 1994, estimated at $19.6 billion, increased by 11% when compared with December 1993.

After discounting the effect of price changes over the period, total retail sales rose by 4% in volume in December 1994 over a year earlier.

For 1994 as a whole, total retail sales rose by 12% in value and 6% in volume when compared with a year ago. The corresponding increases in 1993 were 13% and 7% respectively, indicating continued growth in consumer spending in 1994.

The above are some of the provisional statistics on retail sales released today (Friday) by the Census and Statistics Department.

The increase of total retail sales in December 1994 was mainly attributable to the notable growth in spending on clothing and footwear, and on consumer durable goods (other than motor vehicles). Sales of these two items increased by 20% and 18% respectively in value. Their respective increases in volume terms were 9% and 15% .

Sales of jewellery, watches and clocks and valuable gifts also increased considerably, by 15% in value and 13% in volume.

Sales in supermarkets rose moderately by 11% in value and 3% in volume.

Meanwhile, sales in department stores increased by 8% in value, but dropped by 1% in volume. Sales of food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco showed no growth in value but a 6% decrease in volume.

Sales of motor vehicles and fuels both decreased by 1% in value. In volume terms, the decreases were 10% and 8% respectively.

. .. •' . >oi zu ...

28

Compared with November 1994, but bearing in mind that this comparison may be affected by seasonal factors, total retail sales in December 1994 increased by 20% both in value and in volume.

For the year of 1994, sales of clothing and footwear registered significant increase by 26% in value and 16% in volume when compared with a year ago; and those of jewellery and watches by 13% in value and 6% in volume.

Moderate increases were recorded for sales in supermarkets (by 11% in value and 4% in volume); consumer durable goods (other than motor vehicles) (by 9% in value and 7% in volume); food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco (by 7% in value and 3% in volume); and department stores (by 7% in value and virtually no change in volume).

Sales of fuels recorded a decrease of 2% in volume, despite an increase of 3% in value. Sales of motor vehicles decreased by 4% in value and 11% in volume.

The volume of retail sales is derived from the value of retail sales after adjusting for price changes. The relevant components of the Consumer Price Index are used as deflators.

The report containing the analysis of the December 1994 results is now on sale at $3 a copy at the Government Publications Centre, Queensway Government Offices, Low Block, ground floor, 66 Queensway; and the Publications Section of the Census and Statistics Department, 19th floor, Wanchai Tower, Wan Chai. .

Enquiries about the survey results may be directed to the Wholesale and Retail Trade Statistics Section of the Census and Statistics Department on telephone 2802 1258.

Table 1 presents the revised total retail sales figure for November 1994 and the provisional figure for December 1994.

Table 2 shows the value and volume indices of retail sales in November and December 1994 for all retail outlets and by type of retail outlet, with average retail sales from October 1989 to September 1990 taken as 100. Comparisons of the December 1994 results with those for November 1994 and those for December 1993, as well as comparisons of retail sales in the period from January to December 1994 with the same period in 1993 are also given.

29

TABLE 1 : TOTAL RETAIL SALES

Total Retail Sales for December 1994 (Provisional Figure) = HK$19,611.5 million

for November 1994 (Revised Figure) « HK$16,388.0 million

TABLE 2 ; VALUE AND VOLUME INDICES OF RETAIL SALES FOR NOVEMBER 1994 AND DECEMBER 1994 (Monthly average of Oct. 89 - Sept. 90 « 100)

Type of Outlet Type of index Index number December 1994 compared with November 1994 December 1994 compared with December 1993 Jan.-Dec.1994 compared with Jan.-Dec.1993

November 1994 (Revised figures) December 1994 (Provisional figures)

(A) FOR ALL RETAIL OUTLETS (B) BY TYPE OF RETAIL OUTLET Food, alcoholic drinks and tobacco (other (than supermarkets) Supermarkets 0 Fuels Clothing, footwear and allied products Consumer durable goods % - Motor vehicles and parts - Consumer darable goods other than motor vehicles and parts Department stores Jewellery, watches and clocks, and valuable gifts Other consigner goods not elsewhere classified Value Volume Value Volume Value Volume Value Volume Value Vo I Line Value Volume Value Volume Value Volume Value Volume Value Volume Value Volume (Point) 174.5 132.6 134.2 102.8 146.6 102.6 145.2 99.9 272.5 175.6 187.8 151.5 201.9 140.7 177.7 159.4 142.4 97.1 159.0 150.7 198.3 153.2 (Point) 208.8 159.2 142.6 104.3 171.5 * 119.3 158.1 108.8 321.6 210.6 202.7 165.6 190.6 132.7 211.4 189.4 210.2 145.3 206.0 196.5 235.7 182.1 (Points) (%) ♦34.3 +19.7 ♦26.6 *20.0 ♦8.4 +6.3 ♦1.6 +1.5 ♦24.9 *17.0 ♦16.7 +16.3 ♦12.9 ♦s.9 ♦8.9 +8.9 ♦49.1 +18.0 ♦35.0 +20.0 ♦14.8 +7.9 ♦14.1 +9.3 -11.3 -5.6 -7.9 -5.6 ♦33.7 +19.0 ♦30.1 +18.9 ♦67.8 +47.6 ♦48.1 +49.6 ♦46.9 +29.5 ♦45.8 +30.4 ♦37.3 +18.8 ♦29.0 +18.9 (Points) (%) ♦20.1 +10.6 +6.7 +4.4 ♦0.3 +0.2 -7.0 -6.3 ♦16.7 +10.8 ♦3.3 +2.9 -1.8 -1.1 -9.0 -7.7 ♦53.8 +20.1 ♦16.4 +8.5 ♦17.5 +9.4 ♦8.6 +5.5 -2.5 -1.3 -14.2 -9.7 ♦31.9 ♦17.8 ♦25.1 +15.2 ♦15.0 +7.7 -1.9 -1.3 ♦26.9 +15.0 ♦21.8 *12.5 ♦22.9 +10.7 ♦9.5 +5.5 (Points) (%) ♦19.0 +11.9 ♦7.7 +5.8 ♦8.8 +6.9 ♦2.6 +2.6 ♦15.3 +10.9 ♦4.0 +3.7 ♦5.0 +3.4 -1.6 -1.5 ♦53.3 +26.1 ♦24.8 +15.8 ♦5.6 +3.2 -0.9 -0.6 -7.8 -4.0 -16.6 -11.0 ♦15.4 +9.4 ♦10.5 +6.9 ♦10.5 +7.3 ♦0.2 +0.2 ♦19.3 +12.7 ♦9.6 +6.3 ♦35.6 +20.6 +22.6 +15.9

NOTE : 4 Not including supermarkets operating in department stores.

End/Friday, February 24, 1995

30

Monetary Authority publishes quarterly bulletin lit * * * *

The latest issue of the Quarterly Bulletin published by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) today (Friday) contains a detailed analysis of the Hong Kong dollar interbank market.

The HKMA began to conduct a monthly survey of the Hong Kong dollar interbank market in December 1993. The present analysis is on data from the survey for September 1994. The main points of the analysis are:

* Roughly two-thirds of the gross transactions in the interbank market are placements or borrowings while foreign exchange swaps make up the remaining portion.

* Locally incorporated banks are major suppliers of Hong Kong dollar funds in the interbank market, accounting for nearly two-thirds of total net lending. Banks that are beneficially owned by China are the second biggest net lender after banks beneficially owned by Hong Kong.

* Demand for interbank Hong Kong dollar funds comes mainly from the foreign incorporated banks, especially those with a single branch licence. Funding from the interbank market is the most important source of finance for such foreign banks, with interbank borrowings with maturities of more than one day to three months making up 78 per cent of the total Hong Kong dollar liabilities of these banks.

* Interbank transactions are concentrated in the region between one month and three months. Interbank lending accounts for about a quarter of the Hong Kong dollar assets of locally incorporated banks, reflecting many banks' preference to lend part of their deposit funds in the interbank market.

*T»' ».

31

In another article entitled "Monetary and Exchange Rate Management with International Capital Mobility: The Case of Hong Kong" published in the same issue of the Quarterly Bulletin, the authors explained that fiscal discipline, flexibility of the economy, strong reserves and other carefully coordinated policies had combined to make Hong Kong a successful example of a fixed exchange rate regime.

The Quarterly Bulletin carries 10 other articles including official assessments of banking and monetary activities during the December quarter. The publication, at $100, is on sale at the Government Publications Centre. It may also be ordered from the Press and Publications Section of the 1IKMA.

End/Friday, February 24, 1995

Works to enhance traffic safety at Hiram's Highway

♦ * * * *

The Government is proposing to provide traffic signal control and improve the layout of two junctions of Hiram's Highway in Sai Kung so as to enhance traffic safety and efficiency.

The improvement works comprise the provision of traffic signal control at the junctions of Hiram's Highway/Hong Kin Road and Hiram's Highway/Po Lo Che Road, provision of pedestrian crossing facilities at the two junctions and associated slope and drainage works.

A notice about the proposed works was published in the Gazette today (Friday).

Plans for the proposed works can be seen at:

* the Central and Western District Office, Public Enquiry Service Centre, ground floor, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road, Central, Hong Kong;

32

* the District Lands Office, Sai Kung, third floor, Sai Kung Government Offices Building, 34 Chan Man Street, Sai Kung, New Territories; and

* the Sai Kung District Office, ground floor, Sai Kiing Government Offices Building, 34 Chan Man Street, Sai Kung, New Territories.

Any person who wishes to object to the works or the use, or both, is required to send his objection in writing to the Secretary for Transport, Central Government Offices, East Wing, second floor, Lower Albert Road, no later than April 25.

End/Friday, February 24, 1995

Tenders invited for Sai Kung sewers *****

The Drainage Services Department is inviting tenders for building sewers in Sai Kung Old Town.

The contract involves modification of the existing combined sewerage system to a separate system, and carrying out of associated road and drainage works.

The purpose of the works is to collect storm water and sewage separately so that during heavy rain, the sewage generated from Sai Kung Old Town will not be mixed with the storm water and discharge into Sai Kung Hoi.

The collected sewage will be conveyed to the existing Sai Kung Sewage Treatment Works in Tui Min Hoi for treatment before disposal, thus improving the water quality of Sai Kung Hoi.

The works are scheduled to begin in May for completion in 21 months.

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

33

Tender forms and further particulars may be obtained from the Sewerage Projects Division of the department, 44th floor, Revenue Tower, 5 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai.

The tender closing date is noon on March 17.

End/Friday, February 24, 1995 • • • * /x.*.. v. r ••• ’ • . • • •

Civic centre auditorium and stage facilities ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

The Architectural Services Department is inviting contractors to participate in two prequalification exercises for the supply and installation of machinery and lighting facilities for the auditorium and stage in Kwai Tsing Civic Centre, Kwai Chung.

The machinery comprises computer-controlled power flying pipes, proscenium, orchestra shell, orchestra pit elevators, stage waggons and ancillary equipment. The lighting facilities include computer-based lighting control desk with special effects.

Works are scheduled to start in July for completion in 23 months.

Only local companies with a proven record of carrying out the relevant types of specialist work or local companies with overseas specialist back-up can apply for prequalification.

Interested parties may apply for prequalification documents from the Chief Building Services Engineer/2, Architectural Services Department, 37th floor, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway.

The deadline for submission of applications is noon on March 17. Tenders will be invited from the prequalified contractors in April.

End/Friday, February 24, 1995

34

Tseung Kwan O platform contract signed

*****

The Civil Engineering Department today (Friday) signed a $121 million contract for the construction of a platform on Po Lam Road in Tseung Kwan O.

The works comprise mainly bulk excavation of 1.2 million cubic metres in rock and 0.7 million cubic metres in soil, construction of an associated storm water drainage system, stabilisation of existing slopes, construction of a 180-metre long vehicular access road and diversion of 350 metres of the salt water main running across the site.

On completion, a platform of about 6.5 hectares in area will be formed and will be used for housing development.

The works will begin next month and will take 33 months to complete.

The works will be supervised by the Development and Airport Division of the Civil Engineering Office of the department.

End/Friday, February 24, 1995

Part-time teachers sought for 1995/96 school year

*****

The Education Department is inviting qualified persons to fill the evening part-time teaching vacancies in various courses operated in the 1995/96 school year.

The Adult Education Section of the department runs a number of courses in centres throughout the territory. They include English course, Government Evening Secondary School Course and Adult Education Course.

A spokesman for the department said applicants should be qualified teachers with a genuine interest in teaching adults in the evening.

35

The spokesman said experience in teaching English Language at postsecondary or senior secondary levels, Chinese language, science, social subjects or commercial subjects at senior secondary levels and/or possession of a Diploma/Certificate in Education or Advanced Certificate in Teacher Training would be an advantage.

The pay scale for part-time teaching is:

* $330 per hour for post-secondary level subjects;

* $275 per hour for senior secondary level subjects;

* $220 per hour for junior secondary level subjects; and

* $200 per hour for primary level subjects.

Application forms are obtainable from the Adult Education Section of the Education Department at Wu Chung House, 11th floor, 213 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai.

Completed application forms should reach the Adult Education Section on or before March 25. If applicants are not called for an interview by May 1, they should assume their applications as unsuccessful.

For further information, please contact the Adult Education Section on 2892 6669.

End/Friday, February 24, 1995

District Board by-election forums

*****

Residents are invited to attend district board by-election forums for the Lower Ngau Tau Kok constituency in Kwun Tong district and the Yau Ma Tei constituency in Yau Tsim Mong district on Sunday (February 26).

36

The forums will enable eligible voters to get to know the platforms of candidates.

The forum for the Lower Ngau Tau Kok constituency will be held between 3 pm and 5 pm at the open area adjacent to the St Matthew's Lutheran School near Lower Ngau Tau Kok Estate Block 8.

• *- • • t . .

As for the Yau Ma Tei constituency, the forum will be held between 8 pm and 9 pm at the Henry G Leong Yau Ma Tei Community Centre, 60 Public Square Street.

End/Friday, February 24,1995

Hong Kong Monetary Authority money market operations

*****

Time Cumulative change

$ million (hours) (Smillion)

Opening balance in the account 2,396 0930 +507

Closing balance in the account 2,179 1000 +507

Change attributable to: 1100 +492

Money market activity +468 1200 +498

LAF today -685 1500 +468

* - 1600 +468

LAF rate 4.25% bid/6.25% offer TWI 120.3 *-0.1* 24.2.95

I •— • -1 4

37

Hong Kong Monetary Authority

EF bills EF notes/Hong Kong Government bonds

Terms Yield Term Issue Coupon Price Yield

1 week 4.69 15 months 2605 6.35 99.50 6.88

1 month 5.10 24 months 2702 7.50 100.68 7.25

3 months 5.93